Monday, January 30, 2006

Chocolate Chip Scones

Adapted from Bon Appetit', December 2000

2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) chilled unsalted butter, diced
1 teaspoon (packed) grated lemon peel
3/4 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips
3/4 cup chilled buttermilk
1 large egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Milk (for glaze)

Butter and flour baking sheet. Sift 2 cups flour, 1/3 cup sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt into large bowl. Add butter and lemon peel; rub in with fingertips until butter is reduced to size of rice grains. Mix in chocolate chips. Whisk buttermilk, egg yolk and vanilla in small bowl to blend. Add buttermilk mixture to dry ingredients; mix until dough comes together in moist clumps. Gather dough into ball. Press dough out on lightly floured surface to 8-inch round; cut round into 6 wedges. Transfer wedges to prepared baking sheet, spacing 1 inch apart. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)
Preheat oven to 400°F. Brush scones lightly with milk; sprinkle with remaining 2 tablespoons sugar. Bake until scones are crusty on top and tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Serve warm.

Makes 6 scones.

Mom's Cranberry Bread

Source: CL Bulletin Board

2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup sugar
1 cup cranberries (fresh or frozen, washed and chopped or halved-I use my food processor)
1/2 cup chopped nuts (I omitted)
1 beaten egg
3 tblsp. oil
1 cup orange juice

Sift dry ingredients together. Add cranberries and nuts. Add eggs mixed with OJ and oil, mix slightly. Bake in greased loaf pan @ 350 x one hour.

Vermont Pear Bread

Source: King Arthur flour 200th anniversary cookbook
9 tbs unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
2 cups king Arthur all purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 cup buttermilk
1 cup coarsely chopped pears
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup walnuts (I omitted)
I also added 1 t. cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350.
Cream butter until light and fluffy.
Slowly add sugar, beating constantly.
Add the eggs one at a time, beating thoroughly after each addition.
Combine dry ingredients thoroughly.
Add them to egg mixture alternately with buttermilk.
Fold in pecans and vanilla.
Pour into two lightly greased 4x8 pans.
Bake 35-40 minutes. Cool to room temp and chill for several hours.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Rachel's Buffalo Chicken Chili with Blue Cheese-Corn Mug Toppers

4 to 6 servings

This chili tastes like Buffalo wings, but it's a little better for you. A cold beer is still a good idea for a chaser.

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), 1 turn of the pan
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for greasing
2 pounds ground chicken I ground my own.
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 celery ribs, finely chopped
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 carrot, finely chopped
1 jalapeno, seeded and finely chopped
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin (half a palmful)I used more
1 teaspoon ground coriander (one-third palmful)
6 ounces beer (your favorite brew) Dos Equis is what I used.
1/4 cup cayenne pepper hot sauce I used closer to 1/2 cup. Mostly Louisiana Hot Sauce, but also with about 1 T. of Frontera's Red Pepper Sauce.
One 15-ounce can tomato sauce
One 8.5-ounce Jiffy-brand corn muffin mix
1/3 cup milk
1 large egg
2 scallions, finely chopped
3/4 cup crumbled blue cheese (about 4 ounces)

1. Heat a medium Dutch oven or large skillet over high heat. Add the olive oil, 1 turn of the pan, and the butter and melt together. Add the chicken and cook, breaking up the meat, for 6 minutes. Add the garlic, celery, onion, carrot and jalapeno. Season with salt, pepper, cumin and coriander, and cook for 5 minutes. Add the beer and scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Concentrate the flavor of the beer by reducing the mixture over medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the hot sauce and the tomato sauce. Reduce the heat to low and simmer the chili for 15 minutes.

2. Prepare the corn muffin mix with the milk and egg according to package directions for corn pancakes. Stir the scallions and the blue cheese into the pancake batter. Heat a nonstick gridde pan or large skillet over medium heat. Nest a small piece of butter in a paper towel and rub over the pan. Drop rounded tablespoons of the batter into the pan. Cook the pancakes until bubbles form at the edges, then flip them and cook until golden all over, about 2 minutes per side. You will have enough batter for about 20 pancakes. Serve 2 pancakes with each mug of chili. (I shove a second one in the mugs halfway through.) Serve extra mug toppers and hot sauce at the table.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Peanut Butter Coconut Kisses

Adapted from Cookies by the Dozen by Dolores Kostelni

1 large egg white, at room temperature
pinch of salt
pinch of cream of tartar
1/3 cup granulated sugar (I used a little bit less, but did add about 2 T. of cocoa powder)
1/3 cup peanut butter (smooth or chunky), melted and cooled (I used natural peanut butter)
2/3 cup flaked or grated coconut

1. With the rack in the center position, preheat the oven to 300 F. Prepare a cookie sheet by lining it with aluminum foil.

