Kale Walnut Pesto and Baked Ravioli

IMG_2113 HOORAY FOR SPRING!!!!!!!

Yesterday The mister and I went for a walk, a long walk. I was wearing a sweater, a light jacket and I  left the mittens and hat at home. There was sunshine, huge puddles and mud. Birds were chirping. It was amazing.

After our nice long walk, we got home and I needed to start dinner. It was a little later than I usually so I wanted fast and easy  I usually always have pesto in my fridge (I had to make some, but it only takes 5 minutes) because when it's in there, I can whip up a big awesome meal in the time it takes to boil some pasta or quinoa or smear on toast or toss with potatoes. It really can be used on everything and can be made out of just about anything. Kale and walnuts are just one of so many fantastic combos. And frozen ravioli is always in the freezer too. I  used just plain cheese, but use whatever kind you like.

Together, pesto and ravioli, well that's a quick, easy, and tasty meal, perfect for a spring evening,  And yea, there will be left over pesto from this recipe… just stick it in the fridge or freezer….you will be glad you have it.

IMG_1642    IMG_1655   Pesto stuff. Kale, walnuts, parmesan cheese(nutritional yeast to keep it vegan), garlic, lemon, olive oil, and salt and pepper.

A few little pre steps before the blending.. Toast the walnuts. Just toss onto a dry skillet and stick on medium heat for about 5 minutes or until they start to become née and fragrant. Remove from skillet and add in a bit of water. Add in chopped or ripped kale and cover to let the kale tenderize, but only for about 2 minutes. (you want the kale to still be crispy and fresh tasting)  Drain water and add kale, garlic, toasted walnuts, cheese  and the juice of the lemon into a food processor. Turn on and slowly add in olive oil until you get to a nice paste, adding more oil to get to your desired consistency. Oh and don't forget to salt and pepper to taste!

IMG_2081 IMG_2098Straight up frozen ravioli goes onto an oiled baking sheet.(make sure that non are overlapping) Place into an oven at 400 degrees for about 15-18 minutes, flipping after 10. If you want to add mushroom and a few more walnuts, just toss them onto the ravioli when you are flipping over the ravioli. 

When the ravioli is nice and brown and crispy, remove from oven and dump the ravioli and the mushrooms into a bowl. Add a big old scoop of the freshly made pesto and toss around. 

IMG_2121Look at this… fresh, crunchy, light and happy. Kinda like a spring day.

I am the best lady, making the mister a pretty yummy dinner. 

Have a great Tuesday!

-C


Kale Pesto and Baked Ravioli

  • 4-5 cups chopped Kale
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese ( Nutritional Yeast  to make it vegan)
  • 1/2 cup Walnuts
  • 1/4-1/2 cup Olive Oil
  • 4-5 Cloves Garlic
  • 1 Lemon
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 1 bag of frozen ravioli(use vegan or gluten-free if you want)
  • 3-4 mushrooms

Note..There will be plenty of left over pesto… Just fridge or freeze it

Place walnuts in a skillet and toast on medium heat for about 3-5 minutes or until the nuts become fragrant. In the same skillet, add enough water  to cover bottom and add in all the kale. Place a lid on it and let kale wilt on medium heat for about a minutes or 2, Take off heat. Add walnuts. garlic, cheese, salt and pepper, and juice of lemon to a food processor. Blend. Now add in the kale and blend, slowly adding olive oil until a thick paste forms. You can add as much oil as you want to make it as thick or thin as you like.

Preheat oven to 400

Place frozen ravioli on an oiled baking sheet, making sure none are overlapping. Place into oven for about 15-18 minutes, removing after 8 minutes to flip. When you take the ravioli out to flip, slice up the mushrooms and grab a few more walnuts and toss onto baking sheet with the ravioli.  When the ravioli's are nicely browned and toasty, remove (mushrooms and walnuts too) and place into bowl. Add a big scoop of pesto and toss to mix.

Serve and eat.. fork is optional.

