Monthly Archives: June 2011

Roasted Broccoli? You Druckin Betcha

Yesterday, I failed at making turkey burgers. HOW IS THAT EVEN POSSIBLE.

Apparently, the only way to pan-fry them is to put them in a hot pan and forget about them, as I did with the second batch. The second batch fried up golden brown and crispy. The first batch, which I flipped early and often, were battleship gray, with what looked like pink plasma oozing out of them. YUM!

I think I prefer the Ron Swanson version anyway, which is a fried turkey leg inside a grilled hamburger:

Click on this pic for a recipe. You're welcome.

But I digress. I am here to talk about broccoli. And the easiest, tastiest, most foolproof recipe for oven-roasted broccoli that you’ve ever seen. So easy, in fact, that even turkey-burger-challenged adults can make it. It’s an Alton Brown recipe from the Food Network, and I don’t think I can improve upon it.

Broccoli Wokly. Best product name EVER.

Who knew that olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper and Parmesan could render humble broccoli irresistible? I couldn’t stop eating it. Nutty, salty, satisfying. You know those Hidden Valley Ranch commercials with broccoli florets in popcorn containers? Okay not quite THAT good. But pretty darn close.

The only thing I changed was to remove the panko, in an effort to free this recipe from unnecessary carbs. But scatter ye breadcrumbs where ye may. And panko very much.

Oven Roasted Broccoli Recipe

  • 1 pound broccoli, rinsed, trimmed, patted DRY
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (go easy, mine were just a touch too salty)
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan or sharp Cheddar

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Cut the broccoli florets into bite size pieces. Cut the stalk into 1/8-inch thick, round slices. (I’m not a fan of stalk so I pitched it. Stalk-ING however is another story.) Place the broccoli into a mixing bowl and toss with the olive oil, garlic, kosher salt and pepper and set aside.

 Spread the panko into a 13 by 9-inch metal cake pan and place into the oven for 2 minutes or until lightly toasted. Remove the panko from the oven and add to the bowl with the broccoli mixture. Toss to combine. Return the mixture to the cake pan, place in the oven and roast just until the broccoli is tender, 8 to 10 more minutes. Remove from the oven, toss in the cheese and serve immediately.

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Vanishing Oatmeal Raisin Druckers

I have fond memories of oatmeal raisin cookies. My mom used to make them for my Grandpa, mailing them to Arizona in a beat-up cardboard box, original mailing labels blacked-out with a Sharpie. I also think they justify eating cookies for breakfast, since they are so wholesome and oaty.

Cream cheese frosting in the middle?! Now THERE'S a good idea!

This recipe comes courtesy of the good folks at Quaker, but I find the recipe on their website slightly suspect, so I used the one on the inside lid of the canister. I also substituted 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips for the raisins, and called them Cowboy Cookies. (Laura Bush adds coconut to hers and makes ’em Texas sized. Yee haw!) I love the cinnamon/chocolate combo!

Want to make these lumpy, bumpy brown cookies look presentable? Here's how.

I tend to employ a half margarine/half butter ratio for cookie baking, because it seems to create the optimum balance between chewy and crunchy. (Margarine chewy, butter crunchy. C is for cookie. It good enough for me.) For these, I used all butter and they were still chewy little belly-bombers, heavy and satisfying.

So I say yippie yo, you know this kid? Rustle up some of these here cow pies next time you’re in the kitchen.

Vanishing Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

1/2 cup (1 stick) plus 6 T butter, softened
3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt (optional, go easy if you use salted butter)
3 cups oats (quick or old-fashioned, uncooked)
1 cup raisins

Heat oven to 350•. In large bowl, beat butter and sugars on medium speed of an electric mixer until creamy. Add eggs and vanilla; beat well. Add combined flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt; mix well. Add oats and raisins; mix well. Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheet. (I use parchment paper.) Bake 8-10 min or until lightly golden brown. Cool 1 minute on cookie sheets, remove to wire rack, cool completely. Store tightly covered. Makes 4 dozen.

For bar cookies: press dough onto bottom of ungreased 13×9″ baking pan. Bake 30-35 minutes. Cool completely in pan on wire rack. Cut into bars. Store tightly covered.

Variations: Stir in one cup chopped, toasted nuts. Substitute one cup semi-sweet chocolate chips or M&Ms for raisins.

