Friday, January 28, 2011

Garlic Knots--Another App idea for the Super Bowl

The last week in December, My Sil (emphasis on sister; the in-law is just a formality...) Tonja, took Kellie and I to Este Pizzaria in SLC. It's one of her favorite places to visit and she wanted to share. The pizza itself was superb, but it was the app we ordered that wouldn't leave my mind!

Garlic Knots!!!

I was in heaven! I love bread, I love garlic, I love to dip stuff....YUM!!
I immediately came home and tried to recreate! Of course I went to Google searching for recipes. Little did I know that Garlic Knots have become quite the popular little item! Versions were represented everywhere! Why hadn't I been paying attention?!??

Shame on me for slacking off!

Essentially, Garlic Knots are pizza dough (duh) rolled and wrapped into a knot and baked.
Then topped or tossed with a garlicky topping.

I decided on WORC's recipe 'cause, come on...their
pics are gorgeous and I love that they made them at a cafe.

Since everyone is different and I like my stuff a certain way,
I did end up changing a few things, but this is your journey! Make them six different times/ways like I did! What can a few extra batches of garlic knots hurt?

(Actually, I was trying to recreate as close as I could to Este's.
Theirs were softer and less pretzel-like.
So my proportions and some ingredients are different.
Also, my method for shaping.)

MMmmmm!!....I'm eating one right now! They are great made ahead
and re-heated, and sublime dipped in a marinara sauce.
Last night I made them to go with
I could have eaten 12 dipped in that sauce alone!!
I hardly touched the chicken!!

Your SuperBowl Party peeps would love it if you made these!

Garlic Knots
adapted from WhiteOnRiceCouple
Makes about 3 dozen

You can mix these by hand but I use a Bosch mixer.

1 3/4 cups very warm water
4 tablespoons butter--melted
1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt (Costco has a store brand I like for cooking. This amount might be too much if you're using table salt. You'll have to be the judge.)
1 Tablespoon sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons yeast
4 1/4 cups AP flour

4 tablespoons melted butter for tossing

4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons minced or crushed garlic
2 tablespoons dried parsley (fresh is better, but I rarely have it on hand)

Maldon sea salt (you can just throw in a few pinches of regular sea salt, but I loved the crunch this flaky, beautiful salt gave the final product. It's pricey, but so yummy to use to finish things off. I ordered it from Amazon (free Super Saver Shipping item!) as I've never actually seen it for sale around here. So good on salted caramels and toffee!!)

Place flour, sugar and salt in the bowl. Measure out the warm water in a separate bowl and add the yeast. Let sit a few minutes until it begins to proof. Drizzle the 4 tablespoons melted butter over the flour. Mix together. Add the water/yeast mixture and mix until dough forms a ball. It should be cleaning the sides of the bowl. Dough will still be sticky.

Put dough into a large bowl that has been oiled with olive oil. Cover with a cloth and let double in size, about 1 1/2 hours.

I portion my dough into 1 ounce balls using a scale, but it ends up being about 34-36 golf-ball sized balls. Roll out each portion into a 7-8 inch snake. Cross ends and pull one end up through the hole to form a knot. They should look something like these:

You can either bake in cast iron pans like this, or on a baking sheet that has been oiled or buttered.

Brush with melted butter on the top and cover and let rise until doubled--about 30 minutes.

While rising, melt the unsalted butter and olive oil together in a small pan over medium heat. Add the parsley and minced garlic and let soften in butter/oil mixture for 20 minutes or so. Este's garlic was very raw and delicious, which I loved, but some prefer a more mellow garlic.

When rolls have doubled in size, bake in a pre-heated 400 degree oven for about 12 minutes. They should be browning on top.

Dump the rolls right off the pan into a large bowl and toss with the melted butter. Then you can either dress them with the garlic topping by drizzling it over the warm rolls and tossing, or individually scoop the topping on like this:

One way is messy and quick, the other precise, time-consuming and pretty! Either way they are delicious! If you have time, make a scrumptious marinara to dip into. So, so delicious!!

If you try them, let me know what you think!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

There's an App For That--The first in what might possibly be a series of Super Apps for the Super Bowl--or--Carciofo Tu-What??!?

I am not Italian. I don't look Italian, I don't speak Italian, I don't smell Italian (pretty sure Italians smell like Tiramisu; I smell like vanilla and chocolate)--therefore I couldn't possibly be expected to know what the title of this recipe means.

The nearest I can tell, it has something to do with diving into a vat of warm artichokes. Now this might seem weird, but when you combine those warm artichokes with the remainder of the ingredients in Rina's Carcio Tuffo Caldo, I do believe we just might have something here.

In planning for any Super Bowl get together, one must be sure to provide a host of non-utensil- wielding dishes. Having a chip or bbq chicken wing in your hand when the ref pulls a non-sequitur regarding the previous play, is a lot safer than, shall we say, a fork. Plus, it eliminates the extra thought one would have to reallocate to the process of guiding some flatware into a more high-maintenance dish. The following recipe is appena il biglietto (if this doesn't translate correctly into 'just the ticket' blame Bable Fish).

