two skinny jenkins


120110 – Southern Farewell – Sweet Potato Souffle

This sweet potato souffle was my first attempt at the dish as well as a means of cleaning out the fridge before we depart from St. Simons, GA.  Needless to say, I didn’t exactly follow the recipe so I learned a little along the way.

Ingredients

  • 2 large sweet potatoes cooked and whipped (recipe called for 3)
  • 1/2 C grated carrots (I probably used more than this)
  • 1/2 cup sugar (recipe called for 1 C – I would further reduce the sugar next time)
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 T butter (I would use 3 T next time)
  • 1/2 cup soy milk (recipe called for condensed milk)
  • 1 teaspoons vanilla (recipe called for 2 t which seemed like a lot)
  • 1 bag marshmallows (you can never have too many marshmallows!)

Directions

  1. Cook potatoes until tender. I like to bake them with the skin on in a covered dish with 1/4 – 1/2″ water (helps to steam them) at 400° for 35-40 minutes.
  2. Drain + peel potatoes and mash.
  3. Add sugar, eggs, salt, butter, milk and vanilla. Mix well and put in a 1 1/2 quart casserole.
  4. Bake in a preheated 325 degree oven for 25 minutes. ** RESIST THE URGE to do marshmallows here.
  5. Place marshmallows on top and return to oven for about 5 minutes or until brown on top. ** I was so excited about the marshmallows that I put them on top for step 4.  Hence the caramelization in the above photo.


120105 – Bread Pudding

I wanted to take a picture of the pudding plated, but it smelled and tasted so good that it was gone before I had a chance.  I combined two great bread pudding recipes – one from Simply Recipes and one from Gourmet – to make this amazing dessert.

Ingredients:

  • 1 baguette (homemade is best)
  • 1 cup cream
  • 3 cups milk (I used 1 cup skim and 2 cups plain soy milk)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3 T unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 t vanilla
  • 2/3 cup
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup brandy
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 1/4 cups chopped mixed dried fruit such as raisins and apricots

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F with rack in middle.
  2. Cut enough 1-inch pieces from baguette to measure about 5-6 cups.
  3. Stir together eggs, butter, 2/3 cup sugar, and salt in a large bowl. Then whisk in cream, milk, and vanilla.
  4. Add bread and soak, stirring occasionally, 15 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, boil brandy and water with dried fruits in a small heavy saucepan until liquid is reduced to about 2 Tbsp, 8 to 10 minutes. Cool slightly.
  6. Stir fruit mixture into bread mixture, then transfer to a 2 Quart baking dish. Bake until custard is set and bread is golden in places, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Cool slightly before serving.


120105 – French Onion Soup 2
This was the first time these Jenkins had tried a new french onion soup recipe – we have been so happy with our other one.  Joe picked up some really good local IPA.  The label of this particular beer, the Hopsecutioner, brings back fond memories of teenage mutant ninja turtles.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/4 t fresh ground black pepper
  • 2 lb red onions, cut into 1/2-inch wedges
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup brandy
  • 4 (1-inch-thick) slices of baguette
  • 2 cups coarsely grated Manchego (or Gruyère) (6 to 7 oz)

Directions:

  1. Bring broth, water, spices, and 1/2 tsp salt to a boil. Remove from heat and let steep 15 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, cook onions in oil with 1/4 tsp salt in a heavy medium pot over medium heat, covered, stirring occasionally, until deep golden, about 15 minutes. Add brandy and boil, uncovered, until reduced to 2 Tbsp, about 1 minute. Add broth to onion mixture and briskly simmer, uncovered, 10 minutes. Season with salt.
  3. Preheat broiler.
  4. Ladle soup into 4 ovenproof bowls set in a 4-sided sheet pan. Place baguette slices on top and sprinkle each with 1/2 cup cheese. Broil about 6 inches from heat until cheese is melted and bubbling, about 2 minutes.


