Posts Tagged ‘american’

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kefir / buttermilk biscuits

May 7, 2020

If you culture kefir, you know the struggle: mountains of extra kefir. It takes up valuable refrigerator real estate! This recipe is a great way to use that extra kefir.

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2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tbsp sugar
3/4 tsp salt
9 tbsp chilled butter, divided (see notes below)
1 cup unflavored kefir (or buttermilk, or sour milk)
(optional: spices or herbs or citrus zest)

Preheat the oven to 450°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. (note: I did not use parchment.)
Sift together the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl.
Cube the butter, mix it into the dry ingredients using the pulse mode in a food processor or slowly mix with mixer. Mix until it becomes crumbly. (note: I did this by hand.)
Mix in 1 cup cold kefir, just until the mixture is moistened. The dough shouldn’t be overly wet but, slightly sticky.
Roll or pat out on a lightly floured surface about 1 inch thick. Cut into rounds using a 2-inch cookie cutter dipped in flour. (note: I used a floured upside-down jelly jar.)
Place biscuits 2 inches apart on the baking sheet. Brush the tops with melted butter. (note: I did not brush them in anything.) Bake at 450°F for 13-15 minutes until lightly golden and puffed.

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recipe from lifeway kefir and notes by friedsig

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I wrote down the recipe, and misread the recipe as “4T butter” instead of 9. (You were right, second grade teacher: my handwriting is messy.) Know what? They were still great. Maybe not as fluffy as the biscuits in the photo, but definitely still delicious. Even though I have never once in my life successfully made “perfect, fluffy biscuits” – this is probably the closest I have ever come. They were so pretty that I wanted to take a photo, but I ate them all before I had the chance. A nice small batch for two, so double or triple the recipe if making for a crowd! These are a bit sweet, so top with butter, jelly, peanut butter, nutella, or whatever you like! I may try biscuits and gravy with eggs next time; not sure if these would be too sweet for that. I’ll keep you posted!

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anita’s meatloaf

March 17, 2020

Did you ever mean to type “meatloaf” but you type “meatload” instead?

I think this is why most people don’t like meatloaf.
Not because of a typo.
Because most meatloaf is just a meatload. Dense, dry, almost painful to eat. Flavorless. Just a load of meat. Without oats or breadcrumbs to bind, veggies to add textural interest, moisture in the form of some condiments inside the loaf, and onions and garlic for flavor, meatloaf can be downright unpleasant.

This meatloaf is different. It is everything I like – sweet, savory, and filling. The meat is kept moist by condiments. Of course, you can use a classic ketchup, but I love the complexity of barbecue sauce, apricot jam, worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, or mustard.

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my version:

– saute carrots on a med-high heat
– after a while, add minced onions, sour apples, peppers, or whatever you have
– when caramelized, add garlic. turn off the heat when everything is caramelized.
– separately, in a large bowl, add
+ a pound of ground chicken to a half a pound of pork or very fatty beef (like 75/25)
+ a large egg or two small eggs
+ breadcrumbs (maybe a half-cup or so; can use oats, gluten-free cracker crumbs, or anything similar)
+ apricot jam, unsweetened applesauce, mustard, or barbecue sauce to taste. more than you’d think, around a half-cup
+ something savory, like a few drops of fish sauce or worcestershire sauce
+ a handful of dried fruit (apricots, raisins, whatever) and chopped nuts (whatever you have, pistachio or almond)
+ spices – lots of garlic powder, smoked paprika, ground black pepper – or get creative!

my mom’s version:

“I don’t actually have a recipe for the one I make at home frequently…..it’s just a lb. of ground chicken (I like it better than turkey), an egg, about a cup of bread crumbs, about ½ to 1 c. of BBQ sauce to which I add a few chopped dried cranberries and commonly a couple of pinches of smoked paprika. – all of which I mix with sautéed and cooled: ½ large or 1 medium finely chopped onion (sautéed until translucent), 1 or 2 finely chopped celery stalks, and a few finely chopped carrots. I do it differently depending on what I have in the house. In the past I’ve substituted Saucy Susan for the BBQ sauce and I’ve added sautéed sweet potatoes. I bake it in a moderate oven for about 40 min. If I have bacon in the house, I’ll lay that on top before baking.” -Anita

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WHAT TEMPERATURE?

325 = ina garten, alton brown

350 = ellie at food network, betty crocker, spend with pennies, the neelys, brown eyed baker

375 = paula deen

400 = mar-mar-stew-stew, the kansas beef council

425 = bobby flay

if you like a soft meatloaf, go with a lower temperature. if you like a crust, go for a higher temperature. as you can see, everyone has a different preference, and there is no “wrong” temperature for a meatloaf!

