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January 21, 2008

Pumpkin Pie Spice

1/4 cup cinnamon
1/8 cup ginger
1 Tbsp nutmeg
1 Tbsp cloves

January 11, 2008

Dill Bread

2 - 2 2/3 cups All Purpose Flour
2 Tbsp sugar
2-3 tsp instant minced onion
2 tsp dill seed
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 pkg active dry yeast
1/4 cup water
1 Tbsp margarine or butter
1 cup small curd creamed cottage cheese
1 egg
2 tsp margarine or butter, melted
1/4 tsp coarse salt, if desired

In large bowl, combine 1 cup flour, sugar, onion, dill seed, 1 teaspoon salt, baking soda and yeast; mix well.

In small saucepan, heat water, 1 tablespoon margarine and cottage cheese until very warm (120 to 130°F.). Add warm liquid and egg to flour mixture; blend at low speed until moistened. Beat 3 minutes at medium speed.

By hand, stir in remaining 1 to 1 2/3 cups flour to form a stiff batter. Cover loosely with greased plastic wrap and cloth towel. Let rise in warm place (80 to 85°F.) until light and doubled in size, 45 to 60 minutes.

Generously grease 1 1/2 or 2-quart casserole. Stir down batter to remove all air bubbles. Turn into greased casserole. Cover; let rise in warm place until light and doubled in size, 30 to 45 minutes.

Heat oven to 350°F. Uncover dough. Bake 30 to 40 minutes or until loaf is deep golden brown and sounds hollow when lightly tapped. If necessary, cover with foil to prevent overbrowning. Remove from casserole; place on wire rack. Brush loaf with melted margarine; sprinkle with coarse salt. Cool 15 minutes. Serve warm or cool.

Food Processor Directions: 1. In small bowl, soften yeast in 1/4 cup warm water (105 to 115°F.). In food processor bowl with metal blade, combine 2 cups flour, sugar, onion, dill seed, 1 teaspoon salt, baking soda and 1 tablespoon margarine. Cover; process 5 seconds. Add cottage cheese and egg. Cover; process about 10 seconds or until blended. 2. With machine running, pour yeast mixture through feed tube. Continue processing until blended, about 20 seconds or until mixture pulls away from sides of bowl and forms a ball. (If dough does not form a ball, add additional flour, 1 tablespoon at a time.) 3. Carefully scrape dough from blade and bowl; place in lightly greased bowl. Cover; let rise. Continue as directed above.

January 8, 2008

Easy Baklava Bars

Prep Time:25 min
Total Time: 2 hr 50 min

Cookie Base
1 pouch (1 lb 1.5 oz) Betty Crocker® sugar cookie mix
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
1/2 tsp grated lemon peel
1 egg

1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp salt
8 frozen mini fillo shells (from 2.1-oz package)

1/3 cup honey
2 Tbsp butter or margarine, softened
1 Tbsp packed brown sugar
1/2 tsp lemon juice
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla

5 Tbsp honey

Heat oven to 350° F. Spray bottom only of 13x9-inch pan with cooking spray.

In large bowl, stir cookie base ingredients until soft dough forms. Press dough in bottom of pan. Bake 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, in medium bowl, stir walnuts, granulated sugar, 1/4 cup butter, 1 teaspoon cinnamon and the salt with fork until mixture is well mixed and crumbly.

Sprinkle nut mixture evenly over partially baked base. With hands, crumble frozen fillo shells evenly over nut mixture. Bake 18 to 20 minutes longer or until golden brown.

Meanwhile, in small microwavable bowl, microwave 1/3 cup honey, 2 tablespoons butter, the brown sugar, lemon juice and 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon uncovered on High 1 minute or until bubbly. Stir in vanilla.

Drizzle honey mixture evenly over fillo. Cool completely, about 2 hours.

For bars, cut into 6 rows by 4 rows. Before serving, drizzle 1/2 teaspoon honey over each bar. Store covered at room temperature.

