Homemade French Bread

It’s bread week and for once I’m not behind! I’m not the best baker, but these came out pretty nice. I gave one to my neighbor and she loved it! The original recipe didn’t call for honey, but I love the hint of sweetness it gives the bread.

• 750 grams Bread Flour

• 495 grams warm Water (110°F)

• 1 Tablespoon Salt

• 7.5 grams Instant Yeast

• 1 Tablespoon Honey

1. Whisk together the honey, water and yeast. Allow to bloom for 5 minutes.

2. Add the flour and salt to a stand mixing bowl and stir until combined. Pour in the yeast mixture and blend, on low, for 3 minutes or until the dough is shaggy but combined.

3. Scrape down the bowl and mix on high for 5 minutes. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit gor 10 minutes.

4. Test the gluten by pulling a small section of the dough from the dough ball and gently stretch until thin enough to see light through it without tearing. If it’s not smooth, mix on medium speed for an additional 2 minutes.

5. Cover the dough and let rise in a warm place for 1 hour.

6. Punch down the dough and separate into 3 equal portioned dough balls. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise for 20 minutes.

7. Roll the dough balls into loave shapes of your choosing and place in a baneton or on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Allow to rise an additional hour.

8. Preheat oven to 450°F and place an oven proof dish half filled with boiling water on the lowest rack.

9. Score the loaves and bake for 20 minutes or until the crust is golden brown and crunchy.

10. Cool for 1 hour on a cooling rack and enjoy!

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Buttermilk Biscuit & Chicken Bake

This week’s assignment is a doozy! Buttermilk biscuits, buttermilk pancakes and blueberry muffins. I knew that I wanted to make extra biscuits so I could make this dish! It’s one of my absolute favorites! Think chicken pot pie with buttery, flaky biscuits! So delicious!

Chicken:

2 lbs Chicken Breast; cubed

½ cup Carrots; chopped

½ cup Celery; chopped

½ cup Onion; chopped

½ cup Broccoli Florets

½ cup Cauliflower Florets

½ cup Zucchini; chopped

3 cloves Garlic; minced

½ cup Frozen Peas

½ cup Frozen Corn

4 cups Chicken Broth

1 Bay Leaf

1 teaspoon Dried Thyme

1 teaspoon Dried Italian Herbs

½ teaspoon Celery Seed

Salt and Pepper to taste

1 Tablespoon Cornstarch

¼ cup Water

Buttermilk Biscuits:

10 oz. A/P Flour; chilled

0.3 oz. Salt; chilled

0.5 oz. Sugar; chilled

0.6 oz. Baking Powder; chilled

4 oz. Butter; chilled

6.5 oz. Buttermilk; chilled

1.2 oz. Butter; melted

  1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
  2. Heat a skillet over medium heat and add a drizzle of olive oil. Season the chicken and sauté until cooked through; remove from the skillet and set aside. 
  3. Add the vegetables to the skillet. Cook until tender, about 10 minutes, then add the chicken back in along with the broth, herbs and spices. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer; cover and cook for 20 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, sift the dry biscuit ingredients into a large bowl and cut in the chilled butter. Create a well in the center and pour in the buttermilk. Mix until just incorporated, then turn out onto a lightly floured surface. 
  5. Using a rolling pin and not your hands, roll out the dough and fold it over itself 5 times. Wrap it in plastic wrap and place in the freezer for 10 minutes. 
  6. In a small bowl, combine the cornstarch and water. Whisk the slurry into the skillet and stir until thickened. Remove from the heat and transfer the filling to an oven-safe pan if needed.
  7. Roll the dough to ½” thickness. Using a biscuit cutter dipped in flour, cut out 12 biscuits and place them over the chicken mixture. Brush the tops with the melted butter and bake, uncovered, for 15 minutes or until the the biscuits have risen and are golden brown and flaky.
  8. Cool for 5 minutes then enjoy!

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Brown Butter Sauce Shrimp

I’m relying a little more on quick and delicious meals and this one hit the spot! It came together in no time and the old bay brown butter gravy was so hearty and delicious!

