Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Breakfast’ Category

Apple Challah via Relishing It

Despite the frigid weather, we survived this week’s arctic blast here in Minnesota.  And while I managed to get out-and-about a couple of times, much of the long weekend was spent tidying up the house and pre-Spring cleaning.  By January our home is so cluttered with Christmas toys, winter gear, and heaping piles of kindergarten projects that it’s almost unbearable.  So we bought more toy shelves (I really need to have a garage sale this Spring), organized the important school work, and re-arranged a few rooms.  And somehow, once everything was in order, it felt like we’d uncovered two new rooms.  Now I can finally think clearly again!

Apples for Apple Challah via Relishing It

Diced apples for Apple Challah via Relishing It

Aside from the re-organization and playing countless games of Munchkin and Memory with the little ones, I also managed to squeeze in a little baking.  It was a nice way to help warm the house when the windchill dropped to -30°F.  This apple challah turned out perfectly.  One of my favorite things to play around with in the kitchen is bread made with yeast.  I’m fascinated by how yeast grows and changes, creating such interesting flavor.  Baking bread takes patience and planning, but not a lot of work.  And the aroma of freshly baked bread, alone, is worth the small effort.

Challah dough stuffed with apples via Relishing It

Challah stuffed with apples via Relishing It

Apple Challah ready to bake via Relishing It

If you have reservations about working with yeast, just relax and start with something simple.  This apple challah is a nice entry point.  You basically shove everything into a pan and bake it up.  But the results are a magical, tender, rustic-looking bread.  This one isn’t overly sweet– it’s amazing flavors come from the apples, honey, and cinnamon.  One of my favorite characteristics of this challah is the nice ‘crunch’ provided by sprinkling turbinado sugar on top.  The crust is best on the day it’s baked, since it tends to soften over time in a sealed container.  Even so, it keeps well for several days, and the inside stays soft and moist.  Enjoy it drizzled with a bit of honey and a nice cup of hot coffee.

Apple Challah via Relishing It

Apple Challah via Relishing It

The Recipe:  Apple Challah

For the Dough:

4 cups (20 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour  (see note)

1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

6 tablespoons canola oil

2 large eggs, at room temperature

1/4 cup honey

1 package instant yeast  (2 1/4 teaspoons)

1/2 cup luke-warm water (between 100-110°F)

For the Filling:

3 smallish apples, diced into 3/4-inch chunks with the skin on

1 teaspoon cinnamon

3 tablespoons granulated sugar

For the Glaze:

1 large egg beaten with 1 teaspoon water

Turbinado sugar for sprinkling

Note: The recipe from King Arthur called for 4 cups of flour.  I generally assume that 1 cup of all-purpose flour weighs 5 ounces.  So, I added 20 ounces of flour to this recipe.  King Arthur called for 4 cups of flour, but stated 17 ounces as their weight measurement.  I did feel the dough was a bit stiffer than I was accustomed to working with, but the outcome was absolutely perfect.  It was a soft and tender bread that was sublime.  I think it’s safe to say that anything between 17-20 ounces would work here, though I haven’t tried the 17 ounce version first-hand.  Can you tell that I love my scale? 

In a bowl of a stand mixer (the recipe can also be done by hand, of course), mix the yeast, honey, and water together until it is dissolved.  Let stand for 5-10 minutes, or until it begins to get a bit foamy.

Add the remaining ingredients for the dough to the yeast mixture and slowly mix using the paddle attachment until the dough just comes together.  Remove the paddle attachment and add the dough hook.  Knead the dough for a few minutes until it is soft and smooth.  Place the dough in a slightly oiled large bowl and cover it with a dishtowel or lightly greased plastic wrap.  Allow to rise for about 2 hours, or until it has doubled in size.

Lightly grease a 9 or 10-inch springform pan or a 9-inch cake pan that is at least 2-inches deep.  Mix the apple filling ingredients together in a bowl.

Gently deflate the dough and transfer it to a lightly floured work surface.  Roll the dough out into a 8 x 10-inch rectangle.  Place the apples on the dough in two 10-inch rows near the center of the dough.  Fold each side over the row of apples closest to it.  Pushing down as you go to seal it.  Using a sharp knife, cut the dough down the center, and then across 8 times.  You should end up with 16 pieces of dough.  Hopefully the photographs will help with a visual.  Place the pieces of dough into the prepared pan so they create a single layer.  Tuck any apples that have fallen out into the mixture.

Cover the challah with a lightly greased piece of plastic wrap.  Allow to rise for about 1 1/2 hours, or until it’s about 2-inches high.

Preheat the oven to 325°F toward the end of rising time.  Brush the top of the dough with the egg wash and sprinkle heavily with turbinado sugar (or any coarse sugar).  Bake for about 55 minutes, or until the top is a beautiful golden brown.  Some of the higher pieces may get dark brown, and that’s ok.  The dough needs to bake all the way through in the middle, so be patient.  Remove challah from oven and after 5 minutes loosen the edges and transfer it to a rack.  Serve hot or cold, preferably with a drizzle of honey.  Keeps well for days in a covered container.  Enjoy!

