Cupcakes for Chanukah! Recipes and more

Sorry for the lag in posting, lots of travel and family commitments but now, shes back…………………..

cup3 There are times in your life (like after eating a dozen latkes) when you just gotta have that certain something sweet BUT you really don’t want the guilt associated with gobbling up 5 bags of candy coins or a calorie laden mega doughnut topped with chocolate and filled with custard (granted, there aren’t too many times when I DON’T want that kind of doughnut). For me that’s when I reach for a cupcake. Just enough cake and frosting to satisfy but not so much as that I feel like I’ve over indulged and the “oh I blew my holiday diet AGAIN” remorse isn’t omnipresent.

The origin of the cupcake isn’t all that clear. Some historians say it’s because the original recipe contained 1 cup measurements (I cup of flour, 1 cup of sugar etc.) Another source I checked with said that long ago that cake batter was cooked in tea cups, hence the name, cup-cake. Either way it came about I’m just glad the recipes evolved into the sweet treats we love today.

Deciding what type of cupcakes to make and what to top them with can be truly a personal and existential experience. You can fill them, frost them, and dust them with powdered sugar or cocoa. Sprinkles are always nice and so is a couple of pieces of candy or chocolate stuck into the top of the batter just before baking. The possibilities are endless and the results are always irresistible.

With cupcakes you can indulge in your love of lemon, banana, chocolate or vanilla or both at the same time and not have to commit to eating a whole cake. One of the beauties of making cupcakes is that most cake recipes can be converted into cupcakes. There are, however, some exceptions, like angel and sponge cakes, they don’t have quite enough structure to pull off the smaller size, but those to obvious exceptions aside, I say go for whatever recipe you want and see how creative you can get. I prefer to use cupcake liners in my pans as I find it easier to take them out after they’ve been cooked and they help keep all those pesky crumbs from falling all over your lap or shirt.

 

Just a few cup cake rules before you get started.

 

1. Always grease or line you baking pan, easier to remove the cupcake

2. Never over fill the pan, it will make an overly large cupcake top

4. Once the pan or pans are full, put them in the preheated oven immediately. The longer they sit out, the less they will rise.

5. Cupcakes should be baked in at least a 350 so that the structure sets quickly and the cake doesn’t dry while it’s baking

3. Make sure you test the cupcake with a toothpick before you remove it from the oven to make sure it cooked throughout.

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Depending on how you decorate the following recipe they can be served as a snack or at a formal dinner and are equally at home at a 5 year olds birthday party or a wedding reception. I make the peanut butter ones every Chanukah and decorate them with chocolate candy coins.  Enjoy!

 

PEANUT BUTTER CUP CUPCAKES (dairy)

1/3 cup margarine or butter
1/3 cup peanut butter
1 1/4 cups brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 3/4 cups flour
1 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
16 miniature peanut butter cups

Preheat oven to 350. Place paper cup cake liners in the muffin pan and set it aside. In a mixing bowl of an electric mixer combine the margarine or butter, peanut butter, and brown sugar.  Mix to combine and then add the eggs and vanilla. Mix to combine. In a bowl combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Alternate adding the flour mixture to the egg mixture with the milk. Do not over mix or you’ll get air bubbles in the cup cake. Fill each muffin cups about 1/2 full of batter. Place a peanut butter cup into the center of each and push it down so it almost touches the bottom but so there is still some batter underneath the peanut butter cup. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or till toothpick comes out clean (be careful not to test where the candy is, you won’t get a true test of if the cupcake is done). Makes approx 14 to 16

 

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BANANA SPLIT CUPCAKES (dairy or pareve)

2 cups sugar

1 3/4 cups flour

3/4 cup cocoa

1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 large eggs

2 mashed ripe bananas

1 cup warm water

1/2 cup milk or non dairy substitute

1/2 cup oil

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

 

Frosting:

8 ounces cream cheese or pareve cream cheese, at room temperature

4 tablespoon soft butter

4 cups powdered sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

 

Optional Toppings;

hot fudge sauce,

maraschino cherries

 

Preheat oven to 350. Grease 20 to 24 muffin cups or use paper liners. In a large bowl combine the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix to combine. In another large bowl combine the eggs, mashed bananas, water, milk, oil, and vanilla and whisk to combine.  Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture and mix until just combined. Spoon the batter into the muffin cups, filling about 2/3 full, and bake for about 20 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Cool on a rack.

 

In the bowl of an electric mixer combine the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla. Gradually add the powdered sugar until blended.  Frost and top with fudge sauce and a maraschino cherry

 

Modified from the Joy of Baking

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ZUCCHINI AND PISTACHIO CUPCAKES (pareve)

This recipe uses self rising flour if you don’t have it for each cup of self rising flour use 1 cup of all-purpose flour and add 1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon of salt.

2 eggs

1 cup oil

1 cup granulated sugar

4 zucchinis, grated

1 cup shelled pistachio nuts, chopped

2 teaspoon lime zest

1 teaspoon cinnamon

2 cups self-rising flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 cup dried cranberries

 

Preheat the oven to 325. Grease or line 2 12 muffin tin pans. In a bowl combine the egg, oil, and sugar and whisk until combined.  Add the zucchini, lime zest and nuts and stir together until well mixed.  Add the flour, cinnamon and baking powder, into the zucchini mixture and gently fold it in. Spoon the batter into the prepared pans and bake and for 18 to 20 minutes until the top is golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Cool on a rack and then dust the top with powdered sugar. Makes 24.

 

Modified from about.com

 

GLUTEN FREE CHOCOLATE CREAM CHEESE CUPCAKES (dairy)

 

3 tablespoons butter, melted

1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder

1/2 cup sugar

1 oz cream cheese

1 egg

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

generous 1/3 cup potato flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1 tablespoon milk

 

Preheat the oven to 350.  In a bowl of an electric mixer combine the butter and cocoa powder and beat until combined. Add the sugar and beat until combined.  Add the cream cheese, vanilla, milk and eggs and beat to combine.   Add the flour, baking powder, and baking soda and beat until just combined.  Spoon the mixture into the paper liners and bake for 15 to 20 minutes until risen and a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean.  Cool before frosting.

 

1 oz bittersweet chocolate

5 oz cream cheese, softened

1/3 cup powdered sugar

1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

 

Melt the chocolate in the microwave but don’t over heat it, it should just be soft. Cool for about minutes. Place the softened cream cheese in a bowl and then pour the chocolate over the top. Add the vanilla and mix until the cheese and chocolate is combine. Add the powdered sugar and mix to combine. Frost and serve. Makes 12

 

Submitted by Roger Mancref and Cheryl Rodrego Naples FL

 

CANDIED CUPCAKES (dairy)

 

Topping

6 chocolate candy bars, chopped into pieces (your choice)

1, 12 oz bag of any kind of M&M’s you like

Crush, cut and mash into tiny pieces

Mix together in a bowl, set aside

 

Frosting

1/2 cup peanut butter

1 cup semi sweet chocolate

1/2 cup cream

 

Cupcakes

12 tablespoons softened butter

1/2 cup white sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

4 eggs

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 1/2 cups flour

1 1/2 cups buttermilk

1 cup mini chocolate chips

 

 

Make the frosting first. In a microwave bowl melt the chocolate and cream together. Stir until smooth and then add the peanut butter and mix until combined. Cool in the refrigerator and when it is cool beat the frosting until it is spreadable.

 

Preheat oven to 350. Grease or place paper liners in 24 cupcakes molds. In a bowl combine the butter, white sugar and brown sugar. Mix to combine. Add the buttermilk, vanilla and eggs and mix to combine. Add the salt, baking soda, flour, chocolate chips and mix to combine. Spoon the batter into the prepare tins filling each about 2/3 full. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool before frosting and then decorate with the chopped candy. Makes 24.

