Saturday, December 31, 2011

Peppermint Marshmallows

Oh my gosh!!! Aunt Heidi's marshmallows are wonderful.

This recipe is adapted from Smitten Kitchen.

1 c. powdered sugar
3 1/2 envelopes (2T + 2 1/2t) unflavored gelatin
1 c. cold water, divided
2 c. sugar
1/2 c. light corn syrup
1/4 t. salt
2 large egg whites
1/2 t. vanilla
1/2 t. peppermint
red food coloring

Oil bottom and sides of 13 x 9 metal baking pan and sit with powdered sugar. In mixing bowl, sprinkle gelatin over 1/2 c. cold water and let soften. In 3 quart saucepan, cook sugar, corn syrup, 1/2 c. water, salt over low heat until sugar is dissolved. Increase heat and boil without stirring until 240F, about 12 minutes. Pour over gelatin, stirring until dissolved. Beat on high speed until white, thick, tripled in volume about 6 minutes. In a separate bowl, beat egg whites to stiff peaks. Beat whites, peppermint and vanilla into sugar mixture. Stir in food coloring but only to make lines through not to make pink. Pour into baking pan. Sift 1/4 c. powdered sugar over top. Chill uncovered until firm, at least 3 hours, up to one day.

Invert pan over cutting board. Cut into 1 inch cubes (oiled pizza cutter) sift remaining powdered sugar into baking pan and toass with marshmallows. Store airtight at room temp 1 week.

Caramels (a few days to make)

From Aunt Heidi's kitchen:

2 c. white sugar
1 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. butter
1/8 t. salt
1 c. corn syrup
1 c. heavy cream
1 T. vanilla

70% dark chocolate (Heidi says from Trader Joes)
The chocolate is important! Otherwise, they spread out.

Sea salt to top.

8 by 11 1/2 baking dish or something similar. Line smoothly with foil then butter the foil for easy removal later.

Melt butter over medium heat. Add chocolate, sugar, salt, syrup and cream. Cover and boil 5 minutes. Uncover and boil slowly, stirring until firm ball stage (248F). (If you have a cup of cool water to dump some caramel in it will tell you if it is the right consistency. You should still use a candy thermometer. Make sure your children are asleep during this part and don't cook them when you are sleepy!) Remove from heat. Add vanilla and stir. Pour into a foil-lined and buttered dish.

Let cool to room temperature. It can sit out for the next day.

Flip pan onto cutting board and peel off foil.

Cut with a sharp knife. (If you cooked them too long, they will be a pain to cut! The ice water test will help you with this part.)

Then freeze on wax paper so they hold their shape. (Also, makes them easier to dip later.)

Melt the chocolate slowly in the microwave, stirring frequently. You want a deep pool of chocolate in a small counter.

Use a fork to turn in the chocolate then put it on wax paper. Then sprinkle with a little sea salt.

You can cool the chocolate in the fridge if you want the chocolate to set more quickly but do not store in the fridge because the condensation on the chocolate will ruin the finish, the caramels will be too hard and the chocolate texture will change.

Peanut Butter Cups

HALF of the Buckeye filling to use for the Peanut Butter Cup filling.
1/4 c (2oz) cream cheese
1 1/2 c peanut butter
1 c graham cracker crumbed (~14)
3 cups powdered sugar
10 T unsalted butter, melted and cooled

The Buckeyes called for 12oz of dark chocolate, coarsely chopped. You need more for Peanut Butter Cups.

Beat cream cheese and peanut butter. Add crumbs and beat 10 seconds. Add sugar and butter, slow to combine, then faster, scraping sides. Then shape into little disks in the size for the papers put on wax paper and freeze.

Melt chocolate, let cool to tepid (less than 100F). Using a ketchup bottle put the melted chocolate in the bottom of each cupcake paper, put in a peanut butter disk then cover in chocolate. Chill in fridge 3o minutes, at least.

Aunt Heidi adapted this recipe from Buckeyes on Smitten Kitchen.

Overnight Pizza Dough adapted by Aunt Heidi

This recipe was adapted by Aunt Heidi from Peter Reinhart's New York Style Pizza Dough recipe in American Pie: My Search for the Perfect Pizza.

There are a lot of notes.

This recipe is for a 16 inch pizza pan.

11.25 oz of flour (preferably bread flour) (measured on a cooking scale)
(original recipe calls for 1t sugar- Heidi omits this)
1 t salt
1 t instant yeast (You can use active dry but you have to proof it in the warm water. This can also be labeled as 'bread machine yeast.')
dump oil in (about 2T)
1 cup warm water

Mix all the ingredients are just together. Let rest 5 minutes. Then kneed with mixer because stick for a few minutes. Look for the dough being stringy. Put over the dough and store in the fridge overnight.

Try to set dough out 2 hours before using to get to room temperature but you can use it straight out of the fridge.

Flour counter and top of dough because it will be really sticky if at room temp. Pat and stretch out multiple times it will eventually hold it shape. Heidi does not use a rolling pin for this. Then move to a greased pan.

Put on sauce (her sauce, Trader Joe's pizza sauce thickened with tomato paste), toppings (Bryan likes green bell pepper, well-drained pineapple tidbits, Canadian bacon from Costco), 8 oz mozzarella cheese from Costco.

Bake 500 or 550F for 10 to 12 minutes on the bottom rack of the oven. Look for the cheese and crust to brown then take it out.

Heidi and Bryan make pizza every Friday night. They have it down to a science. (They are both engineers!)

Friday, December 30, 2011

Roasted Green Chilies in Cumin-Garlic Cream Soup

Made Chili Chicken Tacos for dinner. Was having company and didn't think I had enough taco fixings to fill everyone. So, I fixed this soup. Got a lot of complements and the recipe was copied and sent home with the company.

4 large fresh mild green chilies, such as anaheim or poblano, or a combination of 4 green bell peppers and 2 jalapenos
Equal amount of corn as the chilies once the chilies have been diced
2 Tbs butter
1 onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1 cup light cream
1 cup chicken or vegetable stock
salt and pepper
1 lime, halved, to serve

Roast the mild chilies, or the combination of bell peppers and jalapenos until the skins are charred. Follow instructions on website for removing skins, seeds, and stem.
Melt the butter in a large frying pan, saute the onion and garlic for 3 minutes. Sprinkle with cumin and season with salt and pepper.
Stir in the sliced chilies and corn. Pour in the cream and stock. Cook over medium heat, stirring, until the liquid reduces in volume and forms a richly flavored sauce.
Transfer to a serving dish and serve warm, squeezing over lime juice at the last minute.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Italian Breaded Pork Chops

3 eggs, lightly beaten
3 tablespoons milk
1 1/2 cups Italian seasoned bread crumbs
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons dried parsley (Didn't use)
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
4 pork chops (We had 6 pork chops and lots of leftover breading and egg mixtures.)

1.Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).
2.In a small bowl, beat together the eggs and milk. In a separate small bowl, mix the bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, and parsley.
3.Heat the olive oil in a large, oven-proof skillet over medium heat. Stir in the garlic, and cook until lightly browned. Remove garlic, reserving for other uses.
4.Dip each pork chop into the egg mixture, then into the bread crumb mixture, coating evenly. Place coated pork chops in the skillet, and brown abut 5 minutes on each side.
5.Place the skillet and pork chops in the preheated oven, and cook 25 minutes, or to an internal temperature of 160 degrees F (70 degrees C).

I served this meal with mashed potatoes that I didn't peel and mashed with Half & Half and Parmesan.