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Monday, October 28, 2013

Cro Knots

Yeah...I know what you must be asking right now...What in Sam Hill is a Cro Knot?  I asked the same thing myself when I first heard of them...Think of a doughnut, shaped a different way...For starters..
I am told that they will soon be coming to a bakery near you...
Want to get the drop on the next big thing in food?  Okay,how about learning how to make them yourself?
Check it out..

INGREDIENTS:

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups bread flour
2 ounces sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 pound plus 5 tablespoons cold butter
1/2 cup milk, room temperature
1/2 cup water, room temperature
1 1/4 tablespoon active dry yeast
8 cups vegetable oil
8 cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
Hot water

DIRECTIONS:

In large bowl, whisk dry ingredients together. Grate butter into flour and toss gently to coat butter with flour. Mix milk, water and yeast (does not need to bloom). Pour wet ingredients into dry and combine with spatula. Dough should feel soft and pliable, just like biscuit dough.

Cover dough with plastic wrap and place bowl inside a plastic bag. Set in refrigerator and chill for at least 12 hours.

Okay, next..Roll dough out to approximately 3/4-inch thick. Fold 1/3 toward center, then on other side, fold 1/3 over the first side, just like folding a business letter. Turn dough 90 degrees and repeat rolling and folding. Do this process for three turns total. Wrap dough loosely but fully in plastic wrap, place on cookie pan and place plastic bag around pan. Place in refrigerator and chill for at least 12 hours, preferably a full day.

Roll dough out to 3/4-inch thick. Cut dough into either donut shapes or into strips (approximately 1 inch by 6 inches). If making knots, roll strips out to approximately 10-inches long, twist and tie into knots. Place donuts or knots onto cookie pan and cover loosely. Let rise in warm place until double in size and puffy; approximately two hours.

Meanwhile, heat vegetable oil to 375 degrees. In bowl, combine powdered sugar and vanilla extract. Whisk in enough hot water to create thin glaze (glaze should coat the end of a spoon nicely). Set aside.

When Cro-Knots are double in size, fry for approximately 1 1/2 minutes on each side, until dark golden brown. Remove from oil and dip in glaze immediately.

Enjoy with a nice cold glass of Milk...





Enjoy!  Eat well my friends!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Skillet Paella

And so we go back to New Orleans for yet another great recipe and another shameless (and free) promotion for Zatarains Rice, which I do use when I'm fixing Big Easy Dishes..

INGREDIENTS:
2 cups water
1/2 pound smoked sausage or andouille, halved lengthwise and sliced 1/4-inch thick
1 can (14 1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
1 package ZATARAIN'S® Yellow Rice
1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined(Optional, especially if you are allergic to seafood like yours truly is)
1 cup frozen peas
DIRECTIONS:
1. Bring water, sausage, tomatoes, onion and parsley to boil in large skillet. Stir in Rice Mix. Return to boil. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer 15 minutes.

2. Stir in shrimp and peas. Cover and cook 10 to 15 minutes longer or just until shrimp turn pink and rice is tender, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. Let stand 5 minutes.

 Makes 8 (1-cup) servings.

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes

Enjoy!  Eat Well My Friends!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Cranberry-Pear Crisp



I'm in Dessert mode this week...And here is another sweet treat to prove that...Cranberry-Pear Crisp...Fresh cranberries are available from October through December. Ripe berries are deep red and very firm. Before using them, rinse in a bowl of cold water; discard any unripe ones that float to the top.

INGREDIENTS: 

  • 4 (6 cups) firm pears, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch pieces; or up to 6 pears, if needed
  • 1 tablespoon(s) fresh lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 cup(s) cranberries
  • 1/3 cup(s) sugar
  • 1/4 cup(s) sugar, for topping
  • 1/2 cup(s) flour
  • 1/2 cup(s) (1 stick) chilled butter
  • 1/4 cup(s) light-brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon(s) cinnamon
  • 1 cup(s) rolled oats
  • 1 pinch(s) salt
  • Vanilla ice cream (optional)
DIRECTIONS:
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. In a large bowl, toss pears with lemon juice. Add cranberries and 1/3 cup sugar; toss well.
  2. Transfer to six 8-ounce ramekins (or a 3-quart baking dish). Sprinkle with topping (see below); bake until fruit is tender and topping is golden, about 25 minutes. Let cool at least 30 minutes before serving with vanilla ice cream, if desired.
  3. To make the Oatmeal Crisp Topping: Pulse flour with butter in a food processor until pea-size clumps form. Add remaining granulated sugar and the light-brown sugar, cinnamon, oats, and salt; pulse until large, moist clumps form, about 10 times.
Mmmmm, this sure looks good...Enjoy!! Eat Well My Friends!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Mango Brown Betty

You say Brown Betty and I immediately wonder if that was some girl I used to date...No ,in this case..we are talking about...Mango Brown Betty..A sweet treat for after a great dinner, when your sweet tooth sets in...and begins calling you...