 

LUSCIOUS LEMON CUPCAKES (dairy or pareve)

 

1 cup butter or margarine, softened

2 cups sugar

3 eggs

2 teaspoons lemon zest

1 teaspoon vanilla

3 1/2 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 cups sour cream or pareve substitute

 

FROSTING:

3 tablespoons butter or margarine, softened

2 1/4 cups powdered sugar

2 tablespoons lemon juice

3/4 teaspoon vanilla

1/4 teaspoon lemon zest

1 tablespoon milk or pareve substitute

 

Preheat oven to 350 and grease or paper line 30 muffin tins. Set them aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer combine the butter and sugar. Mix to combine and then with the mixer running add the eggs. With the mixer still running add lemon zest and vanilla. In another bowl combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.  With the mixer running slowly add the flour mixture to creamed mixture alternately with sour cream. This will be a thick batter.  Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups 2/3 full. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

 

In the bowl of an electric mixer or food processor combine the butter and powdered sugar. Mix until combined.  Add the lemon juice, vanilla, lemon zest and milk; beat until smooth. Frost the cooled cupcakes. Makes 30.

 

 

 

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Too Much Candy for Halloween??? Nah……recipes for leftover candy

So the high holiday of candy is coming up and your little darlings will get enough sugar to power a small nuclear plant and it’s time for the “parent” to consider confiscating a portion of bounty “for their own good” of course. Yeah, right, that didn’t work with my kids either.

What I did do was try to channel some of the candy to other venues. I always let my kids eat about 1/3 of the candy, they had to give at least 1/3 of the goodies they collected to one of the women’s shelters for the kids there who didn’t get to trick or treat and the remaining 1/3 was put into the communal candy basket at home for us to use as a family (ok, my husband and I snarfed a few) for some of our favorite, made with candy recipes.

Rather than try and justify how chocolate should really be its own food group I’m just going to offer the following recipes that have graced my family’s table in the weeks following Halloween and pray you don’t gain as much weight as we do when we eat them.

 

 

CHOCOLATE CANDY BAR CROISSANTS

 

1 (8 ounce) tube refrigerated crescent rolls

1 tablespoon butter or margarine, softened

2 (1.55 ounce) milk or semi sweet chocolate candy bars, broken into small pieces

1 egg, beaten

2 tablespoons sliced almonds

Unroll crescent roll dough; separate into triangles. Brush with butter.

 

Preheat oven to 375. Arrange candy bar pieces evenly over triangles; roll up from the wide end. Place point side down on a greased baking sheet; curve ends slightly. Brush the top of the croissant with the beaten egg and then sprinkle the top with almonds. Bake for 11 to 13 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack. Makes 8. This recipe can be doubled.

 

CANDY BAR CAKE

 

3 1/2 cups flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 cups finely chopped candy bar (Snickers, Almond Joy, Milky Way, peanut butter cups or a combination of any of your favorites)

2 sticks unsalted butter, softened

1 1/2 cups sugar

4 large eggs, separated, at room temperature

2 teaspoons vanilla

1 1/4 cups milk

1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

 

Frosting:

4 1/2 ounces milk, semi sweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped

1/2 cup whipping cream

1/2 cup chopped candies

 

Preheat oven to 350. Grease and flour a 10-cup nonstick Bundt pan. In a bowl sift together the 3 cups flour, baking powder and salt. In a separate bowl combine the chopped candy with remaining 1/2 cup flour. In the bowl of an electric mixer combine the butter and sugar and beat until combined about 2 minutes then add the yolks and vanilla. Beat in 1/3 of flour mixture, followed by 1/2 of milk.  Add 1/3 of the flour, the remaining milk and then the last of the flour.  In another bowl for the electric mixer beat the egg whites and cream of tartar until you get stiff peaks. By hand, fold the chopped candies and egg whites into the batter. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan. Bake 50 to 60 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool the cake, in the pan, on a cooling rack for 10 minutes, then remove the cake from the pan and allow to cool on the rack for an additional 20 minutes.

 

To make the frosting place the chocolate in a bowl and pour the cream over the top. Microwave for about 30 seconds and then remove and stir. Return to microwave and cook an additional 30 seconds or until the chocolate is totally melted. Whisk to combine and let cool for a few minutes. Place the cake on the serving platter and pour the icing evenly over the top of the cake (some will drip over sides but that’s ok). Sprinkle the remaining chopped candy over the top. Let cool and serve.

 

 

Modified from ALL YOU OCTOBER 2011

KIT KAT KAKE

 

1 (18 ounce) packages refrigerated chocolate chip cookie dough, prepared recipe favorite

6 cups whipping cream

2 1/2 cups chocolate chips, divided

14 Kit Kat bars

2 tablespoons butter or 2 tablespoons margarine

whipped whipping cream or whipped topping

 

Preheat oven to 350. Line bottom of 9-inch round cake pan with parchment or wax paper. Press cookie dough in bottom to 1/2 inch thickness. Bake approximately 18 minutes or until lightly brown. Cool completely. In a large bowl, put 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips and 5 cups whipping cream. Microwave on HIGH for 4 – 5 minutes until chocolate is soft. Remove and stir well until chocolate and cream are mixed well. Cover with plastic wrap and chill overnight.  Melt remaining chocolate chips with butter and stir until smooth.

 

Place large cookie in center of 10-inch spring form pan. Cut candy bars long ways and dip one end in chocolate mixture. Place vertically between cookie and sides of pan. Continue until all candy bar pieces are used.  Chill 20 minutes.  Whip cream and chocolate mixture until stiff.  Chop remaining candy bars into chunks. Take cookie shell and place one-third of mousse on bottom. Sprinkle chunks on top. Repeat layers, ending with mousse. Chill in freezer overnight.  Top with whipped cream and chunks of candy bar.  Return to freezer for at least 1 hours. When ready to serve remove from freezer and slice.

 

Submitted by Rachael Margoles Philadelphia PA source unknown

 

CANDY CORN BLONDIES

 

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted, plus more, room temperature, for pan

1 cup packed light-brown sugar

1/2 cup granulated sugar

2 large eggs

1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

2 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)

1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt

1/4 cup each orange, yellow, and brown candy-coated chocolates (from a 12.6-ounce bag) or 8 Reese’s peanut butter cups, removed from their wrappers and coarsely chopped

 

Preheat oven to 350. Brush an 8-inch square baking pan with butter; line pan with parchment paper, leaving a 2-inch overhang on two sides. Butter paper. In a large bowl, whisk together butter and sugars until smooth. Whisk in eggs and vanilla. Add flour and salt; stir just until moistened. Transfer batter to prepared pan and smooth top. Arrange candies or chopped peanut butter cups in 12 rows (2 rows per color, repeating once) on top of dough.Bake until top of cake is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 45 to 50 minutes. Set pan on a wire rack and let cool completely. Using parchment overhang, lift cake from pan and transfer to a cutting board; cut into 16 squares. To store, keep in an airtight container at room temperature, up to 2 days. Makes 16.

 

Modified From Everyday Food

MILKY WAY TART

 

 

Crust

3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons all purpose flour

2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder (preferably Dutch process)

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature

1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons powdered sugar

1 large egg yolk

 

Filling

3 1/2 ounces milk chocolate candy bars chopped

2 cups heavy whipping cream, divided

 

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter

1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar

3 tablespoons water

 

Unsweetened cocoa powder (for dusting)

 

Make crust: Whisk flour and cocoa in medium bowl. Beat butter and powdered sugar in another medium bowl until well blended. Beat in yolk. Add flour mixture in 2 additions, beating just until blended. Gather dough into ball; flatten into disk. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate 2 hours.

