Formatting Helps

Photos are a plus, upload them first.
The Title is the name of the recipe.
Bold any subsections (i.e. sauce, dry ingredients, etc.).
Use default font sizes, etc.
Each step should be a new paragraph; don't use the bullets or numbers.
Avoid abbreviations, such as tsp. or oz. Just type the word out.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Chico's Chocolate Cheesecake

This cheesecake was one of the best things served at the Mexican restaurant I waitressed at in high school.

1½ cups vanilla wafer crumbs
½ cup powdered sugar
⅓ cup cocoa
½ cup melted butter

Combine. Pat down bottom and sides of 9-inch Springform pan.

12 ounces chocolate chips
3 (8-ounce) boxes cream cheese, softened
1 can (14½-ounces) sweetened condensed milk
4 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla

Preheat oven to 300.Beat cream cheese until fluffy. Gradually beat in milk until smooth.

Melt chocolate chips on low, stirring constantly. Mix a couple of spoonfuls of cream cheese to the chocolate to temper. Add chocolate, eggs, and vanilla to cream cheese. Mix until combined.

Pour over crust. Bake for about 2 hours. Edges will get lighter. When circle gets smaller, check for doneness. If it jiggles just a little, remove cheesecake from oven and cool.

(This often cracks when I make it, so if you're interested in presentation, I would suggest a water bath. Don't forget to wrap the bottom of the Springform in foil first. I won't make that mistake again.)

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Multigrain Bread

from The Cook's Illustrated Cookbook

The original recipe makes 2 9-inch loaves. I have three loaf pans, so I 1½ the recipe. Those amounts are included between slashes.
1¼ cup (6¼ ounces) / 9.5 ounces / seven-grain hot cereal mix

2½ cups / 3¾ cups / boiling water
3 cups (15 ounces) / 22.5 ounces / all-purpose flour (not bread flour)
1½ cups (8¼ ounces) / 12.5 ounces / whole wheat flour
¼ cup / 3 ounces /honey
4 tablespoons / 6 tablespoons / unsalted butter, melted and cooled*
2½ teaspoons / 3¾ teaspoons / instant or rapid-rise yeast (active-dry yeast has worked just fine for me)
1 tablespoon / 1½ tablespoons / salt
Optional (I omit): ¾ cup unsalted pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds
Optional (I omit): ½ cup (1½ ounces) old-fashioned rolled oats or quick oats

*If you’re using salted butter, just decrease the additional salt by just a bit.
Place cereal mix in bowl of stand mixer fitted with dough hook and pour boiling water over it; let stand, stirring occasionally, until mixture cools to 100 degrees and resembles thick porridge, about 1 hour.  Whisk flours together in separate bowl.
Once grain mixture has cooled, add honey, butter, and yeast and mix on low speed until combined. Add flour mixture,  ½ cup at a time, and knead until cohesive mass starts to form (note: I don't need all of the flour. I suspect it's the high altitude. Go by look and feel and stop adding flour if you need to!) 1½-2 minutes; cover bowl tightly with plastic wrap and let dough rest for 20 minutes. Add salt and knead on medium-low speed until dough clears sides of bowl, 3-4 minutes. (If it does not clear sides, add 2-3 tablespoons additional all-purpose flour and knead until it does. Don’t add more, unless the dough is still really sticky and you didn't use all your flour already.) Continue to knead dough for 5 more minutes. Add seeds (if using) and knead for another 15 seconds. Transfer dough to lightly floured counter and knead by hand until seeds are dispersed evenly and dough forms smooth, round ball. Place dough in large, lightly greased bowl; cover tightly with plastic and let rise at room temperature until nearly doubled in size, 45-60 minutes.
Grease two /or three / 9×5 inch loaf pans. Transfer dough to lightly floured counter and divide in half / or thirds. Press 1 piece of dough into 9×6 inch rectangle, with short side facing you. Roll dough toward you into firm cylinder, keeping roll taut by tucking it under itself as you go. Turn loaf seam side up and pinch it closed. Repeat with second piece of dough. Spray loaves lightly with water or vegetable oil spray. Roll each loaf in oats to coat evenly and place seam side down in prepared pans, pressing gently into corners. Cover loaves loosely with greased plastic and let rise at room temperature until nearly doubled in size 30-40 minutes. Dough should barely spring back when poked with knuckle.
When rising bread nears the top of the pan, adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 375 degrees. Bake until loaves register 200 degrees on a quick-read thermometer, 35-40 minutes. Transfer pans to wire rack and let cool for 5 minutes. Remove loaves from pans, return to rack, and let cool to room temperature, about 2 hours, before slicing and serving, or storing.
Storage: Bread can be wrapped in double layer of plastic wrap and stored at room temperature for up to 3 days. Wrapped with additional layer of foil, bread can be frozen for up to a month.

