February 16, 2014

Roasted Broccoli and Cheddar Millet Bake

I have used millet in breads for several years, pancakes for several months and baby cereal occasionally. Aside from mostly use in baked goods, it hadn't made its way onto our table until last week. I tried millet for breakfast using this recipe from Edible Perspective. I wasn't wowed enough to blog it myself to keep the recipe, but I may make it again. If it wows me more, then I'll post it here for future findings. It did keep me fairly full until lunch, which is sometimes a tricky thing for me.

I was intrigued, though, by this recipe from A Couple Cooks, so I made it last week as well. This will be a repeated recipe, perhaps with some cooked chicken tossed in for extra protein. The original recipe appears to come from Naturally Ella.

Roasted Broccoli and Cheddar Millet Bake
8 cups broccoli florets
1 1/2 Tbsp. olive oil
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
Kosher salt
Fresh ground pepper
1 1/2 cups millet, cooked (Master Recipe: Millet)
3 cloves garlic
1 Tbsp. butter
1 cup milk
8 oz. shredded cheddar cheese
1 tsp. dried thyme
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper

Preheat oven to 450°F. Cut the broccoli into small florets. In a bowl, combine the broccoli with olive oil, salt and   pepper. Pour onto a baking sheet, and roast for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, dice 3 cloves garlic. In a large skillet, heat butter over medium low heat. Add the garlic, and saute for about 1 minute. Add cup milk, thyme, salt and pepper, and bring to a simmer. Stir in 1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese, and stir until the cheese melts and the sauce thickens slightly. (Turn up the heat slightly if the cheese does not melt at first, but be careful not to overheat.)

When the broccoli is roasted, turn down the oven temperature to 400°F. Pour the millet into a large casserole dish. Add roasted broccoli, pour in sauce and add a bit of the shredded cheese (making sure to reserve some for the top). Stir to thoroughly combine, making sure to combine all millet with sauce and cheese. Sprinkle the remainder of the cheese over the top. Bake for 15 minutes until warm.

February 14, 2014

Snickers Cake

This recipe has been hanging out in my bookmarks for a while ... probably since August 11, 2013 when Brown-Eyed Baker first posted it. I made it for my husband's birthday, with a few minor modifications. I only have two round cake pans unpacked since we're only temporarily renting this lovely tiny duplex for our family of four ... for more than a year ... temporarily so much of our stuff is in boxes ...

But it worked out OK. I split most of the batter between my two cake pans and filled some large cupcake liners with the remaining batter. The cupcakes became my samples that I could dig into prior to cutting the cake (and no one knows how many cupcakes I actually started with and therefore how many I ate).

Baked on my cupcake consumption, since the cake isn't cut yet, this is phenomenal. A few notes for when I make this again:
  1. For me, the coffee flavor is a bit prominent since I'm not a huge coffee fan. Perhaps a different cake recipe next time.
  2. My caramel turned out well, but this version of caramel scares me. I do better when I start with a bit of sugar and water.
  3. Oh my, the nougat is delicious!

Snickers Cake
2 1/2 cups + 1 Tbsp. flour
3 cups sugar
1 cup + 1 Tbsp. Dutch-process cocoa powder
1 Tbsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. salt
3 eggs, room temperature
1 1/2 cups buttermilk, room temperature
1 1/2 cups strong black coffee, hot
3/4 cup vegetable oil
4 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
Nougat Filling
4 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup evaporated milk
1 1/2 cups marshmallow fluff
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups salted peanuts, roughly chopped
Salted Caramel Buttercream Frosting
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
4 oz. cream cheese,  room temperature
1/4 cup salted caramel sauce
2 cups powdered sugar
Milk Chocolate Ganache
8 oz. milk chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup heavy cream
Additional salted caramel sauce
Chopped peanuts

For the cake, preheat oven to 350°F. Grease three 8-inch round cake pans, line the bottoms with rounds of parchment paper, grease the parchment and then flour the insides of the pans, tapping out excess.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, sift together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, buttermilk, coffee, oil and vanilla. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, and mix for 2 minutes on medium speed. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl, and mix for an additional 20 seconds. (Be careful for splatters as the batter is extremely thin.)

Divide the batter evenly among prepared pans. Bake for 20 minutes, and rotate the pans in the oven. Continue to bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of one of the cakes comes out almost clean (with a few moist crumbs), about 12 more minutes. Cool the cakes (in the pans) on wire racks for 20 minutes,  and then carefully turn them out onto cooling racks to cool completely.

To make the nougat, melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the sugar and evaporated milk, stirring until dissolved, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove the pan from heat, and add the marshmallow fluff, peanut butter and vanilla extract, stirring until completely smooth. Fold in the peanuts. Let the nougat mixture cool to room temperature before using it in the cake, stirring occasionally.

For the frosting, beat together the butter and cream cheese on medium-high speed for 5 minutes. Pour in the salted caramel, and beat until combined. Reduce the speed, and slowly add the powdered sugar. Increase the speed to medium-high, and beat for an additional two to three minutes, until light and fluffy.

To assemble the cake, place one cake layer on a serving plate. Cover with half the nougat filling, and then spread with a couple spoonfuls of salted caramel sauce. Top with another cake layer, and repeat the filling ingredients. Top with the remaining cake layer. Frost the cake with the frosting, finishing it as smoothly as possible. Chill the cake for at least one hour to set the frosting.

While the cake is chilling, make the ganache by placing the chocolate in a heat-proof bowl. Heat the cream until it is barely starting to boil, and then pour cream over chocolate. Let stand 2 minutes, and then stir to incorporate. Set aside to thicken as it cools.

Pour ganache onto the middle of the cake, so it drips over the sides. Drizzle the top with salted caramel sauce as well. Top with chopped peanuts.

Keep cake refrigerated until 20 minutes prior to serving.  

February 7, 2014

Cauliflower Fried Rice

I found this recipe on Spicy Perspective and was intrigued. (Check out her original recipe for pretty pictures since I have none.) I must have been in a cauliflower mood, as weird as that sounds, because I bookmarked three recipes for cauliflower in the space of a day or two. Of the three recipes, this is the only one I plan to repeat on a regular basis. The other two were just meh.

This tastes quite like fried rice, and I pretended it was healthy despite the copious amount of bacon grease I incorporated into the wonderful flavors. This is worth a try, even if you don't normally like cauliflower as long as you can get over the mental hurdle. If someone you love doesn't like cauliflower, see if you can trick them ... or am I the only one who "poisons" my husband?

Cauliflower Fried Rice
1 head cauliflower
5 slices thick cut bacon, chopped
1/2 cup diced onion
1 Tbsp. freshly grated ginger
3 cloves minced garlic
1 cup shredded carrots
1 cup frozen peas
1-3 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 tsp. sriracha or chile paste
3 eggs

Cut the cauliflower into florets, and place in the food processor. Pulse until it roughly resembles rice.

Heat a large wok (or skillet) over medium high heat. Add the bacon and onion to the skillet, and fry until the bacon is crispy. Remove with a slotted spoon, and set aside.

Add the ginger, garlic and carrot. Stir fry 2 to 3 minutes until carrots are tender. Use a slotted spoon to transfer to the dish with the bacon mixture.

Next add the cauliflower to the wok. Stir fry for 3 to 5 minutes until soft, but still firm. Add all the cooked ingredients back to the wok, along with the frozen peas, soy sauce to taste and chile paste. Toss and cook until the peas are warmed through. Add in the eggs, and stir gently to incorporate. Cook, stirring often, until eggs are done, about 2 to 3 minutes. Serve warm. Makes 4 generous portions.

February 3, 2014

Margarita Jello Shots

My husband is well known within our circle of family and friends for his margaritas. He makes a mighty fine margarita. So when I saw these jello shots at Baker's Royale, I knew we had to try them. These are incredibly easy to make, aside from scooping the flesh out of the citrus. That, in all honesty, is a pain in the tush. It is well worth it, though, because the presentation makes these all the better.

The only problem we had was even halving the batch, that's waaayy too many jello shots for two adults with two little ones we must supervise. Such a terrible problem, eh?

Margarita Jello Shots
4 limes, halved lengthwise and emptied of pulp
4 lemons, halved lengthwise and emptied of pulp
3 oranges, halved lengthwise and emptied of pulp
1 1/2 cups limeade
1 1/2 cup tequila
1 cup triple sec
2 packets of plain gelatin
1 tsp. lemon Jell-o (1 drop of food coloring was an acceptable substitute)
1 tsp. orange Jell-o
1 tsp. lime Jell-o (food coloring makes them too bright as you see in my picture)
Place halved citrus in muffin tins to hold them in place when you pour the jello mixture into them. 
Place limeade in a large shallow pan, and sprinkle gelatin on top. Set aside for 1 to 2 minutes to allow gelatin to bloom. Place pan over low heat, stirring constantly until gelatin has dissolved (mixture will resemble syrup consistency), about 3 to 5 minutes.

Combine remaining ingredients with the gelatin mixture, and stir until well combined. Divide mixture into three portions. Add lemon Jell-o into the first portion, orange Jello-o into the second and lime Jell-o into the third portion. Stir each portion until well combined. Pour corresponding mixture into emptied fruit. Chill for at least six hours or overnight. Slice carefully, and serve.

February 2, 2014

Overnight Yeasted Waffles

Rarely do I get recipes made this quickly after bookmarking them, but it took me only a week or two to make these waffles from The Kitchn. These now will be my go-to waffles. Although you prep them the night before, they take no time to throw together. Even halved, the recipe makes plenty for a crowd. They are delicious and wonderful. Enough said.

Overnight Yeasted Waffle

1 Tbsp. active dry yeast
1 cup warm water
2 sticks unsalted butter
4 cups whole or 2% milk
2 tsp. salt
1/4 cup sugar
6 cups flour
4 eggs
1 tsp. baking soda

Combine the yeast and the water in a very large mixing bowl, and let stand for a few minutes. Stir to make sure the yeast dissolves into the water. Melt the butter over low heat or in the microwave. Combine the butter with the milk, salt, and sugar. Once the mixture has cooled to lukewarm, stir it into the dissolved yeast mixture. Add the flour, and stir until a thick, shaggy dough is formed and there is no more visible flour.

Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap, and let it sit on the counter overnight. The batter will double or triple in bulk as it rises.

The next morning, beat the eggs together, and add them to the batter along with the baking soda. Using a whisk, beat the eggs and baking soda into the batter until completely combined.

Make the waffles according to your waffle maker's instructions, cooking until the waffles are golden-brown. Waffles are best if served immediately but re-heat well in the toaster. Leftovers can be kept refrigerated for up to a week. Leftover waffles can also be frozen for up to 3 months and toasted straight out of the freezer. Makes a boatload of waffles.