After many, many weeks of trying to empty our fridge and freezer, I finally allowed myself to do some major grocery shopping recently. As I was making my list for the store, I really tried to thumb through some of my many cooking magazines (which unfortunately I don't cook from nearly enough) to find some recipes to make. This chipotle chicken and rice was one of the recipes I selected from the most recent issue of Everyday Food. It's got a relatively short ingredient list and though it does cook for over an hour, the hands-on time is minimal.
This dish was a huge hit at our house! As we were eating it Shane said he wanted to have it at least once a week. A few minutes later (after I mentioned how cheap it was to make), he revised his statement and declared that he wanted it 2 or 3 times a week. While I also really enjoyed it, I think once a week is my limit! One of the highlights of the dish for me was the chicken. By the end of the cooking time, I could practically shred it with my fork and it had absorbed so much flavor from the other ingredients. The note above the recipe in the magazine mentions "subtle heat" from the chipotle chiles. I'm not sure I agree - I thought it was pretty spicy, but I'm a bit of a wimp when it comes to heat so you'll have to try it for yourself to see what you think!
Chipotle Chicken and Rice
from Everyday Food, July/August 2009
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 2 pounds total)
coarse salt and ground pepper
1 medium red onion, thinly sliced lengthwise
3 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
2 canned chipotle chiles in adobo, minced
2 large tomatoes, diced large (I used one 14.5 oz can of diced tomatoes, drained)
1 cup long-grain white rice
lime wedges, for serving (optional)
chopped cilantro leaves, for serving (optional)
In a large Dutch oven, heat oil over medium-high heat. Season chicken on both sides with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Working in batches, brown chicken on both sides, about 6 minutes total. Transfer the chicken to a plate.
Reduce heat to medium. Add onion and saute until soft, about 5 minutes, scraping up any browned bits from bottom of pot (if necessary, add a bit of water to release browned bits).
Add garlic, cumin and chiles; cook until garlic is soft and fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add tomatoes and 1 teaspoon salt and cook until tomatoes begin to break down and release their juices, about 3 minutes. Stir in 1 cup water and return chicken and any accumulated juices to pot. Cover, reduce to a simmer and cook 25 minutes.
Remove several pieces of chicken and stir in rice, making sure it is completely submerged in liquid. Replace chicken, cover, and cook until rice is tender and liquid has been absorbed, 25 to 30 minutes more. Serve with lime wedges and cilantro if desired.
This cookie recipe was very similar to the chocolate chip cookies we made a few weeks ago. After the dough is mixed it gets some time in the refrigerator before it is shaped into logs and chilled again. I made the mistake of mixing my dough and then leaving it in the fridge for about 5 or 6 hours when I got busy with something else. When I finally took it out it was rock hard so I used the heat of my hands to warm it up for a while before shaping it into logs. I love the slice and bake aspect of Melissa's cookies. I find it much easier than scooping out individual cookies and I think the cookies bake up perfectly (though the chill time probably has something to do with that too)!
It was a bit tricky to tell when these cookies were done because they're so dark but I wound up baking mine for about 13-14 minutes. That left them nice and chewy. They're really delicious and, as expected, super chocolately and rich! I only had one and that satisfied me. I really want to make them again and try adding the raisins, which I think I'll really enjoy. Many thanks to Megan for this week's great pick! You can check out the recipe on her blog and be sure to visit the Sweet Melissa site to check out all of this week's cookies!
If you like traditional lasagna you'll probably love these lasagna rolls from Giada De Laurentiis! I particularly like that they're a lot less messy than traditional lasagna since you can just scoop up one or two rolls for individual servings. It's also highly adaptable, which is nice for picky eaters. I left the prosciutto out because I don't like it but if Shane had been eating these I probably would have split the filling into two bowls and added the spinach only to mine and thrown some meat into his.
If there's any down side to this recipe it's that there are quite a few components. That said, each component is quite simple and many of them can be made ahead of time. You make a bechamel sauce, boil the lasagna noodles, prepare the filling, make the marinara sauce and assemble/bake the rolls. In my opinion all of the work is worth the effort, but if you wanted to simplify things a bit, you could definitely use no-boil lasagna noodles and jarred marinara sauce.
from Giada De Laurentiis via FoodNetwork.com
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 teaspoons all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups whole milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
Pinch ground nutmeg
1 (15-ounce) container whole milk ricotta cheese
1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed, squeezed dry
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan
3 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto, chopped (I omitted)
1 large egg, beaten to blend
3/4 teaspoon salt, plus more for salting water
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil
12 uncooked lasagna noodles
2 cups marinara sauce
1 cup shredded mozzarella (about 4 ounces)
To make the sauce: Melt the butter in a heavy medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the flour and whisk for 3 minutes. Whisk in the milk. Increase the heat to medium-high. Whisk the sauce until it comes to a simmer and is thick and smooth, about 3 minutes. Whisk the salt, pepper, and nutmeg into the bechamel sauce.