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MEATLOAF TIPS:
– DON’T OVERMIX! #1 easiest way to mess up a meatloaf. think of it like a burger – it’ll get weird if you smush it too much.
– let it rest after pulling it from the oven, like a steak or any other meat. cutting it too early will encourage the juices to leave, making a dry meatloaf.
– like the crust the best? form the meatloaf free-form on a baking sheet. you get crust on the top and sides, too! make sure to bump up the oven temp to 400.
– hate the crust? make it in a loaf pan, and leave the heat low, like 325.
– watching your calories? DON’T go with 100% lean turkey meat without at least a little fat, or it will come out dense. you can still make a very healthy meatloaf with just a bit of beef.
– if you’re making it super lean, you can soak bread in milk or veggie stock, and use that instead of breadcrumbs to bind the loaf. that will help keep it from drying out.
– think of texture when you’re planning the veggies. roasted sweet potato adds moisture, nuts and seeds add crunchy textural interest. caramelize some carrots, and leave some less cooked for the consistency.
– don’t skimp on the sauteed veggies! they add moisture, flavor, and texture!
– pan-fry slices of leftover meatloaf for an amazing sandwich.
(tips from my own experience, and bread-soaking tip from the today show)

WHAT IF I DON’T LIKE SWEET?
– instead of apricot jam, use mustard, worcestershire, a little fish paste and hot sauce, or another savory condiment. leave out the dried fruit.
– substitute carrots and apples with more savory vegetables, like fennel, cauliflower, grated cabbage, or mushrooms.
– use savory spices. this recipe is totally flexible, and just as good with cumin and chipotle as with smoked paprika and thyme, or hot chilis and green onions. get creative!

MIX IT UP:
– caramelize onions in cider vinegar or a splash of apple juice or honey for sweetness – or add a pinch of baking soda to get them to caramelize faster, according to cook’s illustrated
– go with a theme for the seasoning. curry powder, cashews, and apples? thyme, dijon mustard, and sausage? roasted poblanos, jalapenos, bell peppers, and chili powder for a four-pepper meatloaf? moroccan spice blend? peanuts and sweet potatoes? oregano, thyme, basil, and a little spaghetti sauce? the only limit is your imagination!
– replace some of the ground chicken with ground turkey. replace the ground pork with ground beef or sausage. replace some of the chicken with sauteed mushrooms.
– cook’s illustrated turkey meatloaf calls for a half-cup of grated Parmesan and 3T melted butter mixed into the turkey meat for texture and flavor – but they say never use 99% lean meat, as it will become “pasty” or “mushy and compact” when cooked – they recommend 85% lean

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How does your family make their meatloaf?

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banana cream pie (all-natural, no pudding box!)

January 14, 2019

First time making a custard, first time making a pie crust in easily a year, first time making a banana cream pie – what could go wrong?

This turned out – well, okay, not even close to perfect, but delicious anyway.

Recipe by Taste of Home and adapted by friedsig

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1 cup sugar 3/4 c sugar maybe 1/2 c sugar?
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups 2% milk
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
3 tablespoons butter
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 pie crust (9 inches), baked
2 large firm bananas 3 large, firm bananas
1 cup heavy whipping cream, whipped (optional: whipped cream, to top)

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1. In a large saucepan, combine sugar, cornstarch, salt and milk until smooth. Cook and stir over medium-high heat until thickened and bubbly. Reduce heat; cook and stir 2 minutes longer. Remove from heat. Stir a small amount of hot filling into eggs; return all to pan. Bring to a gentle boil; cook and stir 2 minutes longer.

2. Remove from heat. Gently stir in butter and vanilla. Press plastic wrap onto surface of custard; refrigerate, covered, 30 minutes.

3. Spread half of the custard into crust. Slice bananas; arrange over filling. Pour remaining custard over bananas. Spread with whipped cream. Refrigerate 6 hours

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Even though I completely messed up the pie crust, this tastes absolutely incredible. A few notes for next time….

1. I was scared to let the milk get too hot because I know for some desserts you can’t let milk boil. I was also scared the sugar would burn. So I let it simmer just below boiling on a super-low heat… and it took maybe four hours. WAY too long! So, next time, I’ll start the milk on medium heat, and lower it to a simmer afterwards. Bet that’ll shave half the time off the custard.

2. The custard was amazing, but could use something to make the flavor a little more interesting. Next time, I will add a few drops of almond extract, or some hickory syrup to add a smokiness.

3. The recipe called for a cup of sugar, but commenters said it came out too sweet, so I cut it to 3/4 c of sugar. Still too much! Next time I’ll try a half-cup of sugar and maybe a little honey or something.

4. Okay, I know it has to have the whipped cream on top or else it’s not really a banana cream pie. But after 3 cups of milk, it honestly didn’t taste like it was in need of the whipped cream. This pie is common in the Midwest, and it’s always made with instant banana-flavored pudding. Usually, I need some whipped cream to cancel out that strange metallic artificial banana pudding flavor. This might be a contentious opinion, but between the homemade custard and the raw banana flavor, I don’t think this needs whipped cream at all.

5. I added a layer of bananas at the base, to protect the crust from the custard and also just to get a little more fruit in this dessert. Highly recommended.

6. Made this on Sunday (1/6), and ate almost the entire thing by Tuesday night. Maybe this is best made for a crowd, or for someone who has some self-control.

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Recipe by Taste of Home and adapted by friedsig

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crispiest, best roasted potatoes ever

September 8, 2018

a little food science goes a long way in this recipe from kenji at serious eats. i tried them, and it’s no exaggeration. these are like mashed potatoes inside, and extremely crispy outside.

the crispiness is amazing. the only down sides? a bit more time-consuming than your average roasted potato. they’re also most delicious on the day you make them. reheating made my batch dry out and cave in; if you’re making a huge batch for the week, i’d still go with your average roasted potato. but you can still spruce up your potatoes even if you don’t use kenji’s method…

check it out at serious eats, or just make sure to use yukon golds or russets instead of red potatoes, add a half-teaspoon of baking soda to the water you par-boil them in (alkaline water yields crispier potatoes,) and toss the chunks roughly in oil so the chunks are covered in a “mashed-potato-like paste”.

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…another tip for amazing roasted potatoes? this tip is from epicurious/bon appetit by way of mark – he puts vinegar on the potatoes before roasting, so they come out like crispy salt and vinegar chips! i tried them, although i left out the chives and used apple cider vinegar instead. no idea why this never occurred to me, but it’s a great idea! i’ll make them again for sure.

both methods are recommended to mix up your roasted vegetable routine!

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lemon dill mushroom pot pie

May 14, 2018

Delicious, hearty, and satisfying! Not too heavy with the lemon dill sauce replacing a traditional heavy cream sauce. Never made a pot pie from scratch before. I’ll give an approximation of what I did, with both a vegetarian and chicken-y option.

-1 package mushrooms cut into small chunks (I used portobellos)
-a pound or two (or more) of potatoes (I used maybe 12 baby red potatoes)
-a few carrots, parsnips, celery, peas, leeks, or whatever veggies you have
-a tablespoon or so of flour (can use gf or apf or whatever you have)
-vegetable or chicken stock
-olive oil or chicken schmaltz
-onion and garlic
-one to two fresh lemons
-fresh dill to taste
-1 sheet frozen puff pastry, or any flaky pastry recipe from scratch
-dried thyme, sage, or other dry herbs (optional)
-splash of milk or cream (optional)
-chicken or veg meat-substitute (optional)

This is a really flexible recipe. You can poach everything together in the stock, or cook things separately and add them at the end. You can cook everything on the stove and then dump everything into an oven-safe casserole dish if you don’t have a dutch oven or deep cast iron skillet. I’ll just share how I did it:

1. (optional: roast a chicken and set aside the meat, torn into small shreds, like for chicken salad. or use a rotisserie chicken, leftover chicken, whatever you have. veg folks can use leftover chunks of meat substitute, or just leave this out. )
2. In a dutch oven or oven-safe deep pan, caramelize an onion in olive oil or schmaltz.
3. Add minced garlic and raw vegetables like carrots, mushrooms, leeks, potatoes, or whatever you have. (You can also boil the potatoes the day before to save time. Add them towards the end if you choose this.)
4. When veggies are almost soft, add a tablespoon or so of flour, until veggies are lightly coated. Cook til flour is browned. (May want to preheat the oven to 425 around now.)
5. Add a cup or two of vegetable or chicken stock until things look saucy, stirring well. Add any soft ingredients like peas, and dried herbs like thyme (optional).
6. Simmer until everything tastes perfect, maybe 5 or 10 minutes, longer if the potatoes were raw. (If you like it creamy, add a splash of milk or cream here.)
7. Turn off heat. Add the juice of a lemon or two, to taste. Add salt and pepper to taste. Finally, add back in the cooked chicken and a bunch of minced fresh dill to taste.
8. Lay the pastry on top and bake for a half hour or until pastry is golden brown. Start the oven high for a while and turn it down lower, so the puff pastry gets crunchy.

recipe by friedsig and adapted from potato, leek, and pea pot pie from epicurious

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I am really into lemon dill lately. My go-to soup is avgolemono with lemon and dill, and my go-to chicken salad is this chicken salad with spinach, apple, and dill. This is not dissimilar from a Greek chicken soup – carrots, dill, lemon – but the pastry really makes it feel special. Next time I will tackle a homemade pastry, but the frozen one I used made a flaky and beautiful crust. Fed some friends over graduation weekend and they all said it was amazing – one said it’s one of the best things she’s ever eaten. I think she was just being nice, but either way, I will definitely make this for a crowd again.

