Monday, June 27, 2011

Apricot Crisp

A quick, easy breakfast that was absolutely wonderful. Simple to prep, easy to bake. All important qualities in breakfast foods.

Apricot Crisp
(modified from Smitten Kitchen)
Fruit Filling
1 lb Apricots (8-10 apricots), seeded and quartered
3 Tbs Sugar
1 Tbs Flour
1/8 tsp Nutmeg

Mix together in a 2 or 3 cup baking dish. (I used a 1 liter casserole dish and it was perfect!) Set aside.

5 Tbs Unsalted Butter, melted
1/2 C Old Fashioned Oats
4 Tbs Sugar
2 Tbs Light Brown Sugar
1/4 C Whole Wheat Flour
1/4 C All-Purpose Flour
2 Tbs Sliced Almonds

Mix all ingredients in a medium bowl until clumps form.

Sprinkle over the fruit.

Bake at 400 for 30-40 minutes.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Hot & Sour Shrimp

What better way relax after toasting by the pool all day than with a simple stir fry for dinner?

I love to cook simple meals that take 1 skillet, a knife, cutting board, and a spatula. I'm all about not doing dishes.

Simple dishes are made even better when you have the help of a great man to help chop veggies.

This recipe came off of America's Test Kitchen however I cannot seem to find it again to provide the link.

The meal turned out absolutely delicious!

Hot and Sour Shrimp Stir Fry

medium garlic cloves , 1 minced or pressed through garlic press, 1 thinly sliced
pound extra-large (21-25) shrimp , peeled, deveined, and tails removed
tablespoon minced fresh ginger
tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon table salt
teaspoon soy sauce
tablespoons sugar
tablespoons white vinegar
tablespoons Asian chili-garlic sauce
tablespoons dry sherry or Shaoxing wine
teaspoons toasted sesame oil
tablespoons ketchup
tablespoon cornstarch
large shallot , sliced thin (about 1/3 cup)
1/2 pound snow peas or sugar snap peas, stems snapped off and strings removed
medium red bell pepper , seeded and cut into 3/4-inch dice
8 oz mushrooms, sliced
1 cup broccoli florets

Combine minced garlic with shrimp, ginger, 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, and salt in medium bowl. Let shrimp marinate at room temperature 30 minutes.

In a small bowl, whisk soy sauce, sugar, vinegar, chili-garlic sauce, sherry, sesame oil, ketchup, and cornstarch in small bowl. Combine sliced garlic with shallot in second small bowl.

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in 12-inch nonstick skillet over high heat until just smoking. Add mushrooms and bell pepper and cook, stirring frequently, until vegetables begin to brown, 1½ to 2 minutes. 

Add in snow peas and broccoli. Cover and cook 1 to 2 minutes, until broccoli turns bright green. 

Transfer vegetables to medium bowl.

Add remaining tablespoon oil to now-empty skillet and heat until just smoking. Add garlic-shallot mixture and cook, stirring frequently, until just beginning to brown, about 30 seconds. 

Add shrimp, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook, stirring frequently, until shrimp are light pink on both sides, 1 to 1 1/2 minutes.

Whisk soy sauce mixture to recombine and add to skillet; return to high heat and cook, stirring constantly, until sauce is thickened and shrimp are cooked through, 1 to 2 minutes. Return vegetables to skillet, toss to combine, and serve.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Nectarine Scones

Nectarine Scones
Makes 4 Scones, serves 2

1 C All-Purpose Flour
1 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
1/4 tsp Salt
1/8 tsp Ground Nutmeg
1 Tbs Sugar
1/4 C Butter, cold
5 Tbs Heavy Cream
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
1/3 C Nectarine, peeled, diced, frozen

2 Tbs Heavy Cream
2 Tbs Sugar
1/2 tsp Ground Nutmeg
1 tsp Ground Cinnamon

Preheat oven to 425.

In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt, nutmeg, and sugar. Stir in cream.

Using a fork or pastry cutter, cut in butter until mixture resembles course crumbles.

