CT Style with Ryan Kristafer & Sarah Cody Getting Ready for Thanksgiving!
It was a special day on CT Style with Ryan Kristafer and Sarah Cody sharing one of my favorite childhood dishes in memory of my Grandma Reilly. I never did get her recipe for her Creamed Onions or pies but she was the inspiration behind my recipe that I have been making for over 20 years now. Cooking in The Bender KItchen, hanging out with Ryan and Sarah was the perfect way to start my Thanksgiving holiday this year!
Thanksgiving is one of those holidays that can truly drive you crazy if you don’t do any planning because there are just too many side dishes to make. Needless to say, a little planning goes a long way!
On CT Style I wanted to show you some of the dishes that are total time savers for this Thanksgiving. My Icebox-rolls dough can be made 4 days ahead, shape and rolling out the rolls, dredging in green onions the day before. These icebox dinner rolls are then ready to pop into the oven when your guests arrive giving your house a warm and fuzzy feeling with aromas of homemade baked bread!
The yummy Best Brussel Sprouts Ever are drizzled with olive oil, chopped garlic and roast for only 25 minutes on 350º without any flipping or fussing. These can be made the night before because the sprouts keep their bright green color and crispness when re-heated the next day!
My Perfect Pie Crust in 5 Minutes is to die for and can be made 1 month ahead, put into the freezer and thawed in the frig 2 days before you need it! Roll out the pie dough the night before Thanksgiving and then bake your delectable Chocolate Pecan Pie the night before and violà! Not to mention, the Chocolate Pecan Pie recipe is a melt in your mouth gourmet recipe …it may just be the hit of your holiday!
Finally, there was talk of a Creamed Onion competition recently at Page Hardware in Guilford with owner Andrew Page when we were discussing future cooking demos at Page in the new year! So there just may be a “Creamed Onions” competition coming as well! Page has quite the array of high tech steam ovens, stoves and so much more…it’s almost difficult to pay attention to conversation surrounded by all the beautiflul stainless steel! You really have to check them out. I will keep you all posted on The Traveling Epicurean Cooking Demos and the “competition” in their amazing kitchens at Page in January of 2018!
I want to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving! Let me know how your recipes turned out and about any new ones that you tried! xxoo
CT Style in The Bender Kitchen with Teresa & Ryan Making Manicotti!
With Easter right around the corner I was excited to be back on CT Style in The Bender Kitchen with Ryan and Teresa so I could share with you my family’s secret recipe for homemade manicotti. These delicate pasta crepes are the lightest manicotti you’ll ever have. They are oozing with mozzarella, covered in tomato-basil sauce and topped with grated Pecorino Romano cheese and are sure to turn heads at the dinner table!
Italian tradition always includes a yummy side dish to go along with the ham, leg of lamb, turkey, salmon or tenderlion like manicotti, lasagna, eggplant rollatini or parmesan. Comfort food bringing it all together, an Italian side dish makes such a nice compliment to what ever meat or fish you choose.
This homemade manicotti recipe is a poured crepe-like batter and in my opinion it’s a whole lot easier then making a tradition rolled out pasta. Making the pasta crepe is like making pancakes or French crepes. On my manicotti recipe page I show you detailed pictures of how to make them. The YouTube “Manicotti Show” that’s embeded there also includes very detailed instruction on how to make these walking you thru each step making it very easy for you to follow and learn.
I love cooking for everyone on the CT Style set who seemed to love the manicotti because there weren’t any left over…makes the chef very happy! The lettuce wedges with Roasted Blue Cheese & Buttermilk Dressing (stay tuned for an up and coming show on that one) and crumbled bacon were a big hit too and lets not forget thoseChewy Chocolate Chip Cookies!
“Death by Chocolate Meringue Pie” is the perfect title for this recent cooking show taped at my foodie friend’s, David and Eileen’s house. When you taste this most chocolatey mousse-like filling topped with fluffy peaks of meringue you will think you have died and gone to heaven! This wonderful chocolate meringue pie recipe came from David’s mother, Alice, and has always been a family favorite for the holidays! With four boys in his family growing up, David said his mother was always welcome to the idea of having more cooks in the kitchen. You could only imagine that with four boys you’re going to need more then just one pie. David and his brothers happily learned at an early age how to pitch in and get this task done.
David uses the “chocolate fudge” flavor of Jello brand, the cook and serve, not the instant. Come to find out, this “chocolate fudge” flavor can be a difficult category to find. But using Jello brand’s “chocolate” flavor is the next best thing, so don’t fret. Make sure to keep an eye out for the “chocolate fudge” flavor next time you are at the store and shoot me an email if you strike “fudge”!
