Frannie’s Fine and Fabulous Cornbread

Title: Frannie’s Fine and Fabulous Cornbread

From: A Southern Grace

Ingredients:

(I made a half-batch, which is why mine’s so thin)
1/3 cup shortening
2 cups self-rising cornmeal
1 egg, slightly beaten
scant 2 cups milk

Spray an 8-inch cast-iron skillet with nonstick spray, toss in shortening, and place into an oven preheated to 450F.
In a large bowl, combine the cornmeal, egg, and milk; mix until combined. Remove melted shortening from oven and pour into mixture; stir until blended. Pour batter into the skillet and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until golden brown on top. Turn out onto a plate, slice, serve, butter, and consume.

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Filed under bread, butter, cornbread, southern

Kugel

Title: Kugel

From: Andrew Scrivani, NYTimes

Ingredients
  • 1 pound wide egg noodles
  • 5 eggs
  • 1.5 cups sugar
  • Juice of 1 orange
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 2 apples, grated
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 4 tablespoon peach schnapps
Method
  • Preheat over to 350 degrees and preheat a Pyrex bowl.
  • Cook the noodles in a pot of boiling water with a pinch of salt until al dente (not mushy).
  • Drain noodles and mix it in the heated bowl with the eggs, sugar, orange, lemon, apples, oil, raisins, cinnamon and schnapps. Sprinkle a pinch of cinnamon on top. Bake for one hour. Remove when golden brown and crispy on top.

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Filed under dessert, Jewish, pasta

Bourbon Pumpkin Cheesecake

Title: Bourbon Pumpkin Cheesecake

From: Epicurious

Ingredients:

For crust

  • 3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs (from five 4 3/4- by 2 1/4-inch crackers)
  • 1/2 cup pecans (1 3/4 ounces), finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, melted and cooled

For filling

  • 1 1/2 cups canned solid-pack pumpkin
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon bourbon liqueur or bourbon (optional)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, at room temperature

For topping

  • 2 cups sour cream (20 ounces)
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon bourbon liqueur or bourbon (optional)

Preparation

Make crust:
Invert bottom of a 9-inch springform pan (to create flat bottom, which will make it easier to remove cake from pan), then lock on side and butter pan.

Stir together crumbs, pecans, sugars, and butter in a bowl until combined well. Press crumb mixture evenly onto bottom and 1/2 inch up side of pan, then chill crust, 1 hour.

Make filling and bake cheesecake:
Put oven rack in middle position and Preheat oven to 350°F.

Whisk together pumpkin, eggs, brown sugar, cream, vanilla, and liqueur (if using) in a bowl until combined.

Stir together granulated sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and salt in large bowl. Add cream cheese and beat with an electric mixer at high speed until creamy and smooth, about 3 minutes. Reduce speed to medium, then add pumpkin mixture and beat until smooth.

Pour filling into crust, smoothing top, then put springform pan in a shallow baking pan (in case springform leaks). Bake until center is just set, 50 to 60 minutes. Transfer to rack and cool 5 minutes. (Leave oven on.)

Make topping:
Whisk together sour cream, sugar, and liqueur (if using) in a bowl, then spread on top of cheesecake and bake 5 minutes.

Cool cheesecake completely in pan on rack, about 3 hours.

Chill, covered, until cold, at least 4 hours. Remove side of pan and bring to room temperature before serving.

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Filed under alcohol, bourbon, cheesecake, dessert, pumpkin

Baked Potato Bread

Title: Baked Potato Bread

From: The Fresh Loaf

Ingredients:

Makes 2 small (one pound) loaves or one large loaf

1/2 cup mashed potatoes
3 to 4 cups all-purpose unbleached flour (I’ll explain the ambiguity below)
3/4 cup water
1/2 cup sour cream
2 teaspoons instant yeast
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup cooked bacon
1/2 cup chopped fresh chives

To begin, chop up two or three slices of bacon and fry them up. Remove them from the heat.

Mix the mashed potatoes, yeast, salt, and 2 cups of the flour together in a large mixing bowl or the bowl of an electric mixer. If you have active dry yeast and want to substitute, read this. Add the sour cream, water, chives, and bacon and mix together until all ingredients are combined. I also mixed in the bacon fat, which there was about a tablespoon of in the pan, because it improves the flavor of the loaf.

At this point you’ll have a very wet, sticky mess, probably more of a batter than a dough. Add additional flour a handful (1/8 cup) at a time and mix or knead it in.

(I lost track of exactly how much extra flour I added, but it seems like it was around 9 or 10 hands full. I added 4 or 5 hands full and mixed them in while the dough was still in the bowl, then I poured the dough out onto a well-floured cutting board and added more, kneading it with my hands which I repeatedly dipped in flour to keep the dough from sticking to them. After 5 or 10 minutes of this I ended up with something that was still quite sticky, but was definitely in the realm of a dough and not a batter: it could be formed into a ball and generally held its shape.)

Once you have combined the ingredients well and gotten the balance of flour and water to a level that seems acceptable, return the dough to a well-oiled bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow the dough to rise for 90 minutes at room temperature or until it has doubled in size.

Remove the dough from the bowl and shape the loaf or loaves. Notice how moist and gummy my dough was when I cut it to shape it into two loaves:

One probably could add more flour and make an acceptable loaf of bread with a drier dough, but I’ve been finding that I get better results the wetter I am able to leave it. But this really is an art, not a science, so use your own best judgement.