Turn dough out onto a floured surface. Knead until mixture comes together in a ball.

Gently fold in frozen nectarine. (If the nectarine is frozen it will keep from falling apart in the process of being folded in.)

Form dough into a rectangle, approximately 3/4 inch thick. Cut into 4 triangles.

Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Brush the remaining 2 Tbs of cream onto eat scone. Sprinkle with sugar, nutmeg, and cinnamon.

Back for 15-20 minutes, or until scones are lightly browned and toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

**Scones DO NOT last more than a day, you have to eat them when they come out of the oven**

Perfetto! Fantastico!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Browned Butter Raspberry-Lemon Bread

Quick breads are a must in a recipe collection. A basic quick bread recipe, much like a pancake recipe, can easily be adapted to include various spices and a wide variety of seasonal fruits.

It's summer, I still have a rather large stock of frozen fruits from last summer, I'm trying my best to use them up before I restock this summer.

Since they were frozen raspberries, they were soft and kind of fell apart when trying to fold them into the bread batter. It wasn't the prettiest of breads but it was delicious!

Browned Butter Raspberry Lemon Bread
2 C All-Purpose Flour
1 tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Baking Soda
6 oz Butter, browned
1 C Sugar
1/4 tsp Lemon Extract
2 Large Eggs
1 C Red Raspberries
1 Tbs Lemon Zest

Preheat oven to 325. Grease and flour a 9x5 inch loaf pan.

In a medium sauce pan, brown the butter. This takes about 4 minutes over medium heat.

In a bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda, browned butter, sugar, lemon extract, and eggs until just combined.

Fold in raspberries and lemon zest gently.  Spread evenly into loaf pan.

(don't you love the adorable measuring cup I picked up at Sur La Table. I'm in love!)

Bake at 325 for 50-60 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Allow to cool in pan for 10-15 minutes.

Cool completely on a wire rack.

Slice and enjoy! I prefer mine served with cream cheese spread on top! Delicious!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Lemon Glazed Blueberry Biscuits

I am behind on my reading.

I always try to read the book before seeing the movie.

I took my lazy butt to the bookstore the other day. I picked up copies of Beastly, Something Borrowed, and I Am Number Four.

I started with Beastly by Alex Flinn since the DVD becomes available through Netflix on 6/28. I'm too poor to afford real movies, so I'm left with my Netflix account. It works out well though. I don't have to get dressed up. I don't have to worry about my hair or makeup. And I don't have to spend $20 just to get some popcorn and a drink. Yes, I'm cheap.

This morning I woke up craving blueberries. I did not want pancakes. Blueberry pancakes are boring. They've been done before. A million times. Nothing unusual or new about that.

Granted Blueberry Biscuits aren't really unusual either, but they are different. At least different from my normal breakfast.

I didn't borrow or steal this recipe from anywhere. The drop biscuit recipe was my grandmothers. I changed it a little to suit my needs.

Lemon Glazed Blueberry Biscuits
1 C All-Purpose Flour
2 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Salt
1 Tbs Sugar
2 Tbs Unsalted Butter, slightly softened
1/2 C Milk
1/2 C Blueberries

Preheat oven to 400.

In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar.

Using a fork or pastry cutter, cut in the butter until incorporated into the dough.

Stir in the milk in parts, adding more or less as needed to make a stiff dough.

Fold in the blueberries.

Drop by spoonfuls onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

Bake for 20-30 minutes, or until lightly browned.

Lemon Glaze
3/4 C Powdered Sugar
1 1/2 Tbs Lemon Juice

Mix together in a bowl until the consistency of a glaze.

Drizzle over the biscuits while they are still warm.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Creme Brulee French Toast

Yesterday was against me. I am bruised, sunburned, and I smashed my finger.

I needed comfort food. I needed to read and escape my world.

I made Creme Brulee French Toast.

I finished reading The Help by Kathryn Stockett.

I was not impressed with the ending of the book, I didn't feel like it actually ended anything. Everything was left hanging. Slow to start, great story line, horrible ending. Maybe the movie will be better...