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baked brown bread

April 26, 2018

another gem from the Bernard Clayton’s New Complete Book of Breads! he says this is just the same as boston brown bread, but baked instead of steamed in a coffee can.

1/2 cup yellow or white cornmeal
1.5 c all purpose flour
1 cup each rye and whole wheat flour
1 cup packed brown sugar (note: do not use this much if using a sweetened molasses)
1 cup molasses
2 t each baking soda and salt
2 c buttermilk, or homemade kefir, or milk thickened with lemon juice
1 c broken walnuts

9″ or larger dutch oven or equivalent covered casserole, greased

to a large bowl, add the cornmeal, rye, whole wheat, and all purpose flours. add brown sugar, molasses, baking soda, and salt. pour in buttermilk and mix well. stir in walnuts.

pour mixture into dutch oven. cover. DO NOT PREHEAT THE OVEN. when dutch oven is inside your cold oven, turn it on to 350 and bake for about an hour. test for doneness like brownies: stick a toothpick or wood skewer into the middle and if crumbs cling to the toothpick, cook the bread longer.

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from Bernard Clayton’s New Complete Book of Breads

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wow! not sure how this would taste without the weird local sorghum molasses i used, which is heavily sweetened (but was the only choice of molasses under $8 at the co-op, haha). if you are using some molasses like this, cut down on the sugar by quite a bit. this came out as sweet as banana bread. the rye flour and whole wheat flour are almost undetectable – at least, when masked by that much sugar. this recipe makes one giant loaf of beautiful brown bread. i’ll cut this loaf in half next time because it was enough to eat every day for a week and still give half away. everyone who tried it loved it. if you don’t feel like steaming your bread in a coffee can, and you have a big dutch oven, and you want something almost like banana bread but not quite, give this a try!

next time, i will
– add the whole cup of walnuts
– cut the recipe in half
– cut down the brown sugar or use unsweetened molasses

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vegetarian buffalo “meatballs”

February 18, 2018

1 to 2 garlic cloves
1 (15-ounce) can white beans, rinsed, drained
1 package mushrooms
1 large egg
1 cup breadcrumbs, panko, pretzel crumbs, etc.
1 celery stalk (optional)
1 teaspoon kosher salt, less if using seasoned breadcrumbs (recipe called for 1t but next time i will cut it in half)

sauce:
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
a ton of vinegar-based hot pepper sauce, like buffalo sauce, tabasco, or frank’s, to taste
a dash of pure maple syrup (optional)

dip:
1/4 – 1/2 cup plain yogurt or sour cream
a splash of kefir or buttermilk, to thin
half a package crumbled blue cheese
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon chopped chives

Preheat to 400°F. Oil a baking sheet or use a silpat.
Pulse garlic in a food processor until finely chopped, or chop by hand. Add celery, beans, and mushrooms and pulse until coarsely chopped, or chop by hand and mash beans coarsely with hands in a bowl. Transfer to a large bowl. Stir in egg, panko, and 3/4 tsp. salt. Using your hands, roll tablespoonfuls of bean mixture into balls. Transfer to prepared baking sheet, packing them snugly. Roast veggie balls, turning halfway through, until firm and cooked through, 25–30 minutes.
Meanwhile, cook butter, hot sauce, and maple syrup in a small saucepan over medium heat until butter is melted. Stir until smooth; set aside.
Whisk sour cream, buttermilk, blue cheese, pepper, 1 Tbsp. plus 2 tsp. chives, and remaining 1/4 tsp. salt in a medium bowl. Top with remaining 1 tsp. chives.
Transfer veggie balls to a large bowl. Toss with hot sauce mixture and serve with blue cheese dip alongside.

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adapted from epicurious

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couldn’t shake a craving for buffalo wings, so i went for this. the dip is nothing new, but the veggie meatballs are a new recipe for me. i was surprised how well they stayed together – even though they did stick to the pan when i reheated them, they still stayed partially assembled. the texture is not meaty, and does suffer from a bit of the mush factor, but the mushrooms help to give it a little more bite, so it’s overall less mushy than other veggie burger recipes i have tried. there is something novel and fun about the “meatball” style, but it’s something i might try in lazy “veggie burger” form next time. i’ll make these again when i am craving restaurant-style junk food.