Saturday, September 29, 2012

Homemade Waffles

Homemade Waffles

So if you have a waffle iron, why are you buying frozen toaster waffles? Homemade waffles look a little intimidating but they are easier than pancakes. Really. The secret to crisp thick waffles is to beat the egg whites until they are stiff and fold them in the batter. I make the entire recipe, with my iron size it makes about 10 waffles. I let the ones we don't use cool then wrap and freeze. Nick can pop one or two into the toaster or oven and in just a few minutes he has a homemade waffle almost as good as the day I made them. And you know what goes into them too!

Here is the recipe:

1 3/4 cup plain flour. (White Lily unbleached bread flour is what I use for waffles and pancakes)
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
Whisk these dry ingredients together in large mixing bowl and set aside.
Next take:
2 egg yolks (save the whites!)-gently whisk to break up yellows
1/2 cup cooking oil - whisk with yellows
1 3/4 cups milk whisk with above ingredients

When wet ingredients are combined, make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and stir in wet ingredients. Stir just to combine.  Turn on your waffle iron to get it hot.

Next, take egg whites and beat until stiff, as if making meringue. When stiff, gently fold into waffle batter, just to combine. You don't want to deflate the egg whites.  (Of course, don't add any sugar)

See how the volume doubled?

Now, spray the waffle iron with Pam or other non-stick spray. Add batter per your waffle iron directions, close lid and bake per waffle iron directions. If you don't have them anymore, I added approximately 3/4 cup batter to each well. (I have 2 wells) and cook until steaming stops. Lift carefully with fork and enjoy! We just use butter and warmed syrup. You can top with fruit, jam, peanut butter, whipped cream.....your choice! 

This recipe made 10 waffles, we ate 4, I froze 6 in packages of 2. Nick now has 3 days of breakfast to heat and eat when I am working. 

One last tip! Place aluminum foil under the waffle iron to catch the mess, then wad it up and throw it away!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Crock pot Chicken & Dumplings

Today I decided to make chicken and dumplings and use my crock pot to make them in. We love good chicken and dumplings, so I had seen the crock pot version on Pinterest and decided to give it a try. I do believe they were the best I have ever made. My only hope is that I can do it again. I never measure anything so this is only approximate.

Place several pieces of chicken in the crock pot, cover with water. Add salt, pepper, thyme and a bit of celery salt or a few pieces of celery to the water. If desired, add a few carrots to the water too and onion if you like it. Cook on high until the chicken is tender. Remove chicken and vegetables from the broth and add hot water if needed to the crock pot. Let the chicken cool.

Next, after the broth is boiling again, take 2 to 3 cups self rising flour, 2/3 stick butter softened and cut into flour and enough milk to make a thicker than cake batter dough and drop by tablespoons into broth. Cover and cook until dumplings are done. While cooking, remove chicken skin and bones, shred larger pieces and return to dumplings. Serve hot. Yum!

Photo: Pinterest inspired crock pot chicken & dumplings we'll see!

These were the best dumplings I have ever made!!!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Homemade Salisbury Steak

Tonight I made Salisbury Steak to take to a dinner tomorrow after church. I made it early because I had never made it before so I wanted to make sure it would turn out OK. You just can't feed the preacher bad food you know. If you follow me on Pinterest, you will see the pin for the Salisbury Steak under the "Good Food and Cooking Ideas" board. I did not follow it exactly, I left out some of the is what I did:
Photo: Salisbury steak - mine
Salisbury Steak with Caramelized Onion Gravy.. 
Onion Gravy 
2 large vidalia onions, thinly sliced 
2 tablespoons unsalted butter 
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour 
3 cups low-sodium beef broth 
1 tablespoon tomato paste 
Salt and pepper
Meat Patties 
1 pound lean ground beef  
1/2 cup cooked white rice 
1 egg yolk lightly beaten 
1 teaspoon salt 
1/4 teaspoon pepper 
1 clove minced garlic 
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce 
1/2 teaspoon  thyme 
1 tablespoon cooking oil 
1) To make gravy: Heat butter in a large sauté pan. Add onions and cook over medium-high heat, until onions start to brown, stirring occasionally. When onions are slightly softened and turning a deep honey brown, add 1/4 cup broth. Reduce heat, cover and continue cooking, adding more broth as needed to prevent caramelized bits at the bottom of the pan from burning. It should take at least 25 to 30 minutes to properly caramelize onions. Stir in flour and cook for about 2 minutes. Stir in remaining beef broth and tomato paste. Simmer for 10 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Reduce heat to low and keep warm. 
2) To make patties: Mix ground beef, rice, egg yolk, salt, pepper, garlic, Worcestershire sauce and thyme in a bowl. Shape into 4 oval patties about 3/4-inch thick. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet set over medium-high heat. Sear patties about 3 minutes per side, or until a brown crust forms. Pour gravy over patties and simmer for an additional 10 minutes. Yield: 4 Servings.

Instead of the last step of simmering them in a skillet for 10 minutes, I placed them in a deep 9 x 13 pan, covered them with the gravy and baked at 375 for 20 minutes. They were great!

I had to try one after they were done. Yum!

Here is the link to the pinterest post with the recipe.