16 January 2020

Perfect Pizza Dough - No Machine, No Kneading, No Fuss

Perfect Pizza Dough - No Machine, No Kneading, No Fuss / www.delightfulrepast.com

This is THE pizza dough, the pizza dough I've been making for many years. Needs no special equipment or skill. You don't need a heavy-duty stand mixer or a food processor or to know how to knead yeast dough. 

I have a heavy-duty stand mixer and a food processor, and I have been kneading yeast dough since I was a young girl; so why do I make my pizza dough this way? Because it's better this way. Better texture, better flavor.

This isn't exactly the technique of any of the famous bakers, but it's how I do it and it always gets raves. So I hope you'll give it a try. There's no fussiness about temperatures, or hydration percentages or folding techniques that leave you wondering why you didn't just make a kneaded dough in the first place.

Just stir it up in a big bowl, divide the dough into three portions, put each into a covered bowl, put the bowls in the refrigerator and let time do its magic on the dough. If you want to make a larger or thicker crust, divide the dough in half instead of thirds.

If you want to make one now and two at a later date, after the dough has been in the fridge for three days, wrap each piece of dough in plastic wrap or put it in a freezer bag* and pop them in the freezer.


Perfect Pizza Dough - No Machine, No Kneading, No Fuss / www.delightfulrepast.com


*If you have these freezer-safe 4-cup Pyrex round dishes with lids, you can skip the plastic.

The day before you want to use a piece of dough, move it from the freezer to the refrigerator to thaw and do its slow-rise thing. Then proceed the same as for the dough that was simply refrigerated.

I haven't frozen any dough in ages because we love pizza and will happily eat one three times in one week. And if you're cooking for more than one or two people, you'll want to make two or three pizzas on the same evening. 

See my original Make Real Pizza at Home - Part Three post for my precision timeline for making and getting two pizzas (you can easily extend it to three) made and served in a timely fashion.

And you'll find sauce, topping and baking details at The Best Homemade Pizza post. Are you a pizza fan? 


Perfect Pizza Dough - No Machine, No Kneading, No Fuss / www.delightfulrepast.com
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No Knead Pizza Dough


(Makes three 12-ounce crusts for three 12-inch pizzas)

4 dip-and-sweep cups (20 ounces/567 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour, divided
1 tablespoon (12.5 grams) sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons (9 grams) salt
1 teaspoon (0.125 ounces/3.5 grams) instant yeast
1/4 cup (2 fluid ounces/59 ml) extra virgin olive oil

1 3/4 cups (14 fluid ounces/414 ml) water, room temperature

1 In large bowl, stir together 2 cups flour, sugar, salt and instant yeast. With dough whisk or wooden spoon, stir in the oil and water until thoroughly combined. Stir for a minute. Stir in remaining flour a half cup at a time. The finished dough will be elastic and sticky.

2 Oil three 1-quart lidded bowls and their lids; set aside. Sprinkle flour on the counter and transfer the dough to the counter. Cut the dough into 3 equal (12-ounce) pieces; I weigh them, of course, on digital kitchen scale. Sprinkle flour over the dough. With floured hands, gently round each piece into a ball.

3 Dip each dough ball into one of the oiled bowls, rolling the dough in the oil, flatten it a bit, and then put the lid on. Rest the dough in the refrigerator for three days. You can use it anytime from two to seven days after making it, but I like to give it three days to develop and build flavor. Be warned: At some point, the lids will likely pop loose because of the fermentation process, so be sure to weight down the lids so that a skin won't form on the top of the dough.

Note: You can also freeze the portions of dough, well wrapped in plastic or in the glass storage containers for up to a month. Move the frozen dough from freezer to refrigerator to thaw the day before you want to use it.

Tip: I use the Lodge Pro-Logic Cast Iron Pizza Pan just like a pizza stone, preheated in the oven. You'll find my directions in the two posts linked to above the recipe.

Disclosure: We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon .com and affiliated sites. We are a ThermoWorks affiliate, earning a small commission at no cost to you on purchases made through our links. This helps cover some of the costs of running the blog. Thank you for your support. 

Jean

09 January 2020

Guinness Beef Stew

Guinness Beef Stew (with Dumplings, in these photos, or over Mashed Potatoes) / www.delightfulrepast.com

Beef stew is the perfect wintertime comfort food meal. Well-browned organic grass-fed beef gives it a depth of flavor that requires nothing more than the simplest ingredients to make a soul-satisfying stew.

