Friday, May 25, 2012

Maple Brined Pork Loin - Holiday Recipe Club

maple brined pork
Maple Brined Pork Loin - ButterYum
Welcome to my first Holiday Recipe Club submission.  The ingredients I was to use for this Memorial Day challenge were watermelon (don't like), beer (don't drink), or pork (I can do that).

This is a recipe I found a few years ago on Chef John's blog Food Wishes.  Like all the other Chef John recipes I've tried, this one's a keeper.  Easy too.  Enjoy!

Maple-Brined Pork Loin
Serves 4-6

2-3 pound boneless pork loin roast
4 cups cold water
1/4 cup kosher salt
1/3 cup pure maple syrup (no substitutes)
2 cloves garlic, smashed
3-4 slices fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 teaspoons dried rosemary
1 tablespoon ground black pepper
Veggie oil

2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

In a container large enough to hold the brine and pork loin (I used a gallon size zipper top bag), combine the water, kosher salt, 1/3 cup maple syrup, garlic, ginger, red pepper flakes, black pepper, and rosemary; stir to dissolve salt completely. Add the pork loin; refrigerate for 8-10 hours. Remove loin from brine; discard brine. Dry the roast very well with paper towels. Preheat the oven to 325F.

In an oven safe pan, over med-high heat, brown the pork loin on all sides. Transfer pan to preheated oven; roast for a total of 20-25 minutes per pound. Approximately 15 minutes before the roast is done, make the glaze by combining the Dijon and remaining maple syrup. Reserve some glaze for garnish; brush the rest on the loin. Continue roasting until the loin reaches an internal temperature of 155F. Let the loin rest for 10-15 minutes before carving.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Zebra Popcorn

Zebra Popcorn - ButterYum

I was grocery shopping a few weeks ago when I came across a sample table filled with different types of gourmet popcorn.  When I asked the clerk which was the most popular, she handed me a sample of Zebra Popcorn.  I took one bite and though I had died and gone to popcorn heaven - caramel corn drizzled with white and dark chocolate.  Wow - I rushed home to make a batch for a sleepover one of the kids was having - it was a huge hit.  I don't really have a recipe per se, but here's how you make it.

Zebra Popcorn
Printable Recipe

prepared caramel corn
high quality white chocolate, melted (tempered if possible, but not necessary)
high quality dark chocolate, melted (tempered if possible, but not necessary)

Place a single layer of caramel corn on a parchment lined sheet pan.  Gently melt the white chocolate and drizzle it over the popcorn.  Gently melt the dark chocolate and drizzle it over the white chocolate.  Allow the chocolate to set.  Note: serve with plenty of napkins.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Melt In Your Mouth Chicken

Melt In Your Mouth Chicken - ButterYum

Wow, is this chicken good!  This is one of those recipe I found on one of my favorite blogs, Grateful Belly.  The original recipe called for a whole cup of mayonnaise and a teaspoon of seasoned salt, but I wanted to lighten it up a bit so I cut the mayo in half and replaced the seasoned salt with a salt-free season blend since Parmesan cheese is already pretty salty.  Everyone in the family loved it - so much so that they asked for it again the next night.  This recipe is definitely a keeper!

Melt In Your Mouth Chicken
Printable Recipe
serves 4
adapted from Grateful Belly

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1/2 cup mayonnaise (Duke's is our favorite brand)
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese (romano or grana padano will work too)
1 teaspoon granulated garlic or garlic powder (not garlic salt)
1 teaspoon salt-free Mrs. Dash Onion and Herb blend
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 375F.  Wash and dry chicken and place in a greased 9x13 baking dish.  Combine the remaining ingredients to make a paste; spread the paste evenly on the chicken breasts using an offset spatula.  Bake uncovered for about 35 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and the parmesan is golden brown. 

Just 5 ingredients make up the cheesy crust.

Put them in a bowl...

Mix them together to form a paste...

...and spread it on four chicken breasts, then pop them in the oven for 35 minutes.


Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Chocolate Applesauce Muffins

Chocolate Applesauce Muffins - ButterYum

Little ButterYum made these muffins for me on Mother's Day.  What a wonderful treat they were (and low cal).   

