Thursday, October 23, 2014

Velvety Cream of Mushroom Soup with Herbs

If you crave a creamy, delicious mushroom soup like I do, you will love this recipe! Even better the second day.

Velvety Cream of Mushroom Soup with Herbs
by Judy 
Inspired by La Madeleine restaurant

4 cups chopped mushrooms
1 large onion, diced
1 teaspoon herbes de Provence
6 Tablespoons butter, divided
5 Tablespoons Bob's Red Mill Organic Whole Wheat Flour
1 cup half-and-half
1 cup heavy cream
1 Tablespoon concentrated beef base
2 cups beef broth
1/2 Tablespoon salt
1/2 Tablespoon black pepper
1/4 cup dry sherry
Fresh thyme for garnish

In food processor, process mushrooms until very finely chopped, but not quite pureed. In a skillet, saute onions in 2 tablespoons of the butter, then add the mushrooms and herbes de Provence and lightly saute. Set skillet aside. In Dutch oven or large heavy pan, melt remaining 4 tablespoons butter. Add the flour to make a roux, stirring constantly, and cook for about a minute. Whisk in half-and-half, cream, beef base, and broth, and cook over medium heat, whisking, until thickened. Add mushroom and onion mixture, salt, pepper, and sherry. Serve with a sprig of fresh thyme. Enjoy!

S'Mores Cupcakes

Who doesn't love s'mores in the summertime? Who doesn't love cupcakes? Here's the best of both!

S'Mores Cupcakes
by Judy
Adapted from a recipe in Real Simple magazine, July, 2014

For the cupcakes:
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
1 cup Bob's Red Mill Organic Unbleached White Flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup whole milk

Heat oven to 350°F. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners. Whisk together the first 4 dry ingredients in a medium bowl. Beat butter and sugar in a separate larger bowl with electric mixer on medium high until light and fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla and beat 2 minutes. Reduce mixer speed to low and add dry ingredients and milk. Mix until just combined.

Fill muffin cups with batter. Bake 25 minutes. Remove from oven and cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

For the ganache:
1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, chopped

Bring cream to boil in small pan. Remove from heat and stir in chocolate. Let sit for 5 minutes. Whisk to combine fully. Let cool 5 minutes. Spoon onto tops of cooled muffins.

For the marshmallow tops, place 12 large marshmallows on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake at 375°F on top rack until golden and deflated, about 10 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool 10 minutes. Top each cupcake with a toasted marshmallow. Stand back and accept the compliments!!!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Strawberry/Blueberry Crumble

I am a southern girl. When it comes to a crumble/crisp/cobbler, I don't have to revert to anyone's recipe. It is a thing that is ingrained in your head from day one. So, with this recipe I did a bit a of a twist that you all should be getting used to with me. I have the pure joy of beginning with Bobs Red Mill Flour. This is some of the most amazing flour. A silky feel, a blend-ability that is amazing. This is a flour that I cannot wait to share with my friends.
I hope you enjoy this little dessert and I hope you try out some of the Bob's Red Mill products.

Strawberry/Blueberry Crumble
by Traci

8 cups of hulled and sliced strawberries
2 cups blueberries
1/2 cup sugar
3 Tablespoons Bob's Red Mill Organic Unbleached White Flour
1 Tablespoon vanilla

Mix all ingredients together and set aside. 

Preheat the oven to 350°F degrees.

Topping:
2 cups Bob's Red Mill Organic Unbleached White Flour
1 1/2 cups light brown sugar
1 1/2 cups melted butter, cooled*
1 cup Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free Quick Rolled Oats

In a medium bowl, mix all ingredients together. It should be a crumbly. 

Grease a 13" x 9" baking pan. Pour in the strawberry/blueberry mixture. Evenly distribute crumble topping over the top of your mixture.

Place pan on a cookie sheet. (Highly recommended, unless you like cleaning your oven.) Cook for about 40 minutes, or until nice and brown on top.
*Hint: Do NOT add hot butter to any dry mixture. Too hot and it will stick to the first thing it comes into contact with and not combine well.


Whole Wheat Pan Gravy

I wanted to make a gravy that was nutty in flavor and had a smooth consistency. Bob's Red Mill Whole Wheat Flour did the trick. I was told that whole wheat flour wouldn't thicken like regular flour. I didn't understand that, so I did a little digging like anyone would do. I came across a discussion on the website Tammy's Recipes, where the people were about 50/50 on using whole wheat flour for gravy. I decided to give it a try. I actually made it twice and both times it came out wonderfully. Gravy is such a personal thing. This is a base for gravy. You can add salt, pepper, garlic, etc. to make it your own. 

