Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Delicious Whole Wheat Bread

This bread will rise 3 1/2" to 4" tall at its center, and will have a moderately fine, even texture inside. It is an extremely mild whole wheat bread, and great for toasting


• 2 1/2 teaspoons SAF Perfect Rise dry yeast
• 1 cup potato water (boil 2-4 potatoes and save the water)
• 1/2 cup lukewarm milk
• 2 tablespoons melted butter
• 1 teaspoon sea salt
• 3 tablespoons honey
• 1/4 cup nonfat dry milk
• 3 3/4 cups King Arthur white Whole Wheat Flour
• ¾ cup AP Flour


1) Dissolve the yeast in ¼ cup lukewarm water with a pinch of sugar (1/4 tsp; stir well so as to blend the yeast, sugar, and water. Allow it to rest for 15 minutes until it becomes frothy.

2) Combine the yeast/water with the remaining ingredients, and mix and knead—by stand mixer mixer, or bread machine—until you've made a cohesive dough. If you're using a stand mixer, knead at low speed for about 9-10 minutes. Note that 100% whole wheat dough will never become smooth and supple like white bread dough made with all-purpose flour; it will feel more grainy under your hands, and may appear a bit rough.

3) Place the dough in a lightly buttered bowl turning once or twice to coat all sides of the dough, cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and allow it to rise until doubled in bulk, about 60 to 90 minutes. Note that dough kneaded in a bread machine will rise faster and higher than bread kneaded in a mixer.

4) Lightly grease a 9" x 5" loaf pan. Gently shape the dough into a smooth log, and settle it into the pan, smooth side up.

5) Tent the pan with lightly greased plastic wrap, and allow the loaf to rise till it's crowned over the rim of the pan by about 3/4" to 1", about 75 minutes. Don't let it rise too high; it'll continue to rise as it bakes. Put the dough in a cold oven and turn to 350F.

6) Bake the bread for 15 minutes starting in a cold oven. Lightly tent it with aluminum foil, and bake for an additional 30 to 35 minutes, or until the center registers 190°F on an instant-read thermometer. Remove it from the oven, and turn it out of the pan onto a rack.

7) Rub a stick of butter over the top of the hot loaf, if desired, for a softer crust. Allow the bread to cool completely before slicing.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Chicken Thighs with Zucchini and Green Peppers with Pasta

The thighs are probably the most flavorful part of the chicken, and goes wonderfully with this dish.

½ Cup Olive Oil
½ Cup Butter Melted Butter

4 Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs
1 Medium Zucchini cut in ½ inch julienne
1 Large Green Pepper cut in ½ inch julienne
3 Large Garlic Cloves Chopped
2 TBS Granulated Garlic
½ Cup Sweet Marsala Wine

Add oil, butter and chopped garlic to large pan with a fitted cover. Bring to medium high heat until the garlic starts to get golden in color. Add the chicken thighs and then the Marsala; sauté until cooked about half way through, turning once.

Add peppers and zucchini slices, sprinkle granulated garlic over the peppers and zucchini, stir well. Cover and turn heat to medium low. Stir once or twice while cooking. It should take only about 20-minutes once the veggies are in the pan.

Serve over linguini or vermicelli. Pour remaining juices over the chicken, veggies and pasta.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Portobello Mushroom-Alfredo Sauce


1 (12-ounce) package fettuccine
1 (6-ounce) package Portobello mushrooms
1/2 cup butter
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup whipping cream
1 cup milk (*)
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley
Garnish: Italian flat-leaf parsley sprigs


Prepare pasta according to package directions; drain.
Remove brown gills from undersides of mushroom caps using a spoon, and discard gills. Chop mushrooms.

Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat; add mushrooms and garlic, and sauté 5 to 6 minutes or until tender. Stir in cream and milk. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat; reduce heat, and simmer, whisking constantly, 10 minutes. Stir in cheese, pepper, and salt; stir constantly until cheese melts and mixture thickens. Stir in 2 tablespoons parsley. Serve over hot cooked pasta. Garnish, if desired.


