Semmelknöedel (Bread Dumplings)


IMG_0735

Ingredients

  • 1 (1 pound) loaf stale French bread, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 pinch ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup dry bread crumbs (optional)

Directions

  1. Place the bread cubes into a large bowl.
  2. Heat the milk until it starts to bubble at the edges, then pour it over the bread cubes. Stir briefly to coat the bread. Let soak for 15 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onions; cook and stir until tender.
  4. Stir in the parsley, and remove from the heat.
  5. Mix into the bowl with the bread along with the eggs, salt and pepper.
  6. Use your hands, squeezing the dough through your fingers until it is smooth and sticky.
  7. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. The water should be at least 3 or 4 inches deep.
  8. When the water is boiling, make a test dumpling about the size of a small orange or tangerine, by patting and cupping between wet hands.
  9. Gently drop into the boiling water. If it falls apart, the dough is too wet. In this case, stir some bread crumbs into the rest of the dumpling batter.
  10. Form the remaining dough into large dumplings, and carefully drop into the boiling water. Simmer for 20 minutes, then remove to a serving plate with a large slotted spoon. They should come out soft, spongy and delicious!
Advertisements

Cooking Rice in the Microwave


IMG_0719

Ingredients

2 Servings

  • 1/2 cup rice
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon butter or margarine.

4 Servings

  • 1 cup rice
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tsp butter or margarine.

6 Servings

  • 1‑1/2 cup rice
  • 3 cups water
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 Tablespoon butter or margarine.

12 Servings

  • 3 cups rice
  • 6 cups water
  • 1‑1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 Tablespoons butter or margarine

Preparation

  1. Combine rice and water in a microwave‑safe dish. Add butter or margarine and salt if desired.
  2. Cover and cook on high for 5 minutes.
  3. Reduce to medium and cook for 20 minutes.
  4. Remove from microwave. Let stand covered for 5 minutes (or until all water is absorbed). Fluff with fork and serve.

 Cook’s Notes

  • Microwave ovens vary, times given are approximate.
  • For Best Results:
    • For firmer rice, use less water and simmer for a shorter time.
    • For softer rice, use more water and simmer for a longer time.
    • Do not lift lid during cook (the steam cooks the rice).

Simple Stovetop Macaroni and Cheese


Simple Stovetop Macaroni and CheeseInspired by an innovative macaroni and cheese recipe that calls for adding sodium citrate, an emulsifying salt, to cheese to keep it smooth when heated (instead of adding flour to make a béchamel), we based our sauce on American cheese, which contains a similar ingredient. Because American cheese has plenty of emulsifier but not a lot of flavor, we combined it with more-flavorful extra-sharp cheddar. A bit of mustard and cayenne pepper added piquancy. We cooked the macaroni in a smaller-than-usual amount of water (along with some milk), so we didn’t have to drain it; the liquid that was left after the elbows were hydrated was just enough to form the base of the sauce. Rather than bake the mac and cheese, we sprinkled crunchy, cheesy toasted panko bread crumbs on top. Our simplified mac and cheese recipe takes only about 20 minutes from start to finish.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 cup milk
  • 8 ounces Elbow Macaroni
  • 4 ounces American Cheese, shredded (1 cup)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon Mustard
  • Small pinch cayenne pepper
  • 4 ounces Extra-Sharp Cheddar Cheese, shredded (1 cup)
  • 1/3 cup Panko Bread Crumbs
  • 1 Tablespoon Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons Grated Parmesan Cheese

Preparation

  1. Bring water and milk to boil in medium saucepan over high heat. Stir in macaroni and reduce heat to medium-low. Cook, stirring frequently, until macaroni is soft (slightly past al dente), 6 to 8 minutes.
  2. Add American cheese, mustard, and cayenne and cook, stirring constantly, until cheese is completely melted, about 1 minute.
  3. Off heat, stir in cheddar until evenly distributed but not melted.
  4. Cover saucepan and let stand for 5 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, combine panko, oil, 1/8 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper in 8-inch nonstick skillet until panko is evenly moistened. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until evenly browned, 3 to 4 minutes.
  6. Off heat, sprinkle Parmesan over panko mixture and stir to combine.
  7. Transfer panko mixture to small bowl.
  8. Stir macaroni until sauce is smooth (sauce may look loose but will thicken as it cools). Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  9. Transfer to warm serving dish and sprinkle panko mixture over top.
  10. Serve immediately.

Cook’s Notes

  • Barilla makes our favorite elbow macaroni. Because the macaroni is cooked in a measured amount of liquid, we don’t recommend using different shapes or sizes of pasta.
  • Use a 4-ounce block of American cheese from the deli counter rather than presliced cheese.

