Friday, January 6, 2012

January 6, 2012

Happy New Year!!!! Are you ready for 2012? I think it is going to be a great year!!!

Starting off the new year, we tried a few new recipes this week, but only two were voted keepers. The kids were on vacation and had been asking for cinnamon rolls so Saturday morning we had some that were fabulous!!! I had seen an episode of Good Eats with Alton Brown years ago where he made these, and I printed out the recipe (back in 2006!). I pretty much followed his directions except that I had a different kind of yeast so I had to incorporate that differently than he did in his original recipe. Additionally, the recipe created a cream cheese frosting which was probably great, but I had some vanilla frosting on hand, so I used that. Overall, the cinnamon rolls were big hit with everyone (I think Ryan even had about 4 over the course of the weekend!) and I would definitely make these again. Slowly but surely I will continue to use yeast in recipes and get over my fear of baking with it...(I even googled fear of baking with yeast but couldn't find an official term!)

The other recipe was just something I put together with ingredients from the pantry to go with pork chops. Nothing fancy about the pork chop and mushroom sauce that is listed here, but the kids devoured it and the pork was very tender. The sauce worked well as a gravy for mashed potatoes, though it probably would work equally well with rice, or even Cauliflower Rice!!! This recipe is an easy one that you might even be able to do in the slow cooker if you wanted, though it worked great cooking in the oven.

Just a week there will be no posting, but I will be testing out recipes! So, perhaps Friday January 20th will have quite a few keepers... we shall see!!!

New Recipes
Overnight Cinnamon Rolls
Easy Pork Chops with Mushroom Sauce

Easy Pork Chops in Mushroom Sauce

* 1 can condensed cream of mushroom soup
* 1 packet dry onion soup mix
* 10 ounces milk (you can use the soup can)
* 1 4 oz can mushrooms
* 4 pork chops
* 1 tablespoons oil
* 1 tablespoon butter

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
2. In a medium bowl, combine the mushroom soup, onion soup mix, milk and undrained mushrooms. Mix well.
3. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, brown the pork chops on each side in the oil and butter.
4. Transfer the browned pork chops to a 9x9 or 10 x 7 inch baking dish (sprayed with cooking spray), and cover with the mushroom soup mixture.
5. Bake uncovered in the preheated oven for 1 1/2 hours, or until internal pork temperature reaches 160 degrees F (70 degrees C). You can let this cook longer, just keep an eye to ensure there is still plenty of sauce covering the pork while it continues to cook.

The kids loved this. It is similar to another recipe we have from Ryan's side of the family called "Steak and Rice". I served this with green beans and mashed potatoes. The kids loved the sauce on the potatoes, and the pork chops were very tender. Not a very creative meal, but comforting, easy to put together, and a hit with the family. I can't ask for much more than that during the week!

Overnight Cinnamon Rolls

Ingredients for the Yeast Dough

* 4 large egg yolks, room temperature
* 1 large whole egg, room temperature
* 2 ounces sugar, approximately 1/4 cup
* 3 ounces unsalted butter, melted, approximately 6 tablespoons
* 6 ounces buttermilk, room temperature
* 20 ounces all-purpose flour, approximately 4 cups, plus additional for dusting
* 1 package rapid rise yeast
* 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
* cooking spray

Ingredients for Filling
* 1 1/2 cups light brown sugar
* 2 tablespoons cinnamon
* pinch of salt
* 1 1/2 tablespoons of melted butter

1. Heat the buttermilk until it reaches about 120 - 130 F. (You need it to be that warm in order to activate the yeast in the mixture since you do not proof it separately.)
2. In the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, whisk the egg yolks, whole egg, yeast, sugar, butter, and buttermilk. Add approximately 2 cups of the flour; whisk until moistened and combined.
3. When moistened, add the salt.
4. Remove the whisk attachment and replace with a dough hook. Add all but 3/4 cup of the remaining flour and knead on low speed for 5 minutes. Check the consistency of the dough, add more flour if necessary; the dough should feel soft and moist but not sticky. Knead on low speed 5 minutes more or until the dough clears the sides of the bowl. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface; knead by hand about 30 seconds. Lightly oil a large bowl. Transfer the dough to the bowl, lightly oil the top of the dough, cover and let double in volume, 2 to 2 1/2 hours.
5. Combine the brown sugar, cinnamon and salt in a medium bowl. Mix until well incorporated. Set aside until ready to use.
6. Butter or grease a 9 by 13-inch glass baking dish.
7. When the dough has risen, punch it down to release some of the air bubbles, and then turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Gently shape the dough into a rectangle and then roll into an 18 by 12-inch rectangle.
8. Brush the dough with the 3/4-ounce of melted butter, leaving 1/2-inch border along the top edge. Sprinkle the filling mixture over the dough, leaving a 3/4-inch border along the top edge; gently press the filling into the dough.
9. Beginning with the long edge nearest you, roll the dough into a tight cylinder. Firmly pinch the seam to seal and roll the cylinder seam side down. Very gently squeeze the cylinder to create even thickness.
10. Using a serrated knife, slice the cylinder into 1 1/2-inch rolls; yielding 12 rolls. Arrange rolls cut side down in the baking dish; cover tightly with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator overnight.
11. Remove the rolls from the refrigerator and place in an oven that is turned off. Fill a shallow pan 2/3-full of boiling water and set on the rack below the rolls. Close the oven door and let the rolls rise until they look slightly puffy; approximately 30 minutes.
12. Remove the rolls and the shallow pan of water from the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
13. When the oven is ready, place the rolls on the middle rack and bake until golden brown, approximately 30 minutes.
14. While the rolls are cooling slightly, make some icing and glaze the rolls. Enjoy!

The original recipe that this is adapted from (Overnight Cinnamon Rolls by Alton Brown) suggests a cream cheese icing which I imagine is fabulous. I, however, had some vanilla frosting left over from the holidays in the fridge, so I just used a hand mixer on that to lighten up the consistency and frosted our cinnamon rolls with it. You could also make a thin glaze with milk, powdered sugar and vanilla.

These cinnamon rolls took some time to make, but weren't very hard, and helped me to continue get over my fear over yeast. They were an immense hit with everyone, and I thought of my dad while we ate them. He is a HUGE fan of cinnamon rolls! I'll have to make them sometime when he comes out to visit!

If you have some left to eat a bit later, you can heat them up in the microwave for 15 seconds and they get pretty soft again. We left them in the glass baking dish covered on the counter.