Monday, June 23, 2014

24-Hour Salad

I made this salad for family dinner one night and it was so good, I thought I'd post the recipe for others to try.  I did not make it 24 hours ahead of time and it was still great, so don't stress if you don't get it done a day ahead.  The flavors do need time to blend, however, so put it together as early as possible.

2 large eggs
2 TB sugar
2 cup heavy cream, divided
2 TB lemon juice
2 cups frozen sour cherries, drained (see note)
2 (20 oz) can pineapple tidbits or crushed pineapple packed in juice, drained
2 (14.5 oz) cans mandarin oranges packed in juice, drained
3 cups large marshmallows, quartered (see note)
1 cup sliced almonds, chopped coarse

Combine the eggs and sugar in a medium heatproof bowl.  Set the bowl over a saucepan containing an inch of simmering water and whisk until the sugar begins to dissolve, about 1 minute.  Whisk in 1/4 cup of heavy cream and the lemon juice and cook, whisking constantly, about 5 minutes.  Let cool completely, at least 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, with and electric mixer on high  speed, beat the remaining 3/4 cup heavy cream in a large bowl to soft peaks.  Gently fold into the cooled egg mixture.

Toss the cherries, pineapple, oranges, marshmallows, and almonds together in a large bowl.  Pour the egg and cream mixture over the fruit and toss gently until combined.  Refrigerate until ready to serve, at least 24 hours and up to 2 days in advance.  Serve.

Note:  Fresh sour cherries will also work well in this recipe, but do not substitute canned cherries, which are too soft and will turn mushy.  Do not substitute mini marshmallows for quartered large marshmallows - they turn to mush.  Instead, spray your knife with cooking spray to make cutting them up easier. 

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Plain Yogurt

2 quarts milk (we prefer 2% or whole milk)
1/3 cup powdered milk (optional)
1/4 - 1/2 cup sugar or honey (optional)
1 tsp unflavored gelatin (optional)
1/2 cup plain yogurt with active cultures

In a large pot, combine milk, powdered milk, and sugar or honey (if using).  Sprinkle gelatin over the milk and let soften for 5 minutes.  Stirring constantly, heat milk until it comes to a rolling boil.  Let boil for 1 minute and remove from heat.  Place pot in clean sink and fill sink with cold water to the level of the milk, stirring ocassionally.  Cool milk to 110 degrees F (I just use my little finger - when the milk feels lukewarm to my little finger it is ready).  Combine plain yogurt with 1 cup of the cooled milk and whisk to combine.  Pour yogurt mixture into the pot of milk and whisk thoroughly to combine.  Incubate yogurt for at least 4 hours and no more than 12 hours.  (The longer it incubates, the tangier it will be.)  At the end of the incubation period, place the yogurt in the refrigerator.  Serve plain, or with fresh fruit or granola.

A note on incubation:  If you don't have a yogurt maker, it is easy to incubate the yogurt in a small cooler.  Simply pour the yogurt mixture into clean jars with lids and place them inside a small cooler.  Fill the cooler with hot water up to the level of the lids, but not over the lids.  Close the cooler and let sit.  (You can drape a bath towel over the cooler to help insulate even better, if desired.)  Check the water temperature in the cooler after a couple of hours and replace with warmer water if necessary.  (Hot water from the tap is sufficient - do not pour boiling water over the yogurt or you risk killing the cultures.)

A note from Rachel:  All you really need to make yogurt is milk and active cultures.  I like to add powdered milk for added protein and substance, and honey for sweetness and flavor.  I have found that 1/3 cup honey makes the yogurt sweet enough to be yummy without really being sweet.  Also, the yogurt will thicken as it incubates, but it will not be the consistency we Americans are accustomed to - it will be thick and runny, rather like a milkshake.  The gelatin helps to firm it up so you can eat it with a spoon rather than drinking it.  Alice made this, then made it into frozen yogurt in an ice cream freezer.  Serve a scoop of frozen yogurt with fresh fruit for breakfast, and your kids will think they're getting dessert for breakfast!!  

A further note from Rachel:  If you do not want to add gelatin to your yogurt, and you want the thick, creamy consistency without draining it, add 1 full cup of powdered milk to your milk and honey, then process as usual.  The extra proteins from the powdered milk make a thick, wonderful yogurt - Greek style without all the fuss. 

Friday, August 2, 2013

Chicken Adobo Recipe

Chicken Adobo Recipe

2 lbs chicken, cut into serving pieces
3 pcs dried bay leaves
4 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp vinegar
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 to 2 cups water
1/4 cup cooking oil
1/2 tablespoon white sugar
1 teaspoon whole peppercorn

Cooking Procedure

In a large container, combine the soy sauce and garlic then marinade the chicken for at least 3 hours
Place the cooking oil in a pan and apply heat
When the oil is hot enough, put-in the marinated chicken. Cook all the sides for about 5 minutes.
Pour-in the remaining marinade and add water. Bring to a boil
Add the dried bay leaves and whole peppercorn. Simmer for 30 minutes or until the chicken is tender
Add vinegar. Stir and cook for 10 minutes.
Put-in the  sugar. Stir and turn the heat off.
Serve hot. Share and Enjoy! (serve it with rice)

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Flourless Chocolate Cake

Or, as Tyler put it:  "Death on a Fork."  Here you go, Hannah! 

