Monthly Archives: August 2013

Chicken Marinade

For many years, Marlys was the grill master in our house; I had a long commute to work and home, and was also going to school several evenings each week. So Marlys had to be fairly independent. She learned to light and cook on the Weber Grill, and her favorite was chicken thighs and breasts, marinated in this marinade. It is a good recipe since it does not require refrigeration, can be made early in the day and be ignored until time to grill the chicken. And she used the recipe also as a basting sauce. (As with all marinades that have been used on raw meat, you do not use them on the table with the cooked meat; they need to be cooked, too).

Marination doesn’t give many opportunities to show interesting pictures. This first photo shows the ingredients in the marinade.

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Chicken Marinade

  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 3 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 2 medium garlic cloves, mashed

Makes enough for 1 whole chicken. Marinate at room temperature all day or over night. Grill chicken on indirect heat on a Weber outdoor grill about 1 hour, turning once. Baste every 15 minutes.

Marlys used a freezer bag to hold the meat and the marinade. Push the excess air out as you seal the baggie, and then you will not need to turn the bag as often as the marinade will fill the remaining space.

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When I published the recipe for Basil Chicken Marinade, I commented that marination really had a slight cooking action. I decided to demonstrate some of that action by showing you a before and after set of photos of a chicken breast that I was marinating. Notice the darker color and somewhat tightening of the flesh after marinating.

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This is good for pork also; either marinated or just brushed while grilling.

Spicy Zucchini Brownies

This is a most interesting recipe. It lacks eggs and butter in the batter so it comes close to being Vegan; I was not able to eliminate the white sugars, so that is a problem for anyone trying to make a Vegan version.

My muse for developing this recipe was Dr Patricia Engle; we were talking about using our abundant zucchini and she mentioned that she had made zucchini brownies, and added a bit of chili powder to give them some heat; she said that it hadn’t been enough in her opinion, and she would try cayenne the next time.

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The recipe also allows several other alternatives; while it is designed as a spicy recipe, the cayenne pepper could be left out to make a simple zucchini brownie. Surprisingly, the zucchini makes these brownies extra moist and in my taste-testing, I have been told they are a very good brownie.

Another alternative in the recipe are the nuts; they could be eliminated for anyone with an allergy. I have also thought of adding, or substituting for the nuts, chocolate chips; I would use the same amount as the nuts – 1/2 cup.

Spicy Zucchini Brownies

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 cups AP flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups shredded zucchini
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 double recipe chocolate glaze – see below

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9 x 13 inch baking pan.

In a large bowl, blend together well the oil, sugar, vanilla extract and spices. Add the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. Fold in the zucchini and nuts.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes.

Frost the brownies with the chocolate glaze. Let cool completely before cutting into 18 pieces.

Chocolate Glaze (double recipe)

Ingredients

  • 2 Tablespoons Butter or Margarine cut into chip-size pieces
  • 4 Tablespoons milk
  • 4 ounces chocolate chips
  • 2 cups confectioners’ sugar

Directions

Place the milk, butter and chocolate chips in a medium microwave-safe bowl, and microwave for 20 seconds. Remove from the microwave and stir the mixture. Repeat the 20 second heating and stirring until the mixture is smooth when stirred.

Add the sugar and stir to dissolve it all into the chocolate mixture. Continue stirring to smooth out any sugar lumps. Use before the glaze cools and hardens.

When you first mix up the batter, you will wonder if there has been a mistake; the batter is very dry- I would say it is almost granular. But when the brownies have been cooked, the zucchini has released its moisture and the brownies are excellent.

I started with a fairly common chocolate glaze; it has a 3-2-1 ratio of ingredients. That would be 3 Tablespoons heavy cream, 2 ounces of chocolate chips, and 1 cup of confectioners’ sugar. I thought about the fact you need to buy heavy cream in larger amounts, and why buy so much more than you need (6 Tablespoons for a double recipe). So, I looked at eliminating the heavy cream by using some solid fat, plus regular milk. I actually like this version of the glaze better; it seems to stay loose longer when mixing in the sugar and thus can be made smoother. That change also makes it easier to move the recipe into a Vegan friendly recipe as the only remaining issues are the white sugars once you substitute one of the Vegan friendly milks – I tried using the Almond Milk successfully.

