Sunday, December 21, 2008

Everything Lo Mein

My sister told me about this recipe on The Food Network. It's one of Rachael Ray's. It is really yummy. The kids ate it well, too. I made mine beef lo mein, though, because we recently got a 1/2 beef. So, it's what's for dinner at our house! It doesn't take very long and it's pretty easy!!

3 rounded tablespoon hoisin sauce
3 tablespoon dark soy
3 tablespoon water
2 teaspoon hot sauce

Lo Mein:
1 # spaghetti
1/4 c vegetable oil, divided
2 large eggs, beaten
3 chicken breast cutlets, thinly sliced into strips
3 thin cut pork chops, thinly sliced into strips
black pepper
2 teaspoon ground coriander
2 inches fresh ginger, chopped or grated
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
6 scallions, cut into 3 inch lengths then sliced lengthwise (I used green onions)
1/2 # shiitake mushrooms, chopped
1 red bell pepper, cut into quarters, seeded, then sliced
1 small can sliced water chestnuts
2 cups fresh bean sprouts, 4 generous handfuls or 1/2 # shredded cabbage, your choice

Mix together sauce ingredients and reserve.
Bring pasta water to a boil, salt water and cook spaghetti to al dente.

While pasta cooks, heat a tablespoon of vegetable oil in a large, nonstick skillet over high heat. When oil ripples, add beaten eggs and scramble them to light golden brown, remove and reserve.

Season the meat with salt, pepper and coriander. Heat the remaining vegetable oil to a ripple, then add meat and stir-fry 4 minutes, push meat to the side and add ginger, garlic and veggies. Stir-fry veggies 2 minutes, then drain and add pasta and eggs back to skillet. Pour sauce over the spaghetti and toss to combine. Turn off pan. Toss 30 seconds and let the liquids absorb. The recipe said this was 4 servings. I don't know who she's feeding, but we got 2 full meals out of this!!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Taco Ring

This is a delicious, easy, comforting meal! This is adapted from a Pampered Chef recipe. You've probably had it, but in my book, it's worth remembering! Everyone is always happy when they find out what's for dinner.

1-1 1/2 # hamburger
1 pkg taco seasoning
1 sm can tomato sauce (maybe 2 if you use more hamburger)
2-3 tubes crescent rolls
lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, olives, cilantro, or other taco toppings
salsa and sour cream

Cook and drain hamburger. Stir in taco seasoning and tomato sauce. On a large pizza pan, lay out crescent triangles all around the outside of the pan with the point of the crescent triangle out over the edge. (when you're done, it'll look like a sun with rays) I use 1 # hamburger with 2 tubes of rolls and it feeds us dinner with lunch the next day for me and 2 kids. If you have a bigger family use 3 tubes and 1 1/2 # hamburger. And move your roll "sunshine" closer to the edge of the pan. This works great if you have a baking stone. Press down the rolls where they overlap, then put the meat on top. Fold the points over the hamburger and tuck under on the inside. Bake at 375 for 20-25 minutes. (I usually do 25, it makes the rolls crispy) When it's done, carefully slide the ring onto a serving platter. Put lettuce, cheese, etc in the middle of the ring and serve! It looks really cool like this. If I'm lazy (which I usually am), I just serve it from the stone and have the fixings on a separate plate!

I have seen different versions with salsa and some other stuff in the meat mixture, but I like this one because I always have everything on hand. Enjoy!

Monday, December 8, 2008

"Prize-Winning" Whole Wheat Bread

This is the bread from the other night. I got this recipe from my friend, Beth Durtschi, who lives in Driggs. This is such a yummy bread and so easy to make! It makes me feel good to make something so nutritious for my family. Enjoy!

3 T yeast
1 t sugar
5 C warm (like for a baby bath) water
3/4 C honey
3/4 C oil
2 T salt
1 t Vitamin C crystals (ascorbic acid) (can find at health food stores and maybe drug stores)
12-13 C whole wheat flour (I use freshly ground white wheat, you can also mix red wheat and white wheat. Or use all red! The white has a little lighter flavor.)

Dissolve yeast and sugar in water. (I grind the wheat while this is dissolving) Add honey, oil, salt, vitamin C, and 6 cups of the flour. Mix in an electric mixer (I use a Bosch) with wire whisks on medium high for 10 minutes. (This develops the gluten needed to hold the bread together and rise.) Replace the wire whisks with a dough hook. Add 6 or 7 cups more flour (or more) until the bread dough just barely comes away from the sides (do not add too much flour!) Continue mixing in the electric mixer for 5 more minutes. Turn out onto greased surface. ( I use Pam on the counter and on my hands--oil works, too) Divide into loaves. Let rise in pans until double in size (about 30 minutes). Bake at 350 for about 45 minutes (more or less depending on your bread pans and size of loaves.) I use 2 very large aluminum pans and bake for 55 minutes. It is easy to under cook whole wheat bread, I bake for as long as possible and the tops become somewhat dark. Turn out onto cooling wire racks and smear butter over the top and sides. Let cool completely before putting into plastic bags. Freezes well. This recipe works well for a Bosch mixer. If using a Kitchen aid, cut the recipe in half.

Note from Nikki: I use the 9x5 loaf pans. I find that 3 loaves is perfect. I cook for 45 mins.