2. In a medium bowl wit the mixer on medium speed, beat the egg white with the salt until foamy. Add the cream of tartar and beat at high speed until sturdy soft peaks form when the beaters are slowly lifted.

3. Gradually stream in the sugar by heaping tablespoonfuls and continue beating until the mixture is shiny and peaks hold their points when the beaters are slowly lifted.

4. Fold in the peanut butter and coconut.

5. Using the tip of another teaspoon, push the mixture by heaping teaspoonfuls onto the prepared pan.

6. Bake 20 to 25 minutes. The finished kisses are golden and firm to the touch.

7. Cool in the pan on a wire rack. When completely cool, transfer the cookies with a spatula to a wire rack.

8. Store the finished kisses in an airtight container or plastic bag away from dampness.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Neo-Neapolitan Pizza Dough

Source: American Pie by Peter Reinhart

The Family of Doughs
This is the dough for making New Haven—style pizzas and pizzas in the style of Lombardi’s,Totonno’s,John’s Grimaldi’s, and Taccondllis. It makes a thin, crisp crust with airy pockets in the crown. It’s a little sticky and a touch tricky to handle, but the payoff is in the snap when you take that first bite. This dough stays crisp better than Napoletana dough, which softens under the toppings. Neo-Neapolitan dough requires high-gluten flour (about 14 percent protein), or strong bread flour if you cannot get high-gluten, rather than the all—purpose flour used in Napoletana. if you do not have a retail resource for high—gluten flour, ask a local pizzeria that makes its own dough or a local bakery if you can buy a few pounds.

Makes four 10-ounce dough balls
5 cups (221/2 ounces) unbleached high-gluten or bread flour (I used bread flour)
1 tablespoon sugar or honey
2 teaspoons table salt or 3 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon instant yeast
2 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil or solid vegetable shortening
1 3/4 cups plus 1 tablespoon room-temperature water (70°F)

1. With a large metal spoon, stir together all the ingredients in a 4-quart bowl or the bowl of an electric stand mixer until combined. If mixing with an electric mixer, fit it with the dough hook and mix on low speed for about 4 minutes, or until all the flour gathers to form a coarse ball. Let the dough rest for 5 minutes, then mix again on medium-low speed for an additional 2 minutes, or until the dough clears the sides of the bowl and sticks just a little to the bottom. If the dough is too soft and sticky to hold its shape, mix in more flour by the tablespoonful; if it is too stiff or dry, mix in more water by the tablespoonful. The dough should pass the windowpane test (see page 105). If mixing by hand, repeatedly dip one of your hands or the spoon into room—temperature water and use it much like a dough hook, working the dough vigorously into a coarse ball as you rotate the bowl with your other hand. As all the flour is incorporated into the ball, about 4 minutes, the dough will begin to strengthen; when this occurs, let the dough rest for 5 minutes and then resume mixing for an additional 2 to 3 minutes, or until the dough is slightly sticky, soft, a supple. If the dough is too soft and sticky to hold its shape, mix in more fl by the tablespoonful; if it is too stiff or dry, mix in more water by the teaspoonful. The dough should pass the windowpane test (see page 105).

2. Immediately divide the dough into 4 equal pieces. Round each piece into ball and brush or rub each ball with olive or vegetable oil. Place each ball ii its own zippered freezer bag. Let the balls sit at room temperature for 15 minutes, then put them in the refrigerator overnight or freeze any pieces you not be using the next day. (Or, if you are making the pizzas on the same day let the dough balls sit in the bags at room temperature for 1 hour, remove them from the bags, punch them down, reshape them into balls, return them to the bags, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.)

3. The next day (or later the same day if refrigerated for only 2 hours), remove the balls from the refrigerator 2 hours before you plan to roll them out to off the chill and to relax the gluten. At this point, you can hold any balls you don’t want to use right away in the refrigerator for another day, or you car freeze them for up to 3 months.
Note: I do not have a stand mixer, so used my hand the way he described. It works great!

Light and Fluffy Pancakes

Mark Bittman, How to Cook Everything
Makes 4 servings
Time: 20 minutes

These are ethereal, clouds of egg made into cakes; they also develop a very nice crust. Add more sugar if you'd like them sweet.