This Guinness Beef Stew is a departure from my usual beef stews made with red wine. Even if I were a total teetotaler, abstainer from alcohol, I would use it in my cooking. A lot of my recipes call for wine, spirits or beer.

Though the alcohol is burned off in the cooking, if you prefer not to use alcohol at all just use some lower sodium chicken broth instead. For those who have allergy/sensitivity concerns, Guinness does not contain wheat but is made with barley.

Of course, you can put potatoes in this, just like my Beef Stew, but I decided to skip the potatoes this time and serve it over Mashed Potatoes. And I ended up making Dumplings as well—one of our guests was in need of serious comfort. Triple comfort food!

And I went old-school and cooked this on the stovetop this fine wintry day, but you can easily adapt it to slow cooker, (Slow Cooker Beef Stew) or pressure cooker (Pressure Cooker/Instant Pot Beef Stew).

Are you into wintertime comfort food?

Guinness Beef Stew (with Dumplings, in these photos, or over Mashed Potatoes) / www.delightfulrepast.com

Guinness Beef Stew


(Serves 6 to 8)

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
3 pounds (1.36 kg) lean beef chuck, cut into 1.5-inch pieces
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
3 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce, optional
1 medium (about 12 ounces/340 grams) yellow onion, quartered and sliced
2 tablespoons (1 ounce/28 grams) unsalted butter

2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups (12 fluid ounces/355 ml) water
1/4 cup (2 fluid ounces/59 ml) organic ketchup
1 14.9-ounce can (14.9 fluid ounces/440 ml) Guinness stout
3/4 teaspoon thyme leaves
3/4 teaspoon marjoram
1/2 teaspoon celery seed
1 pound (16 ounces/454 grams) organic “baby” carrots, halved OR about 5 medium carrots (1 pound), peeled, cut into 1-inch slices

1 In 5.5-quart Dutch oven (I use a Le Creuset 5.5-quart enameled cast-iron French oven), heat 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil over medium-high heat. You will brown the beef in 3 batches.

2 Dry the beef cubes a batch at a time with paper towels, add to hot oil and brown very well in single layer, sprinkling with 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper and 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce. Transfer browned beef to large bowl. Repeat 2 times, adding remaining oil only as needed.

3 Add another teaspoon of olive oil if needed, and cook sliced onion, sprinkled with 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper, over medium heat for 10 minutes. Add to browned beef in bowl. (BTW, this is my favorite kitchen timer ever.) 

4 In 2-cup glass measure, measure the water and whisk in the ketchup. ketchup (I know, I know, but I promise it adds a certain something and doesn't taste at all ketchup-y). AND adding it to the measured water measures IT without dirtying another measuring cup! 

5 Over medium heat, heat butter and whisk in flour, cooking about 3 to 5 minutes. Whisk in the water/ketchup mixture. Simmer, stirring frequently, until thickened, scraping up the brown bits, deglazing the pan. Add browned beef and onions to Dutch oven.

6 Stir in the Guinness, thyme, marjoram, and celery seed. Bring to boil; reduce heat, cover and simmer 1 hour and 15 minutes. 

Note: And, since you have a while before you need to prepare the carrots, you can read my stew-related story, Life Lesson in a Flame-Colored Pot.

7 Stir in carrots, cover (lid slightly ajar) and simmer another 1 hour and 15 minutes, if making ahead (then reheat and simmer for 30 minutes before serving); or 1 hour and 45 minutes, if serving now. 

8 During last 10 minutes, thicken with a mixture of 1 tablespoon flour and 1/4 cup water; taste and adjust seasoning. Serve over mashed potatoes.


Disclosure: We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon .com and affiliated sites. We are a ThermoWorks affiliate, earning a small commission at no cost to you on purchases made through our links. This helps cover some of the costs of running the blog. Thank you for your support. 

Jean

02 January 2020

Steamed Persimmon Pudding - Instant Pot or Not

Steamed Persimmon Pudding - Instant Pot or Not / www.delightfulrepast.com

Steamed Persimmon Pudding is one of my favorite comfort food desserts during the cold months of persimmon season. This is the Instant Pot electric pressure cooker version. (Note: A persimmon is known as 'kaki' in some countries.)

