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Saturday, December 1, 2007

Asian Marinated Flank Steak - Slow Cooker

  • 1 ½ - 2 lbs of flank steak, scored and seasoned
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 2 T sesame oil
  • T mirin
  • ½ t chili oil
  • juice of ½ lime, about 1 ½ T
  • 1 T hoisin sauce
  • 1 T tamari (or soy sauce)
  • 1 T honey
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1 T ginger, minced
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 3 T chopped cilantro
  • 1 head of baby bok choy, sliced in half lengthwise (or other leafy green, such as fresh spinach)
  • 2 T diced red pepper

In a bowl, combine sesame oil, mirin, chili oil, lime juice, hoisin sauce, tamari, honey scallions, shallot, ginger, garlic and 2 T chopped cilantro and whisk to blend. Pour over steak and allow to marinade for 2 hours (or more). Heat olive oil in a sauté pan over medium heat. Remove steak from marinade (reserving marinade), pat dry and sear until just brown, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer to slow cooker and pour reserved liquid over. Cook on high for 3 hours, turning once or twice. Place bok choy on top of steak and cook for 10 more minutes, until bok choy begins to wilt. Remove bok choy from slow cooker and place on platter. Thinly slice (1/8”) steak and place on platter, pouring reserved liquid over steak. Garnish with diced red pepper and remaining 1 T of chopped cilantro.

Asian Marinated Flak Steak - Slow Cooker

  • 1 ½ - 2 lbs of flank steak, scored and seasoned

  • 1 T olive

  • 2 T sesame oil

  • 3 T mirin

  • ½ t chili oil

  • juice of ½ lime, about 1 ½ T

  • 1 T hoisin sauce

  • 1 T tamari (or soy sauce)

  • 1 T honey

  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced 1 shallot, minced

  • 1 T ginger, minced

  • 1 clove of garlic, minced

  • 3 T chopped cilantro

  • 1 head of baby bok choy, sliced in half lengthwise (or other leafy green, such as fresh spinach)

  • 2 T diced red pepper

In a bowl, combine sesame oil, mirin, chili oil, lime juice, hoisin sauce, tamari, honey scallions, shallot, ginger, garlic and 2 T chopped cilantro and whisk to blend. Pour over steak and allow to marinade for 2 hours (or more). Heat olive oil in a sauté pan over medium heat. Remove steak from marinade (reserving marinade), pat dry and sear until just brown, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer to Crock-Pot® slow cooker and pour reserved liquid over. Cook on high for 3 hours, turning once or twice. Place bok choy on top of steak and cook for 10 more minutes, until bok choy begins to wilt. Remove bok choy from Crock-Pot® slow cooker and place on platter. Thinly slice (1/8”) steak and place on platter, pouring reserved liquid over steak. Garnish with diced red pepper and remaining 1 T of chopped cilantro.

Lamb Korma

  • 2 large onions, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons ginger, finely grated
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 large dried chile peppers, seeded and stemmed, finely minced
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • ¾ teaspoon ground tumeric
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 1 ½ pounds boneless lamb, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 2/3 cup chopped tomato
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ cup water
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • Cucumber Raita
  • Cooked basmati rice

In a medium skillet, sauté the onion, ginger, garlic, and chilies in the vegetable oil. Add the turmeric, cumin, and coriander to further flavor the vegetable oil. Add the lamb to brown. Add browned lamb to Crock-Pot® slow cooker. Add the tomatoes, cloves, cinnamon, cardamom, pepper, and water and mix thoroughly. Cover Crock-Pot® slow cooker; cook on Low 6-8 hour or High for 4-5 hours. About 30 minutes before serving, stir in heavy cream. Serve with Raita and basmati rice. Serves 6.

Raita: In a small bowl, sprinkle cucumber with salt and let stand for 5 minutes. Drain off the cucumber liquid. Stir in yogurt and mint.

