Yum Peaceful Cooking: June 2010

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

HBin5 Blueberry Bread with Lemon Ricotta Filling

One of my favorite combos is blueberries and lemon. When I had heard that this particular blueberry bread wasn't that well received (I would guess because it's not a sweet bread) I knew I would be disappointed. What could I do to make this dough really super yummy? Thats when I remembered my Whole Wheat Carrot Bread with a Cream Cheese Filling. Now that was super yummy! But I couldn't do the exact same thing now could I?

Of course not.

Lemons started dancing in my head and pulled out a jar of lemon curd...and a container of ricotta cheese and went for it.

Oh...before I get to far into this...let me tell ya, that this is the 14th Bread Braid of the HBin5 group headed by our wonderful leader, Michelle over at Big Black Dogs. Head on over there...check out what we're all up to and ya know.....you just might wanna join in on the shenanigans!

Back to blueberries. How fun does this dough look?

I made some slight changes to the original recipe. I halved the whole wheat flour (as is my preference) and replaced it with all purpose flour. I doubled the honey for sweetness... I don't think I really measured the blueberries. I figure, the more the merrier. Oh ya...did I mention that it was suppose to be mixed berries? I stuck with only blueberries, obviously.

After the first rise, I stuck it in the fridge over night. The dough is easier to handle after a good nights rest (aren't we all?)

I grabbed a good handful of dough and rolled it out into a rectangle. I spread some lemon curd in the center, trying to leave an even measurement of dough on each side.

Then I mixed up my ricotta cheese filling:

8 oz ricotta cheese
1/3 cup sugar
1/8 tsp salt (or a pinch)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg
2 tablespoons softened butter
1-2 tablespoons flour

Mix all ingredients well. The flour was used to help thicken it up cuz it seemed to be a bit on the runny side. Hind site...you can probably halve this recipe and have plenty.

Spread enough mixture over the lemon curd to cover. Fold each end down about an inch.

Next I sliced strips about an inch wide along each side and folded the strips across the cheese filling as if I were folding the doughy arms...

You'll end up with a  nice little dough mummy

Brush the top with an egg / water mixture and sprinkle with raw sugar. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise for about 2 hours.

Preheat the oven to 375' F 30 minutes before the dough is going to be baked. Slide onto a preheated baking stone and bake for about 45 minutes

It was good. But I think next time I'll use the cream cheese filling instead. Apparently my girls liked it though.

By the time I got home from work the next day...it was looooong gone!

There was another assignment as well. Whole Wheat Banana Bread. I didn't change the recipe at all. Well...except for my whole wheat - all purpose switch out. I didn't get a very good rise :(

It had a very nice banana flavor even though it was a little dense. But then again, even regular quick bread banana bread is dense. But I have to tell you....this bread, sliced thickly and toasted....smothered with butter and peanut butter is wooooooooonderfuuuuuul!!!

Do you ever wonder what to do when you have a very small amount of dough left in your container?

Why not roll it out and make cinnamon rolls with it?

They aren't as light and fluffy as your typical cinnamon roll...but they are delicious. I brushed some butter on the rolls before baking so make them more moist and soft. This particular batch was made with the master whole wheat dough. It had your typical crushed nuts, cinnamon and brown sugar in the middle. But I added some orange zest to the glaze. mmmmm

I still have a bit of blueberry dough left. I think I just might do a similar thing. Maybe not cinnamon...just nuts and brown sugar....and a lovely lemon glaze over the top.

I wish I had time in the morning to bake those babies up!

One more thing....

Reminder!! I'm having a GIVEAWAY!! I'm giving away an $80 gift certificate to shop online at any of the many many many CSN Stores. Check on my Morels, Soup and A Giveaway post for details! You have until 7/6/10 to enter. (open to US and Canadian residents only)

Good Luck!!!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Morels, Soup and A Giveaway!

If you had received 2 lbs of Morel Mushrooms for free...
And you had never even tasted Morels before...
Let alone cooked with them....
Wouldn't it be way cool if you could taste these delectable, tasty 'shrooms in a brand new dinning room?

I wish I could've. I mean, my dinning set is old and a little...mmm...wobbly. But a gal can dream, right?

The people over at CSN Stores, well...Sean to be exact, contacted me to see if I would host a Giveaway.  Of course I said yes. I mean....why would I turn down the chance to give my favorite blog peeps something for free!!