 

Divide dough into 6 equal pieces. Press each onto bottom and up sides of 4 1/2-inch-diameter tartlet pan with removable bottom. Refrigerate crusts 1 hour or freeze 30 minutes.

 

Preheat oven to 375. Bake cold crusts until set and dry-looking, about 12 minutes, pressing with back of spoon if bubbles form. Cool crusts in pans. DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover; store at room temperature.

 

Make filling: Place milk chocolate in medium bowl. Bring 1 1/2 cups cream to simmer in small saucepan. Pour hot cream over chocolate; let stand 1 minute, then whisk until melted and smooth. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until cold, at least 4 hours or overnight.

 

Combine remaining 1/2 cup cream and butter in small saucepan and stir over medium heat until butter melts; remove from heat. Combine sugar and 3 tablespoons water in heavy small saucepan. Stir over medium-low heat until sugar dissolves. Increase heat and boil without stirring until color is deep amber, occasionally brushing down sides of pan with wet pastry brush and swirling pan, about 8 minutes. Immediately add hot cream-butter mixture (mixture will bubble vigorously). Remove from heat and stir until any caramel bits dissolve. Transfer caramel to small bowl and chill until slightly firm (semi-soft), stirring often, about 40 minutes.

 

Spoon caramel into center of baked crusts (about 2 generous tablespoons for each crust). Set aside.

 

Using electric mixer, beat chilled milk chocolate-cream mixture until peaks form; spoon atop caramel in crusts, dividing equally (about 1/2 cup for each crust) and spreading evenly. Chill at least 2 hours. DO AHEAD: Can be made 8 hours ahead. Cover and keep refrigerated. Remove tartlets from pans. Lightly sift cocoa powder over tartlets and serve.

 

Created by Maury Rubin City Bakery /  Bon Appétit  September 2006

 

KITCHEN SINK COOKIES

 

4 eggs

3/4 cup margarine

2 cups sugar

1 1/2 cups brown sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cups peanut butter

3 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

7 cups oatmeal

3/4 cup chocolate chips (milk or semi sweet)

3/4 cup pecans, chopped

3/4 cup M&M’s ® (you can use the peanut or peanut butter ones too!)

 

Preheat oven to 350. In a bowl combine the eggs, margarine, sugar, brown sugar, vanilla and peanut butter. Beat to combine . In a separate bowl mix together the baking soda, salt, and oatmeal. Mix the oatmeal mixture into peanut butter mixture. Add chocolate chips and pecans and stir until combined.  Drop golf ball sized balls of dough (I use an ice cream scoop) on an ungreased cookie sheet and flatten each cookie into a circle shape with the bottom of a glass. Press M&M‘s into the top of unbaked cookies.  Bake for 10 to 12 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes on cookie sheet before removing. Makes 2 to 3 dozen.

 

My files, source unknown

 

Fall Fruit is Spelled Nectarine

  Quick foodie question, that you think you should know but will take a moment and say, hummmmm do I really know the answer. Simple question, what’s the difference between a nectarine and a peach? The simple answer is, there really is no difference between the two fruit, it’s just that one has fuzz and the other doesn’t.

Nectarines are a stone fruit (it means they have a pit) that are at their peak in mid to late summer. Depending up on if the pit is free or attached to the fruit, nectarines are classified as (like the peach) free stone or clinging.  Yes, the fruits have slightly different tastes and textures, but it’s really so slight that in a peeled, blind taste test it’s almost impossible to tell the difference. They can be substituted for each other in most any recipe and rather than give you more than the basic facts that the fruit is a good source of  vitamins and minerals, low in calories and great in both sweet and savory dishes I thought I’d just give you bunches and bunches of recipes and let you get started cooking.

 

BROWN SUGARED NECTARINES

 

1 tablespoon butter or margarine

5 large nectarines (about 1 1/2 pounds), or peaches (which must be skinned)

1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

2 tablespoons brown sugar

Sweetened whipped cream, whipped topping or ice cream (optional)

 

Set a strainer over a bowl and cut the nectarines into slices and place them the strainer. Heat the butter in a skillet over medium heat. When it is hot add the nectarines and saute them until they start to soften and their juices reduce and begin to thicken, 2 to 3 minutes. Sprinkle the brown sugar over the top of them and cook until the juices thicken and the sugar caramelizes slightly, about 1 minute. Add the lemon juice and cook until the juices thicken, then add any of the juice that collected in the bowl. Stir to combine and cook until the juices are very thick, which will take a minute or so. Total cook time should be 5 to 6 minutes. Spoon the nectarines to 4 individual serving dish and let cool for 1 to 2 minutes. Serve with whipped cream or ice cream. Serves 4. This recipe can be doubled or tripled.

 

Modified from Epicurious August 2001 by Susan Herrmann Loomis

CHICKEN AND NECTARINE SALSA

 

1 tablespoon brown sugar

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

2 teaspoons chili powder

1 teaspoon minced garlic

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, cut into 24 (2-inch) pieces

1 large red onion, cut into 32 (2-inch) pieces

2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil

 

Salsa

2 cups diced nectarine (about 3)

1/2 cup diced red bell pepper

1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion

2 tablespoons fresh cilantro leaves

1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

2 teaspoons minced seeded jalapeño pepper

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 cup diced peeled avocado

 

In a bowl combine the chicken pieces, brown sugar, lime juice, olive oil chili powder, garlic, salt cumin and pepper. Mix to coat, cover and let sit for 30 minutes. In a large skillet heat the oil and then saute the chicken (discard liquid marinade) and onion for about 10 to12 minutes or until chicken is done, stirring occasionally. While the chicken is cooking in a bowl combine the nectarine, bell pepper, red onion, cilantro, lime juice, jalapeno and salt. Mix to combine and then gently stir in the avocado. Place the chicken and onion on a platter and serve with the salsa. Serves 4.

 

Modified from a recipe from Jennifer Martinkus, Cooking Light July 2011

 

BLUEBERRY AND NECTARINE BREAD

 

1 1/2 cups flour, divided

3/4 cup sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon allspice or nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup butter or margarine, room temperature

1 teaspoon orange zest

1/4 cup orange juice

2 eggs

2 nectarines

2/3 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen

 

Topping:

2/3 cup chopped pecans

1 tablespoon sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

 

Preheat oven to 350. Grease a loaf pan and set it aside. Combine 1/3 cup pecans, sugar and cinnamon.  Set aside.  In the bowl of an electric mixer or food processor combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, allspice and salt. Mix just to combine and then add in the butter, eggs orange juice and orange zest.  Mix to combine for 2 to 3 minutes but don’t over mix.   By hand, fold in the fruit and remaining pecans. Spoon the batter into a loaf pan and sprinkle the  topping over the top.  Bake 50  to 60 minutes or until a tester comes out clean.  Cool in pan for ten minutes, remove the bread from the pan and then  cool to room temperature on a cooling rack. Makes 1 loaf.

 

Modified from epicurious.com

SALMON WITH FRESH NECTARINE BERRY COMPOTE

 

6 – 5 ounces fresh skinless salmon fillets, about 1-inch thick

4 tablespoons bottled barbecue sauce

3 nectarines, pitted and chopped

1 cup fresh blueberries

1/2 cup chopped toasted pecans

Lemon wedges

 

Brush the salmon with 3 tablespoons of barbeque sauce and season the salmon with salt and pepper. Using a grill pan or grill cook the salmon for 8 to 10 minutes until done. While it’s cooking in a bowl combine the nectarines, blueberries, pecans, and the remaining barbecue sauce. Mix well, mashing the fruit slightly. Season with salt. Serve salmon with salsa and lemon wedges. Serves 6.

