Archive for December, 2012

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Pumpkin Pull-Apart Bread

December 26, 2012

This is a yummy twist on monkey bread that is full of cinnamon and pumpkin. It takes some prep time, so be plan for a couple of rising periods. I really liked the bread by itself, but if you want to go extra sweet and rich, just add the glaze. This is adapted from Sunny Side Up.

20121124 Pumpkin Pull Bread 01

You will need:

  • 6 T  butter, divided
  • 1/2 c plus 1 1/2 T milk, divided
  • 2 1/4 t (1 envelope) active dry years
  • 3/4 c pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling!)
  • 1 1/4 c sugar, divided
  • 1 t salt
  • 2 1/2 c flour
  • 2 t ground cinnamon
  • 1 t ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 t ground ginger
  • 1/8 c brown sugar
  • 3/4 c powdered sugar
  • 1/4 t vanilla extract

20121124 Pumpkin Pull Bread 04

Then you will…

  1. In a saucepan over medium-high heat, brown 2 tablespoons of butter, letting it bubble up and turn a dark golden brown but being careful not to allow it burn (turn black). Once browned, remove the pan from the heat and carefully add the milk, return to stove and heat through.
  2. Pour the milk and butter into a large bowl and allow to cool so it is no longer hot but also not cool (about 100-110 degrees F). Once it has reached a warm but not hot temperature add the yeast and 1/4 cup of sugar and allow to proof (this can take up to 8 minutes, the top will look foamy and the liquid cloudy).
  3. Then add the the pumpkin, salt, and 1 cup of flour. Stir until combined then add the rest of the flour 1/2 cup at a time and knead for 6 minutes, until the dough is smooth and elastic and just slightly sticky. If the dough is too moist, add extra flour 1 tablespoon at a time.
  4. Move dough to a lightly oiled bowl and cover with a clean towel. Allow to rise in a warm place for 60-90 minutes or until doubled in size.
  5. While dough is rising, brown another 2 tablespoons of butter.
  6. In a small bowl, mix 1 cup of the sugar with the cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger.
  7. Next, spray a 9×5 loaf pan with non-stick cooking spray and set aside. (You can also choose to flour the pan as well if you want to be extra careful about sticking).
  8. When the dough has doubled in size, punch it down and flip out onto a clean floured surface and knead for 1-2 minutes. Roll dough into a 20×12 inch rectangle.
  9. Brush the dough with the brown butter and evenly sprinkle the dough with the spice and sugar mixture.
  10. Cut the rectangle into 6 strips. Lay strips on top of each other and cut each strip into 6 even squares (cut in half then each half into thirds). Stack strips vertically into the loaf pan. Cover the pan with a clean towel and let rise for 30-45 minutes.
  11. In the meantime preheat an oven to 350 degrees. After rising in the pan bake for 30-40 minutes or until top is a very deep golden brown. Let the bread cool on a rack in the pan for 10 minutes, before inverting onto a serving dish.
  12. If you want to use the glaze, heat the remaining butter, milk, and brown sugar in a small saucepan. Bring to boil then immediately remove the pan from the heat and stir in the powdered sugar and vanilla.
  13. Drizzle over the finished bread!
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Jefferson Turkey

December 21, 2012

20121122 Jefferson Turkey 01

We made this twist on traditional turkey for Thanksgiving. The end result: a very impressive main dish that goes perfectly with the holidays.

This recipe was published in Redbook and comes from the chef of the Jefferson Hotel in D.C. The chef found his inspiration in Thomas Jefferson’s Madeira toast for the Declaration of Independence. If you cannot find any Madeira wine, try substituting Sherry or Marsala. They will taste a bit differently but be just as delicious. Also, try making the sauce ahead of time! It will be one less item to remember while making your next feast!

You will need:

  • 2 T vegetable oil
  • 1/4 c shallots, chopped
  • 2 c Madeira wine
  • 2 c fresh cranberries
  • 1/4 c honey
  • 2 large sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 2 1/2 c chicken stock, divided
  • 1/4 c whole-grain Dijon mustard
  • 1 (14- to 16-lb) turkey***
  • 1 t salt
  • 1 t pepper
  • 1/4 c butter, melted
  • 1/2 c water

***This feeds 12 people generously with some leftovers; feel free to pick the right size for your party…just adjust the roasting time

Then you will…

  1. Start with the glaze, which can be made up to 3 days before your feast.
  2. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the shallots and saute for 6 minutes.
  3. Add the Madeira wine; increase heat and bring to a boil. Allow to boil for 15 minutes until the wine is reduced to a thick syrup.
  4. Stir in the cranberries, honey and thyme; reduce heat and cook 6 minutes, until the cranberries start to break down.
  5. Add 2 cups of the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and allow to simmer for 30 minutes, until thick.
  6. Remove the thyme sprigs.
  7. Puree mixture in a blender until smooth.
  8. Transfer to a bowl and whisk in the mustard. Cover, cool to room temperature and refrigerate until needed.
  9. Next, it is turkey time! NOTE: be sure to adjust the cooking times below appropriately if you have a bigger/smaller bird.
  10. Heat oven to 350 degrees.
  11. Clean out the body cavities of any organs etc. Rinse the turkey inside and out with cold water (there is a school of thought that doesn’t like this; up to you). Pat the turkey dry.
  12. Sprinkle the turkey with half of the salt and pepper.
  13. Tie the drumsticks together with kitchen twine and tuck the wings under.
  14. Place the turkey in a large, heavy-bottomed roasting pan. Brush all over with melted butter and then season with the remaining salt and pepper.
  15. Add remaining half cup of stuck plus the water to the roasting pan.
  16. Roast the turkey for 2 hours, basting every 45 minutes with pan juices, until the skin is a light golden color.
  17. Loosely cover turkey with foil and continue to roast and baste for another hour.
  18. Remove foil and brush the turkey all over with a thin, even layer of glaze.
  19. Roast another 45 minutes, brushing with remaining glaze every 10 minutes, until a thermometer in the center of the thigh (not touching bone) registers 165 degrees and the turkey is a deep golden-reddish brown.
  20. Transfer the turkey to a board and tent with foil. Allow to rest for 45 minutes before carving and serving.
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Balsamic-Glazed Pork Chops

December 16, 2012

This recipe has been a standard in my house; it is simple and the result is incredibly flavorful. The recipe comes from a 2006 Gourmet magazine, but I promise that anyone could make it easily at home.

You will need:

  • 4 (3/4-inch-thick) center-cut pork chops (about 2 lb total)
  • 1 t salt
  • 1/2 t black pepper
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 6 oz small shallots (about 8), quartered and peeled, leaving root ends intact (If you can’t find them, try a little sweet onion)
  • 2/3 c balsamic vinegar
  • 1 1/2 t sugar
Then you will…
  1. Pat pork dry and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.
  2. Heat oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then cook pork (in 2 batches if necessary) along with shallots, turning pork over once and stirring shallots occasionally, until pork is browned and shallots are golden brown and tender, about 5 minutes total. Transfer pork with tongs to a plate and add vinegar, sugar, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper to shallots in skillet. Cook, stirring until sugar is dissolved and liquid is thickened slightly, about 1 minute.
  3. Reduce heat to moderate, then return pork along with any juices accumulated on plate to skillet and turn 2 or 3 times to coat with sauce. Cook, turning over once, until pork is just cooked through, about 3 minutes total. Transfer pork to a platter and boil sauce until thickened and syrupy, 1 to 2 minutes. Pour sauce over pork.

20121203 Balsamic Pork 02

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