What can you win? A CSN STORE GIFT CERTIFICATE FOR $80.00!!! You can use it at any of their 200+ stores (holy crap...did you know they have that many online stores???). This is a one-time use gift certificate, and it does not cover shipping costs.

This giveaway is for U.S. and Canadian residences.

What do you have to do to win? Leave a comment and some way I can contact you should you win.

You have until hmmm....how long should I keep this giveaway open? Let's say...1 week. Post your comment by the end of the day of 7/6/2010. I'll announce the winner a day or so after that....depending on how my week is going. Sound fair?

Oh...if you do not wish to be part of the giveaway, or you live outside of the US or Canada, you are more than welcome to (and highly encouraged to) leave a comment...just let me know you're not entering the contest.

Now...did someone mention Morel Mushrooms? Oh ya....that was me. Well, let me tell you how I became the proud owner of such exquisite fungi.

I entered a contest over at Marx Food....and I won! Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!!!

And within a couple of days, a big box showed up at work! Of course I looked inside to see my prized possessions...and quickly stashed the box in the fridge at work.

I have to take a moment to apologize to all my co-workers for being responsible for making the fridge smell like dirt.

For 3 days.

Not that I left the box there for 3 days....but the odor kinda lingered. And bless their hearts...not one person complained. At least that I know of. Sorry guys!! You're the bestest!

This post is getting a big long winded isn't it? I'll go into more detail on my mushrooms with the next post. Yep...there's gonna be more. I didn't just make soup. But since I was craving mushroom soup for the longest time...I thought I'd share it with you all first.

This recipe came from Julia Child's MtAoFC and I have to say...it is fabulous!!!

Most often, when I cook, I change up stuff. I mean...that's what we do, right? But with Julia's recipe, I didn't change a thing!! It's easy, but not simple. It didn't take all that long...but there are several steps.

And each step is sooooo worth it. I know it's not soup season....but this isn't a hearty soup and it is lovely. It has a rich, creamy flavor that leaves you wanting more. Just when you think you're done and you walk away....you find yourself still tasting the soup in your mouth and next thing you know, you're running back for another bite.

I swear!! It happened several times to me.

Potage Veloute Aux Champignons
(Cream of Mushroom Soup)
Printable Version

1/4 cup minced onion
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
6 cups of boiling chicken stock (Julia says that if you don't have any stock, then use chicken broth with 2 parsley sprigs, 1/3 bay leaf and 1/8 teaspoon thyme)
Salt and Pepper to taste
Chopped stems of 1 lb of mushrooms (or if you're using morels like I am...just chop up 1/4 of them)
2 tablespoons butter
Thinly sliced caps from the 1 lb of mushrooms
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon lemon juice
2 egg yolks
1/2 - 3/4 cup whipping cream
1 - 3 tablespoons butter

Slowly cook the onions in 3 tablespoons of butter for about 8 - 10 minutes, until tender. But don't let them get brown. Add the flour and store over low heat for about 3 minutes, without letting it brown.

Remove from heat and beat in the chicken stock until thoroughly blended with the flour mixture. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir in the mushroom stems. Simmer while partially covered for at least 20 minutes.

Strain and press the juices out of the mushroom stems. Return the soup to the pan.

Now, I didn't want to waste any of my morels...so I didn't strain them out. I put them right back in and I got out my emulsion blender and had at it!

In another sauce pan, melt the 2 tablespoons of butter. When the butter begins to foam, add the mushrooms, 1/4 teaspoon of salt and the lemon juice. Cover and cook over a low heat for 5 minutes.

Pour the mushrooms along with their cooking juices into the strained soup base and simmer for 10 minutes.

In a large mixing bowl, beat the egg yolks and cream.

Then....beat in a cup of the the hot soup 1 teaspoon at a time! Gradually stir in the rest. (this process will temper the eggs so you don't end up with scrambled egg soup.)

Add more salt and pepper if needed. Return the soup to the pan and stir over low heat for a minute or two but don't let the soup simmer.

Remove from heat and stir in 1 - 3 tablespoons of butter, 1 tablespoon at a time.

Serve and enjoy...thoroughly!

I'm going to enter this soup as my Real Food for Two for Tuesdays at Heathers from GirliChef:

Aaaaand....Souper Sundays over at Debs from Kahakai Kitchen :

whew...ok, I'm done. and I'm pooped. You can wake up now.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Chickpea Patty Burger - It's all Real Food!

