Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Blackberry Oven-Baked Pancake

1/2 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1 Tbsp. sugar
3 eggs
2 Tbsp. butter, melted
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 tsp. vanilla
1 pint fresh blackberries
Maple syrup

1. Combine flour and next 3 ingredients. Stir in eggs and next 3 ingredients. Stir in blackberries. Pour mixture into a lightly greased baking dish.
2. Bake at 425° for 12 to 14 minutes or until puffed and golden. Serve with warm maple syrup.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Spinach-and-Feta Pie

This is a variation on the Greek spanakopita from Cook’s Illustrated The Best International Recipe. It is labor intensive, but the taste is worth it!
1 lb. feta, crumbled
1 1/2 cups ricotta
4 eggs
2 Tbsp. dried dill
8 green onions, minced
Juice from 1 lemon
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
3/4 tsp. salt
Pinch of pepper
30 oz. frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
Olive oil
1/2 lb. (14- x 9-inch) phyllo, thawed in fridge 24 hours
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1. Combine feta and next 9 ingredients in a bowl. Stir in spinach until thoroughly combined.
2. Lightly brush a 13- x 9-inch baking dish with olive oil; place 1 phyllo sheet in dish. Brush thoroughly with oil, and repeat procedure with 7 sheets of phyllo. Spread half of spinach mixture evenly over phyllo. Cover with 4 additional sheets of phyllo, brushing each with oil.
3. Spoon remaining spinach mixture evenly over phyllo. Cover with 7 more sheets of phyllo, brushing each with oil and sprinkling Parmesan cheese over each (do not sprinkle cheese on top layer). Press phyllo down with hands to release any air pockets. Lightly score top in squares for serving with a sharp knife.
4. Bake at 400° for 30 to 35 minutes. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Cut into squares, and serve.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Chocolate Sheet Cake

2 cups butter, divided
8 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa, divided
1 cup boiling water
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 eggs
1 tsp. baking soda
1tsp. vanilla
1 cup butter
6 Tbsp. milk
1 tsp. vanilla
1 (16-oz.) box powdered sugar

1. Melt 1 cup butter in the microwave; stir in 4 Tbsp. cocoa. Add in boiling water. Stir in flour and next 2 ingredients. Stir together buttermilk and next 3 ingredients. Stir buttermilk mixture into chocolate mixture. Pour into a lightly greased half-sheet cake pan.
2. Bake at 350° for 20 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, melt remaining 1 cup butter in microwave. Stir in remaining 4 Tbsp. cocoa. Stir in milk, vanilla, and powdered sugar. Pour over warm cake. Cool and cut into squares.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Zucchini-Feta Fritters

This recipe is from Cook’s Illustrated The Best International Recipe. The key to crispy fritters is squeezing all the liquid from the zucchini. These are terrific served hot or at room temperature.
1 lb. zucchini, trimmed
1 tsp. salt
8 oz. feta, crumbled
2 green onions, minced
2 tsp. dried dill
2 eggs
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
Canola oil
1 lemon, cut into wedges

1. Shred zucchini with a box grater or with the shredding disk of a food processor. Toss zucchini with salt. Let stand in a colander for 10 minutes. Place zucchini in a kitchen towel, and squeeze thoroughly to remove as much liquid as possible.
2. Combine zucchini, feta, and next 6 ingredients. Heat oil to depth of 1 inch in Dutch oven. Scoop  batter into hot oil, and press lightly with spoon. Cook, in batches, 3 minutes per side or until golden and crisp. Drain on paper towels. Squeeze with lemon juice before serving.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Shredded Pork-and-Tomatillo Tostados

6 corn tortillas (homemade or purchased)
Pinto beans
Shredded pork
Roasted tomatillo salsa
Shredded cheese
Chopped lettuce
Chopped tomatoes
Sour cream

1. Layer tortillas with beans, pork, salsa, and cheese.
2. Bake at 400° for 10 minutes or until heated and cheese melts. Top with lettuce, tomatoes, and sour cream.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Slow-cooker Shredded Pork

This is a simple way to cook a Boston butt. I will make one, divide the meat in one-meal portions, and put in the freezer. Then whenever we want loaded baked potatoes, nachos, or whatever, I pull out a bag and thaw. Dinner is ready in a snap!
2 onions, cut into thick slices
1 Boston butt
Salt and pepper
1 can chipotles in adobo sauce
1 bottle beer

1. Line the bottom of the slow-cooker with onion slices. Place the pork on top of onions; sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper. Put chipotles over top of meat, and pour in beer. Cover with lid, and cook on LOW for 8 hours or until meat is done and tender.
2. Allow to cool slightly. Remove bone, and shred meat. Divide evenly among zip-top plastic bags, and freeze.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Pasta, Pesto, and Peas With Grilled Chicken

1 1/2 lb. bowtie pasta
1 1/2 cups pesto
Zest and juice from 2 lemons
3/4 mayonnaise (I use a little less than this.)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 1/2 cups frozen peas, thawed
1/3 cup pinenuts, toasted
1 lb. chicken, grilled and cut into chunks

1. Cook pasta according to package directions; drain.
2. Combine pesto, lemon zest and juice, and next 4 ingredients. Toss with pasta and grilled chicken. Serve at room temperature, or chill until ready to serve.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Banana Pudding

3 cups milk
3 large eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons butter
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
5 medium-size ripe banana
1 package vanilla wafers
2 cups sweetened whipped cream

1. Whisk together first 4 ingredients in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Cook, whisking constantly, 15 to 20 minutes or until thickened. Remove from heat; stir in butter and vanilla until butter is melted.
2. Fill a large bowl with ice. Place saucepan in ice, and let stand, stirring occasionally, 30 minutes or until mixture is thoroughly chilled.
3. Meanwhile, cut bananas into 1/4-inch slices. Break cookies into thirds.
4. Spoon half of pudding mixture into a 3-qt. bowl or pitcher. Top with bananas and cookies. Spoon remaining pudding mixture over bananas and cookies. Top with sweetened whipped cream. Cover and chill 2 to 24 hours.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Zucchini Gratin

I probably repost this every summer, but it’s a terrific way to use an abundance of zucchini.
6 Tbsp. butter
2 onions, chopped
6 zucchini, sliced into circles
2 Tbsp. flour
1 cup milk
Salt and pepper
1 1/2 cup fresh breadcrumbs
1 Tbsp. butter, cut into small pieces
1. Melt butter in a large skillet; add onions and zucchini, and cook over low heat for 20 minutes. Stir in flour, and cook 1 minute. Gradually add in hot milk, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Pour mixture into a 13- x 9-inch pan lightly coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle breadcrumbs over zucchini mixture; dot butter pieces along top.
2. Bake at 400° for 20 minutes.