Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Cinnamon Rolls

Please accept my sincere apologies for not posting the last two recipes until now!  Things have been super busy around here.  You will find the Curried Lentils as well as the Oatmeal Crisps after this post about Cinnamon Rolls.  Keep scrolling down the page.

Now, getting back to our delicious cinnamon rolls.  This is a recipe we have done in previous sessions.  It is a simple, biscuit dough recipe.  Much less daunting than the yeast dough many people are more familiar with.  Try it; you will be pleasantly surprised!

For the original recipe, click here

For step-by-step photos of how to make this recipe, click here

Curried Lentils and Sweet Potatoes

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
This is another New York Times recipe.  
It is a dinner favorite in my house.  
And it makes the kitchen smell wonderful!  
Serve it with Jasmine or Basmati rice.
Serves 8 to 10 as a side dish, or 5 to 6 as a main course with rice.


1 medium onion, chopped
 4 garlic cloves, minced
 1-inch piece fresh ginger (peel & grate)
 2 teaspoons curry powder
 1 jalapeƱo pepper, seeded, then minced
 4 to 5 cups vegetable broth as needed
 2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into
1/2-inch cubes (about 4 cups)
 1+ 1/2 cups dried lentils 
 1 bay leaf
 1 pound spinach, chard or kale

1 teaspoon kosher salt, more to taste
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Finely grated zest of 1 lime
Juice of 1/2 lime
1/3 cup finely chopped almonds
1/4 cup chopped scallions, for garnish.

1. In large saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and saute until translucent, 5 to 7 minutes. Add garlic, ginger, curry powder and jalapeno. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute.

2. Stir in 4 cups broth, sweet potatoes, lentils and bay leaf. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium, partially cover, and simmer for 25 minutes. (If lentils seem dry, add up to 1 cup stock, as needed.) Stir in spinach and salt and pepper, and continue cooking until lentils are tender and spinach is cooked, about 30 to 45 minutes total.

3. Just before serving, stir in cilantro, lime zest and juice. Spoon into a large, shallow serving dish. Garnish with almonds if desired and scallions.

Oatmeal Crisp Cookies

This one is out of my beloved 
New York Times Cookbook. 
It is titled "Ruth's Oatmeal Crisps", and it is the recipe which won the cookie contest at the 1966 Kentucky State Fair. 
It is a great example of the power of shortening and salt in cookies.  Butter would be too heavy and the cookies wouldn't be quite as crisp and chewy.  And without the salt, they would be too sweet.

1 & 1/2 cups sifted AP flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 cup vegetable shortening
1 cup sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 large eggs
 1 tsp vanilla extract
3 cups oats (not quick-cooking or instant)
1 cup chopped nuts
1 cup raisins (optional)

-Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.  
-Sift together flour, baking soda and salt.
-Beat shortening and sugars in a large bowl just enough to blend well.

-Add the eggs and vanilla and beat until thoroughly mixed.

-Add the oats and mix again.  
-Add to the flour mixture, mixing well.

-Stir in the nuts and raisins.

-Drop the dough by tablespoonfuls onto the parchment-lined baking sheets, 1 & 1/2 inches apart.

-Bake until golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes.  Transfer to racks to cool.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Dutch Babies

Dutch Babies
aka: German Pancakes

Just in time for Mother's Day.
A quick, easy recipe that you can put together in the kitchen while Mom relaxes or sleeps in!

This recipe serves 4, and is cooked in a #8 cast iron skillet. However, you can easily multiply this recipe to make any size Dutch Baby you like. For 6 eggs I would use my largest cast iron skillet, but you can use a rectangular roasting pan or any oven-proof container with 3 to 4-inch sides.

If you want to make individually sized pancakes, divide the following recipe by four (but don't reduce the amount of butter--each individual pan will still need 1 Tablespoon of butter)

1 cup milk
4 eggs
1 cup flour
1 Tablespoon butter

Center oven rack in middle to lower position. Preheat the oven to 450-500 degrees for at least 15 minutes.

Mix the milk and eggs until completely combined. 
Add the flour and mix until a smooth batter forms.
No lumps.

Place a cast iron skillet(s), pie pan, or other suitable, oven-proof baking container in oven to heat. When pan is hot add butter to the pan(s).

As soon as butter sizzles; swirl pan to distribute butter evenly.

 Immediately pour batter into pan (or divide evenly between pans), and bake for 10 to 15 minutes, depending upon size of pan(s).
 The batter will bake, then puff up dramatically. 

Bake until it is as light and eggy, or browned and crispy as you like.

Top with powdered sugar and a squeeze of lemon juice, or cinnamon apples, fresh fruit, yogurt, syrup or honey.

