Cooking With Dough

Homemade Naan Flatbread with Cilantro-Curry-Garlic Butter

If you haven’t tried Naan bread before you are missing out!  It is absolute heaven; the texture is everything you want in a flatbread, pillowy, slightly chewy, and even better slathered in butter or any topping for that matter.

I fell in love with Naan and have bought it at the store for years but never thought to make it myself assuming it was going to be too daunting… So the other day I got a wild hair and decided to do a little research to see how difficult it really was to make, and turns out its totally doable! After looking at many recipes I came up with my own version and gave it a whirl!

I am pleased to say it was a success, I was so excited I decided to make a flavorful butter mixed with loads of curry powder, cilantro, and garlic to smother all over it.

 

                                                              Please Enjoy :-)

naan7.jpg

Ingredients

For Naan:

2/3 cup warm water

1 tsp. active yeast

1 tbsp. sugar

4 cups all purpose flour, plus more for dusting

1 tsp. salt

1 ½ tsp. baking powder

½ cup warm milk

½ cup sour cream

½ cup plain yogurt

2 tbsp. vegetable oil

Melted butter

 

For Cilantro-Curry-Garlic Butter:

1 stick butter, softened

2 tbsp. cilantro leaves, finely chopped

1 tbsp. curry powder

½ tsp. olive oil

1 clove of garlic, finely minced

Pinch of salt

 

Process

For Naan:

In a medium bowl filled with 2/3 cup water, add the yeast and sugar, whisk together until they are completely dissolved. Once dissolved let the mixture rest for 10 minutes. (By 10 minutes it should become foamy)

In a large bowl sift together the flour, salt, and baking powder and set aside.

Once the bowl of the yeast mixture has rested for 10 minutes and is foamy add in the warm milk, sour cream, yogurt, and oil, mix together until combined.

Pour the wet mixture into the large bowl of dry mixture; mix it together until completely combined and starts to form a dough. (The dough will be VERY sticky)

Once the dough starts to form transfer it onto a heavily floured work surface and knead by hand for 3-4 minutes until smooth. Once smooth, form into a ball and place in a lightly greased large bowl, cover with a damp cloth and allow dough to rise for 1- 1½ hours, once risen it should double in size.

Once dough has risen punch it down and form it into 8 equal sized dough balls. Transfer the dough balls back to the floured work surface, using a rolling pin roll each ball into an oval, each oval should be about 6-7 inches long.

Once all dough has been rolled out heat up a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Once skillet is hot, brush one side of the Naan with melted butter and place it butter side down in the skillet, cook for 1-2 minutes, butter top and flip and cook an additional 1-2 minutes, continue this process until all Naan have been cooked.

 

For Cilantro-Curry-Garlic Butter:

Mix together the softened butter, curry powder, and olive oil, once mixed add in the cilantro, garlic, and salt and give a final mix. 

naan2.jpg

Mini Blueberry Lemon Cheesecakes

I love anything cheese and that means desserts included, anytime I am at a restaurant or someone’s house and there is cheesecake on the menu I begin to drool and have to catch my bottom lip from hitting the table!

Now that you are up to speed on my addiction to cheese I will fill you in on my easy go to cheesecake recipe…

These mini cheesecakes are perfect to bring to any gathering or just to have as a midnight snack!  I stuffed juicy blueberries in the middle of these beauties and infused lemon throughout the entire cheesecake making them light and refreshing, and topped it all off with velvety blueberry jam…  I promise you will enjoy making these for your friends and family and especially for yourself ;-)

* Makes 24 Mini Cheesecakes

* Makes 24 Mini Cheesecakes

Ingredients

16 oz. cream cheese, softened

1 cup plus 4 tbsp. granulated sugar

1 ½ tsp. vanilla extract

Zest and juice of one lemon

2 eggs

¼ cup all purpose flour

1 ½ cups graham cracker crumbs

¼ cup butter, melted

1 cup fresh blueberries

1 Jar Blueberry Jam 

Process

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line 2 cupcake pans with cupcake liners.

In a large bowl using an electric mixer cream together the cream cheese, 1 cup sugar, vanilla extract, and lemon juice until smooth.  Next, beat in the eggs one at a time making sure each egg is fully incorporated before adding in the next one. Once eggs have been mixed in, beat in the flour and set mixture aside.

In a medium bowl mix together the graham cracker crumbs, 4 tbsp. sugar, lemon zest, and melted butter; mix together until the mixture feels like wet sand.

