Saturday, November 7, 2009

Rainy Saturday

It's been raining hard all day. Cold, hard, windy rain. It's my kind of day because it gives me an excuse to relax and read what I love the most: cookbooks. I just received my copies of The Pioneer Woman Cooks and Steamy Kitchen. The Pioneer Woman Cooks is the most beautiful cookbook I have in my collection- without a doubt. Last night I made a recipe from Steamy Kitchen: Beef and Broccoli. Delicious. Get these books. Now.

Tonight's dinner is about comfort and belly warming. I'm making roast chicken and potatoes, sauteed veggies and Cornbread Yeast Rolls that I read about in this month's Southern Home Living. Yes, I read it. Yes, I live in Oregon. Yes, I still giggle when I read "y'all" in print.

Here's the first rising. Can't you smell the lovely yeastiness?

Second rise after shaping:

Here's the finished product in all its glory! You can see that I already did a QC test- very important before serving. I love these rolls!

Cornbread Yeast Rolls- recipe from Southern Home Living November 2009

Makes 16- 18 rolls depending how small you like them

1 (1/4 oz.) envelope active dry yeast
1 c. warm water (105 degrees- 115 degrees)
1 T. sugar
4 c. bread flower, divided
1/4 c. honey
4 T. butter, melted and cooled
2 large eggs
1 1/4 t. salt
1/4 c. plain yellow cornmeal
2 T. plain yellow cornmeal
1 large egg, beaten
1 T. sesame seeds
1/2 t. freshly ground pepper

1 Stir together yeast, 1 c. warm water and sugar in a 2 c. glass measuring cup. Let stand 5 minutes.

2. Beat yeast mixture and 2 c. flour at low speed with a heavy-duty electric stand mixer, using dough hook attachment, until combined. Add honey, butter, 2 eggs, salt and 1/4 c. cornmeal. Beat at medium-low speed until well blended, scraping bowl as necessary. Gradually beat in remaining 2 c. flour. Continue beating until a dough forms and begins to pull away from sides of bowl. Dough will be sticky. Beat dough 1 minute.

3. Coat a large bowl with oil, place dough in bowl, turning to grease top. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in warm place (85 degrees), free from drafts, 2 hours or until doubled in bulk.

4. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment or silpat. Dust each lined pan with 1 T. cornmeal.

5. Punch dough down, turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead 1 minute. Shape dough into 16- 18 balls and place on prepared baking sheets. Cover with clean kitchen towels and let rise 1- 1 1/2 hours until doubled in bulk.

6. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Gently brush rolls with beaten egg. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and ground pepper. Bake 18-22 minutes or until golden on top and when bottom is tapped they sound hollow. Let cool on baking sheet. Serve immediately.

To make ahead, prepare recipe as directed through Step 5. Cover loosely with plastic wrap or aluminum foil. Chill 24 hours. Uncover and bake as directed.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Southern Fried Chicken from the Eastern Suburbs of the Pacific Northwest

Last week I treated myself to a nice dinner at Pomegranate in Redmond, WA. The restaurant is owned by Lisa Dupar, a well-known caterer and fixture in the Seattle culinary scene. I always enjoy open kitchens and Pomegranate's is. As is the catering kitchen adjacent to the seating area. It's live dinner theatre at its best.

I adapted Lisa's Southern Fried Chicken for last night's dinner. 

1 Whole Grown Fryer- cut for frying
Mix together your favorite blend of freshly ground pepper, minced herbs and salt
1 c. buttermilk mixed with 2 eggs
Flour- all purpose
2-3 sleeves of saltine crackers- crushed with a rolling pin until you have coarse crumbs.
Corn, peanut or canola oil for frying in a pan.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Season chicken with your favorite seasoning blend. Dust with flour.

Dip chicken into the buttermilk egg wash.

Roll dipped chicken pieces in the crushed saltines making sure they adhere.

Heat oil in a heavy skillet on medium high heat.

Fry chicken on both sides until golden brown. Keep an eye on it as it browns quickly. Place on baking sheet and bake for 40- 45 minutes until chicken is done.

I served it with roasted broccolini and garlic.

Because I don't like to waste anything in the kitchen, I rendered the chicken fat and skin to make gribbeness. I saved the chicken fat for chopped liver and scarfed down the gribbeness. So good.