19 July 2018

Sunflower Seed Romesco Sauce

Sunflower Seed Romesco Sauce - good on absolutely anything! / www.delightfulrepast.com

Romesco is a nut and red bell pepper-based sauce that originated in Catalonia, Spain, and was served with the local catch. Served with seafood, escargot, poultry, lamb, vegetables, it’s good on just about anything!

Sunflower Seed Romesco Sauce is one of less than a handful of recipes on my blog that is not my own recipe. It was sent to me by my friend Jo who just made it for a dinner party where it was a huge hit. She can’t remember where she got it, but I think it may have been Sunset magazine.

Of course, I made a couple of changes. Was out of sherry vinegar, so I used red wine vinegar. Was out of flat-leaf parsley and had some cilantro I wanted to use up, so I used cilantro. I recommend it! And I changed some amounts. Oh and I left out the garlic; trust me, you won't even miss it.

I used just 3 tablespoons of tomato paste, not wanting the sauce to be too tomato-y, and it wasn’t. Four tablespoons would probably be fine, too. This stuff is seriously good! 


Today I put it on an organic grass-fed burger. Tomorrow? Chicken, roasted potatoes, vegetables, salad, sandwiches, pasta, a dip for crudites—I might just eat it by the spoonful right out of the jar! 

Takes no time at all to make. I made it in my blender (Blendtec 725), but it can also be made in a food processor. Poured it into a pint jar. Now I'm wondering how well it would freeze. I'll freeze a small jar and let you know. 

Sunflower Seed Romesco Sauce - good on absolutely anything you can think of! / www.delightfulrepast.com
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Sunflower Seed Romesco Sauce


(Makes about 2 cups)



1/2 cup unsalted sunflower seeds, toasted in small dry skillet 
1/2 packed cup jarred roasted red bell peppers
1/2 packed cup cilantro or flat-leaf parsley
3 or 4 tablespoons tomato paste
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil 
1/3 cup water
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar or sherry vinegar 
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon cayenne


1 Put all the ingredients in food processor or blender; process or blend until as smooth as you like it. 

2 Taste and adjust seasoning.

3 Cover and chill for up to 5 days. Haven't tried it yet but am told it can be frozen for up 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.


Jean 

12 July 2018

Ginger Snaps - Ginger Nuts or Ginger Biscuits

Ginger Snaps - Ginger Nuts or Ginger Biscuits - Stamped or Not / www.delightfulrepast.com

It was too hot to bake, but I was in the mood for some crunchy ginger cookies to have with my tea. AND I was eager to play with my cookie stamps again! There was no recipe, so I did what I always do—made it up as I went.

Of course, if you don't have cookie stamps, you can just use something (bottom of a glass, bottom of a stainless steel measuring cup, your hand) to flatten the dough balls into 2-inch rounds. Maybe not as cute, but just as tasty!

For those of you who are dunkers—I am not, but if you are, please go right ahead—these are good dunking biscuits. Just the right size, crunchy and sturdy enough to hold up to a good dunking.

As I mentioned, it was hot. So I was having a little trouble stamping my cookie dough, even chilled. But I came up with a trick I'm going to use even on cold days: a very, very light dusting of flour on the dough balls. 

Just flatten the dough ball a bit, flour lightly, brush away the excess, proceed with stamping (step 5 below), and there you go, no sticking! Worked well with my stainless steel 1/4-cup measuring cup I used to make unstamped cookies.

Here are my Stamped Shortbread Cookies. Sooo good with tea. Tell me, are you a dunker or a non-dunker?

PS Don't strain your eyes! The cookie in the middle in both photos is not stamped, just flattened with a flat-bottomed stainless steel measuring cup about 2 inches in diameter.

PPS If you're a chewy cookie fan, you might like my Molasses Ginger Cookies.


