Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Cream cheese pie

An open-faced cream cheese pie for breakfast or an easy dessert.

250g flour
2 tbsp butter
1 egg yolk
0.25 cup water
1 tsp yeast
1 tsp vanilla
2 tbsp sugar
pinch of salt
1/3 cup milk
0.5 tsp lemon zest

8 oz cream cheese
1 egg
0.5 tbsp vanilla
1/3 cup sugar
0.5 cup blueberries

bloom yeast with a pinch of the sugar and the warm water. Add the flour, egg yolk, butter, lemon zest, vanilla, remaining sugar, salt and warm milk. Knead using a kitchen aid mixer until smooth, about 5 minutes. Set aside covered until doubled in size.

Mix the cream cheese with the egg, sugar and vanilla. Set aside.

Roll out the risen dough and place into a 9-by-11-inch nonstick pan sprayed with vegetable oil. Press up against the edges. Allow to rise for 15 minutes, then fill with cream cheese and sprinkle blueberries on top.

Bake in a preheated 375F oven until cheese filling is just set and edges are golden brown. Cool completely on cookie rack before serving.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Mini blueberry pies

A simple little desert solution. Blueberry galettes reduced!

1 Pillsbury pie crust
3 cups blueberries
zest of one lemon
6 tbsp sugar
pinch of cinnamon
2 tbsp butter
whipped cream

Roll out pie crust and cut into 6 circles. Toss blueberries with sugar and lemon zest and cinnamon.

Distribute blueberries in pie crust, top with 1/3 tbs butter slivers.

Bake in a preheated 425F oven until edges are golden brown. Serve with ice cream.

Smokey garlic drumsticks

For a snack to serve at a party or a main meal with sides, these chicken drumsticks are delightfully easy to prepare.

10 chicken drumsticks
1 tbsp smoked paprika
1 tbsp hot paprika
5 cloves garlic
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp salt

Grate the garlic and mix with the paprikas, salt and olive oil.

Wash and dry the chicken legs and smear with the garlic-paprika paste. Place onto a baking sheet covered with aluminum foil and cookie racks. Refrigerate overnight.

Preheat the oven to 500F. Bake the chicken legs for 30 minutes. Lower the temperature to 425F and bake the legs for another 20 minutes. Allow to cool for 15 minutes, then serve.

Apple and apricot stuffed sweet buns

This was a challenge my my husband. He had these delicious rolls on a work trip, and he wished me to try to recreate them. In some ways I found my attempt better, but in certain ways it definitely failed. The apple flavor in the original rolls was concentrated, suggesting that they used a dehydrator, not this osmotic water extraction method. Alas, I do not own a dehydrator, and I'm lazy to try to dehydrate slowly in the oven. This worked well enough, and the addition of the apricot "jammy bits" by King Arthur Flour improved the rolls.

250 g flour
0.25 cup water
1/3 cup milk
1 pinch salt
2 tbsp butter
1 egg yolk
1 tsp yeast
2 tbsp honey
1 tsp vanilla

1 apple
1 tsp lemon juice
2 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp cinnamon
4 tbsp apricot jammy bits

Bloom the yeast with 1 tsp honey and the water in the bowl of a Kitchenaid mixer. Add the dough hook and mix in the warm milk, egg yolk, vanilla and remaining honey. Add the flour and the salt.

Knead dough for 5 minutes, slowly adding in the chunks of butter. Allow to double in size in a warm oven, covered with plastic foil.

Meanwhile, dice the apples and sprinkle with lemon juice to prevent browning. Add the sugar to dehydrate them. Squeeze them out after they sat for an hour and mix with cinnamon.

Cut the dough into eigth pieces. Roll out each and fill with one sixth of the apples and 0.5 tbsp jammy bits. Seal and place seam-side-down into a well-buttered muffin shape. Allow to rise for 30 minutes in a warm place.

Preheat oven to 350F. Brush rolls with egg white and bake for 15 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool on a cookie rack.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Empanada rolls

I don't really like the flaky, buttery crust of empanadas. That is, I don't like the extra calories of the fat and the effort of working with that type of dough. So I filled my leftover empanada fillings into bread crusts, and they were delicious. I would make them into sealed rolls next time.

12 oz chorizo
1 yellow onion
1 red bell pepper
1/3 cup Kalamata olives
0.25 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 boiled Russet potato
0.25 tsp cayenne
0.25 tsp smoked paprika

4 cups flour
2 cup water
0.5 tsp yeast
1 tsp sugar
2 tsp salt

Mix the flour with the yeast and salt. Add the water and allow to rise for 10 hours in a warm place. Cut into twelve portions and shape into balls.
Cook the pepper and onion, add the sausage, spices and herbs. Cook until sausage is cooked. Drain off excess fat. Add the mashed boiled potato and the olives. Fill into dough pieces. Bake pizza-style or as closed empanada pockets at 400F.

Remove and cool on cookie racks. Freeze to store.


I have strong memory of a day in high school when a friend's mom came to visit and we made empanadas together. They were amazing, but then I remember almost all food that didn't come from the dining hall as a stunning culinary achievement.

1 package pillsbury pie crust
12 oz hot chorizo
1 yellow onion
1 red bell pepper
2 cloves garlic
0.5 tsp cayenne
0.5 tsp paprika
black pepper
0.25 cup chopped cilantro
1/3 cup chopped Kalamata olives
1 large russet potato

Cook the onions and peppers until softened. Add the cayenne and paprika. Add the garlic and the chorizo. Cook well.

Meanwhile, boil the potato and mash it. Add the chopped cilantro, olives and potato to the mix. Mix well.

Cut out circles from the pie crust and pinch the edges closed.

Crimp with a fork.

Preheat oven to 450F and bake the empanadas until golden brown, about 15 minutes.

Roasted cauliflower

Breaded and deep-fried cauliflower used to be a family favorite when I was growing up. This is a healthier reminder to those weekend snacks.

1 head of cauliflower
olive oil
lemon juice
black pepper

Preheat oven to 500F.

Break cauliflower into florets and spread out onto an baking sheet covered with aluminum foil. Spray with olive oil, sprinkle with garlic, lemon juice and black pepper. Roast for 15 minutes.

Remove from oven and sprinkle with grated Parmesan while still hot. Serve immediately.