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Monday, February 28, 2011

Soft Pretzels

My family absolutely loves this recipe for soft pretzels!  Everytime I've made them they have disappeared in a heartbeat!  The recipe is from Christa Rose.  Check out her blog, Le Petit Brioche.




Ingredients:

  • 4 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon white sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
  • 4.5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup baking soda
  • 4 cups hot water
  • 1/4 cup kosher salt, for topping (optional)
  • 1/4 cup butter, for brushing

Directions:

  1. In a small bowl, dissolve yeast and 1 teaspoon sugar in warm water. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together flour, 1/2 cup sugar, and salt. Make a well in the center; add the oil and yeast mixture. Mix and form into a dough. If the mixture is dry, add one or two tablespoons of water. Knead the dough until smooth, about 7 to 8 minutes. Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
  3. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C). In a large bowl, dissolve baking soda in hot water.
  4. When risen, turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and divide into 12 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a rope and twist into a pretzel shape. Once all of the dough is all shaped, dip each pretzel into the baking soda solution and place on a greased baking sheet. Sprinkle with kosher salt.
  5. Bake in preheated oven for 8 minutes, until browned.
I like my pretzels a little crispier on the outside so I baked them a bit longer but that is just a personal preference.  I also tried a batch with sugar and cinnamon instead of salt.  YUM!

Enjoy!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Sticky Five-Spice Short Ribs


This is a recipe that I saw Aida Mollenkamp make on her show Ask Aida (love her show!) last summer.  The ribs turn out so tender and so flavorful!  I made them in my new Dutch Oven that I got for my birthday.  :)  I like to serve them with some jasmine rice and some stir-fried vegetables.  Delish!

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups dry sherry
  • 1/2 cup oyster sauce
  • 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 1/2 pounds short ribs, English cut
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons five-spice powder
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 6 medium garlic cloves, smashed
  • 1-inch piece ginger, sliced
  • 1 small jalapeno pepper, halved

Directions:

Heat the oven to 350 degrees F and arrange a rack in the middle.
Mix together sherry, oyster sauce, and brown sugar until evenly combined; set aside. Pat ribs dry with a paper towel and season well with salt and five-spice powder.
Place a 3-quart Dutch oven or other heavy-bottomed, shallow pot with a tight-fitting lid over medium heat and add oil. When oil starts to smoke, add ribs and sear until well browned, about 2 minutes per side.
Remove ribs to a plate and set aside. Discard all but 1 tablespoon drippings, return pan to stove, and add garlic, ginger, and chile and cook just until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in reserved sherry mixture and bring to a simmer.
Return ribs to pan and bring to a simmer. Cover and transfer to oven to cook, turning occasionally, until meat is knife tender, about 1 1/2 hours. Increase oven to 400 degrees F and cook, covered, until ribs are sticky, about 30 more minutes.

I love me some jasmine rice!  Here is my recipe for Orange Cilantro Jasmine Rice:

Ingredients:
  • 2 C jasmine rice
  • 2 1/2 C water
  • 1 TBSP orange zest
  • 2 TBSP fresh cilantro (roughly chopped)
Rinse rice and drain.  In a medium sauce pan, add rice, water, and orange zest.  Bring to a boil and then turn heat down to low.  simmer for 20 minutes.  Remove from heat.  Fluff with fork then stir in fresh cilanto and serve.

Enjoy!