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Sarah’s Buffalo Chicken Cheese Drucker

And the uber-fattening treats keep coming! I brought this to a barbecue over the weekend and everyone loved it. (This may have been because A. they were already drunk and B. I hovered over the dip, told people that I made it, demanded that they try it and then watched their faces for any sign of betrayal.)

The ugliest, most addictively delicious dip in the history of snacking.

It’s chicken, cheese, ranch dressing and hot sauce, covered in shredded cheddar and baked in a casserole til melted and bubbly. More haute cuisine from Mama D! When I asked my friend Sarah (whom we affectionately refer to as Pretty Brown) if she had this recipe, she told me, “Yep. In my head.” So most of these measurements are to taste, ya feel me? Especially the dressing and the hot sauce.

I loathe onions, green or otherwise, but they do spruce up this butterface of a dip.

I served it with tortilla chips but if you wanted to mitigate the effect on your arteries and mimic actual Buffalo wings, you could serve with celery.

Sarah’s Buffalo Chicken Dip

Chicken (I shredded a freshly-cooked thigh and breast from the supermarket deli, but Sarah used one pkg of Just Chicken from Trader Joe’s, chopped fine)
8-oz pkg cream cheese, softened
1/2-1 cup ranch or bleu cheese dressing
1/4-1/2 cup hot sauce (I used 1/4 cup Tapatio)
8 oz. shredded sharp cheddar (Sarah likes the smokey blend of shredded cheese at Trader Joe’s)

Mix chicken, cream cheese, dressing and hot sauce until blended. Place in casserole. Top with shredded cheese. Bake at 400• for approximately 15 minutes until topping is melted and bubbly. Serve warm, after cocktails, and demand instantaneous feedback from your guests.

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Chocolate Druckered Oreo Cookie Cake

I haven’t been shy about sharing my fondness for what some might consider trailer park treats. (It’s a long list — but Spam with Kraft mac n cheese, bean and smoky link casserole with canned Bartlett pears, Pop-Tarts, deep fried oreos, corn dogs — to name but a few.) But that said, there are some infamous shortcuts used in American cooking that I probably consider beneath me.

Like Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom. (I stand corrected — as you can see.) And this doozy — a key ingredient in my mother’s ubiquitous cloudy green Jell-O mold with pineapple and nuts:

It's more fun if you pronounce the 'H'. Just ask Stewie Griffin.

But this weekend I may have made my whiskey tango masterpiece (with a few tweaks that I’ll mention later), and Cool-Whip was a light, fluffy and important player in what was ultimately a cool, summery show-stopper:

Prettiest Flickr pic out there of a much-photographed cake. Good job, ginnerobot!

My boyfriend tells me that as a kid, having a tub of Cool-Whip all to himself, to consume (presumably) in one sitting, was the ultimate luxury. (I would have gone with a tub of chocolate frosting, if we’re talking tubs — but that’s me.) Heavy cream is always my default in creamy dessert situations, but it won’t always whip or stay whipped and will frequently wilt in a hot summer kitchen or on a picnic table in the sun. And that’s why summer is Cool-Whip’s turn to shine.

Actual cake made with Williams Sonoma cookie cake molds.

This dessert looks beautiful, like a huge Oreo, and is embarrassingly easy. Just two Devil’s food cakes from a mix, a filling of a few crushed Oreos, cream cheese and Cool Whip, and a chocolate glaze that drips decadently down the sides.

The good people at Kraft scored on everything but the glaze, which was disappointing. If I make this again, I’ll hit the interwebs and find a rich, glossy ganache to glide over the top and sides like a silk negligee.

Now that's more like it...

I threw away almost a 3rd of the filling because it seemed like too much — silly girl. Two words — DOUBLE STUFFED. Use it all, like this clever person did!

Too much of a good thing is just awesome.

Chocolate Covered Oreo Cookie Cake

1 pkg (2-layer size) devil’s food chocolate cake mix
4 squares Baker’s Semi-Sweet chocolate (or equivalent in chocolate chips)
1/4 c (half stick) butter
1 pkg (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
2 cups thawed Cool Whip topping
12 crushed Oreo cookies

Bake cakes as directed on package. Cool in pans 10 minutes, invert onto wire racks. Cool cakes completely.

Beat cream cheese and sugar in large bowl with mixer until blended. Gently stir in Cool Whip and crushed cookies. Stack cake layers on plate, spreading cream cheese mixture between layers.

