Jonesin' For Taste

Jonesin' For Taste: April 2009

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Thyme Cheddar Twists

My favorite food group by far has to be any form of carbs. I love pasta, bread, potatoes, crackers,... the list could go on and on. I admit that I get Martha Stewart Magazine (subscription courtesy of my grandmother)and I love to scour through it each month. I admire what her and her crew do (besides the jail stint)and I have saved tons of her recipes. Now, many of them are not only ridiculously hard but with some pretty random ingredients. I don't have the time or money to get some of these ingredients but I still like to try them. This is one of those recipes.

She used sharp white cheddar; I substituted the white cheddar for a cheddar-jack blend I got at Costco and had on hand. She uses all white flour; I substituted one of the cups with wheat flour, which is pretty standard for me. I try to put wheat flour in everything if I can because I figure every last bit helps. This last time that I made them I also substituted rosemary for the thyme. One thing I've learned is that you don't have to follow the recipe exactly for it to taste good. If you don't feel confident doing that with every recipe, try it with one you know well. Substitute one ingredient for another that you think sounds good. It's really quite a liberating experience.

These rolls are absolutely delicious and are relatively easy to make. My husband and I enjoyed just eating them as snacks by heating them up in the toaster oven. So tasty!

Thyme Cheddar Twists
(Adapted from Martha Stewart Living Magazine)

1 cup milk
4 tablespoons sugar
2 envelopes active dry yeast (2 scant tablespoons)
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons (1 stick) cold, unsalted butter, cut into pieces, plus 3 tablespoons unsalted butter melted
3 large egg yolks
Vegetable oil, for bowl
1 1/2 cups coarsely grated cheddar cheese, about 4 ounces (choose your favorite)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme (or substitute about 1 tablespoon dried thyme or rosemary)
2 teaspoons ground pepper
1 large egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water, for egg wash

Heat milk in a small saucepan over medium heat until it registers 110 degrees on an instant read thermometer; transfer to a bowl. Stir in 2 tablespoons sugar. Sprinkle with yeast; let mixture stand until foamy, about 10 minutes.

Process flour, remaining 2 tablespoons sugar, salt, and butter pieces in a food processor until mixture resembles coarse meal (you can also do this by hand with a pastry blender or two forks). Add milk mixture and the yolks; process until combined. Transfer to a well-oiled bowl; cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate 4 hours or overnight.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out dough to form a 15 by 18 inch rectangle. Brush surface with melted butter. Sprinkle half of dough evenly with cheese, thyme, and pepper.

Fold dough in half horizontally, bringing the non-cheese side over the cheese side. Roll out to form a 10 by 18 inch rectangle. Cut into 26 10-inch long, 1/2-inch wide strips.

Twist 2 strips around each other; pinch edges to keep strips from unraveling. Shape twist to form a spiral; transfer to a greased baking sheet or one lined with parchment paper. Repeat with remaining strips.

Brush twists with egg wash. Bake until deep golden brown, 20 to 22 minutes.


Sunday, April 19, 2009

Israeli Spice Chicken w/ Homemade Hummus (gf)

In Rachel Ray's cookbook Thirty Minute Meals 2, I found a recipe for an Israeli Spice Rub. It sounded so good but I didn't find the way she used it to be particularly appealing. She did say that the spice rub went on everything she cooked and I can understand why. It's got a great kick to it and I love the meld of flavors. I decided to use the spice on some chicken and put it in a pita with some grilled veggies and homemade sun dried tomato- pine nut hummus. We loved it and gobbled them down so fast. I was really proud of the concoction and hopefully you'll like it too.

Israeli Spice Rub (gf)
1 1/2 tablespoons, sweet paprika
1 1/2 tablspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 to 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 1/2 teaspoons coarse Kosher salt

Combine spices in bowl. Store in airtight container. Sprinkle spices onto whatever meat you desire.

Recipe from 30- Minute Meals by Rachael Ray

Sun-Dried Tomato and Pine Nut Hummus (gf)

1/2 cup chopped pine nuts
1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes, chopped
1- 15 ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup Tahini paste
4 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon coriander
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Olive oil

Combine all ingredients in a food processor and begin grinding ingredients down. Start streaming in olive oil until you get a smooth paste. It should look creamy like peanut butter, but not runny. Spoon into dish and stir a few times more to ensure it's all mixed together.

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About Me

I love to cook and, probably even more than that, I love to eat. I love to watch the Food Network and take some dish that they've shown and do something a little different with it.

Throughout my kitchen experiences I've learned some things about myself: 1, if it's super complicated I'm not interested, I just haven't yet found the time to do something really difficult; 2, I want it healthy but not with crazy, obscure ingredients, we're students so I don't have an unlimited budget to go out and buy the fine ingredients the recipe may call for... it's called substitution; 3, I may like sweets and other baked goods but they are certainy not my strong point, I never really measure exactly and therefore the same dish will taste a little bit different eachtime I make it, but my hubby doesn't seem to care, thank goodness.

I decided to start this blog so I could share my goods with others. Hopefully you'll find something useful here and be able to use it in your own way, with your own flair.