Monday, November 28, 2011

Lemon Olive Oil Pound Cake

Lemon-BreadIngredients
Olive Oil spray
¾ cups Plus 2 Tablespoons Unbleached All-purpose Flour
¾ teaspoons Baking Powder
½ teaspoons Kosher Salt
2 whole Large Eggs
½ cups Granulated Sugar
1 whole Lemon Zested
⅓ cups STAR Family Reserve Olive Oil with Lemon Peel
1-½ Tablespoon Milk
1-½ teaspoon Freshly Squeezed Lemon Juice, Strained
3-½ Tablespoons Unsalted Butter, melted
1 Tablespoon Demerara Sugar
2 Tablespoons Water
1 cup Powdered Sugar


Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350F. Spray and flour a  8 1/2 x 4 1/2-inch loaf pan.
In a bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
Fill a medium saucepan with 2 inches of water and bring it to a simmer. In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the eggs, granulated sugar, and lemon zest. Set the bowl over the saucepan of simmering water and whisk until the mixture is warm to the touch, about 2 minutes. Transfer the bowl to an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat on medium speed until the mixture thickens, is pale yellow, and forms ribbons when the whisk is lifted, about 5 to 6 minutes.
Meanwhile, in another bowl, whisk together the STAR Family Reserve Olive Oil with Lemon Peel, milk, and lemon juice. When the egg mixture has thickened, slowly drizzle in the oil mixture with the machinerunning. Reduce the speed to low, add the flour mixture, and mix just to combine. Drizzle in the melted butter and mix just to combine.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and sprinkle the top with the Demerara sugar. Bake, rotating the pan once after 40 minutes, until the top of the cake is golden, the center bounces back when touched, and a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, about 50 minutes. Unmold the cake from the loaf pan and let it cool completely on a wire rack.
While still warm, prepare the glaze. Mix the water with powdered sugar until completely combined, without lumps. You might need to play with the consistency a bit to get it to your liking. Pour over the pound cake and let it dry, about 5 minutes.
Once at room temperature, eat away!
Monday, November 21, 2011

Homemade Portuguese Sweet Bread

Bread making can seem intimidating but the truth is it is easy but just takes time.  Nothing makes a holiday meal more special than fresh bread.

Portuguese Sweet Bread is describe a pale yellow, sweet, cake-like bread that is lovely when fresh and delicious when toasted.  The sweetness goes perfect with a turkey dinner and it also makes amazing French Toast.

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cup very warm milk
1 cup sugar
1 stick butter
1 tsp salt
2 envelopes active dry yeast
1 tsp sugar
2 eggs beaten
5-6 cups flour
wash made of 2 egg yokes beaten and tblsp water
1/4 cup STAR Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Directions:
In a large bowl add yeast, 1tsp sugar and 1/4 cup of the warm milk. Set aside to proof for 5 minutes until yeast foams.

Heat the rest of the milk until tiny bubbles form around edges of pan. Remove from heat. Add butter.
Beat together sugar and eggs. Add salt, milk/butter and yeast mixture. Slowly add the flour. Beat until well mixed. Remove the dough onto a well floured surface.

Knead the dough, adding only enough flour to keep the dough from sticking to your hands and the board. When the dough is smooth and satiny (it should be relatively soft rather than stiff), place it in a bowl oiled with the STAR Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Turn to lightly oil the entire surface of the dough.

Cover the bowl with greased plastic wrap (to keep the dough from sticking to it) and a clean towel. Let the dough rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

Punch the dough down and divide into two equal pieces. Shape into two round loaves and place in onto an greased cookie sheet.

Cover loosely with plastic wrap (again greased) and cover with a clean towel. Let the loaves rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.

Preheat your oven to 350°F for at least 15 minutes. Brush the loaves with the egg yoke and water mixture.

Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the loaves sound hollow when tapped on the bottom with a finger. When the bread is done, remove it from the oven and let cool on a wire rack.

