Tag Archive: cooking

Brisket Braised with Caramelized Onions

Brisket Braised with Caramelized Onions2 BannerDuring the long New England winter, we need comfort on our dinner plates even more than usual.  When snow is piling up outside and the temperatures are bitterly cold, we turn to our favorite rustic recipes to warm us up from the inside out.  If that recipe involves braising something in the oven all afternoon, all the better.  I know that the warmth and delicious aroma emanating from the oven will help us to endure the cold and hold on to the knowledge that spring will eventually arrive.

Like so many cooking methods that have stood the test of time, braising is rustic and simple.  It requires no fancy equipment, only a heavy pot with a lid that can be moved from the stovetop to the oven.  Braising doesn’t involve a lot of hands on time, hours of paying careful attention to the recipe.  Instead, it brilliantly combines two simple tasks:  searing a cut of meat and then allowing that meat to cook slowly in a covered pan until it is tender and infused with flavor.

My culinary idol Julia Child didn’t need many words to explain braising in Mastering the Art of French Cooking.  She simply defines it as “To brown foods in fat, then cook them in a covered casserole with a small amount of liquid.”  I couldn’t possibly explain it any more perfectly or succinctly.  Yes, it really is that simple.

Brisket is a cut of meat perfect suited for braising.  Brisket can be tough if it is hurried, if it isn’t cooked in a way that encourages that sinewy muscle to magically transform into a tender piece of meat and gelatinous broth.  Luckily, braising does just that. 

Braising has become a Sunday ritual in the farmhouse kitchen during the colder months of the year.  In New England, that means more than half of our calendar year.  This week is the first week of spring.  It’s also a week where we watched as snow squalls dropped a fresh layer on the farm’s landscape not once but twice. 

As soon as the first snowstorm arrived, we started discussing what to braise for Sunday dinner.  We can’t control the weather, cannot convince Mother Nature that spring is welcome here and we’ve seen enough wintry snow for a while.  We can look forward to a Sunday afternoon with a brisket braising in the oven all afternoon and the resulting meals for the week. 

We’ve been braising for years, but had never found a brisket recipe that left us craving more.  Then David Lebovitz dropped one right in my newsfeed that looked so promising that we made immediate plans to give it a try.  The recipe was made famous by Nach Waxman, the owner of Kitchen Arts & Letters, a fabulous culinary book shop in New York City.  Since then, it has appeared in several cookbooks. 

The first time we made the recipe, I was skeptical.  It seemed too simple to be anything but ordinary.  I couldn’t have been more wrong.  The results were so delicious that we have since made our own version countless times this winter.  Every single time, I am taken by just how delicious it is, how much flavor each bite contains.  Some recipes are keepers, and this is surely one of them, a foundational recipe to have on hand to make time and time again. 

Over the winter, I’ve adjusted the quantities and timing a bit from the original recipe.  After testing my version many times, we’ve agreed that our version is just to our liking.  It’s delicious and tender every time.  The leftovers are even better 24 or 48 hours later.  We enjoy them on sandwiches spread with a bit of homemade horseradish sauce or tarragon mayonnaise.  I also love to shred a bit of the leftover brisket and serve it with caramelized fennel over a bed of creamy, cheesy grits.  Just writing about it makes my mouth water.  One bite of this brisket and you’ll understand why at our farmhouse, Sundays are for braising.

