Friday, October 28, 2011

#21 The Pioneer Woman

I think it's just amazing how Ree Drummond began her blog, The Pioneer Woman,  just writing about her experiences on the ranch.  It has become of of the most popular food blogs.  She has wonderful recipes and she shares so much of herself that you really feel like you know her.  The way that she refers to her hubby as "The Marlboro Man"just cracks me up.  There are great stories about her kids, the very poignant stories about her brother Mike, and the most amazing pictures.  She has written a cookbook,  "The Pioneer Woman Cooks",  and even has her own spot on the Food Network. 

There are many pictures of Ree Drummond but I had to share this one of her in her kitchen. She was interviewed in this month's issue of Country Woman Magazine.  I am so jealous....all that counter space!!!
Courtesy of Country Woman

Her blog is known for her step by pictures of her recipes.  So in her honor as #21of the 50 Women Game Changers in Food I decided to follow her format (somewhat) for this post. 

Place the ground beef, milk-soaked bread, Parmesan, seasoned salt, salt, black pepper, and parsley in a large mixing bowl.
Make the sauce: add ketchup, brown sugar, mustard, and hot sauce in a mixing bowl. Stir together.
Pour 1/3 of the mixture over the top of the bacon. Spread with a spoon.
Bake for 45 minutes, then pour another 1/3 of the sauce over the top. Bake for another 15 minutes. 
Slice and serve with remaining sauce.

My Favorite Meatloaf  courtesy of Ree Drummond 

  • Meatloaf:
  • 1 cup Whole Milk
  • 6 slices White Bread
  • 2 pounds Ground Beef
  • 1 cup (heaping) Freshly Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon Seasoned Salt
  • 3/4 teaspoons Salt
  • Freshly Ground Black Pepper
  • 1/3 cup Minced Flat-leaf Parsley
  • 4 whole Eggs Beaten
  • 10 slices Thin/regular Bacon
  • Sauce:
  • 1-1/2 cup Ketchup
  • 1/3 cup Brown Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Dry Mustard
  • Tabasco To Taste

Preparation Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Pour milk over the bread slices. Allow it to soak in for several minutes.
Place the ground beef, milk-soaked bread, Parmesan, seasoned salt, salt, black pepper, and parsley in a large mixing bowl. Pour in beaten eggs.
With clean hands, mix the ingredients until well combined. Form the mixture into a loaf shape on a broiler pan, which will allow the fat to drain. (Line the bottom of the pan with foil to avoid a big mess!)
Lay bacon slices over the top, tucking them underneath the meatloaf.
Make the sauce: add ketchup, brown sugar, mustard, and hot sauce in a mixing bowl. Stir together. Pour 1/3 of the mixture over the top of the bacon. Spread with a spoon.
Bake for 45 minutes, then pour another 1/3 of the sauce over the top. Bake for another 15 minutes. Slice and serve with remaining sauce.

Serve with mash potatoes.

For other great recipes by Ree Drummond, please visit the rest of our group:

October's Daring Bakers' Challenge

The Daring Bakers' October 2011 challenge was Povitica, hosted by Jenni of The Gingered Whisk. Povitica is a traditional Eastern European Dessert Bread that is as lovely to look at as it is to eat!

I really enjoyed the process of making this bread.  The cinnamon walnut filling makes it perfect for the holidays.  The traditional Povitica is made in a loaf form, however I did not have the loaf pans available so I made it in a springform mold.  It turned out beautifully.....this is definitely a keeper!

POVITICA (makes 4 loaves)

