1.29.2015

Super Bowl Eats II: Buffalo Chicken Bites


Just about everyone loves Buffalo wings dipped in a blue cheese dressing. And here they are in delectable bite size! They'll be a popular snack and everything is all wrapped up in a neat little package for eating, blue cheese included. No dipping sauce required. 

Notes: I know the photo looks fine (and yes, they tasted fabulous), but cut your slices wider than I did. These tend to come apart when baking. You could also use ready made pizza dough to cut down on time.


Buffalo Chicken Bites

From What's Cookin, Chicago



Ingredients:
1 cup finely diced cooked chicken breast
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
2 tablespoons shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 cup hot sauce (Frank's brand is what I used)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2 1/4 teaspoons rapid rise dry yeast 
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 cup warm milk 

2 1/2 cups of flour

Method:
To make the buffalo chicken mixture, in a small bowl, combine the chicken, blue cheese, cheddar cheese, melted butter and hot sauce; set aside.

In a 1 cup measuring cup, heat the milk and then add the 2 tablespoons brown sugar; stir into warm milk until dissolved; place in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook. Add 2 1/2 cups flour and yeast to the stand mixer and mix on low speed until a soft dough forms, adding up to 1/2 cup additional flour, if necessary. Allow the dough to knead in the stand mixer for 5-7 minutes. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface and gently knead a few times to form a smooth ball. Place dough into a clean bowl that's been lightly oiled. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a draft-free place at warm room temperature until doubled and bubbles appear on surface, about 2 hours. 

Preheat oven to 400°F with rack in the middle of the oven. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside.

Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface and cut into 4 equal pieces. Lightly dust your hands with flour, then gently roll and stretch 1 piece of dough to form a 12-inch-long rope. Flatten dough and arrange so a long side is nearest you, then roll out to a roughly 12- by 4-inch rectangle with a lightly floured rolling pin. Gently press one fourth of buffalo chicken mixture into lower third of rectangle, leaving a 1/2-inch border along bottom edge. Stretch bottom edge of dough up over filling and press tightly to seal, then roll up as tightly as possible to form a rope. Cut rope into 12 pieces and transfer to a sheet pan. Make 3 more ropes with remaining dough, filling and cut into pieces, transferring to sheet pans. Let rest at room temperature, uncovered, 30 minutes (dough will rise slightly). 

Bake buffalo chicken bites in the preheated oven for 5-7 minutes or until the tops are lightly browned. Remove from oven (some cheese may have melted out.) and brush tops with melted butter before serving.




1.25.2015

Lentil Stuffed Samosas



You could make these for lunch, for dinner or perhaps a football-watching snack. Use your favorite dal type stuffing (or any stuffing at all) and have fun wrapping! I'm not a wrapping pro but these held together nicely. I practiced with paper towels. I wish my egg roll wrappers had been a bit longer, but these were all I could find at the market. They were 6 1/2 inches square. I seemed to have the best luck cutting them in two inch wide rectangular strips, giving me 2 by 6 1/2 inches to work with. 
The dal is a combination of recipes and I had brown lentils in the pantry, so that's what I used.

Lentil Stuffed Samosas



Ingredients:

1 cup lentils
1/2 cup spring onions, chopped along with the greens
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 cup mint leaves, chopped
1/4 cup cilantro, finely chopped
1 teaspoon garam masala
1 teaspoon cumin powder
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon Indian red chili powder
1 serrano chili or whatever your heat preference
Salt to taste
vegetable oil for frying

For the wrappers:
spring roll wrapper sheets (mine were 6 1/2 inches square which I cut into 2 inch rectangles)

For the glue to hold them together:
1/4 cup flour
3 tablespoons water

Method:

Rinse the lentils well and then boil them in water until they are cooked through but still retain the shape. About 10-15 minutes. Pour the lentils in a sieve to drain and cool.

Mix all the ingredients in the filling with a light hand so as to not break the lentils, put aside. Mix the wheat flour with the water. Set aside, this is the "glue".

Cut the spring roll wrappers into 2-3 inch wide rectangles. Cover unused wrappers with a damp cloth while working with it so it doesn't dry out. 
Rather than try to explain how to fold samosas, I suggest you watch the following uTube vid.




Fill about 2 tbsp of filling into the triangle and pressing it down with your finger. once folded, brush the flour and water glue on the end of the pastry and fold over the top of the filled triangle to seal. 
It’s important that the samosa is completely sealed so oil doesn't seep into the filling while frying. If you see any openings close it with the glue mixture. Heat oil in a wok and drop the triangles in it. They are done when light golden brown. Serve with lemon wedges or ketchup. They freeze extremely well. So you can make in bulk and keep it in deep freezer and fry them in oil right out of the freezer.

Makes 10 or more.

1.21.2015

Morrison Wood's Chili


Do you have any of Morrison Wood's cookbooks?  With a Jug of Wine was his first and my favorite. (You can still buy it used.) It's a gem of a cookbook and I have lots of favorite recipes in it, but was surprised I've never posted his chili recipe. I know, you all have your favorite chili, but this is the one I use. I confess, I don't even bother trying anyone else's....very unlike me. It's a very thick chili so you can add more canned tomatoes if you wish.
This time, I made Pastry Affair's Beer Bread to go with it....I posted the recipe last week. They are marvelous together, perfect for football watching. I mean, let's face it. Chili-soaked beer bread? OMG.

Morrison Wood's Chili
From With a Jug of Wine



Ingredients:

2  pounds ground round
1 pound ground fresh pork
3 tablespoons bacon fat
3 medium sized onions, chopped
4 cloves garlic
6  tablespoons chili powder (Use less or more, to taste)
1 tablespoon flour
1 large can tomatoes
3 bay leaves
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon oregano
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
1 pint pitted ripe olives
1 large can kidney beans
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon lime juice

Method:
In a soup pot, brown the onions and garlic in the bacon fat. Remove onions and garlic. To the remaining bacon fat add the chili powder mixed with the flour. Stir until smooth and then add the beef and pork. Breaking it up wait until it's brown, then add the tomatoes and onions and cook gently for 20 minutes.
Next add 3 bay leaves
*!(I'm always careful with bay leaves. At a dinner party years ago, my SIL choked on one in the spaghetti sauce and it was a close call; she choked and couldn't breathe. Lesson learned. I now break each one into very small pieces.), salt, oregano, red wine vinegar and brown sugar. Cover and cook slowly for 2 hours.
Last of all, add the pint of ripe olives, sliced, and cook for another hour. 
Finally, add the lemon and lime juice and the kidney beans right before serving. It's a thick chili; add a small can of tomatoes if you prefer it thinner.
Sprinkle a little cheese on top.

Serves 10-12


With beer bread croutons:


With beer bread toast on the side:


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