Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Slow Cooked Sausages with Sauerkraut and Potatoes

I was being lazy yesterday.
It was a hot late summer day and the thought of spending a lot of time in the kitchen made me cringe a little.
But I did have a bag of organic raw sauerkraut I picked up last Sunday, a few potatoes and some Kielbasa. Rinse-rinse, chop-chop, all went into a slow cooker. 
8 hours later, I was rewarded with simple, hearty, and delicious dinner to enjoy with my family. So simple, I will need to do this more often.

  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups raw sauerkraut, rinsed and drained
  • 2 pounds red new potatoes, rinsed and halved
  • 2 pounds Kielbasa (or Bratwurst if you prefer), sliced
  • 1/2 cup pale lager
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 1 teaspoon caraway seeds
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorn
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley for garnish
  • Place onion, sauerkraut, potatoes, sausage, beer, chicken stock, caraway seeds, bay leaves, peppercorn and salt in a slow cooker. Mix all of the ingredients to combine.
  • Cover and cook on low for 7-8 hours, or 4-5 hours on high, until the potatoes are tender.
  • Sprinkle with parsley. Serve warm with bread and mustard.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Brown Rice Apple Slaw

One of the things I learned about food blogging: it takes a lot of time.
I have been doing a terrible job in posting new things lately, but life doesn't always allow me to take my sweet moments with my blog.
My days pass in a blink of an eye. I'm running from one appointment to another, constantly looking at my cellphone to check the boys' schedules, drop them off, pick them up, then brief stops at the grocery store to prepare something quick for dinner.
Taking food pictures? That is not happening very often lately.

But I'm trying.
Taking my time to cook something new and tasty, posing the end results for nice pictures, and sitting in front of the computer to display them, for me, it's therapeutic.
So, kudos to all of food blogger moms out there, who seem to always manage to juggle it all. I don't know how you do it, but I envy you.

What I managed to prepare for dinner (well, side dish is more appropriate, but if you're counting calories, this works great as main dish, too), is brown rice apple slaw with almonds and crispy onion.
And without mayo-based dressing, it means you can enjoy this as much as you want.

  • 1 small onion
  • Oil for frying onion
  • 1 cup cooked brown rice
  • 2 fuji apples, julienned
  • 2 cups shredded red cabbage
  • 1 cup microgreens (any kind you like)
  • 1/4 cup sliced roasted almonds
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon stone ground mustard
  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • Peel and slice the onion thinly, fry in the hot oil until brown and crispy. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towel to absorb the excess oil. Cool down completely. If you are not using it immediately, store in the airtight container.
  • Combine olive oil, mustard, vinegar, and honey in a bowl. Whisk until well combined. Set aside.
  • Mix rice, cabbage, apple, and microgreens in a large salad bowl. Pour the dressing over the vegetables and toss. Store in the refrigerator to chill. Sprinkle with almonds and crispy onion before serving.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Baileys Cream Puffs

Cream puffs, they're delicious.
Baileys cream puffs, they're out of this world.
Baileys cream puffs for breakfast, I've died and gone to pastry heaven!

Ok, I am not starting the trend of having cream puffs for breakfast. It just happened that I was staring into my refrigerator in the early morning and got the idea of making some cream puffs for breakfast. 
I have been bad.
But my 2 boys did not complain a bit. Would they?

  • 1 cup water
  • 6 tablespoons salted butter
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 5 large eggs
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 3 tablespoons Baileys Irish cream
  • 4 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Over medium heat, cook water and butter until boiling. Remove from the heat, add flour and whisk until well blended. Return to the heat and continue whisking vigorously until the dough is pulling from the sides of the pan and forms a ball. Transfer dough into a mixing bowl and cool down for about 5 minutes.
  • Using the mixer's lowest speed, add one egg at a time, mix until the dough is smooth and elastic. Transfer dough into a piping bag fitted with a round/flower tip. Pipe the dough onto the lined baking sheet, about 1 1/2 inches in diameter, 2 inches apart. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 350 degrees F, continue baking for another 10 mints, or until the choux pastry turns golden brown. Remove from the oven and prick each one with a small sharp knife or a skewer to let out steam. Cool completely.
  • Place whipping cream, Baileys and sugar in a mixing bowl. Using a mixer, beat the cream until the cream becomes stiff. Transfer cream into a piping bag with small round tip. Make small slit on each of choux pastry, pipe some cream filling into each shell. 
*Makes about 24 cream puffs

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Cinnamon Sugar Cronuts

I owe someone this recipe. Sorry it took me a while to post it, Mr. C.
Please let me know who they turn out :)

