Archive for the ‘Breads’ Category

Navajo Fried Bread

May 26, 2013

ImageAnother rainy day in paradise complete with thunder that just about makes you jump out of your skin.  Hurricanes are swirling around Puerto Rico so its time to get out the lanterns, replenish the water supply and cook up some staples.  The Western side of Puerto Rico will probably just get the tail winds but it’s still a bit unnerving.

Comfort food is the ticket to soothe those frazzled nerves.  This chili is made with locally made  chorizo sausage, 3 kinds of mild chilies and red beans.  Make it as spicy hot as you like with jalapeno, habanera or cayenne but if you like your chili mild just use chili powder. In any case, it really goes down easy with Navajo fried bread…crispy on the outside and tender on the inside.  Whether you use the fried bread for a scoop or pile the chili on the bread and top it with lettuce, cheese and guacamole it is to die for. You can also split it open and fill the pocket with taco ingredients or honey and butter.  Yes, fried bread is just as good as a sweet pastry as it is a vehicle for savory bites.  Try it with fresh strawberries and whipped cream – WOW!

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Oatmeal Bread with Homemade Oat Flour

August 12, 2012

I was surfing the web for oatmeal pancakes yesterday and found a keeper recipe at Smitten Kitchenthat uses homemade oat flour…what a revelation.  Deb always has great recipes with DIY tips in her witty blogs.   So this recipe for Oatmeal Bread is inspired by made-from-scratch oatmeal pancakes.

I love to bake bread but I hate to knead dough so my food processor really gets a workout…it does such a good job of kneading in half the time.  I’m sure you can find oat flour at better grocery stores and probably pay plenty for it.  Its like buying almond flour versus making your own from blanched almonds.  Your food processor will do the job for a lot less and the results are pretty comparable to store bought.  All that is required is Quick Cooking Oats, not Instant Oatmeal. Whirl them in your food processor until they’re the consistency desired…not too fine but not too course.  Of-course, if you want a finer texture you can always use a coffee grinder.  If you don’t like the results, you can always make oatmeal pancakes or an oatmeal bath balm.

This bread is healthy with plenty of fibre from the whole wheat and oat flours plus its moist with a tender crumb and nutty flavor.  It toasts beautifully and makes a tasty pallet for hot or cold sandwiches.  Think roast beef and mustard…with a beer!!

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No-Knead English Muffins

July 3, 2012

This recipe is from the The Joy of Cooking but the method is myown.  If you love to make bread but hate the kneading then a food processor is the way to go.  These muffins are baked on a griddle so when they are split with a fork there’s craters and crevices where butter or Hollandaise sauce can pool.  They’re just a tad bit chewy even when toasted but so fresh when made at home.

While living in Tonga it was impossible to buy English Muffins, Bagels, croissants, rye bread and other specialty breads so the only thing to do was to find recipes that worked and make them from scratch.  After much practice and experimenting I finally developed this muffin method so I could serve Eggs Benedict in my restaurant.  My customers were always delighted.

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Easy Mango Bread with Native Mangoes

June 3, 2012
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Mango Bread

It’s mango season here in Puerto Rico and they are plentiful after the winter rains.  Native Puerto Rican mangoes are so sweet when tree ripened and the fragrance just perfumes the air.  They’re all over the island and can be picked up along the interstate highways or picked right off the heavily laden trees surrounding the Balneario, board walk along the beach.   They make a lovely jam with saffron, smoothies with banana and yogurt, juice for rum punches, and quick breads.

The semi-ripe mangoes make a terrific hot chutney or salsa with Scotch Bonnet chilies and the little green mangoes make a tangy sweet and sour pickle reminiscent of Chinese pickled cherries.

Quick and Easy Focaccia

April 18, 2012

This truly is quick and easy focaccia you can make before dinner.   Just mix everything in the food processor, push it into a flat pan and proof it for 1 hour and bake.  No-kneading required!!  This is my kind of fresh bread.

Not only does this recipe make superb focaccia it makes the best bread sticks to go with soup or serve with a marinara sauce.  The variations of toppings are as numerous as pizza toppings.  You could even make this into a sweet version with cinnamon and sugar or jam.