Whole Wheat Pan Gravy
by Traci
Adapted from Tammy's Recipes

In a medium skillet on medium heat, add 3 Tablespoons butter. Using a whisk so it won't scorch, stir until melted. Add 1/4 cup of Bob's Red Mill Organic Whole Wheat Flour. Continue wisking. Cook for about 3-4 minutes to just get the gluey flour taste out. It will be smooth and lovely when you have it going. Slowly add whatever stock you have. I used 2 cups of beef stock. Continue wisking. This will make about 1 3/4 cups of gravy (and a wonderful gravy I might add.)

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Pâte à Choux

Pâte à choux (paht-ah-SHOO) was something that I feared making. Seeing that it is frequently offered in French restaurants on the dessert menu as profiteroles, I wondered, "how can you make such a perfectly light and airy pastry without having a chef's experience under your belt?" Well, I took a baking class specifically for pâte à choux and discovered that the French chefs have us fooled. The choux dough is so simple to make and can be used for many applications. I love that you can use one dough and change it up just a bit to make both an appetizer (gougères) and a dessert (profiteroles, eclaires, cream pulls, churros) for a dinner party. It is best to make the pastry the day of your gathering. The texture changes from flaky to a bit chewy only being stored in the refrigerator one day.

Bob's Red Mill Organic Unbleached White Flour was a dream to use in this recipe. There was no clumping of the flour when mixing it and the result was a flaky, airy pastry that had some French friends reminiscing of the taste of home. That's a win in my book!

Roll up your sleeves, grab your favorite mixing spoon and get ready for an arm workout to make this pastry. Mixing by hand is highly recommended and makes it more tender. This recipe doubles well and is recommended if you are going to make both gougères and profiteroles.

Pâte à Choux
by Tonda
Adapted from Make it Sweet Pâte à Choux baking course with Jennifer Bartos

1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
155 grams (approximately 1 1/4 cups) Bob's Red Mill Organic Unbleached White Flour
1 Tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup eggs (approximately 4 large eggs)

Gently heat the milk and butter in a saucepan over low heat until the butter is melted. Once the butter is melted, turn up the heat to high and bring the liquid just to a boil. Turn off the heat and add the flour all at once and stir, stir, stir. The flour will absorb the liquids and the dough will start pulling away from the sides of the pan. Remove the pan from the burner and keep stirring another minute or two until the dough forms a ball. Return the pan to medium heat and stir constantly (this is just the beginning of your arm workout) until the dough just barely starts to coat the bottom of the pan. Remove the pan from the heat and let it cool for about 5
minutes. You don't want the dough too hot when adding the eggs or they will start cooking when stirring them in. Incorporate the eggs into the dough, one at a time. The dough will go through a funky separation stage and make you think "Oh no! What just happened?" after each egg is added, but keep on mixing and it will become smooth. Add 1 Tablespoon of sugar and 1/2 teaspoon of salt with the addition of the second egg and mix thoroughly. After the addition of the last egg, the mixture will be glossy and just stiff enough to hold a soft peak (like an ocean wave falling over) and fall softly from a spatula.

If you are making the choux dough for a dessert, let's get to baking them. If you are making gougères, skip down for additional ingredients to add to the pastry.

For profiteroles, preheat the oven to 425°F. Either pipe mounds of dough or drop rounded Tablespoons full of dough on a parchment-lined baking sheet, approximately 2 inches apart. Smooth out the peaks by pressing them down with water-moistened fingers. Bake them at 425°F for 10 minutes, then turn down the temperature to 350°F and bake for another 20 to 30 minutes, depending on the size of the bun. In class, we were told to bake them until they were done. I thought that was a strange direction, but then it made sense. The smaller the bun, the faster they will bake. Larger buns will take every bit of the 30 additional minutes. Start checking them at the 20 minute mark. They should be puffed, golden brown and sound hollow when you tap the bottom of the puff.

Allow the buns cool completely before slicing them open and adding a scoop of your favorite ice cream. Drizzle the top with your favorite chocolate sauce when plated.

