November 2010 Archives

wholewheatbread2_sm.jpg

I have to say I think I've found the perfect sandwich bread. Half-whole wheat, sweetened just slightly with molasses and honey, lightened with oats, and perfectly sliceable. Makes two loaves - eat one and freeze or gift the other. If freezing, slice first so you can toast individual slices, and wrap in aluminum foil.

2  cups  warm water (100° to 110°)
3  tablespoons  molasses
1  (1/4-ounce) envelope active dry yeast
3  cups  all-purpose flour, divided
2 1/2  cups  whole wheat flour
1  cup  uncooked regular oats
1  tablespoon  salt - yes, really a tablespoon
1/4  cup  honey
3  tablespoons  olive oil
up to 6  tablespoons  all-purpose flour
Vegetable cooking spray
Prep: 25 min.; Stand: 5 min.; Rise: 1 hr., 45 min.; Bake: 35 min.

Combine first 3 ingredients in a 2-cup glass measuring cup; let yeast mixture stand 5 minutes.

Combine 2 cups all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, oats, and salt.

Beat yeast mixture, 1 cup all-purpose flour, honey, and olive oil at medium speed with a heavy-duty electric stand mixer until well blended (or with a wooden spoon, which works fine). Gradually add whole wheat flour mixture, beating at low speed until a soft dough forms.

Turn out dough onto a well-floured surface, and knead 9 minutes, adding additional all-purpose flour (up to 6 tablespoons) as needed. Don't add too much here, the dough should be slightly sticky. Place dough in a large bowl sprayed with cooking spray, turning to grease top of dough.

Cover bowl of dough with plastic wrap, and let rise in a warm place (85°), free from drafts, 1 hour or until doubled in bulk.

Punch down dough, and divide in half. Roll each portion into a 13- x 8-inch rectangle on a lightly floured surface. Roll up each dough rectangle, starting at 1 short side, jelly-roll fashion; pinch ends to seal. Place loaves, seam sides down, into 2 (8 1/2- x 4 1/2-inch) loaf pans sprayed with cooking spray.

Cover loosely with plastic wrap, and let rise in a warm place (85°), free from drafts, 45 minutes or until almost doubled in bulk. Remove and discard plastic wrap.

Bake at 350° for 30 to 35 minutes or until loaves sound hollow when tapped and are golden. Cool in pans on wire racks 10 minutes. Remove loaves from pans, and cool on wire racks.

Makes 2 loaves, 12 slices per loaf (serving size: 1 slice)

Calories:150 (14% from fat)
Fat: 2.4g (sat 0.3g,mono 1.4g,poly 0.4g)
Original recipe

eggplant_mushroombake_sm.jpgThis dish was a huge surprise. The ingredients seem simple, but the combination of broiled eggplant, browned mushrooms and onions, simple tomato sauce, and melted cheese is outstanding. It has all the great flavor of really good authentic Italian food, but without swimming in olive oil. As my one-and-only critic said, "I would go to a restaurant just to order this." Definitely one of my favorite dishes of the year. Serve over pasta.

1  peeled eggplant, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices (about 1 1/4 pounds)
1  cup  chopped onion
1/2 tbs fresh oregano and 1/2 tsp dried basil or 1 tsp Italian seasoning
2  garlic cloves, chopped
8 oz white mushrooms, sliced
1  (8-ounce) can no-salt-added tomato sauce, divided
2/3  cup  (about 3 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided
1/4  cup  (1 ounce) grated fresh Parmesan cheese
Salt, pepper
Olive oil cooking spray

Pasta, cooked according to directions

Preheat broiler.

Arrange the eggplant slices on a baking sheet coated with olive oil cooking spray, spray the tops as well and sprinkle lightly with coarse ground salt and pepper; broil 3 minutes on each side or until lightly browned.

Preheat oven to 375°.

Heat a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium heat; add onion and next 4 ingredients (onion through mushrooms). Salt lightly. Cook until onions are browned, and mushrooms are turning golden, stirring mixture occasionally (about 10 minutes).

Spread half of mushroom mixture in bottom of a 1 1/2-quart round baking dish coated with cooking spray (I used a cake pan). Arrange half of eggplant slices over mushroom mixture; sprinkle with 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Top with 1/2 cup tomato sauce and 1/3 cup mozzarella. Spread remaining mushroom mixture over mozzarella; top with remaining eggplant slices. Sprinkle with 1/8 teaspoon pepper; top with remaining tomato sauce. Cover and bake at 375° for 40 minutes to 1 hour. Sprinkle with 1/3 cup mozzarella and Parmesan. Bake, uncovered, 5 minutes or until cheese melts. Let stand 10 minutes. Serve over pasta.

yield: 4 servings
Per serving (not including pasta)
Calories:168 (30% from fat)
Fat: 5.6g (sat 3.2g,mono 1.5g,poly 0.5g)
Original recipe

artisan_noknead_sm.jpgAh, Cook's Illustrated...They always have the best techniques, tips, and recipes, it just always seems to take an entire day to pull one off. They are true weekend recipes: lots of time, but usually worth it. This recipe is their version of the ubiquitous "no-knead bread" baked in a Dutch oven that has been floating around online. It's kind of funny because the whole idea behind the original recipe was that it was easy...and, well, this is not. Not fast anyway. This version bakes up a perfectly textured artisan loaf of bread in only...11 hours! Still, the bread was really good. Bakery good. It might be worth it.

3 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp. instant yeast
1 1/2 tsp table salt
3/4 cup + 2 tbs water, room temperature
1/4 c. + 2 tbs mild beer (something typically American)
1 tbs white vinegar

Whisk flour, yeast and salt in a large bowl. Add water, beer, and vinegar. Using rubber spatula, fold mixture, scraping up dry flour from bottom of bowl until shaggy ball forms. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature for 8-18 hours.

Lay 12x18 inch sheet of parchment paper inside 10-inch skillet and spray with nonstick cooking spray. Transfer dough to lightly floured work surface and knead 10-15 times. Shape dough into ball by pulling edges into middle. Transfer dough, seam side down, to parchment-lined skillet and spray surface of dough with cooking spray. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature until dough has doubled in size and does not readily spring back when poked with a finger, about 2 hours.

About 30 minutes before baking, adjust oven rack to lowest position, place 6-8 qt. Dutch oven (with lid) on rack, and heat oven to 500 degrees. Lightly flour top of dough and make one 6-inch long, 1/2 inch deep slit along top of dough. Carefully remove pot from oven and remove lid. Pick up dough by lighting parchment overhang and lower into pot (let excess parchment hang over pot edge). Cover pot and place in oven. Reduce oven temperature to 425 degrees and bake covered for 30 minutes. Remove lid and continue to bake until loaf is deep brown, 20-30 minutes longer. Carefully remove bread from pot, transfer to wire rack and cool to room temperature, about 2 hours.
mapleporkstew_sm.jpgA warm and hearty stew with German-inspired flavors of beer, mustard, and red wine vinegar, sweetened with a little maple syrup. On the whole a seasonal and satisfying dish, best with served with a rustic-style bread. I would probably add a chopped apple next time for a sweeter variation.

1  tablespoon  olive oil
1  (1 1/2-pound) boned pork loin roast, cut into 1-inch cubes
2  cups  diced onion
1  (8-ounce) package mushrooms, quartered
1 3/4  cups  (1/8-inch) diagonally sliced carrot
3/4  cup  diced red bell pepper
2  tablespoons  maple syrup
1  teaspoon  dried rubbed sage
1/4  teaspoon  salt
1/4  teaspoon  black pepper
1  (16-ounce) can fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1  (12-ounce) bottle beer
2  tablespoons  cornstarch
1  tablespoon  red wine vinegar
1  tablespoon  country-style Dijon mustard
Sage sprigs (optional)

Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add half of the pork; sauté 5 minutes or until browned. Remove from pan. Add remaining pork; sauté 5 minutes or until browned. Remove from pan. Add onion and mushrooms to pan; sauté 4 minutes. Return pork to pan; add carrot and next 7 ingredients (carrot though beer). Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer 1 hour or until pork is tender.

Combine cornstarch, vinegar, and mustard in a small bowl, and stir with a whisk. Add to pork mixture, and bring to a boil. Cook 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Serve with rice. Garnish with sage sprigs, if desired.

Original recipe

pumpkin_pancakes_sm.jpgI love pumpkin in all forms and pancakes (as the title of this blog shows), so combining the two should be a sure thing. I may keep looking for another recipe, though... Daniel loved these but the texture was a little thick for my taste.

1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1-1/2 cups fat-free milk
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons canola oil
In a large bowl, combine the first eight ingredients. In a small bowl, combine the milk, pumpkin, egg white and oil; stir into dry ingredients just until moistened.
Pour batter by 1/4 cupfuls onto a hot griddle coated with cooking spray; turn when bubbles form on top. Cook until second side is golden brown.

Original recipe