Friday, March 23, 2012

Sweet Bread Dough For Pastries

                                   Sweet bread dough: for pastries

Used for Blueberry Creamcheese Crumbcake  and  Buttercake- Pastry Style
3/4cup milk
2tbl. butter
1 packet dry yeast
1/4cup warm water
3tbl. sugar
1/2tsp. salt
2-1/2cups flour- plus extra for kneading


Scald milk in a sauce pan. turn off heat and add butter.
In a large bowl combine the yeast, water and sugar.allow to rest 15 minutes.
Add 1-1/2cups flour, salt and cooled milk to the bowl and beat for 2 minutes until smooth.
Gradually add the remaining flour, mixing by hand, until the dough forms a ball.
Flour a surface and knead for a few minutes.
Spray a bowl with cooking spray, add dough and cover.
Let it rise about an hour or until doubled. Now it's ready for rolling.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

3 Great Appetizers For Your Get- Togethers

 L-R Camelback poppers, Chillicheese Dip and my favorite Hot wing recipe.

You can't go wrong here. No matter how much I make of these 3 dishes , It's usually never enough. At most of our gatherings, everyone usually fills up on the appetizers, and I wind up with tons of leftovers from dinner. So I can usually count on not cooking for a few days after. Here are the links to the recipes.

      Hot Wings               Chilli Cheese Dip                   Camel Back Poppers

Asian BBQ Sauce

                                               Asian BBQ Sauce

Sorry to state the obvious. MEN LOVE TO GRILL.
They''ll even stand in 8" of snow, in the middle of February, stocking cap and gloved
(I'm really sorry I didn't snap that picture.) Grilled food is great. Buuuut. By the end of summer I am pretty much fed up with bottled BBQ sauce. Throughout the summer, I'll be posting sauce variations that I use.
This one tastes very similar to the BBQ you've had at Asian restaurants. I use it on baked chicken too.
This is just enough to lightly glaze a whole chicken. It would probably be great with beef and pork as well.

2tbl. sweet chilli sauce
1tbl. ketchup
1tbl. soy sauce
1tbl. hoisin sauce
1tsp. sesame oil
1tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. pureed ginger

Whisk all ingredients together, and baste onto chicken at the end of grilling.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Beer Batter Cod Fillets

                                                         Beer Batter Cod
This is the best batter I've used, restaurant quality. It works well for shrimp tempura also.
12oz. any beer
1-1/2 plus another 1 cup flour
1/2tsp. garlic powder
1/2tsp. pepper
1tsp. salt
2lbs. cod fillets

I prefer to salt my fillets before dipping. This step can be omitted
Add the seasonings to the 1-1/2cups flour. Whisk together.
Add the beer and whisk until well blended.
Dip fillets into the batter, allowing any excess to drip.
Then dredge them in the 1 cup of remaining flour.
Fry at 375* until golden and cooked through, about 5 minutes.

Herbed Twice Baked Potatoes

                                        Herbed Twice Baked Potatoes

3 potatoes
1tbl. cream cheese
1tsp. thyme
1tsp. salt
4oz. shredded cheese-You won't need it all.
snipped chives or chopped scallions

I don't actually bake them twice. Cook whole potatoes 5 minutes in the microwave, or until firm/soft. Cool. Slice in half lengthwise. Scoop out most of the potato with a spoon.
In a bowl combine scoopings (Is that a word?... It is now!) cream cheese, salt and thyme until well blended.
Refill the potato with the mixture, top with cheese and chives, or, leave out the thyme and add bacon bits. o.
Bake at 375* for about 30 minutes.

                               Use a spoon to scoop out most of the potato.

                                     Fill-and top with cheese and chives.

