Sunday, July 26, 2009

Pretzel Rolls

taken from CHOW

1 cup warm water (105°F to 115°F)
1 (1/4-ounce) envelope active dry yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)
2 3/4 cups bread flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tsp salt, plus more for sprinkling
Vegetable oil
6 cups water
1/4 cup baking soda

1. Place warm water in the bowl of a stand mixer and sprinkle yeast on top. Set aside to rest until mixture bubbles, about 5 minutes. (If the mixture does not bubble, either the liquid was not at the correct temperature or the yeast is old.)

2. Place flour, sugar and salt in a large bowl and whisk briefly to break up any lumps and combine. Once yeast is ready, fit the bowl on the mixer, attach a dough hook, and dump in flour mixture. Mix on the lowest setting until dough comes together, then increase to medium speed and mix until dough is elastic and smooth, about 8 minutes.

3. Form dough into a ball, place in a large oiled mixing bowl, and turn dough to coat in oil. Cover with a clean, damp dishtowel, and let rest in a warm place until dough doubles in size, about 30 to 35 minutes.

4. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, coat paper with vegetable oil, and set aside.

5. Once dough has risen, punch it down and knead it on a floured, dry surface just until it becomes smooth and springs back when poked, about 1 minute.

6. Divide dough into 8 pieces and form into oblong rolls. Place rolls on the baking sheet and cut 4 (2-inch) diagonal slashes across the top of each. Cover with a damp towel and let dough rise in a warm place until almost doubled in volume, about 15 to 20 minutes.

7. Meanwhile, heat the oven to 425°F and bring water to a boil in a large saucepan over high heat.

8. Once rolls have risen, stir baking soda into boiling water (water will foam up slightly). Boil two or three rolls for 2 minutes per side. Using a slotted spoon, remove rolls, drain, and place on the baking sheet, cut side up.

9. Sprinkle well with salt, and repeat with remaining rolls.

10. Once all rolls are ready, place in the oven and bake until golden brown, about 10 to 12 minutes. Serve hot.

The Frenchy Burger

This is my rendition of the fabulous burger from the Blue Door Pub.

Makes 4 large burgers

1.25lbs ground hamburger
1 large white onion, thinly sliced
6 slices provolone cheese
5-6 basil leaves, minced
1 sprig oregano, leaves removed and minced
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 pkg baby bella mushrooms, sauteed in butter and garlic
3/4tsp Lawry's seasoned salt
1/4 tsp ground pepper
1tsp Worcestershire sauce
1tsp balsamic vinegar
1/2 white wine
2T olive oil
1 jar Au Jus (I use Jimmy's)
4 good buns - See recipe for pretzel rolls

1. Saute onion, garlic, olive oil, balsamic vinegar and white wine over medium heat for 30 minutes, until onions are translucent.

2. In the meantime, combine hamburger, basil, oregano, Worcestershire, seasoned salt and pepper in bowl.

3. Form hamburger mixture into large, flat patties - I am talking cake plate sized.

4. Place sauteed onion mixture in center of patty and top with 1/2 slice provolone. Wrap the sides of the burger up on top of the mixture and pinch all seams closed well, or they will open when cooking.

5. Place on grill, seamed side down first. Cook for about 8 minutes on each side, to ensure meat is fully cooked on inside. 2 minutes prior to removing burgers from grill, place full slice of provolone on top to melt.

6. Place on bun and serve with a side of Au Jus.

Sides at the Blue Door Pub include sea salt french fries, beer battered green beans and tater tots. I opted to serve our burgers with tater tots and seasoned sour cream.

Mama B's Buffalo Chicken and Blue Cheese Pasta Salad

1 lb chicken breasts, cut into small pieces
1/2 C Louisiana Hot Sauce, or other Buffalo sauce
1- 1lb package bow tie pasta, cooked
2 stalks celery, finely chopped
1/2 small purple onion, finely chopped
3/4C blue cheese dressing - I use Lighthouse brand, in the cold case
1/2C real mayo
1/2C sour cream
1/4C blue cheese crumbles
1/4tsp celery seeds
1/2tsp salt
1/2tsp black pepper

1. Add the hot sauce to uncooked chicken pieces, let marinade in refrig for 1-2 hours before cooking. Saute in frying pan with small amt of olive oil. Cool.

2. Mix wet ingredients.

3. Add everything together in large bowl. Place in refrig for at least 1 hour.

This is best prepared in advance and eaten on day 2, 3 etc.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Jerk Chicken

From LV

1 large onion, cut into 8 pieces
1 teaspoon ground ginger or tablespoon minced crystallized ginger
1/2 to 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded, & finely minced
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
2 tablespoons dry mustard
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar or balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 cloves garlic, crushed & minced
2C chicken stock
3 to 4 pounds chicken breasts

1. Combine onion & ginger in food processor, process until finely chopped. Add remaining ingredients except chicken, & pulse until well blended.

2. Place chicken in slow cooker & cover w/ sauce, cover, set on low, and cook for 6 to 8 hours, or until chicken is tender (3-4 hours on high).

3. Shred and serve on buns.