I was highly impressed with the French Toast. Thanks to Smitten Kitchen for a great recipe!

Creme Brulee French Toast (serves 2)
6 Slices of Bread, 1 1/2 inches thick
1/3 C Whole Milk
1/2 C Heavy Cream
2 Large Egg
1 Egg Yolk
4 Tbs Sugar
3 tsp Vanilla Extract
2 Tbs Orange Zest

Preheat oven to 325.

Whisk together milk, cream, eggs, egg yolk, sugar, vanilla, and orange zest.

Arrange bread slices in a baking dish that allows just enough room for the bread, to ensure the custard mix is absorbed evening into the bread. Allow the bread to sit for 30 minutes, turning once.

Bake at 325 for 30 minutes. It will start to puff in the oven.

Turn the French Toast halfway through.

When the French Toast is cooked, turn off the oven, transfer the toast to the a serving dish or onto individual plates. Set aside or place in the oven to keep warm.

In a medium or small heavy-bottomed sauce pan, melt 1/2 C Sugar.

Stirring constantly to allow for even melting of the sugar.

Remove from heat the moment it begins to turn a golden color. It will continue to cook and darken so you must work quickly.

Pour the hot sugar over the toast IMMEDIATELY. Allow the French Toast to cool a bit before serving. The sugar will be VERY HOT.


Tuesday, June 7, 2011

S'mores Popovers-A Good Breakfast for a Lazy Day

I was rudely awakened this morning. Cat toys should NOT have bells in them.

Since I was up an hour early, it meant I had time to invest in a more involved breakfast and indulge myself in a couple chapters of my book.

The best thing about popovers is that they need to bake for 20-30 minutes (or long if your oven is as worthless as mine), so it allows you time to get ready or just relax with a book. I chose to relax since I was not energetic enough to move.

Popovers are a mostly forgotten breakfast treat that have appeared in cookbooks as early as the 1780's. Those recipes call for the popovers to be cooked in "gem pans" that were available in a variety of shapes and sizes and made of cast iron. They cost a small fortune on ebay, both new and old ones. Muffin tins work exceptionally well to recreate this classic breakfast.

It is a slight adaptation of a basic pancake recipe, with the extra eggs causing the popovers to pop.

I needed a sugar rush to get moving. I took Joy's Hot Chocolate Popovers and turned them into S'mores Popovers.

Gooey toasted marshmallows, melty chocolate, graham crackers and more chocolate. Can it get any better?

S'mores Popovers
makes 12 popovers, serves 3

2 Tbs Unsalted Butter, melted
1 Large Eggs, room temperature
1 C Milk, room temperature
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
1/2 tsp Salt
3 Tbs Sugar
2 1/2 Tbs Cocoa Powder
3/4 C + 2 Tbs All-Purpose Flour
3 Tbs Unsalted Butter
1/4 C Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
12 Large Marshmallows

Preheat oven to 400. Place a muffin pan into heat.

If your eggs are not room temperature, place them in a bowl of hot water to warm  up.

In a bowl combine sugar, cocoa, salt, and flour. Stir in eggs and melted butter.

Whisk in the milk in two parts. It will help reduce the lumps.

Whisk until just combined.

Remove hot muffin pan from the oven. Melt ¼ Tbs of butter into each cup of a 12-cup muffin pan. 

Divide the batter evenly between the muffin cups.

Bake for 20-30 minutes. No peaking or they will deflate!

Remove from oven and quickly place several chocolate chips and a marshmallow to the top of each popover.

Place under the broiler until the marshmallow is browned. Watch carefully to prevent burning. 

When I took them out of the oven, I put one part of a graham cracker into the gooey marshmallow (however I forgot to take a picture). I want to find some graham flour (not something easily located around here apparently) and try to make them with a graham flavored popover, chocolate chips and marshmallows. I think that will be delicious! However after going to 9 stores, I have yet to locate graham flour. FRUSTRATING! BLAH!

Serve as is, with syrup, or dust with powdered sugar. Yummy!