Wiener Casserole

This dish is much like the Frankfurter Bake; they are both pasta and wiener dishes.  When I took this casserole out of the oven, the first aroma that met my nose was the cooked bell pepper.  I like that smell, and love stuffed peppers. I think this dish is milder than the frankfurter dish; it is probably due to the mustard and brown sugar used in the frankfurter dish. In my mind, either dish is a simple, easy-to-make casserole that you will enjoy. And because they have both your meat and pasta, they are a good base for your meal.

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Wiener Casserole

  • 8 oz. elbow macaroni
  • 1 lb. wieners
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 3 oz. cream cheese
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 Tablespoon dried, minced onion
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Cook macaroni as package directs. Cut wieners into 1″ chunks. Chop bell pepper into 1/2″ dice. Mix together well the cream cheese, sour cream, milk, onion, and mustard; Mix in the macaroni, wieners, and bell pepper. Top with cheddar cheese. Bake 30 minutes.

If I have any hints for this casserole, it would do with the mixing of the sauce. The cream cheese is difficult to break up, and I was getting a sore arm using the whisk, so I took out the hand-held mixer and used electricity to do the mixing in just a few minutes.

The other place I would watch is if your cooking of the macaroni gets ahead of your other preparations. I noticed on the macaroni package that it suggests tossing the drained macaroni with a small amount of oil if it isn’t to be used immediately. I should have done that. Mine sat in the colander while I was working on the sauce, and it stuck together; it broke up easy enough when I incorporated it with the rest of the ingredients, so it isn’t really a problem, just an alert.

The recipe is remiss in that it doesn’t state a baking dish size; I chose my 9 x 13 inch dish, and it seems to be correct. I also sprayed the cooking dish with cooking spray; I don’t know if that is really necessary but I chose to use some of the information from the Frankfurter Bake casserole dish as hints for this dish.

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When I served this casserole, it did not stick together tightly as the frankfurter dish did, and so required spooning out a serving rather than cutting and lifting the serving. I suspect part of that is the macaroni is smaller than the noodles in the frankfurter dish, and the noodles then stick together better. But of course, the gluten in the flour and the butter would tend to make a tighter dish also. However, later as I was preparing the left-overs for the freezer/refrigerator, the pasta had stuck together and I was able to cut the casserole and lift the servings into my storage pieces.

Frankfurter Bake

The taste of brown sugar, mustard and cheese coming together is enjoyable. I think this simple pasta entrée is quite tasty and so simple to make. I found the hardest part was getting the water to boil for the pasta. Once I cooked the pasta, the rest came together quickly and easily.

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Frankfurter Bake

  • 8 oz medium egg noodles
  • 1 1/4 cups grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 2 Tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 16 oz. package weiners, sliced into rounds
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 Tablespoons prepared mustard

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. In large kettle, cook noodles as label directs. Drain and return to kettle. Stir in Parmesan cheese, milk, butter, flour and salt. Mix well and then pour into greased 9″ x 13″ baking dish.

In a bowl, combine weiners, brown sugar, mayo and mustard. Spoon evenly over the noodle mixture.

Bake 30 minutes or until hot and bubbly. (If made ahead and refrigerated, bake 45 minutes)

My comments on the ingredients and method are very few. First, I think the butter should be cut into small pieces so it melts easier when it hits the hot noodles. In fact, I would change the order of adding ingredients to the hot noodles to make the milk – which is cold- the last ingredient after the butter has melted.

To grease the baking dish, I used a heavy coating of the cooking spray, and not a hard fat like shortening or butter.

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Because the recipe is so simple, there is not much to discuss about making it. I think there are only a couple places where you could change things up and make your own version of Frankfurter Bake. One would be the cheese; rather than just the same old Parmesan that comes in the plastic bottle, you might try a fresher cheese to strengthen the flavor- maybe something like an Asiago cheese. The other place I see an option is with the mustard; I have several kinds in the refrigerator, and chose to use the “zesty brown” variety; maybe the “hot and sweet” mustard would give the dish more zing. Or maybe even the Grey Poupon would be interesting.

Stuffed Zucchini

Normally, when I think of Stuffed Zucchini, I expect a stuffing that includes meat, such as hamburger. But this recipe is meatless, and I think it is good tasting, too.
The stuffing contains almonds and cheese. While it might seem complex, you should not have any trouble making it if you take it slow the first time to get use to blanching. I include separate instructions on how to blanch both the nuts, and the zucchini.
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Stuffed Zucchini

  • 3 blanched zucchini of about the same size (about 8 x 2 inches){see below about blanching}
  • 1/4 cup minced onion
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons cooking oil (e.g. olive oil)
  • 1/2 cup ground blanched almonds {see below about blanching}
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup dry, fine bread crumbs
  • 2 ounces grated swiss-type cheese (save 3 Tablespoons for topping)
  • 1 large egg
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 pinches ground clove
  • 3 Tablespoons melted butter

Slice the blanched zucchini long-wise, and scoop out (and save) the center of each half to form a boat, with sides about 3/8 inch thick. Salt lightly and turn cut side down on paper towels to reduce the moisture in the boat.