To activate the Yeast:
2 Teaspoons (10 ml/9 gm) Sugar
1 Teaspoon (5 ml/3 gm) All-Purpose (Plain) Flour
½ Cup (120ml) Warm Water
2 Tablespoons (30ml/14 gm/½ oz/2 sachets) Dry Yeast
2 Cups (480ml) Whole Milk
¾ Cup (180 ml/170gm/6 oz) Sugar
3 Teaspoons (15 ml/18 gm/2/3 oz) Table Salt
4 Large Eggs
½ Cup (120ml/115 gm/one stick/4 oz) Unsalted Butter, melted
8 cups (1.92 l/1.12 kg/39½ oz/2½ lb) All-Purpose Flour, measure first then sift, divided
Walnut Filling:
7 Cups (1.68 l/1.12 kg/2.5 lbs) Ground English Walnuts
1 Cup (240ml) Whole Milk
1 Cup (240ml/225 gm/2 sticks/8 oz) Unsalted Butter
2 Whole Eggs, Beaten
1 Teaspoon (5ml) Pure Vanilla Extract
2 Cups (480ml/450 gm/16 oz) Sugar
1 Teaspoon (5 ml/4 gm) Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
1 Teaspoon (5 ml/3 gm) Cinnamon
½ Cup (120 ml) Cold STRONG Coffee
2 Tablespoons (30 ml/28 gm/1 oz) Granulated Sugar
Melted Butter
To Activate Yeast:
1. In a small bowl, stir 2 teaspoons sugar, 1 teaspoon flour, and the yeast into ½ cup warm water and cover with plastic wrap.
2. Allow to stand for 5 minutes
To Make the Dough:3. In a medium saucepan, heat the milk up to just below boiling (about 180°F/82°C), stirring constantly so that a film does not form on the top of the milk. You want it hot enough to scald you, but not boiling. Allow to cool slightly, until it is about 110°F/43°C.
4. In a large bowl, mix the scalded milk, ¾ cup (180 gm/170 gm/6 oz) sugar, and the salt until combined.
5. Add the beaten eggs, yeast mixture, melted butter, and 2 cups (480 ml/280 gm/10 oz) of flour.
6. Blend thoroughly and slowly add remaining flour, mixing well until the dough starts to clean the bowl.
7. Turn dough out onto floured surface and knead, gradually adding flour a little at a time, until smooth and does not stick. Note: I did not use all 8 cups of flour
8. Divide the dough into 4 equal pieces (they will each weight about 1.25 pounds/565 grams)
9. Place dough in 4 lightly oiled bowls, cover loosely with a layer of plastic wrap and then a kitchen towel and let rise an hour and a half in a warm place, until doubled in size.
To Make the Filling10. In a large bowl mix together the ground walnuts, sugar, cinnamon and cocoa.
11. Heat the milk and butter to boiling.
12. Pour the liquid over the nut/sugar mixture.
13. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix thoroughly.
14. Allow to stand at room temperature until ready to be spread on the dough.
15. If the mixture thickens, add a small amount of warm milk.
To Roll and Assemble the Dough:16. Spread a clean sheet or cloth over your entire table so that it is covered.
17. Sprinkle with a couple of tablespoons to a handful of flour (use flour sparingly)
18. Place the dough on the sheet and roll the dough out with a rolling pin, starting in the middle and working your way out, until it measures roughly 10-12 inches (25½ cm by 30½ cm) in diameter.
19. Spoon 1 to 1.5 teaspoons (5ml to 7 ½ ml/4 gm to 7 gm) of melted butter on top.
20. Using the tops of your hands, stretch dough out from the center until the dough is thin and uniformly opaque. You can also use your rolling pin, if you prefer.
21. As you work, continually pick up the dough from the table, not only to help in stretching it out, but also to make sure that it isn’t sticking.
22. When you think it the dough is thin enough, try to get it a little thinner. It should be so thin that you can see the color and perhaps the pattern of the sheet underneath.
23. Spoon filling (see below for recipe) evenly over dough until covered.
24. Lift the edge of the cloth and gently roll the dough like a jelly roll.
25. Once the dough is rolled up into a rope, gently lift it up and place it into a greased loaf pan in the shape of a “U”, with the ends meeting in the middle. You want to coil the dough around itself, as this will give the dough its characteristic look when sliced.
26. Repeat with remaining three loaves, coiling each rope of dough in its own loaf pan.
27. Brush the top of each loaf with a mixture of ½ cup (120 ml) of cold STRONG coffee and 2 tablespoons (30ml/28 gm/1 oz) of sugar. If you prefer, you can also use egg whites in place of this.
28. Cover pans lightly will plastic wrap and allow to rest for approximately 15 minutes.
29. Preheat oven to moderate 350°F/180°C/gas mark 4.
30. Remove plastic wrap from dough and place into the preheated oven and bake for approximately 15 minutes.
31. Turn down the oven temperature to slow 300°F/150°C/gas mark 2 and bake for an additional 45 minutes, or until done.
32. Remove bread from oven and brush with melted butter.
33. Check the bread at 30 minutes to ensure that the bread is not getting too brown. You may cover the loaves with a sheet of aluminum foil if you need to.
34. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a wire rack for 20-30 minutes, still in the bread pan. Remember, the bread weighs about 2.5 and it needs to be able to hold its own weight, which is difficult when still warm and fresh out of the oven. Allowing it to cool in the pan helps the loaf to hold its shape.
35. It is recommended that the best way to cut Povitica loaves into slices is by turning the loaf upside down and slicing with a serrated knife.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Potaje de Garbanzos - Chickpea Soup

