Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Classic Apple Pie

Every Thanksgiving, apple pie makes its mandatory appearance on the dessert menu.
This year, I wanted to try a new recipe and this one looked (and ended up tasting) delicious.
for the crust
2 1/2 C all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting
2 tbs sugar
12 tbs butter, chilled and cut into 1/4" pieces
1/2 C vegetable shortening, chilled
6-8 tbs ice water

for the filling
8 apples (I used a variety of types from our CSA)
3/4 C granulated sugar
1 1/2 tbs lemon juice
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground allspice
1 egg white, beaten lightly
1 tbs granulated sugar, for topping

  1. for the crust: Add flour and sugar to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a beater blade.
  2. Add the butter and mix on medium-high speed for 30 seconds.
  3. Add the shortening and mix on medium-high speed until mixture is pale yellow and resembles course cornmeal (about another minute).
  4. Remove bowl from mixer stand.
  5. Sprinkle 6 tablespoons of ice water over mixture.
  6. With a rubber spatula (or your CLEAN hands), use a folding motion to mix.
  7. Press down on dough with broad side of spatula until dough sticks together, adding up to 2 tablespoons more ice water if dough will not hold together. 
  8. Squeeze dough gently until cohesive and divide into 2 equal balls.
  9. Flatten each ball into a 4" wide disk.
  10. Dust lightly with flour, wrap separately in plastic, and refrigerate at least 3 minutes, or up to 2 days, before rolling.
  11. Remove dough from refrigerator. If still and very cold, let stand until dough is malleable.
  12. Adjust oven rack to center position and heat oven to 425°.
  13. Roll one disk on a lightly floured surface into 12" circle.
  14. Transfer the dough to a 9" pie pan.
  15. Gently press dough into sides of pan, leaving portion that overhangs lip of pie place in place; refrigerate while preparing filling.
  16. for filling: Peel, core, and slice apples into 1/2"-3/4" slices and toss with granulated sugar, lemon juice, salt, cinnamon, and allspice.
  17. Turn the apple mixture (including the juices), into the chilled pie shell and mound slightly in the center.
  18. Roll out the other dough round and place over filling (or you can use cookie cutters to cut out fun shapes and layer them on top of one another to cover the filling).
  19. Trim top and bottom edges to 1/2" beyond pan lip; tuck this rim of dough underneath itself so that the folded edge is flush with the pan lip.If using dough round as top crust, cut 4 slits at right angle on the dough top. 
  20. Brush egg white on top of crust and sprinkle evenly with remaining 1 tablespoon of granulated sugar.
  21. Bake until top crust is golden, about 25 minutes.
  22. Reduce oven temperature to 375°, continue baking until juices bubble and crust is deep golden brown, ~30-35 minutes longer.
  23. Transfer pie pan to wire rack; cool at least 4 hours.
  24. Enjoy!

Chicken Mole over Dark Chocolate Linguine

They opened a fancy olive oil store at the mall near us, called Secolari.
We bought a bunch of things on our first visit, including a package of dark chocolate linguine that we had no idea what to do with.
Luckily, the company who makes it provided some recipes.
We tried this one and it was different, but in a delicious way.
yield: 6-8 servings

1 lb Pappardelle's Dark Chocolate Linguine
2 tbs extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbs chili powder
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 (14.5oz) can diced tomatoes, drained
1 bell pepper, chopped
2 chipotle peppers, chopped
1 (10oz) can chicken broth
2 tbs peanut butter
2 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped
4 lb chicken breasts

  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Heat oil in a saute pan over medium heat.
  3. Add onion and saute until translucent.
  4. Add garlic and spices and continue to saute for 2-3 minutes.
  5. Add diced tomatoes, peppers, chipotles, broth, peanut butter, and chocolate.
  6. Simmer for 10 minutes.
  7. With an immersion blender (or in shifts with a regular blender), puree until smooth.
  8. Sear chicken in a heavy bottomed, hot saute pan over medium-high heat until browned on all sides.
  9. Add chicken to casserole dish, cover evenly with sauce.
  10. Cover and braise in the oven for 45-60 minutes.
  11. While chicken and sauce are braising, cook pasta in a large pot of salted boiling water until just tender, ~7-8 minutes; drain.
  12. Toss pasta with chicken mole.
  13. Enjoy!

Green Beans with Bacon and Brown Sugar

Last Thanksgiving I totally forgot to make the green beans.
This Thanksgiving I wanted to have a recipe in hand that would be quick, easy, and delicious so that I could easily get it on the table in time.
This recipe fit that bill perfectly -- and the green beans were REALLY good, and bonus points for not having to roll bacon around green beans.

yield: 12-16 servings*

3 lbs green beans, ends trimmed ( got the pre-trimmed, steam in a bag kind)
8 slices bacon
1/2 C light brown sugar
12 tbs salted butter, melted
1 1/2 tsp garlic powder