Brisket Braised with Caramelized Onions
Our version is a bit simpler than the original. I found that the step of salting the meat ahead of time didn’t impact the flavor or texture of the finished dish, so I omitted it. While I do my best to plan ahead, salting the brisket the day before and allowing it to sit overnight in the refrigerator before beginning the recipe simply didn’t happen one Sunday because I had forgotten the night before. When that brisket turned out equally delicious and tender, I decided to cross that preparation right off my recipe. You can certainly give it a try and see if you find it to be noticeably different. Over the winter, I’ve adjusted the quantities and timing a bit from the original recipe. After testing my version many times, we’ve agreed that our version is just to our liking. It’s delicious and tender every time. The leftovers are even better 24 or 48 hours later. We enjoy them on sandwiches spread with a bit of homemade horseradish sauce or tarragon mayonnaise. I also love to shred a bit of the leftover brisket and serve it with caramelized fennel over a bed of creamy, cheesy grits. Just writing about it makes my mouth water. One bite of this brisket and you’ll understand why at our farmhouse, Sundays are for braising.
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Ingredients
  1. 4-6 pounds beef brisket
  2. kosher or sea salt
  3. 1-2 Tablespoons All-purpose flour
  4. 1 Tablespoon lard
  5. 2 pounds thinly sliced onions (approximately 6-8 medium onions)
  6. 4 Tablespoons tomato paste
  7. 6 cloves garlic, sliced thinly
  8. 4 large carrots, peeled and diced
  9. salt and pepper
Instructions
  1. Pat the brisket dry with a paper towel. Salt liberally. Sprinkle the brisket with the flour, using as much as is necessary to dust the entire surface.
  2. Prepare the onions, garlic, and carrots. They will be used in separate steps, so keep the garlic and carrots separate from the onions.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Place a large oven safe pot or roasting pan with a lid over medium-high heat. I like to use my cast iron or enameled cast iron Dutch oven, but any heavy pot with a lid that is safe to move from stovetop to oven will do the job.
  4. Add the lard to the warm pan, swirling to coat the bottom evenly. Add the brisket to the pan and sear on both sides. Five minutes per side should be enough to sear and lightly brown the brisket. Remove the brisket to a large plate or dish to rest as you caramelize the onions.
  5. Lower the heat to medium and add the onions to the pan. Season with a salt and black pepper and stir to coat them with the fat in the pan. Cook them for 15-20 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent them from sticking. They should soften and become translucent before taking on the golden brown color of caramelized onions. If they stick to the pan, you can add a bit more lard or a little water to the pan.
  6. Turn off the heat. Spread the onions evenly in the bottom of the pan to create a bed for the brisket. Add the brisket back to the pan along with any juices that have collected as it rested. Spread the tomato paste evenly on the top surface of the brisket. Add the garlic and carrots to the top of the brisket, allowing any excess to fall to the bed of onions below. Season with salt and pepper. Place the lid on your pan and transfer to the warm oven. Cook for 90 minutes.
  7. Remove the pot from the oven. Remove the lid and allow the brisket to rest for 10 minutes. Transfer the brisket to a large cutting board or large platter. Slicing against the grain, portion the brisket into ½ inch slices. Transfer the slices back to the braising pot, nestling them into the onions and overlapping them if necessary to fit. Replace the lid and transfer back to the oven to braise for another 90 minutes.
  8. Remove the pot from the oven. Allow the brisket to rest for 10 minutes before serving. The pot will remain hot, keeping the brisket and onions warm while allowing the meat to rest. Serve the brisket, spooning onions, carrots, and garlic from the pan over each serving. I often serve this brisket with a homemade horseradish sauce made by stirring together sour cream and horseradish to our liking and seasoning with a bit of salt and pepper.
  9. Any leftover brisket and vegetables can be stored in the refrigerator. The flavor will improve overnight, making for delicious leftovers the next day. Warming the leftovers in the vegetables and sauce will prevent the brisket from drying out as it is reheated.
Adapted from Nach Waxman’s Beef Brisket shared by David Lebovitz
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Our Favorite Holiday Recipes from The 1840 Farmhouse Kitchen

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Each holiday season, we turn to our favorite family recipes.  It simply wouldn’t feel like the holidays without them.  From the sweet chocolate crinkle cookies that remind me of my childhood to the savory tomato and onion jams that we will enjoy with our appetizers on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve, these recipes will be an integral part of our family’s celebration this year.

Whether you’re looking for something sweet or something savory, I hope that your friends and family will enjoy these dishes just as much as we do.  Simply click on a photo from our recipe gallery below and you’ll be taken to the original post and recipe.

We’ll be in the farmhouse kitchen cooking and baking today, making our way through this list of recipes while the snowflakes pile up outside.  The farmhouse will smell so inviting and the farmhouse kitchen tree will help set a festive mood, decorated with a few antique kitchen tools handed down by great grandmothers on both sides of our family.  It will be my favorite kind of day: one spent in the kitchen with my family baking for my family and making fresh memories to last for years to come.

I hope that you have a wonderfully warm holiday spent with friends and family and filled to the brim with delicious dishes to celebrate the season.  It won’t be long until we embark on the journey of the New Year, turning our calendars to 2017 and dreaming of all the opportunities and adventures that await us.

Happy Holidays to you and yours from all of us here at 1840 Farm!

 

Something Sweet

Something Savory

 

Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2016/12/holiday-recipes/

1840 Farmhouse Kitchen Breakfast and Brunch Favorites

 

OvenPoachedEggWMJust in time for Mother’s Day, I have gathered together a collection of our favorite recipes to make for breakfast and brunch.  These recipes have been made time and time again in our Farmhouse Kitchen here at 1840 Farm. Now you can make them for your friends and family.  They’re sure to love them as much as mine do!

 

Click on any of the photos to view the recipe for each dish.