I got this recipe from Martha Stewart Living...Warm up the first weeks of Autumn with this sweet treat that tastes of the tropics.

INGREDIENTS:
  • 1 tablespoon(s) crystallized ginger
  • 1/2 cup(s) packed light-brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon(s) ground allspice
  • 4 (4 pounds) mangos, peeled, pitted, and cut into 3/4-inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoon(s) fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoon(s) unsalted butter
  • 5 slice(s) (4 ounces) white sandwich bread, coarsely torn
DIRECTIONS:
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. In a food processor, pulse ginger until finely chopped. Add brown sugar, allspice, and bread. Pulse until coarse crumbs form.
  2. Sprinkle 1/2 cup of crumb mixture in the bottom of an 8-inch square (2-quart) baking dish; fill with mangoes, and drizzle with lemon juice. Level fruit with the back of a spoon.
  3. Top with remaining crumb mixture; dot with butter. Bake until crumbs are golden brown and fruit is bubbly, about 45 minutes. Serve.
Serve with a warm(or cold) glass of Milk...






Enjoy!  Eat and drink well my friends!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Tuscon Pork Loin

A Great Entree for an elegant fall meal right here is Tuscon Pork Loin...Nothing exemplifies the flavorful style of Italian cooking like this classic pork loin. Make sure you buy the larger loin, and not the thinner tenderloin.

INGREDIENTS: 


  • 3-pound pork loin, trimmed of fat
  • 1 teaspoon(s) kosher salt
  • 3 clove(s) garlic, crushed and peeled
  • 2 tablespoon(s) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoon(s) chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon(s) freshly grated lemon zest
  • 3/4 cup(s) dry vermouth, or white wine
  • 2 tablespoon(s) white-wine vinegar
DIRECTIONS:
  1. Tie kitchen string around pork in three places so it doesn't flatten while roasting. Place salt and garlic in a small bowl and mash with the back of a spoon to form a paste. Stir in oil, rosemary and lemon zest; rub the mixture into the pork. Refrigerate, uncovered, for 1 hour.
  2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  3. Place the pork in a roasting pan. Roast, turning once or twice, until a thermometer inserted into the thickest part registers 145 degrees F, 40 to 50 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board; let rest for 10 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, add vermouth (or wine) and vinegar to the roasting pan and place over medium-high heat. Bring to a simmer and cook, scraping up any browned bits, until the sauce is reduced by half, 2 to 4 minutes. Remove the string and slice the roast. Add any accumulated juices to the sauce and serve with the pork.
Serve with a nice White Wine-






Enjoy!  Eat well My Friends!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Churros

I was told by Detective Mercedes Rodriguez ( of my blog, Escapades, another cheap self serving plug for one of my other blogs!) That Churros is a favorite snack in Puerto Rico..as well as a favorite of her and her cousin, Detective Carlotta Rodriguez-Wallace back in Philly.


"Churros" are simple fritters that might be described as looking like a big “french fry.” They are the Spanish equivalent of doughnuts, sold at cafes and at street vendor's carts. Instead of a ring shape, like a doughnut, churros are long, straight or slightly curled lengths that have ridges. Eaten while warm, sprinkled with sugar or drizzled with honey. They are quick and easy to make.  Only takes about ten minutes to prepare and ten minutes to cook.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup white flour
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp granulated sugar
  • oil for frying
  • several Tbsp granulated sugar to sprinkle or honey
DIRECTIONS:


This churros recipe makes 2-3 servings for breakfast, about 3 churros each serving. In the case additional servings are needed, prepare in batches so churros are warm when served.
Pour vegetable oil, such as canola or corn oil into a large heavy bottomed frying pan. Make sure there is about 2 inches of oil in the pan to cover the churros. There should be enough oil so that they float freely while frying. Set pan aside.

In a medium sauce pan, pour 1 cup water. Add oil, salt, sugar and stir. Bring water to a boil.
While waiting for water to boil, dry the cup used to measure the water and use it to measure flour, since it is necessary to have equal parts flour and water. Pour flour into a medium-sized mixing bowl and add baking powder and stir.Once water boils, remove saucepan and begin heating oil in frying pan.

