Saturday, November 22, 2014

Slow-Cooker Indian Pudding


It has been in forever since I have eaten Indian Pudding.  I forgot how delicious it was.  Cornmeal, milk,  butter, molasses, spices, and some eggs mixed together and cooked to create an easy and delicious dessert.

Today's recipe was found in "Yankee" magazine.  I love this recipe because the pudding is cooked in a slow cooker and is easy to assemble.   Great for Thanksgiving when ovens are full.   The pudding mixture  is first cooked over the stove.  You then pour a little of the mixture into the egg and butter mixture whisking all the time.  This is know as tempering the eggs.   You then transfer the egg mixture into the rest of the pudding mixture.  Stir in some dried cranberries, if you wish, pour into a slow cooker and cook on low for 6-8 hours.  When the pudding is done serve it warm with some ice cream or whipped cream.  I served mine with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream and it was wonderful.


Slow-Cooker Indian Pudding
From "Yankee" Magazine


Ingredients:
3 cups whole milk
1/2 cup cornmeal
1/2 teaspoon table salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing cooker
2 large eggs
1/3 cup molasses
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/2 cup dried cranberries (optional)
Garnish: ice cream, whipped cream, or light cream

Instructions:

Grease the inside of your slow cooker with butter and preheat on high 15 minutes.

In a large, heavy-bottomed pot, whisk together milk, cornmeal, and salt, and bring to a boil. Continue whisking another 5 minutes; then cover and simmer on low 10 minutes. Remove from the burner and add butter.


In a medium-size bowl, combine eggs, molasses, and spices. Add some of the hot cornmeal mixture to the egg mixture to temper the eggs; then transfer egg mixture into the pot. Stir in cranberries, if you like.

Scrape batter into the slow cooker and cook on high 2 to 3 hours or on low 6 to 8 hours. The center will be not quite set.

Serve warm topped with ice cream, whipped cream, or light cream.

Serves   6



Thursday, November 20, 2014

Cuban Sliders


There is nothing quite so tasty as a Cuban sandwich.  These sliders are no exception.  They are small bites packed with flavor.    Ham, roasted pork, Swiss Cheese, chopped pickles, all sandwiched between a Hawaiian sweet roll (I used The Original King's Hawaiian Rolls) that has been spread with mustard.

Sounds delicious and they are so easy to make.  Once the sliders have been constructed,  place them  in a preheated 400 degree F oven with a cast iron skillet on top of the sandwiches.  Bake for 15 minutes.  Remove from oven, cut and serve.



Great for parties, snacking, light meals, Tree trimming days, just good anytime:)


Cuban Sliders
From "Southern Living Magazine"
Ingredients:

1/4 cup olive oil
1 (12-oz.) package Hawaiian sweet dinner rolls
4 ounces thinly sliced deli ham
4 ounces thinly sliced deli-roasted pork
6 (1-oz.) Swiss cheese slices
1/2 cup chopped dill pickle chips
3 tablespoons yellow mustard
Preparation:

1. Preheat oven to 400°. Spread olive oil in a jelly-roll pan; place pan in oven to heat.
2. Remove rolls from package. (Do not separate rolls.) Cut rolls in half horizontally, creating 1 top and 1 bottom. Layer ham, pork, and Swiss cheese on bottom half. Spread chopped pickles over cheese. Spread mustard on cut side of top half of rolls, and place, cut side down, on bottom half to make a large sandwich.
3. Remove jelly-roll pan from oven, and carefully transfer sandwich to hot pan. Place a cast-iron skillet or griddle directly on rolls.
4. Bake at 400° for 15 minutes or until cheese melts and bread is crisp. Remove from oven; cool 5 minutes. Cut into 12 sliders, and serve immediately.




Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Fresh Cranberry Salsa With Cream Cheese Dip


Need something quick, inexpensive, and delicious to serve at your Holiday Parties or Holiday Meals?  Give this dip recipe a try.  Not only is it very flavorful, it is very festive looking.  The colors of the ingredients just pop.

I found this recipe on the "Our Best Bites" website.    I modified the recipe slightly.  I did not use all the onions they suggested.  I used 1/4 cup instead of 1/2 cup.  I am not a big fan of lots of onions in dip.  Just enough for flavor.  I also upped the salt by 1/4 teaspoon.  The recipe says to chill for at least two hours.  I found the longer the salsa chilled the flavors blended together nicely.

Finally just spread some cream cheese on a plate, top with your chilled salsa and your dip is ready. Serve with crackers and  Enjoy:)

Yes, there is cream cheese under the salsa

Fresh Cranberry Salsa With Cream Cheese Dip
From Our Best Bites, adapted by From My Southwest Kitchen



Ingredients:
12 oz bag fresh cranberries, washed
2 jalapenos, minced (adjust according to taste)
1/4 cup sliced green onions, roughly chopped
1/4 cup packed cilantro leaves
1/2 tablespoon lime  juice
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup sugar
2 (8oz) packages cream cheese, at room temperature

Instructions:

Place  cranberries, jalapenos, green onions and cilantro in a food processor and process until fine.  Transfer mixture to a bowl and stir in lime juice, salt, and sugar.  Chill in fridge for about 2 hours or more.  To serve, spread cream cheese evenly in a pie plate or other shallow serving dish.  Spread salsa on top and serve with crackers.












