Friday, January 30, 2009

TFF Chicken Satay

This is another Tyler Florence Fridays (TFF), cooking day. I love being apart of this cooking group. I like being able to chose the recipes and not stressing if I miss a week or two... I found this recipe on-line and couldn't wait to try it. The peanut sauce was awesome! We have been enjoying the leftovers on all kinds of things! I served this with toasted Bulgar, peas and eggs. I am just now discovering different grains to use in cooking beside my typical brown rice and couscous side dish. We all liked the nuttiness that toasting gave to the Bulgar.
Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce
Recipe courtesy Tyler Florence
Prep Time:
25 min
Inactive Prep Time:
2 hr 0 min
Cook Time:
10 min
20 skewers

1 cup plain yogurt
1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into strips
20 wooden skewers, soaked in water 30 minutes
Vegetable oil, for grilling
Butter lettuce leaves
Fresh cilantro leaves
Peanut sauce, recipe follows
Combine the yogurt, ginger, garlic, and curry powder in a shallow mixing bowl, stir to combine. Place the chicken strips in the yogurt marinade and gently toss until well coated. Cover and let the chicken marinate in the refrigerator for at up to 2 hours.
Thread the chicken pieces onto the soaked skewers working the skewer in and out of the meat, down the middle of the piece, so that it stays in place during grilling. Place a grill pan over medium heat and brush it with oil to prevent the meat from sticking. Grill the chicken satays for 3 to 5 minutes on each side, until nicely seared and cooked through. Serve the satays on a platter lined with lettuce leaves and cilantro; accompanied by a small bowl of peanut sauce on the side.
Peanut Sauce:
1 cup smooth peanut butter
1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
2 teaspoons red chili paste, such as sambal
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
2 limes, juiced
1/2 cup hot water
1/4 cup chopped peanuts, for garnish
Combine the peanut butter, soy sauce, red chili paste, brown sugar, and lime juice in a food processor or blender. Puree to combine. While the motor is running, drizzle in the hot water to thin out the sauce, you may not need all of it. Pour the sauce into a nice serving bowl and garnish with the chopped peanuts. Serve with chicken satay.
Yield: 3 cups

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Another Snow Day and Brownies

Today we used our last snow day of the year. The kids were a little sad that there was no school. I was also a little sad (for them of course). It was an uneventful day except for chasing our dog around the neighborhood in a foot of snow and having him bark the entire day at everything and everyone!!! By mid-afternoon we were all a little stir crazy and a little nuts from all the noise coming from the dog. I made brownies to cheer us up. I have always heard that chocolate cures everything : -) I halved the batter and made them two ways. My husband loves simple brownies with no frills. The boxed brownies are some of his favorite. He will rate my brownie recipes according to how close they taste to the boxed kind. These ones rated right at the top! I on the other hand love lots of goodies in my brownies. The more chocolate they have, the better they are. I bought some chocolate peppermint shavings from Williams-Sonoma and mixed them into my half. They were so good. I also used my mini silicone muffin cups for the perfect bite of brownie. For dinner we had jambalaya, brown rice and warm brownies with ice-cream. Tomorrow it looks like school is on and we are back in our routine.
Barb's Best Brownies
4 eggs
2 c. sugar
3/4 c. oil
3/4 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
2 t. vanilla
1/2 t. salt
1 1/2 t. baking powder (NOT soda–soda turns this recipe into something icky)
1 1/3 c. flour
Whisk eggs and sugar together. Add oil and cocoa and mix thoroughly. Stir in vanilla, salt, baking powder and flour. Bake in a greased 9″x13″ pan at 350 for 20-25 minutes or until the skewer or toothpick can be inserted and comes out clean.
These brownies practically beg to be eaten warm…maybe even hot. Sometimes so hot you have to use a plate and a fork. (I tried this and they were so good)

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Barefoot Contessa Sticky Buns Round 2

