Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Sesame Chicken with Broccoli and Red Pepper

Sesame Chicken with Broccoli and Red Pepper

1. Cut 1 pound chicken breast tenders into 1-inch pieces. Cut 1 pound broccoli into small, bite-size florets, and peel and slice stalks 1/4-inch thick. Stem and seed 1 red bell pepper, and cut into 2-inch long matchsticks. Mince 1 Tablespoon fresh ginger. Toast 1 Tablespoon sesame seeds.

2. In a small bowl, whisk together 1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth, 3 Tablespoons soy sauce*,
1 Tablespoon cornstarch, and 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil. In a large bowl, whisk together
1 Tablespoon soy sauce, 1 Tablespoon cornstarch, and 1 Tablespoon vegetable oil; toss with chicken         to coat.

3. Heat 1 Tablespoon vegetable oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, until just smoking. Brown chicken, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate and tent loosely with foil.

4. Add broccoli and 1/4 cup low sodium chicken broth to now-empty skillet and cook, covered, until broccoli begins to soften, about 2 minutes. Uncover and cook until liquid evaporates, about 1 minute. Add
1 Tablespoon vegetable oil and bell pepper and cook until spotty brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Add ginger and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Whisk sauce to recombine and add to skillet with chicken and any accumulated juices. Cook until thickened, about 1 minute. Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds; add
salt and pepper to taste. Serve over rice.

*I use Coconut Aminos in place of soy sauce.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Chocolate-Peanut Butter Crunchies

Chocolate-Peanut Butter Crunchies

1. Combine 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips* and 1/2 cup crunchy peanut butter in a large bowl; microwave, stirring occasionally, until melted, 1 to 3 minutes. Gently fold in 2½cups cornflakes until evenly coated.

2. Drop heaping Tablespoons of mixture onto parchment paper-lined baking sheet and garnish with nonpareils or sprinkles. Refrigerate until set, 30 to 35 minutes.

*My favorite chocolate chips.

S'mores Blossom Cookies

S'mores Blossom Cookies
from Cook's Country Magazine
(ounces) = weight

1. Soften 8 Tablespoons (4 ounces) unsalted butter, and bring 1 large egg to room temperature. Crush 
8 whole graham crackers into fine crumbs (1 cup), halve 12 large marshmallows crosswise, and unwrap
24 chocolate Kisses.

2. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Whisk 1¼ cups (6¼ ounces) all-purpose flour, 1/2 teaspoon baking powder, 1/4 teaspoon baking soda, and 1/4 teaspoon salt together in bowl.

3. Using stand mixer fitted with paddle, beat butter, 1/2 cup (3½ ounces) sugar, and 1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add egg and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract and beat until incorporated. Reduce speed to low and slowly add flour mixture until just combined.

4. Place remaining 1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs in shallow dish. Working with 1 tablespoon
(3/4 ounce) dough at a time, roll into 1 1/4-inch balls. Toss dough balls in graham cracker crumbs to coat. Space them evenly on prepared sheets, 12 per sheet. Bake, 1 sheet at a time, until just set and beginning
to crack on sides, 10 to 12 minutes. Let cookies cool on sheets for 5 minutes.

5. Adjust oven rack 10 inches from broiler element and heat broiler. Place 1 marshmallow half, cut side down, in center of each cookie. Broil cookies, 1 sheet at a time, until marshmallows are deep golden brown, 30 to 45 seconds, rotating halfway through for even browning, if needed. Transfer sheet to wire rack and immediately place 1 Hershey’s Kiss in center of each marshmallow, pressing down gently. Repeat with remaining cookies, marshmallows, and Kisses. Let cookies cool completely before serving, about 1 hour.

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Soft and Chewy Dinner Rolls

Soft and Chewy Dinner Rolls

1. Adjust oven rack to middle position. Heat oven to 200°F and turn it off. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Grease a large, clear, straight-sided container. Heat 1¼ cups water to 110°F. Bring 1 large egg to room temperature and beat lightly.

2. Whisk water, 2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, and 1 Tablespoon sugar in a large liquid measuring cup until sugar dissolves. In bowl of a stand mixer fitted with dough hook, mix 3 cups (15 ounces) all-purpose flour, 1/4 cup instant potato flakes, 2¼ teaspoons instant yeast and 1½ teaspoons salt until combined. With mixer on low, slowly add water mixture and mix until dough comes together, about 1 minute.  Let dough rest for 10 minutes. Continue to mix on medium speed until dough is smooth and comes away from sides of bowl, about 6 minutes.