Preheat the oven to 450 F.
Whisk the ricotta, spinach, 1 cup Parmesan, prosciutto, egg, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl to blend.
Add a tablespoon or 2 of oil to a large pot of boiling salted water. Boil the noodles until just tender but still firm to bite. Drain. Arrange the noodles in a single layer on a baking sheet to prevent them from sticking.
Butter a 13x9x2 glass baking dish. Pour the bechamel sauce over the bottom of the prepared dish. Lay out 4 lasagna noodles on a work surface, then spread about 3 tablespoons of ricotta mixture evenly over each noodle. Starting at 1 end, roll each noodle like a jelly roll. Lay the lasagna rolls seam side down, without touching, atop the bechamel sauce in the dish. Repeat with the remaining noodles and ricotta mixture. Spoon 1 cup of marinara sauce over the lasagna rolls. Sprinkle the mozzarella and remaining 2 tablespoons of Parmesan over the lasagna rolls. Cover tightly with foil.
Bake until heated through and the sauce bubbles, about 20 minutes. Uncover and bake until the cheese on top becomes golden, about 15 minutes longer. Let stand for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, heat the remaining marinara sauce in a heavy small saucepan over medium heat until hot, and serve alongside.
Now that I've finally gone and made marshmallows I really wish I hadn't waited so long to give them a shot. I'd heard so many horror stories about failed marshmallows and sticky messes that I kept putting them off, but my experience with this recipe was not only successful, but really pretty enjoyable. I tried one of the marshmallows immediately after cutting them and found it was a bit too sweet, but the next day, I thought the flavor was perfect! They're much better than store bought marshmallows. I find myself reaching for another one every time I pass them sitting on the kitchen counter. I'm hoping this weekend I'll finally get to try making my s'mores with them!
One quick note: Reviewers who tried this recipe with a hand mixer reported mixed results. Some said it was successful while others claimed their hand mixers overheated or were unable to achieve the volume necessary when beating the gelatin/sugar mixture. If you try the recipe with a hand mixer, increase the beating time for the gelatin/sugar mixture to at least 10 minutes.
adapted from Gourmet, December 1998 via Epicurious.com (as seen on SmittenKitchen.com)
Approx. 1 cup confectioners' sugar
3 1/2 envelopes (2 tablespoons plus 2 1/2 teaspoons) unflavored gelatin
1 cup cold water, divided
2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large egg whites or reconstituted powdered egg whites
1 tablespoon vanilla
Spray bottom and sides of a 13 x 9 x 2 metal baking pan with nonstick cooking spray and dust bottom and sides with some of the confectioners’ sugar.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, sprinkle gelatin over 1/2 cup cold cold water, and let stand to soften.
Meanwhile, in a 3-quart heavy saucepan cook granulated sugar, corn syrup, second 1/2 cup of cold water, and salt over low heat, stirring with a wooden spoon, until sugar is dissolved. Increase heat to medium and boil mixture, without stirring, until a candy thermometer registers 240 F, about 12 minutes. Remove the saucepan from heat and pour sugar mixture over gelatin mixture, stirring until gelatin is dissolved.
Using stand mixer beat mixture on high speed until white, thick, and nearly tripled in volume, about six minutes. Meanwhile, in a separate medium bowl with cleaned beaters, beat egg whites (or reconstituted powdered whites) until they just hold stiff peaks. Beat whites and vanilla into sugar mixture until just combined. Pour mixture into baking pan and sift 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar evenly over top. (You'll want to work fairly quickly getting the mixture into the baking pan because it starts to set almost immediately.) Chill marshmallow (room temperature worked fine for me), uncovered, until firm, at least three hours, and up to one day.
Run a thin knife around edges of pan and invert pan onto a large cutting board. Lifting up one corner of inverted pan, with fingers loosen marshmallow and ease onto cutting board. With a large knife trim edges of marshmallow and cut marshmallow into roughly one-inch cubes. (I sprayed my pizza cutter with nonstick cooking spray and used that.) Sift remaining confectioners’ sugar back into your now-empty baking pan, and roll the marshmallows through it, on all six sides, before shaking off the excess and packing them away.