Lamb Biriyani II

  • 2 ¼ lbs. lamb
  • 2 ¼ lbs. rice (soak in water for 1 hour before you start cooking.)
  • 2 medium onions
  • 1 garlic
  • 2 inches of ginger
  • 12 oz. yoghurt
  • 3 tomatoes, chopped
  • Ground spices: salt, red pepper, ground coriander seeds, garam masala
  • Whole spices: peppercorns, cloves, cinnamon sticks, black/brown cardamoms, cumin seeds, bay leaves, green cardamoms
  • Dried plums
  • Rose water
  • Fresh mint (chopped)
  • Fresh coriander (chopped)
  • A few threads of Saffron
  • 2 Tbsp. milk

Heat 6 tablespoons of oil in the pressure cooker. Chop the onions and add to the oil. Soften the onions
While the onions are softening, peel the garlic and ginger and crush using a pestle and mortar. Add the crushed ginger and garlic to the onions and combine, cook with the onions for several minutes.

The lamb should be cut in small cubes. Add to the onions and cook over medium heat. Stir the ingredients until the meat is well incorporated. Stir occasionally until the meat browns. Add the yoghurt and mix well. Add the tomatoes.. Add the ground spices (2 tsp salt, 1 tsp red pepper, 2 tsp ground coriander seeds.) Add 2 cups of water to the mixture. Place the lid on the pressure cooker and turn up to a full heat. When it starts whistling, reduce to medium heat for another 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, turn off the heat and move the pressure cooker off the stove (do not remove the lid).

Boil water in a pan for the rice. Add 2 teaspoons of salt and the following whole spices: 10 peppercorns, 8 cloves, 2 cinnamon sticks, 3 black cardamom, 6 green cardamom, 1 tsp cumin seeds, 3 bay leaves, 5 dried plums. Boil for another 5 minutes. Drain the soaked rice and add to the boiling water. Let the rice come to the boil and keep boiling until they are cooked 3/4 of the way through. Drain the rice and return half of it to the pan.

Open the pressure cooker (make sure all the steam has escaped). Using a slotted spoon, add all the drained meat on top of the rice. Keep the sauce you have drained off. Add the remaining half of the rice on top of the layer of meat.
Soak saffron in the milk.. Using a teaspoon, add the milk to the rice.

Gently pour the sauce from the meat you kept from earlier over the rice. Sprinkle the fresh chopped mint and coriander over the rice. Add 2 teaspoons of rose water, spreading over the rice. Top with garam masala to taste.
Return the pan to a medium heat and cover loosely After 3-4 minutes, or when some steam has built up within the pan, lower the heat and leave for another 20 minutes. The rice will then be ready to serve.

Lamb Biriyani

  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1 pound boneless lamb, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 onion, cut into thin slices
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom or ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
  • 5 cloves
  • 1 cinnamon stick, broken in half
  • 1 1/2 cups basmati rice
  • 2 3/4 cups water
  • 1/3 cup raisins
  • 1/3 cup chopped cashews

In a medium bowl, combine the yogurt with the garlic, cayenne, cumin, black pepper, and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt. Stir in the lamb.
In a large saucepan, melt the butter over moderate heat. Add the onion and cook until starting to soften, about 3 minutes. Stir in the cardamom, turmeric, cloves, cinnamon, rice, and the remaining 1 1/4 teaspoons salt. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute.
Add the lamb mixture to the pan. Stir in the water and raisins. Bring to a simmer. Cover and simmer until the rice and lamb are almost done, about 20 minutes. Remove from the heat. Let stand, covered, until the rice and lamb are
just done, about 5 minutes. Stir in the cashews.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Pumpkin Pie -a lighter version

  • 4 ounces PHILADELPHIA Neufchatel Cheese, 1/3 Less Fat than Cream Cheese

  • 1 tablespoon cold fat free milk

  • 1 tablespoon sugar

  • 1 1/2 cups COOL WHIP LITE Whipped Topping

  • (6 ounce) ready-to-use reduced fat graham cracker crumb crust

  • 1 cup cold fat free milk

  • 1 (16 ounce) can pumpkin

  • 2 pkg. (4 serving size) JELL-O Vanilla Flavor Fat Free Sugar Free Instant Reduced Calorie Pudding & Pie Filling

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger

Beat Neufchatel cheese, 1 Tbsp. milk and sugar in large bowl with wire whisk until well blended. Stir in whipped topping. Spread onto bottom of crust.
Pour 1 cup milk into medium bowl. Add pumpkin, pudding mix and spices. Beat with wire whisk 2 minutes or until well blended. (Mixture will be thick.) Spread over Neufchatel cheese layer.
Refrigerate 4 hours or until set. Garnish with additional whipped topping, if desired.

