Monday, September 29, 2014

Piña Colada Bread Pudding

Bread pudding is one of those comfort foods that I adore, and my husband is like, meh. So, I try not to make full recipes, I didn't really measure. I had a good sized loaf of bread leftover from yesterday, made a baguette for dinner. It was a soft, rich dough.
Cubed, tossed with melted butter and unsweetened coconut flakes. I put it in a 350F oven for a few minutes while I stirred together a custard.
The custard consisted of coconut milk and cream, some sugar, honey, dash of salt, and an egg.
In a bowl, I tossed together the toasted bread and coconut, custard, and some crushed pineapple.
I used an ice cream scoop to portion the bread pudding into individual baking dishes. I think I got them at a secondhand store. Bake them about 325F-350F for about an hour. Test as for custard, knife inserted in center comes out clean when done.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Italian Sausage

I wanted to make lasagne, and tried something different. I made my own Italian sausage.
First, a trip to the garden to gather fresh herbs: parsley, oregano, thyme, rosemary, and basil.
Finely chop.
Next, a trip to the pantry for spices, onion and garlic powder, fennel, paprika, red chile flakes.
Mix well. Then simply use as desired.

Wine and Cheese al Fresco

I shopped for some cheeses that would go nicely with the Spanish Rice, as well as the Spanish wine. I picked up a nice Manchego, another smokey cheese, and a softer, plain farmers cheese.
The grapes looked too good to resist!

Spanish Rice

This is inspired by paella, but no saffron, no frozen peas, so I am calling it Spanish Rice. Ha!we have also discovered that we are not a fan of seafood in the mix, so I only used chicken and sausage.
I used boneless, skinless chicken thighs for this. Also, instead of Spanish chorizo, I used a Portuguese sausage.
First, I browned the chicken and sausage in a bit of olive oil.
Remove the meat from the pan, then add the vegetables. I used onion, garlic, and sweet peppers.
As you are sautéing the vegetables, scrape the bits left from browning the meat.
Add seasonings. I used sweet paprika, pepper, fennel, turmeric, dried oregano. Add the rice, I used a medium grain.
Add a can of tomatoes.
Return the meat to the pan, cover and bake until rice is tender. I added some fresh herbs from my garden, parsley, thyme, oregano.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Smoked Turkey Sandwich

The perfect sandwich needs perfect bread, so, first things first.
I have a selection of leftover beer in the fridge, some of which I probably won't drink. I grabbed a can, poured it into a bowl, and zapped it in the microwave to take the chill off.
In a glass measuring cup, I proofed the yeast with a little bit of beer and warm water, pinch of flour and sugar.
When things got bubbly, I put the beer and proofed yeast mixture into the bowl of my KA. Using the paddle, I added some flour, a bit of salt, and leftover bacon grease. As I added flour towards the end, I threw in some shredded cheese, a blend of Asiago, Romano, and Parmesan. It was a wet dough, didn't add too much flour, still a bit sticky. I put it into an oiled bowl, covered with plastic wrap, left it on the counter for a couple of hours.
I turned it out onto a floured surface.
I love using that rolling pin, it is a family heirloom.
Cut the dough into rectangles.
Place on a prepared baking sheet. One can use parchment paper, or simple grease and scatter cornmeal. The cornmeal acts as tiny ball bearings, allowing the bread to slide off the pan easily when done baking. After letting the dough rest a bit, a small rise, put into a hot oven, 450-475F, for about 15-20 minutes.
To assemble the sandwich: slice the bread, toast it lightly. On the bottom piece, layer sliced avocado, sliced smoked turkey, a smear of pesto, sliced tomato, onion, Swiss cheese. On the top half, a slice of Swiss and some bacon slices. They were already cooked, leftover from breakfast. Broil open faced until cheese melts and bacon is warmed. Put the top on, spear with toothpicks (helps hold it together), cut in half.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Lobster Salad

I admit to using a frozen lobster from a box that I picked up at Wally World. Yep.
Here goes:
Chopped celery, diced shallot, tomato, seasonings.
And diced, cooked lobster.
Dressing: mayo, creme fraiche, salt, pepper, dill

Dining al Fresco

I love eating outdoors. This was a date night dinner, starting with cheese fondue and bread. We grilled a couple of steaks and spicy bacon-wrapped shrimp. I marinated the shrimp in a mixture of chili powders and paprika, olive oil, and a bit of apple cider vinegar.
Served it with a salad.
Great night.

Tomato Soup

A friend of mine stopped by with some small tomatoes from her garden. I peeled (by dropping into boiling water briefly), and seeded them. I put the pulp and some of the strained juice into a small saucepan with some butter and cooked it down. I seasoned it with salt, pepper, and mixed herbs from my garden: oregano, basil, rosemary, parsley. After the liquid reduced, I added a very small pinch of baking soda, let the foam subside, then added heavy cream, let it come to a simmer, then turned off the heat. I finished it with a dollop of home made creme fraiche. Of course.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Rhubarb & Raspberries

This is an easy treat! Slice rhubarb, add some water, sugar (I used about 11/2 cup for about 4-5 cups fruit). Then simmer gently until rhubarb is tender. Turn off the heat and add the raspberries. I served it with home made crime fraiche: heavy cream with some buttermilk, let it sit out overnight.
I like the rhubarb to retain some texture, so didn't slice too thinly.
Add some water, sugar, simmer. It doesn't take long.
I added the raspberries at the end, turned off the heat.
I put some heavy cream (not ultra pasteurized) in a jar, almost to the top, then added buttermilk. I set it in a pan of warm water to start with, then just left it out on the counter overnight to thicken. It is yummy!