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Monday, November 24, 2014

Breakfast Burritos



My LDS Ward is hosting a Christmas Breakfast in a week.  We've been trying to come up with something warm, filling, and SIMPLE to serve.  Oh... and also delicious.  

My daughter Aryn made these Breakfast Burritos for her family reunion last fall.  She made them ahead of time and froze them.  The day they left for their reunion, they threw them in the cooler and they doubled as ice to keep everything else cool.  Genius, wouldn't you agree?

She didn't really have a recipe, so we talked it through over the phone and I did a trial run a week ago.  With a few adjustments, they will be perfect.  We only have to make 200!

There are 3-4 of us making these this coming Friday.  That's only 50-70/each.  The dozen I made were a cinch.

Breakfast Burritos

Ingredients:

1 dozen Burrito-size flour tortillas
14 large or extra-large eggs, beaten
12-oz breakfast sausage - cooked, crumbled, and drained
1/2 cup sour cream
3 cups grated cheese, any variety (converts to about 12 oz)
Salt & pepper to taste

Directions:

Cook & drain sausage.  Set aside.  Do not reserve drippings.  Beat eggs well.  Melt about 2-3 Tbs butter in skillet, and heat until sizzling.  Pour in eggs and scramble by stirring gently with a non-stick spatula.  

When most of the egg is formed and lumpy, but NOT dry - remove from heat quickly.  The eggs should still be very moist and almost runny.  At this point, add the sour cream and gently combine.  (You may think the eggs will be this way when you serve the burritos, but the baking time in the oven finishes them perfectly.  The sour cream helps the eggs retain their moisture, and also adds flavor.)  Now add the crumbled sausage, and gently mix in.  Season with salt & pepper if desired.

Spread mixture evenly in the bottom of the same skillet and divide with your spatula into fourths, as you would cut a pie into quarters.  Each 1/4 of this egg/sausage mixture should make three burritos.  This will help you portion correctly.  

Place a square of foil on counter, then position a tortilla on top.  Top with egg/sausage mixture right down the middle as shown, leaving room to fold in the sides.  Now sprinkle with 1/4 cup of grated cheese.


Fold in the sides, and begin rolling at one end, as shown.  Tuck the egg mixture in as you go.  When you finish rolling, position the burrito diagonally.  Wrap as shown.  Place each burrito seam-side down, with foil end tucked under.  You should be able to fit about 24 on a baking sheet.







Refrigerate until needed, or freeze.  They can also be baked immediately.  

Bake unrefrigerated burritos at 325° for about 25-35 minutes, checking 10 minutes before finish to make sure they are not burning on the bottom.  Cheese should be completely melted and egg mixture steaming.

Cooking time will vary for frozen burritos.  These may also be microwaved for a quick morning meal on the run.

Serve immediately with salsa, sour cream, even ketchup.  Any condiment you prefer makes a good side - even sautéed onions and green peppers.  




Saturday, November 22, 2014

Parker House Rolls - in a hurry...




All I need is another dinner roll recipe.  They are all delicious, and that is because they are made by hand and warm from the oven.  Any roll recipe should work using this method of forming the roll.  


This method of forming rolls has been attributed to a technique by Alex Guarnaschelli in a Food Network magazine.  The rolls shaped this way very loosely resemble Lion House Rolls - spoken of in hushed and reverent tones in the state of Utah.  But these are MUCH easier to shape, and don't unwind as they bake.  Part of the trick I'm sure is making sure the dough is allowed to rise slowly, and is completely relaxed before shaping.  I found this particular roll recipe on syddallfamilyeatingitup.blogspot.com.  Not an unusual recipe at all, but it works well with this shaping technique - yielding exactly 24 rolls (enough to fit a large aluminum baking sheet)


You place the rolls in three rows right in the center of your baking pan, standing next to each other and touching sides.  As they rise, they push outward and fill up the pan.  They don't unwind because they are holding each other up. (There ought to be a parable in that somehow?)

Parker House Rolls - (shaped to look like soldiers standing at attention)

Ingredients:

1-1/2 cups milk, scalded
1/2 cup (one cube) butter, cut into pieces
1/2 cup sugar
1 Tbs active dry yeast
1/2 cup warm water
3 large eggs
1-1/2 tsp salt
6 cups (+ or -) all purpose flour

Directions:

Stir 1 Tbs yeast into 1/2 cup warm water.  Set aside until it is dissolved and foamy.

Meanwhile, place milk in a large measuring cup and scald in microwave for 2-3 minutes on high.  Stir in the butter, and continue stirring until melted.  Set aside.  In a large bowl, beat together the sugar, salt, and eggs.  Stir in the milk/butter mixture when it has cooled slightly (you don't want to cook the eggs).  

Now add 4-5 cups of the flour.  I use a Bosch mixer to mix this dough, but it can be done by hand.  Continue adding just enough flour until dough pulls away from side of bowl.  When touched lightly, it should still stick to your finger, but not be obviously wet to the touch.  Do not add too much flour, as you cannot take it back out.  Less is more, but you should have enough that it holds it's shape.

Turn out onto oiled countertop, or place in an oiled bowl.  Turn to coat other side and cover with plastic wrap.  Allow to rise until doubled in bulk.

At this point, you don't want to work the dough and make it stiff.  It needs to stay relaxed.  Do not use a rolling pin, just dust your hands with flour.  Form into a 16" x 8" rectangle.  It will be about 1/2" to 3/4" thick.  



With a sharp knife (I used a pizza cutter), cut in half lengthwise.  Now slice crosswise (as pictured) into 12 even strips.  (I cut it in half, then in half again - making each quarter into three strips as shown).   


One at a time, fold each strip of dough unevenly in half so the top part slightly overlaps the bottom half.  Now tuck the overhang underneath.


Place the rolls, seam side down, on a greased baking sheet in three tightly packed rows.  Leave only an inch or two between the rows so they rise up together in the oven.  



Bake an a 375° oven until the rolls are bursting at the seams and are golden brown - about 18-20 minutes.  Remove from oven and brush with softened butter.  You may even sprinkle with salt if desired.  Serve immediately.






Friday, November 14, 2014

Caramel Pecan Cheesecake Trifles


My neighbor JoAnn and I were trying to find a dessert recipe that was more on the unique and special side.  Our ward Relief Society was hosting a Gratitude Dinner a few weeks before Thanksgiving, and pumpkin was on everyone's mind.  Don't know about you, but in my book - pumpkin is a nice touch, but it doesn't trump cheesecake.  After several attempts, we came up with this version that was pretty amazing.  A pecan shortbread crumb layer on the bottom, delicious smooth cheesecake piped in a mound, then topped with Leatherby's Caramel and roughly chopped toasted pecans.  


Here is the recipe (pieced together from about 5-6 recipes of our own and online).  We had to make 8 batches of this recipe to come up with 65 trifles, and if you'd like to see how we did that easily in one night - be sure to read below.

Caramel Pecan Cheesecake Trifles

Crust:
1 cup flour
1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup chopped pecans

Cheesecake Layer:
1 cup powdered sugar
1 8-oz package cream cheese, softened
1 cup heavy whipping cream (measure before whipping) - we used the 40% butterfat from Costco
1 tsp real vanilla

Whip butter and add flour and pecans.  Crumble onto a large lipped baking sheet.  Bake at 350° just until golden brown (watch carefully to avoid burning).  Let stand until cool, then loosen with a spatula and crumble into a bowl.  Set aside.

Whip cream cheese until smooth.  Add powdered sugar and vanilla.  In another bowl, whip cream until soft peaks form.  Fold cream cheese mixture into whipped cream until combined, being careful not to overmix.  

Place cheesecake mixture into large pastry bag to pipe into cups.  

Measure about 2 Tbs crumb mixture into bottom of each cup.  Pipe cheesecake in a circular motion on top of crumb layer.  

Drizzle with warmed caramel sauce (purchased, or your own recipe).  Top with additional toasted chopped pecans.




We had to make 65, and decided to showcase them in the clear shortish plastic cups you can purchase in a warehouse store such as Sam's and Costco.  They were 7-oz cups, and turned out to be just the right size.  

We baked and crumbled the shortbread crust beforehand, and used a 2 Tbs measuring cup to add it to the bottom of each cup.  Make sure you don't press it down, as the cheesecake is heavy and will compact it just enough.  If you would rather use crumbs instead of chopped pecans and caramel as your topping, reserve some.  We were able to fit about 18-20 cups on a standard size aluminum baking sheet (with sides).  Then as we filled the cups with the cheesecake mixture, we covered the entire baking sheet with a large sheet of plastic wrap.  We could stack about 3 layers this way in the refrigerator to chill.  

We multiplied this recipe 8 times, and each batch yielded about 8 very generous portions.  You could squeeze out 10 per recipe if you use smaller containers.  I used my Bosch mixer and it kept the mess to a minimum.  I was able to make 4 batches in the large capacity (covered!) bowl.  First, I used the cookie paddles to blend the cream cheese, vanilla, and powdered sugar.  Then I removed the sweetened cream cheese mixture to a second bowl while I whipped the cream with the wire whisks in the same Bosch bowl.  (Being able to cover the large capacity bowl completely while whipping the cream was great - saved on spatters all over the kitchen)  At this point, I changed the whisks back to the cookie paddles - and added the cream cheese mixture back into the whipped cream.  I used the lowest speed of the mixer to then "fold" it in.  

At this point, we prepared large 14" pastry bags fitted with a large star tip.  Scoop the cheesecake mixture into the bag(s) and pipe in a circular motion around the interior of the cup.