Mojo Style Baked Potato Wedges

                                         Mojo Style Baked Potato Wedges

3 potatoes
1tsp. seasoned salt
1tsp. paprika
1/2tsp. onion powder
1tsp. garlic powder

Cook whole potatoes in the microwave about 5 minutes, until firm/soft.
Cool and slice into wedges.
In a bowl combine all other ingredients, whisk to combine.
Dip the wedges in water, then press the cut edges into the flour mixture.
Let the wedges rest about 1 hour, to allow the flour to form a batter.
Bake at 375* for about 30 minutes.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Salisbury Hash

                                                 Salisbury Hash

You know how it is. You have a meal planned, then unexpectedly you have extra guests for dinner, but not enough ingredients to feed everyone. That's how this dish made it's debut. Several years ago, I was planning on Salisbury steak for my family, and there just wasn't enough to feed extra mouths, unless I thawed something in the microwave. (Which I prefer not to do, yuck) So I doubled the amount of mashed potatoes I was making, and combined the cooked ground beef and corn, a little extra gravy. Voila. Enough to feed eight. But the funny thing is, everyone preferred it this way. So this is how I make it now.

2lbs ground chuck - browned and chopped
1-1/2cups frozen corn
3 envelopes brown gravy mix
2cups cold water
 Combine all ingredients. Cook until the gravy thickens. Serve over mashed potatoes.

Italian Style Meatloaf

                                           Italian Style Meatloaf


For the meatloaf :
2lbs. ground chuck
2 eggs
1-1/2 cups Italian style breadcrumbs

For the sauce:
( As a shortcut, you can use a jar of mushroom spaghetti sauce mixed with a 15oz can of diced tomatoes)
1-29oz can of diced tomatoes
1-4oz can of mushrooms-drained and chopped
1/4cup minced onion
1teaspoon minced garlic
1tbl. olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste


Mix all meatloaf ingredients together.
Press into a loaf pan and bake for about 1-1/2 hours or until cooked through.
Meanwhile prepare the sauce.
Heat oil in a skillet. Add onion and garlic and saute a minute or two.
Add mushrooms and fry until the pan juices evaporate.
Add tomatoes, salt and pepper. Simmer until it forms a thick sauce. set aside.
When meatloaf is done, transfer it to another baking pan. Top with sauce and bake an additional 15-20 minutes, until the sauce forms a bit of a glaze. remove from oven and allow it to rest 10-15 minutes before slicing. It's great served with Viva Italia Focaccia  and  Flaming Canoes and mashed potatoes

Friday, March 2, 2012

Mom's Tornado Chicken

                                 Mom's Tornado Chicken (baked version)

I know, I know it's a silly name, but it has a story behind it.
 Mom had the idea to make an alternative to BBQ chicken. She was Grilling away outdoors, when all of a sudden, a storm blew in.
The tornado sirens went off , and we all headed for the basement. It was over in a few minutes. We came out of the basement to find the back yard strewn with huge tree limbs. Lawn furniture tossed around. But there was the grill, still cooking away unscathed.
So understandably,  Mom's intrepid new dish got a name. It can be baked or grilled.

1 chicken - cut up
1cup ketchup
1tsp. garlic powder-plus more for the chicken
1tbl. la-choy soy sauce

Mix together the ketchup garlic and soy sauce. Set aside.
Sprinkle additional garlic powder on the chicken.
Grill or bake the chicken until cooked through.
Baste with sauce, and cook until the sauce becomes a thick glaze. Serve.

Grandpa's Chinese Noodles

                                      Grandpa's Chinese Noodles

My Grandparents were raising a family during the great depression. They told me stories about families getting together and creating soups out of whatever ingredients they could scrape together. Even entire neighborhoods would come together and cook soup to survive. There are a few that have become family traditions. This is one of those. Even the kids love this one. It tastes like wonton soup, but more filling. And that must have been the point during the great depression. Cheap, quick and filling.

2lb. vermicelli
1 onion-diced
1lb. ground beef
1 bottle la-choy- type soy sauce
scallions-from about 10 green onions

In a 4quart pot bring 2quarts of water to boil.
Add diced onion
Pinch bite sized pieces of the ground beef and drop them into the boiling water.
Boil for a few minutes and add the vermicelli.
Cook until the pasta is cooked through, you may need to add more water to make it somewhat soup like.
Add scallions to the pot.
At this point you can add soy sauce to the pot (according to taste) or, do as I do, let everyone add it to their bowls according to taste. You really should try this, it's yummy ( as Ariel puts it)