thesoupfairy: (Default)
Slow Cooker Beans & Ham

Today I'll be spending my entire day at a local music festival - the longest running human rights festival of its kind, anywhere (25 years). I know when I get home I will be exhausted and sunburned and cranky and hungry. So I decided to do the cooking beforehand. My husband will turn off the slow cooker when he gets home from work, before He comes out to the park.

Of course you can use another variety of bean here if you like... just not kidney beans, of the white or the red variety. They contain phytohemagglutinin, which is toxic, and must be boiled to bring it to a safe level - and your slow cooker just isn't going to boil them sufficiently.

Prep: 5 minutes the night before, 5 minutes in the morning
Cook: 6-8 hours
Servings: 12 servings

Ingredients
  • 1 pound dry pinto beans

  • 2 pounds boneless smoked (fully cooked) ham (optional) - also good are salt pork, ham hocks, and chopped bacon

  • 2 teaspoons salt

  • 1 bouillon cube, whatever flavor you like

  • 1 head garlic, cloves peeled but left whole


Directions

The night before, pick over your beans, discarding any stones or dirt clods or weirdly discolored beans. Put beans in a bowl or your slow cooker crock and cover with enough water to keep them covered if they double in volume (they won't, quite).

The next morning, drain your beans and rinse them well. Place in your crock with the ham or other meat, if you're using it. I cut my ham into a few large chunks - when the beans are done and it's falling apart, i'll shred it. If you like nice little cubes of ham in your soup, go ahead and dice it before you put it in.

Add enough water to come to about 1-1/2 to 2 inches below the rim of your crock. Pop in the bouillon cube and stir in the salt. Toss your peeled garlic cloves in.

TIP: Incidentally, here's a little kitchen gadget tip. You can buy a special garlic peeler. It's a silicone tube that you roll on the counter under your palms to loosen and remove the peel from your garlic cloves. They're not expensive, under $10 generally. I saw Graham Kerr using one on his cooking show once and totally wanted one. And I had one for a while, and it was awesome. Unfortunately, in communal/cooperative houses you sometimes lose things, and I lost my garlic peeler. Recently I realized that I had something that would probably work just as well. You know those little rubber jar openers that you get as promotional items? For a while now I've been using one under my cutting board on the countertop to keep it from moving around. But I have a nice 6" square one that works great for peeling garlic! Just put the garlic clove in the center, fold it in half diagonally around the clove, and roll back and forth until skin either comes completely off or is loose enough to easily pick away.

Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours, until beans reach desired tenderness. Shred meat if needed. Check and adjust seasonings.


Perfect Fried Potatoes

The perfect fried potatoes are hard! They can come out too mushy, they can come out half-cooked, they can come out burned, or they can come out with all of these in the same pan! What follows is my preferred method.

I really do think these are better made with bacon grease. If you're not saving your bacon grease, you totally should. It's free cooking oil, and it makes everything delicious. :)

Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients
  • 2-4 tablespoons vegetable oil

  • 1-2 tablespoons bacon grease

  • 1/2 to 1 pound of potatoes for each person

  • seasonings - at least salt and black pepper, but experiment with garlic powder, steak seasoning blends, cayenne, etc.

  • 1 small white or yellow onion, thinly sliced

  • 1-2 cloves of garlic per person, coarsely chopped (optional)


Directions

Scrub potatoes. Peel if you like, but if they have fairly thin skins, you can leave them on. Slice potatoes thinly - about 1/4 inch thick slices. You can also dice them or cut them into French fry shapes if you prefer, but do try to keep size and thickness fairly equal so they cook evenly.

Heat oil and bacon fat in large (at least 12" skillet). You want the oil hot enough to sizzle very slightly when you flick a droplet of water onto the skillet, but not hot enough that the water droplet dances all over the skillet, or your potatoes will burn. If you get a serious sizzle, turn the heat down a little bit.

