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Showing posts from December, 2015

Chocolate Pecan Pie

I was given this recipe a long time ago from a friend who got it from her mother-in-law. It has some notes on it. It was apparently taken from a newspaper, from a book called Around the Southern Table. I have no idea whether this is the actual book? But that is what I found. I changed things up, of course, this time because of stupidity rather than creativity. More on that later...

Chocolate Pecan Pie

1 pie crust (this is the crust I used)
4T butter
7oz bittersweet chocolate, rough chopped
2 eggs
1/2 c sugar
1/2 c dark corn syrup
1/4 c heavy cream
1 t vanilla
2T bourbon (I used Jack Daniels)
1 1/2 c coarsely chopped pecans

Blind bake* the pie crust in a 9" pie pan. Set aside.

In a skillet toast pecans. (Or you can put them on a baking sheet and toast them while blind baking the crust). In a saucepan heat butter and chocolate until melted. Set aside to slightly cool. In a mixer beat the eggs until light and fluffy. Beat in sugar and corn syrup until combined. Add heavy cream, vani…

Pie Crust

There are a lot of pie crusts out there let me tell you. Some fight you every inch of the way, others don't. I found this one to produce quite a tender crust and not to fight you too much.

Pie Crust (Adapted from A New Way to Cook - was it a new way? No-not really)

1 c flour
1T sugar (additional if using for a sweet crust)
1/4 t baking powder
1/2 t Kosher salt
4 T cold butter, cubed
3T sour cream

In a food processor mix flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add butter and pulse several times until it looks like crumbly almost like cornmeal. Place the food processor bowl in the refrigerator for 15 minutes. Add the sour cream and pulse until the dough comes together. Form it into a disk, wrap it in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Roll dough out to desired size (fits a 9" pie rather nicely). Prepare as directed by recipe.

I didn't take any pictures of the process. Actually, I think pie crust usually just looks like pie crust. However, I will provide a…

Cranberry Pot Roast

Sorry - this is going to be a boring all text posting. I hadn't made pot roast in ages and I was so anxious to dig in that I forgot to take a picture. Besides pot roast is not necessarily the most attractive photo - now is it? It's sort of all brown. I had some leftover cranberry sauce from Thanksgiving sitting in the refrigerator and decided to put it to good use.

Cranberry Pot Roast (Adapted from my refrigerator)

3lb chuck roast
1T canola oil
2 cinnamon sticks
5 whole cloves
1/4 c cranberry sauce
2 c red wine

For Gravy:
2T butter
2T flour

Dry roast with paper towels. Salt and pepper roast. Heat a dutch oven over high heat until it is really hot. Add canola oil and sear meat on all sides. Add cinnamon stick, cloves, cranberry sauce, and wine. You might need additional wine. You want to have it come about 3/4 of the way up the meat. Cover and simmer for about 3 hours or until tender, checking periodically that additional wine is not needed. Set aside meat on a pla…

Roasted Eggplant Spread

This is such a simple recipe and even people that don't like eggplant like it (they don't realize what it is). You basically roast everything and then throw it in a food processor. It might not look like the most attractive, but it certainly tastes good. Look at pineapples - they look awful but are really quite tasty. Some things just look not so good.
Roasted Eggplant Spread (Adapted from Ina Garten)

1 medium eggplant
1 onion
1 small head garlic, peeled
3 T olive oil
1T tomato paste
Cut eggplant and onion into 1" cubes. Toss them with the garlic, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Spread on a pan lined with a Silpat (or lined with foil). Roast at 400 for 45 minutes, or until browned and soft. Toss once or twice during cooking. Cool slightly. Place ingredients into a food processor, add the tomato paste and pulse 3 or 4 times. Serve on crackers.

Ina adds bell peppers. I'm not a huge pepper fan. To me peppers usually overpower the taste - probably because I don&…

Dolce Milanese

If you are having a nice lazy day but want to warm up the house with a little oven action, this is a nice recipe. It does take a little bit of time, but it is not hands on time. There is a lot of waiting around. I think you could probably even make the sponge and refrigerate it overnight.

Dolce Milanese (Milan Sweet Bread - Adapted from The Italian Baker)

3 c raisins
4 c water

1 1/2 c water from the raisin soak
3 3/4 t yeast
2 1/2 sugar
1 c bread flour


3T dark spiced rum (Captain Morgan)
1T orange zest
2 1/2 c bread flour
1 c butter (2 sticks)

3-4 T flour
1 egg

Soak raisins in water for 1-2 hours until plumped up. Reserve 1 1/2 c water while draining the raisins. Set aside raisins.

