Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Bacon Cheddar Baked Beans

When you have time, there is nothing like homemade baked beans!  Slow-baked and full of flavor, these beans will be the hit of any party!  They can be made ahead and finished the next day layered with peppers, onions and cheddar cheese.  
1 lb. navy beans, soaked overnight and drained (reserving 2 cups liquid)
6 slices bacon, chopped into 1-inch pieces
1 small onion, diced
1 12-ounce bottle Heinz Chili Sauce
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
3 tsp. Dijon Mustard
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1 small yellow onion, sliced
1 small red bell pepper, cut into medium julienne
1 small green pepper, cut into medium julienne
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 cups sharp Cheddar cheese grated
Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.  Fry bacon pieces until crisp, reserving 1 Tbsp. drippings.  Drain beans (reserving 2 cups liquid) and rinse well under cold running water.
Place the beans in a large pot or casserole.  Add the bacon pieces, reserved drippings, diced onion, chili sauce brown sugar, mustard, cayenne pepper.  Bring reserved 2 cups bean liquid to a boil and add to beans.  Stir well to combine.  Cover tightly and bake 3-5 hours or until the beans are tender and the liqujid has reduced to a thick sauce.  Check occasionally during the last few hours of baking and add additional boiling water, if needed.  When cooked, let the beans cool completely.
These are perfectly delicious just as they are now, but let's bring them over the top!
While the beans are cooking, prepare the finishing ingredients:  heat the butter in a large saute pan over medium heat.  Cook the sliced onion, both peppers and season with salt and pepper.  Cook about 15 minutes until quite soft.
To finish the beans, ladle 1/3 of the beans in the bottom of a casserole dish.  Top with 1/2 of the onion-pepper mixture.
Then half of the cheese
Season with salt and pepper.  Repeat this layer again and top with the last 1/3 of the beans.
Bake at 350 degrees covered, for 30 minutes to one hour or until the beans are bubbling hot.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Pizza Hut Style Pan Pizza

I have about 15 pizza recipes - thin, thick, grilled - you name it.  Pizza is one thing I cannot live without!
Do you love that buttery, rich thick pan pizza crust from Pizza Hut?   Now you can make it at home!

1-1/3 cups warm water
1/4 cup non-fat dry milk
1/2 tsp. salt
4 cups bread flour
1 Tbsp. sugar
1 package dry yeast
2 Tbsp. olive oil
3 Tbsp. canola oil
3 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
1 Recipe Pizza Sauce (follows)

Put yeast, sugar, salt and dry milk in bowl of electric mixer.  Add water and stir to mix well.  Allow to "proof" for 2 minutes.  Add oil and mix.  Add flour and mix with dough hook until dough forms and flour is absorbed.  

Mix on medium low for 10 minutes.

Divide dough into three balls.

In three 9-inch cake pans, put 1 Tbsp. canola oil in each, spreading evenly.  Using a rolling pin, roll out each dough ball into about a 9-inch circle.

Drop the dough into the bottom of the pan and spread it smooth to the edge of the pan, and use your fingers to form a raised lip around the edge.
 Cover with plastic wrap or kitchen towel and place in a warm area to rise for 1 to 1-1/2 hours.

While dough is rising, prepare pizza sauce (recipe below)

Preheat oven to 475 degrees F.

Brush edges of each pizza with melted butter.

Spoon 1/3 cup sauce on dough and spread to within 1 inch of edge.  Add shredded mozzarella and a sprinkling of oregano.

Bake until cheese is bubbling and outer crust is brown, 10-12 minutes.

Cut into six slices.

Pizza Hut Pizza Sauce:
1 6-ounce can tomato paste
1-1/3 cups water
1/2 tsp. minced onion
1/4 tsp. oregano
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. dried basil
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/8 tsp. black pepper

Combine all ingredients and bring to a boil.  Simmer 10 minutes to blend flavors. Let cool.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Savory Ham & Egg Muffins

We don't usually think of using Stove Top Stuffing Mix for breakfast, but this makes a delicious vessel to hold leftover Easter Ham to turn into a savory breakfast muffin.  This is one of those recipes where you can add just about anything here.  Swap out the ham for crispy bacon, chopped broccoli or spinach would be nice - and if you like your eggs with hot sauce, top off these muffins with a few shakes!

1 cup water
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
2 cups Stove Top Stuffing for Chicken
3/4 cup minced leftover ham
Cooking spray
3 large eggs, beaten
1/3 cup Cheddar Cheese (or any cheese that you like)
1/4 cup finely chopped roasted red peppers
1/4 cup sliced green onions
Salt and Pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Bring water and butter to a boil in a small saucepan.  Stir in stuffing mix.  Cover, remove from heat and let stand 5 minutes; fluff with a fork.  Let stand, uncovered until cool enough to handle, about 10 minutes.

Add ham to food processor and pulse until chopped finely.  Set aside.

Coat muffin tins liberally with cooking spray.  Press about 1/4 cup stuffing into bottom and up sides of 6 muffin cups.  Pour egg evenly into stuffing cups.  Layer about 2 Tbsp. of the minced ham, cheese, roasted red peppers and green onions evenly over egg.

Bake at 400 degress F. for 18 to 20 minutes or until centers are set.  Let stand 5 minutes before serving.  These can be prepared the night before and you can pop them in the toaster oven for a quick - but filling breakfast!

Makes 6 muffins - this recipe can easily be doubled.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Ma Po Tofu

For Americans, tofu is a meat substitute.  Asians think of tofu as an ingredient.
Because tofu really has no flavor, it's more of a textural thing.
This is a simple "tofu stew" with a fusion of Asian and American ingredients.

1/2 medium onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2" piece of fresh ginger, grated
1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped
2-4 scallions, chopped
1/2 cup ketchup
2 Tbsp. Oyster Sauce
2 Tbsp. Black Bean Sauce
1 tsp. Chili-Garlic Sauce (or to taste)
1 tsp. low-sodium soy sauce
1 tsp. Sesame oil
1-1/2 cups low sodium chicken broth (or vegetable broth for vegetarian)
1 cup frozen peas and carrots
1 Tbsp. canola oil
1 block Firm Tofu, cut into 1" cubes

In a medium skillet, heat 1 Tbsp. canola oil until shimmering.  Add onion, garlic, ginger, jalapeno and scallions and saute until just tender-crisp; about 3 minutes.

In a small bowl combine ketchup, Hoisin sauce, Black Bean sauce, Chili-garlic sauce, soy sauce and sesame oil.  Add to skillet.  Stir in chicken broth and bring to a simmer.  Add peas and carrots and simmer 5 minutes.  Gently stir in tofu.

 Serve with white rice.