Tuesday, January 31, 2012

French Onion Soup


8-10 large onions, sliced
1/2 cup butter
60 ounces beef broth
1 1/2 tsp. Worchestershire sauce
3 bay leaves
10 slices french bread, toasted
grated Parmesan and/or shredded mozzarella cheese
  1. Saute onions in butter until crisp-tender. Transfer to slow cooker.
  2. Add broth, Worchestershire sauce, bay leaves.
  3. Cover and cook on low 5-7 hours.
  4. Ladle into bowls. Top with a slice of bread and cheese.
10 servings.
Source: Fix It and Forget It (2000), page 61

NOTES:
  • I loved this soup! It was so flavorful and unbelievably easy.
  • I made half a batch.
  • I used a variety of onions (one red, one sweet white, and three yellows). I think this contributed to the delicious flavor.
  • The original recipe called for condensed beef broth (like Campbells), but I think that would be too intense and probably too salty. I just used a carton of store brand beef broth.
  • I added a little pepper and found another recipe that called for thyme. (I didn't have any, but that would be good.) I usually think French Onion is oversalted, so didn't add any salt to this recipe. Surprisingly, that was a good choice. I didn't add any at the end either.
  • I buttered and toasted the bread on a grill (like a grilled cheese sandwich) and that added a nice flavor and texture to the bread.
  • We would've used a blow torch to "broil" the cheese as a final step, but it seemed like too much bother for the three of us, so we just microwaved it for 40 seconds or so to make everything melty at the end.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Pumpkin-Gingerbread Pancakes

2 cups whole wheat pastry flour

3 tablespoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups 1% milk
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 egg
2 tablespoons vinegar
2 tablespoons sunflower oil

Method

In a large bowl, mix together the milk, pumpkin, egg, oil and vinegar. In another bowl, whisk the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger and salt. Stir the dry mix into the pumpkin and combine.

Heat a lightly buttered griddle or frying pan over medium-low heat. Pour 1/4 cup of batter onto griddle creating medium pancakes. Brown on each side and serve warm.


SOURCE: Deb Nelson

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Soul Cakes

Traditional All Souls Day food. These cookies aren't over-sweet and stay moist for days!

1 cup butter
3 3/4 c. sifted flour
1 cup sugar
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
1 tsp allspice
2 eggs
2 tsp cider vinegar
4-6 tbsp milk
(optional) powdered sugar to sprinkle on top

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Cut butter into the flour with a pastry blender or two knives
  3. Blend in the sugar, nutmeg, ginger, cinnamon, and allspice; beat eggs, vinegar, and milk together.
  4. Mix with the flour mixture until a stiff dough is formed.
  5. Knead thoroughly and roll out to 1/4" thick
  6. Cut into 3-inch rounds (I used a glass instead of a cookie/biscuit cutter) and place on greased baking sheets. Prick with a fork (in the shape of a cross, if you're doing this for a feast) and bake for 20-25 minutes.
  7. (Optional) Sprinkle lightly with powdered sugar while still warm.

White Chicken Chili

Adapted from Pioneer Woman's recipe

2 chicken breasts (would probably be better with on-the-bone pieces, but this was fine)
3 c. chicken broth
1/2 onion
1 tbsp. garlic, or to taste
1 jalapeno, chopped (seeds and all)
1 can great northern beans, drained
1 can kidney beans, drained
1 can diced tomatoes, with juice
1 can chili peppers, chopped
cumin

Boil chicken until thoroughly cooked (about 25 minutes); remove meat from bones if necessary. Shred meat with forks. Saute onion in pan, adding garlic and jalapeno for the last couple minutes. Add everything else and simmer. Season to taste.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Crepes

2 large eggs
3/4 cups milk
1/2 cup water
1 cup flour
3 tbsp. melted butter

Whisk all ingredients together, let rest for 30 minutes.  Heat a small nonstick pan and coat lightly with butter.  Pour 1/4 cup of batter into the pan and swirl to spread it around; cook for 30 seconds, flip and cook another 10 seconds. Continue until all the batter is used.

For sweet crepes add 3 tbsp. sugar, 1 tsp. vanilla and 2 tbsp. of any liqueur to the batter.
For savory add 1/3 tsp. of salt and 1/4 cup chopped fresh herbs.

These are very good stuffed with homemade ricotta and fresh spinach, and topped with one egg over easy.

Adapted from Alton Brown.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Garam Masala Nuts

2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
3-1/2 cups sugar
3 cups water
4 cups raw nuts
4 tsp. salt
2 tsp. garam masala
1 tsp. cumin
1/8 tsp. cinnamon
1/8 tsp allspice
1-1/2 tsp. cayenne

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Coat a baking sheet with vegetable oil. Combine water and sugar in a large pot and bring to a boil; lower heat to medium; add the salt, nuts and spices.  Simmer for 8 minutes. Remove nuts with a slotted spoon, shaking off the excess syrup, spread onto the baking sheet.  Bake until browned, about 15 minutes.  Remove from the oven and let cool completely, break apart and store in an airtight container.

There's enough syrup to make 3 batches of nuts, you just have to make them 4 cups at a time.