Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Pecan Sticky Buns: Tuesdays with Dorie

A great Mother's Day Brunch, 2012.  When you have 2 grown daughters who are also mothers, then sometimes you get to host the Mother's Day brunch!  And what better than Pecan Sticky Buns to serve at said brunch?  Umm, maybe Quick Coffee Cake.

Basque Tortilla (Around My French Table, p. 142)
Spinach and Green Onion Tortilla (Around My French Table, p. 143)
Breakfast Casserole (by son-in-law Rick)
Fruit Salad
Pecan Sticky Buns (Baking with Julia, p. 190)
Quick Coffee Cake (Joy of Cooking - Jan 1967 printing?? purchased in 1970, p. 577) with Struesel
    Topping (same cookbook, p. 681-2).
Stuffed With Love Strawberries (younger daughter Lori made these, yum.  Recipe is here.
Juices & Coffees, and milk for kiddos

Winners:  Both Tortillas, Basque and Spinach and Green Onion.  This was part of my catch-up since the group made the Basque Tortilla before I joined.  Plus, when I was in Puerto Rico in March I had a wonderfully similar dish to the Basque Tortilla at a famous Tapas Bar in Old San Juan.  Rick's Breakfast Casserole was also very yummy.  I forgot to ask him for the recipe...I'll remedy that.

1st Runner up:  My old standby:  Quick Coffee Cake.  Always a favorite of my girls and now of the grandkids.  Can't beat it for satisfying taste with coffee or milk.  It's so good, I'll put the recipe at the end of this post.  Sorry, no pictures this time...later.

2nd Runner up:  Pecan Sticky Buns. Yes, 2nd runner up.  Now, on this menu, 2nd runner up is not a bad showing, just not the star.

 I don't know if I did something wrong with the Pecan Sticky Buns, but the bottom (later the top) did not really get sticky & gooey.  The sides did, which saved the recipe.  But for all the work and cost of ingredients, NO, I will not be making these again.  It does make me want to find the perfect Pecan Sticky Bun recipe, though.  A quest for the future.

Making the Brioche

And then the Pecan Sticky Buns

To see what others did this week with this recipe, you can visit Tuesdays with Dorie.

Here's the Quick Coffee Cake recipe:

Quick Coffee Cake (from Joy of Cooking)
a 9 x 9 inch pan (I use an 8 x 8 corning ware square pan - yes, also from 1970!)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Have all ingredients at about 75 degrees.
Sift before measuring:
  1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
Resift with:
  1/4 teaspoon salt
  2 teaspoons double-acting baking soda
  1/4 to 1/2 cup  sugar  (I use 1/2 cup.  Note:  all the sifting specified is not really necessary with today's ingredients where they are all pretty much pre-sifted.  My opinion)
Cream until soft:
  1/4 cup butter (I use KA mixer)
Add the sugar gradually and cream these ingredients until light.  Beat in:
  1 egg
  2/3 cup milk
Add the sifted ingredients to the butter mixture.  Add:
  3/4 teaspoon grated lemon rind or 1/2 teaspoon vanilla  (I use vanilla)

Stir the batter until smooth.  Spread in a greased pan [at this point I cover the top with the Struesel, see below] and bake for about 25 minutes.

Streusel Topping for Quick Coffee Cake (From Joy of Cooking)

  4 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
  4 Tablespoons butter
  10 Tablespoons sugar
  1 teaspoon cinnamon

Blend these ingredients until they crumble.  I use my hands to get it to right consistency.  (By the way, I have doubled the streusel topping recipe - makes the Quick Coffee Cake very yummy!)

I know I still owe you all the Dog Treat recipe.  I'm running low again, so I'll take better pictures and post very soon.

Happy Mother's Day to all!

Friday, May 11, 2012

provencal olive fougasse: French Fridays with Dorie

Or as I call it:  The living, breathing dough that threatened to take over my kitchen!  Well, either I put in too much yeast, or its just a very active dough.  I took lots of pictures that came out really blurry - more than normal...I started to think the dough was moving.  And this was before any of the rises!  OK, I'm not crazy...you'll see....

