Thursday, April 7, 2011

Whole Wheat English Muffins

English muffins are on our to make list.  Yay another item marked off!  I eat English muffins almost every morning.  Either with an egg and no fat cheese or with peanut butter (of course PB& Co) and a banana.  These don't have as many nooks and crannies as the store bought kind, but they are taste great!  Making these takes a little time because the dough must rise, but I mixed it together after work, went to the gym, formed my muffins, started dinner and then cooked these while dinner was in the oven.  

Whole Wheat English Muffins  (straight from Recipe Tips)
1/4 c. warm water
1 package dry yeast (or 1 Tbsp.)
2 c. whole wheat flour, plus more as needed during kneading
1 c. all-purpose flour (you may use all whole wheat flour, but you will have a denser muffin)
1 c. milk
3 Tbsp. canola oil
1 Tbsp. honey
1 egg
cornmeal, as needed

Sprinkle yeast over warm water (105 degrees is ideal) and let stand until foamy, about 10 minutes.
In a large bowl, mix flours and salt.  In a separate bowl, mix milk, oil, and honey.  Add egg and stir until well blended.  Stir in yeast mixture.
Add liquid to half of the dry ingredients and mix well, with a mixer or by hand.  Mix in remaining dry ingredients.  Dough will be soft and sticky.  Turn dough out onto a work surface and knead for several minutes.  If dough is too sticky to knead, add flour one tablespoon at a time.  (I used my mixer with the bread hook, I had to add more flour about 3-4 TBS.)
Put dough in an oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap or a damp towel, and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour. 
Turn risen dough out onto a work surface that has been liberally dusted with cornmeal and pat or roll to about 1/2″ thickness.  Cut into approximately 3″ rounds.  If you wish, combine the scraps of dough into more muffins, handling as little as possible.  (I decided it would be easier to cut the dough and shape them, this may have resulted in not as many nooks and crannies as store bought English muffins.  However, this resulted in no scraps.  I made 18, recipe said 12.)
 Cover muffins with a towel and let rise for 20-30 minutes.
Heat a griddle or large skillet over medium-low heat.  Sprinkle with corn meal.  Using a spatula, carefully transfer muffins to hot griddle.  Cook about 5 minutes on each side, then turn and cook 2 minutes more on each side.  Outsides will get golden brown and crusty, insides should be soft but not gooey. (I think it took longer than 5 mins on the first side to get these cooked properly.)
Remove to cooling rack.   English muffins can be fork split or cut with a knife.  

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Turkey Muffins and Mashed Cauliflower

These are both items I've never made.  I make meatloaf and I often change up the recipe trying different things, but I've never made them in a muffin tin.  Its a great idea because its automatic portion control, they cook up faster, and I don't have to fight with D over the edge pieces.  I love cauliflower, I think I'd consider it my favorite vegetable, but I've never had it mashed to be like mashed potatoes.  You're not going to fool anyone into thinking they are potatoes but its still a close substitute.

Turkey Muffins (adapted from Skinny Taste)
1/2 onion grated
1 lb ground turkey
1/4 c. oatmeal  (this is less than the original amount, I didn't want them to dry out)
1 egg
1/4 c. ketchup + 2  TBS
2 tsp. Worcestershire
1 tsp marjoram
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder

1.  Grate onion, mix with turkey, oatmeal, egg, 1/4 c ketchup and spices
2.  Spray muffin tin with non-stick spray and fill muffins with meat mixture.  (I made 5)
3.  Mix 2 TBS ketchup with Worcestershire and spread on top of muffins.
4.  Bake 30 minutes or until internal temperature is 165 deg.

Mashed Cauliflower

Head of cauliflower
1/4 cup milk or cream (more or less depending on the texture you'd like)
1 TBS Butter (optional)
Grated Parmesan Cheese (optional)

1.  Steam cauliflower.
2.  Mash cauliflower with milk, butter, and grated Parmesan cheese.

Check out other recipes at A Southern Fairy Tale.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Beef with Broccoli

When I was younger if I was at a mall type Chinese restaurants I always ordered beef with broccoli.  I love broccoli at Chinese restaurants, its still crisp and the broccoli soaks up the sauce perfectly.  For some reason, I've gotten away from ordering it and have new favorite items.  I really wanted that perfect broccoli with sauce at home.  I looked up a lot of recipes before I decided to just wing it on my own.  The orange flavor was a great addition.