  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Steam green beans (if you have the steam in a bag kind) or bring a large pot of water to a boil and boil green beans for 3 minutes and then plunge into ice water; set aside.
  3. In a skillet, cook bacon until the edges just begin to brown; remove from pan and lay on a paper towel.
  4. When bacon is cool enough to handle, cut into small pieces or strips.
  5. Place the green beans in a casserole dish.
  6.  Spread bacon pieces over the green beans.
  7. Sprinkle brown sugar evenly over the beans and bacon.
  8. In a small bowl, stir together melted butter and garlic powder.
  9. Pour evenly over the green beans and bacon.
  10. Bake for 20-25 minutes.
  11. Let sit for 5 minutes before serving.
  12. Enjoy!
*This recipe is double the original recipe. The original recipe says it serves 8-10, I had 8 people for Thanksgiving and even with a ton of other food and the doubled recipe, we didn't have a ton of leftover green beans. So, my thought is that the original recipe is more of a 6-8 person serving and the doubled recipe is a 12-16 person serving. Or maybe we just eat a lot at my house.

Overnight Pumpkin Monkey Bread

I made this recipe for Thanksgiving morning, it was phenomenal -- and the perfect way to start Thanksgiving!

for dough
4 tbs salted butter, melted
1/4 C granulated sugar
1 C pumpkin puree
1 large egg
1 package quick rise yeast
1 C warm water
2 C cake flour
1 3/4 C all-purpose flour

for brown sugar coating
1 C light brown sugar
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
8 tbs (1 stick) salted butter, melted

for icing
3 oz cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 tsp maple syrup
1/8 tsp salt
1 C powdered sugar
1-2 tbs milk

  1. Spray a 12C Bundt pan with cooking spray; set aside.
  2. for dough: In a small bowl, whisk together warm water, yeast, and 1 tbs sugar. Let sit for 5 minutes until the yeast is frothy.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the butter, sugar, salt, pumpkin, and egg; set aside.
  4. Mix cake flour, pumpkin, and yeast mixture in a stand mixer fitted with a beater blade on low speed until combined.
  5. Switch to the dough hook, increase speed to medium.
  6. Gradually add all-purpose flour.
  7. Knead with dough hook on medium speed for 5 minutes.
  8. Turn dough onto lightly floured counter and knead briefly to form a smooth, round ball.
  9. Coat a large metal bowl with cooking spray.
  10. Place dough in bowl and cover with plastic wrap.
  11. Allow dough to rise in a warm, draft free place for 60-90 minutes until it doubles in size.
  12. for brown sugar coating: While dough is rising, mix brown sugar and spices together in a small bowl.
  13. Place melted butter in a second bowl; set aside for sugar coating.
  14. Remove dough from bowl and pat into a roughly 8" square.
  15. Using bench scraper or knife, cut dough into 64 pieces.
  16. Roll each dough piece into a ball.
  17. One at a time, dip balls in melted butter and allow the excess to drip back into the bowl.
  18. Roll in brown sugar mixture.
  19. Layer sugar coated dough balls in the Bundt pan.
  20. Cover Bundt pan tightly with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator overnight.(Or if you are crunched for time, let it rise in a warm, draft free place for 30-45 minutes).
  21. Remove the pan from the refrigerator about 1 hour before you want to bake it.
  22. Heat the oven to 350°.
  23. Remove the plastic wrap from the pan and bake 30-35, until the top is deep brown and caramel begins to bubble around the edges.
  24. Cool in pan for 5 minutes, then turn out on a platter, and allow to cool slightly (~10 minutes).
  25. for icing: While the bread is cooling, beat cream cheese in a stand mixer fitted with beater blade until smooth.
  26. Add maple syrup and salt, beat until incorporated.
  27. Add powdered sugar and beat until smooth.
  28. Add milk slowly, until the icing reaches the desired consistency.
  29. Drizzle icing over warm monkey bread, letting it run down the sides of the bread; serve warm.
  30. Enjoy!

Italian Shrimp & Pasta

We haven't been grocery shopping in a long time (think before Thanksgiving), and we are trying to use what we have in our freezer/cabinet/fridge. We dug some shrimp out of the freezer and went to google to figure out what to do with it.
We picked this recipe and stuck mostly to it -- we added some crushed red pepper flakes for some spice and some tomato paste to thicken it up based off of the comments that said it was watery.
It turned out great, and the added spice was a nice touch.

yield: 4 large servings

2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbs olive oil (I used Basil Olive Oil)
28oz can of diced tomatoes, undrained
1/2 C chicken stock
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp white pepper
1/4 C tomato paste
1 lb uncooked shrimp, peeled and deveined
6oz uncooked angel hair pasta

  1.  In a large skillet, saute garlic in olive oil for 2 minutes over medium heat.
  2. Add tomatoes, stock, basil, oregano, and pepper.
  3. Bring to a boil.
  4. Reduce heat to medium-low, simmer, uncovered for 10 minutes.
  5. Stir in tomato paste.
  6. Simmer for an additional 10 minutes.
  7. Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions.
  8. Add shrimp to the tomato mixture; cook for 5-6 minutes or until shrimp turn pink.
  9. Drain pasta; toss with shrimp mixture.
  10. Enjoy!