I was stuck.

No way out.

It was just me and my pantry.

There was a brief sense of panic as the lunch hour loomed ahead and no thawed meat could be had in the immediate future. (I refuse to thaw meat in my microwave...just sayin'). I had "burger" on the brain and no means to satisfy the craving.

Until I change my train of thought. I wiped the slate clean and looked at the situation from a different angle. Lets go with a vegetarian burger, I thought. Only I didn't have all those ingredients either. Ok...simplify, simplify.

Let's go even more basic.

Quick internet search led me to a Rachael Ray recipe. As much as I have watched her...and I do like her. She has some great tips. I don't know if I've actually made any of her recipes. I may have...and I just can't remember. But this one....Vegetarian Chickpea Burgers happened to be very basic. Very do-able...and I had all of the ingredients.

A win, win situation if you ask me.

I made 1...thats ONE change. Huge flavor difference though.

I have something else to tell you about also....

As part of the Foodbuzz Tastemaker program, I received Nature's Pride Premium Harvest Hamburger Buns and Deli Rolls. They're the new addition to their line-up of 100% natural breads. I actually received 3 varieties. This first variety is their 100% Whole Wheat Bakery Buns (aka...hamburger buns). After going over the ingredients in the buns, I discovered that the addition of "sugar" is the 6th ingredient. Which according to my youngest child, is a good thing. She tries to eat foods that have sugar as the 5th ingredient or later. Believe it or not...it's a little challenging to find bread that falls under her guidelines.

These buns are "Heart Healthy" and low in sodium. And they look fantastic! I mean...they have a deep rich "wheat" look....and an earthy grainy top

It makes you feel all good and healthy just looking at them. And the flavor? Well...I'm not real hip on strong grain flavors. Most often they over power the rest of the ingredients.... wether its in a sandwich or a simple slice of cinnamon toast. Well, let me tell you....that does not happen with these burger buns. They are mild and light. Perfect as a vehicle for lots of other good stuff while maintaining a high standard of healthy ingredients.

And that my friends...is my honest opinion.

Soo...let's get to the....non-burgers that made me want more.

Chickpea Southwestern Burger
Printable Version

1 - 15 oz can of chickpeas (a.k.a. garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed
1 - 4 oz can of diced green chilies
1 - handful of cilantro (Rachael said to use parsley)
2/3 cups of panko bread crumbs
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 egg, lightly beaten

In a food processor, combine chickpeas, chilies and cilantro.
Transfer the mixture to a medium sized bowl. Add the bread crumbs and salt and pepper to taste.
Mix in the egg.
Form 4 patties that are about 1/2" thick.

Heat a pan over medium-low heat. Add enough oil to coat the bottom of the pan. Cook the patties for about 4 minutes...flip and continue cooking for another 3 - 4 minutes. If you're going to add cheese, do so during the last minute of cooking.

Now...I also sauteed some mushrooms, onion and bell pepper

I also made up some "mock" aioli...I mixed about 1 cup of mayonnaise with 1 minced garlic, and used that as my burger spread....added some baby arugula.....

and OOOOOOh eeeeeeeeeeem geeeeeee....

Ok, hint: erase "burger" from your brain because this will taste NOTHING like a burger.

Next....open your taste buds to fresh, clean flavors.

Think...hummus with a southwestern flair, in patty version.

And enjoy!!!

Don't let "green" freak you out. I mean....you eat green sauce. You eat avocados and guacamole. Get over it and eat a great tasting, green patty on your next burger.

This is my entry this week into Two for Tuesdays Real Food. I'm linkin' up over at Heathers....Girlichef.

You could make this dish more "real" if you'd like by soaking and cooking the beans yourself (but beans are so basic and have so little in the "additive" area....that canned works for me in a pinch). And you could make the buns yourself. But when you get 'em for free....what the heck! Eat 'em and Enjoy 'em.

Monday, June 21, 2010

White Sangria

It's been a while since I've mentioned the Wine Club over at BakeSpace. It's also been a little slow in there lately but things seem to be perking up again. Woooo hoooo!!! For the month of June and July, our wine of choice is Sangria. We will be making, tasting and talking about Sangria for another 6 weeks. We just might even have an online Wine Party in the room which can get rather silly. Clean, fun and silly. It's open to anyone. All you have to do is create a forum account and log in. If you'd like to join us, check it out: June / July Wine - Sangria

Anyway....over the weekend I heard about White Sangria for the first time ever!! So of course I jumped all over it, especially when peach was mentioned. It just sounded so refreshing and cool. The perfect drink for hot summer evenings out by the pool, enjoying the cooling breeze.

Or sitting in a chair by the computer writing about it.

And after 2 glasses....thinking to yourself..... 'holy crap!! this shit is strong!!!' Feeling rather good about your creation. 

Now I have to say...this is my first attempt and already I have some alterations in mind, which I'll go over in a minute. But it's really good. And soooo worth playing with.

Oh....and I'm not going to do a printable version of this recipe. It's so simple that you can just copy and paste if you really want to. I'll wait until I have a final version before I make it permanent in my BakeSpace Kitchen. Just saying.

White Sangria

1 bottle of Chenin Blanc
1/2 bottle of Peachello (peach version of Limoncello)
1/4 brandy
2 white peaches, pitted, pealed and cut into 8 segments
3 nectarines, pitted, pealed and cut into 8 segments
1 orange, pealed and each segment cut in half
1 cup Sprite
2/4 cup simple syrup

Combine all ingredients and allow to chill several hours

Now....my changes for next time will be to increase the Sprite or just use some gingerale or club soda. And I think I might cup back on the simple syrup. That might be something I'll add after it's been chilled. Then I'll add it to taste....depending on if I'm in the mood for sweet or not. If I had more Sprite right now I'd definitely add more....it's in need of more fizz but I used up what I had. Although, it's not stopping me from drinking what I've got...and totally loving it. Love the intense peachieness. (is that a word? hmmm..it is now)...and every once in a while I get a nice burst of orange.

But I know it can be better!

If you happen to stop into the Wine Club....you'll see my posts in there under the name "ImStuffed". Let the bartender know that I sent you and she'll be sure to take care of you! Besides, when it comes to virtual wine tasting....all the drinks are on the house! hahahaha

Friday, June 18, 2010

Pizza Verde

HBin5 strikes again! Only I didn't follow the assigned recipe which was to grill a pesto pizza with grilled chicken and to make an oven baked whole grain pizza with roasted red peppers and fontina cheese. Not that I had anything at all against either of those pizzas. They both sound wonderful and from what I've seen from the other bread braiders in Michelle's HBin5 group....they look wonderful.

You can check out the correct assignment versions at Big Black Dog. This happens to be our 13th HBin5 post...and I think we have about 30 plus more to go....plenty of time to join in :)

Anyways....my reasons for doing what I did? It was Laker night (game 6 to be exact). There was nooooo way in hell I'd be able to drag Sir Sportsalot away from the television. I'm lucky he noticed that I walked in the door. I'm wondering if his friend hadn't said "Hi" to me as I walked in, if it would have even registered in Sir Sportsalot's brain that there was anything going on outside of that HDTV of his.

My other reason? I had some stuff leftover from my Tortilla Soup night and I had some dough in the fridge. It was a very spur of the moment dinner decision that was made on my way home from work as I was on the phone with an old childhood friend. This is one of the wonderful things about the dough recipes from the Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day cookbook. You mix up a batch, let it sit on the counter for a couple of hours and then stick it in the fridge for days and days and use it as needed / desired. Of course the number of days will vary depending on some of the ingredients in a particular dough....ie: eggs, the dough lasts 5 days. Basic whole wheat dough will last up to 2 weeks.

I had grilled chicken that had marinaded in mexican seasonings. And I had cheese. I didn't want to use marinara sauce. It's not my favorite thing on pizza. (is that weird?). I considered using the Tequila Crema that I had made for the Tortilla Soup...then remembered that there wasn't any left...damn! That would've been really good!! But.... I had some salsa verde. hmmm....how would that work? I thought. I wasn't too sure. So I hummed and hawed and gave it some deep thought. Then I spied the mexican crema that was in the fridge! Oooooh yes! Let's mix that together...making the salsa creamy and not so intense in flavor. Ok...now we've got a plan!

I rolled out the dough....spread the creamy salsa verde on, tossed on the grilled chicken (sliced)...added red onions, green chillies, jack cheese, cheddar cheese and queso fresco. Stuck it in a preheated very hot 550'F oven for about 8 - 10 minutes. Sprinkled on some cilantro and drizzled lime juice all over it....