What takes this Jello cook and serve chocolate fudge pudding to a completely different universe, into a rich, chocolate mousse-like texture is the addtion of egg yolks, sugar, butter and pure vanilla extract. You will find yourself eating each bite of chocolate meringue pie very slowly just to savour every luscious bite. Part of this decadence comes from the rich, flaky crust made with a special lard David gets from Firefly Farmers in Stonington, CT. You can purchase their products at the Stonington, Waterford and Bozrah Farmers Markets. It definitely makes a difference in your pie crust to use both butter and lard like in my Perfect Pie Crust in 5 Minutesbut using this lard that David use’s really puts the crust over the top!
Last but not least is the meringue that tops this incredible chocolatey filling and brings the whole pie together. Whipping the egg whites to soft peaks is important to achieve the elegant curly cues you can create when dipping a spatula gently into the surface of the meringue. Then off to the oven briefly until those beautiful peaks turn golden.
This wonderful chocolate meringue pie recipe could have easily remained a family secret but David and his mother were gracious enough to share it with us. The only option I see here is for you to get busy and make this luscious dessert for your next holiday! Don’t forget to share the YouTube link to the show 🙂 ENJOY xxoo
Ingredients for David’s Pie Crust – 1 Crust for lg Deep Dish Pie Plate (measurements below are 3/4 of full recipe):
1 1/2 cups flour
1/4 cup lard frozen, grated
1/4 cup butter refigerated, grated
3/4 tsp salt
approx. 2-3 tbsp ice cold water
FULL PIE CRUST RECIPE – 2 Crusts:
2 cups flour
1/3 cup lard or crisco
1/3 cup butter
1 tsp salt
3-4 tbsp ice cold water
Directions for Pie Crust – Pre-Heat Oven to 400º :
Measure lard or crisco and put into freezer
Grate lard or crisco and butter and place in separate bowls back in the frig til you are ready
Add flour, salt, lard or crisco, and butter to food processor or mixer and begin to mix with paddle attachment slowly
Then slowly add in 1 tbsp at a time while mixing, you may need to add another tbsp of water to have dough come together
When dough comes together in 1-2 minutes turn dough onto wax paper forming into a disc shape and place into the freezer for 15 minutes
Begin to roll out dough between wax paper until its large enough to fit pie plate
Gently peel over top layer of wax paper flipping over into pie dish
Gently push edges in all around and remove the other piece of wax paper
Scallop the edges of pie crust
Prick inside walls and bottom of crust with a fork
Place into a 400º oven and bake 10-15 minutes until slightly golden around the edges
Let pie crust cool and begin to make the chocolate filling
Ingredients for Chocolate Filling:
2 boxes COOK and SERVE Jello brand “chocoate fudge” or “chocolate” pudding – NOT INSTANT
NOTE: I can only find “chocolate” so I mix “bittersweet chocolate chips & semi sweet chocolate chips heaping 1/4 cup of each and this tastes exactly like “chocolate fudge” brand of Jello 🙂
4 egg yolks
3 1/2 cups WHOLE milk
1/2 heaping cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp butter
1 tsp pure extract vanilla
1 pre-baked pie crust cooled
Directions for Chocolate Filling:
Separate 4 egg yolks from whites and place into separate bowls (yolks for filling and whites for meringue)
Add 2 boxes of chocolate fudge pudding mix to medium size sauce pan
Add in chocolate chips, 4 egg yolks, sugar, 3 1/2 cups of milk over medium heat
Continue to whisk while bringing ingredients to a boil, it will thicken quickly
When it thickens take off of heat
Whisk in 3 tbsp of butter and 1 tsp vanilla
Pour into the cooled pre-baked pie crust and let cool just a bit to a warm TEMP but NOT COLD– DO NOT put into the fridge because you DON’T want to put whipped meringue on a COLD pie, it will cause meringue to weep 🙂
Ingredients for Meringue:
4 egg whites
8 tbsp sugar – 2 tbsp per egg white
1/8 tsp cream of tartar
Directions for Meringue – Pre-Heat Oven to 375º :
Whisk egg whites until soft peak begin to form then start to add sugar 1 tbsp at a time
Keep whisking unitl you get soft – stiff peaks – in between peaks – NOT STIFF
Pour onto WARM chocolate pie filling
Begin to smooth meringue over to touch edges of the pie crust making sure meringue seals all along the edge of the pie crust
Once the meringue completely covers the chocolate filling begin to dip spatula in and out of meringue creating curly cue peaks
Place chocolate meringue pie into 375º oven until peaks are golden approx 10-15 minutes – if the meringue is undercooked the it will weep
Take out and let meringue cool, slice and mangia mangia!