 

My files source unknown

 

NECTARINE AND PISTACHIO COUSCOUS

 

1 cup couscous

1 1/2 cup water

1 tablespoon apple cider or rice wine vinegar

1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 organic nectarines, diced

1 bunch chopped parsley (stems removed) (about 1 1/2 cups packed leaves)

1/2 cup pistachios, chopped

1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions

 

Bring 1 1/2 cups water to a boil in a saucepan. Stir in the couscous, cover and remove from heat. Let it stand, covered stand 5 minutes, then take off the top and stir it. In a large bowl, whisk together the vinegar, mustard, salt and pepper. Whisk in the olive oil and then set it aside. In a large serving bowl combine the couscous, nectarines, parsley, pistachios and green onions and the dressing, toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serves 4. This recipe can be doubled or tripled. Can be served cold or at room temperature.

 

My file, source unknown

PECAN STUFFED NECTARINES

 

1/2 cup pecan pieces

2 tablespoons sugar

1 large egg yolk

2 nectarines, halved and pitted

1 tablespoon brown sugar

Pinch of cinnamon

Maple syrup

 

Preheat oven to 425. Grease a 9X13 baking pan and set it aside. In the bowl of a food processor process the pecans until they are finely ground. Add 2 tablespoons sugar and the egg yolk and pulse until combined. Arrange the nectarine halves, cut sides up, in the baking pan. Divide pecan/sugar mixture between the nectarine halves, mounding it in center of each half. Combine the brown sugar and cinnamon and then sprinkle it over the top of the nectarines. Drizzle a little maple syrup over the top. Bake, uncovered for 10 to 15 minutes. Don’t let the nectarines get too soft. Serves 4. This recipe can be doubled or tripled. Great served with whipped cream or ice cream.

 

My files, source unknown

 

NECTARINE, MANGO AND AVOCADO SALAD

 

1/2 cup plain yogurt or sour cream

1/2 cup mayonnaise

2 tablespoon rice wine vinegar

2 teaspoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1 head red leaf or romaine lettuce; torn into bite-size pieces

2 to 3 cups fresh baby spinach

4 Nectarines, sliced

2 mangos, sliced

2 avocados peeled, sliced

1/4 cup sliced green onions

Smoked almonds or candied almonds for garnish

 

In a bowl combine the yogurt, mayonnaise, vinegar, sugar and pepper. Whisk to combine. Cover and refrigerate. In a bowl combine the lettuce, onions, spinach, nectarines and mango. Toss to combine. Gently add the avocado and spoon the dressing over the top. Gently mix to combine. Garnish with the almonds. Serves 8

My file, source unknown

 

SHRIMP AND NECTARINE SALAD

 

1/4 cup oil

3 tablespoons fresh lime juice

1 piece peeled fresh ginger; (1 1/2 inch)

1 1/2 tablespoon honey

1/8 teaspoon hot sauce

1 head red leaf or romaine lettuce; torn in large pieces

1 1/2 lb shrimp, cooked, peeled and deveined

2 to 3 ripe nectarines cut in thin wedges (2 3/4 cups)

1 large ripe avocado; halved, seeded, peeled and sliced thin lengthwise

1/2 cup minced red onion

1 cup fresh basil leaves; cut in thin strips

1 small can water chestnuts, drained

 

In the bowl of food processor or blender combine the oil, lime juice, ginger, honey and hot sauce. Process until smooth and set it aside. In a salad bowl combine the lettuce, shrimp, nectarines, avocado, red onion, water chestnuts and basil. Drizzle the dressing over the top of the salad, toss to coat and serve. Serves 4.

 

Modified from about.com

It’s Blueberry Time/ Kosher Recipes

There’s only one bad thing that can be said about blueberries, they can be messy if you squish one.  Other than that, they’re really a wonderful fruit.

A typically American fruit the flavor and sweetness of the blueberry is the frosting on the cake that is fruit. A blueberry is a super food, one that is full of cancer-fighting antioxidants, vitamin C, fiber and potassium. This may sound obvious but when buying your blueberries you should remember they should actually be blue, if they’re even slightly green, red or purple forget them. Only blue will do.

The blueberries you want should be uniform in size, not big and small, firm not hard and have a slightly waxy sheen. To store then you should keep your blueberries refrigerated and please don’t wash them until you’re ready to use them. They will spoil if you do. They should last, in the refrigerator, for 10 days to 2 weeks.

You’re in luck, blueberries are in season right now and very affordable so hopefully this column will nudge you toward adding them to your shopping list this week.

 

Blueberry Guide

Approx 3 cups of blueberries in a pound

One cup of fresh or frozen blueberries =2/3 cup pureed

1 cup frozen blueberries = 2/3 cup thawed blueberries

BLUEBERRY AND CREAM MUFFINS

 

2 cups cake flour

3/4 cup sugar

11/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

pinch salt

3 ounces cream cheese cut in cubes

2 teaspoon lemon juice

Zest of 1 lemon

2 teaspoon vanilla

2 eggs

1/4 cup melted butter

1/2 cup milk

1 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen

Brown sugar to sprinkle on top

 

Preheat oven to 350. Line the cups of a muffin tin with 12 paper liners.  In a bowl combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, soda, and salt and set aside.

 

In a bowl of an electric mixer combine the cream cheese, lemon juice, lemon zest and vanilla and beat until smooth. Add the eggs and mix until blended. Stir in the melted butter and mix until smooth. Mix in milk. Add dry ingredients and stir until all dry is incorporated. Do not over mix. Fold the berries into the batter.

 

Pour an equal amount of batter into each muffin cup, filling each about 2/3 to 3/4 full. Sprinkle a little brown sugar on the top and then bake for 30 minutes (or until the top is golden), remove from the oven and cool on a rack for 15 minutes. Makes 12 muffins.

 

From my files, source unknown

 

BLUEBERRY APPLE SALAD

 

1 cup fresh or thawed frozen blueberries, divided

1/4 cup oil

2 tablespoons apple jelly

Zest of 1 orange

2 teaspoons lemon juice

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1/4 teaspoon salt

4 cups (about 4 ounces) baby spinach

2 Granny Smith apples, cored and thinly sliced

2 ribs celery, cut into 1-1/2-inch matchsticks (about 1 cup)

1/3 cup pecan or walnut halves, toasted

 

To prepare dressing: In a blender container, combine1/2 cup of the blueberries, oil, apple jelly, lemon juice, orange zest, mustard and salt; blend until smooth. Set the dressing aside. In a salad bowl combine the spinach with apple slices, celery, pecans and remaining 1/2 cup blueberries. Toss gently, drizzle the dressing over the top, toss gently and serve. Serves 4. This recipe can be doubled or tripled.

