Perfecting the Pancake

Pancakes are not the easiest thing to make.

Here are a few tips on how to make them

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups whole milk
  • 4 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon sugar

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Mix flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar: In a medium-size mixing bowl, whisk together all your dry ingredients
  2. Mix milk, eggs, and melted butter: In a separate bowl, whisk together all of the wet ingredients until the egg is broken up.
  3. Combine the wet and dry: Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Gently stir them together until you stop seeing flour. Be careful not to over mix, that will make the batter tough. Leave a few lumps for tender pancakes.
  4. Preheat the pan: Place your pan over a medium-high flame and let the surface get hot. It’ hot enough when you sprinkle a few droplets of water over the surface and they evaporate.
  5. Oil the pan: Moisten a paper towel with vegetable oil and lightly wipe the bottom of the pan. This will keep the pancakes from sticking.
  6. Prepare the sacrifice: It is one of the great unsolved mysteries of the universe that the first pancake is always a disaster. Accept it and move on to pancake number 2.
  7. For each pancake, gently pour 1/2 cup of batter into the pan, using a ladle or a measuring cup. Use the back of a spoon to spread the batter into a circle.
  8. Wait: Watch the pancakes carefully. Bubbles will form in the batter. When they begin to pop, the pancakes are ready to be flipped. Turn over gently with the spatula and cook for about one minute on the flip side.

 

Recipe from food republic .com

French Dip and Homeade Au Jus

INGREDIENTS

  • 6 hoagie rolls
  • 1-2 lbs cooked roast beef 
  • 1 1/2 cups beef stock plus more as needed
  • 1 tsp low sodium soy sauce plus more as needed
  • 2-4 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 6-8 thin slices provolone cheese

INSTRUCTIONS

INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Heat oven broiler to high.
  2. Using drippings from roast beef pan, spoon out most of the oil, if applicable. Place roasting pan over medium-high heat on stove top. Add beef stock and soy sauce to the pan and, using a wooden (or non-abrasive) spoon, scrape off browned bits from the pan. Bring to a simmer and cook until reduced by half, about 8-10 minutes. If the sauce is too salty, add more beef broth. If not salty enough, add more soy sauce, as needed, until it reaches desired flavor.
  3. Slice hoagie rolls in half, lengthwise. Spread a thin layer of butter over each half (top and bottom) of the roll. Place rolls, butter side up, on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. Place bread under the broiler and broil until butter is melted and bread starts to turn golden brown. Careful not to let bread burn. Once golden brown, remove from oven. Take the “tops” off the baking sheet and set aside. Leave the “bottoms” on the baking sheet for later. Keep broiler on.
  4. Slice roast beef into very, very thin slices. Place slices in hot Au Jus on the stove and cook for 1 minute. Using tongs or a fork, carefully remove roast beef slices and layer on each “bottom” half of the sandwich with the desired amount. Top each with a slice of provolone cheese and replace under the broiler until cheese is melted about 1-2 minutes.
  5. Remove from broiler and place the “top” half on each sandwich. Slice each french dip in half and serve alongside a small cup of Au Jus (and a dab of horseradish, if desired) for dipping.

Adapted from the  website asweetpeachef.com >>

 

Marinating Tricks and Tips

What to use in a marinade

Marinades vary from recipe to recipe but they usually contain  – acids, oils and seasonings.

Acids

Acids tenderize meat by unravels its proteins by softening the surface and allowing flavours to be absorbed. Acids to choose from are vinegar, wine, sherry, citrus juice, yoghurt and buttermilk.

Yoghurt and buttermilk keep foods moist,  but a citrus-based marinade can “cook” raw fish.

OILS

The oil locks in the flavour of the food and helps prevent drying out. Some oils add flavour.  Some good oils to use for marinating are olive, sesame, peanut and infused oils (such as chilli).

