Sunday, March 1, 2009

Just Like Dunkin's!

One 1/4-ounce package active dry yeast
2 tablespoons warm water (98 degrees)
3/4 cup warm milk (30 seconds in the microwave does the trick)
2 1/2 tablespoons margarine or butter
1 egg
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3 cups vegetable oil
1/3 cup margarine or butter
2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup hot water

1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

1.In a medium bowl, dissolve the yeast in the warm water.
2.Add the milk, margarine or butter, egg, sugar, and salt, and blend with an electric mixer until smooth.
3. Add half the flour and mix for 30 seconds.
4. Add the remaining flour and knead the dough with flour-dusted hands until smooth.
5. Cover the bowl of dough and leave it in a comfy, warm place until the dough
doubles in size, about 1 hour. You can tell that the dough has risen enough when you
poke it with your finger and the indentation stays.
6. Roll out the dough on a heavily floured surface until it's about 1/2 inch thick.
7. If you don't have a donut cutter, and don't intend to buy one, here's a way to punch out your dough: Empty a standard 15-ounce can of whatever you can find-vegetables, refried beans, even dog food. Be sure to wash out the can very well, and punch a hole in the opposite end so that the dough won't be held inside the can by a vacuum.
8. When you've punched out all the dough (you should have about a dozen unholed
donuts), it's time for the holes. Find the cap to a bottle of lemon juice or Worcestershire sauce, or any other small cap with a diameter of about 1 1/4 inches. Use this to punch out holes in the center of each of your donuts.

Denver Omelet

2 tablespoons butter
1 medium onion, chopped
1 green or red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 cup chopped cooked ham
8 eggs
1/4 cup milk
1 cup (4 ounces) grated cheddar cheese
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Heat the oven to 400 degrees F. Grease a 10-inch round baking dish (or make the
entire recipe in a cast-iron skillet). Melt the butter in a skillet over medium-low heat. Add the onion and bell pepper and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until soft. Add the ham and cook for 2 minutes more. Remove from the, heat. Beat the eggs and milk in a large bowl. Stir in the cheese and add the sauteed
vegetables and ham. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer the mixture to the prepared dish. If baking in a cast-iron skillet, pour egg mixture with cheese over the vegetables and ham. Bake for 20 minutes or until the top is puffy and brown. Cut into wedges and serve warm.

Biscuits with Chives

3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons baking powder
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 pound butter, cubed and chilled (1 cup)
1/2 cup snipped chives
3/4 cup milk
1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Grease a baking sheet.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, pepper, and salt until thoroughly mixed. Place the flour mixture in the bowl of a food processor, add the butter, and process until completely combined.

Place the mixture in a bowl, add the chives, and stir to combine. Form a well in the center of the mixture and pour in the milk. Stir just until the mixture comes together into a sticky dough. It may be necessary to add 1 or 2 tablespoons of milk. The dough should come free from the sides of the bowl.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Sprinkle the dough with flour and knead gently just until it stays together. Roll the dough with a floured rolling pin to a thickness of 1 inch. Use a large biscuit cutter dipped in flour to cut out the biscuits. Reform the scraps and repeat until all the dough is used.

Place the biscuits 1 inch apart on the baking sheet and sprinkle cheese on top of each one. Bake until lightly browned, 12 to 15 minutes. Leave the oven on for cooking the bacon and the eggs. The biscuits may be wrapped in a towel and kept warm, or warmed in a hot oven just before being served.

Cheddar Sauce

1 cup heavy cream
1 cup milk
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese

Place the cream, milk, cornstarch, nutmeg, pepper, and salt in a saucepan. Place the saucepan over medium heat and stir the mixture with a whisk. Continue stirring until the mixture thickens and begins to simmer. Add the cheese and stir until it is completely combined. Remove the sauce from the heat, cover it, and keep it warm until ready to serve.


12 slices thick-cut smoked bacon

Arrange the bacon slices in groups of 2 on a baking pan, folding each slice in half and allowing it to slightly overlap the adjacent slice.

Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, turning the pan several times, until the bacon is crisp and done to your preference. Place the bacon on paper towels, and keep it warm until ready to serve.

Scrambled Egg Stuffing
1/2 cup milk
12 eggs
2/3 cup snipped chives
1 teaspoon salt
Black pepper
3 tablespoons butter

1. Whisk the eggs and milk together completely. Whisk in 1/2 cup of the chives and the salt, and season with a little pepper.
2. Melt the butter in a large, ovenproof saute pan over medium heat. Pour in the egg mixture. Quickly stir with a wooden spoon until the eggs begin to clump into small curds. Stir a moment longer, then place the pan in the still hot oven.
3. Bake about 5 minutes until the eggs are just cooked. Remove the pan and cut the eggs into 6 wedges. Serve immediately.