Add potates to skillet in an even layer. Add seasonings. Don't stir - the less you disturb your potatoes while they're cooking, the better chance you'll have of them not falling apart. Cover your skillet partially - some steam in the pan is good, but if you cover completely you'll have soft mushy steamed potatoes instead of crispy fried ones.

After about 5 minutes, add your sliced onion and shopped garlic on top of the potatoes and return the partial cover. In 5 more minutes or so the potatoes will look kind of sweaty. This is when you want to turn the potatoes. Try to shuffle them around as little as possible, while getting the softening ones on top down to the bottom and the browned ones from the bottom up to the top.

If they start to look dry, you can add a tablespoon or so of butter to the top - it will melt down into the potatoes.

After turning, you want to cook about 10 more minutes. You still don't really want to do much stirring, but do keep an eye on your garlic and onions so they don't burn. Garlic is okay to get a little golden brown, but not any browner than that or it will get bitter.

Check doneness and crispness, taste for seasoning, adjust seasoning as needed, and serve. Draining on paper towels is a not-quite-necessary step that some folks prefer to do.


Perfect Cornbread

If you don't want to serve your beans with fried potatoes, or if you just want cornbread too, here's a simple but delicious recipe. You can cook this in something other than a cast iron skillet/pan but it will NOT taste the same, I promise.

Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 15-20 minutes
Servings: 8 servings

Ingredients
  • 3 tablespoons butter

  • 2 eggs

  • 1 tablespoon cooking oil

  • 1 tablespoon bacon grease

  • 1-1/2 cup milk (or buttermilk, or a buttermilk substitute

  • 2 cups self-rising yellow cornmeal

  • 1 tablespoon sugar


Directions

Preheat your oven to 425°F. Put the butter in your 10" cast iron skillet and place in the oven when you turn it on. Check it now and then to make sure it doesn't scorch.

Beat eggs with electric mixer or wire whisk until uniformly yellow and slightly frothy. Add oil, bacon grease, and milk. Mix well.

Measure the cornmeal and sugar into the mixing bowl. Do not use your mixer here - you want to stir gently with a wooden spoon or a fork until you get the lumps out and everything is mixed. Over mixing will make your bread tough.

Pull your skillet out and turn it to coat the entire surface with melted butter.

Spoon the batter into the hot skillet. Some of the melted butter will come up over the edges, which is totally fine.

Stick the pan back into the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes - check the center of the bread with a toothpick. If it comes out clean, the bread is done.

Let stand a few minutes before cutting and serving.
thesoupfairy: (Default)
Orange Cherry Chicken

This sweet and spicy chicken dish is different enough to make your tastebuds wake up and say, "Hmmmm!" It's delicious!

Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 5 hours
Servings: 4-6 servings

Ingredients
  • 1 cup frozen tart cherries, thawed

  • 1 medium onion, chopped

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 1-2 tablespoons fresh minced ginger root

  • 4 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped

  • 3-4 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts (or, if you're not as squeamish as I am about taking meat off bones, a 3-4 pound fryer chicken, quartered and skin removed)

  • 1 cup orange juice

  • 1 teaspoon orange zest

  • 1 pound bag wide egg noodles

  • 3 tablespoons butter

  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

  • 2-3 tablespoons brown sugar


Directions

Stir together cherries, onion, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and garlic in slow cooker. Place chicken on top. Pour orange juice over the chicken and top with orange zest.

Cover and cook on low 5-6 hours.

Cook egg noodles according to package directions.

Meanwhile, use a slotted spoon to remove solids from sauce. Melt butter in saucepan. Whisk in flour, a little at a time, until golden and bubbling. Add liquid from slow cooker a little at a time, whisking constantly, until smooth and thickened. Stir in brown sugar and return chicken, onions, and cherries to the slow cooker.

Serve chicken mixture over noodles.
thesoupfairy: (Default)
Bonus! You get three recipes here. The Pulled Pork, the Mac & Cheese, and the Scrapple I'm making with the leftovers today.