1 cup milk
4 eggs, separated
1 cup all-purpose flour
Dash salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1[1/2] teaspoons baking powder
Butter or canola or other neutral oil as needed

Preheat a griddle or large skillet over medium-low heat while you make the batter.
Beat together the milk and egg yolks. Mix the dry ingredients. Beat the egg whites with a whisk or electric mixer until stiff but not dry.
Combine the dry ingredients and milk-yolk mixture, stirring to blend. Gently fold in the beaten egg whites; they should remain somewhat distinct in the batter.
Add about 1 teaspoon of butter or oil to the griddle or skillet and, when it is hot, add the batter by the heaping tablespoon, making sure to include some of the egg whites in each spoonful. Cook until lightly browned on the bottom, 3 to 5 minutes, then turn and cook until the second side is brown. Serve, or hold in a 200[dg]F oven for up to 15 minutes.

Blueberry Pancakes [WD]: Blueberries, about 1 cup, should be the last ingredient you add. If they are fresh, pick them over and wash and drain them well before adding. If they are frozen, add them without defrosting. Cook more slowly than you would other pancakes, because they have a tendency to burn.

Cranberry Bog Gorp

1/4 cup unsalted butter
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 Tbsp maple syrup
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp curry powder
1 1/2 cups dried cranberries
1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped walnuts and/or slivered almonds
1 1/2 cups pretzel nuggets, lightly salted

1. Preheat oven to 300F. Melt butter, brown sugar, and maple syrup in large pot over medium heat. Stir in cinnamon and curry powder. Add cranberries, nuts, and pretzels, and stir to combine.
2. Spread mixture on greased jelly-roll pan. Bake 15 minutes or until mixture is crunchy and lightly browned.

Claire's Pepperoni Pie

From Sweetnick's Website.

3/4 cup pepperoni, diced
3/4 cup Muenster cheese, cubed
3/4 cup flour
2 eggs
1 cup milk

Place all the ingredients in a small bowl in the order given. Stir with a slotted spoon until the batter is smooth. The mixture should be lumpy only because of the pepperoni and cheese. Pour the batter into a greased 9-inch pie plate. Bake in a preheated 400-degree oven for 30-35 minutes or until the center is firm (test with a toothpick). Cut into wedges and serve. Serves 6 to 8.

French Onion Soup

1 lb. onion (I used mostly sweet, with a little red onion)
2 T. butter
1/4-1/2 cup dry sherry
bouquet garni'
bay leaf
dash salt
dash pepper
6.5 cups beef broth (I use Better than Bouillon+water)

1. Caramelize onions in butter. The longer, the better.
2. Add sherry once onions are caramelized. Cook until liquid is reduced.
3. Add broth and seasonings.
4. Cook until onions are tender and flavors are developed.
5. Top with bread (I used sourdough that I had toasted earlier) and Swiss cheese.
6. Put under broiler until cheese is melted and bubbly.

Crockpot Cranberry Chicken

I found this on the Cooking Light Message Board. Original Source is unknown.

1 small onion, thinly sliced
1 cup fresh or frozen (unthawed) cranberries
12 skinless, boneless chicken thgihs (about 2 1/4 lbs. total) (I used boneless, skinless breasts)
1/4 cup catsup
2 tablespoons firmly packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon dry mustard
2 teaspoons cider vinegar 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch blended w/2 tablespoons cold water

In a 3-quart or larger electric slow cooker, combine onion, cranberries. Arrange chicken on top. In small bowl, mix catsup, sugar, mustard and vinegar and pour over chicken. Cover. Cook at low setting until chicken is very tender when pierced (6 1/2 to 7 1/2 hours).

Lift out chicken when done, blend cornstarch mixture into cooking liquid. Increase cooker heat setting to high; cover and cook, stirring 2 or 3 times until sauce thickens (10 to 15 more minutes). Season to taste with salt; pour over chicken. Makes 6 servings.

Onion and Fontina Beer Batter Bread

Onion and Fontina Beer Batter Bread
Adapted From Cooking Light

Bake this quick bread before you leave town, or mix dry ingredients, sauté onions, and grate cheese in advance, then bake the loaf on-site.

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup diced onion
3 cups all-purpose flour (about 13 1/2 ounces)
3 tablespoons honey
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup (4 ounces) grated fontina cheese
1 (12-ounce) bottle beer (such as amber ale)
Cooking spray
1/4 cup butter, melted and divided

Preheat oven to 375°.

Heat olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onion, and sauté 6 minutes or until tender. Cool to room temperature.

Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups, and level with a knife. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a bowl; make a well in center of mixture. Add onion, cheese, and beer; stir just until moist.

Spoon batter into a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan coated with cooking spray; drizzle evenly with 2 tablespoons butter. Bake at 375° for 35 minutes; brush with remaining 2 tablespoons butter. Bake an additional 23 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 5 minutes in pan on a wire rack; remove from pan. Cool completely on wire rack.