Note..Add a thin layer to the top of any left over pesto to keep it fresh and from turning black 

Creamy Kohlrabi Soup with Asparagus

IMG_1735    IMG_1809 I have never in my life seen, let alone received, a kohlrabi as big as the one I picked up from my farm share last week. It was, no joke, bigger then my head. (completely nuts)  If I didn't know the farm and the farmers of my CSA, I would have to question whether or not it was grown in radioactive sludge…(kind of like the dandelions in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle movie from the 90's)

What is a kohlrabi you ask? It's kind of a cross between a turnip and a cabbage that is usually the size of a baseball. It can be eaten raw (I like chunks dipped in mustard) or cooked. (roasted chunks dipped in mustard)  It pairs well with sweet stuff like apples and honey, or in any savory stuff. Its one of my favorite vegetables (I say that about them all!)

So now that you know about kohlrabi (if you didn't already) its time to get yourself some and make this soup. Because for real,  I am not kidding when I say that this is one of the best soups that I have ever made.  You really must try it. And do it soon because hopefully in the next few weeks the soup weather will turn into fresh pea weather and we might not want soup as much (I eat soup all year long)

IMG_1730A gigantic kohlrabi cut in half ( I only used one of the halts) A whole yellow onion and 2 large carrots. I also added in 4 cloves or garlic

Peel the kohlrabis tough skin off and chop up into chunks. Chop the carrot, garlic and onion as well .

IMG_1761   IMG_1768All of those chopped veggies get thrown into a pot with two cups of water and a good sprinkle of salt and pepper. Cover and place on medium heat for about 20-25 minutes. (give a stir ever now and then) Keep cooking until the veggies are fork tender. 

IMG_1790Once the chunks are all cooked up, its time for the  immersion blender. (or into a regular blender) Add in at least 3 cups of water, but more to thin out to your desired consistency and let it rip. Stop blending once the soup is nice and creamy. Taste and season with salt and pepper to taste. Leave on low heat to bring back to a good soup  eating temperature.

IMG_1794 Now the soup is done.. and you can eat it just as it is, but you should really add in the asparagus. It is just so f*ing good. Just grab a few spears, dice them nice and small, and throw into the soup pot. Let it cook for another 5 minutes and wa la.. IMG_1804Soup is done. Ladle into bowls and if you want a little fancy presentation, add a swirl of mustard (it's so good) and a whole cooked asparagus spear.

And eat one of the greatest soups ever!

Happy Day Wednesday!

-C


Creamy Kohlrabi Soup with Asparagus

  • 3-4 kohlrabi (or 4 cups chopped Kohlrabi)
  • 2 large carrots
  • 1 large onion
  • 4 or more cloves of garlic
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 4-6 spears of Asparagus (extra if you want to garnish)
  • Yellow Mustard (optional)

Peel outer layer of kohlrabis. Roughly chop the onion, carrot, kohlrabi and garlic and stick it all into large dutch oven or stock pot. Add water until veggies are half submerged . Add a good sprinkle of salt and pepper and place on burner on medium heat and cover. Check ever 5 or so minutes and give the pot a good stir. After about 25 minutes, all the veggies should be very tender and almost fall apart when stuck with a fork. With an immersion blender or regular blender, blend till smooth, adding water until soup is at your desired constancy. Return soup to medium heat. Small dice asparagus and add to pot. (I added 2 extra whole pieces and fished them put once cooked for garnish.) Keep on heat for another 5-10 minutes until asparagus is cooked. 

Scoop into bowl and squirt top with yellow mustard and top with a spear of cooked asparagus.

Eat with a spoon and lick bowl clean.

Cajun Black Beans and Rice

    IMG_0596 WOO WHOA!! MARDI GRAS! I wish I was down in New Orleans today celebrating… and soaking up some warmth and sunshine, catching beads, maybe even  taking my shirt off(?!!?) 

No, I keep my shirt on today because I am not like that, and also, I would die of hypothermia. Today I wear a shirt, underneath 5 other shirts ad sweaters.  Because today is just another day of -20 below here in Vermont. 

To keep me from going completely crazy, I am thinking of warm weather and I am thinking of New Orleans (love that place!) and the humongo celebration that's been going on there for the past week. Everyone partying out in the streets. Big floats and beads all around. I might be feeling a little jealous, (more of the weather then the partying) but thats ok, I have TV to watch and a warm comforter to wrap myself up in. And maybe I should have done a post of fried donuts or of some type of alcohol party drink to celebrate the day, but I really just wanted to make something warm and spicy, so I went with some dank cajun beans. And also I wanted to sing…. "Beans Beans the musical fruit, the more you eat the more you toot!!" hehe

But for real, these beans  are sooooo f-ing tasty and super versatile. You can serve the spicy beans with the rice or just eat just the beans. You could do the beans and  add to a bed of kale (me) or add cheese, guacamole and a few  corn tortillas to the mix (the mister).  Simple to make, super tasty and full of flavor!  And pretty freaking heathy to boot! This dish gets an A+!

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This dish is so full of flavor but so simple to make. We start with presoaked black beans drained and rinsed. Cajun seasoning (which is basically 1 part onion powder, thyme, oregano,  and 2 parts paprika, garlic powder, cayenne power, and salt and pepper) Sliced onion and jalapeno, and a few tablespoons of tomato paste. Oh, and the rice.

 IMG_0511    IMG_0567Beans are in a pot filled with water unit beans are completely sumerged. Add in the onion, jalapeño, tomato paste and cajun seasoning. Bring to a boil then cover with a lid and simmer for about 45 minutes…..  After about a half hour, start up the rice. Water in pot with rice, bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes. 

IMG_0656The rice is done and fluffed with at fork. The beans are cooked with just the tiniest bit of bite, bathing in a thick spicy tomatoey sauce. The chunks of onion and jalapeño have broken down and are hiding in every bite…. Oh so good!

 Now get ready for the bowl!!! IMG_0610Bringing a little spice and  nice to this crazy cold winter day or any fun festivities you may have planned.  

Have a Fantastic Day.. Stay Warm or if you already are.. lucky you!

-C


Cajun Black Beans and Rice

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups dried black beans* soaked for at least 4 hours or overnight..Rinse and strained
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons Cajun seasoning
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 Jalapeño
  • 1 small yellow onion
  • 1 tomato (I used a large roma)
  • 1 1/2 cup of dried rice plus 3 cups water

*If you want to use canned beans, go for it…Just sub in 2 cans rinsed and strained black beans and only add a cup of water to the beans. Pre sauté the onion and the jalapeño before adding to the beans and only simmer the beans for about 15 minutes. 

Place you soaked beans into a pot and fill with water until the beans are completely summered.  Slice the jalapeño and onion and add to the pot along with the  tomato paste and the cajun seasoning.  Bring to a boil then place a lid on it and turn heat down to low. Let simmer for about 45 minutes or until the beans are completely cooked.

When the beans are about half way done, add rice to water and bring to a boil. Once boiling, place a lid on pot and turn heat down to simmer and cook for about 15 minutes or  until all water is absorbed and rice is tender. Fluff with a fork.

To sever. place a scoop of two of rice to a bowl and top with a scoop of two of beans.… Top with diced tomatoes and scallions… (The mister added shredded pepper jack to his and thought it was excellent)

Eat with a fork or spoon.

Skillet Crust and Pesto Chickpea Pizza

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 It's Friday!!! And what does that mean? Pizza Pizza!!!!But not just Fridays…pizza happens more times then not in our house…It's the misters favorite food and for real, he could eat it everyday, all day.…He is kind of made of the stuff. As for me, well I don't mind making it for him because it's easy. And because I am making it, it doesn't have 8 million calories, 9 million grams of fat and have 10 million milligrams of sodium like takeout of frozen.  My pizzas are for the most part pretty freaking heathy. It really depends on how its topped. Like take this one.. Homemade pesto, good quaility cheese, (you can use vegan or low fat) chickpeas and tomatoes. Not to shabby. And really, it isn't any more complicated then calling the take-out place or unwrapping the frozen plastic disk from the box. All you need is some good dough (I guess you could use store bought) and some good quality toppings… and you're there…Pizza in your face.

For this pizza I used the skillet cooking method. This crust is one of  the misters favorites. It is a basic pizza dough but cooked on the stove in a skillet. It's almost like a pita bread, but not. And I like to make it this way because its really fast (once the dough is made) and I can even make up a few crusts to have on hand for later.