Chocolate Applesauce Muffins
Printable Recipe
makes 18 (140 calories each)
adapted from The Low GI Cookbook

1/2 cup butter
2/3 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups applesauce
1 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt

Preheat oven to 350F.  Prepare a 12-cup muffin pan with non-stick baking spray or paper liners.  Cream butter and sugar together until light in color, about 2 minutes.  Add eggs and cocoa powder; mix until smooth.  Fold in applesauce.  Add remaining dry ingredients and mix just until combined (don't over mix).  Fill cups about 3/4 full.  Bake 22-25 minutes or just until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a couple crumbs attached.  Cool 5 minutes before removing from pan, placing on cooling rack to cool completely.

Note:  I think almond would be a nice flavor variation - I'll give it a try and report back soon..

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Minted Strawberries

Minted Strawberries - ButterYum

This is one of my all-time favorite ways to enjoy fresh strawberries.  They're so simple to make, yet so "gourmet".  Serve them at any meal, or even as a light dessert.

Minted Strawberries
Printable Recipe
serves 2

8-10 ripe strawberries, chopped into 3/4-inch cubes
1/2 - 1 teaspoon vanilla sugar, depending on how sweet the berries are (or white granulated sugar)
2 mint leaves, sliced into thin ribbons

Combine all the ingredients together; stir to coat and allow to sit for 5-10 minutes, or until the strawberries start to release their juice.  Stir again and serve.  Chill leftovers

Monday, May 7, 2012

Muzzi in Caruzzi - Crazy Cooking Challenge

Muzzi in Caruzzi (Mozzarella en Carozza) - ButterYum

This month's Crazy Cooking Challenge is "Grilled Cheese".  Challenge participants were asked to find any recipe from any blog that fit the grilled cheese theme.  Enter this yummy recipe for Muzzi in Caruzzi from Paulie Tuorto at the blog Giusto Gusto.

Muzzi in Caruzzi is Paulie's family's nickname for a classic Southern Italian fried grilled cheese sandwich called Mozzarella en Carozza.  There are many versions of this amazing sandwich floating around the internet, and you might remember that I shared a similar recipe with you about a year ago), but Paulie's version is less complicated; a little more straight forward. 

Okay, grab yourself some fresh mozzarella, a loaf of crusty bread, and a egg - you're in for an incredible treat!

Paulie's Muzzi in Caruzzi
Printable Recipe
my adaptation makes 2 sandwiches

4 slices good quality crusty bread, sliced thin
2 slices fresh mozzarella cheese
1 egg, beaten
salt and pepper
olive oil and butter for frying
optional garnishes such as basil, tomatoes, pesto, etc

Here are Paulie's directions:
When you’re cutting your slices of bread, try to cut them thinner.  The thinner the bread is, the crunchier and less-soggy the sandwiches will turn out.

Crack your eggs and beat well while you heat a cast iron pan on med-high heat. When hot, add enough olive oil to barely cover the bottom of the pan. Working in single batches, dip each slice into the egg batter briefly, as making french toast, and add to the oil.

Fry each slice on one side for 1 minute or until golden brown. Flip one slice over, top with a slice of fresh mozzarella, then flip the other slice and top the mozzarella leaving the uncooked side out. Fry as a sandwich on each side for an additional minute or until golden brown.

My notes - I prefer to add a pat of butter to the oil in my cast iron frying pan.  I also like to lightly sprinkle the egg-dipped bread and fresh mozzarella with a light sprinkling of salt and pepper.  I made a version of this sandwich with sun-dried tomatoes and basil inside, but in the end preferred just cheese inside and topped the finished sandwich with a couple leaves of fresh basil.  Yummo!!

 Here you'll see I dipped my crusty bread in beaten egg and placed them in my pan like an open book or mirror image facing each other - this will ensure the finished sandwich will have both pieces of bread facing the same direction.

 When the bread is golden brown on the bottom, flip only one piece and quickly top it with a slice of fresh mozzarella cheese.  Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper and top it with the other slice of bread, toasted side down, touching the cheese.

 So now we have a slice of yummy mozzarella cheese sandwiched between two toasted sides of bread.  Now we toast the outside of the sandwich.

 Yikes - almost ready.  I can't wait!!  Drooling...
   Ta-da!  Top with fresh basil and savor every delectable bite.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Cinnamon Roll Pancakes

Cinnamon Roll Pancakes - ButterYum

Oh boy do I have a decadent breakfast recipe to share with you today.  How do Cinnamon Roll Pancakes sound??  Yes, I know... way too good, right?  Right!!  That's why I only  make them when we have guests in the house.

The pancake batter is pretty straight forward, but you can use your favorite boxed pancake mix if you like.  The cinnamon filling and the creamy drizzle should be made before you start frying your pancakes.  I put each of them in a sturdy zip-top bag.  When I'm ready to use each, I snip a tiny hole in the corner of the bag.  If the cinnamon filling starts to separate before you use it, squish it around in the bag for a minute.  Likewise, if the cream drizzle starts to firm up too much before you use it, squish it around in the bag for a minute.

Cinnamon Roll Pancakes (
Printable Recipe
makes eight 4-inch pancakes

Cinnamon Filling:
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
6 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Creamy Glaze:
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder, sifted
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 cup milk
1 large egg, beaten
1 tablespoon canola oil

To make the cinnamon filling:
Combine ingredients and place in a heavy zip-top bag.  Set aside until needed.

To make the creamy drizzle:
Gently melt butter and whisk in cream cheese until smooth.  Add powdered sugar and vanilla; whisk until smooth.  Place in a heavy zip-top bag.  Set aside until needed.

To make the pancake batter:
In a medium bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients.  Add milk, egg, and oil; whisk just until combined (don't over whisk - a few lumps in the batter are okay).

To make the pancakes:
Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium heat and spray with non-stick spray.   Scoop 1/3 cup batter per pancake into hot skillet (each pancake will be about 4-inches in diameter).  Reduce heat to low.  Snip a tiny hole in the corner of the cinnamon filling bag.  When the pancake begins to form bubbles, squeeze cinnamon filling in a swirl pattern starting in the center , being careful not to get the filling too close to the edges of the pancake; cook 2-3 minutes, or until it's time to flip the pancakes over and cook an additional 2-3 minutes.  Wipe pan clean between batches.  Serve pancakes with creamy drizzle.

Prepare the cinnamon filling and creamy drizzle before you start.  Keep the bags sealed for now, but snip a small hole in the corner of each when needed.

Each batch of pancakes should start with a clean skillet.

When you start seeing bubbles in the pancake batter, pipe the cinnamon filling in a swirl pattern, being careful not to pipe it too close to the edge of the pancakes.

Get too close to the edge and this will happen.  No worries, it'll still taste good.

Flip the pancakes over when the bottoms look like this. 

Ooooo.... so cool.

Are you ready for a bite?  Wait... we need to add the creamy drizzle.

Okay, there you go.  You're welcome.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Hungarian Shortbread: Tuesdays with Dorie

TWD Hungarian Shortbread - ButterYum

Today I'm thrilled to be joining the Tuesdays with Dorie baking group for the first time.  This group is baking their way through the book Baking with Julia and today's featured recipe is Gale Gand's Hungarian Shortbread (page 327, Baking with Julia by Dorie Greenspan).

This shortbread is delicious, but it's very rich and very sweet.  It's different than other shortbread recipes I've tried - the dough contains egg yolks, it's chilled and grated before being pressed lightly into the baking pan, there's a ribbon of jam baked in the middle, and the shortbread is liberally sprinkled with powdered sugar when it's piping hot out of the oven.  Dorie fills her shortbread with homemade strawberry-rhubarb jam, but I had a jar of sugar-free raspberry preserves to use up.  Glad I chose sugar-free because the shortbread is very sweet.  

I reduced the recipe by half and baked it in an 8-inch square pan.  I should also mention that I goofed and set my oven temp 25F higher than I should have - despite my error, the shortbread tasted wonderful although I'm sure it's a bit darker in color than it should have been (easily camouflaged with a sprinkling of powdered sugar).   

The recipe can be found at the following host blogs:  1 Small Kitchen and The Not So Exciting Adventures of a Dabbler

If you're interested in joining this baking group and/or would like to visit other blogs who baked along, visit Tuesdays with Dorie.