Friday, November 20, 2009

Cranberry Orange Toasted Pecan Bread

Cranberry Orange and Toasted Pecan Bread

1/3 cup orange juice plus 1 tsp. orange extract
2/3 cup buttermilk
6 Tbs. melted butter
1 large egg lightly beaten
2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
6 oz fresh cranberries chopped coarse
1/2 cup toasted chopped pecans

Heat oven to 375, grease loaf pan. Stir together orange juice and extract, buttermilk, butter and egg in a small bowl. Whisk together flour, sugar, salt, baking soda and baking power. Stir liquid ingredients into dry ingredients until just moistened. Gently stir in cranberries and pecans (to toast pecans: heat chopped pecans in a fry pan until aromatic, stirring constantly).

Scrape batter into greased pan and bake 20 minutes. Then, reduce heat to 350 and bake an additional 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick comes clean. Cool ten minutes in pan and at least one hour before serving.

Recipe from an old Cooks Illustrated magazine.

Friday, August 28, 2009


To make stromboli, use your favorite bread dough. (In a pinch you can buy frozen dough or stop by your favorite Italian pizza spot and ask them to share theirs!)

Make a paste of:
2 egg yolks
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 Tbsp. flat-leaf parseley, chopped
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. oregano
2 Tbsp. olive oil

Roll out bread dough into a rectangle, and spread the above mixture all over the dough.

Layer the following ingredients in the center of the dough (this is my husband's favorite recipe, but you can fill the dough with anything you like):

~~pepperoni (sandwich size, from your grocer's deli section)
~~mozzarella cheese
~~sliced onions
~~sliced green peppers

Roll up the dough lengthwise, sealing ends well. Place on baking pan, seam side down, and brush top with fresh beaten egg yolk. Let rest about 15 minutes.

Bake at 350 for 20 minutes. Bon appetit!

*(The second picture above was taken before I added another layer of pepperoni and the mozzarella.)

Friday, July 31, 2009

Chicken with Mustard Mascarpone Marsala Sauce

Easy and delicious. To make even easier, I use no-preservative, pre-cooked chicken strips found in the frozen section at the local grocers, and pre-sliced creminis or baby bellas (whichever is in stock).

1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, each breast cut crosswise into 3 pieces
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
5 tablespoons butter, divided
3/4 cup chopped onion
1 pound cremini mushrooms, sliced
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 cup dry Marsala wine
1 cup (8 ounces) mascarpone cheese
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
12 ounces fettuccine

Sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a heavy large skillet over high heat. Add the chicken and cook just until brown, about 4 minutes per side. Transfer the chicken to a plate and cool slightly.

Bring water to a boil and cook fettuccine.

Meanwhile, in the same skillet used for the chicken, melt 2 tablespoons of butter over medium-high heat, then add the onion and saute until tender, about 2 minutes. Add the mushrooms and garlic and saute until the mushrooms are tender and the juices evaporate, about 12 minutes. Add the wine and simmer until reduced by half, about 4 minutes. Stir in the mascarpone and mustard. Cut the chicken breasts crosswise into 1/3-inch-thick slices. Return the chicken and any accumulated juices to the skillet. Simmer, uncovered over medium-low heat until the chicken is just cooked through and the sauce thickens slightly, about 2 minutes. Stir in the chopped parsley. Season the sauce to taste with salt and pepper.

Toss the hot pasta with the remaining 3 tablespoons of butter, then top with marsala sauce. Enjoy!

Recipe courtesy Giada de Laurentiis