Sunday, September 21, 2008

Perfect Soft Pretzels

This is a terrific and easy recipe for soft pretzels. Gabe and I made them twice in the past two weeks. We doubled the recipe the second time and we cut them like bagels to make pretzel bread sandwiches, yummy!! They even stayed fresh and moist the second day so we ate them with a cup of soup.

Perfect Soft Pretzels
1 tsp active dry yeast
pinch of sugar
1/3 cup warm water
1 1/4 cups flour
2 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp vegetable oil

soda water bath:
3 tbsp baking soda
1 cup very hot water

kosher salt

Dissolve yeast in water and let bloom (stand) for 10 minutes. Mix yeast mixture with remaining dough ingredients. Knead dough until smooth, 4-5 minutes. Let dough rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
Heat oven to 425 degrees. Cut dough into 4-6 balls and roll each length into a long snake. Once all are rolled out, repeat since the dough will be a bit relaxed at this point and easier to work with. Twist dough into a pretzel shape and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Dissolve baking soda in hot water. Dip each pretzel in water and place it back on the parchment paper. Sprinkle with kosher salt and bake for about 8 minutes.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Flavorful Short Ribs

These Asian inspired short ribs were so flavorful and tender we were wishing we had bought more than a pound and a half to split for dinner. We will definitely be having these again and again, I may even switch to doing my pot roast with these Asian flavors as well. The ginger, soy sauce, and orange juice actually mellowed and melded together during the long cooking process to create a super flavorful sauce to use for the meat, starch, and vegetable we had at dinner.
I asked Joesph if he thought it tasted Asian and he said he didn't know...all he knew was that it had "a lot of good flavor."
Asian Inspired Short Ribs

1 1/2 - 2 pounds short ribs. (I had the butcher cut each rib into 3 smaller pieces.)
Juice of 3 oranges
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 onion - thinly sliced
1 T minced ginger
2 cloves garlic, minced
salt and pepper to taste
veg. oil

Season ribs on all sides with salt and pepper. Heat a large, heavy, oven safe pot over medium-high heat. Add 1 T oil to pan, once oil shimmers it is time to add the ribs. Once browned on all sides remove. Add sliced onions and cook over medium-low heat until softened a bit. Add ginger and garlic, cook an additional minute. Add orange juice, soy sauce, and pepper flakes. Bring to a boil and add ribs back into pot. Cover and place in a 350 degree oven for 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
It is a good idea to make the ribs up to this point earlier in the day or the day before serving. That way you'll have time to let the extra fat solidify which makes removing it much easier and healthier.
Take ribs out and add 1 cup of water to pot and bring to a boil. Return the ribs to the pot and cook until heated thru. Serve with rice, potatoes, or egg noodles for best results.

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