3.28.2015

Honey Rolls


This recipe was yet another I snagged from Pinterest. And no wonder, right? They turned out beautifully and that honey/butter mixture brushed on right before baking absolutely pushes these over the top of mere dinner rolls. Whether you're a roll maker or not, these were easy to make, the aroma in your home is divine and your family will love hot rolls for dinner.

Honey Rolls
Found on Pastry Affair



Ingredients:
2 teaspoons active dry yeast 
1 cup barely warm water 
1/4 cup honey + 1 tablespoon, divided 
1 teaspoons salt 
1 egg 
3 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra if necessary 
1 tablespoon butter, melted

Method:

In a large mixing bowl, sprinkle the yeast over the warm water and let sit for 5 minutes. Add the honey, salt and egg. Stir until blended. Add 3 cups of flour and mix until the dough comes together. If using a standing mixer, knead the dough with the dough attachment for 5-7 minutes, or until elastic. If not, knead the dough on a lightly floured surface until soft and elastic (about 8 minutes), adding more flour to keep the dough from sticking if necessary. 

Transfer the kneaded dough to a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and a clean kitchen towel. Let the dough rise in a warm area until it doubles in size, about 2 hours.

Punch dough down, divide into 12 equal portions, and shape each portion into a round ball. Place in a pan (or on baking sheets) coated lightly with cooking spray. (I used a buttered pie plate.) Cover with a kitchen towel and let it rise for another 20 minutes. (I let it rise nearly another hour. All kitchens are different.)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.


In a small bowl, combine the melted butter and 1 tablespoon honey. Brush over the rolls. Bake for 10-13 minutes or until lightly browned. Serve warm or at room temperature.





3.25.2015

Parmesan Dumplings in Capon Broth


Is there anything more boring than a post (and a photo) about chicken broth? But y
ou never know when flu or a cold will attack .....or just a rainy, gloomy day.....and nothing is more comforting than chicken soup. 

My mother taught me to make chicken broth with chicken feet. They give me the creeps, but they produce an amazing broth, lovely in color, rich in nutrients not found in broth made just from a chicken and it gels just as a good broth should. When she'd serve it, she'd either swish in a beaten egg or make dumplings with an egg and some flour. 


Hence, my interest in this recipe from Gabrielle's Prune cookbook.

I always have chicken broth at the ready in my freezer. You should too. 
I'm not going post the recipe for my broth because I already blogged about it HERE.
(Not capon broth however. Do you know the difference between chicken and capon? D'Artagnan has a great explanation...look  HERE.)

So. I made a couple changes in Gabrielle's recipe. As I already mentioned, I used the homemade chicken broth I had in the freezer rather than capon broth AND, no matter what Gabrielle says, it's nearly impossible to get these dumplings to hold together without a bit of flour, so I added just a tad, enough to keep them together. You can try a couple without and see if you have better luck. I tried four or five and while they did result in dumplings of a sort, they practically disintegrated while cooking, even at a very slow simmer. My eggs were extra large, so perhaps that was too much moisture; next time I'll use smaller eggs and see if it works better. Or perhaps it was my bread crumbs. Not enough?

What I liked was the addition of Parmesan in these dumplings and that touch of nutmeg. Just those flavor additions made them way different than my mother's. The dumplings were lovely and light, no doubt because of the tiny amount of flour. With no flour, they'd practically melt in your mouth. (Well, mine did melt in the saucepan!) I added a couple pieces of chicken to my broth, whereas Gabrielle served some on the side.

It was all I could do NOT to add a bit of parsley or something for color in the photo, but decided to hang in there with simplicity, because that's what this soup is all about. 


Parmesan Dumplings in Capon Chicken Broth
From Prune by Gabrielle Hamilton



Ingredients:
3/4 cup Parmesan
1/2 cup dried coarse bread crumbs, not panko
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
2 eggs, lightly beaten
4 cups homemade capon broth

Method:
Combine bread crumbs, Parmesan and nutmeg. Make a well in the center and pour the beaten eggs in. Knead everything together.
Form into 1/2 inch balls. It's messy. Dip your hand repeatedly in ice water and spray your hand with cooking spray. (I used a small ice cream scoop)
Bring broth to a boil. Drop in dumplings and simmer for a few minutes until dumpling almost double their size. Don't boil too hard or they will split.

Retrieve dumplings with slotted spoon and place them in a shallow bowl. Pour in broth about 2/3 the way up. You can heat up a slice of chicken in some leftover broth and serve it on the side.This recipe makes about 12 smallish dumplings.

Here's the recipe straight from the cookbook.





3.21.2015

Dried Currant Pickle Relish


While cleaning out my pantry the other day, I discovered a nearly full container of dried currants. Can't remember what I used them for, but what I did remember was reading Luisa's blog (The Wednesday Chef) a while back, I saw an interesting recipe for, believe it or not, pickled dried currants. Luisa used this unusual relish atop a simple chicken salad sandwich and I must say, it looked like a great idea. I made relish immediately, tried it on a sandwich myself and loved the tangy addition. Would've been even better on a dark, grainy bread; alas, I had none in the house.
One of my favorite comfort food sammies is an open faced broiled cheese made with a fine cheddar. I always used my great aunt Irene's homemade chili sauce on it (She'd get a group of women together every summer and they'd toil in a hot kitchen all day, making a HUGE batch of it....drool...she's not with us anymore and I have her recipe, but it looks like such a gargantuan task I haven't attempted it.), but a dab of dried currant relish on top of that melted cheese sammie will do me just fine.

Dried Currant Pickle Relish
Found on The Wednesday Chef, from Saltie: A Cookbook



Ingredients:
2 cups dried currants (or fresh red currants, which Luisa used)
2 teaspoons mustard seeds
1 tablespoon fresh thyme
1 cup sherry vinegar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar

Method:
In a large saucepan, combine all the ingredients and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Lower the heat and simmer gently, stirring, for 30 minutes, until the pickle is thickened and reduced. Let cool completely before storing in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a year. Makes 2 cups.

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