MERINGUE TIP: Do not put whipped meringue on a COLD pie, a warm filling is better than COLD. Be sure to cook meringue through because undercooked meringue will weep 🙂
Making Chocolate eclairs with The French Club this week made for an incredibly fun afternoon! The Chocolate eclair shells made from pâte à choux, a french pastry dough, is a cinch to make and so delicious you may find your self wanting to make them this weekend.
The method I use to make the pastry cream is simplistic and straight forward. This method for making the pastry cream I got from one of Martha Stewart’s chefs, Thomas Joseph. I wanted to show you an easier way to prepare the custard then your traditional tempering of the eggs method, especially if you have never tried to make this before. The actual recipe for the pastry cream is from my own collection and playing around with recipes over the years.
As for the pâte à choux dough, what can I say, but wow! Although, this is a French dough with French ties it is also noted that Catherine de Medici left Florence in 1533 to marry the Duke of Orleans who later became Henry II, King of France. She brought with her the entire court which included her chefs! Smart woman is all I can say. A few years later her head chef, Panterelli, invented a hot paste-like dough and called it pâte à Panterelli. Of course, the recipe has evolved some what since then and with a couple of names changes too but with the same idea. It’s a dough with a paste like texture that use’s heat and moisture-steam for a raising agent instead of the baking powders that we use so much today.
1 tsp sugar (only for desserts) (not for gougeres)
1/2 tsp salt
4 lg eggs
1 egg + 1 1/2 tsp water whisked together – for egg wash
Directions for the Pâte à Choux:
Preheat the oven to 400º degrees
Line a cookie tray with a piece of parchment paper – when you are done making the pate a choux squeeze out 4 dime size pieces of dough on each corner of the cookie tray, then place parchment over that – to hold in paper in place while you form eclairs
Bring the water, butter, salt and sugar to a rolling boil over medium-high heat in a medium size sauce pan
Stir in all of the flour and continue to stir vigorously with a wooden spoon for about 1 1/2 minutes – which will start to make a film on the bottom of the pan
Turn out flour-egg mixture into a large glass bowl and stir to cool for 1 minute
Crack eggs into a bowl to make sure there are no shells
Begin to add one egg at a time into the dough and keep mixing with a wooden spoon
The mixture will look broken up at first but no worries because it comes back together
After each egg is absorbed into the flour mixture ADD another egg and repeat stirring
Spoon the Pate a Choux dough into a pastry bag … I don’t even use a tip here
Cut about 3/4″ off the end of the pastry bag
Twist down the open end of the bag a little to keep dough enclosed and to put pressure on the cut off end
Squeeze out 3-4″ x 3/4″ rows of Pate a Choux dough to form eclairs making sure they are about 2″ apart
Brush with egg wash and smooth with your finger if needed to smooth any bumps
Put into 400º oven for 15 minutes
Turn down to 350º for another 25 minutes
Turn oven off and open door 5″ but leave eclairs in the oven to dry out another 10 minutes
Ingredients for the Pastry Filling:
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
Pinch of salt
2 cups milk room temperature
6 lg eggs yolks room temperature
1 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Directions for the Vanilla Custard Filling:
In a medium sauce pan add sugar and corn starch and whisk to combine
In a medium bowl whisk milk and egg yolks until combined
Whisk in milk and egg mixture into sugar and corn
Turn heat to medium/high and bring to a boil
As soon as it comes to a boil whisk 5 SECONDS ONLY and TAKE OFF HEAT continually whisking, after 5 seconds put BACK ON heat for 5 SECONDS and IMMEDIATELY take off heat
DO NOT BOIL ON HEAT FOR MORE THAN 10 SECONDS or the texture will become grainy
Add in butter and vanilla while still whisking
Strain the custard into a glass bowl
Stir to cool slightly and cover directly onto custard saran wrap OR Pour into a prepared tart shell, then into the frig and when cooled and thickened top with fresh sliced fruit and voilà another dessert! …just saying 🙂
Place into the frig for atleast 2 hours up to 3 days
Take the thick pastry cream out of frig and whisk til smooth -5 seconds and the texture will become smooth and ready to place in the pastry bag to pipe
Ingredients for the Chocolate Dipped Toppping:
4 oz. semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 cup confectioners sugar to desired thickness
Heat the cream to a small sauce pan and bring to a boil
Pour the hot cream over the chocolate chips and vanilla in a medium size bowl and let it melt the chocolate for 2 minutes
Whisk the cream and chocolate until smooth
With a whisk slowly add in confectioners sugar while whisking until smooth
If the chocolate gets cooled and too thick to dip heat for a minute over double boiler
Dip the tops of the eclairs in the warm chocolate glaze
Set on a cookie tray
Place into the frig uncovered for at least 1 hour to set the glaze
Homemade pan pizza made with different themed toppings from clams casino, to Hawaiian and Greek make for perfect party hors d’ oeuvres! Everyone seems to find their favorite flavors. When the sizzling pan pizza comes out of the oven heads turn especially when the aromas from the garlic, clams, bacon, onions and peppers fill the air!