3. Turn dough onto a lightly floured counter and knead briefly to form a smooth, cohesive ball. Transfer dough to prepared container and turn to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and place in turned-off oven until dough has doubled in size, about 45 minutes.

4. Gently press down on dough on lightly floured counter. Divide dough into quarters and cut each quarter into 3 equal pieces. Form each piece into rough ball by pinching and pulling dough edges under so that the top is smooth. On clean counter (not floured), cup each ball with your palm and roll into smooth, tight ball. Transfer to prepared baking sheet. Cover loosely with plastic and let rest in turned-off oven until doubles in size, about 20 minutes. (Unbaked, formed rolls can be refrigerated for up to 24 hours.)

5. Remove unbaked rolls from oven and discard plastic. Heat oven to 400°F. Brush rolls with egg and sprinkle evenly with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Bake until golden brown and 200°F in the middle, about 15 minutes, rotating sheet halfway through baking. Cool rolls on sheet for 10 minutes before serving.

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Thai-Style Chicken Soup

Thai-Style Chicken Soup

1. Mince 2 onions, 6 garlic cloves and 2 Tablespoons fresh ginger. Trim off and discard all but the bottom
5 inches of 2 stalks of lemon grass; bruise 5 inch pieces with the back of a chef's knife. Peel 2 carrots and slice 1/4 inch thick. Tie 10 cilantro stems together with twine. Trim 8 ounces white mushrooms and slice thin.

2. Microwave onions, garlic, ginger, and 1 Tablespoon vegetable oil in a bowl, stirring occasionally, until onions are softened, about 5 minutes; transfer to slow cooker.

3. Stir 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth, 14 ounces canned coconut milk, lemon grass, carrots,
1 Tablespoon fish sauce, and cilantro stems into slow cooker. Season 1½ pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs with salt and pepper and nestle into slow cooker. Cover and cook until chicken is tender,
4 to 6 hours on low.

4. Transfer chicken to cutting board, let cool slightly, then shred into bite-size pieces. Let soup settle for
5 minutes, then skim fat from surface using a large spoon. Discard lemon grass and cilantro stems.

5. Stir in mushrooms, cover, and cook on high until mushrooms are tender, 5 to 15 minutes. Microwave
14 ounces canned coconut milk in a bowl until hot, about 3 minutes, then whisk in 2 Tablespoons fish sauce,
3 Tablespoons fresh lime juice, 1 Tablespoon sugar, and 2 teaspoons Thai red curry paste to dissolve.

6. Stir hot coconut milk mixture and shredded chicken into soup and let sit until heated through, about
5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste and garnish with fresh cilantro leaves and sliced scallions.

Canned Coconut Milk
(2 cans needed for this recipe)

Thai Red Curry Paste

Fish Sauce

Lemon Grass

Friday, October 7, 2016

Pumpkin Roll

Pumpkin Roll
(ounces/grams) = weight

1. Bring 5 large eggs to room temperature. Sift 1 cup (4 ounces) cake flour. Adjust an oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350°F. Grease an 18 x 13-inch rimmed baking sheet and line with parchment paper; grease parchment.

2. Whisk cake flour, 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a medium bowl. With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat eggs with 1 cup (7 ounces) sugar until pale yellow and thick, 6 to 10 minutes. Add 1 cup (244g) canned pumpkin puree, and mix on low until incorporated. Fold in flour mixture until combined. Spread batter evenly in prepared pan and bake until cake is firm and springs back when touched, about 15 minutes.

3. Before cooling, run a knife around edge of cake to loosen, and turn it out onto a clean sheet of parchment paper that has been dusted with confectioner's sugar. Gently peel off parchment attached to cake and discard. Roll cake and fresh parchment into a log and cool completely, about 1 hour.

4. To assemble, gently unroll cake and spread with 3 cups cream cheese frosting (recipe follows), leaving a 1-inch border at edges. Re-roll cake snugly, leaving parchment behind. Wrap cake firmly in plastic wrap and chill completely, at least 1 hour, or up to 2 days. Remove plastic, dust with confectioners sugar, and garnish with toasted/spiced pecans.

Fluffy Cream Cheese Frosting

1. Soften 8 Tablespoons (4 ounces) unsalted butter and 8 ounces cream cheese; cut into 4 pieces. Sift
 2 cups (8 ounces) confectioner's sugar.

2. With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat butter and confectioner's sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add cream cheese one piece at a time, beating thoroughly after each addition. Add
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract and mix until no lumps remain.