Thursday, February 2, 2012

40 Minute Hamburger Buns

I will admit, I made these for the first time tonight.  I was out of hamburger buns, but I wanted to make hamburgers.  So, I did a quick search and found this recipe.  It was a hit.  Very similar to store-bought buns, but without all the icky chemicals.  Very simple, very good flavor, and fast to make.  I think if I make these again though, I will make 14, and roll them a little flatter, so that there is a better bun-to-burger ratio.

My only change, was to use my stand mixer to mix the dough.  I started with the dough hook and let it mix up, then put it on 4 for about 5 minutes, adding in a little flour here and there as necessary.  Otherwise, this recipe was perfect.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Savory Rice

I made this one up on the fly one night, when I wasn't feeling up to making a big meal, but wanted a lot of flavor. I cooked some frozen chicken tenders in some water, to thaw them and cook them without killing them, and that was easy enough.

The rice however, I made to taste so amazingly good, that I will be making it that way again soon.  I will find something to serve with it, even if it's just chicken again.  I made a double batch, but I will go ahead and give you the single batch measurements, just to make it easy.

Savory Rice

2 cups homemade chicken stock (or store bought if preferred)
1 cup long grain white rice
1-2 tablespoons butter
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4-1/2 teaspoon herbs de provence, or Italian herb mix (based on preference)

Place all the ingredients in a heavy pan over high heat.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes.  At the end of the 15 minutes, turn off the heat, fluff the rice with a fork, cover again, and let sit for another 5 minutes. 

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Lemon Blackberry Coffee Cake

This one is just... yum.

Blackberry Lemon Coffee Cake

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons double-acting baking powder
1 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Zest of one lemon
1 1/2 cups fresh blackberries, blueberries, or raspberries (frozen works perfectly well)

Topping 1/4 cup (1/2 a stick) butter melted
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar

Butter a 9X13 pan.  Preheat oven to 350.  In a bowl whisk together the flour, the baking powder, and a pinch of salt and in another bowl stir together the sour cream and the baking soda.
In a large bowl cream together the butter and 1 cup of the granulated sugar until the mixture is light and fluffy, add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition, and beat in the vanilla and lemon zest. Stir in the flour mixture alternately with the sour cream mixture and stir the batter until it is combined well.  Pour the batter into a buttered 9 X 13 cake pan. Sprinkle blackberries evenly on top.
In a small bowl stir together melted butter, flour and sugar until it is sort of dough like and stuck together.  Crumble topping mixture all over cake

Bake the cake in the middle of a preheated 350°F. oven for 35 to 45 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean. Transfer it to a rack, and let it cool.  Serve warm or room temperature.  (This is best the day of baking.)

Friday, January 20, 2012

Breakfast Puff

This recipe is about as easy as it gets.  It has few ingredients, little direct involvement, and the kids love it.  I'm not a huge fan of the texture personally, but to the kids, it's like a gigantic pancake.  The love watching me pull it from the oven because it's enormous.  It sinks a bit after a few minutes, but the kids still think it's neat.  It is nice to have as a backup, for those days when you want to give the kids something warm and homemade, but not put a lot of time and effort into it.

Breakfast Puff

3 cups flour
3 cups milk
1 dozen eggs
1/4 cup butter

Preheat oven to 450*

Combine the flour, milk and eggs in a large bowl, and whisk thoroughly. 

Place the butter in a 9x13 baking dish, and place in the oven.  Once the butter is melted, pour the batter into the hot dish.  Bake for 25 minutes exactly.  Do NOT open the oven door!  Wait until the timer goes off, and then remove the puff from the oven. 

Serve with pancake syrup, jelly, powdered sugar, or just about anything else you might like. 

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Brisket With Garlic

This is one of my favorite recipes.  It is the only way I have ever tried cooking brisket, and it is probably the only way I ever will make brisket.  Do not let the quantity of garlic daunt you, it is well worth the effort for the flavor.  If you can, get yourself a garlic peeler.  It's just a little silicone tube, but it makes this dish far easier.

The original recipe called for red wine, but I choose to use balsamic vinegar instead.  I am not a fan of win in general, so I prefer not to use it.  The balsamic vinegar gives more of a full flavor, without the alcohol overtone.  I also use a smaller cut of meat, to fit in my pot, and halve the amount of garlic used.  Everything else stays the same.

Beef Brisket with 40 Cloves of Garlic Recipe

2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 (5 to 6 pounds) beef brisket, rinsed and patted dry
Kosher salt and freshly-ground pepper
40 large cloves garlic, peeled (about 3 to 4 heads of garlic - see Notes)
1 large sweet onion, sliced and separated into rings
1/4 cup red wine (or substitute balsamic vinegar)
2 to 3 cups beef or chicken broth
2 teaspoons dried oregano, crushed
1 teaspoon dried basil

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Season brisket liberally on both sides with kosher salt and freshly-ground black pepper.

Heat a large Dutch oven or heavy, deep-sided, oven-proof skillet with a lid over medium-high heat. Add olive oil to coat the bottom. Sear both sides of brisket, beginning with fat-side down, until golden brown. Remove to a platter.