The wonderful thing about all the different themed toppings for your pan pizza is you don’t need much in terms of quantity. The dough you make the day before, but if you forgot or didn’t have time it will still work if you make it the same day. If you make the dough the same day you don’t put it into the frig but let it proof for an hour and a half in a warm spot to develop some of that texture and flavor. The whole idea behind the “proofing in the refrigerator” is it let’s you do other things while the dough slowly rises developing a killer texture and flavor like in my delicious “Icebox Dinner Rolls”. So take advantage of this refrigerator method, you will be happy you did.
As for my pizza sauce, it couldn’t get any easier because it’s puréed only, not cooked. If you go into a pizza place and inquire about their sauce the majority will tell you the tomato sauce is raw. I know because I have done just this, but they don’t always like to give away their pizza secrets so easily. To the raw, whole peeled tomatoes I add a garlic clove that I put thru the press, salt, pepper and some Italian seasonings and then it’s puréed. Keeping the tomatoes raw really compliments all those other strong flavors from the toppings yet not seeping into the background still being a pertinent player in the pizza game!
Have some fun with these pizza’s and customize those toppings on your homemade pan pizza! My favorite is the clams casino pizza because you have the best of both world’s, flavor’s and crispy, chewy edges. You can’t beat the garlic, clams, bacon and pepper combo. Drizzling on the extra clam juice not only makes it taste that much better but it let’s the crust get a little crispy while keeping the toppings moist enough so not to burn. With that in mind make sure to pour on any of the extra juices from what ever you are cutting up as when you are slicing up the cherry tomatoes. Another very important tip is to keep all the toppings, including the sauce and mozzarella, in the cold refrigerator until the last minute. This helps the toppings to cook properly giving the crust time to crisp up.
Ingredients for 1 Sheet Pan Pizza Dough – 12.5″ x 17.5″ x 1″ tray:
4 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 cup warm water 105º-110º
1/2 tsp sugar
1 packet yeast or 2 1/4 tsp – not rapid rise
1 tbsp salt
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil for the pizza dough
1/3 extra virgin olive oil for the sheet pan
Plus more olive oil to drizzle on top of the pizza’s before baking
My Pizza Sauce – Enough for 2 Sheet Pan Pizza’s:
1 can of whole peeled tomatoes (drained if the pulp is watery) pureed with 1 tsp salt, 1/2 finely ground Italian seasonings, 1/4 tsp pepper and 1 lg garlic clove put thru garlic press
Ingredients For The Toppings From The Show for 2 Trays of Pizza:
Clams Casino Pizza – (for 1/2 the pizza) 1-2 cans 1 cup of Snows canned clams drained except 3 tbsp of clam juice per can to drizzle over pizza, 1/4 cup of chopped peppers, 3/4 cup sliced thick cut bacon, 1 garlic clove thru press, 1 tsp chopped sweet onions
Greek Pizza – 3/4 cup sliced cheery tomatoes, 3/4 cup sheep’s milk feta, 1/4 cup sliced sweet onion, 1/2 cup sliced kalmata or canned black olives, 1/3 cup chiffonade basil
Bacon Pizza – 1 cup thick sliced bacon (for 1/2 of the pizza)
Hawaiian Pizza – 1 cup sliced ham, 1/2 cup chopped pineapple, 1/2 cup sliced green onions with whites too
Directions – (Pre-heat the oven to 450º right before the pizza dough has it’s final proof and make sure the rack is in the lowest possible position):
Warm the stainless steel mixing bowl with warm water for 5 minutes
Empty out warm water and add packet of yeast to mixing bowl
Add in 1 1/2 cups of water at 105º-110º to the yeast
Add in 1/2 tsp sugar and let the yeast proof for 10 nminutes
Tour on knead hook and begin to add in 3 tbsp olive oil, flour and salt
Keep mixing and knead with hook after it forms a dough ball for 10 minutes
Take dough off of hook and onto a floured counter
Knead by hand for 2 minutes and place into a large oiled bowl
Cover with saran wrap and refrigerate for 18-24 hrs.
