Saturday, February 28, 2009

Hollandaise Sauce recipe all on its own

1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
4 large egg yolks
1/2 cup heavy cream (or whipping cream)
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1. Cut the butter into four pieces, place in a 1-quart glass measure
or bowl, and microwave, covered with a paper towel, on high,
until almost melted, 45 seconds to 1 minute. Remove butter
from the microwave and stir until completely melted.
2. Separate eggs, placing the yolks in a small bowl and setting the
whites aside for another purpose. Beat the yolks well with a
whisk or fork, then add to the butter and stir well.
3. Add cream and lemon juice to egg mixture and stir well.
Microwave mixture, uncovered, on high, until just slightly thick,
about 1 to 2 minutes, stopping every 20 seconds to stir with a
fork. Remove sauce from microwave and stir in mustard.
4. NOTE: Sauce may be kept warm for up to 2 hours in an
insulated container. Or cool the sauce to room temperature and
refrigerate it in a covered microwave-safe container for up to 24
hours. To re-warm, cover container with plastic wrap, pierce
wrap with a knife to vent, and microwave on 50 percent power
until heated through, about 3 to 4 minutes, stopping to stir
halfway through. Do not allow sauce to boil.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Eggs Benedict Skillet, An Epiphany!

So I have been dreaming about and planning this recipe for a few weeks now. It all started when we got our new cast iron dutch oven. If you don't yet have one your missing a great piece of kitchen equipment and you should run out and buy one right away. I love mine even though it weighs about a gazillion lbs. I got it for a freaking steal, $29.99 at Homegoods. Yipee!!!!
Moving on... Kevin wanted to find camping recipes for the dutch oven and he ended up finding one for this delicious breakfast skillet thing with hash browns, bacon, eggs, jalapeños, cheese, and salsa. (I will blog it soon.) That dish got me thinking about what other things we could make in the dutch oven and for some reason Eggs Benedict popped into my head. This is what I came up with. It's a real winner, although I actually made it in a skillet not the dutch oven. Toasted English muffins soaked in egg (like you would for French toast), cubed ham (I could not find Canadian bacon), and a easy no fuss Hollandaise sauce I found that you make in the microwave. This is the easiest way to make Eggs Benedict you will ever find. You could feed and impress a large group, without having to poach a thousand eggs.
Now my original idea was to also have a layer of home fried potatoes on the bottom of this dish since thats usually what you get with Eggs Benedict, but I totally forgot this morning when I was making this. I was going to saute them up with some onion and garlic and then add the diced ham. Next time I make this I'm gonna add the tatters for sure so I'll let ya know.

P.S. This recipe makes about twice as much Hollandaise sauce as you need.

What you will need

7 large eggs
3 English muffins
1 1/2 -2 of diced ham or Canadian bacon
1 Lemon
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 stick of butter
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 450 F.

Melt one stick of butter in medium bowl.

Crack and seperate 4 eggs adding the yolks to the butter while reserving the 4 whites in a large bowl.

Whisk the butter and egg yolk mixture until well blended.

Add 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream and the juice of 1 whole lemon or 2 Tbsp. lemon juice and mix well.

Microwave mixture, uncovered, on high, until just slightly thick,
about 1 to 2 minutes, stopping every 20 seconds to stir with a
fork or whisk.

It may take a little longer than this, but sauce will thicken up.

Remove sauce from microwave and stir in mustard.

Once the sauce is done you can leave it in the microwave until skillet is done to keep it warm.

If it is cold when you are ready to use it heat for 20 more seconds.

Split and toast 3 English muffins.

Once toasted, cut each half into quarters.

Whisk the three remaining eggs into the reserved whites and soak the toasted English muffins in the egg for about 2-3 minutes.

In a cast iron skillet saute 1 1/2 cups of ham until slightly colored and hot, 2-3 minutes.

(here is where I would change things for next time. I am going to saute onions and garlic in some olive oil, add already parboiled frozen diced potatoes and saute until golden brown, add the ham, and continue)

Pour the egg and English muffin/egg mixture over the ham in the skillet.

Spread everything out so that you have bread and meat in every bite.

Cover and heat in oven at 450 F for 10 minutes.

Remove from oven and top with 1/2 cup cheddar cheese.

Heat for another 5 minutes or until cheese has melted and egg has set.

Top with as much Hollandaise sauce as you like.
(I only ended up using about half of what I made)

Sprinkle with paprika, and enjoy.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Brownie Tester/ Valentines Day Sunday Starter/Best Brownies Ever

Yesterday I decided that what I really wanted for Valentines Day was to go out, get a huge brownie sundae, sit somewhere outside with my husgbund and enjoy this lovely sunny weather we are having. Then today I got to thinking about a discussion I recently had with my grandmother about the taboo of making deserts from a box. If you let slip that something is made from a box around that clan, the confection in question is automatically seen as inferior, you can instantly see the dismissal in their eyes.
I happen to disagree with this notion entirely. There are some things that have been perfected by the food processing industry. There just are. Brownies are one of those things. They have managed to create a mix that always comes out rich, chewy, and delicious. Its fool proof.
While I will admit that I have had some passable home made brownies, none of them compares in texture, chewiness, fudginess, just plain brownie deliciousness, to a store bought brownie mix. Most home made brownies tend to be a little dry and cake like.

That is my opinion anyway, but since others disagree, I decided today to test out a very highly recommended brownie recipe, and see if my opinion cant be swayed. Not only will I be able to test out a new recipe, but now we can enjoy our Valentines Day brownie sundae outside in our back yard with our precious pupup instead of at some crowded ice cream shop. I have to say from the start though, that the labor involved in making these brownies is already two fold what it would take to make some out of a box so there are points off already.

OK so the brownies are out of the oven and I have just had two. I couldn't be sure with just one so I helped myself to another, in order to give you the most accurate taste test results possible. Are you ready for the results? These are the best MOTHER F!@#in brownies I have ever had and I stand corrected. I STAND CORRECTED! You must try this recipe! Box brownies are good and less time consuming but these are soooooooooooooo good. Chewy, rich, fudgy goodness. Dad!!! Make these for Gramma!!!

  • 1 cup butter, melted
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 F

Melt 1 cup (2 sticks) butter and add 2 cups of white sugar

Mix in 1 cup of brown sugar

Add one Tbsp. Vanilla Extract

With a hand mixer add 4 large eggs and mix well

Add 1 1/1 cups flour, 1/2 a cup at a time.

Add 1 cup unsweetened baking cocoa 1/2 cup at a time. The batter will be very thick.

Add 1 cup dark chocolate chips

Pour evenly into 9 x 13 baking pan and bake at 350 F for 35-40 minutes. Some of the suggestions said to pull out the brownies when the toothpick still comes out with batter on it. I removed my brownies from the oven after 40 minutes exactly, there was still batter on the toothpick, but the top looked crispy.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

"My Hugsbund Won a Chili Cookoff With This Recipe" Chili

This is the only chili recipe you'll ever need. Its award winning and you can change it up in so many different ways. Be warned though, this makes a butt load of chili. If you don't want to be eating chili for the next three weeks you can cut the ground beef to 1 lb and only use one pound of the sausage of your choosing. Adjust the other ingredients to half what they were. You can also replace the ground beef with ground turkey and turkey sausage with great results.

  • 2 pounds ground beef chuck
  • 1 pound Chorizo
  • 1 pound hot breakfast sausage or bulk Italian sausage
  • 2 (27 ounce) cans kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 (28 ounce) cans or 4 (14 ounce) cans diced tomatoes with juice
  • 1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste (opt)
  • 1 (14 ounce) can yellow corn
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 4 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 or 2 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • jalapeños or other type of pepper to suit your own heat preference
  • 1 tablespoon bacon bits (opt)
  • 4 cubes beef bouillon
  • 1/2 cup beer (opt)
  • 1/4 cup chili powder
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoons hot pepper sauce (e.g. Tabasco™)
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon white sugar
  • 1 (10.5 ounce) bag corn chips such as Fritos®
  • 1 (8 ounce) package shredded Cheddar cheese

Slice casing of chorizo from one end to the other.

Remove casing

Brown 2 lbs ground beef, 1 lb hot breakfast sausage, and 1 lb chorizo together in your pot until cooked through over medium heat.

Add 1 large yellow onion, 1 or 2 green peppers, and 4 celery stalks roughly chopped to your pot Leave the temperature on medium while adding all other ingredients.

Add 2 tablespoons chopped garlic to your pot

Add 4 beef bouillon cubes

Add 4 (14 ounce) cans of diced tomatoes and 1 (6 ounce) can of tomato paste

Drain and rinse 2 (27 ounce) cans of red kidney beans and add to chili

Add 1 (14 ounce) can of yellow corn, drained

I chose to add all of these pickled jalapeños because I like my chili hot, but you can add as little or as many peppers as you want. Experiment with different types too. Scotch Bonnet peppers are very hot. We like!!!

Add all the spices and stir to combine
  • 1/4 cup chili powder
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoons hot pepper sauce (e.g. Tabasco™)
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon white sugar

Cover and let simmer on low for up to 3 or 4 hours. This chili gets better with time.
I made this one at 2:30 it took me 1 hour to throw everything together and I am going to let simmer until 7 when my husband gets home.
Salt to taste.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

The Verdict on the Madras Sauce

Well as usual the curry sauce was a disappointment. I guess I'll just have to stick to Mirch Masala. (The best Indian in Atlanta) It wasn't awful it was just boring and not spicy at all. So I'm back to having given up on the prospect of having good Indian at home. Maybe one day we will take a trip to India. Then I can take a cooking class and have someone show me how to do it the right way.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Seeds of Change Madras Sauce

Well OK! Today I'm gonna test out this Seeds of Change Madras sauce and let you know what I think about it. I am a big fan of Indian food, anything spicy really, and anything curry. I love it. The hotter the better. My husband and I spent two weeks in Thailand for our honeymoon. While we were there we ate the spiciest curry. We always told the waiters we wanted "Thai spicy". They would look at us like we were nuts because usually the "farang" (thats what they call us) cant handle the "Thai spicy". It's that hot.
We had dinner with a couple from Finland one night, and the girl asked for her food mild, not spicy, and she freaked out when she tasted it. She said that the food was so hot that she thought she was going deaf. She was seriously worried, she almost cried I think.
Check out this picture of Kevin eating at a night market in Krabi Town. I think this may well have been the spiciest food Kevin and I had ever eaten. It was so delicious.

