Friday, April 15, 2016

Notes: April 2016

10 April 2016

"Sunday Supper: Sloppy Joes"

Recipe from Serious Eats

I am trying another Sloppy Joe recipe, one of many that I have tried and blogged about. My favorite is still the family recipe from my Aunt Peg. This one is similar to that one in its simplicity: a few ingredients, simply prepared, combined, and cooked. The biggest difference between this recipe and Peg's is the celery that this recipe includes. It provided some nice flavor and texture (a little bit of crunch) that we enjoyed. We didn't have any dried mustard so I substituted prepared yellow mustard. The few tablespoons of flour that were added made for a nice texture for the final product.

I think I'll stick to the old family recipe for most occasions, but this is a good recipe, too, with some good ideas that might be used to modify Peg's Sloppy Joes.

16 April 2016

Cinnamon Swirl Bread

Recipe from March 2012 issue of Cook's Illustrated

Instead of buying some raisin bread or cinnamon bread at the supermarket for breakfast, I remembered this recipe. I am glad that I did, this is a very good cinnamon raisin bread. It has been a long time since I've tried to make this kind of bread and this recipe solved the problems that I seem to recall those loaves having. 

It is a rich bread that toasts very well, it has great texture and flavor and the cinnamon filling does not separate from the crumb and is well distributed, except at the ends of the loaf. The recipe makes two loaves, one of which I froze. The second loaf helps to make the effort involved in making the bread worthwhile. Like most yeast breads there is some work and time involved in making this but much of the physical work of mixing and kneading is done by the stand mixer and much of the time is just waiting for the bread to rise. This recipe is a keeper!

17 April 2016

"Roasted Bone-In Chicken Breasts for Two"

Recipe from the March 2016 Cook's Illustrated

I used the "for Two" version of this recipe that was on-line and we still ended up with two meals. This version was for two chicken breasts rather than four. The chicken that I purchased weighed a total of 1.4 pounds though one was larger than the other. I guess to get equal sizes I would need to ensure they came from the same chicken.

This was more of a cooking technique lesson than a full-blown recipe. It had just three ingredients: chicken, salt, and oil. The technique is the same as one the Test Kitchen has developed for thick-cut steaks which they call reverse searing.  The chicken is seasoned with salt then cooked in a moderate 325° oven to an internal temperature of 160°; this took about 40 minutes. It is then seared in a hot skillet to brown and crisp the skin. That's all there is to it.

The resulting chicken was OK. It was maybe a little over done but not by much. I didn't make any sauce to go with it so it was pretty plain, which is also OK.  I ate it with some bottled barbecue sauce.

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