Recipes

I’ve gotten some requests for some of the recipes I post, and they’re scattered amongst various different posts.  So I figured I’d compile them all in one place.  Happy eating!

Dinner Rolls

Recipe courtesy of About.com

1 packet Dry Yeast (2-1/4 tsp)
1 cup milk
3 tbsp butter
1 egg (beaten)
2 tbsp sugar
3/4 tsp salt
3 cups flour

In a mixing bowl mix the yeast and 1/4 cup of warm water.  Remember that the yeast will die if exposed to too much heat, so just make it warm, not scalding hot.

Melt the butter into the milk.  Remember it can’t be too hot, so maybe just microwave it and let it sit for a bit.

In the yeasty bowl, add the egg, sugar, salt, and a cup of the flour.  Add the butter and milk mixture and stir.  Add another cup of flour and stir again.  Add one more cup of flour and stir once more.  It will be wet and sticky at this point.

That’s what she said.

Transfer to floured cutting board and knead for 5-10 minutes, adding a little flour if it gets too sticky.  When it’s smooth and slightly elastic (the dough springs back into shape if you pinch it), coat it in vegetable oil and put in a bowl to rise.  Cover with a cloth and put it someplace warm.

After about an hour or so it should have doubled in size.  Plop it onto a large cutting board and lightly press it into a large rectangle.  Try to make the dough as even as possible at this point so that your rolls will be of consistent size.  Once it’s vaguely rectangular and even, cut the dough with a knife into 12 squares.  Roll each of these squares into a ball.

I find that if I pinch the ends together and smooth out the rest of the dough square, I get the smoothest shape on top.  Imperfections will come out in the baking, so try to get it as pretty as possible at this point.  But also remember that you will be gorging on these later, so don’t worry too much about transitory blemishes.

Place the balls onto a baking sheet relatively close together.  Cover again with a cloth and set aside to rise again for about 45 minutes. Meanwhile, set oven to 350 degrees.

When they’re done rising they should be touching slightly.  Bake for 20-25 minutes.  They’ll start to stick together a bit at this point, which is exactly what y0u want to happen.  Test half of them for flavor, but try to save a few for the table.

Mashed Potatoes

I am completely improvising this right now, but that’s because I improvise it every year.  It’s one of those, “everyone is about to sit down, time to make mashed potatoes.”  So forgive me for the approximate measurements.

A bunch of red potatoes.  Let’s say, um 5 to 20.
Some milk or soy milk.
Butter.  No margarine for you!
Garlic powder
Salt-n-Pepa (the group)

Boil or steam the potatoes for about 20-30 minutes in their skins.

Pull them out and drain if necessary.  Leave the skins on and mash!  Mash like the wind!  Whistle “Suicide is Painless” if desired.

Throw them into a bowl or even back in the pot if you’re short on bowls.  Add some milk to make it creamy.  I’d say with 10 potatoes I usually add 1/2 cup to a cup of milk.  This makes it creamy and easier to stir.  Bonus!

Slice up a half stick of butter and drop it in.  Let it melt in its potatoey doom.

Garlic powder!  I used to think that fresh garlic would be so much better, but the powder works great.  Keeps you from eating chunks of garlic.  Actually, doesn’t sound so bad.  In any case, add until you reach your garlic tolerance level.  Mine is quite high.

Shoop a little of that Salt-n-Pepa into the bowl to taste.  Twist it and shout “Primo mash for everyone!”

And that is my old family recipe.

Banana Oatmeal Cookies

My friend Rachel can’t stand these cookies, but everyone else seems to like them.  She calls them mystery cookies.  The best part about these cookies is that since they contain bananas and oatmeal, you can guiltlessly eat them for breakfast.

Adapted from allrecipes.com

1 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup butter (room temperature or melty)
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1.5 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
5 ripe bananas, mashed
3 cups rolled oats
1 package of white chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Wet ingredients: Beat the butter and the sugar.  Add in the egg and vanilla and stir.

Dry ingredients: Mix the flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.  If you want to go a bit overboard on the cinnamon, I think that’s just fine.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir.  Mix in the mashed banana.  Mix in the oats.  Mix in the white chocolate chips.

Drop small spoonfuls onto a baking pan (I love me some silpats!).  Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until the outside is solid and the white chocolate chips are brown and the banana is caramelizing.

Traditional Thanskgiving Rice and Beans (Gallo Pinto)

Ok, this one is not so traditional, except in the sense that I always make this dish.  It’s one of my favorites for any occasion, and it’s so easy to make.  I adapted this from Jessica B. Harris’s cookbook, Beyond Gumbo.