Yield: 10 servings

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Creamy Banana Pudding

  • 1 (14-ounce) can EAGLE BRAND® Sweetened Condensed Milk (NOT evaporated milk
  • 1 1/2 cups cold water
  • 1 (4-serving) package instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 2 cups (1 pint) whipping cream, whipped
  • 36 vanilla wafers
  • 3 medium bananas, sliced and dipped in lemon juice

In large bowl, combine EAGLE BRAND® and water. Add pudding mix; beat until well blended. Chill 5 minutes.
Fold in whipped cream. Spoon 1 cup pudding mixture into 2 1/2-quart glass serving bowl.
Top with one-third each of the vanilla wafers, bananas and remaining pudding. Repeat layering twice, ending with pudding mixture. Chill thoroughly. Garnish as desired. Store leftovers covered in refrigerator.

Servings: Makes 8 to 10 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes

PHILADELPHIA® 3-STEP® Double Layer Pumpkin Cheesecake

  • 2 pkg. (8 oz. each) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • Dash of ground cloves
  • Dash of ground nutmeg
  • 1 HONEY MAID Graham Pie Crust (6 oz.)

Preheat oven to 325°F. Beat cream cheese, sugar and vanilla with electric mixer on medium speed until well blended. Add eggs, 1 at a time, mixing on low speed after each addition just until blended. Remove 1 cup of the batter; stir in pumpkin and spices.
Pour remaining plain batter into crust. Top with pumpkin batter.
Bake 40 minutes or until center is almost set. Cool. Refrigerate 3 hours or overnight.

Prep Time: 10 min
Total Time: 3 hr 50 min
Makes: 8 servings

Sunday, October 28, 2007


Serves: 10-12
Preparation time: 15 to 30 minutes
New Zealand's national dessert - after the Barbeque


  • 4 egg whites
  • 1 cup caster sugar
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice or vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons cornflour

    In small electric mixer bowl, beat egg whites until soft peaks form.
    Add sugar, lemon juice and sifted cornflour and beat until stiff and glossy (at least 10 minutes).
    Cover a baking tray with baking paper.
    Pile meringue onto paper and shape into a large circle, leaving the centre slightly hollowed.
    Bake in a very slow oven for 1½ hours or until crisp on the outside.
    Turn oven off and leave pavlova to cool in oven with door ajar.
    Decorate with whipped cream and fruit in season. Serve with Hokey Pokey ice cream

Thursday, September 6, 2007


3 ripe Avocados
1 vine ripe tomato, diced
1/2 small onion, minced
1 T. fresh cilantro, chopped
1 1/2 tbs. fresh lemon or lime juice
1 clove garlic, minced and mashed.
1 T. sour cream
1 tsp. tabasco sauce
Salt to taste

Cut avocados in halve and scoop out flesh into a bowl. Add remaining ingredients and stir till well combined.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Brussels Sprouts with Sweet Potatoes and Maple Syrup

4 strips bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 onion, finely chopped
2 lbs brussels sprouts, sliced
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 cup coarsely chopped toasted pecans
2 lbs. sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced into thin rounds
1/3 cup maple syrup
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Preheat oven to 400° and lightly butter a 2-quart soufflé dish.
Cook bacon over medium heat until crisp. Remove and drain on paper towels. Reduce heat to low; add onion and cook about 5 minutes, until translucent. Add brussels sprouts and cook, stirring frequently until slightly soft, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and add reserved bacon, salt, pepper and pecans. Add potato slices to pan and cook until light brown, about 3 minutes per side.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together maple syrup and butter.

