Soft No-Knead Dinner Rolls

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Just because I am working to avoid high-carb foods doesn’t mean I don’t keep up with all kinds of high-carb recipes. Here is a good one, especially if you like hot, fresh dinner rolls. You will love these. They remind me of the fresh rolls they used to make in the school cafeteria when I was a kid.

I found them @: Recipetineates.com This recipe is easy. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

1 tbsp dry yeast (Note 1)
55 g / 1/4 cup caster sugar (superfine sugar), or sub with normal white sugar
1/2 cup / 125 ml warm water (Note 2)
600 g / 20 oz bread flour (4 1/2 US Cups, 4 Cups everywhere else except Japan)+ extra for dusting (can use all-purpose/plain flour) (Note 3)
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 cup / 250 ml milk, lukewarm, whole or low fat, (Note 2)
50 g / 3.5 tbsp unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2 eggs, at room temperature, beaten with a fork

BRUSHING:
1 tbsp butter, melted

Directions:

Place the yeast and 2 teaspoons of the sugar in a medium bowl, then pour in water. Leave for 5 minutes until it froths.

Place flour, remaining sugar and salt in a bowl. Mix to combine.

Make a well in the center. Add milk, butter, eggs and pour in the yeast liquid, including all froth.

Mix until combined with a wooden spoon – it will be like a thick muffin batter. Not pourable, but thick and sticky.

RISE #1:

Leave the dough in the bowl, cover with a wet (clean) tea towel and place in a warm place (25C/77F+) to rise for around 1 1/2 – 2 hours or until almost tripled in volume. See Note 4 for how I do this (you will laugh – but it works every time!). Dough surface should be bubbly (see video or photos in post).

FORMING BALLS (WATCH VIDEO, IT’S HELPFUL):

Line a 31.5 x 23.5 cm / 9 x 13″ tray with baking paper with overhang.

Remove the tea towel and punch dough to deflate, then mix briefly in the bowl to get rid of the bubbles in the dough.

Dust work surface with flour, scrape dough on work surface. Dust top of the dough then shape into a log. Cut the log into 4 pieces, then cut each piece into 3 pieces (12 in total).

Take one piece and press down with palm, then use your fingers to gather into a ball, flip (so smooth side is up) then roll the dough briefly to form a ball. This stretches the dough on one side and that’s how I get a nice smooth surface on my roll. (For this step, use as much flour as needed to handle dough and avoid piercing inside into the wet dough)

Place the ball with the smooth side up on the tray. Repeat with remaining dough. Line them up 3 x 4.

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Tuscan Fish Stew by Chef John

Tuscan Fish Stew by Chef John


I’m a huge fan of seafood. I like fish stew, but I have never had anything in the U. S. that taste good, at least to me. I have not tried the recipe yet, but I will very soon. I trust Chef John. I have not come across any of his recipes that have not been delicious. I will let you know how it turns out.

Watch the video for instructions.

Ingredients for 2 large portions:

3 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 sliced green onions
4 cloves sliced garlic
1 anchovy fillet
pinch of red pepper flakes
3 cups cherry tomatoes, blended with 1 cup of clam juice, or chicken broth
12 ounces halibut or other white fish
1 pound peeled, deveined shrimp or other seafood
salt to taste
2 tablespoons freshly chopped Italian herbs (basil, parsley, oregano, and a pinch of rosemary)
crusty bread for soaking up the broth

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Cauliflower English Muffins

This recipe is from EatingWell. I made them this morning and they taste pretty good. I had them with an egg and a couple of slices of bacon. If you like cauliflower you will like these.

Ingredients:

5 cups cauliflower florets (about 1 pound)
1 cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
1 large egg, lightly beaten
⅛ teaspoon salt

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425°F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

Place cauliflower in a food processor. Process until finely grated. Transfer to a microwave-safe bowl. Cover loosely and microwave on High for 3 minutes. Let cool slightly. Transfer the cauliflower to a clean kitchen towel and wring out excess moisture. Return to the bowl and stir in Cheddar, egg, and salt until thoroughly combined. Place a 3-inch biscuit cutter on the prepared baking sheet. Fill the cutter with about ¼ cup of the batter, patting down slightly in the mold. Repeat with the remaining batter, leaving about 1 inch between each one, until you have 8 “muffins.”

Bake until browned and crispy around the edges, about 25 minutes. Serve with your favorite toppings or use to make a breakfast sandwich.