Orange Beef with Broccoli

1 lb beef tenderloin
oil for pan
3 TBS low sodium soy sauce
1/3 c. low sugar orange marmalade (or more)
1/3 c. water
Head of broccoli

1.  Heat oil in a pan on high and add beef tenderloin cut into 1 inch pieces. Brown steak quickly (1-2 minutes).
2.  Turn down heat to low.  Mix marmalade and water and add to pan along with soy sauce.  Add broccoli florets.
3.  Cover pan and allow to simmer until broccoli is tender (5-10 minutes).
4. Serve alone or over rice.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Chicken Tikka Masala

When in college I became addicted to Indian food.  During my last semester it became a Sunday tradition of one of my friends and I to go get Indian at the vegetarian Indian restaurant by my house.  We'd go and usually just get the special of the day.  This has caused me to not actually know the name of very many Indian dishes.  It being a vegetarian Indian restaurant I never actually had Chicken Tikka Masala.  So to actually have a memory of that dish we have to go back even farther in my college years.  My first experience with Indian food came while in London with my brother.  Since I had moved to KY I never went for Indian until last year.  I convinced D to go for a lunch buffet from a restaurant that I heard a lot of good things about.  Guess what?  D loves it too!  Our favorite dish on the buffet is always the Chicken Tikka Masala, so we decided to attempt this dish at home.  

We decided to go with a recipe from the last Food Network Star, Aarti.  The original recipe is located here.  Below are my changes:

1 cup Greek Yogurt (I actually didn't have enough yogurt so I used how much I had and used cream to fill the cup the rest of way)
1 TBS ginger (we have a tube of already grated Ginger)
3 tsp minced garlic (or 3 cloves)
1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into bite-size pieces

1.  Mix the marinade and add chicken.  Marinade at least a few hours.

3 TBS butter
2 tsp olive oil
6 tsp minced garlic
1 TBS grated ginger
2 TBS tomato paste
2 tsp Paprika
1 tsp Garam Masala
1 can diced tomatoes
2 cups water
1/2 c. heavy cream

1.  Heat a pan on medium and add butter and oil.  Once butter is melted add garlic and ginger.  Saute until beginning to brown.
2.  Add tomato paste, cook until it begins to change color.  Add paprika and garma masala and allow to cook about 1 minute until fragrant.
3.  Add the tomatoes and water.  Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cover.  Cook for 20 minutes.  Remove the heat and allow to cool for 5 minutes.
4.  While sauce is cooking, remove chicken from marinade and either grill or place under broiler for about 7 minutes per side.  Allow the chicken to char on the outside.  Don't worry too much if it is not cooked through it will cook through in sauce later.
5.  Place cooled sauce in blender and puree sauce.
6.  Add sauce back into pan and bring to boil.  Add chicken, cover, and reduce to simmer.  Cook for 10 minutes.
7.  Stir in cream and remove from heat.
8.  Serve with rice or naan.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Banana Cake

For my tropical themed cake, I wanted a tropical flavor as well!  I decided to go with a banana cake.  The recipe is from the crazy about cupcakes by Krystina Castella book from Kohls.  I had a slight baking disaster making this cake, but was able to save it.  I checked the cake with a toothpick and thought it came out clean.  However, after the cakes cooled they sank in the middle.  I went ahead and stuck them in the freezer to cool them quicker and then when I split them to begin frosting realized they were way undercooked.  I wanted to try to save them so I put them on a cookie sheet and stuck them back in the oven.  I was worried about the outcome because the outside got a little crunchy.  However, a few people told me this was their favorite cake yet!  Successful save!  The picture shows the cake layered with a chocolate cake as well.  Yummy, combo.

Banana Cake

1/2 lb unsalted room temperature butter (2 sticks)
1 c. sugar
2 eggs
1 c. mashed ripe bananas
1 3/4 c. flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
5 TBS milk
2 tsp vanilla

1.  Preheat oven to 350 deg F.  Prepare pans.  (I doubled the recipe and was able to get 2-8" and 1-6" cake)
2.  Cream the butter and sugar until fluffy about 3-5 minutes.  Add the eggs to the mixture and beat well.  Add the bananas and mix well.
3. In separate bowl sift the flour, baking soda, and salt.
4.  Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix until integrated.
5.  Add the milk and vanilla and mix for 1 minute on medium.
6.  Fill the pans and bake for about 20-30 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.