Saturday, March 30, 2013

Homemade Pita Bread

1 tsp active dry yeast
1 1/2 tsp white sugar
1 cup warm water (110 degrees)
2 cups all-purpose flour, more if needed
1 cup pastry flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 TBSP applesauce
1 TBSP olive oil

1. In a small bowl, dissolve the yeast and sugar in the warm water. 

2. In a large bowl, combine the all-purpose flour, pastry flour and salt. Stir in the yeast mixture and applesauce and knead. Dough shouldn't be sticky, but it shouldn't be dry either. If too sticky add 1 tablespoon of all-purpose flour until you get the right consistency. If too dry, add 2 tablespoon of water t a time until you get the right consistency. 

3. Roll the dough out into a rope and cut into 8 pieces. Shape each piece into a ball and roll out to a 6- to 8-inch circle. 

4 To bake pita: Preheat oven to 500 degrees and put a pita on a wire cake rack. Place the rack in the oven and cook for 3 minutes or until the bread stops puffing up. When you take it out, smash down the pita (careful - it's hot) and quickly put it in a plastic freezer bag.

5. To fry pita: In a skillet over high heat, heat oil. When almost smoking, place a pita in the pan and cook for a few minutes on each side, until brown spots begin to appear. Put in a plastic bag one it has cooled a bit.

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

1 red bell pepper
6 TBSP tahini, stirred well
2 TBSP extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1 (14 oz) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 small garlic clove, minced or pressed (about 1/2 tsp)
1/2 tsp table salt
Pinch cayenne
3 TBSP lemon juice from 1 to 2 lemons
2 TBSP sliced almonds, toasted
2 tsp fresh parsley, chopped

1. Roast the pepper: Place pepper directly on a gas flame or on a chili roaster (or under broiler). Roast until completely black, turning to char all sides. Transfer pepper to a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. When the pepper is cool enough to handle, remove the charred skin. Cut the pepper down the middle and open flat. Remove the stem and scrape out seeds (discard seeds). Chop, set aside.

2. In a small bowl, whisk together tahini and 2 tablespoons oil.

3. In a food processor, process chickpeas, roasted red peppers, garlic, salt, and cayenne until almost fully ground, about 15 seconds. Scrape down bowl with rubber spatula  With machine running, add lemon juice in steady stream through feed tube. Scrape down bowl and continue to process for 1 minute. With machine running, add oil-tahini mixture in steady stream through feed tube; continue to process until hummus is smooth and creamy, about 15 seconds, scraping down bowl as needed.

4. Transfer hummus to serving bowl, sprinkle almonds and parsley over surface, cover with plastic wrap, and let stand until flavors meld, at least 30 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Drizzle with olive oil and serve with pita bread.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Mom Whiting's Never Fail Pie Crust

Makes 6 pie crusts or 3 double crust pies

6 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups butter very cold/frozen
1 1/3 cups milk
1 Tbsp cooking oil

Mix flour and salt together
Grate butter into flour a little at a time (the colder the crust, flakier it will be)
Mix in milk and oil (should be barely moist enough to hold it all together). Mix as little as possible
Divide and roll, or freeze

Tip: use generous flour on counter to roll. To transfer into pie pan, roll sheet onto rolling pin and reverse into the pie pan.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce

3 half frozen chicken breasts

6 oz coconut milk
1 Tbsp red curry paste
2 Tbsp fish sauce
2-3 Tbsp peanut butter
3 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp tamarind paste

We recently took a Thai cooking class for date night- this was our first by-product!
Here's a few tips:
1. Go to an Asian market, things are much cheaper there and easy to find
2. Add fish sauce slowly, it's salty and some people don't like it that strong
3. You can use all natural PB or what I call "the fake stuff" either works!

For the chicken:
Soak skewers in water for at least an hour.
Make sure the breasts are trimmed and still mostly frozen, this makes cutting easier.  Cut the breasts at a 45 degree angle to get the max surface area and to ensure all pieces are about the same size.  They only need to be about 1/4" thick.
Once all piece are cut, thread onto skewers like you are sewing large stitches.
Season with salt and pepper, and grill until done.  (Yes these are that easy)

For the Peanut Sauce:

Pick up red curry paste, coconut milk, and tamarind paste at an Asian market.  We used tamarind pulp which we blended, it worked just the same!  Make sure all ingredients are pre-measured before starting because it comes together quickly.
In a cold saucepan mix the coconut milk and curry paste with a whisk.  Heat on low/medium until warm.  Add all other ingredients, and mix well with a whisk.  Let thicken for about 3 minutes on medium.  Sauce will be thin at first, but thickens quickly when removed from pan.

Serve in small bowls with chicken satay.  Enjoy amazing Thai food at home!  

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Chicken Coconut Curry

  • About 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2-inch chunks
  • 2-1/4 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 1/4 onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 (14 ounce) can coconut milk
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 2 tablespoons sugar

In a medium saucepan heat oil and curry powder, mix together to make a curry paste.  After a few minutes of heating add garlic and onions and saute.  The onion should be clear after about 5-8 minutes- that's when you know it's ready.  
Add the chicken to the pan and stir well to coat with curry oil.  Cook until no longer pink, about 6-8 minutes.  
Pour in the can of coconut milk, tomatoes, and tomato sauce.  Add the sugar and stir together.  
Simmer on your stove on low for about 30-45 minutes, stir about every 5-10 minutes.  

Serve over rice.  

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Pizza Soup

I pretty much love all things Trader Joe's. I can't leave that place without buying way more than I planned! Whenever there is a sample I seem to automatically be hooked. When I walked in a few weeks ago and tried this "Pizza" soup I immediately purchased everything to make it that week.
It's been cold and rainy this week- a perfect soup week! Naturally we reached for this easy and delicious recipe!

1 lb. Ground Beef
1 Package Roasted Red Pepper Tomato Soup (they come in boxes)
1 Can of Diced Tomatoes
Garlic Salt to taste
Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese

Brown the ground beef in a deep pan. Drain the excess grease. Add the can of tomatoes and stir well. Add the tomato soup and heat slowly so you don't scald the milk (it changes the flavor). Sprinkle a little garlic salt on the top for some added flavor. When the soup is hot serve in bowls and add a handful of sharp cheddar cheese.

This is hearty enough to eat alone- but we love to add some grilled cheese for an adult version of the childhood classic!
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Sunday, November 13, 2011

Lavelle Edward's Chicken Artichoke Soup

I used to think that I wasn't a soup fan, then I met this.  My life was never the same- true story!

Lavelle Edward's Chicken Artichoke Soup

4 chicken breasts, shredded
1 onion, chopped
2 cans cream of chicken soup
2 cans cream of celery soup
1 8 oz jar of artichoke hearts, chop finely
1 can diced green chilies
1 quart half and half
1 pound pepper jack cheese, grated 
salt and pepper to taste

Cook and shred your chicken (I do mine in the crock pot well in advance, freeze, and pull out for this recipe).  In a large pot, saute onion in a little olive oil. Add chicken. Then add cream of celery, cream of chicken, half and half, and artichokes. Simmer for about 20 minutes.  Be careful not to boil the cream (it changes the taste).   Add cheese slowly, and stir until cheese is melted.