Fast, healthy, and tasty…..Why not eat pizza every day? 

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Not too many ingredients here. 3 cups of all purpose flour or 2 cups all purpose and 1 cup white whole wheat. A teaspoon salt, a teaspoon honey (use sugar if vegan), yeast and warm water… 

Start with the dough.  Add honey or sugar to yeast and warm water and let sit to active, which should take about 5 minutes.

 Mix together the salt and flour(s) and add the foamy yeast mixture. Mix until it all comes together and dump out onto a floured surface. (if the dough seems to dry add a splash of water..if way to wet, add a little flour) Give the dough a good 2-3 minute knead session, adding flour as needed to keep the dough from sticking. Form a nice ball, place back into bowl and drizzle with oil. Cover bowl with a towel and stick in warm place to rise for about an hour or until it has doubled in size.

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When dough has doubled, dump back onto a floured surface and divide into 4 equal sized balls (or as many balls at whatever size you want)

Now you have a few choices here. You can either cook up all the dough now if you need it, or freeze dough balls for future use. If you think you are going to make pizza again within the next few days, it can be refrigerated, or you could also blind bake the dough and freeze or fridragerate that and have pre baked crusts all ready to go. So many options… just do whatever works for you. 

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To make the dough in a skillet, oil the bottom of a 15 inch skillet, turn burner on to high and let preheat until the oil is sizzling. Roll dough out to roughly the size of the skillet and when it has preheated, place dough on in there and let cook for about 3-5 minutes, or until the dough starts to bubble and the bottom has started to brown. Turn burner down to medium and flip. Cook this side for another 3-5 minutes.

If you want oven crust, just roll out and place on a baking sheet and bake with topping on at 475 degrees for about 20 minutes

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Now the crust is ready for the toppings!!

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. 

Smear the pesto (for this pie, I used the last of my homemade pesto from last summer…sad face) Mince garlic and distribute evenly on top of that. Then do the cheese, followed by the tomato slices and chick peas. Sprinkle with a bit of salt, cracked pepper and some parmesan cheese. 

Stick into oven for 10 or so minutes or until the chesse is nice and bubbly and the crust os crispy and brown.

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And that is pizza. A super duper, yummy, healthy, not too fatty or overly salty…  can be eaten breakfast lunch or dinner time, pretty, satisfying, pizza.  

Make it for yourself, for you lover, for a friend. Make it in the shape of a heart or an elephant. Give you kid(s) a ball of dough and have them make their own… I know… such a good idea. 

Everyday, all day.. Happy Friday and Happy Pizza

Stay warm!

-C


Skillet Pizza Dough and Pesto Chickpea Pizza

For the dough ..Makes about four 10 inch pizza doughs or three 12 -14 inch doughs. This is also the same recipe I use for all of my pizzas (skillet and oven)

  • 3 cups of all purpose flour or  2 cups all purpose and 1 cup white whole wheat
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons of yeast or 1 packet
  • 1 teaspoon of honey or sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water

The Pizza Toppings (for a 15 inch crust..adjust amounts to your need or liking)

  • 1/4 cup of pesto
  • 1 large  roma tomato thinly sliced
  • a few cloves of garlic minced
  • 1/1 cup of prepare chick peas.. rinsed and drained
  • 1/2- 3/4 cup of cheddar cheese (or any kind you like..use vegan cheese if you want too)
  • salt, pepper, and parmeasan (optional) to sprinkle on top

To start, place honey, yeast and water into a jar or bowl and let sit to active until mixture starts to foam. Mix together flour and salt into a large bowl and add in yeast mixture. Stir until combined and dump onto a well floured surface. Knead dough for a a few minutes and form into a ball. Place back into bowl, drizzle with oil and top with a towel. Place somewhere warm to rise for an hour, or until dough has doubled in size.

When dough is done rising, dump back onto floured surface and divide into 4-8 equal sized balls.( 4 balls make  15 inch pizza… 8 balls are good for individual size pizzas) Place whatever dough you are not going to use into a closable plastic bag and either stick in fridge(if using within a few days) or freeze for future use.

