kitchenklutz: spoons and bowls (spoons and bowls)
2015-03-16 02:16 pm

[Recipe] Oat Granary Cob

Adapting from The Best-Ever Book of Bread today, I decided to try out making a variation on a granary cob.

A "cob" is one of those lovely round loaves of bread you often see at professional bakeries, the kind that are less frequently sold at supermarkets because they won't fit quite as readily into premade plastic bags to be left on a shelf. I have fond memories of my parents buying fresh-baked cobs at the bakery near where I grew up, usually for use with an Italian deli picnic or as a tasty extra with spaghetti sauce.

I've only made a couple of recipes from this book before, mostly because of my hesitation to approach rising yeasty breads, but with my newfound confidence I've decided to take another look through it and see what catches my attention.

Today's experiment was an adaptation of the first page I dog-eared -- An Oat-Topped Granary Cob. )

I was pleasantly surprised at how easy this recipe was to make, and how readily adaptable it was. Moreover, the end result was impressively tasty and I certainly plan to make it in the future as a side to other dishes. The bread is soft and delicious, with a well-formed crisp crust.
kitchenklutz: (fresh baked bread)
2015-03-16 01:42 pm

[Recipe] Cinnamon Toffee Chip Raisin Bread (with Icing)

Continuing to work my way through variations in the Panera Bread Cookbook, I made some modifications and came up with an extra-tasty alternative to their Cinnamon Raisin White Bread -- Cinnamon Toffee Chip Raisin Bread. )

I haven't yet made Option 1 myself, but I'm including it in this recipe because of other spiral breads and cookies I've made before. With option 1, you'll get icing in a spiral pattern throughout the dough; with option 2, you'll get icing as a topping on an already tasty-bread.

As with most Panera recipes, there's quite a bit of waiting around for the bread to rise, but this bread is definitely worth it. I received a ton of compliments on it, and would wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone.
kitchenklutz: spoons and bowls (Default)
2015-03-08 05:04 pm

[Recipe] Three-Cheese Bread, Comma, Lots Of

Third bread recipe for today, appropriately enough, is adapted from the frankly very impressive Panera Bread Cookbook. This recipe made a lot more bread than I was expecting, particularly with the four-smaller-loaves pattern I'd been following -- two loaves sizeable enough that they wouldn't have been out of place on sale at a full-size bakery stall in the market.

Pleasantly enough, despite a substantial amount of rising for the dough, it also went relatively quickly. It's also adaptable to, well, whatever three or so different cheeses you might have on hand. I used what I had available to create a batch of Three Cheese Bread. )

Incredibly tasty and savory cheesy bread, equally servable sliced thin or with people just tearing off hunks at a party. The base recipe also makes a stupendous amount of bread, enough for two full-sized loaves -- I gave one loaf away to a convalescing friend and took another in to share with about a dozen or so other friends, and everyone got a decent quantity. Highly recommended, and I'll be trying out a number of other Panera recipes in the future.
kitchenklutz: (fresh baked bread)
2015-03-08 04:38 pm

[Recipe] Delectable Rosemary Bread

Being on a baking kick, I'm taking new looks at many old recipes I've had for a while but never pursued. One of those is Delectable Rosemary Bread. )

Just as tasty-good as my earlier Italian Herb & Garlic Pretzel Bread, but with totally different aroma and flavor. Enjoy!
kitchenklutz: spoons and bowls (Default)
2015-03-08 11:06 am

[Recipe] Italian Herb & Garlic Pretzel Bread

Over the past week or so, after finally having an epiphany on how to make yeasty breads rise properly in my rather cool kitchen (namely, let the dough rise in a covered glass bowl near the oven vent with an extended preheating), I've been having quite a bit of fun experimenting with a small handful of recipes.

First off was my test case -- the Mall Pretzels recipe off of AllRecipes.com. Overall, it's really straightforward -- the only part I found, and continue to find, challenging was the shaping of the dough into the "pretzel" shapes after the rise. It just felt like there wasn't quite enough actual dough there to do it properly, particularly with the way the elastic risen dough didn't seem to want to roll out into meter-long pencil-thin ropes for proper twisting.

So I thought, why not play around with the division of the dough? Instead of dicing it into twelve pieces, why not try it with six pieces and a concurrently longer baking time? What about four pieces? I did still try to roll it out into pretzel shapes, but in the end it felt like too much trouble for just having fun experimenting and I chose to put it in loaves instead.