Chicken Paprikash

8 (5- to 7-ounce) bone-in chicken thighs
Salt and pepper
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1 large onion, halved and sliced thin
1 each large red and green bell peppers, stemmed, seeded, halved widthwise, and cut into ¼-inch strips
3½ tablespoons paprika, divided
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon dried marjoram
½ cup dry white wine
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained
½ cup sour cream
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position; heat oven to 300 degrees. Season both sides of chicken with salt and pepper. Heat oil in Dutch oven over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add 4 chicken things, skin side down, and cook without moving until skin is crisp and well-browned, about 5 minutes. using tongs, flip chicken and brown on second side, about 5 minutes longer; transfer to large plate. Repeat with remaining 4 thighs and transfer to plate; set aside. When chicken is cool enough to handle, remove and discard skin. Discard all but 1 tablespoon fat from pan.

Add onion to fat left in Dutch oven and cook, stirring occasionally, over medium heat until softened, 5 to 7 minutes. Add bell peppers and cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are browned and peppers are softened, about 3 minutes. Stir in 3 tablespoons of paprika, flour, and marjoram and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add wine, scraping up browned bits from bottom of pit; stir in tomatoes and 1 teaspoon slat. Add chicken and any accumulated juices, submerging them in vegetables; bring to a simmer, then cover and place pot in oven. Cook until chicken is no longer pink when cut into with paring knife, about 30 minutes. Remove pot from oven.

Combine sour cream and remaining ½ tablespoon paprika in small bowl. Place chicken on individual plates. Stir a few tablespoons of hot sauce into sour cream to temper, then stir mixture back into sauce in pot. Spoon sauce and peppers over chicken, sprinkle with parsley, and serve immediately with buttered egg noodles, rice, or mashed potatoes.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Candy Cane Bread

2 cups sour cream
1 1/2 tablespoon SAF yeast
1/2 cup warm water
1/4 cup butter or margarine, softened
1/3 cup sugar
2 tsp. salt
2 eggs
Approx. 6 cups flour

2 cans cherry pie filling
maraschino cherries
slices of green gumdrops

Thin Icing:
2 cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons water
1/4 teaspoon almond extract

Heat sour cream over low heat until luke warm.  Mix together the sour cream, water, butter, sugar, salt and eggs in mixer.  In a separate bowl, mix yeast with 2 cups of the flour and slowly add flour/yeast mixture, beating until smooth.  Mix in enough remaining flour to make dough easy to handle.  Knead about 10 minutes.  Place into a greased bowl and turn dough over so greased side is up.  Cover tight with lid (spray lid if needed).  Let rise about an hour, or until doubled in size.  Heat oven to 375.  Punch down dough and divide into 3 equal parts.  Roll each part into a 15- x 6-inch rectangle and place on greased baking sheet.  Cut dough with kitchen shears, about 1 1/2 inches on each side, leaving 3 inches in the middle.  Cut them at 1 1/2-inch intervals.  Spread filling in middle and criss-cross strips over the filling.  Stretch the dough to 22 inches and curve to form cane.  Pinch the ends together to prevent filling from coming out.  Bake 15 to 20 minutes, or until golden brown.  While it's warm, brush with butter and drizzle icing on top.  Add maraschino cherries and gumdrop slices to look like holly leaves.  Makes 3 candy canes.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Bee-bim Bop

Bee-bim=mix, bop=rice, so this common Korean dish is mixed rice. We made it for the first time before we brought Tyson home, and the kids love it so much it's become a regular in our dinner rotation. The meat is essentially bulgogi, and you can use any combination of veggies that you'd like.

2 cups white rice

2 cloves garlic, minced
2 green onions, chopped
5 teblespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon sesame seeds, roasted (optional)
1 tablespoon sesame oil (optional)
1/8 teaspoon black pepper

1 pound tender, lean beef (such as sirloin tip)

2 carrots, peeled and julienned
8 ounces mushrooms, sliced1 pound fresh spinach, washed
1 (6-oz.) bag fresh spinach
8 ounces bean sprouts

Other ingredients
4 eggs
salt and pepper
vegetable oil for frying

Serve with
Sriracha (Asian chili sauce)

Cook the rice in a rice cooker or on the stove.

Mix all the marinade ingredients in a large bowl or gallon-size plastic bag.

Slice the beef across the grain into very, VERY thin slices. (You'll want a good, sharp knife for this.) Add the beef to the marinade. Seal the bag and mix it together with your hands, then squish the beef (we tell the kids to "give it a massage") for 2-3 minutes. This makes it nice and tender. Set the beef aside.

Break the eggs into a large measuring cup. Beat the eggs with a fork until the whites and yolks are completely mixed together.

Put a teaspoon of vegetable oil into a small nonstick frying pan and heat over medium heat for about 1 minute. Pour about 1/4 of the egg into the pan. Rotate the pan quickly so the egg spreads out in a thin layer on the bottom. Cook the egg for 1 minutes. Using a wide spatula, flip the egg over and cook the other side for 1 minutes. You now have an egg "pancake." Flip the pancake out onto a cutting board and leave it there to cool. Repeat until you've cooked all the egg, adding a little more oil, if needed. When the pancakes are cool enough to handle, stack them on top of each other to make a neat stack. Rill up the stack tightly. Cut the roll into 1/4-inch slices. Put the slices into a medium-sized bowl, unroll them, and toss them around a little, so they look like a bunch of yellow ribbons. Set aside.

Heat 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil in a large frying-pan or wok over a high flame and stir-fry the carrots over high heat until tender. Empty the carrots into a bowl and set aside.

Repeat with the mushrooms.

Blanch spinach in a pot of boiling water for 2 minutes, drain, and let cool for a few minutes, then squeeze some of the water out. Put 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil into the frying pan and stir-fry the precooked spinach for 2-3 minutes until tender. Empty the spinach into a bowl, season it with salt and pepper, and set it aside.

Boil 1 cup of water and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a large saucepan. Add bean sprouts to the boiling water. Cover the pan and cook for 2-3 minutes. Drain the bean sprouts and empty them into a bowl.

Put the large frying pan over high heat. Heat the pan for about 30 seconds. Take the bowl of beef and marinade and dump it into the frying pan - all of it at once. When the beef hits the hot pan, it will sizzle loudly. Using a spatula or a wooden spoon, spread the beef out in the pan. Stir for 2-3 minutes until all the red meat turns brown. Turn off the heat. There will be cooked beef and some gravy in the pan.

To serve, put the rice, the bowls of egg strips and vegetables, and the pan of meat where everyone can reach them. Each person puts a pile of rice in the middle of a soup bowl or plate and some meat and vegetables on top. (Be sure to pour a couple of spoonfuls of meat juice on your rice.) Top with egg ribbons. If you like spicy food, add some Sriracha.

Now "bee-bim" everything together. It's ready to eat (with some kimchee on the side, if you like.)

Tequila Lime Chicken

From Applebee's, via topsecretrecipes.com.

1 cup water
1/3 cup teriyaki sauce
2 tablespoons lime juice
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 teaspoon mesquite liquid smoke
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 cup tequila

4 chicken breasts

Mexi-Ranch Dressing
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon milk
2 teaspoons minced tomato
1 1/2 teaspoons white vinegar
1 teaspoon minced canned jalapeno slices
1 teaspoon minced onion
1/4 teaspoon dried parsley
1/4 teaspoon Tobasco
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon dried dill weed
1/8 teaspoon paprika
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/8 teaspoon chili powder
1/8 teaspoon cumin
dash garlic powder
dash ground black pepper

1 cup shredded cheddar/jack cheese blend
2 cups crumbled tortilla chips or fried tortilla strips

Prepare marinade by combining marinade ingredients. Add chicken and chill for 2 to 3 hours (not more, or the lime juice may toughen your chicken).

Make the Mexi-ranch dressing by combining all of the ingredients in a medium bowl. Mix will until smooth, then cover and chill until needed.

When  you are ready to prepare the entree, preheat the oven to high broil. Also, preheat you grill to high heat. When the grill is hot, cook the marinated chicken breasts for 3 to 5 minutes per side, or until they're done.

Arrange the cooked chicken in a baking pan. Spread a layer of dressing over each piece of chicken (you'll have plenty left over), followed by 1/4 cup of the shredded cheese blend. Broil the chicken for 2 to 3 minutes, or just until the cheese has melted.

Spread a bed of 1/2 cup of the tortilla strips or crumbled tortilla chips on each of four plates. Slide a chicken breast onto the chips on each plate and serve with your choice of rice, and pico de gallo or salsa.