Sunday, June 15, 2008

Cinnamon-Lime Sweet Rolls

It's hard to write about delicious food when your stomach is like a maelstrom. However, I shall persevere, since I know it's been a while.

This recipe had been nagging at me since I spied in on the last page of Cooking Light some months ago. I'm not much of a baker, I'll admit, but I've always wanted to try my hand at cinnamon buns (or get Mr. Heart to, since his father's are notoriously delicious). So when I was hosting brunch for a friend, I jumped at the opportunity. But, being the person I am, I of course forgot an important ingredient (sour cream) and so had to get up especially early to both hike over and buy said ingredient and prepare the buns for our 11:30 Sunday brunch. Also, the original recipe calls for cardamom. This was not to be found in my local market. It was also later reported to me by Sister Heart that in another grocery store, cardamom was going for $11.99 an ounce.

I also love cinnamon. So there.

Also be careful that your melted butter is cooled when you are assembling the dough. Because then you must add a beaten egg. And hot butter + beaten egg = scrambled eggs in your dough. Ew. Gross. Not that I know from experience...

These came out really well. The lime in the icing was quite intense, so I might cut back a little and use some water instead (or if you dislike lime, you could forego it all together). I loved the fact that these were miniature. Much less guilt in eating, er, four in a sitting.

Cinnamon-Lime Sweet Rolls
from Cooking Light: Cardamom-Lime Sweet Rolls, but, you know, with cinnamon

1 package dry yeast (about 2 1/4 teaspoons)
1/4 cup warm water (100° to 110°)
1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 tsp salt
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour (about 10 1/2 ounces), divided
Cooking spray

1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 TBS grated lime rind
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp butter, melted, divided

1 cup powdered sugar
3 TBS fresh lime juice (or 2 TBS lime juice, 1 TBS water

1) To prepare dough, dissolve yeast in warm water in a small bowl; let stand 5 minutes.
2) Combine sour cream and next 5 ingredients (through egg) in a large bowl, stirring until well blended. Gradually stir yeast mixture into sour cream mixture. Lightly spoon 2 1/3 cups flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Add 2 cups flour to sour cream mixture, stirring to form a soft dough.
3) Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead until smooth and elastic (about 8 minutes); add enough of remaining flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, to prevent dough from sticking to hands (dough will feel slightly tacky).
Place dough in a large bowl coated with cooking spray, turning to coat top. Cover and let rise in a warm place (85°), free from drafts, 1 hour or until doubled in size. (Gently press two fingers into dough. If indentation remains, dough has risen enough.)
4) To prepare filling, combine brown sugar, rind, and cardamom.
5) Divide dough into two equal portions. Working with 1 portion at a time, roll dough into a 12 x 10–inch rectangle; brush with 1 tablespoon butter. Sprinkle half of filling over dough. Beginning with a long side, roll up jelly-roll fashion; pinch seam to seal (do not seal ends of roll). Repeat procedure with remaining dough, 1 tablespoon butter, and filling. Cut each roll into 12 (1-inch) slices. Place slices, cut sides up, in a 13 x 9–inch baking pan coated with cooking spray. 6) Cover and let rise 30 minutes or until doubled in size. Preheat oven to 350°.
7) Uncover dough. Bake at 350° for 20-25 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool in pan 5 minutes on a wire rack.
8) To prepare glaze, combine powdered sugar and juice, stirring until smooth. Drizzle glaze over warm rolls.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Turkey and Rice Stuffed Peppers

This is one of those recipes where I love all of the ingredients but somehow, when put together, it was still lacking a little something. I love the concept of stuffed peppers--sweet red pepper stuffed with rice, meat, and veggies. And it looked beautiful. But somehow this came out kind of blah. Maybe next time I would add more seasoning to the turkey or add cheese to the rice mixture. I still want to share it with you all because I think the recipe, for the most part, is a good one (and it comes from one of my favorite cookbooks). If anyone has any suggestions, please let me know.

Turkey and Rice Stuffed Peppers
from Preventions Ultimate Quick and Healthy Cookbook, with mods.
Serves 2

2 large red bell peppers, plus 1/2 a small bell pepper
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup long grain rice
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp olive oil
1/2 lb lean ground turkey
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried thyme or 1/2 tsp fresh thyme
pinch of ground black pepper
1/2 lb fresh spinach, stemmed and coarsely chopped
1/4 cup dried cranberries
2 TBS grated Parmesan

1) Preheat the oven to 350º. Bring a large pot of water to boil.
2) Cut off and discard the tops of the two large bell peppers. Remove seeds. Seed and dice the half of bell pepper. Set aside.
3) Blanch the whole peppers in the boiling water for 2 minutes until slightly softened. Remove the peppers from the water and drain over paper towels. Place, top up, in a 9x9 baking dish sprayed with cooking spray or rubbed with olive oil.
4) In a medium sauce pan, combine the water and rice and 1/4 tsp of salt. Cover and bring to a boil over medium heat. Lower the heat to med-low and cook, covered, for 15 minutes until rice is tender and liquid is absorbed (add more water if necessary).
5) In a non-stick skillet, warm the oil over medium heat until hot. Add turkey and sauté for about 3 minutes until opaque, breaking up any clumps. Add onions, garlic, thyme, pepper, and remaining salt and cook for an additional 3 minutes, until onions are softened.
6) Add diced bell pepper, spinach, and cranberries. Continue to cook until spinach is wilted. Remove pan from heat.
7) Add the rice to the spinach mixture and stir to combine.. Spoon rice mixture into whole bell peppers and top with Parmesan. Bake for 15 minutes or until peppers/filling are hot and the cheese is browned.