 

 

Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2016/05/1840-farmhouse-kitchen-breakfast-and-brunch-favorites/

Curried Cauliflower

Curried Cauliflower at 1840 FarmI’m having a bit of a love affair with curries right now.  I just can’t seem to get enough of the earthy, spicy flavor of curry this winter.  Luckily, my family loves curry as much as I do, so curries seem to be finding their way on to our dinner plates on a regular basis.

This recipe is simple to prepare and full of that amazing flavor of curry with earthy notes from turmeric paired with the brightness of ginger and garlic and balanced with the creamy richness of coconut milk.  The sauce accentuates the natural flavor of the cauliflower without masking it.  One bite and you’ll be dreaming of ways to add this dish to your menu plans each and every week!

Curried Cauliflower
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Ingredients
  1. 1 large head cauliflower
  2. 1 Tablespoon coconut oil
  3. 1 Tablespoon chili paste
  4. 2 cloves garlic, minced
  5. 1 Tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
  6. 8 ounces coconut milk
  7. 2 Tablespoons curry powder
  8. 2 teaspoons turmeric powder
  9. 1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  10. salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Prep the cauliflower by dividing the head into similarly sized florets. I like to cook relatively small pieces, making them bite sized. I find that they cook quickly and evenly and don’t require being cut at the table before eating.
  2. In a large skillet over medium heat, sauté the cauliflower florets in coconut oil for 6-8 minutes, until they begin to soften and brown slightly. Add the chili paste, garlic, and ginger, cooking briefly to warm, approximately one or two minutes. Add the coconut milk, curry powder, and turmeric, stirring to combine.
  3. Bring the mixture to a simmer before reducing the heat to low. Simmer for a few minutes to allow the flavors to meld. Taste for seasoning, adjusting as needed. Lemon juice can be added to increase the brightness in the dish if desired.
  4. Remove from heat and serve as a side dish or over steaming bowls of rice as a main course with warm naan or pita bread.
Notes
  1. This recipe is highly adaptable. If you like your curry spicy, add a bit more chili paste or cayenne pepper to taste. You can increase the ratio of coconut milk if you prefer your cauliflower to have more curry sauce or if you are serving over rice. Feel free to experiment, adjust, and add your favorite flavors to this dish. Make it your own and enjoy every flavorful bite!
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Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2016/02/curried-cauliflower/

Leftover Thanksgiving Turkey and Potato Hash

Leftover Thanksgiving Turkey Hash in a Cast Iron Skillet at 1840 FarmIn my opinion, Thanksgiving leftovers don’t get the respect they deserve.  A feast on Thursday can produce enough leftovers for an entire weekend of delicious meals and sandwiches.  Any leftover turkey can be transformed into something completely new and delicious with very little effort.

I originally started making a Cast Iron Skillet Pork and Potato Hash with leftovers from our Beer and Brown Sugar Braised Pork.  It was always a hit at our family table and became just as popular as the pork we enjoy the first night for dinner.  Soon, we were making braised pork with this hash in mind and eagerly anticipating the second night’s delicious dinner.

It stood to reason that leftover Thanksgiving turkey would be just as delicious when transformed into hash.  It was.  Year after year, this hash is just as popular as the pork version we enjoy.  It’s also a dish that celebrates those Thanksgiving leftovers while creating something completely different to serve at our family table.

I hope that your family will enjoy it just as much as mine does!

 

Leftover Thanksgiving Turkey and Potato Hash
This recipe makes use of one of my favorite pans: a cast iron skillet. I like to use my Lodge 12 inch cast iron skillet when preparing this hash. If your skillet is smaller, you can reduce the proportions to fit your pan. I love to use homemade bone broth for this recipe when I have it on hand, but an equal amount of good quality stock can be used. If you have any roasted carrots, parsnips, or other root vegetables leftover from your Thanksgiving feast, add them in. The results will be completely new and delicious!
Print
Ingredients
  1. 1 Tablespoon butter
  2. 1 large onion, diced
  3. 3 cloves garlic, minced
  4. 2 ½ pounds potatoes, washed and cut into ½ inch cubes
  5. ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
  6. 12 ounces homemade bone broth or good quality stock
  7. 8 ounces shredded turkey
  8. 2 ounces heavy cream
  9. salt and pepper to taste
  10. 2 ounces smoked cheddar, grated
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Position an oven rack in the middle of the oven.
  2. Heat a large cast iron skillet over medium high heat. Add the butter to the hot pan and swirl to coat the bottom surface. Add the onion and cook until almost translucent, about five minutes. Add the garlic and cook one minute before adding the potatoes to the pan, stirring to combine.
  3. Add the thyme and bone broth to the pan. Bring the liquid to a simmer. Cover the pan and reduce the heat to low. Cook for 10 minutes undisturbed.
  4. Remove the cover and stir the mixture. The potatoes should have begun to soften and absorbed some of the liquid. Add the turkey and heavy cream to the pan and stir to combine. Taste for seasoning, adding salt and pepper to taste. Press the mixture firmly into the pan and top with the grated cheddar. Transfer the skillet to the warm oven.
  5. Cook the hash for ten minutes. Check the potatoes for doneness before turning on the broiler. Broil for two minutes to brown the top surface of the hash. Remove from the oven and serve hot.
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This post is included in our 1840 Farmhouse Thanksgiving Gallery.
You’ll find our favorite Thanksgiving recipes all gathered in one place so that you can easily include them in your family’s celebration.  I’ll be adding new recipes  right up until the big day, so check back to see even more delicious and fabulous Thanksgiving posts.

