Saturday, January 29, 2011

Caramel-Cinnamon Pull-Aparts

Here's another one that's very easy (frozen rolls, packaged pudding). It's NOT labor intensive, but does need to be started hours in advance.

1 pkg frozen Rhodes dinner rolls
½ C butter
1 C brown sugar
2 Tbls milk
1 lg pkg vanilla cook-and-serve pudding
(NOT instant)
3 tsp cinnamon

Grease 9x13 pan* (coat with non-stick cooking spray). Lay frozen rolls in a single layer in pan. Melt butter; add remaining ingredients, stirring until smooth. Pour over frozen rolls. Cover loosely and leave out to raise for at least five hours or overnight. Bake at 350° 35 minutes. Cover rolls with foil during final 10 minutes so tops don't brown too much.

* I often split the recipe between two smaller pans if I'm cooking for smaller numbers. I cover and re-freeze one pan before the rolls even begin to thaw or rise.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Chocolate Fondue

So delicious!

1 C evaporated milk
12 oz chocolate pieces
1 tsp vanilla

Combine all ingredients in a saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until chocolate is melted. Transfer to fondue pot (or crock pot, like I do). Serve with sliced fruit, or cubed bread, yellow cake, angel food cake...

The chocolate : suit your taste: milk, semi-sweet, dark... The evaporataed milk : lots of similar recipes us heavy cream in roughly the same proportions; either will work.

For a tastey twist, try adding a shot of espresso or strong coffee (may need to reduce the milk or cream), or a tablespoon or two of your favorite liqueur or syrup.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Orange-Coriander Chicken with Bacon & Sweet Potatoes

The orange juice and thyme/coriander spices are a fresh flavor combination.

3 Tbls flour
4 tsp ground coriander
½ tsp thyme
½ tsp sea salt
½ tsp pepper
1½ lb boneless, skinless chicken
4 slices thick-cut bacon
1 onion, cut into 1" chunks
1 C chicken broth
1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1" chunks
1 medium zucchini, cut into ½" thick half-moon slices
½ C fresh orange juice

Mix flour, coriander, thyme, salt and pepper in a shallow dish. Coat chicken with flour mixture. Reserve remaining flour mixture.

Cook bacon in deep fry pan until crisp; drain on paper towels and slice or crumble into ½" thick pieces. Set aside. Reserve 2-3 Tbls drippings...add chicken and cook over medium heat 5 minutes or until lightly browned, turning once. Remove from pan.

Add onion to pan, cook 4 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Mix broth and reserved flour mixture with a wire whisk until smooth. Add to pan with sweet potatoes and mix well. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium low; cover and cook 15 minutes or until sweet potatoes are tender. Return chicken to pan; add zucchini and orange juice and return to boiling. Reduce heat; cover and simmer 5-10 minutes until zucchini is tender. Sprinkle with bacon before serving.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Cajun Country Pork Soutache

1 lb lean ground pork
½ C chopped onion
¼ C chopped celery
¼ C chopped green pepper
1 garlic clove, minced
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp ground red pepper
8 oz cream cheese, cubed
2 Tbls chopped green onion
2 Tbls chopped parsley
1 8-oz can refrigerated crescent dinner rolls
1 egg, beaten

Brown pork; drain. Add onions, celery, green peppers, garlic, salt and pepper. Cook over low heat about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add cream cheese, green onion and parsley; stir until cream cheese is melted. Remove from heat.

Unroll dough on lightly greased cookie sheet; firmly press perforations to seal seams. Press or roll to 12x10". Spoon pork mixture down the center of dough, leaving an inch of dough on each end and 3 inches along each side. Cut sides of dough into 1"-wide strips about 2" long (leave about an inch of dough next to the meat uncut.) Brush egg over dough strips. Fold ends of dough over filling. Alternating from side to side, lay strips of dough over filling, forming a roll resembling a thick braid. Brush dough with remaining egg.

Bake at 350° for 25 minutes or until golden brown.

Use your imagination to come up with meat/veggie/cheese filling variations. :)

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Chocolate Frozen Yogurt

4 cups whole milk plain yogurt
¾ C sugar
½ C cocoa powder
pinch salt
1 C milk
½ tsp vanilla
optional: 1 C chocolate chips (semi-sweet or white), chocolate covered pretzels, candy bar pieces, etc.

Strain the yogurt: Using cheese cloth (or heavy duty paper towels lining a collander) strain yogurt for about 2 hours. This removes excess liquid to prevent frozen yogurt from being too runny.

In a large bowl thoroughly mix strained yogurt, sugar, cocoa powder, salt, milk and vanilla. Whisk until sugar is dissolved. Cover and place in freezer for 2-3 hours.

