Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Rosie Gets A Hankerin' For Shrimp Chowder.

It's January and it's cold.
Time for soup.
I always have shrimp in the freezer,
so I'm going with a shrimp chowder today.

A chowder, by definition,
is a rich, thick soup generally containing sea creatures and potatoes,
along with milk and/or cream and a thickener,
in this case, a roux. 

FYI, the word "chowder"
 comes from the French chaudière, meaning stew pot.
Or, alternatively,   the word "chowder" (in French, chaudrée)
 comes from the French chaudron for cauldron,
which is the pot Frenchmen used to cook their soup.

Chowder is not a wimpy, thin, watery soup.
It's not a smooth purée, like a bisque.
It's got chunks.
And mine is going to be loaded with chunky goodness.

Rosie's Shrimp Chowder
 1 large potato
1 celery stalk
1 carrot, peeled
1 onion
3 TB unsalted butter
2 TB flour
1 cup shrimp stock
1/2 cup milk 
1 cup frozen peas, not canned
1 lb. shrimp, peeled and de-tracted
sherry, to taste
kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
chopped celery leaves
chopped parsley
To make your own shrimp stock, see here.

Dice the potato and cook in salted water, covering,
until tender, about 20 minutes.
I don't bother to peel the potato.
I like the peel.

Finely chop the celery stalk, the onion, and the peeled carrot.
In a medium saucepan, over medium low heat,
melt 2 TB of the butter.
Sauté the carrot, celery, and onion for about 2 minutes.
Add in the remaining TB of butter, melt,
then add in the flour, stirring for about 2 minutes,
until the flour is cooked.
Slowly stir in the shrimp stock,
letting it thicken.
Gradually stir in the milk,
heating through.
I used skim because that's what's on hand,
 but you can use whatever.
Let thicken.
Add in potatoes and heat through.
Increase heat a bit until you have a slight bubble
and add in shrimp and peas.
Cook about 1 - 1 1/2 minutes
until shrimp is just cooked.
It turns opaque.
Please, do not overcook your shrimp.
Stir in 1/4 cup sherry to start.
Taste test and season with kosher salt and pepper.
Add more sherry if needed.

Serve with a dusting of cayenne powder
and a sprinkling of chopped celery leaves and parsley,
with toast or saltines or oyster crackers.
For the step-by-steps:
Have everything prepared.
Diced and cooked potatoes.
Finely chopped carrot, celery, and onion.
Celery leaves and parsley.

Sauté in a little butter.

Add in the flour
and cook, stirring, to get the raw taste out.

Medium heat.  Keep stirring.

Have stock and shrimp on hand.
If you don't have homemade shrimp stock, you should.

Slowly pour in the shrimp stock.

Stir to thicken.
Add in the milk, stirring, until thickened.

Potatoes in.

Shrimp in.

Peas in.

Cook until shrimp is just cooked through.

Stir in sherry.
And season to taste.

Serve with chopped celery leaves and parsley 
along with a sprinkling of cayenne.

Perfect for this weather.

Hit the spot!

Friday, January 25, 2019

Have A Sweet Morning!

Occasionally, Rosie succumbs to her sweet tooth.
I don't get a sweet tooth very often, but when I do, I pay heed to it.
And today's sweet tooth comes to you in the form of breakfast sweet rolls or sticky buns.

Whatever you call 'em, it's a sweet and sticky way to start out the day, indeedy!

I've experimented a lot with sticky buns and I always come back to this recipe.  It's tried and true.

Rosie's Sweet Rolls/Sticky Buns
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
1/2 cup skim milk
1/2 cup cream
1/2 cup sugar
1 package yeast
2 eggs, room temperature
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp kosher salt

Melt butter and pour into bowl of stand mixer, fitted with dough hook.
Heat milk and cream to warm (not hot) and add to mixer with sugar and yeast.

