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Archive for February, 2008

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To make the croutons: Cube angel food cake and place on foil covered baking sheet. Place it as close under the broiler as your oven will allow and watch it carefully. The cubes will brown in seconds and can go from perfect to burnt and become smoke detector fodder in the blink of an eye. I kept the door ajar and crouched outside the oven watching it with an eagle eye. Remove the tray and turn the cubes to brown them evenly. Turn them into any imaginable form of dessert that you can come up with or just pop them in your mouth.

(jump for the Blueberry Sauce recipe) (more…)

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Pizza Crust

1 T. yeast
1 T. sugar
1 1/3 c. warm water
3 c. flour
1/4 c. corn meal
3 T. Olive Oil
1 t. salt

In a stand mixer bowl dissolve the yeast in 1/3 c. warm water.
Add remaining ingredients, and with dough hook, mix and knead until dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl and forms a ball. Additional flour may be needed in this process. Continue to knead for about 2 minutes until dough is pliable.

Remove dough from mixing bowl and put into large oiled bowl to rise. Put in a warm place free of drafts and allow to rise until doubled in bulk. Punch down, separate into two pieces and stretch or roll into desired shape. Top with choices and bake.

RECIPE NOTES: when I added dry herbs I put them in with the flour and cornmeal but they likely can be added at any point during the kneading process. I used an italian herb mix with parsley, rosemary, basil and thyme.

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Chicken Alfredo Vegetable Soup with Tortellini

2 large carrots, peeled and diced
1 medium onion, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
3 boneless chicken breast, cut into bite size pieces
2 qts chicken or vegetable stock
2 t. dried basil
1 t. dried oregano
salt and pepper
2 c. frozen cheese filled tortellini
1 jar prepared alfredo sauce (i used Bertolli Roasted Red pepper flavor)

In a large stockpot, saute vegetables in olive oil until soft. Stir in basil and oregano. Season chicken with salt and pepper and add to pot, stirring occasionally until partially cooked. Add in stock, bring to a boil and allow to simmer until vegetables are tender and chicken is cooked through, stirring occasionally. Add in tortellini and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in alfredo sauce, taste and season with salt and pepper if needed.

If thicker soup is desired, make a paste of 2 T. soft butter and 2 T. flour and stir into soup. Allow to cook for 2-3 minutes to cook off raw flour taste. Use more butter and flour if a thicker soup is your thing.

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Chicken Paprikash

(from ‘Simply Stews- More than 100 Savory One Pot Meals by Susan Wyler)

2 pkgs boneless chicken thighs, trimmed of excess fat
1 medium onion, diced
4 medium carrots, peeled and diced
1 qt. chicken stock
2 T. sweet hungarian paprika
1 c. sour cream

Oil, salt and pepper

In a deep saucepan, heat oil and saute onion over medium heat until browned and tender, about 8-10 minutes, stirring frequently. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper and add to pan in batches, searing each side well. Sprinkle with 2 T. of paprika, add in carrots and chicken stock and stir to combine. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, 1-1 1/2 hours until meat is very tender. Remove chicken to plate, stir in sour cream and whisk to combine. Do not allow to boil. Add chicken back to pot and heat gently. Serve over spaetzle.

Spaetzle

4 eggs
6 oz milk
1/2 t. pepper
1/2 t. salt
nutmeg to taste
12 oz flour

Whisk eggs, milk and seasonings until well combined. Add in flour and gently blend with fork until incorporated. Allow to rest for 15 minutes. Heat salted water to a boil and using a spaetzle cutter, add in dough only enough to cover surface of water. Cook until a creamy white, remove from water with mesh sieve and drain in colander. When all dough is done, heat 4 T. butter in a large skillet over medium heat, and when browned, add spaetzle. Allow to cook without stirring for several minutes, then stir or shake pan gently to redistribute. Heat through, season with salt and pepper if needed and serve with Paprikash.

RECIPE NOTES: I subbed in the thighs; the original recipe called for a whole cut up chicken but thighs are my favorite. I added in a few boneless breast pieces for Mike as he prefers white. The original recipe had no carrots, and I thought it needed something for color. Squash would also do well in this. Be careful about mixing the spaetzle dough too much as it can toughen it. After it rests, if it seems too thick (as in it won’t easily dribble off a spoon) gently stir in a little more milk to thin it out. When you put the dough in the spaetzle cutter, it should begin to drip easily through the holes; if it doesn’t it’s too thick. In addition to the sour cream at the end, I added a small amount of flour/water paste (slurry) to thicken it a bit more. If you do this, be sure to cook for 2-3 minutes (not boiling or the sour cream will curdle) to cook out the raw flour taste, then season with S&P.

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