Friday, April 29, 2011


***A quick note to those of you looking for recipes from past classes.  On the right-hand side of this page, there is a list called "blog archive".  Within each year listed, there are months you can click on and the recipe titles from that month of classes will appear.  For the Trifle recipe you did with the substitute teacher while I was gone, go to February 2011, and find it listed as "Valentine Trifle". ***

{aka Tabouli}
A Middle Eastern salad

It was wonderful to find out how many of you had not ever tried this salad before.  It's great to introduce new things to your budding palates!
After three classes modified and tweaked this recipe different ways, here is the final draft of our best version of Tabbouleh:

For 3-4 servings (as a side dish)
you will need:

1/2 cup bulghur wheat (aka bulgur)
3/4 cup boiling water w/ pinch of salt
2 to 3 Tbsp lemon juice
3 Tbsp olive oil
1 & 1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 cup chopped scallions (green onions)
1 cucumber - peeled and diced small
8-10 cherry tomatoes - quartered
(or one large, ripe tomatoe diced small)
1/2 cup chopped fresh mint leaves
1 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
freshly ground pepper

-Pour boiling water over bulghur.  Stir, cover, and let sit for 45 minutes or longer.
-The bulghur will absorb the water and go from this:

to this:

-Meanwhile, mix your chopped vegetables and herbs together in a medium bowl.
-Add olive oil, salt, and 2 Tbsp of the lemon juice.  Save the last bit of lemon juice for later, in case you think the completed salad needs more after tasting.
-When bulgur is cooled down to room temperature, add to salad along with freshly ground pepper.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Almond Macarons

4 egg whites
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 & 1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 & 1/4 cup almond meal (finely ground blanched almonds)
1/2 tsp salt
Filling of your choice:
lemon curd
chocolate ganache

-Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Line three baking sheets with parchment paper.

-Using a medium-mesh sieve, sift the powdered sugar into the almond flour and set aside.

-In a clean stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment (or using a large bowl and a hand mixer), whip the egg whites on medium speed until foamy and the wires of the beater(s) leave a trail, 1 to 2 minutes.

-Add 1 Tbs. of the granulated sugar and continue to whip for another 30 to 45 seconds. Repeat 3 times with the remaining granulated sugar. Once all of the sugar is mixed in, continue whipping the whites until they turn glossy and stiff (when you lift the beater(s) from the bowl, the whites should hold a straight peak that doesn’t curl at the tip), 4 to 8 minutes more.

-With a large rubber spatula, fold in half of the powdered sugar/almond meal mixture. Once most of it has been incorporated, fold in the remaining mixture until just combined.  Do not overbeat.

Pipe the cookies

-Using a piping bag fitted with a 1/2- to 3/4-inch round tip , pipe the batter onto the prepared sheets in rounds that are about 1 inch in diameter and 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick, spaced about 1-1/2 inches apart. 

-As you pipe, hold the bag perpendicular to the baking sheet and flick the tip of the bag as you finish each cookie to minimize the peaks. 

-Use your finger, dipped in cold water to flatten any tips.  

Bake the cookies

Bake, rotating the sheets and swapping their positions after 8 minutes, until the meringues are very pale golden, 15 to 20 minutes total. Cool completely on the baking sheets on racks.

Fill the cookies

-Using a piping bag with a small tip, pipe 1 to 1-1/2 teaspoons of the filling onto half of the cookies—you want to use just enough filling that it spreads to the edge when topped but doesn’t squish out much when bitten. 

-Top the filled halves with their partners. 

-The cookies are best the day they’re made, but you can store them in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 day. 

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Herb & Cheese Breadsticks

Herb & Cheese Breadsticks
2 1/2 cups flour
2 1/2 tsp yeast
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup water warm water
2 Tbsp oil
1 1/2 tsp honey
2 Tbsp butter, melted
Parmesan cheese, shredded
Italian seasoning
Combine 1 1/2 cups flour, yeast and salt.

Combine the water, oil and honey and add to the flour mixture.  

Mix in the remaining flour to make a soft dough.  
Knead 5 minutes.  Cover and let rise 10 min.

Roll into a 9X9 square.  Cut into 9 strips, twist and lay on a greased cookie sheet.
Brush with butter, sprinkle with cheese and seasoning and salt and let rise another 20 minutes (covered loosely).  

Bake 15-20 minutes at 350 degrees

Friday, March 25, 2011

Graham Crackers & Nutella

Graham Crackers

1 cup whole-wheat graham flour 
{can be difficult to find this type of flour;  try Thriftway or Fred Meyer}
1 cup 2 Tbs. all-purpose flour 
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar 
3/4 tsp. baking powder 
1/2 tsp. baking soda 
1/2 tsp. kosher salt 
1/8 tsp. ground cinnamon 
3 oz. (6 Tbs.) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces 
3 Tbs. buttermilk 
3 Tbs. honey 
1-1/2 Tbs. unsulfured molasses 
1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract 

Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 350°F.

Put both flours, and the sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon in a food processor and pulse until combined.

 Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse meal.

 In a small bowl, whisk the buttermilk, honey, molasses, and vanilla. 

Add the wet ingredients to the dry and pulse until a dough begins to form.

Remove the dough from the food processor and transfer to a large piece of parchment. Put another piece of parchment over it. Roll the dough into a 1/8-inch-thick, 16x13-inch rectangle.