Makes: 24 bars

January 7, 2008

Never-Fail Dark Chocolate Fudge Recipe

3 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
14 1/2 ounces sweetened condensed milk
1 cup walnuts, chopped
1 1/2 tsp vanilla essence
dash salt

In a heavy saucepan over a very low heat, melt the chocolate chips with sweetened condensed milk and salt.

Remove mixture from heat.

Stir in vanilla essence and chopped nuts.

Spread mixture evenly into an aluminum foil-lined square pan (approx 8in/ 18cm).

Refrigerate to chill (approximately 2 hours).

Turn fudge out onto a cutting board and remove the aluminum foil.

Cut fudge into squares. Store (covered) at room temperature.

Peppermint Cookies

Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes

3/4 stick Crisco® Butter Shortening Sticks or 3/4 cup Crisco® Butter Shortening
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 Tbsp milk
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
1 large egg
1 3/4 cups Pillsbury BEST® All Purpose Flour
1 tsp salt
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup crushed peppermint candy canes or peppermint candies
Additional 1/4 cup crushed candy for top of cookies (optional)

HEAT oven to 350ºF.

BEAT shortening, brown sugar, granulated sugar, milk and vanilla in large bowl of electric mixer on medium speed until well blended. Beat in egg.

COMBINE flour, salt and baking soda. Mix into shortening mixture at low speed just until blended. Stir in crushed candy. Shape into 1-inch balls. Place 2-inches apart on ungreased baking sheet.

BAKE 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Do not overbake. Immediately sprinkle with about 1/4 teaspoon crushed candy. Cool 2 minutes. Remove to rack to cool completely.

Note: A 6-oz package of 12 medium candy canes will make enough crushed candy for the cookies and the garnish.

Serves: Yields 3 dozen

White Bean Salad

1 lb white beans
1 carrot
2 stalks celery (1 whole stalk, and 1 thinly sliced on a bias)
1 dried bay leaf
2 oz extra virgin olive oil
1 small red onion, small dice
Zest of 2 lemons
Salt, pepper

Soak beans overnight in a large bowl of water.

Drain and put beans, carrot, 1 whole stalk of celery and bay leaf in a sauce pan, cover with water (water should be at least one inch above the surface of the beans) and simmer for between 1 to 1 ¼ hours. Cook until soft by not mushy. When done, turn off flame and add three big pinches of salt, stir and let set for 10 minutes. Drain and cool uncovered in the refrigerator

Place the cooled beans a bowl, add sliced celery, diced onion, lemon zest and extra virgin olive oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper

Bacon Wrapped Pork Tenderloin

Bacon-Wrapped Pork Tenderloin
6 pork tenderloin, trimmed and 2” of tail removed
8 oz. bacon, sliced very thin (have your butcher do this – pre-sliced will not do)
Salt, pepper, and ground coriander to taste

Place one piece of parchment paper on a work surface. Working from side to side, place slices of bacon slightly overlapping. Cover with second piece of parchment, and repeat if necessary.

Season pork with the salt, pepper and coriander. Starting with one tenderloin, place the pork “cylinder” at the end of the sliced bacon perpendicular to the slices of the bacon and, rolling away from you, wrap the bacon around the pork. Repeat one by one.

To cook the pork, place the tenderloins one or two at time in a cold Teflon pan. (It is very important the wrapped tenderloin is placed seam side down. In other words, where the bacon ends. If you don’t sear the “seam” side first, the bacon will shrink and unravel from the meat.) Turn the flame to medium-high and allow the seal to adhere (2-3 minutes) then brown on all sides. Repeat process, allowing pan to cool down between batches. (This can be done up to 3 or 4 hours in advance.)

To finish cooking, finish on grill or in 400° oven to desired doneness, 10 to 12 minutes. (The meat cooks evenly throughout, so simply slice off the end to determine doneness.)

Serve with White Bean Salad.