Make the sponge: Slightly warm water. Place water, yeast, and sugar in a mixing bowl. Let sit for 10 minutes until foamy. Stir in flour until smooth. Cover and let sit until doubled - about 45 minutes to an hour.

Make the dough: Add rum, orange zest, and flour to the sponge. Mix with…

Giant Potato Pancake

OK - so it's really a Potato Kugel. I'm calling it a potato pancake because I thought a Kugel was made with noodles?? But what do I know? When I first saw this, it was one of those recipes that I needed to make immediately. I've made potato pancakes before and they do come out delicious but they are a lot of work. Drying out all those potatoes and frying - ugh! This recipe is so easy and comes out just as good.

Giant Potato Pancake (Adapted from Smitten Kitchen)

2 onions
3 lbs potato (baking potato)*
3 green onions, chopped
1/3 c flour
2 t Kosher salt
3 eggs
4T duck fat (or olive oil)
1T olive oil

Buzz up the onions in a food processor with the regular blade. Empty into a large bowl. Change to grating blade and grate potatoes. Place in bowl. Add green onions, flour, and salt/pepper. Gently toss with hands. Add eggs and toss until evenly coated. Heat duck fat in a large cast iron skillet until really hot. Carefully pour in potato mixture and spread evenly. Drizzle o…

Cinnamon Star Bread

I was very perplexed by this recipe. I could not figure out by the directions how it got into this shape. I understood the twisting part but then was at a loss. The website didn't have a video or pictures - was I just being dense? Well once I cut the dough into the 16 pieces and twisted - DUH - it was a little clearer. I decided to include pictures for those of you that need a visual.

Cinnamon Star Bread (Adapted from King Arthur Flour)

3/4 c warm milk (100-110 degrees)
2T sugar
2 t yeast
4T butter
2 c flour
1 t salt
1/3 c instant mashed potato flakes*
1 t vanilla

1 lg egg, beaten
1/3 c sugar
2T cinnamon

Combine milk, sugar, and yeast in a small measuring cup. Mix well and set aside. Place butter, flour, salt, instant mashed potatoes and vanilla in a large bowl. After yeast is bubbly add to dry ingredients. Mix with dough hook until dough is smooth and soft. (Or mix by hand and then knead by hand until smooth and soft). Place in a greased bowl and let sit for 1 hour or un…

Worcestershire Sauce

A while ago I mentioned that I made my own Worcestershire sauce (why do I always want to put another 'h' in there?? will I ever learn how to spell it?).  Well I was out of it and needed to cook up another batch. So here goes...

Worcestershire Sauce (Adapted from Make the Bread, Buy the Butter)

3 T olive oil
2 large onions, chopped
1T kosher salt
1 serrano chile (chopped)
2 T garlic, minced
1 t pepper
4 oz anchioves
1/4 t cloves, ground
1 lemon, peel and removed
2 c dark corn syrup
1 c molasses
4 c white vinegar
2 heaping T horseradish

Cook onions in olive oil with the salt until caramelized - about 15-20 minutes. Add serrano and garlic and cook for a 1 minute or two. Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 6 hours. Stir occasionally. The sauce should be thickened and coat the back of a spoon. Strain through a mesh strainer and let cool. Bottle it up and away you go.
Yes it's lot of ingredients but it makes a huge batch - enough to…

Green Beans with Preserved Lemons

Remember when I made these preserved lemons? Well I was thinking about what to make for a vegetable side dish for Thanksgiving and I hit upon haricot verts with preserved lemons. I really do like haricot verts better than regular old green beans - they are much thinner and just tastier. I'm sure it's just psychological but C'est La Vie (since I'm in a French sort of mood). This is such an easy recipe that it need not be saved for a special occasion.

Green Beans with Preserved Lemons

1lb haricot verts
1 preserved lemon
olive oil

Steam haricot verts until just tender but  they still have a little crunch. Do not fully cover the pot while steaming as this leaves them with a murky green color. Leave the cover partially on the pot (trust me they will look nice and green). Place preserved lemon in a food processor and stream in olive oil until desired consistency. Pour over haricot verts and serve.

I actually ended up using only half a lemon because it was a mutant lemon (I&…