Pull each biscuit apart into 2 equal pieces. Place the bottom piece on a warm plate. Place a scrambled egg wedge on the biscuit bottom. Ladle 1/4 cup of the sauce over each scrambled egg wedge. Add several slices of crisp bacon and cap with the biscuit top. Garnish with the remaining chives and a dash of chive oil.

Bavarian Breakfast

Bavarian Egg Dish

1/2 pound medium sliced ham, enough to cover bottom of dishes
1 can (4.5 ounces) sliced mushrooms (2 tablespoons for each dish)
1 package fresh or frozen broccoli or asparagus, cooked
6-16 eggs (or 2 eggs for each dish--egg beaters may be substituted)
1 1/2 - 2 cups baby Swiss cheese, grated (1/4 cup for each dish)
1 1/2 - 2 cups three-cheese combination, grated (1/4 cup for each dish)
6-8 tablespoons milk (1 tablespoon for each dish)
6-8 teaspoons parsley, shredded (1 teaspoon for each dish)
chopped onions, optional
6-8 individual 5-6 inch oval or round ovenware dishes

Spray bottoms and sides of ovenware dishes with nonstick cooking spray.
Layer bottoms of dishes with ham slices. Add sliced mushrooms. Thinly spread lightly pre-cooked broccoli or asparagus. Add onions, if desired. Add one or two eggs to each dish. Do not scramble the eggs. Cover with Baby Swiss cheese and three-cheese combination. Add milk and parsley.

Bake at 350 degrees F for 15-20 minutes until set. Serve in baking dishes. Serves 6-8

Baked Sausage & Apple Brunch

1 pound sausage links, cut in half (use turkey breakfast sausage if you find one you like)
6 tart apples, cored and sliced but not peeled
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon lemon juice
3 tablespoons brown sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 2-quart casserole with vegetable cooking spray.
In a skillet, brown the sausage; drain off grease. Toss apples and sausage pieces together and transfer to a casserole. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, lemon juice, and brown sugar. Cover and bake for 45 minutes. Remove from oven, uncover, and let stand 10 minutes before serving. Serves 6

Tortilla Tricks

With a pizza cutter, slice 2 medium flour tortillas into very thin matchstick pieces. Spread on a baking sheet and bake 5-6 minutes at 400 degrees. Stir. Return to oven 3-5 minutes more. Matchsticks should be crisp and golden brown. Cool. Makes 2 cups.

Tortilla Crispy:

With a pizza cutter, cut 3 corn or 2 medium flour tortillas into small rectangles. Heat canola oil in a small frying pan over medium heat. 1dd a small amount of tortilla rectangles to pan. They will cook quickly. Cool on a plate covered with a paper towel. Blot carefully to

remove excess oil. Makes 2 cups.

Tortilla Confetti:

Purchase flour tortillas of different colors at the deli section of a grocery store. With kitchen scissors or a pizza cutter, cut 2 medium tortillas into tiny squares. Use as they are, or follow Tortilla Matchsticks directions above for crispy tortilla confetti. Makes 2 cups.

Migas (Tortilla Crumbs):

Using the leftover tortilla crumbs at the bottom of a bag of tortilla chips, crush with a rolling pin or fork. Sprinkle over main dishes, salads, or soups as an easy last-minute garnish.

Taco Salad

Makes 6 servings

6 large flour tortillas
1 pound ground beef or turkey
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1 can (30 ounces) refried beans, heated
6 to 8 cups shredded lettuce
3 cups chopped tomatoes
3 cups grated cheddar cheese

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray an empty 4- to 5-inch-diameter can or baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. Drape a tortilla over top.
2. Bake 8-10 minutes, or until light golden brown. Let cool 5 minutes before removing tortilla from can or pan.
3. While tortilla is baking, brown meat in spices.
4. Place tortilla bowls on plates. Spread beans evenly in bottom of each tortilla bowl. Spoon meat on top of beans: layer remaining ingredients over top of meat.

Salt Water Taffy

Makes about 1 dozen pieces

3/4 cup warm water
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 cup light corn syrup
2 tablespoons butter, plus more for hands
1 teaspoon flavored extract (see Note) such as peppermint or vanilla
powdered sugar for dusting

1. Combine the water and salt in a heavy saucepan. Stir in the sugar, cornstarch, and corn syrup and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture comes to a boil and the sugar dissolves, about 3 minutes. Stop stirring, and continue cooking for 10 to 15 minutes, until the mixture reaches 265 degrees F on a candy thermometer, or when a small amount forms a firm but not hard ball when dropped in a glass of cold water.