The marshmallows will keep for 1 week when stored in an airtight container at room temperature.
There are 3 main components to this dessert and they're all pretty easy in their own right. First, there's the meringue which is made by combining whipped egg whites and a coconut/almond/sugar mixture. The meringue is spread into rectangles and baked for 3 hours, during which time the rectangles become golden and crisp. The second component is pineapple, which is cut into wedges and then broiled. I decided, instead, to use my kitchen torch to speed this process up and it worked perfectly. Finally, there's the ganache, which is simply a combination of white chocolate and whipping cream that is chilled and then whipped until light and fluffy.
The dacquoise is assembled by layering the components. One of the meringue rectangles is laid down, then topped with the ganache and some of the pineapple wedges. That process is repeated two more times. To finish the dacquoise, the remaining ganache is spread around the sides of the cake and garnished with toasted coconut. Unfortunately, once you've got this beautiful cake assembled, you can't dig in because Dorie recommends chilling it for at least 4 hours before serving.
My 4 hour countdown just finished a few minutes ago and my mom had stopped by after work so I had her taste the dacquoise with me. I think it's safe to say that we are absolutely smitten with this dessert! Wow, was it ever good! My favorite component was the ganache but I also loved the way the pineapple and coconut worked together. I loved it so much that it makes me a bit disappointed I only made 1/4 of the recipe. The tropical flavors are perfect for summer so I know I'll be making this treat again before too long!
Thanks to Andrea for a really surprising pick this week - we loved it! You can find the recipe on her blog and check out the other cakes this week by visiting TWD!
Grilled Pepperoni Pizza
adapted from The Kitchen Sink Recipes
1 recipe of your favorite pizza dough (see below for the recipe I used)
extra virgin olive oil
1-2 cups of your favorite tomato sauce (here's one I use from time to time)
1 ball fresh mozzarella, sliced into thin rounds
fine-grain sea salt
Preheat your grill to medium. While the grill is heating stretch the dough out to your desired shape and size. I've used the dough recipe below twice. The first time I made one large rectangular pizza and the second time I split the dough and made two smaller circular pizzas. I thought the rectangular dough was more difficult to work with since it was larger.
Brush one side of the dough with olive oil. When the grill is heated, transfer the dough to the grill, placing it directly on the rack, oiled side down. (I don't have a pizza peel so I use a baking sheet turned upside down to transfer the dough.) The dough will cook quickly so keep an eye on it. In the meantime, quickly brush the exposed side of the dough with olive oil. You'll know the dough is ready to flip when the top begins to bubble, about 1-2 minutes.
Using tongs or a spatula, turn the dough over. I like to flip it so it's over indirect heat (so I can leave it there to let the cheese melt). Top the dough with the tomato sauce, mozzarella and pepperoni. Close the grill lid and cook until the cheese is melted and the toppings are heated through. Remove the pizza from the grill.
Sprinkle lightly with sea salt, slice and serve.
from Bon Appetit, March 2007 via Epicurious.com
3/4 cup warm water (105 F to 115 F)
1 envelope active dry yeast (I use instant yeast)
2 cups (or more) all purpose flour
1 teaspoon sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons olive oil
Pour 3/4 cup warm water into small bowl; stir in yeast. Let stand until yeast dissolves, about 5 minutes. (Note: You can skip this step if you use instant yeast. Just add the yeast to the dry ingredients in the food processor and add the water along with the olive oil.)
Brush large bowl lightly with olive oil or spray with cooking spray. Mix 2 cups flour, sugar, and salt in processor. Add yeast mixture and 3 tablespoons oil; process until dough forms a sticky ball. Transfer to lightly floured surface. Knead dough until smooth, adding more flour by tablespoonfuls if dough is very sticky, about 1 minute. Transfer to prepared bowl; turn dough in bowl to coat with oil. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let dough rise in warm draft-free area until doubled in volume, about 1 hour. Roll out dough according to recipe instructions.
The dough can be made 1 day ahead of time. After the rise, just place in an airtight container in the refrigerator until you are ready to use.
One of the best things about this recipe is how few ingredients it requires. It combines a shortbread crust (4 ingredients), butterscotch caramel layer (3 ingredients) and then roasted nuts to top the bars. The shortbread crust is prebaked first - mine puffed up a bit in the oven despite poking a ton of holes in it but as it cooled it settled down fairly evenly. The butterscotch caramel layer comes together in a saucepan in just a few minutes and is poured over the prebaked crust. It's fairly gooey, but spread across the shortbread crust easily for me. I threw the roasted almonds and walnuts on top, stuck it back in the oven for a few minutes and I was done. Simple!