 

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Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2015/11/leftover-thanksgiving-turkey-hash/

An 1840 Farmhouse Thanksgiving Celebration

Fall at 1840 Farm

For me, Thanksgiving is a holiday marked by time spent with family gathered around the table and the delicious tastes of our favorite holiday dishes. I have fond childhood memories of Thanksgiving meals prepared by my paternal grandmother and a team of aunts and uncles. The food was delicious and comforting and the conversation was lively. There was laughter and joy at that table and the meal always ended with my grandmother’s homemade pies.

It’s really no wonder that Thanksgiving traditions have remained so strong over the years. A day that combines family, friends, and comforting homemade food is a holiday to cherish. In many ways, our annual celebration is much like the original harvest celebration that took place 400 years ago, a celebration of all that we are grateful for in our daily lives and the marking of the end of another year’s homegrown harvest of fresh food from our gardens.

The Thanksgiving meal has evolved significantly over the years, but its importance has not diminished.  The first feast would have probably featured wild fowl instead of our modern-day turkey. History tells us that there would not have been cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, or pumpkin pie at that first celebration.  When they sat down to enjoy their meal, the settler’s sugar stores had been depleted, the potato had not yet made its way to North America, and using butter and flour to make a pie crust was a luxury far beyond their wildest imagination.ThanksgivingSquashDecor

Instead, their celebration would have revolved around food that was seasonal,  rustic, simple, and local.  Most likely, it would have featured venison and seafood that had been hunted and caught by the men of the group along with corn, beans, and squash from the land that they had tended during the growing season.  The celebration took place over a series of days instead of at a single meal.

By the mid-1800s, sage dressing and mashed potatoes had begun to take their place on a traditional Thanksgiving table.  In 1863, Abraham Lincoln made Thanksgiving a national holiday.  Since then, we have been marking the day and celebrating with our favorite dishes.

Three generations of my family will gather around our farmhouse table for our Thanksgiving meal in a house that was built at a time before Thanksgiving was declared a national holiday.  I will inevitably turn my thoughts towards all that I am thankful for.  The list is too long to mention, but family, friends, and our life here on the farm are all at the top of my list.

I am also thankful for you, Dear Reader.  You have inspired me to continue telling my family’s story and have returned the favor by sharing yours.  I have enjoyed learning about your farms and families as much as I have enjoyed sharing news from mine.  So, on this holiday that celebrates family, friends, and food enjoyed together, I wish you a day overflowing with all three.  I hope that you have a holiday filled to the brim with laughter, memories in the making, and those nearest and dearest to you.

 

 


Here’s a peek at a few of the recipes that will be found on our Thanksgiving table.  I’ll be adding new recipes  right up until the big day, so check back to see even more delicious and fabulous Thanksgiving posts.

You can click on any of the photos to visit the original post so that you can add them to your celebration.

 

Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2015/11/1840farm_thanksgiving/

Valentine’s Day Favorites from the 1840 Farmhouse Kitchen

Valentine's Day Cupcakes at 1840 Farm

Valentine’s Day usually comes and goes in a flash.  This holiday seems like the perfect excuse to dust off all of our favorite Valentine’s Day recipes and enjoy each and every one of them before the moment has passed us by.  Like all of our recipes, these are nut free and perfect for treating that special someone in your life. 

For my Valentine, only chocolate will do.  Now I just have to decide which of our favorite recipes to bake!

 

 

Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2015/02/valentines-day/

Weekly Photo Journal – August 20, 2014

The last week has marked the start of heirloom tomato season which is news worth celebrating!  We’ve also been busy baking and cooking in the farmhouse kitchen.  Here’s a glimpse at what’s been going on here at 1840 Farm during the last week.