Source:  Adapted from King Arthur Flour

Thanks so much for stopping by!  xo

Laurie

Read Full Post »

Rustic Rhubarb Tartlets via Relishing It

Rhubarb in January?!  No, I haven’t lost my mind, and I generally try to prepare and write about foods that are in season.  But every now and then I get tired of following the unwritten ‘rules’ of food blogging.  And since I had a few bags of rhubarb in my freezer just crying out to be made into more of these lovely tartlets, I figured why not?  So rhubarb in January it is.  Rhubarb freezes remarkably well, so there is no reason you shouldn’t be enjoying it’s unique, tart, splendor any time of the year.

Rhubarb

Rustic Rhubarb Tartlets via Relishing It

I’ve always loved rhubarb.  Especially the gorgeous, vibrant, red variety.  These tartlets are one of my favorite ways to enjoy this sometimes overlooked fruit.  Or vegetable.  Actually, it turns out rhubarb is a vegetable, but– and I’m not making this up– a court in New York ruled in 1947 that rhubarb is classified as a fruit in the U.S.  Anyway… the whole grains in the crust work impeccably well here.  One of the best ingredients in this recipe is the addition of the cornmeal.  It lends a nice toothsome bite that perfectly contrasts the soft rhubarb compote.

Rustic Rhubarb Tartlets via Relishing It

Rustic Rhubarb Tartlets via Relishing It

Aside from the flavors, I love the size of these tartlets.  They’re perfect little individual servings.  I’m not sure why, but I’m a sucker for most any miniaturized dessert.  There’s something so appealing about them.  I also love the rustic, ‘free-form’ look of the crust.  They have that homemade quality that just feels…genuine.  Like it was made just for you.  And since they’re ‘free-form’, there’s no wrong way to shape them.  Enjoy!

Rustic Rhubarb Tartlets via Relishing It

The Recipe:  Rustic Rhubarb Tartlets

(Makes 10 individual Tartlets)

The Rhubarb Compote:

1 pound fresh or frozen rhubarb, cut into pieces

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 teaspoon orange zest

The Pastry Dough:

1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour

1 cup whole wheat flour

1/2 cup fine cornmeal

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 stick cold butter, cut into small cubes

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons heavy cream

2 egg yolks

1 egg plus 1 teaspoon water, mixed together for an egg wash

To make the rhubarb compote:  Place the rhubarb plus brown sugar in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat.  Stir frequently.  Cook for 10-15 minutes, or until the rhubarb has softened and broken down a bit.  Remove from heat and stir in the orange zest.  Set aside.

Preheat your oven to 375°F.  Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

To make the pastry dough:  In a small bowl, mix the egg yolks and cream together.  Set aside. Sift the all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, cornmeal, sugar, and kosher salt together and place into the bowl of a food processor (this recipe can easily be done by hand, too).  Next, add the butter and turn the mixer to low.  Increase to medium once the butter begins to get incorporated.  When the flour is coarse, like cornmeal, add the egg yolks/cream mixture and mix until just combined.  The dough will appear crumbly, but will hold it’s shape when squeezed together.

This dough is best when shaped right away, as it is really easy to work with.  If you need to refrigerate it for some reason, make sure to let it warm up before trying to roll it out.

Divide the dough into 10 equal pieces.   Lightly flour your work surface and roll each dough ball out to about a 5-inch circle.  Use a bench scraper, if your dough begins to stick.  Divide the rhubarb compote evenly among the circles — about 1/4 cup each.  Turn the edges of the dough up and around the compote and pinch the sides together.  The dough may split or break, but just keep pinching it together to create a seal.  Place the tartlets onto your prepared baking sheet.  Use a pastry brush and brush the dough with the egg wash.  Bake for about 35 minutes, or until the edges are a beautiful deep golden brown.  Remove from oven and cool.  These will keep well for days in a sealed container.  Enjoy with freshly whipped cream and a sprinkle of turbinado sugar!

Source:  Adapted from Good to the Grain by Kim Boyce

So glad you stopped by today ! xo

Laurie

Read Full Post »

Well hello there!  I hope you all have been well.  I’ve been just a bit preoccupied with the start of summer, so my regular posting here hasn’t been so…regular.  It’s not due to a lack of cooking, however.  The fresh summer produce has been invigorating!  With my little boy out of school for the season, we’ve been having a blast.  You forget how magical summer break is for little kids.  Rivers, lakes, playgrounds, we’ve hit ’em all.  But, it’s time to get into a routine again, so I’ll be back later this week with a new delicious post for you!