We were heading out to lunch yesterday and I was bringing a few of the bars with me to give away. They had only been out of the oven for a bit and cutting them was challenging as they were quite gooey. (They also "melted" a bit in the warm car on the way to lunch but hopefully they still tasted just as good!) Thanks to a recommendation from my friend Wendy of Pink Stripes, I knew it'd be easier to cut the remaining bars if I chilled them first so that's exactly what I did. I definitely agree with Wendy - once chilled, the bars were easy to cut with a bread knife!
I didn't try one of the bars since I knew I wouldn't like the butterscotch, but I did taste a few pieces of the shortbread crust that broke off as I cut the bars and thought it was fantastic! I can absolutely see using this crust and topping it with a layer of chocolate for a variation on these bars. Thanks to Pamela for a fun selection this week! You can find the recipe on her blog and you can check out the other bars this week at the SMS site.
The final result was an incredibly light and refreshing dessert. I loved the little yellow specks of lemon zest that were visible in the sorbet. I did add the extra 1/4 cup of sugar David Lebovitz recommends if you prefer a sweeter sorbet, and I found the sweetness right on. It probably would have been a bit too tangy for me with only 1 cup of sugar. I'll definitely be making this again throughout the summer, especially when the sweltering temperatures arrive!
from The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz
2 1/2 cups water
1 cup sugar (if you prefer a sweeter sorbet, increase the sugar to 1 1/4 cups)
1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 6 lemons)
In a medium saucepan, combine 1/2 cup of the water and the sugar. Grate the zest of 2 lemons directly into the sauce. Heat, stirring frequently, until the sugar is completely dissolved. Remove the pan from the heat and add the remaining 2 cups of water, then chill thoroughly in the refrigerator.
Stir the lemon juice into the chilled sugar syrup, then freeze the mixture in your ice cream maker.
Because I decided to make these knots at the last minute, I had to make substitutions on a few of the ingredients. The recipe calls for fresh yeast, 00 flour and lard, none of which I had on hand. After a bit of internet research, I decided to substitute a combination of cake flour and all-purpose for the 00 flour and I used butter in place of lard. I used instant yeast in place of the fresh yeast. Additionally, this recipe comes from an Italian bread book and consequently the ingredients are listed by weight and not volume. I had to do quite a few conversions to make the recipe work in my kitchen since I don't have a digital kitchen scale yet and I was VERY nervous about the accuracy of my conversions.
I'm pleased to report that either my math skills were spot on or this is the most forgiving recipe ever as the knots turned out beautifully! I'll never get tired of the smell of fresh bread baking, and these knots smelled amazing in the oven. They baked up with a fairly crisp exterior, but on the inside they were so tender and delightful. I do wish they'd taken on a bit more color so next time I might try an egg wash in the hopes of achieving a deeper golden brown color.
I'm including the original recipe below but will note my conversions in green next to each ingredient with the exception of the flour, which I did actually weigh with my analog kitchen scale. Some of the quantities are odd (like .885 teaspoons of honey but just do your best to approximate - the recipe is quite forgiving). Please note that I only made 1/4 of the recipe (which yielded 6 fairly large knots) so the converted amounts are for 1/4 of original recipe. Also, I'm including a link to Ilva's site, where you can find step by step illustrations for shaping the knots.
Pane Di Pasta Tenera Condita or Italian Knot Bread
from Pane. Il piacere di reparare in casa by Anna Gennari as seen on Lucillian Delights
500 g /1,1 lb normal bread flour (125 g)
5 g/0,17 oz fresh yeast (.09 teaspoons instant yeast, which is slightly less than 1/8 teaspoon)
240 ml/1 cup water (~1/4 cup but I definitely added more as my dough was pretty dry with only 1/4 cup)
Combine the bread flour, instant yeast and water and quickly work the dough together. My biga was fairly wet and tacky. Put the biga in a high container and cover with plastic wrap. Leave it at room temperature for 15-24 hours.
0,500 g/1,1 lb biga
1 kg/ 2,2 lb 00 flour (250 g - I combined cake flour and all-purpose)
450-550 ml/ 1,9-2,3 cup water, finger warm
30 g fresh yeast (.596 teaspoons instant yeast)
50 g/ 1,7 oz extra-virgin olive oil (.925 tablespoons)
60 g/ 2,1 oz lard (I used 1 tablespoon of unsalted butter)
25 g/ 0,88 oz honey (.885 teaspoons)
25 g/ 0,88 oz salt (1 teaspoon)
Put the flour in a large bowl, add the butter and mix it with your fingers until it has 'crumbled' and is completely mixed with the flour. Add the instant yeast to the mixture.