Spoon graham cracker crust mixture into each lined muffin cup and press down to make an even layer. Place 3 to 4 blueberries on top of the crust, spoon the cream cheese mixture over top of the crust and blueberries.

Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes, once baked set them aside to cool completely. Once cooled, spoon a dollop of blueberry jam over the top of the cheesecakes and lightly dust with powdered sugar and they are ready to serve!

bbcheesecake3.jpg


Homemade Gnocchi With Tomato Cream Sauce

I have always wanted to make homemade gnocchi as it is one of my favorite Italian dishes, so I did a little research and found a great step by step tutorial on www.delallo.com.  It turned out to be so simple and came out absolutely delicious!!  I paired it with one of my favorite pasta sauces that I make and I added in fresh mozzarella and basil.  Below you will see I did step by step photos to help show the gnocchi making process...

Hope you all enjoy this pasta making adventure as much as I did! 

Gnocchi with tomato cream sauce-2.jpg

Ingredients

For Gnocchi:

2 ½ lbs. russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes

2 ½ cups all purpose flour

½ tsp. salt

1 egg

For Sauce:

½ large yellow onion, finely diced

3 cloves garlic, finely minced

Olive oil

1  6oz. can of tomato paste

½ tsp. sugar

1  16 oz. can of crushed tomatoes in tomato puree

2 tbsp. butter

½ cup heavy cream

A pinch of red pepper flakes

Salt and pepper

1 8 oz. container of small fresh mozzarella balls

1 bunch of basil, julienned 

Process

For Sauce:

In a large saucepan over medium heat, heat up 1 tbsp. of olive oil and 1 tbsp. of butter; once butter has melted add in the diced onions. Cook onions until softened, about 5 minutes, then add in the minced garlic and continue to cook another 2- 3 minutes.

Once onions and garlic have been softened add in the tomato paste, stir them together until all 3 ingredients have been completely incorporated. Stir in crushed tomatoes and sugar, bring sauce to a strong simmer, once you start to see the sauce bubbling turn the heat down to low and let it simmer for another 15 minutes.

After the sauce has simmered for 15 minutes add in the remaining tbsp. of butter and cream, stir until incorporated. Add in a pinch of red pepper flakes and season the sauce with salt and pepper.

Turn off the burner until the gnocchi is ready to be cooked, once gnocchi is starting to cook turn the heat back up to medium low to reheat the sauce.

 

For Gnocchi:

In a medium sized pot filled half way with water, a pinch of salt, and the cubed potatoes bring it to a boil and boil the potatoes until fork tender (they should be very soft and easily broken apart but not too mushy) usually about 20 minutes.

Once the potatoes are cooked to the right consistency, pour them into a strainer and allow them to drain and be cool enough to handle. Once cooled, rice the potatoes through a potato ricer place in a bowl and set it aside.

Heavily flour a large baking sheet and set it aside for now.

Gnocchi with tomato cream sauce-8.jpg

On a large clean, dry counter top or work surface (I use a baking silicone mat) create a mountain of the 2-½ cups of flour in the middle of your work surface. Then make a big well in the center of the mound of flour, place the riced potatoes into the center of the well.

Gnocchi with tomato cream sauce-7.jpg

Create a small well in the center of the riced potatoes, add in the egg and salt into that well. (see photo)  Using a fork, start to mix all the ingredients together (at first it will seem like it wont all come together, but don’t worry, it will!)

Gnocchi with tomato cream sauce-6.jpg

Once mixture starts to come together, use your hands and kneed it all together until it becomes a thick dough. Form the dough into a large rectangle brick, then cut the dough into 8-10 pieces.

Gnocchi with tomato cream sauce-3.jpg

Take each cut piece of dough and roll into a long, even rope. How thick or thin you make the rope is up to you and what size you want your gnocchi.  Once you have rolled out your rope of dough, cut into ½- 1 inch pieces. Transfer cut gnocchi to the floured baking sheet; make sure there is plenty of flour so the gnocchi doesn’t stick to each other.

* You must cook Gnocchi within 45 minutes after making them.

Gnocchi with tomato cream sauce-5.jpg
Gnocchi with tomato cream sauce-4.jpg

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, carefully drop the gnocchi into the water and cook them for 4-5 minutes or until they float to the top. Remove the cooked gnocchi with a slotted spoon and immediately add them into the sauce. Tear mozzarella balls into little pieces and add it into the sauce, sprinkle basil over top and enjoy!

gnocchi3.jpg

Brown Butter HeathBar M&M SnickerDoodles

What can I say about these cookies other than…YUM, can I eat 50 more please?

The name alone sells you on making them right?  I don’t know about you but anything with heath bar and M&M’s in it I’m sold!  I decided to combine all my favorite cookies into one, and since its Valentines Day I made them extra special with valentines M&M’s :-)

I hope you all enjoy spoiling your loved ones with this recipe as much as I did, Happy Valentines day! Xo

cookie3.2.jpg

Ingredients

1 cup butter, cut into cubes

1 cup granulated sugar

½ cup brown sugar

2 eggs

1 ½ tsp. vanilla extract

2 ½ cups flour

2 tsp. cream of tartar

1 tsp. baking soda

2 tsp. cinnamon

½ tsp. salt

1 cup heath bar candies, smashed into chunks

½ cup M&M’s 

Process

Grease two cookie sheets and preheat oven to 350 degrees

Using a medium sized skillet over medium heat start to melt the butter, make sure to whisk occasionally and don’t walk away from the stove; you don’t want the butter to burn. After a few minutes the butter will start to turn a light brown caramel color and smell a bit nutty almost like toffee. Once you see and smell the butter change transfer to a bowl to cool and come to room temperature.

In a medium sized bowl sift together the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt, once sifted set it aside.

In a large bowl using an electric mixer beat together the room temperature brown butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, eggs, and vanilla.

Next, mix in the flour mixture to the sugar/egg/butter mixture until completely combined, the batter will be very thick and sticky. Once batter is formed mix in the heath bar chunks and M&M’s.

Form batter into 24 same size balls, transfer the dough balls to the cookie sheets and bake each batch at 350 degrees for 18-20 minutes.

cookie5.2.jpg

Monte Cristo Sandwich

If you’re on a diet look away now… this sandwich is anything but healthy, but oh man it is worth the self-loathing after you eat it! 

For those of you who don’t know what this wondrous creation is, it’s basically a deep fried turkey, ham, and cheese sandwich (yes that’s right I said a deep fried sandwich) with a dusting of powdered sugar and a side of jam to smother each bite in!  How did I become familiar with such a decadent creation you ask? 

Since I can remember I have been going to Disneyland with my family at least once a year, and is one of my most favorite places to visit to this day, I could go on and on but since not everyone is a Disney fan I will spare you…  Long story short my family and I were eating at the Blue Bayou café and ordered the Monte Cristo sandwich since we had never seen or heard of such a thing, well, it was LOVE at first bite!  It tasted like a cross between that classic ham and cheese sandwich we all loved as kids and a donut all tied into one. Now I know that might sound weird but trust me when I say it is life changing!!  

After becoming addicted I tried to find one when I returned home and sadly no restaurant seemed to be offering this glorious hybrid, so I decided to take matters into my own hands and try making one myself, and I must say it turned out pretty close to the original.  So, if you’re feeling adventurous and don’t need to fit into your skinny jeans anytime soon try out this recipe!!

Ingredients

1 egg

¾ cup water

¾ cup all purpose flour

½ tsp. salt

1 ½ tsp. baking powder

1 loaf Challah or Brioche bread

8 slices of roasted turkey breast

8 slices of black forest ham

8 slices of Swiss cheese

Boysenberry jam

Powdered sugar, for dusting 

 

 

Process

In a large bowl whisk together the water and egg until well incorporated. Once combined whisk in the flour, salt, and baking powder, do not over mix. Put batter in the refrigerator to chill until ready to use.

 

Slice the bread into 8 even slices, layer 4 of the slices with the Swiss cheese and the other 4 with the ham and turkey; put the halves together to make 4 sandwiches and set them aside.

 

In a large heavy bottomed pot (I like to use a Dutch Oven) heat the 3 cups of oil up to 350 degrees, I recommend using a candy thermometer to make sure the oil remains the right temperature throughout frying.

 

Once oil has reached the right temperature dip each sandwich one at a time in the chilled batter, carefully drop battered sandwiches into the oil ( cook one sandwich at a time so the pot doesn’t become over crowded.)

 

Fry sandwiches until golden brown, about 2-3 minutes per side. Once fried transfer sandwiches to a pan lined with paper towels to drain off any excess oil.

 

Slice sandwiches in half, dust with powdered sugar and serve with a side of warmed boysenberry jam.