Add garlic cloves and sweet onion rings to the remaining oil in the pan. Cook and stir until garlic begins to turn golden and sweet onions are limp.

Add red wine (or balsamic vinegar) and deglaze the pan, stirring for 1 minute while scraping up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Add beef or chicken broth, oregano, and basil. Bring back to a simmer, then turn off heat. Move garlic and onions to the side and return brisket to the Dutch oven or skillet. Spoon garlic and onions over the top of the brisket, cover tightly, and place in the oven.
Bake for 1 hour at 325 F. Reduce heat to 300 and bake an additional 1-1/2 to 2 hours, or until brisket is fork-tender. Remove brisket to a platter and cover to keep warm. Let rest for 10 minutes.

Remove half of of garlic cloves and most of onions to a bowl. Skim off excess oil from the pan gravy and discard. Blend pan gravy and garlic until smooth. You can add a flour or cornstarch slurry to thicken gravy, if you wish. Return reserved whole garlic cloves and onions to the gravy.
Slice brisket diagonally across the grain. Serve with the pan gravy.

Yield: 8 to 10 servings

Friday, January 13, 2012

Light and Crispy Granola

I got this recipe from a friend, made one little modification, and it is truly one of the best homemade granolas I have ever made.  It has all the best yummy stuff in it, and is also very quick and easy. 

Now, a lot of you might wonder what on earth puffed millet is, and why in the world you'd want to eat bird seed... but puffed millet is one of my favorite things, especially when mixed in with yummy sweetness.  It adds a nice airy texture to this granola that is irresistible.  If you don't like millet, or would prefer not to use it, just replace it with a cup of oatmeal. 

When I make it again, I think I will add a vanilla bean to the liquid mixture as well, just to add some extra vanilla flavor. 

Light crispy granola

3 cups old fashioned oats
2 cups rice crispy type cereal
1 cup plain puffed millet
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1/2 cup coconut oil
2/3 cup natural sugar
1/3 cup honey
1 Tablespoon molasses
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp sea salt

Preheat oven to 325*. In a Dutch oven, boil the butter, coconut oil, sugar, honey, molasses, cinnamon, vanilla and salt together for 2 min. Take off the heat and add oats and cereal. Mix well. Divide onto two cookie sheets and spread out evenly. Bake for 8 min, then switch and continue baking for 6 min. Make sure to watch it. You want it golden brown. The edges could burn.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Herb Peel-Away Bread

I still remember the day I found this recipe.  I remember what I was doing.  I remember the store I was at.  I remember the calender I languidly picked up from the counter, and thought... This looks interesting, I guess since it's free I'll take it....

I was at the Pfaltzgraff outlet, looking for table decorations for my wedding reception.  My mom and grandma were with me, having come up specially from Kansas.  I got 10 little clear glass, flat bottomed bowls for floating candles.  I might have one left, the rest have broken by now.  But, that's ok.  I still have the recipe.

The recipe.  Herb Peel-Away Bread.  One of my first endeavors into yeast bread baking.  The first few attempts were.... interesting.  I was barely 20 at the time.  Not even old enough to buy alcohol, unless my husband gave me permission.  We never did try that... I wanted to though.  Go to a bar and show them my marriage license showing that my husband had the authority to allow me to drink.  What can I say, I like living on the edge.  But, as the taste of alcohol was totally unappealing.... it never happened.  And now I'm old enough to buy my own alcohol.

Back to the bread.

It is a pretty easy bread, which is nice.  It's a quick rise bread, using double the amount of yeast you would normally use, to give it a very quick rise with lots of air in the dough.  Such a light texture.  Then, you add in all the herbs.... it's so good.  I do have to keep an eye on the times, as you really want to eyeball the rising, rather than relying solely on the timer, but other than that it's pretty easy and tastes very good. 

Herb Peel-Away Bread

3 ½ cups all purpose flour, divided
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 pkgs. Rapid rise yeast
1 tablespoon parsley, fresh or dried
½ teaspoon basil
½ teaspoon dried rosemary
½ teaspoon dried thyme
1 cup water
6 tablespoons butter, divided
1 egg, room temperature

Combine 2 ½ cups flour, sugar, salt, yeast and herbs in a large mixing bowl.  In a small saucepan combine water and 4 tablespoons butter.  Heat until hot to touch, about 125° to 130° F.  Add liquid to dry ingredients.  Stir in egg and just enough of remaining flour to form a soft dough.  On a lightly floured surface, knead the dough for about 4 minutes or until smooth and elastic.  Let rise, covered, for 10 minutes.  On a lightly floured surface, roll dough into a 12 inch square.  Melt 2 tablespoons butter and brush the top of the dough with the butter.  Cut into 36 squares.  Overlap squares in three layers, butter side down, in a greased 9x5x3 inch loaf pan.  Let rise, covered, in a warm place until doubled in bulk.  Bake at 375° for 20 to 25 minutes.

Yield: 1 loaf