Make an extra batch to freeze for last minute meals or when friends drop by.   The dry ingredients can be packaged with the recipe in a gift basket including your favorite homemade marinara sauce, pasta, wine and chocolate truffles or espresso beans.

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Arepas – Latin Cornmeal Pockets

January 5, 2012

Arepas are a gift from Venezuela and Columbia.  However, they are found throughout the Latin countries and the Caribbean.  They are made of  precooked cornmeal, either white or yellow with very fine granules, sometimes called Harina de Maiz, not to be confused with Masa Harina which is used for tortillas.  Arepa flour, Instant Precooked Cornmeal,  is available in Latin and Caribbean markets.  P.A.N. and Goya are two common brands.  If you can’t find Instant Cornmeal, look for Instant Polenta in the Italian isle of major supermarkets.

The traditional recipe is instant cornmeal, salt and boiling water, fried on a dry griddle and baked in a hot oven until they sound hollow when tapped.  IMUSA has an electric arepa maker that browns and bakes them in about 10 minutes depending upon their thickness.  The Imusa Arepa Maker can be found at Target stores and Amazon.com.  They’re also available direct from Imusa.   read more

Onion Dinner Rolls for Thanksgiving

November 9, 2011

Start a new Thanksgiving tradition with Homemade Dinner Rolls.  Your friends and family will rave about these rolls.  This recipe was inspired by a recipe from Taste of Home for Sweet Milk Dinner Rolls.   Soft in the center, tender on the outside, decidely onion in flavor and easy to make… this recipe is definitely a keeper.

Make a batch before Thanksgiving, wrap with aluminum foil, place in a plastic storage bag and freeze up to 2 weeks.  Remove from storage bag and thaw in aluminum foil for a couple of hours. Reheat in 350° F. oven for 12 minutes oven while you make the turkey gravy.

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Roasted Chicken with Tuscan Sauce, Fried Polenta and Balsamic Peppers

October 14, 2011

Roasted Chicken from a roadside vendor is one of the true delights of living in Puerto Rico.  There is so much love put in these tender, juicy birds roasted on the spit.  The local rub used is made with Sazon (available in spice isles of better supermarkets or Latin markets), a close relative of adobo.  You literally can smell these delicious birds roasting from a block down the road and start salivating while pulling over to the truck.  I couldn’t buy and roast a bird as cheaply as I can buy one of these roadside babies.

Remove the skin of the chicken if you must and top it with a quick Tuscan sauce and shaved Parmesan.  Polenta triangles sauteed  in butter and garlic provide the starch and sauteed aje dulces chiles (or bell peppers) with a drizzle of Balsamic vinegar lend a bit of crunch.  The polenta and Tuscan sauce may be prepared up to 2 days ahead.  This is light fare for a week-night dinner you and your family will love.  read more

Momma’s Batter Dilly Bread

October 14, 2011

This Iron Chef Challenge is sponsored by Red Star, the yeast you can depend on.  Red Star Yeast has a proven track record in performance for the homemaker who loves to bake and professional bakeries world-wide.  The winning blog post will win “The Kneaded Loaf” recipe book, a Red Star “I
love to Knead” apron, a bread pan, oven mitts, thermometer and of course Red Star Yeast!!!

The winner will be announced September 26th at http://www.alattewithotta.blogspot.com. Judging the recipes will be Kelly Olson, Consumer Relations for Red Star Yeast.  Big thanks to Red Star Yeast for
sponsoring this event! Be sure to check them out on facebook and twitter (@RedStarYeast).

My mother gave me this recipe back in 1970.  Its one of those no-knead batter breads with super easy instructions for the novice bread-baker.  The crumb is moist and dense like a sourdough and perfect for sandwiches but of-course its the best right out of the oven slathered with butter.  It goes well with tomato or chicken soup and can spruce up a Sunday dinner as well.   read more

No-Knead Potato Bread

August 31, 2011

Don’t confuse no-knead breads with savory batter breads.  Though they both essentially yield a tender crumb and are a snap to make, obviously the term “batter” indicates a thinner, looser dough whereas no-knead breads have a heavier dough and require more time for proofing, usually overnight.   You could call a dough made in a food processor or a mixer with dough-hook, no-knead, but its not the same as mixing up the dough in a pot or bowl and letting it proof for 12 to 18 hours like sourdough or ciabatta breads.

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