Nutrition:

Serving size: 2 muffins
Per serving: 165 calories; 11 g fat(6 g sat); 3 g fiber; 8 g carbohydrates; 11 g protein; 90 mcg folate; 74 mg cholesterol; 3 g sugars; 0 g added sugars; 418 IU vitamin A; 64 mg vitamin C; 237 mg calcium; 1 mg iron; 315 mg sodium; 439 mg potassium
Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin C (107% daily value), Calcium (24% dv), Folate (22% dv)
Carbohydrate Servings: ½
Exchanges: 1½ vegetable, 1 high-fat protein, ½ medium-fat protein

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Loaded Cauliflower

I found this recipe at Low Carb MavenIt is very close to my own recipe with the addition of a few ingredients. Cauliflower is very low carb and great for the keto diet.  I think you will enjoy it. And be sure to check out Low Carb Maven for more great recipes.

Ingredients

1 pound cauliflower florets
4 ounces sour cream
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
2 slices cooked bacon crumbled
2 tablespoons snipped chives
3 tablespoons butter
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste

Directions

1) Cut the cauliflower into florets and add them to a microwave safe bowl. Add 2 tablespoons of water and cover with cling film. Microwave for 5-8 minutes, depending on your microwave, until completely cooked and tender.

Drain the excess water and let sit uncovered for a minute or two. (Alternately, steam your cauliflower the conventional way. You may need to squeeze a little water out of the cauliflower after cooking.)

2) Add the cauliflower to a food processor or powerful enough blender and process until fluffy. Add the butter, garlic powder, and sour cream and process until it resembles the consistency of mashed potatoes.

3) Remove the mashed cauliflower to a bowl and add most of the chives, saving some to add to the top later.

4) Add half of the cheddar cheese and mix by hand. Season with salt and pepper.

Top the loaded cauliflower with the remaining cheese, remaining chives and bacon.

5) Put back into the microwave to melt the cheese or place the cauliflower under the broiler for a few minutes.

I visually divide the cauliflower into sixths. Serving size is approximately 1/3-1/2 cup.

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Pho Po (Beef Pho)

Phở or pho is a Vietnamese soup consisting of broth, rice noodles called bánh phở, a few herbs, and meat, primarily made with either beef or chicken. Pho is a popular street food in Vietnam and the specialty of a number of restaurant chains around the world.

I was visiting a friend who made this a few days ago. It was quite delicious.

Beef Broth:

1 cinnamon stick
6 whole cloves
2 pods star anise
1 teaspoon whole fennel seed
2-ounce chunk fresh ginger, roughly crushed (don’t bother peeling)
1 onion, cut into thick slices
3 pounds mixed beef shanks and oxtails
1 pound chicken wings
1/2 large Fuji apple (don’t bother peeling)
5 teaspoons kosher salt
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 tablespoon palm sugar

To serve:

8 ounces eye of round or sirloin steak, thinly sliced
14 ounces thin rice noodles “sticks in the 1/16-inch-thick range (banh pho)
3 scallions, thinly sliced
2 Thai bird chiles, thinly sliced
1 cup bean sprouts
2 cups fresh herbs, including cilantro, Thai basil, and mint
2 limes, quartered

Directions:

  1. Beef Broth: Toast the spices over medium heat in a large pressure cooker 3 to 5 minutes or until fragrant.
  2. Add the ginger and onion and blacken slightly. A few of the spices may burn a bit and that’s fine.
  3. Add the shanks, oxtails, chicken wings, apple, salt and 10 cups of water. Attach and lock the lid according to your cooker’s instructions and bring to full pressure over medium-high heat. Once the cooker is steaming and whistling, back down on the heat to just maintain full pressure and cook for 30 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, firm up the eye of round by placing in the freezer for 20 minutes then slice very thinly across the grain. Cover and refrigerate while the broth continues to cook.
  5. After 30 minutes kill the heat and allow the pressure cooker to cool for 5 minutes, then slowly vent the pressure using your cooker’s pressure relief valve or park under cold running water until the safety lid lock disengages, usually around 30 seconds.
  6. Carefully remove the lid and remove the larger pieces of meat, then strain first through a colander then again through a colander or fine strainer lined with several layers of cheesecloth. Finish by stirring in the fish sauce and palm sugar.
  7. When the shanks are cool enough to handle, slice or pull the meat from the bones and set aside.

Note: everything up to this point can be done up to a day ahead. When you’re ready to serve:

Place the rice noodles in a baking dish, cover with boiling water and soak for 15 minutes before draining thoroughly.

Distribute the noodles into wide soup bowls (better be deep too) and top with the slices of (raw) eye of round and a few pieces of the cooked beef.

Pour on the hot broth to cover and garnish as desired with the scallions, chiles, sprouts, herbs, and limes.

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CUBAN ROAST PORK (LECHON ASADO)

Ingredients:

10 lb. Pork Shoulder (pork picnic)
2 Heads of Garlic, peeled, divided
1½ cups Sour Orange Juice (3-4 lbs. Sour Oranges)
2 tbsp. Olive Oil
1 tsp. Oregano, dried
¼ Tsp. Cumin
1 Bay Leaf
2 tsp. Kosher Salt (plus 1 tbsp. to crisp the skin) divided

Directions:

MAKE THE MOJO MARINADE

Peel the garlic. Reserve 8-10 whole garlic cloves. Smash the remaining garlic cloves; place them on a cutting board and give them a good whack with the side of a large knife. Add the garlic and about ½ tsp. kosher salt to a mortar and pestle. Work the garlic until you break it down into small flat pieces. Add the smashed garlic, sour orange juice, olive oil, oregano, cumin, 1½ tsp. salt, and the bay leaf to a medium bowl or jar. Stir or shake to combine well. Let the marinade sit in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour, a couple of hours is better. Shake or stir well before using.

Get step-by-step instructions (with pictures) by checking out our traditional mojo marinade recipe. There’s even a substitute for sour orange juice, just in case you can’t find them in your area.

MARINATE THE PORK

Cook’s note: We lined the pan with a large roasting bag (I think they’re made for turkeys). We found them in the foil and plastic wrap section of the supermarket. These bags are great, they contain the mojo and you can seal them tight with a knot.

Place the pork in a large pan, make small slits (about 1-2” deep) on the skin side of the pork and insert the reserved (whole) garlic cloves into the slits. Tip: Dip the clove in the marinade for easy insertion.

Turn the pork over (skin side down) and make about 10-12 small slits (about 1-2” deep) in the meat. Using a ladle or spoon, start pouring the marinade into the slits you made. Then pour the remaining marinade over the pork. Sprinkle another ½ tsp. or so of salt over the pork, if desired.

Seal the bag by making a tight knot on the top, or cover the pan well using a generous amount of plastic wrap. Seriously use several layers. The smell of this marinating pork is strong and will permeate the refrigerator. While the pork roast marinade is delicious, I don’t want my refrigerator smelling like it for days.

Marinate the Cuban roast pork, skin side up, in the refrigerator overnight. You want the fleshy side sitting in the marinade.

TIME TO ROAST

Remove the pork from the refrigerator 30 – 45 minutes before roasting (providing it’s cool in your kitchen). Preheat oven to 325°F. The marinated pork will be a grayish color, that’s normal; it’s the citrus working on the meat.

Place the pork on a roasting pan, skin side down. Use a roasting pan that has a rack so the pork shoulder is not sitting on the bottom of the pan. Pour the marinade over the pork. Brush any loose pieces of garlic off the pork. They will start to burn quickly. Also, pour just a little bit of water in the bottom of the roasting pan. You’ll have to add a little more during the roasting time too. The drippings and garlic on the bottom of the pan will start to burn and smoke. The water keeps this in check.

About 1½ – 2 hours into the roasting time tent the pork. Take a piece of aluminum foil (about the size of the pork shoulder) and loosely cover. Just place it on top, don’t wrap it.

Roast the pork for 7 – 8 hours until the internal temperature reaches at least 170° F. Check the temperature on several different spots.

TO CRISP THE SKIN

Remove the pork from the oven and carefully flip it over so it’s skin side up. Be very careful during this step as the roast is heavy and hot! Fill a small bowl or cup with water and add a generous amount of salt (about 1 tbsp. for 1 cup of water), stir. Drip the salted water on the pork roast and brush it all over the skin. Repeat several times.

If you were roasting on the middle rack, like we were, move the rack down one just so the pork isn’t sitting too close to the heating element. Switch the oven to the low broiler setting.

VERY IMPORTANT COOK’S NOTE

Do not leave the oven’s side until you finish this step. Turn on the oven light and look in every minute or so. The skin will crisp and brown quickly, it will go from perfectly golden brown to burnt in minutes, if not seconds.

Once the skin is bubbling and it may even start to crackle, carefully remove the pork from the oven and allow it to rest at least 15-20 minutes before carving. Serves 8-10

Make the mojo marinade

Peel the garlic. Reserve 8-10 whole garlic cloves. Smash the remaining garlic cloves.