Place skillet on high heat on stove and drizzle with oil. Also, preheat oven to 450 degrees. Roll out you dough and when the skillet is has gotten really hot, place dough right on in. Let cook for about 3-5 minutes or unit the cough has started to form bubbles and the bottom has started to brown. Turn heat down to low and cook other side for another 3-5 minutes or until browned. 

Now pizzafy it.. Add on the toppings. Smear with pesto, add minced garlic, then evenly sprinkle cheese. Top with the chick peas and the sliced tomatoes. A sprinkle of salt and pepper and a dusting of grated parmesan……Right into the oven for about 10 minutes to melt it all together…..

Pizza Pizza!!!

Chunky Tomato and Stuff Couscous

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I am such a sucker for the reduced price produce at the grocery store. I save at least half of the original price for stuff that might look a little weird or have a brown spot or something. Sometimes I can't believe what ends up on in the bin, stuff that I wouldn't consider reduced bin material, but hey, if they want to stick it in there, then I will be more than happy to buy it.A couple days ago I found some good looking roma tomatoes in that said reduced produce bin..the skins the tiniest bit wrinkled (like I could care less), least hen 50 cents a pound. Um, yea, I bought those and put them to good use. 

Tomatoes roasted until they fell apart with a few other chunks of stuff, then piled onto a base of spinach and couscous.  This meal cost me pennies and was stupid easy and fast to make. And pretty to boot. Perfect for a quick healthy meal on a busy day or maybe for those people looking for a tasty, not too completed dinner to make for  a special someone for Valentines day? Or make just for yourself…its pretty much the perfectly dish. Anyone can get into it. And if you don't happen to have a grocery store with a reduced produce bin full of tomatoes…it's cool, you'll just have to pay full price for the perfect ones.

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So simple. A little olive oil in pan. Chunk the tomatoes and throw in pan with the chopped onion, carrot, cauliflower, garlic and chick peas. Drizzle a bit more oil and top with salt and pepper. Give it all a toss and stick into oven. That's that. Just leave it in there until everything is so nice and soft and falling apart.

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One of the best things about couscous is that you don't even need to dirty a pot or a bowl to make it,  just add dried couscous to the bowl you are going to eat out of with a cup of boiling water and a pinch of salt.  (I added the spinach with the water too) After about 8 minutes, the couscous absorbs all the water and you just fluff it up with a fork. Easy, freaking Peasy!!! Out of the oven and piled on…..

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I mean, if this isn't one classy looking meal, then I don't know what is.

Sprinkle with a little parmesan or nutritional yeast if you want and step back and admire. And now eat it to you face.

And barely any dishes to wash. No big mess to clean up.  I could get used to that. 

-C 


Chunky Tomato and Stuff Couscous              

Serves 2

  • 3/4 cup Couscous
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • Handful of chopped spinach
  • 4-5 roma tomatoes chopped
  • 1 medium carrot diced
  • Half of an onion diced
  • Cup or so of cauliflower (fresh or frozen)
  • Cup of prepared chick peas
  • 4 or 5 cloves garlic minced
  • Olive oil to drizzle
  • Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 400

Place onion, carrot, cauliflower,tomatoes, chick peas and garlic into a large skillet. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and give everything a light toss. Stick into oven for 35-40 minutes until tomatoes are falling apart and everything is nice and roasted.

In a medium bowl, (or serving bowl) add cup of boiling water to dry couscous and spinach. Sprinkle with salt and cover. Let sit for at about 8 minutes, or until the couscous had fully absorbed all the water. Fluff with a fork and top with roasted tomato stuff.

Top with parmesan or nutritional yeast if you are into it.

Enjoy!

