Monday, August 24, 2009

Beer Bread

I love this stuff! I don't make it very often (because I really can't eat just one piece of this!), but it is definitely a favorite recipe here. I don't have a loaf pan, so I baked it in an 8x8-inch baking dish.
I've only ever made it plain, but there is a list of mix-ins at the end of the recipe.

Beer Bread
The Pastry Queen, Rebecca Rather

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons sugar
1 (12-ounce) bottle beer or ale
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted

Preheat the oven to 350F. Generously grease a 9 by 5-inch loaf pan with butter or cooking spray. In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar. Pour in the beer and stir until just incorporated. (The dough will be sticky and heavy.) Pour half the melted butter into the bottom of the prepared pan. Spoon in the bread dough and pour the remaining butter on top. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, until the bumpy top is golden brown. Remove from the pan.

This bread is best served warm, but it is still good cooled.

10 servings (yeah, right, sure!)
Chopped chives
Chopped chile peppers (such as jalapenos)
Chopped green onions
Any grated cheese

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Vine-Ripened Tomato Salad with Parsley Vinaigrette

This salad is AWESOME!!! Make sure to have plenty of good crusty bread to dip into the juices - it's quite addicting!

Vine-Ripened Tomato Salad with Parsley Vinaigrette
Vegan Italiano, Donna Klein

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1/2 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 large garlic clove, fiely chopped
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon sugar
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
6 small vine-ripened tomatoes (about 4 ounces each), cut into 1/2-inch thick slices

In a large bowl, whisk together the oil, vinegar, mustard, salt, and pepper; stir in the parsley. Let stand about 5 minutes to allow the sugar to dissolve. Add the tomatoes and toss gently yet thoroughly to combine. Let stand at room temperature about 15 minutes to allow the flavors to blend. Toss again and serve. Alternatively, cover and refrigerate a minimum of 3 hours, or overnight, and serve chilled or return to room temperature.

4 servings

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Beef Carnitas

This meat is so good! It has so much flavor, and it's so tender from the long cooking time. It also made the house smell fabulous while it was cooking! I doubled the recipe, and used a chuck roast that I cut up myself.
I served it in some warm corn tortillas, and made a black bean salad to have on the side.

Beef Carnitas
Cooking Light

Cooking spray
1 cup chopped onion
3 garlic cloves, crushed
2 pounds beef stew meat, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 cup less-sodium beef broth
1 teaspoon sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 large unpeeled orange wedge

Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add onion; sauté 4 minutes or until tender. Add garlic; sauté 1 minute. Add beef; sauté 5 minutes or until beef is browned on all sides. Stir in broth, sugar, salt, and pepper; nestle orange section into beef mixture. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 1 1/2 hours or until beef is tender. Remove and discard orange. Continue simmering, uncovered, 8 minutes or until liquid almost evaporates, stirring frequently.

Leftovers can be wrapped tightly in heavy-duty plastic wrap or foil, and placed in a zip-top plastic freezer bag; they will keep in the freezer for up to three months.

4 servings

Black Bean Salad with Mexican Flavors

This is a really nice salad - filling, but not heavy, with a light dressing that complements, but doesn't overpower, the ingredients.
The author suggests serving it with scrambled eggs and tortillas, but if you are not a vegetarian this would be great with some grilled chicken or tacos.

Black Bean Salad with Mexican Flavors
A Year in a Vegetarian Kitchen, Jack Bishop

2 (15-ounce) cans black beans, rinsed and drained
1 medium ripe tomato, cored and diced
1 medium avocado, halved, pitted, scooped from the skin, and diced
2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro leaves
1 small jalapeno chile, stemmed, seeded, and minced
3 tablespoons fresh orange juice
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
Kosher salt
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Combine the beans, tomato, avocado, cilantro, and chile together in a large bowl.

Whisk together the orange juice, cumin, and salt to taste in a small bowl. Whisk in the oil. Pour the dressing over the black bean salad and toss gently. Adjust the seasonings, adding salt to taste, and serve.

4-6 servings

Friday, August 7, 2009

Chickpea Curry with Whole Spices

This was really good, and a great way for me to get the Indian flavors that I love without the spiciness that the kids hate!

Chickpea Curry with Whole Spices
A Year in a Vegetarian Kitchen, Jack Bishop

2 tablespoons canola oil
1 cinnamon stick, about 4 inches long
1 bay leaf
10 whole black peppercorns 1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds (optional)
1 medium onion, minced
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained
3 medium garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon minced fresh gingerroot
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon turmeric
3 (15-ounce) cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 1/2 cups water
2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro leaves
Kosher salt

Heat the oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the cinnamon stick, bay leaf, peppercorns, and coriander seeds, if using, and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the onion and cook until it starts to brown, about 4 minutes.

Add the tomatoes, garlic, ginger, cumin, and turmeric and simmer until the tomato juice evaporates and the mixture looks dry and begins to sizzle, 3 to 4 minutes.

Stir in the chickpeas and water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer briskly until the sauce thickens slightly and the flavors are blended, about 5 minutes. Add the cilantro and salt to taste. Pick out and discard the cinnamon stick and bay leaf before serving. The stew can be refrigerated in an airtight container for several days. Warm over low heat to serve.