Chop the removed zucchini flesh and squeeze out any water with paper towels.

In a small fry pan, cook the onion in the oil, covered, over low heat until it is tender and translucent, stirring occasionally.

Uncover, raise the heat, and let the onion begin to brown. Then stir in the chopped zucchini flesh and saute until the zucchini is tender.

Empty the fry pan into a large (2 quart) mixing bowl; stir in the blanched ground almonds and cream. Stir in about 1/3 cup of the bread crumbs, then the cheese. Finally stir in the egg.

Test that the mixture is firm enough to hold its shape by lifting a spoon full; if not, add a very small amount more of bread crumbs.

Blend in the salt and pepper and ground clove.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Grease a baking dish large enough to hold the zucchini boats

Arrange the zucchini boats, skin side down, in the baking dish. Fill each with enough stuffing to be heaping full. Sprinkle each stuffed boat with the reserved 3 Tablespoons of cheese, 3 Tablespoons of bread crumbs and the melted butter.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until bubbling hot and browned on top. Do not overcook or the shells will become too soft and difficult to serve.

Blanching Almonds

The object of blanching the nuts is to remove the skin that is around the meat; if the almonds you have are white- not brown- then they are already blanched.

Pour boiling water over the shelled almonds and let stand for a few minutes, or until the skins are wrinkled. Drain, rub with your fingers to remove the skins, and dry thoroughly on paper towels. I found that removing the skin was much like slipping the skin of tomatoes that had been scalded.

Blanching Zucchini

Trim and lightly scrub the zucchini; place in boiling, salted water, uncovered, until the flesh just starts to yield to pressure, usually about 10 minutes after the water comes back to a boil. As they finish blanching, plunge them into cold water to stop the cooking. Once they have cooled, dry them and they are ready to use.


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I ground my blanched almonds in the food processor. I think they would grind a bit better if they had dried more after the blanching. The ground almonds were slightly clumpy. They worked okay in the recipe, but next time I might blanch them a day ahead of time to let them dry more.

While the recipe begs for Swiss Cheese, it is hard to find in the stores other than sliced; I don’t find blocks or shredded Swiss Cheese. So, I grated some Asiago I already had for the cheese. That comes from a little farther south than Switzerland, but it worked. Other swiss-type cheeses include Emmentaler and Gruyere.

For the bread crumbs, do not use flavored bread; you would be fighting the basic flavors of the recipe.

I was able to refrigerate the baked zucchini boats and later heat them in the microwave for another meal.

Pico De Gallo type Salsa

A few days ago I was thinking about what to have for supper, and felt I wanted something fresh to go with my meat. I knew I had a jalapeno in the refrigerator, and my Juliet tomato plants were starting to produce a handful of fresh tomatoes each day. I also have part of a dry onion in the refrigerator; it is one of those things I try to keep on hand. All those ingredients sound like the start of a fresh Pico De Gallo salsa.

I was wondering what was missing, and looked in Marlys’s recipe book to see what she might have said. Sure enough, she has a recipe called Salsa which sounds a lot like the Pico De Gallo for which I was looking. And as the picture shows, what I made looks like a Pico De Gallo salsa, too.

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Salsa

Developed by Marlys Crary, Cinco de Mayo, 2001)

  • 4 Roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
  • 1/3 white onion, finely diced
  • 1/8 green bell pepper, finely diced
  • 1 Jalapeno pepper, finely diced
  • 1 Tablespoon parsley, dried
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • small amount of olive oil to moisten

May add either or both:

1 can black beans, rinsed

1 cup frozen corn kernels, (or 1 can)

I was short on the Bell Pepper, so I left it out. I didn’t exactly measure the ingredients because I was using my Juliet tomatoes instead of the Roma tomatoes she lists; the Juliet is a cherry tomato with a texture like the Roma tomato- very meaty and not a lot of the center pulp.

I used fresh parsley right out of my herb garden, and as I have said in other recipes, once I cut it to bring it into the house, I tend to use all of it unmeasured.