OMG....incredible pizza. In less than 45 minutes I had 2 pizza's made and ready to serve.

Oh ya...and I had some fried tortilla strips left over that I threw on top too.

Now, I always feel bad that I can't share the recipe for the dough. So I try and have a recipe that I used with the dough for you. This time, it's my salsa verde that a very sweet lady of hispanic origin, shared with me several years ago.

Salsa Verde
Printable Version

1 lb of tomatillos
3 or 4 garlic cloves
3 jalapenos
3/4 cup of cilantro
1/2 sweet onion
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 teaspoon salt

Tomatillos.....those funny little green things that resemble a tomato only different. They have these funny little paper like...I dunno....husks?

I like to use the small ones when I make my salsa. I was advised to do so by the farmer at the farmers market. I've used the larger ones as well, and can't really tell a huge difference. Maybe the small ones have more flavor? I think they're less tart. I know that they are in their prime, flavor wise, while they're still green. I dunno.....I just do what I'm told.

Remove the husks and rinse the tomatillos.

You'll notice that they are sticky. Don't worry too much about that. Cooking them will take care of that. I parboiled them until they changed color.

I've also grilled them....but these were tiny and there were a lot of them...and you really have to watch them. If you over cooked them, they start to leak.

If you can....grill the jalapenos and onions. It's a flavor thing...not mandatory.

If you're a wimp like I am....remove the seeds and ribs from the jalapeno. Throw everything into a blender

And whirl it around until its pureed....a minute or so.

Let chill for a little bit before serving. It's really cool cuz this stuff gels all on it's own. Must be something in the tomatillo. I tried looking it up but haven't found an answer yet. But it's great cuz the sauce doesn't drip off the end of your tortilla chip

Look at that color! Good stuff I tell ya!

Oh...one more thing!! Want a chance to win 2 lbs of Fresh Morels? I do!!! Just click on the Morel badge below and leave them a comment. You can do a couple of other things as well to give yourself more chances to win. But you need to hurry because the contest ends on Sunday, 6/20/10, at midnight.

Good luck!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

I took the Tortilla Soup Challenge

We're playing the Tortilla Soup Game. Here are the rules: Every time someone says Tortilla Soup...you must take a shot of tequila. If you don't and someone calls you on it....you must take a double shot. Last one standing gets to take home the Tortilla Soup recipe. 

Being raised in SoCal, frequenting Mexican restaurants my whole life and cooking Mexican food on a regular basis one could almost assume that I would be very familiar with Tortilla Soup.


Not once have I ever eaten Tortilla Soup. Don't ask why but I had some weird vision of what it would be like, in my warped little head. Then I saw Heather's challenge over at GirliChef to help her find the best Tortilla Soup out there. Which sounded fun and all....but I wasn't in a hurry to jump right on it. I still needed to find my desire to even try it, let alone make Tortilla Soup.

One afternoon my daughter mentioned how mush she liked Tortilla Shoup. Really??? My child has had Tortilla Shoup wishout me??? and likeshit? 

Well shooooooot...I guess I'd better get sherious with thish challenge thingie and make shum Teguila...errrr...what'sh it'sssssh name? Ooooh...I know!!! I know!!! Ya...Torteeeeeya Shoooop!

I umm...found sumpin...umm...you know....one of those ingredient things here---> Grilled Chicken Tortilla Soup with Tequila Crema. It's from the guy on Food Network...what's his name? with the white spiky hair? Huh? Oh...Guy! (how come theres no girls named Gal?) Did you know that that Anne chick looks like she could be his sister? Omg...what if it's HIM!!! Dressed like a woman! Holy cow...I need another shot!!

Now I can't see straight so there's noooooo way I'm gonna be following the rules on this thing. Shooo  happy their aint no police in the kitchen! I'd be getting a CUI for shure

My Tortilla Soup

**Warning** There are a ton of ingredients and a few steps....but let me just say, the results are incredible! Flavor flavor flavor. 

about 4 Grilled Chicken thighs (your favorite... preferably seasoned with mexican flavors) sliced, set aside
Olive Oil for drizzling
5 roma / plum tomatoes cut in half
1 jalapeno
1 yellow onion, quartered
4 whole garlic cloves
1/4 teaspoon or so of cumin
Salt and Pepper to taste

1 - 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 chipotle pepper in adobe sauce....seeds removed
1 teaspoon Mexican oregano
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
Salt and Pepper to taste