Ginger Snaps - Ginger Nuts or Ginger Biscuits - Stamped or Not / www.delightfulrepast.com


Ginger Snaps - Ginger Nuts or Ginger Biscuits


(Makes about 20 2-inch cookies)

1 1/4 dip-and-sweep cup (6.25 ounces/177 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1 stick (4 ounces/113 grams) unsalted butter
1/4 cup (1.75 ounces/50 grams) sugar
2 tablespoons unsulphured molasses

1 In small bowl, whisk together flour, salt, cinnamon, ginger and cloves.

2 In 1.5-quart mixing bowl, by hand or with electric hand mixer on lowest speed, cream the butter and sugar just until smooth, mixing in the molasses toward the end.

3 Add flour mixture and mix well without beating a lot of air into it. If mixture is too dry to form a dough, mix in a teaspoon of water. Wrap dough in plastic wrap, forming a 4-inch disk; refrigerate for 20 to 30 minutes. If you overchill the dough, it will be difficult to work with.

4 Using a measuring tablespoon, measure out level tablespoons of dough onto parchment-lined baking sheet. Roll the scoops into smooth balls. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for 15 minutes or so. This will make them easy to stamp, and the design will be very sharp. But if you overchill the dough balls, they will be difficult to stamp.

5 To stamp, with dough ball in the center of the stamp, press the stamp evenly till the dough reaches the edge of the stamp. Gently lift the stamp away. Repeat. My technique is to lift the stamp with the dough attached and gently peel away at the edge. This works very well with the chilled dough. If you find the dough balls getting too warm before you’re finished stamping, put the baking sheet back in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.

6 Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes to 1 hour. About 15 minutes before you’d like to bake the cookies, preheat the oven to 325F/165C/Gas3.

7 Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until quite firm and edges are starting to brown. Cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes. Then transfer to wire rack to cool completely.

05 July 2018

Tomatillo Salsa Verde - For Streamlined Cooking

Tomatillo Salsa Verde - For Streamlined Cooking / www.delightfulrepast.com

My Tomatillo Salsa Verde might be a little different from those meant to be used as a salsa. I developed this formulation to be used in my recipes. It’s such a timesaver having jars of this in the freezer for days when I’m craving Chili Verde, for example, but don’t have the time or energy to make it the regular way.

As you might recall, I was crestfallen when Muir Glen discontinued their jarred crushed organic tomatillos that were such a timesaver. So my initial idea was to make my own and freeze it in jars. Then I thought how convenient it would be to have all the ingredients except the pork and the cilantro garnish made ahead.

So, working off my Chili Verde recipe, I came up with this recipe that makes just the right amount for two batches of Chili Verde. I divide it between two wide-mouth quart jars and pop them in the freezer, or use one now and freeze one.

Some of my favorite recipes can be quite time consuming, and I'm actually in the process of streamlining some of them so that we can enjoy them more often. So if that sounds good to you, be sure to follow me and stay tuned!


Tomatillo Salsa Verde - For Streamlined Cooking (this photo - the raw ingredients in a saucepan) / www.delightfulrepast.com

Tomatillo Salsa Verde


(Makes a little more than 6 cups)

2 pounds tomatillos, husked and quartered
1 medium (about 12 ounces/340 grams) yellow onion, cut into 1-inch chunks
1 7-ounce can diced or whole mild green chiles
1 4-inch jalapeno pepper, halved lengthwise, seeds and ribs removed, coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1 cup (8 fluid ounces/237 ml) water
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

1 In 3- to 3.5-quart saucepan, bring all ingredients to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 15 minutes or until tomatillos are tender and starting to fall apart. Let cool for 15 minutes.

2 Using an immersion blender, blend mixture until it reaches desired texture. If you don’t have an immersion blender, let it cool more and then transfer to a blender or food processor.

3 Refrigerate, if using within a few days. To freeze, put in wide-mouth quart jars or other glass freezer containers. When ready to use frozen salsa, transfer from freezer to refrigerator about 24 hours before.


Tomatillo Salsa Verde - For Streamlined Cooking / www.delightfulrepast.com
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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

Jean

28 June 2018

Raspberry Danish Braid - Coffeecake

Raspberry Danish Braid / www.delightfulrepast.com

Raspberry Danish Braid popped into my head when I was organizing my freezer and saw that I still had a piece of croissant dough in there. Of course, you can also make this braid with my Easy Danish Dough or my Ruff Puff - Quick Puff Pastry. Or even frozen puff pastry.