Microwave chocolate and butter in small microwaveable bowl on high in 15 second intervals or until butter is melted. Stir until chocolate is completely melted. Cool 5 minutes.

Spread top with chocolate glaze; let stand until firm. Keep refrigerated. (I didn’t refrigerate, and all was well.)

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Chunky Chocolate Pecan Bars, Druck Yes!

My friend Brooke watched me make these and cringed in HORROR as I poured in nearly a cup of corn syrup, vilified lately as a major contributor to our obesity epidemic, tooth decay and probably terrorism. I happen to have VERY fond memories of my mother’s pecan pie. Take that, food police!

Yay, sticky deliciousness! Boo, haters!

I also happen to be VERY fond of these Chunky Chocolate Pecan Bars. They’re buttery, salty, sweet, rich, chocolatey, melty, and DIVINE. (Thanks, Nestle Toll House morsels!)

I brought them to a party while still warm, set them down and walked away. As people approached the buffet table and helped themselves, I could hear shrieks of delight from well across the room. “These are INCREDIBLE! Who brought these?! What is she WEARING?! I think I’m in LOVE!”

See? CUTE. And POPULAR.

So in a pecan-shell, if you want to be SUPER POPULAR, make these bars and wear something cute. This recipe is up on the verybestbaking website, but I fear losing it, so will duly type it in here.

Chunky Chocolate Pecan Bars

Crust:
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup (1 stick butter) softened
1/4 cup brown sugar

Filling:
3 large eggs
3/4 cup corn syrup
2 T butter, melted
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups (11.5 oz pkg) Nestle Toll House® Semi-Sweet Choc Chunks
1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350•. Grease a 13×9-inch baking pan. (Yay, Pyrex!) For the crust, mix flour, butter and brown sugar in a small mixing bowl until crumbly. Press into prepared baking pan. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until lightly browned. For filling, beat eggs, corn syrup, granulated sugar, butter and vanilla extract in a medium bowl with a wire whisk. Stir in chunks and nuts. Pour evenly over baked crust. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until set. Cool in pan on wire rack.

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Druckin Rhu-berry Pie

Hey y’all. I’m not sure if any of you are still on this feed, but if you are, God bless you. You are far less useless than I, and you deserve better. Thankfully, I have this fabulous and fruity recipe to share with you. Behold, strawberry rhubarb crisp, affectionately mashed up as rhu-berry or straw-barb:

Humble pie. I will eat you now.

This dessert definitely photographs better when individually portioned in frilly, oven-proof porcelain. I am neither patient enough nor rich enough to own those. Flickr thieving, duly justified.

This recipe from ezrapoundcake.com is even SIMPLER, and is pretty close to mine. Mine is the love-child of a prize-winning pie recipe and Ina Garten’s strawberry rhubarb crisp recipe. (Note to self: make these sticky buns! Damn those look good.)

Many fear the unwieldy rhubarb, lo of the poisonous leaves. But I embrace it’s weird red celery appearance and unmistakable tart n tangy nature.

Rhubarb is kinda sexy, right?

So without further ado, your fruity love child, and my future reference. ENJOY!

Strawberry-Rhubarb Crisp

Oven @ 350•.

Filling:
2 1/2 cups chopped red rhubarb, fresh (four or five stalks)
2 1/2 cups de-stemmed, washed and cut strawberries (mine were big, so I quartered ’em)
1 1/2 cup sugar (I started with 1 cup and added as necessary)
1 T all purpose flour
1/2 tsp lemon zest
1/2 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 T butter, cubed (optional)

Topping:
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
1/2 tsp salt (modify if using salted butter)
1 cup quick-cooking (not instant) oatmeal
12 T (1 1/2 sticks) cold butter, diced

Mix all the filling ingredients together in a big bowl and transfer to your baking vessel(s). If you want, bury those optional cubes of butter deep into the fruit, keeping in mind that the topping is pretty buttery. (I think butter gives a pretty gloss but that’s just me!) Set aside.

Mix all topping ingredients except the butter. Using a pastry cutter (or if you’re fancy, a mixer on low speed), mix until the mixture is crumbly. Sprinkle topping over fruit, covering it completely. Bake for one hour on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper (to catch drips), until fruit bubbles and topping is golden brown. Serve with ice cream. Also quite good cold from the fridge.

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