1 1/2 lbs. Bittersweet or Semi-sweet chocolate
3/4 lb (3 sticks) Real Butter
10 eggs
1 tsp (or to taste) vanilla, almond, mint or amoretto extract (optional)

Melt chocolate and butter in double boiler over low heat.  Cool slightly.  In large bowl, beat eggs utnil 3x their original volume.  Add flavoring, if using.  Fold 1/2 chocolate mixture into eggs.  Fold remaining chocolate in until there are no streaks left.  Pour into 8" sprinform cake pan.  Cover the bottom of the pan with 3 layers aluminum foil.  Place pan into a 9x13" baking dish and pour boiling water around cake pan to come up the sides about 1 inch.  Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.  Lay a sheet of foil over the top and bake for 10 minutes more.  The cake won't look done in the middle.  Refrigerate for 3 hours.  Serve with berries and whipped cream, if desired.  Best at room temperature.

Note:  This is really rich, so serve small slices.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Super-Chunky Granola

New and improved!!  I recently found this amazing recipe for granola that out shines my other granola recipe by a mile!  Not only does this one have more flavor and more crunch, but there is no stirring, so I can put it in the oven and walk away.  Life is so good...

1/3 cup maple syrup (or honey)
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
4 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup vegetable oil
5 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
2 cups raw almonds, chopped coarse
2 cups raisins or other dried fruit, chopped if necessary

Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and heat oven to 325 degrees.  Line rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or lightly spray with cooking spray.

Whisk maple syrup (or honey), brown sugar, vanilla, and salt in a small mixing bowl.  Whisk in oil. 

In a large bowl, combine oats and almonds.  Pour maple syrup mixture over oats and stir until oats are thoroughly coated. 

Transfer oat mixture to prepared baking sheet and spread across sheet into thin, even layer.  Using stiff metal spatula, compress oat mixture until very compact.  Bake until lightly browned, 40 - 45 minutes, rotating pan once halfway through baking.  Remove granola from oven and cool on wire rack to room temperature, about 1 hour.  Break cooled granola into pieces of desired size.  Stir in dried fruit.  Store in airtight container.

Note:  I like to substitute unsweetened coconut for 1/4 of the nuts. You can also substitute sesame seeds or sunflower seeds for some of the nuts if you prefer. 

Variations:  Pecan-Orange Granola with Dried Cranberries
Add 2 TB finely grated orange zest and 2 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon to maple syrup mixture.  Substitute coarsely chopped pecans for almonds.  After granola is broken into pieces, stir in 2 cups dried cranberries.

Tropical Granola with Dried Mango
Reduce vanilla extract to 2 tsp and add 1 1/2 tsp ground ginger and 3/4 tsp nutmeg to maple syrup mixture.  Substitute coarsely chopped macadamias for almonds and 1 1/2 cups unsweetened shredded coconut for 1 cup oats.  After granola is broken into pieces, stir in 2 cups chopped dried mango or pineapple.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Crusty French Bread

2 1/2 cups warm water
1 TB dry yeast
2 TB oil
1 TB salt
2 TB powdered milk
6 1/2 - 7 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 egg white, lightly beaten with 1 TB cold water

Dissolve the yeast in the warm water.  Add oil.  Combine salt, powdered milk and 5 cups of flour together, then stir into yeast and water mixture.  Beat vigorously until well mixed.  Add enough addtional flour to make a managable dough, then turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 8-10 minutes - adding flour as needed - until the dough is smooth and elastic.  Place dough in a large greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let rise until double in bulk.  Punch the dough down and divide into 2 equal parts (for French bread loaves) or 4 equal parts (for French baguettes). 

To form 2 loaves:  using the palm of your hand, flatten each piece of dough into a long rectangle and roll it up - cinnamon roll style - tucking the ends under to form a loaf as long as your pan.

To form 4 baguettes:  on a lightly floured surface, use the palms fo you hands to roll each piece into a rope about 14 inches long and 2 inches across. 

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Place the formed loaves in lightly greased pans, cover and let rise in a warm spot for approx. 40 minutes, or until double in size.  Brush each risen loaf with egg white mixture.  Using a razor blade or sharp knife, slash each loaf at an angle lenghwise three or four times.  Place in the preheated oven and bake for 15 minutes, then spray with a fine mist of water and lower oven temperature to 375 degrees.  Bake for 15 minutes more, then spray loaves again.  Bake for 10-15 minutes more, until the crust is dark golden.  Remove loaves and cool on racks.

Note:  If you are using a perforated french bread loaf pan reduce oven temperatures by 25 degrees.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Cajun Red Beans and Rice

1 pound small red beans, rinsed and picked over
4 slices bacon, chopped fine
1 medium onion, chopped fine
1 small green pepper, seeded, and chopped fine
1 celery rib, chopped fine
3 medium garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp thyme
1 tsp sweet paprika
2 bay leaves
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
Ground black pepper
3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
6 cups water
8 oz. andouille sausage (or kielbasa), halved lengthwise and cut into 1/4-inch slices
1 tsp red wine vinegar
Cooked white rice

Dissolve 3 TB salt in a 4 quarts cold water in large bowl or container.  Add beans and soak at room temperature for at least 8 hours and up to 24 hours.  Drain and rinse well.

Heat bacon in large pan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until browned, 5-8 minutes.  Add onion, green pepper, and celery; cook, stirring frequently, until vegetables are softened, 6-7 minutes.  Stir in garlic, thyme, paprika, bay leaves, cayenne pepper, and 1/4 tsp ground black pepper; cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.  Stir in beans, broth and water; bring to boil over high heat.  Reduce heat and vigorously simmer, stirring occasionally, until beans are just soft and liquid begins to thicken, 45-60 minutes.

Stir in sausage and 1 tsp red wine vinegar and cook until liquid is thick and beans are fully tender and creamy, about 30 minutes.  Season with salt, black pepper and vinegar to taste.  Serve over rice.

Note:  Andouille sausages are hard to find and quite expensive.  They are good though, so if you think you can manage it, I reccommend them.  They do add some extra spice to the beans (they can be quite hot, depending on the brand).  If not, use kielbasa sausage instead - the beans are delicious either way.