I added a handful of frozen corn kernels; I put them in a sieve and ran water over them to get rid of the frost, and then dried them on paper towels. And, I added a bit of lime juice- not called for in Marlys’s recipe.

I think what is to be taken away from this exercise is that you want to capture the basics of a recipe, but you shouldn’t be a slave to it; you need to improvise with what you have, and have fun cooking. I think my spur-of-the-moment salsa turned out just as I wanted. It was fresh, and gave the meat a different taste that I enjoyed.

Herb Bread

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This bread is a flavored yeast bread; the recipe makes two loaves, and uses the stand mixer much like the Dilly Bread and Cinnamon Bread recipes. The recipe is most like the Cinnamon Bread in that it starts by taking the chill off the milk.
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The recipe uses fresh herbs; if you have an herb garden, there is no problem. Now days, you can buy fresh herbs in the produce section of your favorite grocery store. If you want to try to use your bottled dry herbs, then remember that the formula is usually 3 to 1; three parts of fresh herbs is equal to 1 part of dried herbs. That would mean the 2 Tablespoon measure for which the recipe calls is about 2 teaspoons of dried herbs.

Herb Bread

Makes 2 loaves

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 3 Tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 3 Tablespoons butter
  • 2 packages active dry yeast
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water (105°F to 115°F)
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh chives
  • 5-6 cups all-purpose flour

Directions

Combine milk, sugar, salt, and butter in small saucepan. Heat over low heat until butter melts and sugar dissolves. Cool to lukewarm

Dissolve yeast in warm water in warmed mixer bowl. Add lukewarm milk mixture, 4 1/2 cups of flour and the chopped herbs. Attach bowl and dough hook to mixer. Turn to Speed 2 and mix 1 minute.

Continuing on Speed 2, add remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time until dough clings to hook and cleans sides of mixer bowl. Knead on Speed 2 for 2 minutes longer, or until dough is smooth and elastic. Dough will be slightly sticky to the touch.

Place dough in a greased bowl, turning to grease the top of the dough. Cover; let rise in warm place, free from draft, until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour

Punch dough down and divide in half. Shape each half into a loaf and place in a greased loaf pan. Cover; let rise in warm place, free from draft, until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.

Bake at 400°F for 30 minutes. Remove from pans immediately and cool on wire rack.


To warm the mixer bowl, I fill the bowl from the hot water faucet in the sink and let it sit for 5 minutes while I am chopping herbs; then dump it out and put the measured warm water and yeast in it.

If you don’t want flour flying all over, let it mix for a minute on the lowest speed so that the flour is partially moistened before turning the speed bake to Speed 2.
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While you can just roll each half of the dough into a loaf pan, you will discover that the baked loaves have risen in the center much more than at the ends, making it hard to get an nice even look. The trick is to use a rolling pin, and roll each half of the dough into a rectangle as wide as the loaf pans, and about 14 inches long. The rolling pin will smooth the dough and remove most of the gas bubbles. Then, start at the narrow end and roll the dough tightly up into a cylinder. Pinch the dough to seal the seam and ends. Turn the seam side down, and place in the greased loaf pan.
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I went beyond the recipe after I baked these loaves of Herb Bread; I brushed the tops with egg white and sprinkled them with sea salt. That is the white specks you see on the baked loaves of Herb Bread.
I think it is something to do with age, but I find that my taste tends to need stronger flavoring than most recipes use; thus, at times I will double the flavorings when it comes to herbs and spices. In this case, I have often used 3-4 Tablespoons of the fresh herbs from my garden; some of that increase in amount is also do to not wanting to waste the herbs after I have taken them from the garden.

PB&J Cookies

A few months ago, I was trying to make Hamantaschen cookies because I liked the idea of having the fruit flavor combined with the cookie. I will get back to those in a few months. But, while I was trying to get those right, daughter Mindy said that I should do a PB & J cookie. I think I have developed a good PB & J cookie, and this is the recipe.

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If you don’t want to add the jam to the cookie, it still makes a nice peanut butter cookie as shown on the plate in the picture.

At the last minute in developing this recipe, I decided to change one step in the directions; consider the change as an option. It makes the recipe slightly harder to make, but I think it is worth the extra work. The extra step delays filling the thumb print in the cookie with jam until after they are baked. The complexity is that the thumb print loses some of its depth during the cooking process and needs to be pressed again.

