Friday, June 27, 2008

Soft Pretzels/Salzbrezeln

So the kids helped me make these soft pretzels. As you can tell we did not get them thin enough so they aren't the typical size of soft pretzels. Next time I think I'll make these when the kids are asleep or off on an adventure with their father or I'll make them into pretzels sticks. However I must say these were so pretty good tasting pretzels. So much better than the rubbery kind you buy in the freezer section. They were chewy and light. I think I'm going to try to make these into a brown and serve pretzel so I can freeze them. We waited, it seemed, all day for these pretzels and if I can freeze them as a brown and serve I think we would use this quite often.

2 tsp dry yeast

1 1/4 cups (300ml) water

3 1/2 cups (500 g) unbleached flour

1 1/2 tsp salt

egg glaze, made from 1 egg and 1 tsp water

toppings of your choice

1. Sprinkle the yeast into 1/2 cup (125 ml) water in a bowl. Leave for 5 minutes; stir to dissolve. Mix the flour and salt in a large bowl. Make a well in the center and pour in the dissolved yeast.

2. Use a wooden spoon to draw enough of the flour into the dissolved yeast to form a soft paste. Cover the bowl with a dish towel and let "sponge" until frothy and risen , about 20 minutes.

3. Mix in the flour. Stir in the remaining water, as needed, to form a stiff, sticky dough.

4. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Knead until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes.

5. Put the dough in a bowl and cover with a dish towl. Let rise until doubled in size, 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Punch down, then let rest for 10 minutes.

6. Divide the dough into eight pieces. Shape each piece into a round roll and then into an oval. Roll each oval backward and forward with your fingers, along the dough, until it forms a strip about 16 inches long and is 1 inch thick in the middle and 1/4 inch thick at each end.

7. Pick up the two ends of each strip to make a loop. Cross the ends over twice and then press them down on either side of the dough loop; repeat these actions with each strip of dough. Place the pretzels on a lightly floured baking sheet and cover with a dish towel. Proof until each piece has doubled in size, about 45 minutes.
8. Brush the egg glaze over each pretzel and sprinkle with the topping of your choice. Bake in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes, until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack.

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Thursday, June 26, 2008

Crispy Chicken Salad

Not a recipe that you can really follow as I just threw stuff together but here was our dinner tonight. I used a mix of spinach, red/green lettuce, and mizuna from the CSA package. I also used the radishes from the CSA. I threw in a cucumber and mushrooms to round out the vegetables. I still had some of the cheap breaded chicken tenders so I cooked those up and chopped them up on the salad. And as the finishing touch I made ranch salad dressing. Although two kids wouldn't touch the salad, Zachary ate half of my salad.

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Tuesday, June 24, 2008

East Farms CSA 6/24

Another week and another box of greens. We received spinach, arugula, radishes, mizuna, red and green lettuce, and what I believe to be bok choy. If someone knows for sure the item in question is please let me know

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Monday, June 23, 2008

Savory Garlic marinated steaks

This marinade was pretty tasty. I have to admit I was a little concerned about some of the ingredient but it was good. I could also see using this marinade for chicken and pork. The steaks were quite tender. Much better marinade than any I've bought in the store. I did not use the rib eye steaks called for in the recipe. Instead I used sirloin steaks and it worked well.

1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup soy sauce
3 tablespoons minced garlic
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons ground black pepper
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke flavoring
1 pinch cayenne pepper
2 (1/2 pound) rib-eye steaks

In a medium bowl, mix the vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, honey, olive oil, ground black pepper, Worcestershire sauce, onion powder, salt, liquid smoke, and cayenne pepper.
Place steaks in a shallow glass dish with the marinade, and turn to coat. For optimum flavor, rub the liquid into the meat. Cover, and marinate in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 days.
Preheat grill for medium-high to high heat.
Lightly oil the grill grate. Grill steaks 7 minutes per side, or to desired doneness. Discard leftover marinade.

