Friday, December 6, 2013
Have you ever had a pizzelle? I just love these little cookies. They're not too sweet and you can vary the flavor. I tend to prefer the anise cookies, but I went with an almond recipe this time, I think it would appeal to more people.
Obviously, you do need special equipment to make these: a pizzelle maker. I think I bought mine at Bed, Bath, and Beyond and they run around $40-50. It's like a little waffle iron and makes two cookies at a time. I love trying to eat around the design without breaking the pattern (those of you who separate their M&Ms into different colors and eat the ugly colors first know what I mean!)
I generally just make these during the holidays and package up for gifts, although they're a great year-around treat.
PIZZELLES (makes about 3 dozen)
1 3/4 cups AP flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup sugar
1 Tbsp almond extract
1 Tbsp orange zest
1 stick butter, melted
Confectioners' sugar, for dusting, optional
Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium-sized bowl and set aside.
Beat the eggs, sugar, almond extract, and zest together in another medium-sized bowl.
Fold the flour mixture into the egg mixture. Stir in the melted butter.
Preheat your pizzelle iron according to the manufacturer's instructions.
Drop a scant Tablespoon of the batter onto each patterned cookie grid on the bottom plate of the iron. Close the iron and cook the pizzelles, 30-60 seconds depending on how crisp you like them.
Remove the cookies from the iron andp lace them on a rack to cool. When you're ready to serve, dust with the confectioners sugar, if desired.
Recipe Source: www.qvc.com/pizzelles.content.html
Posted by TheFultons at 7:57 AM
Thursday, December 5, 2013
OK....we all have our favorite chili recipes. Or do we? I don't know about you, but I generally just kinda toss whatever I have in the frig into my chili. Maybe I should call this produce drawer chili.
I had some sweet peppers and onions that needed to find a home. I generally use about half ground turkey breast and half turkey Italian sausage. But when I went to the store the other day, I found something new: Italian Seasoned Ground Turkey. Hmmm.....two birds with one stone?
So I went ahead and picked up some Italian-style diced tomatoes. And then I used what I had on hand. And this is the result. A pretty darned good chili. The ingredients below are simply what I had on hand....use what you have/like. Chili is one of the most versatile winter dishes to have on hand, and it freezes great. So you'll always have a wonderful dinner or snack. I love it with cheese and sour cream. Use tortillas for a dip. Or the ever-wonderful Frito Chili Pie. Or........
Make ahead if you can. Chili is always better the second day.
ITALIAN-SEASONED TURKEY CHILI (makes about 6-8 servings)
1 Tbsp EVOO
1 pound Italian-seasoned ground turkey
1 medium onion, diced
1 leek (white part), chopped
2 tsp minced garlic
1/4 green pepper, chopped
1/2 red pepper, chopped
1 (15 oz) can kidney beans, light or dark, your preference
1 (15 oz) can Italian-seasoned diced tomatoes
1/2 cup V8 juice
2 tsp cocoa powder
2 tsp cumin
1/8 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp oregano
1 Tbsp chili powder
crushed red pepper, to taste
S&P to taste
1/4 cup red wine
2 Tbsp chopped cilantro
shredded cheddar cheese
sliced green onions
chopped sweet onions
Heat olive oil in a medium saucepan. When hot, add onion, leek, garlic, and peppers. Cook until wilted, about 10 minutes. Add turkey. Cook until no longer pink, another 10 minutes or so.
Add tomatoes, V8, cocoa powder, and seasonings. Let simmer about 15 minutes. Add wine and cilantro, simmer another 10 minutes or so.
Top with any toppings you like.
Posted by TheFultons at 11:17 AM
Wednesday, December 4, 2013
OK, I posted this recipe a few years ago. And I kept making it with great results. Just like the English Toffee before it. And then, WHAMMMM!!!! Just like the English Toffee, it failed. Twice yesterday. Just as it reached temp, it separated. Both times. So a pound of butter, 2 cups of sugar, and a bunch of almonds....gone. What is going on???
Just by luck my friend and former neighbor, Pat, called. She thought maybe it could be that I was using store-brand butter instead of a name-brand or maybe unsalted instead of salted butter. Could that be?
I love to cook. But I don't care much for baking and candy-making is at the bottom of my like-to-do list. So when I had two failures in one day, I had just about given up. But today's grocery ads came out and..... voila!!!!.....Lake o' Lakes SALTED butter was on sale! Name-brand salted butter. It was an omen. I had to give it one more shot.
Guess what? It worked! Perfectly. So I don't know if it's the salt-edness or the brand-name-edness, but I'll never take another chance. So if you've had this disheartening problem, try this solution for fantastic results.
And thank you, Pat! You may have just helped more than one person.
ALMOND ROCA (makes one 16x12" jelly-roll pan)
1 cup salted, name-brand butter
1 cup sugar
6 oz slivered almonds
1 1/2 to 2 cups chocolate chips (I prefer milk chocolate)
3 oz sliced almonds
Kosher or sea salt, for sprinkling
Line a large rimmed packing sheet with foil. Spray with cooking spray.
Place the slivered almonds in a single layer on a baking sheet and toast in the oven at 300F for 5-6 minutes, checking often, until the almonds are golden brown and toasted. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
In a medium saucepan over low heat, combine the butter and sugar and cook, stirring constantly with a heatproof spatula (I used a wooden spatula) until the butter is completely melted and the sugar is dissolved. Don't rush this step! It may take up to 5-6 minutes for the sugar to dissolve but you don't want the heat too high during this part of the process.
Once the sugar is dissolved and butter melted, turn the heat up to medium and stir gently as the mixture comes to a boil. Again, this may take a few minutes. Once it comes to a boil, clip a candy thermometer to the side of the pan and continue stirring gently as it cooks. The mixture will gradually turn to darker shades of brown until it reaches the hard crack stage and should register 300F (hard crack) on your candy thermometer. As you stir during this process, don't scrape the sides of the pan, just gently stir in a figure-eight motion.
Immediately take the roca off the stove once it hits 300F and stir in the toasted, slivered almonds. Pour the candy onto the prepared baking sheet, taking care not to scrape the bottom of the pot as you pour it out. Using an offset spatula, quickly spread the toffee into an even layer on the baking sheet. It will cool quickly making it hard to spread.
Sprinkle the chocolate chips over the hot toffee and tent with foil. Let the chocolate melt for 2-3 minutes, remove the tented foil and spread the chocolate chips into an even layer. Sprinkle the sliced almonds over the top of the roca, sprinkle with salt and set the candy aside to let set and cool completely (place in your frig for quicker cooling/setting).
Once cool and the chocolate is set, break into pieces.
Posted by TheFultons at 2:53 PM
Tuesday, December 3, 2013
Let me preface this recipe by saying I would not make these potatoes again exactly as the recipe states. They instruct you to mash the potatoes with the water they have cooked in. I do prefer the creamier taste of mashing them with dairy. That being said, the rest of the recipe is fantastic!
I had never thought of adding mustard and horseradish to mashed potatoes but these tasted spot-on to me. But taste it as you add.....you may like a bit more punch to yours. There's not enough of either to overwhelm, but they add a wonderfully complex flavor, plus the little "snap" of the mustard seeds satisfies my texture compulsion!
So if you're looking for a variation on a basic mashed potatoes, give this a try. It will definitely be a new dish on our table.
AS GOOD AS MASHED POTATOES (6 servings)
1 1/2 pounds potatoes, scrubbed (I think I used 3 white potatoes)
1 1/4 cups water
4 tsp minced garlic
4 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
3 dashes hot pepper sauce, or to taste
1 tsp salt
1 tsp yellow mustard, or to taste
2 tsp whole grain mustard, or to taste
2 tsp prepared horseradish, or to taste
1/4 cup fat-free sour cream
Pare the potatoes or leave skin on, according to taste. Cut into 1" cubes and place in a heavy medium saucepan. Add water, garlic, parsley, hot pepper sauce, and salt. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat, cover and let cook for about 20 minutes, stirring and breaking up the potatoes with a fork, add more water if potatoes seem too dry.
Continue stirring and mashing the potatoes for about 5 minutes until the water is absorbed and the potatoes are soft and lumpy.
Remove from heat, stir in the mustards, horseradish, and sour cream.
Recipe Source: Chattanooga Times Free Press, 11-13-13, p. E4
Posted by TheFultons at 7:15 AM
Monday, December 2, 2013
I had some leftover white bread and some croissants from Thanksgiving and decided to use it in one of the few sweet treats I really enjoy....bread pudding. This recipe is about as basic as it gets, although I substituted pecans for raisins. You could also use craisins or walnuts. Or slightly saute some apple and add it to the mix. And use whatever kind of bread you have on hand...a mixture is always nice. Adjust amount of bread in the recipe to accomodate whichever bread you're using.
I prefer rum sauce with my pudding, but you can also easily find lemon sauce or vanilla sauce recipes for it.