2. Stir in the butter and pour the hot syrup onto a greased cookie sheet. Sprinkle the extract over the poured candy syrup. With a spatula or candy scraper, begin working the hot syrup by scraping it toward the center of the cookie sheet, getting under it, lifting and turning the mixture until it is cool enough to handle.

3. Grease your hands with butter or vegetable oil and begin pulling it up with your fingers into a length no more than 18 to 20 inches. Keep folding it back on itself and pulling out again. The taffy will be very sticky at first, but as you work it for about 10 minutes it will become opaque and firm.

4. When ridges form as you pull, gather the taffy together, pullout several ropes about 12 to 14 inches long, and let them fall on a clean surface that is lightly dusted with powdered sugar. Cut the ropes into 2-inch pieces, and wrap each piece in a square of wax paper. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 weeks.

Note: You can flavor taffy with flavored extracts such as anise, lemon, orange, peppermint, and winter- green. Look for extracts in large supermarkets or purchase them online from baking supply companies.

Black Bean Burgers


1 1/2 cans black beans (16 ounces each can with one can halved or 24 ounces total), rinsed and drained
2 tablespoons chopped white onion
1/4 cup or 4 tablespoons diced red bell pepper
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
about 1/2 of an egg
about 1/2 cup bread crumbs
1 tablespoon fresh cilantro or parsley, chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil or vegetable oil

4 gourmet wheat hamburger buns
low fat ranch dressing
shredded ice-berg lettuce
red onion

1. Mix one egg in a bowl. Use half of the mixture in the next step.
2. Combine black beans, onion, bell pepper, cayenne, egg, bread crumbs and cilantro or parsley in food processor and blend. If the mixture is not dry enough to shape, add more bread crumbs.
3. Form and shape into four patties. For best results make 24 hours ahead and refrigerate so patties will set well.
4. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in large frying pan over medium heat. Fry the patties 2 minutes each side.
5. Arrange sandwich with patty, low fat ranch dressing, red onion, pickles and one slice of tomato for each sandwich.

Note: Fresh not dried cilantro or parsley work best in this recipe.

Making Bread Crumbs Tip:
Cut fresh bread into cubes. Place them on a baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees F until crisp, about 15 to 20 minutes. Process the cubes in a blender or food processor until finely ground.

Sweet Jack Pork Loin

1/4 cup bourbon
2 tablespoons molasses
1 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes
4 cloves garlic, crushed
2 bay leaves, crushed
10 sprigs fresh thyme, coarsely chopped
6 sprigs fresh sage, coarsely chopped
3/4 cup olive or peanut oil

1. Combine the bourbon and molasses. Add the remaining ingredients and roll the pork in this marinade. Refrigerate 8 hours, or overnight, turning occasionally.
2. Remove the pork from the marinade, season with salt, and smoke over hickory, cherry, or applewood, basting with the marinade, for 15 to 20 minutes. The pork may then continue to cook on a smoker, be finished on a grill, or be roasted in a 350 degree oven until it reaches an internal temperature of 145 to 150 degrees. Remove from heat and rest the tenderloin for 10 minutes before slicing. This can be made ahead and refrigerated; bring to room temperature before serving.

Buffie Wings & Bleu Cheese Dip

Blue Cheese Dressing
2 tablespoons minced yellow onion
1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
1/4 cup minced parsley
1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1/4 to 1/3 cup crumbled blue cheese
Salt to taste
Black pepper to taste
Ground hot red pepper (cayenne) to taste

Chicken Wings
20 to 25 chicken wings

Vegetable oil for deep frying
1/4 CUP (1/2 stick) butter or margarine
1/2 to 1 (2-ounce) bottle Louisiana hot sauce
12 to 18 celery sticks

1. DRESSING: Mix all ingredients in medium bowl, cover, and chill 1 hour or longer.
2. CHICKEN WINGS: Halve wings at "elbow" and discard tips. Do not dredge, crumb, or batter wings. Deep-fry in 2 1/2 to 3 inches 375 degrees F. vegetable oil in a saute pan or deep fat fryer until crisp and golden brown on all sides-8 to 10 minutes. Drain well on paper towels.
3. Melt butter in small saucepan and blend in 1/2 to 1 bottle hot sauce, depending on how "hot" you like things.
4. Place chicken wings in large bowl; pour hot butter sauce over wings and mix well.
5. Arrange wings on deep platter and serve warm with celery sticks and Blue Cheese Dressing for dipping. Don't forget to put out plenty of napkins-Buffalo Chicken Wings are deliciously messy!