Enjoy!!
Thursday, November 17, 2011

How to Knead Dough- Getting ready for Thanksgiving

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Sweet and Sour Glazed Pork Chops

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Pork Chops can make a great low-cost meal, but can still be gourmet and delicious. This recipe is so simple and results are sure to please.

Ingredients
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1 lime, juiced
1 tablespoon STAR Grapeseed Oil, plus extra for grill
8 thinly cut (about 1/2-inch thick) smoked pork chops

Directions
Preheat a grill pan to medium-high.
In a plastic resealable bag, big enough to fit the chops, mix together the sugar, honey, oil, and lime juice. Add the pork chops and let marinate for at least 20 minutes.
Remove the pork from the marinade. Lightly brush the grill with oil. Put the chops on the grill and cook until grill marks form, about 2 minutes. Rotate the chops 90 degrees, and grill for 2 minutes more, to create diamond grill marks. Flip and cook another 2 minutes. Remove from grill to a serving platter and serve.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Lemony Olive Oil Banana Bread

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We saw a blog post the other day for Lemony Olive Oil Banana Bread by 101 Cookbooks and had to make it! 

We followed her advice and when we cut up the chocolate we left some big chunks.  The recipe was fantastic and we will be making this one again soon!

Here is the recipe the way Heidi Swanson of 101 Cookbooks adapted it:
Ingredients:
1 cup / 4.5 oz / 125g all-purpose flour
1 cup / 5 oz / 140g whole wheat flour
3/4 cup / 4.5 oz / 125 g dark muscovado or dark brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup / 4 oz / 115 g coarsely chopped bittersweet chocolate
1/3 cup / 80 ml extra-virgin olive oil
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/2 cups / 12 oz / 340 g mashed, VERY ripe bananas (~3 bananas)
1/4 cup / 60 ml plain, whole milk yogurt
1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the glaze:
1/2 cup / 3 oz / 85 g sifted dark muscovado or dark brown sugar
1/2 cup / 2 oz / 55g confectioners' sugar
4 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350° F, and place a rack in the center. Grease a 9- by 5- inch (23 x 13 cm) loaf pan, or equivalent.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, sugar, baking soda, and salt. Add the chocolate pieces and combine well.

In a separate bowl, mix together the olive oil, eggs, mashed banana, yogurt, zest, and vanilla. Pour the banana mixture into the flour mixture and fold with a spatula until just combined. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and bake until golden brown, about 50 minutes. You want to get that beautiful color on the cake, but at the same time you don't want to bake all the moisture out of it. So the minute you're in that zone, pull it. Erring on the side of under-baking versus over.

Transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn the loaf out of the pan to cool completely.

While the cake is cooling, prepare the glaze. In a bowl, whisk together the sugars and the lemon juice until smooth. When the cake is completely cool, drizzle the glaze on top of the cake, spreading with a spatula to cover.

Serves 10.

Adapted from Cook This Now: 120 Easy and Delectable Dishes You Can't Wait to Make, Hyperion, October, 2011

Prep time: 10 min - Cook time: 50 min
Friday, November 4, 2011

Pumpkin Oatmeal Muffins

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This time of year we just want to put pumpkin in everything.  These muffins are a healthier alternative to regular muffins because they are lower in sugar and have lots of fiber from the oats.  They are great for breakfast on those cold fall mornings.

Ingredients:
1 1/4 cans pumpkin puree
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup STAR Extra Light Tasting Olive Oil
1/2 cup water
4 eggs
2 cups flour
1 cup rolled oats
3 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup raisins

Directions
Heat oven to 375ºF. Grease and flour muffin tins, or use paper liners.

In large mixing bowl, mix together all ingredients except raisins, blend until just combined. Try not over mix. Stir in raisins. Fill prepared muffin tins three fourths full.

Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, or until muffins test done. Cool in pan or on a wire rack.
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