Feb 25, 2013

Herb and Onion Bread- 1972 (No Knead)


There have been some no-knead yeast bread recipes circulating lately. You may have seen them- some are being baked in mixing bowls. People are excited when they discover that they can have fresh-baked yeast bread without the time or trouble of traditional yeast bread recipes.

These recipes make me think of my older sister. She was always the cool one (and still is!). In the early 1970s, she was the Cool Big Sister who went away to college and came back at Christmas break wearing purple velvet bell bottoms and listening to Steppenwolf and Led Zeppelin. Later, she was the Earth Mother, raising her beautiful son on health food and working at the local vegetarian restaurant. 

Now and then: in 1975, Sis was a college grad, and I was finishing high school.

Around about that time, she gave me a wonderful cookbook, The Vegetarian Epicure by Anna Thomas, published in 1972. 
I immediately loved Ms. Thomas' Herb and Onion Bread, and made it for a long time. At some point I just kind of forgot about it...until the renewed popularity of the no-knead breads made me think of it again. 

I made it the other day, and it's just as I remembered: rustic, tender but with a little bit of chewiness to it, aromatic, and so flavorful. I baked it in a 1.5 quart Pyrex casserole dish. A few days later, I baked another batch in a loaf pan. This bread doesn't rise a whole lot, but it does make a nice-sized loaf. 


Baked in the loaf pan

Herb and Onion Bread (1972)
Makes 1 loaf

Ingredients:

1/2 cup milk
1 and 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon butter
1 package yeast 
1/2 cup warm water (110 to 115 degrees F)
2 and 1/4 cups white or whole wheat flour (I used 1 and 1/4 cups unbleached white flour and 1 cup whole wheat flour)
1/4 cup minced fresh onion
1 teaspoon crushed, dried rosemary
1/2 teaspoon dried dill weed

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9 X 5" loaf pan with cooking spray.

Scald the milk and dissolve in it the sugar, salt, and butter; cool to lukewarm. In a large bowl, dissolve the yeast in the warm water. Add the cooled milk, flour, minced onion and herbs, and stir with a large wooden spoon.

When the batter is smooth, cover the bowl with a towel and let the dough rise in a warm place until triple in bulk- about 45 minutes. Stir down and beat vigorously for a few minutes, then turn into greased bread pan. Let it stand in a warm place about 10 minutes before putting it into oven. Bake about an hour. 


Baked in the round casserole

Ms. Thomas notes, "This is the fastest yeast bread I know, and a delicious one. I like to bake it late in the day, to serve still warm with dinner. The aroma of herbs is the greatest appetizer you could devise."








May have been shared at these great parties!




Feb 22, 2013

Roasted Garlic Potato Soup


When my husband and I were dating, one of the restaurants we liked served a luscious roasted garlic potato soup. The restaurant is now closed, but we have never forgotten that delicious soup. I decided to try to re-create it, and it turned out really well.

The sweet, mellow roasted garlic is the star here. It gives a real depth of flavor and aroma that takes this soup to the next level.

(Click here for How to Roast Garlic).






Roasted Garlic Potato Soup
Makes about 3 quarts
Ingredients:

4 large russet potatoes (about 3.5 lbs), peeled and cubed
1 medium onion, diced (about 1 cup)
2 T butter
5 cups chicken broth
1 cup milk
1 heaping tablespoon roasted garlic
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon pepper (or to taste)
half and half (optional)

In a 5 to 6 quart pot, boil potatoes in lightly salted water until just done. Drain and return to pot. While potatoes are boiling, saute onion in butter until onion softens and starts to turn golden.

Add onions and all the rest of the ingredients to drained potatoes. Bring to a simmer and adjust for seasoning. I didn't need additional salt, but you can see how yours is tasting at this point.

Using a potato masher or an immersion blender, mash about half of the potatoes (leave plenty of chunks, too).

If you have time, simmer for about an hour to allow flavors to mingle.

For a creamier soup, pour in a little half and half before serving. It's very good either way- with or without! 

This soup is great all by itself, but you can also top with sausage, bacon, cheese- whatever you like. 



I added hot Italian sausage to mine: SO good. 






Garlic Potato Soup may have been shared at these fun parties!


Feb 21, 2013

How to Roast Garlic (and what to do with it!)


Roasted garlic is one of those things that takes a little bit of trouble, but when you get through you think, "why haven't I done this before?" or "why don't I do this more often?". It's so worth it.

Roasted garlic adds a level of deep flavor you just can't get any other way. Roasting takes the harsh edge off of fresh garlic, and makes it flavorful, mellow and sweet. I made a fresh batch over the weekend, and thought I'd share it with you. 'Cause if you're going to have garlic at this level, everyone's got to have some. Just in self-defense, if nothing else. ;)

1. Preheat oven to 425 dgrees. Slice the tops off of a head of garlic, then drizzle the cut edges lightly with olive oil.


2. Wrap heads well in foil. I make packets and fold all the edges over a couple of times. Put one or two heads per packet. If they're too crowded up, they won't roast as evenly.


3. You can place the packets on a cookie sheet or just right on the oven racks.


4. Bake for 45 minutes. Remove from oven and leave in foil until cool. Unwrap, and squeeze garlic (now a wonderful, golden paste) into a container. Discard skins.



Just wrap in foil and bake!

A few uses for roasted garlic:
  • Stir into softened butter for the best garlic butter you've ever had
  • Mix into olive oil for incredible dipping sauce or to drizzle over pasta
  • Add to soups, stocks, and beans
  • Spread thinly on slices of french baguette and bake for wonderful crostini
  • Add to spaghetti sauce
  • Stir into guacamole
  • Add to bread or biscuit doughs for garlic bread
  • Mix into ground beef for garlic hamburgers
  • Make Roasted Garlic Potato Soup

Rich, roasted garlic


Since it's milder, you can use quite a bit more roasted garlic than raw. It keeps well in the fridge, too, so don't be afraid to roast several heads at a time. 



Store in the fridge in a very tightly sealed container- I recommend a screw top jar.



How to Roast Garlic may have been shared at these fun parties!





Subscribe to Yesterfood by email:

http://feedburner.google.com/fb/a/mailverify?uri=YesterfoodCreatingConnectionsThroughTimeWithFood


Feb 20, 2013

Red Velvet Cake with Mascarpone Cream Cheese Frosting



"Velvet" cakes started showing up in the late 1800s, the name referring to any cake with an especially fine crumb. Red velvet cake, meanwhile, grew in popularity in the 20th century (perhaps because red food coloring, a key ingredient in the cake, became readily available).

Red Velvet Cake is a classic, dressy cake that could be enjoyed at any special occasion.


Valentine's


Christmas

There is some disagreement as to which is the "right" or "traditional" type of frosting to use on a red velvet cake. Some say that a cooked white frosting is what was originally used, but many wouldn't dream of using anything but a cream cheese frosting. It's completely up to you. This recipe includes a cream cheese and mascarpone frosting.

This cake was beautiful, moist, and delicious.



Red Velvet Cake with Mascarpone Cream Cheese Frosting

Cake Ingredients:


2 and 1/2 cups sifted cake flour

1/2 cup lightly packed unsweetened Dutch-processed cocoa
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup canola oil
2 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon red food coloring, either gel or liquid
3/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 and 3/4 cup sugar
4 eggs, at room temperature
2 egg yolks, at room temperature
1 cup buttermilk, at room temperature

Center oven rack and preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease two 9" cake pans (or cupcake pans) and line bottoms with parchment paper.


In a small bowl, sift together the dry ingredients, and whisk to mix well. In another small bowl, combine the oil, vanilla, and food coloring.


In your stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar on medium-high until fluffy, about 5 minutes. Turn mixer to low and drizzle oil mixture into batter until well-combined. Turn back to medium high and beat until fluffy again.

Blend in the eggs and egg yolks one at a time, adding the next one as soon as the previous one disappears.

Turn the mixer to low. Add the flour mixture in three parts, and the buttermilk in two parts, beginning and ending with flour. Scrape the bowl frequently. Do not overbeat.

Divide the batter evenly into the prepared pans and smooth the tops. Rap pans firmly on counter to release any air bubbles. Bake until centers of the cake spring back when lightly touched, 28 to 30 minutes. Cupcakes will be done in less time.


Cool on rack for 30 minutes before removing from pan. Continue to let cool, top side up, until completely cool. Leave the parchment paper on until you assemble the cake.


When layers are cool, remove parchment paper and assemble and frost as for a layer cake:


Mascarpone Cream Cheese Frosting

8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature

8 ounces mascarpone, cold
1/2 cup heavy cream, cold
1/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla

Using your stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add the mascarpone, cream, and sugar. Beat on low speed until combined, scraping the sides of the bowl frequently. Mix on high speed for about a minute or until creamy and thick. Turn mixer to low, add the vanilla, and mix just until blended.

Use immediately, or keep in fridge up to 5 days. If refrigerated, blend and soften with a spatula before using.

I made this cake for my younger daughter's birthday, close to Valentine's Day. She had a small individual layer cake, and the rest of us had cupcakes.





Click here for a tutorial on making the chocolate drizzle hearts:




Recipe from Vintage Cakes by Julie Richardson

Red Velvet Cake may have been taken to some of these fun parties!



Feb 15, 2013

Yesterfood's Favorite Finds


I recently discovered Finding Joy in My Kitchen and her series, Friday Favorite Finds. She shares others' recipes and ideas that she'd like to try. On top of that, she allows the rest of us to share OUR favorite finds on her blog every Friday.

I loved her idea, and I thought you might enjoy browsing through some outstanding recipes that I came across this week. In no particular order, all of these have landed on my "I really want to try this" list.


To pin a recipe, click the link below the photo and pin the recipe directly from their blog, not mine. Thanks!


Walking on Sunshine's beautiful Calzones


A collection of Granny's Recipes from Cooking with K: southern classics!



You had me at avocado.

 
Incredible Homemade Lasagna
from All Things Food- Cooking with Mary and Friends



I am ready for Spring and this Meyer Lemon Cake with Lemon Buttermilk Glaze from Cozycakes Cottage.



If you were featured on Yesterfood's Favorite Finds today, please help yourself to the Featured button!

Yesterfood



Feb 14, 2013

1964 Orange Pecan Bread


Like many of you, I love collecting and reading old cookbooks. I came across a Bisquick cookbook from 1964, and while it's not all that old, I still enjoyed reading it cover to cover. I did some quick research on Bisquick, and found some interesting tidbits about this baking staple:

  • According to General Mills, Bisquick was invented in 1930 after one of their top sales executives met an innovative train dining car chef on a business trip. After the sales executive complimented the chef on his deliciously fresh biscuits, the dining car chef shared that he used a pre-mixed biscuit batter he created consisting of lard, flour, baking powder and salt. The chef then stored his pre-mixed biscuit batter on ice in his kitchen ahead of time, enabling him to be able to bake fresh biscuits quickly on the train every day. When the sales exec returned home, he used the chef's idea to invent Bisquick. 
  • Bisquick has been available in grocery stores since 1931.
  • Bisquick slogans: "A World of Baking in a Box" (1940s); a "12-in-1 Mix" (the 1950s).

Wow- "Science's most thrilling food invention"! Who knew?
(Saturday Evening Post, 1932)


1950s (vintage-ads.livejournal.com)

1950s (tumblr.com)

When I got to this recipe, I knew I had to try it. With spring right around the corner, I am so very ready for all things citrus. 

Orange Pecan Bread has a bright, fresh flavor, and it's the color of sunshine! Sweet, without being overwhelmingly so, and it's moist and tender, even the next day. 


Orange Pecan Bread

Ingredients:


3 cups Bisquick

3/4 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 and 1/4 cups orange juice
1 tablespoon orange zest
3/4 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9 X 5 loaf pan.

Mix all ingredients except pecans. Beat vigorously 30 seconds. Stir in pecans. Bake 45 to 50 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean. Cool completely before slicing.


So moist, and it's a beautiful color. Can you see the little flecks of orange zest?

I served this bread with Cranberry Pecan Chicken Salad. 
The flavors were delicious together!



May have been shared with these fun parties!


Feb 13, 2013

Cranberry Pecan Chicken Salad


I was going to fix lunch to share with my mother last week, and I wanted something kind of "ladies' luncheon-y". I decided to go with chicken salad on croissants.

We like a little sweetness to these kinds of salads. My grandmother used to put grapes in chicken salad and apples in tuna salad. In the chicken salad I prepared for my mom, I used cranberries. The sweet cranberries mixed with the crunch of pecans and celery were a delicious contrast to the salty creaminess of the mayonnaise. 



Cranberry Pecan Chicken Salad  Print Recipe

Ingredients:


3 cups cooked, diced chicken

1 cup mayonnaise (I used Hellman's low fat)
3/4 cup chopped celery
3/4 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup dried, sweetened cranberries, such as Craisins
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper

Combine all ingredients, mix well, and serve. If you have time, refrigerate for an hour to allow flavors to combine.


Orange Pecan Bread was the perfect addition to our lunch.



Cranberry Pecan Chicken Salad may have been taken to some of these fun parties!



Subscribe to Yesterfood by email:

http://feedburner.google.com/fb/a/mailverify?uri=YesterfoodCreatingConnectionsThroughTimeWithFood


Feb 8, 2013

Not Your Mama's Banana Pudding (Lighter)


I kept seeing this banana pudding on Pinterest. It seemed to be attracting lots of attention, but I didn't get it. After reading the ingredients, I thought, "How can people say this is so good? It's not 'homemade'. It uses instant pudding and cool whip."

There's nothing wrong with instant pudding or cool whip, but again, my brain said it couldn't be as good as homemade.


I'm not a homemade snob. I use convenience foods and mixes like everyone else. But I do love real, made-from-scratch banana pudding. I thought maybe these people who were commenting on how good this other stuff was just didn't know any better ("bless their hearts").


So I made it for myself. And I was wrong when I thought it couldn't be very good. This banana pudding is extremely good- even the lighter version that I came up with. The taste is rich and creamy, and the texture is light and almost mousse-like. The use of shortbread cookies instead of vanilla wafers gives it a little different twist and presentation that I like.


So is it better than homemade? Not better, just different. The two are distinct enough that they almost can't be compared. Both are very good, just in their own ways. One Pinterest commenter said, "This will be the only banana pudding I make from now on".....but I say, "Make both!"


Shortbread cookies layered on rich, fluffy pudding

Not Your Mama's Banana Pudding (Lighter)  Print
Adapted (lightened up) from Paula Deen

Ingredients:

1 (12 oz) container frozen whipped topping, thawed (I used Cool Whip lite)
1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese, softened (I used 1/3 less fat cream cheese)
2 cups milk (I used 2%)
1 (5 oz.) box French Vanilla instant pudding
6 to 8 ripe bananas, sliced
2 bags Pepperidge Farm Chessmen cookies

Directions:

1. Line bottom of 13 X 9 inch pan with 1 bag of cookies and layer bananas on top.
2. In a bowl, combine the milk and pudding mix and blend well with a handheld electric mixer. 
3. Using another bowl, combine the cream cheese and condensed milk together and mix until smooth. 
4. Fold the whipped topping into the cream cheese mixture. 
5. Add the cream cheese mixture to the pudding mixture and stir until well-blended. Pour the cream cheese pudding mixture over the cookies and bananas. Cover with the remaining cookies. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

The cookies make perfect little portions

The pudding is delicious all by itself, even without cookies or bananas!



Not Your Mama's Banana Pudding (Lighter) may have been taken to
 some of these fun parties!



Subscribe to Yesterfood by email:

http://feedburner.google.com/fb/a/mailverify?uri=YesterfoodCreatingConnectionsThroughTimeWithFood




Feb 7, 2013

Oven Tacos

Do you have certain "nights" at your house? Pizza night, taco night, spaghetti night? Oven Tacos would make a fun change for any night. 

The baked flavor and crispiness that you get in the oven really enhances the taco filling. I especially like the way the texture of the hard taco shell changes as it bakes- the bottom of the shell becomes a little more chewy, while the top edges crisp up.

Baked tacos are a little easier to eat, too. The filling stays put with the cheese melted over it, and the chewier texture prevents the crunchy-shell-fall-aparts. And serving dinner couldn't be easier: the dish of hot, already-made tacos, a plate of toppings, and you're done!




Oven Tacos
Makes 18 to 20 tacos, depending on how full you fill the shells. 
You can halve this recipe to get about 10 tacos.

Ingredients:
2 lb. lean ground beef

1 can refried beans
8 oz can tomato sauce
1 pkg taco seasoning (I used my homemade taco seasoning)
1 and 1/2 cups shredded cheese
18 to 20 hard taco shells
toppings, such as lettuce, tomatoes, sour cream, avocado, cilantro, etc.

Directions:
1. Brown ground beef and drain off any fat. Stir in refried beans, tomato sauce, and seasoning. Bring to a simmer and mix well.
2. Remove from heat. Spoon meat mixture into taco shells (fill shell about 1/4 to 1/3 full, to leave room for cheese and toppings), standing them up in a 9 X 13 pan as you go.
3. Tuck a couple of tablespoons of cheese onto each filled taco.
4. Bake at 400 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes, or until heated through and just starting to brown.



Recipe adapted from Lynn's Kitchen Adventures


May have been shared with some of these fun parties!



Feb 1, 2013

White Bean and Garlic Dip


When I was growing up, "bean dip" was the stuff in the yellow Frito-Lay can.

Speaking of bean dip from the past, here's an old commercial that features a 1960s homemaker being lectured advised about it:



And now back to today's post. :) 

White Bean with Garlic Dip became a favorite with my family almost immediately. It's fast, simple, has a great flavor, and is delicious with lots of different kinds of crackers and veggies. It's also low in fat, high in fiber, and vegetarian/vegan-friendly. Something for everyone!

White Bean and Garlic Dip

Ingredients:


2 cans ( 15 oz.) cannellini or great northern beans, rinsed and drained
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
1 teaspoon jarred roasted garlic

1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Directions:

Combine all ingredients in a food processor. Process until smooth. Serve with your favorite crackers, veggies, pita chips, kale chips, etc. I even liked it on apple slices! It would be good as a sandwich spread, too.

The dip tastes best if you allow the flavors to mingle for a bit- an hour in the fridge, or even overnight.




Happy dipping!


Recipe adapted from Family Circle
Video from www.texasarchive.org


White Bean and Garlic Dip may have been shared at some of these great parties!