When you are ready to make the pizza make sure to take out of the frig and let the cold dough sit for approx. 2 hrs. – this will make it easier to work with
When the dough has sat for 2 hrs. turn out onto floured surface and begin to roll out and stretch to the size of the cookie tray
Pour 1/3 cup of olive oil onto cookie tray and place the rolled out pizza dough onto olive oil
Cover with plastic wrap and let sit 30 minutes
Remove plastic wrap and stretch the dough if needed to the edges of the pan and using your thumb press the egde of the dough into the edges of the cookie tray to form a crust – this will become a crispy and chewy egde that you will love!
Spoon pureed tomatoes onto the dough and sprinkle mozzarella
Add you desired topping and give a drizzle of olive oil across the top of the pizza and put into a 450º oven for 16-20 minutes.
Definitely check at the 15 minute mark as all oven are different
You want the edges dark golden and the middle is sizzling
Take out and let sit for 5 minutes
Using a large spatula remove the pizza in one piece to a large cutting board and slice, or slice in the cookie tray
Wait until you taste these decadent sticky buns first hand! Such an easy recipe to follow making these homemade gourmet sticky buns that melt in you mouth! PERFECT for VALENTINE’S DAY morning or any occasion for that matter. The dough is light and chewy. The pecan glaze is soft and caramel like and the cream cheese icing is the best I have ever had. The cream cheese icing has a tablespoon of lemon juice giving it the perfect balance. If you don’t have lemons you can always substitute the citrus with pineapple juice. It’s nice to have the different options with these two toppings to offer to your family and guests.
The dough recipe for these homemade gourmet sticky buns couldn’t get any easier. You can literally make it in 8 minutes including the five minutes of kneading with the dough hook. Although, you do have to wait for eggs and buttermilk to come to room temperature. There isn’t any worrying about activating the yeast in a 105º-110º liquid either. It is important to buy a fresh packet of yeast though. It’s better to make sure it’s a fresh packet then dealing with one that’s been sitting in your cabinet for a while if you are not a big baker. It was very fun to play with the different sticky bun and glaze recipes that Dana and I had from Cooks, bon appétit and our own mish-mosh of things. That’s what makes the whole experience worth while, eliminating what doesn’t work and substituting what does. So we got all that out of the way for you here.
If you have a little time, planning for the homemade sticky bun dough, glaze and cream cheese frosting to be made a day or two ahead would be ideal! Once you make these for your family and friends you will become the honorary sticky bun chef!
When you bite into the buttery, flaky pastry layers with the creamy sheep’s milk feta and ricotta-spinach filling you’ll agree that Spanakopita, a classic Greek dish, is so worth the effort. We neatly fold this delicate pastry dough, with a tablespoon of this amazing spinach mixture, into triangles for the perfect little appetizer shape that just melts in your mouth. The #4 fillo pastry dough becomes this delicate shell making for an elegant nibble.
This recipe came from my good friend, Dana, who happens to be a wonderful chef. In fact, Dana and her husband are opening up a restaurant in early spring at The Goodwin Golf Course called Birdie Cafe. Dana is half Greek and half Italian so this was family tradition for her growing up making these with her mother. My great grandmother was born in Crete making me one eighth Greek. So with a hint of Greek lineage in my blood I’m thinking that’s what drives my palate towards these Mediterranean flavors that I adore so much.
Spending the day in Dana’s kitchen with our other college friend, Lynn, making these spanakopita was ideal considering we were having so much fun it didn’t seem like work at all. We didn’t even realize how much we were accomplishing. Lynn, who manage’s Sam The Clam Pub & Grub in Southington, CT introduced us to a Greek Mojito with Metaxa, a Greek liquer, that was very delicious.
The fact that you can easily make these spanakopita triangles ahead of time which freeze so nicely for future dates is ideal for parties. So start making this spanakopita now for your Super Bowl get together! Invite over a few friends to make the spanakopita and the task goes really quickly and it’s a lot of fun. Add in our Greek Metaxa Mojito’s and I think you have yourself a pre-party to the party just like the one at Dana’s.
