Monday, February 7, 2011

Recipes!! Homemade Bread - Herbed Butter - Butternut Squash and Leek Risotto

This weekend was crazy.  Besides taking Lil shopping all day Saturday, I ran around all day Sunday.  I took the kids to church with my friend Jessica then out to lunch to Screaming Mimi's for some delicious pizza and topped it off by going back to her house to let the kids (she has a 2 year old son) run amok.  I finally have time to post the recipes from Saturday night's feast in which I hope you all enjoy my errant display of food porn!

There is must be some kind of karma that works when it comes to recipes, since I started this blog some loyal readers have sent me recipes for their culinary endeavors which I saved to my food bookmark tab.  I can't wait to try them and share my experiences here and I urge you all to try new recipes this week.  You just may find something that you love!

Homemade White Bread (modified from Better Homes and Garden's New Cookbook)
5 cups bread flour
1 pack Fleishmann's Rapid Rise active yeast
2 1/4 C milk
2 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp butter
1 1/2 tsp salt
  • In a large mixing bowl combine 2 1/2 C of flour and active yeast.
  • In a sauce pan heat and combine milk, sugar, butter and salt til 120-130 degrees F.  Check with thermometer to ensure the liquid isn't too hot for our yeasty friends.
  • Using a stand mixer or hand mixer, combine liquid to the flour yeast mixture.  Beat on medium (I used setting 4 on my Kitchen Aid) for 30 seconds while continuously scraping the bowl.  
  • Raise speed on mixer to high (I used setting 8 on my stand mixer) for 3 minutes.
  • Using a wooden spoon or spatula, combine the rest of the flour into the starter dough.
  • Knead for 6-8 minutes by folding bottom part of the dough over then turning 1/4 turn and repeat.
  • Let rest 10 minutes.
  • Grease two loaf pans.
  • After resting, cut dough in half with dough cutter.  Form loaves by pinching the dough under in an loaf shape.
  • Cover loaves with a cotton towel and let rise about 30-45 minutes in a warm, draft free place (I did this on my stove top, I should have done it in the oven.  And don't be paranoid like me, I incessantly checked it. )
  • Once doubled, preheat the oven for 375 degrees F.  Bake for 35-40 minutes til bread is brown.  
  • Remove from loaf pans and cool on wire rack.
Herb Butter
1 stick of unsalted butter, softened
1/4 C of fresh basil (small handful)
1/4 C fresh parsley    "           "
1 clove of garlic, chopped
about 1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp fresh ground black pepper.
  • Allow butter to soften.  I did this by putting it in a bowl and letting it sit on my stove while I worked on my risotto.
  • Finely chop basil and parsley.
  • Chop up a clove of garlic, add sea salt.  using the side of a knife make scraping motions over salt and garlic til a paste forms.
  • In a bowl, combine butter, herbs and garlic paste.  Season with pepper to taste.
Butternut Squash and Leek Risotto (modified from a Bon Appetit recipe featured in Epicurious IPad App)
2 C Arborio Rice
32 oz container vegetable stock
1 C water
1 large butternut squash, cube
3 heads of leeks, sliced, using only light green and white parts
4 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp herbes de provence (if you can't find it, you can use thyme)
2 tbsp butter
1/4 C fresh basil, chopped into strands
1/4 C of grated cheese (I used pecorino romano but whatever you prefer is fine)
s&p to taste.
  • In a large heavy bottom pot, add 2-3 tbsp olive oil and heat on medium.  Add butternut squash, season with s&p and sautee for about 5 minutes til softened.  Put into bowl and set aside.
  • Add more olive oil if needed and add leeks and herbes de provence.  Sautee for about 5 minutes but do not allow leeks to turn brown.
  • Add rice to pot with leeks and cook for about 1 minute.  Lower heat to low-medium and add 1 C of vegetable stock and stir til fully absorbed.
  • Once liquid is fully absorbed, add vegetable stock and then water by 1/2 cupfuls, making sure liquid is fully absorbed before adding more.  You will need to continuously stir the risotto to ensure it doesn't stick to the pot.  This should take about 15-20 minutes.
  • Once all liquid is absorbed, add butter, basil, grated cheese and simmer on low heat for 10 minutes.
  • Risotto should be creamy.
  • Serve with a sprinkle of grated cheese and some s&p if desired.

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