So anyway... I love curry and we actually took a cooking class while we were in Thailand, so I can make a passable Thai curry at home. The problem is, I absolutely suck at making Indian curry. I don't know what I'm doing wrong but it never, ever, ever turns out right. So I've tried numerous different already made sauces and boxed mixes and of course none of it has been worth a shit. Kevin did make homemade paneer (Indian cheese) one time and it was very good.
So I have basically given up on the idea of ever having good Indian curry at home, but when I saw this jar at the health food store I just couldn't help myself. So, tonight I'm gonna saute up some chicken and simmer it in this sauce for about ten minutes, serve it with rice, and keep my fingers crossed.


Buttermilk Pie Fo' Yo' Ass. Golden Delicious

I love buttermilk pie. So simple. I knew this recipe needed some tweaking just by reading it but decided to follow the recipe and then make the adjustments when I had had a chance to taste. This recipe called for 2 cups of sugar. That is wayyyyyy too much sugar. I am going change that to 1 cup of sugar in the recipe I post here. I also cooked this recipe on 400 F for 50 minutes. The crust I used was burning by 45 minutes in and the pie didn't set until almost 1 hour. I am changing the cooking temp to 350 and leaving the time the same. I used a already made pie crust and it was not deep enough so I had to pour the extra batter into ramekins. These actually turned out delicious so if you have extra, you know what to do, but I am going to change the recipe to call for a deep dish pie crust.

Without further ado:

1 deep dish pie shell
1 cup sugar
1 stick room temp. butter
3 tbsp flour
1 cup buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 lemon juiced or 1/4 tsp lemon extract
5 eggs

Cream together 1 stick of butter and 1 cup of sugar

Add 3 Tbsp. flour and mix

Add 1 Tsp. vanilla

Add 1 cup buttermilk and mix

Add 5 eggs and mix. Batter will be slightly lumpy. Don't worry

Pour in deep dish pie shell or regular pie shell and ramekins placed on a cookie sheet to protect against dripping. Bake at 350 F for 50 minutes, or until pie sets.
(That means until the pie stops giggling around in the middle)

Monday, February 2, 2009

Strawberry Filled Strawberry Cupcakes & Lemon Whipped Frosting

Now I know that some of you snobs out there are going to balk at the very notion, but these yumbags are made from a box. I know, I know its sacrilege, but you know what? Too bad. This recipe is yummy.
It is actually found on the side of the Duncan Hines Moist Deluxe Strawberry Supreme box.
I just made a few minor adjustments. I usually just make this in a sheet pan, but I wanted to try them as cupcakes this time. Also, the icing usually calls for vanilla pudding but I wanted to try lemon pudding to see if the combo of strawberry and lemon went well together because I love lemon.

1 box Duncan Hines Moist Deluxe Strawberry Supreme
3 eggs
1 1/3 cups water
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/2 of a 10 oz package sweetened frozen sliced strawberries, thawed
1 cup milk
1 package (4-serving size) lemon instant pudding and pie filling mix
2 cups frozen whipped topping, thawed
1 piping bag or zip-lock bag
24 cupcake papers
1 or 2 cupcake tins

Follow the package directions for basic recipe on the back of the box. Fill muffin cups 3/4 of the way to the top so you have a nice flat surface to pipe icing onto. I found that I had to cook them about 10 minutes longer than the box says but every oven is different.
Let cupcakes cool completely before icing, otherwise the whipped topping in the icing will melt.

Combine entire package of lemon pudding mix with one cup of milk and beat for 2 minutes.
(Do not store in refrigerator while waiting for cupcakes to cool or you will have difficulty mixing pudding with whipped topping)

Fold 2 cups of thawed whipped topping into pudding gently until blended
(sorry, forgot to take picture of this step)

Puree strawberries in a blender and place in a piping bag, or zip-lock bag.

Take a chopstick and poke two holes in each cupcake.
(It looks like a vampire attacked my kitchen.)

Cut a very, very, very small hole in the corner of your zip-lock bag, or if you are using a piping bag use the smallest tip you have, and fill each little hole in your cupcake with the strawberry puree. This could get messy, thats why you want a very small hole.

Once the holes are filled with strawberry you are ready to pipe the frosting onto the cupcakes.