Thursday, January 24, 2013

We Knead to Bake #1-Herb & Cheese Pull-Apart Bread

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The aroma of bread baking fills my house on a regular basis! I can't remember when I didn't bake breads, especially yeast breads which seem to always make me feel competent in the kitchen. Now I have more of a reason to bake! I've joined in Aparna's-We Knead to Bake group on Facebook. Aparna author's My Diverse Kitchen, a superb blog dedicated to vegetarian Indian cooking. Her food photography is brilliant and wins many awards. Each month, Aparna chooses a bread recipe for the group to bake within that month and on the 24th the breads are posted on the various blogs and a link added to her post.

This month's bread was a savory herb and cheese pull-apart bread, although one could also make a sweet bread or substitute other herbs and cheese for the savory, but the integrity of the bread, i.e. a pull-part bread, had to be preserved. I liked the idea of the savory herb and cheese, so only make minor changes. Aparna uses her food processor to mix the dough, but my bread machine is my go to for making bread dough.
Herb and Cheese Pull-Apart Bread Loaf
Original Recipe, plus step-by-step photos-My Diverse Kitchen
For the Dough

1/2 cup warm milk
1 teaspoon sugar
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
2-3/4 to 3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2  tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 teaspoon garlic paste
3/4 cup milk (plus 1-2 tablespoons extra to brush the top of the bread)

For the Filling

1-1/2 tablespoons melted butter
1 teaspoons crushed cumin seeds
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried oregano
Crushed red pepper to taste
1/2 cup shredded Jalapeno Jack cheese

Add all the ingredients for the dough in the order suggested by your bread machine manual and process on the dough cycle according to the manufacturer's directions. At the end of the dough cycle, remove the dough to a lightly floured work surface.

Deflate the dough, shape it into a square and roll out to about 12"by 12". Brush the surface of the dough with the melted butter. Evenly sprinkle on the dough the dried herbs, pepper/crushed red pepper and the cumin seeds and then the grated cheese. Using a rolling pin, lightly press down the topping into the dough to ensure the topping doesn't fall off when stacking the strips.

Using a pizza cutter, slice the dough from top to bottom into 6 long and even strips. Lay each strip on top of the next, with the topping facing upwards, until you have a stack of strips. You can put the two strips cut from the sides in the middle of the stack so it looks neater. Using a sharp knife, cut straight down through the stack, dividing it into 6 equal pieces-6 square stacks.

Grease and lightly flour a 9"by 5" loaf pan. Layer the square slices of dough, cut sides down into the loaf pan. Cover loosely and let rise for about an hour. Lightly brush some of the extra milk over the top of the loaf. Bake in a preheated 350° F. oven for about 30-40 minutes or until golden brown and done.

And to follow suit, this post goes to Susan at Yeastspotting. She's sure to have many more posts from this bread baking group.

Please do not use images or text without my permission. 

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

A Hot Chocolate Collage-Black and White Wednesday #67

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An easy microwave hot chocolate recipe

Really Hot Chocolate

3 cups milk
1/3 cup grated semisweet chocolate
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 egg

In a microwave-safe container, cook milk on high for 2 minutes. Stir in the chocolate, sugar and cinnamon. In a separate container, whisk egg until blended and add to the chocolate mixture.

Return container to the microwave and cook on high for 3-4 minutes  until foamy taking care not to let the mixture boil.  Whisk until smooth and pour into 4 small cups. Float marshmallows on top and sprinkle with grated chocolate, if desired. Serves 3-4. Original recipe on Allrecipes.

What's hot chocolate without a cookie-the classic best chocolate chip cookies from Dorie Greenspan's Baking From My Home to Yours. Photo below from Cafe Lynnylu.
Best Chocolate Chip Cookies

This is my contribution Black and White Wednesday #67 hosted this week by Jeanne of the Cooking Doctor. Thanks goes out to Jeanne for hosting, Susan for creating this event and to Cinzia for carrying the torch as admin for the group.

Please do not use images or text without my permission. 

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Braised Beef with Bischopswijn (mulled wine) and Boerenjongens (brandied raisins), Grandmother's Red Cabbage with Apples (Rode Kool Met Appeltjes)

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Not all beef stews are alike! This Dutch braised beef dish is hearty, aromatic with rosemary, bay leaves and heady from the mulled wine Bischopswijn) plus, just a touch of sweet boozy flavor from the  addition of brandied raisins (Boerenjongens), recipe below.  I served this over rice, but also a parsnip mash or  mashed potatoes would be nice. The red cabbage and apples dish is a perfect accompaniment to the stew. Tangy with vinegar, sugar, lemon juice and zest, this colorful stovetop dish has sliced apples cooked along with the red cabbage.

These dishes represent the cuisine of the Netherlands and is the first post for European Community Culinary ABC.  I spent five days in Brugge as well as well as Amsterdam a couple of years ago and was totally smitten with both cities. Belgium, Amsterdam and Luxembourg are called the Benelux countries. The beautiful architecture and lovely canals  were a delight. At the end of this post is a collage of some of the photos that represent the beauty of the city. Mony of Gata d Plar is hosting the letter A for Appeltart. On her blog, you can see what others have contributed for the letter A.
Braised Beef with Bischopswijn and Boerenjongens
3-1/2 pounds stewing beef
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt & pepper, to taste
2 celery stalks, diced
2 medium onions, diced
2 carrots, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 bay leaves
1 sprig rosemary
2-2-1/2 cups beef stock
2 cups bischopswijn (mulled wine) OR,
   (2 cups full bodied red wine
   1 stick cinnamon
   2 strips orange peel, studded with
   2 cloves)
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 cup boerenjogens (brandied raisins), see recipe, OR
   (1 cup seedless raisins, soaked overnight in brandy to cover)

In a large Dutch oven,  add oil and heat over medium-high heat. Brown the beef in batches: Remove and season with the salt and pepper, to taste. Add the celery, onions and carrots. Cook over medium-low heat, until the celery and onion has softened, 10-15 minutes.

Return the meat and any accumulated juices to the Dutch oven. Add the garlic, bay leaves and rosemary, along with the cinnamon and clove-studded orange peel, if you are not using the mulled wine. Add the stock, mulled wine, or regular red wine, vinegar, brown sugar and tomato paste. Cover and simmer for 1-1/2 hours, adding more stock if the meat gets too dry. When the meat is tender, add the brandied raisins and cook for an additional 30 minutes, uncovered.

Taste for seasoning, remove the bay leaves, rosemary sprig, and (if applicable, the cinnamon stick, orange peel and cloves. Serve hot over rice, mashed potatoes or other vegetable mash. Serves 4-6. 
Original recipe here
Red Cabbage with Apples
Rode Kool Met Appeltjes

1/2 onion, chopped
1 tablespoon butter
1 small head red cabbage, thinly sliced
2 apples, peeled and sliced
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 lemon, zest only
1 bay leaf
1 clove
1/2 cup white rice
1 teaspoon cornstarch, optional
Salt and pepper, to taste

In a large saucepan, saute the onions in the butter. Toss in the red cabbage, stir and allow to simmer for 10 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients, along with enough water to cover the cabbage. Simmer for an hour or two, or until soft, but not mushy. Optional-In a small bowl, mix a little bit of the cooking liquid with the cornstarch and add to the saucepan. Allow to thicken. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Serve hot.

Brandied Raisins

Boerenjongens (Brandied Raisins)

1-1/4 cups brown sugar
1 cup water
1 lemon, zest only
3-1/3 cups golden raisins
1 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cinnamon stick
1 clove
1 quart brandy

Add the sugar and water to a saucepan and cook over medium heat until the sugar has dissolved. Add the lemon zest to the saucepan, along with the golden raisins, honey, vanilla and spices. Cook on a low heat until the raisins have swelled and softened. Bring to a boil and then using a slotted spoon, scoop the raisins into a couple sterilized jam jars.

Now reduce the remaining liquid until it thickens. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Remove the lemon zest and spices. Pour the liquid over the golden raisins. Add the brandy. Seal jars and store in a cool dry place for 6 weeks. Once opened, keep refrigerated.  Original recipe hereTips on Sterilizing Jam Jars
I have used these raisins in bread pudding and would be wonderful spooned over ice cream! 

Brugge, Belgium

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Black and White Wednesday #66-the Gallery

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Welcome to the Black and White Wednesday gallery! You will be amazed at the talent of those who on a weekly basis submit outstanding culinary images not truly monochromatic, but with varying shades of black to white and in between. For those interested in joining in or hosting the weekly Black and White Wednesday, read Cinzia's  host's line-up post. The more, the merrier!
Dragon Fruit
Cinzia-CindyStar Blog

San Marzano Tomatoes
Haalo-Cook (almost) Anything Once

The View to the Right
Armagosa Hotel

Table for Two
Armagosa Hotel

Uncluttered Beauty
Rosa-Rosa's Yummy Yums

Seafood Paella
Lynne-Cafe Lynnylu

Andalusian Gazpacho
Ronda, Spain
Lynne-Cafe Lynnylu

Black and White Wednesday #67 will be hosted by Jeanne of The Cooking Doctor. If I have missed anyone, don't hesitate letting me know and I will update this post. Happy black and white wednesday!
Please do not use images or text without my permission. 

Monday, January 14, 2013

Marbella, Spain-Black and White Wednesday Hosted Here

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I'm pleased to be hosting  Black and White  Wednesday #66  this week and look forward to your submissions!  As many of you already know, BWW was  created by the lovely and talented Susan of the well seasoned cook and is now managed by the equally  lovely and talented Cinzia of cindy star blog. There are a few simple easy rules to follow.  Please email your black and white culinary images ,portrait/500 wide & 700 long- landscape/ 700 wide & 500 long-or 600 square 400 pixels  to lynnylu AT gmail DOT com along with the URL of your post. A blog is not necessary, just email the images along with your name to me and I will happy to add them to the gallery. 

I have just returned from a very short week in Marbella, Spain. With a long flight, a longer layover and an additional 3 hour flight, getting there seemed to take a week Needless to say, I wasn't over the jet lag before I was back on the plane to come home. Marbella, one of eight provinces in the region of Andalusia, has a reputation of being the playground of the rich and famous, but originally was a small fishing village. With five coastal provinces, seafood is high on the list of foods consumed as well as the local jamones (hams) of Jabugo, sherry from Jerez, olives, olive oils among many other food and drink too numerous to list.
A classic Andalusian gazpacho enjoyed in Ronda, a city in the mountains divided in half by a 100 foot gorge. Modern bullfighting was born in Ronda and is the site of one of the oldest bullfighting arenas, Plaza del Toros, now a museum.

A seafood paella for four at El Faro, a chiringuito (restaurant next to the sea) in Marbella.

A pescadería (fish market) in Mijas, popular for the "donkey taxis"and stunning white-washed houses which sit atop Mijas Pueblo.

A few more photos from my trip to Spain

Please do not use images or text without my permission. 
Gadget by The Blog Doctor.