 

Modified from a recipe from my mom Anita Weinfield, Northbrook IL

LIME AND BLUEBERRY BARS

 

2 cups blueberries

21/4 cups flour

1/2 cup powdered sugar

1 cup softened butter

4 large eggs

1 teaspoon grated lime zest

1/3 cup lime juice

1 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

Extra powdered sugar

 

Preheat oven to 350. In a bowl combine the flour and 1/2 cup powdered sugar until blended. Cut in the butter (mash with a fork until dough holds together). Press the mixture over the bottom of a 9X13 baking pan. Bake for 20 minutes. In a bowl whisk together the eggs, sugar, lime zest, lime juice and baking powder. Gently fold in the blueberries. Gently pour the mixture over warm, baked crust. Return the pan to the oven and bake 20 to 25 minutes until the filling is firm. Remove from the oven and cool. Sprinkle with powdered sugar cut and serve. Serves 12

 

Modified from about.com

BLUEBERRY CORN MUFFINS

 

2 cups flour

1/2 cup cornmeal

3/4 cup sugar

2 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup buttermilk

1/2 cup orange juice

1/4 cup margarine or butter, melted

1 egg, beaten

1 tablespoon orange zest

2 cups blueberries

Coarse sugar

 

Preheat oven to 400. Grease a 1 12 muffin pan and 1 6 muffin pan and set them aside. In large bowl, combine the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Mix and set aside. In another bowl, combine the buttermilk, orange juice, margarine, egg and orange zest. Whisk to combine. Add the buttermilk mixture to the flour mixture and mix, by hand just to combine. Add the blueberries and gently mix them in. Do not over mix. Divide the batter between the 18 muffin cups. Sprinkle the tops with a little coarse sugar. Bake 20 to 25 minutes until the top is golden or a toothpick comes out clean. Makes 18 muffins.

 

Modified from an old Moosewood cookbook recipe in my files, book unknown

 

BLUEBERRY PULL-A-PART BREAD

 

2/3 cup sugar

1 tablespoon cinnamon

1 1/4 to 1 1/2 cups blueberries

2/3 cup brown sugar

10 tablespoons butter or margarine

2 teaspoons vanilla

1 tablespoon cinnamon

4 pkgs (10 oz ea) refrigerated buttermilk biscuits

 

Preheat oven to 350. REALLY grease a 10 x 4 tube pan and set it aside. In a bowl combine 2/3 cup sugar and 1 tablespoon cinnamon. Cut the biscuits in half. Roll each piece in sugar mixture. Arrange about one-fourth of the biscuit pieces and one-fourth of the blueberries in an even layer on the bottom of the pan. Place blueberries between biscuit pieces, creating a mosaic effect. Repeat with three more layers (covered dough balls and blueberries), covering blueberries of one layer with dough balls in next layer. In saucepan combine the brown sugar, margarine, vanilla, cinnamon and the additional 1 cup blueberries. Bring the mixture to a boil then reduce it to a simmer. Cook, stirring frequently until the sugar is dissolved and the margarine melted. Pour the mixture over biscuits and berries in the pan. Bake 34-45 minutes or until done. Let cool for 5 to 10 minutes before you try and remove this from the pan. Place a plate on the top of the pan and invert. Serves 8 to 10 servings.

 

Modified from epicurean .com

BLUEBERRY SALAD WITH SMOKED TROUT

 

8 oz romaine lettuce, shredded

4 Smoked trout fillets, skinned broken into medium pieces

1 1/2 cups blueberries

6 tablespoons olive oil

3 tablespoons white wine or rice wine vinegar

1 tablespoon minced parsley

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

 

In a bowl, combine arugula, trout and blueberries. In a small bowl combine the oil, vinegar, mint, salt and pepper. Divide the salad onto 4 chilled plates. Drizzle each serving with dressing. Serves 4

 

Modified from a recipe from Chef Marc Meyer, Five Points, New York City

 

BLUEBERRY ORANGE SAUCE

This is super over roast chicken or turkey

 

3 tablespoons sugar

1 tablespoon cornstarch

1/4 cup orange juice

1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries

2 oranges, sectioned

Salt and pepper to taste

 

In a bowl combine the sugar, cornstarch and salt and then set it aside. In a small saucepan combine the orange juice and 1/4 cup water and bring the mixture to a boil. Add the blueberries and orange sections and bring the mixture back to a boil. Cook for about 10 minutes. Add the sugar mixture to the berry mixture, whisk to combine and then cook for 1 to 2 more minutes, the sauce will thicken slightly. Remove it from the heat and serve. Makes approx. 2 cups.

 

NOTE: if you want a sauce to go over a fruit salad just omit the salt and pepper.

 

BLUEBERRY MANGO SALAD

 

2 cups fresh blueberries

3 to 4 mangos, peeled, seeded and sliced or cubed

1/3 cup frozen piña colada mix, thawed

1 to 2 tablespoons rum

Baby spinach

Toasted pecans

 

In a large bowl, combine blueberries, mangos, piña colada mix and rum and mix to combine. Divide the spinach between 4 plates. Spoon the berry mango mixture over the spinach. Top with the toasted pecans and serve. Serves 4. This recipe can be doubled or tripled.

 

BLUEBERRY CRANBERRY CHICKEN SALAD

 

4 cups cook chicken cut into bite sized pieces

1/2 cup red onion, chopped

4 stalks celery, sliced thin

1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar

1/2 cup minced green onion

1/4 cup chopped parsley

1/2 cup dried cranberries

1 cup blueberries

1/2 cup mayonnaise

2 tablespoons sour cream or plain yogurt

1/4 cup Dijon mustard

2/3 cup toasted almonds

 

In a bowl combine the chicken pieces, red onion, celery and rice vinegar. Toss to coat and add the green onion, parsley, cranberries and blueberries. Gently mix to combine. In another bowl combine the mayonnaise, yogurt and mustard and then spoon the dressing onto the chicken mixture. Mix to coat and then garnish with the toasted almonds. Serves 6. This recipe can be doubled or tripled.

 

Modified from a BHG.com recipe

Berries Galore/kosher recipes

I was recently chastised by one of my readers for not writing about strawberries and blueberries and blackberries this year. I emailed her back saying I’d get right on that and  she then replied saying that every year when they get really cheap she likes to load up on whatever berry is on sale that week and use them as much as she can and then freeze the leftovers to use later when they’re not so cheap. In my response to her response I asked her what she was looking for in the way of recipes and her reply was, and I quote “anything that isn’t the same “old boring spinach and strawberry salad  or blueberry muffin recipe you see in every newspaper or magazine for the past 30 years”.

I pondered her challenge for about 30 seconds and dove right into my treasure trove of “gotta try this someday” recipes and came up with quite a few different, unusual and downright spectacular non run of the mill recipes. So ladies and gentlemen and children of all ages, grab whatever kind of berry you like (and for the most part they are interchangeable in the following recipes) and start your ovens, mix masters and blenders and let the creating begin.

1 cup = 6 or 7 strawberries

1 (16 oz.) pkg.  strawberries equals approximately approx 3 cups sliced or chopped

1 (16 oz.) pkg. strawberries equals approximately approx 1 3/4 cups

BAKED FRENCH TOAST WITH BLUEBERRY SAUCE (dairy)

1 loaf French or Italian Bread or challah, sliced

4 eggs

1/2 cup milk

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon pure vanilla

5 cups blueberries (approx 1 1/2 pounds fresh or 2 (12-ounce) bags frozen)

1 cup chopped pecans

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 cup sugar

2 tablespoons cornstarch

2 tablespoons butter, melted

Powdered sugar

Place the bread slices in an ungreased 9X13 pan and set it aside. In a bowl combine the eggs, milk, baking powder, and vanilla together and whisk to combine. Pour the egg mixture over the bread, turning to coat the bread completely. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours or overnight.

Preheat oven to 450. Grease another 9×13-inch baking pan. In a bowl combine the blueberries (don’t defrost if frozen), chopped nuts (these are optional), cinnamon, sugar, and cornstarch and then spread it over the bottom of the prepared pan. Gently place the pieces of bread that have been soaking on top of the berry mixture (it’s best if the wettest side is placed face up). Make sure that the pieces fit together so that there are no gaps, they should be snug, so cut to fit if necessary. Brush tops of the bread with melted butter. Bake uncovered for 20 to 25 minutes or until the top is golden and the berries are bubbling around the sides. Remove from the oven and let set for 5 minutes, sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve.

