Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Ciao Ciabatta

Ciabatta style bread

3 cups of water,
1/2 teaspoon of yeast,
1 1/2 teaspoons of sugar,
2 teaspoons of salt

6 cups of bread flour ( or 1 cups whole wheat and 5 cups bread flour)
knead briefly. The dough will be wet and sticky.

Cover the bowl and let rest on the kitchen counter overnight or for at least 8 hours.
Preheat oven to 450 - 500 degrees.

Oil a baking sheet with olive oil.
Divide the dough into four parts (maybe dust with a bit of flour). Gently shape each part into loaves and put on baking sheet.
Brush with a little olive oil and sprinkle with salt (optional).
Bake for about 20-25 mins.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Sauerkraut - The Westphalian Way

1 Lbs packaged or canned sauerkraut
1 small onion, diced
1 apple, diced
1 Tbls butter or lard
1/2 cup broth or white wine
2 bay leaves
5 juniper berries
1 ts sugar
cumin, pepper, salt to taste

Caramelize onions in butter and sugar on low temp until soft. Add broth, sauerkraut, spices, and a little water. Simmer on low for 45 to 50 minutes. Add water during this time if needed. Reheating makes it even better!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Sausage Balls

1 pound bulk breakfast pork sausage
8 ounces finely shredded Cheddar cheese
1/2 cup finely minced green onion
1/4 cup finely minced red bell pepper
3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3 teaspoons melted butter

Preparation: Combine all ingredients and mix well. Shape into small balls and place on a baking sheet (with sides). Bake at 350° for 12 to 15 minutes, until browned on bottoms.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Jello Jiggle Dessert

From Whole Foods' recipe site:
Serves 4
This treat is great with many of your favorite juices or fruit nectars (avoid pineapple, kiwi and papaya juice though). Vary the fresh fruit according to season; we like raspberries, sliced grapes and blueberries.
2 cups berry juice 1 tablespoon unflavored gelatin 1 tablespoon sugar 1/2 cup fresh fruit
Pour 1 cup of the juice into a medium heatproof bowl. Sprinkle gelatin over juice and dissolve; set aside. Combine remaining 1 cup juice and sugar in a small saucepan. Bring just to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Remove from the heat. Pour hot juice mixture into gelatin mixture and stir to combine. Transfer to 4 ramekins, small ceramic bowls or 1 medium bowl. Add fruit and chill for 4 hours or until firm.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Lillian’s Baptism Party Ribs

2 racks of babyback ribs (1 Lb per person, I bought Trader Joe’s ribs)
About 20 peppercorns
1 stick cinnamon
2 sprigs of fresh thyme (or dried)
1-2 bay leaves

Good BBQ sauce (I used Trader Joe’s J )

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Submerge the ribs in water in a roasting pan.
Add the peppercorn, thyme, cinnamon, and bay leaves. Cover with aluminum foil. Cook for 2.5 – 3 hours. Remove from the oven and let the ribs cool in the refrigerator at least 30 minutes or overnight.

When ready to serve, turn the oven to broil and cut the ribs in between the bones to make individual ribs. Glaze the ribs with the BBQ sauce and broil, turning as needed for 15 minutes or until very crispy.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Chicken Breast Topped With Pesto Parmesan Crunch

This is really yummy and a great dish when you are hosting a party.

Enough chicken breasts for the crowd
2 or more cloves of garlic, crushed
diced tomatoes
grated Parmesan cheese
enough olive oil to slightly coat the bread crumbs
stale sourdough bread, crumbled in a food processor
Italian herbs like basil, oregano, rosemary, salt and pepper

Precook the chicken breasts briefly by either grilling or pan-frying them a couple of minutes. Mix the garlic, bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, herbs, olive oil in a bowl. Place chicken breasts on a baking sheet and cover them with a light coating of mustard and the bread crumble mix. Shortly before it's time to serve bake them for 10-15 minutes until the topping is toasty and golden.
Serve with pasta or rice and a salad.

Terrific Creamy Italian Sausage Tomato Sauce with Fettuccini

This is a favorite of family and guests. Its based on a recipe from Simply Recipes - a really nice food blog.

2 Tbsp olive oil
3 shallots, chopped
2 large garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 pound sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
1/2 pound spicy or hot Italian sausage, casings removed
(or 1 pound regular pork sausage and Italian spices)
1 cup whipping cream
2 14.5-ounce cans diced tomatoes in juice
1 big red bell pepper, cut in strips
1 Tbsp dried sage
3/4 pound fettuccine
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1 Heat oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add shallots and garlic and sauté until beginning to soften, about 3 minutes. Add sausages and sauté until no longer pink, breaking up the sausages a bit, about 5 minutes. Add cream; simmer 5 minutes. Add tomatoes with juices. Add sage. Add bell pepper. Simmer until sauce thickens, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes.
2 Meanwhile, cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water until just tender but still firm to bite. Drain pasta, reserving 1/2 cup cooking liquid.
3 Return pasta to same pot; add sauce. Toss over medium heat until sauce coats pasta, adding reserved cooking liquid by 1/4 cupfuls if mixture is dry. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to bowl; sprinkle with cheese and serve.
Serves 6.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Not Challenging Chicken Chili

