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

14 June 2018

Pork Loin Roast with Gravy - Slow Cooker



Pork Loin Roast with Gravy - Slow Cooker / www.delightfulrepast.com

Boneless Pork Loin Roast is so easy and, more important, so good in the slow cooker. Not that I don’t love a fall-apart braised hunk of meat some times, but this isn’t it. This is just like a roast that comes out of the oven. You know, roast it, rest it while you make the gravy, then slice it into tidy slices.

And, with summer coming on, I will be so glad to be able to make a roast dinner without having to run the oven and heat up the place!

Sometimes I put a good sear on the roast before putting it in the slow cooker, but this time I just wanted to throw it in there and see what happened. Though it perhaps doesn’t look as pretty without that initial sear, it tastes every bit as good. 

You don’t add a lot of liquid. Just 2 teaspoons of lite soy sauce and 1/3 cup of wine. I usually use red, but this time I used a white that I’d been wanting to open. Set the slow cooker on low and go about your business for 6 hours. The roast will be perfectly tender but make neat slices.

Simple gravy. Dinner’s on the table. No muss, no fuss. And I’m cool as a cucumber.


Pork Loin Roast with Gravy - Slow Cooker / www.delightfulrepast.com

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Slow Cooker Pork Roast with Gravy


(Serves 4 to 6)

2 pound boneless pork loin (not tenderloin) roast
1 tablespoon unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/2 medium onion, halved and separated
1 large stalk celery, cut into 4 pieces
2 carrots, cut into 4 pieces
1/3 cup drinkable dry red or white wine
2 teaspoons lite soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon marjoram
1/4 teaspoon thyme leaves
Pinch cayenne
Slurry of 2 tablespoons flour in 3 tablespoons water

1 Coat roast with mixture of flour, pepper and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Brown in oil. Or not! (Though I do love that brown crusty appearance when I have the time to do the browning.)

2 Place in slow cooker with onion, celery and carrots.

3 Pour wine and then soy sauce over the roast.

4 Sprinkle marjoram, thyme, cayenne and 1/4 teaspoon salt over the roast.
5 Set slow cooker to Low for 6 hours.

6 Remove roast to cutting board to rest, tented with foil, for 20 minutes before slicing. Remove vegetables. They’re there for flavor, not a sufficient quantity to serve, so I set them aside for a “cook’s treat.”

7 Strain sauce (there will be about 1 1/4 cups) into 1-quart saucepan. Stir in slurry to thicken the sauce; simmer for 5 minutes.

07 June 2018

Teurgoule - The Traditional Rice Pudding of Normandy

Teurgoule - The Traditional Rice Pudding of Normandy (this photo - teurgoule and fallue) / www.delightfulrepast.com

Since Teurgoule is a dessert traditionally served with Fallue, I got on it right away, while I still had a stash of Fallue in my freezer. If you were here last week for the Fallue, you’ll know that these two French recipes were introduced to me by Phil at As Strong As Soup.

Teurgoule is a long-cooked rice pudding that is a specialty of Normandy. If I were in Normandy, I’d no doubt cook my Teurgoule in the special pottery made for the purpose in Calvados, Normandy. But, instead, I chose to try it in a Corning French White casserole.

Arborio rice wasn’t specified, but it was the only short-grain white rice I had. Though just 2 tablespoons of cream would have brought my 2% milk up to the whole milk called for in Phil’s Teurgoule recipe, I doubled it because, well, cream. And Arborio rice cooks into a creamy texture anyway.

(I'll probably just pick up a quart of whole milk for this whenever I make it, but I only ever have on hand 2% milk because that's what I prefer in my tea; whole milk seems too creamy for tea.)

I usually make stovetop rice pudding, and when I’ve made an oven version it has never been quite like this. Several hours in the oven! The idea is to get a really brown (leathery?) crust, or “skin,” on top and a slightly wobbly pudding underneath, since it thickens further as it cools.

I've never seen a baked rice pudding recipe that didn't call for stirring at regular intervals, so I had to resist the urge. But I finally relaxed into a "we'll just see" attitude, and guess what? It was perfect. Clearly, stirring is not needed.

Knowing I might regret not using the two different temperatures in Phil’s recipe, I settled on an in-between temperature I’d stick with for the whole time since I wasn’t going to be able to turn the oven down after 50 minutes, when I’d be in the middle of my workout.

Can’t tell you the number of times I’ve had too much going on to heed a timer and turn the oven temperature down at some point. So whenever I can avoid that, I do. So I decided on 275F/135C/Gas1 and hoped for the best. Not sure the brotherhood would approve of that.

Yes, there is a brotherhood! The Confrerie de la Teurgoule et de la Fallue de Normandie! And I hope they don’t mind my having a cup of tea with my teurgoule et fallue. Because that’s just how I roll!


Teurgoule - The Traditional Rice Pudding of Normandy / www.delightfulrepast.com


Teurgoule - Rice Pudding

(Makes 6 servings)

1/2 cup (3.5 ounces/99 grams) Arborio or other short-grain white rice
1/2 cup (3.5 ounces/99 grams) sugar
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 3/4 cups (30 fluid ounces/887 ml) 2% milk
1/4 cup (2 fluid ounces/59 ml) heavy whipping cream



1 Preheat oven to 275F/135C/Gas1. In buttered 1.5-quart round Corning French White casserole, mix rice, sugar, cinnamon and salt.

2 In 1-quart glass measure, stir cream into milk, then gently pour over the rice mixture, not disturbing it too much. Bake, uncovered, for 4* hours.

* I had intended to cook it for 5 hours, but decided to take it out at 4 hours to ensure it not getting too thick. I like a consistency of somewhere between can use a spoon and must use a spoon, never must use a fork. I don't know what the Confrerie would say to that (my French is quite limited)! 

Might shorten the time to 3 1/2 hours next time to have the pudding less solid after chilling.

3 Allow to cool at least 30 minutes before serving. Even longer if you prefer it at room temperature. It's also good cold. Whatever you like. Keeps, covered, in refrigerator for up to 3 days.


Teurgoule - The Traditional Rice Pudding of Normandy (this photo - teurgoule with fallue) / www.delightfulrepast.com

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Jean

31 May 2018

Fallue - The Traditional Norman Brioche

Fallue - The Traditional Norman Brioche - Regional French Baking / www.delightfulrepast.com

Fallue is a traditional French brioche loaf from Normandy. And I can’t believe it’s taken me all these years to finally hear of it! Blogger Phil’s Fallue post at As Strong As Soup had me sputtering about “How have I never heard of this before now?!”

Just as I was sputtering when PBS presented Island at War on Masterpiece Theatre and I learned for the very first time that one of the Channel Islands had been occupied during WW2! (I like to know stuff!) Anyway… 

Breadaholic that I am, I wanted to make this immediately. Phil uses his bread machine to mix the dough, but I decided to use the stand mixer. I nearly always make bread by hand, but I thought I’d break out the heavy-duty stand mixer...

...and make this historical loaf in a modern way SINCE I ONLY JUST HEARD OF IT! (I know, I’m shouting, but you should’ve heard me during Island at War!) 

The recipe actually calls for crème fraiche, but I use only organic dairy products (and eggs and flour and everything else) and couldn’t find any organic crème fraiche, so I came up with my own little “faux” version: 1/2 cup organic heavy whipping cream with 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar stirred in, left to thicken a bit for 5 or 10 minutes or so. 

Crème fraiche is higher in fat than sour cream and is not nearly as tangy, so I didn’t think sour cream would make a good substitute. My faux version seemed to have just the right amount of tang. I think I’ll be finding lots more ways to use it.

You know what popped into my head when I took my first bite of Fallue? I immediately thought, This is the perfect bread for Coronation Chicken Sandwiches

So tell me, is Fallue a new one on you as well? I'm sure I would remember if Julia or Jacques (Child and Pepin) had mentioned it. I don't mind telling you, I'm a bit miffed with Jacques right now. Thank goodness Phil clued me in! 


Fallue - The Traditional Norman Brioche - French Regional Baking / www.delightfulrepast.com

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La Fallue – Brioche Normande 


(Makes one large loaf)

The Dough 

3 1/2 cups (17.5 ounces/496 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour (plus 1/2 cup – 2.5 ounces/71 grams to “work from”) 
1/4 cup (1.75 ounces/50 grams) sugar 
2 teaspoons (7 to 8 grams) instant yeast 
1 1/2 teaspoons (8 grams) salt 
1 stick (4 ounces/113 grams) unsalted butter, thoroughly softened 
1/2 cup (4 fluid ounces/118 ml) heavy whipping cream with 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar stirred in, room temperature 
5 large (medium in UK) eggs, room temperature, beat 1 of them and reserve 2 tablespoons of it for the egg wash 

The Egg Wash 

Reserved 2 tablespoons beaten egg 
1 teaspoon water 

1 In the mixer bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, instant yeast and salt. With fingers or a pastry cutter, cut softened butter into flour mixture until it looks like fine crumbs. Attach the dough hook and mixer bowl to the stand mixer. Add the thickened soured cream and eggs (don't forget to beat one and reserve 2 tablespoons). Mix on speed 3 for 10 to 15 minutes, adding flour during the last 5 minutes, if needed, from the 1/2 cup a tablespoon at a time until the dough is not quite so sticky. I used half of the 1/2 cup.

Note: The dough will not come together into a ball like other bread doughs. Resist the urge to keep adding more flour; too much flour will turn your soft and fluffy brioche into something entirely different. 

2 Transfer dough to lightly oiled 2-quart glass measure and cover with silicone lid or plastic wrap; let rise until nearly doubled, about 2 1/2 hours. You could leave the dough in the mixer bowl, but it’s easier to monitor the dough’s rise in a straight-sided clear glass container. Besides, since the dough will be going into the refrigerator overnight, you might want to free up your mixing bowl for something else. 

3 When the dough has not doubled but has risen by 75% (from the 4-cup level to the 7-cup line—see what I’m sayin’ about using a 2-quart glass measure?), put it in the refrigerator overnight (18 hours, actually, in this case). This will slow the fermentation, improving flavor and texture, and chill the butter, making shaping the sticky dough much easier. 

4 Line a large baking tray (I use a heavy-duty 18x13x1-inch half-sheet pan) with parchment paper. Turn the chilled dough out onto lightly floured surface (working from the remains of the 1/2 cup) and press it into a smooth 9-inch (23 cm) square; it will soften a bit as you handle it. Starting at the edge farthest away from you, roll the dough rather tightly into a log, sealing the seam (which will go on the bottom) and turning the ends under, shaping into a long oval loaf, about 12 inches (30 cm) by 3 to 3.5 inches (8 to 9 cm).


Fallue - The Traditional Norman Brioche - Regional French Baking (this photo - the loaf's final rise) / www.delightfulrepast.com


5 Place diagonally on the prepared baking tray. Cover lightly. Let rise until doubled and very puffy, about 2 to 2 1/2 hours. 


Fallue - The Traditional Norman Brioche - French Regional Baking (this photo - loaf risen and glazed) / www.delightfulrepast.com


6 Preheat the oven to 350F/180C/Gas4. 375F/190C/Gas5. In small bowl, beat together egg and water with a fork. Brush the dough with the egg wash. Use kitchen scissors to snip the dough all around the top edge of the loaf to make the traditional spikey effect.* Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until golden brown and sounding hollow when tapped on the bottom, or when an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center bottom of the loaf registers 195F/90C.

* My spikey effect wasn't very spikey, but I don't mind! 

7 Cool completely on wire rack, 1 to 2 hours, before slicing. Serve with butter and preserves or with its traditional Norman accompaniment, Teurgoule


La Fallue - Brioche Normande / www.delightfulrepast.com

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

24 May 2018

Vegetarian Chili - Won't-Even-Miss-the-Meat Chili

Vegetarian Chili - Won't-Even-Miss-the-Meat Chili / www.delightfulrepast.com

When I first developed my recipe for meatless chili many years ago during one of my vegetarian periods, I just called it Vegetarian Chili. But when a meat-loving friend who had expressed his doubts that it could possibly be any good at all declared it delicious and said he didn’t even miss the meat, I renamed it Won’t-Even-Miss-the-Meat Chili.

A big pot of chili is great for feeding a crowd. Set up a chili bar where guests can choose their favorite garnishes. Offer guacamole or diced avocado, sour cream, shredded Cheddar and Jack cheese, sliced black olives, diced onion, sliced green onion, shredded cabbage or iceberg lettuce, cilantro, lime wedges and thinly sliced radishes.

If you’re not vegetarian, you could even add shredded beef to your chili bar for the die-hard carnivores. But when I was a vegetarian, this was the one dish I could count on to satisfy even the most carnivorous of my friends! No longer vegetarian, I still enjoy meatless meals often. Just add a salad (maybe this Broccoli Salad) and some Cornbread, and you’re all set.

You can use info from my Slow Cooker Pinto Bean post to adapt this recipe for the slow cooker. 

(I'm using just a single old photo I have of this dish because I'm taking a break this week and not cooking or taking photos! Next time I make it, I'll add a much better photo to the post!)

Vegetarian Chili - Won’t-Even-Miss-the-Meat Chili


(Makes twelve 1 1/2-cup servings)

The Beans

2 pounds dry red kidney beans
10 cups water
1 1/2 teaspoons salt

The Sauce

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup chopped onion (1 large)
1 cup chopped celery (2 large stalks)
1 cup chopped green bell pepper (1 large)
1 6-ounce can tomato paste
2 tablespoons dried ground chiles
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce (soy sauce if you're vegan or vegetarian)
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper (to start!)
1 29-ounce can diced tomatoes (I use Muir Glen Organic Fire Roasted)

1 Wash beans in cold water. Put beans and water in a 6- or 7-quart pot. Soak beans at least 5 hours or overnight. Drain off soaking liquid and add 10 cups of fresh water. (I'm so precise about the water because we're going to add the sauce to the beans, so I don't want the beans to be swimming in water.)

2 Bring to a full rolling boil, boil for a minute, then reduce heat. Simmer, partially covered, for about 2 1/2 hours, adding salt during the last 1/2 hour. And don't bother skimming off the foam that will form on the surface. A lot of people do, but I consider it just a waste of my precious time.

3 During the last 45 minutes, make the sauce. In large skillet or 3-quart saucepan, heat oil and cook onion, celery and green pepper until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in tomato paste and seasonings, and cook for about 10 minutes to "brown" the tomato paste and toast the spices (mixture will be very thick). Add diced tomatoes.

4 Simmer, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes. If the beans aren't tender by the time the sauce has cooked 30 minutes, turn the heat off under the sauce, cover and let stand until beans are done.

5 Add sauce to beans. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes or until the chili is the consistency you like. Taste and adjust seasoning. Ladle into bowls and serve, offering assortment of garnishes. Can be made a day or more ahead--it just gets better!

Note: I made those fettuccine-like shreds of cheese with my Microplane Professional Extra Coarse Grater!


Jean
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