If you’d like to make it on the stovetop or in the slow cooker, go to my original Steamed Persimmon Pudding post. There you’ll also find my recipe for Brandy Butter Hard Sauce.

It’s a classic sauce for this, but what I like even more with it is Custard Sauce (Creme Anglaise). Try both with it and let me know which you prefer. A little vanilla ice cream partially melting next to the warm pudding makes a lovely sauce as well.


Steamed Persimmon Pudding - Instant Pot or Not / www.delightfulrepast.com
Couldn't resist doing a little watercolor painting while waiting another day 
for the persimmons to ripen.

Both pudding and sauce can be made ahead. Just reheat the pudding before serving it topped with the cold sauce. I also like it at room temperature with whipped cream.

Be sure your Hachiya persimmons are perfectly ripe and squishy-soft. It’s handy to have a supply of persimmon puree in the freezer. Just cut your squishy-soft persimmons in half, scoop out the pulp and mash it with a fork; you shouldn't even need to use the blender or immersion blender to puree it. Stir in 1 1/2 teaspoons of lemon juice per cup of persimmon. Freeze in glass containers for up to 6 months.

I hate recipes that are vague; as in calling for "2 medium persimmons." First of all, "medium" of one variety of persimmon is not "medium" of another. And who decides what "medium" is? A recent batch of store-bought Hachiya persimmons averaged out to 7.25 ounces/205 grams, so that is my definition of a medium Hachiya persimmon.


Steamed Persimmon Pudding - Instant Pot or Not (with Brandy Butter Hard Sauce, this photo) / www.delightfulrepast.com


Steamed Persimmon Pudding


(Makes 6 servings) 

1/2 cup (2.8 ounces/80 grams) raisins
3 tablespoons (1.5 fluid ounces/44 ml) brandy, rum or hot tea
3/4 cup (6.625 ounces/188 grams) persimmon puree*
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 dip-and-sweep cup (5 ounces/142 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour
 
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1/8 teaspoon cloves
1/4 cup (1.75 ounces/50 grams) sugar
2 tablespoons (1 ounce/28 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 large egg, room temperature
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup (2.66 fluid ounces/79 ml) milk

1/3 cup (1.33 ounces/38 grams) chopped pecans or walnuts 

* From about 1 1/2 "medium" (7.25 ounces/205 grams) Hachiya persimmons

1 In small bowl, soak raisins in brandy, rum or hot tea for 30 minutes to plump them. Start them off with 15 seconds or so in the microwave, then cover them and let them steam. 

2 Butter well a 2-inch deep 7-inch round cake tin or 3-inch deep 6-inch round cake tin. Put a round of parchment paper in the tin and butter it as well. 

3 Stir baking soda into persimmon puree and let stand 5 minutes while proceeding with recipe.

4 In 1.5-quart bowl, whisk together flour, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves. 

5 In medium bowl with a wooden spoon, cream butter and sugar. Beat in egg, then persimmon puree, followed by the vanilla and milk. Stir in the flour mixture followed by the nuts and raisins. Turn into buttered tin and cover tightly with foil. 

6 Place rack (with its handles up) in bottom of the Instant Pot cooking pot, and add 2 cups of boiling water to the pot. Center the pudding on the rack.

7 Put on the optional Instant Pot glass lid. Plug in the Instant Pot. Press the Saute key to select that program. Press the Saute key as many times as it takes to change the temperature indicator to Less. Press the Plus or Minus key to change the cooking time to 20 minutes to pre-steam the pudding before pressure cooking.

Note: You need to start with hot water because the Instant Pot set on the Saute function starts counting down the minutes right away (and does not display the minutes, just the word “Hot,” so I set a kitchen timer just to be sure!). 



8 When the beep sounds, it turns Off. Remove the optional Instant Pot glass lid and put the pressure cooking lid in place. Turn the steam valve to Sealing. Press the Pressure Cook key. Leave the indicator on High Pressure and change the cooking time to 35 minutes for the 7-inch pan or 40 minutes for the 6-inch pan.


Note: Since it is already hot, it only takes about 4 minutes to come up to pressure.

9 When the beep sounds, it turns Off. Allow the pressure to release naturally for 20 minutes, then do a quick release by turning the steam valve to Venting. Then leave the lid in place for another 10 minutes.