 

 

Sous Vide Scalloped Potatoes


Sous Vide Scalloped Potatoes

Every holiday season, you wait with anticipation when the bubbling, pan of scalloped potatoes is put on the table, salivating at the thought of those creamy, cheesy potatoes to come. You giddily lift a forkful to your mouth and take a bite — only to realize with utter disappointment that the potatoes are still tough. Unfortunately, that’s a common mishap that’s befallen almost everyone who’s made that beloved dish at one time or another. Now, comes Sous Vide to the rescue. Never again will your scalloped potatoes be anything but perfectly tender, and cooked through and through. Cooking the slices of potatoes in a vacuum-sealed bag in a precision cooker also results in a more pronounced earthy, potato flavor. As much as we love all that cream and cheese, we also want to taste the actual potato, right? And if you vacuum-seal the bag with a few of the leftover potato peels inside — a trick I learned from a chef — you’ll end up with an even deeper tuber flavor. Just remove the peels before completing the dish. Best yet? Because the potatoes are already cooked before you assemble the dish and put it into the oven to bake, you need far less cream. I’ve made other scalloped potato recipes that use as much as 3 1/2 cups of heavy cream. My sous vide version? It uses just 1 cup. If that’s not an excuse to indulge in dessert afterward, I don’t know what is.

Ingredients

  • 4 pounds Russet potatoes
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Unsalted butter, at room temperature, for the pan
  • 1 1/2 cups grated Gruyere cheese
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
  • Freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 cup heavy cream

Preparation

  1. Set the Anova Sous Vide Precision Cooker to 185ºF (85ºC).
  2. Peel the potatoes, reserving a few of the peels. Cut potatoes into 1/8-inch-thick slices.
  3. Season potatoes with salt. Divide evenly between two large zipper lock or vacuum seal bags. Place a few potato peels in each bag and seal using the water immersion technique or a vacuum sealer on the dry setting.
  4. Place the bags in the water bath and set the timer for 1 hour.
  5. About 10 minutes before the potatoes are finished, heat the oven to 400ºF.Butter a 9-by-13-inch glass or ceramic baking dish.
  6. When the timer goes off, remove the bags from the water bath. Remove the potato peels from the bags.
  7. Arrange 1/3 of the potato slices on the bottom of the baking dish and sprinkle 1/3 of the cheese on top.
  8. Top with a little fresh thyme, a light grating of nutmeg, and some ground pepper.
  9. Repeat two more times so that you end up with three layers of potatoes. Pour heavy cream in and around the potatoes.
  10. Bake until the cheese is thoroughly melted and the top is golden brown, about 25 minutes.
  11. Let potatoes rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Sous Vide Pennies from Heaven


Sous Vide Pennies from Heaven
Pennies from Heaven are sweet, orange-infused, glazed carrots, studded with apricots and dusted with a pinch of cinnamon sugar. They get their name from their “divine” flavor; it’s a somewhat hokey descriptor common in Junior League and community cookbooks, but the carrots themselves are hard to beat. Prepared in the Anova Sous Vide Precision Cooker, they make an easy side dish for just about any occasion.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound carrots, peeled and sliced into 1/4-inch thick rounds
  • 1/4 cup dried apricots, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice, plus more for serving, if desired
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon orange zest
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Procedure

  1. Set the Anova Sous Vide Precision Cooker to 183ºF (83ºC).
  2. Combine all ingredients in a large zipper lock bag. Seal the bag using the water immersion technique.
  3. Place the bag in the water bath and set the timer for 3 hours. You may need to weigh down the bag to keep it submerged.
  4. When the timer goes off, remove the bag from the water bath.
  5. Transfer the carrots and their cooking liquid to a bowl. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and additional lemon juice.
  6. Serve.

Creamed Bacon Spinach


Creamed Bacon Spinach
Ingredients

  • 8 oz. bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 Tablespoon  all-purpose flour
  • 1 garlic clove, grated
  • 3/4 c up heavy cream
  • kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 pounds baby spinach

Preparation

  1. In a large cast iron skillet over medium heat, crisp bacon until deep golden brown, about 6 to 8 minutes.
  2. Transfer bacon to a paper-towel lined plate.
  3. Drain bacon fat leaving 2 tablespoons in the pan; discard excess.
  4. Increase heat to medium-high and add flour; mix with a wooden spoon for 1 minute.
  5. Add garlic, heavy cream, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper; bring to a boil and simmer on low for 2 minutes.
  6. Fold in spinach until warmed through and wilted.
  7. Transfer to serving dish and garnish with crispy bacon.

Bacon Green Bean Bundles


BACON GREEN BEAN BUNDLES
Bacon Green Bean Bundles. Tender crisp green beans wrapped in bacon and brushed with a simple brown sugar glaze. These are easy enough for a weeknight meal and pretty enough to impress your guests alongside a steak dinner!

Ingredients

  • Green beans (about 1 1/2 lbs) 6-8 beans per bundle
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 6 slices bacon
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Cook bacon on the stovetop until slightly cooked (You don’t want it crispy).
  3. Reserve any drippings.
  4. Trim and wash green beans. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add baking soda.
  5. Add green beans and cook 3 minutes until tender crisp. Remove from boiling water and place in a bowl of ice water to stop cooking.
  6. Dab beans dry and toss with reserved bacon drippings (about 2 teaspoons), garlic powder and salt & pepper to taste.
  7. Cut each slice of bacon in half and wrap around about 6-8 green beans, secure with a toothpick and place on a parchment lined pan.
  8. Combine brown sugar with 1 tablespoon of water and lightly brush over each bundle.
  9. Roast 20-22 minutes or until bacon is crisp and beans are lightly roasted.

Cook’s Notes

Adding  a little pinch of baking soda to the boiling water keeps the beans a nice bright green rather than that drab boiled green color.