Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins


1 1/2 c. AP flour
1 c. sugar
2 t. cinnamon
1 t. ginger
1/4 t. cloves
1/4 t. nutmeg
(or replace spices with one heaping T pumpkin pie spice)
1/4 t. baking powder
1 t. baking soda
1 t. salt
1/3 c. buttermilk
1 T. vanilla
1/3 c. brown sugar
2 eggs
1/2 c. oil
1 c. pumpkin puree

1 T. cocoa powder
1 c. chocolate chips (opt.)

Combine flour, granulated sugar, spices, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

In a separate bowl combine buttermilk, vanilla, brown sugar, eggs and pumpkin.

Fold the wet into the dry and gently fold until smooth. Stir the cocoa powder into 3/4 c batter.

Scoop batter into a lined twelve cupcake pan. Spoon the cocoa batter on top of the pumpkin batter. With a toothpick, pull the chocolate batter out to marble it. Sprinkle the chocolate chips on top. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean in a 350 degree oven.

*This recipe makes an excellent pumpkin cupcake, just omit the cocoa and chocolate chips. Great frosted with cream cheese frosting.

Cream cheese frosting:

Whip together:
8 oz. room temperature cream cheese
4 oz. room temperature butter
2 t. vanilla
about 3/4 c. powder sugar

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Braised Chicken with Wild Mushrooms



4 lb. chicken, cut into eight pieces




Brown the chicken in 2 T. butter or oil.

In a large oven proof pan with a lid, arrange chicken and add 1 C. red wine, 1 C. chicken stock, 3 carrots, 1 celery heart(leaves included), 1 onion, 2 C. fresh wild mushrooms, small bunch thyme, salt and pepper.

Bake in an 325 degree oven for 2 hours. Serve with mashed potatoes, noodles or rice.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Apple Pie


Crust

1/2 c. lard/or shortening

4 oz cold unsalted butter

2 1/4c flour

1 T. sugar

½ t. Salt

¼c Ice water

For the dough technique see peach pie post.

Filling

6 large or 8 medium/small apples, peeled and *sliced. Please read the information on best apples for pie at the bottom of the post.

2 oz. unsalted butter

½ c brown sugar

¼ c sugar

1 t. cinnamon

¼ t. salt

1 T. vanilla

3 T. flour

Melt butter and allow it to slightly brown, not burn. Add the brown sugar, sugar, cinnamon, salt, and vanilla. Pour over the apples and gently toss. Add the flour to the mixture.

The Best Apples for Pie

I always say the best apples for an apple pie are the best apples. With that said, apples certainly have different characteristics that you can choose from. If you choose tart firm apple e.g granny smith, pippin or similar variety (if you don’t know what you have ,than take a bite). Peel and slice into ¼ inch slices. If you choose “just picked” or sweeter softer varieties, eg fuji, macintosh, pink ladies, honey crisp, then peel and cut into one inch slices. Don’t ever put your pie apples into water to prevent browning. The sweet/tartness of the apples should be the deciding factor in the amount of sugar you use. So, if the apples you choose are really tart, use an additional 1/2 c. sugar. Feel free to add things like: 1t. lemon zest, 2 T. maple syrup, 1/8 t. all spice, nutmeg. Cardamom, ginger; use your imagination. But, lets keep the wasabi out of this one.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Fennel Rosemary Rubbed Pork Chops with Apples




6 pork chops
4 apples, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch slices


Spice Rub:

3 T. fresh rosemary
2 T. fennel seeds
1 T. good salt


In a mortor and pestle or with a knife, grind/chop all ingredients to a rough sandy texture.

Press spice rub on 6 pork chops. In a large saute pan, brown the pork chops in about 1/4 cup olive oil or butter. Remove to baking sheet and finish in a 400 degree oven for 20 minutes. While the pork chops are roasting, saute the apples for 15 minutes. Serve on pork chops.