Monday, February 3, 2014

Shrimp Skewers with Feta Dill Sauce and Grilled Vegetables

This is something that is normally not my style. I am a notoriously picky eater, and yogurt seriously grosses me out.

Trying this recipe was an attempt to branch out, as well as an attempt to try to eat healthier.

It was so worth it! I could have eaten twice as much!!

(Adapted from Grace Parisi)


Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup plain low-fat yogurt
  • 1 scallion, white and light green parts only, thinly sliced
  • 4 large garlic cloves, very finely chopped
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons finely chopped dill
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese (2 ounces)
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 pounds peeled and deveined large shrimp
  • 2 lemons, each cut into 12 wedges
  • 2 italian zucchini, cut into 1/4" disks
  • 2 yellow squash, cut into 1/4" disks
  • 1 red onion, cut into wedges
  • olive oil
  • cayenne pepper


Directions:

  1. Light a grill. In a medium bowl, mix the yogurt with the scallion, 1/4 of the garlic and 1/2 tablespoon of the dill. Stir in the feta, mashing it slightly. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the remaining minced garlic and 2 tablespoons of dill with the olive oil. Add the shrimp and lemons, season with salt and pepper and toss to coat.
  3. In another large bowl, combine zucchini and squash. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt, pepper, and cayenne to taste. Toss to coat.
  4. Thread 4 shrimp and 2 lemon wedges onto each of 12 skewers. 
  5. Thread veggies on separate skewers.
  6. Grill vegetables, turning several times, until they have grill marks and are cooked through. Cover with foil and set aside.
  7. Season shrimp skewers with salt and pepper and grill over a medium-hot fire, turning occasionally, until the shrimp are charred and cooked through, about 5 minutes.
  8. Transfer the skewers to a platter and serve at once with the feta sauce and veggies.

Soft Brioche Hamburger Buns


I'm kind of a cheeseburger addict. I mean, I have actually had to make a pact with boyfriend to not eat cheeseburgers if I can help it. 

But when I mentioned that I'd be making them myself, and that they'd be served on homemade buns, he really couldn't argue.

And to be honest, I think this perfect brioche bun recipe will win my case every time I want a cheeseburger.

(Adapted from Smitten Kitchen)
Yield: 8 buns



Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons warm milk
  • 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 cups bread flour
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • Sesame seeds (optional)


Directions:
1. In a glass measuring cup, combine one cup warm water, the milk, yeast and sugar. Let stand until foamy, about five minutes. Meanwhile, beat one egg.

2. In a large bowl, whisk flours with salt. Add butter and rub into flour between your fingers, making crumbs. Using a dough scraper, stir in yeast mixture and beaten egg until a dough forms. Scrape dough onto clean, well-floured counter and knead, scooping dough up, slapping it on counter and turning it, until smooth and elastic, 8 to 10 minutes. The dough will be on the sticky side so it can be a bit messy, but keep in mind that the more flour you knead in, the tougher the buns will get. Try to leave them tackier than you would a round loaf.

3. Shape dough into a ball and return it to bowl. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, one to two hours. (In my freaky, warm apartment this only took an hour.)

4. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Using dough scraper, divide dough into 8 equal parts. Gently roll each into a ball and arrange two to three inches apart on baking sheet. Cover loosely with a piece of plastic wrap lightly coated in nonstick spray and let buns rise in a warm place for one to two hours. (Again, this only took one hour in my apartment and I suspect, you’ll also only need an hour for a second rise.)

5. Set a large shallow pan of water on oven floor. Preheat oven to 400 degrees with rack in center. Beat remaining egg with one tablespoon water and brush some on top of buns.




Sprinkle with sesame seeds, if using. Bake, turning sheet halfway through baking, until tops are golden brown, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool completely.

Hoagie Rolls


When I first started Babybakes, I was brand new to bread making. There is a recipe for hoagie rolls on this blog from when the site first began, and I will keep it there for nostalgic and historical value. But if I'm being perfectly honest, that recipe is terrible.

I have been searching since then for the perfect authentic hoagie roll recipe, and baby, this is it.

(Adapted from The Kitchen Whisperer)

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups bread flour
  • 1 3/8 cups warm water (110-115F degrees)
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 Tbsp active dry yeast
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 Tbsp cold butter, cubed


Instructions:

  1. Add the yeast, sugar and 3/8 cup warm water in a bowl of a stand mixer.
  2. Using a whisk or spoon, mix and set aside for 5-10 minutes or until the yeast has bubbled quite a bit.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook (this would be the same bowl your yeast mixture is in) add in the flour and water. Start off on low.
  4. Mix for 4 minutes.
  5. Add in the salt and mix for 5-6 minutes until the dough is slack. At this point your mixer should be at medium speed.
  6. Add in the butter and mix for 1-3 minutes or until the dough comes back together.
  7. Remove from bowl and transfer to a greased, covered bowl until doubled in size. ~1 hour.
  8. Divide into 8 pieces and shape.
  9. Transfer to a sprayed, parchment lined tray and cover.
  10. Allow to rise again. ~30-45 minutes.
  11. Preheat oven to 375 and bake for 16-23 minutes or until golden brown.

