Orange Rhubarb Bread

March 29, 2011

Cornmeal and rhubarb?  Who knew how great this combination would be?  The color of the bread is great.  The bread is moist and the tart/sweet vibe is delicious.  This is my new favorite rhubarb bread recipe.

Orange Rhubarb Quick Bread
Country Home, March/April 2009

2 ½ cu. flour
¼ c. cornmeal
2 ½ tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 ½ c. sugar
¾ c. butter
3 eggs, beaten
½ c. milk
zest from one medium sized orange
2 tbsp orange juice
2 c. chopped rhubarb

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Combine dry ingredients except sugar.
Separately combine sugar, butter, eggs, milk, zest and oj.  Pour into dry ingredient mix and stir until moistened.  Mix in rhubarb.

Pour into two greased bread pans.  Bake for 55 minutes.


Brunswick Chicken Stew

May 19, 2010

I have to admit that I impressed myself with this stew.  We got a crockpot for Christmas and we’ve been playing with it a fair bit.  Several slow cook cookbooks came with the crockpot including Slow Cooker from Cooking Light.

While flipping through the pages, I stumbled across Brunswick Chicken Stew.  It looked delicious and warm (this cold winter is getting to me).  Of course, I didn’t have the right ingredients on hand but when has that ever stopped me.  The recipe below is my variation with several substitutions and additions.  It was delicious if I do say so myself.  And it was mostly healthy – except for the butter.

4 cups chopped sweet onions
1 cup chopped yellow onion
2 chicken breasts
1 can diced tomatoes
3 cups frozen corn
2 tablespoons dried parsley flakes
1 teaspoon celery seed
2 tablespoons grey poupon http://brands.kraftfoods.com/greypoupon/
4 tablespoons hot sauce
3 cups water
4 tablespoons butter

Layer the onions on the bottom of the crockpot.  Then place the chicken breasts on top of the onion.  Cover with the diced tomatoes and hot sauce.  Sprinkle on the parsley and celery seed.  Layer the corn on top and pour in the water. Dab on the butter and grey poupon.  Cook on high for one hour.  Then cook on low for 5 hours or until chicken is done.  Remove the chicken from the crockpot and shred it.  Then place it back into the crockpot and stir everything up good.  Cook for another 30 minutes.

The main difference between my version and the one from Cooking Light is that I didn’t use chicken broth.  Instead I used water and added the parsley and celery to make up for the flavor.  Also, the recipe didn’t specify what type of onion so I picked sweet onions because they just looked sooooo good in the store.


America’s Test Kitchen Banana Bread

January 11, 2010
America's Test Kitchen Banana Bread

America's Test Kitchen Banana Bread

It’s been a while since Kent or I posted to the blog.  What began as a fun project became a chore.  So we took a break.  But recently, I’ve started baking again for the fun of it and thought I’d try a small post about my recent experience testing a recipe for America’s Test Kitchen.

Kent had signed up to be a recipe tester for America’s Test Kitchen.  Once a month he gets an email about a new recipe to try.  In December, a recipe for banana bread came up.  Kent really enjoys banana bread so he forwarded the email to me to try.  The email contains a link to the recipe (sorry I can’t share the recipe – you’ll have to watch America’s Test Kitchen) and then a link to a survey to complete once you’ve tried the recipe.

Turns out America’s Test Kitchen knows what they’re doing.  The banana bread was excellent.  Kent says it was the best he’s ever eaten.  And it was a pretty simple recipe.  While I can’t share the recipe, I think I can share one tip.  They had me wrap four layers of aluminum foil around the bread pan to keep the outer edges from getting too crispy.


Sicilian Sangria

June 12, 2009
Sicilian Sangria

Sicilian Sangria

My next adventure into sangrias also comes from Kim Haasarud’s 101 Sangrias and Pitcher Drinks.  We were having pasta so I decided to try the Sicilian Sangria.  The recipe from Haasarud calls for orange curaçao, but my trustee wine advisor at the Winery says that triple sec is a good substitute.  For the wine, he recommended Citra’s 2005 Montepulciano D’Abruzzo which was a decent $10 wine.
We liked this one better than the New Zealand Kiwi Sangria but it the flavor didn’t hold up over time as well.   Although the oranges tasted really good a couple days later.

1 bottle of Italian Red Wine
1 c. orange juice
1/2 c. triple sec or orange curaçao
1/4 c. simple syrup (boil 1 c. water with 1 c. sugar together – don’t stir)
Wedges of 2 oranges
Wedges of 1 peach
1 lime, sliced

Add club soda just before drinking to taste.


New Zealand Kiwi Sangria

June 10, 2009

IMG_3118Sometimes the public library knows more than you do about what you need.  The spring was a rough one and I’ve been trying to rejuvenate ever since it ended.  What should I find on display at my local public library branch a couple weeks ago?  Kim Haasarud’s 101 Sangrias and Pitcher Drinks.  Immediately, I began to remember one of my favorite vacations.  It was in Portugal and the first night we had the best sangria.  So in honor of that fantastic week in Portugal, I decided to search out the best sangria recipes.

I started with Haasarud’s New Zealand Kiwi Sangria.  I know, I know.  I should start with a Portuguese sangria, but I’m a big fan of New Zealand sauvignon blancs.  I used Spinyback’s 2006 Sauvignon Blanc.  We loved this sangria.  The danger is that it tastes so nice that you could easily overindulge.  Crisp, sweet and very refreshing with a bright, appealing kiwi green color.

1 bottle New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc
1/4 c. Midori Melon liqueur
1/4 c. fresh lemon juice
1/4 c. simple syrup (boil 1 c. water and 1 c. sugar together without stirring)
6 kiwis (peel and slice)
1 c. crushed pineapple
Club soda

Mix everything but the club soda.  Cover and put in the frig for at least 4 hours.

We tried it straight first and found it very sweet.  So add the club soda to taste.


Sloppy Dudes

June 5, 2009

Sloppy Dudes
Rachel Ray to the rescue!  A year ago we started changing our diet to deal with cholesterol and high blood pressure and I started looking for a tasty recipe for ground turkey breast.  I found it in her Just in Time cookbook.  I had to make my own variation on it of course.  Rachel’s recipe calls for tomatillos but since I live in the Midwest, good tomatillos can be hard to find in the winter.  So last fall I froze up a bunch of green tomatoes.  I know it’s a very different flavor but the tartness seems to work.

Here’s my version.  It’s a little shorter in time.

1 lb. ground turkey breast
1 medium onion, diced
1/2 green pepper, diced
1 jalapeno, diced
1 c. green tomatoes
1 avocado, peeled and sliced

Saute onions in olive oil.  Brown ground turkey.  Add green pepper, jalapenos and green tomatoes.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Cook through.  Serve on hamburger buns with slices of avocado.


Oxtail Soup Disaster and Recovery

May 23, 2009

oxtail

I bought four pounds of oxtail from North Star Neighbors through the Nebraska Food Cooperative last month.  The oxtail sells for $2.95 a pound.  I got around to using it earlier in the week.  My original plan was to use up the last of my kimchi making a Korean inspired soup.  Somehow during the process, I forgot about Korea and drifted to Mexico for inspiration.  That’s when things went wrong.

My plan was to sear the oxtail, simmer for two hours, and during the last hour, add the aromatic vegetable bits that I had dutifully saved in the freezer.  I forgot to add the aromatics during the last hour, which turned out to be a good thing.  Not wanting to cook the meat into oblivion, I pulled the meat and added the vegetables to the broth, and simmered for an additional hour.  Then disaster struck as inspiration kicked in — I decided to add some smoky heat to the broth, in the form of one ancho chile and four chipoltle chilies.  Someone out there is probably cringing right now, who knows much more, or even a little more than I do about these dried peppers.  I was reveling in the bouquet the broth was giving off as I took my first taste….. and then bletch.  All it tasted like was, well I don’t know how to describe it, a smoky, bitter, bad.  I paused for a bit and then thought, add some salt and acid, and the soup will be back on track.  I added salt and it was a bit better.  I grabbed a bottle of red wine and added a cup or so, tasted, added more wine, tasted, and then added the whole bottle.  The broth still tasted terrible.  Now I was in a real pickle.  I was at the end of my culinary recovery ability.  Part of me wanted to press forward, add the meat and vegetables and make the soup.  The other part, the rational part, finally won.  I poured the whole works down the drain.  I pulled the meat from the bones, put it in the fridge and we ate cold cereal.

oxtail_chard

Luckily, due to the fact I hadn’t cooked the chilies with the meat, there was flavorful, tender beef to use.  I decided to attempt making a barbecue sauce for the meat.  For a side I settled on a Sicilian Style Sauteed Greens recipe, from Martha Stewart’s Cooking School, using the swiss chard I purchased from the farmer’s market.  I turned to the Internet for a barbecue sauce template and settled on one from Culinary Cafe.  I’m happy to report both the swiss chard and the barbecue turned out wonderfully.

Barbecue

Ingredients:

  • 4 pounds of oxtail, cooked until tender and pulled
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 onion diced and caramelized
  • 8 oz can of tomato sauce
  • 14.5 oz can of diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper

Directions:

In a sauce pan, over medium high heat, add butter and onions.  Saute onions until just beginning to brown on the edges.  Then reduce heat to medium low, and slowly cook onion until caramelized.  While the onion is cooking, combine: brown sugar, vinegar, olive oil, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, cayenne and black pepper.  Once the onions are caramelized increase the heat to medium and add the spice/oil mixture, deglazing the pan.  Next, add the tomato sauce and diced tomatoes, bring to a simmer, then reduce heat to low.  Simmer for 30 minutes, add meat and warm through.

Sauteed Swiss Chard

Ingredients:

Greens

  • 1 pound swiss chard
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • salt and pepper

Nut mixture

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts, roughly chopped
  • 1/3 cup raisins, roughly chopped

Directions:

Pull stems off chard and chop.  Cut chard leaves into one inch strips.

Next prepare the nut mixture.  In a large saute pan over medium heat, add olive oil, red pepper flakes and onion.  Cook until onion is soft, then add garlic.  Once garlic has added it’s flavor, about one minute, add the nuts and raisins.  Cook until the raisins are soft, approximately two minutes.  Pull mixture from pan and set aside.

In the same pan, over medium high heat, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and chard stems.  Cook stems for one minute, then begin adding chard leaves a handful at a time, as the leaves wilt, stirring between handfuls.  Once the chard is tender, reduce heat to medium, add the butter, stir to incorporate.  Add the lemon juice, stir, and add the nut mixture.  Stir for about a minute and pull off the heat.  Add salt and pepper to taste and serve.

By Kenton


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