FOOD REVOLUTION DAY 2013!! EASY PEASY PILAF

FOOD REVOLUTION DAY 2013

Join in the FOOD REVOLUTION TODAY!

Quinoa Pilaf FRD 2013

It’s a big day for all of us who believe in bringing back real food and real cooking.  Especially Jamie Oliver, who believes so strongly that he has used his star status and success to organize a day that is being celebrated not just in Britain but all over the world for the second year in a row.

“Jamie Oliver and the Food Revolution Day team want to change the way people eat by giving them the skills and knowledge to cook again, as well as motivating people to stand up for their right to better food. Food Revolution Day aims to educate and inspire people everywhere to cook and enjoy better food and empower them to demand better food standards and improved food education from governments, schools and food manufacturers.”  foodrevolutionday.com

Visit the Food Revolution Day website to find out whats going on today and tune in to Jamie’s Food Tube Channel on YouTube to watch the festivities live.  Cook something real, something healthy, something simply good and good for you today to celebrate.
Here’s a suggestion-
Quinoa Pilaf FRD 2013

Zesty Quinoa Pilaf

serves 4-6

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1/2 cup water or broth (chicken or vegetable)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
  • 1 tablespoon minced jalapeño pepper
  • 2 teaspoons thinly sliced garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup chopped tomato
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

Directions

  1. Place quinoa in a fine sieve and rinse under cool running water, rubbing the grains with your hand for at least 2 minutes. Drain well.
  2. Combine 1/2 cup water or broth and quinoa in a small saucepan; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer 12-15 minutes or until liquid is absorbed and quinoa is tender.
  3. Meanwhile, heat a skillet to medium-high. Add the oil and swirl it around to coat pan. Then add the bell pepper, jalapeño, garlic, salt, and pepper to pan; sauté 3-5 minutes to soften the vegetables.
  4. Stir the cooked vegetables into the cooked quinoa, then add the tomato, cilantro, and lime juice. Toss gently and pour into a serving bowl.

Cheater’s Broth

Better Than Bouillon

After many years of tossing unfinished cans and cartons of broth, I finally discovered the perfect substitute.  Better Than Bouillon broth bases are concentrated stocks made from real all-natural ingredients.  They come in various flavors with organic, vegetarian, reduced-sodium and kosher varieties.  The jars last a really long time in the fridge (I’ve never had to throw one out before using it up) and when you need some broth, all you have to do is mix the appropriate amount of base with hot water.

The varieties I have tried have all been rich and flavorful, and I’ve been able to find them in most grocery stores.  This is a definite time and money saver you should try for sure.

 

 

Please Use A Pot Holder! Dutch Baby With Bacon Maple Syrup

After a brief hiatus, Shortbread is back to life and ready to bring y’all some tasty recipes for your kitchen!  First up is this Dutch Baby with Bacon Maple Syrup.  If you haven’t ever made one of these before, you won’t believe how simple it is.  The batter is made in the blender, just like my crepe batter, but is doesn’t need to rest at all and you just pour all of it in a preheated skillet and bake.

Dutch Baby

Which brings me to the post title warning:  DON’T FORGET THAT THE HANDLE OF THE PAN IS HOT!!!  Unfortunately, the deliciousness of this dish did not take away the burning in my hand, but it did take my mind off of it for a few minutes.  Especially when generously covered with Bacon Maple Syrup.  Let me just say that one more time…Bacon Maple Syrup.  Which is also so easy and so delicious and not at all limited to use in this recipe only!

Dutch Baby

Dutch Baby with Bacon Maple Syrup

serves 4 to 6

Ingredients

  • 3 eggs
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 3/4 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 4 Tbs. (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
  • 2 bacon slices, diced
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • confectioner’s sugar
  • whipped cream (optional)

Directions

  1. Put an 11-inch skillet or oven proof sauté pan in a cold oven and preheat the oven to 475°F.
  2. Put the eggs, flour, milk and vanilla in a blender. Blend on high until frothy, about 30 seconds, stopping the blender to scrape down the sides as needed.
  3. When the oven is preheated, add the butter to the hot skillet and return it to the oven until the butter melts and browns, 2 to 3 minutes.
  4. Carefully pour the batter into the hot skillet and bake until the Dutch baby is lightly browned and the sides have risen, 17 to 19 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, heat a smaller pan over medium-high heat. Add the bacon and cook, stirring occasionally, until crisp and browned, 6 to 8 minutes.
  6. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate. Discard the fat in the pan. Return the bacon to the pan and add the maple syrup. Simmer over medium heat for 20 seconds. Remove from the heat and cover to keep warm.
  7. Remove the skillet from the oven and let the Dutch baby cool for 3 to 4 minutes. Cut the Dutch baby into wedges and dust with confectioners’ sugar. Serve immediately with the bacon syrup and whipped cream if desired.

adapted from Williams-Sonoma Recipes

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{Tuesdays With Dorie} Baking With Julia Pecan Sticky Buns (Whew)

Whew!  I have to say I feel like I just ran a marathon after making these Pecan Sticky Buns.  It’s a good thing though, that these take so much time and effort to make because if it were easier I might be tempted to make them more often and that would not be good for my thighs.

