Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Beer Bread

3 cups (15 ounces) all purpose or bread flour
1/4 tsp. instant or rapid-rise yeast
1 1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 cup plus 2 Tbs. (7 ounces) water at room temp
1/4 cup plus 2 Tbs. (3 ounces) mild flavored lager (like budweiser)
1 Tbs. white vinegar

1. Whisk flour, yeast and salt in large bowl.
2. Add water, beer and vinegar.
3. Using rubber spatula, fold mixture, scraping up dry flour from bottom of bowl until shaggy ball forms. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature for 8 to 18 hours.
4. Transfer dough to lightly floured work surface and knead 10 to 15 times. Shape dough into ball by pulling edges into middle.
5.  Lay 12- to 18-inch sheet of parchment paper inside the bowl and spray with nonstick cooking spray.
6. Transfer dough, seam-side down, to parchment-lined bowl and spray surface of dough with nonstick cooking spray.
7. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature until dough has doubled in size and does not readily spring back when poked with finger, about 2 hours.
8. About 30 minutes before baking, adjust oven rack to lowest position, place 6- to 8-quart heavy-bottomed Dutch oven (with lid) on rack, and heat oven to 450 degrees.
9. Lightly flour top of dough and, using razor blade or sharp knife, make one 6-inch long, 1/2-inch deep slit along top of dough.
10. Carefully remove pot from oven and remove lid.
11. Pick up dough by lifting parchment overhang and lower into pot (let any excess parchment hang over pot edge). Cover pot and place in oven.
12. Reduce oven temperature to 400 degrees and bake covered for 30 minutes. Remove lid and continue to bake until loaf is deep brown and instant-read thermometer inserted into center registers 210 degrees, 20 to 30 minutes longer.
13. Carefully remove bread from pot; transfer to wire rack and cool to room temperature, about 2 hours.

Chocolate cake for 6-inch pans (high altitude recipe)

1/2 + 1/8 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 +1/8  teaspoons baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup sugar minus 2 tablespoons
3/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons flour (120 grams)
1/4 cup plus 2 TBSP cocoa (1/4 cup regular, 2 TBSP dutch process; 38 g total)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup plus 1 TBSP milk
1 egg
1/4 cup canola oil
1/2 cup boiling water

1) Preheat oven to 375. Butter pans, line with parchment, and dust with cocoa powder.
2) Sift dry ingredients together, and mix with the paddle attachment of a stand mixer on low to combine.
3) Add eggs, milk, vanilla, and oil and beat on medium speed two minutes
4) Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin).
5) Bake for about 20-25 min, until tester comes out clean.
6) Let cool in pan for ten minutes, then turn out onto wire rack to cool completely.

Chocolate frosting
2 cups sifted powdered sugar
1/4 cup cocoa
1/2 stick butter, at room temperature
enough milk or cream to make spreading consistency

Beat all ingredients except milk on low speed until combined, then keep beating and add milk slowly until desired spreading consistency is achieved.



Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Chicken noodle soup

1 tablespoon oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 pounds chicken parts (ideally bone-in, skin-on breasts)
8 cups water
1 bay leaf
2 teaspoons table salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Poultry seasoning
Dried thyme
Dried basil 
Dried oregano
1 large carrot, diced (1/3-inch)
1 large celery stalk, diced (1/3-inch)
4 ounces dried egg noodles
1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill, for serving

Prepare broth: In a large (5-quart) heavy pot over medium-high heat, heat the vegetable oil. Add the onion and saute it for a couple of minutes until beginning to take on color at edges. Add the chicken pieces  making little wells in the onions so that the parts can touch the bottom of the pan directly. Be sure not to let the onions burn. Cook chicken parts until lightly browned.
Add water, bay leaf, table salt and some freshly ground black pepper and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and skim any  scum that appears at the surface of the pot. Simmer pot gently, partially covered, for 20 minutes.
Transfer chicken parts to a plate to cool a bit before handling. Set a fine-mesh strainer over a bowl (ideally, with a spout) and pour soup through it.
If your pot looks grimy and you’re fanatical about having a clear soup, you can give it a quick wash before returning the broth to the pot. You can remove a bit of fat at this point, if it looks necessary. Bring the broth back to a simmer. Add a dash of poultry seasoning, dried thyme, oregano, and basil. 
To finish and serve: Add diced vegetables and simmer them until they’re firm-tender, about 5 minutes. Add dried noodles and cook them according to package directions, usually 6 to 9 minutes. While these simmer, remove the skin and chop the flesh from the chicken. 
Once noodles have cooked, add chicken pieces just until they have rewarmed through (30 seconds) and ladle into serving bowls. Garnish with dill. 
Do ahead: If planning ahead, the point where you strain your chicken broth is a great place to pause. Refrigerate the chicken broth until the next day. Before heating it and finishing the recipe, you can easily remove any solidified fat from the surface for a virtually fat-free soup. Then, you can cook the vegetables and noodles to order, adding the chicken only so that it can rewarm (and not overcook!). If making the broth more than a day in advance, you might as well freeze it. I recommend freezer bags with as much air as possible pressed out. Freezing the bags flat will make it easier to stack and store with other frozen soups, and the bag will only require a short soak in warm water to defrost.

Greek Nachos

  • Pita Chips (or use storebought)
  • 4 pita pockets, white or whole wheat, cut into wedges
  • Tablespoon or two of olive oil
  • 1) Arrange pita wedges in one layer on baking sheets and brush or drizzle with a tablespoon or two of olive oil. 
  • 2) Bake until they begin to color, turning once or twice, about 10 minutes. 
  • 3) Sprinkle with salt, turn off oven and put chips back in to keep warm.

  • Meat
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • ½ pound ground lamb (I used ground turkey) 
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1) Put two tablespoons of oil in a skillet over medium-high heat and cook onions until soft, about 5 minutes. 
  • 2) Add lamb and cumin and sprinkle with salt and pepper; continue cooking until meat is cooked through, about 5 to 10 minutes more.
  • Chickpeas
  •   1 15 oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp paprika
  • ½ Tbsp ground black pepper
  • ¼ Tbsp cayenne pepper
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1) Pat dry chickpeas with paper towel, removing any skins that may come off.
  • 2) Gently toss chickpeas with oil, paprika, black pepper, cayenne pepper, and salt.
  • 3) Spread chickpeas onto a greased rimmed baking sheet and roast at 400 degrees F (200 C) for about 20 minutes, until lightly browned but not hard.

  • Tzatziki (or use storebought)
  • 2 cups plain Greek yogurt 
  • 1 cup seeded cucumber, shredded or diced
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice or white wine vinegar
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped dill
  • Salt and pepper (to taste)
  • 1) Salt shredded or diced cucumber, then squeeze in paper towel to draw out moisture.
  • 2) Mix together yogurt, cucumber, dill, garlic, and lemon.
  • 3) Season with salt and pepper to taste.

  • Other toppings
  • -diced cucumber
  • -diced tomato
  • -diced kalamata olives
  • -feta cheese
  • -hummus (thinned out with a little water if needed for consistency)

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Easy Curry-Instant Pot


Frozen Chicken Tenders
Coconut milk or cream (one can)
Thai Green Curry paste (one jar)*
Veggies (chopped)**
Cauliflower, green beans, peppers, peas, onion etc, whatever is in your fridge or freezer.

Put chicken, coconut milk & curry paste into the instant pot. Cook on MANUAL for 5 minutes. Quick release when done.

Open the lid, stir and chop or shred the chicken.
Turn on SAUTEE and add the veggies. Cook for 2-3 minutes and then turn on low/warm and let it sit until ready to eat.

Serve over rice or with some yummy bread.


*The spice level of the curry paste varies, you may want to start with half a jar, then taste after cooking. You can add more when you sautee.

**If you like your veggies more cooked, or if using potatoes, add them to the pot with the chicken and cook together.

Bon App├ętit,
Helen

Mac n Cheese- Instant Pot



   4 cups of water
   1 tsp. sea salt
   1/2 tsp. garlic powder
   2 tbsp. of butter
   1 pound of uncooked pasta
   ½ -1 cup of milk or cream
   2 cups of shredded cheese (whatever you like)

The flavor really changes based on your cheese!

   Put the water, salt, butter, garlic powder and noodles in the instant pot
   Close the lid and make sure the valve is on closed
   Use the MANUAL setting for 4 minutes
   When the pot beeps, quick release the steam (my pot started squirting out liquid, so keep an eye on that. I just closed it for a second and then opened it again)
   After the pressure has dropped, remove lid and give a stir
   Start with adding a ¼ cup of milk and shredded cheese
   stir until cheese is melted, add more milk if it seems 'dry'
Let sit at warm to let the liquid 'cook' a bit and the flavor to mingle for about 2 minutes


*Cooking time is based off of pasta that the box says to cook 7-8 minutes. The rule of thumb I have found is to do about half of the suggest time for stove top cooking. 
AND YOU CAN HALF THE RECIPE! Same cooking time, 2 cups water to 2 cups pasta.

Bon Appetit,
Helen