At this point you need to shape the loaves, cover them loosely and let them rise until they double in size again, about 45 minutes. You could put them in greased baking pans and let them rise and bake them in those. I wanted round loaves, so I put them in a couple of couche lined baskets:

Professional bakers use these kinds of baskets, which are very nice but completely out of my price range. I found two small baskets at Goodwill for 49 cents each and have found that they help keep the shape of my rounds very well.

The baking couche I got from a neighbor who works in bakery. It works very well, but you can fake the same thing with a well floured kitchen towel (the linen kind, not a fuzzy one).

As you can see in the picture above, I placed the baskets on a table, the couche over the baskets, and the dough in the floured couche in the baskets. I wrapped the edges of the couche around the balls of dough and let them rise. When they had risen I simply unwrapped the loaves and shook them out of the couche onto my peel (which I dust with semolina flour) and threw them into the oven.

While the loaves are rising again, preheat the oven to 425. If you have a baking stone, be sure to put it in early to heat.

When they have doubled in size (as I said before, about 45 minutes after shaping), put the loaves in the oven to bake. I baked them at 425 for 5 minutes and then reduce the temperature to 350 and baked them another half an hour. The loaves are done when the internal temperature reaches the 185 to 195 degree range (as read with an instant-read thermometer) or when they are nice and brown on the outside and sound hollow when tapped on the bottom. For me this took about 35 minutes.

And there we have it. The bread was wonderful while still warm with a pot of soup, but I actually think I preferred it the next day cold. With the bacon fat and sour cream, there was plenty of fat in the bread so it didn’t need to be buttered; just plain it was rich and moist enough.

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Filed under bacon, baked, bread, potatoes

Artichoke Dip

Title: Artichoke Dip

From: Mom

Ingredients:

2 cans Artichokes, quartered (Drained)
1 c. Mayonnaise
1 c. Mozzarella Cheese, shredded
1 c. Parmesan Cheese
1/8 to 1/4 tsp. Garlic Powder

Mix all ingredients. Place in baking dish, uncovered. Cook at 350 for approx 20 min until bubbly and browned.

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Filed under appetizer, artichoke, cheese, snack

Ham Soup

Title: Ham Soup

From: Sarah Hunley

Ingredients:

Ham bone
Leftover ham
Celery
Carrots
Potatoes
Large onions

Place ham bone in stock pot and cover with water, reserve some ham to add in later so that it retains some flavor. Add 2-3 stalks celery, quartered onions or minced so they dissolve into the soup. Boil 4 hours. Remove celery and fish out ham bone and any and all gristle as well as ham bits that have had their flavor cooked out. Chop up carrots and potatoes, add and boil until soft. Serve with fresh bread that’s been heated in oven til crunchy

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Filed under ham, leftovers, soup, veggies

Best Chicken and Dumplings

Title: Chicken and Dumplings

Serve 6 to 8. Published February 15, 2005.

Don’t use low-fat or fat-free milk in this recipe. Start the dumpling dough only when you’re ready to top the stew with the dumplings.

Ingredients

Stew
5 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
4 teaspoons vegetable oil
4 tablespoons unsalted butter (1/2 stick)
4 carrots , peeled and sliced 1/4 inch thick
2 ribs celery , sliced 1/4 inch thick
1 large onion , minced
6 tablespoon unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 cup dry sherry
4 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup whole milk
1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme leaves
2 bay leaves
1 cup frozen green peas
3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley leaves
Dumplings
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon table salt
1 cup whole milk
3 tablespoons reserved chicken fat (or unsalted butter)

Instructions

  1. 1. For the Stew: Pat the chicken dry with paper towels, then season with salt and pepper. Heat 2 teaspoons of the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat until just smoking. Add half of the chicken and cook until golden on both sides, about 10 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a plate and remove the browned skin. Pour off the chicken fat and reserve. Return the pot to medium-high heat and repeat with the remaining 2 teaspoons oil and the remaining chicken. Pour off and reserve any chicken fat.

  2. 2. Add the butter to the Dutch oven and melt over medium-high heat. Add the carrots, celery, onion, and 1/4 teaspoon salt and cook until softened, about 7 minutes. Stir in the flour. Whisk in the sherry, scraping up any browned bits. Stir in the broth, milk, thyme, and bay leaves. Nestle the chicken, with any accumulated juices, into the pot. Cover and simmer until the chicken is fully cooked and tender, about 1 hour.

  3. 3. Transfer the chicken to a cutting board. Discard the bay leaves. Allow the sauce to settle for a few minutes, then skim the fat from the surface using a wide spoon. Shred the chicken, discarding the bones, then return it to the stew.

  4. 4. For the Dumplings: Stir the flour, baking powder, and salt together. Microwave the milk and fat in a microwave-safe bowl on high until just warm (do not over-heat), about 1 minute. Stir the warmed milk mixture into the flour mixture with a wooden spoon until incorporated and smooth.

  5. 5. Return the stew to a simmer, stir in the peas and parsley, and season with salt and pepper. Following the photos below, drop golf-ball-sized dumplings over the top of the stew, about 1/4 inch apart (you should have about 18 dumplings). Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook until the dumplings have doubled in size, 15 to 18 minutes. Serve.

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Filed under chicken, cook's illustrated, dumplings, stew, veggies