Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Texas Road House Rolls with Cinnamon-Honey Butter

 

Hello, fellow carb lovers! I am smitten with these rolls, and the cinnamon-honey butter is the perfect finishing touch.   I will warn you, that they are addicting. (I speak from experience.)

I am not ashamed to admit that I ate four of these rolls, and the guilt flash lasted about a nano-second. They were well worth the indulgence, they are that good.  If you love to bake (and eat)  bread, as much as I do, these rolls should be moved up to your "must bake" list. Stat.

Last summer, Craig and I flew to San Angelo, Texas to visit my son (who has since moved back to California).  We went to dinner at a "Texas Roadhouse".  Texas Roadhouse is a large chain of steakhouse restaurants with locations all over the country.  My steak dinner was good, but what really stood out was the big basket of hot rolls served with cinnamon butter.  They were hot, and soft, and a little bit sweet.  We could have as many as we wanted, but I had to restrain myself so that I'd have room for my meal.  I've thought about those rolls, ever since, and wished I'd had a Texas Roadhouse within distance (closest one is two hours away).  Of course, I found out that I'm not the only person who loves these rolls, because I found plenty of copycat recipes on Pinterest.  Of course, I pinned the recipes for the right time when I could make them.

On Easter Sunday, I made this flavorful and tender Atlanta Brisket


As a side dish, I made a big casserole of "Funeral Potatoes".  Wow!

I could not think of a more perfect opportunity to bake Texas Roadhouse Rolls. My son was joining us for dinner, along with other family. 


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Monday, March 28, 2016

Slow-Braised Atlanta Brisket

I am going to preface this blog post, by blurting out, "This brisket recipe is so good, that I absolutely-positively will make this again! "   I am so excited to share this with you, because I have missed been away from sharing recipes and interacting with my loyal food blog followers.




I have been absent from my food blog far too long, and I have two primary reasons for that. For one, during winter, I don't like taking food photographs when it's dark outside.  I don't want to use flash (makes for unappetizing photos), and setting up photography lights is a huge hassle. Second, I'm just plain tired when I get home from work, and then it's already dark outside. It's a viscous cycle that kept my blogging mojo at bay.

This week,  I am on Spring Break from our school district, and I'm not going anywhere.  At last, I have the time to sit down and write out printable recipe cards, edit photos and write blog posts without feeling worn out from my full-time job.

I can't think of a better way to come back from my absence, by sharing the first of three new recipes that I made for yesterday's Easter family supper.

I wanted to break away from making baked ham. (Confession: ham isn't my favorite dinner.)  I adore lamb, but my husband is so-so about it.  I started thinking about other traditional dinners I could make.  Then it hit me-- Passover Brisket! I did some internet surfing and stumbled across a recipe that detoured me from the Passover Brisket idea.  This recipe comes from one of my favorite recipes resources: "Cook's Country" (part of the Cook's Illustrated family). I had never heard of "Atlanta Brisket" so I read the article and recipe.  Apparently, Atlanta Brisket is a Southern dish that traditionally uses chili sauce, onion soup mix and Coca Cola.  Since Coca Cola originated in Atlanta, George, that's how this dish got it's name.

I don't buy onion soup mix, and I rarely drink Coca Cola.  However, I have used sodas in recipes, with great results (such as this 7-Up cake).  I watched the video on America's Test Kitchen, and saw how the onion soup mix was made from scratch (and loved it) and that's when I knew this would be our main dish for our Easter Sunday Supper. 

I called my butcher and ordered a 4-pound cut of brisket, with the fat cap trimmed to 1/4".  If you are not familiar with this cut of beef, it is a cut of meat from the breast or lower chest of beef.  It has to be slow-cooked because of all the connective tissue.   The night before, I poked holes all over the brisket, with a fork, then salted and wrapped it in plastic wrap and gave it a good night's sleep in the refrigerator.

This is how we slow-grilled a brisket, for several hours, with our Weber.  Barbecued brisket it so delicious grilled with wood chips (or oak, if you have that kind of barbecue set up).  The average time to slow cook a brisket is 3-4 hours.  It's worth the wait, though.

The next day, I blotted the brisket with paper towels to make sure it was nice and dry.  It's time to give the beef a good and even sear.  In order to do this, I heated some vegetable oil in a 12" skillet, and placed a cast iron Dutch oven (wrapped in foil for easy clean up) on top.

Perfect! Sear both sides, remove and set aside.

While the meat was searing, I set up my ingredients to make the sauce: ketchup, Coca Cola (not diet), onion powder, garlic powder, dried thyme, dark brown sugar (a printable recipe card is at the very end of this post. Whisk it all together and set aside.

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Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Grießnockerlsuppe (Semolina Dumpling Soup) and a bonus Pressure Cooker Recipe for Dark-Roasted Chicken Broth

 
This German (or Austrian) soup is something that brings me way back to my childhood. My Mutti (German mom) made chicken soup just like one would expect her to. Soup, for dinner, was a common occurrence.

It was always homemade, and never out of a can. When she'd made these Grießnockerl (pronounced GREES-NOKE-AIRL) dumplings, I couldn't wait to dig in to them. I loved the fluffy texture and very mild flavor.  This very dumpling ranks high on my childhood comfort food list.

Eventually, my mother taught me how to shape the dumplings, using two spoons.  What's interesting is that I remember my mother buying a box mix for the dumplings. I made it my mission to do some research on how to make these, from scratch.  I landed on the food blog "Lil Vienna" and got lost in her multitude of beautiful Austrian recipes that makes me even more excited to be flying there later on, this year!

I love making homemade pastas, so I always have a bag of Bob's Red Mill Semolina Flour on hand. There is not reason you can't use cream of wheat. (I vaguely remember my Mutti saying she did.)

Just don't skip the freshly grated nutmeg. I think that gives the dumplings another layer of flavor.


I watched a couple of YouTube videos on how to shape these dumplings into three clear edges.  It takes a bit of practice, but I discovered that keeping a glass of water to keep the spoons wet was a big help.

I didn't quite perfect the three-edge dumpling, but my mom would have approved that I did make them into the two-sided dumplings that she taught me how to make...again, and again.


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