(*) For a seafood Alfredo sauce, substitute the 1-cup of milk with 1-cup of seafood broth.(Boil the shells from one pound of shrimp in 1 1/2 cups water until reduced to 1-cup; or, use Penzey's Seafood Base per directions.)

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Orange Scallops with Vermicelli and White Wine Sauce©

You'll never realize the full potential of the flavor and the delicacy of scallops until you combine them with orange which brings out the absolute best in bay scallops.

1/2 Lb Bay scallops

2 TBS Garlic Olive Oil
2 TBS butter
¾ Cup White Wine
1 tsp Orange Early Rise
1/3-1/2 cup Heavy Cream
1 tsp chopped fresh tarragon
S & P to taste
Linguini or Vermicelli pasta

1 Roasted, Julienned red pepper (optional)

Add olive oil and butter to sauté pan. Turn heat to medium high until butter melts and just begins to brown; add scallops and turn heat to high stirring and turning scallops constantly until translucent. Once cooked (3-4 minutes) remove scallops to a separate plate leaving the heat on high. Add wine, whisk and reduce mixture to ½ volume. Add cream and Orange Early Rise, whisking constantly. Reduce the heat, and cook until sauce is reduced by half. Add the tarragon and scallops to the reduced sauce. Add salt and pepper to taste. Cook on low for 3-5 minutes until scallops are heated through.

Place scallops over the cooked vermicelli, and spoon the reduced sauce over all. If you use the roasted red pepper, arrange the julienned strips in a pinwheel design. Serve with a glass of Chardonnay and REAL garlic bread.

Garlic Bread - the REAL thing!

• 1 loaf of fresh Italian bread
• 2-3 cloves of garlic - peeled and cut in half lengthwise
• Olive oil

Cut 1" thick slices of Italian bread. Place on pan under the broiler. When toasted to your liking, turn bread over and toast the second side. Remove toasted bread, rub one side of the bread with the sliced garlic buds and lightly spritz the slices with olive oil. Try it! Everyone I know who has made it this way, has never gone back to the grease soaked, bitter garlicky stuff they used to make.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Red Sauce For Baked Ziti and Sausage

2 (28) ounce cans tomatoes or 20 fresh, large tomatoes(Fresh are best)
2 Medium stalks celery
1 Medium onion
2 TBS dry parsley or 4 TBS fresh chopped
1 Large carrot scraped clean and cut in pieces
1 Medium green pepper
1 Medium-sized zucchini (Unpeeled)
2-4 cloves garlic
S&P to taste
Tabasco or a hot pepper to taste
2 T. Sugar
2 TBS Parmesan cheese

Chop onions and peppers and saute in a little olive oil until slightly done. Put everything in blender (NOT THE CHEESE OR PARSLEY) and puree. Bring to boil then simmer on very low heat until the raw taste is gone and the sauce is thick. This will take several hours on simmer, so be patient. That's the basic sauce. You can add chicken, pork, meatballs, sausage, or seafood. Sometimes I skip the onion/pepper saute, but it definitely improves the flavor.

Add the chopped parsley and the Parmesan cheese about 30-minutes before you decide to stop simmering.

Optional - add a TBS of Porcini Mushroom Powder - it kicks the flavor up a few notches.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

New York Deli Style Rye Bread

Preparation time: Start to finish is 3 days because you will have to make a starter.


Sour Starter

1 cup warm potato water*
1 cup rye flour
1 tsp instant yeast

Stir well then cover with plastic wrap and let sit for 3 days at room temperature (65-70 degrees) Stir the second day.

(*) Potato water---Peel and quarter 2 pounds of regular potatoes, cover with water and season with salt. Cook like you would for boiled or mashed potatoes, drain---saving the water the potatoes were cooked in. This potato water gives bread a moist and compact texture. Save or eat the potatoes as you like.

