Whole Grain Dinner Rolls with 3 Seeds

Whole wheat dinner rolls; tender and wholesome
I don’t know about you, but when I’m planning what to prepare for my Thanksgiving table, bread tends to be one of the last things on the list; it might be that this most traditional of all meals is already packed with bread and starchy foods, from the stuffing right down to the multiple sides of potatoes, sweet potato and squash.

Admittedly, I avoid stuffing if at all possible. I just don’t see the point of eating turkey-scented bread cubes when I can save room for the main event.

That’s why I totally approve of dinner rolls for Thanksgiving – small rounds of fresh, warm bread to sop up your gravy is just perfect. You don’t need to overcommit to a large pile of stuffing.

I got a little ahead of myself this year (yes, and also because I wanted to post this recipe before the big day) My recipe is based on one from the Martha Stewart Living Cookbook (they’re called “Health Rolls” in the book; I think we can do better than that). I made the dough in my bread machine, which I highly recommend, if you have one. You can even shape the rolls ahead of time, put them in the pan and refrigerate up to one day ahead. Just let them come to room temperature before baking.

Whole Grain Dinner Rolls with 3 Seeds

Makes 16 rolls

1/2 cup bulgur wheat

1 cup milk
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/3 cup honey
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
2 1/2 -3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup quick-cooking oats
1 tablespoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons active-dry yeast
1 tablespoon EACH sesame, flax, and poppy seeds
1 tablespoon flaked sea salt

Cook the bulgur in 2 cups boiling water in a medium saucepan until water is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Cool.

Place the milk, eggs, honey, oil, whole wheat flour, 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour, oats, cooled bulgur, salt and yeast in a bread machine in the order given. Process on the “dough” mode, adding more flour if needed.

Remove dough from bread machine pan and from into 16 balls. Arrange in two 8-inch round oiled cake pans. Brush tops with oil, cover and let rise 20 -25 minutes.

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Sprinkle roll tops with the seeds and salt; bake until dark golden brown on top, about 25 minutes. Transfer to a rack and cool in the pan 10 minutes before unmolding. Serve warm.

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Copyright (c) 2007 FamilyStyle Food

Cornish Hen for Two with Cranberry-Thyme Sauce

A meal for lovebirds


Sometimes, preparing a little holiday feast for two is just the ticket – maybe your whole family is stranded in Chicago due to a freaky snowstorm (don’t laugh – the forecast looks iffy), or you and your lucky love bunny are simply planning a cozy Thanksgiving this year.

This recipe is fairly easy and delicious…enjoy.

Cornish Hen for Two with Cranberry -Thyme Sauce
adapted from Bon Appetit, December 2007

3 tablespoons butter, divided
1 tablespoon golden brown sugar
3 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme, divided
1 1 1/2- to 1 3/4-pound Cornish game hen, halved, backbone removed, rinsed, patted dry
1/2 tablespoon all purpose flour
3/4 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup orange juice
1/3 cup frozen cranberry juice cocktail concentrate, thawed
1/4 cup dried sweetened cranberries

Preheat oven to 450°F. Blend 2 tablespoons butter, sugar, and 2 teaspoons thyme in small bowl. Pat hen halves dry with a paper towel and sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper.

Spread skin of each with half of butter mixture. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add hen halves, skin side down. Sear until deep brown, about 4 minutes. Turn, skin side up, and sear 1 minute. Remove from heat. Transfer hen halves, skin side up, to a small rimmed baking sheet. Reserve skillet (pan juices will be dark).

Roast hen halves until cooked through and juices run clear when pierced with a fork, about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, blend remaining 1 tablespoon butter and 1/2 tablespoon flour in a small bowl. Add broth, orange juice, cranberry concentrate, and remaining 1 teaspoon thyme to reserved skillet.
Boil until sauce is reduced to 3/4 cup, whisking often, about 7 minutes. Whisk in flour mixture and cranberries. Simmer until sauce coats a spoon, stirring often, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Transfer hen halves to plates. Spoon the sauce over and serve.

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3 Simple Sides for Thanksgiving

Cider-Roasted Fennel & Baby Carrots, Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes,
Green Beans with Lemon-Shallot Butter


Thanksgiving is a small family gathering at our house, which is kind of nice. We don’t have much in the way of extended family in town, so I don’t feel the pressure to make Uncle Jack’s favorite stuffing made with bags of salty, stale supermarket stuffing mix or Grandma’s sweet potato casserole loaded with sticky, sweet marshmallows.

I know, this holiday is all about tradition. But those old family recipes sometimes need a little dusting – not to make them extra-fancy, more like paring them down to their basic, pure selves.

There really isn’t much to preparing simple vegetable sides worthy of a place next to the turkey. I like to save the drama for the turkey, anyway. And that will be another story, for another day.

Cider-Roasted Fennel & Baby Carrots
serves 4

1 pound baby carrots, peeled
1 large or 2 small fennel bulbs, stems trimmed, sliced into 1/4-inch wedges
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt (or use about 1/2 this amount of fine sea salt)
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup apple cider

Toss the vegetables on a large, rimmed baking sheet with the olive oil, salt and pepper to taste. Pour the apple cider over and place in a 400-degree oven. Roast 25 minutes, stirring halfway through, or until the vegetables are caramelized and the cider is reduced to a syrupy glaze.

Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes
serves 4

10 plump garlic cloves, peeled
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and diced
3 cups warm milk (reduced fat is fine)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
Salt to taste

Place the garlic cloves on a large sheet of aluminum foil; drizzle with the oil and wrap into a package. Roast in a 400-degree oven about 20 minutes, until the garlic is very soft.

Put the potatoes in a large saucepan and cover with cold water. Add 1 tablespoon salt and bring to a boil. Cook until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain well; return to the saucepan and set over low heat. Mash in the butter and garlic with a potato masher or wooden spoon, mixing until the potatoes are smooth. Stir in 2 cups milk and season with more salt, if needed. Stir in more milk as needed to make a smooth puree.

Green Beans with Lemon-Shallot Butter
serves 4

3/4 pound green beans, trimmed
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 shallot, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon grated fresh lemon zest
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Place the beans in a 10-inch skillet or saute pan. Add about 1/4 cup water and set over medium-high heat until the water starts to boil. Cover the pan and cook 5 minutes, or until beans are crisp-tender. Pour off any remaining water and return the pan over the heat; add the butter and shallot to the beans and cook until the beans are evenly coated with butter. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

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