Carcio Tuffo Caldo
(blatantly lifted from Rina on Tasty Kitchen)

1 (14 oz.) can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
1 whole roasted red pepper, chopped (how to here!)
1 cup pitted black olives, chopped
1 teaspoon minced garlic
4 whole sun dried tomatoes (not in oil--check photo at bottom of post)
1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1/2 cup mozzarella, grated

Mix all ingredients in a bowl. place in a baking dish, bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes, until hot and bubbly. Serve with crackers or toasted baguette.

Things I may or may not have done during the preparation of this recipe:

**used 1/2 the amount of olives--not the biggest fan of the fruit
**made up for the olive thing by using twice as much garlic--I just can't be stopped!
**added a squirt of fresh lemon juice because I cannot utilize artichoke without it
**uttered a small prayer that I am not vegan
**unknowingly used monterey jack cheese instead of mozzarella because someone threw away the label I keep with my blocks of cheese
**moaned a little when I tried the finished product

This recipe will rival any warm artichoke dip out there. I loved the addition of roasted red peppers, and could totally see some left-over chicken being thrown in as well.

If this doesn't do it for ya, there's always this yummy looking recipe from Pamela over at French Knots

I found the sun dried tomatoes at Macey's in the produce department. You could always dry your own in the summer!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

How to Roast a Red Pepper (or a green, yellow, orange, any.....)

It's hard.

It's sooooooo hard.

I can't believe something that sounds so simpele is So. Dang. Difficult!!

Follow me.

Deep breath.


Place......the pepper......on a baking sheet.


Preheat your oven to 500 degrees.
That's 5--0--0.

Set your timer for 20 minutes.
After 10minutes, turn your pepper over.


Then take that pepper and
place into a paper bag.

Seal up that bag and set
it into your refirgerator for 10 minutes.
(you'll want to place the bag onto
a plate or something because.......)

Sometimes the juices are overwhelming!


Then, scrape and peel the
charred skin from the pepper.
Make sure you leave a
few blackened bits so that your
friends and family will know how
much hard work you went to for them.


Next, slice or chop your hard work
into chunks and wait for the
perfect recipe calling
for roasted red peppers to come along.

(Hint: Tomorrow's post.)

Now go and watch yourself an episode of Veronica Mars as a reward for all your hard work. You've earned it!!!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Snow Ice Cream

Did anyone else ever make this as a kid? We Love a good, deep snowstorm because it means SNOW ICE CREAM!! My kids get pretty excited about this rare treat. Anytime a snowflake makes it's way into their line of vision I start getting the question: "Is THIS enough snow for snow ice cream?" I tell them: "It's got to be a good 6-8 inches before it's clean enough!" hen I launch into a lecture about dirt particulates, exhaust from cars, various other kinds of pollution, and of course, the importance of staying away from snow around trees--especially if it's YELLOW!

They think this is funny, and then they wait.

Every 30 inutes or so they ask again and I look outside to check. When finally I deem it clean enough to eat, we run outside and scoop up the biggest Tupperware bowl we have of clean, topsnow! (like topsoil, only whiter....)

The ingredients are simple:

EVAPORATED milk--1-2 cans (depends on how wet the snow is, how much, and your taste)
Granulated sugar (again, to your taste--maybe 1/2 cup per large bowl)
Pure Vanilla extract

Don't pack the snow down too much. The whole point is to have fluffy snow ice cream, not flavored snow ball. Slowly fold in enough evaporated milk to make it stirable. Sprinkle sugar into the mixture and stir slowly. Add vanilla and as much milk as you need to get it the texture you want. You can see ours is actually scoopable, but you can make it more like a smoothie if you like!

Oh! And regular milk doesn't really cut it, so get yourself a few cans of evaporated to have on hand. Nothing is sadder than a perfect storm and no evaporated milk! I mean, there's a foot of snow outside!! How are you going to get to the store to buy evaporated milk?!?

**Disclaimer: Obviously there is no way the average Joe can actually measure the amounts of pollution there is in fallen snow. I tell myself that a good couple of hours of falling pulls down the gunk in the air so we just make sure we scoop it up off the top. Hey, I ate this by the bucketfull as a kid and I'm still here!**

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Chicken Tikka Masala

Chicken Tikka Masala is a dish with vague origins. You'd think with such a name that it would have come straight from the Middle East, but more likely it came about as a variation of curry sometime in the last half-century. That 50 years was apparently enough time to firmly place it at the top of British restaurant picks. It's unofficially called 'Britain's National Dish'. Any legit Brits want to substantiate this for me?

I first made this for dinner a couple of years ago. It immediately became one of my Top 5 Recipes for my family dinners! I love the taste, the fresh, natural ingredients, and the simplicity of preparation! It might look like a long list of ingredients, but if you utilize a 'mise en place', then it goes together really fast.

Lately I've been using crushed tomatoes canned from my garden last summer. Oh man. I'm going to bottle a zillion pints next year!! I can't believe how fabulously yummy it makes dishes!!