But if you’d like to make it with croissant dough, here’s How to Make Croissants – A Tutorial. The recipe makes enough dough for three braids, but I usually just make one at a time, using a third of the dough. You can use all sorts of things for the filling, but I’ve found a mere 5 tablespoons of raspberry jam works beautifully and is quick and easy.

The finished braid is longer than my longest rectangular platters, so the ends are cut off in the photos. Also, I did not put a glaze on top of the braid pictured as I didn't want the added sweetness, but you might want to add it.

It's been a bit hectic this week, so this wouldn't have been on the menu if not for my secret stash of dough in the freezer. I tell you, always always always make more dough than you need and freeze it in tidy batches. It's great to be able to whip out a special homemade treat with practically zero effort on a busy day!


Raspberry Danish Braid / www.delightfulrepast.com

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Raspberry Danish Braid


(Makes one 16-inch braid, 6 to 8 servings)


The Dough

1/3 piece (9x4 inches) of finished Croissants dough 


The Filling

5 tablespoons raspberry jam


The Egg Wash

1/2 beaten egg (save the rest to go in something else)
1 teaspoon water

The Glaze

2 tablespoons (1 ounce/28 grams) unsalted butter, melted
3/4 firmly packed cup (3 ounces/85 grams) unsifted powdered sugar
1 tablespoon milk

1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract



1 Transfer the frozen dough to the refrigerator to thaw overnight.



2 After the 9x4-inch (one-third batch) piece of dough has thawed overnight in the refrigerator, bring it out of the refrigerator 20 minutes before you want to start rolling it out.


3 Line a heavy-duty half sheet pan with parchment paper. 

4 On lightly floured surface, roll the dough into a neat 15x12-inch rectangle about 1/8 inch thick. With a short end of dough in front of you, lightly mark vertical thirds in the dough (with something like ruler or dull knife). Using a plastic pizza cutter, cut off the top two corners and cut slanted strips in the side sections.

Tip: Don't make yourself crazy measuring the strips and getting them perfect. I just eyeballed it and it came out fine.

Raspberry Danish Braid / www.delightfulrepast.com


5 With small offset spatula, spread the jam over the center third of the dough. Fold the strips over the center, alternating from side to side. Place on parchment-lined half sheet pan.

Raspberry Danish Braid / www.delightfulrepast.com


6 Set the baking sheet in the cold oven and place a pan of boiling water (just 3 or 4 cups) on the bottom of the oven. This will keep the braid from drying out. Let rise until puffy, about 2 to 3, even 3 1/2 hours. Be sure to take it out before you preheat the oven!

Raspberry Danish Braid / www.delightfulrepast.com


OR If you have a half sheet pan with a lid and 4 little cups of some sort (these are 1.5 inch tall 2.5-ounce stainless steel sauce cups my mother got at a restaurant supply store decades ago), fill cups with boiling water and set them in the corners of the pan and put the lid on. Doesn't matter that the water cools off, it's just there to get some moisture, not heat, around the rising dough.

Raspberry Danish Braid / www.delightfulrepast.com


7 Preheat oven to 450F/230C/Gas8. In small bowl, whisk together the egg wash. Brush the braid with egg wash. As soon as you put the pan in the oven, reduce heat to 400F/205C/Gas6. Bake for about 20 minutes, until deep golden brown. 


8 Allow to cool for 10 minutes before glazing. Whisk together the glaze and drizzle over the warm, not hot, braid. Serve warm or room temperature.

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.

Jean

21 June 2018

Stamped Shortbread Cookies - Rycraft Cookie Stamp Giveaway

Stamped Shortbread Cookies - Rycraft Cookie Stamps / www.delightfulrepast.com

Stamped shortbread cookies may not actually taste better than unstamped cookies, but it seems like they do! And there are so many occasions that call for that extra little effort in the cookie department: weddings, showers, parties, afternoon tea. And a box of stamped cookies, along with the stamp, makes a wonderful host/ess gift.

Stamped shortbread cookies are so much fun to make! Especially with the gorgeous designs of the family-owned Rycraft company. Established in 1968 (50 years ago) by the current owner’s parents, the self-described mom-and-pop company is now based in Idaho where the beautiful terra cotta cookie stamps are still handmade.

Check out the Rycraft designs, more than 400 in this Heirloom Collection. I have nine, three I've had for ages and the six we're giving away here: Tea Time, Cat with a Bow, Snowflake, Home Sweet Home, Rocking Horse and Treble Clef.

Whatever the occasion, holiday or season, whatever hobby or interest you have, there's sure to be a stamp for it!


Stamped Shortbread Cookies - Rycraft Cookie Stamp Giveaway / www.delightfulrepast.com


Today I used my basic shortbread recipe, and it worked beautifully. I’ve also made my Chocolate Shortbread as stamped cookies (above). I used a 2-teaspoon measuring spoon that day, but I decided this time to use a 1-tablespoon measuring spoon; and I think I like the larger amount better.

Have you used cookie stamps before? The stamped cookies do taste better, amiright? Enter the giveaway below and have fun looking at all the different Rycraft designs.


Stamped Shortbread Cookies - Rycraft Cookie Stamp Giveaway / www.delightfulrepast.com



Stamped Shortbread Cookies


(Makes about 19 2-inch cookies)

1 stick (4 ounces/113 grams) unsalted butter
1/3 cup (2.33 ounces/66 grams) sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 dip-and-sweep cup (6.25 ounces/177 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon water, if needed

1 In 1.5-quart mixing bowl, by hand or with electric hand mixer on lowest speed, cream the butter, sugar, salt and vanilla extract just until smooth.

2 Add flour and mix well without beating a lot of air into it. If mixture is too dry to form a dough, mix in the teaspoon of water. Wrap dough in plastic wrap, forming a 4-inch disk; refrigerate for 20 to 30 minutes. If you overchill the dough, it will be difficult to work with.

3 Using a measuring tablespoon, measure out level tablespoons of dough onto parchment-lined baking sheet. Roll the scoops into smooth balls. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for 15 minutes or so. This will make them easy to stamp, and the design will be very sharp. But if you overchill the dough balls, they will be difficult to stamp.

4 To stamp, with dough ball in the center of the stamp, press the stamp evenly till the dough reaches the edge of the stamp. Gently lift the stamp away. Repeat. My technique is to lift the stamp with the dough attached and gently peel away at the edge. This works very well with the chilled dough. If you find the dough balls getting too warm before you’re finished stamping, put the baking sheet back in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.

5 Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes to 1 hour. About 15 minutes before you’d like to bake the cookies, preheat the oven to 325F/165C/Gas3.

6 Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until quite firm and edges are starting to brown. Cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes. Then transfer to wire rack to cool completely.


Stamped Shortbread Cookies - Rycraft Cookie Stamp Giveaway / www.delightfulrepast.com


The Rycraft Ceramic Cookie Stamps Giveaway


This giveaway is open to US residents* 18 years of age or older. Leave a comment below (one entry per person). Tell me the first stamp you'll use and for what occasion. Please include your email address in the body of your comment. Must enter by 11:59 p.m. Eastern time Wednesday June 27.

* If you are outside the US but would like to have this sent to someone you know in the US (you would have to send them a gift card separately on your own), go ahead and enter! Also, Rycraft does ship internationally, so feel free to place an order wherever you are.

Winner will be chosen by random drawing and be announced here in the comments before noon Eastern time on Thursday June 28. If I don't hear back from the winner of the random drawing by noon Eastern time Sunday July 1, another drawing will be held and a new winner selected from the original entrants (those who commented before the giveaway deadline). 

Disclosure: Rycraft provided a set of cookie stamps for review purposes and one set for the giveaway. The views expressed here are entirely my own. I always tell my readers what I really think!

Jean
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