Dough for the bread

2 cups warm water, about 120 degrees F.
1 TBS. sugar
1 TBS. Instant yeast

2 cups AP flour
2 TBS. kosher salt
2 TBS caraway seeds and ½ tsp charnushka seeds
4 ¾ cups high gluten bread flour


1 cup water
1 ½ tsp. cornstarch mixed with 1/4 cup cold water---no lumps

Bread Preparation:

In a mixer, combine 2 cups warm water with sugar and yeast, mix and let sit for 10 minutes.Add all of the sour starter and the remaining ingredients. Mix on low speed for 2-3 minutes with a dough hook, then increase to speed (2) and mix 6 minutes longer, be sure all the flour has hydrated the dough by raising and lowering the bowl from time to time.

Remove from the machine and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise 2 hours @ 70 Degrees F. or until doubled in size.

Portion into 3 - 1 1/2 pound pieces of dough or 2-pieces for larger loaves and shape into large, balled loaves, place on baking pans that have been sprinkled with semolina flour or fine cornmeal Cover with a damp but not wet cloth – or dry waxed paper - and let rise for 40 minutes.

Carefully remove the damp cloth or waxed paper, then slash the dough 3 times across the top with a very sharp knife or razor blade about 3/4 of an inch deep.

Immediately place in a pre-heated 375 degree F. oven, and place a pan of boiling water on the oven's bottom. Remove the pan after 10 minutes, this will create steam and help with crust development. Continue to bake for 30 minutes or until center is 180 degrees F.

For the glaze: boil 1 cup of water, mix the cornstarch with ¼ cup cold water, then combine with boiled water and stir continually until thickened. Cover with plastic wrap.

Remove the bread, and with a pastry brush, brush the top crust with the cooked cornstarch. A small amount of this glaze is enough, It's used to create a shiny surface. (Optional: While the bread is still hot, rub the tops with a stick of butter.) Let cool, and place in a plastic bag. This will further soften the crust.
Cool the bread on wire racks for at least 1 hour before slicing or wrapping.

Friday, June 13, 2008

The UNcommon Burger

Hamburger - Blue Cheese

• 1-1/2 pounds lean ground beef
• 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
• 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
• 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
• 1 3-ounce package cream cheese, softened
• 3 tablespoons crumbled blue cheese
• 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
Combine the ground beef, Worcestershire sauce, garlic salt and pepper, mixing well. Shape mixture into 12 patties about 4 inches in diameter.

Mix the cream cheese, blue cheese and mustard until smooth. Divide the mixture among 6 of the beef patties, spreading to within 1/2 inch of the edge. Top with a remaining patty, sealing edges firmly.

Grill patties about 4 inches from coals or heating element, turning once, 5 to 7 minutes on each side for medium. Makes 6

Friday, February 22, 2008

Cheesy Clam Manicotti


• 26 ounces meatless spaghetti sauce
• 1/4 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
• 2 cans (6-1/2 ounces each) minced clams
• 1 carton (8 ounces) ricotta cheese
• 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
• 1/4 cup spreadable chive and onion cream cheese
• 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded mozzarella cheese
• 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
• 1 teaspoon minced garlic
• 1/2 teaspoon pepper
• 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
• 8 manicotti shells, cooked and drained


In a large saucepan, combine the spaghetti sauce and hot pepper sauce. Drain one can of clams; add clams to sauce. Stir in clams and juice from second can. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, beat ricotta and cream cheese until smooth. Stir in the mozzarella, Parmesan, garlic, pepper and oregano. Stuff into manicotti shells.

Spread 3/4 cup clam sauce into a greased 11-in. x 7-in. x 2-in. baking dish. Arrange manicotti over sauce; top with remaining sauce. Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 25-30 minutes or until bubbly. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving. Yield: 4 servings.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Almond (Pecan) Coffee Ring

This goes great with a cup of coffee or espresso any time of day or night.

3 1/2-3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, (more if needed)
1 package (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast or 1 TBS SAF Instant yeast
1 cup milk scalded (do NOT boil)
1/3 cup butter
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg beaten

Place butter, sugar and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer. Attach the bread hook. Pour heated milk over the dry ingredients. Turn mixer on at low speed, and stir until butter is melted and cooled. Add beaten egg and continue stirring until well blended.

Add two cups of flour and the yeast, then turn mixer to speed #2 if you are using a Kitchen Aid mixer. Continue adding flour until you have a silky dough that pulls away from the sides of the bowl.

Turn out on a floured surface. Knead 4 to 6 minutes (or continue on with the mixer/dough hook). Place in a greased bowl,turning once to grease top. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.

Once risen, pound down and let it rise a second time. It will rise faster on the second rising. Be sure to re-cover the dough or it will dry out.


Almond/Pecan Paste Recipe

10 oz dried blanched almonds (or pecans)
10 oz powdered sugar
5 oz sugar
1/4 cup corn syrup
1 cup water


Make a sugar syrup by placing the water, sugar, and corn syrup in a saucepan. Stir it to combine. Bring it to a boil and let it boil for a few seconds. Let it cool.

Place the almonds/pecans in a food processor and process them with the steel blade to a fine powder. Add the powdered sugar. With the food processor running, slowly add the sugar syrup until the mixture forms a paste. If you use pecans, add 5-drops of almond oil to this mix if you want an almond flavor.

Store the paste in a tightly covered container until you are ready to use it. If you will be storing it for more than a week, store in the refrigerator.

Roll the dough out on a floured counter to 18" x 12" rectangle. Spread the paste on the rolled out dough, leaving an inch from all edges. Roll up in jelly roll fashion. Shape into a round, and seal the ends where they meet. Make 1/2" deep slices every two inches on the round. Bake at 375 on parchment paper lined cookie sheet until done - golden colored.


2 or 3 tablespoons milk or heavy cream
3-drops of almond oil
1 3/4 cups confectioners’ sugar

Blend glaze ingredients. Drizzle or spread over cooled coffee cake and sprinkle with almonds.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Pot Roast with vegetables

If you are going to do a pot roast, you can't go wrong with the Tyson Chuck Roast With Vegetables® - EXCEPT for one feature. The gravy mix they include with the package is worse than abominable!! It's the most horrible thing I've ever tasted in all my years. No..it's WORSE than horrible!!! If you decide to get this product - which is great, and I hope you try it - use the following recipe for the gravy:

Onion Gravy

1 medium onion halved and thinly sliced
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour mixed with ½ tsp corn starch
1 TBS Onion powder
1 1/4 cups water
½ tsp Kitchen Bouquet (optional for color – or you can use carmel coloring)
1 cup beef broth
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon black pepper


Cook onion in oil and butter in a heavy skillet over moderately high heat, stirring frequently, until onion is softened and slightly browned, about 15-20 minutes. Add flour and cook, whisking for at least 1 minute. Stir in water, broth, Worcestershire sauce, onion powder, Caramel coloring, and pepper; whisk. Simmer, stirring and scraping up brown bits, until gravy is thickened, 8 to 10 minutes. Season with salt and additional Worcestershire sauce if so desired. Simmer until gravy is thick. Pour over mashed potatoes, pot roast, and/or meatloaf.

Beef Stroganoff

This recipe was given to me by a student of mine way back when, while teaching back east. It has been a standard in this household for forty-plus years. If you see this recipe Rich, leave a comment with your eMail address and I will get back to you.

1 Lb. Beef cubes (sirloin or tenderloin is the best, but just about any cubed, lean cut will work with this recipe.)
2 TBS butter
1 Cup Sour Cream (you could try plain yogurt)
1 Envelope dried onion soup mix
1 Can Cream of Mushroom Soup
1 3-Oz can of sliced mushrooms (undrained)
2 TBS Ketchup (This is secret ingredient #1)
2 TBS Dry, red wine (Secret ingredient #2)

Take small cubes of beef and dredge them in flour, shake off excess flour, then brown in hot fat (melted butter) in a large pan or Dutch oven. Combine remaining ingredients; keep heat on VERY low. Cover the pan – stirring frequently so the mix minimally sticks to the pan bottom.

Serve over al dente egg noodles. REAL garlic bread goes great with this meal, as do green beans almandine. (REAL garlic bread recipe is posted here somewhere!!)