Thursday, March 26, 2015

Hot Cross Buns


Hot Cross Buns
(4 dozen)

 
Ingredients:

2 (1/4 oz.) envelopes Active Dry Yeast
½ cup Warm Water (100-110 degrees)
1 cup Warm Milk (100-110 degrees)
½ cup Unsalted Butter, room temperature
½ cup Sugar
½ tsp. Salt
3 large Fresh Eggs
1½ tsp. Vanilla
5 cups All-Purpose Flour
1½ tsp. Ground Cinnamon
1 cup Raisins
Your favorite Powdered Sugar Frosting

Directions:

Combine yeast and warm water in a large mixing bowl and let stand 5 minutes.  Now add the warm milk, butter, sugar, salt, eggs and vanilla.  Beat on medium speed with an electric mixer until well blended.  Combine the flour and cinnamon in another large bowl and mix.  Gradually add to the yeast mixture continuing on medium speed.  Once all the flour mixture has been added continue beating for 2 minutes.  Stir in the raisins and place dough in a well-greased bowl.  Grease top of dough too.  Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled (about 2 hours).  Remove from bowl and punch down.  Cover again and let rise another 30 minutes in a warm place.  Now turn out dough onto a well-floured surface and roll out to a ½ inch thickness.  Cut with a 2 inch round cutter and place on a lightly greased baking sheet.  Rework dough as needed to cut out 4 dozen buns.  Cover and let rise until doubled (about 45 minutes) in a warm place.  Uncover and place in a pre-heated 350 degree oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until lightly browned.  Let cool 10 minutes before icing in an X pattern on each bun using your favorite powdered sugar frosting.  Serve warm or at room temperature.

Note:               I’m not a raisin person.  So you might try dried cranberries or cherries in place of the raisins.

Note:               I use half sheet pans (approximately 13x18 inches) and place the rolls 4 by 6 for 2 dozen on each sheet pan.

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Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Dijon Rack of Lamb


Dijon Rack of Lamb
(8 servings)

 
Ingredients:

2 (8 rib) Lamb Rib Roasts (4-5 lbs. total)
1 tsp. Salt
3 tsp. Black Pepper
3 tbsp. Olive Oil
3 tbsp. Dijon Mustard
1 cup Fresh French Breadcrumbs

Directions:

First, rub the lamb with the salt and pepper evenly allover.  Using a large skillet of high heat add the oil.  When oil is heated add the lamb to brown on each side (about 3 minutes per side).  Next using a rack in a roasting pan, place the lamb fat-side up.  Put into a pre-heated 425 degree oven for about 20 minutes or until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part reads 145 degrees.  Remove, cover with foil and let rest 10 minutes.  Now brush lamb with the mustard and sprinkle with breadcrumbs before putting back into the 425 degree oven for another 4 to 5 minutes or until crumbs are browned.  Cut the lamb into chops and serve.

Note                 To give a slightly different taste, try using herbed focaccia breadcrumbs in place of the French ones.  Or some other tasty bread you like.

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Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Easter & Passover Season

The 1st weekend in April this year is Easter and Passover.  These are two of the most important celebrations in the Christian and Hebrew faiths.  Each have their own traditions and ceremonies.  They are definitely different from one another too.

However, both have things in common and one of them is "Food."  Family meals have great meaning and history on this weekend.  Every family has their own special foods that must be served sometime during the weekend.

But, there is always room to try something new as well.  It's nice to have a core menu of items that one looks forward to each year.  Equally, it is enlightening and adds to the celebrations to try new dishes.

In the "Recipe Tabs" of this food blog are many items to review that would be wonderful additions to those tried and true special foods.  Be sure to check them out for ideas.

This week I offer a couple of other recipes for consideration too.  Tomorrow "Dijon Rack of Lamb"  is the recipe.  It is really an easy dish to make for a fancy dinner.  Thursday offers "Hot Cross Buns" that will compliment a brunch or breakfast feast.

This is the last blog of my 4th year of doing "Cabana Boy Cooks" and I hope you have enjoyed it half as much as myself.  Next week will start my 5th year.  I will be working all next week on a facelift of my site as I have done at the start of each new year.

If you have suggestions for any changes, please let me know.  Also, if the changes I make don't seem to be user friendly let me know that too.  I'm here to try and help you in your cooking endeavors.  To that end I need feedback form you my audience.

Thank you for following my food blog and sharing it with family and friends.  Please continue to do so.  "Happy Cooking" until next week and  a "Happy Easter and Passover" to you as well.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Scallop Ceviche


Scallop Ceviche
(4 servings)

 
Ingredients:

1 lb. Fresh Bay Scallops
8 medium Fresh Limes, juiced
2 medium Roma Tomatoes, diced
5 medium Green Onions, minced
2 stalks Celery, sliced
½ medium Green Pepper, minced
½ cup Fresh Parsley, chopped
½ tsp. Black Pepper
1½ tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/8 cup Fresh Cilantro, chopped

Directions:

Rinse scallops and place in a medium non-metallic bowl.  Pour the lime juice over them to cover completely, cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 8 hours to overnight.  Scallops should be opaque and not able to see through when done.  Drain lime juice reserving half.  Add back the reserved juice and continue to add the remaining ingredients to the bowl.  Gently stir to combine and serve in a fancy glass or individual bowl with a lime wedge hanging on side of rim.

