Baking Madness!

Baking Madness!

Apparently I was in the mood to bake on Sunday! I didn’t mean to crank out so much stuff, but that’s what happens when you cook professionally for years. You start cooking and before you know it, you have enough food to open a cafe.

It all started with the chocolate chip cookies. A coworker did me a favor at work and I promised her some cookies. Since I had the oven on, well might as well make a batch of Irish Butter Shortbread cookies, and try the Milk Bread recipe that I saw on Food 52. BUT, why stop there, let’s go ahead with dinner, so I popped turkey meatballs in the oven and sweet potatoes and finished it all with a pan full of spinach sauteed in olive oil. In the end I had dinner, dessert, and enough rolls for breakfast for the rest of the week. A very productive couple of hours.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Who doesn’t love a freshly baked chocolate chip cookie with the chocolate still soft and oozing. I’m a crispy around the edges, soft in the middle chocolate chip cookie kind of gal. My favorite chocolate is Guittard. Guittard is based in San Francisco and even in the Bay Area they not all stores carry Guittard chips all the time, so when I find them I buy a few bags. Since I knew my coworker was a very “classic” eater I used semi-sweet chips, not bittersweet. If they were for me, I’d use bittersweet because I like how the bitter chocolate offsets the sweetness. I never put nuts in my chocolate chips, never have. I’m a purist. Of course they must be eaten with a small glass of milk.

Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe…

Dorothy Calimeris bakes chocolate chip cookies

Kindred’s Milk Bread

This recipe appeared on my beloved Food 52. It comes from a restaurant called Kindred’s and was served warm to guests. What caught my eye was the technique of creating a flour and water roux as the first step to build the dough. In all my years of bread baking, I’ve not seen that step before. It made a very dense rich brioche-like dough. It only has 4 tablespoons of butter in it, but it has 1 cup of cream.

The recipe calls for 2 tablespoons of salt, which really seemed excessive to me, so I made mine with two teaspoons of salt and it was fine. I also followed the suggestion of sprinkling the rolls with sea salt. I didn’t have oversized muffin tins, so I used a regular muffin tin and made 12 very generous rolls, you could easily make 14 medium sized rolls with this amount of dough.

Warm and fresh out of the oven, these are perfect. Didn’t need butter or any other toppings. Mildly sweet, dense, with a nice crust and a touch of salt. If I lived near Kindred’s I’d be going there a lot.

Kindred’s Milk Bread Recipe…

Irish Butter Shortbread

I’ve referenced this recipe in a couple of my posts. Since I love it so much, I whipped up a batch. Click here for the recipe…

Dorothy Calimeris bakes Kindred's Milk Bread
Dorothy Calimeris bakes Irish Shortbread Cookies

Turkey Meatballs

Sometimes I just want turkey. Not chicken, not beef, not pork..just turkey. But it’s often difficult to find turkey breast to roast if its not November, but almost everyone sells ground turkey, so that’s how I get my fix. This is an easy recipe, you can put it together in about 15 minutes, and they only take about 15 minutes to cook in a hot oven. No breading and frying mess. I often make double batches and store them in the freezer for a handy dinner or lunch. I serve these with a simple mixture of mayonnaise and Sriracha sauce as a condiment. It’s good on the sweet potatoes too.

1 slice bread
2 T milk
1 t ground cumin
1 t smoked paprika
1 t oregano
1 t salt
freshly ground nutmeg and pepper to taste
1 garlic clove, minced
1 shallot minced
1 egg
1 pound ground turkey
Olive oil

Heat oven to 400
Crumble the bread into a medium bowl, add the milk and let the bread absorb the milk. Add the cumin, paprika, oregano, salt, nutmeg, and pepper, garlic, shallot, and egg, mix well. Add the ground turkey and mix until all the ingredients are incorporated.

Brush a cookie sheet with sides with olive oil. Using a 1-ounce ice cream scoop, scoop the turkey mixture onto the oiled cookie sheet. Once all the mixture has been scooped, brush with olive oil and place in the oven. Bake 15-20 minutes or until meatballs are firm to the touch. Makes about 12 meatballs.

Sweet Potatoes and Spinach

Being a “lazy” cook, if I have the oven on, I try to cook my whole meal in the oven. I’ve even made risotto in the oven! Roasting potatoes and vegetables is one of the easiest ways to cook them. For the sweet potatoes I washed them, but left the skin on. I cut the potatoes into thin wedges, coated them in olive oil and tossed them with salt, pepper, and herbs de provence. I placed them on a single layer on a cookie sheet with sides and cooked them 10 minutes in a hot oven. Using a spatula I turned them and cooked them an additional 10 minutes.

For the spinach I placed a generous drizzle of olive oil in a large frying pan, once the pan was warm I added one bag of spinach, once that had wilted I added a second bag of spinach. Spinach has a huge volume when raw, but cooks down to practically nothing, we only got 2 1/5 servings out of 2 bags of spinach. I seasoned the spinach with salt and lemon juice and served it.

If you try any of these recipes, comment below or shoot me an email, I’d love to hear how it went.

Dorothy Calimeris bakes Turkey Meatballs and Spinach
By | 2017-04-18T17:43:02+00:00 April 18th, 2017|Bread, Desserts, Entree's, Home Page, Poultry, Root Vegetables, sides, Vegetables|0 Comments

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