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Monday, September 26, 2011

Recipe Review from 9/18/2011

I had several recipes planned for the week, but, well, I got sidetracked.  We went out to a new-to-us restaurant on Tuesday (Clyde Iron) to use a gift certificate, was in the Cites for a Twin's Game on Thursday (they actually won!), and I went out with a friend for lunch on Saturday.   I have to say, my favorite recipe this week was the french toast below.  Yum!

Classic French Toast (Fine Cooking, Sept 2011)
Nearly everyone has a favorite french toast dish.  For me, it's either at the London Road Cafe on Superior St. in Lakeside or Sarah's Table at Chester Creek Cafe.  Though the best I had recently was in Madison WI, at the Concourse Hotel Dayton St Grill with  Vanilla Bean French toast, orange honey mascarpone, and fresh berries.  Seriously good.  Like I ate it two days in a row good. 

Fine Cooking's recipe is a strong contendor for the homemade category. Using fresh bread with an emphasis on the 'soft'.  I found some challah bread that worked perfectly.   This will probably make it's way into our Sunday' pancake day routine.  Please note, I did HALVE the recipe to serve two of us.  Three slices of challah french toast were almost too much for us!   And if I may say, I think my toast turned out better looking than Fine Cooking's picture. 

picture from
3 oz. (6 Tbs.) unsalted butter; more for the pan

2 cups milk, preferably whole, at room temperature
6 large eggs, at room temperature
3 Tbs. sugar
4-1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
3/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
Kosher salt
8 to 10 3/4-inch-thick slices challah, brioche, or hearty white sandwich bread
Maple syrup, heated, for serving

Tip: Go with fresh bread, not stale. Although stale bread may absorb somewhat more batter, fresh bread, which is softer to begin with, makes more tender French toast.

1) Position racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven, put a baking sheet on each rack, and heat the oven to 250°F.

2) Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. In a medium bowl, combine the melted butter, milk, eggs, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, and 1 tsp. salt and whisk until the sugar and salt are dissolved. Transfer the mixture to a large baking dish.

3) Working in batches, add 2 or 3 slices of bread (or as many as will fit in your skillet in a single layer) to the mixture and soak, turning once, until saturated but not falling apart, about 2 minutes total.

4) In a 12-inch skillet over medium heat, melt about 1/2 Tbs. butter. When the foam subsides, use a slotted spatula to add the soaked bread in a single layer. Cook, turning once, until goldenbrown, 1-1/2 to 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a baking sheet in the oven, arranging the pieces in a single layer, to keep warm.

5) Repeat with the remaining bread, briefly rewhisking the batter before soaking, and wiping out the skillet and adding fresh butter between batches.

Serve drizzled with maple syrup.

Hungarian Goulash  (Ckng Lght, Sept 2011)
Yup.  It's fall and I've leapt back into the cassroles and stews and soups and comfort dishes with gusto!  Husband's enjoying this as well - more meat and potato type dishes for him.  Though to balance things out lunches are still fairly light and tend to be vegetarian.  This didn't turn out quite like the picture, mine was more on the liquidy side even though the broth was quite reduced and thickened as listed below.  I liked the flavors but it seemed to be lacking...something.  Maybe a smoky paprika would have been better?  Not sure.  
1 garlic clove, crushed
picture from
1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1/4 teaspoon caraway seeds, crushed
1/4 teaspoon black pepper, divided
Cooking spray
1 (1-pound) pork tenderloin, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 cups coarsely chopped onion
1 bacon slice, finely chopped
1 3/4 cups water, divided
1 cup chopped seeded tomato
1 tablespoon paprika
3/4 cup beer
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper
3 Hungarian wax chiles, seeded and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
8 ounces uncooked egg noodles
1 tablespoon butter
3 tablespoons sour cream
Chopped parsley (optional)

1. Place garlic in a small bowl; mash with the back of a spoon to form a paste. Add 1/4 teaspoon salt, caraway seeds, and 1/8 teaspoon black pepper.
2. Heat a large Dutch oven over high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Combine 1/4 teaspoon salt, remaining 1/8 teaspoon black pepper, and pork in a medium bowl; toss. Add pork to pan; sauté 6 minutes, browning on all sides. Remove pork from pan.

3. Reduce heat to medium-high; return pan to heat. Add onion and bacon; sauté 7 minutes or until bacon is done, stirring frequently. Stir in garlic mixture; cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add 1 1/2 cups water, tomato, paprika, and beer; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in red pepper and chiles; simmer 15 minutes. Add pork to pan; simmer 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Combine remaining 1/4 cup water and flour in a small bowl; stir with a whisk. Stir flour mixture and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt into pork mixture. Bring to a boil; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly.

4. Cook noodles according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Combine noodles and butter in a medium bowl, stirring until butter melts. Place 1 cup noodles in each of 4 shallow bowls; top with 1 cup pork mixture. Top each serving with about 2 teaspoons sour cream. Garnish with parsley, if desired.

Joanne Weir, Cooking Light


Bacon-Corn Chowder with Shrimp (Ckng Lght Aug, 2011)
Every now and then again, a recipe comes together because you have nearly everything already on hand.  This was one of those recipes.  I had some frozen corn from last year's garden that I needed to use up and a partial bag of shrimp.  It's Fall and time for some soup.   What could be better than a corn chowder?  This was very easy to make, came together in about half an hour and tasted really good.  I liked the addition of the shrimp to add a bit of body, but if you don't do seafood, it would be easily omitted.  This made about 5 servings.  I might have been a bit short in the corn department - it was a ((shrug)) "this looks like enough" type of measurement.
6 slices center-cut bacon, chopped
1 cup prechopped onion
1/2 cup prechopped celery
picture from
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
1 garlic clove, minced
4 cups fresh or frozen corn kernels, thawed
2 cups fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth
3/4 pound peeled and deveined medium shrimp
1/3 cup half-and-half
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon salt Preparation

1. Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add bacon to pan; saute 4 minutes or until the bacon begins to brown. [I recommend draining excess bacon grease, leaving about a TBSP to saute onions in.] Remove 2 slices bacon. Drain on paper towels. Add onion and next 3 ingredients (through minced garlic) to pan, and saute for 2 minutes. Add corn, and cook 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add broth; bring to a boil, and cook for 4 minutes.
2. Place 2 cups of corn mixture in a blender. Remove the center piece of blender lid (to allow steam to escape), and secure lid on blender. Place a clean towel over opening in the blender lid (to avoid splatters). Blend until smooth. Return pureed corn mixture to pan. Stir in shrimp; cook 2 minutes or until shrimp are done. Stir in half-and-half, pepper, and salt. Crumble reserved bacon over soup.

My notes: I used my immersion blender rather than fart around with transfering hot liquids to a stand blender. 

David Bonom, Cooking Light

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