Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Bobbio’s Stuffed Jalapenos (and more)

Bobbio’s Stuffed Jalapenos (and more)
From: VunderBob

1 lb. bulk sausage
1 lb. fresh jalapeno peppers (about a dozen if thumb sized)
1 block cream cheese (or Neufchatel)
1 package shredded parmesan cheese
Powdered garlic to taste

Cook the sausage, chop it up fine, and drain. Add the cream and parmesan cheese, retaining a tablespoon or two of the parmesan.

Cut the ends off the jalapenos, split them lengthwise, and remove the seeds and membrane. Add about a teaspoon of the sausage mixture to the peppers, and mold to fit the cavity. Sprinkle garlic and the retained parmesan cheese over the tops, and bake at 425F for 20-25 minutes until the filling is browned a bit and the peppers are soft. Nom nom nom.

VWife uses the same stuffing on French bread, and I’ve tried talking her into using it to stuff mushrooms (I personally hate mushrooms). If you like spice, try hot sausage instead.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Weight Watcher's Cards, ca. 1974 (no recipes, link)

Weight Watcher's Cards, ca. 1974

Shared by: Lissla Lissar

Consensus is that one is guaranteed to lose weight. Possibly from excessive laughter.

Allegedly Perfect Scrambled Egg Breakfast (Link)

Allegedly Perfect Scrambled Egg Breakfast (link, with video)
Shared by: gardentraveler
From: Lifehacker (who knew they had recipes?)

I linked to this and it caused rigs to make scrambled eggs. Interesting technique. I especially like not having to beat the eggs ahead of time (fewer dishes to wash!)

Yummy with toast made with Italian bread.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

GT Bakes Italian Bread

I blame taxi.

For some reason, her question sent me on a hunt for a good Italian bread recipe. Found this Peter Reinhart recipe on smittenkitchen. Also found some additional bread-baking advice in general and for this recipe. The recipe is from The Bread Baker's Apprentice, by the way, which is supposed to be a wonderful book. Another link about bread baking: Better Bread with Less Kneading.

Also went back to take a look at the place where I got my first bread advice, sometime before I knew about the internet (early '80s, I think), The Enchanted Broccoli Forest.

Other info I discovered; best find: Food Blog Search, which you can add to Firefox search, by the way...

Anyway, here's a brief account of my bread-baking adventures:

As I mentioned in the MMP, I only made one loaf. (The linked recipe makes 2.) To do this, I made the full recipe for the biga (pronounced BEEG-ah, I think, Italian-speakers feel free to correct me), and then only used 1/2 for the bread.

What I did differently with the biga: Instead of letting it ferment for a few hours at room temperature, I left it in the fridge all day (nearly 12 hours), then let it sit for an hour or so to come back to room temperature before degasing and placing in the fridge overnight. I used one of my large kitchen knives to cut it into 16 pieces. I placed my small silicon mat on a small baking tray, place 8 of the biga pieces (isn't that fun to pronounce?) on the mat and covered them with the mat. Placed the tray in the freezer for about an hour, then put the frozen pieces in a freezer bag so that I can use them later either for 1) another loaf of bread, 2) a couple of smaller loaves, or 3) pizza dough. By the way, I used all-purpose flour because it's what I had and the recipe said I could.

Mixing the dough: Mixing old dough into a new batch of dough, was an odd though to me, but it's not much different from using the sponge method that I learned from Mollie Katzen. It mixed much more easily than I'd anticipated. I used one of my large silicon spatulas to do the initial mixing and it formed a uniform-looking dough very quickly.

Kneading the dough: I don't have a standing mixer or bread machine because I don't bake bread all that often and because really like kneading dough. Because you're incorporating the biga into the dough, you'll feel sticky spots as you're kneading. The recipe said to knead until the dough was tacky, but not sticky. I spent all ten minutes kneading, wondering what that point would be. What I decided was: the dough should hold together, and want to stick to the counter and to your hands, but still come off without leaving globs of dough on either surface. I kneaded for just over 10 minutes, adding little bits of flour as I went, until the dough was uniformly mixed, tacky and still slightly glossy.

It's on it's next rise right now... More detail as I finish.

Shaping the bread: Followed instructions, but didn't really seal. Just placed the bread seam side down on the parchment paper. Also didn't dust with cornmeal.

Baking: Put my cast iron pan on the top shelf of the oven and placed a square baking pan on the oven floor. Turned the heat down to the lower recommended temperature. Wound up baking for about 50 minutes, I think.

Bread turned out excellent. The texture was denser than I was expecting (maybe because the dough never got up to the temperatures mentioned in the recipe? also, my ingredients weren't super-fresh). The flavor was really nice, too. A bit tangier than most white bread, but not as tangy as sourdough.

I'll definitely make again and make a version with part whole-wheat flour.

So far, I've made: 1) plain bread with butter, 2) toast with scrambled eggs, 3) Mexican sandwich with refried beans, ham, salsa and cheese, and 4) grilled ham and cheese and am very pleased with all of the results.

Hazelnut Oatmeal Pancakes

Hazelnut Oatmeal Pancakes
From: gardentraveler

Based on a recipe published in Bon Appetit. The pancakes take longer to cook than any pancakes I've ever made, but they're totally worth it. You can freeze them and reheat in the microwave on defrost.

Makes 12-18 pancakes.

2 c. buttermilk
1 1/2 c old-fashioned oats
2 eggs
1/2 c. flour
1 T. sugar
1 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
1/2 c. chopped toasted hazelnuts

Mix buttermilk and oatmeal and let stand for at least a few minutes. You can do this step the night before.

Whisk in eggs. Mix in remaining dry ingredients. Stir in nuts. (As with most pancakes, you should mix as little as possible.)

Wipe skillet with oiled paper towel or cloth. Heat skillet over medium-high heat. Drop batter by 1/3 cupfuls. Cook until pancakes puff out and bubbles form on top, about 2 minutes.

Turn and cook until bottoms are browned (about 2 minutes more).

I made 3 at a time in a 10" skillet and made 18.

(This is a recipe that Bon Appetit requested from the House in the Woods bed and breakfast in Eugene, OR.)

Buttermilk Oatmeal Pancakes (Link)

Buttermilk Oatmeal Pancakes
Shared by: Dottygumdrop
From: Recipezaar

Dotty shared these and reported that HRH loves them too.

They're very similar to one of gardentraveler's favorite pancake recipes: Hazelnut Oatmeal Pancakes. Very yummy.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Hello Dolly Bars/Magic Cookie Bars (Links)

rigs announced that she was going to make Hello Dolly Bars. Which led GT to Google a recipe (from Southern Food on

Later, taxi linked to the recipe she uses (from the nice people at Eagle Brand).

These are also known as "Magic Cookie Bars" or "7-layer-bars".

Irish Cream Brownies

Irish Cream Brownies
From: taxi78cab

Brownie Base:
1 box fudge brownie mix
½ C veggie oil
¼ C Irish cream
2 eggs

½ C butter, softened
1-2 C powdered sugar (Original recipe said 2, but I made them with 1 and they were plenty sweet.)
2 Tbsp Irish cream
½ tsp vanilla
2-3 tsp milk

Combine all brownie ingredients. Spread in 13x9 pan. Bake at 350 for 28-30 min. Cool completely.

Beat butter until light and fluffy. Add all remaining frosting ingredients, adding enough milk for the desired consistency. Spread over cooled brownies.
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Crab Quiche (Link)

Crab Quiche (Link)

Shared by: FairyChatMom

FCM reports that it turns out perfect every time. She's made variations on it as well, for example: with Swiss Cheese and peas.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Cajun Chicken Sandwiches (Link)

Cajun Chicken Sandwiches
Shared by: Dottygumdrop
From: Life's Ambrosia (blog)

Spinach-Sausage Pasta

Spinach-Sausage Pasta
From: Taters

She says: "It doesn't sound like much, but it was actually very, very good."


Cook one package of small shell pasta, according to directions.

Brown up one pound of italian sausage. The recipes said to use they type with casings removed and then break it up on your own, but I bought some pre-ground italian sausage.

After the sausage is cooked, remove to a paper towel line plate or bowl.

In the pan, on medium heat, add two cloves of minced garlic and two teaspoons of sage. Cook about 30 seconds, or, until aromatic.

Add one 19 ounce can of drained and rinsed white or cannelini beans, three cups of fresh spinach and two cups of low sodium, low fat chicken broth. Bring to a boil and then simmer long enough to let the spinach wilt a little.

Finally, add the drained, cooked pasta, and the cooked ground sausage to the pan. Stir and cook until warmed through again. Add a little kosher or sea salt and some fresh, cracked pepper.

Serve up.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Yummy Salmon Casserole

Yummy Salmon Casserole
From: Silver Tyger Girl

1 bag pasta (shells, elbows, or whatever your preference is)
Leftover salmon (about two cups shredded) or two small cans salmon (drained)
1 can cream of mushroom soup
Green peas to taste (I do about two cups)
Rosemary to taste

Cook the pasta and drain.
Mix everything else. Microwave until warm.
Delicious with fritos and gives a single person enough food for about a week.

Greek Zucchini Fritters (Link)

Greek Zucchini Fritters
Shared by HazelNutCoffee

From: The New York Times