120103 – Pain A L’Ancienne
120105, 12:14 pm
Filed under: BREAD | Tags: , ,

I was so happy to have successfully baked this bread in the limited kitchen of our vacation condo.  No standing mixer, hardly any counter-space, and a super cheap oven.  Maybe I was just lucky, or maybe baking isn’t the precise science I initially thought it was.  The bread was delicious.  Burn After Reading fans; my feelings are best summed up by John Malkovich, “I’m better, I’m back…”.  :)

Recipe Adapted from Peter Reinhart, Bread Baker’s Apprentice ©

Days to Make: 2

I made 6 small baguettes, of which only one whole one is left after two days.  It was good. 

  • 6 cups unbleached bread flour
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 3 cups water ice cold (40°F)
  • Semolina or cornmeal for dusting
  1. Combine the flour, salt, yeast and water in a large bowl and gently knead for 4-6 minutes (until dough is homogenous).  OR mix with an electric mixer with the paddle attachment for 2 minutes on low speed. Switch to the dough hook and mix for 5 to 6 minutes on medium speed. The dough should be sticky on the bottom of the bowl, but it should release from the sides of the bowl. If not, sprinkle in a small amount of flour until this occurs (or dribble in water if the dough seems too stiff and clears the bottom as well as the sides of the bowl). Lightly oil a large bowl and immediately transfer the dough with a spatula or bowl scraper dipped in water into the bowl. Mist the top of the dough with spray oil and cover the bowl with a lid (or plastic wrap).
  2. Immediately place the bowl in the refrigerator and retard overnight.
  3. The next day, check the dough to see if it has risen in the refrigerator. It will probably be partially risen but not doubled in size (the amount of rise will depend on how cold the refrigerator is and how often the door was opened). Leave the bowl of dough out at room temperature for 2 to 3 hours (or longer if necessary) to allow the dough to wake up, lose its chill, and continue fermenting.
  4. When the dough has doubled from its original prerefrigerated size, liberally sprinkle the counter with bread flour (about 1/2 cup). Gently transfer the dough to the floured counter with a plastic dough scraper that has been dipped in cold water, dipping your hands as well to keep the dough from sticking to you. Try to degas the dough as little as possible as you transfer it. If the dough is very wet, sprinkle more flour over the top as well as under it. Dry your hands thoroughly and then dip them in flour. Roll the dough gently in the sprinkled flour to coat it thoroughly, simultaneously stretching it into an oblong about 8 inches long and 6 inches wide. If it is too sticky to handle, continue sprinkling flour over it. Dip a metal pastry scraper into cool water to keep it from sticking to the dough, and cut the dough in half widthwise with the pastry scraper by pressing it down through the dough until it severs it, then dipping it again in the water and repeating this action until you have cut down the full length of the dough. (Do not use this blade as a saw; use it as a pincer, pinching the dough cleanly with each cut.) Let the dough relax for 5 minutes.
  5. Prepare the oven for hearth baking by making sure to have an empty steam pan in place. Preheat the oven to 500°F.  Cover the back of two 17-by-12-inch sheet pans with semolina flour or cornmeal. Proceed with shaping.
  6. Take one of the dough pieces and repeat the cutting action, but this time cut off 3 equal-sized lengths. Then do the same with the remaining half. This should give you 6 lengths. Flour your hands and carefully lift 1 of the dough strips and transfer it to an inverted parchment-lined pan, gently pulling it to the length of the pan or to the length of your baking stone. If it springs back, let it rest for 5 minutes and then gently pull it out again. Place 3 strips on the pan, and then prepare another pan and repeat with the remaining strips.  I recommend letting the dough rest, covered, for another 30-60 minutes at this point. 
  7. Take 1 pan to the preheated oven and carefully slide the dough, parchment and all, onto the baking stone (depending on the direction of the stone, you may choose to slide the dough and parchment off the side of the sheet pan instead of off the end); or bake directly on the sheet pan. Make sure the pieces aren’t touching (you can reach in and straighten the parchment or the dough strips if need be). Pour 1 cup of hot water into the steam pan and close the door. After 30 seconds, spray the oven walls with water and close the door. Repeat twice more at 30-second intervals. After the final spray, reduce the oven setting to 475°F and continue baking. Meanwhile, dust the other pan of strips with flour, mist with spray oil, and cover with a towel or plastic wrap. If you don’t plan to bake these strips within 1 hour, refrigerate the pan and bake later or the next day. If you’d like to bake them as rustic, ciabatta-style breads, leave them at room temperature for 1 to 2 hours and then bake. As the loaves proof, they will resemble and perform like ciabatta.
  8. The bread should begin to turn golden brown within 8 or 9 minutes. If the loaves are baking unevenly at this point, rotate them 180 degrees. Continue baking 10 to 15 minutes more, or until the bread is a rich golden brown and the internal temperature registers at least 205°F.
  9. Transfer the hot breads to a cooling rack. They should feel very light, almost airy, and will cool in about 20 minutes. While these are cooling, you can bake the remaining loaves, remembering to remove the parchment from the oven and turn the oven up to 500°F or higher before baking the second round.