NOTE: I’ve made this dish using with raspberries, peaches, strawberries and a mixture of a few fruits.  Serves 6 to 8.

Modified from a Woman’s World article, date unknown.

A CLASSIC ZABAGLIONE OR SABAYONE (dairy)

A Zabaglione is the Italian version of the French Sabayon custard like dessert (or visa versa). It is typically served with sliced berries.

5 egg yolks

1/3 cup sugar

1/3 cup semi dry or sweet wine or orange liqueur

1 cup whipping cream (whipping cream), whipped until stiff

5 1/4 cups fresh berries (blackberries, blueberries, quartered strawberries, and/or raspberries)

Set up a double boiler or a medium-size stainless-steel bowl over a pot of simmering water.  With a hand held electric mixer or thin wire whip, beat the egg yolks and sugar together approximately 3 minutes or until pale yellow.  Slowly whisk in the wine and set the bowl over the barely simmering water (water should not touch bottom of bowl).

Continue to beat constantly, approximately 10 to 15 minutes, until the eggs triple in volume, thicken, and reach a temperature of 140, as registered on an instant thermometer. The eggs will first become frothy, and then as they cook, they will slightly stiffen but still hold the air. If you stop whipping or the water boils you might scramble the eggs. Be sure to move the beater or whip around the bowl so the eggs cook evenly. NOTE: If the eggs begin to curdle pull the insert away from the water for a few seconds to cool it (keep whisking constantly). Remove from heat and cool the mixture completely in the refrigerator. When the mixture is cool, gently fold in prepared whipped cream using a rubber spatula.

NOTE: Zabaglione can be made ahead and stored, covered, in the refrigerator for several days. Bring the sauce to room temperature before serving with your favorite berries.

In a serving dish (a large martini or wine glass makes a nice presentation), dollop some of the zabaglione. Add fresh berries. Finish by adding another good-side dollop of zabaglione and top with mint sprig and a few more berries. Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Modified from epicurious.com

WHOLE WHEAT BERRY BANANA BREAD

3 large over-ripe bananas
1/3 cup sour cream
1/2 cup sugar
2 cups whole wheat flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup blueberries, raspberries, blackberries or a mix

Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 9×5-inch loaf pan with non stick spray or oil. In a large bowl, mash the bananas and add the sour cream and sugar. Mix to combine. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, soda, and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the banana mixture, and stir just until combined.  Fold in the berries.

Spread the mixture evenly in the prepared pan and bake until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean, about 50-60 minutes. Allow to cool before cutting and serving. Serves 8 to 10

 

CORN CAKES WITH BLACKBERRY OR BLUEBERRY SYRUP

Syrup:

1 pint blackberries or blueberries

1 1/2 cups maple syrup

Corncakes:

1 cup flour

1 cup yellow cornmeal

1 tablespoon sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cups corn kernels, fresh or frozen or canned

1 1/2 cups milk

2 large eggs

Oil for oiling the griddle

1 cup berries for garnish

To make the blackberry syrup, combine the berries and syrup in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring often. Reduce the heat and simmer until the berries have broken down and combined with the syrup, about 5 minutes. Remove the syrup from the heat and keep it warm.

To make the pancakes, preheat the oven to 200. In a bowl whisk together the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, and salt. In a food processor or blender, combine 1 cup of the corn kernels and the milk and process until smooth. Add the eggs and process to combine. Pour the corn mixture into the flour mixture and stir just until smooth. Fold in the remaining corn.

Heat a griddle over high heat until the griddle is very hot and then lightly grease the griddle. Using a ladle use spoon about 1/4 cup batter onto the griddle for each pancake. Cook for about 2 minutes or until the top of the pancake is covered in bubbles. Flip the pancakes and cook for an additional 1 minute or 2. When cooked place the corn cakes on a cookie sheet and keep warm until the rest of the corn cakes are done. Serve hot with the berry sauce and extra berries. Serves 4 to 6

BLACKEBERRY CHICKEN

2 chicken breasts, boneless and skinless, cut in half

2 tablespoons butter or margarine

1/4 cup of chopped onions

3 tablespoons of raspberry jelly

1/2 to 1 cup fresh blackberries

3 tablespoons of apple cider or rice wine vinegar

1/4 cup whipping cream or non dairy substitute

In a skillet melt the butter or margarine and saute the chicken breasts on one side for about 5 minutes. Flip the chicken over and add the onion to the pan. Cook for about 5 minutes more. Remove the chicken from the pan and keep warm. Add the jelly, blackberries, and vinegar to the pan and cook, scraping the bottom to remove the pieces that are stuck to the bottom. Cook for about 1 to 2 minutes over a high heat to slightly reduce liquid. Reduce the heat, add the cream and whisk to combine. Place the chicken on a serving platter and pour the sauce over chicken and serve. Serves: 4.

BLACKBERRY LIMEADE

3 cups fresh blackberries

7 cups cold water

1 cup sugar

1 cup fresh lime juice

Ice,

In a blender, puree the blackberries with 1 cup of the water. Strain through a fine sieve. In a small saucepan, combine the sugar with 1 cup of the water and bring to a boil. Simmer until reduced to 1 cup, about 15 minutes; let cool. In a pitcher, combine the blackberry puree with the sugar syrup, lime juice and the remaining 5 cups of cold water and refrigerate until chilled. Serve in tall glasses over ice. Makes 2 quarts

Note: you can use raspberries or blueberries in place of the blackberries

Modified from a recipe by Martha McGinnis

1 GLASS BLACK AND BLUE SANGRIA

5 blackberries

5 blueberries

1 oz Creme de Cassis (black currants liqueur)

1 glass semi sweet red wine

Crushed ice

Put the ice, blackberries and blueberries into a glass. Add in the Creme de Cassis and red wine.  Mix to combine and serve. Makes 1 glass. This can be doubled or quadrupled.

DELIGHTFULLY STRAWBERRY BUTTER CREAM

You have to use cooked or frozen strawberries for this recipe

8 oz frozen strawberries, defrosted

1 cup butter, room temperature

1 1/2 cups Crisco (10 ounces)

2 pounds of powdered sugar

*Optional 1/2 to 1 teaspoon Strawberry extract for more intense flavor.

In the bowl of an electric mixer mix the butter and the Crisco together until it is totally combines. While the mixer is on low slowly add in the powdered sugar, strawberries, and the extract until everything is combined. Refrigerate for at least one hour before using. If the frosting is too liquidly add more powdered sugar. Too stiff add more strawberries. Makes 2 1/2 cups. .

WATERMELON AND STRAWBERRY LIMEADE

2 cups water

1 cup sugar

1 1/2 tablespoons lime zest

1 cup fresh squeezed lime juice

1 pint fresh strawberries, pureed

3 cups watermelon, puréed

1 to 2 liters cold club soda

ice

6 to 10 sliced strawberries for garnish

In a sauce pan combine the sugar, lime zest and water and bring it to a boil. Reduce heat and let simmer for 3 minutes. Strain the zest out and let cool for about 15 minutes. Pour the sugar water into a pitcher. Add the ice, lime juice, puréed strawberries, watermelon. Add the, club soda and mix to combine. Add the sliced strawberries and serve. Serves 8 to 12 depending on how much club soda you add.

Delicious St. Patty’s Day Recipes (All Irish All Day)

There is one time during the year, and one time only, where I suspend all my ethnic and regional food preferences and embrace all things Irish. I am, of course, referring to the one and only St. Patrick’s Day.

Celebrated annually on March 17 in honor ofIreland’s patron saint this holiday, brings out the Irish in everyone. St. Patrick was born between 370 and 390 C. E. whenRome ruled theBritish Isles. As a missionary he helped convert the Irish to Christianity using a shamrock to explain the Trinity. With immigration from Ireland to the United States one of the best ways to establish a new life Irish nationals have been celebrating St. Patrick’s Day  in the United States back as far as 1737 when Boston held its first St. Patrick’s Day parade.

How all this history translated into the green beer and rivers dyed green and crazy parades we celebrate with today is not for me to speculate on. Suffice it to say, the Irish have their own wonderful food traditions for the day and it behooves all of us to become “just a little Irish” and join the celebration with wonderful food, a few Irish ditties and perhaps a pints or three of ale.

CLASSSIC IRISH SODA BREAD

4 cups flour

4 teaspoons baking powder

1 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon caraway Seeds

1 1/2 cups raisins

2   eggs beaten

1 cup butter or margarine, melted

1 cup milk

Preheat oven to 350. Lightly grease a loaf pan. Place raisins and caraway seeds in a large bowl. Sift together flour, baking soda, sugar and salt. Pour sifted mixture over raisins. Add butter, eggs and milk to the bowl; mix well. Mold dough into a loaf shape on a floured board. Place dough in greased pan and bake for one hour, or until bread tests done.

RAISIN IRISH SODA BREAD

This version tastes even better the second day and is great for breakfast.

4 1/4 cups flour (up to 4 — 1/2 cups)

4 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1   teaspoon salt

3   tablespoons sugar

1   tablespoon caraway seeds

1 cup raisins

2 cups buttermilk

butter

sugar

Preheat the oven to 350.  Grease a 9-inch black cast-iron skillet or cake pan and dust with flour. In a large bowl, mix 4 cups of the flour with the baking powder, baking soda, salt, sugar, and caraway seeds. Add the raisins, mixing them in with your fingers to make sure they are separated. Add the buttermilk to the bowl and mix with a fork until the mixture forms a dough. Sprinkle about 1/4 cup more of the flour on a board or counter. Turn out the dough and knead for about 5 minutes, working in the flour from the board and forming the dough into a smooth round loaf about 8 inches in diameter.  (If the humidity is high and the dough is very sticky, you may need to add another 1/4 cup of flour to the board.)  Press the dough evenly into the prepared skillet or pan and cut a cross 1/2 inch deep across the top. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until the loaf sounds hollow when rapped on the bottom.  Remove the loaf to a wire rack and rub the top with butter. Sprinkle with sugar. Let the bread cool completely before slicing. Makes one large loaf.

IRISH COFFEE

4 cups strong fresh coffee

1/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup Irish whiskey

1 cup   whipping cream

2 tablespoon sugar

2 tablespoons Irish whiskey

Place 4 cups of strong fresh coffee in a saucepan with 1/4 cup of sugar, or to taste. Add 1/2 cup Irish whiskey and heat thoroughly but do not boil. (Scotch, Bourbon or other whiskeys could be used.)  Meanwhile whip 1 cup whipping cream until light. Beat in the 2 tablespoons of sugar and Irish whiskey. Pour coffee into mugs or goblets and pipe or spoon flavored cream on top. Serves 4 to 6 depending on the size of the mugs.

CLASSIC CORNED BEEF AND CABBAGE

3 pounds corned beef brisket with spice packet

10 small red potatoes

5 carrots, peeled and julienned

1 large head cabbage, cut into small wedges

Place corned beef in large pot or Dutch oven and cover with water. Add the spice packet that came with the corned beef. Cover pot and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Simmer approximately 50 minutes per pound or until tender.

Add whole potatoes and carrots, and cook until the vegetables are almost tender. Approx 35 to 45 minutes. Add cabbage and cook for 15 more minutes. Remove meat and let rest 15 minutes. Place vegetables in a bowl and cover. Add as much broth (cooking liquid reserved in the Dutch oven or large pot) as you want. Slice meat across the grain. Serves 5 to 6

DIJON CORNED BEEF AND CABBAGE

2   cups water

1/4 cup honey

2 tablespoonsDijonmustard, divided

1 medium cabbage head, cut into 8 wedges

3 tablespoons butter or margarine, softened

1 1/2 teaspoons fresh dill chopped OR 1/2 teaspoon dried dill weed

2 1/2 pounds corned beef brisket

Preheat oven to 350. Place the brisket and water in Dutch oven, cover tightly and cook 1 hour (It is very important to simmer the meat slowly because boiling will cause meat to become tough.) Turn brisket over and continue cooking, covered, 1 1/2 to 2 hours more,   or until meat is tender.  Remove brisket from cooking liquid and place,   flat-side up, on rack in broiler pan so surface of meat is 3 to 4 inches from heat. Combine honey with 1 tablespoon mustard; brush half of mixture over top of brisket and broil 3 minutes.  Brush with remaining mixture and continue broiling 2 minutes, or until brisket is glazed.  Meanwhile, steam cabbage 15 to 20 minutes, or until tender.  Combine remaining

mustard with butter and dill; spread over hot cabbage wedges.  Carve

brisket diagonally across the grain into thin slices and serve with

cabbage.

JAMES BEARD’S IRISH STEW

Proper Irish stew is made with lamb, however, beef may be substituted if you must. Plan ahead to make the lamb stock a day in advance. I have used beef and beef broth and it comes out quite nicely.

3 to 3-1/2 pounds lamb shoulder

1 pound neck of lamb

2 quarts water

1 medium onion stuck with 2 cloves

1 large bay leaf

2 large garlic cloves

1 Tablespoon salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1/2 teaspoon thyme

Parsley sprig

3 thinly sliced medium onions

3 leeks split in half and cut in small dice

Additional bay leaf

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

4 medium potatoes, finely diced

2 Tablespoons finely chopped parsley

Preparation:

Have the butcher bone the lamb shoulder and give you the bones.

Put the bones and neck in a deep saucepan with 2 quarts water. Bring to a boil and boil 5 to 6 minutes, skimming off the scum from the surface. Add the onion stuck with cloves, and the bay leaf, garlic, salt, pepper, thyme, and parsley. Bring to a boil again, reduce the heat to simmer, and simmer 2 to 2-1/2 hours to a strong broth. Strain, and put in the refrigerator overnight. Next day, skim off the fat.

Remove all fat from the lamb shoulder and cut the meat into pieces 1 inch wide and 2 inches long. Put the meat in a heavy pan with the sliced onions, leeks, additional bay leaf and thyme, nutmeg, and enough lamb broth to come 1 inch above the meat. Bring to a boil, skim off the scum, reduce the heat, and simmer, covered, 1 hour, then test the meat for tenderness. If it still seems a bit tough, give it another 15 minutes, then add the diced potatoes. Cook 30 minutes, until the stew is slightly thickened by the potatoes, then taste for seasoning. You will probably find it needs salt — 1 to 2 teaspoons should be sufficient — a few grinds of pepper, and a touch of nutmeg. Let this cook a little to blend with the stew, then add the chopped parsley and cook just 1 minute more. Serves 6 to 8

From James Beard’s American Cookery by James Beard (Galahad Books)

IRISH WHISKEY CAKE

2 cups golden raisins

3 tablespoons grated lemon zest

1/4 cup whiskey

3/4 cup butter, softened

1 cup light brown sugar

3 egg yolks

3 egg whites

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1 teaspoon baking powder

2 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar

1 lemon, juiced

Place the raisins, lemon rind, and whiskey in a small bowl and let them soak overnight. Line bottom of an eight-inch square cake pan with parchment paper that is buttered and dusted with flour. Preheat the oven to 350. Sift the flour, salt, cloves and baking powder into a bowl and set aside. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the egg yolks and beat well. Quickly beat in the flour mixture. Stir in the soaked raisins. In a separate clean bowl, whip the egg whites until stiff and fold them into the mixture. Pour this into your prepared pan and bake for 45 to 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool the cake thoroughly on a wire rack. To make the glaze: Mix the lemon juice with the sifted powdered sugar and just enough whiskey and warm water so that you can drizzle icing over the cake.

