Advertisements

Let's Dish With Linda Lou

Sharing My Recipes, My Life, And The Food Tale Of Two Cities

Homemade Ciabatta Croutons

Tuscan Sausage, Kale And Potato Soup

Sweet Italian Sausage, Mushroom, And Asparagus Strata

There is nothing better than Homemade Ciabatta Croutons. Whenever I make croutons, they’re usually made from cutting up a special Artisan bread I bought from my local bakery. Ciabatta bread is my favorite. Specifically the Tuscan garlic loaf. Whole roasted garlic cloves are baked right into the bread.

Let me say this if you love good bread, and you’ve made your own croutons, you’ll never buy the store-bought brand again.

Above are a few of my recipes where I’ve added Homemade Ciabatta Croutons.

There are my Tuscan, Chicken, and French onion soups, my Stuffed Acorn Squash, a delicious Panzanella Salad, and finally, my Sweet Italian Sausage, Mushroom, And Asparagus Strata.

I think in the future I’ll be making a sweet bread pudding using another variety of  Ciabatta bread. They are just so many recipes that start out with great Homemade Ciabatta Croutons.

Let me show you my basic crouton recipe using the Tuscan Garlic Ciabatta.

2015-10-22 16.58.51 2015-10-19 12.08.212015-07-23 16.42.48 2015-10-22 16.58.512015-07-23 16.40.03 2015-07-23 16.16.19

So, there are two methods for making great homemade croutons.

The first one is, baking them off on a sheet pan with a couple of tablespoons of olive oil, Kosher salt, and black pepper. You could also get crazy and add some, garlic powder, and maybe even dried herbs. I’d first toss them with the olive oil, Kosher salt, and freshly cracked black pepper to make sure they’re all coasted nicely. Spread them out evenly in a single layer, on a sheet pan. Bake them off at 350 degrees F., Toss the bread cubes once, until they’re are browned on all sides, about 10-15 minutes.

The second, way I love is to use a large sauté pan. Make sure the recipe doesn’t require more than 4-6 cups of bread cubes. Using butter with olive oil just adds extra flavor to those delightful little cubes of bread. On medium heat, season with Kosher salt and black pepper, tossing frequently, until the bread is evenly toasted and browned. To add even more flavor, while the croutons are still hot, transfer them to a large mixing bowl, add freshly chopped herbs and freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

2015-10-19 12.08.21 2015-10-19 12.13.19

Yields: 4-6 cups (1 loaf of Tuscan garlic Ciabatta)
Prep Time: 5-10 minutes
Cooking Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients:
4-6 cups of bread cubes, 1 to 1 1/2 inch cubes (1 loaf of Tuscan Ciabatta garlic loaf, or plain Ciabatta)
2 tablespoons of unsalted butter
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 teaspoon of Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
Freshly chopped fresh herbs, optional
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, optional

Directions:
Melt the butter and olive oil in a large sauté pan on medium heat. Add the bread cubes making sure they’re in on layer in the pan. Season with Kosher salt and black pepper. Toss all the bread cubes around so they absorb the butter and olive oil. Sauté for a couple of minutes without turning. Once a golden brown, on the first side, then toss them again until brown all sides. This takes about 15 minutes. Transfer to a large mixing bowl.

While the croutons are nice and hot this is the time to add freshly chopped herbs, grated Parmesan cheese, or both. Toss to combine.

Advertisements
Leave a comment »

Gluten-Free Mini Cauliflower Muffins

2015-09-02-17-21-11.jpg

2015-09-02-17-36-13.jpg

These Gluten-Free Mini Cauliflower Muffins are so flavorful. They may not be what you think of as real muffins. They’re more like mini souffle muffins. Not having the slightest bit of flour or baking powder, these little gems ROCK! Every bite has you wanting more.

By roasting the cauliflower you get extra depth of flavor. Finished with a Chive Cream Cheese Topping, sets these cauliflower muffins over the top. The star ingredient, the cauliflower.

2015-09-02-15-03-341.jpg

2015-09-02-15-20-211.jpg

2015-09-02-16-13-171.jpg

2015-09-02-15-25-291.jpg

2015-09-02-15-26-381.jpg

2015-09-02 15.27.27 2015-09-02 16.19.28

2015-09-02 15.30.04 2015-09-02 16.09.57

2015-09-02 16.24.24 2015-09-02 16.26.38

2015-09-02-17-12-13.jpg 2015-09-02-17-12-20.jpg

2015-09-02-17-21-111.jpg

2015-09-02-17-21-461.jpg

2015-09-02-17-21-501-2503708072-1552568499544.jpg

2015-09-02-17-36-131.jpg

Yields: 24 mini muffins
Equipment: food processor, Stand Mixer, 2- mini muffin tin pans
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 50 minutes (includes roasting time of cauliflower)

Ingredients:
1 cauliflower head cleaned, leaves removed, cut into florets, and roasted
1 roasted and seeded Fresno chili
1 tablespoon of chili powder
1 teaspoon of ground cumin
1/4 cup olive oil
3 cloves of minced garlic
1/3 cup of full-fat Greek Yogurt ( substitute low fat)
1/4 cup of fresh basil pesto
1/2 cup of shredded Colby Jack cheese
2 large eggs, room temperature
2 egg whites-room temperature
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Cream Cheese Topping, optional
1- 8-ounce bar of room temperature cream cheese
3 tablespoons of freshly minced chives

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Cut up cauliflower and removed all the florets. Spread them out on a sheet pan. Season the cauliflower with Kosher salt, black pepper, cumin, and chili powder. Add olive oil and toss all the florets with the seasonings to make sure it was all good and coated. Add one whole Fresno chili to roast alongside the cauliflower, Roast for 20-25 minutes until the cauliflower is caramelized and tender. If the Fresno chili is done before the cauliflower, then just remove it and set it aside.

