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Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Two for Tuesday...TWD

Last week, if you visited my blog, you would know I chose not to do TWD due to an overload of sweets already in my house. Well, since there was no excess of sweets this week I decided to backtrack with the cake and also make this week's selection.

I am glad I did backtrack because this cake was easy and very tasty. There was extra toasted ground almonds in my cupboard and I mixed them with the flour to stir in. Let's just say this was an almondy treat. Good job Dorie!

This week's TWD was chosen by Melissa of Love At First Bite and her pick was Sweet Cream Biscuits. It's really hard for me to turn down baking a biscuit and this was no exception. These biscuits were nothing like ones made with sticks of butter, in that they were completely chewy and soft. Usually butter biscuits have a crisper outside with a soft, flaky inside(if made These also had a little sweetness, due to the addition of sugar, hence the name. If you have cream in the house that you want to use up, these are definitely a go to recipe. YUMMY!

Thanks to Nancy and Melissa for choosing such wonderful and EASY recipes. So easy I was able to do both at pretty much the same time.

You can visit their pages for the recipes or just purchase Dorie's book, Baking: From My Home to Yours.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Daring Cook's Brunswick Stew

Blog Checking Lines- The 2010 April Daring Cooks challenge was hosted by Wolf of Wolf’s Den. She chose to challenge Daring Cooks to make Brunswick Stew. Wolf chose recipes for her challenge from The Lee Bros. Southern Cookbook by Matt Lee and Ted Lee, and from the Callaway, Virginia Ruritan Club.

Brunswick Stew

I had heard of Brunswick Stew, but never knew what it consisted of, so when the challenge presented itself I was all for it. Traditionally this dish is made with game meat, but it can be made with chicken, turkey, or pork. I would guess that because people used to cook in season, they only used what they had killed and grown during that time of the year.

For my stew I used chicken thighs and country style pork ribs. The vegetables I used were carrots, celery, onions, and frozen corn and peas. I really didn't want to buy things just because it was in the recipe. Luckily for me, the only ingredient I had to purchase were the ribs.

This stew is so tasty that the flavor jumps out the bowl and smacks you in the tastebuds. I did the full recipe and shared some with a neighbor who hadn't heard of it before. Let's just say...the bowl didn't stay full for long.

I chose the long version recipe, with a few adaptions, so that will be the recipe I post. Thanks Wolf for such a wonderful choice!

And now for the recipe....

The Lee Bros. Southern Cookbook: Stories and Recipes for Southerners and Would-Be Southerners” by Matt Lee and Ted Lee

Equipment needed-Large stock pot, at least 10-12qt OR Dutch Oven , or smaller if you halve the recipe used
Cutting board
Measuring cups and spoons
Large bowl
Large wooden spoon for stirring

Serves about 12

1/4 lb / 113.88 grams / 4 oz slab bacon, rough diced
2 Serrano, Thai or other dried red chiles, stems trimmed, sliced, seeded, flattened
1lb / 455.52 grams / 16oz rabbit, quartered, skinned
1 4-5lb / 1822.08- 2277.6 grams / 64-80oz chicken, quartered, skinned, and most of the fat removed
1 Tablespoon / 14.235 grams / ½ oz sea salt for seasoning, plus extra to taste
2-3 quarts / 8-12 cups / 64.607-96.9oz Sunday Chicken Broth (recipe below)
2 Bay leaves
2 large celery stalks
2lbs / 911.04 grams / 32oz Yukon Gold potatoes, or other waxy type potatoes, peeled, rough diced
1 ½ cups / 344.88 grams / 12.114oz carrots (about 5 small carrots), chopped
3 ½ / 804.72 grams / 28.266oz cups onion (about 4 medium onions) chopped
2 cups / 459.84 grams / 16.152oz fresh corn kernels, cut from the cob (about 4 ears)
3 cups / 689.76 grams / 24.228oz butterbeans, preferably fresh (1 ¼ lbs) or defrosted frozen
1 35oz can / 996.45 grams / 4 cups whole, peeled tomatoes, drained
¼ cup / 57.48 grams / 2.019 oz red wine vinegar
Juice of 2 lemons
Tabasco sauce to taste

1-In the largest stockpot you have, which is hopefully larger than the 5 qt ones I have, preferably a 10-12 qt or even a Dutch Oven if you’re lucky enough to have one, fry the bacon over medium-high heat until it just starts to crisp. Transfer to a large bowl, and set aside. Reserve most of the bacon fat in your pan, and with the pan on the burner, add in the chiles. Toast the chiles until they just start to smell good, or make your nose tingle, about a minute tops. Remove to bowl with the bacon.