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Sauteed Tat Soi

I have to say I wasn't too impressed with this dish. It tasted blah to me. Maybe I should have added more crushed red pepper flakes or garlic or salt. Even dh didn't like this but then I really don't think he's a fan of trying something new. The only one in the family who liked this was Nathan, which really says alot since he is the pickest of all the kids. I found this recipe on the web:
Serves 2 as a side dish
5 bundles of tat soi (there are three tat soi to a bundle)
1 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
crushed red pepper flakes to taste
kosher salt to taste
1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
2. Unwrap the bundles and place in a large bowl of cold water. This will allow the dirt to fall to the bottom.
3. Place the olive oil and garlic in a large nonstick saute pan. Turn heat to medium. When garlic begins to sizzle turn heat to low and let cook, watching closely so the garlic does not brown. After 2 to 3 minutes add the crushed pepper flakes and turn of heat.
4. When the water boils add tat soi. Let cook 10 to 30 seconds max. Drain and rinse with cold water.
5. Turn the heat under the frying pan to medium. when the garlic and pepper flakes begin to sizzle add the tat soi. Season with kosher salt to taste. Shake the pan or use tongs to coat the tat soi in the garlic oil mixture. Serve immediately.

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Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Grilled Chicken Salad

Before posting this recipe I should state that I just made this up as I went yesterday. I wanted to use some of the greens I received in my CSA share yesterday so there is no exact measurements on the greens. This salad turned out pretty tasty. In fact the kids even ate their salad.
I used for the salad:
the red and green lettuce from the CSA along with some of the mizuna
I also made the vinaigerette from a previous post:
Then I grilled the chicken on the grill with montreal seasoning. Really you could use whatever spices you like but I was in a hurry so I reached for the first thing I saw in the cupboard.
I topped the salad with freshly grated Romano cheese.
Simple and a tasty salad.

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Tuesday, June 17, 2008

6/17 East Farms CSA half share

Today was the first CSA pick-up of the year. This is my first year with East as last year I went with Borski Farms. This year I am doing both. With it being early in the season today's pick-up was mainly greens. I'm posting pictures of all the food I picked up today.

Included are:
red and green lettuce
Tat soy

I'd say there was at least 2 lbs each of each of the greens and probably about 2 bunches of radishes.

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Monday, June 16, 2008

Three bean salad

I am so not a fan of three bean salad that is served out of the can or on a salad bar. It just grosses me out to even think of eating the salad. However dh is a huge fan of three bean salad and would probably eat it everyday if my stomach could handle it. So for Father's Day I made him a three bean salad. I actually ate this and it did taste good. Very simple to make and yet the flavors were quite tasty together. I found this recipe here:
1 15-oz can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1 15-oz can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 15-oz can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
2 celery stalks, chopped fine
1/2 red onion, chopped fine
1 cup fresh, finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 Tbsp fresh finely chopped rosemary
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 In a large bowl, mix the beans, celery, onion, parsley and rosemary.
2 In a separate small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, sugar, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Add the dressing to the beans. Toss to coat.
3 Chill beans in the refrigerator for several hours, to allow the beans to soak up the flavor of the dressing.
Serves 4 to 8.

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Texas Roadhouse Rolls

Never eaten at this place but I noticed these rolls on a friends blog and gave them a try. They were quite tasty and enjoyed by everyone in the house. Even the dogs were fighting over them. I did make a mistake in making them though. In my haste to finish and do things with the family I left the salt out. This did not cause problems with the rising but I did have to cook them awhile longer to get them brown and they did taste slightly blah. The salt is a needed ingredient. Overall they were enjoyed and will be made again. I found this recipe at Sherri's blog,
TEXAS ROAD HOUSE SWEET YEAST ROLLS - From the trainer for all the bakers of the Texas Roadhouse chain (so they say)
1/2 sol. oz. cake of yeast or 1 pkg. active dry yeast (next time I think I will use 1 1/2 packets)
1/2 cup warm water
2 cups milk- scalded and cooled to lukewarm
3 tablespoons of melted butter - cooled
1/2 cup sugar
2 quart all purpose flour
--2 whole eggs
2 tsp. salt
Soften yeast in warm water with a teaspoon of sugar.
Add yeast, milk, sugar and enough flour to make a medium batter. Beat thoroughly. Let stand until light and foamy.
Add melted butter, eggs and salt. Beat well. Add enough flour to form soft dough. Sprinkle small amount of flour on counter and let dough rest.
Meanwhile, clean and dry bowl; grease clean surface of bow. Knead dough until smooth and satiny. Put in greased bowl; turn over to grease top. Cover; let rise in warm place until double in bulk.
Punch down. Turn out on floured board. Divide into portions for shaping; let rest 10 minutes.
Shape dough into desired forms. Place on greased baking sheets. Let rise until doubled.
Bake at 350 degrees F for 10-15 minutes (until golden brown). Baste immediately with butter
Yield: 5 to 6 dozen (depending on the size - I made mine kind of big and got about 3 dozen)

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Friday, June 13, 2008

Honey Glazed Chicken

I did change a few things on the recipe though. First instead of making and breading the chicken I used some prebreaded chicken tenders that have been sitting in the freezer, normally I don't buy the prebreaded stuff but this was not precooked and it was 24 cents for a 10 pound bag box because they mismarked it. Second thing I used orange juice instead of lemon juice. Third I added garlic and red pepper flakes. Fourth I doubled the sauce for basting and then made another batch of sauce for serving over the cooked chicken.

The chicken became nice and glazed. The flavor was so intense. It tasted like the sticky orange chicken I love. I can only imagine how good this would have been following the breading recipe for the chicken.

Overall it turned out great and will be used quite often in this house. Nathan refused to eat it because it smelled funny. Zachary wouldn't touch it at first because Nathan refused it but after a promise of ice cream he ate one piece and then begged for about 5 more pieces. Noah didn't try it but I served it with rice so I knew he would only eat the rice. All the adults loved it.

2 lbs of diced uncooked chicken breast

1/3 cup flour

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

Salt and pepper to taste

4 TB butter

1/4 cup honey

3 TB lemon juice

2 TB soy sauce

1/2 tsp. ground ginger

Heat oven to 350. In a shallow dish combine the flower and seasonings. Dip each piece of chicken in flour mixture and coat evenly.

Melt 2 TB butter in a shallow baking dish, large enough to accommodate chicken in a single layer. Arrange chicken in pan and bake uncovered for 30 minutes at 350 degrees.

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, melt remaining butter and add honey, lemon juice, soy sauce and ginger.

After chicken has baked the 30 minutes, turn each piece over and pour sauce mixture evenly over chicken. Bake another 30 to 40 minutes basting frequently.

Serve over rice. I usually double the sauce ingredients to make more to serve over the rice.

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Sunday, June 8, 2008

Southwestern Chili Mac Salad

This is from the Rachael Ray magazine June-July 2008 issue. This was a very simple dish to make and so very tasty. This would be a perfect recipe for a hot summer day. Things I did different though, I was out of canned kidney beans so I used a can of pinto beans in chili sauce and I also added garlic to the ground beef. Everyone, including the kids at this dish.

1/3 cup fresh lime juice
1/4 cup coarsely chopped cilantro
7 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
4 ears corn
2 cups elbow pasta

1 red onion, half finely chopped, half thinly sliced
1 1/2 tablespoons chili powder
1 pound lean ground beef
One 15-ounce can kidney beans, rinsed
2 tomatoes, cut into wedges
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

In a medium bowl, combine the lime juice and cilantro; whisk in 6 tablespoons olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.

2. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the corn until just tender, about 3 minutes; transfer to a cutting board. Return the water to a boil, add the pasta and cook until al dente; drain and transfer to a large bowl. Cut the corn kernels from the cob and add to the pasta.

3. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the chopped onion and chili powder and cook until the onion begins to soften, about 2 minutes. Add the ground beef and cook, stirring frequently, until lightly browned, about 8 minutes. Transfer to a colander and drain well.

4. Add the beef mixture to the pasta; season with salt and pepper. Add the kidney beans, tomatoes, sliced onion and vinaigrette and toss to dress. Transfer to a serving bowl and top with the cheese.

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Venezuelan Beans, Rice, and Plantains

These recipes came from the June 2008 issue of Cooking Light. This was a different twist on the traditional rice and beans dish. The beans has an unusal flavor but one that I can't wait to try again. The rice so quite tasty. I'd never tried plantains before but they were so good and a great addition to the dish. I used limes to add flavor to the rice and beans instead of salt. The kids tried everything once but I can't say they really liked the dish.

Venezuelan Black beans

1 1/2 tablespoons canola oil
1 cup chopped onion
3/4 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
1/2 teaspoon brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1 cup water
2 (15-ounce) cans 50%-less-sodium black beans, undrained
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion and bell pepper to pan; cook 5 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in sugar, garlic, black pepper, and cumin; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in 1 cup water and beans; bring to a boil. Partially cover, reduce heat, and simmer 30 minutes or until slightly thick, stirring frequently. Remove from heat, and stir in vinegar.
Venezuelan White Rice
1 tablespoon canola oil
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1/2 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
1 garlic clove, minced
4 cups water
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups uncooked long-grain white rice
Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and pepper to pan; cook 5 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Add garlic; cook 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Add 4 cups water and salt; bring to a boil. Stir in rice. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 18 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat; let stand 5 minutes before serving.
Sautéed Plantains
2 plantains, yellow with some black spots (about 1 pound)
1 tablespoon canola oil
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
Peel plantains; cut each into thirds crosswise. Cut each piece into 4 (2-inch) lengthwise slices.