Once the cauliflower was done roasting, place the florets into a food processor, fitted with a metal blade. You may have to do this in batches. Add the seeded and chopped roasted Fresno chili and chopped garlic cloves. Pulse until smooth, no big pieces. The color is awesome from the chili and the seasonings. These muffins are going to have so much flavor.

The next step is to take a large mixing bowl, add in room temperature eggs, full-fat Greek yogurt, fresh store-bought basil pesto, Kosher salt, and black pepper, and combine. Add in the freshly shredded Colby Jack cheese. Finally, add the cauliflower mixture, mix to combine.

Next, in a large bowl mix the room temperature eggs, pesto, Greek yogurt, Kosher salt, and black pepper. Add the shredded cheese, and mix.

Remove the cauliflower and Fresno chili out of the oven. Place the roasted cauliflower, minced garlic, and seeded chili into the food processor. This may need to be done in batches. Once all the cauliflower mixture has been processed, add it to the bowl with the other ingredients. Mix to combine.

In a Stand Mixer, fitted with the whisk attachment, add in two room temperature egg whites. Note: Make sure the bowl your going to use is completely dry. Whisk on low speed until the frothy stage. Add in 1/8 teaspoon of cream of tartar. Continue whisking until the egg whites have reached the stiff peak stage like you see above.

Next, you want to add the beaten egg whites slowly to the cauliflower mixture. Using a spatula, fold in the egg whites until just combined. Do not overmix. Coat the mini muffin tin pans really well with non-stick cooking spray. Fill the cups to the top with the cauliflower mixture.

Bake at 400 degrees F. for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from the muffins from the pan and set onto cooling racks.

Once the Mini Cauliflower Muffins have cooled to room temperature, that’s the best time to add the topping.

Arrange the muffins on serving plates before piping on the cream cheese topping.

Take 8-ounces of room temperature cream cheese and mixed that with 3 tablespoons of freshly minced chives. Placed the filling in a plastic bag, snip off the end and pipe the cream cheese mixture on the top of each cauliflower muffins.

Leave a comment »

Sweet Potato Drop Biscuits

2015-07-20-12-27-02.jpg

2015-07-23 08.39.49

These Sweet Potato Drop Biscuits are so Yummy!  They make for a delicious on breakfast. I’ll tell you that I didn’t make mine super sweet because the sweet potato is naturally sweet. I also incorporated Greek yogurt to balance out the sweetness of the brown sugar and it worked perfectly!

2015-07-20 10.52.20 2015-07-20 10.57.07 2015-07-20 10.56.20 2015-07-20 10.56.182015-07-10 13.04.522015-07-09 17.05.222015-07-09 17.07.36

2015-07-09 17.39.47 2015-07-09 17.40.55

You could go this route, but why. It takes over an hour to bake the sweet potato. Then you have to let it cool so you can peel and process the sweet potatoes through a food mill to get the right consistency. I have a better idea!

2015-07-20 10.59.05

Organic sweet pureed baby food. Yep! It contains no additives and all the work is done for you.

2015-07-20 11.02.332015-07-20 11.05.422015-07-20 11.10.09

In a bowl, I have the “baby” sweet potato puree, Greek yogurt, and brown sugar. I like to transfer the wet ingredients into a measuring cup, it just makes it easier to add to the dry ingredients.

2015-06-26 06.49.182015-07-20 11.21.51

Once the wet has been introduced to the dry, the batter should have a sticky consistency.  I doubled the recipe because I know from experience that one batch will not be enough.

I’m choosing to use a scoop instead of two spoons to drop the biscuits onto the baking sheets. It’s just easier for me. I’m using the large scoop, (1/4 cup capacity), for my biscuits today. Using this size scoop, after coming out of the oven, they’ll produce approx. 22 standard size biscuits.

2015-07-20 11.31.02

2015-07-20 11.52.52

2015-07-20 11.43.59

2015-07-20 11.43.43

Once the biscuits come out of the oven and are still nice and hot, I brush some unsalted melted butter over each one. Let them cool for a couple of minutes and serve.

2015-07-20 12.27.02

2015-07-23 08.39.49

Yields: 22 standard size biscuits
Prep Time: 15-20 minutes
Inactive Prep Time: 10 minutes
Baking Time: 18-20 minutes (watch carefully after the 15-minute mark)
Equipment: Food processor, 3 baking sheet pans, 1/4 cup capacity ice cream scoop, parchment paper

Ingredients:
3 cups all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons of baking powder
2 1/2 teaspoons of baking soda
1 teaspoon of Kosher salt
3/4 teaspoon of fresh nutmeg
1-1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
2 sticks of unsalted cubed cold butter
8-ounce of organic “baby” sweet potato purèe (comes in jars)
8-ounces of Greek yogurt
1 cup of packed dark brown sugar

Directions:
Preheat oven to 450-degrees F.
Tip: You want to process the ingredients in stages. Do Not overfill food processor.

Whisk dry ingredients together in a mixing large bowl. Add 1/3 of the dry ingredients into a food processor with 1/3 of the cold diced cubed butter. Pulse until butter is the size of peas. The flour and butter mixture needs to look like coarse crumbs. Repeat this process until all the flour and butter have been processed through the food processor and return to the bowl. Place the flour/butter mixture into the refrigerator to keep cold.

For the wet ingredients, in a large mixing bowl, add the sweet potato puree, brown sugar, and Greek yogurt, mix to combine. Pour the wet mixture into a large measuring making the process easier to combine. Mix the wet into the dry ingredients just until the flour is incorporated. Do not overwork the dough. The mixture will have a sticky consistency.

Scoop the dough on lined parchment paper baking sheets about 1 to 1 1/2 inches apart. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until dough is set and just golden brown. To test if done, take a toothpick and if it comes out clean they’re done.

Tip: Keep a close eye on the biscuits after 15 minutes. Once the Sweet Potato Drop Biscuits come out of the oven, lightly brush the tops of each one with melted butter.

Note: If needed, they can be reheated for 5 minutes at 400-degrees F. and be just perfect.

Leave a comment »

Homemade Cheddar Drop Biscuits

2015-04-03 12.45.26

These are the easiest  Homemade Cheddar Drop Biscuits to make EVER! Once you’ve tried them, you’ll want to make them all the time. So easy, just watch.

2015-04-03 12.11.01 2015-04-03 12.11.04 2015-04-03 12.11.072015-04-03 12.18.112015-04-03 12.14.07 2015-04-03 12.13.09

The best thing about this recipe is that the food processor is going to do all the work. If you don’t have a food processor, you can mix all your ingredients in a large mixing bowl, and use a pastry cutter to cut the butter into the flour until the butter becomes the size of peas.

Add flour, baking powder, salt, and shredded cheddar to the food processor, and pulse a few times just to combine everything.  It’s important to add the cheese to the flour mixture before adding the cold cubed butter. The reason is so that the cheese will be evenly distributed throughout the flour.

2015-04-03 12.16.30

2015-04-03 12.17.28

A great tip is to keep the cubed butter in the refrigerator until you’re ready to add it to the flour.

2015-04-03 12.19.07

2015-04-03 12.21.01

I start off with 1 3/4 cups of whole milk, but I may not have to use all of it. As you feed the milk slowly through the feed tube, the dough will start to come together. You can see this in the 2nd picture above.

 2015-04-03 12.31.59 2015-04-03 12.43.37 2015-04-03 12.42.06

Listen, everyone’s oven can be a little different. I like to check on the biscuits once they’ve been baking for 14 minutes. Take a toothpick and stick it into the center of one or two of the biscuits to see if it comes out clean. This way I’ll know if a couple of minutes more of baking time may be necessary.

On the top of the stove, I’ve melted a stick of unsalted butter. I like to add dried parsley flakes to the melted butter for extra color.

You could also play around a little with the flavors of your drop biscuits and add garlic powder to the melted butter for the tops or freshly minced jalapenos along with shredded cheddar, delicious!

Once they come out of the oven, brush the tops of the biscuits liberally with the melted butter and parsley mixture. Pretty easy right? Now you can have the most delicious Homemade Cheddar Drop Biscuits whenever you want.

2015-04-03 12.45.26

Yields: 8-10 standard size biscuits
Equipment: Food processor, 3 rimmed baking sheet pans, and parchment paper
Prep Time: 10-15 minutes
Cooking Time: 14-16 minutes

Ingredients:
3 cups of all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons of baking powder
1/4 teaspoon of Kosher salt
1 3/4 sticks of cold cubed unsalted butter, plus 1 extra stick of unsalted butter to melt for the tops of the biscuits
1/2 cup of shredded sharp cheddar
1 3/4 cups of whole milk
2 tablespoons of dried parsley flakes

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 425-degrees F.
Place all the dry ingredients, including the shredded cheddar, into the food processor. Next, add the cold cubed butter to the food processor and pulse until the butter pieces become the size of small peas.

Through the feed tube add the milk in slowly until the dough just comes together. Using either a large spoon or a 1/4 cup measure drop the biscuit dough onto parchment paper lined baking sheet pans. Make sure they are around 1 to 1 1/2 inches apart.

Bake for 14-16 minutes. When a toothpick comes out clean they’re done. Brush the tops liberally with the melted butter and dried parsley mixture, serve warm or at room temperature.

2 Comments »

%d bloggers like this: