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Monday, October 21, 2013

Recipe Review from 10/14/13

Not much to say this week after our last couple of weeks with skunks and jail birds.  Weather has turned more fall-like, with rain, blustery winds, and temps in the 40's.  Well...until the weekend came, and then we had first snow (!) followed by first frost, and a bit more rain and snow.  Yeah, it was a good weekend for football and hot soup.  

The recipes reflect the season:

Spiced Pumpkin Oatmeal Pancakes  (Mpls Star Tribune, Oct 10, 2013)  
I love pumpkin.  These...not so much.   While the flavor was perfect - just the right amount of pumpkin and spices - the pancakes themselves were heavy and while cooked on the outside, remained undercooked on the inside.

The second strike was the addition of the oatmeal, which made for an odd texture - soft pancake and then these crunchy bits from the oats.  I would probably skip the oats in the future.

What I did like about these, in addition to the flavor, was the use of yogurt.  I would probably make again, but with some tweaking. 

Article Note: White whole-wheat flour is a great pantry staple and works as a substitute for white flour in most recipes. You can use half all-purpose flour and half whole-wheat flour if you don’t have white whole-wheat on hand. From Meredith Deeds.
Makes about 8 pancakes.

2 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted, plus 1 tbsp. for the pan
photo from Mpls Star Tribune by Meredith Deeds
1 c. white whole-wheat flour (see Note)
• 1/2 c. old-fashioned oats
2 tbsp. firmly packed brown sugar
• 1 tsp. baking powder
• 1/2 tsp. baking soda
• 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
• 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
• 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
• 1/4 tsp. salt
• 1 egg
• 1 c. milk
3/4 c. unsweetened canned pumpkin
1/4 c. plain low-fat or nonfat yogurt

• Maple syrup

1) In a large bowl, stir together the flour, oats, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and salt. 
2) In another bowl, mix egg, milk, pumpkin, yogurt and butter until well blended. Stir egg mixture into flour mixture just until evenly moistened. Don’t overmix.
3) Place a nonstick griddle or a 12-inch nonstick frying pan over medium heat. Lightly butter and adjust heat to maintain temperature. Spoon batter in 1/3-cup portions onto griddle and gently spread out into approximately 4-inch circles. Cook until pancakes are browned on the bottom and edges begin to look dry, 3 to 4 minutes. Turn with a wide spatula and brown the other sides, 2 to 3 minutes longer, or until cooked through. As pancakes are cooked, transfer to baking sheets and keep in a warm oven. Serve warm with maple syrup.

Slow Cooked Enchiladas (A Year of Slow Cooking Blog)  gluten free** read the labels
If you follow the link to A Year of Slow Cooking, you will get a humorous account of how it was received by her family.  I have to say, it is not the most visually appealing dish on the plate.  However, the flavor is really good, and you can't beat ease of prep.

My main comment about this dish would be to skip the tortillas.  I think that is what makes this dish visually and texturally off.  My corn tortillas (mind you, I don't have access to true "corn" tortillas) just disintegrated.  Skip the tortillas and serve this over rice, potatoes or even polenta to make it more stew-like.

--leftover cooked chicken (about 2 cups)
--28 oz can of enchilada sauce (check ingredients for possible family allergens!)
--1 orange pepper
--1 yellow pepper
--1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
--1 can olives (I wish we had sliced, I sliced the whole ones)
--6 corn tortillas
--2 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
--sour cream (optional)

1) Combine chopped or shredded chicken with the enchilada sauce
2) Starting with 2 corn tortillas, layer ingredients into stoneware insert. Recommended order:
--chicken mixed with sauce
--chopped pepper
--black beans
Repeat layers. Finish with a handful of cheese and 1 tablespoon of water that you swirl around in the bowl that had the enchilada sauce and chicken.

3) Cover and cook on low for 4-6 hours. The recipe author notes - This is a no-peeking recipe. A lot of times it's okay to peek and to stir, but for this one it's best left alone for the flavors to meld properly and for the edges to get that yummy crispy cheese texture.  Serve with a dollup of sour cream. 

Hummus Fritters  (Ckng Lght Sept 2013)  vegetarian, gluten free option**  
These are awesome!  Super easy, great flavor, filling.  My only change was I made my own hummus.  It so easy to do so that I knew I could have it done in the time it took to cook the rice.  That way I have control over the ingredients. 

I also think I'm in love with Uncle Ben's instant brown rice.  Omg!  It's like overcoming my aversion to rotisserie chicken.  I served the fritters with a Greek veggie salad I purchased, Lebanese pocket bread from the co-op (kinda was like Naan), feta, and the leftover hummus.  Recommended! 

photo from
  • 1 1/2 cups precooked packaged brown rice (such as Uncle Ben's)  (I used two cups because that's what the package made)
  • 1 cup prepared traditional hummus (such as Sabra Classic Hummus)
  • 3 tablespoons cake flour  (**GF substitute would work)
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 1 large egg white (I used the whole egg)
  • 7 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups baby arugula
  • 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
  • 1 cup diagonally cut slices seeded peeled cucumber
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion
  • 1 ounce goat cheese, crumbled (about 1/4 cup)  ( I used feta
  1. Place first 5 ingredients in a food processor; process until smooth. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add 2 teaspoons oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add 4 (1/4-cup) batter mounds to pan, pressing each with the back of a spatula to flatten slightly. Cook 4 minutes on each side or until golden and thoroughly cooked. Remove from pan; keep warm. Repeat procedure with 2 teaspoons oil and remaining batter. Sprinkle fritters with 1/4 teaspoon salt.
  2. Combine remaining 1 tablespoon oil, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, lemon juice, and black pepper in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add arugula, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, and onion; toss gently to coat. Arrange about 1 cup salad, 2 fritters, and 1 tablespoon goat cheese on each of 4 plates. Serve immediately.

1 comment:

Dee said...

Heaviness is always a problem with pumpkin pancakes. I had some from a restaurant last week and they had the same problem --- heavy and WET! UCK!

I love all things pumpkin, but for some reason it just doesn't work for pancakes.

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