Add the garlic and about ½ tsp. kosher salt to a mortar and pestle. Work the garlic until you break it down into small flat pieces.

Add the smashed garlic, sour orange juice, olive oil, oregano, cumin, 1½ tsp. salt, and the bay leaf to a medium bowl or jar. Stir or shake to combine well. Let the marinade sit in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour, a couple of hours is better. Shake or stir well before using.

Marinate the pork

Note: We lined the pan with a large roasting bag. We found them in the foil and plastic wrap section of the supermarket. The bag will contain the mojo and you can seal it tight with a knot.

Place the pork in a large pan, make small slits (about 1-2” deep) on the skin side of the pork and insert the reserved (whole) garlic cloves into the slits. Tip: Dip the clove in the marinade for easy insertion.

Turn the pork over (skin side down) and make about 10-12 small slits (about 1-2” deep) in the meat.

Using a ladle or spoon, start pouring the marinade into the slits you made. Then pour the remaining marinade over the pork. Sprinkle another ½ tsp. or so of salt over the pork, if desired.

Seal the bag by making a tight knot on the top, or (if not using a bag) cover the pan well using a generous amount of plastic wrap.

Marinate the Cuban roast pork, skin side up, in the refrigerator overnight. You want the fleshy side sitting in the marinade.

Time to roast

Remove the pork from the refrigerator 30 – 45 minutes before roasting (providing it’s cool in your kitchen).

Preheat oven to 325°F

Place the pork on a roasting pan, skin side down. Use a roasting pan that has a rack so the pork shoulder is not sitting on the bottom of the pan.

Pour the marinade over the pork. Brush any loose pieces of garlic off the pork. They will start to burn quickly. Also, pour just a little bit of water in the bottom of the roasting pan. You’ll have to add a little more during the roasting time too. The drippings and garlic on the bottom of the pan will start to burn and smoke. The water keeps this in check.

About 1½ – 2 hours into the roasting time tent the pork. Take a piece of aluminum foil (about the size of the pork shoulder) and loosely cover. Just place it on top, don’t wrap it.

Roast the pork for 7 – 8 hours until the internal temperature reaches at least 170° F. Check the temperature on several different spots.

To crisp the skin

Remove the pork from the oven and carefully flip it over so it’s skin side up. Be very careful during this step as the roast is heavy and hot!

Fill a small bowl or cup with water and add a generous amount of salt (about 1 tbsp. for 1 cup of water), stir. Drip the salted water on the pork roast and brush it all over the skin. Repeat several times.

If you were roasting on the middle rack, move the rack down one, just so the pork isn’t sitting too close to the heating element.

Switch the oven to the low broiler setting.

Very Important Cook’s Note

Do not leave the oven’s side until you finish this step. Turn on the oven light and look in every minute or so. The skin will crisp and brown quickly, it will go from perfectly golden brown to burnt in minutes, if not seconds.

Once the skin is bubbling and it may even start to crackle, carefully remove the pork from the oven.

Allow the pork roast to rest at least 15-20 minutes before carving.

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Banana Chocolate Chip Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

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I know. You’re probably thinking, “if this guy is so worried about his diet and health, why is he collecting such recipes?” Well, just because I want to change my habits doesn’t mean I will cease to be a cook or baker. I love baking and cooking and trying new recipes, and I always will, PERIOD!

If you liked the Chocolate Banana Cupcakes w/Cream Cheese Icing, you’re gonna love these. The frosting on this one is pretty much the same, but the chocolate chip cupcake underneath is fabulous. Let me know what you think. I found this one on Allrecipes.com (one of my all time favorite sites). If you are not a member there you should check it out. Enjoy!

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 pinch salt
1/2 cup white sugar
6 tablespoons lightly packed brown sugar
1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 egg
2 ripe bananas, mashed
1/3 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup chocolate chips, or to taste (optional)
Frosting:
1 (3 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
3 tablespoons butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups confectioners’ sugar, or more to taste

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line a muffin tin with paper liners.

Whisk flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together in a bowl.

Combine white sugar, brown sugar, and 1/4 cup butter in another bowl; beat with an electric mixer until creamy. Beat in egg. Mix in mashed bananas. Add flour mixture in 3 batches, alternating with buttermilk, stirring after each addition. Fold chocolate chips into the batter.

Spoon batter into the prepared muffin tin.

Bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Cool cupcakes on a wire rack, about 30 minutes.

Beat cream cheese and 3 tablespoons butter in a bowl until smooth. Add vanilla extract. Beat in confectioners’ sugar, 1 cup at a time, until frosting is smooth.

Spread frosting over cupcakes.

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Sausage and Kale Soup

Sausage and Kale Soup

I will be making this tonight. It is one of my favorites. I think you will like it too.

Sausage and Kale Soup:

1 lb. ground sweet Italian sausage
1 Tbsp. butter
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 medium carrot, peeled and diced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tbsp. red wine vinegar
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. dried rubbed sage
¼ to ½ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 cup heavy cream
½ medium head cauliflower, cut into small florets
3 cups kale, chopped
½ to 1 tsp. sea salt, or to taste
½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper

Directions:

Heat a large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add ground sausage, breaking up the meat. Cook, stirring occasionally until browned and cooked through about 5 minutes.

Using a slotted spoon, remove cooked sausage and allow to drain on a plate covered with paper towels. Discard drippings, but do not wash pan.

Melt butter over medium heat. When bubbling subsides, add onion and carrot. Cook until onion begins to brown on the edges and becomes somewhat translucent.

Stir garlic into onion and carrot mixture. Cook one minute. Add red wine vinegar and cook until syrupy, scraping up browned bits-about 1 minute.

Stir in oregano, basil, sage and red pepper flakes. Pour in stock and heavy cream. Increase heat to medium-high.

When soup reaches a simmer, add cauliflower and turn heat down to medium-low. Simmer uncovered until cauliflower is fork-tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in kale and cooked sausage. Cook 1 to 2 minutes longer, or until kale wilts and the sausage is reheated.

Season to taste with salt and pepper. The amount of salt needed may vary due to variation in brands of broth.

Curry Chicken

currychickenCurry chicken is a nice recipe for busy weeknights, with chicken breasts, onion, potatoes, and carrots all cooked together in one dish. Feel free to use chicken thighs instead of breasts, and to replace the curry paste with 1 1/2 – 2 tablespoons curry powder if needed.

Serves 2 – 4
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 – 1 pound chicken breasts, boneless, skinless, cut into chunks about 1 1/2 inches
  • 2 potatoes, peeled, chopped into chunks
  • 1 red onion, peeled and chopped
  • 10 baby carrots, washed, drained, cut in half
  • 2 tablespoons oil for stir-frying
  • 2 tablespoons curry paste (traditional Indian yellow curry paste is best)
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • Freshly ground black or white pepper, to taste
  • Ground coriander, optional

Preparation:

Heat a wok or deep-sided frying pan over medium-high heat. Add 2 tablespoons oil to the heated wok. When the oil is hot, add the onion. Stir-fry until the onion is softened and translucent. Add the curry paste and stir-fry until fragrant. (If using curry powder instead, add a small amount of water to form a paste).

Add the chicken and stir-fry for about 5 minutes so that the chicken is browned and coated with the curry paste.

Add the carrots and potatoes. Stir for a minute and add the chicken broth, sugar, salt, and pepper. Cover and simmer over low heat for about 15 – 20 minutes, making sure the chicken is cooked.

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Carolina Red Rice

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I just realized I have not been posting recipes!!!

I’m still eating, right? So, I had never heard of Carolina red rice until I moved to South Carolina and began taking culinary classes. We made this one in class. I don’t know what I expected to taste, but I did not think I would like it. To my surprise this is a very tasty dish. It is considered a comfort food here in South Carolina. If you like southern cooking you should give this one a try.

Makes one hotel pan (25 Portions)

3 T. Oil (I used canola)
1 C. Medium Diced Bacon
3 C. White Converted Rice
2 C. Diced Onion
3 T. Chopped Garlic
1 C. Chopped Green Peppers
3 C Tomato Paste
1.5 Qts Chicken stock
1 T Salt
1 t Fresh Ground Black Pepper
2 C Small Diced Smoked Ham
2 C Sliced Smoked Sausage

Rondeau

In a rondo sauté (a round saucepan) the bacon in the oil until the fat is rendered.

Sauté the rice for about 5 minutes, add the onions, green peppers and garlic.

Sauté for 5 more minutes on low heat.

Add the tomato paste and half the water and mix together well.

Add the last of the water, the salt and the black pepper.

Hotel Pan

Transfer to a hotel pan and bake at 325° F for about 30 minutes, checking every 10 minutes and stirring gently whenever necessary. Gently stir in the smoked ham and sausage during the last 10 minutes of baking time.

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