My friend Liz asked me to write a post for today on her wonderful blog, Carpé Season.  Liz just had a beautiful baby boy and is taking a little extra time to love him up this summer.  I’m sharing one of my favorite homemade treats on her blog– chewy granola bars.  These are, hands-down, the best granola bars I’ve ever eaten.  Ever.  So head over here and give them a look!

In the meantime, enjoy a few of these photos of my summer, so far.  See you soon!

Laurie

Read Full Post »

One of the best smells in the world– especially on a weekend morning– has to be homemade caramel sticky buns baking in the oven.  The sweet scent of cinnamon wafting through the house, along with the earthy aroma of toasted pecans, is just… divine really.  Caramel sticky buns are one of my family’s favorite weekend treats, so a few years ago we began to scour the Twin Cities for the best ones.  We found a few gems, but more often than not, we were disappointed.  Many were too ‘bread-y’, others were covered in so much caramel that they were just a mess, and a few were hard, crunchy disasters.

Aside from returning to that handful of favorites that we did find, I decided to work on a version that was just right.  I try new sticky bun recipes all the time– I really do.  We’ve gone through a few that are really tasty, but this one is the best.  And it’s better than any we’ve found in local bakeries or cafe’s.  Honestly, it’s perfect.  It makes a nice tall bun that is soft and tender– not too dense– with a lightly-crunchy top.  The dough is soft, buttery, and very easy to work with.  It rolls out beautifully.

One interesting thing about this recipe is that the caramel is on the top and bottom of the roll.  This means you don’t invert the rolls when they’re finished.  Instead, you top them with another helping of caramel.  The result is an even distribution of the caramel throughout the roll.  It’s a simple difference, but it’s genius.

Another thing that makes these buns different from most recipes is that for the filling, you whip the butter along with the brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg (nutmeg makes everything better).  In most other versions, you just spread the butter and sprinkle on the spices.  It makes an amazing difference, so do not avoid this step.  You’re going to want to lick the mixture right off the spoon!

These buns are wonderful to prepare ahead of time.  You can do this a few ways.  First, the dough can be refrigerated (it needs to chill for at least to two hours before it can be rolled into buns, anyway).  Another option is to finish the buns, get them into the pan, and refrigerate overnight.  The rise time will be a bit longer (because the dough is cold), but it makes having a fresh sticky bun in the morning so much easier.  Finally, you can just make them the night before– including the baking– since these one’s stay soft and moist.  In the morning, just top them with the last of the caramel and toasted pecans.  Hope you enjoy these sticky buns as much as we do!

The Recipe:  Perfect Caramel Sticky Buns

(Makes 9)

For the Dough:

2/3 cup whole milk

5 tablespoons sugar, divided

1 3/4 teaspoon active dry yeast (from one 1/4-ounce envelope)

2 large eggs, at room temperature

2 3/4 cup (14 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter at room temperature, cut into 1-inch pieces, plus a bit more melted

For the Caramel Topping:

2 cups chopped pecans, toasted

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter

3/4 cup (packed) dark brown sugar

3/4 cup heavy cream

1/3 cup honey

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

For the Filling:

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1/2 cup (packed) dark brown sugar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

pinch of kosher salt

flour, for dusting

1 egg, for brushing on the buns

Sea salt

Prepare the dough by heating the milk in a saucepan or microwave until the temperature registers 110-115°F.  Mix in the yeast and 1 tablespoon of the granulated sugar.  Let it sit for 5 minutes to get foamy.  Add the eggs and whisk until smooth.  Add the remaining sugar, flour, and salt into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a hook attachment.  Give the mixture a quick stir with a whisk, then add the wet ingredients.  Turn the machine on and mix until it’s a shaggy mess.  Add the butter, one chunk at a time, making sure to wait until each piece is mostly incorporated.  When everything is incorporated, knead the dough on medium  for about 5 minutes.  The dough should be soft and silky.  Place the dough into a large bowl that has been lightly coated with melted butter.  Pour a bit more of the melted butter on top of the dough and spread evenly with your hands.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to 1 day.

Toast the pecans by placing them on a baking sheet in a 350°F oven for 10-12 minutes, or until fragrant.  Let cool.

Prepare the caramel by melting the butter in a small saucepan.  Add the brown sugar, cream, honey, and salt.  Bring to a boil and reduce heat to medium.  Let continue to cook for about 3-4 minutes.  The glaze will be a deep golden brown.  Pour one cup of the glaze into an 8×8-inch pan.  Sprinkle 1/2 cup of the toasted pecans over the glaze.  Reserve the remaining glaze (refrigerate with a cover, if using much later).  Note: I’ve made these rolls by lining the pan with parchment paper so they could be easily removed and placed on a platter.  It also works just as easily to put them into the pan with nothing at all — the choice is yours.

Prepare the filling by placing the butter, cinnamon, salt, brown sugar, and nutmeg in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix for 2-3 minutes, or until light and fluffy.  Set aside.

