Chicken Tamale Pie

A really satisfying, warm, cheesy, chicken-y dinner! The ingredient list may look long, but the cornbread comes together quickly and then I was able to just about get the sauce done while the cornbread cooked, and the chicken bit down while the sauce cooked, so it felt like it all went speedily enough. My pro-tip as far as the chicken goes is, get a whole bunch of chicken breasts, throw them plain into a crockpot for 3 hours on high/6 on low, shred all the meat, and put 1-2 breasts worth into tupperwares and into the freezer for this and SO MANY other meals when it’s handy to just pull out the chicken all ready to go.

Ingredients:

Cornbread:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup finely ground cornmeal
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup butter melted
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup canned corn (if you have the energy to grill your own corn on the cob, go that way, but it’s not for me)
  • 4 ounces freshly grated sharp cheddar cheese

Enchilada sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken stock
  • 15 ounces tomato sauce
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper

Chicken layer:

  • 1 1/2 cups cooked shredded chicken
  • 1/3 cup canned corn
  • 1 4-ounce can diced green chiles
  • 6 ounces freshly grated white cheddar cheese
  • sliced green onions for topping
  • fresh cilantro for topping (no thx)
  • lime wedges for spritzing (not for me)

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Start making the cornmeal by whisking together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, sugar, and salt in a large bowl. In a smaller bowl, whisk together the butter, milk, and egg. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and whisk until just combined.

I used our Jimmy Red cornmeal from work, hence the color.

Fold in the corn and cheese, then pour into a 10 inch cast iron skillet.

Bake 15-18 minutes, or until just set. (I only own 9 and 12 inch skillets and went with the bigger one to avoid the risk of the ingredients overflowing a smaller pan – if you have to do the same, just check your cornbread at or before the shortest end of the timeframe to avoid burning.)

The corn kernels stick out quite dramatically with this cornmeal!

While the cornbread bakes, heat the olive oil a large saucepan over medium heat for the enchilada sauce. Add the flour and stir until golden brown, around 2 minutes.

Add all the remaining ingredients for the sauce and stir together, then bring to a simmer.

Reduce the heat to low and cook at least 5 more minutes, or until the cornbread is ready.

While the sauce cooks, stir together the chicken, green chiles, the remaining corn, and 2 ounces of the cheese.

When the sauce and cornbread are ready, poke holes all over the cornbread and drizzle 1/2 cup of the enchilada sauce on/into the cornbread.

Stir another cup of the sauce into the chicken mixture.

Spread the chicken mixture over the cornbread.

Pour all the remaining sauce on top, then sprinkle the remaining cheese on top.

Bake 25-30 minutes, until golden and bubbly. Remove from the oven and top with green onions and cilantro, and serve with lime wedges for sprinkling.

Tastes better than it looks! 😉 And if you refrigerate leftovers, those will hold their shape better than the stuff straight out of the oven.

Chicken Tamale Pie

From How Sweet Eats.

Cornbread:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup finely ground cornmeal
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup butter melted
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup canned corn
  • 4 ounces freshly grated sharp cheddar cheese

Enchilada sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken stock
  • 15 ounces tomato sauce
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper

Chicken layer:

  • 1 1/2 cups cooked shredded chicken
  • 1/3 cup canned corn
  • 1 4-ounce can diced green chiles
  • 6 ounces freshly grated white cheddar cheese
  • sliced green onions for topping
  • fresh cilantro for topping
  • lime wedges for spritzing

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Start making the cornmeal by whisking together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, sugar, and salt in a large bowl. In a smaller bowl, whisk together the butter, milk, and egg. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and whisk until just combined. Fold in the corn and cheese, then pour into a 10 inch cast iron skillet. Bake 15-18 minutes, or until just set.

While the cornbread bakes, heat the olive oil a large saucepan over medium heat for the enchilada sauce. Add the flour and stir until golden brown, around 2 minutes. Add all the remaining ingredients for the sauce and stir together, then bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low and cook at least 5 more minutes, or until the cornbread is ready.

While the sauce cooks, stir together the chicken, green chiles, the remaining corn, and 2 ounces of the cheese.

When the sauce and cornbread are ready, poke holes all over the cornbread and drizzle 1/2 cup of the enchilada sauce on/into the cornbread. Stir another cup of the sauce into the chicken mixture. Spread the chicken mixture over the cornbread, then pour any remaining sauce on top. Top with the remaining cheese and bake 25-30 minutes, until golden and bubbly. Remove from the oven and top with green onions and cilantro, and serve with lime wedges for sprinkling.

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Homemade Frosty

It’s Wendy’s, without the nightmare of ‘leaving your own home’! This recipe actually makes enough to fill my Cuisinart ice cream maker twice, which is either a good thing or a hassle depending on your mood (=if you’ve already tasted the finish product and realized you want more yet).

Ingredients:

  • 1 quart chocolate milk
  • 1 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 8 ounce container Cool Whip, thawed in the fridge for a few hours
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Whisk together all the ingredients in a large bowl.

Freeze according to your ice cream maker’s instructions.

That’s it! Store in the freezer – it firms up some, but never gets as hard as ice cream.

Chocolate Frosty

From AllRecipes, including tips in the comments.

  • 1 quart chocolate milk
  • 1 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 8 ounce container Cool Whip, thawed in the fridge for a few hours
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Whisk together all the ingredients in a large bowl. Freeze according to your ice cream maker’s instructions.

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Pluot Cobbler

Pluots are easily my favorite fruit, so today we’re saying nuts to peach cobbler, and swapping pluots in instead!

Filling:

  • 10 pluots cut into thin slices
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground numeg
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch

Topping:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
  • 1/4 cup boiling water

Cinnamon Sugar:

  • 3 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

In a large bowl, combine all the filling ingredients and stir to coat evenly.

An even larger bowl would be easier.

Pour into a 2 quart baking dish and bake for 15 minutes. You may want to put your dish on a cookie sheet/bigger pan in case any juice drips out over the sides.

While the fruit bakes, combine the flour, sugars, baking powder, and salt of the topping in a large bowl and stir together. Blend in the butter with your fingertips or a pastry blender until the mixture resembles coarse meal.

Stir in the water until just combined – this is enough water it’s not the dry pie crust texture I was sort of picturing.

Set aside, then stir together the cinnamon sugar in a small dish.

Take the baked pluots from the oven and drop spoonfuls of the topping evenly on top. Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar over the unbaked topping.

Bake until golden, 25-30 minutes.

Serve still warm, ideally with vanilla ice cream.

This is an absurd serving. Oh well, it’s already in the bowl now!

Pluot Cobbler

Filling:

  • 10 pluots cut into thin slices
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground numeg
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch

Topping:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
  • 1/4 cup boiling water

Cinnamon Sugar:

  • 3 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

In a large bowl, combine all the filling ingredients and stir to coat evenly. Pour into a 2 quart baking dish and bake for 15 minutes. You may want to put your dish on a cookie sheet/bigger pan in case any juice drips out over the sides.

While the fruit bakes, combine the flour, sugars, baking powder, and salt of the topping in a large bowl and stir together. Blend in the butter with your fingertips or a pastry blender until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Stir in the water until just combined – this is enough water it’s not the dry pie crust texture I was sort of picturing. Set aside, then stir together the cinnamon sugar in a small dish.

Take the baked pluots from the oven and drop spoonfuls of the topping evenly on top. Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar over the unbaked topping, then bake until golden, about 30 minutes. Serve still warm, ideally with vanilla ice cream.

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Lemon Ice-Box Cake

Same general concept as an eclair cake, this is an easy dessert to throw together the day before, and then feed a crowd with something sweet and tart and delicious! Ideally you’re eating it with a bunch of friends and won’t have many leftovers, but if you do, even by day 10 or 12 so (I live alone!) it still tastes just as good, there’s just a tiny bit of liquid separating out by then.

Ingredients:

  • 2 3.4 ounce packages instant Jell-o Lemon Pudding Mix, dry
  • 3 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 2 8 ounce containers frozen whipped topping, thawed, divided
  • 1 14 ounce package graham crackers
  • 1 1/2 cups lemon curd

In a large bowl, beat together the pudding mixes and milk with an electric mixer for several minutes until thickened. If your mixer is leaving tracks in the pudding, you’re probably good.

Use a rubber spatula to gently fold 12 ounces of the whipped topping into the pudding until completely mixed.

Arrange a single layer of graham crackers in the bottom of a 9×13″ pan.

Compare with the top layer – the slight widening of the pan means you can fit more grahams way better in your top layer.

Spread half the pudding mixture over the graham crackers, followed by half of the lemon curd.

Repeat grahams, pudding, curd. Top with a final layer of graham crackers, then spread the remaining whipped topping evenly on top.

Cover and refrigerate at least 8 hours before serving. The graham crackers will have become softened by the pudding, and will cut easily with a spatula/server. Top with berries, if desired, for serving.

Lemon Ice-Box Cake

From My Baking Addiction.

  • 2 3.4 ounce packages instant Jell-o Lemon Pudding Mix, dry
  • 3 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 2 8 ounce containers frozen whipped topping, thawed, divided
  • 1 14 ounce package graham crackers
  • 1 1/2 cups lemon curd

In a large bowl, beat together the pudding mixes and milk with an electric mixer for several minutes until thickened. Use a rubber spatula to gently fold 12 ounces of the whipped topping into the pudding until completely mixed.

Arrange a single layer of graham crackers in the bottom of a 9×13″ pan. Spread half the pudding mixture over the graham crackers, followed by half of the lemon curd. Repeat grahams, pudding, curd. Top with a final layer of graham crackers, then spread the remaining whipped topping evenly on top. Cover and refrigerate at least 8 hours before serving. Top with berries, if desired, for serving.

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Strawberry Snacking Cake

A tasty summery cake that comes together comes together pretty quickly. Because you’re mixing sliced strawberries with some sugar to start with, I thought I could get away with buying frozen sliced strawberries with sugar – this turns out to be not the best idea. In the little tubs of strawberry slices, they’re actually only giving you a few real slices, and a lot of just random bits leftover from cutting up other strawberries, so it’s hard to get nice looking rows of strawberries on top, and they seem to sink more than in Bon Appetit’s picture. Live and learn!

Ingredients:

  • 8 ounces strawberries, hulled, thinly sliced lengthwise (not frozen and then thawed)
  • 3 tablespoons plus 1 cup sugar, divided, plus more for the pan
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus a pinch, divided
  • 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for the pan
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup fine-ground cornmeal
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sour cream
  • zest of 2 lemons
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup strawberry jam

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Gently toss the strawberries, 1 tablespoon of sugar, and a pinch of salt in a medium bowl. Set aside, tossing occasionally, until ready to use.

Lightly coat a 9×13″ pan with oil. Line with parchment paper, leaving an overhang on the long sides. Pour in some sugar and tilt the pan all around to coat the inside with sugar, then pour out the excess.

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, cornmeal, baking soda, 1 cup of sugar, and 1 teaspoon of salt, and whisk together. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, yolks, sour cream, lemon zest, lemon juice, and vanilla.

Add the dry goods to the wet and whisk gently.

I used some of my red cornmeal, yours may not be so speckley.

Drizzle in 3/4 cup of olive oil while folding it in with a rubber spatula, until fully incorporated. Don’t give up, it really does all mix in eventually!

Gently turn the batter out into the prepared pan and spread evenly.

Stir up the strawberry jam with a spoon so there are no huge chunks, then drop little dollops all over the batter. Swirl in using a knife or skewer.

Arrange the strawberries on the top in rows, then sprinkle the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar over the top.

Bake 40-45 minutes, until the cake is golden brown and it passes the toothpick test. Cool in pan.

They may not be as visible, but you’ll still taste the berries!

Strawberry Snacking Cake

From the April 2021 Bon Appetit magazine.

 

  • 8 ounces strawberries, hulled, thinly sliced lengthwise
  • 3 tablespoons plus 1 cup sugar, divided, plus more for the pan
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus a pinch, divided
  • 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for the pan
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup fine-ground cornmeal
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sour cream
  • zest of 2 lemons
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup strawberry jam

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Gently toss the strawberries, 1 tablespoon of sugar, and a pinch of salt in a medium bowl. Set aside, tossing occasionally, until ready to use.

Lightly coat a 9×13″ pan with oil. Line with parchment paper, leaving an overhang on the long sides. Pour in some sugar and tilt the pan all around to coat the inside with sugar, then pour out the excess.

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, cornmeal, baking soda, 1 cup of sugar, and 1 teaspoon of salt, and whisk together. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, yolks, sour cream, lemon zest, lemon juice, and vanilla. Add the dry goods to the wet and whisk gently, then drizzle in 3/4 cup of olive oil while folding it in with a rubber spatula, until fully incorporated.

Gently turn the batter out into the prepared pan and spread evenly. Stir up the strawberry jam with a spoon, then drop little dollops all over the batter. Swirl in using a knife or skewer. Arrange the strawberries on the top in rows, then sprinkle the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar over the top.

Bake 40-45 minutes, until the cake is golden brown and it passes the toothpick test. Cool in pan.

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Buttermilk Cake

A moist vanilla cake that stayed good over a week while I worked through the leftovers alone.

Maybe with sifted powdered sugar it’d look less diseased?

Ingredients:

Cake:

  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 cups full fat buttermilk
  • 3 large whole eggs
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

Glaze:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 2 cups powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease a 9×13″ pan and set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, salt, baking powder and baking soda, then set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, eggs, yolk, vanilla, and oil, then set aside.

Cut the room temperature butter into chunks and add to the dry goods mixture. beat together until the mixture becomes crumbly and resembles sand.

Add half the liquid mixture and beat until just incorporated, then repeat with the remaining liquid.

Pour into the prepared pan and bake 45 minutes, or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with just a few moist crumbs. Set the baked cake, in the pan, on a rack to cool for 15 minutes while you make the glaze.

To make the glaze, melt the butter in a saucepan. Turn off the heat and add the brown sugar, vanilla, and buttermilk, stirring until evenly mixed.

Add the powdered sugar and stir. Sifting the powdered sugar first would definitely be a good idea!

Let sit 15 minutes, then stir some more to hopefully mix in any lumps.

Poke holes over the whole cake with a skewer, then pour the glaze over the whole top. Let set for half an hour before serving.

Buttermilk Cake

From I Scream for Buttercream.

Cake:

  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 cups full fat buttermilk
  • 3 large whole eggs
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

Glaze:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 2 cups powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease a 9×13″ pan and set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, salt, baking powder and baking soda, then set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, eggs, yolk, vanilla, and oil, then set aside.

Cut the room temperature butter into chunks and add to the dry goods mixture. beat together until the mixture becomes crumbly and resembles sand. Add half the liquid mixture and beat until just incorporated, then repeat with the remaining liquid. Pour into the prepared pan and bake 45 minutes, or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with just a few moist crumbs. Set the baked cake, in the pan, on a rack to cool for 15 minutes while you make the glaze.

To make the glaze, melt the butter in a saucepan. Turn off the heat and add the brown sugar, vanilla, and buttermilk, stirring until evenly mixed. Add the powdered sugar and stir. Let sit 15 minutes, then stir some more to hopefully mix in any lumps.

Poke holes over the whole cake with a skewer, then pour the glaze over the whole top. Let set for half an hour before serving.

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Bacon/Leek/Cheddar Braid

A big ol’ bread, full of tasty things!

Bacon waiting to happen

Ingredients:

Filling:

  • 1/2 pound bacon
  • white and light green part of three leeks, thinly sliced and washed well
  • 8 ounces sharp cheddar, grated or sliced into chunks
  • 10 leaves sage, thinly sliced
  • 1 egg

Bread:

  • 3 1/2 – 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 envelopes (4 1/2 teaspoons) yeast
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 large egg

Egg wash:

  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • grated parmesan cheese

In a large pan, cook the bacon until crispy. I personally prefer to cut the raw bacon with kitchen shears over the pan, but you can also cook the bacon and cut/crumble it after.

Drain on paper towels, leaving the bacon grease in the pan behind. Cook the leeks over medium in the bacon grease until softened.

Combine the bacon, leeks, cheese, and sage in a bowl and stir in the egg to evenly coat and set aside. You can do this earlier, if you need to fiddle with timing.

In a large bowl, combine 1 cup flour with the yeast, sugar, and salt. Heat the water and butter together until very warm (120-130 degrees, when the butter has melted). Drizzle the water into the flour mixture while stirring, and continue to stir for 2 minutes.

Add the egg and a second cup of flour, and stir another 2 minutes.

Stir in enough of the remaining flour to make a soft dough, beginning with 1 1/2 cups, up to 2 cups as necessary. Knead on a lightly floured surface until smooth and elastic, around 10 minutes.

Cover, and let rest 10 minutes.

Divide the dough into 3 even portions and roll each out to a 16×4″ rectangle.

Spoon the bacon mixture over each rectangle and pinch closed into 3 chunky ropes.

The dough sticks together pretty well, and there’s usually a bit of un-filled dough at the end you can tear off as needed to patch any places it splits. I had a little bit of filling left over – that’s ok!

Gently transfer the ropes to a lined baking sheet, putting the seam-side down.

Place the ends of all 3 together, press together, and carefully braid to the far end, pressing that end together as well.

Lightly grease with spray grease and let rise until doubled, about an hour.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Mix together the egg and water for the egg wash and brush over the bread. Sprinkle a bit of grated parm over the top.

Bake for 30 minutes, or until browned.

If you had any leftover filling, toss it in the oven halfway through, to cook for 15 minutes.

Slice and serve warm, but if you’re not eating it all right away, put uneaten parts on a cooling rack so that the bottom doesn’t get soggy from steam.

Store wrapped in the fridge, and toast back up in the toaster oven as needed.

Bacon/Leek/Cheddar Braid

Filling:

  • 1/2 pound bacon
  • white and light green part of three leeks, thinly sliced and washed well
  • 8 ounces sharp cheddar, grated or sliced into chunks
  • 10 leaves sage, thinly sliced
  • 1 egg

Bread:

  • 3 1/2 – 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 envelopes (4 1/2 teaspoons) yeast
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 large egg

Egg wash:

  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • grated parmesan cheese

In a large pan, cook the bacon until crispy. I personally prefer to cut the raw bacon with kitchen shears over the pan, but you can also cook the bacon and cut/crumble it after. Drain on paper towels, leaving the bacon grease in the pan behind. Cook the leeks over medium in the bacon grease until softened. Combine the bacon, leeks, cheese, and sage in a bowl and stir in the egg to evenly coat and set aside.

In a large bowl, combine 1 cup flour with the yeast, sugar, and salt. Heat the water and butter together until very warm (120-130 degrees, when the butter has melted). Drizzle the water into the flour mixture while stirring, and continue to stir for 2 minutes. Add the egg and a second cup of flour, and stir another 2 minutes. Stir in enough of the remaining flour to make a soft dough, beginning with 1 1/2 cups, up to 2 cups as necessary. Knead on a lightly floured surface until smooth and elastic, around 10 minutes. Cover, and let rest 10 minutes.

Divide the dough into 3 even portions and roll each out to a 16×4″ rectangle. Spoon the bacon mixture over each rectangle and pinch closed into 3 chunky ropes. The dough sticks together pretty well, and there’s usually a bit of un-filled dough at the end you can tear off as needed to patch any places it splits.

Gently transfer the ropes to a lined baking sheet, putting the seam-side down. Place the ends of all 3 together, press together, and carefully braid to the far end, pressing that end together as well. Lightly grease with spray grease and let rise until doubled, about an hour.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Mix together the egg and water for the egg wash and brush over the bread. Sprinkle a bit of grated parm over the top, then bake for 30 minutes, or until browned. Slice and serve warm, but if you’re not eating it all right away, put uneaten parts on a cooling rack so that the bottom doesn’t get soggy from steam. Store wrapped in the fridge, and toast back up in the toaster oven as needed.

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Chicken with White Beans and Tomatoes

The recipe I was looking at for this used both oven and stove for ages, and it was almost 90 this weekend so…nope, crock pot time! The transition worked just fine, and made a very tasty meal! There is, however, some work to be done the night before (crock pot or not), so don’t forget to give yourself that head start!

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound dried white cannellini beans, sorted and rinsed (I used bumblebee beans, you can use anything similar)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon chopped fresh sage, divided
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon dried rosemary, divided
  • 3 teaspoons dried thyme leaves, divided
  • 6 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 (5 1/2-pound) whole roasting chicken, giblets discarded
  • white and light green parts of 1 leek, thinly sliced and well rinsed
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 quart low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 heads garlic, tops removed
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • crusty bread, to serve

The night before:

Put the beans in a large bowl and add enough water to cover by 2 inches. Let stand.

In a small bowl/ramekin, combine combine 2 tablespoons oil, 1 tablespoon sage, 1 tablespoon rosemary, and 2 teaspoons thyme; set aside. In another small bowl, stir together 4 teaspoons salt, and the pepper; set aside.

Pat the chicken dry with paper towel and gently loosen the skin, by sticking your hand or an upside-down spoon under the skin and moving it around to detach the connective bits but without tearing up the skin. Rub the oil mixture both on and under the skin, all over the chicken. Sprinkle the salt mixture all over the top, under the skin, and in the cavity of the chicken. Tie the legs with kitchen twine. Place on a wire rack on a baking sheet and refrigerate overnight uncovered.

When ready to cook, take out the chicken and let stand at room temp. Drain the beans. In a small pan, heat the remaining tablespoon of oil. Cook the leek and minced garlic until softened, 3-4 minutes. (In as small a pan as I used, where it wasn’t all a single layer, it took several more minutes.)

Transfer the cooked leeks to a crockpot. Add the drained beans, the broth, bay leaf, and remaining teaspoons of sage, rosemary, and thyme.

Stir everything together, then place the chicken on top. Place the two heads of garlic alongside the chicken, where they can be in the liquid too.

Cover, and turn on high heat. Cook for 4 hours.

At 4 hours, carefully remove the chicken – it will most likely be fall-apart tender. Stir the drained tomatoes, the vinegar, and as much of the remaining 2 1/2 teaspoons of salt as desired into the liquid with the beans.

Serve with crusty bread to soak up some of the liquid, and squeeze some of the garlic cloves out of the heads out on each plate as well.

Chicken with Beans and Tomatoes

Adapted from Taste of the South.

  • 1 pound dried white cannellini beans, sorted and rinsed
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon chopped fresh sage, divided
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon dried rosemary, divided
  • 3 teaspoons dried thyme leaves, divided
  • 6 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 (5 1/2-pound) whole roasting chicken, giblets discarded
  • white and light green parts of 1 leek, thinly sliced and well rinsed
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 quart low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 heads garlic, tops removed
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • crusty bread, to serve

The night before:

Put the beans in a large bowl and add enough water to cover by 2 inches. Let stand.

In a small bowl/ramekin, combine combine 2 tablespoons oil, 1 tablespoon sage, 1 tablespoon rosemary, and 2 teaspoons thyme; set aside. In another small bowl, stir together 4 teaspoons salt, and the pepper; set aside. Pat the chicken dry with paper towel and gently loosen the skin, by sticking your hand or an upside-down spoon under the skin and moving it around to detach the connective bits but without tearing up the skin. Rub the oil mixture both on and under the skin, all over the chicken. Sprinkle the salt mixture all over the top, under the skin, and in the cavity of the chicken. Tie the legs with kitchen twine. Place on a wire rack on a baking sheet and refrigerate overnight uncovered.

When ready to cook, take out the chicken and let stand at room temp. Drain the beans. In a small pan, heat the remaining tablespoon of oil. Cook the leek and minced garlic until softened, 3-4 minutes.

Transfer the cooked leeks to a crockpot. Add the drained beans, the broth, bay leaf, and remaining teaspoons of sage, rosemary, and thyme. Stir everything together, then place the chicken on top. Place the two heads of garlic alongside the chicken, where they can be in the liquid too. Cover, and turn on high heat. Cook for 4 hours.

At 4 hours, carefully remove the chicken – it will most likely be fall-apart tender. Stir the drained tomatoes, the vinegar, and as much of the remaining 2 1/2 teaspoons of salt as desired into the liquid with the beans. Serve with crusty bread to soak up some of the liquid.

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Crispy Baked Tofu with Broccoli

Unusual for me to use tofu, but this way it turns out with crispy edges that are good, and the sauce to put on top is great! It looks like a ton of steps, with all the chunks of ingredients, but everything comes together easily while you wait for other steps.

Ingredients:

Tofu:

  • 1 block extra firm tofu
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon honey

Broccoli:

  • 1 head broccoli, cut into florets
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

Sauce:

  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
  • 1 clove garlic, minced

For serving:

  • 1/4 cup sliced scallions
  • 1 teaspoon sesame seeds (skipped those!)
  • cooked rice or other grain like quinoa

To get started, take the tofu out of the package, pat it dry with paper towels, then wrap it in more paper towels, put it between two plates, and put some weight on top for half an hour to press out additional moisture. While this is setting, you can prepare the sauce for the tofu, and get the broccoli ready.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with a silpat/parchment/foil, and lightly grease before setting aside. In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, soy sauce, and honey for the tofu, then set aside.

On half the baking sheet, combine the broccoli, olive oil, and garlic, tossing to coat the broccoli, and spreading it in a single layer. Sprinkle with the salt.

Once the tofu has been drained, slice into 1″ cubes and put in a medium bowl. Sprinkle with the 1 tablespoon of cornstarch, tossing to coat, then pour the oil/soy/honey mixture on top and toss again.

Spread on the other half of the baking sheet. Bake for 30-35 minutes, flipping once halfway through to make sure everything crisps up evenly. The start of the baking time is a good time to get some rice water heating on the stove!

While the tofu and broccoli bake, prepare the sauce. In a medium saucepan, whisk together the soy sauce, sesame oil, water, and vinegar. Place the cornstarch in a small dish and stir in 2-3 tablespoons of the soy/oil/water/vinegar mixture, stirring until no clumps of cornstarch remain.

Pour the cornstarch mixture back into the pot with the rest of the sauce ingredients. Place over medium heat and bring to a boil, stirring frequently, and cook until thickened.

When everything’s ready, serve the tofu and broccoli over rice, drizzled in a bit of the sauce and with the scallions and sesame seeds (if desired) sprinkled on top.

Crispy Baked Tofu with Brocolli

From Savory Simple.

Tofu:

  • 1 block extra firm tofu
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon honey

Broccoli:

  • 1 head broccoli, cut into florets
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

Sauce:

  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
  • 1 clove garlic, minced

For serving:

  • 1/4 cup sliced scallions
  • 1 teaspoon sesame seeds
  • cooked rice or other grain like quinoa

To get started, take the tofu out of the package, pat it dry with paper towels, then wrap it in more paper towels, put it between two plates, and put some weight on top for half an hour to press out additional moisture. While this is setting, you can prepare the sauce for the tofu, and get the broccoli ready.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with a silpat/parchment/foil, and lightly grease before setting aside. In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, soy sauce, and honey for the tofu, then set aside.

On half the baking sheet, combine the broccoli, olive oil, and garlic, tossing to coat the broccoli, and spreading it in a single layer. Sprinkle with the salt.

Once the tofu has been drained, slice into 1″ cubes and put in a medium bowl. Sprinkle with the 1 tablespoon of cornstarch, tossing to coat, then pour the oil/soy/honey mixture on top and toss again. Spread on the other half of the baking sheet. Bake for 30-35 minutes, flipping once halfway through to make sure everything crisps up evenly. The start of the baking time is a good time to get some rice water heating on the stove!

While the tofu and broccoli bake, prepare the sauce. In a medium saucepan, whisk together the soy sauce, sesame oil, water, and vinegar. Place the cornstarch in a small dish and stir in 2-3 tablespoons of the soy/oil/water/vinegar mixture, stirring until no clumps of cornstarch remain. Pour the cornstarch mixture back into the pot with the rest of the sauce ingredients. Place over medium heat and bring to a boil, stirring frequently, and cook until thickened.

When everything’s ready, serve the tofu and broccoli over rice, drizzled in a bit of the sauce and with the scallions and sesame seeds sprinkled on top.

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Vermont Cheddar Bread

Another one from The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes A Day, so it’s simple and doesn’t require kneading, just stirring! The recipe makes 4 loaves, slightly less than 1 pound each.

Extra cheese and now it’s breakfast?!

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups warm water
  • 1 tablespoon granulated yeast
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
  • 6 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese

Mix the yeast, salt, and sugar in the water in a large bowl or tub.

Stir in the remaining ingredients without kneading until well mixed.

Cover, not airtight, and allow to rest until it rises and collapses, about 2 hours. Use immediately or refrigerate and use over the next week.

When ready to bake, dust the surface of the dough and cut off a grapefruit-sized piece.

Dust the piece with more flour and shape into a ball by stretching the surface of the dough from the top to the bottom, then rotate, repeating on all four sides. Allow to rest on a cornmeal or parchment covered peel for 1 hour (40 minutes if not refrigerated).

Whoops, don’t own a peel.

Preheat a baking stone in the middle of the oven to 450 degrees and place a metal broiler tray on a lower shelf. Sprinkle the loaf liberally with flour and slash the top about 1/2 in deep with a serrated bread knife. Slide the loaf onto the hot pizza stone. Pour 1 cup of hot water into the broiler tray to create steam and close the door. (Alternately, skip the broiler tray and chuck a handful of ice into the bottom of the oven when you’re putting in the dough.) Bake for 30 minutes or until richly browned.

Cool completely on a rack before slicing and eating.

Vermont Cheddar Bread

From The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes A Day.

  • 3 cups warm water
  • 1 tablespoon granulated yeast
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
  • 6 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese

Mix the yeast, salt, and sugar in the water in a large bowl or tub. Stir in the remaining ingredients without kneading until well mixed. Cover, not airtight, and allow to rest until it rises and collapses, about 2 hours. Use immediately or refrigerate and use over the next week.

When ready to bake, dust the surface of the dough and cut off a grapefruit-sized piece. Dust the piece with more flour and shape into a ball by stretching the surface of the dough from the top to the bottom, then rotate, repeating on all four sides. Allow to rest on a cornmeal or parchment covered peel for 1 hour (40 minutes if not refrigerated).

Preheat a baking stone in the middle of the oven to 450 degrees and place a metal broiler tray on a lower shelf. Sprinkle the loaf liberally with flour and slash the top about 1/2 in deep with a serrated bread knife. Slide the loaf onto the hot pizza stone. Pour 1 cup of hot water into the broiler tray to create steam and close the door. (Alternately, skip the broiler tray and chuck a handful of ice into the bottom of the oven when you’re putting in the dough.) Bake for 30 minutes or until richly browned. Cool completely on a rack before slicing and eating.

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