Grilled Ribeye with Potatoes and Leeks

6 oz. slab bacon, finely diced
1 cup diced leeks, white parts only
1/2 cup finely diced shallots
3/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup sherry wine vinegar
1 tbsp. Dijon mustard
2 lb. Yukon gold potatoes
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves
6 (1-inch-thick) rib-eye steaks, trimmed of excess fat

1. Place the bacon in a large saute pan over medium-low heat. Cook, stirring frequently, for about 10 minutes or until the fat is rendered out and the bacon bits are very crisp. If necessary, lower the heat to keep the bacon from burning.

2. Add the leeks and shallots and saute for 3 minutes or just until the vegetables are soft. Remove from the heat.

3. Whisk together the oil, vinegar, and mustard.

4. Place the potatoes in a large saucepan with cold, salted water to cover by 1 inch, over high heat. Bring to a boil; lower the heat and simmer for 20 minutes or until the potatoes are tender when pierced with the point of a small, sharp knife. Remove from the heat and drain well. Working quickly, push the peels off the potatoes in a mixing bowl and add the warm bacon mixture, tossing to combine (see Note). Pour the mustard mixture over the top and season to taste with salt and pepper. Toss to combine. Sprinkle the top with the parsley. Cover lightly and keep warm.

5. Preheat and oil the grill.

6. Season the steaks with salt and pepper to taste. Place them on the hot grill and cook, turning once, for 8 to 10 minutes for medium-rare.

7. Spoon equal portions of the warm potato mixture onto each of six plates. Place a steak on top.

Note: The warmer the potatoes, the more the vinaigrette they will absorb, so you must work quickly and carefully while they are still hot.

No Flip Omelet

Nonstick cooking spray
1 tablespoon butter
12 eggs
1/4 cup sour cream
1/2 cup cottage cheese
2 dashes of Mrs. Dash

any combination of the following:
1 cup cooked sausage
1 cup chopped ham or Canadian bacon
1/2 cup grated cheese (Swiss, cheddar, Monterey jack, or a combination)

Optional toppings:
cooked mushrooms
sliced tomatoes
red and green peppers (especially nice for Christmas)
1 medium mixing bowl
1 (12 inch) heavy skillet with lid
1 (14 inch) plate

1. Spray a 12 inch heavy skillet with nonstick cooking spray and melt butter on low heat.

2. Combine the other ingredients in a medium mixing bowl. Pour egg mixture into skillet and reduce heat to low. Cover with a lid; a glass lid is best so you can see when mixture is set. This skillet is larger than the burner, so you'll probably need to move the skillet to finish cooking. Cook slowly for about 30 minutes or until egg mixture is set.

3. When omelet is set, top with choice of meat toppings in an attractive pattern. Top with grated cheese. Return to heat until cheese is melted.

4. Carefully loosen omelet from the pan. Choose a large serving plate, one that is 2 inches larger than the skillet. Hold the skillet above the serving plate. Starting about 1 inch from the edge of the serving plate, start sliding the omelet onto the plate. If the omelet breaks apart, piece it back together, rearrange the toppings or add more cheese to cover patched spots and serve.

Beef Bourguignonne

Servings: 4 to 6
2 pounds lean stewing beef, cut into chunks
1/4 cup unsalted butter
3 yellow onions, finely chopped
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup red Burgundy wine
1 cup brown veal stock
1 shallot, chopped
1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme or 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1 /2 teaspoon chopped fresh parsley or 1/4 teaspoon dried parsley
1 bay leaf
Freshly ground black pepper
1. Pat the beef pieces dry and set aside in a bowl. Melt the butter in a large stockpot over medium heat. When the butter is hot, increase the heat to medium-high and add the meat and onions. Cook, turning the meat frequently, for 6 to 8 minutes, until the meat is well seared and browned on all sides. Transfer the meat to a bowl.
2. Decrease the heat to medium-low and sprinkle the flour over the onions in the pot. Stir well to coat the onions with the flour and meat drippings. Increase the heat to medium and add the wine, stock, shallot, thyme, parsley, bay leaf, and salt and pepper to taste. Stir well to incorporate all of the ingredients. Return the meat to the pot, cover, and simmer over very low heat for 3 hours, until the beef is tender and the sauce has thickened. Serve immediately.