Monday, August 26, 2013

ratatouille

Have you seen the Movie??
It's one of our favorite Disney animation :)

My husband first tried to imitate the dish from the movie and what do you know?
It's delicious.

It's such a healthy and beautiful side dish that's somewhat economical and Oh, So Easy!
I basically do what I think they are doing in the movie....


 you will need:

Zucchini
Yellow squash
Egg plant (thin and long kind)
Roma tomato

Marinara sauce


1.Thinly slice all of your veggies.

2. in a oven proof vessel of your choice, put a thin-ish layer of tomato sauce at the bottom.

3. As you can see in the finished produce, you just want to start laying the veggies so it looks pretty.

4. salt, pepper liberally. (if you want to add herbs, do it! our jarred marinara sauce has a good bit of spices and herbs, so we don't bother usually)

5. bake in 400 degree oven until veggies are tender



Saturday, August 24, 2013

Apricot Jam

Apricot jam, I think is the king of all jams.
My mother uses as a glaze for many of her French pastries.  I did not see the appeal as a child, but Now, it's one of my favorite along with home made Marmalade :)

Oh the lack of flavor in those store bought jams! How do they manage to subtract so much flavor from fruits??! I used just some cheap apricots from the deli close by and when I sampled them on their own, they were... "meh".
So I was worried how the jam would be, but the taste got concentrated.  It became this rich, amber-ish Orange, a little tangy goodness!!




Ingredients.

apricots. seed take out and i ripped them into quater, no knife needed. I used about 10...
vanilla sugar. about 3-4 tbs. (just use a bit of vanilla extract if u don't have this)
cognac, just a splash
lemon juice. a splash

**everything here can be according to your liking. just taste as you go and keep adding sugar if it is too tart. Go with smaller amount of sugar than you think you need because once you put them in, there's no taking them out.

1. put apricots in a heavy bottomed pot with sugar, lemon juice, and cognac. place it on low heat and just let it be, stirring once in a while.  just the stirring motion will break up the meat of apricots.

2. I don't use any thermometer or anything. I just let it simmer until I like the consistency. if you let it go too far, the jam will be too thick. I add a little more lemon juice towards the end to 'tighten up' the flavor.








Monday, August 19, 2013

Parker house rolls

Boy do I love bread.
I love bread in all forms. sweet, savory, big, small, aisian, american, european, flat, ... not flat...?





As I looked for something new to bake for dinner, I found Parker house roll recipe by bobby flay :)
I just love parker house rolls, they are slightly sweet and kind of chewy. Some recipes suggested uing potato flour or just some mashed potatoes. I did not have potato flours, and did not want to make mashed potatoes, so I went with the recipe that did not ask for any other ingredients than what I already had in my pantry.

Salt is so important in bread making. I forgot to put it in until the dough had already formed. but I wasn't going to bake this whole tray of rolls without salt! I added salt little by little as I kneaded... not good. But bread without salt is really REALLY bland. sigh.

my rolls turned out fine though. lacking a little taste (salt) but good enough. after I serve some for dinner, I will pull them all apart and put them neatly into a freezer bag and freeze them that night. As I need them for dinner, I will pull what I need out of the bag, put them in foil, and heat them up at 35 or so. you could also nuke it for about 10 second twice.






recipe, adapted from bobby flay's(click here for the video)

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups milk
1 stick unsalted butter, cut into pieces, plus more for brushing
1/2 cup sugar
1 package active dry yeast
1/2 cup warm water
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
6 cups all-purpose flour

Directions

Place milk in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer. Remove from the heat, stir in the butter and sugar and let cool. Dissolve yeast in warm water and let sit until foamy. Combine milk mixture, eggs, yeast, salt, and 1/2 of the flour in a mixer with the dough attachment and mix until smooth. Add the remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, and stir until a smooth ball forms.

Remove from the bowl and knead by hand on a floured surface for about 5 minutes. Place in greased bowl, cover, and let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 60 to 70 minutes. On a floured surface, punch down the dough and shape into desired shapes. Place on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Cover again and let rise until doubled, about 30 to 40 minutes.

Preheat the oven 350 degrees F.

Bake for about 20 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and brush with melted butter before serving.

Read more at: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/bobby-flay/parker-house-rolls-recipe2/index.html?oc=linkback