Seasonings

Seasonings add unique flavours. Garlic, ginger and onion are some to name, but you can also use fresh herbs and chilli to spice things up, or honey and sugar to sweeten it up. Seasonings also include soy sauce, sriracha, citrus peel, mustard, salt and pepper, and herbs and spices.

Marinating basics

According to Taste.au

The longer food is left to marinate, the more flavoursome it will be. That is the general rule. You need to know that the ideal marinating time usually depends on what you’re marinating, the size of the ingredients and the type of marinade you are using.

For best results, follow these general guidelines and see our chart below.

  • Small or tender cuts, such as lamb and beef fillets, chicken breasts and seafood, require shorter marinating times (usually two to four hours). Larger or tougher cuts such as leg, rump or shoulder will need longer (usually four to six hours).
  • Be careful when using acidic marinades. Foods left too long in these blends can change colour and texture. Fish fillets, for example, can change in a matter of minutes.

Guide to marinating times

Ingredient Examples Marinating time
Meats, such as lamb, beef & pork Steaks, chops, diced 2-4 hours
Whole roast 4-6 hours (or overnight)
Poultry Fillets, cutlets, wings, drumsticks 2-4 hours
Whole roast 4-6 hours (or overnight)
Seafood Prawns, octopus and squid 1-2 hours
Fish Whole fish, steaks, fillets 2-4 hours

Dry Rubs

Not all marinades need to contain liquid ingredients – some consist of only dry ingredients, such as herbs and spices. These mixtures are often referred to as “rubs” (because they are literally rubbed onto the surface of your food). Once the rub is applied to your meat, chicken or fish, cover the dish with plastic wrap and place in the fridge to marinate.

Safety tips

  • Marinades used for raw meat or poultry can be used to baste ingredients as they cook, or for a sauce, but they need to be boiled first. Place the marinade in a saucepan over high heat and boil for 5 minutes. This will kill any harmful bacteria.
  • Marinate meat, chicken and fish in the fridge to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria.

Taco Salad for a Group

INGREDIENTS

 

  • 1-1/2 pounds ground beef
  • 2 envelopes taco seasoning, divided
  • 1 medium head iceberg lettuce
  • 1 package (10 ounces) nacho-flavored tortilla chips, coarsely crushed
  • 2 pints grape tomatoes, halved
  • 2 cans (16 ounces each) kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 3 cans (2-1/4 ounces each) sliced ripe olives, drained
  • 1-1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 large sweet onion, chopped
  • 2 cans (4 ounces each) chopped green chilies
  • 1-1/2 cups Thousand Island salad dressing
  • 1-1/3 cups salsa
  • 1/3 cup sugar

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. In a Dutch oven over medium heat, cook beef with 1 envelope plus 2 tablespoons taco seasoning until no longer pink; drain.
  2. In a very large serving bowl, combine the lettuce, chips, tomatoes, beans, olives, cheese, onion, chilies and beef mixture.
  3. In a small bowl, combine the salad dressing, salsa, sugar and remaining taco seasoning; pour over salad and toss to coat.

 

Rolled Grilled Cheeses

INGREDIENTS

  • 8 slices white bread*, crusts trimmed
  • 8 slices Wisconsin cheddar cheese*
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter

  

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Using a rolling pin, flatten bread squares to 1/4-inch thickness.
  2. Place cheese slice on top of each slice of bread, rolling up tightly.
  3. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Working in batches, add roll ups to the skillet, cooking until all sides are golden brown and the cheese has melted, about 3-4 minutes, adding more butter as needed.
  4. Serve immediately.

Tomato and Mozzarella Mini Bites

INGREDIENTS

  • 20 grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 20 fresh basil leaves
  • 20 small balls fresh mozzarella cheese (often labeled bocconcini)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 20 toothpicks

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Using a toothpick, spear a half of a tomato, a leaf of basil, a mozzarella ball, and another half of a tomato. Repeat with remaining ingredients.
  2. Place on a serving dish and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Mix the vinegar and oil together in a small bowl to serve as a dipping sauce. You can drizzle some on top for display!

Spaghetti Carbonara

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 pound spaghetti
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 8 slices bacon, diced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine (optional)
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 pinch salt and black pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook spaghetti pasta until al dente. Drain well. Toss with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook chopped bacon until slightly crisp; remove and drain onto paper towels. Reserve 2 tablespoons of bacon fat; add remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil, and heat in the reused large skillet. Add chopped onion, and cook over medium heat until onion is translucent. Add minced garlic, and cook 1 minute more. Add wine if desired; cook one more minute.
  3. Return cooked bacon to pan; add cooked and drained spaghetti. Toss to coat and heat through, adding more olive oil if it seems dry or is sticking together. Add beaten eggs and cook, tossing constantly with tongs or large fork until eggs are barely set. Quickly add 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, and toss again. Add salt and pepper to taste (remember that bacon and Parmesan are very salty).
  4. Serve immediately with chopped parsley sprinkled on top, and extra Parmesan cheese at the table.

Breakfast Sandwiches with Maple Butter

INGREDIENTS

  • 8 oz pork sausage
  • 4 large eggs
  • 4 slices Cheddar cheese
  • 4 English muffins, halved
  • 4 tablespoons salted butter, softened
  • 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Form sausage into 4 patties. Cook in a large, non-stick sprayed skillet over medium-high heat for 3-4 minutes a side, or until golden brown and crisp. Place sausage patties on a paper towel-lined plate to drain the grease.

2. Drain fat from skillet then return to stove and turn heat down to medium. Whisk eggs, salt, and pepper in a bowl then pour into the skillet. Cook until top is nearly set but still glossy, then carefully fold eggs over in half. Remove from heat to finish cooking.

3. In a small bowl, whisk butter until creamy and smooth. Stir in the maple syrup. Toast the English Muffins.

4. To assemble: Spread 1 tablespoon of maple butter on English Muffin, both halves. Place 1 egg on the bottom of an English muffin then top with a cooked sausage patty and a slice of cheese. Microwave for 20-30 seconds to melt cheese then cap with English muffin top. Continue making other sandwiches. Serve immediately.

Pizza Rolls

INGREDIENTS

  • 1(8 ounces) package Pillsbury Refrigerated Crescent Dinner Rolls
  • 32slices pepperoni
  • pieces mozzarella string cheese, cut in 1/2
  • garlic salt
  • italian seasoning
  • pizza sauce, for dipping

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Unroll crescent rolls into individual triangles – should be 8 of them.
  2. Sprinkle each triangle with garlic salt and Italian seasoning.
  3. Lay 4 slices of pepperoni on each triangle.
  4. Place a 1/2 piece of string cheese on top of the pepperoni and roll them up.
  5. Sprinkle with a little more garlic salt and Italian seasoning.
  6. Bake according to the directions on the crescent roll package or until they are browned.
  7. When you are ready to eat, dip them in pizza sauce.
  8. Enjoy!

Stuffed Honey-Ham Biscuits

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 can (16.3 oz) Pillsbury™ Grands!™ Flaky Layers refrigerated Original biscuits
  • 8 slices (1/2 oz each) cheddar or swiss cheese
  • 8 slices (1 oz each) deli cooked ham
  • 1/4 cup honey

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Heat oven to 350°F. Spray cookie sheet with cooking spray.
  2. Separate dough into 8 biscuits. Separate each biscuit into 2 layers, making a total of 16 biscuit rounds. Fold each piece of cheese in half. Fold each piece of ham into fourths.
  3. Place 1 folded slice of cheese and 1 folded slice of ham on 1 biscuit round. Top with another biscuit round; firmly pinch edges to seal. Repeat with remaining cheese, ham and biscuits to make 8 sandwiches. Place on cookie sheet.
  4. Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from cookie sheet to serving plate. Drizzle honey over biscuits. Serve immediately.
RECIPE FROM PILLSBURY.COM