Friday, November 26, 2010

Doughnut Muffins from Kathleen Stuart

I heard about these muffins on that food show where chefs talk about the best thing they've ever eaten, and I've thought about them since.  They sound fantastic, and I'm going to make them for the tailgate tomorrow. I'll let you know how they turn out.
For the muffins:
12 oz. (24 Tbs.) unsalted butter, warmed to room temperature
1-3/4 cups sugar
4 large eggs
1 lb. 11 oz. (6 cups) all-purpose flour
1 Tbs. plus 2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1-3/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground nutmeg
1-2/3 cups milk
1/4 cup buttermilk
For dipping:
8 oz. (16 Tbs.) unsalted butter; more as needed
2 cups sugar
2 Tbs. ground cinnamon

To make the muffins Put a rack in the middle of the oven and heat the oven to 350°F. In a stand mixer or a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, until just mixed in. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and nutmeg. Combine the milk and buttermilk. With a wooden spoon, mix a quarter of the dry ingredients into the butter mixture. Then mix in a third of the milk mixture. Continue mixing in the remaining dry and wet ingredients alternately, ending with the dry. Mix until well combined and smooth, but don't overmix. Grease and flour a standard-size muffin tin. Scoop enough batter into each tin so that the top of the batter is even with the rim of the cup, about 1/2 cup. (A #16 ice-cream scoop gives you the perfect amount.) Bake the muffins until firm to the touch, 30 to 35 min.

To finish Melt the butter for the dipping mixture. Combine the sugar and cinnamon. When the muffins are just cool enough to handle, remove them from the tin, dip them into or brush them all over with the melted butter, and then roll them in the cinnamon sugar.

Make Ahead Tips

You don't have to bake all the muffins right away; the batter will keep, covered and chilled, for up to three days in the refrigerator.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Baked Spareribs and Sauerkraut

My sister-in-law, Kate, came to visit this weekend. She is a very busy career woman who doesn't cook, so I love to spoil her when she's here.  She mentioned that her mom used to make this dish and that she loved it.  We found the recipe in her mom's Joy of Cooking, I added a few twists of my own, and we had a fantastic meal--perfect for yesterday's gray, rainy, cold weather. I served this with mashed potatoes.

If you don't have spareribs which are kind of expensive, I would use country style ribs (blade end pork chops). I added some brats because I had them in the freezer, you could omit them, add more, or add kielbasa.

Serves 6

Preheat oven to 325 or 280
2 slices bacon-optional
1 slab pork spareribs, sliced into individual ribs
3 smoked bratwurst or kielbasa. (Optional)
4 cans Silver Floss Bavarian style Sauerkraut, drained well
1 onion, sliced-optional
salt, pepper, garlic powder
1-4 tbl brown sugar

 Spray a large roasting pan with Pam. Add the sauerkraut, onion, bacon, and sugar, and mix well. Salt, pepper, and put a little garlic powder on the spare ribs. Add the spareribs and sausages to the casserole, cover, and bake 2 hours at 325 or 3 1/2-4 hours at 280. Raise heat to 325 and Uncover and bake another 30-45 minutes or until brown.

To do this in a crock pot, brown the meats first. Then, place all in the crock pot and cook on low 6 hours.

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Zucchini with Tomatoes and Pancetta (Umido di Zucchine,pomodore, e pancetta all marchigiana)

This is from the cookbook Marcella Cucina by Marcella Hazan. She recommends slicing the zucchini, salting it, and letting it steep for 3 hours to remove excess water.  I'm sure that it would improve this dish, but I usually don't have time for this. This is a delicious side dish with any grilled meats, but it is also good over pasta or with rice as a main course.

Serves 4
2-2 1/2 lbs zucchini, sliced thin
salt for steeping, if you do it
3 tbls extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 cups onion, sliced thin
4 garlic cloves, sliced thin
6 oz pancetta, cut into narrow strips
3 tbls parsley, chopped
2-2 1/2 cups fresh tomatoes, peeled and chopped with all their seeds and juice or canned tomatoes,chopped
black pepper to taste

To steep sliced zucchini, salt it liberally and set in a colander over a bowl for 3 hours. Rinse with cold water and pat dry.
In a large skillet, add the olive oil, onion, garlic, and pancetta and turn on the heat to medium high. Cook, stirring until the onion is light gold.
Add the parsley, stir, and add the zucchini. Cook, stirring, for a minute or so. Add the tomatoes, stir, and turn the heat up to high, cooking until no longer runny and the fat begins to separate from the sauce. (About 10-15 minutes)