Thursday, March 26, 2009
Just a few to whet your whistle:
Photo from Joy the Baker.
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Benefit = recipe for success and recipe = characteristic of the benefit
The recipes have to be fairly simple and not have 800 years worth of instructions. I'm trying to do a variety of recipes and am already including bread/breakfast (strawberry bread=antioxidants), meat (slow cooker chili chicken tacos=easy to assemble, no fuss) and cookies (monster cookies=lots of disparate ingredients come together all yummy). I found all of these other recipes online and need to try them out before publicly giving them two thumbs up and distributing them into the world.
I'll be trying some of them, but I'd love it if any of you were piqued enough to make them yourselves. If you do try them within the next two weeks, give me a shout and let me know if they are any good. Gracias!
Apple, Pear and Walnut Salad
2 T red wine vinegar
2 1/2 T orange juice
1 orange, zested
1/2 C raisins or craisins
4 apples, preferably use 2 to 3 different kinds
2 pears, preferably red and green
2/3 C walnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped
2 T extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
In a large bowl whisk together vinegar, orange juice, zest, and raisins. Core and cube apples and pears. Add fruit and walnuts to a bowl and drizzle with oil. Toss well to combine. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper. Refrigerate 1 hour before serving.
Special Fried Rice with Carrots
2 3/4 C water
1 1/2 C white rice
3 T vegetable or wok oil, 3 turns of the pan
2 eggs, beaten
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 inches fresh ginger, minced or grated
1/2 C shredded carrots, available in pouches in produce section, a couple of handfuls
1 small red bell pepper, diced
4 scallions, thinly sliced on an angle
1/2 C frozen peas
1/3 C Tamari, dark aged soy sauce
Bring water to a boil. Add rice, reduce heat, cover and cook over medium low heat until tender, 15 to 18 minutes. Spread rice out on a cookie sheet to quick cool it.
Heat a wok, wok shaped skillet or large nonstick skillet over high heat. Add oil to the pan. Add egg to hot oil and break into small bits as it scrambles. When eggs are scrambled, add garlic and ginger to the pan. Add carrots, pepper, scallions to the pan and quick stir-fry veggies 2 minutes.
Add rice to the pan and combine with veggies. Fry rice with veggies 2 or 3 minutes. Add peas and soy sauce to the rice and stir fry 1 minute more, then serve.
Broccoli and Bow Ties
8 C broccoli florets (4 heads)
1/2 lb farfalle (bow tie) pasta
2 T unsalted butter
2 T olive oil
1 t minced garlic
1 lemon, zested
1/2 t ground black pepper
1 t lemon juice
1/4 C toasted pine nuts
Freshly grated Parmesan, optional
Cook the broccoli for 3 minutes in a large pot of boiling salted water. Remove the broccoli from the water with a slotted spoon or sieve. Place in a large bowl and set aside.
In the same water, cook the bow-tie pasta according to the package directions, about 12 minutes. Drain well and add to the broccoli.
Meanwhile, in a small saute pan, heat the butter and oil and cook the garlic and lemon zest over medium-low heat for 1 minute. Off the heat, add 2 t salt, the pepper, and lemon juice and pour this over the broccoli and pasta. Toss well. Season to taste, sprinkle with the pine nuts and cheese, if using, and serve.
To toast pine nuts, place them in a dry saute pan over medium-low heat and cook, tossing often, for about 5 minutes, until light brown
Soft Dough Pretzels
1 1/2 c. water
2 c. all-purpose flour
1 pkg. active dry yeast
1 1/2 tsp. sugar
3/4 tsp. salt
2-2 1/2 c. flour
1 egg yolk
1 tbsp. water
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Heat water to 120 degrees. In large bowl, combine 2 cups flour and yeast, sugar, salt and warmed water. Mix for 3 minutes. Add 2 cups flour and continue kneading for 3 minutes. If dough is sticky, knead in enough of remaining 1/2 cup flour to form a soft dough.
Shape into a ball. On a floured surface, cut into 16 pieces and roll with hands into approximately 12 inch ropes. Shape as pretzels and put on foil covered cookie sheets. Beat egg yolks and 1 tablespoon water until well blended. Coat dough with egg mixture and sprinkle with salt. Bake in preheated 400 degree oven for 20 minutes. Remove from cookie sheets and cool on wire racks.
Thursday, March 19, 2009
FOR THE CAKES:
1/4 pound (1 stick) butter, at room temperature
1 cup light brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon sea salt
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cocoa
1 cup buttermilk
FOR THE BUTTERCREAM FILLING:
3 large egg whites
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 pound butter (2 sticks), at room temperature
3/4 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon sea salt.
1. For the cakes: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a mixing bowl, cream together the butter and brown sugar. Add the egg and vanilla extract and beat until light and creamy. In a separate bowl, whisk together the baking soda, salt, flour and cocoa. Add dry ingredients to butter mixture in three parts, alternating with buttermilk, and combining well after each addition.
2. Using an ice cream scoop or a spoon, scoop out 12 1/4-cup mounds of batter and place about 6 inches apart on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake until tops are puffed and cakes spring back when touched, 12 to 14 minutes. Remove from oven and cool completely before filling.
3. For the buttercream filling: For best results, follow directions carefully, paying attention to required temperatures. Fill bottom half of a double boiler (or a medium saucepan) with an inch or two of water, and bring to a boil over high heat. In top half of double boiler (or a metal bowl), combine egg whites and sugar. Place over simmering water and whisk just until sugar is dissolved and temperature reaches 180 degrees on an instant-read thermometer.
4. Using a whisk attachment on a heavy-duty mixer, whisk egg whites and sugar on high until they double in volume and become thick and shiny. Continue to whisk until cool. Reduce speed to medium and begin to add butter about 1/2 tablespoon at a time, until all the butter is incorporated. Add vanilla and salt. If mixture looks curdled, continue to whisk until it is smooth. Increase speed to high and whisk for 1 more minute. Use immediately or place in an airtight container and chill for up to 3 days, whisking buttercream again before using.
5. For assembly: Using an ice cream scoop or spoon, place 1/4 cup buttercream on flat side of each of 6 cakes, spreading it to edges. Top filled half with another cake to sandwich the buttercream. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days, or wrap individually and freeze for up to 3 months.
Yield: 6 pies.
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Chocolate Whiskey and Beer Cupcakes
Makes 20 to 24 cupcakes
For the Guinness Chocolate Cupcakes
1 cup stout (such as Guinness)
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 cups all purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
2/3 cup sour cream
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate (I used Ghirardelli bittersweet chips)
2/3 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons butter, room temperature
1 to 2 teaspoons Irish whiskey (optional)
3 to 4 cups confections sugar (I used about 2 1/2 cups when all was said and done).
1 stick (1/2 cup or 4 ounces)
unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 to 4 tablespoons Baileys (or milk, or heavy cream, or a combination thereof)
Special equipment: 1-inch round cookie cutter or an apple corer and a piping bag (though a plastic bag with the corner snipped off will also work)
Make the cupcakes: Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 24 cupcake cups with liners. Bring 1 cup stout and 1 cup butter to simmer in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add cocoa powder and whisk until mixture is smooth. Cool slightly.
Whisk flour, sugar, baking soda, and 3/4 teaspoon salt in large bowl to blend. Using electric mixer, beat eggs and sour cream in another large bowl to blend. Add stout-chocolate mixture to egg mixture and beat just to combine. Add flour mixture and beat briefly on slow speed. Using rubber spatula, fold batter until completely combined. Divide batter among cupcake liners, filling them 2/3 to 3/4 of the way. Bake cake until tester inserted into center comes out clean, rotating them once front to back if your oven bakes unevenly, about 17 minutes. Cool cupcakes on a rack completely.
Make the filling: Chop the chocolate and transfer it to a heatproof bowl. Heat the cream until simmering and pour it over the chocolate. Let it sit for one minute and then stir until smooth. (If this has not sufficiently melted the chocolate, you can return it to a double-boiler to gently melt what remains. 20 seconds in the microwave, watching carefully, will also work.) Add the butter and whiskey (if you’re using it) and stir until combined. The chips melted easily since they are so small.
Fill the cupcakes: Let the ganache cool until thick but still soft enough to be piped (the fridge will speed this along but you must stir it every 10 minutes). Meanwhile, using your 1-inch round cookie cutter or an apple corer, cut the centers out of the cooled cupcakes. You want to go most of the way down the cupcake but not cut through the bottom — aim for 2/3 of the way. A slim spoon or grapefruit knife will help you get the center out. Put the ganache into a piping bag with a wide tip and fill the holes in each cupcake to the top.
Make the frosting: Whip the butter in the bowl of an electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, for several minutes. You want to get it very light and fluffy. Slowly add the powdered sugar, a few tablespoons at a time.
When the frosting looks thick enough to spread, drizzle in the Baileys (or milk) and whip it until combined. If this has made the frosting too thin (it shouldn’t, but just in case) beat in another spoonful or two of powdered sugar.
Ice and decorate the cupcakes.
Do ahead: You can bake the cupcakes a week or two in advance and store them, well wrapped, in the freezer. You can also fill them before you freeze them. They also keep filled — or filled and frosted — in the fridge for a day. (Longer, they will start to get stale.)
Irish Soda Bread
4 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
1 stick butter
2 cups buttermilk
1 1/2 cups golden raisins
Mix all ingredients together. Bake at 350 degrees for one hour.
I am sure there is supposed to be some order to mixing ingredients but Joe got the recipe from his family over the phone years ago so all I can say is that I've made it before and it's good. I usually make it in a bundt pan. We also make it with a powder sugar glaze much like this one. The glaze must be dyed green according to Joe....
Monday, March 16, 2009
1 can sauerkraut, drained and rinsed
6 oz. shredded swiss cheese
6 oz. cubed or shredded corned beef
8 oz. block of cream cheese
2 Tablespoons Thousand Island dressing
Drain and rinse sauerkraut. In a crockpot, mix sauerkraut with swiss cheese and cream cheese. Add corned beef and Thousand Island. Cover and heat on low, stirring occasionally. Serve with crackers or cocktail rye bread.
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
4 pounds medium asparagus, trimmed (I used two bunches)
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups chicken broth, heated
1/2 cup water, heated
7 ounces mild goat cheese, such as Montrachet (I used low fat ricotta)
1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest, or to taste
6 (7 by 6 1/4-inch) sheets instant (no-boil) lasagna (next time I'll use cooked noodles. I've given no boil a fair shot and I just don't like them).
1 2/3 cups freshly grated Parmesan
1 cup heavy cream (I omitted, you'll see why later)
Preheat oven to 500 degrees F.
Arrange 1 sheet of pasta in each of buttered 9 by 13-inch baking dishes, (I only used one dish) and spread each sheet with 1/4 of the sauce. Top the sauce in each dish with 1/4 of the reserved roasted asparagus, and sprinkle the asparagus with 1/3 cup of the Parmesan. Continue to layer the pasta, sauce, asparagus, and Parmesan in the same manner, ending with a sheet of pasta.
Monday, March 9, 2009
I have a good Irish Soda Bread recipe that I will try to post later.
Friday, March 6, 2009
According to Wikipedia, these are some traditional Irish foods.List of traditional food and drink:
Bangers and mash
Black and Tan
Skirts and kidneys
Whiskey (particularly pure pot still whiskey)
Some others include potato bread, Irish cheeses, prawns and what else? Do you ladies know of any others?
Photo from here.
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
Recipe found here.