To cut down on the time and effort and not forgo making this delectable dish you could make one big tray of the spanakopita. In a 9 x 13 x 3 (or similar size) baking dish lay down 9 full sheets of phyllo pastry dough brushing in between each layer with butter of course. Next, lay in the entire bowl of spinach filling, then 9 more buttered layers of phyllo with a finishing buttered coating right on the top. If you are baking this one tray be sure to refrigerate the the spanakopita for twenty minutes before baking it. This will firm up the pastry dough so you can run a knife through the top layers of dough cutting in only about 1/4″ to give you pre-cut lines in the serving sizes you’ll want. It makes cutting the spanakopita much easier after it comes out of the oven. Of course, a tray this size will need to bake for about 55-60 on 350º instead of the 20 minutes the triangles take. The phyllo pastry dough is very forgiving. If your sheets are larger then the pan giving you extra dough on the sides when lining the baking dish just fold them over. You won’t notice that the sides may be folded over after it’s baked because it will be all flaky and puffed anyways and still taste incredible.
INGREDIENTS FOR Spanakopita – will make approx. 30 spankopita triangles :
1 pkg. #4 Phyllo Pastry dough or Fillo pastry dough put into frig over night if frozen
1 cup (1 pkg) thawed and fully drained (squeezed) frozen chopped spinach
2 cup whole milk ricotta
1 cup sheep’s milk feta cheese
1 lb. melted butter
3 scallions finely chopped white and green parts OR 2 tbsp finely chopped shallots
2 tbsp chopped parsley
2 tbsp fresh dill
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp black pepper
DIRECTIONS FOR Spanakopita:
Pre-heat oven to 350º
Take Phyllo dough out of the frig to bring to room temperature but still in the box
Drain and squeeze ALL the water from chopped thawed spinach
In a large bowl add 2 cup ricotta, 1 cup drained spinach, 1 cup sheep’s feta, scallions or shallots, parsley, dill, nutmeg and pepper – stir gently to mix and set aside
Unroll Phyllo on counter top
Cut the 15″ long pastry dough with a sharp knife into 3 3/4″ pieces getting 4 across
Start to lay out the strips 4 across a work surface – always keep a layer of saran wrap and a damp dish towel on top of the layers you’re not using
Brush thin coat of butter in between each layer til you have 3 layers down in each of the 4 rows
Put 1 tbsp of ricotta-spinach mixture in the right bottom corner of the phyllo sheet – you can use a sm. cookie dough scoop to help keep the tbsp all the same size – this will help you to move along quicker
Fold right corner over so the bottom edge lines up with the left side, like you are folding a flag
Continue on up until you are at the top and used up all the pastry dough – brush a little butter on the last fold to seal it
Put filled phyllo triangles onto a baking tray about 9 per tray
Bake each tray of spanakopita triangles for 20 minutes on 350º until golden
Be sure to let the spsankopita cool a little – the filling will be hot 🙂
You may have 1/2-3/4 cup of filling leftovers so freeze it, roll up in pounded-out chicken breasts, stuff bone-in chicken breasts under the skin with the filling and bake or just buy extra phyllo…enjoy 🙂
INGREDIENTS for the METAXA MOJITO’S:
1 cup Metaxa Greek Liquer
1 1/2 cups soda water
1 fresh lime cut into wedges
1 fresh lemon juiced = 1/4 cup lemon juice
2 tbsp light brown sugar
4 mint leaves or basil leaves
DIRECTIONS for making the Metaxa Mojito’s:
Mint leaves muddled with fresh lime wedges and light brown sugar in a glass cocktail mixer
Add fresh lemon juice, Metaxa, soda water and ice, shake and serve with mint or basil garnish…enjoy 🙂
2014 – Laura, my loyal friend and follower making the icebox rolls for the holidays!
There’s nothing better than the aromas of homemade fresh baked bread, sweet onion and rosemary to wet the appetite! I was thrilled to find this icebox dinner roll recipe about fifteen years ago and have been making them ever since. The recipe card was from “easytobake” and I have tried to access their website but it doesn’t exist anymore. I have made many different bread dough’s in my life, kneading by hand, proofing, kneading again and it can all be exhausting. The whole idea behind icebox dough is that kneading is not necessary. The flavor and soft, tender texture develops as it proofs right in the refrigerator. Once you see how easy it is to make these melt in your mouth icebox dinner rolls you may never pick up store bought rolls again.