Read the rest of this entry »

Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2014/08/weekly-photo-journal-august-20-2014/

Rhubarb and Strawberry Brown Butter Crumble Cake

Strawberry and Rhubarb at 1840 FarmWe have been enjoying this cake all spring as our rhubarb is harvested fresh from the garden.  You’ll find the recipe for the crumble below so that you can bake it for your friends and family.

The other two recipes in my article are equally delicious.  I was inspired to add fresh strawberries to my family’s favorite scone recipe after reading Honey & Oats: Everyday Favorites Baked with Whole Grains and Natural Sweeteners by Jennifer Katzinger. The results were fantastic. In fact, these scones were such a hit that they have become our favorite scone recipe.  I can’t wait to try a few of the delicious looking recipes from this cookbook.

When making my family’s favorite Rhubarb and Strawberry Brown Butter Crumble, I used my favorite brand of cinnamon, Flavor of the Earth Ceylon Cinnamon.  Unlike most of the cinnamon I find in the grocery store, this cinnamon powder is freshly ground from 100% real cinnamon bark. Flavor the Earth June Giveaway at 1840 FarmCeylon Cinnamon has an amazing flavor and is a great source of Manganese, Fiber, Calcium and Iron.

This cake is the perfect way to enjoy the amazing flavor of fresh rhubarb and strawberries all year-long. Long after the season has ended, I can prepare delicious recipes that highlight the delicious flavor of rhubarb and strawberries.

Rhubarb freezes incredibly well, so I stock the freezer with plenty of rhubarb to last all winter long in our favorite baking recipes. Each year, I harvest ripe stalks of rhubarb before washing and slicing into ½ inch pieces. I place them in a single layer on a small sheet pan in the freezer and leave them to freeze overnight. Once they are frozen solid, I transfer them to a freezer bag for long-term storage.

While rhubarb freezes well, I prefer to utilize our homemade strawberry jam rather than freeze the strawberries. By using jam, I can control the amount of liquid in the recipe and create a fruit filling that has a beautiful appearance and consistency. When combined with the rhubarb, brown butter, and oats, the results are delicious.

I hope that your friends and family will enjoy this delicious seasonal treat as much as we do here at 1840 Farm!

Rhubarb and Strawberry Brown Butter Crumble Cake
makes 6-8 servings

1 ½ cups (6 ounces) rhubarb, cut into ½ inch slicesRhubarb Strawberry Brown Butter Crumble Cake at 1840 Farm
1 Tablespoon cornstarch
2 Tablespoons (1 ounce) butter
¼ cup (48 grams) granulated sugar
¼ cup (48 grams) brown sugar
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
¼ cup (2 ounces) strawberry jam
1 ½ cups (180 grams) All-purpose flour
1 cup (80 grams) old-fashioned oats
2/3 cup (120 grams) brown sugar
1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
12 Tablespoons (6 ounces) butter, cut into small pieces
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Lightly butter an 8 inch springform pan.  Set aside.

Wash and trim the rhubarb stalks. Slice each stalk into ½ inch pieces and place them in a medium bowl. Add the cornstarch and toss gently to coat the rhubarb.

Make the brown butter. In a small skillet, melt the 2 Tablespoons of butter over medium heat. After the butter melts, you will notice that the milk solids will begin to separate.  Continue to cook, stirring occasionally to allow those solids to brown slightly.  You will notice a slight change in color and aroma.  Brown butter has a slightly nutty aroma which will signal that the solids have caramelized and that the brown butter has finished cooking. Remove the skillet from the heat.

Add the granulated sugar, brown sugar, vanilla, and strawberry jam to the warm skillet. Stir gently to fully combine the ingredients before adding them to the bowl with the rhubarb. Stir to coat the rhubarb with the brown butter mixture. Set aside.

In the bowl of a food processor, combine the flour, oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt. Pulse to combine. With the machine running, add the butter gradually. Add the vanilla extract and process until the mixture comes together and forms large clumps.

Transfer two thirds of the crumble mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan.  Press the mixture lightly to form a crust that completely covers the bottom the pan.  Stir the rhubarb strawberry mixture and pour over the crust, spreading to cover evenly.  Sprinkle the remaining crumble mixture evenly on top of the fruit filling.

Transfer the pan to the oven and bake the crumble in the preheated oven for 30 – 35 minutes until the topping has browned lightly and the fruit filling has thickened.  Remove from the oven to cool. Serve warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or fresh whipped cream.


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Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2014/06/rhubarb-and-strawberry-brown-butter-crumble-cake/

Cast Iron Skillet Cinnamon Rolls with Bourbon Caramel Sauce

A few months ago, I was given the opportunity to review the new cookbook, Put An Egg On It by Lara Ferroni.  It was filled with fantastic recipes featuring one of my favorite foods:  eggs.  I loved it so much that I was thrilled to be presented with the chance to review a second cookbook from the Sasquatch Books catalog.  I was even more excited when I learned that it was a cookbook that focused on the use of one of my favorite tools in the kitchen:  a cast iron pan.

The Cast Iron Skillet Cookbook by Sharon Kramis and Julie Kramis Hearne contains over 90 recipes that all utilize a cast iron skillet.  These recipes represent the full range of dishes from breakfast fare to hearty dishes to serve at your family’s dinner table.  This beautiful book also includes helpful information to guide readers through the process of selecting a cast iron skillet, seasoning its surface, and caring for it properly.

The recipe featured on the cover caught my attention right away.  The pecan sticky buns looked amazing in the pan and on the plate.  I couldn’t wait to open the cover and read the recipe.  After I had read that recipe, I continued on through the entrees, vegetables and sides, and delectable looking desserts.

All of the recipes looked delicious, but I was drawn to the idea of making my family’s favorite cinnamon rolls in our own cast iron skillet before diving in and trying a new recipe.  I wondered if using my favorite pan would make any difference in the cinnamon rolls I was planning to serve for dinner.

After the first bite, my family proclaimed that these were the most delicious cinnamon rolls that I had ever made.  As dinner went on, so did their happy comments.  By the time the last bite had been enjoyed, they were all inquiring about when I would be making these Cast Iron Skillet Cinnamon Rolls with Bourbon Caramel Sauce again.

I promised that I would make this recipe again soon.  I want to share the recipe with you first so that you can make them yourself.  These cinnamon rolls are delicious and sure to delight your friends and family.

 

Cast Iron Skillet Cinnamon Rolls with Bourbon Caramel Sauce
serves 4-6

I like to use our WonderMill to mill our own organic, non-GMO flour for this recipe, but there’s no need to pass up making these rolls if you don’t have the ability to mill your own flour. You can substitute high quality whole wheat flour or All-purpose flour. 

I find that adding Grandma Eloise’s Dough Enhancer helps to create lighter dough and improve the overall texture of the rolls.  If you don’t have it on hand, you can simply omit it from the recipe.  The resulting recipe will still be absolutely delicious. You can learn more about the dough enhancer in my recipe for our Farmhouse Country Loaf.

Dough
¼ cup (2 ounces) warm water
1 Tablespoon (20 grams) molasses
1 package (2 ½ teaspoons) active dry yeast
¼ cup (2 ounces) warm milk
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
2 cups (240 grams) All-purpose flour
1 cup (120 grams) whole wheat flour
½ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons Grandma Eloise’s Dough Enhancer
4 Tablespoons (2 ounces) butter, cut into small cubes

Bourbon Caramel Sauce
½ cup (96 grams) brown sugar
4 Tablespoons (2 ounces) butter
1 Tablespoon honey
1 Tablespoon maple syrup
1 Tablespoon bourbon

Filling
4 Tablespoons (2 ounces) butter, softened
¼ cup (48 grams) granulated sugar
¼ cup (48 grams) brown sugar
2 Tablespoons ground cinnamon

If you are using a dough proofer, preheat the proofer following the manufacturer’s instructions as you prepare the dough.  If you don’t have a proofer, you can provide the dough with a warm, draft free location to rise.  Additional time may be necessary for the dough to rise sufficiently, but the cinnamon rolls will taste equally delicious.

In a large bowl, combine the warm water and molasses, stirring to dissolve the molasses.  Sprinkle the yeast over the mixture and set aside to bloom as you measure the dry ingredients, approximately five minutes.

Measure and combine the flour, dough enhancer, and salt in a bowl.  Use a whisk to mix the dry ingredients and evenly distribute the salt throughout the flour.

When the five minutes have elapsed, whisk the liquid ingredients and then add the warm milk, eggs, and vanilla.  Whisk until the eggs are incorporated and the mixture is smooth.

Add the dry ingredients in one addition to the yeast mixture.  Use a dough hook on a stand mixer or a wooden spoon, mix until a shaggy dough forms.  If you are using a stand mixer, continue to mix the dough on the lowest setting for 5 minutes or until a smooth, elastic dough forms before beginning to add the butter slowly.  Add the butter a piece at a time, allowing the mixer to work the dough between each addition.  Continue to mix until all of the butter is incorporated into the dough.

Transfer the dough to a large bowl that has been brushed with butter or oil.  Place the dough in the warm proofer or a draft free spot to rest and rise for approximately 60 minutes.  Remove the dough from the bowl and knead lightly before returning the dough to the bowl to rise for another 60 minutes or until doubled in size.

As the dough is rising for a second time, prepare the bourbon caramel sauce.  Add the brown sugar, butter, honey, maple syrup, and bourbon to an 8 inch or 10 inch cast iron skillet.  Place the skillet over medium high heat.  Bring the mixture to a boil without stirring.  Reduce the heat to medium and continue to simmer until the mixture thickens slightly, approximately five minutes.  Remove the skillet from the heat and allow the caramel to cool to room temperature.

In a small bowl, combine the sugar, brown sugar, and cinnamon for the filling.  Ideally, the butter should be soft enough to spread across the dough easily without stretching the dough.  If it needs a bit of encouragement, a fork can be used to mash it onto a plate before rolling out the dough.

When the dough has risen sufficiently, transfer it to a floured surface.  Lightly flour the surface of the dough before using a rolling pin to roll it into a rectangle approximately 18 by 12 inches in size.

Using a pastry brush or your hands, brush away any excess flour from the surface of the dough.  Spread the softened butter evenly over the dough before sprinkling the cinnamon sugar mixture on top of the butter.  Begin rolling the dough from one long side of the rectangle to the other, forming a tight tube and brushing away excess flour as you roll.

Using a sharp knife, cut the rolled dough into rolls approximately 1 ½ inches in width.  Gently transfer the individual rolls to the cast iron skillet, placing each one cut side down on top of the bourbon caramel sauce.  Continue until all of the rolls are evenly spaced within the skillet.

Place the skillet in preheated bread proofer or a warm, draft free location to rise for another 30-60 minutes or until the rolls have expanded to fill the pan.  As the rolls rise, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Transfer the skillet to the preheated oven.  Bake the rolls for 20-30 minutes, until lightly browned and slightly firm.  Remove the skillet from the oven and allow to cool for at least five minutes.  Using oven mitts and a healthy dose of caution, carefully cover the skillet with a larger plate or pan and turn the skillet to release the cinnamon rolls.

Remove the cast iron skillet, scraping any caramel from the pan.  The bourbon caramel sauce will now be on the top surface of the rolls.  Serve the rolls while still warm and enjoy every last bite!

Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2014/01/cast-iron-skillet-cinnamon-rolls-with-bourbon-caramel-sauce/

Caramelized Onion and Red Wine Jam

When life hands you lemons you can choose to make lemonade.  But what do you do when life cruelly hands you a corked bottle of wine?  Well, I mean what do you do after lamenting the fact that the nectar of the gods has been replaced by a liquid with the aroma of a musty, flooded basement?

I used to simply bemoan my bad fortune and pour the offending liquid down the drain.  Moments later, the empty bottle would clink to the bottom of the kitchen recycling bin and I would sigh, knowing that this imperfection is the chance you take when drinking a bottle of wine.  It simply goes with the territory.

Wine becomes corked after coming into contact with a cork that is contaminated.  An infected cork can contain millions of microorganisms called trichloroanisole (TCA) lying in wait to feast on a perfectly processed bottle of wine.    Because cork is a natural product, there is no way to completely guarantee that one will not carry this offensive contaminant into a bottle of wine.  For this reason, many wineries have moved to screw tops and synthetic corks.

After I had learned the how and why a bottle becomes corked, I learned that corked wine could be used for cooking.  No, I wouldn’t use it to flavor a light sauce as I feared that the corked aroma and taste would surely impart its funk to whatever it touched.  Instead, corked wine was suited to cooking over a longer period of time.  As it cooked, its offensiveness would evaporate away leaving the rich flavor that the wine was meant to bring to my glass when it was opened.

It was hard for me to believe that I could turn a musty, overpowering liquid into something edible, but my curiosity was piqued.  I had nothing to lose.  The wine in its natural state was, ironically unnatural and unpotable.  It was time to get creative and get cooking.

My goal was to make a caramelized onion red wine jam that could grace our weekend cheese platter.  It seemed fitting that I would turn corked wine into a condiment for a cheese course that would accompany a glass of perfectly delicious and uncorked wine.   I began gathering ingredients and mentally forming the recipe.  In minutes, the onions were cooking down in a heavy bottomed saucepan and I was reaching into the cabinets for ingredients that would help round out the flavor.

 I was shocked at how delicious this savory jam was.  I removed several types of cheese from the refrigerator and we went to work testing the onion jam with each of them.  Raw milk cheddar and an aged Piave were good companions for the jam, but a beautifully crafted Bayley Hazen Blue cheese from Jasper Hill Farm in Vermont was its soul mate.

