Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Black Bean Salsa


INGREDIENTS

  • 3 (15 ounce) cans black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (11 ounce) can Mexican-style corn, drained
  • 2 (10 ounce) cans Rotel diced tomatoes with green chile peppers, drained
  • 2 tomatoes, diced
  • 2 bunches green onions, chopped
  • minced garlic
  • juice of 1 lime squeezed over salsa
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • cilantro leaves, for garnish

DIRECTIONS

  1. In a large bowl, mix together black beans, Mexican-style corn, diced tomatoes with green chile peppers, tomatoes and green onion stalks. Garnish with desired amount of cilantro leaves. Chill in the refrigerator at least 8 hours, or overnight, before serving.
Serve with tortilla chips

More tweaks - Ryan said he would add a bit of cumin and some chili powder to this...

Monday, February 19, 2007

Potatoes 101

Q: What is it about Yukon Golds that makes such wonderful mashed potatoes?

A: It has to do with the potato. There are hundreds of types of potatoes, but each falls into one of three types, classified by their starch content.

Starchy potatoes have high starch and low water. Starchy potatoes are great for baking and French fries, and good as mashed potatoes. When cooked in water, they disintegrate but when cooked by dry heat, they become crumbly and fluffy. Russet Burbanks are a popular type of starchy potato. Often russets are called Idahos or Washingtons (these are not varieties, only the farm location). Starchy potatoes can also be purple, like Purple Peruvians.

All-purpose or chef's potatoes have medium starch and medium water. All-purpose potatoes are great in stews, soups, mashed potatoes or for roasting. When cooked, they are at once moist and fluffy: they keep most of their shape in soups and don't dry out when baked. All-purpose potatoes are white, like White Roses, although they are also yellow (Yukon Golds), red (Red Golds), and blue (All Blue). Some all-purpose potatoes are called Maines, Long Islands, and Delawares (again, not variety names, but only the location of the farm). Fingerling potatoes are long, oval-shaped potatoes that have not grown to full size.

Waxy potatoes have low starch and high water. These potatoes stay firm in liquids and moist when roasted. They are good for stews, roasting and potato salads. Waxy potatoes can have red or tan skin, and white, red or yellow flesh. Different varieties include Irish Cobblers, Red Bliss, All Reds, Ruby Crescents and Butterfingers.

By the way, new potatoes can be any texture or type of potato, as long as the potatoes are harvested when the potato plant is still alive and the potatoes skin is still so thin that it can be rubbed off easily. Nearly all new potatoes behave as if they are waxy; that is, they have a low starch and high water content. New potatoes are good roasted, boiled and steamed. Creamers are potatoes that are no bigger than 1-inch in diameter.

- Food Network Kitchens

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Haub House Bread Pudding with Whiskey Sauce

Haub House
Bread Pudding

4 cups milk
5 cups dry bread, broken
3 eggs
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup raisins
3 tablespoons butter

Soak bread in milk, then crush with hands until well-mixed. Add eggs, sugar, vanilla and raisins. Stir well.

Melt butter in a 13-by-9-inch glass baking dish. Pour mixture into the dish.

Bake at 375 degrees until very firm. Let cool, then cut into squares. Place on individual dishes when ready to serve.

Add sauce. Heat under broiler or in microwave.

Whiskey Sauce
5 tablespoons butter
◊ cup sugar
1 egg
2 ounces Yellowstone whiskey
Cream butter and sugar. Cook almost to a boil, then add beaten egg and cook for one minute. When cool, add whiskey.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Oven Baked Donuts from Heidi


Baked Doughnuts
February 12, 2007 | by Heidi

Mention the concept of a baked doughnut to any self-professed doughnut connoisseur, chances are you'll take some heat. The idea that a baked doughnut can match up to its deep-fried brethren is laughable in some circles. I'll concede they aren't the same, but baked doughnuts can be just as delicious - delicious yet different. They get bonus points for being healthier and for not making the house smell like a greasy fry station.

I spent the better part of Sunday trying to get the dough for these yeasted baked doughnuts right. Broadly speaking, if you can make pizza dough, you can make these. The process is very similar. I looked at a broad cross-section of recipes as inspiration and tried to settle on a ratio of sugar to egg to flour to yeast and salt that would yield a tender, slightly sweet, delicious, pillowy doughnut when baked.

Many recipes call for water as the base liquid, I opted for milk (I like the softness of the milk-based rolls I've made in the past) and I baked batches at 375, 400, and 425. On the higher end of the spectrum the bottoms browned too fast. I settled on 375 and a slightly longer time in the oven.

You can glaze these the way you would any other doughnut, but because I knew these were going to be at their pinnacle of taste minutes after coming out of the oven, I opted for a simple, classic, sugar dusting.

Baked Doughnuts

Don't over bake these, if anything, under bake them a bit - they will continue baking outside the oven for a few minutes. You want an interior that is moist and tender - not dry. Also, be sure to cut big enough holes in the center of your doughnuts - too small and they will bake entirely shut. Remember they rise, and they rise even more when they are baking. These really need to be made-to-order, but you can make and shape the dough the night before if you want to serve them for brunch. Instructions: after shaping, place doughnuts on baking sheet, cover and place in the refrigerator overnight. Pull them out an hour before baking, and let rise in a warm place before baking.