2- Season liberally both sides of the rabbit and chicken pieces with sea salt and pepper. Place the rabbit pieces in the pot and sear off all sides possible. You just want to brown them, not cook them completely. Remove to bowl with bacon and chiles, add more bacon fat if needed, or olive oil, or other oil of your choice, then add in chicken pieces, again, browning all sides nicely. Remember not to crowd your pieces, especially if you have a narrow bottomed pot. Put the chicken in the bowl with the bacon, chiles and rabbit. Set it aside.

3- Add 2 cups of your chicken broth or stock, if you prefer, to the pan and basically deglaze the4 pan, making sure to get all the goodness cooked onto the bottom. The stock will become a nice rich dark color and start smelling good. Bring it up to a boil and let it boil away until reduced by at least half. Add your remaining stock, the bay leaves, celery, potatoes, chicken, rabbit, bacon, chiles and any liquid that may have gathered at the bottom of the bowl they were resting in. Bring the pot back up to a low boil/high simmer, over medium/high heat. Reduce heat to low and cover, remember to stir every 15 minutes, give or take, to thoroughly meld the flavors. Simmer, on low, for approximately 1 ½ hours. Supposedly, the stock may become a yellow tinge with pieces of chicken or rabbit floating up, the celery will be very limp, as will the chiles. Taste the stock, according to the recipe, it “should taste like the best chicken soup you’ve ever had”.

4- With a pair of tongs, remove the chicken and rabbit pieces to a colander over the bowl you used earlier. Be careful, as by this time, the meats will be very tender and may start falling apart. Remove the bay leaf, celery, chiles, bacon and discard.5 After you’ve allowed the meat to cool enough to handle, carefully remove all the meat from the bones, shredding it as you go. Return the meat to the pot, throwing away the bones. Add in your carrots, and stir gently, allowing it to come back to a slow simmer. Simmer gently, uncovered, for at least 25 minutes, or until the carrots have started to soften.

5- Add in your onion, butterbeans, corn and tomatoes. As you add the tomatoes, crush them up, be careful not to pull a me, and squirt juice straight up into the air, requiring cleaning of the entire stove. Simmer for another 30 minutes, stirring every so often until the stew has reduced slightly, and onions, corn and butterbeans are tender. Remove from heat and add in vinegar, lemon juice, stir to blend in well. Season to taste with sea salt, pepper, and Tabasco sauce if desired.

6 You can either serve immediately or refrigerate for 24 hours, which makes the flavors meld more and makes the overall stew even better. Serve hot, either on its own, or with a side of corn bread, over steamed white rice, with any braised greens as a side.

Monday, April 12, 2010

TWD: Swedish Visiting Cake

This cake is on my list of cakes to bake, buuuuut I will have to put it on hold right now. I have so many sweets in my house you would think it was a bakery of some sort. There were extra yolks in my fridge that I used to make banana nut gelato with, this is in addition to the drumsticks for my kids that were already in the freezer. I had to make cake for a tasting which left me with enough to make a 6 and 9inch 2-tiered cake. We are still eating that cake even though I gave out plenty to neighbors. Needless to say, right now was not the time to add more sweets.

This week's TWD was chosen by Nancy of The Dogs Eat the Crumbs, so for the recipe go to her page and see how she fared. While you're at it, check the TWD blogroll to see how other TWDers did with this week's pick.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

TWD: Mocha Walnut Marbled Bundt Cake

This week's TWD was chosen by Erin of When in Doubt...Leave it at 350. This recipe had me at chocolate. It has ground walnuts, chocolate, coffee,'s perfect. It was easy to put together and the flavor was wonderful.

Even though the recipe calls for ground walnuts, I'm sure you could use whatever nuts you want. I think the oilyness of the walnuts adds to the butter and makes a great cake, even if it sits for a few days.
I made this cake last week and it only lasted a few days. I would love to try it as a layer cake to see how it comes out. What does that mean? It means it is another keeper from Dorie's book.

Check out the TWD Blogroll to see what other TWDers have done and go to Erin's page to find the recipe and see what she's done. You could also just get Baking: From My Home to Yours and bake many more recipes from Dorie.