COMMENTARY:

Pain À l’Ancienne Pizza: Heavily flour the counter and gently transfer the fully fermented dough from the bowl to the counter with a plastic scraper that has been dipped in cold water, dipping your hands as well to keep the dough from sticking to you. Divide the dough by continually dipping the pastry scraper into water and cutting the dough into 6 to 8 equal pieces. Gently round the pieces into balls, being careful not to punch down and expel any more gas than necessary. Line a sheet pan with baking parchment and spray lightly with oil. Place the floured dough balls on the parchment. Mist them with spray oil and place the pan into a food-grade plastic bag or loosely cover with plastic wrap, and return the pan to the refrigerator, unless you plan to make the pizzas immediately. These pizza doughs will keep for up to 3 days in the refrigerator. (You may also put them into the freezer in individual zipper bags, and keep them for up to three months.) Remove the desired number of dough balls from the refrigerator 2 hours before shaping and baking your pizza as you always do.

Pain À l’Ancienne Foccacia: Line a 17 by-12-inch sheet pan with baking parchment. With floured hands, take the fully fermented dough from the bowl and proceed with shaping instructions on page 162. Ferment at room temperature for about 2 to 3 hours, or until the dough rises and fills the pan, rising to about 1 inch thick. Proceed with the baking instructions for focaccia.



120103 – Roasted Beet Risotto
120103, 3:22 pm
Filed under: DINNER | Tags: , ,

I promise i did not photoshop the color on this image.   The risotto really is that shockingly pink!  This recipe is only moderately tweaked from Gourmet.com.   Even though I eat it often, this is my first time making risotto and I was nervous.  Joe is a risotto master.   Luckily the condo we are staying in on St.Simon’s Island has only nonstick pans, so i could be a little less attentive than at home.

  • 3 medium beets (1 1/2 lb with greens), trimmed, leaving 1 inch of stems attached
  • 3 1/2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth (28 fl oz)
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cups Arborio rice (14 oz)
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 oz finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (1/2 cup)

Garnish:
Parmigiano-Reggiano shavings, made with a vegetable peeler

  1. Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 425°F.
  2. Tightly wrap beets in a double layer of foil and roast on a baking sheet until very tender, 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours. Cool to warm in foil package, about 20 minutes.
  3. When beets are cool enough to handle, peel them, discarding stems and root ends, then cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  4. While beets are cooling, bring broth and water to a bare simmer in a 2- to 3-quart saucepan. Keep at a bare simmer, covered.
  5. Cook onion in oil in a wide 4- to 6-quart heavy pot over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 3 minutes. Add rice and cook, stirring constantly, 1 minute.
  6. Add wine and simmer briskly, stirring constantly, until absorbed, about 1 minute. Stir in 1/2 cup broth and simmer briskly, stirring constantly, until broth is absorbed.
  7. Continue simmering and adding broth, about 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly and letting each addition be absorbed before adding the next, until rice is just tender and creamy-looking, 18 to 22 minutes. (Reserve leftover broth.)
  8. Stir in beets, salt, and pepper (mixture will turn bright pink) and cook, stirring, until heated through. Thin as necessary with some of leftover broth, then stir in cheese and remove from heat.



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