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.'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!!)