4 servings

Basmati Rice Pilaf

Basmati Rice Pilaf
A Year in a Vegetarian Kitchen, Jack Bishop

2 tablespoons unsalted butter or canola oil (I used 1 tablespoon)
1 1/2 cups basmati rice
6 whole green cardamom pods, lightly crushed, or 1 cinnamon stick
2 1/4 cups water
1 teaspoon kosher salt

Heat the butter in a medium saucepan, preferably nonstick, over medium heat until foaming. Add the cardamom pods or cinnamon stick and cook until aromatic, about 30 seconds. Add the rice and cook, stirring constantly, until the rice smells toasted but has not colored, about 3 minutes. Add the water and salt and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook (without opening the lid), until all the liquid has been absorbed, about 15 minutes.
Remove the pot from the heat and set aside, covered, for 10 minutes to allow the rice to finish cooking. Fluff rice with a fork and serve.
4 servings

Monday, August 3, 2009

Summer Tomato Salad

This tomato salad is sooo good! Make sure to serve it with some good bread for dipping into the juices - it's fabulous!

Summer Tomato Salad, PEGGYLEBLANC

1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
1 pint yellow pear tomatoes, halved (I used all red grape tomatoes)
1/4 cup chopped green onions
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
freshly ground black pepper to taste
ground red pepper to taste
salt to taste

In a bowl, toss the cherry tomatoes, yellow pear tomatoes, green onions, garlic, basil, cilantro, black pepper, red pepper, and salt. Refrigerate 30 minutes and toss again before serving.
6 servings

Spanish Omelet with Peas, Potatoes, and Saffron

This was a easy, flavorful, make-ahead recipe that, together with a tomato salad and some crusty bread, made for a fantastic summer meal.

Spanish Omelet with Peas, Potatoes, and Saffron
A Year in a Vegetarian Kitchen, Jack Bishop

This traditional Spanish omelet should be served chilled or at room temperature.

Kosher salt
1/2 pound red potatoes, scrubbed and cut into 1/2-inch dice
1/2 pound peas in pods, shelled (about 2/3 cup), or frozen peas
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1/4 teaspoon saffron threads, crumbled between your fingers
6 large eggs
Freshly ground black pepper

Bring about 1 quart water to a boil in a medium saucepan over high heat. Add salt to taste and the potatoes and cook until the potatoes are just beginning to soften but are not at all mushy, about 7 minutes. Add the peas and continue to cook until the vegetables are barely tender, about 3 minutes. Drain and set aside to cool slightly.

Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a medium ovenproof non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and 1/4 teaspoon salt and cook until softened, 8 to 10 minutes. (If the onion starts to turn brown, lower the heat.) Add the saffron and cook until aromatic, about 1 minute. Set the pan aside to let the onions cool slightly.

With a fork, beat the eggs, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and several grindings of pepper together in a medium bowl until well combined. Beat in the peas, potatoes, and onions, scraping the skillet as clean as possible.

Move an oven rack to the top position and heat the broiler. Heat the remaining oil in the skillet over medium-low heat. When the pan is hot, swirl the oil to coat the pan bottom evenly. Add the egg mixture and cook, occasionally sliding a spatula around the edges of the pan to loosen the omelet, until the bottom of the omelet is golden brown and the eggs are runny just on top, about 8 minutes.

Place the pan directly under the broiler and cook just until the top is golden brown and set, 1 to 2 minutes. watch carefully to prevent the omelet from burning.

Remove the pan from the broiler. The omelet can be cooled to room temperature in the pan if desired. Once cooled, the omelet can be removed from the pan whole. Cut into wedges and serve, or chill for several hours.

(*Note: If you do not have an ovenproof skillet, you can wrap the handle of your skillet with a few layers of heavy duty foil.)

3-4 servings

My New Favorite Pizza Dough

I decided to try a new pizza dough for dinner last night and we all loved it! The crust was chewy with lots of flavor. This is going to be my regular pizza dough from now on!
(*Note: I did use the semolina flour, but if you can't find it, substitute more all-purpose flour. It also doubles beautifully.)

Semolina Pizza Dough
Vegan Italiano, Donna Klein

2 1/2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/8 teaspoon sugar
1 cup warm water (105F to 115F)
1 (1/4-ounce) package active dry yeast (about 1 tablespoon)
1 1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup semolina flour
1 1/4 to 1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus additional as necessary

Grease a large bowl with 1 teaspoon of the oil and set aside. In another large bowl, dissolve the sugar in the warm water. Sprinkle in the yeast and let sit until foamy, about 5 minutes. Stir in the remaining oil and salt. With a wooden spoon, gradually stir in the semolina flour and enough of the all-purpose flour to make a firm, soft dough.

Turn the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and knead until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes, adding additional all-purpose flour as needed to prevent sticking. Gather the dough into a ball and place in prepared bowl, turning to coat with the oil. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature until doubled in bulk, 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and knead briefly to release any air pockets. Shape the dough into a ball. The dough is ready to be shaped and rolled as needed.

(Bake at 500F.)

Makes 1 (14-inch) pizza crust