After the first rise.  It's a large bowl.  

Stirred down, getting ready to start second rise...

See?  Look at this dough...look at those air holes...after second rise...it's ginormous.

It did behave better after I punched it down again.  My version of "leaf" motif.

They were sure pretty (I thought).  And very yummy...love the salt, in the olives and on top of the breads.  I held one up for the grandkids and asked what shape these were...closest guess - flower.  Oh well, so much for my leaf designing.

I've always wanted to make a focaccia, but never have, don't know why.  This forced me into it, and I'm glad.  I will certainly make this recipe and other versions in the future.  

What to do with a second bread?  I wrapped one of the cooled breads in a kitchen towel and put it into a gallon baggie (just fit) and froze it.  It tastes fine defrosted....better than the little leftover piece I had the next day from the first one.  

To see what others did with this recipe this week, you can visit French Fridays with Dorie.  

Friday, May 4, 2012

almond flounder meuniere: French Fridays with Dorie

Or should I call it almond sole meuniere?  Thanks to Dorie's alternative fish selection I was able to pick out the right size fillets at Whole Foods.  No flounder in stock, not even adult! :-(   And compared to the lamb recipe recently this was a bargain!  $9.99 a pound, and to feed me and kids next door it was less than a pound!  And I had a few pieces for the fish sandwich next day.

However, I now recognize my ability to cook/fry fish last minute to serve up immediately for dinner, AND take photos....well, I am lacking in that kind of multitasking.  So when I reviewed my photos to write this recipe up I was sadly low in the number of photos I thought I had.  Amazingly, there were lots of photos of next week's recipe (yes, I served it with and it was great!)...stay tuned....

Not crowding the pan.  These cooked up nicely.

However, they were very delicate so transferring was an issue.  And then I remembered a fish turner I bought several years ago (you know those 4 for 3 on amazon....) and was happy to have it.

On the table - they were very tender.  I did feel some herbs or spices could have given the fish a little more flavor.  Don't know which ones though.

As Dorie suggested, fish sandwich the next day was good.

Would I make this again?  Yes, but I hope to read others' blogs and find some good herbs/spices to add.  To see what our other cooks did with this recipe this week, you can visit French Fridays with Dorie.  Another good recipe from Around My French Table by Dorie Greenspan.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Hungarian Shortbread - Tuesdays with Dorie

It was baking day today.  I didn't plan it that way, it just happened.  At first I wasn't going to make the Hungarian Shortbread for Tuesdays with Dorie.  Well....I looked at the blog and saw one of the host's (Thank you Cher!) pictures and thought, hmmm...maybe I can do a half recipe since she did two 8 inch pans.  And from there it became a "flour everywhere kitchen."

Okay, so I'm glad I made the Hungarian Shortbread.  I used some fig jam I made last July.  Good flavor and color.  At some point I do want to try the Rhubarb Jam recipe in the cookbook.

Unique way to get the dough into the pan - freezing it and grating it!  Figgy Jam in the middle.  And finally the shortbread right out of the oven before the powdered sugar.

So I also made this no-knead bread this morning.  Starting to see the flour everywhere?

Then the dogs looked at me.  

They just knew that I was running low on their dog treats.  
Great and easy recipe I'll post another time.  Before and after baking.

Dogs are happy their treat bowl isn't empty anymore.

But I have noticed since starting the Tuesday and Friday bake/cook alongs I'm going through some serious sugar and flour (those containers hold 10 pounds each)!  Costco, here I come.....

Hungarian Shortbread is a very interesting recipe in Dorie Greenspan's Baking with Julia.  It was simple to make, but the resulting shortbread looked like it was from a more intricate recipe.  It was good, but very rich.  Would I make this again?  Maybe.  To see what others did with the recipe this week you can visit Tuesdays with Dorie.  Thanks to our hosts, Lynette of 1smalkitchen, and Cher of The not so exciting adventures of a dabbler . . ., where you can also view the recipe.