Focaccia with or without stuff

IMG_9014One of the best things about winter is that I can have something in the oven at any time and not worry about how hot the house is going to get.  I get to spend my free time (or my in between free minutes) baking up all the thing that I would not dare bake in the summer. (lots of bread and cakes) Yeah, I might complain a little about how cold it is outside (to my defense, -20 is kind of a bitch) but then I think of the super hot humid days that come during the summer and cringe.  At least when its cold out I am able to get warm, (que oven)  but when its super hot and humid, I just turn into something that border lines a wet towel and the rabbit animal… Not so pleasant.   I much prefer cooler weather. So no big surprise….I made bread.. or focaccia to be exact. And now you should too because first off, you want to eat it, and secondly, you can probably whip this up faster then it would take to get all of you winter warmies on and leave the house. Don't leave, just turn the oven on.  IMG_8863The stuff, which isn't a whole lot… Flour and salt.  A mixture of honey, water, and yeast. And olive oil. Its pretty much my pizza dough recipe, tweaked with the addition of oil, less flour and no kneading.  IMG_8891Mix together the wet and dry…I used my nifty dough whisk, but a wooden spoon or even your hand works. Mix mix mix. The dough should  be really slack and sticky.  And guess what.. no need to knead! Just make sure the dough is uniformly incorporated…hehe.. uniformly incorporated… sounds weird.  IMG_8902       IMG_8931Drizzle the dough (don't worry about making it into a ball, a blob is good) with a little oil and place in a nice warm place topped with a towel to rise for about an hour or until dough has doubled in size. Once is has fully risen, drizzle 2 tablespoons oil in two 9 inch cake pans.  Divide dough in half, and kind of smoosh dough into pans. Cover and let rise for another 20 minutes or so. IMG_8977When dough has finished its second rise, drizzle each  with another tablespoon of oil and with your fingers, fill out the pan and indent the dough, kind of like playing a piano or tickling a puppy(?)….Then layer your toppings (if you want any)  Start with any herbs, then the veggies. Then last, any cheese you got. I used thyme, cracked black pepper, tomato, onion, topped with parmesan cheese. And the other one is just plain old salt.  IMG_9021Pulled from the oven when nice and golden brown..set on a wire rack to cool for a few minute and removed from the pans. IMG_9083The mister was practically salivating waiting for a slice… and he was so not disappointed. Crispy outside with soft airy insides… Everything a perfect focaccia should be. The one with the toppings was the favorite for the first night, but for a peanut butter and cheese panini for lunch the next day…plain is the way to go.. My suggestion, do what I did, jazz one up and leave one plain. And then make more if you need too because the forecast call for another week of below zero!!! Oh the things that I'll get to make! (me being positive) Stay warm! -C

Focaccia with out without stuff

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour 
  • 1 tablespoon salt plus 2 teaspoons for topping (can use more or less if you want)
  • 2 teaspoons active yeast (or one package)
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water
  • 1 tablespoon honey (or sugar if vegan)
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil

Optional toppings

  • Fresh cracked pepper
  • Thyme or any other spices
  • Thinly sliced tomato
  • Thinly sliced onion 
  • Parmesan Cheese 
  • Anything you want!

In a bowl or jar, mix honey (or sugar), yeast and warm water together and let sit for about 5 minutes or until yeast is activated and starts to foam In a large bowl, whisk together flour and 1 tablespoon of salt. With either a wooden spoon, dough whisk, or if you have one, a stand mixer with a dough hook, mix the yeast mixture with the flour. The dough is going to be really sticky so mixing might get a little gloppy, but keep at it until everything is full incorporated.. for about 3-5 minutes and don't be afraid to use your hand… you can wash it off.  Once mixed drizzle with oil and cover with a towel. Let rise for about an hour or until dough has dubbed in size. When dough has double, coat two 8 or 9 inch cake pans each with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Dump dough onto floured surface and cut in half. Take each half a place in pan. cover and let rise again for another 20ish minutes. preheat over to 400 degrees After second rise, lightly take your fingers and push down dough, making little indents all over the surface. Drizzle each with another tablespoon of olive oil and sprinkle each with a teaspoon of salt. If using spices or any other toppings, nows the time to layer them on. And do any cheese last! Place in oven and bake for about 30 minutes or until the tops are golden brown. When done, place on a wire rack and let cool a bit before removing  from pans. Done!!  To store, place in a paper bag.. best eaten within a few days!

For Reals English Muffins

IMG_7250 So the mister wants to know…"Why would anyone ever buy those crappy english muffins from the store when they could be eating these?"

