Thursday, May 21, 2015

Green Olive & Pimento Bread with a Hint of Cheese

It should be pretty obvious that I like baking bread, so when I got a chance to work with a crisping mat from Harold Import Company, you'd better believe I put it through its paces.

The surface of the mat is nonstick, so there's no need for cornmeal under the dough. The mat is actually a very fine mesh, so there are holes that allow air circulation under the baking bread. It's really a great idea.

Even if the bread is a little sticky - like a sweet bread that might ooze sugary stuff - or a cheesy bread like the one I made for this challenge - the bread doesn't stick and the mat is easy to clean. It's dishwasher safe, but things like this are awkward in my dishwasher, so I've only washed it by hand.

If you bake a lot of bread, pastries, cookies, or other baked goods where a crisp, non-soggy bottom is preferred, I suggest you give one of these mats a try. And although I haven't tried it, it should be pretty awesome for reheating things like pizza, where you really do want a non-soggy bottom.

I made a round, free-form loaf studded with bits of green olives (and the pimento stuffing) with a little bit of cheese for added flavor.

Since I used a white cheese, it's not visible inside the bread, but you can see flecks of browned cheese bits where it was close to the surface of the dough. The finished bread is rich and savory, with little bits of salty green olive and sweet pimento.

Green Olive & Pimento Bread with a Hint of Cheese
by Donna

1 cup lukewarm water
2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 Tablespoon sugar
2 1/2 cups (11 1/4 ounces) bread flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 ounces shredded cheese
16 pimento-stuffed well-drained green olives, sliced or roughly chopped

Combine the water, yeast, sugar, bread flour, salt and olive oil in the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the dough hook. Knead until the dough is smooth and elastic.

Add the cheese and olives and mix until well-combined.

Cover the mixer bowl and set aside until the dough has doubled in size, about an hour.

When the dough has risen, flour your work surface, place the crisping mat on a baking sheet, and heat the oven to 350°F.

Knead the dough briefly, then form it into a tight ball. Place it on the prepared baking sheet and cover with plastic wrap. Or, what I did was use the empty mixing bowl as a cover. Set aside until the dough has doubled in size and if you gently poke the dough with a finger, it leaves an indent or slowly fills in rather than bouncing back quickly.

Slash the dough as desired and bake at 350°F until nicely browned, about 45 minutes.

Let the bread cool completely on a rack before slicing.

I received two baking mats at no cost to me from Harold Import Company.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Almond Cranberry White Chocolate Cookies

Cookies. Who doesn't love a great, homemade cookie?! Over the years, I have made dozens of types of rolled dough, drop and bar varieties. I usually make 6 or more types around the holidays and ship them out across the country to my family and friends. The trick is usually trying to find ones that can make the trek in one piece and stay fresh.

I came across this recipe from Nature's Eats last winter. Normally, my husband and son make some disagreeable face whenever I mention anything with coconut in them. But, they actually loved these! Score one for mom!

These are easy to make, and stay fresh for days in an airtight container. I found with the Mrs. Anderson's Sweet Baking Mat from Harold Import Company that they brown nicely and they even keep their height (this is something I've been challenged with living in high altitude the past 10+ years.)

So, I highly recommended these for your picky eaters. You may even convert them to coconut after all.

Almond Cranberry White Chocolate Cookies
by Holly
adapted from Nature's Eats: Almond with Cranberry and Coconut Cookies

1 1/4 cups blanched almond flour
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup finely shredded (angel) coconut
1/4 cup white chocolate chips
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1 large egg
3 Tablespoons melted and slightly cooled coconut oil
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Heat oven to 375°F. Place a Mrs. Anderson's Sweet Baking Mat inside a standard baking sheet.

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, cranberries, coconut, white chocolate chips, baking powder, sea salt and brown sugar. In a small bowl, whisk the egg until light and frothy. Gradually add the coconut oil and vanilla. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients until thoroughly incorporated. Place bowl in freezer for 15 minutes to help set the mixture.

Remove dough from freezer and form twelve 1-1 1/4" balls, evenly space onto the baking sheet. Bake cookies on middle rack, about 10-12 minutes or lightly browned. Let cool on the baking sheet for a minute and remove to a rack to completely cool before eating.

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Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Roasted Green Chile Tortilla Stacks

When I was a child, my mom had a quick and simple dinner that she sometimes served to us kids as a special treat. It was nothing more than a ground beef, soup and green chile mixture piled on top of a tortilla, topped with cheese and broiled until crisp. She didn't make it often, but oh, how we loved it! I had been thinking about cooking it up myself recently, so when I was offered the chance to try out the Mrs. Anderson's Baking Mat from the Harold Import Company, I decided that this would be the perfect time to play around and put my own spin on an old childhood favorite! I did search around online a bit to see if anyone else out there was familiar with this dish and I didn't really find much. I did find one recipe that I liked, which added a layer of beans and made these "stacks" a little more filling. So, I combined the online recipe with my mom's old recipe and made some changes of my own. The result is a tasty updated Tortilla Stack. It can be served as an appetizer or a main course, and it's pretty fun to make!