Pulled Pork Sandwiches

I generally serve this delicious pulled pork on whole wheat hamburger buns with a cold salad like coleslaw or pasta salad. Also fabulous (in my opinion!) with baked macaroni & cheese on the side. Other bread choices include pitas, tortillas, Kaiser rolls, etc. The leftovers make amazing nachos, burritos, enchiladas, and scrapple.

Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 9 hours
Stand: 10 minutes
Servings: 12

Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

  • 1 boneless pork shoulder roast (3-4 pounds), netted or tied

  • 1 can (10-1/2 ounces) condensed French Onion Soup

  • 1 cup ketchup

  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar

  • 3 tablespoons packed brown sugar

  • dash (or more, to taste) of cayenne or habañero

  • 12 sandwich rolls


Directions

Heat the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the pork roast (keeping the netting on) and cook until well-browned all over. While the pork is browning, combine the soup, ketchup, vinegar, brown sugar, and cayenne in your slow cooker. Whisk to combine well. Add pork and turn it to coat.

Cover and cook on low heat for 9 hours. Every hour or two, I like to use a pair of tongs to turn the roast over and spoon some of the sauce over it.

Remove the pork from the cooker and let stand in a large bowl for 10 minutes. Using two forks, shred the pork (that's the "pulled" bit) right in the bowl. Return to the cooker and stir. Spoon onto sandwich rolls.


Maka's Macaroni & Cheese

This is my personal favorite homemade baked mac & cheese. Everybody else seems to love it too.

Cook: 10 minutes
Bake: 20 minutes
Servings: 6

Ingredients
  • 8 ounces large elbow pasta

  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter

  • 3 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour

  • 2 cups milk, divided

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper

  • 2 teaspoons spicy mustard (I like using a horseradish mustard)

  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided

  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese


Directions

Preheat the oven to 400°. Cook the pasta according to the package directions, but about one minute shorter than the shortest recommended time.

Melt butter in a medium saucepan. Whisk in the flour a little at a time until you have a thick golden paste. Slowly whisk in half of the milk, a little at a time, and continue whisking until you have a thick white sauce.

Place softened cream cheese and remaining cup of milk in a microwave-safe container (I use my 4-cup Pyrex measuring cup) and heat briefly - don't let the milk boil - and then whisk until smooth. Whisk into the white sauce, adding the salt, pepper, and mustard. Cook until thickened.

Stir together pasta, 1-1/2 cups cheddar, Parmesan, and sauce. Spread in a 2-quart baking dish, top with the remaining cheddar, and bake for 15-20 minutes. I like to turn the broiler on for the last minute or two so the top gets a little more browned.


Damn, That's Good Scrapple!

Scrapple is an old Amish breakfast dish intended to use up leftover scraps of meat, especially pork. It's golden and crispy outside, soft and tasty on the inside. Delicious.

Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 25 minutes
Chill: 4 hours or more
Cook: 30 minutes or so
Servings: 12

Ingredients
  • 1 pound leftover pulled pork, chopped fine

  • 1 cup cornmeal

  • 2 cups chicken broth (or 2 chicken bouillon cubes dissolved in 2 cups hot water)

  • 1/4 teaspoon dried or 3/4 teaspoon fresh herbs of your choice - thyme & sage are traditional but you can totally get creative

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour

  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

  • 2 tablespoons bacon grease or vegetable oil, or as needed


Directions

Combine pork, cornmeal, broth, herbs, and salt in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Reduce heat to the lowest possible simmer and cook for 20 minutes or more - until very thick. You will need to stir almost constantly and be very watchful - it will scorch on the bottom very easily. Line a loaf pan with waxed paper, letting the paper extend several inches above the top of the pan. Spoon cornmeal mixture into the pan, spreading evenly. Cover and put in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours. If you're serving the scrapple for breakfast, just chill overnight.

Use waxed paper to help remove molded scrapple from loaf pan. Cut into 3/8-inch thick slices. Heat oil in large skillet. Combine flour and pepper, dredge each scrapple slice in flour and fry in hot oil until browned on both sides.

