Sunday, February 27, 2011

New York Cheesecake

15 graham crackers, crushed (this will give you a thick crust)
5 tablespoons butter, melted

4 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese
1 1/2 cups white sugar
3/4 cup milk
4 eggs
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup all-purpose flour

Preheat oven to 325, the picture above was cooked at 350 and so I recommend turning it down so it doesn't brown so much. Grease a 9 inch springform pan.

Mix graham cracker crumbs with melted butter. Press onto bottom of springform pan.

In a large bowl, mix cream cheese with sugar until smooth. Blend in milk, and then mix in the eggs one at a time, mixing just enough to incorporate. Mix in sour cream, vanilla and flour until smooth. Pour filling into prepared crust.

Cook with a bowl of water under the cheesecake. Bake in preheated oven for 1 hr-1hr 20 mins. Turn the oven off, and let it cool in oven with the door slightly open; this prevents cracking. I like to then move it to the counter for 30 mins before I move it into the fridge to prevent cracking. Chill in refrigerator until serving, needs to set for about 8 hrs.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Mini Pretzel Bites

These are yummy treats!

2 1/2 cups (10 1/2 ounces) all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
1 cup (8 ounces) very warm water

1/2 cup (4 ounces) warm water
2 tablespoons baking soda
Coarse salt (optional)
3 tablespoons butter, melted

Mix water, sugar and yeast to proof. Add flour and salt.Mix to just combine. Mix well, adding more flour, as needed, a bit at a time to form a soft, smooth dough that clears the sides and bottom of the bowl. Knead the dough for about 5 minutes, until it is soft and slightly sticky. Lightly flour the dough and place it in a plastic bag; close the bag and let it rest for 30 minutes.

Preheat your oven to 500°F. This is what will help those pretzels stay soft on the inside. Prepare two baking sheets by lightly greasing them.

Transfer the dough to a lightly greased work surface, and divide it into about four strips of equal length. Allow the pieces to rest, uncovered, for 5 minutes. While the dough is resting, combine the 1/2 cup warm water and the baking soda in a liquid measuring cup. It might not dissolve so just stir in every couple of dips.

Cut each strip of dough into about 6-8 pieces, about 1 to 1 ½ inches in width. Dip each pretzel bite in the baking soda solution, and place them on the baking sheets. Sprinkle them lightly with coarse, don't over salt. Allow them to rest, uncovered, for 10 minutes.

Bake the pretzels for 7-8 minutes or until they’re golden brown. I went on the longer side cause I was nervous they would be raw, but they were fully cooked. Next time I will only bake them for 7 mins.

Remove the pretzels from the oven, and brush them thoroughly with the melted butter.

I got this recipe from Mel's Kitchen Cafe.

Homemade Potato Chips

Okay this is a super fast way to make your own Potato Chip:

1 potato
2 Tablespoons oil (this was a guess as to how much I used)
1/2 teaspoon salt/seasoning

Cut potato into thin slices. Place in a plastic bag and toss with oil, make sure you don't put too much oil in. Add in seasonings, I used BBQ seasoning. Lightly oil a ceramic/glass plate and microwave for 3-4 minutes. You have a cute little snack.

Philly Cheesestakes

I made my own loafs of bread and they turned out great. Here's the recipe I used for the dough:

2 1/4 cup warm water
2 Tablespoons sugar
1 Tablespoon yeast
1 Tablespoon salt
2 Tablespoons oil
5 1/2 -6 cups flour

Dissolve sugar and yeast in the warm water. Let this proof. Then add salt, oil and 3 cups of flour and beat well. Add in 2 1/2 -3 more cups of flour. The dough should clean off the sides of the bowl and should be slightly sticky. Knead for a few minutes.

Leave the dough in the mixer to rest for 10 minutes and then stir it down for just a couple of seconds. Repeat a couple of times. Then turn dough onto a floured surface and divide into six equal parts. Roll each ball into a long strip don't worry about getting it too thin, it will rise quite a bit. Pinch the bottom of the loaf puling the top and sides tight, starting from long edge of loaf to seal. Arrange seam side down on large baking sheet that’s been sprinkled with corn meal or lightly oil, allowing room for them to rise. With a sharp knife, cut 3 gashes at an angle on the top of each. Allow to rise 30 minutes. Brush entire surface with egg wash (one egg beaten slightly with 1 Tbsp of water). Bake for 15-20 minutes at 375 degrees.

2 tablespoons butter
1 onion, halved and sliced into thin half moons
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
2 tablespoons A-1 steak sauce
1 pound deli roast beef, cut into 2-inch strips
Salt and pepper
4 (6-inch) sub rolls, split partially open lengthwise
8 slices provolone/swiss cheese

In a large skillet, melt the butter, add the onion and cook until softened and golden. Stir in the garlic and oregano and cook for a minute. Add the A-1 sauce and the beef, stirring well to coat the beef with the sauce and onion/butter mixture. Cook until the meat is heated through, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. You can add the cheese in the pan or place them on after you put the meat on.

Place the sliced rolls on a rimmed baking sheet. Divide the beef mixture among the rolls. Top with the cheese and broil until the cheese is melted, about 2 minutes.

I got both of these recipes from Mel's kitchen cafe.

Chicken Cordon Bleu

25 Ritz crackers
6 tablespoons
butter, melted
1 Cup Bread crumbs (I didn't measure so just add a little at a time until you get the desired result)
8 thin slices deli ham
2 cups shredded mozzarella
4 thick boneless, skinless chicken breasts
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon mustard
1 cup all-purpose flour

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Crush crackers and drizzle in the melted butter and mix. Add bread crumbs until desired consistency. Lightly brown crumbs on a baking sheet for 3 to 5 minutes.

Top each ham slice with shredded cheese. Roll tightly and set aside. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels. Cut a pocket in the thickest part of the chicken breast and stuff each pocket with ham/cheese rolls. Pull the top flap of chicken over the rolls and press to seal. Season with salt. Refrigerate the stuffed chicken, while you prepare the next step.

Beat the eggs and mustard. Place the flour in a third shallow dish. Remove the chicken from the refrigerator. Coat the chicken lightly with flour and then dip in the egg mixture, covering both sides. Dredge the chicken in the toasted bread crumbs, pressing lightly to help the crumbs stick to the chicken. You can make these ahead and store then for one day in the fridge.

Transfer the chicken to a lightly greased rimmed baking sheet. Bake on the lowest rack of the oven until the bottom of the chicken is browned, about 10 minutes. Move the chicken to a middle rack in the oven, reduce the temperature to 400 and bake until golden brown and the chicken is cooked through (160 degrees on an thermometer), about 25-30 minutes. Let the chicken rest for 5 minutes before serving.

I changed this a little bit, but found the recipe on Mel's Kitchen Cafe.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Grilled Shrimp

10 large shrimp
1 T olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 T butter
1/2 t dried oregano

Heat oil and lightly saute garlic. Then add the remaining ingredients and cook until shrimp is done. You can use raw or frozen shrimp.

Grilled Steak

1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup olive oil
2 T water
2 cloves garlic

Marinate in fridge for 4 hours. You can grill this or cook in on the stove top med-high for 5-7 mins on each side.