4 cups chopped yellow onions
1/8 cup good olive oil
4 cloves minced garlic
2 red bell peppers, seeded and large-diced
2 yellow (or green) bell peppers, seeded and large-diced
1 cup of corn
1 can of black beans (optional)
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp ground cumin
red pepper flakes to taste
cayenne pepper to taste
2 tsp salt
2 28 oz cans tomatoes, undrained
1/4 basil leaves
4 split chicken breasts, bone-in, skin-on
black pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Rub the chicken with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast on a baking sheet for 35-40 min until just cooked. Separate the meat from the bones, when cool enough and cut into chunks.

While chicken is roasting, cook the onions in oil over medium-low heat for 10-15 min. Add garlic and cook 1 min longer. Add bell peppers, chili powder, cumin, red pepper, cayenne pepper, corn, beans and salt. Cook for 1 minute. Crush tomatoes and add with the basil. Bring to a boil. Then reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes.

Add the chicken pieces and simmer for another 20 minutes. Add seasoning to taste.

Serve with corn chips, grated cheese, sour cream.

Friday, August 31, 2007

Chicken Orzo with Salsa Mediterranee

This one is certainly a family favorite.

3-4 tomatoes, chopped
12 olives (green or black - kalamata are best)
2 TBs capers, rinsed and drained
2 TBs Balsamico wine vinegar
2 TBs olive oil (extra-virgin)
1/2 onion, chopped
1/2 cup cooked black beans (optional)
dried basil
salt, pepper
2-3 ounces of blue (or feta) cheese
1/2 lb or more diced chicken meat (I used cooked leftover chicken ;)
1 package of orzo
2 1/2 cups chicken broth

Mix all ingredients up to the meat and set aside. Heat skillet on medium-high and cook chicken meat in olive oil for 2 minutes. Add orzo and broth to the skillet. Lower heat, cover and let simmer for 12 - 15 minutes until the orzo is soft. Check a couple of times to make sure the orzo doesn't stick and add water if needed. Serve orzo with salsa mediterranee on top and sprinkle with blue cheese. A green salad with oranges and carrots is great as a side.

Gazpacho - Grande

Here is a yummy, easy, cool summer lunch. You need
for the soup:
1 cucumber,
2 lbs tomatoes,
1 bell pepper
1 onion
4 cloves garlic
1-2 slices of bread
5 TBs olive oil
2 TBs wine vinegar
3 cups chicken broth
Salt and pepper

Peel cucumber, slice lengthwise and remove the seeds. Chop into pieces. Peel tomatoes (pouring hot water over them first helps!) and chop them. Remove bell pepper seeds and cut into pieces. Peel and chop onion and garlic. Place all vegetables in a big bowl or pot and puree using a food processor or a handheld blender. Remove bread crust and crumble into the soup. Slowly add olive oil, vinegar and broth. Season with salt and pepper. Serve well chilled with croutons, diced onions, bell pepper, white from boiled eggs...

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Sourdough Bread in a Dutch Oven

This sourdough bread really turned out nice. I used the same recipe as in my other post, but preheated a cast iron dutch oven and its lid in the oven at 4oo degrees. When ready, I dusted my risen dough with flour, dropped into the hot pot and covered it with a lid. I baked it for 30 minutes. Then the lid was removed, I lowered the temperature to 375 degrees and baked it 15 minutes longer.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Pizza - Preliminary Perfect

We are on the quest for the perfect, chewy, homemade pizza. We are trying some slight variations of the theme every Saturday. Last week we thought we were very close to perfect. Here how we did it:

1 cup bread flour
1 cup spelt or white wheat flour
1/2 cup semolina flour or stone ground corn meal
5 1/2 TBs sourdough starter
1 TB salt
1 ts yeast
2 cups filtered water
Olive oil
2 - 3 garlic cloves
1 can tuna
1 onion, sliced
2 tomatoes, sliced
2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
basil leaves
Using a Kitchenaid I mixed all ingredients. The dough will be very soft and sticky. Let rise for 2 hours or until dough has tripled. Preheat pizza stone in an oven at 450 degrees. Pat dough into pizza shape on parchment paper and brush with olive oil. Slice garlic into fine pieces and distributed on dough. Top with tomato, tuna, onion. Carefully place the pizza on the hot pizza stone. That's the tricky part! Bake for 10 min. or until pizza is lightly brown. Top with mozzarella cheese and basil and bake until cheese has melted and the pizza looks done - about 15 min.

Placing the dough on the hot pizza stone is probably better, but too tricky. I now just drop the dough on the cold pizza stone (sprinkled with corn flour) and pat it into shape. Tastes pretty much the same!