Serve with butter and maple syrup, applesauce, ketchup, or fried eggs.
thesoupfairy: (Default)
Southwest Pork Loin

Tender, juicy, spicy, delicious! I've given both Crockpot and oven cooking directions.

My son and his girlfriend had theirs on buns with the rice on the side and a spoonful of the salsa inside the sandwich. The Spanish Rice recipe is here.

The seasoning mix that is rubbed on the roast before marinating is an excellent rub for steaks, too.

Prep: 5 minutes
Marinate: 2-4 hours
Cook: 6-8 hours
Servings: 6

Ingredients
  • 3-4 pound boneless pork loin

  • 2 tablespoons lime juice

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 teaspoon chili powder

  • 1/4 teaspoon habañero powder (or 1/2 teaspoon cayenne powder)

  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin

  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


Directions

Cut pork loin in half if necessary so it will fit into your slow cooker. Combine lime juice and olive oil in large shallow bowl. Combine seasonings well and put half of them on a plate if you had to cut the roast in half. Roll one of the pork loin pieces in lime juice mixture, then in seasonings. Repeat with second piece. Place in bowl containing lime juice mixture and refrigerate 2-4 hours to marinate.

Place pork loin pieces in slow cooker and cook on low for 6-8 hours, or until meat thermometer inserted in center of each piece registers at least 155 degrees and the meat is very tender.

If using oven, you can leave the roast whole so long as it will fit in your roasting pan. Preheat oven to 350°F. Place marinated roast in lightly oiled roasting pan and cook for 30 minutes per pound, or to about 155°F on a meat thermometer.

Let roast rest for 10 minutes. Remove to serving platter, discarding cooking juices.

Black Bean-Corn Salsa

Around my house, we call this "Veni's Salad". When I first created this, I envisioned it as a salad, and I still eat it that way sometimes, but honestly most everybody eats it with tortilla chips like a salsa. And it never lasts more than an hour or two.

Prep: 15 minutes
Servings: 8

Ingredients
  • 1/3 cup lime juice

  • 1/4 cup olive oil

  • 1 garlic clove, minced

  • dash cayenne or habañero powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1/2-1 cup chopped cilantro

  • 2 cans black beans, rinsed and drained well

  • 1-1/2 cups frozen corn, thawed

  • 1-2 avocados, diced

  • 1 red bell pepper, diced

  • 2 Roma tomatoes, diced

  • 5 green onions

  • 2 Anaheim chiles, diced

  • 2 jalapeño peppers, diced


Directions

Combine lime juice, olive oil, garlic, cayenne, salt, and cilantro in a jar. Shake to combine well; set aside.

Toss remaining ingredients in a large bowl. Add dressing and toss again to coat.

You can serve it right away, but it's even better if you let it chill in the fridge for a few hours to let the flavors blend. If you want to make up a big batch ahead of time, it'll keep in the fridge for a few days to a week, but you'll want to leave the avocado out and just add it right before serving.
thesoupfairy: (chili)
Chicken Tortilla Soup

I'll be putting this in the crockpot in a few hours. I'm willing to bet that my husband and son will eat a bowl right after school, and another for dinner!

Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 4 hours
Servings: 8

Ingredients
  • 4 cups chicken broth (or 4 cups water + 4 chicken bouillon cubes

  • 4 medium boneless skinless chicken breasts

  • 2 cups frozen corn, thawed

  • 1 can (14ish ounces) diced tomatoes or tomato puree

  • 1 can (10 ounces) diced tomatoes with green chiles ("Ro-Tel")

  • 1 large onion, chopped

  • 2 garlic cloves, minced

  • 1 bay leaf

  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1 teaspoon chili powder

  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper

  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne powder

  • 8 white or yellow corn tortillas (6 inch size), cut into 1/4-inch strips


Directions

In a large saucepan, bring broth to a boil. Add chicken and reduce to a simmer. Cook 20 minutes. While chicken is simmering, assemble remaining ingredients (except tortillas) in large slow cooker.

Remove chicken from broth, allow to cool enough to handle, and dice. Measure broth and add water if necessary to return to 4 cups. Add broth and chicken to slow cooker. Cover and cook on low heat for 4 hours.

Preheat oven to 375°F. Place the tortilla strips on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake for 5 minutes; turn. Bake 5 minutes longer. Discard bay leaf from soup. Serve with tortilla strips.
thesoupfairy: (garlic)
This was my contribution to my family potluck tonight.

Maka's Perfect Pot Roast

This feeds a crowd. If you don't have a crowd to feed, you can dice the leftovers, add a bit of water, and simmer it into hash.

Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 9 hours
Servings: 10

Ingredients
  • 2 medium onions, thinly sliced

  • 1 head of garlic, cloves peeled but left whole

  • 4-6 potatoes, peeled or scrubbed and cut into chunks

  • 4 carrots, peeled or scrubbed and cut into chunks

  • 4 celery stalks, cut into chunks

  • 1 boneless beef chuck roast (4 pounds), cut into quarters

  • 2 cup espresso or very strong coffee

  • 1/4 cup tamari or soy sauce

  • 1/4 cup cornstarch

  • 1/4 cup cold water


Directions

Place the vegetables in the bottom of crockpot, tossing to mix. Arrange roast pieces on top of vegetables. Combine coffee and tamari, pour over roast.

Cover and cook on low heat for 9 hours.

Remove roast and vegetables to serving platter with a slotted spoon.

Strain solids from cooking liquid and pour into a saucepan. Bring to a boil. Combine cornstarch and cold water until smooth. Whisk into boiling liquid, and keep at a high simmer while whisking until thickened.
thesoupfairy: (Default)
Country-Style Turkey (or Pork) Tenderloin

Fall-apart tender meat with a rich gravy, and my house has smelled amazing all day while it cooked in the Crockpot. Serve it with mashed potatoes and your favorite simply steamed vegetable.

Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 5 hours
Servings: 8

Ingredients
  • 1 package (1-1/2 to 2 lbs) turkey breast tenderloins or pork tenderloin

  • 1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour

  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder

  • 1 teaspoon ground mustard

  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 2 cups chicken broth

  • 1/4 cup cornstarch

  • 1/4 cup cold water


Directions

If your tenderloin is not already in two pieces, cut it in half. In a large zipper bag combine flour, garlic, mustard, and pepper. Add meat, one piece at a time, and shake to coat.

In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Brown meat on all sides. Transfer to slow cooker and pour broth over. Cover and cook on low for 5-6 hours or until a meat thermometer reads 160°F. Remove meat and keep warm.

Strain cooking juices. If you don't have 2-1/2 cups, add more chicken broth to make that amount. Bring to a boil in a saucepan. Combine cornstarch and cold water, stirring until smooth. Whisk into boiling broth and continue whisking at a high simmer until thickened.
thesoupfairy: (Default)
Coconut Curry Chicken

Rave reviews!

Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 5 hours
Servings: 6

Ingredients
  • 2 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed

  • 1 small onion, chopped

  • 2 stalks celery, sliced

  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped

  • 1 Anaheim chili pepper, seeded and chopped

  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped

  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces

  • 1-1/2 cups coconut milk

  • 1 chicken bouillon cube

  • 4 teaspoons curry powder

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper

  • 3 cups water

  • 1-1/2 cups uncooked white or brown rice

  • 1 tablespoon butter

  • 1 tablespoon flour

  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala powder

  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions

  • raisins or cranberries and/or chopped peanuts to garnish


Directions


Toss potatoes, onion, celery, peppers, and garlic together in a large slow cooker. In a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray, brown chicken on all sides.

Transfer to slow cooker. In a glass measuring cup, heat coconut milk and bouillon cube in microwave, 2-4 minutes, until bouillon cube begins to dissolve. Whisk in curry, salt, and pepper; pour over chicken. Cover and cook on low for 5 hours.

Bring water to a boil in a saucepan with a good lid. Add rice and lower heat to the lowest possible simmer. Cover immediately, and do not uncover or stir until the timer goes off: 15 minutes for white rice, 40-45 minutes for brown rice. Remove from heat, uncover, and fluff rice with a fork.