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add plantains to pan; cook 3 minutes on each side or until lightly browned. Transfer plantains to a plate; sprinkle with salt.

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Sunday, June 1, 2008

South Carolina Pulled Pork

This is from the June 2008 Cook's Country magazine and I have to say it was so good. I used applewood pieces (instead of chips) and I swear every person on our street came by the house to see what smelled so good. The smell, I think, is what made this recipe. The flavor was intense too. I've done smoked meat before but I've never had it come out tasting this good before. As far as the bbq sauce from the recipe it was okay but I wasn't too impressed with the flavor. Maybe I'm just not a fan of mustard based bbq sauce? The next time I make this I'm not going to use the bbq sauce from the recipe but I will for sure use the spice rub and the method on this again. I'm thinking for the 4th of July cookout this year.

Spice Rub and Pork
3 tablespoons dry mustard
1 1/2 tablespoons light brown sugar
2 tablespoons salt
2 teaspoons pepper
2 teaspoons paprika
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 boneless pork shoulder roast (4 to 5 pounds)
4 cups wood chips , soaked for 15 minutes

Mustard Barbecue Sauce
1/2 cup yellow mustard
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup white vinegar
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon hot sauce
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1. For the spice rub and pork: Combine dry mustard, brown sugar, salt, pepper, paprika, and cayenne, breaking up any lumps. Dry pork with paper towels and rub all over with spice mixture. (Roast can be wrapped tightly in plastic and refrigerated for 24 hours.)

2. Seal wood chips in foil packet and cut vent holes in top. Open bottom vent on grill. Light 50 coals; when covered with fine gray ash, pour in pile on one side of grill. Arrange foil packet directly on coals. Set cooking grate in place and heat, covered, with lid vent open halfway until wood chips begin to smoke heavily, about 5 minutes. (For gas grill, place foil packet directly on primary burner. Heat all burners on high, covered, until wood chips begin to smoke heavily, about 15 minutes. Leave primary burner on high and shut other burner[s] off.) Scrape and oil cooking grate. Place pork on cool side of grill and barbecue, covered, until exterior of pork has a rosy crust, about 2 hours.

3. For the mustard barbecue sauce and to finish: Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 325 degrees. Whisk mustard, brown sugar, vinegar, Worcestershire, hot sauce, salt, and pepper in bowl until smooth. Transfer pork to roasting pan and brush 1/2 cup sauce over meat. Cover roasting pan tightly with foil and bake until fork inserted into pork can be removed with no resistance, 2 to 3 hours. Remove from oven and rest, still wrapped in foil, for 30 minutes. Unwrap pork and, when cool enough to handle, pull meat into thin shreds, discarding fat, if desired. Toss pork with remaining sauce. Serve.

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Dori's Grandmother's Sour Cream enchilada's

This was a very tasty and filling dish. Sorry the picture is not so good but I was having major camera issues. I did a few things differently for two reasons. One I wanted to use what I had on hand and second because if the sauce wasn't red there was no way Don would eat it. I added garlic to the beef and onion mixture mainly because I can't cook without garlic. Second I used corn tortillas since I didn't have any flour ones on hand. Third I only used 4 oz of green chilies since I've somehow used all my cans up. Fourth I added a 8 ounce can of tomato sauce since Don hates not having red sauce, long story don't ask. We really liked the enchilada's and I can't wait to make them again.

8 flour tortillas
2 lbs ground beef
1 cup salsa
1 onion, chopped
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
8 Tablespoons butter
8 Tablespoons flour
2 teaspoons salt
2 2/3 cups chicken broth
2 cups sour cream
7 oz. can diced green chilies
For the sauce: Melt butter over medium heat, add flour and salt, cook and stir 1 minute. Add chicken broth. Cook and stir till thickened and bubbly. Remove from heat and add sour cream and green chilies. Mix well. Put a little sauce in the bottom of a 9X13 baking dish. Reserve remaining sauce.
Brown the ground beef together with the chopped onion, drain.Lay out the flour tortillas and evenly divide the meat and onion mixture onto each tortilla. Top the ground beef with 1 tablespoon of salsa on each tortilla.Add some cheese to each tortilla, reserving 1/2 cup of cheese.Roll each tortilla up and place seam side down on top of sauce in pan. Pour remaining sauce over the tortillas.
Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Top with reserved cheese and bake 10 minutes more.

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