Rosie Note:  You could use whole milk instead of the skim and cream, but I never have whole milk on hand and I always have skim and cream.

Mix to dissolve sugar.
Beat in eggs.
Add flour and salt, beating, and scraping down sides as needed.  Knead until smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes.  Finish kneading by hand on a lightly floured work surface.
Place dough in oiled bowl, turning to coat.  Cover with plastic and let rise in warm place until doubled in volume.

Rosie Note:  For quick yeast doughs like sticky buns, I wet a kitchen towel, nuke it, then wrap it around the bowl and stick the whole steamy thing into an enclosed space, like the microwave or oven.  This gives the yeast a kick-start in rising.  I do not use this method when making breads.  For breads, you want a slow rise to allow the flavors and gluten to develop properly.

I'll be using two baking dishes for my sticky buns - an 8 x 8 and a 7 x 11.
You could use two 8 x 8s or two 7 x 11s.  Not really important. 

Make the topping (which starts out as the bottom) for EACH baking dish:
2 TB unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 TB honey
2 TB dark corn syrup

Melt the butter in the baking dish, then stir in the rest of the ingredients until well combined.  Spread evenly in baking dish.  Repeat with second baking dish.

Rosie Note:  This is optional, but if you'd like a little extra flavor in there, then add a heaping tablespoon of molasses to the mix.

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and roll into a rectangle approximately 14 x 20 inches.

1/2 stick unsalted butter, softened
2 TB cinnamon
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup chopped pecans

Using an offset spatula, slather softened butter evenly over rectangle.  Then sprinkle cinnamon, sugar, and pecans over top.

Starting at long side, evenly roll up the rectangle, pressing to seal the long seam.
Turn so seam is on bottom, let rest about 10 minutes, and then cut into 24 equal slices.
Place slices cut-side up in baking dishes.
I used 9 slices in the 8 x 8 dish and 15 slices in the 7 x 11 dish.
Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in warm place until doubled.  (You can use the steamy towel trick again for faster rising.)

Bake in a 350° oven for about 25 minutes, until golden-brown.

Remove from oven and immediately invert dishes onto serving platter or baking sheet, leaving baking pans in place so syrup can drain onto buns - about 15 minutes. 

Serve warm with an orange-flavored glaze.

Rosie's Orange Glaze
2 cups powdered sugar
2 tsp vanilla
enough fresh orange juice to make a pourable glaze (around 1/4 cup)

Pour vanilla into powdered sugar, then whisk in a tablespoon at a time of the orange juice.  Keep adding juice until the glaze is smooth and lump-free and pourable.  If you don't want the orange flavor, although I don't know why you wouldn't, replace with milk.
Drizzle glaze over sticky buns.

Best served warm.


Now, for the step-by-steps:
Sugar into melted butter.

Yeast in.  Here, I like to wait for the yeast to "proof."  That means it "proves" it's alive by eating the sugar - hey, it's hungry yeast! - and producing carbon dioxide and alcohol.  In other words, it gets all poofy and foamy.  If your yeast doesn't do this, the dough isn't going to rise.  Get fresh yeast.

After the yeast has proofed, beat in the milk, cream, and eggs.

Gradually work in the flour, a cup at a time.

I always like to finish kneading my dough by hand.

Place in an oiled bowl.

Cover with plastic wrap and a wet, hot, steamy towel and place in a warm place to rise.

Yup.  That's the makin's of a pizza in the background.

Let the dough double.

Turn it out onto a lightly floured work space and...

... roll it out into a rectangle.
Slather with butter.  I know I said 1/2 stick, but you could use more if you like it buttery-er.

Sprinkle on the cinnamon, brown sugar, and nuts.

Melt butter in your baking dishes and add the rest of the "toppings."

Combine evenly.

Roll up the dough.

Slice away.

Place cut-side up/down in pans and ...

... let rise until doubled.

Bake and invert.

And drizzle with glaze.




I needed that.