The recipe for these buns (which was contributed by Nancy Silverton - love her) begins with making a brioche dough, which in itself is a fairly complicated and time consuming process with lots of rising and chilling and rolling.  Then once the dough is made, it is made into buns with a lot more rolling and chilling and rising.  And a lot of butter.

Even though there were a ton of steps in the recipe, they were all very easy to follow and really caused me no problems.  And the end result was the best sticky bun I have ever put in my mouth, with super flaky layers of dough and a nutty caramel topping.  Definitely worth the extra effort.

If you are tempted to try your hand at making this recipe you can visit this week’s Tuesdays with Dorie/Baking with Julia hostesses, Lynn of Eat Drink Man Woman Dogs Cat and Nicole of Cookies on Friday.

Drumroll Please Shortbread Shortbread

It would seem logical that one should be able to find a recipe for shortbread on a blog named Shortbread, right?  Possibly even in the very first post one might think.  Well, it just didn’t quite work out that way here.

I suppose the reason is mainly that I wanted to make sure that if there was a recipe for shortbread, that it would be the best one I could give you.  So (drumroll) here it is!  I give you my favorite Shortbread recipe that is buttery, crumbly, and perfectly sweet.  I know, it’s about time.

Shortbread’s Shortbread

makes 16 pieces

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (8 ounces) butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup (4 ounces) granulated sugar, plus extra for top
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup (4 ounces) corn flour or fine semolina*
  • 1/4 tsp salt (if using unsalted butter)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Sift flours and salt (if using) together into a bowl. Set aside.
  3. Beat together butter and sugar with a stand or hand mixer until creamy.
  4. Gradually add flour mixture to butter/sugar mixture and blend just until it comes together as a dough.
  5. Dump dough out onto a piece of parchment or a lightly floured surface and divide into two halves. Gently shape halves into discs and press each into two 8-inch round tart pans or cake tins. (Alternately, shape all the dough into a rectangle and press into a 9×13 inch baking pan.)
  6. Using a fork, either prick holes all over the dough or press the tines around the outer edges (or both).
  7. Bake for 35-45 minutes until pale golden all over.
  8. Remove from the oven and dust top with sugar. Cut each into 8 triangles (or 16 squares) while still warm, then let cool completely before removing from pan.

*I use Bob’s Red Mill Corn Flour. If you can’t find or don’t have corn/semolina flour, the recipe will still work using just all-purpose flour.

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{Tuesdays With Dorie} Baking With Julia Lemon Loaf Cake

Alright, this post is going to be short and sweet – not unlike this week’s Tuesdays with Dorie/Baking with Julia pick, Lemon Loaf Cake contributed by Norman Love.  By that I mean that this cake couldn’t be easier to put together, and the result is a nice little lemony pound cake with a dense crumb that takes well to toasting, piling up with strawberries or peaches, or just eating as is.

No need to dirty up your mixer, this cake is made the old fashioned way with a whisk and a sifter.  It only uses lemon zest, so if you’re after an extra shot of lemon flavor I would add in a little juice too.  And it just begs for a little lemon glaze.

Please visit the blogs of our lovely hostesses, Truc of Treats and Michelle of The Beauty of Life for the recipe.

{Tuesdays With Dorie} Baking With Julia Pizza Rustica

Pizza Rustica, this week’s Tuesdays with Dorie/Baking with Julia recipe, is not exactly what most people think of when they hear the word pizza.  This is actually a traditional Italian dish translated as “rustic pie” that is made with a  sweet pie crust and a cheesy, meaty, egg based filling.  It is usually eaten at room temperature or even cold, and often as an appetizer according to Nick Malgieri, the contributor of the recipe.  The Italian version of quiche maybe?

The major difference is in the crust.  It is a basic Italian pastry dough called pasta frolla which is used in most of their pie recipes, either sweet or savory.  It is made with a good amount of sugar added to the flour with eggs to bind it together.  The recipe did not call for chilling the dough or pre-baking it, but it rolled out without problem and baked up just perfectly.

In the filling you will find ricotta cheese, eggs, mozzarella cheese and Pecorino Romano, along with prosciutto and parsley.  This savory filling, especially with the salty Romano cheese and prosciutto, is used to provide a pleasing contrast to the sweet crust.  I thought it was an interesting combination but I did feel like the filling lacked a little “oomph” which might possibly be cured by adding more of the Romano cheese, another salty meat, or a few more seasonings.

We had a slice warm with our dinner the night is was made, then I tried a bite once it was completely cool, and then had a cold slice for breakfast the next day and I liked it equally well at all temperatures!  This was a really fun recipe to make and not extremely complicated either.  I’m sure the other TwD’ers will provide a ton of ideas for additions and variations of it too.

If you’d like to try this one out, visit our lovely hostesses for the week, Emily of Capitol Region Dining and Raelynn of The Place They Call Home where you will find this recipe!