Tuesday, November 20, 2012

BBQ Pulled Pork

I used this BBQ sauce recipe from allrecipes.com to make a great pulled pork in the slow cooker. This freezes well, making it a great OAMC recipe. 

1 cup ketchup
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tbsp chopped onion
2 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/8 tsp allspice
1 pinch celery salt
1 pinch dry mustard
3 lbs pork shoulder or picnic roast
Liquid smoke to taste

Combine BBQ sauce ingredients. Place pork in slow cooker and pour on the BBQ sauce. Cook on low for 8 hours. Shred pork with fork.

Servings: 6

Monday, November 19, 2012

Stocking up on chicken

In order to be as economical as possible, I've taken to buying whole chickens to boil for meat and stock. I keep a large plastic container in the freezer where I store carrot, onion, and celery tops and ends as I come by them. On cooking day, rinse the chicken and remove the insides (may come in a little package, may not). Place chicken in a large pot and cover with water. Dump in scraps directly from the freezer and boil for 20 minutes. Strain stock and freeze for later. Cool and chop up chicken meat to use or freeze.

You can see all these veggie scraps from my freezer stash. It doesn't matter if the carrots and onions have the hairy bits on them - they won't get eaten, but they still will help flavor the stock.

I freeze the stock in these plastic containers. Once frozen, I run hot water over them to release from the container and store the frozen blocks in a jumbo freezer bag in the deep freeze. I like to freeze in two and one cup portions. I also have frozen stock in ice cube trays for even smaller two tbsp portions.

This chicken yielded 14 cups of stock,

and about four cups of cooked chicken.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Pretzel Bread

I had some great pretzel bread at a restaurant lately, and wanted to try it at home. This recipe was a big hit! Having a good thermometer helped, as you don't want to get the initial milk/butter too hot so that it kills the yeast. It's also helpful to take an internal temp of the bread towards the end of baking, as it browns quite a bit, so you can't go by "looks."

This bread is pictured with butter, but it did not need it! It's wonderfully soft inside, with a distinctive pretzel tasting crust.

1 cup milk
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 envelope yeast (or 2 1/4 tsp yeast)
2 teaspoons salt
3 cups all-purpose flour, or more as

Boiling Solution:
3 quarts water
3/4 cup baking soda

Egg Wash:
1 egg
1 teaspoon water

1. Melt butter in microwave. Combine milk and butter and heat until warm (100 degrees to 110 degrees F). Combine with undissolved yeast and brown sugar in a large mixer bowl. Stir in salt and 2 cups flour, beat for 3 minutes. Gradually add enough remaining flour to make a soft dough. Knead on a floured surface until smooth and elastic, about 8 to 10 minutes. *I put on the dough hook and let the mixer knead for at least 5 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, cover and let rise for 1 hour, or until doubled in size.
2. Preheat oven to 400°.
3. Combine boiling solution and bring to a boil. Punch dough down and divide into 2 equal pieces. Form each piece into a tight, smooth ball. Boil each loaf in the solution for 2 minutes, turning after 1 minute. Remove loaves from pot using a slotted spoon and place on a greased baking sheet *or a Silpat.
4. Brush all sides with egg wash and cut a cross in the top with serrated knife. Bake for 15 minutes; then reduce the temperature to 350° and bake an additional 10 to 12 minutes until the loaves are evenly browned and internal temp is 190° - 200°. *After 10 minutes, mine was only 180°, so I left it in for another 4-5 minutes. I also had to tent with foil after the first 5 minutes at 350°, as it was already a deep brown. Remove from pan and cool on a wire rack.

Thursday, November 01, 2012

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Balls

So I found these on gimme some oven. They call them "No-Bake Energy Bites." This is true, but they taste like cookie dough balls! I will absolutely make them again. And again. And again.

1 cup old-fashioned oats
2/3 cup toasted unsweetened coconut flakes
1/2 cup natural peanut butter
1/4 cup ground flaxseed
1/4 cup wheat germ
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/3 cup honey
1 tsp. vanilla

Stir all ingredients together in a medium bowl until thoroughly mixed. Let chill in the refrigerator for half an hour. Once chilled, roll into balls of whatever size you would like. ***I found my small Pampered Chef scoop worked well for this! Store in an airtight container and keep refrigerated for up to 1 week.

Yield: 16 balls (+1 for the chef)