Friday, October 23, 2009

Cheddar Pepper Biscuits

3 cups of flour
2 tablespoons of baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 cup butter
1 cup of grated cheddar cheese
3/4 ~ 2 1/2 teaspoons pepper
3/4 cup buttermilk
  1. wisk all dry ingredients
  2. add cheddar cheese
  3. Cut in cold butter
  4. refrigerate dough 30 min
  5. preheat oven to 400
  6. gently stir in buttermilk
  7. gather mixture into a ball
  8. pat into 12 inch disc
  9. cut into 8 pieces
  10. bake 15 to 20 min
NOTES: We did not do step 4 (refrigerate) and we had to add a little more milk to get it to stick together. Becky cut her biscuits into nice little triangles to serve with soup. It makes way more than 8 regular-sized biscuits though.
SOURCE: Matt and Becky Brounstein

Chicken-Peanut Butter Stew

4 c. diced chicken (3-4 large chicken breasts)
1 1/2 c milk
1 c creamy peanut butter
1 sliced onion
1 diced green pepper
6 stalks diced celery
1 tsp salt or to taste
1 tsp pepper or to taste
5 c chicken broth
1/4 c cornstrach
Simmer chicken in 1/2 cup broth until cooked. Saute the onion, peppers and celery and mix them with the chicken. Mix remaining chicken broth, cornstarch, peanut butter, salt and pepper. Stir liquid mixture into simmering chicken. Add vegetables. Cook at low until thickened, stirring often. Serve over rice.

Original recipe (revised because we didn't like the liquid-solid ratio):
4 c. diced chicken (3 large chicken breasts)
2-3 tsp flour (more for thicker gravy)
1 1/2 c milk
1 c creamy peanut butter
1 sliced onion
1 diced green pepper
6 stalks diced celery
1 tsp salt or to taste
1 tsp pepper or to taste
water (enough to simmer chicken)
7 c chicken broth
Simmer chicken in water for approximately 1 hour. Saute the onion, peppers and celery. Mix flour, chicken broth, peanut butter, salt and pepper. Stir liquid mixture into simmering chicken and stir until creamy. Add vegetables. Cook at low heat for 1 hour, stirring often. Serve over rice.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Moist Pumpkin Spice Muffins

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces
1 heaping cup pumpkin puree*
1/2 cup evaporated milk
1 egg
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 cup golden raisins (optional!)*
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Generously grease 12 muffin tins.

Sift flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and salt. Cut in butter with two knives or a pastry blender until all incorporated. In a separate bowl, mix together pumpkin, evaporated milk, egg, and vanilla. Pour pumpkin mixture into the flour mixture. Add raisins.

Fold gently until mixture is just combined. Pour into greased muffin pan—batter hardly ever fills all twelve unless you keep it down to 1/2 full. Sprinkle generous amounts of cinnamon-sugar over the top of each unbaked muffin.

Bake for 25 minutes. Allow to cool in pan for 15 minutes, then remove and allow to cool. Ice with cream cheese frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting:
1/4 cup softened butter
4 ounces cream cheese
1/2 pound powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Mix all ingredients on high until soft and whipped. Spread onto completely cooled muffins, or place into a large pastry bag with a large star tip and go crazy!

The entire credit for this delicious recipe goes to Pioneer Woman. (Her photos are much more inspirational than mine too.) Next up - her truffle recipe!

  • I doubled the recipe and used one 15-ounce can of pumpkin. A double recipe made 48 mini muffins + 5 regular sized ones.
  • I always have regular raisins, but seldom have golden raisins. This substitution was fine.
  • Since I doubled the muffins, it seemed logical to double the frosting, right? Wrong! The recipe as written would've been more than enough to pipe a generous star on each of my minis.
  • I forgot to sprinkle the cinnamon/sugar on before baking. Also fine.
  • As promised, these were delish for breakfast and dessert. Thanksgiving brunch? Perfect!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Pan Fried Chicken Breasts

A Cautionary Tale.
This is what happens when I don't record a recipe right away. I remember how good it was, and how easy, and how fast, but there are a few details that escape me.

Like the ingredients.

I know there were a lot of canned bread crumbs combined with Famous Dave's Chicken Seasoning (and I remember thinking that seasoned salt or any other combo would be a good substitute). There was at least a tablespoon of seasoning.

The chicken breasts were on the thin side (and that allowed them to cook quickly and still remain moist).

There must have been some kind of moisture involved before dredging the meat in the crumbs. Probably milk.

I definitely remember they fried in butter, (It was pretty tremendous!) and it only took a few minutes on each side. I turned them gently and the crumb coating stayed attached. They were pretty.

Was there flour combined with the crumbs? Was there egg beaten in with the milk? Will I ever learn? I do know this is a modified version of something in a cookbook I own. Perhaps I'll find it someday.

Basil Bread

1 tsp sugar
1 c warm water or milk, divided
1 tbls yeast
3 c flour
1 tsp salt
1 tbls butter or marg
2 tbls sugar
2-3 tsp. dried basil
1 c loosely packed fresh parsely (try to avoid adding lots of stems)

  1. In bowl, mix the 1 tsp sugar into ¼ c warm milk/water. Sprinkle yeast on the liquid; stir lightly until dissolved. Let work for 5-10 minutes until bubbly.
  2. In processor bowl fitted with metal blade, put flour, salt, butter, the 2 tbls. sugar, basil and parsley. Blend together with quick on/off turns until blended. Pour in the yeast mixture; blend briefly. With machine running, pour the remaining ¾ c water or milk, little by little, until a ball forms. (All of the liquid may not be needed, but if a ball of dough does not form, add a bit more liquid.) Knead dough by allowing it to spin for about 1 minute.
  3. Knead by hand for 2-3 minutes.
  4. Place dough in a greased bowl, turning to coat top of ball, cover. Let rise until doubled (1-2 hours)
  5. Punch dough down; knead and shape into a loaf. (or 2 small loaves)
  6. Bake at 375° for 45 minutes (30 for smaller loaves) until bread is golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped on bottom.
  7. Cool on rack.

Grilled Pork Skewers with Peanut-Basil Sauce

20-30 fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup peanut butter*
3/4 cup coconut milk
2 tbls. soy sauce, more to taste
1 clove garlic, peeled (you know I put more than that in ;-)
1-inch long piece of ginger, peeled
1/2 tsp. red chile flakes
juice of one lime (I used about 1/4 cup lime juice from the bottle)
1/4 tsp salt
1 pound boneless pork shoulder or loin

Marinade: In blender, combine everything but the pork and pro
cess until mixture forms a smooth paste. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed. (Note: Mixture should be salty, spicy, and hot.)
Set aside 1/2 cup to use as dipping sauce.

To marinate pork: Slice pork into 1-inch cubes. Toss with remaining marinade until well coated. Thread meat onto skewers, without crowding.

To cook pork: Heat grill, grill pan, or broiler until quite hot. Cook pork, turning once, for 5-8 minutes or until brown all over.

Serve with reserved marinade. Garnish with lime wedges.

MY NOTES: We all loved the flavor of this recipe!
  • I couldn't really taste the coconut milk, but it's thickness added to the consistency of the sauce. A substitute could be used if it didn't thin the marinade too much.
  • I had a little over a pound of pork roast and really there was enough sauce that I could've doubled that - maybe more.
  • The only down side of this recipe is that the combination of the basil and peanut butter makes the sauce a weird tannish-green color.
*It says "preferable chunky" but I'm not sure why since it all gets blended anyway.