8 cups chicken stock (not broth) however, I used 3 cups turkey stock that I had on hand and the remaining in chicken broth.
Juice from 2 limes
1 14.5 oz can of black beans, drained and rinsed
1 14.5 oz can of whole corn kernels, drained
1 corn tortilla, cut into strips

Ideas for Garnishes to follow

Preheat your oven to 400'F

Put the tomatoes, jalapeno, onions and 4 whole garlic cloves on a cookie sheet. Drizzle them with olive oil and sprinkle with salt & pepper and about 1/4 teaspoon of cumin. Roast in the oven for about 20 - 30 minutes...you want the veggies the have some of that "I've been roasted" color to them. 

Remove from the oven and let cool for a few minutes. Slip the skins off of the tomatoes and put them in a small food processor and give it a little whirl. Set the tomatoes aside for now.

Chop up the onions and jalapeno. If you're a not real good with a lot of heat (like me) then remove the seeds. 

Remove the seeds from the chipotle pepper and chop up. 

Heat a large, heavy bottom pot over medium-high heat. Add the vegetable oil. Throw in your onion and saute for a couple of minutes. Not much to do there since its cooked already but this will get some flavor in your pot started.

Toss in your aromatics

Which are the chipotle pepper, Mexican oregano (not in picture), jalapeno, roasted garlic and the remaining 2 minced garlic cloves, chili powder, and cumin. Cook for about 3 minutes, stirring often so as not to burn the mixture. 

Deglaze the pot with some of your chicken or turkey liquid, scrapping everything up...there shouldn't be much to deglaze. Pour in the remaining stock and add the tomatoes, lime juice, and tortilla strips. Season with salt and pepper to taste. 

Bring to a boil then lower the heat and simmer, uncovered for about 30 minutes. 

If you have an emulsion blender....whip that baby out and go to town on the soup....puree it good. Adjust seasoning if necessary. Add the beans and corn and heat through. 

Now....take your sliced chicken and put it in the bottom of your bowl. Spoon the soup over the chicken, garnish with suggestions below, and serve.

Now...while the soup is in it's 30 minute simmer mode. break out a good sized sauce pan and put a couple of cups of veggie oil and heat to about 350' F (ummm...i just heated it up until it spit when I added a teeny tiny splash of water). Take about 8 corn tortillas and cut them into strips. In batched, fry them up until golden brown and drain on a paper towel. 

Guys Tequila Crema (YUM!)
Mix together 3/4 cups Mexican Crema, 2 tablespoons silver tequila, zest from one lime and a dash of pepper. Drizzle this yummy stuff over your soup.

Of course there are the other necessities: cheese, tomatoes, avocados, cilantro...it's all good!

And I totally LOVE this soup!! Now I'm pissed that I've just now discovered Tortilla Soup!!! I served it to a bunch of people who were over for the Laker game. One of them (who is Mexican) said that he'd had Tortilla Soup 3 times that week from 3 different places and that this version was the best. It had a little heat but it cooled down quick enough to not make you worried. (or at least make ME worried. I don't like my breath to be taken away...and i don't want to be choking and sweating and my nose running and eyes watering.....that aint fun. Sounds more like the flu to me). Bottom line....Lots of flavor! Lots of depth! 

If you'd like to help Heather in her quest to find the best Tortilla Soup out there...click on the badge below and see what it's all about and how you can join the quest. Plus you can see what other versions have popped up. 


Monday, June 14, 2010

Danish with Lemon Ricotta Filling and Kumkwat Jelly

Delish. Yummy. Dangerous. Addicting. Versatile. Easy. Not Simple. Quick for a Danish standard...from what Natashya says over at Living In The Kitchen with Puppies, which is where I came across this wonderful recipe.....but not fast by any means.

This is my first experience making a Danish and it really was fun! I have a lot to learn in the technique area, but everyone has to start somewhere, right? One day I'll look back at this post and cringe at my lack of something...form or handling.... but today...I'm proud. :)

I'm going to show you the steps and all my imperfections. Maybe you'll learn something. Or maybe you can teach me something....a tip? a trick? Either way, it's all good. All the way down to my rolly polly tummy.

I don't have the recipe for the Kumkwat Jelly....that was a gift from my adopted grandmother, Ruth, next door. I'll work on getting it if y'all are interested.

