Monday, February 25, 2008
Pecan Sour Cream Biscuits
(Makes about 12 biscuits)
2 cups all-purpose flour (or 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour and 1/3 cup cake flour)
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup (packed) light brown sugar
5 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into 10 pieces
1/2 cup cold sour cream
1/4 cold whole milk
1/3 cup finely chopped pecans, preferably toasted
Getting Ready: Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Get out a sharp 2-inch-diameter biscuit cutter and line a baking sheet with parchment or a silicone mat.Whisk the flour(s), baking powder, salt, and baking soda together in a bow. Stir in the brown sugar, making certain there are no lumps. Drop in the butter and, using your fingers, toss to coat the pieces of butter with flour. Quickly, working with your fingertips (my favorite method) or a pastry blender, cut and rub the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture is pebbly. You'll have pea-size pieces, pieces the size of oatmeal flakes and pieces the size of everything in between-- and that's just right.Stir the sour cream and milk together and pour over the dry ingredients. Grab a fork and gently toss and turn the ingredients together until you've got a nice soft dough. Now reach into the bowl with your hands and give the dough a quick gentle kneading-- 3 or 4 turns should be just enough to bring everything together. Toss in the pecans and knead 2 to 3 times to incorporate them.Lightly dust a work surface with flour and turn out the dough. Dust the top of the dough very lightly with flour, pat the dough out with your hands or toll it with a pin until it is about 1/2 inch high. Don't worry if the dough isn't completely even-- a quick, light touch is more important than accuracy. Use the biscuit cutter to cut out as many biscuits as you can. Try to cut the biscuits close to one another so you get the most you can out of the first round. By hand or with a small spatula, transfer the biscuits to the baking sheet. Gather together the scraps, working with them as little as possible, pat out to a 1/2-inch thickness and cut as many additional biscuits as you can; transfer these to the sheet. (The biscuits ca be made to this point and frozen on the baking sheet, then wrapped airtight and kept for up to 2 months. Bake without defrosting-- just add a couple more minutes to the oven time.)Bake the biscuits for 14-18 minutes, or until they are tall, puffed and golden brown. Transfer them to a serving basket
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
We are also having Tangerine and Rosemary Glazed Roasted Chicken and Roasred Root Vegetables and Orzo. All from the Food Network. David loves chicken on the bone and this combination sounds wonderful. For the vegetables I am using carrots, beets and purple baby potatoes. It is beautiful too.
Bobby's Caramel Cake
Recipe courtesy Paula Deen, 2007
Paula's Home Cooking
For the cake: 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, at room temperature
Using an electric mixer, cream butter until fluffy. Add granulated sugar and continue to cream well for 6 to 8 minutes. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add flour and milk alternately to creamed mixture, beginning and ending with flour. Add vanilla and continue to beat until just mixed. Divide batter equally among prepared pans. Level batter in each pan by holding pan 3 or 4-inches above counter dropping it flat onto counter. Do this several times to release air bubbles and assure you of a more level cake. Bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown.
Remove cake layers from oven and allow cake to remain in pans as you prepare to stack and fill. Remove first layer and invert onto cake plate. Pierce cake layer with a toothpick over entire surface. Spread 1/3 of filling mixture on cake layer. Top with second layer, repeat process. Top with last layer and repeat process again.
*Cook's Note: As I stack layers together, I stick them with toothpicks to prevent cake from shifting.
Whole Roasted Chicken Infused with Tangerines and Rosemary with a Tangerine Glaze
Recipe courtesy Emeril Lagasse
The Essence of Emeril
1 whole chicken, about 4 pounds
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Rub the entire chicken with the butter. Season the chicken with salt, pepper, and Essence, including the cavity and the area between the skin and the breast meat. Season with onions and tangerines with salt and pepper. Stuff the cavity with the onions, tangerines, and fresh rosemary.
Place the chicken on a rack in a roasting pan. Place in the oven. Roast the chicken for 45 minutes to an hour or until the juices run clear. After the chicken has roasted for 20 minutes, baste the entire bird with the pan drippings. Baste every ten minutes.
For the glaze: Remove the chicken from the oven and allow to rest, reserving the pan drippings. In a hot saute pan, add the pan drippings, tangerine juice, and honey. Season with salt and pepper. Reduce the sauce to 1/2 cup, about 8 to 10 minutes.
Place the roasted chicken on a platter. Arrange the roasted vegetables around the roasted chicken. Drizzle the sauce over the chicken and garnish with rosemary sprigs.
Recipe from "New New Orleans Cooking", by Emeril Lagasse and Jessie Tirsch. Published by William and Morrow, 1993.
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
Then came the brownies. My pesonal all time favorite brownies come from Ruth Riechl's book, Tender at the Bone. The brownies are called Artpark brownies. They are perfect. Waffer top chewy and fundgy and in the middle. You have to folow the recipe exactly to get the right results.
5 oz unsweetend, best-quality chocolate
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
2 C sugar
1 C sifted flour
Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees F
Butter and flour a baking tray (9 inch square is ideal)
Melt butter and chocolate in double boiler
When melted, add vanilla
Beat eggs and salt in mixer. Add sugar and beat on high for around 10 minutes (or until mixture is quite white)
Add chocolate mixture to egg mixture, beating on low until just mixed.
Add flour and combine quickly until no white streaks remain.
Place batter in pan.
Put pan in over and immediately turn temperature down to 350 degrees.
Bake for about 40 minutes - the brownies will be quite fudgy so even a toothpick test when the brownies are done should come out not-quite-clean.
After that Miranda and I still had the baking bug and made some Valentine Cup cakes. My mon had given me a decorating kit from King Arthurs Flour and we used the topings and paper cups and made some Orange Chocolate chip Muffins with Vanilla Cream Cheese icing. Miranda decorated.
Special equipment: a muffin tin with 12 (1/2 up) muffin cups, plus paper liners
PreparationPreheat oven to 350°F. Beat together butter and sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer until light and fluffy, then beat in egg, zest, and vanilla.
Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt and mix into butter mixture at low speed, alternating with milk, beginning and ending with flour mixture.
Fold in 1/2 cup chips and divide batter among lined muffin cups.
Bake in middle of oven until pale golden and a tester comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes. Turn cupcakes out onto a rack to cool completely.
Bring cream to a simmer in a small heavy saucepan and add remaining 3/4 cup chips, whisking until smooth. Spread frosting on cupcakes.
Thursday, February 7, 2008
Yesterday we did paninis or as we lovingly call them, tasty, hot and crispies. They were a big hit. We also tasted two slaws and everyone liked the one with pepper jelly and cilantro.
Tomorrow we are going to do a few appitizers, bacon wrapped dates, hummus, roasted nuts, chicken on a stick, maybe meatballs.
Saturday, February 2, 2008
For a late evening snack we had popcorn, which Owen made.
Later we will make The Worlds Best Zucchini Muffins, Owen's favorite food in the world.
2 cups grated zucchini
2 t orange zest
3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 t baking powder
1 1/2 t baking soda
1 t salt
2 1/2 t cinnamon
1/2 t cloves
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup vegetable oil
2/3 cup orange juice
2/3 cup chopped pecans
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease bottoms of muffin tins (we also use small bread pans).
Combine zucchini and zest and set aside.
Sift together four, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and cloves.
In a large bowl, beat the eggs with an electric mixer on low. Add the suger a little at a time, mixing until well blended. Add the oil, juice and zucchini and beat till blended. Add the flour mixture and nuts and beat on low till just incorporated. Pour into pans.
Bake for 20 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean and tops are nicely browned. Let cool for 5 minutes then remove from the pans and place on a wire rack to cool.
Keeps well for lunches during the week!
The funny thing about these muffins to me is normally Owen would NEVER eat zucchini but put it in a muffin and he asks for it every day.