Meanwhile, a few minutes before rice is ready, remove chicken and vegetables from slow cooker to serving platter with a slotted spoon. Pour cooking liquid off into a measuring cup with a pour spout. Melt butter in a small saucepan and whisk in flour a very small amount at a time, continuing to whisk to a smooth paste. Add a very small amount of chicken cooking liquid, whisking constantly to make sure there are no lumps. Continue adding liquid in small amounts and whisking until all liquid has been incorporated and sauce is thick and smooth.

Serve chicken and sauce with rice; garnish with green onions, raisins or cranberries, coconut, and peanuts.
thesoupfairy: (desserts)
This is my husband's celebration dinner - he attended his first day back in school yesterday!

Chicken Tacos

This cooks up in the crockpot all day for perfectly tender, delicious chicken taco filling with almost no effort.

Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 5-6 hours
Servings: 6

Ingredients
  • 1-1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts

  • 1 white or yellow onion, diced

  • 1 bell pepper, diced (I used a red bell because the green ones hurt my husband's stomach, but use any color)

  • 1-2 Anaheim peppers, diced

  • 1-2 Jalapeño peppers, diced

  • 4-6 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1/4 cup lime juice

  • 1 tablespoon chili powder

  • 1 tablespoon cumin

  • 1 cup frozen corn, thawed

  • 1 cup chunky salsa

  • flour tortillas, corn tortillas, or crispy taco shells

  • sour cream, shredded cheddar cheese and shredded lettuce


Directions

Place the chicken in a large slow cooker. Top with onion and peppers. Combine lime juice, chili powder, and cumin; pour over chicken. Cover and cook on low for 5-6 hours or until chicken is tender.

Remove chicken and shred with two forks and return to the pot. Stir in corn and salsa. Cover and cook on low another 30 minutes or until heated through.

Serve in warmed tortillas with sour cream, cheese and lettuce if desired.




Spanish Rice

This rice is a perfect accompaniment to Mexican entrees such as tacos or enchiladas. Browning the rice before cooking it in the stock is essential. This rice will be best if made with homemade chicken stock, but use canned stock or bouillon if you must.

Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Servings: 6 servings

Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 onion, diced

  • 3 garlic cloves, minced

  • 2 cups long-grain white rice

  • 3 cups chicken stock

  • 14-oz can diced tomatoes, drained, or 1 cup diced fresh tomatoes

  • pinch of oregano

  • small pinch of saffron threads

  • 1 teaspoon salt


Directions

In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Brown rice in oil until it smells nutty. Add onion and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until onions are softened.

In a separate saucepan, bring stock to a simmer. Add tomatoes, oregano, saffron, and salt. Add rice and onion mixture to stock and return to a simmer. Cover and lower heat to a very low simmer. Cook 15 minutes without lifting the lid. Turn off heat and let sit covered for 5 minutes before fluffing with a fork.




Cuatro Leches (Four Milks) Cake

This sumptuously rich moist cake must be planned ahead, because it needs to chill for at least 4 hours. But it is not difficult to make at all.

Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes
Chill: 4 hours or more
Servings: 12 servings

Ingredients
  • butter & flour for the pan

  • 2 cups (sifted) unbleached/all-purpose flour

  • 2 teaspoons baking powder

  • 1-1/2 teaspoons salt

  • 6 eggs, at room temperature, separated

  • 1-1/4 cups sugar

  • 1/2 cup whole milk

  • 3 teaspoons dark rum

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 2 cans sweetened condensed milk

  • 1 can evaporated milk

  • 1-1/2 cups heavy (whipping) cream


Directions

Heat oven to 350°F. Grease a 9 x 13 baking pan with butter and dust with flour.

In a small bowl mix dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, and salt). Set aside.

In a large bowl, with an electric mixer set on medium speed, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form, around 3 minutes. Add the sugar in a gradual stream, continuing to beat to soft peaks. Add the egg yolks one at a time, beating each in before adding the next.

