Monday, December 27, 2010

Yeast Rolls

Doesn't everyone need a good yeast roll recipe for all those holidays we celebrate which focus on meat and potatoes and gravy, with rolls used to slop up all the leftovers? This is that recipe. Be sure not to overcook soon as they start turning golden they're done.

Yield: 16 huge rolls

1/2 cup hand-hot water (you should be able to hold your finger in it without recoiling from the heat)
1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
1/3 cup white sugar, divided
1/2 cup warm milk
1/3 cup butter
1 teaspoon salt
1 egg
3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup butter, melted

1. In large bowl, dissolve yeast and 1 tablespoon sugar in 1/2 cup hand-hot water. Let sit in a warm place for 10 minutes or until frothy.
2. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, heat milk until it just bubbles. Dissolve remaining sugar and salt into milk, and stir in butter until it melts. Remove from heat and let cool until lukewarm.
3. Add butter mixture and egg to yeast mixture, stirring well to combine. Add flour, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring well after each addition. When dough becomes too thick to stir, turn out onto a lightly floured surface, kneading remaining flour in. Dough should be slightly tacky. Return dough to bowl, cover with a damp cloth, and let rise in a warm place 1 hour or until doubled.
4. Punch dough down and let rest 1 minute. Divide dough in half. Turn out half of dough onto a lightly floured surface; roll into a large circle. Cut circle into 8 or more sections (like pie pieces). Brush with melted butter and roll each triangle up, starting with the large side. Place on ungreased baking sheets, point side down. Repeat with second half of dough. Cover rolls with a slightly damp cloth and let rise in a warm place 30 minutes.
5. Preheat oven to 350°.
6. Bake rolls at 350° for 10 minutes or until starting to turn brown on top. Do not overbake: they will be dry.

Chicken and Rice Soup

This soup is fantastic. Forgive the white rice in the above photo...I do usually use brown rice. This is the perfect recipe to use up leftover Thanksgiving or Christmas turkey. The perfect one. Trust me.

yield: 6 2-cup servings

2 Tbsp butter
6 celery stalks, sliced (leaves too)
1 medium onion, finely chopped
3 large carrots, quartered and diced
3 cups roasted chicken or turkey
2 cups homemade chicken stock
10 cups water
3 tsp chicken bouillon granules
2 tsp salt
1 tsp tarragon
1/2 tsp pepper
3/4 cup brown rice

1. In a large stockpot, melt butter. Add celery, onion, and carrots; sauté 5 minutes or until tender. Add remaining ingredients, stirring to combine. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to low and simmer 40 minutes or until rice is done.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Mediterranean Breakfast Casserole

I have a confession to make: I've never been a huge 'breakfast casserole' fan. There's just something about loads of cheese and pre-made hashbrowns combined with sausage and eggs that just doesn't make me drool with anticipation. But a friend of mine made a breakfast casserole with feta and tomatoes and spinach that I actually liked, and it inspired me to try my own. Here's the result. Shannon said it was the best breakfast casserole he's ever had. I think it's pretty great myself, but I'd recommend it for breakfast-for-dinner as opposed to actual breakfast (as I'm not a big fan of broccoli in the mornings).

yield: 6 servings

1/2 loaf French bread, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 cup crumbled feta
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1 cup milk
4 eggs
4 egg whites
1 Tbsp olive oil
3 tomatoes, chopped
3 cups fresh spinach, chopped
1 cup mushrooms, sliced
2 cups broccoli florets
1/2 cup onion, diced
1 tsp basil
1/2 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp pepper
3/4 tsp salt

1. Preheat oven to 350°.
2. In large bowl, stir together French bread, feta, and mozzarella. In a separate small bowl, combine milk, eggs, and egg whites.
3. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add tomatoes, spinach, mushrooms, broccoli, and onions; sauté 5 minutes or until veggies are tender. Stir in basil, oregano, pepper, and salt. Add to French bread mixture, stirring well to combine.
4. Pour French bread mixture into a 9 x 13-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Pour egg mixture evenly over the top. Cover with foil and bake at 350° for 15 minutes. Remove foil and return to oven, baking 15-20 more minutes or until a knife inserted in center comes out clean.