Garbanzos, or chickpeas, are such a versatile legume. You can use them in soups, salads, to make hummus, tahini dip, just to name a few. But my husband's favorite way is in a potaje (thick soup). It's very hearty so it is best to have during cooler weather.  This is the weeknight version using canned chickpeas, otherwise you would start by soaking the beans overnight...okay maybe a post for another day. This soup served with french bread and your favorite red wine is a wonderful meal.

If you have any leftovers, on the following day add about a cup of water, mix well and reheat.  When warm enough to your liking emulsify with a hand blender or puree in a regular blender until it reaches a baby food consistency.  Yummy!

Chickpea Soup

2-3 tablespoons of olive oil
2 (15.5 oz) cans Chick Peas, drained and rinsed
1 large diced onion
4 garlic cloves, minces
1/2 of large green pepper, cut in long strips
1 ripe tomato diced
1 32 ounces container of chicken or beef stock (I used beef for this one)
1 small spanish chorizo (about 4 inches long cut in thin slices)
1 smoked ham steak (like Cumberland brand) cubed

Heat the oil in a dutch oven at medium heat.  Saute onion, garlic, and pepper until softened.  Add tomato, ham, and garbanzos mixing well with the onion mix and cook for another 3 minutes. Add the stock and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat to low and simmer until chickpeas are tender and liquid is  slightly reduced, about 30 minutes.  Add chorizo and with a wooden spoon mash some of the peas against the inside of the pot (this is to help thicken the soup), stir and cook for another 15-20 minutes.  Sprinkle with pepper and taste before adding salt.  Serve over with french bread or over white rice.

Friday, October 21, 2011

FFWD - Pissaladière

Another wonderful recipe from Dorie Greenspan's latest book Around My French Table.

The aroma in my kitchen as I cooked the onions was amazing.  Anchovies...not my favorite but they do actually melt into the onions as the recipe states.  It was so simple to make and the result were truly impressive.  I'll know if it taste as good as it looks tonight.  Our book club is meeting tonight to discuss The Paris Wife....

Apple and Butternut Squash Soup

Week 20 of 50 Women Game Changers in Foodand we honor yet another blogger!  Obviously the internet has had a definite impact on the culinary world not only by giving us easy access to a vast variety of recipes at our fingers tips but the ability to share and swap recipes with people from all over the world.  Molly Wizenberg has found a niche for herself through her food blog Orangette.  She has delicious recipes, amazing pictures, and her stories will get you hooked on her blog. 

I had a hard time deciding which of her recipes to make for this post, they all sounded so good. However, when my boys asked me to make this soup again in the same week I knew I had picked a definite winner!

Apple and Butternut Squash Soup

If possible, make this soup a day or two ahead; its flavors meld and deepen after a day or so of sitting in the fridge.

¼ cup olive oil
1 2-lb butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 2-inch pieces (about 4 cups)
2 flavorful apples, preferably Gala, peeled, cored, and cut into 2-inch pieces (about 2 cups)
1 large onion, peeled and coarsely chopped (about 1 cup)
¾ tsp curry powder
¾ tsp ground mace
½ tsp ground cardamom
1 cup good-quality apple cider
1 quart chicken stock (vegetable works fine as well)
½ tsp salt
¼ freshly ground pepper, preferably white

Heat oil in a large stockpot over medium-low heat. Add the squash, apples, and onion, and stir to coat with oil.

Sauté uncovered, stirring occasionally, for ten to fifteen minutes, or until onion is transparent.

Stir in the mace, curry, and cardamom, and continue cooking until the onion begins to brown.

Add the cider. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, and cook for three minutes. Add the stock, lower the heat to medium-low, and simmer the mixture, partially covered, for another 35 minutes, or until squash is tender.

Working in batches, blend mixture in a food processor or blender until smooth (be careful to not overfill, as hot liquid could expand when machine is switched on, making a huge, burning-hot mess). Return soup to the stockpot. Reduce the soup, uncovered, over medium-low heat, to about one-fourth. Stir occasionally. Stir in salt and pepper, and serve hot.

Serves 4-5.

For other great recipes by Molly Wizenberg, please visit the rest of our group: