Monday, October 29, 2007

Apple cinnamon roll

This yeast dough may look familiar - it's the same one I use for making doughnut! It's a great, versatile sweet dough. This apple cinnamon roll is a cross between cinnamon rolls and apple bread. They're easier to make than cinnamon rolls, and stay moist thanks to the apples - no need for icing!

1/8 cup hot water
1/6 cup melted butter
3/4 milk, warm
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg, beaten
1 Tbsp yeast
2 1/2 - 4 cups flour
1 Granny Smith apple, chopped
1 1/2 cups raisins, soaked in hot water then drained
1/2 cup sugar
2 Tbsp cinnamon

In a large bowl, mix together water, butter, milk and sugar. Sprinkle yeast on top and stir once. Wait about ten minutes until the top is foamy.

Add egg and salt, beating well. Stir in 2 cups flour and mix well. Wait ten minutes.

Knead in flour one half cup at a time until smooth and elastic. Don't add in more flour than needed - you want these to be nice and fluffy!

Put the dough back in the bowl (oiled) and cover gently with plastic wrap. Let rise an hour or until doubled in size. Punch the dough down. Roll it out on parchment paper into a rectangle about 1/2 thick.

Sprinkle the sugar and cinnamon on evenly, going out to the edges of the dough. Next, add the apples and raisins.

Gently roll the dough up from one of the shorter sides. Lift up on the parchment paper to help the rolling process. It should roll up nicely, without sagging or losing its filling. Once you reach the other end, gently pinch together to seal the seam and the ends.

Cut slits in the dough every 2 inches. Bake at 350 degrees until browned. Cover with aluminum foil then cook another 20 minutes to be sure the inside is fully cooked. Once cooked, slice thickly and serve!

Spicy sausage pizza

1 batch favorite pizza crust
2-3 cups marinara sauce
2 cups shredded mozzarella
1 cups Country sausage

Gently stretch and roll the dough out onto a pizza stone or baking sheet. Top with marinara, then cheese. Sprinkle sausage evenly on top, then a few pinches of rosemary.

Let the pizza sit while the oven preheats to 425 degrees. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until browned.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Late night doughnuts

1/8 cup hot water
1/6 cup melted butter
3/4 milk, warm
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg, beaten
1 Tbsp yeast
2 1/2 - 4 cups flour

In a large bowl, mix together water, butter, milk and sugar. Sprinkle yeast on top and stir once. Wait about ten minutes until the top is foamy.

Add egg and salt, beating well. Stir in 2 cups flour and mix well. Wait ten minutes.

Knead in flour one half cup at a time until smooth and elastic. Don't add in more flour than needed - you want these to be nice and fluffy!

Put the dough back in the bowl (oiled) and cover gently with plastic wrap. Let rise an hour or until doubled in size. Punch the dough down.

Using a knife, cut the dough into small pieces about the size of a golfball. Roll into a ball, pinching the ends to form a little belly button. Dip the balls in milk, then place them on baking sheet about one inch apart. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise again until doubled.

Heat oil to med-high heat. Carefully put one doughnut in the oil. If it browns immediately, your oil is too hot. If it take a minute or two to brown, it's too low.

Cook until deep brown, flipping to cook evenly. Put the doughnuts on a paper towel. Sprinkle with powdered sugar or cinnamon sugar.

Best made after 10 pm as a late night snack

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Grilled chili cheese sandwich

2 slices of wheat bread
Sliced Gouda or Cheddar cheese
1/2 cup black bean chili, heated

Butter one side of each slice of bread. Place butter side down in a frying pan heated to med-high. Put cheese slices on one piece of bread and carefully spread the chili on the other slice.

Lift a corner of the bread with spatule to check on browning. Once done to your liking, put the chili covered slice onto a plate. Then top it with the cheese covered bread.

Peanut butter & apple oatmeal

I love peanut butter on apples for a snack, and I also like peanut butter oatmeal cookies. So I got to thinking...and it worked!

1 cup cooked oatmeal
1 Tbsp milk
1 Tbsp peanut butter
1/2 Granny Smith apple, chopped
Maple syrup

While the oatmeal is still very hot, spoon in the milk and peanut butter and stir until melted. Add chopped apple (ooh! raisins could be good too) and maple syrup to taste. All done!

Friday, October 19, 2007

Groceries in Lyon

I've compiled a list of where to a few grocery items that I've "discovered" since moving to Lyon. Please let me know if you have any additions (either items or stores) or if you

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Sesame foccacia bread

1 teaspoon honey
1 package dry yeast (about 2 1/4 teaspoons)
1 1/4 cups warm water (100° to 110°)
1 1/2 cups flour
2 tablespoons olive oil

To prepare sponge, dissolve honey and yeast in warm water in a large bowl. Let stand 5 minutes. Add flour and 2 tablespoons oil to yeast mixture, stirring until well combined. Cover and let rise in a warm place for one hour.
1 cup flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon seasame seeds
To prepare dough, stir 1 cup flour, whole wheat flour, 1 teaspoon salt, and sesame seeds into yeast mixture. Beat with a mixer at medium speed 6 minutes or until dough is smooth and elastic (dough will be sticky). Cover and let rise in a warm place 1 1/2 hours or until doubled in size.
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon sesame seeds
1/2 teaspoon salt

Scrape dough onto parchment paper. Gently press dough into a 12 x 8-inch rectangle. Brush dough with oil. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and salt. Cover and let rest 30 minutes. Preheat oven and baking stone to 400 degrees. Once oven is hot, bake foccacia for 25 minutes or until golden brown.

Spiced butternut squash stew

I admit the photo doesn't do much for me either - but this stew is amaaaazing. Such an exciting blend of tastes (sweet, spicy, savory and tangy) that it's really not like anything else I've ever had.

1 lb pork roast, cut into 1-inch cubes
1/2 teaspoon pepper
3 Tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 Tbsp tomato paste
1 Tbsp Hungarian paprika
1 tsp beef bouillon
dash ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 large butternut squash, peeled, seeded, cut into 1-inch cubes
1-2 carrots, sliced into rounds
2 cups cooked white beans or chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
1 large tomato, chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
1/4 cup lemon juice (crucial - do not skip this!)

Sprinkle pepper on the meat. In a large skillet (with tight-fitting lid), heat 2 Tbsp of the olive oil. Add the meat and cook over mediumheat, stirring, until all the juices evaporate, about 5 minutes. Add the onion and cook stirring, until lightly browned, about 10 minutes.

Add tomato paste, 1 Tbsp of paprika and 1/8 teaspoon of red pepper flakes. Cook, stirring until the mixture begins to carmelize. Add 1 1/2 cups of water and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce the heat to a low simmer. Simmer until the meat is tender, about 45 minutes.

Add the squash, beans, tomato, garlic, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and enough water to just cover the ingredients. Cover and cook until the squash is tender, about 30 minutes.

Using a ladle, pull off as much liquid as you can into a deep container. Add about 1 cup of cooked squash pieces and lemon juice. Puree using a stick blender (or electric mixer). Pour back into stew - and you're ready to serve!

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Veggie pasta with goat cheese

2 cups tomato sauce
2-3 Tbsp tomato paste
1 small onion, chopped
3-4 cloves garlic (or more!), chopped
1 zuchinni
2 yellow squash
1/2 cup cooked carrot puree
1 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp rosemary
1/2 tsp oregano
2 tsp sugar
5-10 fresh basil leaves, cut thinly
salt to taste
2 tsp olive oil
Goat cheese
Hot pasta

Heat olive oil in a large frying pan. Saute onions until translucent, then add garlic, zuchinni and squash. Cook over medium heat until squash is tender.

Add tomato sauce and paste, carrot puree, seasonings and sugar. Simmer on low for 20-30 minutes. Serve over hot pasta, topped wityh crumbled goat cheese.

Everything nice spice cookies

1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 large egg
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice

Combine sugars and butter in a large bowl. Beat with a mixer at medium speed until light and fluffy. Add vanilla and egg, beating well. In a separate bowl, combine flours and reamining ingrediants, stirring with a whisk. Add flour mixture to sugar mixture. Beat at low speed until well blended.

Shape the dough into 30 balls. Place on baking sheets and flatten cookies with bottom of a glass.

Bake in preheated oven at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.

Drizzle with sauce caramel for extra yumminess.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Pucker-up lemon meringue pie

1 cup sugar
2 Tbsp flour
3 Tbsp cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup water
4 lemons, juiced and zested
2 Tbsp butter
4 egg yolks, beaten
1 (9 inch) pie crust, baked
4 egg whites
6 Tbsp sugar

In a medium saucepan, whisk together sugar, flour, cornstarch, and salt. Stir in water, lemon juice and lemon zest. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until mixture comes to a boil. Stir in butter.

Place egg yolks in a small bowl and gradually whisk in 1/2 cup of hot sugar mixture. Whisk egg yolk mixture back into remaining sugar mixture. Bring to a boil and continue to cook while stirring constantly until thick. Remove from heat. Pour filling into baked pastry shell.

In a large glass or metal bowl, whip egg whites until foamy. Add 6 Tbsp sugar gradually, and continue to whip until stiff peaks form. Spread meringue over pie, sealing the edges at the crust.

Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes, or until meringue is golden brown. Let cool completely, then chill well for a few hours before serving.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Boeuf Daube Provencal

There is quite a drama behind this recipe.

My Cooking Light magazine arrived and had a recipe for Boaef Daube Provencal, a dish I'd never heard of but looked yummy and do-able. I decided I'd compare their recipe with Julia Child's from her famous Mastering the Art of French Cooking. It was apples and oranges, I tell you.

The Cooking Light version was a stew (which they described as, "classic French braised beef, red wine, and vegetable stew is simple and delicious. It stands above all of our other beef recipes because it offers the homey comfort and convenience of pot roast yet is versatile and sophisticated enough for entertaining. Garnish with chopped fresh thyme"), but Madame Child's was a casserole, kind of like a layered meat dish.

Both looked good, but it was obvious that Cooking Light just needed a fancy name for their beef stew. So I combined the best of both, in my humble opinion. The result was what I'd call a rich stew that we ate over garlic mashed potatoes.

2 teaspoons olive oil
12 garlic cloves, crushed
1 (2-pound) boneless chuck roast, trimmed and cut into 2-inch cubes
1/2 lb bacon or poitrine fumee, cut into thick slices
1 1/2 teaspoons salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
1 cup red wine (I used a Cote du Rhone)
4 cups chopped carrot (I like a lot!)
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
1 1/2 cups sliced mushrooms
1/2 cup beef broth
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 tsp rosemary
1/2 tsp thyme
Dash ground cloves
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 bay leaf

Heat olive oil in a small Dutch oven over low heat. Add garlic to pan; cook for 5 minutes or until garlic is fragrant, stirring occasionally. Remove garlic with a slotted spoon and set aside.

Increase heat to medium-high. Cook bacon until browned. Remove and set aside.

Add beef to pan. Sprinkle beef with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Cook 5 minutes, browning on all sides. Remove beef from pan. Add wine to pan, and bring to a boil, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Add garlic, beef, bacon, remaining 1 teaspoon salt, remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper, carrot, and remaining ingredients to pan. Bring to a boil.

Remove from heat and pour into earthenware baking dish.Cover and bake at 300 degrees for 2 1/2 hours or until beef is tender. Discard bay leaf and serve over garlic mashed potatoes.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Coffee banana bread

I love banana bread. I love coffee. I hate not living near a Starbucks to enjoy all their yummy fall specialties. Here's my solution: coffee banana bread with lots of warm spices! (Recipe dedicated to Kate.)

1 1/2 cups flour
2/3 cup sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves
2 eggs, beaten
2 Tbsp melted butter
2 Tbsp milk (or light cream)
1/4 cup espresso or very strong coffee
2-3 very ripe bananas, mashed well

In a large bowl, mix dry ingredients. In a separate bowl mix remaining ingredients. Add wet to dry and stir until flour disappears - but not longer. Pour into non-stick loaf pan.

Bake in preheated oven at 350 degrees for 35 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Take out of oven and remove loaf from pan. Cool completely. Store in airtight container or Ziploc. Freezes well!

Monday, October 01, 2007

Chicken a la king

1/2 recipe Brilliant chicken, thawed
1 cup milk
1/2 cup light cream
Southern girl's cornbread

Mix together Brilliant chicken, milk and cream. Heat slowly, allowing sauce to thicken.

Serve over hot cornbread.

Savory chicken pot pie

1/2 recipe Brilliant chicken, thawed
1 prepared pastry crust, unbaked
2 large potatoes, diced
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup light cream

Boil the potatoes until just soft. Drain well and stir into warmed Brilliant chicken. Add milk and cream, heating slowly and never allowing it to boil. Stir often, letting it thicken slowly.

Roll out the pastry crust and place ina small cast iron skillet or round cake pan. Pour Brilliant chicken mixture into pastry crust. Pull the pastry edges toward to center.

Bake in preheated oven at 375 for 15-20 minutes or until browned.
PS - Why call it 'savory' pot pie? So as not to confuse it with my recipe for Curried chicken pot pie.

Brilliant chicken

The other night I was making chicken a la king and had an epiphany. The basic recipe, up to a certain point, is the same thing I do when I make chicken pot pie. Hmmm... Why not save time by making a double batch of the basic recipe and freezing half for later in the week? Brilliant!

This makes enough for a 4-serving chicken pot pie and 4 servings of a la king, which I recommend serving over Southern Girl's cornbread.

3-4 cups cooked chicken, chopped
2 cups chicken broth (4 tsp chicken bouillon + 2 cups warm water)
2 tsp butter
1 small onion, chopped
4 carrots, peeled and sliced thinly
2-3 ribs celery, chopped
1/2 tsp thyme
1/4 tsp rosemary
2 pinches ground nutmeg
salt and pepper
2 Tbsp flour
3 cups frozen sliced mushrooms, thawed
2 cups peas

In a large saucepan, melt butter. Heat to med-high and add onions, celery and carrots. Cook until carrots are brightly colored and just starting to soften. Stir frequently. If the veggies begin to stick to the pan, add a few spoonfuls of chicken bouillon. Sprinkle flour over top. Stir until evenly blended.

Stir in chicken, seasonings, mushrooms, peas and remaining broth.

The Brilliant chicken is finished! You can divide it and freeze half in Ziploc bag for later. Now the big question: Do you want to make chicken pot pie or chicken a la king?