Saturday, October 30, 2010

Cracker Barrel Chicken and Dumplings

Chicken & Broth
1 3-4 pound chicken, cut up
3 qts water
1.5 tsp salt
1 small onion, sliced
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 clove garlic, peeled and quartered
1 bay leaf
4-6 whole parsley leaves
1 tsp coarsely ground black pepper
1 tbsp lemon juice
Chicken stock (if not cooking a whole bird)

2 cups flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1.25 tsp salt
1 cup plus 2 tbsp milk

1. Bring the water to a boil in a large pot. Add the chicken, 1 tsp of salt, onion, celery, garlic, bay leaf and parsley to the pot. Reduce heat to simmer and cook the chicken, uncovered, for two hours. The liquid will reduce by about a third.

2. When the chicken has cooked, remove it from the pot and set it aside. Strain the stock to remove all the veggies and such. Keep the stock and the chicken.

3. Pour 6 cups of the stock back into the pot (keep leftover stock for another recipe, it can be frozen). If you started this recipe w/o the stock, add in store bought instead. Add pepper, remaining salt, and lemon juice. Reheat the stock over medium heat while preparing the dumplings.

4. For the dumplings, combine flour, baking powder, salt and milk in a medium bowl. Stir well until smooth. Let dough rest for 5-10 minutes. Roll dough onto a floured surface until 1/4 inch thick (originial recipe says 1/2 inch, we found that too thick).

5. Cut the dough into 1/2 inch squares and drop each square into the simmering stock. Use all the dough. Dumplings will first swell and then slowly shrink as they partially dissolve to thicken the stock into a white gravy. Simmer for 20-30 minutes until thick. Stir often. If you started with pre-cooked chicken, it can go in now too.

6. While the stock is thickening, the chicken will have become cool enough to handle. Tear all the meat into bitesized peices. Discard skin and bones. Simmer another 5-10 minutes.

7. When gravy has reached desired consistency, serve hot with veggies (if desired).

*We both really liked this one. Ate up every last bit of the leftovers.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Italian Bread

Makes: 1 loaf

1 packet dry yeast
1 tsp sugar
1 cup warm water (100-110 degrees)
2-3 cups flour
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
handful of corn meal

Combine yeast, sugar and warm water in large bowl. Let stand 5 minutes.

Add 2 cups flour, oil and salt to bowl. Beat until mixed in using dough hook if available. Continue to add flour. Dough will take on a soft and smooth appearance when enough flour has been added.

Increase speed to medium and beat 5 minutes. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let stand in warm place (85 degrees) for 30 minutes or until doubled in bulk. Punch down and let stand 10 more minutes..

Turn dough out onto floured surface. Sprinkle corn meal on a lightly greased cookie sheet. Shape dough into 12 inch loaf and place on top of the corn meal. Cut 3 slits across top of the bread.

Bake at 400 for 16 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack.

*Make sure the temp in the area for it to rise is adequate. Mine wasn't when I tried to make this and the bread didn't rise well.

Baked Ziti

Prep time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 35 mins
Feeds 10

1 pd dry ziti pasta
1 onion, chopped
1 pd lean ground beef (ok if a little less or to sub in a little sausage)
2 jars spaghetti sauce
1 cup sour cream
6 oz mozzerella, shredded
2 tbsp grated parmesean cheese

1. Bring a large pot of slightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook until al dente (about 8 minutes). Drain.

2. In a large skillet, brown meat over medium heat. Brown onions too. Add sauce and simmer 15 minutes.

3. Preheat over to 350. Butter a 9x13 pan. Mix ziti, sour cream and a little shredded cheese. Pour into baking pan. Top with rest of cheese.

4. Cover with aluminum foil. Bake for 30 mins or until cheese is melted. Remove foil for last 5 minutes.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Crockpot Pulled Pork

Place pork (roast, shoulder or butt) in the crockpot. Pour a cup of water over it. Throw salt & pepper on the pork. Cook on low for 6-8 hours.

Separate liquid and remove any fat peices. Add a bottle of your favorite BBQ sauce and shred. Let that heat up. Serve with rolls.

*Tried this one. The pork came apart really easily. Recipe got a thumbs up from both of us.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Triple Layer Mud Pie

3 squares semi sweet bakers chocolate, melted
1/4 cup canned sweetened condensed milk
1 oreo pie crust
1/2 cup pecans, toasted
2 cups 2% milk
2 pkgs (3.9 oz each) of JELLO instant chocolate pudding
1 tub (8 oz) Cool Whip, thawed and divided

Mix chocoate with condensed milk. Pour into crust. Sprinkle with pecans.

Beat milk and pudding mixes with whisk. Spoon 1.5 cups over the pecans. Stir half the Cool Whip into the remaining pudding and spread over pudding in crust. Top with remaining Cool Whip.

Refrigerate 3 hrs.

Makes 10 servings.

Pulled Pork Tacos

Time: 15 mins hands on
Serves 6

2 cups store bought salsa, plus more for serving
2 tbsp chili powder
2 tbsp dried oregano
2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1-2.5 pound boneless pork butt or shoulder, trimmed of excess fat
18 corn tortillas
1/2 cup fresh cilantro sprigs
3/4 cup sour cream
1 lime, cut into wedges

In a 4-6 qt slow cooker, combine the salsa, chili powder, oregano and cocoa and 1 tsp salt. Add the pork and turn to coat.