Fleur de Sel Caramels



(Adapted from Ina Garten)

Ingredients:

  • Vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/4 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon fine fleur de sel, plus extra for sprinkling
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


Directions:

  1. Prep the pan:
  2. Line an 8-inch-square baking pan with parchment paper, allowing it to drape over 2 sides, then brush the paper lightly with oil.
  3. Boil the sugar:
  4. In a deep saucepan (6 inches wide and 4 1/2 inches deep), combine 1/4 cup water, the sugar and corn syrup and bring them to a boil over medium-high heat. Boil until the mixture is a warm golden brown. Don't stir -- just swirl the pan.
  5. Heat the cream:
  6. In the meantime, in a small pot, bring the cream, butter and 1 teaspoon of fleur de sel to a simmer over medium heat. Turn off the heat and set aside.
  7. Finish the caramel:
  8. When the sugar mixture is done, turn off the heat and slowly add the cream mixture to the sugar mixture. Be careful -- it will bubble up violently.
  9. Stir in the vanilla with a wooden spoon and cook over medium-low heat for about 10 minutes, until the mixture reaches 248 degrees F (firm ball) on a candy thermometer.
  10. Fill the pan:
  11. Very carefully pour the caramel into the prepared pan and refrigerate for a few hours, until firm.
  12. Cut the caramel:
  13. When the caramel is cold, pry the sheet from the pan onto a cutting board. Cut the square in half.
  14. Roll it up:
  15. Starting with a long side, roll the caramel up tightly into an 8-inch-long log.
  16. Cut into pieces:
  17. Sprinkle the log with fleur de sel, trim the ends and cut into 8 pieces. (Start by cutting the log in half, then continue cutting each piece in half until you have 8 equal pieces.) It's easier to cut the caramels if you brush the knife with flavorless oil like corn oil.
  18. Wrap the candies:
  19. Cut glassine or parchment paper into 4-by-5-inch pieces and wrap each caramel individually, twisting the ends.
  20. Store in the refrigerator and serve the caramels chilled.



Vietnamese Chicken Sandwiches




(Adapted from Marcia Kiesel)

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast, sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon mayonnaise, plus more for spreading
  • 1 large shallot, thinly sliced
  • 2 carrots, halved crosswise and thinly sliced lengthwise
  • 1/2 cup pickled cocktail onions, halved, plus 1/4 cup of the pickling liquid from the jar
  • One 10-ounce baguette, split lengthwise and toasted, or four mini baguettes or rolls
  • Sriracha or other hot sauce, for spreading
  • 1 Kirby cucumber, very thinly sliced lengthwise
  • Cilantro sprigs

Directions:
  1. In a bowl, toss the chicken with the soy sauce, 1 tablespoon of mayonnaise and the shallot. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  2. Meanwhile, in another bowl, mix the carrots with the pickled onions and their liquid and let stand for 1 hour.   
  3. Heat a grill pan. Grill the chicken and shallot slices over high heat until charred and the chicken is just cooked through, about 2 minutes per side.
  1. Spread mayonnaise on the cut sides of the baguette, then spread with Sriracha.
  2. On the bottom half, layer the carrots, onions and cucumber, then top with the chicken and shallots.
  3. Lay cilantro sprigs over the chicken and close the sandwich. Cut crosswise into 6 pieces and serve.

Grilled Chicken Sandwiches with Remoulade and Shaved Lemon



(Adapted from Annie Miller)

Ingredients:

  • 4 thin chicken cutlets (1 1/4 pounds)
  • 1/2 cup fresh orange juice
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 8 slices cut from a round loaf of semolina bread, or 4 mini baguettes
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon minced parsley
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped cornichons
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 scallion, finely chopped
  • 1 small garlic clove, minced
  • 1 teaspoon capers, drained and chopped
  • 1/2 lemon, sliced paper thin, plus 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 bunch watercress (6 ounces), large stems discarded


Directions:


  1. Light a grill or preheat the broiler.
  2. In a medium bowl, toss the chicken with the orange juice and 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Let stand for 10 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, brush both sides of the bread with the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil and grill until toasted, turning once.
  4. In a bowl, mix the mayonnaise with the parsley, cornichons, mustard, scallion, garlic, capers and lemon juice.
  5. Grill the chicken over high heat until lightly charred and cooked through, about 6 minutes.
  6. Spread the remoulade on the toast.
  7. Top with the chicken, a few slices of lemon and the watercress. Close the sandwiches, cut in half and serve.