It’s been several years since my initial corked red wine experiment.  In that time, the wine gods have smiled on us and we have not been handed many corked bottles of wine.  When it does happen, I no longer cringe.  Instead, I get busy making caramelized onion jam with red wine and break out the Bayley Hazen Blue.

I have even taken to making a delectable Red, Wine, and Blue Grilled Cheese Sandwich out of this misfortune.  The melted blue cheese sings when paired with the caramelized onion red wine jam.  It’s as if they were meant to be together.

This savory jam and the resulting sandwich are as close as I can get to making lemonade from a bottle of red wine that could literally be labeled a lemon.  Maybe 1840 Farm needs a lemonade stand.  I am sure that it wouldn’t be long until there was a line forming for a Caramelized Onion and Red Wine Jam and warm Red, Wine, and Blue Grilled Cheese Sandwiches!

Caramelized Onion and Red Wine Jam
fills four half pint jars

While I typically use a bottle of less than perfect wine for this recipe, any red wine will do.  I have been known to freeze small portions of leftover red wine until I have enough to make a batch of this jam.  Frozen, corked, or leftover:  it just doesn’t seem to matter.  This jam comes out delicious every time.  The finished jam can be canned by processing in half pint jars with 1/2″ headspace for 10 minutes in a hot water bath.

1 pound yellow onions, sliced thinly
1/2 cup (96 grams) brown sugar
4 Tablespoons honey
18 ounces red wine
4 ounces balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons dried or 4 teaspoons fresh rosemary
2 teaspoons dried or 4 teaspoons fresh thyme
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper

Place a heavy bottomed pot over medium high heat.  Add sliced onions and cook, stirring occasionally for 10 minutes.  Add the brown sugar and stir to combine.  Reduce the heat to medium and continue to cook for 20 – 40 minutes, stirring often, until the onions are softened and caramelized.

Remove the pan from the heat, add the honey and stir to fully incorporate.  Add the remaining ingredients and return the pan to medium heat.  Bring the mixture to a boil.  Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook 20 – 30 minutes or until the liquid is thick and syrupy.

Taste for seasoning, break out the blue cheese! You can also use this jam to make my recipe for a Red, Wine, and Blue Grilled Cheese Sandwich.  It’s a showstopper!

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Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2013/12/caramelized-onion-and-red-wine-jam/

Make Your Own Magical Ice Cream Topping

There’s something magic about pouring Magic Shell on top of a scoop of ice cream.  It comes out of the bottle as a shiny liquid, hits the cold surface of the ice cream and transforms into a matte, solid topping right before your eyes.    I loved it when I was a child and my children feel the same way.

A few weeks ago, I happened upon a recipe for a homemade version of magic shell.  It only required two ingredients, both of which I happened to have on hand.  The process was as simple as warming the ingredients and stirring them until they formed a congruous mixture.

I take great pride in finding new ways to replace store bought items with simple, delicious, homemade alternatives.  If the process can also be used as a homeschool science lesson, all the better.

In moments, I had assembled my children and the ingredients to make our own version of the crispy, magical ice cream shell topping.  A few minutes later, we gathered around  bowls of ice cream for the moment of truth.  I spooned a bit of the liquid topping over the first scoop.  We all waited, eager to see if magic would happen.  It did, producing a lovely, solid shell over the top of each scoop.  We used our spoons to crack open the shell and take the first taste.

The flavor of the topping was extraordinary.  The subtle flavor of coconut was paired beautifully with our homemade vanilla extract and the dark chocolate chips we had used.  We all agreed that this homemade version was delicious.  We couldn’t wait to try it with different chocolates, white chocolate, and other flavored baking chips we had in the pantry. The possibilities were endless and sure to put smiles on my children’s faces.  Now that’s magic!

Homemade Magic Shell Ice Cream Topping
adapted from Two-Ingredient Magic Shell by Food52

We used chocolate chips in this recipe, but you could use chopped chocolate with equally delicious results.  Both the coconut oil and chocolate are liquid when heated, solid at room temperature.  Should your mixture become too thick to spoon over ice cream, simply warm it for a few seconds in the microwave.

3/4 cup (120 grams) chocolate chips or chopped chocolate
1/3 cup (80 grams) coconut oil
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Place the chocolate and coconut oil in a microwave safe bowl.  Microwave in 30 second increments, stirring each time, until smooth.  Add the vanilla extract and stir to combine.  Allow the mixture to cool slightly before pouring over ice cream.  Store at room temperature, warming if necessary to re-liquefy.

Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2013/08/make-your-own-magical-ice-cream-topping/

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