Mix the salt, olive oil and honey with the finger warm water and add it to the flour. Now work it it until it holds together and then add the biga.
Knead the dough by hand until it is smooth and no longer sticky. I had to add quite a bit more flour to the dough so don't be too concerned if your dough is sticky and needs more flour. The hand kneading took about 5 minutes for me.
Put the dough in a large bowl, cover with plastic wrap and leave at room temperature to rise until doubled.
Divide the dough into equal pieces. I made 1/4 of the recipe and divided my dough into 6 pieces, but if you'd like smaller knots you could probably do 8 or 10 pieces. Roll each piece of dough into a long snake and follow the instructions for shaping the knots found on Ilva's site. Put the knots on baking sheets and leave to rise until they have doubled in size. My knots doubled in size quite quickly so keep your eye on them.
Bake in a pre-heated oven (200 C/390 F) for 30-35 minutes, or until the internal temperature of the knots reaches about 195 F. This took about 25 minutes for me.
I don't want to harp on my lack of enthusiasm for peeling peaches since I've already discussed it twice on this blog so I won't :) Instead, I'll just thank my new friend Diana, who made her ice cream before me and shared via Twitter that I didn't actually have to peel the peaches. She simply strained the peach puree when she added it to the custard so that's what I did too!
I made a third of the recipe this week, which moved the process along a bit faster than usual since the quantity of ingredients was so small. I think the custard probably only took about 5-7 minutes from start to finish. I threw a bit of rum (about a teaspoon or so) in the custard along with the vanilla extract because I find that my homemade ice creams tend to get a bit too frozen. I chilled the custard in an ice bath and it cooled quickly, again because there was so little of it. On the advice of many of the other TWD bakers, I skipped adding bits of peach to the ice cream as it finished churning.
As for the verdict....as I suspected, this wasn't my favorite ice cream. I will say, though, that it makes for a fun change! I tend to always choose mint chocolate chip when we go out for ice cream and this is certainly a nice departure from all that chocolate. Dorie suggested pairing this ice cream with her sugar cookies and I wish I'd had a chance to make those cookies this week as I am sure it would have been a fantastic combination!!
Thanks to Tommi for encouraging me to get my ice cream maker out for the first time this year! I know this is the first of many treats I'll make it in this summer. You can find the honey peach ice cream recipe on Tommi's blog and you can see all of this week's ice cream by visiting the TWD site.
This week's SMS is especially fun as it is hosted by the one and only Sweet Melissa herself, Melissa Murphy! Our task was to make Melissa's chocolate chip cookies with toasted almonds. These cookies are the all-time bestsellers at Melissa's bakery, Sweet Melissa Patisserie, so I had high hopes! I've tried a lot of chocolate chip cookie recipes but still haven't really found a go-to recipe.
I was planning to send these cookies to work with Shane so I decided to make half with almonds and half without as I know at least one of his coworkers has a nut allergy. The recipe is quick and easy but does require a bit of planning ahead as it calls for an hour and a half of chill time for the dough in the fridge before baking.
I'm almost at a loss for words when it comes to this recipe. It was one of those recipes that cooperated perfectly and came together exactly as described so not much in the way of tips to pass along. The only thing I'd mention is that I found the half of the dough with both the chocolate and the almonds a bit tricky to slice. The ratio of mix-ins to dough was pretty high so it was tough to get my knife through the dough without running into a piece of chocolate or an almond.
I won't lie - I turned my oven light on and snuck a peek at these cookies fairly often as they baked. I was curious as to how much they'd spread and how quickly. I was psyched when they didn't flatten out like pancakes (which tends to happen to me fairly often with chocolate chip cookie recipes). That fact alone scored these cookies major points! Shane and I shared one of the cookies without almonds for dessert the night I made them and I can officially say these are my favorite chocolate chip cookies ever! I loved how chewy they were. They also struck the perfect balance of cookie dough to chocolate for me. I actually prefer my chocolate chip cookies a little light on the chips and the cookie we ate had less chocolate than I typically find in a chocolate chip cookie. So I wasn't terribly surprised when Shane said that while he enjoyed the cookie, he wished there were more chocolate chips. Simple solution - when I make these again (soon!!) I'll split the dough in half and add more chips to Shane's half while keeping mine exactly as Melissa intended!
Be sure to stop by the Sweet Melissa Sundays site to check out Melissa Murphy's photos and thoughts on these cookies (the recipe is also available through this link)! While you're there you can also see how the other bakers fared with the cookies. Thanks for sharing this great recipe, Melissa! It will be one I'll make again and again!
Luckily, we have plenty of pasta and my basil plant is thriving so I turned to this lightened up pesto in The Best Light Recipe. The authors set out to reduce the calories and fat in traditional pesto, mainly by drastically reducing the amount of olive oil and eliminating the nuts. Ricotta cheese is instead added to give the pesto a creamy texture. The end result is a surprisingly flavorful sauce with about a third of the calories of a traditional pesto and less than 1/4 of the fat. My only complaint about the pesto is that I found it fairly salty, so I'd adjust my seasonings accordingly next time.
This recipe produces about 1 cup of pesto, which is enough for one pound of pasta. You will want to reserve some of the pasta cooking water to loosen the sauce a bit before serving.
Creamy Basil Pesto
from The Best Light Recipe by Editors of Cook's Illustrated magazine
4 medium garlic cloves, unpeeled
3 cups fresh basil, stems and buds discarded
1 oz Parmesan cheese, grated (about 1/2 cup)
1/4 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
1 shallot, minced (about 2 tablespoons)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
salt and ground black pepper
Toast the garlic in a small skillet over medium heat, shaking the pan occasionally, until the color of the cloves deepens slightly, about 7 minutes. Transfer garlic to a plate to cool and then peel the cloves and chop coarsely.
Place the basil in a heavy-duty gallon-sized resealable bag. Pound the bag with the flat side of a meat mallet or a rolling pin until all the leaves are lightly bruised. (Bruising the leaves apparently helps to release their oils and intensify their flavor.)
Process the garlic, basil, Parmesan, ricotta, shallot, oil and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a food processor until smooth, about 30 seconds. Stop to scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Transfer the mixture to a small bowl and season with salt and pepper to taste.
The pesto can be covered with plastic wrap pressed flush against its surface and refrigerated for up to 3 days.
Yields 1 cup
I made this loaf of fresh bread on Monday to accompany the lasagna and give me a reason to get excited about dinner. The recipe is a variation on one I've made before and I chose it mainly because the bread can be made in about 2 hours from start to finish! It's a really great bread - a nice tender crumb with a great crust and this buttermilk version has just the slightest tang.
Before I leave you with the recipe, here's a question for all you KA mixer owners: does everyone follow KA's suggestion not to use the dough hook on speeds above 2? I've been seeing a lot of recipes lately that call for using the dough hook on medium speed and I never know what to do. Generally I just mix on speed 2 for a bit longer until the dough gets to where it needs to be. I'd be lost without my KA so I really don't want to damage it by blatantly ignoring KA's suggestion about the dough hook. Just wondering how others handle this...
Buttermilk Sandwich Bread
from Baking Illustrated by Cook's Illustrated Magazine Editors
3 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting the work surface
2 teaspoons salt
1 cup cold buttermilk
1/3 cup water
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
3 tablespoons honey
1 envelope (2 1/4 teaspoons) instant yeast
Adjust an oven rack to lowest position and heat oven to 200 F. Once the oven reaches 200 F, maintain temperature for 10 minutes then turn off the oven.
Bring the water to a boil. Add the cold buttermilk to the boiling water then transfer to a 4-cup measuring cup. The combined liquids should have a temperature of approximately 110 F. Add the butter, honey and yeast to the water/buttermilk mixture.
Mix 3 1/2 cups of the flour and the salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with dough hook. Turn the machine to low and slowly add the liquid mixture. When the dough comes together, increase the speed to medium and mix until the dough is smooth and satiny, stopping the machine two or three times to scrape dough from the hook, if necessary, about 10 minutes. (If after 5 minutes of kneading the dough is still sticking to the sides of the bowl, add flour 1 tablespoon at a time (up to 1/4 cup total) until the dough is no longer sticky.) Turn the dough onto a lightly floured work surface; knead to form a smooth, round ball, about 15 seconds.
Place the dough in a lightly oiled large bowl, turning to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and place in warmed oven until dough doubles in size, 50 to 60 minutes.
Gently press dough into rectangle 1 inch thick and no longer than 9 inches. With long side facing you, roll dough firmly into a cylinder, pressing firmly with fingers to make sure the dough sticks to itself. Place dough seam-side down in a greased 9x5-inch loaf pan and press it gently so it touches all 4 sides of the pan. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm spot until the dough almost doubles in size, 20 to 30 minutes.
