Sunday, April 23, 2017

Slow Cooker BBQ Ribs

I can not think of an easier dinner. I put the ribs in the crock pot at 9AM and we sat down for a delicious dinner at 6PM. I made this recipe back in September of last year. It is from the Stay At Home Chef Blog. Click here the recipe for Crock Pot Ribs.

I made a rub of onion powder, paprika, salt and pepper. I did not remove the membrane for the under side of the ribs as the original recipe suggests. I brushed both sides of the ribs with BBQ Sauce. I used Stubbs Original. 8 hours in the slow cooker. I removed the ribs from the Slow Cooker and placed them on a aluminum foil lined cookie sheet (easy clean up is so important). I brushed the ribs with more sauce. They went under the broiler set on low for almost 5 minutes. They were tender and the BBQ sauce was caramelized.

The side dish was Potato Salad!

1 1/2 pounds unpeeled potatoes cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-cubes1 bunch radishes, trimmed, sliced
1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
1/4 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Steam potatoes on steamer rack set in large pot over boiling water until almost tender, about 10 minutes. Transfer potatoes to large bowl. Cool slightly. Add radishes and onion.

Whisk next 4 ingredients in small bowl to blend. Whisk in Parmesan. Season dressing with salt and generous amount of pepper. Add dressing to potato mixture; toss to coat. Season with more salt and pepper, if desired. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Cooking With Nonna

I bought my brother-in-law the cookbook, Cooking with Nonna, for his birthday. I have been following the Cooking with Nonna blog for awhile. This is where you can find those recipes that your grandmothers and aunts cooked when you were growing up. When I purchased the book for Ralph I got myself the Kindle version. This week we had 3 meals from the book. I will not be putting the recipes on my blog because I think you should buy the book. Sorry, but it is filled with recipes you will want to try. Trust me.

Pasta Fagioli. The recipe in the book called for dried beans. Well, of course, I did not have time to soak and cook the beans so I used canned beans. Wow, this is the recipe I have been searching for. This may be my go to Pasta Fagioli recipe.

Lemon Chicken. I can not even attempt to describe how moist and delicious this was. The recipe is similar to the chicken cutlet recipe I have been using but the cutlets are fried. The sauce of chicken broth, white wine, and lemon juice so light and flavorful.

And the Stuffed Artichoke. Wow! The recipe in the book instructs you to scoop out more of the inside of the artichoke than other recipes I have used. The bread crumbs are toasted, yes I used fresh breadcrumbs.  An absolutely perfect dish and Chris ate more of the artichoke than he usually does.

Thank you to all the Nonnas that helped write this book.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Saturday Afternoon Baking - Toffee Shortbread

Someone was looking for cookies last night. Today I made a new recipe. Literally! Toffee Shortbread. I love shortbread cookies. Shortbread is a blank canvas waiting for whatever flavors you want to add to it. I had some toffee chips in the pantry. I found a couple of recipes to use as guides. This is what I came up with. And damn they are good!

Toffee Shortbread

½ cup butter softened
⅓ cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1¼ cups all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup toffee candy crumbs

Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

Cream the butter in the bowl of an electric mixer. Add the sugar and beat until fluffy, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add vanilla. Add the flour and salt and mix until just combined. Add Toffee candy crumbs. Combine. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and flatten into a 1” disk. Roll the dough on a lightly floured surface until about ¼“ thick.

Cut out in desired shapes. Transfer to the baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes or until the edges are lightly browned.

Remove from the oven and transfer the cookies to wire racks to cool. 

Adult "SpaghettiOs"

Neither Chris nor I have ever had "SpaghettiOs" from the can. Even without having something to compare it to we love this dinner. The recipe is from Bon Appetit. The sauce used ingredients that I never add to a sauce. Paprika and sugar. I know some sauce recipes call for sugar but my Mom never added it. It was quite delicious. And the meatballs were fried. Another thing I don't do. This is something I may start to do. How often do we have meatballs? Frying them once in a while should be okay...
2 28-ounce cans whole peeled tomatoes
¼ cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
1 tablespoon coarsely grated Parmesan, plus more for serving
½ teaspoon dried oregano

¼ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, plus more
Kosher salt
1 large egg, beaten to blend
5 tablespoons heavy cream
1 pound
2 tablespoons olive oil
½ medium onion, finely chopped
1 large garlic clove, finely grated
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 teaspoons sweet paprika
1 tablespoon sugar
4 large sprigs basil
12 ounces anelletti, ditalini, or other short tubular pasta

Purée tomatoes in a food processor until mostly smooth; there should still be some dime-sized pieces remaining. Set aside.

Whisk panko, cheese, oregano, garlic powder, ¼ tsp. red pepper flakes, and 1½ tsp. salt in a medium bowl. Whisk in egg and cream. Add beef and mix with your hands until just combined, being careful not to overwork (if packed too firmly, meatballs will be dense). Form into 1"-diameter balls (you should have about 24); transfer to a plate.

Heat oil in a large skillet, preferably cast iron, over medium-high. Cook meatballs, turning occasionally until lightly browned on all sides but not fully cooked through about 5 minutes. Transfer to another plate.

Cook onion and garlic in the same skillet, stirring occasionally until onion is translucent and begins to soften, about 5 minutes; season with salt and pepper. Add tomato paste and cook until brick red, about 1 minute. Add paprika and a pinch of red pepper flakes and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add sugar, basil, and reserved tomato purée. Reduce heat and simmer until sauce is slightly reduced and flavors have melded about 20 minutes. Add meatballs and any accumulated juices; continue to cook until meatballs are cooked through, 5–10 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally, until al dente. Drain and return to pasta pot. Pour sauce and meatballs over pasta and stir to combine. Transfer to a platter and top with cheese.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Pizza Pie

It seems like it has been forever since we have had pizza on a Sunday night. Tonight's was especially delicious with Roasted Sausage and Peppers for a topping. The crust was crispy and the sauce was perfect.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Black Bean Soup and Cheddar Scones

Not sure which I liked better. The soup or the scones. The soup was so darn easy to make but the scones were very, very good.

Black Bean Soup

1 tbsp. vegetable oil
1/2 onion, chopped
1 chopped red pepper
1/2 tsp. cumin
1 1/2 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. oregano
2 cans (15 oz.) Black Beans (drain liquid from 1 can)
Black pepper to taste

In a large pot over medium heat, cook onion and pepper in hot oil for five minutes.
Stir in cumin, chili powder and oregano. Puree one can of beans (the can that was not drained) add to pot. Add remaining can of beans, the can that was drained. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring often. Add black pepper to taste. Garnish with salsa, shredded cheese or fresh herbs on top.

I found this scone recipe on Delicious scones. I made half of the recipe and it was plenty for us with leftovers.

2 1⁄4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 1⁄2 teaspoons baking powder
1⁄2 teaspoon baking soda
1⁄4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
1⁄2 cup cold butter, cubed
1 cup old cheddar cheese, shredded
1 cup buttermilk
1 egg, lightly beaten

Method -
In a large bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cayenne pepper and salt.

Using a pastry blender or two knives, cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

Stir in the cheese.

Add the buttermilk all at once, stirring with a fork to make a soft, sticky dough.

With lightly floured hands, press the dough into a ball.

On a lightly floured surface, knead gently 10 times.

Pat out the dough into a 3/4-inch thick round.

Using a 2-1/2-inch floured cutter, cut out rounds.

Place on a ungreased baking sheet.

Gather up the scraps and repeat dough once; cut out more rounds.

Brush the tops of the scones with egg.

Bake in a 425 degree F oven for 12 to 15 minutes or until golden.

Behind the scenes at So What Are You Making For Dinner?

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Lentils and Egg Stew and Homemade Bread

You know the routine by now. It snows and I bake bread. Today was Blizzard Stella. It was more stress than snow. They forecast high winds and wide spread power outages. I hate loosing power. We do not have a generator and we have well water. Thank God we did not loose power. If we did how would I have baked my bread?

This recipe is an oldie! I cut it out of Cooking Light Magazine in 1994. French Wheat Baguettes.

2 1/4 tsp dry yeast
1 c Whole-wheat flour
1 1/2 tsp Salt
3 1/4 c Bread flour
1 tsp Sugar
1 1/2 c warm, water, (105˚ to115˚), divided
Vegetable cooking spray
1 tbsp Cornmeal  

Dissolve yeast and sugar in 1/2 cup warm water in a small bowl; let stand 5 minutes. 

Place bread flour, whole-wheat flour, and salt in food processor, and pulse 4 times or until blended. With processor on, slowly add yeast mixture and remaining 1 cup warm water through food chute; process until dough leaves sides of bowl and forms a ball. Process 15 additional seconds. 

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead 3 or 4 times. Place the dough in a large bowl coated with cooking spray, turning to coat top. Cover and let rise in a warm place (85 degrees), free from drafts, 45 minutes or until doubled in bulk. 

Punch the dough down, and turn out onto a lightly floured surface; knead 3 or 4 times. Cover and let rest 5 minutes. Divide the dough in half, and roll each portion into a 17 x 9-inch rectangle. Roll up each rectangle, starting with a long edge, pressing firmly to eliminate air pockets; pinch ends to seal. Place each roll, seam side down, in an 18-inch-long baguette pan coated with cooking spray and sprinkled with cornmeal. Cover and let rise 45 minutes or until doubled in bulk. 

Uncover the dough; using a sharp knife, make 6 diagonal cuts 1/4 inch deep across top of loaves. Spray loaves with water. Bake at 400 degrees for 25 minutes or until loaves sound hollow when tapped. Remove from pans; cool on wire racks. Yield: 2 loaves, 12 servings per loaf. 

Dinner was Lentil and Egg Stew from Bon Appetit. Comfort food at the end of a stormy day.

 Lucy rode out the storm next to the heat vent.