Wednesday, July 20, 2011
Sunday I had an urge to grill Cornish Game Hens. A very easy but a tasty Sunday dinner. I served them with grilled vegetables, fresh corn and a salad. From my mother I learned to be very fussy when cleaning any type of poultry. First I split the hens, cutting not on the breast side but the back side, butterflying the birds. I like to first put sea salt in the cavity of the bird for about 10 minutes. I then thoroughly rinsed the hens. I then but the birds in a large bowl and covered with water. I added one sliced lemon, four sliced garlic cloves, a tablespoon of sea salt, a teaspoon fresh ground pepper, 1/4 cup fresh chopped basil, a tablespoon fresh rosemary, and a tablespoon thyme. I refrigerate for two hours to let the hens become flavorful.
Heat grill to medium. Drain hens and pat dry. Rub a little olive oil on the breast of hens, season with chopped basil, rosemary, pepper and thyme. Place hens on grill breast side up. Grilled cover turning every ten minutes for about 35 - 45 minutes. Juices should run clear from hens.
Place some seasonal vegetables in a grill pan, season with fresh herbs and garlic. Cook for about 20-25 minutes.
An easy, simple heat beating summer dinner.
Tuesday, July 19, 2011
Summertime and wonderful fruit pies what could be more perfect. A delicious piece of pie with vanilla ice cream simple but oh so good! I especially love the combination of nectarine and blueberries. I made my own pie crust and the recipe follows. But for a quick and easy pie you can buy the refrigerated pie crust. I like the Pillsbury brand. Don't be intimidated by a home made pie crust, as I've always said, the more you practice the better you become. If time is an issue you can make the pie crust the day before and refrigerate over night, then just roll out the dough the next day, add the filling, bake and in no time you have a wonderful home made pie.
Makes 2 crusts
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 sticks chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 " cubes
1/4 cup vegetable shortening
1 Tbsp. plus 1 tsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. salt
Process flour, butter, vegetable shortening, sugar and salt in a food processor until butter is crumbly, about 30 seconds. Transfer to a large bowl. Gradually add 3/4 cups ice water, using a folk stir mixture until dough forms a ball. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate over night.
6 ripe large nectarines(halved, pitted and slice 1/2-inch thick)
1 pint blueberries, washed and picked over
3/4 cups sugar
3 Tbsp. quick-cooking tapioca
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. finely grated lemon zest
1 Tsp. milk
1 Tsp. sugar(for sprinkling)
Heat oven to 425 F and adjust rack to lower to middle position. In a large bowl toss nectarines, blueberries, sugar, tapioca, lemon juice and lemon zest. Set aside for 15 minutes.
Divide dough into two balls, one sightly larger. On a lightly floured surface roll larger pastry ball into a circle about 2 inches larger than 9-inch pie plate. Line pie plate with pastry, trim edge leaving 1 inch overhang. Fill the pie plate with the fruit. Roll out smaller pastry ball for top curst. Place on top of fruit pie. Trim pastry edge leaving an inch overhang. Fold overhang under, then bring up over pie plate rim, pinch to form fluted edges. Brush top with some of the egg glaze. Make a few decorative slits in the top and bake for 10 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350 and bake for 40 minutes. Then brush again with remaining egg glaze, sprinkle sugar and bake for about 5 minutes more until golden brown. Cool on wire rack before serving.
I serve with vanilla ice cream!
Friday, July 1, 2011
Growing up my mother made the most wonderfully delicious Cinnamon Buns or as we liked to call them, sticky buns. Years ago my mother shared with me her recipe for her sweet yeast bread which I've incorporated into these absolutely scrupulous Cinnamon Buns.
1 cup milk at room temperature
1 package of yeast
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sugar
3 tablespoon butter, soften
3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup(packed) brown sugar
2 tablespoon cinnamon
1/4 cup unsalted butter, soften
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
4 ounces cream cheese, soften
1 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup unsalted butter, soften
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Heat milk in a small sauce pan until tiny bubbles form. Take 1/4 cup of hot milk and let cool until lukewarm.(2-3 minutes) Add yeast to 1/4 cup milk, stir and let dissolve for five minutes. Pour remaining milk into bowl of stand mixer fitted with paddle attachmen. Let the milk get almost cool. Stir in one cup of flour, salt, sugar, and butter. Then add dissolved yeast mixture. Beat on low speed 3 minutes, stopping to scrape down sides of bowl. Add remaining 2 1/2 cups flour. Beat on low speed until dough begins to form ball and pulls away from sides of bowl. Turn dough out onto lightly floured work surface. Kneed until smooth and elastic, adding more flour if sticky, about 8 minutes. Form into ball.
Lightly oil a large bowl with a nonstick spray. Transfer dough to bowl, turning to coat. Cover bowl with plastic wrap, then kitchen towel. Let dough rise in a warm draft-free area until double in size, about two hours*
Punch down dough. Transfer to floured work surface. Roll out to 15x11 rectangle. Spread filling evenly over dough, leaving 1/2-inch border. Starting at one of the long sides, roll dough into log, pinching gently to keep it rolled up. With seam side down, cut dough crosswise with a sharp knife into 12 equal slices.
I used two extra large muffin pans fitted with paper liners. Place one slice in prepared muffin pan, cut side down. Cover with plastic wrap, then kitchen towel. Let dough rise in warm draft free area until double in volume, 40-45 minutes.
Preheat over to 450 F. Place muffin pans on center over rack. Bake until golden, about 20 minutes. Cool 10 minutes. Icing with cream cheese glaze. Serve warm or at room temperature
Mix all the ingredients in medium bowl.
Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl. With an electric mixer, beat until smooth.
*I like to set my over to warm and once it is preheated turn off oven putting my dough to rise in the oven. I also did this with the cinnamon buns.