Form the buns by putting a light coat of flour down on a work surface.  Roll the chilled dough into a 12 x 16-inch rectangle.  Spread the butter/spice mixture on it, leaving a 1-inch plain border on the side furthest away from you.  Sprinkle 3/4 cup of the pecans over the butter (reserve the remaining pecans — put into an airtight container, if using much later).  Roll the dough into a tight log.  Cut and discard the very edges, if they are uneven.  Cut the remaining dough into 9 equal pieces.  Re-shape if they flatten out in the cutting process.  Place them in the pan and cover with plastic wrap or a light kitchen towel.  Let rise in a warm, draft-free area for about 45 minutes, or until the dough has doubled in size ( 1 1/2 – 2 hours, if the dough has been chilled overnight).

After the buns have properly raised, whisk the egg with 1/2 teaspoon of water and brush onto the buns.  Place the pan of buns on a baking sheet and put into a 350°F oven and bake for about 50 minutes, or until a thermometer registers 185°F in the center.    Remove from oven and let cool for a bit.  Pour remaining glaze on the buns and top with the pecans.  Sprinkle with sea salt and enjoy with a hot cup of coffee.

Source:  Adapted from Bon Appetite

Thanks for stopping by RelishingIt today!

Laurie

Read Full Post »

And another seasonal food makes it’s first appearance!  This time it’s rhubarb’s turn in the spotlight.  You’ll probably see a similar line here next week with another ingredient–maybe even every week throughout Spring and Summer as I blog.  I can’t help it!  I just get so excited for all of this seasonal gorgeous, vibrant produce.

Rhubarb has been cropping up everwhere around here in the last week.  The first Twin Cities farmers’ markets of the season opened this weekend, so I hauled the family to our favorite one in St. Paul.  It was fun getting a chance to chat with the vendors again after the Winter break.  I’ve found that the first few weeks are a good time to connect with them– to see what they’ll be offering and how the season is shaping up– since they aren’t quite as busy as they’ll be by Summer.  I bought many things, including a bunch of rhubarb.  Even better, a friend was also kind enough to give me a huge bundle.  Perfect.

So what to do with all this rhubarb?  Well, this cake and this crumble are two of my favorite things to make with it.  But I’ve also found the coffee cake that you see in this post.  I love coffee cakes.  They’re perfect for…well…coffee in the afternoon, of course.  They’re also easy to make and stay moist for days.

The rhubarb is obviously the main attraction here.  It adds a notable, though restrained tartness.  The cake is perfectly sweetened.  I used my homemade 1 % yogurt, which was a nice substitute for sour cream.  It kept the cake wonderfully moist, and as a bonus, it has less calories.  The next time I make this one, I’m going to try it with white whole wheat flour to get the benefits of using a whole grain.  I’ll let you know how it turns out.  And if you try it that way first, let me know about it.  Enjoy!

The Recipe:  Rhubarb Crunch Coffee Cake

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter

1 cup granulated sugar

2 eggs at room temperature

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup yogurt or sour cream

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 1 /2 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

For the Rhubarb and Crunch Topping:

2 cups chopped rhubarb

1 /4 cup plus 2 tablespoons brown sugar

1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

1 tablespoon butter, softened

pinch of kosher salt

Preheat the oven to 350°F.   Butter an 8-inch square cake pan.

To prepare the Rhubarb and the Crunch Topping: Combine 2 cups of rhubarb with 2 tablespoons of brown sugar in a small bowl; set aside.  Using a fork, combine 1/4 cup of brown sugar, 1 tablespoon of flour, cinnamon, 1 tablespoon of butter, and a pinch of kosher salt in a small bowl until crumbly.  Stir in the walnuts; set aside.

In a medium-sized bowl, sift or whisk together 2 cups of all-purpose flour, baking soda, baking powder, and kosher salt; set aside.

In a bowl of a stand mixer fitter with a paddle attachment, cream together 1 stick of butter and granulated sugar until creamy.  Add the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl after each one.  Cream for 2-3 minutes, until light and fluffy.  Add the yogurt and vanilla and mix until combined.  The mixture may look curdled at this point.  That is ok.  Add the dry ingredients and mix until everything is just combined, being careful not to over mix.

Place half of the cake batter into the pan and smooth out.  Sprinkle half of the crunch topping over the batter in the pan.  Dollop the remaining cake batter on top of the crunch topping and smooth out with an offset spatula.  Combine the remaining crunch topping with the rhubarb and pour that mixture evenly on the top of the cake.  Place in the oven and bake for about 55-60 minutes.  Check the center for doneness with a toothpick.  This cake will taste great right away and will be even more moist the following day.  Store covered at room temperature.  Enjoy!

Source:  Adapted from Kitchen Simplicity

Thanks for stopping by Relishing It!

