Tuesday, July 27, 2010

You Ever Heard of Diane Mott Davidson?

She's an author, a great one, who writes culinary murder mysteries. Yes, you read that right.

Culinary murder mysteries.

That means her books are great mystery books, based around the main character, Goldy, who is a caterer. Mystery books which include recipes.

Awesome, I know.

Reading is my outlet, along with cooking. Though honestly, I get to cook more often than I get to read. But while on vacation I renewed my interest in Ms. Davidson's books. So I've decided to start a new feature here on Snow Cookin'. I'm going to review a few of Ms. Davidson's recipes. I've already tried three and I've decided she can write recipes just as well as she writes mysteries.

Seriously, who does that?

So, for my first review:

"What To Do With All The Egg Yolks Bread"
By Diane Mott Davidson

2 1/2 tsp. active dry yeast
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup warm water
3/4 cup skim milk
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup canola oil
1 tbsp. chopped orange zest
1 tsp. salt
4 egg yolks, lightly beaten
3 1/2 to 4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sun-dried cranberries
1 cup chopped pecans

Butter a 10-in. tube pan; set aside. In a large mixing bowl, combine the yeast, one tsp. of the sugar, and warm water. Set aside for 10 minutes. Combine the milk, butter, oil, zest, remainder of the sugar, and salt, and stir into the yeast mixture. Add the egg yolks, stirring well. Add the flour 1/2 cup at a time, stirring well after each addition to incorporate the flour thoroughly. Knead 5 to 10 minutes, until the dough is smooth, elastic, and satiny. Knead in the cranberries and pecans. Put the dough back in the bowl, cover the bowl, and let the dough rise at room temperature until it is doubled in bulk. Using a wooden spoon, beat down the risen dough for about a minute.
Place the dough into the buttered tube pan and allow it to rise at room temperature until it is doubled in bulk.
Preheat the oven to 375°. Bake the bread for 45 to 50 minutes or until it is dark golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped. Place on a rack to cool or serve warm. Once cooled, the bread is also excellent sliced and toasted. Makes 1 large loaf.

I loved this bread, but I made a few changes for my families sake. I had no oranges so I included no zest, and my husband doesn't love nuts baked into things, so I left out the pecans too. Sad, I know, but it still turned out awesome! I'm thinking of remaking it (with all of the ingredients) and using the dough for cinnamon rolls, with a nice glazed icing. Delicious!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Oldie But Goodie

I tried this recipe for the second time tonight. I'm not sure why I kept the recipe, I don't really remember loving it the first time around. But, we had all the ingredients and I decided to go for it. We are all glad that I did, it was amazing!

Korean Beef Pul-kogi

1 pound thinly sliced beef sirloin (I used stew meat)
6 cloves garlic, minced
2 green onions, sliced
4 tbsp. soy sauce
2 tbsp. white sugar
1 tbsp. rice vinegar
1 tsp. ginger

In a large bowl (or resealable bag), combine beef with garlic, green onions, soy sauce, sugar, vinegar, and ginger. Cover (or seal) and refrigerate for 2 to 3 hours.

Preheat 2 tbsp. olive oil in a wok (I used a cast iron skillet), place beef mixture in pan and saute until meat is cooked through.

Serve over steamed jasmine rice (or another long grain white rice).

Sorry no pictures, it was delicious! :)

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

I'm A Hoarder

Not in the creepy you-can't-walk-through-my-house-because-I've-kept-every-piece-of-garbage-since-1982 way, but more like the I-really-liked-that-recipe-so-I-must-have-it-for-my-collection way. A much healthier way, unless it's an unhealthy recipe. Then not so much.

I just got home from vacation, a three week vacation. It included 3 family reunions, many family dinners, and a few nights out at restaurants. Guess what I brought back? Other than loads and loads of laundry and a few weird tan lines? Recipes!

Just a couple of new ones, but they're awesome!

First one I'm going to share? A dessert, of course, and a patriotic looking one too, perfect for the last couple of weeks of July. Of course, red also goes with Christmas, Valentine's day, Mondays...you get it.

Pretzel Jello Dessert (I know, terrible name, but seriously, don't you categorize your recipes by names and ingredients?)


2 cups pretzels, crushed
1 1/2 cubes butter, melted
2 tbsp. sugar
Mix these together and bake @ 375° for 10 minutes. Then cool.

1 large pkg. strawberry gelatin
2 cups hot water
Combine these and let cool.

1 (8 oz) pkg cream cheese
1 (8 oz) container whipped topping
1 cup sugar
Whip together.

Spread cream cheese mixture on top of cooled crust. Pour jello over and top with sliced berries. (I used strawberries and blueberries hence the patriotic reference).

Refrigerate for 2-3 hours.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

A New Chicken Salad

This picture and recipe I got from Williams Sonoma. It's a good summer dish and different from your regular chicken salad. I love mangos!
Chicken & Mango Salad

2/3 cup peanut or canola oil
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1 Tbs. Dijon mustard
2 to 3 tsp. Asian chili oil (optional)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup mango chutney
2 cups shredded roast chicken, homemade or purchased
1 celery stalk, thinly sliced
1 small red onion, halved and thinly sliced
1/3 cup roasted salted cashews, coarsely
1 mango, peeled, pitted and thinly sliced
4 cups shredded romaine lettuce

Make the vinaigrette:
In a food processor or blender, combine the peanut oil, vinegar, mustard and chili oil and process until blended. Add the garlic and chutney and continue to process to form a smooth puree.

Assemble the salad:
In a bowl, combine the chicken, celery, onion, cashews and mango. Add the vinaigrette and toss gently to coat. Divide the lettuce among individual plates, top with the chicken mixture and serve.
Serves 4.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Food Made Fast Series, Weeknight, by Melanie Barnard (Oxmoor House, 2006).

Monday, July 5, 2010

Impossibly Easy Cheeseburger Pie

This is a dish made often at our house. It's good for those nights you don't have anything planned and the kids love it, especially served with ketchup and an ice cold orange julius.
Photo from Betty Crocker

Impossibly Easy Cheeseburger Pie

1 lb lean (at least 80%) ground beef (or turkey)
1/2 large onion, chopped (1/2 cup)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese (4 oz)
1/2 cup Original Bisquick mix (I make my own mix)
1 cup milk
2 eggs

1.Heat oven to 400°F. Spray 9-inch glass pie plate with cooking spray.
2.In 10-inch skillet, cook beef and onion over medium heat 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until beef is brown; drain. Stir in salt. Spread in pie plate. Sprinkle with cheese.
3.In small bowl, stir remaining ingredients with fork or wire whisk until blended. Pour into pie plate.
4.Bake about 25 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean.
High Altitude (3500-6500 ft): Bake 30 to 35 minutes