The reason I made the change is that when the thumb print is filled before baking, the jam is dried out and becomes a fruit leather. The change means that the jam is not cooked, and thus stays fresh. This following picture shows the cookies with the jam cooked with the cookie.
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PB&J Cookies

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 Tablespoon water
  • 2 1/2 cups AP flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup jam

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  • Cream the butter and sugars.
  • Add the vanilla, peanut butter, eggs, and water and beat until combined.
  • Add the flour, baking soda and salt and beat until just combined.
  • Place 2-tablespoon-size balls of dough on lined baking sheets about 2 inches apart.
  • In the center of each ball, push an indentation to receive the jam.

  • Optionally: Place about 1/4 teaspoon of jam in the indentation; do not overfill, or it will bubble out in the oven.
  • Bake 12 to 14 minutes;
  • Cool for 4 minutes on the baking sheets, then transfer to wire racks to completely cool.

  • Alternatively: Bake 12 to 14 minutes;
  • Reform the thumb print indentation before the cookies have a chance to cool and set.
  • Don’t try to move the cookies and cool for 4 minutes on the baking sheets, then transfer to wire racks to completely cool.
  • Fill the cookies with about 1/2 teaspoon of jam when they are cool.


Before forming the cookies, loosen the jam so that it is easy to separate out small portions. I used a small spoon we have that is used as a first spoon to feed babies to pick up the jam and drop it into the thumb-print on the cookies.

I used my #50 scoop to measure the dough, and placed the balls onto silicon mats lining my baking sheets; you can use parchment to line the baking sheets.

I used the tip of my thumb to make the indentation; after all, these are thumb-print cookies. The flat of my thumb was too big to make a good indentation.

I have made many dozen of these trying to get them right, and have discovered a few suggestions about making these cookies.
One trick if you decide to fill the thumb print after cooking is the need to reform the indentation as soon as the cookies come out of the oven and are hot. When you press down to reform the indentation, the surface of the cookie will crack slightly around the edge of the indentation- not a problem. I found that I had a couple different items in the kitchen that were about 1 inch in diameter which I could use to press down in the indentation without burning myself.
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I was late in learning that just because a jam or preserve is a good color does not mean that it has any flavor. I have used strawberry preserves for the color, but I find that they are quite bland, and do not add flavor to the cookies. I find more flavor in the raspberry and apricot preserves. Red might look pretty, but go for flavor, and not looks.
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You can really experiment with the size of the cookie. In the batch I show in the photos, I used both the #50 scoop for the smaller version of the cookies, and then I experimented with a #20 scoop (3 Tablespoons) for the larger version of the cookies. The larger version obviously holds more jam which was one of my objectives. However, the larger version of the cookie needs to cool longer on the baking sheets before it is moved- I would say 6 minutes. If the cookies are moved too soon, before they have firmed up a bit, you are apt to find the bottom under the jam dropping out, and the jam leaking out. My test is to do a light squeeze on the sides like I am going to pick the cookie up, and if the sides give, I wait longer for it to cool more and firm up.
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Finally, from these last two photos you have a before and after comparison of the jam in the cookie. The first photo is of the cookies ready to go into the oven, while the second photo is of the cookies on the cooling racks. Even though I heap the jam up, the heat of the oven evaporates moisture from the jam and it ends up being indented just like the thumb print we made to hold the jam.

Please also recognize that the recipe can easily be scaled down to half size. The scary part of dividing the ingredients in half might be the places it calls for 3/4 cup of something; half of that is 6 Tablespoons. Most butter wrappers have 6 Tablespoons marked, and for measuring the sugars, you can use 1/4 cup plus 2 Tablespoons, or 1/4 cup plus 1/8 cup- the latter is a standard measure for ground coffee.

Zucchini Hash and Eggs

My neighbor Jill Swain gave me the idea for this recipe; she stopped over the other day and I gave her a zucchini and asked if she had any recipes for it. She first mentioned Zucchini Bread which we already have. Then she suggested zucchini with eggs; she said “Breakfast for supper is also good”.

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I talked it over with daughter Mindy and decided that we should keep the eggs separate from the hash until after we have cooked them. That way, you can fix your eggs however you like them. We also started calling the fixings a “hash”; I had to look that word up, and it originally meant any combination of chopped foods The idea of a hash has changed over time. More modernly, the idea of a hash has come to imply an inclusion of chopped meat with the other ingredients. This recipe is right on the edge of those definitions since it allows you to include bacon, or ham- any of the breakfast meats. But to be a zucchini hash, it has to include chopped zucchini.

The reason we decided to separate the eggs from the hash while cooking is so people that like runny eggs can still have those on top of the hash, and let them ooze down through the hash. Also the separation allows you to make an omelet with the hash inside. If you want to stir scrambled eggs into the hash, you can also do that.

That all said, it is difficult to write a recipe for the hash; if you are adding meat into your hash, it has to be sauted first. However if you are not using bacon, you might need to add a Tablespoon of oil in which to saute the ingredients. I will give you ideas, but you must feel free to do everything your own way. Add ingredients, delete ingredients, just have fun.

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Zucchini Hash with Eggs

Jill Swain, Mindy Crary

Per Serving:

  • 1 Tablespoon of oil unless you are using bacon or sausage
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup chopped breakfast meat e.g. bacon or ham or sausage
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup chopped green pepper – Japapeno or Bell or …
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup chopped zucchini
  • 1 or 2 cooked eggs – cooked as you like them

Saute the meat and vegetable ingredients; combine with the cooked eggs.

I used jalapeno pepper for one ingredient, and I like my eggs with runny yolks. To cook my eggs, I break them into the fry pan, add a little water to make steam, and put a lid on the pan. I have a clear lid, and I let the eggs cook until the glair around the yolk has turned white; at this point, the covering over the yolks has also started to turn white. Perfect eggs for me; the whites are not tough, and the yolks are still runny.

Cinnamon Bread

This is the second of the flavored yeast breads that I enjoy, and make fairly often. In this case, I know that I have an easy target for any extra bread; Kris likes the cinnamon bread.
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Again, this bread is made in the stand mixer with the bread hook attachment. It is different from the Dilly Bread in that it starts with milk, and takes the chill off the milk before adding it to the yeast and sugar. The Dilly Bread doesn’t use any milk as such; the closest it gets to milk is the cottage cheese.

In the list of ingredients, you will see that the butter, sugar and eggs are all divided; that is, the amount shown in the ingredient list is for two uses each. The first use will be in the bread dough, and the second use will be when forming the loaves of bread or for the egg white, during the last minutes of baking the loaves.

Cinnamon Bread

Makes 2 loaves

Ingredients

  • 1 cup milk
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/3 cup butter plus 2 Tablespoons divided
  • 6 1/2 – 7 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 6 Tablespoons sugar plus 1/2 cup divided
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 packages active dry yeast
  • 3 eggs plus 1 egg white, at room temperature divided
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 egg white, beaten

Directions

Combine milk, water, and the 1/3 cup butter in a small saucepan. Heat over low heat until liquids are warm (120°F to 130°F); butter does not need to melt.

Place 6 cups flour, the 6 Tablespoons sugar, salt, and yeast in the mixer bowl with the dough hook attached. Slowly turn from its slowest “stir” speed to Speed 2 and mix for 15 seconds. Add the eggs, then the warm liquids, and “stir” for about 1 minute. Mix on Speed 2 for 1 minute longer.

Continuing on Speed 2, add the remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, until dough clings to hook and cleans sides of bowl, about 2 minutes. Knead on Speed 2 for 2 minutes longer.

Place in a greased bowl, turning to grease top. Cover; let rise in warm place, free from draft, until doubled in bulk.

Combine 1/2 cup sugar and cinnamon in small bow; set aside.

Punch dough down and divide in half. Roll each half into a rectangle that is as wide as the loaf pans, and as long as about 14 inches. The more rectangular you can make the rolled out dough, the easier it will be to roll it into a loaf. Melt the final 2 Tablespoons of butter and brush each half with melted butter and sprinkle with the cinnamon-sugar mixture. Roll dough tightly from the narrow side and shape into loaves. Place in two loaf pans with the seam side down.

Cover; let rise in a warm place, free from draft, until doubled in bulk, about 35 minutes. Bake at 375°F for 40 minutes. Remove from oven and brush with beaten egg white. Return to oven and bake 5 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pans immediately and cool on wire racks.


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I have already warned you about how the divided ingredients are used. Hopefully, I have broken them out strongly enough in the ingredient list that you will not accidentally use them at the wrong time.

I also like my flavors stronger that what I find this recipe gives me; I use extra sugar and cinnamon when I sprinkle the rolled out dough. To make certain that I don’t use too much cinnamon, I just double the quantity of both the sugar and cinnamon in the mixture.

Finally, I don’t like the top crust of the bread getting too crusty and hard, so I tent the loaves for the last ten minutes of the 40 minute baking time. I have to remove the tenting after brushing the loaves with the egg white to allow it to brown.