Monday, October 31, 2011
Saturday, October 15, 2011
Thursday, October 13, 2011
If you like your spaghetti sauce with ground meat in it you'll find this is a little strange. If you're one of those people who has your own meat grinder though; you could potentially grind your chuck. Or you could just use ground beef or sausage if you're trying to use up your beef. The sauce turned out pretty good for simmering away in the crock pot all day--passable for leftovers.
The dish is more like an Italian strogonoff except without mushrooms. The fresh beet fettuccine I used also played off the strogonoff feel by tasting a lot more like egg noodles than bold pasta flavor.
So the age old question - Can you make spaghetti sauce in the crockpot? has been answered. Yes.
Oh and did I mention that I cheated even in the actual making? This a true set it and forget it meal.
1 jar (20oz) favorite marinara pasta sauce
1 lb chuck roast, cubed
1 Can whole tomatoes in juice, torn into pieces
2 cloves garlic, smashed and separated into pieces
1t crushed red pepper
1 1/2 t Italian seasoning
1 t tomato paste
pasta, for serving
1. Combine all ingredients except pasta in the slow cooker.
2. Set cooker for 8-9 hours on low (I did 9 and it warmed for 3 and then shut off).
3. Around the end of the cook time, boil water and cook pasta
4. Serve with pasta
Wednesday, October 12, 2011
Makes 24 pineapple cakes.
2½ cups cake flour
⅛ teaspoon. baking powder
⅛ teaspoon baking soda
6 tablespoons nonfat milk powder, passed through a fine mesh sieve
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into ½-inch pieces
¼ cup shortening
½ cup confectioners' sugar
2 egg yolks
1 recipe Pineapple Paste (recipe follows)
- Adjust oven racks to the upper-middle and lower-middle positions and preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Whisk the cake flour, baking powder, baking soda and milk powder together in a medium bowl; set aside.
- Place the butter, shortening and confectioners' sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer. Beat on low speed until just combined, about 30 seconds. Increase speed to medium and beat until light and fluffy, about 1 minute. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the egg yolks and beat on medium-low speed until just combined, about 1 minute.
- Stop the mixer and add half of the flour mixture. Beat on low speed until most of the flour has been absorbed. Add the remaining flour and beat until all of the flour has been absorbed, 30 seconds. Increase the speed to medium and beat 1 minute. Divide the dough into 2 even pieces and roll each piece into a 10-inch log. Wrap each log tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, 1 hour.
- Cut each log into 12 even pieces and roll each piece into a ball. Use a tablespoon measure to divide the pineapple paste into 24 evenly sized 1-tablespoon balls.
- Place a dough ball in the palm of your hand and flatten into a disk. Place a pineapple paste ball in the center of the disk, bring the edges up together and pinch shut. Roll between the palms of your hands until the seams are no longer visible. Press into 1¾-inch-wide square pineapple cake molds or gently shape into squares by hand.
- Place the pineapple cakes 1 inch apart on the prepared baking sheets and bake until golden brown, about 25 minutes, turning the cakes over once and rotating the baking sheets from top to bottom halfway through baking. Place the baking sheets on wire racks to cool 10 minutes before transferring the cakes to the racks to cool completely.
Makes 1½ cups pineapple paste
This pineapple paste is more intensely pineapple-y than the filling in commercial pineapple cakes. If a milder flavor is desired, reduce the amount of pineapple and increase the amount of diced winter melon by the same amount. Winter melon and maltose syrup can be found in most large Asian markets.
¾ cup granulated sugar
- Place the pineapple in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until pureed, stopping and scraping the sides of the bowl occasionally, 18 to 20 pulses. Pour into a Dutch oven.
- Place the winter melon in the food processor and pulse until very finely shredded, 20 to 22 pulses. Transfer to the Dutch oven.
- Cook the combined mixture over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid has evaporated and the winter melon begins turning translucent, about 20 minutes.
- Reduce the heat to medium, add the sugar, and cook until the mixture has thickened, about 8 minutes.
- Stir in the maltose syrup and cook, stirring constantly, until mixture is very thick, sticky, and uniformly light amber in color, 10 to 12 minutes.
Friday, October 7, 2011
Again being short on time I baked our potatoes in the microwave. Our microwave has a handy baked potato setting! I used it and it took about 11 minutes to bake our two giant potatoes. Meanwhile, I heated the chili in a pot on the stove and shredded a little sharp cheddar. Dinner was ready in 12 minutes and we were on our way to a relaxing Friday night at home.