Shrimp:

1 lb Shrimp; Peeled & deveined

1 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning

1 teaspoon Garlic Powder

1 teaspoon Thyme

1 teaspoon Slap Ya Mama Seasoning

Pinch of Red Pepper Flakes

Salt and Pepper to taste

Brown Butter Sauce:

1 cup unsalted Butter

1 cup Onion; chopped

2 cloves Garlic; minced

3 cups Seafood Broth; divided

1 Tablespoon Cornstarch

3 portions Fettuccine Pasta; cooked

Fresh Cracked Pepper to taste

Parmesan Cheese & Parsley for Garnish

  1. Add the shrimp to a bowl and season with the spices. You can marinate the shrimp for 10-20 minutes if desired, but it’s not necessary.
  2. Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add the butter. Cook the butter until golden brown and fragrant before adding the shrimp. Sauté until pink and cooked through. 
  3. Remove the shrimp from the skillet and add the onions. Sauté until just tender, then add the garlic; cooking until fragrant. 
  4. Sprinkle in the cornstarch and stir until evenly distributed before pouring in the broth. Whisk until thickened, then serve over the cooked pasta. Garnish with fresh cracked pepper, parmesan and parsley.
  5. Enjoy!

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Carnitas Empanadas

I made empanadas for the first time! They were really stinking good so I’m definitely going to have to make them again. I filled them with pork carnitas and Monterey Jack cheese. Next time I want to try a sweet version. 

Filling:

2 lb Pork Shoulder

1 teaspoon Smoked Paprika

½ teaspoon Cayenne Pepper

1 teaspoon Garlic Powder

1 Tablespoon Chile Powder

¼ cup Cilantro; chopped

1 medium Onion; chopped

3 cloves Garlic; sliced

1 small Jalapeño; cored & chopped

1 large Bell Pepper; chopped

1 cup Orange Juice

Salt and Pepper to taste

1 cup Monterey Jack Cheese

Dough:

9 oz. A/P Flour

1 ½ oz. Lard

1 teaspoon Salt

4 ½ oz. warm Water; (110°F)

Oil for frying

  1. Heat a skillet over medium heat. Rub the pork shoulder with the spices and sear on all sides. Place the pork, orange juice and vegetables in an InstaPot or pressure cooker. 
  2. Cook, at pressure, for 45 minutes or until fork tender. Shred the meat and spread the filling in an even layer on a baking sheet and chill in the fridge until cold.
  3. Preheat oil to 350°F.
  4. Meanwhile, whisk the salt into the warm water until dissolved and sift the flour into a large bowl. Add the lard to the bowl and blend through the flour. Mix in the water and knead until a smooth dough forms. Cover and let rest for 10 minutes.
  5. Portion the dough into 15 equal sized balls and, using a rolling pin, flatten each ball into a disk. Mix the cheese into the carnitas and place about 2 tablespoons of filling in the center of the disk. 
  6. Lightly brush the edges with water and fold the dough over on itself, pinching the edges to seal. Repeat with the remaining dough.
  7. Fry the empanadas until golden brown and crispy.
  8. Enjoy!

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Savory Gravory Meatloaf

Savory meatloaf sounded really good, so I went with it! Andrew requested I call it Savory Gravory Meatloaf and I thought it was hilarious. 😂 Served it with mashed potatoes, sautéed asparagus and cajun roasted corn.

Meatloaf:

2 lbs lean Ground Beef

2 large Eggs

½ cup White Onion; chopped

½ cup Bell Pepper; chopped

2 Garlic Cloves; finely minced

1 Tablespoon Tomato Paste

2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

½ cups Chives; chopped

1 teaspoon fresh Thyme

½ cup Panko Breadcrumbs

1 teaspoon Chipotle Pepper

1 teaspoon Garlic Powder

½ teaspoon Cumin

Salt and Pepper to taste

Gravy:

1 Tablespoon Butter

½ cup Onion; minced

4 cloves Garlic; minced

1 quart Beef Broth

¼ cup Marsala Wine

1 Tablespoon Italian Herbs

2 sprigs Thyme

1 large Bay Leaf

Salt and Pepper to taste

2 Tablespoons Cornstarch

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. Combine the meatloaf ingredients in a large bowl and mix until just combined. Place in a loaf pan and cover with foil. Bake for 45 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F
  3. Meanwhile, add the butter to a large saucepan over medium heat. Sauté the onions and garlic until tender and fragrant. Pour in the broth, herbs and seasonings. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer until the meatloaf is done cooking.
  4. Remove the foil from the meatloaf and bake an additional 10 minutes or until the top is golden brown and caramelized.
  5. In a small bowl, combine the cornstarch and water. Pour the slurry into the sauce and whisk until thickened. 
  6. Slice the meatloaf and drizzle the gravy over top.
  7. Enjoy!