Pour mixture into ice cream maker and mix until thickened (about 15-20 minutes). When frozen yogurt is almost done churning, add chocolate chips, pretzels, candy pieces or other 'stir ins'.

Frozen yogurt will be soft and creamy. For a firmer consistency, place in freezer for another 2+ hours.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Mushroom-herb Spaghetti

12 oz spaghetti
1 small onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 Tbls olive oil
16 oz sliced mushrooms
2 Tbls tomato paste
14 oz can diced tomatoes
1 Tbls chopped fresh rosemary
(or about ½ tsp dried)
salt & pepper
parmesan, chopped fresh oregano

In a frying pan over medium heat, cook onion and garlic in olive oil unitl softened. Add mushrooms and cook until browned. Att tomato paste, diced tomatoes, rosemary, salt and pepper. Simmer 10 minutes. Serve over cooked spaghetti.

Sprinkle with fresh grated parmesan and fresh chopped oregano. (Of course fresh is best...but use what you've got.) :)

Not quite as impressive as it looked/sounded, but the mushrooms are delicious.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Cornbread Stuffing (w/ sage & dried fruits)

2 qts cornbread, cubed
2 Tbls olive oil
1 white onion, chopped
½ C dried cranberries
½ C chopped dried apricots
1½ C chicken broth
2 eggs
½ tsp salt
2 Tbls chopped sage leaves

Cube 2 quarts of cornbread and let sit, uncovered, at room temperature 1 day. Bake at 350° for 15 minutes, until crisp. Set aside.

In a large fry pan, cook onion in olive oil until soft and dark brown - about 20 minutes. In a large bowl, mix onion with cranberries and apricots, chicken broth, eggs, salt and sage. Stir until thoroughly combined.

Gently stir in conrbread cubes. Transfer stuffing to a 9x13" casserole dish, lightly coated with non-stick cooking spray. Bake at 350° 40 minutes or until browned. Serves about 10.

I also have a Sourdough-Mushroom Stuffing recipe. Between these two, you could play around with what kind of bread you use and what other ingredients and spices you add (the mushroom/onions/leeks with parsley verses the cranberry/apricot with sage) and come up with some delicious alternatives. I've seen recipes with wheat or rye bread, sausage, apples, pears, thyme, rosemary...

Sourdough-Mushroom Stuffing

1 lb sourdough, cubed
2 Tbls olive oil
1 lb mushrooms, quartered
2 leeks,sliced
(mild onions can substitute)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 C chopped celery
1½+ C broth (chicken, beef or mushroom)
2 eggs
1 tsp salt
¼ C chopped parsley

Cube the sourdough bread and let sit, uncovered, at room temperature 1 day. In a large frying pan, sautée mushrooms, leeks, garlic and celery (about 5 minutes, until everything is softened). Transfer to a large bowl and add sourdough cubes. Gently mix in broth, eggs, salt and parsley.

Spoon stuffing into a 9x13" casserole dish lightly coated with non-stick cooking spray. Bake at 350° 45 minutes or until browned. Serves about 10.

Cheesecake Ice Cream

This is positively the richest ice cream I have ever tasted! I can't believe I'm saying this, but I might actually reduce the amount of cream cheese next time... All the same, it's DELICIOUS!

12 oz cream cheese
1 C sugar
½ tsp salt
¼ C mascarpone
1 C whole milk
2 tsp vanilla
¼ C sour cream

Blend cream cheese, sugar and salt until very smooth and creamy. Add mascarpone, stirring until thoroughly combined. Slowly mix in the milk and vanilla beating until very smooth. Fold in sour cream. Cover and refrigerate 1-2 hours.

Pour mixture into ice cream maker bowl and let mix until thickened, 15-20 minutes. If a firmer consistency is desired, transfer to an airtight container and return to freezer for 1-2 hours.

This is the basic recipe, but I think of mixing in raspberries, blackberries, strawberries, chocolate...

Classic Cheese Fondue

1 garlic clove
1 C dry white wine
1½ C shredded Swiss cheese
1½ c shredded gruyere cheese
1½ Tbls flour
1 tsp dry mustard

Peel and halve garlic clove and rub around the inside of fondue pot; discard clove. Pour wine into pot adn warm over medium heat until bubbles start to rise. (You can do this first step in a saucepan on the stove, especially if you--like me--don't have a fondue pot. I use my mini-crock pot.)

Mix cheeses with flour and dry mustard. Add cheese mixture to wine, a little at a time, stirring gently but thoroughly until cheese is melted and smooth. Sprinkle lightly with nutmeg and pepper.

Serve (stirring occasionally and scraping bottom of pot so fondue does not scorch) with crusty bread cut into cubes, apple or pear slices, sliced sausages cut into bite sized lenghts...