I vary the chicken I use according to necessity. If I need to use chicken breasts from the freezer, I make sure I brine them for an hour or so before using. Most often I use chicken tenders from Costco. The ginormous breasts-from-a-box from the local grocery stores are driving me crazy!! No way can chicken naturally be so HUGE!! Hormones BAD!! Sadly, I have several pounds left in my freezer I'm trying to use up. Sigh.

So back to the tenders: These don't need to brine, and they cook much faster. In fact, sometimes I cheat and season them frozen, and they end up being half-frozen by the time I broil. Seems to work just fine in a pinch!

Remember--DO NOT BE INTIMIDATED by the length of the recipe! It's simple stuff!

(adapted from Americas Test Kitchen)
serves 4-6

2 pounds bonless, skinless chicken breasts or tenders
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/8-1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (vary to your preference of spicyness)
1 teaspoon table salt (if you brine, use half)

1 cup plain, whole milk yogurt
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 teaspoons minced or pressed garlic
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger

Masala Sauce

3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 1/4 cups onion--diced small
2 teaspoons garlic--minced or pressed
2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
1/2 jalapeno--ribs and seeds removed (you can use more, but I would try it at this level first. Once I used a serrano and hoo--eee!! I like spice, but I also like to be able to taste my food!)
2 tablespoons tomato paste (freeze unused portion of can in a ziploc--smoosh it flat so you can just break off peices to use in other dishes!)
1 tablespoon garam masala (you can make your own, but McCormicks blend is pretty dang good!)
28-32 ounces crushed tomatoes (make sure they are plain, not Italian style)
2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon table salt
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup chopped cilantro (omit if you don't like)

1 1/2 cups Basmati rice--cooked to package directions

Combine the cumin, coriander, cayenne, and salt in a small prep bowl. Sprinkle both sides of the chicken with the spice mixture. Cover and refrigerate 30-6- minutes. In medium bowl mix: yogurt, oil, garlic, and ginger. Set aside.

In a large cast iron pan or dutch oven pan, heat oil for sauce. When shimmering, add the chopped onion. Cook, stirring until onions soften and start to brown. Add garlic, ginger, jalapeno, tomato paste, and garam masala. Cook, stirring about 3 minutes. Don't let the garlic burn! Add crushed tomatoes, sugar, and salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce, and simmer, loosely covered, for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add cream, stir, and return to simmer. Remove from heat and cover to keep warm.

While sauce simmers, put oven rack in middle-top position, (6 inches from heating element), and heat broiler. Place your chicken either on a cooking rack fitted in a baking sheet, or on a foil-lined baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray. With a silicon pastry brush, or spoon, brush both sides of the chicken with a good coating of the yogurt mixture. Discard leftover yogurt mixture. Broil the chicken until instant-read thermometer reads 160 degrees. This takes 10-18 minutes if you are using breasts, less time if you are using tenders. Flip half way through.

Let chicken rest 5 minutes, then cut into bite-sized pieces and stir into warm masala sauce. Stir in cilantro and adjust seasonings.

Serve over Basmati rice.

Saturday, January 01, 2011

Name It Yourself

I had what I thought was a clever name for this dip. Until my husband pointed out the, shall we say, unchaste sounding nature of the title to me. And no, I'm not going to let you know what it was.....

So, you can pick a better name if you want, but addicting is what it is. My friend, Cecilia, brought this dip to a little gathering we had a few days ago. I couldn't stay out of it! I felt I was taking advantage of the fact that everyone else was playing Wii, while I was furtively dipping chip after chip into the little croc pot, taking WAY more than my share of this creamy, spicy goodness!!

After consulting with her on her recipe, I put a version together with just a bit of tweaking....I have a tendancy to add a little somethin' somethin' to the recipes I steal from people!

So here you go. Don't say you weren't warned:

Thought I Had A Pretty Good Name Dip

1 pound Jimmy Dean Regular Sausage
1/2 of a red bell pepper--diced
1 small onion--diced
1 8 oz. pkg cream cheese
1 cup sour cream
1 10 oz. can Rotel tomatoes with green chilis--mild
1 tsp cider vinegar
3 dashes tobasco (optional--I found that it added just the right amount of spiciness)

Brown the Jimmy Dean in a small cast iron saute pan. Or any saute pan, for that matter...

Chop it up real good! And then chop it up some MORE!! Make it real tiny!! Unless you like chunks...then stop whenever you like!

Add the pepper and onion and let them cook and soften some with the sausage.

At this point, you may throw everything together in a croc pot and let it sloooowly melt together, while you occasionally stir to mix it up.


You can do what I did because you are impatient and don't want to dirty more dishes:
Add the cream cheese to the sausage and let soften some. Then add the sour cream, Rotel tomatoes, cider vinegar, and tobasco if using.

Cook over medium-low heat until all is melted and blended together nicely!

I added a scosh (that's a bit more than a titch) of milk to thin it down some. Only do this if it's to your liking. This is YOUR dip! Make it personal-like!

Serve hot with some lovely corn tortila chips and all will be right with the universe! World peace will ensue! Things will be cured!

Thank you Cecilia for one more uber-fattening, utterly delicious recipe I can add to my collection. You're the best!

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