Laurie

Read Full Post »

A quick stroll through my dessert and cookie sections pretty much confirms that I have an insatiable sweet tooth.  Even so, when we go to our near-by patisserie, I choose a savory bite almost every time.  And if they’ve made a savory tartlet, my decision is easy.  Thankfully, I now have a recipe to make these little beauties at home– and this is one of the best tartlets I’ve ever had.

This wonderful, firm but flakey crust is made from olive oil rather than butter.  It lends a light floral, almost earthy, quality to the dish. Even though it is not par-baked, the crust becomes perfectly crispy on the outside, yet is still substantial enough to hold up to the liquid center.  Even after days in the refrigerator, the crust has an excellent texture.  And you know what that means– this is a great dish to make ahead of time.

The savory filling contains ramps, gouda, and goat cheese.  That’s right, it’s ramp season.  Remember last year when I was so excited and made this ramp pesto?  Well, I’m just as excited this year– and Radd is again making fun of the fact that I talk about ramps far too much.  If you don’t recall, or are unfamiliar with them, ramps are basically a wild leek.  They taste a bit like green onions combined with garlic.  If you find them, buy and enjoy them right away.  They’re not in season for long.  If you can’t find ramps, substitute green onions or leeks with a couple cloves of garlic.  It will still taste amazing.  I love the combination of ramps and goat cheese, and in this dish it really shines.  The goat cheese is soft and pillowy as you bite into the tartlet, while the gouda melts into the creamy center.  Enjoy!

The Recipe:  Ramp and Goat Cheese Tartlets

(Makes six 4-inch tarts or one 9 – 10-inch tart)

For the Savory Tart Dough:

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup white whole wheat flour

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

1/4 cup olive oil

For the Tart Filling:

about 1  1/4 ounces goat cheese, crumbled

about 1  1/2 ounces gouda, grated

3 ramps, chopped (about 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon)

4 eggs

1/4 cup heavy whipping cream

kosher salt and black pepper, to taste

To make the Savory Tart Dough:  Place both flours, salt, and sugar in a food processor and pulse a few times to combine.  Add the eggs and olive oil and pulse about 10-15 times until the dough forms a ball.  Remove dough and place on a lightly floured work surface.  Knead  3-4 times, careful not to over work the dough.  Wrap in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.   Can be made ahead and kept in the refrigerator for up to 2 days or frozen.  The dough will defrost quickly at room temperature when you are ready to use it.

Preheat oven to 400°F.  Position rack in the center of the oven.  If making tartlets, measure out the dough into 6 equal portions, about 1  7/8 ounces each.  Roll the dough in a circle 1-inch larger than the tartlet pan or just press the dough evenly into the pans.  Distribute the goat cheese, gouda, and ramps evenly between the 6 pans.  In a small bowl, combine the eggs and cream and pour over each of the tarts, careful not to over fill them.

Place tartlets on a baking sheet and put into the oven.  Bake for about 35 minutes, or until the crust is a deep golden brown and the filling is puffed and becoming golden brown, as well.  Serve the tartlets warm or at room temperature.  They keep well for about 3 days in a covered container in the refrigerator and can be reheated in a 350°F oven.  Serve with a dollop of creme fraiche, if desired. Enjoy!

Source:  Olive Oil Crust adapted from Nick Malgieri’s How to Bake

Thanks for stopping by!

Laurie

Read Full Post »

As promised, here is the granola recipe I mentioned when we chatted about homemade yogurt earlier this week.  It’s the perfect crunch to top that tart yogurt.  And it’s just sweet enough that you won’t need to add anything else.  And even if you don’t make it as a yogurt topper, it’s a perfect stand-alone snack.

Again, the advantage of making your own granola is that you have control over what goes into it.  I use not only organic ingredients, but more interesting, healthy additions that you won’t find in a typical store-bought granola blend.  Quinoa, chia seeds, flaxseed meal– all of these are phenomenal, nutritious foods.  Uncooked steel-cut oats in granola?  You bet!  They add such a nice texture.  It’s also nice to be able to choose the type of fat to use.  Olive oil works perfectly here, and is so good for you.  I also love using coconut oil (you remember my coconut oil obsession, right?), it imparts such a lovely flavor.

If you don’t have all of these ingredients, or you want to try something else, by all means, do so.  Maple syrup comes to mind.  Or if you want a chunkier granola, increase the rolled oats and add less steel cut oats or quinoa.  Dark chocolate, cinnamon, or unsweetened coconut flakes, anyone?  See what I mean?  Have fun with this. Just remember to try to keep the ratio of dry/wet ingredients the same when substituting.  Pack it for a snack at work, or take it for your kids’ events.  If you make it– they will eat it.