Toss all ingredients together in soufflé dish and bake 20 minutes.
Serves 8

Sunday, April 15, 2007


  • 2 sticks (16 tablespoons) butter, more for pan and parchment paper
  • 8 ounces bittersweet chocolate
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar, such as muscovado
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts or 3/4 cup whole walnuts
1. Butter a 13-by-9-inch baking pan and line with buttered parchment paper. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In top of a double boiler set over barely simmering water, or on low power in a microwave, melt butter and chocolate together. Cool slightly. In a large bowl or mixer, whisk eggs. Whisk in salt, sugars and vanilla.
2. Whisk in chocolate mixture. Fold in flour just until combined. If using chopped walnuts, stir them in. Pour batter into prepared pan. If using whole walnuts, arrange on top of batter. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until shiny and beginning to crack on top. Cool in pan on rack.
Yield: 15 large or 24 small brownies.
Note: For best flavor, bake 1 day before serving, let cool and store, tightly wrapped

Saturday, April 14, 2007


  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 Tabelspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh lemon juice
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 1/2 cups chilled Prosecco, Champagne, or other sparkling wine
  • 1/4 cup vodka

In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, bring water and sugar just to a boil, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Remove pan from heat, add zest, cover, and let stand for 10 minutes.
Pour syrup through a fine strainer set over a medium glass measure or bowl. Stir in lemon juice and salt. Let cool to room termperature. Chill mixture, covered, for about 3 hours, or until thoroughly chilled.
Transfer mixture to an ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturer's instructions. After churning, sorbet will be soft but ready to eat. For a firmer texture, transfer to a freezer container and freeze for at least 2 hours before serving. Pour Prosecco into a blender, add 2 cups of the sorbet and the vodka, if using, and blend just until smooth and still thick. Pour into chilled stemmed glasses and serve immediately with spoons.

Melon Cucumber Smash

  • 2 sprigs fresh mint
  • 4 slices cucumber
  • 3/4 ounce simple syrup (equal parts sugar and water, boiled for 2 minutes)
  • 3/4 ounce fresh lime juice
  • 2 ounces Bacardi Grand Melon rum
  • Splash chilled soda water
  • Garnish: fresh cucumber slice

Tear mint springs and drop into a cocktail shaker; add cucumber slices. Press with a muddler to bruise the mint and cucumber well. Add simple syrup, lime juice, and rum, Fill shaker with ice, cap , and shake vigorously. Strain into a large cocktail glass and top with a splash of soda. Float cucumber slice in the drink.

White Lady

Shake very thoroughly with cracked ice:

  • 1 1/2 ounces London dry gin
  • 3/4 ounce Cointreau
  • 3/4 ounce fresh'squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 of an egg white

Strain into a chilled cocktail glass, and drink

Monday, March 12, 2007

Tamales blancos

Best I have ever had - again from Sue Style cooking class in London.

  • 10 tablespoons lard or shortening
  • 2 cups tortilla flour
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 3/4 cup water
  • 1 cup stock
  • 1 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 20 dried corn husks, soaked in warm ater for 30 minutes and drained, or 20 sheets of parchment paper 8 x 6 1/2 inches.

Cream the lard or shortening until light and fluffy. Mix the flours to a dough with the warm water and add the stock. Gradually add this mixture to the creamed fat with the baking powder and salt. Continue beating for a few minutes more until really light and well-mixed: a ball of the dough will float when dropped into a cup of cold water. It should be about the consistency of cake batter.

Place about 2 tablespoonsful of the dough on the bottom end of a soaked corn husk or into the middle of a paper sheet. Fold the sides up and over, and the ends up. Lay face down so they don't unwind themselves while you finish filling the rest. If yu have some spare corn husks, tear a few lengthwise into strips and use the strips to tie around the tamales, to secure them.

Set up steamer: pour in water to a depth of about 1 1/4 inches and bring to a boil. Put in the folded tamales. Cover and steam for about 45 minutes to 1 hour. The tamales are done when, on opening a parcel, the dough comes away cleanly from the husk or paper. makes 20

Mole de guajolote o pollo

I have prepared this in haste as we return from Mexico where we had a mole at the San Isidro Lodge near Cerocahui- so please proofread before you start. As you can see - this is a long process. We are now off to Peru - hope to post a few good recipes when we return.

