Browse Category by Elaine Walker
Breads and Muffins, Cake, Elaine Walker

Chocolatey Pumpkin Bread

2/3 cup vegetable oil
1-1/2 cups semisweet or dark chocolate chips
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
4 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup pumpkin puree
1-3/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees with the rack in the middle. Grease a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan with vegetable oil.

Chop 1/3 of the chocolate chips into small bits; return them to the remaining chocolate.

With hand mixer or stand mixer fitted with a flat beater attachment, combine the granulated and brown sugars, eggs and vanilla. Mix on low speed until smooth, about 1 minute.

Add the pumpkin puree and 2/3 cup oil and mix on low until thoroughly combined, about 1 minute.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, salt, ginger, allspice and cloves until combined.

Add the dry ingredients to the pumpkin mixture and mix on medium-low speed until just incorporated and no bits of flour mixture remain. Fold in the chocolate chips.

Pour the batter into the loaf pan and smooth out the top. Sprinkle extra brown sugar and cinnamon on top, if desired.

Bake for about 1 hour and 20 minutes, or until the top of the bread is firm to the touch and springs back when lightly pressed with your finger, and a cake tester or wooden pick produces only chocolate when inserted into the bread.

Transfer the loaf pan to a wire rack and let cool completely. To unmold, run a knife around the perimeter of the loaf pan and invert the pan. Slice the bread and serve at room temperature.

Breads and Muffins, Breakfast, Elaine Walker

Apple Cider Doughnuts

3 cups apple cider
4 cups all purpose flour, plus extra for dusting your kneading surface
1 cup potato starch (no substitutions)
2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
2 eggs
1/2 cup evaporated milk
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
vegetable oil for frying

Pour the apple cider into a saucepan and bring to a boil. Continue cooking on medium heat until its volume is reduced from three cups to one cup (about 10 to 15 minutes). Once reduced, pour the cider into a small mixing bowl or liquid measuring cup and place it in the refrigerator to cool.

In a large bowl, stir together the flour, potato starch, sugar, baking powder, and spice, using a heavy spoon or spatula. Make a well in the center of the mixture.

Whisk the eggs, evaporated milk, salt, and reduced apple cider together until well combined, then pour into the well in the center of the dry ingredients. Use your spoon or spatula to gradually mix them together just until they are fully incorporated. (Do not overmix and do not use an electric mixer.)

Generously flour a clean counter or wooden board, as well as your hands. Pour the sticky doughnut batter out of the bowl and gently knead for about one minute until it forms a cohesive dough. Pat it out to a thickness of about 1/2″, then cover it with plastic wrap and allow to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes, during which time the dough will suck up the excess moisture and stop being sticky. What you’ll have is a nice, soft bouncy dough that you can easily cut through without issue. (If, for some reason, it still feels a bit sticky when you touch it, dust your hands with a bit of potato starch and give the top of the dough a light pat.)

Fill a Dutch oven or your largest pot with at least 4 inches of frying oil. Clip a fry/candy thermometer to the side of the pot, making sure that the bulb doesn’t touch the bottom. Turn the heat on thigh, bring up to a temperature of 360 degrees Fahrenheit, then lower heat to medium, adjusting as necessary to maintain temperature.

Use a doughnut cutter or round biscuit cutter to punch out doughnuts from the dough. If using a biscuit cutter, stick your finger through the center of the doughnut to make a hole, then twirl it around a bit to stretch it out. The doughnuts don’t need to look perfect.

Drop two or three doughnuts into the oil at a time. (If you put in too many at the same time, the oil temperature drops and causes the doughnuts to absorb too much oil.) They will sink to the bottom at first, and then, as the baking powder is activated, they will puff up and rise to the top. Fry for about two minutes, peeking at the undersides with a slotted spoon or chopstick, and flipping over when golden brown. Continue to fry for another minute or two, then remove from the oil and place on a wire rack over a baking sheet to drain and cool. Repeat with the remaining doughnuts. You can reroll the scraps to punch out more doughnuts, or you can hand shape them into tiny balls to make doughnut “holes.”

