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Saturday, April 10, 2010

Weekly Recipes: April 10

Paschal Braided Bread


I make this dough in the bread machine. It would be easy to make it by hand or in a stand mixer.

1 cup milk
2 large eggs
2/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
zest of an orange
4 cups bread flour
1/2 cup coarsely chopped almonds
2 1/2 teaspoons yeast

Process on dough cycle of bread machine. Turn dough out onto floured surface and let rest for 15 minutes. Shape into long cylinder and bend in the middle.

Twist into three twists and join ends under the bread. It is easier to do than describe, see the picture above. Let rise for about an hour. Preheat oven to 375.

water to brush on loaf
sliced almonds to decorate
3 hard boiled eggs, dyed dark red (I use frosting gel dyes dissolved in just enough water to cover the eggs with a little vinegar. I also use dark brown eggs.)

Brush bread with water and sprinkle with sliced almonds. Press almonds into dough. Tuck one red egg in each of the twists.

Bake for 30-35 minutes. Cool on rack.

bread before baking



Pascha Cheese

I modified a recipe I saw on a homeschool list to come up with this. It is easy, quick to put together and tasty. You can make it by hand or with a food processor. If you make it by hand, have the cheeses and butter at room temperature and use a whisk to beat them up well before adding the other ingredients.

1/2 pound ricotta cheese
1 pound cream cheese, cut into small pieces
1 pound unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons lemon zest
2 teaspoons vanilla


Process the ricotta with the metal blade to make the ricotta a little smoother.
Slowly add the cream cheese, butter and sugar, blending well. Blend in the vanilla and lemon zest.

Pour into a mold or a bowl and chill.

You can also stir in an optional 3/4 cup of sultanas (blonde raisins) and 3/4 cup slivered almonds if you like. We do not like it that way.


Laban bi Chiyar

1 quart plain yogurt (we use homemade, full fat yogurt)
1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and finely diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
juice of one lemon
salt, to taste

Mix all of these ingredients in a serving bowl. This can be served immediately or kept refrigerated until you are ready to serve.


Lemon Blueberry Poundcake with Lemon Glaze

3 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
8 ounces butter, softened
3 cups sugar
6 large eggs, room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 teaspoons lemon zest
2 cups frozen or fresh blueberries

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease and flour a bundt pan or two loaf pans.

Whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

Beat cream cheese and butter until light, add sugar and cream well. Add eggs, one at a time, scraping down bowl as necessary. Beat in vanilla and lemon zest.

Carefully mix in flour, in thirds or fourths, mixing well after each addition. Fold in blueberries (do not thaw if they are frozen) carefully so as not to dye the batter blue.

Bake 60 - 65 minutes (70 to 75 minutes if using fresh blueberries). Cool in pan for 5 - 10 minutes, then turn out and cool on rack. Drizzle with glaze while cake is still warm, but not hot, and reserve some glaze to pass with the cake as it is served.


Lemon Glaze:

1 pound confectioners' sugar
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
3 tightly packed tablespoons grated lemon zest
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice

Cream sugar and butter thoroughly.  Mix in lemon zest and juice; spread or drizzle
on warm cake.


Enchiladas Blancas

These are not Mexican or anything authentic. They are tasty and we like them, though.

2 pounds ground beef
1 1/2 large onions, diced
6 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
2 cans black olives, drained and sliced
2 tablespoons chili powder (I use a salt free blend)
2 tablespoons oregano (I use the regular kind, not the Mexican)
1 tablespoon cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon chipotle powder

1/4 cup butter
1/2 onion, finely diced
1/4 cup flour
1 tablespoon chili powder (again, no salt)
3 cups chicken broth (I use homemade, which I don't salt, reduce the salt if you use canned)
1 cup heavy cream
2 pints sour cream
1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1 pound cheddar cheese, grated
about 40 corn tortillas

Brown ground beef with onions and garlic. Add olives and seasonings and cook until well combined and cooked through.

Melt the butter in a sauce pan and add the onions to it to soften. Stir in flour and cook for a minute or two. Sprinkle with chili powder and stir to combine. Slowly stir in chicken broth and cream. Cook five to 10 minutes, until thickened slightly and whisk in sour cream and salt. Set aside

Preheat oven to 375 F while you prepare two large pans. Put a little of the sauce in the bottom of the pans. Heat the tortillas in whatever way you wish, enough to soften them a little. Put some of the meat mixture, a little of the sauce and some of the cheese in the middle, roll up and place seam down in the pan. You should be able to make about 40 of these rolls. I squeeze the enchiladas into the pan. Cover with the remaining sauce and sprinkle generously with the cheese. Bake, uncovered, for 20-25 minutes, until heated through and cheese is melted.

I don't clean out the sauce pan, I just use it to make our rice for the meal. In the time it takes to make the rice, the enchiladas are finished. I tend to serve this with a salsa rice and black bean and corn salad. We freeze the second pan, unless we are serving a huge crowd or planning on eating it again the next day.

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