  • 6 1/2 lbs chicken
  • 1-2 Tablespoons oil
  • 1 carrot, peeled
  • 1 onion
  • 1 clove garlic
  • black peppercorns
  • 1 bay leaf
  • salt
  • 1 Tablespoons sesame seeds for garnish

Dry the chicken pieces well and brown in hot oil in a large, heavy flameproof casserole until golden all over. Drain excess oil. Add water to cover, the carrot, onion, garlic, peppercorns, bay leaf and salt to taste and simmer until just tender, 35-40 minutes. Leave to cool in the stock while you prepare the mole sauce.

  • 8 chiles anchos
  • 4 chiles mulatos
  • 2 chiles pasilla
  • 6 black peppercorns
  • 6 coriander seeds
  • 3/4 inch piece cinnamon stick
  • 4 cloves
  • pinch of aniseed or fennel seeds
  • 1/4 cup sesame seeds
  • 3 large tomatoes (about 1 lb.)
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 large onion, peeled
  • 1/2 cup sultanas (or raisins)
  • 2 Tablespoos oil
  • 1 cup blanched almonds
  • 2 fat slices homemade-tupe bread, cut into cubes
  • 2 stale tortillas, cut into strips
  • 1/3 cup green, shelled, unsalted pumpkin seeds
  • 2 Tablespoons vinegar
  • 1 ox semi-sweet chocolate, broken into pieces
  • salt

Toast the chillies gently on a griddle or ungreased heavy frying pan until supple and fragrant, pressing down well with the back o f a spatula. Remove the stalks, cut open and scrape out the seeds and tear the chillies in rough pieces. Soak in hot water for a least 20 minutes.
Toast the peppercorns, coriander seeeds, cinnamon, cloves, aniseed or fennel seeds and sesame seeds on the same griddle. Set aside to cool.
Grill the tomatoes, garlic and onion until blistered and nicely toasted. Quarter the tomatoes (don't skin them) and onion. Slip the garlic out of it coat. Set aside
Using a large, wide pan, fry the sultanas (or raisins) until plump in 1 tablespoon of oil, then remove. Fry the almonds, bread cubes, tortilla strips and pumpkin seeds, adding more oil if necessary and tossing andstirring until evenly golden. Be careful with the pumpkin seed: they are apt to explode. Set aside to cool, with the sultanas (raisins).
Drain the chillies, then blend them in a blender or food processor until smooth with half the tomatoes, onion and garlic. Using a large, heavy flameproof casserole into which everything will eventually fit, heat a thin film of oil until nearly smoking. Throw in the chilli puree and fry, stirring until thick and reduced.
In the same blender jar or food processor, blend the remaining tomatoes, onion and garlic with the toasted seeds, spices, sultanas (raisins), almonds, bread and tortillas. Do it in two batches if you can't fit it all in. It should be really smooth - add a little stock from the chicken only if necessary. Add this mixture to the chilli puree in the casserole, mixing well, and continue to cook, stirring, until really thick and pasty. Stir in the vinegar and chocolate pieces, plus enough chicken stock to give a light coating consistency. Season to taste with salt and simmer for a further 30 minutes.
Add the drained chicken pieces to the sauce and simmer for about 20 minutes.
To serve, arrange the chicken pieces on a large serving dish. Coat with the sauce, sprinkle on the sesame seeds and serve with plain tamales. Serves 12

This recipe was from my cooking class in London with Sue Style - She has a mexican cookbook published by Hamlyn - She lived in Mexico City of a number of years before moving to Switzerland.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Vegan Ranch Dressing from The Crossings, Austin Texas

Loved this when I went to the Goddess Bootcamp. They were kind enough to give me the recipe.

  • 1 pint Veganaise
  • 1 cup soy milk(plain)
  • 1/2 tsp agave nectar (or sugar if you can't find agave)
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 oz white wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp dry dill
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 2 tbsp washed, dried and minced parsley

    process in blender

    See you next time you come out to The Crossings
    The Crossings
    13500 FM 2769
    Austin, Tx 78726
    telephone: 512.225.1075

Monday, January 29, 2007

Mexican Pecan Candy

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 cup pecans (or more, to taste)
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup browned sugar
Cook all ingredients (except the browned sugar); it is necessary to cook the pecans with the sugar and milk to get that flavor found in Mexican pecan candy.For the browned sugar, melt a cup of sugar in a skillet until it is a light brown.Remove the first mixture from the burner and add the browned sugar, stirring constantly. Place back on burner and cook until it forms a soft ball, 234 degrees F. on a candy thermometer.Remove from burner; place pan in a pan of cold water and beat until creamy. Then drop by spoonfuls on waxed paper

New Orleans Pralines

  • 1 pound box dark brown sugar
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 2-3 cups pecan halves
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

    In a saucepan, cook the sugars, salt, and milk until a candy thermometer registers 238 degrees F. or the mixture reaches the soft ball stage. Add the pecans and bring the mixture to a rolling boil. Remove the mixture from the heat and add the butter and vanilla. Let the mixture cool in the saucepan for 20 minutes. Spread newspapers on a table or countertop and cover the newspapers with wax paper. Beat the mixture slightly, just until glossy ((30 to 45 seconds at the most. Drop by spoonfuls on the wax paper. Let the candy cool on the paper for 15 to 20 minutes. Lift the pralines gently from the wax paper and wrap them individually in wax paper or plastic wrap. Store the pralines in an airtight container. Makes 20-30 (2 Inch) pralines

Sunday, January 21, 2007


  • 2 packages dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup lukewarm water
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup vegetable shortening
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 or 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • melted butter, for topping
  • 1 recipe creamy peach, prune, or poppy seed filling (see below)

In a small bowl combine the yeast with the lukewarm water. Set the bowl aside.

In a large bowl cream together the butter, shortening, and 1/4 cup sugar until the mixture is light and fluffy. Mix in the egg yolks, milk, and salt, combining well. Stir in the dissolved yeast and the flour and mix until the ingredients are thoroughly blended into a soft dough. Cover the dough with a towel and set the dough aside to rise to about double in size, approximately 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

While the dough rises, choose and prepare one of the three fillings. The recipes for the fillings follow these instructions.

Grease a baking sheet. Pinch off pieces of dough about one-and-a-half times the size of a golf ball, flatten the balls slightly, and transfer them to the baking sheet. Place the balls at least 1 inch apart and brush them liberally with the melted butter. Set them aside to double in size again, about 45 minutes to 1 hour.

With your thumb, gently indent the top of the dough to the depth of about 1/2 inch. Make the holes deeper for the poppy seed or creamy peach filling. Spoon in a couple of teaspoons of filling, and, with the poppy seed or creamy peach versions, coax the dough over the filling. Let the kolaches rest again for 15 to 20 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Bake the kolaches for 10 to 12 minutes, until they are golden brown. Remove the pan from the oven, immediately brush the kolaches with more butter, and sprinkle them with the remaining sugar. Transfer them to a rack and let them cool.
The kolaches should be tender, somewhat like a light buttery Danish. They're best eaten the day they're made. Makes 3 dozen kolaches.

Creamy Peach Filling
2 cups small-curd cottage cheese, drained in a sieve or cheesecloth for 30 to 45 minutes
1/2 cup peach butter (you may use cherry butter if you prefer)
1 egg
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
Squeeze any accumulated liquid from the cheese. Mix the cheese with the remaining ingredients.

Prune Filling
1 pound dried prunes
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon zest
Put the prunes in a saucepan and cover them with water. Add the vanilla and simmer until the prunes have softened, about 15 minutes. Drain and pit the prunes and chop them in a food processor with the sugar, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Or chop the prunes by hand and then add the sugar, lemon juice, and lemon zest.

Poppy seed Filling
3/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 1/2 cups poppy seeds
3/4 cup whole milk
3/4 teaspoon almond extract
Stir together the sugar and cornstarch in a small bowl. Set the bowl aside.
Grind the poppy seeds in a blender with about half the milk. Place the poppy seed mixture and the remaining milk in a large, heavy saucepan and bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to a simmer and stir in the reserved sugar-and-cornstarch mixture and the almond extract. Simmer, stirring often, until very thick, a matter of a few minutes.

Techniques and Tips
Some kolache recipes call for proofing the yeast in milk, but the fat in milk can actually hinder the yeast's development. It's best to proof the yeast in water first and then to add milk later for tenderness.
You can make kolaches with sausage or almost any type of cooked fruit filling. Don't use jelly, though, because it's too runny. The fruit needs to be cooked to fruit-butter consistency.
Make the center depressions carefully so the bread doesn't go flat.
Cover cheese-based fillings, like the creamy peach, and poppy seed fillings totally with dough. Stiffer fillings like prune can peek out the top.
Don't skimp on the amount of butter brushed on the dough.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Sausage Kolaches

  • 2 pkg. yeast
  • 1 cup mashed potatoes
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tbsp. salt
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 cup potato water
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2/3 cup oil
  • 2/3 cups milk
  • 7-8 cups flour
  • butter, melted for brushing on top

Dissolve yeast in 1 cup water, potato water. Add sugar, salt, potatoes and eggs; mix well. Add milk and oil, mixing after each addition. Add flour, mixing dough well. Refrigerator for 4 hours or more.
Roll in small circles. Wrap around sausage. Let rise 20 minutes. Brush with butter. Bake at 375 degrees F. until brown. Brush with butter again.

Ham and Cheese Kolaches

  • 3 to 3-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 envelope yeast
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons butter or margarine
  • 1 egg, large

    Ham and Cheese Filling
  • 1 cup diced ham
  • 1/2 cup shredded Swiss cheese
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard.

    Egg Glaze
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 tablespoon water

    In a large bowl, combine 1 cup flour, cheese, sugar, undissolved yeast, and salt. Heat water and butter until very warm (120 to 130 degrees F). Gradually add to flour mixture. Beat 2 minutes at medium speed of electric mixer, scraping bowl occasionally. Add egg and 1 cup flour; beat 2 minutes at high speed. Stir in enough remaining flour to make a soft dough. Knead on lightly floured surface until smooth and elastic, about 8 to 10 minutes. Cover; let rest 10 minutes.

    Divide dough into 16 equal pieces; shape each into a ball. Cover; let rest 15 minutes. Place balls on greased baking sheets 2 inches apart. Make a deep and wide indentation on each ball by pushing outward toward edge, leaving 1/2-inch ridge around outside. Fill with Ham and Cheese Filling. Cover; let rise in warm, draft-free place until doubled in size, about 1 hour. Brush surface of dough with Egg Glaze.

    Bake at 375oF for 15 minutes or until done. Remove from sheets; serve warm. Refrigerate leftovers.

    Ham and Cheese Filling: Combine filling ingredients and refrigerate until ready to use.

    Egg Glaze: In a small bowl, combine 1 egg white and 1 tablespoon water. Beat lightly to blend.

Palm Beach Brownies

  • 8 ounce unsweetened chocolate
  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 2 cups walnuts
  • 5 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon almond extract
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 4 teaspoons powdered instant expresso
  • 3 ¾ cups sugar
  • 1 ⅔ cups unbleached flour, sifted

Adjust an oven rack one-third up from the bottom and preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line a 9x11x2-inch pan with foil. Brush well with melted butter. Melt the chocolate and butter in the top of a large double boiler over hot water on moderate heat or in a small, heavy saucepan on low heat, stirring occasionally. When combined, remove from heat and set aside. Break the walnuts into pieces if necessary, trying to keep them fairly large. In the large bowl of an electric mixer, beat the eggs with the vanilla and almond extracts, salt, expresso and sugar at high speed for 10 minutes. On low speed, add the chocolate mixture and beat only until mixed.Add flour; beat just until blended. Stir in nuts. Spread in prepared pan; smooth top.

Bake for 35 minutes, reversing the pan from front to back once to insure even baking. At the end of 35 minutes, the cake will have a firm crust, but when tested with a toothpick will appear underbaked. Do not be concerned, it is done. Remove the pan from the oven and let stand until cool. Invert the brownies onto a cookie sheet and remove the foil. Cover with length of waxed paper and another cookie sheet, invert again. This cake MUST be covered and refrigerated for a few hours or overnight before it is cut into bars.
Makes 32 JUMBO brownies.
Recipe By : Maida Heatter (3-22-1996)