Saturday, January 23, 2010

More uses for Honey Whole Wheat and Flax bread

This isn't a recipe per se, but a showing of how you can use the Honey Whole Wheat and Flax dough! Hubby has been craving hamburgers since he isn't eating lunch out every day (the only upside to him not working... dang slow down in construction!) We were out of bread anyway, so I made my 4 loaf batch. I made two loaves of bread, a dozen hot dog buns and a dozen hamburger buns. My kitchen scale came in handy to portion the dough out evenly. Each of the buns weighed in at 58 g before cooking. Make sure you keep any dough covered that you are not working with. This is where my stockpot that I used for the first rise came in extra handy. After I weighed the dough ball out, I just dropped it back in the pot and put the lid back on. This keeps the dough from forming any sort of a crust. You wouldn't think that a few minutes would make much of a difference, but it really does. For the hamburger buns, I rolled the dough into balls and pressed them flat with the palm of my hand. Transfer them onto a lined jelly roll pan and cover with sprayed saran wrap. For the hot dog buns, after rolling them into a ball, I rolled them out into ropes. Cover those the same way and leave on the counter to raise. I had formed the bread loaves first, set them in my slightly warm oven, and by the time they were raised and cooked, the buns were ready for their turn in the oven. I cooked them at 350* for 25 minutes. If cooking two sheet pans at the same time, be sure to switch position of the pans halfway through cooking so they get evenly browned. I got sidetracked when they came out of the oven, so I don't have an after pic of them out of the oven. Instead I'll let you drool over the pic of our "Daddy Burgers"... I think I'm off to have them again for dinner!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Mmmmmmm chewy, gooey, sticky caramels! These might just be the reason my pants aren't as loose as I'd like them to be! I swiped this recipe from My Kitchen Cafe I LOVE that they don't need babysitting at the stove. After adding the second half of the sweetened condensed milk in, just walk away... I mean it... don't touch that stirring spoon (but don't walk away too far, you still need to keep an eye on the thermometer!). I used a non stick saucepan and everything slipped out nicely. If you like caramels soft, cook them to 234*, if you like them a bit firmer, cook them up to 248*. (I recommend the lower end of the scale). I've had these wrappers on hand for some time now. I picked them up at a kitchen supply store, but you could easily use wax paper cut into squares. My kitchen shears made quick work of cutting the caramels. Next time I make these, I am going to substitute 1 tsp of vanilla with 1 tsp of rum extract. You can add 1 1/2 C chopped toasted pecans to this recipe when you add in the vanilla, but I like how they just melt away on your tongue and didn't want nuts interfering with that! These kept well for a month at room temperature. They did start to get a bit firmer towards the end of the month.

Homemade Caramels

2 C sugar
1 1/2 C light corn syrup
1 can sweetened condensed milk, divided
1/4 tsp salt
1 C butter
2 tsp vanilla

In a medium sized, heavy saucepan, combine sugar, corn syrup, 1/2 can sweetened condensed milk, salt and butter. Bring to a boil over medium-low heat, stirring constantly. Once it comes to a boil, add the rest of the sweetened condensed milk, stirring just until it reaches a boil again. Boil the mixture still at medium-low heat, without stirring until the mixture reaches 234*(soft) to 248* (firmer). When the caramel reaches your desired temperature, immediately remove the pan from the heat and stir in the vanilla . Carefully pour the hot mixture into a buttered 9X13 pan without scraping the bottom and sides of the pan. Let the caramel cool completely before cutting into squares and wrapping in waxed paper.

Poultry Dressing

My hubby was on a Thanksgiving dinner kick if you couldn't tell from these last few posts! We had Thanksgiving dinner at his sister's house this year, so we didn't have too many leftovers to enjoy for days ;-) He wanted the whole she-bang, but since I was the only one home cooking, he didn't get the full blown Thanksgiving dinner! This dressing is my second favorite one. My all time favorite is a cornbread dressing, but that requires making cornbread first... something I didn't have time for with everything else. This is jazzed up with apples, craisins and... (my mom will be so proud of me!) the cooked gizzards. This is the first time I have ever actually cooked the gizzards and incorporated them in a dish. Usually the whole packet gets tossed in the garbage. I just tossed all the gizzards and the neck and covered all with water. Then I boiled it for probably about an hour. I knew it was done when a fork was able to pierce everything easily with a fork. I saved the broth and used that in my gravy, since I didn't have turkey drippings due to the unusual method of cooking my turkey. I used my handy dandy food chopper to chop the gizzards into small pieces. The littles didn't even know they were in there!

Poultry Dressing

1/2 C butter
1 medium onion, chopped
4 stalks celery, chopped
1 bag dried bread cubes (specifically for stuffing, found in bakery was probably around a pound of dried cubes)
1 lb sage sausage, browned
1 C pecans, toasted and chopped
1 granny smith apple, chopped
1 C Craisins
Gizzards and neck from turkey, cooked until tender and chopped (absolutely optional!)
2 Cans chicken broth (or use broth from cooking gizzards, or use turkey drippings)

Saute onion and celery in the butter until tender. In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients except chicken broth. Stir to evenly distribute everything and add chicken broth to moisten dried bread cubes. You don't want the mixture to be swimming in liquid. Spoon into a lightly greased 9X13 pan and bake covered at 375* for 25-35 minutes or until heated through.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Italian Flair Turkey

This turkey is not your usual turkey! My husband's niece has been making this turkey for Thanksgiving for several years now. Since this side of the family is quite large, there are typically two turkeys made each Thanksgiving. Her turkey is always the preferred one (not to bash the other turkeys that have been served along side it, by any means) It is just that this turkey is always so moist and the flavor unique. When I pegged Eliza down to share her recipe, she said she wings it every time she makes it, based on what spices she has in her cupboard. So this can be changed to suit your herb tastes.
This is how I made it: Mix your mustard and spices and slather it over the turkey
Bake for 1 hour and pour spaghetti sauce over turkey. Baste at least once an hour, until turkey timer pops out.

Italian Flair Turkey
1 onion, flowered
1 C mustard
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp seasoned salt
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp rosemary
1/2 tsp sage
2 (26 oz)cans Spaghetti sauce (I used Hunts garlic and herb)
1/2 spaghetti sauce can of water
Wash and pat turkey dry with paper towels. Insert onion into cavity. Combine mustard and all seasonings. Coat turkey all over with mustard paste. Bake uncovered at 325* for 1 hour.*** Pour spaghetti sauce all over turkey and add the water to the pan (this prevents it from drying out and makes basting easier). Cover and cook until turkey is done (this varies depending on the weight of your bird), basting at least every hour. The turkey takes a little longer to cook due to losing heat every time you open the oven door to baste. After turkey is done, remove from oven and tent with foil. Let rest for 20-30 minutes. Carve turkey and pour pan juices over the meat. (You will want to use your baster to get below the layer of grease in the bottom of your pan, or use a fat separator)*** I use a counter top roasting oven to free up my oven space. In my case I cooked it with the lid on the whole time, so I didn't need to worry about cover or uncover.