The night before....begin preparing your pastry.

Natashya says this recipe comes from Nigella Lawson...

Processor Danish Pastry
Printable Version
(filling recipe and printable link below)

1/4 cup warm water
1/2 cup milk at room temp
1 large egg at room temp
2 1/4 cups white bread flour
2 1/4 teaspoons yeast
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1 cup unsalted butter, sliced...cold

In a measuring cup  mix together the water and milk. Add the egg and beat with a fork to combine. Set aside.

Put the flour, yeast, salt and sugar into your food processor. Pulse for a second to combine. Add the butter and pulse for a couple of seconds until the butter is cut into the flour mixture with visible chunks.

Pour the contents of the food processor into a large mixing bowl and pour the egg mixture into the bowl. Fold the ingredients together until just combined....you don't want to over do it.

It may not be pretty but I'm pretty sure those little chunks of butter are important. They have a special purpose....an important roll....in creating buttery, flakey pastry.

Cover the bowl with a plastic wrap and store in your fridge overnight. (You can actually store it up to 4 days...but who has that kind of patience? I want my pastry NOW!)

After the longest night in history (aside from Christmas Eve)....remove the bowl from the fridge and let it come to room temperature.

Lightly flour your surface and dump the dough in the middle. roll the dough out to about 20 inches. I think that was a little too thin....next time I'm going to try 18 inches and see what happens.

Now...fold your dough the way you do a letter....into thirds....

Kinda wish it was more precise but I'm not all that good with this sort of thing and I was afraid to overwork the dough.

Next you're going to turn the dough so that the folded edge is on your left and roll it out to 20 inches again. Repeat this process 3 times.

Now I'm confused....do you do the whole process 3 times or 4 times? Let see....if you do it once...then repeat 3 times...that's a total of 4 times. Hmmm...I think I only did the whole process a total of 3 times but maybe it's suppose to be 4?

Cut the dough in half, wrap each piece in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1/2 hour. You can freeze the dough at this point for later use if you desire.

While the dough is chillin', make the filling:

Lemon Ricotta Filling for Danish
Printable Version

1 cup ricotta cheese
6 tablespoons sugar
Pinch of salt
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1 large egg, beaten
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled

Combine all ingredients

Take your pastry (one sheet at a time...leaving the other sheet in the fridge). Unfold the pastry and roll it into a rectangle...not much.

Size isn't specified but since it's going to make 6 Danishes, I had the height 2/3rds the length. Then I cut it half, length wise and then into thirds height wise, so that I ended up with 6 squares. My squares were a bit of a mess so I trimmed them a bit

Those little squiggly pastry bits have a purpose.....stay tuned.

Fill each square with a wad of Lemon Ricotta Filling and dab a bit of your favorite jam on top

Fold up the corners. I only folded two opposite ends but you can do all 4 if you'd like. Pinch the corners together and place onto a baking sheet that's been lined with parchment paper (love that stuff!!!)

Brush with an egg wash (1 egg beaten with 2 tablespoons of milk). Let them rise for about 1 1/2 hrs, or until they have doubled in size.

Get the other half of your pastry out of the fridge and make your second batch.

About an hour into the rise time, preheat your oven to 350'F.

Just before baking, check to see if you pinched the corners together enough....if they're being defiant....pinch them together again.

Place them in the oven and bake for about 15 minutes....until nice and golden brown. I think I ended up having to bake them a few minutes longer...just keep an eye on them.

Transfer to a wire rack to cool a little. (plop your second batch into the oven)

As you can see...I'm not a good pincher. Several of them rebelled. Badly. Not that it affected the flavor...they just weren't all neat and pretty looking.

Mix together a little clear glaze....1/3 cup sugar, 1/4 cup water in a small sauce pan. Bring to a boil and remove from heat.

Brush the Danishes with the glaze to make them all pretty and shiny.


Ok, remember those pastry scraps? I rolled them in butter and smothered them in cinnamon and baked them into these lovely little cinnamon pastry fries...

This is my entry into Two for Tuesdays Real Food. I read about it over at Heathers... GirliChef. This is a while new thing....and from what I understand (correct me if I'm wrong)...Real Food is about cooking / baking/ stuff that is not from processed foods. Heather explains it a lot better than I do...so head on over to her place and check it out.

It sounds like a lot of fun...and it's pretty much how I try to cook anyways....well...most of the time.