Ingredients for the detempre (dough):
  • 1 1/4 cup warm milk, about 105-110F
  • 1 package active dry yeast, about 2 teaspoons
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 to 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
Ingredients for the beurrage (butter block):
  • 1 cup (2 stick) unsalted butter, preferably European style like Plugra or Kerrygold
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
Other ingredients:
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • Oil for frying

  • To make the detrempe: Sprinkle yeast and sugar onto warm milk, give a little stir with a spoon, and let it rest for about 5-10 minutes until the yeast becomes foamy. In a large mixing bowl, mix flour and salt, then add yeast mixture and egg into the bowl. Mix all of the ingredients together with your hand until well mixed. Please do not over handling the dough, just give it enough mixing until all of the ingredients are well blended. Transfer the dough to a floured surface, knead a little bit more and shape it into a ball. The dough will be sticky and spread out a little bit. Place the dough ball on a floured parchment paper, and refrigerate while you're making the barrage. 
  • To make the beurrage: Using a mixer, mix butter and flour until smooth. Transfer butter mixture onto a plastic wrap, shaping it into a flat square. Wrap the butter and refrigerate until the butter is firmer, about 20 minutes.

  • On a floured surface, roll out the dough into a thin circle. Place the butter block in the center of the dough. Stretching the dough with your hand, pull the top part of the dough, and fold it to cover the butter. Repeat the process with the bottom, left and right part of the dough, until you get a square envelope. Flip the square over, so that the flaps are facing down.
  • Using a rolling pin, flatten and roll out the dough into a large rectangle, sprinkle more flour if necessary. Fold the dough into thirds, by folding left and right side to the center. Transfer dough onto a lined baking sheet, and refrigerate for about 20 minutes.
  • Repeat the process of rolling the dough into rectangle, letter fold, and refrigerate for 20 minutes in between foldings. In total, do 3 letter folds before final rolling and cutting.

  • Roll out the dough into a thin large rectangle, about 1/2-inch in thickness. Using a 4-inch donut cutter (or cookie cutter), cut out the dough into donut rounds, and transfer them onto a lined baking sheet, spacing them about 1-inch apart. You should be able to get approximately 24 donut rounds from one batch. 
  • Place the baking sheets in a warm spot in the kitchen. Let the cronuts to rise (but don't let them double in size), for about 1 hour.
  • Mix sugar and cinnamon in a large bowl until well combined. In a frying skillet, heat up oil over medium heat. When the oil temperature reaches 350 F, fry 2 or 3 cronuts until golden brown, about 1 minute on each side. Transfer to baking sheet lined with paper towel to absorb excess grease. Continue frying the remaining cronuts. Dip each cronut in cinnamon-sugar mixture, cool down a little bit and serve.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Sufganiyot - Israeli Jelly Donuts

One does not need to be Jewish, Israeli, or even celebrate Hanukkah to enjoy Sufganiyot. This Israeli version of jelly donuts is easy to make, light, fluffy, and most importantly, delicious.

  • 1 package (2 teaspoons) dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup warm milk, about 105-110 F
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 cups cooking oil
  • 1 cup seedless strawberry/blueberry jelly
  • Powdered sugar, for sprinkling
  • In a mixing bowl, combine warm milk, 2 teaspoons of sugar and yeast. Let stand for 5-10 minutes, until the mixture turns foamy. Add flour, salt, eggs, and the rest of the sugar into the bowl. Using your hands, mix the dough until well combined but still sticky to the touch. Add butter into the dough, continue kneading until the dough is smooth and elastic. Shape dough into a ball, transfer to a greased bowl, turn to coat. Cover the bowl with kitchen towel, store in a warm place in the kitchen and let rise until almost double in size. It should take about 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
  • Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface. Punch down and then roll out the dough using a rolling pin, until it reaches 1/2-inch in thickness. Cut out holes using 3-inch biscuit/cookie cutter, place rounds on a line cookie sheet, 2 inches apart. You should be able to get about 24 rounds. Cover the cookie sheet with kitchen towel, and let rise for another hour.
  • Place the oil in a frying skillet. Heat over medium heat until the temperature reaches 350 F. Fry 2-3 rounds in hot oil, about 1 minute each side, until golden brown. Transfer donuts to a cookie sheet lined with paper towel to absorb excess grease. Repeat the process with the remaining rounds.
  • Place the jelly in a piping bag with 1/4-inch round tip. Poke a hole in the center of the donut using a sharp knife, squeeze the jelly into the donut through the hole. Repeat with the remaining donuts. Sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving.