Morning Buns

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From this America’s Test Kitchen Show.

Ingredients

DOUGH

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 envelope (2 1/4 teaspoons) instant or rapid-rise yeast
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 24 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices and chilled
  • 1 cup sour cream, chilled
  • 1/4 cup orange juice (see note), chilled
  • 3 tablespoons ice water
  • 1 large egg yolk

FILLING

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon grated orange zest
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

  • 1. MAKE DOUGH Combine flour, sugar, yeast, and salt in large zipper-lock bag. Add butter to bag, seal, and shake to coat. Press air out of bag and reseal. Roll over bag several times with rolling pin, shaking bag after each roll, until butter is pressed into large flakes. Transfer mixture to large bowl and stir in sour cream, orange juice, water, and egg yolk until combined.
  • 2. ROLL DOUGH Turn dough onto floured surface and knead briefly to form smooth, cohesive ball. Roll dough into 20 by 12-inch rectangle. Starting at short edge, roll dough into tight cylinder. Pat cylinder flat to 12 by 4-inch rectangle and transfer to parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze for 15 minutes.
  • 3. FILL AND SHAPE Line 12-cup muffin tin with foil liners and grease liners with cooking spray. Combine granulated sugar, brown sugar, orange zest, cinnamon, and vanilla in medium bowl. Remove dough from freezer and place on lightly floured surface. Roll dough into 20 by 12-inch rectangle and sprinkle evenly with filling, leaving ½-inch border around edges. Starting at long edge, roll dough into tight cylinder and pinch lightly to seal seam. Trim ½ inch dough from each end and discard. Cut cylinder into 12 pieces and transfer, cut side up, to prepared muffin cups. Cover loosely with plastic and refrigerate at least 4 hours or up to 24 hours.
  • 4. LET RISE AND BAKE Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 200 degrees. When oven reaches 200 degrees, turn it off. Remove buns from refrigerator and discard plastic. Place buns in turned-off oven until puffed and doubled in size, 20 to 30 minutes. Remove buns from oven and heat oven to 425 degrees. Bake until buns begin to rise, about 5 minutes, then reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees. Bake until deep golden brown, 40 to 50 minutes. Cool buns in tin 5 minutes, then transfer to wire rack and discard liners. Serve warm.
  • MAKE AHEAD: Transfer filled muffin tin to freezer until buns are firm, about 30 minutes. Transfer buns (with liners) to zipper-lock bag and freeze for up to 1 month. To finish, return buns to muffin tin and refrigerate for at least 8 hours or up to 24 hours. Proceed with step 4.

Country Style Ribs

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From this Americas Test Kitchen Show

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 2 pounds boneless country-style pork ribs, trimmed
  • 3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • 1 tablespoon dry mustard
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 6 tablespoons ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup wood chips, soaked in water for 15 minutes and drained

Instructions

  • 1. Dissolve salt in 2 cups cold water in large container. Place ribs, cut side down, between 2 sheets of plastic wrap and pound to ¾ inch thickness. Submerge pork in brine, cover, and refrigerate for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
  • 2. Combine sugar, chili powder, paprika, dry mustard, onion powder, pepper, and cayenne in shallow dish. Transfer half of mixture to bowl and stir in ketchup and vinegar; set aside.
  • 3. Remove pork from brine and pat dry with paper towels. Dredge pork in remaining spice mixture and transfer to plate. Using large piece of heavy-duty aluminum foil, wrap soaked chips in foil packet and cut several vent holes in top.
  • 4A. For a charcoal grill: Open bottom vent halfway. Light large chimney starter filled with charcoal briquettes (6 quarts). When top coals are partially covered with ash, pour evenly over half of grill. Place wood chip packet on coals. Set cooking grate in place, cover, and open lid vent halfway. Heat grill until hot and wood chips are smoking, about 5 minutes.
  • 4B. For a gas grill: Place wood chip packet over primary burner. Turn all burners to high, cover, and heat grill until hot and wood chips are smoking, about 15 minutes. Leave primary burner on high and turn off other burner(s).
  • 5. Clean and oil cooking grate. Place pork on cool part of grill, cover (positioning lid vent over meat if using charcoal), and cook until meat registers 125 degrees, 3 to 5 minutes. Brush pork with ketchup mixture and grill, brushed side down, over hot part of grill until lightly charred, 2 to 3 minutes. Brush second side of pork and grill until lightly charred and meat registers 145 degrees, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer pork to platter, tent loosely with foil, and let rest for 5 to 10 minutes. Serve.

Sweet Potato Risotto with Chicken & Apple Sausage

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Ingredients

  • 1 cup arborio (risotto) rice
  • 1 small onion
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary (or 1/4 tsp dried)
  • 1 sweet potato, peeled and cubed into 1″ cubes
  • 1 lb chicken & apple sausage (also called boudin blanc), cut into 1/2″ slices
  • And optionally: 1 tsp brandy

Preparation Instructions

Heat chicken stock on low in a heavy bottomed saucepan.

Saute onion in olive oil in a large high sided skillet over medium high heat until translucent.  Add Sweet Potato and continue sauteing until the sweet potato just begins to brown.  Add sausage and continue sauteing until sausage displays a golden brown color and the sweet potato is deeply browned.

Deglaze the pan with the optional brandy at this point, then add the rice and rosemary and saute ~1 minute with the onion and chicken, allowing to absorb any excess liquid.  Begin adding chicken stock about 1 cup at a time while cooking covered, stirring occasionally.  The rice will absorb the liquid and produce it’s own “sauce.”

Once the stock is completely absorbed (which can usually be determined by dragging a spoon through the rice and observing if the liquid present allows you to see the bottom of the skillet), stir in the cheese and until completely melted, causing the risotto to take on a much thicker consistency.

Serves 4-6.

{meat} & Bell Peppers

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Adapted from this recipe by the Pioneer Woman.

Ingredients

  • 1-½ pound Flank Steak (or pork chops, or chicken) Sliced Very Thin Against The Grain
  • ½ cups Low Sodium Soy Sauce
  • 3 Tablespoons Sherry
  • 2 Tablespoons Packed Brown Sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons Cornstarch
  • 1 Tablespoon Minced Fresh Ginger (or ½ tbsp dried)
  • 2 cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 1 teaspoon Red Chile Paste (or A Few Dashes Red Chile Oil, Chili sauce, or hot sauce – we use Sirracha)
  • 2 Tablespoons Vegitable Oil
  • 1 whole Medium Yellow Onion Sliced
  • 2 whole Red Bell Peppers, Cored And Sliced Into Rings
  • 1 lb asian style noodles of your choice (we use Udon generally, but any will do)

And optionally:

  • 1 Tablespoon Diced Fresh Jalapeno (or 1 Teaspoon Dice Hot Pepper)
  • Red Pepper Flakes, For Sprinkling
  • Cilantro Leaves

Preparation Instructions

Mix together soy sauce, sherry, brown sugar, cornstarch, ginger, garlic, and chili paste (or chili oil/sauce/etc.) Place sliced meat in the mixture and toss to coat. Set aside.

Set some water on to boil for noodles.

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium-high to high heat. When it is very hot, throw in the onions and cook until soft. Remove to a separate plate. Return skillet to flame, allow to reheat, and add bell peppers (and hot pepper/jalapeno if using.) Cook, tossing, until peppers have brown/black bits but are still firm. Remove and keep with onion.

Return skillet to heat and allow to get hot. Add the remaining tablespoon of oil to the skillet. Add the meat mixture, evenly distributing over the surface of the skillet as much as will allow and cook until brown (or for chicken, until firm). Repeat with remaining meat until all brown.

Reduce heat to low. Add all meat, onions, and peppers to the skillet and toss to combine. Pour in remaining sauce (the sauce the meat marinated in) and stir. Allow to simmer on low for a few minutes. Sauce will slowly thicken. Turn off heat.

Turn off boiling water, then throw in noodles. Stir, then allow noodles to sit in hot water for the recommended time from the package directions. Drain, then add the noodles to stir fry, tossing until completely coated.  Add pepper flakes and cilantro if desired.  Serves 4.

Italian Wedding Soup

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Inspired by the version offered at Wegmans.

Ingredients:

  • 1 small onion, grated
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 slice bread, crust trimmed, bread torn into small pieces
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
  • lb ground pork
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 12 cups chicken broth
  • 1 lb fresh spinach, coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup Israeli couscous

Directions:

Combine first nine ingredients and mosh together (alternatively, beat them together using a stand mixer, or whatever).  Shape into small meatballs, about the size of the tip of a man’s thumb.

Bring the broth to a boil.  Add the meatballs and then the spinach, cooking ~8 minutes or until the meatballs are done and the spinach is tender.

Add the Israeli couscous and cook per the package instructions.  Serves 4-8 (more like 8 with a side of garlic tuscan loaf!)

Notes: Don’t use whole wheat Israeli couscous – they don’t get tender enough.  If it is available in your area, substituting escarole or endive for spinach works fine. 

Swedish Meatballs

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Based on this recipe from Alton Brown:

Ingredients

  • 1 cup store-bought sliced bread (the soft squishy kind)
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 onion, diced
  • A pinch plus 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground beef
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream

Directions

Preheat oven to 200 degrees F.

Tear the bread into pieces and place in a small mixing bowl along with the milk. Set aside.

In a 12-inch straight sided saute pan over medium heat, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter. Add the onion and a pinch of salt and sweat until the onions are soft. Remove from the heat and set aside.

Using a stand mixer, combine the bread and milk mixture, ground chuck, pork, egg yolks, 1 teaspoon of kosher salt, black pepper, allspice, nutmeg, and onions. Beat on medium speed for 1 to 2 minutes, until reaching a uniform consistency.

Roll meatballs into portions and place on a sheet pan for ease of access.

Heat the remaining butter in the saute pan over medium-low heat. Add the meatballs and saute until golden brown on all sides, about 7 to 10 minutes. Remove the meatballs to an ovenproof dish using a slotted spoon and place in the warmed oven.

Once all of the meatballs are cooked, decrease the heat to low and add the flour to the pan or skillet. Whisk until lightly browned, approximately 1 to 2 minutes. Gradually add the beef stock and whisk until sauce begins to thicken. Add the cream and continue to cook until the gravy reaches the desired consistency. Remove the meatballs from the oven, cover with the gravy and serve.

Serve on rolls, egg noodles, or by themselves.  Serves 2-4 (depending on the method)

Pork Tinga

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Spicy Mexican Shredded Pork (Tinga)

From the America’s Test Kitchen episode: Tostadas and Empanadas / America’s Test Kitchen

Serves 4 to 6

The trimmed pork should weigh about 1 1/2 pounds.  The pork can be prepared through step 1 and refrigerated in an airtight container for 2 days.

Ingredients
  • 2 pounds boneless pork butt , trimmed of excess fat and cut into 1-inch pieces (see note)
  • 2 medium onions , 1 quartered and 1 chopped fine
  • 5 medium garlic cloves , 3 peeled and smashed and 2 minced or pressed through garlic press (about 2 teaspoons)
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • table salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1 tablespoon ground chipotle chili powder
  • 2 bay leaves
Instructions
  • 1. Bring pork, quartered onion, smashed garlic cloves, thyme, 1 teaspoon salt, and 6 cups water to simmer in large saucepan over medium-high heat, skimming off any foam that rises to surface. Reduce heat to medium-low, partially cover, and cook until pork is tender, 75 to 90 minutes. Drain pork, reserving 1 cup cooking liquid. Discard onion, garlic, and thyme. Return pork to saucepan and, using potato masher, mash until shredded into rough ½-inch pieces (see Step-by-Step below); set aside.
  • 2. Heat olive oil in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add shredded pork, chopped onion, and oregano; cook, stirring often, until pork is well browned and crisp, 7 to 10 minutes. Add minced garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  • 3. Stir in tomato sauce, chipotle powder, reserved pork cooking liquid, and bay leaves; simmer until almost all liquid has evaporated, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove and discard bay leaves and season with salt to taste.

David says: regardless of what the original recipe recommends, use the chipotle chili powder – the smoky flavor it adds is not to be missed.  We’ve used this as meat now in both tacos and nachos, but I’m confident it would be great as a sandwich, or with eggs – essentially anytime you would use a spiced meat like pulled pork, barbacoa, or carnitas.

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