Saturday, January 29, 2011

Cran-Cherry Grunt

So Ocean Spray Cran-Cherry Juice is my favorite juice drink. I think when you mix cranberries and cherries, you get great sweetness, tang, and depth. I was in the mood for dessert and it struck me: Grunt! It's like cobbler, only easier! If you're not familiar with grunt, it's basically dessert dumplings - yum!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 cups fresh or frozen cherries (about a half pound)
  • 2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries (about 10 ounces by weight)
  • 4 tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces and chilled in the freezer
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • 2 cups (9 1/2 ounces by weight) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup buttermilk
Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Combine the water, sugar, ginger, and fruit in a large oven-safe skillet. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes or until the liquid has thickened enough to coat a spoon.

While the fruit cooks, combine flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda in the work bowl of your food processor. Pulse 5 times to combine. Add the chilled and cut butter and pulse 5-10 more times, until the butter almost disappears and the mixture appears mealy. Pour the flour into a large mixing bowl and stir in the buttermilk (do not over mix). Store the dough in the fridge while the fruit finishes cooking (if necessary).

Using a 1-tablespoon disher or large spoon, gently drop the dough onto the fruit mixture to evenly cover (careful, it's hot). Brush melted butter over the top and bake for 20 minutes, or until golden brown (and delicious). Allow to cool for 10-15 minutes before serving (al a mode, if you like).

Friday, January 7, 2011

Popover w/ Lemon Chicken Sauce

Popovers are an interesting pastry. They're not leavened by yeast or chemicals, but by water evaporating into steam, so it's important to put them into a very hot oven so they poof up right. That poofiness makes for a large cavity that is great to fill with both sweet and savory sauces. In addition to the way described here, you could also pour the batter into a popover pan to make individual servings.

Ingredients

Popover

  • 4 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 1 cup milk
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
Filling
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 cup green beans, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 can (10.5 oz) condensed cream of chicken soup
  • 12 oz chopped cooked chicken breast
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon dill weed
  • 2 ounces shredded Cheddar cheese
Instructions

Popover:
Heat oven to 450 degrees. Put 2 tablespoons butter in a 9x9 glass baking dish and let it melt in the hot oven. Meanwhile, melt remaining 2 tablespoons butter and add to a blender bowl with milk, eggs, and salt. Blend for 30 seconds on high until well combined and frothy. Carefully add flour. Blend on low for 30-60 seconds, just until there are no lumps left (over-mixing the flour will make for bad popovers). Pull the baking dish from the oven and swirl around so the butter coats the bottom. Pour in the batter and return to oven. Bake for 20 minutes then reduce the oven temperature to 350 and bake for 10-15 minutes more, or until poofy and golden brown.

Filling:
Melt the butter in a large skillet on low heat. Sweat the carrots, onion, bell pepper, and green beans with a heavy pinch of salt for 10 minutes, or until the veggies are softened. Stir in remaining ingredients and simmer for 2 minutes until cheese is melted and the sauce is completely mixed. Pour filling on top of popover, cut into wedges, and serve.