Cook, covered, until the meat is tender and pulls apart easily. On high 4-5 hrs or on low 7-8 hrs.

20 mins before serving, heat oven to 350. Stack tortillas, wrap them in foil, and bake until warm (about 15 mins).

Meanwhile, while using two forks, shred the pork and stir into the cooking liquid.

Serve with lime, cilantro, sour cream and extra salsa

Friday, October 8, 2010

Honey Cornbread Muffins

Hands on Time:10 mins
Total Time: 45 mins
Makes 12 muffins

4 TBS (1/2 stick) butter, melted plus more for the pan
1.25 cups flour
3/4 cup cornmeal
1.5 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/5 tsp baking soda
2 eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1/3 cup honey

Heat oven to 375. Butter muffin tin.

In medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, buttermilk, honey and melted butter. Add the flour mixture, stir to combine.

Divide the batter amongst the muffin cups and bake until golden brown and toothpick comes out clean.

*Can store at room temp for up to a day. Warm in foil if desired.

**Tried this one. Got a so-so rating from both of us. Good, but a little sweet. Must do as muffins, consistency isn't right and its too sweet to be cornbread.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Plum Upside-Down Cake

1/2 cup plus 1 tbsp butter

4 firm, ripe plums. Each cut into 8 wedges.

1/4 cup plus 2/3 cup granulated sugar

1 cup flour

3/4 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

1 large egg

2/3 cup sour cream

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

parchment paper

Heat oven to 350. Butter an 8 inch cake pan and line the bottom with parchment paper.

Melt the tbsp of butter in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the plums and 1/4 cup of the sugar and cook, tossing until the sugar dissolves and the juices from the plums become syrupy, 3-4 minutes. Arrange the plums in the cake pan in slightly overlapping concentric circles, starting from the outside. Spoon any pan juices over the top.

In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

With an electric mixer, beat the remaining 1/2 cup of butter and 2/3 cup of the sugar until fluffy. Beat in the egg, sour cream, and vanilla. Gradually add the flour mixture, mixing until just incorporated.

Pour the batter over the plums and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 50-55 minutes. Let cool in the pan for an hour. Place a large plate over the cake pan and invert the cake onto the plate.

Mint Chip Ice Cream Pie

8 oz chopped semisweet chocolate, melted

4 cups chrisped rice cereal (ie Rice Krispies)

2 pints mint chocolate chip ice cream, slightly softened

In a large bowl, combine the chocolate and cereal until the cereal is completely coated. Transfer to a 9 inch springform pan. Press the mixture into the bottom and 1 inch up the sides of the pan. Freeze just until firm, 5-10 minutes. (A premade chocolate graham cracker crust may work for this too)

Spread the ice cream in the prepared crust and freeze, covered, until firm, for at least 2 hours or up to 3 days.

Easy Guacamole

1/2 white onion, finely chopped
1 jalapeno (optional, finely chopped)
1/4 cup fresh cilantro
salt & pepper to taste
2 ripe avocados, diced
2 tbs fresh lime of lemon juice

In a large bowl, combine the onion, jalapeno, cilantro, salt and pepper. Using the back of a fork, mash the veggies together until they begin to release their juices.

Add the avocado and lime juice, stir to combine.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Apple Cinnamon Roll Cupcakes

Apple Cinnamon Roll Cupcakes
Adapted from Stephani Pollack from Cupcake Project via Paula Deen

2 cups milk
1 packet active dry yeast
1/3 cup sugar
2 teaspoons salt
6 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling
2 eggs
1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
3 tablespoons cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves
2 cups finely chopped apples (I used Golden Delicious apples)

In a small saucepan, heat milk to about 110 degrees. Add yeast and sugar to bowl of a stand mixer and pour in the milk, stir to dissolve. Add salt and two cups of flour and beat for two minutes. Beat in eggs and butter. Stir in the remaining flour half a cup at a time, beating well after each addition. Switch to dough hook and knead about five minutes, until smooth and elastic. Spray a large deep bowl with cooking spray, shape dough into a ball, put it in the bowl, turn once to coat and cover it with a clean towel. Set in a warm place and allow to rise for about 40 minutes or until doubled in volume.

Meanwhile make the filling by combining the sugars, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and apples in a small bowl. Melt remaining butter in a small dish.

Dust counter top with flour and roll out dough into a long rectangle about 1/4 inch thick. Brush with about half of the melted butter. Top with the apple mixture, sprinkle evenly over the dough, leaving about an inch empty on all sides.
Line cupcake pans with 24 liners. Roll dough into a log beginning on the long side of the rectangle. Trim off both ends to remove the uneven part that doesn't have any filling. Slice the log into approximately 24 even pieces. Place each piece in a cupcake liner, folding the ends together to make a “C” shape. The pieces should come to about the top of the liners. Cover the cupcake tins with a clean towel and set in a warm place to rise for another 40 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Brush the tops of the cupcakes with remaining melted butter. Bake for about 20 minutes or until the tops are golden.

1 cup powdered sugar
About 2 tablespoons milk

In a small bowl, mix powdered sugar and milk until combined. Start with one tablespoon of milk and add more as necessary until you have a glaze that is thick but runs easily off the spoon. Drizzle over warm cupcakes and serve. Store in an airtight container and reheat leftover cupcakes in the microwave for about 20 seconds before serving.