Thursday, April 28

Chocolate Chip Cinnamon Rolls

Fresh warm cinnamon rolls are the best! Straight from the oven, covered in warm frosting, so very good. Adding chocolate chips to a classic morning treat is a great way to put smiles on faces for the rest of the day! If your looking for the classic cinnamon roll, just leave out the chip and it is still sure to be a hit!

Full time: 1 1/2 hours (includes rise/rest time) can be made ahead refrigerated overnight.
Serves 4-6

The needs-

1 loaf frozen bread dough(thawed) or 1 loaf canned bread dough or 1 loaf homemade bread dough
3/4 cup chocolate chips
1/4 cup sugar
2 tbsp cinnamon
2 tbsp butter, melted

For glaze:
1/2 cup confectioner's (powdered) sugar
1-2 tbsp water, warm

The know-

On a lightly floured surface, roll dough out to 1/4" thickness. Try to keep the dough rectangular in size/shape.

Brush surface lightly with melted butter.

Sprinkle across sugar, try to keep it evenly spread out.

Dust sugar surface with cinnamon, again try to keep it evenly spread out.

Spread chocolate chips across top.

Now carefully and tightly roll the dough . You want to roll the dough on its longest side.
half way rolled

fully rolled  

Using a sharp, floured knife, slice the roll into 3/4-1" thick rounds.

Place the rounds in a lightly greased baking dish, you should have roughly 8-10 rounds.
do not crowd like this

leave a little space like this

Cover with plastic wrap and let sit in a refrigerator for a minimum of 1 hour, I actually prefer to do this the night before and just bake off in the morning.

Preheat oven to 375.

Remove rolls from oven and remove plastic wrap.

Bake in oven for 20-25 minutes or until uniform in a nice golden color.

While this baked whisk together the warm water and confectionary sugar to form a lump free smooth glaze.

Carefully remove rolls from oven and let set for a few minutes.

Move to a serving plate.

Pour glaze over the surface and serve.


Monday, April 25

Indian Chicken Tikka

Chicken Tikka mean chicken which has been cut into pieces or chunks of meat. It is an extremely popular dish in India and may even be considered the most popular dish. Tikka can often be turned into Tikka Masala which is a gravy based dish. Tikka itself is a process in which you marinade the meat in spices and then grill it. 

Most commonly it is grilled on skewers due to the size of the chucks. However, I have slightly modified it using chicken breast tenders, you will get the same texture and flavor, but don't need to skewer it, unless desired.

This will serve 4-6
Full time: Prep and cook time 40 minutes, marinade time minimum 6 hours to overnight.

The needs-

4 fresh limes, small or 2 large
2 lbs chicken breast tender
1 1/2 cups plain yogurt
1/4 cup lemon juice
3 tbsp garam masala (available in Indian market or make your own: )
1 tbsp dried coriander
1 tbsp ginger powder
1 tbsp garlic powder
1 tsp crush red pepper flakes
6 drops yellow food coloring
2 drops red food coloring

The know-

In a large mixing bowl blend yogart, lemon juice, and all spices together.

Blend in food coloring, it will be hard to see in photo but the mixture will take on a light pumpkin color.

Add in the chicken and squish around to fully coat the chicken. (I recommend gloves, the coloring can lightly stain your skin)

Cover with plastic wrap and place in refridgerator for 6 hours to overnight.

Once marinading time is over, you will actually see the color a little better. Get your grill preheated for a good 10 minutes before cooking.

Once grill is preheated, carefully using thongs remove chicken from marinade and place on grill.

Grill for 8-10 minutes.

Flip over chicken and grill 5-8 minutes or until internal temp reaches 180.

Turn off heat from grill, if using open flame, just be careful for this next part.
Remember those limes? Cut them in half and squeeze over the chicken.

Remove from grill and serve. If desired serve with some additional wedges of lime to help enhance the flavor!


Friday, April 22

HOW TO: Cook Edamame

Edamame is a staple of the Japanese Restaurant menu. Perfectly seasoned, steamed to perfection, and served in a lightly salted pile. Easy to eat and even easier to make, the secret is all in the timing.

When making Edamame it is all about the timing and the right amount of salt. To start you need to gather a few things:

Room temperature water
2-3 tbsp of salt
1 bunch edamame pods, frozen is okay if you cannot find fresh but I would let them defrost over night.

Start by placing the edamame pods into a deep but narrow pot.

Fill pot with the water until it covers the pods by roughly 1/2".

Heavily salt the water, I use 2 tbsp of salt but if you are cooking more than 2 lbs of pods increase the salt to 3 tbsp.

Bring the water to a rapid boil over medium-high heat.

Once the water is boiling, reduce heat to medium and set a timer for 5 minutes.

Once the timer goes off drain edamame and allow it to sit in a colander for 1-2 minutes, to fully drain.

Move to serving plate, season with some fresh sea salt and serve immediately!

Enjoy your edamame by popping the lovely seasoned soy beans out of the pod and right into your mouth, yummy! Cheers!

Monday, April 18

Coq Au Vin

Coq Au Vin is a classic French dish. It has a great rich flavor, is soul warming, and if you tell someone you made it-chances are you just impressed them.

Coq Au Vin is actually rather easy to make, it's just a tiny bit of a process and take a little time. The good thing is, most of the time is unattended. So you could set it and walk away. Just remember only use a wine that is good for drinking, nothing ruins this dish more than bad wine.

Serves 4
Full time: 1 1/2 hours

The nneds-

2 lbs chicken thighs -or- chicken parts
1/4 lb. bacon, diced
4-5 garlic cloves
2 bay leaves
1 quart button mushrooms, quartered
1 onion
2 cups chicken stock
2 cups pinot noir
2 tbsp butter
1/2 tbsp thyme
1/2 tbsp parsley
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground black pepper

The know-

In a Dutch oven place diced bacon, cook over medium-high heat until it crisps, about 10 minutes.

Add in onions and chicken. Place chicken skin side down and begin to brown. 
After 5-8 minutes, rotate chicken and add garlic, salt, and pepper. Cook 5-8 minutes longer.

Remove chicken and drain excess oil and fats from pan.

Return chicken to pan. 

Pour in stock, wine, and herbs.

Lower heat to low and cover. Cook 20-30 minutes or until chicken hits 180 internal temperature.

Gently remove chicken to platter and keep warm.

Remove bay leaves and garlic cloves.

Add in mushrooms and turn heat back to high.

Reduce liquid down by 3/4. It will become thick and saucy.

Lower temperature back down and add in butter, give a quick stir.

Return chicken to pot and bring back up to temp.

Serve with bread, cheers!

Friday, April 15

Double Chunk Chocolate Fudge Cupcakes

This decadent treat is a wonderful chocolate experience to eat. One of the few cupcakes I do not frost. This cake speaks all for itself, filled with a multitude of chocolate delights great in every bite.

Makes approximately 24 cupcakes
Full time 1 hour (includes baking multiple batches and cooling time)

The needs-

2 eggs
1 fudge candy bar, broken up (or 1/2 cup baking fudge pieces)
2 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cup white sugar
1 cup water
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate baking chunks
1/2 cup plus 1 tbsp shortening, slightly melted and cooled
1/3 cup dry non-fat dry milk
1/3 cup miniature chocolate chips
1/4 cup coco powder
3 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 tsp salt

The know-

Preheat your oven to 325' and line two cupcake/muffin pans with paper liner or spray with cooking spray.

In a large bowl whisk together flour, sugar, dry milk, coco powder, baking powder, and salt.

Add in eggs, water, shortening, and vanilla, Stirring well until a nice even texture has been achieved.

Fold in chocolate chunks, chocolate chips, and fudge bar.

Fill cupcake liners 2/3 of the way full.

Bake in oven 18-25 minutes, testing in multiple places as to get an accurate read if done. Do not use finger to test, if you accidentally touch the melted chocolate, you will get a nasty sticky burn.

Remove from oven and allow to cool in pans for 5 minutes.

Remove carefully from pan and allow to fully cool before serving, Remember there is melted fudge on the inside of these, it will stay soft when it cool but you do not want to risk and hot sticky substance burning you when eating.


Tuesday, April 12

Rose Ice Cream

Rose Ice Cream is a decadent ice cream, with a subtle rose flavor and pistachio nuts. Served mainly in India this ice cream offers a easy way to impress visitors and elevate meals.

Full time 24 hours (1 hour prep plus overnight rest)
Serves 8-10 servings

The needs-

2 quart vanilla ice cream*
1 cup dry roasted pistachios 
4 tbsp edible rose syrup
3 tbsp milk
1 tsp saffron
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cinnamon 
8 drops red food coloring

*this can either be homemade or store bought, if using homemade, it must be full set before continuing on. Do not attempt to add rose ingredients ahead into the machine as it will turn the finished taste perfumie.

The know-

In a large bowl place ice cream and allow it to sit out at room temperature for 20-30 minutes.

It should soften nicely and be stir-able with a little work.  Stir to create a smooth but not melted texture. Set aside.

In a small bowl place milk, cinnamon, nutmeg, and saffron. Microwave 15-20 seconds or until warm but not steaming. If it is steaming allow it to cool for a minute or two.

Add in the food coloring. Stir vigorously to get the mixture as clump free as possible.

Add mixture into the softened ice cream and stir until mixture is even in color and texture.

If using shelled pistachios take a moment to unshell and clean them.

Add pistachios into ice cream, folding gently so they do not sink to the bottom.

Move ice cream into a sealable freezer container.

Seal out excess air and place in freezer for a minimum of 12-18 hours before serving.

Serve in small increments topped with fresh whipped cream and cheers!