Laura making the icebox rolls for her 2015 Thanksgiving!
I have added lots of chopped green onion and fresh rosemary in my rolls but they are just as delicious plain too! It takes all of fifteen minutes to make this dough and can be made up to 4 days ahead. The dough stays in the refrigerator, hence the name “icebox” rolls. You take the dough out of the frig the morning of your dinner party. It get’s formed into dough balls mixing in chopped green onion and fresh rosemary. Then the rolls get lined up on a buttery baking tray and back into the frig. Two hours before you want to serve the homemade icebox dinner rolls you take them out of the frig and let them rise for an hour and a half to two hours. When they have doubled in size, give them an egg wash for a little shine, then bake.
Hope you enjoy these scrumptious “easy icebox dinner rolls” as much as our family and friends do. They will be asking you for the recipe for sure! These homemade dinner rolls aren’t just for holidays they are great for any day. Try them with my turkey stuffed peppers where you can dunk them in the sauce and pepper juices, the Au Jus in myBoeuf Bourguignon, or Bolognese Sauce. After all this savoriness you may need a chocolate fix with my perfectly chocolate chocolate cakeor for a light and refreshing sweet try this amazingPavlova!
Ingredients: Makes 24 Dinner Rolls
4 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 packets active dry yeast (NOT rapid rise)
1 cup warm water (105 -115 degrees)
3 lg eggs (if you use extra large eggs you will need to add a little more flour to compensate)
1/2 cup melted butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 Tsp salt
2 bunches of green onions chopped to 1/8″ pieces -(from white/greenish part to ends)
1/2 cup fresh chopped rosemary
1/3 stick room temp butter to coat the cookie tray or inside of the 10″x 15″ baking dish
Using a KitchenAid mixer OR lg mixing bowl pour in the 2 packets of yeast then add in 1 cup of 105º – 110 º water.
Then add 1 Tbsp of sugar (from the 1/2 of cup of sugar that you add later) now because it feeds the yeast and really gets it activated.
Let this sit for about 5 minutes and you will see it get foamy.
Add in the eggs, melted butter, sugar, and salt and whisk- make sure the butter is not hot because it can kill the yeast if too hot
Begin to beat in a 1/2 cup of flour at a time using the whisk the whole time until the dough gets too stiff to mix.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface, place the big ball of dough into a large Ziploc baggy and put it into the refrigerator for 2 hours…. up to 4 days.
When you are ready to make the rolls just cut the dough right out of the zip lock with scissors nice and easy…..then turn out the chilled dough onto a floured work surface and divide equally into 24 pieces with a pastry scraper
Roll each piece into a ball then firmly push into the pile of chopped green onion and freshly chopped rosemary and re-roll into a ball again. You can keep some of the rolls plain.
Coat 4 Tbsp of softened butter all over a cookie tray with 1/2″ sides or a 10″ x 15″ baking dish for taller rolls
Place the dough balls into the buttered baking tray, cover with Saran wrap and let them rise for 1-2 hours depending how warm your kitchen is (they need to dbl in size) OR you can put them back into the frig until 1 1/2 hours before you need them then take them rolls back out of the frig and let them begin to rise and double in size
Pre-Heat the oven to 375º
Whisk 1 whole egg with 1 tbsp water and brush a good coating onto the rolls after they rise and before putting them into the oven
Bake for 13-18 minutes until a dark golden color…it depends how warm the rolls got while rising so you’ll need to peak at them to see if they’re golden yet.
TIP: It’s a good idea to warm the stainless steel mixing bowl by running hot water into it before you begin so the cold bowl doesn’t take the necessary temperature of the water down.
Homemade pasta is something you have to try at least once in your life! You’ll see how satisfying it is when you taste the tender, slightly chewy texture of the fresh pasta. Making pasta has been a part of my life ever since I was young making homemade manicottiwith my mother for the holidays. At my Aunt Pasqualina’s, the counters were always covered with fresh pasta drying out on dish towels.
This past weekend, my friends Lisa and Vin, graciously agreed to share their grandfather’s secret family pasta recipe with me. I had the opportunity to try out, first hand, a pasta tool that belonged to Vin’s grandfather which he called the “trucal iron”. It’s a special pasta cutting tool, a roller, made years ago from medal and wood that was eventually passed on down to Vin. The center spiral part of this “trucal Iron”, made of medal, does the cutting as you roll out the pasta. It has Wooden handles which he said his grandfather glued back on a couple of times. Vin also has a newer version of this “trucal iron”, one made of all wood but the wood spirals have begun to chip away from wear and tear. They don’t make some things like they used to. Vinnie also shared some precious memories of his grandfather and father making this homemade pasta for Sunday dinners growing up where his grandfather would creatively hang the pasta noodles from atop the kitchen cabinet doors to dry out.