Roasted Green Chile Tortilla Stacks
by Chris
(Serves 8 as a main course, many more as an appetizer)
Adapted from "Spicy Tortilla Stack" by Countdown Grocery

3 cups cooked and diced/shredded chicken (a rotisserie chicken works well)
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 packet Sazon seasoning
1 cup diced green chiles (I used Hatches that I had frozen, but canned will work as well)
1 cup sweet yellow onion, diced
4 Tablespoons cream of celery soup, undiluted (from one 10.5 oz can)
2 16-ounce cans refried black beans (or 3-3 1/2 cups, if making your own)
1 teaspoon garlic salt (or to taste)
1 teaspoon cumin (or to taste)
2 teaspoons hot sauce, such as Tabasco (or to taste)
16 flour tortillas, fajita size (6.5")
1 bag Monterey jack cheese, shredded (12-16 ounces)
About 1/4 cup of a tart vinaigrette (I simply used a store-bought lime vinaigrette)
Sriracha, for drizzling
About 1/2 cup of sour cream mixed w/Sriracha (to taste)
Extra sour cream (plain) and sliced black olives, for serving (optional but recommended)

Place the diced chicken in a gallon-sized zip-top bag. Add the 2 Tablespoons of olive oil and the packet of Sazon. Mix well, using your hands. Remove as much air as possible, turn to coat, and place in the refrigerator until ready to use (this can be done ahead of time, up to 24 hours before cooking.)

Drain as much liquid as possible from the chiles. I strained mine in a small mesh sieve and then blotted with paper towels. When fairly dry, set aside with the diced onion. Set out the marinated chicken, if it is in the refrigerator. Let it come to room temperature.

Preheat the oven to 375°F and place onions and peppers on the Roasting Mat. Roast for 5 minutes. At 5 minutes, use a spatula to stir the mixture and continue roasting for 5 minutes more (10 minutes total.)

When the peppers and onions are done, scrape off of the mat and set aside to cool. Leave the oven on at 375°F. Wipe the mat with a damp towel, in order to remove any blackened bits. Place the chicken on the mat, spread into a single layer, and put into the oven for 5 minutes. Again, stir with a spatula and cook for 5 minutes more (10 minutes total.) Set aside to cool. Wipe the mat clean.

Combine the onion and chile mixture with the cooled chicken and add the soup. This should resemble a chicken salad in texture. Set aside.

Combine the beans, garlic salt, cumin and hot sauce in a separate bowl. Again, set aside.

To assemble the tortilla stacks, simply place one tortilla onto a plate (Be sure to spread each layer almost to the edge, but do leave a small section uncovered, as this will make them easier to handle and eat!) Top the tortilla with about 2 Tablespoons of black beans and 1 Tablespoon of cheese. Place another tortilla on top of the bean and cheese layer, and add about 3 Tablespoons of the chicken mixture. Top with more cheese if desired. Drizzle with the vinaigrette and a little Sriracha. Repeat until you have made as many stacks as you want. Heat the oven to 350°F, using the convection setting if possible. Bake on a Mrs. Anderson's Baking Mat from Harold Import Company for 10 minutes. Add more cheese if wanted. Dollop with Sriracha sour cream and top with olives. Let sit 5 minutes before cutting and serving.

Cut into wedges and serve with extra sour cream on the side, if desired.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Bacon Wrapped Sausage Rolls

When this challenge came to us from Harold Import Company I was wondering, "What can I do with these Mrs. Anderson's Baking Mats?" I'm not much of a baker, but I was thinking, baking and bacon...

These days everything is wrapped in bacon. Bacon is delicious and pork is just my thing. So, I was thinking how about we incorporate bacon and the sushi rolling technique to make a very flavorful dish. Then I thought, well, I do not have a sushi mat, so I grabbed a clean kitchen towel and some Cling Wrap and this is what I came up with.

This works well whenever it is too hot and humid to stay outside and BBQ.

Bacon Wrapped Sausage Rolls
by Luke

6 slices bacon
1 pound ground sausage
1 large jalapeno, seeded and sliced
1 cup diced pepper jack cheese

Preheat oven to 400°F.

If you have a sushi mat, use it for this recipe. If not, then grab a heavy kitchen towel and some Cling Wrap. Lay the towel down, then place plastic wrap on top. Place each slice of bacon side by side, add ground sausage and flatten across the slices of bacon evenly. Add cheese and jalapeno slices.

Carefully grab the closest end of the towel and plastic wrap and start rolling so that the bacon rolls into the sausage mixture. Once rolled, apply pressure to the roll so that it stays together.

Place Mrs. Anderson's Baking Sheet on a cookie sheet and transfer the roll onto it. Cook in oven for 1 hour or until internal temperature reaches 160°F. Once the roll is cooked, put the oven on broil and broil the bacon until you get the crispy bacon you love.

Remove from oven and let it sit for 5-10 minutes, then slice and enjoy​​.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Crusty Flat Bread

I was happy to receive the Mrs. Anderson's Baking Mats from Harold Import Company. The bread crisping mat kept the bread crisp and soft inside. I would definitely use it again.

Crusty Flat Bread
by Nancy
Adapted from Annabel Langbein

Dough:
1 1/2 cups warm (not hot) water
1 1/2 teaspoons dry yeast granules
1 cup packed mashed potatoes (no butter or milk added)
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 1/2 - 4 1/2 cups bread flour
2 teaspoons salt

Topping:
2 Tablespoons garlic-infused olive oil
2 teaspoons fresh rosemary leaves
1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Attach dough blade attachment to your mixer. Add water to the mixing bowl and sprinkle the yeast over the water.  Let stand for 2 minutes. Mix in the mashed potatoes and olive oil. Stir in 3 1/2 cups flour until the dough comes away from the sides of the bowl, using additional flour if needed.

Turn the dough onto a floured surface and using lightly oiled fingers, knead bread 30 times and place the dough in an oiled bowl. Cover with a clean towel and place in a warm place for 3-4 hours, or until doubled in size.

When you are ready to bake, preheat your oven to 425°F. Turn out the risen dough onto a lightly floured surface, divide the dough in half and shape each half into a ball. Roughly flatten one onto your Mrs. Anderson's Non-Stick Bread Crisping Mat, pressing the dough out into an oval shape roughly 10 x 8 inches. Using your fingers, press dimples into the dough, then drizzle the garlic olive oil on top of the loaf and sprinkle with the rosemary and sea salt.

Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden. When cooked, the bread will sound hollow.

Repeat with the other dough ball or place in an oiled bowl, cover with a clean towel and keep in the fridge for up to 2 days, till ready to be baked. It also freezes well. Thaw before pressing out and baking.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Not Your Mama's Meatloaf and Taters

I was so happy to receive the Mrs. Anderson's baking mats from Harold Import Company. They so generously let us sample two different ones, a full-sized baking mat and a bread crisping mat. I decided to use both of them and compose a delicious evening meal for you to recreate.

Who doesn't like Meatloaf and Taters? We are doing three different stuffed Mini Meatloaves and a Squished Red Tater, with a bit of a twist on each one. They are easily adaptable to anything you want to add or subtract.

I am going to just start with a basic meatloaf recipe, because you will be adding other things later. And please feel free to use your favorite recipe. I also recommend using ground chuck. I do suggest making your loaf base the day before and letting it sit in a bowl overnight in the refrigerator. One reason is that a lot of the fat will adhere to your bowl and second is that the seasoning and bread crumbs will have time to mingle. I will also let my potatoes soak overnight to get rid of any dirt that may be on them. I don't want to scrub reds because the skin is so thin.

Not Your Mama's Meatloaf and Taters
by Traci
Adapted from the many stuff meatloaf recipes I've seen on TV

Meatloaf:
1 1/2 pounds ground chuck
1 small onion, chopped
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
1/2 cup unseasoned bread crumbs
2 eggs
1 full-sized Mrs. Anderson's Silicone Baking Mat
1 large cookie sheet

I like to add all the ingredients together. The more you mix, the more you break up the chuck, so don't overmix. Later you will make the loaves one at a time.

Cover and let it sit in the refrigerator, preferably overnight, but at least for an hour.

Place the mixture onto a cutting board and divide into six medium egg shapes. Slit each down the middle with a knife and use your finger to open up a pocket. Proceed to stuff with your favorite fillings.


My Fillings (I just cubed the cheese):
Gruyere/Mushrooms
Mozzarella/Tomato Paste (seasoned)
Cheddar/Bacon Bits

Seal loaves back up and place on the baking mat. Cook at 325°F until done.

Squished Red Taters

4 medium taters ( I used red, but you can certainly use yellow)
1 softened stick of butter
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup chopped green onion
3 Tablespoons bacon bits
1 Mrs. Anderson's Bread Crisping Mat
1 large cookie sheet

In a large pot, boil the potatoes until a knife inserts and comes out easily. Drain and slice in half. Allow them to cool.

On a cutting board, place skin-side down and start to smash with a fork, forming a round shape. Transfer to your crisping mat. Top with a pat of butter.

Put into a 325°F oven until the bottoms are crisp and the edges are browned. I like to put a bit more butter, a dollop of sour cream, green onion and bacon bits. Proceed to top to your specifications. These are terrific hot or room temperature.

I highly recommend checking out Harold Import Company. They not only have these amazing mats, but a wide array of goods that are fantastic!!!