10 Carefully remove the lid and wipe any condensation off the foil covering. Using potholders or oven gloves and the handles on the rack, carefully lift out the pudding and set on wire cooling rack. Remove the foil. The pudding should be slightly pulling away from the edges of the pan. Let stand for 15 minutes before unmolding onto a small platter. Slice and serve warm with whipped cream, brandy butter hard sauce or, my favorite, Custard Sauce.

Note: If making it ahead, even a day or two before, cover and store pudding at room temperature and then reheat before serving. 

11 While pudding is steaming, make Brandy Butter Hard Sauce or Custard Sauce. If you prefer your Custard Sauce cold, make it several hours or up to 2 or 3 days ahead. Hard Sauce can be made way ahead; it needs to be refrigerated at least 2 hours or up to 3 weeks.

Disclosure: We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon .com and affiliated sites. We are a ThermoWorks affiliate, earning a small commission at no cost to you on purchases made through our links. This helps cover some of the costs of running the blog. Thank you for your support. 

Jean

26 December 2019

Apple Bread and Butter Pudding

Apple Bread and Butter Pudding - Classic British Comfort Food / www.delightfulrepast.com

I love a well made Bread and Butter Pudding, don't you? I've never really cared for ones with raisins or other dried fruits, but I do love one with some lightly cooked apples. And, of course, I used all organic ingredients and far less sugar than most recipes call for, so it's practically health food!

It's the perfect traditional comfort food dessert to warm you up on a cold evening. And you can make it ahead, which always makes me happy. I made this one large batch to serve to guests on two different evenings, putting half in the refrigerator for the first guests and half in the freezer for the others.

My ingredient quantities exactly fill a 13x9x2-inch 3-quart Pyrex baking dish. So don't get all loosey-goosey with the measurements unless you don't mind using an additional dish for the extra mixture. You can freeze it whole or cut into servings. Either way, move it from freezer to refrigerator the night before and then reheat in oven or microwave just before serving.

Mr Delightful likes the pudding cold with whipped cream. I like it warm, not hot, with a small scoop of organic vanilla ice cream. What's your preference?

Apple Bread and Butter Pudding - Classic British Comfort Food / www.delightfulrepast.com
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Apple Bread and Butter Pudding


(Makes 12 servings)

16 ounces (454 grams) good sliced white bread
3 medium (about 6 ounces/grams each) Golden Delicious or other good baking apples, skin on, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
4 tablespoons (1 ounce/28 grams) unsalted butter
1/4 packed cup (1.75 ounces/50 grams) dark brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
6 large eggs (medium in UK)
1/2 cup (2.33 ounces/66 grams) sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon mace or nutmeg
2 cups (16 fluid ounces/473 ml) milk
1 cup (8 fluid ounces/237 ml) heavy cream
2 tablespoons (1 fluid ounce/30 ml) brandy
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 Butter a 13x9x2-inch baking dish. Using bread that's a few days old (I often use 12 slices from the 1 1/2-pound loaf of Arnold/Brownberry/Oroweat potato bread), leave the crusts on, stack the bread a few slices at a time and cut into cubes, 16 squares per slice.

Note: This Fallue - Norman Brioche is excellent for bread puddings. Cut 1-inch thick slices and cut them into 1-inch cubes.

2 In a very large skillet (or Dutch oven) over medium heat, cook apples, butter, brown sugar and cinnamon until butter and sugar are melted and apples are softening a bit, about 10 minutes or so. Remove from heat and let stand to cool a bit while preparing the custard.

3 In 2-quart bowl, whisk together eggs, sugar, mace, salt, milk, cream, brandy and vanilla extract.

4 Add bread cubes to apples in skillet, mixing gently (you may use your impeccably clean hands!). Pour mixture into prepared baking dish, and spread evenly. Pour custard over all. And I don't know if you really need to, but I like to press the top down gently just to settle everything in. Let stand for 30 minutes or so. During the last 10 or 15 minutes, preheat the oven to 350F/180C/Gas4.

5 Bake until puffed and golden and knife inserted in center comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Transfer dish to rack and cool about 20 to 30 minutes to serve warm with either ice cream or Custard Sauce. Or refrigerate for at least 3 hours to serve chilled with whipped cream. It's also delicious at room temperature. Will keep in refrigerator for 2 to 3 days; in the freezer, for 2 to 3 months.

Disclosure: We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon .com and affiliated sites. We are a ThermoWorks affiliate, earning a small commission at no cost to you on purchases made through our links. This helps cover some of the costs of running the blog. Thank you for your support. 

Jean

19 December 2019

One-Pan French Onion Chicken

One-Pan French Onion Chicken / www.delightfulrepast.com

One-Pan French Onion Chicken is a great dinner party dish. And for a speedy weeknight dinner, you can make the caramelized onions in advance to hurry things along. Caramelized onions can't be rushed, but the cooking time is pretty much hands-off. I like to make a double batch and freeze half for future convenience.

You can easily double the recipe, but you'll need to cook the chicken in two batches. The chicken will not brown properly if the pan is crowded. It's okay to crowd the pan a bit for the broiling.

One-Pan French Onion Chicken / www.delightfulrepast.com


If your eyes are as sensitive to onions as mine are, you'll want to don a pair of these fabulous onion goggles before slicing the onions. Getting those goggles several years ago was life-changing! They come in several trim colors; mine have the lime green trim and really look quite cute!

The perfect "starch" to go with this for a dinner party is Pomme Rosti, but for family dinner I like Mashed Potatoes. Seasonal vegetables or salad round out the meal. We paired it with a decent French rosé, but lots of wines would work.

One-Pan French Onion Chicken / www.delightfulrepast.com

One-Pan French Onion Chicken 

Though I usually post strictly original recipes, this is one is adapted from one I saw on thekitchn website. I've made changes, added flavor and added a lot of my own info to the directions that I think will be helpful to you. 

(Makes 4 servings)

1 1/2 pounds (2 medium/24 ounces/680 grams) yellow onions, quartered and thinly sliced
2 tablespoons (1 ounce/28 grams) unsalted butter
3 tablespoons (1.5 fluid ounces/44 ml) extra virgin olive oil, divided
5/8 teaspoon salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon sugar 
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts (total weight 1.25 to 2 pounds/567 to 907 grams), halved horizontally starting at the thick end 
1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper 
2 tablespoons (1 fluid ounce/30 ml) dry sherry or brandy 
1 cup (8 fluid ounces/237 ml) low-sodium chicken broth 
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/8 teaspoon marjoram
1/8 teaspoon thyme leaves
1/2 packed cup (2 ounces/57 grams) shredded Gruyere (or mozzarella)
2 tablespoons minced flat-leaf parsley 

1 In heavy-bottomed large skillet that is broiler-safe (I use the All-Clad Stainless 12-Inch Fry Pan), cook the onions in butter and 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over low heat, covered, for 15 minutes. No need to watch them, just set the timer and walk away. 

2 Stir in the sugar (helps with browning) and 1/8 teaspoon of the salt. Cook, uncovered, over moderate heat (onions should be sizzling), stirring occasionally,* for about 35 to 45 minutes or more, or until onions are well caramelized, evenly brown. Transfer onions to one side of a large plate. 

* Check the onions every 5 minutes, but do not stir until they're sticking to the pan a bit. You need to let the onions stick a little to brown, then stir and scrape the pan. Just do not let it burn, or it's all over! 

3 Pat the chicken dry and season with pepper and remaining 1/2 teaspoon of salt (or to taste). 

4 In same skillet, heat remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil (and whatever oil is left in the pan from the onions) over medium-high heat until shimmering. Cook the chicken over medium-high heat until lightly browned and cooked through, about 5 to 7 minutes per side, depending on thickness. If the chicken is sticking to the pan, it's not ready to turn; keep cooking. It should register 165F/74C on an instant-read thermometer. Transfer chicken to plate with the onions. 

5 Place an oven rack about 6 inches from the broiler and turn oven to Broil. Add sherry or brandy to skillet to deglaze, scraping up any browned bits. Whisk in broth and Dijon mustard. Bring to a boil. Boil gently for 5 minutes or so until sauce is reduced by half. 

6 Return the four chicken pieces to the skillet. Top each with caramelized onions and shredded cheese. Broil until the cheese is melted and browned, about 2 minutes. Garnish with minced parsley.

Disclosure: We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon .com and affiliated sites. We are a ThermoWorks affiliate, earning a small commission at no cost to you on purchases made through our links. This helps cover some of the costs of running the blog. Thank you for your support. 

Jean 

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