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Monday
Jan272014

Whole Wheat Mountain Bread

 

Whole wheat mountain bread

After a long break for the holidays, Secret Recipe Club is back up and running. This month, I was assigned to Vintage Kitchen Notes, a blog written by Paula from Buenos Aires, Argentina! Paula is not only incredibly talented in the kitchen, but also in the textiles department, making gorgeous handmade textiles such as placemats, pillow cases, and more! When looking through Paula’s recipe archives, I was having trouble deciding on the perfect dish to make. So many of her recipes are things that we would enjoy, but when it came down to it, I chose this bread recipe because, well, we like bread! While the process is quite lengthy (4.5-5.5 hours), I found the process to be relaxing and incredibly worth the time. Not only did it make my house smell amazing while cooking, but I ended up with 2 whole loaves of delicious bread! This bread is hearty enough for sandwiches, and also perfect for toasting or just snacking! I had planned to put one loaf in the freezer for later use, but we ended up going through both of them before I even had the chance! Thanks, Paula for the delicious recipe!

For the Sponge:
1/2 cup Cold Water
1/4 cup Cornmeal
3/4 cup Boiling Water
1 3/4 teaspoons Dry Yeast
1/4 cup Honey, divided
1/4 cup Warm Water (105-115 degrees F)
4 tablespoons Dry Milk Powder
1/4 cup Wheat Bran
1 cup Whole Wheat Flour

In the bowl of a stand mixer, put the cold water and cornmeal. Whisk and let stand 5 minutes. Add boiling water while whisking and let stand another 10 minutes. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, sprinkle the yeast over the warm water with one teaspoon of honey. Stir to dissolve. Let stand a few minutes until foamy. To the bowl of the cornmeal mixture, add the remaining honey along with the dry milk powder, wheat bran, and wheat flour. Add the yeast mixture, mix well with a wooden spoon, cover with plastic wrap, and let it double and be bubbly, about 1 hour. When the sponge has doubled, continue with the dough recipe below.

For the Dough:
3 tablespoons Olive Oil
1/2 tablespoon Salt
1 tablespoon Sesame Seed, ground
1 tablespoon Flax Seed, ground (I used ground flax meal)
1 cup Whole Wheat Flour
2-2 1/4 cups Bread Flour
Additional Cornmeal and Wheat Bran for sprinkling

Gently stir the sponge down with a wooden spoon. Attach the bowl to the stand mixer and add the oil, salt, sesame seed, flax, and whole wheat flour. Attache the dough hook and mix on low speed, adding the bread flour 1/2 cup at a time. When you have added 1 1/2 cups of flour, knead the dough for a minute or two at medium-low speed. Continue to add the bread flour by the tablespoon until the dough is soft but still a bit sticky, and clears the sides of the bowl. It should not be batter-like, but not stiff either. You may need 1/4-1/2 cup more bread flour than stated above. The total kneading time should be 5-7 minutes. Transfer the dough to a greased bowl and turn to coat all sides. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, 2-3 hours. Once the dough has doubled, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. It should be much less sticky than before. Divide the dough into 2 equal portions. Shape each one into as tight a ball as possible, then roll them in wheat bran to coat completely. Sprinkle cornmeal onto a baking sheet, then transfer the dough onto the sheet. Cover with a  clean towel and let the dough rise once more until almost doubled in size, about 45 minutes-1 hour.  About 20 minutes before baking the bread, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. When the bread is ready to bake, remove the towel from the baking sheet and place it in the center of the oven for 10 minutes. Decrease the temperature to 350 degrees and continue to bake for 25-35 minutes, until golden and the bottoms sound hollow when tapped with your fingers. Turn the baking sheet about halfway through baking to ensure even cooking. Transfer the bread to wire racks to cool. Bread can be frozen wrapped in foil/plastic and placed in a freezer bag for at least 1 month. 

SOURCE: Vintage Kitchen Notes

Saturday
Jan182014

Stuffed Poblanos

Stuffed Poblano Peppers

Joel likes to tease me about my apparent obsession with making “stuffed” food. Things like stuffed peppers, stuffed mushrooms, stuffed squash, and the like. I guess I’ve never thought about how much I enjoy stuffing food inside of food and calling it a meal. Unfortunately, Joel doesn’t share my interest in stuffed food. I don’t know why. Sure, he likes the components separately, but together? No, thanks. Well, maybe it’s mean of me, but I continue to make stuffed food, in hopes that he might someday change his mind. It may be working, because guess who liked this meal? Simple, slightly spicy, and meatless stuffing inside of a poblano makes for a delicious meal that leaves you stuffed! (see what I did there? haha)

1 can (28 ounces) Whole Tomatoes in Puree
1 Jalapeño, minced
1 Onion, chopped
3 Garlic cloves, 2 whole and 1 minced
Salt and Pepper
1 can (19 ounces) Black Beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup Yellow Cornmeal
1 cup Pepper Jack Cheese, shredded
1 teaspoon Ground Cumin
3/4 cup Water
4 Poblano Chiles, halved lengthwise, ribs and seeds removed

In a blender, puree the tomatoes, jalapeño, half of the onions, and the 2 whole garlic cloves. Season with salt and pepper. Pour the sauce into a 9x13 baking dish. In a medium bowl, combine the beans, cornmeal, 1/2 cup of cheese, remaining onions, minced garlic, cumin, and water. Season with salt and pepper. Evenly spoon the filling into the poblano halves. Place the poblanos on top of the sauce in the baking dish, then evenly sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Cover the baking dish tightly with foil. Bake at 425 degrees for 45 minutes, or until the poblanos are tender. Uncover and continue to cook until the cheese is brown and bubbly and the sauce has thickened slightly, about 10-15 minutes.

SOURCE: Martha Stewart

Saturday
Jan112014

Portobello Fajitas with Fontina Queso

Portobello fajitas with fontina queso

When I was younger, every time we went to a Mexican restaurant, my dad would order fajitas. I remember the sizzling sound and the amazing smell as they were brought to the table on a skillet. I also remember how crowded the table became after they were dropped off at the table, having to squeeze to make room for the skillet, the tortilla holder, and the plate with all of the toppings. While there was always so many components, the concept behind fajitas is quite simple, really; sautéed onions and peppers combined with a protein of choice, wrapped in a soft tortilla. While this version doesn’t require nearly as much space on the table, it certainly doesn’t skimp on the taste. Especially the queso, which I could eat with a spoon!

2 tablespoons Butter
4 Portobello Caps, stems removed and thinly sliced
1 Green Bell Pepper, sliced
1 Red Bell Pepper, sliced
1 Onion, sliced
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/2 teaspoon Pepper
12 Corn Tortillas

Add the butter to a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the peppers and onions with a  sprinkle of salt, cooking until somewhat soft and sizzling. Add the mushrooms and allow to soften slightly before seasoning with salt and pepper. Remove from the heat and fill the tortillas with peppers, onions, and mushrooms, then top with queso. 

For the Fontina Queso:
1 teaspoon Olive Oil
1/2 Jalapeño, seeds removed and diced
1 tablespoon Onion, chopped
1 Garlic Clove, minced
1 teaspoon Flour
1/3 cup Milk
8 ounces Fontina Cheese, freshly grated

Heat the oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions, jalapeño, and garlic, and cook for 2-3 minutes or until the vegetables are soft. Whisk in the flour and cook for 1 minute, then add milk and fontina, stirring until melted. Serve immediately.

SOURCE: How Sweet It Is

Wednesday
Jan082014

Dark Chocolate Chip Granola Cookies

Granola cookies

Here it is, January 8th, and I’m already making cookies. In my defense, I’m living in the world of the polar vortex and I’ve been stuck home these past two days because of it. All this after having 2 weeks off for winter break makes for a very bored food blogger! So, to cure the boredom, why not make cookies? I stumbled across this recipe while perusing Pinterest and I happened to have every ingredient for these cookies on hand, including a batch of granola that I had made last week. After testing a few right off the pan, I look forward to packing some in my lunch for work tomorrow, provided I can actually go back!

1 1/4 cups Flour
1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
1/8 teaspoon Salt
1/3 cup Sugar
1/3 cup Brown Sugar
2 tablespoons Butter, at room temperature
2 tablespoons Canola Oil
1/3 cup Applesauce
1 Egg
1 1/2 teaspoons Vanilla
1 cup Granola
1/2 cup Dark Chocolate Chips

In a small bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, and salt. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the sugars, butter, oil, and applesauce until smooth. Beat in the egg and vanilla, then gradually beat in the flour on low speed. Using a spoon, stir in the granola and chocolate chips. Drop dough by rounded teaspoonfuls onto parchment lined cookie sheets. Bake at 375 degrees for 8-10 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool the cookies on the cookie sheet for 2 minutes, then transfer the cookies to cooling racks until completely cooled. Store in an airtight container. 

SOURCE: Barely adapted from Live Better America

Saturday
Jan042014

15-Minute Wonton Soup

Wonton soup

On New Year’s Eve, we invited another couple over for dinner and made them a 4 course meal. Joel and I were in the kitchen for about 6 hours prepping each part so that when our friends got here, we were able to enjoy the time with them instead of leaving them to entertain themselves while we went and cooked. While we loved our meal, spending that much time in the kitchen made me want to stay away from the kitchen for a few days. So, on New Year’s Day, we went to the movies and when we came home, we made this soup. In as much time as it took for the noodles to cook, dinner was ready. Minimal effort, minimal dishes, and minimal time standing over the stove. For something that came together so quickly, the flavor was phenomenal. I look forward to this soup becoming a weeknight staple throughout the winter months.

8 cups Chicken Broth 
1/4 cup Soy Sauce
3 tablespoons Rice Vinegar
1 tablespoon Fresh Ginger, minced or grated
1 tablespoon Sesame Oil
1/2 tablespoon Sambal Oelek (I thought I had some but didn’t, so I used sriracha instead)
18 ounces Frozen Dumplings/Potstickers (I used pork and vegetable potstickers)
8 ounces Mushrooms, sliced
6 ounces Baby Spinach
8 ounces Rice Noodles, prepared according to package directions

In a large pot over medium heat, bring the chicken broth, soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil, and sambal oelek to a boil, stirring occasionally. Once boiling, add the frozen dumplings/potstickers, mushrooms, and spinach to the boiling broth and simmer for about 5 minutes, or until the dumplings/potstickers have been cooked through, the spinach is wilted, and the mushrooms are tender. Divide the noodles between bowls and cover with the wonton soup.

SOURCE: Prevention RD