Add one-third of the flour mixture, then one-third of the milk, beating after each addition. Repeat twice. Add rum and vanilla and beat again until smooth.

Pour into baking pan and bake until golden, about 30-35 minutes. Place cake aside for 20-30 minutes to cool. (Avoid cool breezes, though, as the hot cake will fall if it cools too quickly!)

Whisk together one can of sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk and heavy cream in a bowl. Using a knife, poke holes all over the top of the cake and slowly pour the milk mixture over it bit by bit until it is all used. Cover the cake in plastic wrap and set aside to let cool completely. Once cool, refrigerate at least 4 hours.

While the cake is chilling, remove the label from the final can of sweetened condensed milk. Put it into a large pot filled with water. Bring to a boil and continue boiling, covered, for 2 hours. Be sure the water level in the pot stays at least 1 inch above the can throughout the boiling time, to avoid risk of the can exploding. Remove the can with tongs and allow to stand and cool. Spread over cake before serving. (Two hours should produce a pourable caramel sauce. If it is too thick, cook for a shorter time in the future. If you want it thicker, cook a longer time. 3.5 hours gives a beautiful thick pudding-consistency caramel.)

Note: While you're cooking your caramel, you might as well add a few more cans to your pot. You can store the unopened cans on the shelf as long as you would the original product, then use them next time you decide to have ice cream night!
thesoupfairy: (Default)
Tonight's Dinner: Rosemary Cashew Chicken with Pasta and Sauteed Grape Tomatoes


Rosemary Cashew Chicken

Super-easy to do in your slow cooker/Crockpot. This is delicious, really. Truly.

Cook: 5 hours
Servings: 6

Ingredients
  • item

  • 3 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts

  • 1 white onion, sliced very thinly

  • 1/2 cup orange juice concentrate, thawed

  • 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, snipped (use 1 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed, if you can't get fresh)

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • dash or two of cayenne/habañero powder


  • 2 tablespoons butter

  • 2 tablespoons unbleached/all purpose flour

  • 1/2 cup cashews (pieces or whole, as you like)

  • 1 pound pasta - I used rotini because it's what I had on hand - cooked according to package directions


Directions

Place chicken in the bottom of your slow cooker. If you've thawed it from frozen, make sure it's fully thawed before putting it into the slow cooker. Cover with thinly sliced onion. Combine orange juice concentrate, rosemary, salt and cayenne; pour over chicken and onions. Cover and cook on low head for 5 hours or until chicken juices run clear. Remove the chicken to a serving platter. Strain out the onions with a slotted spoon and top chicken with them. Keep warm.

In a saucepan, melt butter. Whisk in flour, a little at a time, until you have a thick, smooth paste. Add the cooking liquid from the slow cooker a little at a time, whisking all the while, until you have a thick, smooth sauce. Stir in cashews and pour over chicken. Serve with pasta on the side.

Sautéed Grape Tomatoes

So delicious! This is prepared slightly differently than the version in my cookbook. Comparing them might help those of you who've mentioned that you can follow a recipe but you don't know how to improvise. In this version, I used butter for the oil, green onions, and rosemary. This may seem like a small 6 servings, but these are really rich and delicious - a filling serving can be pretty small.

Be sure to pick over your grape tomatoes - I often find a few moldy ones in the bottom of the container.

Cook: 5 minutes
Servings: 6 servings

Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon butter

  • 6 green onions, sliced (white and green parts)

  • 2 pints grape tomatoes

  • 1/3 cup water

  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary

  • salt, pepper, and a dash of cayenne (to taste)


Directions

Melt butter in skillet over medium-high heat. Sauté tomato and onion until onion wilts. Add water, bring to a simmer, and cook, covered, for 5 minutes. Uncover and raise heat back to medium-high. Cook, stirring often, until tomatoes have softened and water has evaporated. Stir in rosemary and seasonings just before removing from heat.
thesoupfairy: (Default)
The Soup Fairy

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