30 October, 2012

Parker House Rolls

Lazy dinner day.

I'm embarrassed to tell you last night I served soup out of a box.  
In all fairness.. it was organic, and expensive for soup in a box.

The Boyfriend didn't like it.  
But I didn't make it! :)
Anyway, to make up for this soup, I figured I'd make some homemade rolls and a nice salad.  
I used Bobby Flay's recipe for Parker House Rolls, and once I got halfway through I realized I didn't have any all-purpose flour. 


What I did have was whole wheat flour and quinoa flour.  Maybe this is a sign.  Healthier rolls!!
So I subbed ALL the flour in Bobby Flay's recipe.  I used 5 cups whole wheat flour and 1 cup quinoa flour. 
The rolls came out nice and buttery.
I won't lie to you- they were a little dense.  But only a little.  
The rolls were good when warmed a little in the microwave. But I wouldn't make them the same way again. 

Why am I bothering with this posting then, you ask?

Because despite being a bit dense, this is an excellent and easy recipe for rolls.  The reason for the denseness is because of the flours I used.  I'm not going to post the recipe, because I don't want you to do what I did.  
Try Bobby Flay's recipe.  If you want to make it healthier, sub HALF of the flour with whole wheat flour, but no more than that.  I did add 1 tsp of garlic powder to the dough for garlicky rolls. I do recommend!

Happy Baking!

29 October, 2012

8 Homemade Spice Blends

Hey East Coasters!

Stuck inside your house for the storm?  Bored?  

Why not make your own spice blends for quick cooking later on?  

Here's 10 of my favorites.  These are blends I often make and have on-hand.  Simply combine all ingredients and store up to 3 months in an airtight container.   Rub them on some chicken or whatever meat, cook-n-serve. 

These make entertaining easy too.  
More time to devote to side dishes and desserts, less time measuring our teaspoons and tablespoons of herbs.

AND they make great gifts!  Make now, pack in pretty glass jars with some decorative lace or whatever you're into, and voila!

'Na mean?

Creole Seasoning

5 tbsp sweet paprika
3 tbsp salt
2 tbsp onion powder
2 tbsp garlic powder
2 tbsp dried oregano
2 tbsp dried basil
1 tbsp dried thyme
1 tbsp fresh ground black pepper
1 tbsp white pepper
1 tbsp cayenne pepper (or more if you like SPICY!) or ground ancho chile pepper
1/2 tsp ground allspice

Chili Seasoning

1/2 cup chili powder
1/4 cup tbsp garlic powder
1/4 cup cumin
3 tbsp dried oregano
3 tbsp onion powder
2 tbsp paprika
1 tbsp thyme
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp white sugar

 Pumpkin Pie 
OR Apple Pie Spice
Enough for one pie
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp allspice
pinch cloves if desired

Macaroni and Cheese Spice!
Just add to the roux, add cheese, and bake.

1 tbsp powdered mustard
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (I add 1 tsp for a little kick)
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper

Taco Seasoning

1 tbsp chili powder
2 tsp ground cumin
3/4 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper

Harrisa Spice Blend
(A North African chili paste blend)

1/2 cup olive oil
3-5 dried red chili peppers or 1 1/2 tsp to a tbsp of red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper
1/2 cup cilantro
4 tbsp ground garlic
1 tbsp ground coriander
1 tbsp ground cumin
1 tbsp salt
1 tbsp dried mint

In a food processor, blend 1/4 cup olive oil with spices.  Pour into your airtight jar. Add remaining oil on top, and seal.  When ready to use, give it a good shake, and rub on meat. 

Jamaican-Me-Crazy Jerk Seasoning

1/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 tbsp onion powder
2 tsp garlic powder
1 tbsp dried thyme
2 tsp ground allspice
2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt

26 October, 2012

Sweet'n Spicy Sticky Sauce

This is a Thai style sauce.  

It's Sweet. Sticky. Spicy. Aaand Salty. 
It's a great dipping sauce for spring rolls, lettuce wraps, won-tons, etc. 

I plan on making Empanadas shortly, and made this in advance.  
It keeps well in the refrigerator for about 3 weeks.  

A note on personal preferences: 
Want sweeter? Add more brown sugar.  
Saltier? Add more fish sauce (but I don't recommend- pretty salty). 
Spicier? Beware- this can get pretty spicy pretty quickly.  I added 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper.  I like spicy... and this was pretty darn spicy!!  You can always just start by adding 1/8 tsp, tasting, and adding more appropriately.   

24 October, 2012

Ancho Rubbed Roast Chicken stuffed with Mexican Stuffing, Poblano Corn Pudding, and 'Calabacits Guisada' with Edamame

Hello!  How I've missed blogging.  And cooking!

In case you don't know, I've moved from PA to CO.  The Boyfriend and I lived here for a week out of backpacks.  Literally.  No dishes. ONE skillet, paper plates and cups, plastic silverware.  For a WEEK!  
Now that we're all settled in, I thought my first blog out here should showcase Colorado's food scene.  

Which is Mexican.  
Makes sense right?  Colorado really doesn't do their own thing
 (Philly- cheesesteaks, soft pretzels... Whole state of Colorado- meat and potatoes I guess!) 
I'd be willing to estimate that the restaurants here are 30% American food, 30% Asian food, and 40% Mexican food.

Quick breakfast:
 Philly-  Grab a Wawa sandwich or Dunkin Donuts.
Colorado- Grab a breakfast burrito

Quick lunch: 
Philly- grab a Wawa sandwich or a hoagie
Colorado- Grab a lunch burrito

Not that I mind, the Mexican food here is SO MUCH better than on the East Coast.  

So for you, I made a Mexican dinner.  A Mexican feast.  
Suitable for a non-conventional Thanksgiving or Sunday night dinner.  I can't say how authentic it is, I have to check out more of the Mexican places around here.  But man was it good. 
The showstopper on this meal is was the Proscuitto and Poblano Corn Pudding. Trust me on this.  This recipe is one of the BEST things I ever ate.  I kid you not.  The bite from the poblano's, the salty bits of proscuitto, the sweetness of the corn, and the manchengo cheese....  you just don't understand.    It would be a great side dish to many, many meals.  If you make nothing else here, I'm telling you....
The Ancho Rubbed Roast Chicken was also amazing.  The skin was so crispy, with a bit of heat from the ancho chile powder (but not really spicy), the meat so juicy.  The Mexican stuffing I made at the last minute, as I had a bunch of bread-butts I wanted to use up.  I wasn't sure how it was going to turn out, but it was pretty darn good.  Maybe next time I'd add a little chicken stock for a little added  moisture.
'Calabacitas Guisada' is Mexican Stewed Zucchini, only I forgot to buy zucchini!  I had some shelled edamame in the fridge that worked pretty nicely though.  
All-in-all, a great meal!