1 1/3 cups warm milk, 95 to 105 degrees (divided)
1 packet active dry yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)
2 tablespoons butter
2/3 cup sugar
2 eggs
5 cups all-purpose flour (alternately, white whole wheat might work - haven't tried it yet)
A pinch or two of nutmeg, freshly grated
1 teaspoon fine grain sea salt

1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon

Place 1/3 cup of the warm milk in the bowl of an electric mixer. Stir in the yeast and set aside for five minutes or so. Be sure your milk isn't too hot or it will kill the yeast. Stir the butter and sugar into the remaining cup of warm milk and add it to the yeast mixture. With a fork, stir in the eggs, flour, nutmeg, and salt - just until the flour is incorporated. With the dough hook attachment of your mixer beat the dough for a few minutes at medium speed. This is where you are going to need to make adjustments - if your dough is overly sticky, add flour a few tablespoons at a time. Too dry? Add more milk a bit at a time. You want the dough to pull away from the sides of the mixing bowl and eventually become supple and smooth. Turn it out onto a floured counter-top, knead a few times (the dough should be barely sticky), and shape into a ball.

Transfer the dough to a buttered (or oiled) bowl, cover, put in a warm place (I turn on the oven at this point and set the bowl on top), and let rise for an hour or until the dough has roughly doubled in size.

Punch down the dough and roll it out 1/2-inch thick on your floured countertop. Most people (like myself) don't have a doughnut cutter, instead I use a 2-3 inch cookie cutter to stamp out circles. Transfer the circles to a parchment-lined baking sheet and stamp out the smaller inner circles using a smaller cutter. If you cut the inner holes out any earlier, they become distorted when you attempt to move them. Cover with a clean cloth and let rise for another 45 minutes.

Bake in a 375 degree oven until the bottoms are just golden, 8 to 10 minutes - start checking around 8. While the doughnuts are baking, place the butter in a medium bowl. Place the sugar and cinnamon in a separate bowl.

Remove the doughnuts from the oven and let cool for just a minute or two. Dip each one in the melted butter and a quick toss in the sugar bowl. Eat immediately if not sooner.

Makes 1 1/2 - 2 dozen medium doughnuts.

Sunday, February 4, 2007

Herbed pan-fried chicken


1¼ pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast or tenders

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon (freshly ground) pepper

1 teaspoon dried thyme

2 tablespoons olive oil

If dealing with chicken breast, cut it into serving pieces to feed 4.

Sprinkle chicken all over with salt, pepper and thyme.

Heat olive oil in a wide skillet over medium heat. When it is hot, put chicken in skillet and cook without disturbing, for about 5 minutes. It should be an appetizing brown. Turn it over, and cook until done, which should be 6 or 8 minutes if the chicken pieces are 4 or 5 ounces and about 1 inch thick. Serve with hot cabbage slaw and baked potatoes.

Serves 4.

Nutrition data per serving: 217 calories, 33 grams protein, 8 grams fat, 382 milligrams sodium.


Source: Louisville Courier

Hot cabbage slaw


4 bacon slices

1 teaspoon caraway seeds (optional

3 tablespoons cider vinegar (or any vinegar)

2 teaspoons honey

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon (freshly ground) black pepper

6 cups very thinly sliced green cabbage (or a mix of green and purple)

1 bunch green onions

Put the bacon in a wide, deep pot over medium heat, and cook until it is crisp; set aside on an absorbent surface.

Remove all but 2 tablespoons fat from the skillet, and add caraway seeds. Cook, stirring once or twice, about 1 minute, or until aromatic. Add cider, honey, salt and pepper and about half the cabbage. Cook, stirring occasionally, until cabbage is barely softened, about 3 minutes.

As cabbage cooks, mince green onions (discard root and any wilted tops).

Add remaining cabbage and green onions, and cook 2 more minutes, stirring occasionally, or until done to desired tastes. Crumble bacon, and stir into cabbage and serve.

Serves 4.

Nutrition data per serving: 198 calories, 6 grams protein, 19 grams carbohydrate, 6 grams fiber, 10 grams fat, 542 milligrams sodium.

Friday, February 2, 2007

5-R Chili (Texas Chili Contest winner - 4 times)



2 pounds Cubed or coarsely ground boneless, trimmed beef (chuck or shoulder arm preferred)
1 tablespoon Vegetable shortening
1-½ teaspoon Hot sauce
8 oz. Tomato sauce
2 Beef bullion cubes
2 Jalapeño peppers, skin surface slit
6 tablespoons Chili powder (or to taste)
4 teaspoons Ground cumin
1 tablespoon Onion powder
1 teaspoon Garlic powder
½ teaspoon Salt
½ teaspoon White pepper
3/8 teaspoon Cayenne
¼ teaspoon Oregano
1/8 teaspoon Crushed bay leaf

Cook meat over medium heat in melted shortening until meat is gray in color. Add hot sauce, tomato sauce, bullion cubes, 1 jalapeño and water to cover. Simmer, covered, 40 to 60 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add water if needed. When jalapeño is soft, squeeze in juice and discard pulp and seeds.
Mix together chili powder, cumin, onion, garlic, salt, white pepper, cayenne, oregano and bay leaf; divide into 3 portions. Add one portion spice mixture and remaining jalapeño. Continue to cook for one hour adding water as needed. Remove jalapeño, squeeze juice into chili and discard pulp and seeds. Add second portion of spice mixture. Continue cooking for another 30 minutes, adding water if needed. Add remaining spice mixture and cook 15 minutes more. (Chili should be kept thick during cooking. Adding too much water keeps the spices from permeating the meat.)