Note:               You can substitute other seafood or fish for the scallops in this recipe.  Some fish suggestions would be halibut, red snapper, flounder or swordfish

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Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Shrimp Ceviche


Shrimp Ceviche
(6 servings)

 
Ingredients:

1½ lb.  Fresh Raw Shrimp, peeled & deveined (see note)
8 large Fresh Limes (extra for lime wedges)
1 small White Onion
1-2 medium Avocado, diced (see note)
3 medium Roma Tomatoes, seeded & diced
¼ cup Fresh Mexican Oregano (2 tsp. Dried)
1 tsp. Kosher Salt
½ tsp. Black Pepper
Crusty Bread (to serve with dish)

Directions:

Place shrimp in a non-metallic dish.  Squeeze 7 of the limes and pour the juice over the shrimp.  Be sure to cover the shrimp completely.  Cover with lid or plastic wrap and refrigerate a minimum of 8 hours or overnight.  Drain the shrimp in a colander to remove excess juice and pat dry with paper towels.  Now place shrimp in a large bowl.  Add the sliced onion, diced avocado and diced tomato to the shrimp in the bowl.  Before tossing together, add the oregano, salt, pepper and the juice of 1 lime.  Toss and serve with crusty bread and lime wedges.

Note:               Use the freshest shrimp you can find.  Frozen will work but thaw on ice in the refrigerator only.  I would use shrimp between 20 and 30 count.  That is shrimp per pound.

Note:               Slice avocado in half and remove pit.  Using your knife, make slices in avocado from cut side not going through the skin.  Now slice across these slices to make ½ inch dice.  Use a spoon to scoop the avocado out of the skin.

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Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Part 13 Mexican (Ceviche) Cuisine

I'm sure many people say "No Way" would I eat raw fish or seafood.  But that seems to have been changing over the last 10 years or so.  "Sushi" is quite popular these days.  Along the coasts of Mexico, the popular dish using raw fish or seafood is "Ceviche."  Probably more so on the west coast.  But it is because of the availability of "Fresh" product.

Actually the "Raw" fish or seafood is "Cured" using citrus juices.  The two most used citrus are limes and lemons.  Limes are the more preferred citrus in Mexican cooking.  The fish or seafood is marinated in the citrus juice from a few hours to overnight.

You can use many different fish or seafood for this dish.  Some of the most common fish used include; tuna, bass, swordfish and mackerel.  For seafood, it is shrimp, scallops, squid and octopus.  You can also use a combination of fish and seafood when making ceviche.

Recipes for ceviche involve other ingredients too.  Chili peppers are used to give a little heat.  Onions and salt are usually in the recipes too.  Other ingredients you'll find include avocado, corn, tomato and even olives.  Of course, a Mexican recipe has to have cilantro as well.

Ceviche is served in stemmed glassware like you may see shrimp cocktail.  It is also served with tortillas or crusty bread.

If you have never tried it, you should.  In making ceviche, be sure to only use the freshest fish and seafood available.  This week I give you a "Shrimp Ceviche" in tomorrow's post.  Then on Thursday, it is a "Scallop Ceviche" for you to try.  Remember that you can interchange or combine several types of fish and seafood for these or other recipes.

"Happy Cooking" until next week.  Please share my food blog with other family and friends on your Facebook page too.  I will have a couple of recipes for the upcoming Easter weekend next time on my blog.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Copycat Maid-Rites


Copycat Maid-Rites
(12 regular or 24 small servings)

 
Ingredients:

3 lb. Ground Chuck (85/15 fat)
1 medium Yellow Onion, finely diced
3 cups Water
2 tbsp. Cider Vinegar
2 tbsp. Brown Sugar
2 tbsp. Soy Sauce
2 tbsp. Worcestershire Sauce
2 each Beef Bouillon Cubes
2 each Chicken Bouillon Cubes
2 tsp. Garlic Powder
1½ tsp. Seasoned Salt
½ tsp. Accent (optional)
½ tsp. Black Pepper

Directions:

In a large skillet, place beef, onion and water over medium-high heat.  Using a spoon, break up beef as fine as possible while bringing mixture to a boil.  Continue cooking, breaking up and stirring mixture until no longer pink.  Lower temperature to medium-low and add all remaining ingredients to mixture.  Simmer mixture until liquid is reduced and mixture thickens.  Be sure to continue stirring and breaking up as needed.  Once done, use a slotted spoon to press mixture onto bun bottoms.  If using regular hamburger buns the yield should be 12.  But try Hawaiian rolls that come 24 to a package for smaller versions.  Top with condiments of your choice but yellow mustard and pickles are traditional. 

Note:               You will want to strain some of the liquid out of mixture when it is done.  They tend to be a little too sloppy if you don’t.

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