There’s nothing like an evening with special friends making homemade pasta! This night of homemade pasta making at Lisa and Vin’s reminded me of how much I really love to do this. Everyone has their own way of making pasta and that’s part of what makes this experience so fun. Now as for this “trucal iron”, there are other pasta tools out there that mimic what Vin’s special pasta tool does like the ones below from Amazon. I have to say, I haven’t used any of those tools from Amazon because I use my KitchenAid pasta attachment which is another great option for cutting the kneaded pasta dough. You could even cut your thinly rolled out pasta into strips by hand with a sharp knife to get the stands of fettuccine, spaghetti, or what ever thickness you might like.
Who would ever think you could make this buttery, flaky, homemade pie crust in 5 minutes? After eating many of my Granda’s pies when I was little I was inspired to come up with a recipe that tasted just like hers. Unfortunately, I never got her recipe but have been making pie crust’s for over twenty years and I’m happy to say I came up with a pie crust recipe that is spot on to what my Grandma used to make . Granted, there are some pretty decent pie crusts available at the market and if you are making many pies it totally makes sense to go that route. If you are only making a couple of pies you really need to get busy and make this homemade pie crust!
Homemade pie crust in 5 minutes is just that but there two tricks to this amazing pie crust. First, all the ingredients must be very cold. Refrigerated butter cubes are already firm enough but to firm up the soft Crisco pieces it’s wise to put that into the freezer before adding it to the food processor. Second, you MUST NOT OVER WORK the dough! Over working the dough will build gluten’s like you are make a bread dough and we don’t want that for making this perfect pie crust in 5 minutes. We want our pie crust to be flaky in texture not tough and hard.
In my opinion, a couple of the best bakers in the world are the French and the Southerner’s. One loves butter and the other loves Crisco. So why not take the best of both worlds using both butter and Crisco to achieve these wonderful results. Not to mention, as I always do, I have tested many pie crusts recipes to come to this theory.
You need to try out this perfect pie crust in 5 minutes recipe just once to be convinced to start making your own. In fact, you will wonder why you haven’t been making your own homemade pie crust your whole life when it’s that easy to make and tastes like this! Enjoy the show and don’t forget to make this ahead of time popping it into your freezer until you are ready to roll it out for a pie or a quiche. I would transfer the dough from your freezer to your refrigerator couple of days before you are ready to use it in order for the dough to come to the proper workable temperature. Once you make your dough you really ought to try making an amazing Chocolate Pecan Pie or Death by Chocolate Meringue Pie for your holiday. Don’t forget to watch Thanksgiving week when we roll out this dough and bake a pie together! For theBest Blueberry Pieeverrecipe this is one that shouldn’t be missed. Enjoy 🙂
10 tbsp cold butter cut up each tablespoon into 4 pieces and into fridge until you are ready to add to flour
1/2 cup coldCrisco cut into small pieces OR 1/2 cup REAL LARD from FIREFLY FarmsOR 1/4 cup Crisco & 1/4 cup lard
1/2 cup, plus 2 tbsp cold water, (keep in fridge until you are ready to add to flour)
3 cup all-purpose flour
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp sea salt
NOTE: I even keep food processor container with medal blade in it in the fridge until you are ready to pulse ingredients
It’s easiest to freeze first, especially for crisco or real lard, then take out of freezer and cut up or grate before adding to processor
Add dry ingredients to the food processor and pulse twice to combine
Drop the freezer cold, firm Crisco or lard pieces onto the flour
Then add the butter pieces helping the pieces to separate with a butter knife as you drop them onto the flour
Pulse 5-7 time until the Crisco and butter are pea size
Now turn processor to “on” and slowly add water through opening – Note: this will take about 12-15 seconds for the dough to come together
The moment you see the dough begin to come together, STOP, and PULSE 2-3 times to finish into a ball
Take dough out onto floured counter surface – you will see little specs of butter and Crisco in the dough which will make for a buttery, flaky crust!
Cut dough into two pieces, cover with Saran Wrap and into fridge for at least 30 minutes or freezer until you are ready ( If you freeze it allow 2 days back in fridge to come to proper workable temperature)