Becky’s Rolls

Becky’s Rolls

This is it.  My first “Thankful” post.  I really wanted a way to highlight the people/recipe’s in my life that have made me who I am, made me a better chef/baker, blogger, or even gamer.  I want to take a minute and tell people how grateful I am for those people or those experiences.  And these posts are my way of doing that.  And it only seems fitting that I start with the woman who taught me how to bake.

Growing up with my parents meant I learned how to cook but I didn’t learn to bake.  My mom used box mixes (which isn’t a bad thing!) and we affectionately called her rolls “lead balls”.  So when I met my husband and his mom made rolls from scratch I was blown away and promptly begged her to teach me how.  I can trace my absolute love of baking bread, this obsession that I’ve cultivated and one of my favorite hobbies, to that moment in my life.  My mother-in-law, Becky, is a wonderful person.  She’s always so focused on helping people learn and supporting her children through thick and thin.  Her patience with me has been astronomical and I am so glad and grateful to be a part of her family.  So, for the passion she inspired in me and the person she is, this post is dedicated to her.

Becky’s Rollsdifficulty and time

Let’s chat for a second about types of dough.  Now, raise of hands, how many of you have heard of enriched bread vs. non-enriched bread?  Every buy bread from the store and it says “enriched” on it?  This simply means there’s some kind of fat source (like butter or oil) and usually other ingredients (i.e. eggs, milk, etc…).  If it’s not enriched it means there are 4 ingredients; flour, water, salt, and yeast.  So what kind are Becky’s rolls?  They are enriched, using milk and butter to add a light, delicate, and delicious flavor.

Now, when people think about bread they get a little flustered.  Why?  It’s the flour, water, and yeast.  The three essential ingredients in bread.  But I promise, there’s nothing to be afraid of!

First, let’s chat about water.  Contrary to popular belief, water temperature, while affecting time to rise, won’t make or break your bread (unless it’s boiling hot).  Cooler water will increase your rise time, taking longer than you expect.  Warmer water will decrease your rise time.  For enriched breads, where most of the flavor comes from the extra bits, a shorter rise time is fine.  For unenriched bread a longer rise time is preferred to develop flavor in the dough.

Second is yeast.  Yeast is a microorganism, a tiny little thing that grows when there’s a food source.  And it’ll grow and grow and keep on growing.  Add yeast to water at any temperature (again, as long as it’s not burning hot) and it’ll eventually come around.  Because it’s a living thing you just have to be patient and let it do it’s thing.  It’s not on a perfect schedule.  Be patient and it’ll eventually (or sooner) do exactly what you need it to do.

And then the flour.  The trickiest part of making bread is not adding too much flour.  If you add too much flour it soaks up all the water.  Then, when it comes time to bake, the water is already soaked up, leaving very little to evaporate, which makes your bread very dry.  The trick is to get the bread at that perfect stage of tacky, so it slightly sticks to your hands, the counter, etc. but not sticky enough to stay on your hands, the counter, etc.  Does that make sense?  If it sticks and pieces remain on your hands, it’s too wet.  If it doesn’t even cling it’s too dry.  Find the balance.

The recipe itself is pretty straight forward.  Add melted butter and powdered milk to the water.  Now, for this instance, if you can manage it, get your water to be “bath” hot.  Like, normal person bath hot, not scalded skin bath hot.  Since this is an enriched dough we don’t need a long first proof (called fermentation).  Whisk this together and then add the yeast, salt, and sugar.  Whisk a bit to get it all combined and then let it rest for about 5 minutes.  This rest step will get the yeast rising and active, making the fermentation step even shorter.  See, it’s not so bad!

bubbly yeast

Once your yeast mixture is bubbly and happy add about 1.5 cups of flour and whisk until it’s smooth.  After it’s completely smooth whisk for about 2 minutes.

whisked dough

Add flour, one cup at a time, until you get a kneadable dough.  It should take between 1-2 cups.  Then add more flour slowly as you need if and only if  you need it.  Remember, dough should be tacky but not sticky.  If it slightly sticks to your hands, it’s perfect.

Knead the dough for 2 minutes or until it passes the “windowpane test”.  To knead, simply press the heal of your hand into the bulk of the dough, fold the dough in half, turn it a quarter turn, and do it again.  Repeat, using one or both hands, until it feels nice and firm.  If you know what the windowpane test it, then you can check your bread this way.  Otherwise, we are just going to skip it until I make the Wheat Bread for a BotW recipe.

Put a small bit of oil in the bottom of a bowl and rotate the dough in the oil to coat all sides.  Keep the dough in the bowl and cover with a towel or cloth to ferment until double.  Now, this time will be different based on elevation of where you live, humidity, and room temperature.  In Utah, where I live, this step only takes 40 minutes.  In coastal California, it could take and hour.  The important thing is to watch the dough and only move on when it’s doubled.  If you do anything before it’s doubled the rolls will be dry and difficult to swallow.

Once it’s doubled cut the dough in half.  Gently fold over the dough to make a circle, then roll it out into a circle.  Cut the dough (I use a pizza cutter because it’s easy!) into 8 triangles.  Then just roll up the trianges into crescent shapes and place it on a greased baking sheet.  Lather, rinse, repeat for the remaining dough.  You should have 16 beautiful rolls!

Cover these with a kitchen towel and allow to proof until double, again.  While they are proofing, preheat the oven to 425F.  Once the rolls are ready just pop them in the oven for about 8-10 minutes, or until golden brown.

browned and delicious

Enjoy warm with large amounts of salted butter or however you like!  It’s rolls… you can’t really go wrong.

Becky's Rolls

  • Servings: 16
  • Difficulty: moderate
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Soft, white dinner rolls


Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1.5 tablespoons dry active yeast
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 1.5 cups hot (bath temperature) water
  • 1/8 cup plus 1.5 tablespoons powdered milk
  • 2.5-4 cups all-purpose flour

Directions

  1. Stir together the Add melted butter, powdered milk, and water. Whisk in yeast, salt, and sugar.
  2. Allow mixture to rest for 5 minutes. It should be bubbly at the end of the rest period.
  3. Add about 1.5 cups of flour and whisk until it’s smooth.  After it’s completely smooth whisk for about 2 minutes.
  4. Add flour, one cup at a time, until you get a kneadable dough.  It should take between 1-2 cups.  Then add more flour slowly if needed. The dough should be tacky but not sticky.
  5. Knead the dough for 2 minutes or until it passes the windowpane test.  To knead, simply press the heal of your hand into the bulk of the dough, fold the dough in half, turn it a quarter turn, and do it again.  Repeat, using one or both hands, until it feels nice and firm.
  6. Put a small bit of oil in the bottom of a bowl and rotate the dough in the oil to coat all sides.  Keep the dough in the bowl and cover with a towel or cloth to ferment until double.
  7. Once it’s doubled cut the dough in half.  Gently fold over the dough to make a circle, then roll it out into a circle.  Cut the dough into 8 triangles.  Roll up the trianges into crescent shapes and place it on a greased baking sheet.  Repeat until you have 16 rolls.
  8. Cover the rolls with a kitchen towel and allow to proof until double.
  9. While rolls are proofing, preheat the oven to 425F.  Once the rolls are ready pop them in the oven for about 8-10 minutes, or until golden brown.

Glazed Veggies

Glazed Veggies

I seriously underestimated the amount of fun and lack of free time I would have on my vacation last week.  I suspected that, since I had to be back to the hotel by 9ish to put my small child down for bed I would have plenty of time to write a blog post in the evening.  What I did not account for was the extremely late nights and loads of fun my family would have staying up till 12 or 1 each night playing card games.  Never underestimate the hilarity of a game like Balderdash at midnight when all the adults are exhausted but cant. stop. playing.

But that serious fun does mean I missed a lot of posts!  I’m sorry!  And after I specifically made two recipes the week before in order to not miss a week…  So thanks for your patience, thanks for the continued support and follows, and let’s get on with the show!

Glazed Veggiestime and difficulty meter

Guys, this recipe is super easy but super delicious.  That makes it a win-win, right?

glazed veggies ingredients

First we chop the veggies and, if you’re feeling bold, chop and mince the fresh herbs.  If you’re not feeling bold, no worries, this recipe is equally awesome for all types.  Just measure out those herbs and get them handy because, frankly, herbs of all sorts look pretty.

Start boiling the tiny, finger height portion of water in a nice, deep pot.  If you haven’t noticed I’m super exact with my measurements… Just check out this post for proof…

Add carrots to boiling water

Once it’s boiling add the carrots and cover with the lid.  We want this to boil for 7-9 minutes, depending on how full your pot is, or until the carrots are “crisp-tender”… Who makes up these cooking terms, anyway?  For those of you who can’t guess based on the name, crisp-tender means the stage after raw but before mushy.  It’s a pretty big ballpark, you can’t really miss it unless you’re being negligent.  And you’d never be negligent with carrots, would you?

Steaming carrots

Remove the carrots, drain the water, and put the pot back on the heat.  Add the honey and butter until they melt together.  Add your herbs and carrots back in and stir until the carrots are coated and the herbs are a little fragrant, about 2 minutes.  Serve warm!

You wanna know how to best use this recipe?  Add it as a side to either the Salt-Grilled Prime Meat or the Salt-Grilled Meat.  That’s what I did and it made for one amazing meal!

close up of carrots

Link’s Glazed Veggies

    • Any Vegetable
    • Courser Bee Honey

Herb Glazed Veggies

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Carrots glazed with honey and fresh herbs


Filling

  • 1 lb carrots
  • 1.5 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1-1.5 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1-2 teaspoons pepper
  • 1.5 tablespoons fresh thyme (or 1-1.5 teaspoon dried thyme)
  • 1.5 tablespoons fresh oregano (or 1-1.5 teaspoon dried oregano)

Directions

  1. If you use fresh herbs wash and then mince the herbs. Use a very sharp blade to mince in order to prevent bruising. Mix both the thyme and sage together and set aside.
  2. Cut all carrots equally and evenly to ensure they all cook the same amount and finish at the same time. If you desire, peel the carrots first.
  3. Boil enough water in a 4 quart saucepan to cover the first joint in your finger.
  4. Add carrots and cover the pot. Allow to boil for 7-9 minutes, or until crisp-tender.
  5. Remove carrots and drain pot.
  6. Add honey and butter and allow to melt together. Add herbs and carrots and stir until carrots are completely glazed and the herbs become fragrant, about 2 minutes.
  7. Serve hot.

Fish Pie

Fish Pie

Guys- I’m sorry about the whole “no post thing” yesterday.  I’m currently preparing for a vacation on top of several fires at work and I completely forgot it was Tuesday…

Link sure has some serious pastry and cooking skills.  This recipe, while not exactly difficult, was a bit strange.  I don’t know about you guys, but I’ve never had fish pot pie before.  I’ve never had fish anything pie before.  And while I learned that a lot of people make seafood pie, hardly anyone uses fish – it’s typically crab, shrimp, or a combination of both.  And if they do make fish pie, it’s made with a puff pastry crust, which isn’t quite as malleable and shape-able as shortcrust.  But, from past general experience and a whole lotta luck, I bring you fish pie.

Fish Piefish pie difficulty and time meter

This recipe gets a involved kinda fast.  It feels like it starts off easy and then all of a sudden food is ready to be turned, you weren’t paying attention to correct cooking order and you’re dirtying extra pans just to make it all work, your crust starts to get too warm and difficult to roll out, and children start crying.  At least, mine did!  But you got this – because we are going to do this together.

Fish Pie ingredients

First, in order to make things easier in the future, put a large cookie sheet in the fridge.  Having something cold to put your crust shapes on while you roll everything else out will make sure they stay nice and flaky!  Then we start with the filling.

all the veggies on a plateDice carrots and onion and get those peas thawed.  You can do this by either microwaving for a minute or simply running them under water.  The peas don’t need to be cooked, or even warm, since they will go through a few more heat steps before you eat them!  Heat your pan on medium and then add your oil.  Add your onions and saute (a fancy word for cooking in a minimal amount of fat over relatively high heat) until slightly tender and they turn translucent.  Add your carrots and cook for a few minutes or until the carrots are tender.  Add the peas next and cook until warm and mixed thoroughly.  Remove your veggies from the pan to a plate or bowl and put your pan back on the heat.

poaching white fish in milk

Make sure your fish is thawed properly if it was frozen and, for the first time ever, we don’t need to warm it up to room temp or even pat it down!  Add all your milk, your fish, and half the thyme, oregano, and dill to the same pan you cooked your vegetables in.  Keep the heat on medium and allow to come to a boil.  Once it’s boiling drop the heat a bit so it simmers.  Simmer your fish for 2-3 more minutes on this side and then flip them and simmer for an additional 3 minutes.  You don’t want to overcook it or the fish will get rubbery and gross in the pie.  Remove the fish to a plate, and, if you did it right, it’ll be flaky and beautiful and still a bit glistening on the inside.  Break the fish up on the plate into bite size pieces.

Now we start the roux.  Roux can be seriously hard, especially if you’ve never done it before.  I became really good at it when I was determined to make homemade mac and cheese.  It took me a long time to get it right and I had to throw out a lot of batches before I really nailed it down.  Here are my tips for a perfect roux:

Melt your butter in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat.  You could probably use a regular saucepan, but I always use my enamel dutch oven since it keeps the heat nice and even.  Wait until the butter is completely melted and bubbly.  Once it is, whisk in half the flour.  This is important!  If you try and do it all at once it probably won’t melt back down.  Once all the flour is incorporated and the mixture starts to melt and become a bit liquidy again add the remaining flour.  Whisk is continually until it starts to melt again.  At this point start timing – you’ll want to whisk continually for at least 2 minutes or until you reach the blond stage of a roux (a little darker than when you added it. you want all the flour taste to be gone!).  Once the butter/flour mixture is melty and blond start slowly adding the milk that you left in the pan.  Add about half the milk – the flour/butter may ball up on itself but just keep whisking.  Just keep whisking, just keep whisking, just keep whisking, whisking, whisking…  It’ll sort itself out!  Whisk until the mixture is homogeneous and slightly thick.  Add the remaining milk and repeat.  If the mixture is too thick you may have added too much flour.  Add regular milk until it reaches a nice, gravy-like consistency.

If you are unlucky and screw up your roux this is how you’ll know:

  • The flour and butter never reach that nice, melty stage after any flour addition
  • The flour/butter balls up when you add the milk and never mixes properly.

Don’t worry!  If one of these things happen just throw it out and start again.  Especially the first one – you can sometimes come back with even more vigorous whisking from the second but it’s very difficult to fix the first.

add veggies and fish to sauce

Once you have nice sauce add veggies, the remaining spices, and the fish.  Stir until combined, adjust spices for taste, and remove from the heat.  This we will set aside until the crust is ready!

Phew – all done with step one.  Now on to step two… which is just as long and just as rough.

Start by adding ice cubes to a cup or two of water.  You want the water to be as cold as possible!  Add all the flour and salt for the shortcrust (which, for those of you who are normal people, is pie crust) to a large bowl and whisk to mix.  Use butter flavored shortening (for a better flavor) and cut it into large chunks.  Mix in the shortening, using your hands, by rubbing the shortening into the flour until it’s combined into a nice, crumbly texture with some pea-sized clumps.

From this point forward you’ll want to handle your crust as little as possible.  The more you fiddle with it the tougher and denser the crust will be.  And we want a light, flaky crust because that’s the delicious way!  Slowly add the water 2 tablespoons at a time and combine it with the flour mixture.  I mix by hand because I have a better grasp on how the dough is actually doing.  Only add water until the mixture is just combined with some flour mixture not perfectly mixed in.  Too much water and you’ll be left with a tough, dense crust.  Take your cookie sheet out of the fridge and lightly flour a surface.  Take about 1/4 of the dough, mash it into a ball, and roll it out.  You’ll want it to be nice and thin, at least 1/8-1/4 inch, or it won’t cook evenly and your distribution of crust to filling will be weird.

fish template on crustAt this point I took a knife and, using a template I made before I started, cut out the base of the fish.  If your rolled out piece isn’t big enough just tack on more from the bowl and roll it out with the piece you’re working with to make it bigger.  Place this on the cookie sheet, gather up the scraps and lay them to the side, and repeat for another 1/4 of the dough.  Repeat two more times until you have 4 base pieces, which will be enough for two pies.  Take all the scraps, mash them into a ball, and roll them out together.  From this there should be enough, if you angle properly, to cut out all your designs perfectly.  Lay them to the side (or leave them where they’re at).

filled pie shapes

Fill two of the fish shapes to within 1/2 inch of the edge – don’t fill them too high and don’t fill that gap or your pie won’t close properly and it’ll leak.  Wet the edges with water (I use my finger because I’m super fancy), place the other fish shape on top, and press down along the edges.  Crimp each edge with a fork to help seal the dough.  Repeat for the second pie.  Wet the back of each of the designs and place it down on the fish shape where you’d like it.  Using a fork, poke a few holes in the top crust, ensuring it pokes all the way through to the center.  This will help the steam escape and keep your pie from exploding!  Beat and egg and brush the tops of each pie with it.  Place in the oven and bake for 40 or so minutes until the crust is golden brown!

fish pie

If you want my honest opinion this pie #1) tastes way better with tartar sauce smothered on top, and #2) is more work than it’s worth.  Unless you want to make something extra special and pretty I’d just cover a pie dish with your shortcrust, add the filling, cover the top, seal, and bake that way!  It’ll be much easier!  But this way definitely turned into a show-stopper for looks!

Link’s Salmon Meunière

    • Tabantha Wheat
    • Goat Butter
    • Rock Salt
    • Any Seafood

Fish Pie

  • Servings: 2 large pies
  • Difficulty: moderately difficult
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White fish pot pie with vegetables


Filling

  • 3/4 lb white fish of any kind
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1-2 teaspoons pepper
  • 1.5 tsp thyme
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1/2-1 tsp dill
  • 2-3 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup carrots, diced
  • 1/2 cup yellow onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup peas, thawed
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 2 tablespoons oil

Shortcrust

  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 cup butter flavored shortening
  • 4-9 tablespoons ice water
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 egg, beaten, for egg wash

Directions

  1. Put a large cookie sheet in the fridge or freezer.
  2. Dice the carrots and onion.
  3. Thaw the peas by microwaving for 1 minute or running them under water for 1 minute.
  4. Heat the pan on medium. Add the oil and onion and saute until slightly tender and translucent. Add the carrots and cook for 3-5 minutes or until tender. Add the peas and continue cooking until warm and mixed thoroughly.
  5. Remove your veggies from the pan to a plate or bowl and put your pan back on the heat.
  6. Add all your milk, your fish, and half the thyme and oregano to the same pan you cooked your vegetables in.  Keep the heat on medium and allow to come to a boil.  Once boiling, drop the heat to a simmer.  Simmer your fish for 2-3 minutes on this side. Flip the fish and simmer for an additional 3 minutes.
  7. Remove the pan from the heat, leaving the milk in the pan, and place the fish on a plate and break it into small pieces.
  8. Melt butter in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat. When the butter is completely melted and bubbly whisk in half the flour. Once all the flour is incorporated and the mixture starts to melt and become a bit liquidy again add the remaining flour.  Whisk continually until it starts to melt again. Continue whisking for about 2 minutes or until you reach the blond stage of a roux (a little darker than when you added it but not brown).
  9. Once the butter/flour mixture is melty and blond start slowly add half the milk from the pan.  Whisk until the mixture is homogeneous and slightly thick.
  10. The flour/butter may ball up on itself but just keep whisking.  Add the remaining milk and repeat.  If the mixture is too thick you may need to add an additional few tablespoons of milk. Whisk until the mixture reaches a nice, gravy-like consistency.
  11. Add the veggies, remaining spices, and fish to the sauce and stir until combined. Adjust spices for taste and remove from the heat.
  12. Add several ice cubes to a cup of water and set aside.
  13. Add all the flour and salt for the shortcrust to a large bowl and whisk to mix.
  14. Cut the shortening into large cubes. Add it to the flour and, using your hands, mix them together by rubbing the shortening into the flour until it’s combined into a nice, crumbly texture with some pea-sized clumps.
  15. Make a small well in the center of the flour mixture and slowly add the water 2 tablespoons at a time. Using your hand mix the water and flour together until combined. Continue adding water until the mixture is just combined but not perfectly mixed in. Don’t add too much water and don’t overmix or the crust will be dense and chewy.
  16. Take your cookie sheet out of the fridge and lightly flour a surface.  Take about 1/4 of the dough, mash it into a ball, and roll it out to 1/8-1/4 inch thin. Using a template (or freehanding it) cut the base of the fish out with a knife. If your rolled out piece isn’t big enough just tack on some more from the bowl and roll it out with the piece you’re working with to make it bigger.
  17. Place this on the cookie sheet, gather up the scraps and lay them to the side.
  18. Repeat step 14 3 more times to make 4 fish shapes.
  19. Take all the scraps, mash them into a ball, and roll them out together.  From this there should be enough, if you angle properly, to cut out all your designs perfectly.  Lay them to the side (or leave them where they’re at).
  20. Fill two of the fish shapes to within 1/2 inch of the edge – don’t fill them too high and don’t go in that 1/2 gap or your pie won’t close properly. Wet the edges of the pastry with water, place the other fish shape on top, and press down along the edges.  Crimp each edge with a fork to help seal the dough.
  21. Repeat for the second pie.
  22. Wet the back of each of the designs and place it down on the fish shape where you’d like it.  Using a fork, poke a few holes in the top crust, making sure it pokes all the way through to the center.
  23. Beat and egg and brush the tops of each pie with it.
  24. Bake for 40 minutes at 425°F. Allow to cool for several minutes before serving.

Salmon Meunière

Salmon Meunière

I learned a lot while making this recipe.  Here are my top three – and then on to the food…

First: it is very important to choose your butcher carefully when you get seafood.  I mistakenly used a grocery store butcher that I usually trust.  Apparently the betray you when it comes to seafood.  The salmon wasn’t scaled properly and still had all it’s pin bones.  And, not only that, but the cut was uneven.  I wound up slicing off a decent amount of fish that wasn’t really usable to get even portion sizes!  I was pretty disappointed.  So make sure you choose a reputable seller, double check that they scaled and removed the bones prior to purchasing, and then hope you have a very sharp knife if they don’t cut evenly!

deboning a salmon filetIf you do get unlucky enough to have to debone the fish yourself it’s really easy.  Just annoying.  Wash a pair of pliers with hot water and soap.  Carefully push the flesh of the salmon in and grasp the tip of the pin bone.  Pull it as carefully as you can to prevent the flesh from ripping.  It’s not bad if it does, it just isn’t as pretty anymore.  Make sure you get all the bones – you’ll be able to feel them if you gently run your hand down the length of the fish.  If you are doubly unlucky and they didn’t remove all the scales just flip the salmon over to skin side up.  Run the blade of the knife down the fish and watch all the clear, inedible scales pop off.  But you can always skip both these steps by choosing a better store!  Which I will do for all my fish from now on.

Second: experimenting with a very basic, traditional recipe turns out sub-par results.  I tried really hard to fiddle with this this recipe a bit and make it my own.  Turns out this recipe is so straight forward it doesn’t do well with a lot of tweaking.  I tried the sauce twice before I finally gave up and realized sometimes the old school way is the best way.

Third: no matter how many times I try it I really, really hate salmon.  It’s very fishy, even fairly fresh, and fatty.  The flavor is just… not my favorite.  If I’m going to spend this much on a protein you can bet it’ll be something I actually want to eat.  Unlucky for me, there are still a handful of salmon recipes left in the official Breath of the Wild guide…

Salmon Meunièredifficulty and time meter

salmon meuniere ingredients

You’ll find a lot of themes in these recipes.  One of them is to allow the meat to warm up to room temperature and to pat it dry before seasoning.  I explain why in my Meat and Rice Bowl recipe.  And that’s exactly how we are going to start salmon meunière – take the salmon out of the fridge about 30 minutes before cooking and allow to warm up to room temperature.

While it’s warming up wash and pull the leaves off the parsley.  It’s pretty easy, actually.  Just grab the stems and line up the leaves, place the knife edge down right at the base of the leaves, and gently but firmly pull the parsley through the knife blade.  It’ll get most of the stems off and leave you with a nice pile of leaves.  And no, it’s not one of the piles that hides a korok seed.  Sorry.  Roughly chop the parsley into pieces, they don’t have to be perfect.  You’ll want a small handful of parsley.  If you’re using fresh lemon cut it in half and squeeze the juice of one of them.  You only need 3/4 tablespoon so no need to go crazy. Smash the garlic by placing the flat of a knife blade against the garlic clove and smash your hand into the blade.  Never do this on the edge of the knife and never smash the knife down – both these could result in some serious cuts and I refuse to be held responsible for that.  When the garlic is smashed peel off the skin.  Get the butter cut and ready to go and play a few rounds of Splatoon 2 until the salmon is ready.