Serves 8 to 10.

Beer Recipes Just in Time for St. Patrick’s Day /some kosher recipes

Despite what some party hardy leprechauns may think, on St. Patrick’s Day, all beers are not created equal and not all dishes made with beer are really a good idea. It takes research, taste tasting (lots and lots and lots of taste tasting) and really good recipes to assimilate beer into your menu and make the dish better than the sum of its parts. With a little help from yours truly, I aim to make this the best culinary St. Patrick’s Day ever (if you were expecting corn beef recipes, sorry).

If you are already a “let’s try anything as an ingredient kind of cook”, then you already know that beer can be used in just about every method of cooking know to man. You can use it when baking, braising, in batters for frying, sauces, marinating, poaching and even glazing. However, knowledge about what beer is and what its complex mix of flavors can do to other ingredients is what’s key to making a so so recipe really terrific.

Beers fall into three different categories: lagers, ales (the difference between them is the type of yeast used in fermentation) and specialty beers. The four main ingredients for most beers are water, malted barley (or wheat), hops and yeast. Ales are usually higher in alcohol content and have a more complex flavor. Lagers are usually lighter in color and can be somewhat drier than ale. In specialty beers, just about everything but the kitchen sink goes. I’ve seen brewer’s use, chocolate (pretty good), pumpkin (really yucky), fruit juices (the jury is still out), candy, and just about anything else you can think of. The specialty beers I drink on a dare, I don’t cook with them.

Beer can be used in marinades to tenderize meat as well as with sweeter vegetables like onions, carrots and corn. It gives them an earthier flavor but you may need to add just a touch of sugar or honey to the vegetable dish to counteract the bitter component of the beer. The yeast in beers is also terrific when used as a leavening agent in baking or in batters.

So what type of beer works best (for cooking, and not just drinking)? I suggest you start with pale ale, for my money it’s the most adaptable for most of the following recipes.

 

Happy St. Patrick’s Day

NOTE: For those of you who don’t imbibe alcohol you can utilize the non alcohol types of beers and get pretty much the same results

 

BEER MARINADE

This marinade is great for grilling chicken, beef and seafood.

 

1/3 cup olive oil

2 tablespoons minced garlic

1 cup onion, chopped

1 red pepper, diced fine

1 bunch parsley, chopped

1/4 cup soy sauce

3 tablespoons Worcestershire or soy sauce

2 tablespoons honey

8 ounces beer

2 tablespoons black pepper

Juice of 6 limes

 

Place all the ingredients in a blender or food processor.   Process until smooth. Makes a generous 2 cups of marinade

 

BEER AND CHEESE SOUP (not kosher)

12 ounces beer (a lighter beer works best)
8 slices bacon or or turkey bacon (about 1/2 pound)
1/2 cup diced onion
1/2 cup finely chopped carrot
1/2 cup minced celery
1/4 cup minced red pepper
1 10-1/2 ounce can condensed chicken or vegetable broth
1/4 cup flour
1 cup half and half
3 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 tablespoon sugar
salt and pepper to taste

Open beer and let stand while dicing vegetables. Sauté bacon until crisp. Drain and crumble. In large soup kettle, sauté vegetables in two tablespoons of bacon grease until soft. Add chicken broth. Fill chicken can with beer and add to mixture. Bring to a boil, and then reduce heat to low.
Pour remaining beer into a small mixing bowl and whisk in flour. Gradually add to broth, stirring constantly, till thick. Add half and half, bacon and cheese. Heat until cheese melts. Stir in sugar. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serves 6 to 8.

 

Submitted and modified by Carrie Sneiger Lake Forest IL

ALE APPLE FRITTERS

 

12 ounces amber ale
1 1/2 cups flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons melted butter
2 1/2 cups oil
8 large apples, peeled, cored and cut into 1/3-inch thick rings (Granny Smith are best) soaked in ice water till ready to use, then pat dry.
sugar and cinnamon mixture for dusting

 

In a large bowl, whisk together ale, flour, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon and melted butter. Set the mixture aside. Pour oil to deep Dutch oven cast-iron frying pan. Heat the oil to about 350 -360. Dip the dried apple rings into the batter and coat them evenly. Fry the apple rings in small batches. Turn once to cook evenly. Skim the extra pieces out of the oil and add more oil as needed. Be sure to keep the oil hot. Let the cooked apple fritters drain on paper towel for a few minutes then sprinkle them with the cinnamon sugar mixture and serve. Serves 8.

 

Modified from cookingwithbeer.com

 

RIBS IN BEER

 

6 to 8 boneless ribs, cut away excess fat

salt and pepper

2 onions, chopped

2/3 cup hickory brown sugar barbeque sauce

1/2 cup ketchup

1 tablespoon mustard

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1/2 cup beer

 

Salt and pepper both sides of the ribs. Spread the chopped onions over bottom of a roasting pan or crock pot. Put the meat on top of the onions. In a bowl combine the beer, ketchup, mustard, pepper flakes, brown sugar and barbeque sauce and mix to combine. Pour the mixture over the meat, cover and cook in the oven for 350 for 4 to 5 hours or in the crock pot on high for 4 to 5 hours or low for 8 to 10 hours. To serve place the meat on a serving platter and cover. Let liquid sit for a few minutes, skim off the fat and then pour the gravy over the top. The gravy will be kind of thin so you can thicken it with a little cornstarch and cold water mixed together added to the gravy and heated for 2 minutes. Serves 4.

 

BEER AND LIME CHICKEN

 

2 whole chickens (about 4lbs total)

1 tablespoon salt, or to taste

1 tablespoon black pepper, or to taste

1 1/2 to 2 limes, halved

1 can beer

Paprika to taste

1-1/3 cups water

1 lb baby carrots

 

Preheat the oven to 350. Season the chicken inside and out with salt and pepper. Squeeze the juice from the limes over the whole chicken, and then place the squeezed halves into the cavity of the chickens. Pour 1/2 of the beer into the chicken and the place the chicken on a roasting rack in a roasting pan. Pour the remaining beer over the top of the chicken and then pour the water into the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle the top of the chicken lightly with paprika and a little more salt and pepper. Cover the chicken with aluminum foil and roast for 1 hour. Remove the foil, add the carrots to the bottom of the pan, baste with the juice in the bottom of the pan, and sprinkle a little paprika on the carrots and cook an additional 30 minutes, basting occasionally. To Serve, remove the chickens from the oven, let set for 3 minutes and then cut them into quarters. Place the carrots on a serving platter, place the chicken quarters on top and serve with the sauce on the side. Serves 8.

QUICK SELF RISING BEER BREAD

I’ve had this recipe forever and my kids love it

 

3 cups self-rising flour

1/4 cup sugar

1 cup grated cheddar or pepper jack cheese

6 to 8  green onions, chopped

12 ounces beer

 

Preheat oven to 350 and REALLY grease the bottom and all the sides of a loaf pan. Set it aside In a large mixing bowl, sift the flour and sugar together. Add the cheese and chopped green onions. Mix to combine. Add the beer and mix until the ingredients are combined but be careful to not over mix. Spoon the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Bake for 50 minutes to a 1 hour, or until the loaf is golden brown and sounds hollow sound when thumped. Cool on a rack and then serve. This can be made up to a month in advance and frozen. Makes 1 loaf

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