The Recipes:  Homemade Granola Two Ways

Homemade Granola with Coconut Oil, Vanilla, Dried Blueberries and Cherries:

1 cup rolled oats, dry

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

1/2 cup chopped almonds

1/3 cup pepitas

1/2 cup steel cut oats, dry

1/2 cup quinoa, dry

1 tablespoon flaxseed meal

2 tablespoons chia seeds

1/2 cup dried cherries

1/2 cup dried blueberries

3 tablespoons virgin coconut oil

1/3 cup honey

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

pinch of kosher salt

Homemade Granola with Olive Oil, Ginger, Almond, and Dried Cherries:

(As shown in the photographs)

1 cup rolled oats, dry

1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts

1/2 cup coarsely chopped almonds

1/3 cup pepitas

1/2 cup steel cut oats, dry

1/2 cup quinoa, dry

1 tablespoon crystallized ginger, finely chopped

1/2 cup dried cherries

1/2 cup dried currants

1 tablespoon flaxseed meal

2 tablespoons chia seeds

3 tablespoons olive oil

1/3 cup honey

1 teaspoon almond extract

pinch of kosher salt

Preheat an oven to 250°F.  Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper, set aside.  In a large bowl mix all of the dry ingredients together, with the exception of the salt and dried fruit.  In a small bowl, mix together the oil (if using coconut oil, be sure to melt it in a small saucepan first, so it can liquify) honey, and extract.  Mix the wet ingredients and the dry ingredients together.  Here is where you need to make a decision — you can either mix the dried fruit into this mixture and bake it for two hours or you can mix it in during the last 10 minutes of baking.  Doing so right away will yield a very chewy fruit, which some people tend to enjoy.  Doing so later, will keep the fruit more soft and tender.  The choice is yours.  I enjoy both ways.

Spread the mixture onto the lined pan and sprinkle with kosher salt.  Bake in the oven for two hours, stirring every 15-20 minutes, or so.  The grains will get evenly toasted this way.  After 2 hours, remove from the oven and let the granola sit, untouched, for a bit to cool and firm up.  When it’s cool, you can break it into chunks.  Keeps well for days in a sealed container with a lid.  Enjoy!

Thanks for stopping by Relishing It — hope you enjoy the granola!

Laurie

Read Full Post »

Today’s post is kind of like a public service announcement: Make your own yogurt!  It’s so easy, you’ll be amazed!  Honestly, I can’t believe it took me this long to start making yogurt at home.  For some reason I was under the impression that it was more complicated.  I don’t know if I thought it required fancy equipment, took up too much refrigerator space, or what.  Turns out it’s only two little ingredients and a very simple process.  And given the amount of yogurt we eat, this discovery ended up being a game changer.

Here’s a little insight into our yogurt-centric family.  My kids and husband eat yogurt every single day.  I certainly like it, but the other three are nuts.  So until this homemade-yogurt discovery, week after week I ended up buying loads of the stuff.  I always sought out the organic versions, but even they were often packed with unnecessary, processed sugar.  That always troubled me a bit.  And the cost of keeping Radd, Aanen, and Aria’s yogurt supply stocked was embarrassing.  The good stuff is not cheap.

So far, I’ve been making plain yogurt.  It’s more versatile, and I like to use it in preparing other meals, too.  We make Indian food frequently, so it works perfectly swirled into various dishes.  I’ve also been putting it into different egg-salad recipes, making salad dressings from it, baking with it, and once summer hits I can’t wait to make frozen yogurt-pops for the kids.  It’s been so convenient to have such a large supply on hand every week.

This homemade yogurt is creamy and not overly tart.  I imagine that part of the flavor will depend upon the milk that you use.  I’ve made several batches using milk with different fat contents, and I’ve mixed both regular and Greek yogurt into the heated milk.  They’ve all worked well.  If you prefer a thicker yogurt, you’ll want to strain it in a few layers of cheesecloth when it’s finished.  I might do that in the future, but right now I want to enjoy every last spoonful.  Radd and I have been enjoying it plain with homemade granola (recipe to come later this week).  The kids like it sweetened with a touch of honey.  I’ve also pureed fruit and stirred it in, and can’t wait until berry season arrives.   The process could not be simpler.  Once I put the yogurt in the oven, I don’t give it another thought until the morning.  Look here if you’d like to experiment with other methods.

A few other things to consider:  When you make your own yogurt, you know exactly what’s going into it.  We buy milk from grass-fed cows from a local dairy.  Aside from having more control over our food supply chain by buying local, the grass-fed milk contains more omega 3’s (among other health benefits).  I also love that I can keep my family’s yogurt habit satisfied at a fraction of the cost of buying those individual packages.  And without those individual plastic packages, there’s less waste.  Alright, enough preaching for now.  Go make a batch!

The Recipe:  Homemade Yogurt

1/2 gallon milk, preferably organic (you choose the fat content)

1/2 cup plain yogurt with active live cultures, preferably organic

To make the yogurt:  In a large saucepan heat the milk to 170°F, stirring every so often.  This will kill anything that isn’t supposed to be there.  Let the milk cool to 110°F.  This process will take about an hour, stir occasionally to release steam.  In the meantime, heat your oven to the lowest setting.  Once the milk reaches 110°F, stir a bit of the warm milk into the 1/2 cup of plain yogurt to temper it, then add the entire yogurt mixture to the saucepan and mix everything together.

Pour the mixture into a large glass bowl and lightly press cheesecloth onto the liquid.  This will prevent a “skin” from forming on the yogurt.  Put the bowl on a baking sheet and place in the oven.  Turn the oven off and turn on the oven light.  This will generate enough heat in the oven for the yogurt to stay active.  You want to try to maintain an oven temperature of about 110°F.  After about 12 hours in the oven, the yogurt is done. Experiment with the duration of time — you may prefer it with a shorter time in the oven.  Remove the cheesecloth and give it a stir.  Pour it into individual glass bowls or just leave it in the bowl, cover it, and refrigerate.  The yogurt will keep well for about 10 days, but it will more than likely be gone before then!

Source:  Adapted from Zoe Bakes

Thanks for stopping by today!

Laurie

Read Full Post »

Ahhh…citrus in Spring.  Fresh, vibrant, and beautiful.  You already know that I’m a sucker for pretty much anything citrus-related– just take a look at these and this… and these… and this…and this..and these…and these…and this…  Wow!  I didn’t realize I was that big of a sucker for citrus!  Well, you get the point.  Another great way to indulge in these brilliant fruits is by making curd.  I know, the name doesn’t sound very appealing, but think of it more as a silky, citrus pudding.  Much better.

Today’s dish relies on my favorite citrus curd recipe.  It’s foolproof.  You can use any type of citrus (lemon, grapefruit, and lime work too!), and it’ll turn out perfect every time.  Personally, I love lemon curd the best, but Radd is a big fan of orange, so this batch was for him.

One of the best things about curd is that it’s so versatile.  It’s a great topping for shortbread or toast.  I often fill white cupcakes with it and top them with a beautiful meringue frosting.  And of course, it is perfect paired with classic scones, the second recipe for today’s dish.  You know the kind I’m referring to– the one’s that aren’t fussy or fancy.  The ones that go with anything.  Jam and clotted cream, anyone?  Spread a little fresh citrus curd on a scone, pour a cup of coffee, and take in the Spring morning.  Perfect.

The Recipe: Orange Curd with Classic Scones

Orange Curd

6 tablespoons (3 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 cup granulated sugar

2 large eggs

2 large egg yolks

2/3 cup fresh orange juice

2 teaspoons grated orange zest

In a small bowl, combine the eggs and egg yolks and lightly beat, set aside.  In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, add the butter and sugar.  Beat for about 2 minutes.  Slowly add the eggs.  Beat for 1 minute.  Pour in the orange juice and continue to mix.  The mixture will look curdled — this is fine, it will smooth out as it cooks.

In a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan, cook the mixture over low heat until it begins to look smooth.  The curdled appearance will disappear as the butter melts.  Increase the heat to medium and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens, between 10-15 minutes.  It should leave a path on the back of a spoon and a thermometer should read 170°F.  Do not let the mixture boil.

Remove from heat.  Stir in the orange zest.  Transfer to a bowl and place plastic wrap against the curd to keep a skin from forming.  Place in the refrigerator.  The curd will thicken as it chills.  It will last in the refrigerator covered for 1 week or frozen for up to 2 months.

 

Classic Scones

(Makes 8-10 scones)

2 cups unbleached cake flour (11 ounces), plus more as needed

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

2 teaspoons baking powder

3 tablespoons turbinado sugar (or anything coarse), divided

5 tablespoons cold butter, cut into pieces

1 egg, lightly beaten

1/2 – 3/4- cup heavy cream, plus more for brushing

Preheat oven to 450°F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Add the flour, salt, baking powder, and 2 tablespoons of the sugar into a food processor.  Pulse a few times to combine.  Add the butter, and pulse a few more times until the mixture resembles cornmeal.  Medium chunks of butter are just fine.

Add the egg and enough of the cream to form a slightly sticky dough.  It should stick to your hands a bit, but shouldn’t be overly wet.  Adjust cream/ flour as necessary.

Remove dough from food processor and place on a lightly floured surface.  With flour on your hands, pat dough into a flat 3/4-inch thick circle.  Use a round 2-inch biscuit cutter to cut out scones.  Place them on the baking sheet.  Brush with cream and sprinkle with remaining sugar.  Bake for 9-11 minutes, or until they are golden brown.

Source: Scones adapted from the New York Times.  Orange curd adapted from Fine Cooking

Thanks for stopping by Relishing It!  Hope you all have a wonderful weekend.

Laurie

Read Full Post »

I know, I’ve made another dish with a fancy French word.  Well, I’ve found that a good rule is,  if it comes from French food culture it’s going to be good.  Mollet eggs (rhymes with Olé) are wonderfully soft eggs with a firm egg-white, and a beautiful oozy center.  They’re not what we would generally call a soft egg, with it’s more liquid albumin.  I’ve been obsessed with these eggs for the last two months.  By obsessed, I mean I’ve eaten at least one for breakfast or lunch almost every day.  And can I just mention how brilliant they are this time of year!  If you’re using organic, free-range chicken eggs, you’ll see the yolks are almost orange right now, as the birds get out and take in those nutritients.  Happy chickens means a happy me.  I’ll put an egg on most anything.  “Put an egg on it!” is my “Put a bird on it!”.  (Portlandia anyone?)

I don’t always like to use oil when I prepare eggs, so that leaves me with the options of either hard-boiled (which I make often) or poached.  And more often than not, I’m too lazy to poach them.  I’ve found that mollet eggs are the perfect solution.  This technique, which I first saw used by that French culinary sage, Jacques Pepin, is foolproof.  First, bring a saucepan of water to a boil.  Use a pin or thumbtack to poke a hole into the largest end of the egg.  This hole prevents the egg shell from cracking while it’s cooking.  Boil the eggs for six minutes and then pour out the water.  Shake the pan to crack the shells a bit.  Finally, peel the eggs under cold, running water.  The water gets under the shell and membrane, causing it to slough off without taking any of the firm egg-white.  The egg is perfect every time.

Now the egg is only part of this breakfast dish.  We love hash– the perfect big breakfast to start the weekend.  It’s even better when you have friends come over to enjoy it with.  I make the pork shoulder in a crock pot, though of course you can just use your oven and braise the pork shoulder if you like.  One of the things I love about this meal is that most of it can be made in advance.  Much of the morning can be spent visiting and sipping on a cup of French-press coffee.  I love being able to make most of this meal ahead of time,  it makes the morning so much more relaxing.  And even better, the leftovers (if you somehow have any) heat up very well, and make a fine lunch.  Here’s to your next weekend breakfast!

The Recipe: Mollet Eggs with Pork Shoulder Hash

(serves 6 comfortably)

4 tablespoons olive oil

6 cloves garlic

2 sprigs rosemary

1 teaspoon dried thyme

1/2 – 3/4 cup water

1 large white onion, chopped, plus another 1/2 onion

3 pounds organic fingerling potatoes, steamed, then diced

3 celery ribs, chopped

2 pounds pork shoulder

1/4 cup chopped fresh chives

6 organic eggs, or more

kosher salt and fresh black pepper

To make the pork shoulder:  The night before you plan to serve it, place the pork shoulder seasoned with kosher salt and fresh black pepper, 1/2 white onion cut into chunks, garlic cloves, 1 rosemary sprig, thyme, and 1/2 cup of water (or a bit more, if you see fit) into a crock pot set at low.  Leave on overnight.  In the morning, remove the meat and and shred it with two forks, discarding any fat. Add the soft garlic cloves to the meat.  Set aside.

Prepare the potatoes the night before, as well.  Add the potatoes to a large saucepan with a steamer inserted into it.  Set the heat to medium-high and cover with a lid.  If they don’t all fit into your pan, steam them in two batches.  Steam for 10-15 minutes, depending upon the size of your potatoes, or until a knife inserted into them goes in with ease.  Let cool and place them covered in the refrigerator overnight.  Dice them in the morning.

In the morning,  heat a large skillet (mine is 14-inches) to medium-high heat.  Add the olive oil and then sauté the onion until it develops a nice golden color, about 5-7 minutes.  Add the celery and sauté until it softens a bit.  Sprinkle kosher salt and fresh black pepper into the pan.  Add the diced potatoes and cook until they are heated through and have developed a bit of a golden color to them.  Add the shredded pork shoulder to the pan and continue to sauté until everything is hot.  Re-season, if necessary.  Sprinkle with chives and chop up the remaining rosemary sprig and add that, as well.

 Meanwhile, while the potatoes are cooking, bring a medium saucepan filled with water to a boil.  When the potatoes are on the verge of being done, gently push a pin or thumbtack  into the large end of each of the eggs.  Gently lower them into the boiling water.  Reduce the heat to a small boil.  Set a timer for six minutes.  When the timer goes off, remove from heat.  Drain the hot water into sink leaving the eggs in the pan.  Gently, but with a bit of force, shake the pan back and forth, so that the eggs crack a bit.  Run some cold water and begin to peel the eggs underneath it.  It is important to get the water under the shell and the membrane.  Once that occurs, peeling the egg will be a cinch.  Dry the eggs on a paper towel.

Have the pork shoulder hash plated and place one egg (or more) on the top.  Cut into the egg and enjoy the golden yolk oozing all over the crisp potatoes and pork shoulder.  Enjoy!

Thanks for stopping by!
Laurie

 

Read Full Post »

« Newer Posts - Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: