Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Crusty Italian Bread

This is a recipe I found on another site and had to share it. This is one of the best Italian bread recipes around. I has a wonderful texture inside and  has a wonderfully crisp crust. I am going to give you a slightly revised list of ingredients as it was a little salty. With less salt this will surly be something you make often, as will I. Thank you Destiny for this great bread recipe!

Crusty Italian Bread

4 C.- All purpose flour
1 T. - Light Brown Sugar
1 1/3 C. - Warm Water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
3/4 t. - Salt
1 1/2 t. - Olive Oil
2 t. - Active Dry Yeast
1 T. - Sesame seeds

1 T. - Water
2 T. - Cornmeal

2 C. of ice water or very cold water, placed into an oven proof bowl

Place water, oil, brown sugar,salt, flour and yeast in your bread machine in this order or in the order of your  manufacturer. Set machine to dough cycle. Press start.

While dough is working in your machine, prepare pan or pans to bake on. I would suggest placing your dough to rise onto the pan you are going to bake on so it does not drop on you. You can either sprinkle the pan/pans lightly with cornmeal to prevent bread from sticking or spray lightly with a cooking spray. You could also place parchment paper on your pan/pans.

Once cycle is complete, deflate dough and turn onto a floured surface. Form dough into two loaves and place them seam side down on your prepared baking sheet. ***DO NOT USE A LOAF PAN**
Cover with a damp cloth or towel and place in a warm area away from any drafts. Allow your bread to rise until it has doubled. Approximately 45 minutes to 1 hour depending on the temperature of the area they are rising in.

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Beat together your egg and water. After bread has risen (you can tell if it is done rising by gently pushing a finger into the dough, if it springs back, it is not finished rising. If it leaves a slight indentation, it is ready),  take a very sharp knife and make one shallow slice down the center of each loaf. Then very gently brush the loaves with your egg mixture and sprinkle with sesame seeds. You must be careful to do this gently so you do not make the bread drop. You could also do this step after shaping the loaves before they have risen. I would suggest not slicing the dough before it has completely risen.

Place an oven proof bowl of ice water on the rack below the rack you will be backing your bread on. Then place bread into your preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes or until it is golden brown and has a hollow sound when tapped on the bottom. Remove from oven and on a rack.  *** Do not forget the bowl bowl of ice water, if you do not have ice available, use very cold water. This is important in getting that crispy crust.***


Monday, June 20, 2011

Rice Pilaf

There are so many versions of rice pilaf, this is one I found that was pretty good. After a few changes, I made this into a side dish we love at our house and will be served many times. Hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do.

Rice Pilaf

1/2- lg. Onion, finely chopped
1/2- lg. Green Bell Pepper, finely chopped
1-lg. Garlic clove, finely minced
1 1/2 t. Dill Weed
5 T. Butter
2 C. Strong Chicken Broth
1/2 C. Water
1 1/2 T. Beef Bullion Granules
1/2 C. Orzo
1/2 C. Rice

Melt 2 T. butter in a skillet and saute onions and peppers until almost tender, add garlic and dill weed, saute for approximately 3 min or until garlic is tender. Remove onions, peppers and garlic and set aside.
In the same skillet melt 2 T. butter and add orzo and rice and brown.
For the next part, if your skillet is large enough and has a tight fitting lid use that, otherwise use another pan with a tight fitting lid as you would need to cook any type of rice.
Place chicken broth, water and beef bullion granules in pan and bring to a boil, add rice, orzo, onions, peppers and 1 T. butter. Place lid on pan and bring back to a boil, reduce heat to a low simmer for 17 to 20 minutes or until rice is tender. Remove from heat and let sit for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork and serve.  Enjoy!


Sunday, June 19, 2011

Italian Sausages

This recipe is made for sandwiches, but can easily be made to go over pasta by adding an additional can of diced tomatoes and a small can of tomato sauce. You may want to slice the Italian sausages into 3/4 inch pieces also. 

Italian Sausages

8-10 Italian sausages ( I used medium, if you want it spicier, try hot)
2-lg Onions, sliced into rings
1-lg. Green bell pepper, sliced
1-lg. Red bell pepper, sliced
5-medium Garlic cloves, finely minced
1-14.5oz. can Diced Italian tomatoes
2-t. Oregano
1-t. Basil
1/4-t. Fennel seed, lightly crushed
1/4-C. Water
1-t. Salt
3-T. Butter

Use a large skillet or pan which has a lid. Brown sausages until nicely brown on all sides. Remove from pan and set aside. Melt butter and cook onion and pepper over med. high heat until browned. Reduce heat and cook with lid on pan until tender. Add tomatoes, garlic, oregano, basil, fennel, salt and water. Bring to almost boiling. Slice sausages in half and add to vegetables. Place lid on pan, reduce heat to a simmer. Cook until reduced, about 45 minutes to 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
Serve on crusty Italian rolls or bread.  Enjoy!!


Saturday, June 18, 2011

Wild Turkey Nuggets

Having a hunter in the home means you have wild game available. Though, to be perfectly honest I am not usually a fan of wild game. I do however like wild turkey. The way we usually cook wild turkey is by deep frying the entire bird. We will inject the bird, especially the breast with a seasoned liquid. There are many different marinades available. After the bird is injected it is then coated with a dry rub and then plunged into a turkey deep fryer. The turkey stays very moist on the inside and crispy on the outside.
Wild turkey can be much drier and tougher than a domestic turkey you purchase at a grocery store or a butcher. Keep this in mind when choosing the dish you wish to prepare. The wild turkey can be roasted as you would any other turkey and is very good this way. The way I most prefer to prepare wild turkey is to cut the breast and thighs into bite size chunks and deep fry them. This is of course, after you have removed the bone and skin, so you have boneless, skinless pieces of turkey meat.
 Tonight when I prepared my wild turkey, I first let it sit in brine (salt water) for about three hours. The longer you can let it sit, the better. This will help the bird retain moisture, which as I stated earlier is very important with wild turkey. Before putting your turkey in the brine make sure it is trimmed and very clean. With wild turkey or any wild game for that matter you need to take the time to make sure all feathers and hair are off of the meat. When you remove the turkey from the brine, rinse it thoroughly and pat dry with paper towels. Cut into bite size pieces. Now you are ready to bread and fry.

Wild Turkey Nuggets

1 C. all purpose flour
2 t. black pepper
1 t. salt
1/2 t. onion powder
1/2 t. garlic granules
Combine in a medium bowl

2 C. plain bread crumbs
3/4 C. panko breadcrumbs
2 t. black pepper
1 t. salt
1/2 t. onion powder
1/2 t. garlic granules
Combine in a medium bowl

1 C. milk
Place in another bowl

3 C. cooking oil for frying(I used vegetable oil)

After you have soaked your turkey in the brine for at least 3 hours, rinsed it well, patted it dry and cut into bite sized chucks. Taking a few pieces at a time and dredge in the flour mixture making sure each piece is completely covered. Next dip into milk. Next place into the breadcrumb mixture, once again making sure each piece is coated very well. Place on to a platter or plate and allow to set for at least 15 min. While the turkey is setting, heat 3 C. of cooking oil to a temperature of 340 degrees to 360 degrees. Once oil has reached temperature gently add turkey. Do not over crowd as this will slow the cooking process and you will end up with very greasy turkey nuggets. Also it will take so long to cook and get crispy on the outside and by this time your turkey may become very tough. Place no more than 6 to 7 nuggets at a time to fry, this is of course depending upon the size of the pan or fryer you are using. Fry for 3 to 5 minutes or until deep golden brown and meat is cooked thoroughly. Internal temperature should be 170 degrees. Remove from oil and drain on paper towels or on a  brown paper bag. Serve while hot. I drizzled mine with honey right before serving.   Enjoy!


Thursday, June 16, 2011

White Bread With a Touch Of Wheat

This is a wonderful and easy recipe for the bread machine. There is just a touch of wheat flour used which gives it a very light fluffy texture.

White Bread with a touch of Wheat

1C. Water, 115 degrees
1/4C. Vegetable oil
3T. Sugar
1t. Salt
2 1/2C. Bread flour or All purpose flour
1/2C. Wheat flour
2t.Active Dry yeast

Place ingredients in bread machine as directed in your bread machine instructions or in the order in which they are listed. Always make sure you add the yeast last and make a small well in the flour to put the yeast into. Your yeast should never come in contact with the liquid ingredients until the mixing begins.
Set bread machine on white or basic loaf and set it for the lightest crust. The extra sugar in this bread will l\make the crust brown very well with out using the medium or dark crust settings.    Enjoy!!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Super Moist Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

This is a great recipe for banana bread. I ran across an old recipe for banana bread, but I had remembered that it wasn't really moist. I am not a fan of dry banana bread, to banana bread just needs to be "super moist"! I think you will agree, that this is a very good and very moist recipe. Like any other banana bread, this is a very simple recipe.

Super Moist Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

3 large, very ripe bananas, mashed (approx. 1 1/3 C.)
1/4 C. butter, softened
1 C. white sugar
2 T. brown sugar
2 eggs
2 C. all purpose flour
1 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
1 t. banana flavoring, ( if you do not have this, you may substitute 1 t. vanilla)
1/2 C. semi sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 8x4 loaf pan. 
In a large bowl, cream butter, brown and white sugars, banana flavoring (or vanilla). Beat in eggs and mashed bananas. In a separate bowl, mix together flour, baking soda and salt. Mix well with your creamed mixture and pour into loaf pan
Bake in preheated oven for 1 hour.  * If you find the top of your bread is getting brown too quickly, slightly decrease heat.* The outside of this bread should be crisp and crunchy, while inside will be very moist.  Enjoy!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Italian Beef Sandwiches

Here is a great recipe for Italian Beef Sandwiches. This recipe takes very little effort to make. This works best with a crock pot, but you can use an oven or even an iron skillet on your stove top. The recipe I use and am going to give you is for a crock pot. That is how I always make it. You can easily double or even triple it if you are feeding a crowd.

Italian Beef Sandwiches

3lb chuck roast
1-14.5oz can beef broth
1-beef bullion cube
1-pkg (0.7oz)Good Seasons dry Italian Dressing mix
2 T. Worcestershire sauce
salt and black pepper
2 t. oregano

Cook the roast in a crock pot on low for 8 to 10 hrs or until it easily pulls apart. When done, remove from crock pot and shred. Place shredded beef back in crock pot, add 1 can of beef broth, 1 bullion cube, 1 pkg of dry Italian dressing mix, oregano and 2 T. Worcestershire sauce. Mix well, cook on high for about 30 min. Serve on crusty Italian rolls.

I like to serve with sauteed red and green bell peppers and mushrooms. If you would like some extra au jus to dip, simply heat 1 can of beef broth with 2 beef bullion cubes. Heat thoroughly and make sure your bullion is well dissolved. A good side dish is a cold pasta salad or even a green salad.  Enjoy!