Good question…And we will all answer…."Never again! Because I now make the sickest E.M.s around.!"(E.M.s is the cool short way to say english muffins and now that you are going to make your own….man, your so cool!)

These E.M.s are perfect. Easy to make, not overly fussy, and you end up with a super yummy, extremely versatile, individually portion super sweet little disk of bread. And the best part is..nooks and crannies! I think that is why I decided to make these E.M.s,  so Nick and I can talk the about nooks and crannies…(Sometimes we need light conversation)

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We start with flour and salt whisked together in a bowl. The honey, yeast and warm water are getting on proofing in a jar. An egg waiting to be cracked, some milk, and 2 tablespoons of butter. All this good stuff equals…nooks and crannies!

Oh you like my nifty dough whisk….me too, I use it all the time. Maybe I should have a dough whisk give away  ……maybe…..

IMG_6908Everything all mixed together, dumped onto a floured surface and kneaded for 10 minutes by hand…..If you have a stand mixer, you can use it if you want, but you are missing out on the fun of doing it by hand….

When the dough has been sufficiently kneaded, gather dough into a nice ball, coat with a little oil and place back into bowl. Cover with a towel and stick in a warm place to rise for about an hour or until it has doubled in size.

IMG_7006When dough has doubled, punch down and plop out onto floured surface. Dust the bottom of a griddle or in my case, two cast iron pans, with corn meal. Divide dough into 8-10 equal balls and smash into 2 inch thick disks. 

IMG_7026 Place on griddle or pans and sprinkle more corn meal on top of each E.M. Cover and let rise for another 15 minute. 

IMG_7078Now the E.M.s  have rested, turn the griddle (or pans) on to low heat. Once your griddle (or pans) gets hot, continue to cook that side for another 7-10 minutes, or until golden brown. Flip and cook other side for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. Once browned, check for doneness with a thermometer. The inside should reach 200 degrees.( if you don't have a thermometer, fork split one open and check…. you are going to eat it anyway) If the outside cooked faster then the inside, no worries, just pop them into the oven at 350 for 8-10 minutes. I had to pop mine into the oven for to cook completely.

IMG_7238 IMG_7254Remove form griddle, let cool a bit, and ……Fresh, fluffy fat, fantastic….Everything and more that a real english muffin should be. Split open with a fork and……. the nooks and crannies! So spot on.  Serve with anything your heart desires…I served these with whipped honey butter…. and eat the only kind of E.M. you will ever again eat. Grocery store english muffins be damned!

Enjoy and Happy Tuesday!

-C

English Muffins

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2  cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoon butter at room temperature
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • cornmeal for pan

Combine warm water, honey and yeast in a bowl to active..about 5-10 minutes or until yeast is foamy.

In a separate bowl, whisk together flour and salt. Mix in butter(I use my fingers) When yeast mixture is done proofing, whisk together mixture with the egg and milk. Add wet  to dry and mix until just incorporated  Dump out onto floured surface and knead dough for 8 minutes, adding a bit of flour whenever dough starts to get too sticky.  Roll into a ball, coat with oil and place back into bowl and cover with a towel. Let rise for 60 minutes or until sought has doubled in size.

Once the first rise is done, deflate dough and divide into 8 equal pieces(10 for a slightly smaller muffin).  Smoosh each ball into a flat disk, about 2 inches thick) and place on a cold cornmeal dusted cast iron griddle. (I used 2 cast iron pans) Sprinkle tops of muffins with more corn meal and let dough rest for another 15 minted.  Turn burners on low heat. Let griddle get hot and continue to cook the muffins for another 10 minutes or until golden brown. Flip and cook opposite side until gold brown and remove from griddle. To make sure the muffins are cooked completely, stick an instant read thermometer into the center…it should read 200 degrees. (if you don't have a thermometer, split one open… the tester E.M.)  If the E.M.s are not completely cook, just stick in the oven on 350 for 5-10 minutes or until cooked throughout.

Remove and let cool.  To serve, split open with a fork and give a light toast. Spread with butter, jam, peanuts butter, anything you want…maybe  make E.M pizzas!