Slowly pour boiling water from saucepan into flour mixture - stirring constantly with a fork until it is a smooth dough without lumps.

Note: Dough should not be runny like a batter, but rather a sticky smooth dough.


Immediately spoon dough into a churrera (a large cookie press) or pastry bag.

Carefully squeeze dough into hot oil (350-375F degrees) and fry until golden brown. Remove with a slotted spatula or long-handled fork. Place on a paper towel to drain.

After oil is drained, cut into manageable lengths. Sprinkle with sugar or drizzle with honey and serve.

Enjoy!  Eat well mi amigos!  (It's Latin Heritage Month!)

Monday, October 7, 2013

Turkey, Corn, and Sun-Dried Tomato Wraps

It's Indian Summer where I am....80-85 degrees in the middle of October...That used to be unheard of....Okay, so if you come home and don't feel like cranking up the oven...Here is a recipe for you.

Turkey ,Corn and Sun Dried Tomato Wraps..

Fresh corn kernels, tomatoes, and lettuce fill these hearty turkey wraps. This wrap is great for picnics or when you need to have dinner on the run. Add some crumbled feta or shredded Cheddar for another layer of flavor. Serve with carrot sticks, sliced bell pepper, or other crunchy vegetables plus your favorite creamy dressing.

INGREDIENTS:

  • cup(s) corn kernels, fresh (see Tip) or frozen (thawed)
  • 1/2 cup(s) chopped fresh tomato
  • 1/4 cup(s) chopped soft sun-dried tomatoes (see Shopping Tip)
  • 2 tablespoon(s) canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon(s) red-wine vinegar or cider vinegar
  • 8 (about 8 ounces) thin slices low-sodium deli turkey
  • 4 whole-wheat tortillas
  • 2 cup(s) chopped romaine lettuce
DIRECTIONS:

Follow these simple directions-
  1. Combine corn, tomato, sun-dried tomatoes, oil, and vinegar in a medium bowl.
  2. Divide turkey among tortillas. Top with equal portions of the corn salad and lettuce. Roll up. Serve the wraps cut in half, if desired.
Don't sweat the Tips & Techniques

Tip: To remove corn kernels from the cob, stand an ear of corn on one end and slice the kernels off with a sharp knife. One ear will yield about 1/2 cup kernels.  

Shopping Tip: Look for soft sun-dried tomatoes (not oil-packed) in the produce section of most supermarkets. If you can only find dry (and hard) sun-dried tomatoes, soak them in boiling water for about 20 minutes before using.

Serve with a glass of Sweet Tea-






Enjoy!  Eat well my friends!

Friday, October 4, 2013

Sweet Potato, Balsamic Onion and Soppressata Pizza



Yes you read that right...Sweet Potato Pizza.....with Balsamic Onions...I won't even try to explain...Just check out the recipe.

INGREDIENTS:
  • 1 tablespoon(s) unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon(s) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large white onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 sprig(s) oregano
  • 1 tablespoon(s) oregano leaves
  • 1/4 cup(s) balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoon(s) balsamic vinegar
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1 cup(s) prepared mashed sweet potatoes
  • 1 (12-inch) prebaked pizza crust
  • 1 1/2 cup(s) (7 ounces) shredded mozzarella
  • 4 ounce(s) thinly sliced soppressata, cut into ribbons
DIRECTIONS:
  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Set a pizza stone on the bottom of the oven (alternatively, the pizza can be baked directly on the oven rack). In a large skillet, melt the butter in the olive oil. Add the onion and oregano sprig, cover, and cook over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add 2 tablespoons of water to the skillet and cook over moderate heat until the onion is caramelized, about 10 minutes; add a few tablespoons of water to the skillet if necessary. Add the balsamic vinegar and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until it has evaporated, about 10 minutes. Discard the oregano sprig and season the onion with salt and pepper.
  2. Spread the sweet potatoes over the pizza crust. Top with the mozzarella, onion, and soppressata. Scatter the oregano leaves on top. Slide the pizza onto the stone and bake for about 10 minutes, until bubbling and golden in spots. Cut into wedges and serve.
Serve with a nice Red Wine-






Enjoy!  Eat well my friends!


Food Safety Tips
Protect yourself against food-borne illnesses.


1. Use a "refrigerator thermometer" to keep your food stored at a safe temperature (below 40 degrees fahrenheit).

Cold temperatures slow the growth of bacteria. Ensuring that your refrigerator temperature stays at 40 degrees Fahrenheit or colder is one of the most effective ways to reduce your risk of food-borne illness. You can buy a refrigerator/freezer thermometer at appliance stories, home centers (i.e. Home Depot), and kitchen stores including online ones, such as Cooking.com.

2. Defrost food in the refrigerator, the microwave, or in cold water... never on the counter!

Perishable foods should never be thawed on the counter for longer than two hours because, while the center of the food may remain frozen, the outer surface may enter the Danger Zone, the range of temperatures between 40 and 140 degrees fahrenheit, in which bacteria multiply rapidly. If you’re short on time, use the microwave or you can thaw meat and poultry in airtight packaging in cold water. Change the water every half-hour so it stays cold and use the thawed food immediately.

3. Always use separate cutting boards for raw meat/poultry/fish and cooked foods/fresh produce.

Bacteria from uncooked meat, poultry, and fish can contaminate cooked foods and fresh produce. An important way to reduce this risk is to use separate cutting boards for raw meat/poultry/ fish, and cooked foods/fresh produce.

4. Always cook meat to proper temperatures, using a calibrated instant-read thermometer to make sure.

One effective way to prevent illness is to use a food thermometer to check the internal temperature of meat, poultry, and egg dishes. The USDA Recommended Safe Minimum Internal Temperatures are as follows:

* Beef, veal, and lamb (steaks and roasts), fish - 145 degrees fahrenheit

* Pork and ground beef - 160 degrees fahrenheit

* Poultry - 165 degrees fahrenheit.

Cook meats like roasts and steaks to lower temperatures, closer to medium-rare, so that they retain their moisture. It is recommended that those who are at high risk for developing food-borne illness (i.e. pregnant women and their unborn babies, newborns, young children, older adults, people with weakened immune systems, or certain chronic illnesses) should follow the USDA guidelines.

5. Avoid unpasteurized/raw milk and cheeses made from unpasteurized milk that are aged less than 60 days.

Raw milk is milk from cows, sheep, or goats that has not been pasteurized (heated to a very high temperature for a specific length of time) to kill harmful bacteria that may be present. These bacteria, which include salmonella, E. coli and listeria, can cause serious illness and sometimes even death. The bacteria in raw milk can be especially dangerous to pregnant women, children, the elderly, and people with weakened immune systems or chronic illnesses. Raw milk cheeses aged 60 days or longer are okay, since the salt and acidity of the cheese-making process make for a hostile environment to pathogens.

6. Never eat "runny" eggs or foods, such as cookie dough, that contain raw eggs.

Even eggs that have clean, intact shells may be contaminated with salmonella, so it’s important to cook eggs thoroughly until both the yolk and the white are firm. Casseroles and other dishes containing eggs should be cooked to 160 degrees fahrenheit and you can use an instant-read food thermometer to check. Eggs should always be cooked fully and those who are at high risk for developing foodborne illness (pregnant women and their unborn babies, newborns, young children, older adults, and people with weakened immune systems or certain chronic illnesses should follow the USDA guidelines. If you can’t resist runny eggs or sampling cookie batter, use pasteurized eggs. They’re found near other eggs in large supermarkets.

7. Always wash your hands in warm soapy water for at least 20 seconds before handling food and after touching raw meat, poultry, or eggs.

You can pick up a lot of bacteria out in the world, so it’s important to always wash your hands before you eat or prepare food. You should also wash your hands after touching any uncooked meat, poultry, fish, or eggs, as the bacteria from these foods can contaminate cooked foods and fresh produce. Use soap and warm water and wash thoroughly for at least 20 seconds.

8. Always heat leftover foods to 165 degrees fahrenheit.

The USDA recommends heating all cooked leftovers to 165 degrees fahrenheit in order to kill all potentially dangerous bacteria.

9. Never eat meat, poultry, eggs, or sliced fresh fruits and vegetables that have been left out for more than two hours or more than one hour in temperatures hotter than 90 degrees Fahrenheit.

If you leave perishable foods out of the refrigerator or freezer for more than two hours they may enter the Danger Zone—the unsafe temperatures between 40 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit, in which bacteria multiply rapidly.

10. Whenever there’s a food recall, check products stored at home to make sure they are safe.

You should discard any food that’s been recalled because it’s associated with the outbreak of a food-borne illness. But, according to a survey conducted by Rutgers University during the fall of 2008, only about 60% of Americans search their homes for foods that have been recalled because of contamination. For more information on food recalls, visit the website Recalls.gov






Cavier & Vodka
Courtesy of The Lady (Bug) of the Household