Friday, July 30, 2010

Great things to do with bread crumbs

Bread crumbs have been around our kitchens for a long long time. I remember my mom dredging just about everything in bread crumbs, after dipping it in an egg and milk or cream mixture. It always made the outside of every piece of meat crusty and delicious. Lots of Italian dishes call for breadcrumbs, like veal and eggplant Parmesan. I also remember my mom making Potatoes Au Gratin with bread crumbs all over the top. It was so good.

Recently, I found a great video which uses bread crumbs three different ways. I thought the one with Broccoli was really interesting. Chefs nowadays suggest making your own bread crumbs and, I have to admit, they are a lot better and more flavorful than the ones we used to shake out of those little boxes.

Here's an easy recipe for bread crumbs. You can add whatever else you would like to add to the flavor:

Ingredients: Italian bread (enough to make 2 cups of 1/2 in. cubes), 2 T butter, 1 T olive, 1 T minced garlic, 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
Directions: Cube the bread and process it until coarse bread crumbs form. Melt butter on med. heat in skillet. Add bread crumbs and cook 7-8 minutes, until golden brown. Remove frpm pan. Add olive oil, minced garlic and crushed red pepper. Cook 3 minutes. Add bread crumbs and mix thoroughly. Remove from heat and cool. Add salt, ground pepper and your choice of herbs (oregano, thyme, basil).

Click on picture to see the video:

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Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Summer outdoor cooking: Grilling corn and making iced tea

I found a great video this morning on how to grill corn so that it is cooked to perfection. I love fresh corn and it is so good when it's cooked on an open grill. With a salad and a serving of grilled Teriaki chicken, you have  an easy, healthy summer meal. Eaten outside on the deck or patio, it's even better.

Delicious grilled corn with a wonderful flavored butter 

*Note: Don't forget to make a big frosty pitcher of iced tea, the perfect drink to compliment your dinner.

Iced Tea
6 tea bags
1 quart boiling water
Place tea bags in a heatproof pitcher or glass measure. Add boiling water. Let steep 3 to 5 minutes; remove tea bags. Use immediately, or cool at room temperature about 2 hours. (After cooling, store in refrigerator. Don't chill quickly or tea will cloud.) Serve over ice. Sweeten as desired. Makes 5 servings.

Serve the pitcher of tea with a simple syrup (2 cups of sugar dissolved in 1 cup of water), so everyone can adjust sweetness to personal preference. If desired, add a hint of flavor by adding fresh mint leaves.

Sweet tea
2 quarts water
4 tea bags
1 cup sugar
lemon slices (optional)
Bring 2 quarts of cold water to a boil. Pour boiling water over 4 tea bags in a glass pitcher (the ratio of tea bags to quarts of water is 2:1). Steep for about 5 minutes. Remove bags, and let the tea cool to room temperature. Add 1 cup of sugar to the pitcher and stir until dissolved. If desired, add 4 slices of lemon. Refrigerate Add enough ice cubes to bring level back up to 2 quarts.

Citrus Iced Tea
1/2 cup lemon juice
1/3 cup sugar, or to taste
3 1/2 cups strong brewed tea

Stir together lemon juice and sugar in a pitcher until the sugar dissolves. Stir in tea; chill.

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Tuesday, July 20, 2010

How to make a great omelet

There are many different ways to make omelets. We make them at the bed and breakfast all the time. Our guests vary widely when it comes to their "favorites".

We usually do vegetable omelets unless we are told not to include veggies, only cheese. But most of our guests like vegetables added. It's a good way to get part of your healthy day's vegetable requirements.

I always ask if there are any vegetables that they don't like. Green peppers is the most frequent reply to that question. We always have onions, tomatoes, spinach, mushrooms, brocolli, asparagus, and green peppers on hand. Most guests pick two or three of these and like cheese added. We usually use a good Italian or Mexican melting cheese.

In addition to the omelets, we add bacon, ham or sausage on the side unless our guest happens to be a vegetarian. To complete our morning offering, we include toast (usually whole wheat or sour dough), home made muffins and juice (orange, apple, or cranberry.) Most guests are completely satisfied when they leave the table.

It's easiest to learn how to make a good omelet by watching. I've included a good video here. You can add any veggies you want to what they've done in the video. Just click on the picture.

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Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Amazing Mango bread

3 Large Eggs
¾ Cup Canola or Safflower Oil
2 ½ Cups All-Purpose Flour
1 Cup Sugar
1 tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Baking Soda
1 ½ tsp Ground Ginger
1 tsp Ground Cinnamon
¼ tsp Sea Salt
½ Cup (packed) Light Brown Sugar
2 Cups Diced Mango (from 1 large peeled and pitted mango)
¾ Cup Moist, plump Golden Raisins
Grated Zest of ½ Lime

Preheat the oven to 350˚F.Butter an 8 ½ x 4 ½-inch loaf pan, dust the inside with flour and tap out the excess. Put the pan on an insulated baking sheet or on two regular baking sheets stacked one on top of the other. (This extra insulation will keep the bottom of the bread from overbaking.)

Whisk the eggs and oil together.In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, spices and salt. Rub the brown sugar between your palms into the bowl, breaking up any lumps, and then stir it in.

Pour the wet ingredients over the dry, switch to a sturdy rubber spatula or wooden spoon and mix until blended-the batter will be very thick (really more like a dough than a batter) and not easily mixed, but persevere, it will soon come together.

Stir in the mango, raisins and zest. Scrape the batter into the pan and smooth the top with a rubber spatula.Bake the bread for 1-½ hours, or until it is golden brown and a thin knife inserted into the center comes out clean. (If the bread looks as if it’s getting too brown as it bakes, cover it loosely with a foil tent.) Transfer the pan to a rack and cool for 5 minutes before running a knife around the sides of the pan and unmolding. Invert and cool to room temperature right side up on the rack.

(Recipe by Angie at SeaSaltWithFood)
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