dreding salmon in flourWhen you’re ready to cook pat the salmon dry and season with kosher salt and pepper.  Turn your burner on to medium, add your oil, and get your pan nice and hot.  When the pan is hot add the butter.  Be really careful, the butter will splatter and pop as the water cooks out of it!  We add the salmon when the butter stops popping so when the mixture starts to calm down spread the flour out on a plate and dip and pat the salmon into the flour to completely coat it.  This is called dredging and it’s a pretty awesome technique to get a nice, crispy, almost fried skin.  Make sure you don’t dredge too early or the flour just gets soaked into the fish and it doesn’t fry quite as well.

pan fried salmon filet

Add the fish to the pan, skin down, laying it away from you to prevent any oil splatters.  Let it cook for 3-4 minutes on this side then flip the fish and allow it to cook for 3 more minutes.  Take it out of the pan, place it on a plate, and cover with foil.  You’ll want to do this next part quickly – the longer the fish sits under that foil the less crispy it gets!

Using a few paper towels rolled in a ball and a heavy duty oven mitt pour out the oil into a heat safe container and wipe the inside of the pan.  We don’t want to keep any of the old mixture since it’s likely to burn if it cooks too long.

melting butterbrowned butterAdd the new butter and smashed garlic and wait for it to melt and cook down.  It will take 2-3 minutes to turn brown and nutty and delicious.  Remove the pan from the heat (don’t follow my photo example and just turn off the heat.  It’s not good enough!).  Add the lemon and parsley and stir to combine.  Again, use caution, this mixture may splatter as well.  Uncover the fish, pour the sauce over, and serve immediately.  PS- if your pan is still really hot your parsley may brown pretty quickly and it’ll make your sauce look a bit burned.  I promise, if you use this recipe it won’t burn and will still taste good!

salmon meuniere close up

Link’s Salmon Meunière

    • Tabantha Wheat
    • Goat Butter
    • Hearty Salmon

Salmon Meunière

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: moderately easy
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Salmon drizzled with a meunière butter lemon sauce


Salmon

  • 2 8 oz portions salmon
  • 1-2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1-2 teaspoons pepper
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup flour

Sauce

  • 3/4 tablespoon lemon juice (juice from half a small lemon)
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2-3 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 1 large garlic clove, smashed

Directions

  1. Warm the salmon to room temperature.
  2. Using the blade of your knife pull the leaves off the parsley by gently but firmly running the blade along the stems. Roughly chop into small pieces.
  3. Cut the lemon and juice one half, making sure not to get any seeds in the juice.
  4. Using the flat of a knife blade smash the garlic and remove the skin.
  5. Pat the salmon dry and season with kosher salt and pepper.
  6. Heat a pan over medium with the oil.
  7. When the oil is hot add the butter. Be careful, as this will splatter and pop until all the water is cooked out of the butter.
  8. When the butter mixture starts to calm down add the flour to a plate and dredge the salmon by patting it into the flour. Immediately add the salmon to the pan, skin down, by laying it away from you.
  9. Cook the salmon for 3-4 minutes, turn, and cook for another 3 minutes.
  10. Remove the salmon and cover with foil.
  11. Acting quickly pour the remaining oil mixture out of the pan and wipe out with paper towels. Be careful not to burn yourself and use proper heat proof equipment.
  12. Add the 5 tablespoons of butter and garlic to the pan and allow to melt and brown, about 2-3 minutes.
  13. Remove the pan from the heat and add the lemon and parsley. Again, use caution when you add the lemon because it may splatter and pop.
  14. Immediately pour over the salmon filets and serve.

Mushroom Risotto

Mushroom Risotto

I tried making risotto once.  It did not turn out.  So why did I decide to tackle something that was this intimidating this early on?  Come on, guys.  It’s obvious.  I’m a gamer and gamer’s do not give up and do not take the easy road when it comes to conquering a difficult challenge.  How many of you have come across a puzzle that was difficult and said to yourself “Nah.  It’s too hard.  I’ll just pretend like this side quest doesn’t exist and that’ll be just fine”?  The answer is none of you.  Guys, we are the ones who stick with it to the end.  The completionists.  The puzzle-solving-it’s-2-AM-because-once-more-will-do-the-trick kind of people.  And that’s why I attempted this terrifying food so early on.  Why not chalk up the win from the get-go?  And with this recipe I found it was definitely worth it.

Mushroom RisottoDifficulty and Time for this recipe

A few pointers before we begin:

  • Risotto should never be made in a regular pan.  A heavy-bottom pot or enameled cast-iron pan are really the best.  They keep a hot temperature that isn’t easily changed by adding liquids.
  • I cannot say this strongly enough: once you start stirring your rice you can. not. stop.  If you stop the rice will burn to the bottom, human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together, mass hysteria!
  • You must use Italian rice.  It has a special type of starch that allows the rice to stick together, unlike any other kind of rice.  The best (according to one author) are: Arborio, Vialone Nano, and Carnaroli.  I use Arborio, myself
  • Musrooms are versatile but you definitely want some with flavor.  I used portobellini’s for this recipe but other options could be portabella’s, porcini, or shiitakes.

Ingredients for Mushroom Risotto

Now that the rules are over with, we start with the prep work.  Once you start cooking your Risotto you can’t, and I do mean that (see warning above), stop stirring it.  So keep everything nice and handy and ready to throw in the pot.  Start with getting your diluted vegetable  broth simmering.  It needs to stay at a slow simmer the entire time you make your risotto.  Then fine dice onion, large dice mushrooms and get them soaking, grate Parmesan cheese, cut 2 tablespoons butter and separate into 1 tablespoon pats, measure out your vegetable oil, and ready your salt and pepper.

Adding the Rice to the potHeat up your nice, heavy pan and add the oil and butter.  Cook the onion until it’s nice and tender and get ready for the fun/exciting/scary/hot part: the rice.

Add all the rice, stir it around until every grain is coated in the butter mixture, and start adding your broth 1/2 cup at a time.  I found that using a ladle was perfect for this.  It was easy to keep in my left hand while my right stirred like crazy to keep the risotto from sticking.  I made sure my set up was broth on the left, risotto on the right.  But feel free to switch it up!  We don’t discriminate against lefty’s here.

The broth and risotto set up

Stir and scrape the bottom of the pan until all the liquid has been absorbed and then add a second ladleful of broth.  Keep stirring and keep repeating until it’s been 10 minutes.  At this point, when you would add more broth, instead add the mushrooms and soak water.  When that liquid is evaporated and absorbed add more broth.  Continue until the rice is tender but still has a bite.  Some like it crunchy in the center.  Mine was definitely not crunchy but you don’t want it soft.  It’ll go mushy if your rice isn’t still al dente.

Adding butter and Parmesan cheese to the risotto

Add Parmesan cheese because it’s delicious, correct for salt and pepper, and enjoy while it’s hot!

Close texture of risotto

Link’s Mushroom Risotto recipe:

    • Hylian Rice
    • Goat Butter
    • Rock Salt
    • Any Mushroom

Mushroom Risotto

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: moderate
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Mushroom Risotto with Parmesan cheese from Breath of the Wild



Adapted from Essentials of Italina Cooking by Marcella Hazan

ingredients

  • 5 total cups diluted vegetable broth, 2.5 cups broth + 2.5 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons onion, diced very fine
  • 2 cups Arborio rice (or other Italian rice-see note above)
  • 3 ounces Portabellini mushrooms (or other mushrooms-see note above), diced, soaking in 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Bring broth to a very slow, steady simmer on a burner near where you’ll be cooking the risotto.
  2. Heat your heavy-bottom pan on medium-high heat and add 1 tablespoon of butter and the vegetable oil.
  3. When the butter is melted add the onion and cook until it becomes translucent.
  4. Add all the rice and stir quickly and thoroughly until the grains are well coated.
  5. Add 1/2 cup of simmering broth and cook the rice, stirring constantly with a long wooden spoon or spatula until the liquid is gone. Make sure you wipe all the sides and bottom of the pan clean as you stir. You must never stop stirring and you must wipe the pot completely clean frequently or the rice will stick.
  6. When there is no more liquid in the pot, add another 1/2 cup of broth and stir as described in step 5. Continue to add broth and stir in this manner.
  7. When the rice has cooked for 10 minutes, add the mushrooms and water. Continue to stir until there is no more liquid.
  8. Finish cooking the rice with broth, or, if you have no more broth, with water. Cook the rice until it is tender, but firm to the bite, with no more liquid remaining in the pot. This will take anywhere from 18-25 minutes total.
  9. Off heat, add a few grindings of pepper, the remaining tablespoon of butter, and all the Parmesan cheese. Stir thoroughly until the cheese melts and clings to the rice. Taste and correct for salt. Transfer to a platter and serve promptly with additional grated cheese on the table.