Wednesday, June 29, 2011

cheddar cayenne crackers

So, these are the greatest.
My mother-in-law made these for a party that she was throwing and I sorta got addicted.
Like, I might have eaten 20.
Or 30.
Who knows.
The only way they are better is when you leave out the cayenne and cut them out into goldfish shapes and feed them to your son.
And then watch his face while he eats them.
Yes, joy.
But, for adults, add back in the cayenne.
The goldfish shape is optional.

Cheddar Cayenne Crackers
Makes about 48 crackers.
Adapted from Fine Cooking.
1 1/3 cups flour
3 oz. (about 1 1/4 cups) finely shredded sharp Cheddar cheese

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon cayenne

1 stick butter, cut into 1/2" pieces, chilled

1 large egg yolk

2 tablespoons water

1/3 cup medium finely chopped walnuts

Kosher salt for sprinkling

Combine the flour, cheese, salt, and cayenne in a food processor. Process until just blended. Add the butter pieces and pulse until the dough resembles coarse crumbs. Stir the yolk and water together with a fork and drizzle over the mixture. Pulse until the dough begins to form small moist crumbs. Add the chopped nuts and pulse briefly until the crumbs begin to come together.
Pile the moist crumbs on an unfloured work surface. With the heel of your hand, push and gently smear the crumbs away from you until they start to come together in a cohesive dough. Using a pastry scraper or a metal spatula, lift up one edge of the dough and fold it into the center (the dough will still be rough, so don’t expect a neat, smooth fold). Repeat with the opposite edge, like folding a letter. Turn the dough 45 degrees. Give the dough another smearing and shape it into a 14" log that’s 1 1/4" in diameter. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate until firm, about 4 hours, or up to two days.
Heat the oven to 375*. Line two large baking sheets with parchment. Using a thin, sharp knife, cut the log into 1/4" slices. Arrange about 1/2" apart on the prepared sheets. Bake until medium to deep golden around the edges, 15 to 20 minutes, rotating the sheets as needed for even baking. Sprinkle the crackers with a little kosher salt just as the baking sheets come out of the oven. Set the sheets on racks to cool. When the crackers are completely cool, store them in an airtight container.

The rolled log of dough may be frozen for up to a month and then thawed for about an hour on the counter or in the refrigerator overnight. Or bake the coins ahead, wrap short stacks in plastic, pack the stacks in plastic containers, and stash them in the freezer. Thaw at room temperature (or put the frozen coins right in the oven) and warm them for a few minutes at 325* to refresh them.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

bacon wrapped cream cheese stuffed goose jalapeno poppers

What a title, eh?

And I know you are probably thinking, "Goose? Really? Didn't you screw up the last goose you made?"
And yes. 
Yes, I did.

But, when you have a husband, father, and brother that delight in hunting and your family isn't the sort to just hunt for the sport, you have to find more ways to make that tough goose into something delicious.

And this just happens to be that "something delicious".

If goose isn't your thing, by all means, use duck.
Or chicken.
Or pork tenderloin.
Or steak.
Really, whatever floats your boat!

Bacon Wrapped Cream Cheese Stuffed Goose Jalapeño Poppers
Makes around 16.
Begin the night before for better results!
2 cups buttermilk
4 goose breasts, cleaned and trimmed
8 large jalapeños, cleaned
1/2 - 3/4 cup whipped cream cheese
4 slices bacon, cut into fourths

The night before you want to grill, soak the cleaned breasts in the buttermilk in a large bowl, covered with plastic wrap, in the fridge.
The day you want to grill, preheat your oven to 425* and your grill to high.
Roast jalapeños in the oven for 10 minutes, and remove to cool.

Remove the goose from the buttermilk and pat dry with paper towels.

Cut each breast in half.

Cut each half into half, lengthwise.

Set aside.
Cut the cooled jalapeños in half.
*You might want to wear gloves for this part....*

Remove seeds.

Stuff with cream cheese.

Take a piece of goose and wrap it around the jalapeño half, seam side down.

Take a piece of bacon, and wrap around the goose, seam side up.

And skewer.

Grill for about 7-10 minutes, per side, about 15-20 minutes total.

Enjoy alone or with some ranch :)

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

cream cheese danishes with tangerine curd

Nothing like a good Sunday morning breakfast.

I know, it's Tuesday.
But, I am having leftovers :)

Cream Cheese Danishes with Tangerine Curd
Makes a ton!  
I only used 1/2 of the dough and got about 20 danishes.
From my friend, Courtney, and Joy the Baker.
1 1/2 cups lukewarm water
1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
1 1/2 tablespoons yeast
8 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup good honey
3 sticks butter
7 1/2 cups flour
1 egg, beaten and combined with 1 tablespoon water
1 egg yolk
3/4 cup sugar
Splash of vanilla
2/3 bar of cream cheese, softened

Mix the yeast, salt, eggs, honey, and melted butter with the water in a 5-qt bowl, or a lidded (not airtight) container.
Mix in the flour without kneading, using a wooden spoon, a 14-C capacity food processor with dough attachment, or a heavy-duty stand mixer with dough hook. If you're not using a machine, you may need to use wet hands to incorporate the last bit of flour. The dough will be very loose, but will firm up after chilling... don't try to work it before chilling (there may be lumps in the dough but they will disappear in the finished product).
Cover (not airtight) and allow to rest at room temp until dough rises and collapses, at least 2 hours.
*Dough can be used as soon as it's chilled after the initial rise, OR it can be kept in the fridge, covered, for 5 days, then portion it in 1-pound balls and freeze for up to 4 weeks. When using frozen dough, thaw in the fridge for 24 hours, then proceed through the rest and rise times.*
When you are ready to bake, grease a 9x4x3 inch loaf pan (or baking sheet or whatever you're using). Dust the surface of the refrigerated dough with flour and cut off a 1-pound (grapefruit-size) piece. Dust the piece with more flour and quickly shape it in to a ball by stretching the surface of the dough around to the bottom on all four sides ("rounding off"). Elongate into an oval and place in the prepared pan (or shape in to danishes, kolaches, cinnamon rolls, etc. at this point), place in/on pan, and let rest for between 1 1/2 hours to 2 hours.
Twenty minutes before baking, preheat oven to 350*.
While the oven preheats, make the cream cheese filling.
Combine egg yolk, sugar and vanilla and beat.  Add cream cheese and beat until creamy.
Make a dent in the top of the danishes and fill with the cream cheese filling.
Using a pastry brush, brush the top of loaf/loaves with egg wash.
Place bread in center of oven and bake for 35-40 mins, or until a medium golden-brown. Allow to cool before slicing and eating, or crumb will be gummy.
Serve with the tangerine curd (recipe follows) on top!  Enjoy!

Tangerine Curd
Makes about 3/4 cup.
2 large egg yolks
1 large egg
5 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon tangerine zest
1/4 cup tangerine juice
2 tablespoons lemon juice
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
pinch of salt
Combine sugar and tangerine zest on a clean cutting board.  With a spoon or your fingers, rub the zest into the sugar until the sugar is very fragrant and slightly orange in color.
In a medium saucepan over medium low heat, whisk together egg yolks, egg, tangerine sugar, juices, butter and salt.  Whisk over the heat until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 5 minutes.
Remove from heat and pass through a fine mesh strainer into a medium bowl.  Transfer to a small jar or airtight container and refrigerate until cool and thicker in texture.  Curd will last, refrigerated, for about a week.

Friday, June 17, 2011

buffalo chicken wings

Wanna make the summer a little hotter??
How 'bout a little spicier??

A great alternative to plain ole barbeque, who doesn't like buffalo wings??
And don't worry, you can make them as spicy or as mild as you'd like!
Just monitor the amount of Tabasco ;)

Buffalo Chicken Wings
Serves 4.
From Alton Brown.
12 whole chicken wings 
3 ounces unsalted butter 
1 small clove garlic, minced 
1/4 cup hot sauce 
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Place a spaghetti pot with a steamer basket and 1" of water in the bottom, over high heat, cover and bring to a boil.

Remove the tips of the wings and discard or save for making stock. Using kitchen shears, or a knife, separate the wings at the joint. Place the wings into the steamer basket, cover, reduce the heat to medium and steam for 10 minutes. Remove the wings from the basket and carefully pat dry. Lay the wings out on a cooling rack set in a sheet pan lined with paper towels and place in the refrigerator for 1 hour. 

Preheat the oven to 425*.

Replace the paper towels with parchment paper or foil. Roast on the middle rack of the oven for 20 minutes. Turn the wings over and cook another 20 minutes or until meat is cooked through and the skin is golden brown.

While the chicken is roasting, melt the butter in a small bowl along with the garlic. Pour this along with hot sauce and salt into a bowl large enough to hold all of the chicken and stir to combine.

Remove the wings from the oven and transfer to the bowl and toss with the sauce. Serve hot with Ranch and enjoy! 


Monday, June 13, 2011

artichoke pesto

I love anything that has to do with artichokes.
I grew up eating them whole with butter.

But I found this recipe that uses canned artichokes.
Much easier.
And still just as tasty!

I just can't figure out how to include butter in this recipe...

Artichoke Pesto
Serves 7-8.
Adapted from GDL.
1 can of artichokes (or 8 ounces of frozen, thawed artichokes)
1/2 cup walnuts
1 lemon, zested and juiced
1 clove garlic
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
2/3 cup Parmesan cheese

Drain and rinse your artichokes.  Set aside.

Toast the walnuts over medium-heat until toasty and fragrant.  Set aside to cool.

Throw the artichokes into a food processor.  (Or blender...)

Add cooled walnuts.


Lemon, zest and juice....

Salt and pepper....

Pulse a couple times to chop everything up.

Add the olive oil while the machine is running.

Nice and smooth!

Add Parmesan and spread over toasted baguettes!  Enjoy!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

best (and flourless!) peanut butter cookies

I'm not a huge peanut butter fan.
I never have been.
But, these little babies are to die for.
I don't really know why either!
But, the flourless-ness of them makes them really really chewy and crumbly at the same time.
And dense.
And sweet but not too sweet.
I find myself eating a lot of them when I make them.
And if you make them too and like them as much as I do, I won't feel so bad.
So, do me a solid, okay?

Peanut Butter Cookies
Makes a lot!  ....around 30.
1 1/4 cups smooth peanut butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat your oven to 350*. 
Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.  (Or just use a non-stick cookie sheet.)
In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the peanut butter, the brown sugar, and the baking soda until well blended, about a minute. 

Add the egg and vanilla and beat on low speed until just blended, about 30 seconds, and comes together in a mass.

Scoop dough with an 1" ice cream scoop and drop onto prepared baking sheets.  Press down a bit with your fingers.  Bake until just cracked on top but still moist-looking, about 11 minutes.  Cool on sheets and enjoy! 

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