Gougères

2 ounces grated Parmesan cheese
3 ounces cooked and crumbled bacon (optional)
1 Tablespoon rosemary, finely chopped
1 Tablespoon thyme, finely chopped
1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper

You can vary the herbs and cheese and leave the bacon out if you wish. Just make sure that the cheese is a hard variety that can be grated. I left the bacon out when I recently made them, because we were serving them with pâté.

For gougères, preheat the oven to 375°F. Back to mixing...add all of the savory ingredients to the choux dough and mix well. Drop rounded Tablespoons full of dough (if you plan to slice and fill them) or rounded teaspoons full of dough (if you plan to serve them as is) on a parchment-lined baking sheet approximately 2 inches apart. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes, depending on the size of the bun. Start checking them at the 20 minute mark. They should be puffed, golden brown and sound hollow when you tap the bottom of the puff.

Allow the buns to cool completely before slicing them open to fill with a slice of your favorite pâté or charcuterie and a cornichon. They are very good on their own too!

Bon appétit!

Asparagus and Ham Crêpes

When my Dad used to make crêpes, I remember the whole family getting excited and involved in the process. He used an electric crêpe maker that he would dip into the batter and it would make perfect crêpes right there on the counter top. It was pretty awe-inspiring to his 9, 14, and 16 year old girls. We would all stand around in the kitchen and watch him enjoy the role as our gourmet chef. Back then, crêpes filled with chicken and a white wine sauce was pretty much the only thing that he made with crêpes, and I accepted that. I was 9. That was very gourmet to my palate.

Fast forward many years, and I marry a Frenchman. The first time that he took me to a crêperie in France, I have to admit that I was a little overwhelmed. I had a menu filled with so many different filling options sitting in front of me, and I had to pick one? Chicken filled crêpes weren't the norm? The world of crêpes opened it's door that day, and I have since enjoyed trying so many combinations filled in this perfectly thin pancake.

I still give my Dad an A+ for effort. He sure did his best to try to prepare our palates for adulthood.

Bob's Red Mill Organic Unbleached White Flour worked perfectly in this batter. It didn't clump and blended quite well, which resulted in tender crêpes, the backdrop to a delicious stuffing created by Lou Seibert Pappas.

Asparagus and Ham Crêpes
by Tonda
Adapted from Crepes: Sweet and Savory Recipes for the Home Cook

2 large eggs
1 cup milk
1/3 cup water
1 cup Bob's Red Mill Organic Unbleached White Flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons butter, melted
2-3 teaspoons butter for coating the pan

In a blender, blend the eggs, milk, water, flour, salt and melted butter until smooth, approximately 30 seconds. If necessary, scrape down the sides of the blender and blend for another 10 seconds. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours, or overnight.


Gently stir the batter if it has separated while sitting. Heat a non-stick crêpe pan over medium-high heat until hot. Lightly coat the pan with butter, remove the pan from the heat, and pour approximately 3 Tablespoons of batter for a 6" to 7" pan, or approximately 1/4 cup of batter for a 9" to 10" pan. Quickly tilt and rotate the pan to coat the surface. Cook until the crêpe is almost dry on the top and lightly browned on the edges, approximately 1 minute. Loosen the edges of the crêpe with a metal spatula and flip it over. Cook the other side for about 15 to 30 seconds, until lightly browned. Repeat the process with the remaining batter, coating the pan with butter as needed.

Yields 16 to 18 6" to 7" crêpes or 10 to 12 9" to 10" crêpes.

1 large sweet yellow onion, chopped
1 1/2 pounds asparagus spears cut on the diagonal into 1-inch pieces
1 egg
3/4 cup ricotta cheese
1/2 cup shredded Gruyere or Emmenthal cheese
3 Tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tablespoons flat leaf parsley, minced
2 teaspoons fresh dill
2 ounces thick-sliced honey baked ham, julienned
8 6- to 7-inch crêpes

Prepare the crêpes as instructed above. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Steam the onion and asparagus until the asparagus is crisp-tender, approximately 5 to 7 minutes. In a medium bowl, beat the egg and then mix in the cheeses, garlic, parsley, dill, ham and steamed vegetables.

Spoon 1/2 cup of the filling down the center of each crêpe and roll it to close. Arrange the filled crêpes in a greased 9" x 13" baking dish. Bake in the oven for 10 to 15 minutes, or until heated through.

Bon appétit!