I am a little late in posting my Barefoot Bloggers recipe. I have had a secret obsession with reading a new series lately. Melissa at Made By Melissa chose Ina's Easy Sticky Buns from her Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics cookbook (page 240). I was excited to try these sticky buns. They were one of the first recipes that I made out of the new cookbook. It is our tradition to have cinnamon rolls for Christmas morning after presents. I made these and failed miserably. When Melissa chose this recipe I was ready for round 2. I halved the recipe and still they came out a little different then I had imagined. I cut the cooking time down to 25 minutes and yet they were on the verge of being overdone when I got them out of the oven. I also tasted too much butter. I don't know if it was a problem with the puff pastry or the melted butter mixture in the bottom of the pan. The kids did enjoy them warm from the oven but I won't try these for the third time. I should have reduced the amount of butter in the recipe and taken them out of the oven at 22 minutes. The flavour was great but they were just a little too crispy on the outside and buttery on the inside.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Warm Chocolate Chip cookies and cold weather.....

The helpers!

How much cookie dough
will Mom let us eat?

This week went so quickly. I can't believe it has been an entire week since I last posted. We have had such cold weather here. The high was -12 when we got up this morning. They canceled school today because of the cold weather. I didn't think Ohio usually got this cold. It feels like Great Falls, Mt. We braved the cold this morning and headed to the gym but only after promising the kids that we could make something fun together when we got home. I decided to try this recipe for Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies from Tyler Florence. They were a success! I liked that they were so chewy and held up great when cooled. Now I have 3 favorite recipes for Chocolate Chip cookies. I have learned that cookie dough freezes well and we will eat all the cookies that I make. It is best to bake a few at a time for portion control : )
My Big, Fat Chocolate Chip Cookies
Prep Time:
30 min
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup white sugar
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1 (8-ounce) block dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper. Sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt into a medium bowl and set aside.
Place the butter, sugar, and brown sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer; cream together on medium speed until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Beat in the vanilla and eggs. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the creamed mixture and continue to mix until a smooth batter forms. Turn off the mixer and fold in the chocolate chunks using the spatula.
To form the cookies, scoop about 1/4 cup of cookie dough into your hands and roll it around into a ball; place them about 3-inches apart onto the prepared cookie sheets; you should get about 4 cookies on each pan. Press down the tops of the dough slightly and bake until the cookies are light brown, 12 minutes for chewy cookies, or about 15 minutes for crispy cookies.
Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat with remaining dough/cookie sheets.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Perfect Roast Pork and Apple Reduction

This was a great recipe from Tyler Florence. I love his recipes and this one didn't let me down. I have never brined anything before. It is a very interesting process! I soaked the pork loin overnight in the brine and then roasted in the oven along with carrots and garlic. I liked the apple reduction too. It turned out good and our family enjoyed this warm meal after the kids basketball practice tonight. I also made cheesy potatoes (true comfort food). I found a recipe from my Cuisine at Home magazine for Double Chocolate Chip cookies. I made a batch for dessert. They were so good after cooling down. We enjoy them warm from the oven but there were so much chocolate that it was oozing everywhere! Here is the recipe for the roast and cookies. You can check out this group at Tyler Florence Fridays right here at the TFF site.
Bone-In Pork Roast with Apple Reduction
Adapted from Tyler Florence
1 center-cut, bone-in pork roast, about 5 pounds*
1 cup kosher salt
1 cup brown sugar
1 gallon water
1 bunch thyme, divided
1 TB peppercorns
1 - 2 TB olive oil
salt and fresh-ground pepper
4 small carrots, peeled
1 onion, peeled and quartered
1 shallot, peeled and halved
1 head of garlic, split
2 cups apple juice
1 TB unsalted butter, cold
In a very large food-safe bag or in a Dutch oven, dissolve the salt and brown sugar in the water, using proportionally less for a smaller roast. Add the peppercorns and half the thyme. Submerge the roast, fat cap up, and refrigerate for 6 - 8 hours.
Remove roast and pat dry. Tie with butchers’ twine to secure. Discard brine.
Set a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 400 degrees.
In a roasting pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat until shimmering. Brown the roast on all sides, seasoning as you go. Add the aromatics to the pan, place the remaining thyme on top of the pork and roast, approximately 1 hour, until the meat is 150 degrees at its thickest part.
Move the roast to a serving platter or cutting board to rest. Discard the aromatics from the pan, add the apple juice, scraping up the brown bits (fond) and simmer over medium heat for several minutes, until reduced by 1/3. Add the butter and any juices that have collected on the platter or board. Whisk until smooth, adjust seasoning if necessary.
Spoon or drizzle sauce onto each portion.