If you’d like to sugar your doughnuts, put some granulated or superfine sugar into a cake pan, and add your doughnuts while they are still hot and just shake them around. Use a spoon to make sure both sides are covered in sugar, then move to the rack to cool completely. If you’d like to dust with powdered sugar, wait until the doughnuts have cooled to room temperature, then dust right before serving.

Elaine Walker, Vegetables

Boiled Corn on the Cob

In a large kettle, add water and 1 to 2 teaspoons of sugar (not salt – salt will make the corn tough).
Bring the water to a boil.
Add the husked corn.
Boil for 5 minutes (not more).
Serve immediately.

Elaine Walker, Vegetables

Oven-Roasted Asparagus

1 small bunch of thin asparagus spears, trimmed
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, grated
1 small clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

In a large ziploc bag, add the olive oil, Parmesan cheese, garlic, salt, and pepper. Add the asparagus and close the bag. Turn the bag of asparagus upside down and back again to coat asparagus evenly with the olive oil mixture.

Arrange the asparagus onto a baking sheet in a single layer. Bake in the preheated oven until just tender, 12 to 15 minutes depending on thickness.

Eggs and Pasta and Legumes, Elaine Walker

Simple, Creamy Macaroni and Cheese for Mom

6 ounces elbow macaroni
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
1/8 teaspoon dried thyme
1-1/2 cups milk
1 pinch ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese, divided
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1/4 cup Panko bread crumbs
2 teaspoons butter, melted

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Fill a large pot with lightly salted water and bring to a rolling boil over high heat. Once the water is boiling, stir in the macaroni, and return to a boil. Cook the pasta uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the pasta is cooked through but still slightly firm, about 8 minutes. Drain well.

Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the flour; cook on medium heat until flour just begins to turn pale yellow, 3 to 4 minutes. Add thyme and whisk in milk until smooth. Bring the sauce just to a simmer.

Stir in nutmeg, Worcestershire sauce, and salt; simmer on medium-low heat until thickened, about 8 minutes, whisking often. Turn heat off, then add 1 cup of Cheddar cheese; stir until melted and combined. Add Dijon mustard.

Transfer the macaroni into a casserole dish, then pour in the cheese sauce; stir to thoroughly combine sauce with pasta.

Mix panko bread crumbs and 1 tablespoon melted butter in a small bowl, and sprinkle crumbs on top of macaroni and cheese. Sprinkle remaining 1/2 cup of Cheddar cheese on top.

Bake in the preheated oven until bread crumbs and Cheddar cheese topping are golden brown, about 20 minutes.

===================================
Below is the original recipe (double the amount as above, plus more ingredients) —

1 (16 ounce) package elbow macaroni
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/8 teaspoon white pepper
3 cups milk

1 pinch ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese, divided
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 cup Panko bread crumbs
1 tablespoon butter, melted

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
Fill a large pot with lightly salted water and bring to a rolling boil over high heat. Once the water is boiling, stir in the macaroni, and return to a boil. Cook the pasta uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the pasta is cooked through but still slightly firm, about 8 minutes. Drain well.

Melt 1/4 cup butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. When the butter starts to foam and bubble, stir in the flour; cook on medium heat until flour just begins to turn pale yellow, 3 to 4 minutes. Add thyme, cayenne pepper, and white pepper; cook and stir another minute, then whisk in 1 cup of milk until smooth. Pour in remaining milk and whisk again. Bring the sauce just to a simmer.

Stir in nutmeg, Worcestershire sauce, and salt; simmer on medium-low heat until thickened, about 8 minutes, whisking often. Turn heat off, then add 2 1/4 cups of Cheddar cheese; stir until melted and combined. Add Dijon mustard.

Transfer the macaroni into a casserole dish, then pour in the cheese sauce; stir to thoroughly combine sauce with pasta. Mix Panko bread crumbs and 1 tablespoon melted butter in a small bowl, and sprinkle crumbs on top of macaroni and cheese. Sprinkle remaining 3/4 cup of Cheddar cheese on top.

Bake in the preheated oven until bread crumbs and Cheddar cheese topping are golden brown, about 20 minutes.

Beef or Lamb, Breakfast, Elaine Walker

Bacon in the Oven

IMPORTANT: start with a COLD oven. Do NOT preheat.

Arrange the bacon slices on a sheet pan and place the pan on the center rack of a cold oven. (Try not to stretch the slices out. Just gently drape the bacon across the pan.) Close the oven door. Turn the oven on to 400 F. Walk away.

Come back 17 to 20 minutes later. As soon as the bacon is golden brown, but not excessively crisp, it’s done. The exact time will depend on the thickness of the bacon slices, and also on how quickly your oven reaches the target temperature.

Remove the pan from the oven. Transfer the bacon to a second sheet pan (or a plate or dish) lined with paper towels to absorb any excess fat.

Beverages, Elaine Walker, Uncategorized

Coquito (Puerto Rican Eggnog)

2 egg yolks, beaten
1 (12 fluid ounce) can evaporated milk
1 (14 ounce) can cream of coconut
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup white rum

1/2 cup water (or coconut milk)
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In the top of a double boiler, combine egg yolks and evaporated milk. Stirring constantly, cook over lightly simmering water until mixture reaches a temperature of 160 degrees F. The mixture should be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.

Transfer mixture to a blender, and add cream of coconut, sweetened condensed milk, rum, water, cloves, cinnamon, and vanilla. Blend for about 30 seconds. Pour into glass bottles and chill overnight.

Eggs and Pasta and Legumes, Elaine Walker, Mom

Fettuccine Alfredo

16 ounces dry fettuccine pasta
1 cup butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
1.5 cups heavy cream
3/4 cup grated Romano cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
pinch of nutmeg (optional)
cooked, sliced chicken breasts (optional)

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add fettuccini and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain.

In a large saucepan, add the butter and garlic. Saute for a few minutes, then mix in the cream.

Stir in cheese over medium heat until melted; this will thicken the sauce.

Add a pinch of nutmeg (optional).

Add enough pasta to the sauce so that it is coated. (If you prefer a lot of sauce, don’t use all of the pasta.)

Serve immediately (with sliced chicken breast on the side, optional).

Beef or Lamb, Elaine Walker, Mom

Lamb Chops for Mom

1/2 pound bone-in rib or shoulder lamp chops (not loin chops)

Grilled:
Preheat Hamilton Beach electric grill on sear for 10 minutes.

Grill lamb chops for 3 to 4 minutes on one side, then turn and grill another couple of minutes until temperature reaches 138 to 140 degrees.

Fried:
Beat an egg.
Pour into pie plate.
Dip lamp in egg, coating on all sides.
Next dip in the lamp in a mixture of Panko bread crumbs and a little garlic and onion salt.
Add 1 tablespoon of butter and 1 tablespoon of olive oil to a large skillet.
Add the lamp chops and fry on medium heat for about 6 minutes.
Then turn and fry on the other side for another 6 minutes or until the temperature reaches 138 to 140 degrees.

Beef or Lamb, Elaine Walker

Pastrami-Spiced Porterhouse Steak

2 porterhouse steaks (1-1/2 inches thick; about 2 pounds each)
salt and pepper
1 tablespoon vegetable oil, plus more for the grill

Spice Rub:
3 tablespoons coriander seeds
2 tablespoons black peppercorns
1 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds
1 tablespoon packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice

Mustard Butter:
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 tablespoons spicy brown mustard
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
salt and pepper

Prepare the steaks: Pulse the coriander seeds, peppercorns and mustard seeds in a spice grinder until coarsely ground. Transfer to a small bowl and add the brown sugar, paprika, garlic powder and allspice; mix until evenly combined. Season the steaks all over with salt and pepper, then rub with the vegetable oil. Rub the steaks on both sides with the spice mixture, pressing to adhere. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, preheat a grill to medium high. Lightly oil the grates.

Make the mustard butter: Stir the butter in a small bowl until smooth. Mix in the mustard, parsley, chives, 1/4 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of pepper.

Grill the steaks until well marked, 4 to 5 minutes. Rotate the steaks 90 degrees, moving them around as needed to prevent flare-ups, and cook until crosshatch grill marks form, 4 to 5 more minutes.

Flip the steaks and cook 4 to 5 minutes, then rotate 90 degrees and cook 4 to 5 more minutes, or until a thermometer inserted sideways into the center of the steaks registers 125 degrees F for medium rare.

Transfer the steaks to a cutting board and let rest at least 5 minutes. Serve with the mustard butter.