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Crispy Risotto Stuffed Chicken Breast

I had a couple cups of Butternut Squash Risotto leftover from last week’s school assignment and was looking for ways of using it up. Bam! Crispy Risotto Stuffed Chicken Breasts! It was a huge hit! 

4 large Chicken Breasts

2 cups leftover Risotto

½ cup Broccoli; chopped

¼ cup Mayonnaise 

1 Tablespoon Italian Herbs

Salt and Pepper to taste

Breading:

1 ½ cups Italian Breadcrumbs

1 teaspoon Smoked Paprika

1 teaspoon Garlic Powder

1 teaspoon Onion Powder

Salt and Pepper to taste

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the leftover risotto and broccoli.
  3. Season the chicken breasts with the salt, pepper and Italian herbs. Butterfly the chicken and use a spoon to stuff with the risotto mixture. 
  4. Place the stuffed breasts into a baking dish and spread the mayonnaise over top in an even layer. 
  5. In a bowl, combine the breading ingredients and sprinkle over the mayo. Spritz lightly with oil and bake for 40 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F. If the breading starts to get to dark, cover loosely with foil until finished cooking.
  6. Enjoy!

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Butternut Squash & Carrot Risotto

I was so excited when I found out that this week’s side dish in class was risotto. It’s hands down my favorite rice dish and it’s surprisingly easy to make! My chef instructor gave us a lot of rein to customize the dishes and I ran with it! I was shocked at how well it went with the Ecuadorian Braised Goat. I always make extra so I can make Arancini the next day. So delicious!

1 medium Butternut Squash; peeled and chopped

1 large Carrot; peeled and sliced

1 Garlic bulb

Salt and Pepper to taste

2 Tablespoons Butter

1 cup Onion; chopped

1 lb Arborio Rice

2 quarts Chicken Bone Broth

1 teaspoon Fresh Thyme

Salt and Pepper to taste

Parsley and Thyme for garnish

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Add the squash and carrot to a sheet pan and drizzle olive oil over top. Season with salt and pepper, then toss to coat. 
  3. Chop off the top of the bulb of garlic and add a drizzle of olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, then wrap tightly in foil. Place the wrapped garlic on the sheet pan and roast until the squash is tender and golden brown; about 45 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, heat the broth in a saucepan over medium heat until hot. Reduce to low, cover and keep warm. 
  5. Add the roasted vegetables to a medium bowl and unwrap the garlic. Squeeze the roasted garlic into the bowl and blend with an immersion blender until smooth. 
  6. Heat a large skillet over medium heat and melt the butter. Sauté the onions until tender, then add the rice and toss until it’s coated in the fat.
  7. Sprinkle in the thyme and ladle in a cup of the hot broth; stirring continually until most of the liquid is absorbed. Repeat the process one ladle at a time until all of the broth has been added.
  8. Fold in the squash puree and season with salt and pepper. Continue to stir until the rice is tender and the risotto is creamy and no longer soupy. Taste and season accordingly.
  9. Serve and enjoy!

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Creole Pork Stew

It’s braising week at school and I wanted to kick it off with some delicious Creole Pork Stew. It’s so hearty, delicious and packed with flavor! Searing the pork first is key in getting the amazing complex flavor.

Pork: 

2 lbs Pork Stew Meat

Salt and Pepper to taste

Vegetables: 

1 large Onion; chopped

2 large Carrots; peeled and chopped

1 ½ cups Red Potato; cubed

4 Celery Stalks; chopped

1 large Bell Pepper; cored & chopped

1 cup Sweet Corn

4 cloves Garlic; minced

Soup Base:

½ cup Butter

½ cup Flour

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1 Tablespoon Tomato Paste

1 large Bay Leaf

2 quarts Pork Bone Broth

Salt and Pepper to taste

3 ½ Tablespoons Low Sodium Creole Seasoning 

Or:

1 Tablespoon Chipotle Powder

1 Tablespoon Onion Powder

1 teaspoon Herbs de Provence

½ teaspoon Dried Thyme

½ teaspoon Dried Oregano

1 Tablespoon Smoked Paprika

  1. Heat a dutch oven over medium heat and season the pork with salt and pepper. Add a drizzle of olive oil and sear the meat on all sides. 
  2. Remove the pork from the pot and add the butter and flour, stirring until golden brown. Whisk in the broth, Worcestershire sauce, tomato paste, spices, vegetables and pork to the pot. 
  3. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for an hour and a half or until the pork is tender. Taste and season accordingly.
  4. Enjoy!

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Ancho Chicken Fajitas

We just finished up sauté week and I wanted to give it a proper farewell. I’ve been wanting to make homemade tortillas again for a while and chicken fajitas gave me the perfect excuse! I added a bit of bacon grease, garlic powder, green onion and smoked paprika to the tortillas and it was so good! Bacon makes everything better.

Vegetables: 

2 Tablespoons Olive Oil

2 cups Bell Pepper; julienned

1 large Onion; sliced

2 cloves Garlic; minced

Chicken:

2 large Chicken Breasts

1 teaspoon Olive Oil

1 Tablespoon Ancho Chile Paste

½ teaspoon Smoked Paprika

¼ teaspoon Cayenne 

¼ teaspoon Ancho Chile Powder

½ teaspoon Garlic Powder

1 teaspoon Oregano

¼ teaspoon Onion Salt

Pinch Red Pepper Flakes

Salt and Pepper to taste

12 Corn Tortillas

1 cup Creamy Ancho Slaw

½ cup Tomato; chopped

½ cup Red Onion; chopped

¼ cup Cotija Cheese

Cilantro or Parsley for garnish

  1. Add the chicken to a large bowl or dish and sprinkle in the oil, Chile Paste, spices and seasonings. Toss to coat, then cover and marinate in the fridge for 1 hour; preferably overnight. 
  2. Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add a drizzle of olive oil. Sear the chicken, cooking until the internal temperature reaches 165°F and the juices run clear.
  3. Remove the chicken and sauté the vegetables until just tender. Add the chicken back to the pan and toss until heated through. 
  4. Serve with warmed tortillas, slaw, tomatoes, cheese, onions and cilantro or parsley. 
  5. Enjoy!

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Crispy Blackened Fish Tacos

I had such an amazing week with my family back in Oregon this week! My mom picked up some black cod and it was perfect for fish tacos, one of my dad’s favorite dishes. It came together so fast and went amazing with the homemade Mango Salsa, Creamy Chipotle Slaw and Mexican Rice. 

Crispy Blackened Fish:

2 large Black Cod Fillets

2 Tablespoons Olive Oil

½ teaspoon Cumin

2 teaspoons Smoked Paprika

1 Tablespoon Garlic Powder

1 Tablespoon Onion Powder

½ teaspoon Ground Thyme

Pinch Red Pepper Flakes

Salt and Pepper to taste

½ teaspoon Lime Zest

Spicy Breadcrumbs:

1 cup Breadcrumbs

½ teaspoon Butter; melted

½ teaspoon Brown Sugar 

Pinch of Salt

⅛ teaspoon Cayenne

1 teaspoon Garlic Powder

1 teaspoon Chipotle Powder

12 Corn Tortillas

2 cups Mango Salsa

2 cups Creamy Chipotle Slaw

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the spicy breadcrumb ingredients and set aside. 
  3. Add a drizzle of olive oil to a baking sheet or lay a sheet of parchment paper over top. Place the fish over top and add another drizzle of olive oil over the fish and sprinkle on the seasonings; rubbing it over the entire fillet. 
  4. Cover with the seasoned breadcrumbs and bake for 15 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 145°F and the fish is flaky but not dry.
  5. Heat the tortillas on a comal over medium heat until pliable, then store them in a tortilla warmer until all the tortillas are ready.
  6. Add a portion of fish to the center of a tortilla and top with desired salsas and sauces. 
  7. Enjoy!

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