BREAD PUDDING (4-8 servings, depending on size)
7-8 slices day-old bread
2 Tbsp butter, melted
1/2 cup raisins, optional
3 eggs, beaten
2 cups milk (any: skim, lo-fat, whole)
1/2 to 3/4 cup sugar, depending on how sweet you like it
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla extract
Optional: light brown sugar, additional cinnamon, additional raisins or nuts to sprinkle on top
Preheat oven to 350F (175C).
Break bread into small pieces into an 8x8 baking pan. Drizzle melted butter over bread. If desired, sprinkle with raisins.
In a medium mixing bowl, combine eggs, milk, sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla. Beat until well-mixed. Pour over bread, and lightly push down with a fork until bread is covered and soaking up the egg mixture.
If using, sprinkle top of mixture with sugar, cinnamon, and raisins or nuts.
Bake for 45 minutes, or until the top springs back when lightly tapped.
2 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp cornstarch
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup milk
3 Tbsp light or dark rum
Melt butter. Mix sugar and cornstarch, stir into butter. Pour in milk. Stir until it reaches a boil. Remove from heat. Stir in rum.
Recipe Source: adapted from www.allrecipes.com
Posted by TheFultons at 8:53 AM
Saturday, November 30, 2013
How was your Thanksgiving? Pretty quiet around here. I've been feeling a bit poorly since Sunday and it seemed to come to a head on Thursday. Luckily, it was just the two of us and I had a very easy crockpot turkey breast recipe and just added a few dishes.
So are you turkied-out yet? Talk about quick and easy, not to mention dee-lish, here's a great alternative for the turkey blues! I just so happened to have everything on hand and this came together in no time. I served it with some refried black beans and our favorite Spanish rice from Joy of Cooking (see 5-12-13 post). I cut the recipe in half and make two 8x8 pans, each with about 5 enchiladas. The second dish went into the freezer (along with the leftover rice and beans) so now I have a complete dinner waiting.
SHRIMP ENCHILADAS with GREEN SAUCE (8 servings)
16 (6") corn tortillas
1/2 cup plus 1 Tbsp EVOO, divided
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
2 medium onions, finely chopped
4 tsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp cumin
1 1/2 lbs uncooked small shrimp (I used 60-72s), peeled and deveined
2 pkg (10 oz each) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
2 cups (8 oz) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided
2 cans (10 oz each) green enchilada sauce
Fresh salsa, optional
Preheat oven to 350F. In a skillet, heat 1/2 cup oil over medium-high heat. In batches, fry tortillas 10 seconds on each side or until pliable (do not allow to crisp). Drain on paper towels. Cover with foil. NOTE: The tortillas I had were already pliable, so I was able to skip this step. You can also microwave them for a few seconds in lieu of frying.
In a large skillet, heat remaining oil over medium-high heat. Add tomatoes, onions, garlic, and cumin; cook and stir 3-4 minutes or until onions are tender. Add shrimp; cook 3-4 minutes or until shrimp turn pink, stirring occasionally. Stir in spinach; heat through.
Place 1/4 cup shrimp mixture off-center on each tortilla; top with 1 Tbsp cheese. Roll up and place in a great 13x9 baking dish, seam side down. Top with green enchilada sauce; sprinkle with remaining cheese.
Bake enchiladas, uncovered, 25-30 minutes or until heated through and cheese is melted.
Recipe Source: Taste of Home, December 2013, p. 64
Posted by TheFultons at 11:00 AM
Wednesday, November 27, 2013
I've probably tasted and made as many corn chowder recipes as I have wild rice soup recipes. Telling you that I do love my chowder. This one was special to me because of adding the smoked paprika. It's amazing how much flavor just a 1/2 tsp can add. This is quick and easy and the ingredients are something I almost always have on hand. A great dish for a cold, rainy day!
SMOKY CORN CHOWDER (4 servings)
4-5 slices bacon, chopped
1/2 cup diced onions or leeks
2 tsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
16 oz package frozen corn
3 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 cup milk
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
2-4 green onions, white parts cut off and discarded and green parts thinly sliced
In a 4-5 quart saucepan, cook the chopped bacon over medium heat until golden and crisp. Scoop into a paper-lined plate and discard all of the bacon grease except a very thin coating (1-2 tsp).
Add the onion and cook for 5-7 minutes until translucent. Stir in the garlic, paprika, and red pepper and cook, stirring for 1-2 minutes.
Stir in the corn, broth, and milk. Bring the soup to a boil and then reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
Transfer half of the soup to a blender (very carefully, don't overfill the blender since hot liquids will expand while blending) and puree until mostly smooth.
Return the blended soup to the pot and add 1/2 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper. Taste and add more if needed.
Serve warm topped with green onions and bacon.
Posted by TheFultons at 10:01 AM