Cuisine At Home Double Chocolate Chip Cookies
Makes: 3 Dozen Cookies
Total Time: 27-29 Minutes
Whisk Together; Set Aside:
3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 t. baking soda
1 t. kosher salt
Cream Wet Ingredients:
1 cup sugar
1 cup dark brown sugar, packed
1/3 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/3 cup vegetable shortening
2 eggs
2 t. vanilla
Stir Flour Mixture into Creamed. Then Stir in:
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup milk chocolate chips
Form Cookies and Bake.
Preheat oven to 350°. Bake on center oven rack.Whisk dry ingredients; set aside. Combine wet ingredients with a hand mixer on low. To cream, increase speed to high and beat until fluffy and the color lightens.Stir the flour mixture into the creamed mixture, just until mixed. Stir in semisweet and milk chocolate chips.Form cookies using a cookie scoop and drop dough 2" apart onto an ungreased baking sheet. Bake on center rack of oven 12-14 minutes, until lightly browned and edges are set. Remove from oven; leave cookies on baking sheet for 2 minutes to firm up. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. If you’re reusing the warm baking sheet, reduce the baking time slightly.
Stir the flour mixture into the creamed mixture until no flour is visible. (Overmixing develops the gluten, making a tough cookie.) Now stir in the semisweet and milk chocolate chips.
Use a cookie scoop (2 T. per scoop) to measure and drop dough 2" apart onto an ungreased baking sheet.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

If you give some kids a Pancake....

Karen of Something Sweet by Karen chose the this weeks recipe for Barefoot Bloggers. We all love pancakes in our house. I love to try variations to my favorite breakfast food! Breakfast for dinner is one of our favorite quick meals. My husband was working late the other night so I whipped these up for the kids. They were so good! I had bananas in the freezer (ready for banana bread)so I mashed them up and added to the batter instead of dicing them on top of each pancake. The kids ate all of them. They decided they were as good as my "Famous Saturday Morning Pancakes". They both thought they tasted allot like banana bread. I should have done eggs and bacon along with but the kids were very satisfied with there pancakes, syrup and PB for Jonathan.
Here is the recipe!
Banana Sour Cream Pancakes (Barefoot Contessa Family Style)
1 1/2 cups flour
3 Tbls sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 cup sour cream
3/4 cup plus 1 Tbls milk
2 extra-large eggs (I used large eggs as that was all I had)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp grated lemon zest
unsalted butter
2 ripe bananas, diced, plus extra for serving
maple syrup
Sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together the sour cream, milk, eggs, vanilla, and lemon zest. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ones, mixing only until combined. Melt 1 Tbls of butter in a large skillet over medium-low heat until it bubbles. Ladle the pancake batter into the pan to make 3 or 4 pancakes. Distribute a rounded Tbls of bananas on each pancake. Cook for 2-3 minutes, until bubbles appear on top and the underside is nicely browned. Flip the pancakes and then cook for another minute until browned. Wipe out the pan with a paper towel, add more butter to the pan, and continue cooking pancakes until all the batter is used. Serve with sliced bananas, butter and maple syrup. Makes 12 pancakes.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

French Pear Tart

This is a New Year with many resolutions for me. I am happy to say I started off the week with making this tart. I am glad I pushed myself to make it since I am not very fond of tarts or so I thought. This was the most amazing dessert. The crust, almond cream and pears together were so awesome! The only change that I made was to add more chopped almonds and caramel to the top! We all ate this and my husband even had seconds. It was so simple yet the flavours were wonderful together. Now I understand why people are RAVING over this recipe! Tuesdays with Dorie has been a fun group to join. I have had some failures but also some successes. I have made many things that I would normally skip in a cookbook. Dorie herself chose this week's recipe; check out her blog for the recipe and more tips on how to add variations to this recipe.

Trying New Things

This past year has been a year of change. We moved from a huge running community to an area that does not have the biking and running trails...