Archive | September, 2012

Conscious Decision

I was at the grocery store finding ingredients for my banana waffles and I found myself staring at the flour aisle for 15 minutes. It wasn’t that I could not find the all purpose flour that I needed, it was just the sheer amount choices for flour that gave me pause. Does my cookie and possible cakes really need to be so white that I have to buy flour that underwent a chemical process to remove what was naturally a slight beige color? If I do indeed bake a cake, does the whiteness of the cake matter at all if it is just going to be dressed in a layer of frosting, fondant, or ganache? In the end and after much internal deliberation, I decided to purchase the unbleached all purpose flour by the Gold Medal brand. I think I will purchase unbleached flour from now on unless it does not perform well in the recipes I use it in.

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Crockpot Curried Pork Over Basmati Rice

First, I have to admit that there are times when I am in such a rush that I would forget an ingredient or forget to add an ingredient (or sometimes two).  In this case, it was ginger, luckily the taste of the dish didn’t seem to be amiss from the lack of it.  In addition, I added 1/2 pound more meat to this recipe since i cannot find just 1 1/2 pounds of pork loin. I would call this an introduction to curries since it is mild in spices as well as heat, still it tastes great so set it,  forget it and enjoy!  

Ingredients

  • 3 1/2 Cups cubed into 1 to 2 -inch cubes- red potato (about 3 large)
  • 1 Cup chopped onion
  • 1 Cup chopped red pepper
  • 1/2 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoon all purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • t tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
  • 3 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoon Madras curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 pounds boneless pork loin roast, cubed into 1 to 2 -inch cubes
  • 1 C coconut milk
  •  hot cooked basmati rice

Preparation

  1. In a small nonstick pan over medium high heat, toast flour- roughly 2 minutes.  Add Madras curry powder  and cumin, stir and continue to toast until fragrant, 30 seconds to 1 minute.
  2. In a large bowl, mix flour mixture with chicken broth, tomato paste, sugar, salt, ginger, garlic.  Add pork and vegetables, stir to combine.  At this point you can place this mixture in the crock pot and cook on LOW for 6-8 hours or until pork and potatoes are tender. **OR for more flavorful meat** you can cover the bowl with plastic wrap,  place it in the refrigerator and let it marinate for at least an hour or overnight THEN place the mixture in a crockpot and cook on low for 6-8 hours.
  3. Stir in coconut milk and serve over basmati rice.

NOTE:  My Crock pot tends to be hotter than most so I generally check the meat and potatoes at lower end of the time (6 hours) and then add more time if needed.

Basic Banana Bread

Ingredients

1 cups granulated sugar
4 tablespoons butter melted
1 2/3 cups mashed ripe bananas (about 4)
1/4 C low-fat milk
1/4 cup sour cream
2 large eggs
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup all purpose whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
Cooking spray

Preparation

1. Preheat oven to 350°.
2. To prepare bread, combine first 6 ingredients in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended.
3. Weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine both flour types and next 2 ingredients (through salt) in a medium bowl; stir well. Add flour mixture to banana mixture; beat just until blended. Pour batter into a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 1 hour and 10 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove from oven; cool 10 minutes in pan on a wire rack. Remove bread from pan; cool.

Oven Baked Chicken w/Roasted Apples and Mashed Cauliflower

P1020724

5 cups chopped peeled Braeburn apple (about 1 1/2 pounds)
1 teaspoon chopped fresh sage
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
Cooking spray
8 chicken thighs (about 2 pounds), skinned $
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Chopped parsley (optional)
Preparation

Preheat oven to 475°.
Combine first 5 ingredients. Add 1/4 teaspoon salt; toss well to coat. Spread apple mixture on a jelly roll pan coated with cooking spray.
Sprinkle chicken with 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper, and arrange on top of the apple mixture. Bake at 475° for 25 minutes or until chicken is done and apple is tender. Remove chicken from pan; keep warm.
Partially mash apple mixture with a potato masher, and serve with chicken. Sprinkle with parsley, if desired.

Qui’s Notes: The apples made this dish, so I would double the amount of apples (and corresponding spices) called for.

Also, I used season salt instead of salt and pepper to flavor the chicken and I us