Saturday, July 24, 2010

Follow-up of Brunch -- Strata and Spicy Apple Dumplings

So J and her roommate M came over for brunch. (Of the massive horde that I invite... sheesh.) Due to my loving to work last minute coupled with their arrival 10 minutes early, even the coffee wasn't ready (but the kettle was already on the stove! ... and things were ready in 10 mins).

As I had to be at home from 8-12 for the RCN guy to show up (if he'd shown up at 8 I was going to punch him), I had to be here early. But, as it was RCN that was showing up, our internet was down. And where did I post all of those lovely recipes I wanted to try? My blog. Where did I leave the book they came from? Mister's house.

Luckily, I typed all of the damn things in, so remembered the basics of what I wanted.

Half of it turned out as delicious as I wanted. The other half... I'll explain.

Based upon my half remembered Basic Breakfast Strata.
Strata Recipe:

-- ground pork
-- bread (preferably day old, but I dried out regular bread)
-- garlic
-- oil
-- spices
-- 6 eggs
-- milk
-- 8 oz. block of cheddar cheese

I fried the pork with garlic and spices until appropriately browned. In a greased casserole dish, layer 1/3 of your bread in torn up bits. Add a layer of half of the sausage. Add 1/3 of the cheese. Another 1/3 of bread. The second half of sausage. Another 1/3 of cheese. Final 1/3 of bread. Leave final 1/3 of cheese off. Mix eggs with milk, and VERY VERY VERY SLOWLY pour the egg/milk mix over your casserole, allowing it to soak in everywhere (if you don't pour slowly, it bounces off the bread and onto the counter. Don't ask how I know). Let sit for an hour. Add final layer of cheese, and bake in 375F for close to an hour, or until done.

Verdict? Delicious.

Based upon my staring at this recipe a lot -- I looked up a recipe for the dough in the King Arthur Flour's Baking Companion.
Spicy Apple Dumpling Recipe(Picture above):

-- 2 apples, peeled, cored and diced
-- sugar
-- vanilla
-- choc. chips
-- cinnamon
-- garam masala
-- 2 c. flour (+ more for rolling out)
-- 2 tsp. baking powder
-- 1/2 tsp. salt
-- 2/3 c. shortening
-- 1/2 c. milk

In a med. sized bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Using a pastry cutter or fork, blend in shortening until crumbly. Stir in milk and form a soft dough. Divide dough in half, wrap each half in plastic, and refridgerate it while preparing apples.

Prepare apples as listed above. Throw in a bowl with a bunch of sugar, and, remembering that Garam Masala is cinnamon and a few other spices, toss a boat-load in and consider it a job done. Mix, and realize apples are spicier than an apple has a right to be. Throw in vanilla, cinnamon, more sugar and finally, chocolate chips in an endeavor to fix said spicy apples. Consider it as good as it's gonna get.

Preheat oven to 375F.

Roll out small balls of dough (<2" diameter in ball form). Place a spoonful of apple mix in the middle, and fold dough over into little purse-shapes. Place dumplings seam side down on a greased pan.

Bake for 45-50 mins.

Verdict? Spicy. I keep trying to convince Mister to come over and eat them. He's entrenched at his apartment, and not budging (nor am I being a sweetie and bringing them to him).

All in all, a fun morning drinking coffee and discussing musicals and odd bits of youtube.

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