Keep one oven rack at lowest position and place the other at the middle position. Heat oven to 350 F. Place an empty baking pan on bottom rack. Bring 2 cups of water to a boil and then pour water into the empty pan. Set the loaf on the middle rack. Bake until an instant-read thermometer inserted at an angle just about the pan rim into the center of the loaf reads at least 195 F, 40 to 50 minutes. Remove bread from pan, transfer to a wire rack, and cool to room temperature before slicing and serving.
Makes one 9-inch loaf.
This past weekend, I tried two things for the first time. First, I bought a beautiful pineapple at the store. I don't eat pineapple too often but when I have eaten it in the past, it's been from a can. I've watched enough Food Network, however, to have learned how to cut a pineapple and when I saw them on sale at my local market, I grabbed one. On Saturday I cut it up with only one goal in mind - I was going to grill my pineapple rings! I found a really quick recipe (if I can even call it that), whipped it up and threw the pineapple on the grill. I was so anxious about whether I'd be able to achieve the grill marks I'd seen in so many photos. They didn't turn out perfectly, but not too bad for a first attempt. The taste, though, that was perfect! The pineapple was so sweet and juicy. "Recipe" is below - if you've never tried grilled pineapple you must give it a shot!
The second thing I did this weekend was visit a farmer's market for the first time! It was so much fun - I'm hooked and know I'll be checking out different markets around RI all summer! I mostly browsed this week but I did pick up a few things. First, a big bar of fudge for Shane. He loves fudge and I knew he'd enjoy trying the dark chocolate fudge from OceanState Chocolates. I also grabbed some mozzarella from Narragansett Creamery and I have plans to use it soon to make grilled pizza! Yum! I can't wait until the markets are full of berries and other fruits later this summer.
from The Cooking Photographer
1 large ripe pineapple
3 tablespoons melted butter
1/2 teaspoon honey, warmed
Pinch of salt
Preheat the grill to high.
Cut the top and bottom off the pineapple. Stand the pineapple upright and slice down the sides, cutting off the tough outer skin and inner spikes. Continue all around the pineapple, following the natural contour of the fruit. Turn the pineapple onto its side and cut into slices of your desired thickness. Using a small, round cookie cutter (or a paring knife), stamp out the inner core of each slice and discard.
In a small bowl, mix together butter, honey, & salt. Brush both sides of the pineapple rings with glaze.
Place pineapple wedges on the grill and cook until grill marks form. Turn rings over and repeat.
This week's recipe couldn't have been more simple. There were only 4 ingredients - apple, puff pastry, butter, and brown sugar. Given the simplicity of the recipe, I considered trying to make my own puff pastry for the first time. Then we had a gorgeous weekend and I decided to spend my time outside enjoying the weather instead of hanging out in my kitchen. I do hope to give it a shot soon though!
I threw the tart together on Monday night in just a few minutes time. I added 1 teaspoon of brown sugar on the tartlet at first, but when I checked on it about halfway through baking, I noticed that most of the brown sugar had melted off of the apples and into the tart. I decided to sprinkle a bit more on top in the hope it would cling to the apples and luckily, it worked! I waited until the tartlet cooled just a bit before throwing some vanilla ice cream on a plate with it and gobbling it up. I've got just one word for the tartlet - deeeelicious! Definitely one of my favorite Dorie recipes both because of its use of puff pastry and apples and its ease of preparation. I think it'd be a great dessert to serve to company - it looks elegant but yet it's so simple!
Thanks for an easy, magnificent pick this week Jessica! You can find the recipe for the tartlet on her blog and as always, you can visit the TWD site if you want to see the other tartlets.
I know I promised to try to mix some actual meals in with all of the desserts I usually post on the blog. To that end, I have actually been trying a lot of new recipes out for dinner the past few weeks. The only problem I've run into is getting pictures of the food before we dig in for dinner. Most of the time we're pretty hungry by the time the food is ready and the last thing I want to do is take the time to compose the perfect shot. It also goes without saying that hot food is preferable to cold and setting up a good shot leads to a cold dinner! I've decided that I'd rather post a variety of recipes and just accept that I'm not going to be 100% happy with all of the photos. We all know that taste is what matters anyway, right?
I saw this recipe here and immediately starred it in my Google Reader. The great thing about the recipe is that it uses so few ingredients that it's a cinch to throw together. It also incorporates shrimp and pasta - two of my favorite things! This is a perfect weeknight meal as it comes together in about 15 minutes. I even used canned tomatoes in place of fresh to make things easier on myself. The sour cream and tomato paste create a surprisingly creamy sauce with just a little bit of heat from the red pepper flakes. I'll definitely be making this dish again and I think I might try to use fire roasted diced tomatoes just to change things up a bit but the recipe is absolutely delicious as written too!
Spicy Shrimp and Fettuccine
from Cooking Light, October 2007 via MyRecipes.com (as seen on The Life and Loves of Grumpy's Honeybunch)
8 ounces (1/2 lb) uncooked fettuccine
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 cups chopped plum tomato (about 5) (I used one 14.5 oz can of petite diced tomatoes, drained of most of their liquid)
2 tablespoons reduced-fat sour cream
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Cook pasta according to the package directions. Drain.
Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add red pepper and garlic to pan; sauté 1 minute. Add shrimp; sauté 1 minute. Stir in tomatoes, sour cream, tomato paste, basil and salt; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes. Stir in pasta; cook 1 minute or until thoroughly heated.
Place 1 1/2 cups pasta mixture on each of 4 plates; top each serving with 1 tablespoon cheese. Serve immediately.
This week's SMS was chosen by Andrea of Nummy Kitchen: peach cobbler! I love almost any baked fruit dessert so I was psyched about this week's recipe! That said, I did have my reservations about the peaches. Last year we made a summer fruit galette for TWD and I chose to use only peaches in my galette. The first step in the recipe was removing the skins of the peaches and, to put it mildly, it did not go well for me. It's left me a bit traumatized when it comes to peaches but I was hopeful this experience would go a bit better.
I decided to scale the recipe down quite a bit as I was the only one who would be eating the cobbler. I wound up making 1/4 of the recipe since it was fairly easy to do the calculations in my head. I made the biscuits first and learned that 1/4 of the biscuit recipe was enough for either one large biscuit or two small ones. Due to their cuteness factor, I went with two.
Next came the peaches. I blanched them as I've read I should do but still, those skins just didn't want to come off. If anyone has tips on how to remove the skins from peaches, I'm all ears! Fortunately, since I was only making 1/4 of the quarter, I didn't have to peel many peaches. I used a combination of brown sugar and white sugar in the filling after seeing Holly's post this morning.
After the cobbler baked, I put the world's smallest scoop of vanilla bean ice cream on top and dug in. I really, really enjoyed the biscuits but the filling was a bit too sweet for even me, which is saying a lot. I can probably count on one hand the number of times I've found something too sweet. I still ate the whole thing though and thought the vanilla bean ice cream was the perfect accompaniment. I'll definitely make this again once peaches are in season here - I'll just cut back on the sugar in the filling a bit.
Thanks to Andrea for a delicious pick this week! You can find the recipe as well as her adorable heart-shaped biscuits on her blog and you can check out the other bakers' cobblers by visiting the SMS site!
I'm incredibly excited for blueberry season to arrive because blueberries are, without a doubt, my favorite berry. Recently I picked up a pint of blueberries at the store when I saw them on sale and I debated for days about what I should make with them. Initially I thought "anything but muffins" as I tend to make muffins whenever I get blueberries. That was before I came upon this recipe for cinnamon blueberry muffins on Epicurious.com. I'd never made blueberry muffins with brown sugar and these sounded amazing. I imagined they'd be sweet and spicy and that's exactly what they were! The muffins were also incredibly moist. I tend to like things incredibly sweet so these weren't too sweet for me, but some of the reviewers over at Epicurious mentioned they cut back on the brown sugar a bit (many used 3/4 cup instead of one cup). Also, the cooking time suggested is 25-30 minutes but my muffins were done at closer to 22 minutes and many of the reviewers agreed that the baking time was a bit long so you might want to keep your eye on the muffins to avoid overcooking!
If you came looking for my Sweet Melissa Sundays post, I'll have it up this afternoon so please check back later!
Cinnamon Blueberry Muffins
Gourmet, July 2006 via Epicurious.com
3/4 stick (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup whole milk
1 large egg
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups blueberries
Preheat oven to 400 F. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners.
Whisk together butter, brown sugar, milk, and egg in a bowl until combined well. Whisk together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt in a large bowl. Add milk mixture and stir until just combined (do not overmix). Fold in blueberries gently.
Divide batter among muffin cups and bake until golden brown and a wooden pick inserted into center of a muffin comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes.