Cook’s Corner

Snickerdoodles are a perfect treat for mailing

 

Sleuth’s Corner

Q. I am hoping someone can help me find a recipe for a pumpkin bread that is made with yeast, so you can shape it. I had the recipe a dozen years ago or so, I believe cut from a magazine. It was not only delicious but you could turn it into a wreath shape. I took it to several parties and got rave reviews.

Elizabetta Garcia , Key Biscayne


Cookies

Favorite Snickerdoodles

1/2 cup butter (1 stick), softened

1/2 cup granulated sugar plus 2 tablespoons to finish

1/3 cup brown sugar

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 1/2 cups flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

1/2 teaspoons cinnamon

Beat butter, 1/2 cup white sugar and the brown sugar with an electric mixer until no sugar grains remain, about 5 minutes. Add egg and vanilla; beat until smooth.

In another bowl, whisk flour with salt, baking soda and cream of tartar. Very gradually beat dry ingredients into butter mixture.

Form dough into a short, fat log about 1 1/2 inches in diameter, roll in plastic and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled, at least 1 hour.

Heat oven to 300 degrees. Mix remaining 2 tablespoons sugar with cinnamon in a pie pan.

Cut chilled dough into 18 pieces and press one at a time into the cinnamon sugar. Place sugared side up on an ungreased cookie sheet, leaving 2 inches between cookies.

Bake 12 to 14 minutes, depending upon how crisp you prefer them. At 12 minutes they look a bit undercooked, but will continue to cook after they are removed from the oven, and turn out softer and chewy in the middle. For a crisper cookie, bake the entire 14 minutes. Makes 18 cookies

Per cookie: 124 calories, 39 percent calories from fat, 5.5 g fat (3.3 g saturated, 1.4 g monounsaturated), 24 mg cholesterol, 1.5 g protein, 17.4 g carbohydrates, 0.3 g fiber 117 mg sodium


Appetizer

Vegetable Samosas

Pastry:

4 cups flour

1 teaspoon fenugreek seeds

Salt and pepper to taste

2 tablespoons clarified butter, divided

1/2 cup water plus more as needed

Filling:

1 teaspoon whole cumin

1 medium white onion, diced

1 tablespoon pureed fresh ginger

1 tablespoon minced garlic

1 teaspoon cumin powder

1 teaspoon coriander powder

1 teaspoon chili powder

4 small russet potatoes, cooked, peeled and diced small

2 cups green peas

Chicken stock or water

1 bunch chopped fresh cilantro, or to taste

Vegetable oil for frying

To make dough, sift the flour, fenugreek seeds, salt and pepper into a medium bowl. Add 1 tablespoon of the clarified butter and rub the mixture between the palms of your hands to evenly distribute, letting the fat-coated flour fall back into the bowl. Continue with remaining butter until the flour is evenly coated.

Add water, mix and work until the dough comes together, adding more water a tablespoon at a time as needed. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 4 minutes into a firm dough.

Divide into 5 equal portions and form into rounds. Roll as thin as possible. Cover with a kitchen towel and let rest for 30 minutes.

To make filling, heat a large skillet over medium-high and add rest of the clarified butter. Add the whole cumin seeds and sauté until they burst open. Add the onions and sauté until golden. Add the ginger and garlic and cook 2 minutes. Add the remaining spices and deglaze with about a tablespoon or 2 of water or chicken stock, scraping browned bits from bottom of the pan. Remove from heat and stir in the potatoes and peas, taste for salt and pepper and adjust, then fold in the cilantro.

Cut each dough round in half to make 2 half moons. Spoon about 2 rounded teaspoons of filling in the center. Brush the edges with water and fold the dough over the filling. Press the edges together to seal. Repeat with the remaining ingredients.

Heat the oil deep enough to cover samosas to 350 degrees. Add in batches so they don’t crowd and cook, turning, until golden brown, about 10 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Serve hot, with tamarind chutney on the side if desired. Makes 10 servings.

Per serving (without frying oil): 304 calories, 9 percent calories from fat, 3.1 g fat (1.6 g saturated, 0.7 g monounsaturated), 6 mg cholesterol, 8.9 g protein, 60 g carbohydrates, 4.6 g fiber, 32 mg sodium.


Main dish

Ted Allen’s Chicken Paillards with Pancetta and Sage

4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

1 large egg, beaten

12 sage leaves (8 whole, 4 chopped)

6 thin slices of pancetta

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

1 shallot, minced

1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon thyme leaves

1/4 cup dry white wine

1 cup homemade or low-sodium chicken broth

Pound the chicken breasts to an even thickness of 1/4 inch. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Turn over and brush lightly with egg. Press 2 sage leaves onto each piece, and top with pancetta (about 1 1/2 slices per breast). Press again. Refrigerate 15 minutes.

Heat a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. When the pan is hot, add olive oil and the chicken, pancetta side down. Cook until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Flip the chicken, and sauté until cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a warm plate and cover with foil.

Add the butter to the pan, reduce the heat to medium and cook the shallot until soft. Stir in the flour, and cook for another 2 minutes. Add the thyme and wine, and deglaze, scraping up the brown bits; simmer 3 minutes. Add the stock and chopped sage, and simmer until thickened. Serve the chicken on a pool of the sauce. Makes 4 servings.

Per serving: 383 calories, 48 percent calories from fat, 20.7g fat (5.8 g saturated, 9.7 g monounsaturated), 145 mg cholesterol, 29 g protein, 5.3 g carbohydrates, 0.1 g fiber, 724 mg sodium.


LindaCiceroCooks@aol.com

Q. I asked my grandson what kind of cookies I should send him in college, and he asked for Snickerdoodles. Can you give me a good recipe?

C.B.

These are a great choice for mailing since they don’t crumble. I’ve tried many recipes, and came up with this version after a great deal of tinkering.

Samosas

Ramesh Kaduru, executive chef of Bizcaya at the Ritz Carlton, Coconut Grove, shared a recipe for samosas like the ones he’ll serve Oct. 3-Nov. 3 at an Indian “pop-up” at the restaurant (see next week’s Nibbles & Bits column for details).

The most difficult part is preparing the dough, which I found hard to work with (many of my half moons looked like they had craters). Refrigerated pie-crust dough would be an easy shortcut to encase the outstanding filling. Spread the pastry round on a baking sheet. place the filling over half of it, fold the over half over to make a big turnover, and bake in a 325-degree oven for about 35 minutes, until golden brown.

‘Chopped’ chicken

Ted Allen of the Food Network’s popular Chopped will be in town Friday to headline a Miami fundraising dinner for the James Beard Foundation (see today’s Nibbles & Bits column for details). Allen shared the recipe here for his “simple, chicken-y take on saltimbocca.”

Bake-Off

For the first time in its 64-year history, the Pillsbury Bake-Off is asking members of the public to choose the winners. The voting for the final category, breakfasts, continues through Sept. 26 at pillsbury.com. There are six Floridians amongst the 60 semifinalists from 32 states.

New rules encourage simpler recipes: Submissions were limited to seven or fewer ingredients and must take no more than 30 minutes to prepare. It’s a far cry from the first Bake-Off in 1949, when ladies wore hats and gloves to the competition and everything was made from scratch.

Send questions and responses to LindaCiceroCooks@aol.com or Food, The Miami Herald, 3511 NW 91st Ave., Doral, FL 33172. Replies cannot be guaranteed.

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