1.5 cups of rice (cooked)
4 cans of beans (drained)
1 Bell pepper (chopped)
1 Medium onion (diced)
3 or more cloves of garlic (minced)
2 tbsp olive oil (extra virgin)
Coriander (ground)
Salt (to taste)
Cayenne (pinch)
Worcestershire Sauce (bottled)

Saute the garlic and onion in oil (in a big pot).  When translucent, add the bell pepper.  When soft, add the beans.  After 3 or so minutes, add the rice.  Add a tiny bit of cayenne, a fair amount of salt (depending on whether the beans were pre-salted), a healthy tbsp or 2 of coriander, and a ton of Worcestershire sauce.  Really, I get about 3-4 Gallo Pintos out of one regular bottle of it, so just keep dumping it in (probably a 1/3 cup or so of it at least).  Stir, let sit, and serve.

You can make it vegan just by making the Worcestershire sauce a veggie friendly option.  You can also load it with bacon, but I’ve never tried that.

Fat Mints

That’s peppermint oozing out! Get your mind out of the gutter!

Fat Mints

2 sticks (1 cup) softened butter (I always use unsalted Plugra)
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon pure vanilla
2 1/2 cups flour
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder sifted
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 of 10 oz bag white chocolate chips
24 Peppermint Patties, wrapperless (unless you like the taste of plastic)

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, mix the butter with the sugars.
  3. Add the eggs and beat.  Do the same with the vanilla.
  4. In a separate bowl, mix the flour, cocoa, salt, and baking soda.
    Now, I usually disregard any instructions to sift, but I find cocoa powder can be very clumpy.  So make sure it’s smooth when you add it into the bowl.
  5. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the butter/sugar mixture, stirring along the way.  Continue to stir until everything is well mixed.
  6. Add in the white chocolate chips and stir to distribute evenly.  You don’t need more than half a bag, since the Peppermint Patties are going to be the main attraction.
  7. Prepare a baking sheet.  I love me my silpats!  Then wash your hands, it’s about to get messy.
  8. Take enough batter to cover a Peppermint Patty, and form it into a ball around it.  Try not to use too much batter, as you’ll end up with the hat-shaped cookies that way.  Just use enough to make sure the Patty is covered.  Then place it on the sheet, keeping them about 2 inches apart from each other.
  9. Bake for 10-20 minutes, or until cookies are slightly firm to the touch.  Remove and let cool on the sheet for about 5 minutes.  Then place on a cooling rack.

Soondubu (Korean Soft Tofu Stew)

SoondubuThis is one of my favorite dishes to make.  In addition to being delicious, it is easy to make and healthy to boot.  My version is vegetarian, but meat of many kinds are commonly added in.

This cooks in bowls right on the stove, so you need to buy special ceramic bowls to make it.  Trust me, it’s just not the same coming from a big soup pot.  You can get them at Korean grocery stores (2 of which are 10 minutes from my house). Also, you have to master the art of correct proportions, since the bowl only has so much room for goodies.  Now is not the time to be overzealous.  This recipe is for one bowl, so adjust accordingly when making it for others.  I have a big bowl for the stew and a small bowl for the rice (when eating alone).

1/2 cup sweet white rice*
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tbsp vegetable oil
2 medium leaves cabbage, chopped
2-3 scallions, chopped
1/2 cup chopped oyster mushrooms
1/4 inch bunch enoki mushrooms*
2 tbsp chopped dried seaweed*
1 tube extra soft tofu*
2 tsp spicy soondubu paste (see below)
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg

Spicy Soondubu Paste:
2 tablespoons coarse hot pepper powder*
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon water

The * ingredients are most easily found at an asian grocery store.

tuba tofu

Yes, they make tubes of tofu!

  1. In small ceramic bowl, heat 1 cup water with the sesame oil.  When it comes to a boil, add the sweet rice and set temperature to low.
  2. In large ceramic bowl, heat vegetable oil over medium heat.  When hot, add cabbage, scallions, and oyster mushrooms.  Saute until they soften and reduce in size.
  3. Meanwhile, hydrate seaweed by adding water and letting sit in small bowl.
  4. When vegetables are soft, add spicy soondubu paste (recipe below) and saute for 2 more minutes.
  5. Add 1 cup of water to large bowl.  Add salt, enoki mushrooms, drained seaweed, and tofu.  Stir and chop up the tofu with the stirring spoon.  Set heat to medium-high.
  6. Allow rice and stew to cook for about 5 minutes.  Stew should be boiling/simmering at this point.
  7. Carefully remove the bowls from the heat.  They should still be boiling (yay ceramic!).  Move them to heat-proof surface such as a trivet.  I use silicone pads.
  8. Crack egg and drop it into stew.  Stir to break the yolk and spread it into the stew.  It will quickly cook.
  9. Add enough rice to the stew bowl to fill to brim.  Mix and eat!

Spicy Soondubu Paste

  1. Mix all ingredients together in a small jar.  Feel free to double (I make mine at 4x the given proportions).
  2. Store refrigerated.  Keeps for a long time.
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One thought on “Recipes

  1. […] awareness.  It took lots of time and many mistakes and revelations along the way to make me the food genius that I am today.  When I go to learn another instrument that doesn’t come naturally to me, […]

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