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    Entries in all rolled up (13)

    Friday
    Mar292013

    Dinner Rolls

    Dinner rolls.  They couldn’t really have a more mundane name, but in reality, they are anything but.  There aren’t many things in life better than a fresh, hot, roll.  You can spread butter on them, or eat them with soup, or pile on some of your fresh baked Easter ham to make fabulous little sammiches.  I grew up eating my mom’s homemade rolls.  They were always the best, and we all loved them.  She usually makes potato rolls, though, which call for things like mashed potato and scalded milk.  Well, I’m way too lazy for that, so here is my simplified version. 

    Here’s what you’ll need:

    • 1 ½ cup warm water
    • 1 Tablespoon sugar
    • 1 pkg yeast
    • 3 ½ cups flour
    • ½ teaspoon salt
    • 3 Tablespoons butter

    Place the sugar in your mixing bowl and pour over the water.  The temperature of the water should be about like a nice warm bath would be. 

    Swirl that around to dissolve the sugar, and then sprinkle on the yeast. 

    Walk away for 5 – 10 minutes, or until you start to see active signs of life.

    Add 2 cups of flour to the water. 

    Mix that until it just comes together.

    Add the butter, and mix for about a minute or so. 

    Add the remaining flour, as well as the salt, and switch to the dough hook. (if you’re using a stand mixer) If you’re not using a stand mixer, work the flour in as best you can with a wooden spoon, and then switch to kneading by hand.  If you are using a mixer, allow it to knead the dough on medium low speed for 5 minutes or so. 

    While that’s doing its thing, go ahead and butter a large bowl. 

    If you happen to have a butter wrapper on hand, it is the easiest way to do that.  My friend Elise just passed on a little tip.  She says you can stack them in the freezer, and then just pull them out when you need them.  That’s a great tip, but with my brain, I’m likely to remember it just after I’ve dropped the butter wrapper in the trash. 

    At this point your dough should be nice and smooth, but still a bit sticky. 

    Flour your hands, and then move it to the bowl, flipping it over so that both sides have butter on them. 

    Cover that with a damp kitchen towel and leave it to rise. 

    Depending on the temperature of your house, it will probably need somewhere between 45 and 90 minutes.  Most likely, it’ll take about an hour.  You want it to basically double in size. 

    Dump the dough out onto a floured surface and poke it with your knuckles to get rid of the largest bubbles. 

    Divide the dough in half and set one piece aside. 

    Cut the half you’re working with into 9 equal-ish pieces. 

    Flatten each piece into a disc shape. 

    Then fold all the edges into the center to form something resembling a ball. 

    Put it down on the work surface, place your hand loosely over the top like a cage, and move it in small circles.  This will pull everything tight and make a nice ball. 

    Place the ball into the prepared pan and repeat with the rest of the dough pieces. 

    If you need more than 9 rolls now, go ahead and do the same with the other half.  Personally, I’d prefer to save them for another night to save me some time.  In that case, roll them into balls the same as you did the others, but place them with a bit of space between them on a floured, parchment lined, sheet pan, then pop that into the freezer for a few hours.  When they’re frozen solid, go ahead and drop them into a freezer bag.  Then when you’re ready, go ahead and continue from this point.  Just remember it will take a bit longer because they have to thaw before they’ll rise. 

    Allow the rolls to rise until they’re nice and puffy.  Probably another hour or so.  When they’re getting close to that size, go ahead and preheat the oven to 350°.  

    When they’re ready, bake them for about 25 minutes.  They should be nice and golden on top and if you tap on them, they’ll sound hollow. 

    Remove them from the pan immediately.  If you want them to be pretty, brush them with a little butter, and they’ll be shiny and gorgeous.

    They really do need a better name.  Look at that beauty! 

    What’s your favorite thing to do with a roll? 

     

    Tuesday
    Jan292013

    One Handed Meals

    I have 3 assignments and 2 lab reports due on Thursday. I am doing homework no matter what I'm doing or where I am. Including eating dinner. So, I needed something I could eat with one hand.

    Breakfast Burrito

    • a handfull of small potatoes
    • 1 egg
    • a bit of onion
    • some jalapeno
    • cheese
    • bacon!
    • bacon bacon bacon bacon bacon
    • bacon fat
    • a tortilla
    • some salsa

    So, there are 2 eggs in the picture, but I cooked only one. The key to being able to roll a burrito is the filling. Don't use too much filling.

    Preheat the oven to 425.

    Chop the little taters into tiny bits. Put them on a baking sheet and rub peanut oil all over them. You want barely enough oil to cover them in a thin layer. Pour about a teaspoon in the palm of your hand and start with that.

    That weird line on the left of the picture is actually peanut oil. Action shots are not always ftw.

    Pop the tiny taters in the oven. They take about 10 minutes when they're this size and they'll come out lovely and golden because of the peanut oil.

    Chop the onion, the bacon, and the jalapeno, and grate the cheese.

    If you don't have bacon in the freezer already cooked... dude, seriously, cook bacon on the weekend just for fun and put it in the freezer; your house will smell like bacon.

    Heat a bit of bacon fat (see, this is what precooking gets you, bacon fat to use at your leisure) in a pan and sautee the onions and jalapenos for a couple minutes.

    Crack in the egg, and give it a stir. No, you don't need to beat it in a bowl first. Sure, you could, but then you'd have a dirty bowl.

    Stir the egg, onion and jalapeno around for a few minutes until the eggs are set. Sprinkle on the bacon and cheese, and cover the pan with the tortilla.

    This does two things: it steams the tortilla to soften it a bit, and it keeps the heat in to melt the cheese. Clever, no?

    Your tiny taters should be just done by now.

    Slide the bacon and cheese covered eggs onto the softened tortilla and top them with the taters. A tablespoon of spicy salsa removes the need for additional hot sauce.

    Roll the side of the tortilla closest to you over the innards,

    Fold in the sides,

    And roll it into a one handed meal.

    What's your eat-as-you-work meal?

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