Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Bacon in the Oven

 From About.com
Time Required: 20 minutes
1.  Line a baking sheet with foil.  
2.  Arrange bacon slices on the foil and place the baking sheet on the center rack of a cold oven.  Close oven door.  Turn oven on to 400 degrees F.  Walk away.
3.  Come back 17 to 20 minutes later.  As soon as the bacon is golden brown, but not excessively crisp, it's done.  The exact time will depend on the thickness of the bacon slices, and also on how quickly your oven reaches the target temperature.
4.  Remove the pan from the oven.  Transfer to plate with paper towels.

1.  Don't pre-heat the oven, it should be cold when you put the bacon in.
2.  Watch closely the last few minutes of cooking and remove from pan right after it is done.
*Great for breakfast, BLTs, and much less bacon smell in the home.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Blueberry Yogurt Cake with Lemon Glaze

From Noble Pig

1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour, divided
1/4 cup cornmeal
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1/3 cup grape seed oil
2 Tablespoons Cointreau liqueur (or water)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs, room temperature
7 oz. plain Greek yogurt
2/3 cup fresh or frozen blueberries (thawed) (or more)

3 Tablespoons lemon juice
2 Tablespoons light brown sugar
1 Tablespoon Cointreau liqueur (or water)

Sift together 1 cup plus 3 Tablespoons flour, cornmeal, baking powder and salt in a bowl.

Beat brown sugar, oil, Cointreau (or water) and vanilla in a separate bowl with electric mixer until smooth.  Beat in eggs.  Alternately add flour mixture and yogurt to egg mixture until combined.

Toss blueberries with remaining 1 Tablespoon flour and fold into batter.

Grease and flour a 9 x 5 loaf pan.  Pour batter into prepared pan and bake in a 350 degree oven for 45-55 minutes.  Cool for 10 minutes before flipping out of pan.

To make glaze: Whisk together all ingredients in small bowl.  Poke holes all over the top of the cake with a wooden skewer.  Brush cake with glaze.  Cool completely before serving.

*I made as written, using water instead of the liqueur but did not let my blueberries thaw.  The blueberries were delicious, next time I'd increase them to a full cup.  My favorite part of the this treat was the lemon glaze.  Don't let the amount of liquid scare you, it gives this cake a perfect moistness.  We'll definitely have this treat again.

Balsamic Baked Potatoes

From Noble Pig

Balsamic Baked Potatoes
Adapted from Everyday Food
1-1/2 pounds new potatoes, halved or quartered if large
3/4 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
5 smashed garlic cloves
5 sprigs rosemary or thyme
coarse salt and ground pepper

Preheat oven to 425o F.  In an 8" square baking dish place potatoes evenly along bottom.  Add broth, vinegar, garlic and rosemary (or thyme), season with salt and pepper.

Bake until potatoes are tender and liquid is reduced to a glaze, about 50-70 minutes (mine took 50), tossing 2-3 times.

*I used about 2 teaspoons dried rosemary in place of the fresh sprigs.  Great potatoes--my 2 year old ate them up!  We served these with steak, but they would go with about any type of meat.  Full of flavor, but plan ahead.  Perhaps I cut them large because they took about 80 minutes to cook.

Monterey Ranch Bread

From Noble Pig

Monterey Ranch Bread
From Taste of Home
8 Tablespoons butter, melted
1 loaf French bread, split in half lengthwise
4 cups Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
1-1/2 cups ranch dressing
Fresh parsley for garnish

Melt butter and brush on bread with a pastry brush.  Place bread under the broiler until it's slightly brown and crispy.

Combine cheese and ranch dressing and divide evenly over bread.  Place in a 350o degree oven until cheese is melted, about 8-10 minutes.

Sprinkle with parsley once you remove from the oven.  Let sit 5 minutes before slicing.

*I halved this recipe when I made it because I wasn't sure how it would be received.  Jeff said, "This is the way bread is supposed to be....I'll never go back to regular bread again!"  It was comfort food at its cheesiest--but the ranch dressing flavor definitely stands through so if you love ranch, you'll love this.  I like ranch, but it isn't my favorite dressing--this was still good though.