As it turned out, that made for some incredibly tasty bread, particularly once I added to the recipe with minced garlic, various herbs, and a little cheese to top it off.

Here's my Final Adapted Recipe for Italian Herb & Garlic Pretzel Bread )

I've totally fallen in love with this bread, and its salty goodness seems to be a big hit with everyone I've given it away to as well. Fresh bread -- it's great! (Unless you have a gluten allergy, in which case it's not, and I'm really sorry for your unfortunate dietary limitations. *wry grin*)
kitchenklutz: cookie sheet (cookie sheet)
2015-01-20 10:29 pm

[Recipe] Sunny Side Up Citrus Sugar Cookies

Name totally pending! I printed out a sugar cookie recipe off of the Food Network site, and then improvised my way into a incredibly tasty citrus-flavored iced cookie. Overall, this recipe felt incredibly easy to put together, and the final product looked enough like a sunny-side up egg yolk that I decided to tentatively name it the Sunny Side Up Citrus Sugar Cookie )
kitchenklutz: spoons and bowls (Default)
2015-01-03 01:38 pm

[Recipe] Banana Nut Bread

This morning was filled up with quite a bit of household tasks and chores, so to take a break I made a batch of banana nut bread. Mostly this was motivated by having plenty of leftover bananas that were overripe and about to go bad anyways -- double bonus!

Banana Nut Bread )

Ridiculously easy to make and cook, smells fantastic, and my loaf is just about to come out of the oven. Of course, I did neglect to properly grease the pan before I put in the dough, so no doubt it'll end up a bit stuck to the pan -- learning experience for next time!
kitchenklutz: tomato sauce ladle (saucy ladle)
2014-11-29 05:51 pm

[Recipe] Chicken breasts with mushroom cream sauce.

Over the Thanksgiving week, I re-watched the movie Julie & Julia, which along with a few others was a major inspiration to me in teaching myself how to cook. One of the fantastically tasty-looking dishes shown in that was supremes de volaille aux champignons -- chicken breasts with mushrooms and cream. )

In my defense, I was looking and adapting from both an online version of this recipe at delish.com and the original Childs recipe in The Joy of French Cooking, not to mention making a few modifications of my own (namely the addition of basil and savory).

That said, I would say the final result was astoundingly delicious. I enjoyed it enormously, and would recommend it to anyone. It's relatively straightforward -- no four to five hours in the kitchen, as was my experience with beef bourguignon -- and the ingredients are all affordable and easily found.
kitchenklutz: spices in bottles (spice bottles)
2014-11-29 05:16 pm

Kitchen remodel: DONE.

I know I've been absent a good long while, but honest, it was for very important reasons. Over the past six months or so, I've been doing a serious remodel on my kitchen, and I ended doing a lot of the work myself for financial reasons. Finally, though, my kitchen is back up and running again -- and if you're curious to check out the picture-heavy post to follow, I'm pretty sure you'll agree it's in much better shape.

It was by no means a three-hour tour... )
kitchenklutz: knife and onions (knife and onions)
2014-02-25 08:10 pm

[Recipe] Easy Sweet-and-Spicy Meatloaf

Last week I was down with the seasonal death flu: four days of being bedridden, exhausted, fevered and dizzy. After the first two days of attempting to go for takeout and fast food (and let me tell you, you've not lived until you've spent half an hour trying to shovel your car out of a snowdrift while running a fever of 102), I deliriously inventoried my fridge to see what ingredients I could combine into something that was both tasty and easy to make.

The first things that came to mind were a pound and a quarter or so each of ground turkey and Italian sausage patties I'd bought the week before and not used -- thus, my quest for meatloaf. After Googling for a likely-looking recipe, I adapted it into a "throw in whatever ingredients and spices sound tasty", and the result was surprisingly good. Best of all, it only required about 10 minutes of prep, and then I could leave it to bake for an hour while I coughed and hacked away under the covers.

Easy Sweet-and-Spicy Meatloaf )

This recipe absolutely hit the spot and gave me leftovers for a week of meals. Highly recommended and I'll definitely make it again.
kitchenklutz: (fresh baked bread)
2014-01-25 06:29 am

[Recipe] Monkey Bread!

I've got a great new cookbook that I picked up on the discount table some time back -- The Best Ever Book of Bread, by Christine Ingram and Jennie Shatter. Given my desire to learn how to bake a lot more, I thought it an excellent investment, and as I've been looking it over the past week or so it definitely looks like it's worth it.

I've been paging through it and dog-earing recipes that look like they're particularly worthwhile, and the first one I tried out was Monkey Bread. )

Rising time: 1 - 2 hours
Total prep time: 2 - 2.5 hours
Cook time: 35 - 40 minutes

Overall, I was pleased with the resulting monkey bread. (Side note: no one, even Wikipedia, seems to know where this name originated! Lots of theories, though.) It was sweet, sticky and tasty, with any number of chunks easily torn off for finger food. The coating-bits that popped free were incredibly delectable in and of themselves!

However, regardless of the tastiness of the coating the dough itself was a bit on the dry side and was a bit plain. I may end up adding a little more water and milk to the initial dough to aim for a moister end product, and perhaps a little additional sugar to the starting dough to get it sweeter.

Additionally, given my desire to use less in the way of throwaway materials in my cooking and baking, I'm curious to know what alternatives there might be to using plastic wrap/plastic bags during the rising process. I know I've heard of some just draping a damp kitchen towel over the top of the bowl/pan -- how has that worked for others?
kitchenklutz: spoons and bowls (Default)
2014-01-19 04:23 pm

[Recipe] Beer Bread

One of the things I've wanted to do more this winter is try my hand at baking bread. I've got a handful of cookbooks with many recipes to try, but one of the first ones I wanted to try was a recipe card I picked up at Penzey's back around Yule.

It looked intriguing, and I'm definitely more of a fan of bread recipes that don't require yeast and substantial rising periods. I didn't know how it was going to turn out, as I'm usually not an enormous fan of drinking beer, but the result was astonishingly good.

Beer Bread )

Alternatively, instead of placing all the dough in one 8x4 bread pan, you can split the dough into a six oversized cup muffin tin. If you do so, reduce baking time to 28 - 32 minutes -- the smaller volume of dough in each cup means it will bake notably faster.

I admit I had my doubts about this when I first set out to make it, largely because I'm not a huge fan of Newcastle Brown Ale. (I've used Brooklyn Ale for a particular spicy Cajun stew before to great effect, though.) To my delight the Newcastle turned out amazingly well with the Savory Beer Bread option, so I urge anyone else who tries this recipe to experiment with beers of their liking.

Towards that end, I'm intrigued to try out the Sweet Beer Bread option using Redd's Strawberry Ale. Its alcoholic content isn't particularly high (3.2%?) but without any yeast in the recipe I believe it's the carbonation that's important.
kitchenklutz: spices in bottles (spice bottles)
2014-01-19 04:02 pm

[Recipe] Fig-Stuffed Sicilian Cookies (Cuchidades)

Over Thanksgiving my mom and stepdad came out to Boston to visit, and we had many a culinary discussion. One of the things that came up was mention of a traditional Sicilian cookie that my stepdad has made, which (I believe) he inherited from a distant grandmother from the old country. Called "cuchidades", these are fig-stuffed cookies -- like fig newtons, after a fashion, but sooooo much better.

I managed to track down a recipe online and then modified it to my own satisfaction. The result has been wildly popular with pretty much everyone I've introduced it to.

Fig-Stuffed Sicilian Cookies (Cuchidades) )

The first time I made this, I made the icing with milk and vanilla; the second time I made it with orange juice and orange extract. Overall, I'm far more satisfied with my second batch, but your mileage may vary -- try both and see which one you prefer!
kitchenklutz: cookie sheet (cookie sheet)
2014-01-19 03:32 pm

[Recipe] Chai Cookies

Back sometime last year I got inspired by a cup of hot chai tea. Soooo tasty... were there any recipes that could duplicate that particular taste in a cookie? I did a little searching and turned up no existing recipes out on the web.

So what goes in chai tea? A little more creative Googling and I'd turned up the various ingredients that most commonly go into chai tea mixes. From there I started experimenting on cookie doughs, and after half-a-dozen drafts I finally arrived at a final result I was satisfied with. Now, at last, I feel comfortable sharing it with the world. Try these out, and let me know how you like Chai Cookies. )

I always have a fun time handing these to people and asking them to tell me what they think it tastes like. Many of them can identify some of the ingredients, but rarely all of them... and when I tell them they're chai cookies, this look of dawning comprehension always comes over their faces and they immediately agree. Try it and see for yourself!
kitchenklutz: spoons and bowls (Default)
2014-01-19 03:01 pm

[Recipe] Spicy Potato Salad

This was another recipe that I tried out for the autumnal get-together back in November. It was the first time I'd ever attempted to make a potato salad, and I feel that the end result was reasonably good.

The original recipe came from Penzey's. I was IM'ing with a friend of mine while making it, so there were a number of modifications and changes suggested and I improvised quite a bit.

Spicy Potato Salad )
kitchenklutz: knife and onions (knife and onions)
2014-01-19 03:00 pm

[Recipe] Easy Cheesy Baked Black Bean Dip

I made this back towards the beginning of November when I threw a autumnal get-together. It's savory and multi-layered, with a good kick of spiciness. It takes a bit of effort to make, but as party casseroles/dips go it's worth it and can feed a LOT of people.

Easy Cheesy Baked Black Bean Dip )

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 40 minutes plus 10 minutes resting time
Serves: 4 as a side dish, 6 - 8 as a dip
kitchenklutz: spoons and bowls (Default)
2014-01-19 02:18 pm

[Recipe] Holiday Cookie Balls

I've been doing a lot of cooking and experimentation since around Thanksgiving, but with the holidays I haven't had as much chance to update this journal. Today, hopefully, that gets corrected.

I've been making a good number of different recipes gotten from Penzey's spices, and one that I tried out for the first time over the holidays was Holiday Cookie Balls. )

Reasonably easy to make, these confections are a little bit sweet and a little bit savory. I thought that the dough was maybe a little too crumbly, rather than chewy, but perhaps that's something I can work on if I tinker with it more in the future.
kitchenklutz: knife and onions (knife and onions)
2013-09-23 10:54 pm

[Recipe] Tilapia Fillets Fried With Turmeric, Southern Style

I've got a couple of acquaintances who are pescaterians -- that is, vegetarians who will also eat fish -- and as it turns out, my culinary experiments to date have sadly neglected fish. So this evening, I cracked open one of my favorite Thai cookbooks and decided to adapt a recipe.

The basis for tonight's experiment was plah toht kamin -- fried fish with turmeric. I wanted to go a little bit further than the recipe did, though, and so I stole some spicing ideas for the breading from a completely different source of southern style. The American South!

The result was surprisingly delicious (although, being unable to find catfish, I went with tilapia instead).

Tilapia Fillets Fried With Turmeric, Southern Style )

I made this with a pound of frozen tilapia fillets, suitably defrosted in my fridge during the day, and it turned out amazing. The fish was tender enough that it nearly fell apart on my fork, and the combination of the marinade and the spiced breading was multilayered and memorable. I would serve this dish with or without any dip -- it's just that tasty, for my palate.

I'll definitely be making it again!
kitchenklutz: spices in bottles (spice bottles)
2013-09-22 11:51 am

[Recipe] Apple-Spiced Bulgar

Last week I was up in the White Mountains hiking Cannon Mountain, and when I came down to the skytram and museum at the base of the still-unsnowy ski slopes I stopped by their gift shop. Most of what they had was just touristy stuff, but there was a cookbook that caught my eye -- Yolanda's All Apple Cookbook, by Yolanda Lodi.

I love apples. Tasty, sweet, incredibly flexible foodstuffs that go in practically everything. I don't have a lot of recipes that rely on them, though. So how could I resist picking up a cookbook like this one? This is the first recipe I'm trying, slightly modified.

Apple-Spiced Bulgar )

First reaction? Not bad at all as a side dish. It's a little on the bland side, so perhaps it could use a little additional spicing, but it's moderately tasty overall.
kitchenklutz: tomato sauce ladle (saucy ladle)
2013-08-05 05:07 pm

[Recipe] Savory Chicken Marsala

Some years back, my good friend Beth gifted me with a recipe for chicken marsala. I recently found the notecard that I'd initially written the recipe details down on, and made it again with a few small modifications. It turned out amazing!

Savory Chicken Marsala )