Sunday, November 16, 2014

Pumpkin Scones With Cinnamon Butter


Pumpkin, fresh cranberries, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves.  These wonderful flavors of fall are baked into these delectable scones.  Scones are great for breakfast, brunch, or just "me time" accompanied by a cup of tea or coffee.  I usually have a variety of scones during the holidays so guests and family can enjoy:)

Scones are relatively simple to make.  You start by whisking together the dry ingredients - flour, sugar, ginger, baking powder, ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, kosher salt, cloves, and baking soda.   Incorporate some butter into the mixture.  Be careful not to overwork or the scones will be tough.  Next,  any additions- cranberries in this recipe are tossed gently in the flour butter mixture.  Finally the wet ingredients, eggs, pumpkin, milk are mixed into the dry ingredients just until the dough comes together.  Place dough on a lightly floured surface and pat into a disk that is 1 1/2-inches thick.  Cut into wedges.  For this recipe the dough was soft so the scone wedges were frozen for about 25-30 minutes.

Places the wedges on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for 25 minutes.  Remove from the oven  and cool.

I served these scones with Cinnamon butter.  The Cinnamon butter added and extra boost to an already delicious scone.


Pumpkin Scones With Cinnamon Butter
From Bon Appetit


INGREDIENTS:

CINNAMON BUTTER
¼ cup (½ stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon pure maple syrup
¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
SCONES
½ cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
¼ teaspoon baking soda
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for surface
¾ cup (1½ sticks) chilled unsalted butter
½ cup chopped fresh (or frozen, thawed) cranberries
1 large egg
½ cup canned pure pumpkin
¼ cup buttermilk, plus more for brushing
2 tablespoons raw sugar

PREPARATION

CINNAMON BUTTER
Mix butter, maple syrup, cinnamon, and salt in a small bowl.
DO AHEAD: Cinnamon butter can be made 4 days ahead. Cover and chill.

SCONES

Whisk granulated sugar, baking powder, ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, salt, cloves, baking soda, and 2 cups flour in a large bowl. Using the large holes on a box grater, grate in butter, tossing to coat in dry ingredients as you go; toss in cranberries. Mix in egg, pumpkin, and ¼ cup buttermilk.
Transfer dough to a lightly floured surface and pat into a 1½”-thick disk. Cut into 8 wedges; transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Freeze until firm, 25–30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 400°. Brush scones with buttermilk and sprinkle with raw sugar. Bake until golden brown, 25–30 minutes. Serve with cinnamon butter.

Makes 8 scones


Saturday, November 15, 2014

Salted Caramel Corn With Pecans


The holidays are fast approaching.  Time to start making all kinds of sweet  goodies for family, friends, and neighbors.  I love the holidays.  It gives me an excuse, (not that I need one) to experiment, try new recipes, modify existing recipes, make our favorite recipes, for everything sweet and delicious:)

Today's recipe is a tasty Caramel Corn that is sprinkled with  pecans.  I love this recipe because the syrup you coat the popcorn and nuts with is practically fool proof.  No worrying about reaching the exact temperature on a Candy thermometer and taking the syrup off the heat at the right  time so it won't burn. I usually don't get that part right.    Also, this recipe is easy to make your own.  Use the nuts that you have on hand or substitute dried cranberries for the nuts.   Just a few ideas.   Whatever you choose it will be delicious I promise you.

Basically, you start off with some popped popcorn, unpopped kernels removed.  Place the popcorn in a very large bowl along with the pecans.  Pour your syrup over the popcorn mixture being sure to coat well.  Place the coated popcorn on a baking sheet lined with foil.  Sprinkle with some salt and bake at a 300 degree F oven for about 12 minutes.  Remove from oven, let the Caramel Corn cool and break into pieces.

It is that simple and ever soo good.  Make yourself some the next time you need a sweet treat.


Salted Caramel Popcorn
Recipe adapted by "From My Southwest Kitchen"

Ingredients:

2 bags (3.3 ounce) microwave popcorn - yields about 8 cups of popcorn

3/4 cup pecan pieces
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup dark Karo syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt, divided
Directions:

1. Cook the microwave popcorn according to package directions.  Place the popped popcorn in a very large bowl.  Remove as many unpopped kernels as possible.  Add the nuts to the popcorn.    Set aside.
2. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.  Line a baking sheet with foil and lightly spray with cooking spray.  Set aside.
3. In a medium saucepan, add the butter, packed brown sugar, and Karo syrup.  Stir to combine.  Cook over medium heat until mixture comes to a boil stirring frequently.  Once the mixture comes to a boil stop stirring and let the mixture boil for about 2 minutes.  Remove syrup from the heat.
4. Stir in vanilla extract, baking soda, 1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt.
5. Carefully pour the the hot caramel over the popcorn mixture.  Stir quickly coating the popcorn and nuts.  Spread the mixture on the prepared baking sheet.  Place in preheated oven and bake for 12-15 minutes.
6. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and let the caramel cool completely.  Once cooled break into pieces.







Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Cranberry Nut Bread


A perfect bread for Thanksgiving.  With cranberries being plentiful this time of year, I buy bags so I can try and experiment with different recipes.  Today, I made a delicious cranberry bread.  The crust had a very slight crispness to it and the crumb was moist, tender, and flavorful.  I thought I was eating cake.

This bread comes together very nicely.  The flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, baking soda, and butter are all placed in a food processor.  Pulse until the mixture resembles meal.




The flour mixture is then transferred to a large bowl and combined with the egg, orange juice, chopped fresh cranberries, and walnuts.  The batter is thick.  I then scooped the batter into a prepared loaf pan (my favorite cast iron one) and baked for about 75 minutes.

Ready For Oven

As the bread was cooling, I could not wait to taste it.  It smelled heavenly.   Finally, the time had come to cut the bread and the taste was not disappointing.  A perfect bread to serve over the holidays or just to have at home for family.

Out-of-Oven

Cranberry Nut Bread
From Epicurious

Ingredients:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons double-acting baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 stick (1/2 cup) cold unsalted butter, cut into bits
1 teaspoon freshly grated orange zest
3/4 cup fresh orange juice
1 large egg
1 cup coarsely chopped cranberries
1/3 cup coarsely chopped walnuts

Preparation:

In a food processor or in a bowl with a pastry blender blend together the flour, the sugar, the baking powder, the salt, the baking soda, and the butter until the mixture resembles meal and transfer the mixture to a large bowl. In a small bowl whisk together the zest, the juice, and the egg, add the mixture to the flour mixture, and stir the batter until it is just combined. Stir in the cranberries and the walnuts and transfer the batter to a well-buttered 9- by 5-inch loaf pan. Bake the bread in the middle of a preheated 350°F. oven for 1 1/4 hours, or until a tester comes out clean. Let the bread cool in the pan for 15 minutes and turn it out onto a rack.

Makes 1 loaf










Saturday, November 8, 2014

Chicken Chow Mein


Chicken Chow Mein was on the menu for dinner.   I thought I would make an adventure out of shopping for the ingredients.  Instead of going to our local store for the veggies, noodles and sauces, I loaded up the two younger kids and we headed to the Talin Market.  The Talin Market is a world food fare market.  I love walking down the aisle and looking at the various food items.  Their seafood area and produce are my favorite.  Once the kids and I got all that we needed for our dinner  we headed over to Cafe Trang for a Sesame Ball.  MM they are ever so good.

Back at home, I began making dinner.  Once I got everything, sliced, minced,  and grated, I began cooking our dinner.  This dish comes together quickly.   The chicken is first cooked, then the veggies are added.   Next, you stir in the broth mixture and cook some more.  Finally, the cooked noodles and bean sprouts are added to the mixture.    Your dinner is ready.

This was a delicious dish.   Very flavorful and the veggies were nice and crisp.  The sauce was perfect.  Not too heavy and it had a wonderful flavor.    The family enjoyed it and asked for seconds.




Chicken Chow Mein
From Cook's Country Magazine


Ingredients:
1 (9-ounce) package fresh Chinese noodles
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 (6-ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed and cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices
3 tablespoons Chinese rice wine or dry sherry
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/2 cup chicken broth
3 tablespoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons oyster sauce
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
6 ounces shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and sliced thin
1 carrot, peeled and cut into 2-inch matchsticks
2 celery ribs, cut on bias into 1/4-inch-thick slices
4 scallions, white and green parts separated and sliced thin
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
4 ounces (2 cups) mung bean sprouts

Directions:

1. Bring 4 quarts water to boil in large pot.  Add noodles to boiling water and cook until tender, 2 to 4 minutes.  Drain noodles, rinse thoroughly with cold water, then drain again.  Toss noodles with sesame oil in bowl; set aside.
2. Meanwhile, dissolve baking soda in 1/2 cup cold water in second bowl.  Add chicken and let sit at room temperature for 15 minutes.  Drain chicken, rinse under cold water, then drain again.  Pat chicken dry with paper towels.  Combine 1 tablespoon rice wine, 2 teaspoons cornstarch, and chicken in bowl; set aside.
3. Whisk broth, soy sauce, oyster sauce, pepper, remaining 2 tablespoons rice wine, and remaining 1 teaspoon cornstarch together in bowl; set aside.
4. Heat oil in 12-inch nonstick skillet over high heat until just smoking.  Add chicken and cook, stirring frequently, until opaque, about 2 minutes.  Add mushrooms and carrot and cook, stirring frequently, until tender, about 2 minutes.  Add celery and cook until crisp-tender, about 1 minute.  Add scallion whites, garlic, and ginger and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
5. Whisk broth mixture to recombine, then add to skillet and cook until thickened and chicken is cooked through, about 2 minutes.  Add bean sprouts and noodles and toss until sauce evenly coats noodles, about 1 minute.  Transfer to platter and sprinkle with scallion greens.  Serve.

Serves 4