Remove the top sheet of paper, trim the rough edges, and transfer the dough along with the bottom layer of parchment to a baking sheet.

With a pizza cutter, divide the dough into 2-inch squares (press just hard enough to cut the dough and not the paper). With a fork, prick each square 3 or 4 times. Bake until golden-brown, 15 to 20 minutes. Let cool on the sheet.

Note: You can bake half a batch of dough and refrigerate or freeze the rest for later use. Divide the dough in two before rolling it, wrap one-half well, and refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 1 week until ready to use again for a second batch of crackers. Take the dough out of the refrigerator or freezer at least a couple hours before you plan to bake so it will soften slightly.


Homemade Nut-spread

2 cups hazelnuts 
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup melted coconut oil
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup milk (might not need to use it all)

1. Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Spread the hazelnuts evenly over a cookie sheet and roast until they darken and become aromatic, about 10 minutes. Transfer the hazelnuts to a damp towel and rub to remove the skins.
2. In a food processor, grind the hazelnuts to a smooth(ish) butter, scraping the sides as needed so they process evenly, about 5 minutes.
3. Add the cocoa and salt and process to combine.

4. Next, add honey, vanilla, and coconut oil and continue to process until well blended, about 1 minute. The finished spread should have the consistency of crunchy peanut butter; if it is too dry, process in a little milk until the desired consistency is achieved. Remove to a container, cover and refrigerate until needed. Allow the spread to come to room temperature before using, as it thickens considerably when refrigerated. It will keep for at least a week.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Irish Colcannon

For St. Patrick's Day, of course!

for 4-6 servings
You will need:
4 large russet potatoes
1/3 head of green cabbage, chopped
3 leaves of kale, chopped (remove stem)
3 scallions, chopped
8 Tbsp butter
1 cup milk
salt and pepper

-Bring 5 inches of water to a boil in a large stock pot with a steamer pan or colander inside (to hold the potatoes)

-Peel and quarter the potatoes, then steam in the pot until soft and crumbly.  Approx. 30-40 minutes

-Meanwhile in a smaller pot, melt 4 Tbs butter and saute the cabbage over low heat for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. 

-Stir in the kale and saute for 5 more minutes.

-Add the rest of the butter and the scallions.

-Now pour in the milk, bring it just to a boil and turn off the heat. 

-Combine this mixture with the potatoes and gently mash together, adding salt and pepper to taste.

Enjoy, and...
Erin go bragh!

If you have any leftovers, this makes wonderful little pancakes sauteed in oil the next day.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Chop Che (Korean Noodles with Beef)

{also known as Jap Jae or Jap Che}

This tasty, simple noodle dish was last done in ORLA cooking class back in September 2009, when we studied the food of different cultures each week and the course title was "Cooking around the World".
Students have been asking for this one to be done again ever since.
 (Especially Natalie!) 
 It's a big hit.  It's also not very complicated.  And the only ingredient you may have trouble finding is the sweet potato vermicelli.  It is available at any Asian grocery, and can  sometimes be found in the "international" section of a standard grocery store.
These noodles are unique and well worth the search.  Their texture is like no other noodle. A bit like jellyfish! 
And they're gluten-free too. 

Now for your list of ingredients:

1/2 lb glass noodles (sweet potato vermicelli)
1/2 lb sirloin beef, thinly sliced
12 dried shiitake mushrooms
1/4 cup mushroom liquid (saved after rehydrating mushrooms)
1 shallot (or onion), halved and thinly sliced
2 carrots, peeled and grated
4 scallions, chopped
3 Tb sesame seeds
1/4 cup cooking oil (canola, safflower, corn, vegetable)

marinade ingredients (for beef):
1/2 cup soy sauce (plus 1/4 cup for adding later)
3 Tb sesame oil (plus 1Tb for adding later)
4 Tb sugar
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tsp black pepper

-bring water to boil in large pot.

-Meanwhile, prepare marinade and add sliced beef. 
Combine and let sit while preparing other ingredients.

-boil noodles for 5 minutes.

-Before straining, save some of the hot cooking water to pour over shiitakes in a bowl. The hot water will rehydrate the mushrooms if you cover them and let sit for 10-15 minutes.

-strain and rinse cooked noodles in cold water. 

-Cut them with clean scissors to make them more manageable for your fork later.  Then set them aside until you've cooked the veggies and meat.

-Saute onions and carrots in 1/4 cup cooking oil over low heat, stirring occasionally but not constantly for about 10 minutes (until soft and slightly brown).

-Meanwhile, strain the mushrooms when rehydrated and save the liquid for later. Slice mushrooms into thin strips and add to cooked onions/carrots.

-Add marinated meat. cook over medium heat, stirring, for about 3 minutes until just brown. This part goes quickly.  Try not to overcook, or the meat will be tough.

-Add cooked veggies and meat to the noodles in the bowl. Then add scallions, sesame seeds, and freshly ground pepper. 

-Toss and combine ingredients while adding 1/4 cup soy sauce, 1Tb sesame oil, and 1/4 cup of the mushroom liquid.