Inspired Linguine with Italian Ham

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I have the 1963 The New Good Housekeeping Cookbook, which is great for proper ways to slice meats and entertain. But on page 3, it warns the reader, “No recipe, even Good Housekeeping’s, can rate raves if you fail to follow it with meticulous care.” Problem is, hmm… I first read that sentence this morning, 12 hours after heavily reworking, changing and failing to “meticulously” follow the recipe for Baked Italian Ham and Spaghetti. I am grateful for the inspiration, though, because it turned out amazing! Here’s the revision.

Inspired Linguine with Italian Ham
Ingredients
¼ tbsp. plus 1 tbsp. olive oil
1 lg. onion, cut in thin rings
4 small stalks celery, cut in long slivers to mimic linguine
4 cloves garlic, divided
2-3 tsp. thyme
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John Stocker’s Marinated Sirloin circa 1968

Classic for the Bar-B-Que. Seriously, we never had a better steak than this!

John Stocker’s Marinated Sirloin
Ingredients
Lg. Sirloin steaks
1 bottle Teriyaki marinade
1 lb. salted butter
1 bottle Sauce Diable’ (no longer sold, see recipe below)
Lemon-pepper

Remove the acid from the sirloin with a paper towel. Pierce the meat with a fork and apply the lemon-pepper. Melt the butter and stir in the remaining ingredients and pour over the meat. Marinate in the refrigerator for 4-5 hours, turning every hour.

Grill to rare, medium-rare.

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The search for Hard Rolls, Milwaukee Style

Milwaukee hard rolls were something that was taken for granted growing up. These large, light rolls, with their dry, hard, crusty, flaking top, and ever-so-slightly tangy, soft, airy center were ever present.

They were there for “hot ham and rolls” after church, and especially Easter morning. They were stuffed with grilled Milwaukee brats (white bratwurst) at Brewer’s baseball games or brought to tailgate at County Stadium before we cheered on “the Pack.”  I ignored them, they were always there.

Funny, I kind of treated the Lake Michigan shoreline the same way, just expecting it to be there. And like Lake Michigan, I always thought these rolls always would be easily found. I never realized how very special these hard rolls were until years later when I moved away and lived in other cities.

Now every city has its charm, its special dish.  But I miss those dang hard rolls (almost as much as I miss Lake Michigan). And living in the Twin Cities, there just is not any roll that compares. So, to find them, I just had to learn how to make them.

Here, in separate posts, are two recipes for those now, not-so-elusive Hard Rolls.

Hard Rolls, Milwaukee Style #1

photo 5The first Milwaukee Hard Rolls recipe is exactly as we remember! It has that great dry crusty top and the cornmeal bottoms we love, and comes from Gordon King a Milwaukee baker who ran Wilbert’s baker, which closed back in 1993. Note: It requires high protein bread flour and a little more yeast.  And, while the directions make the tops of these rolls plain, feel free to top rolls with sesame seeds or poppy seeds.

An article, with his recipe for hard rolls appeared in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and is preserved here: http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1298&dat=20050511&id=VS4zAAAAIBAJ&sjid=dggGAAAAIBAJ&pg=6793,3364570

Wilbert’s Bakery/Gordon and Barbara King’s Authentic German Hard Rolls
Makes about 2 dozen rolls
Sponge: 3 tbsp. active dry yeast (4 packets)
2 3/4 c. lukewarm water
3 tbsp. sugar

Dough: Continue reading

Hard Rolls, Milwaukee Style #2

The second Milwaukee Hard Rolls has the precise inside we remember. Light and airy, yet with a “chew”, and that very, very slight, sour taste we remember. And this recipe uses hardly any yeast.

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This is a terrific roll, yet the crust that isn’t quite right. Do not remember the split top, but it is hard and stays hard. But not as flaky.  Perhaps it is the egg wash. Also, the recipe directions result in rolls that are smaller than traditional Milwaukee Hard Rolls. So, if one wants the traditional Milwaukee Hard Roll, just double the size of the roll to make 8-10 rolls instead of 12, and replace the egg white wash with the a starch wash, as in the previous recipe. Make it plain, as directed, or add sesame seeds or poppy seeds. Oh, and be sure to use high protein bread flour!

Anyway, the recipe is the Crusty European-Style Hard Rolls, with great instruction and pictures from PJ Hamel and King Arthur flour on the post “Flourish” at http://www.kingarthurflour.com/blog/2011/03/08/they-once-were-lost-but-now-theyre-found-crusty-hard-rolls/.  Here it is, repeated, but please visit her page, as she take you step by step, with pictures!

Crusty European-Style Hard Rolls
Makes 12 small rolls.

Starter
½ c. cool water
1 c. King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1/8 tsp. instant yeast
dough
all of the starter
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Crusty Rolls, Milwaukee Style #3

These rolls come from the 1955 Woman’s Home Companion Cook Book and turn out great! The recipe calls for “enriched flour” and shortening, but I slightly revised the recipe, using high protein bread flour, Dakota Bread Flour and lard instead of shortening. I added the salt last so that it did not prohibit the yeast, and slightly shortened the rise time. Oh, and I made only 8-10 rolls instead of a dozen or more.

That seems to be the difference, and the key to producing rolls that look like they come from a bakery. Please note below, this can be altered to make crusty rye rolls, too!

1955 Woman’s Home Companion Crusty Rolls, slightly revised
1 c. water, boiling
2 tbsp. lard
1 tbsp. sugar
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Extra-Dark Chocolate Pound Cake, by Pernigotti Cocoa for Williams Sonoma

A little dark chocolate cake for St. Valentine’s Day!

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Perignotti is an unsweetened, vanilla-flavored, extra-dark cocoa that is Dutch processed, but made in Italy, exclusively sold by Williams-Sonoma. This recipe was published in a Williams-Sonoma catalogue in the 1990s.

While Perignotti is, of course, preferred, this dark pound cake can also be made using another cocoa, such as Hersey’s Special Dark Cocoa, by adding a little more vanilla.

Extra-Dark Chocolate Pound Cake
1½ c. sifted flour
½ c. sifted dark cocoa
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Turtles

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My hubby’s favorite Valentine’s gift. You can make your turtles with hand-made carmel from scratch (recipe follows) or with packaged caramels.

Turtles
1 (14 oz.) pkg. caramels (or prepare from scratch, recipe follows)
2-4 tbsp. whipping cream
1 tbsp. butter
1 (5 oz.) pkg. pecan halves (or honey roasted peanuts)
1 c. dark, semi-sweet or milk chocolate chips

Arrange pecans in groups of three on baking sheets lined with parchment paper.

In a double boiler heat caramel and 2 tbsp. of whipping cream over simmering hot water. Stir after 5 min. and then every few minutes until melted and smooth, adding more cream only if mixture is too thick. Takes about 10-15 min. Spoon about 1 tbsp. of the warm caramel over the nuts. refrigerate uncovered, 30 min.

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Simply Sensational Truffles, by Kraft’s Philadelphia Cream Cheese

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Originally saved this truffle candy recipe from the inside of a Philadelphia Cream Cheese box, but it is now readily available at Kraft’s site: http://www.kraftrecipes.com/recipes/simply-sensational-truffles-107529.aspx#.  But, since recipes like this come and go, it is repeated here, just in time for St. Valentine’s Day.

Simply Sensational Truffles, by Kraft’s Philadelphia Cream Cheese
5 pkg. (4 oz. each) Baker’s Semi-Sweet Chocolate, divided
1 pkg. (8 oz.) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened
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The Manhattan

The Manhattan, served in a crystal martini glass, and prepared as my father served it.  But when he ordered it, he always cautioned the bartender, “just a drop of vermouth … just wave the vermouth over the drink.”

Fill a shaker with ice and add the following ingredients:

2 c. Canadian Club Whiskey or Korbel Brandy
Less than a capful of sweet Vermouth

Stir and pour into a chilled martini glass. Top with a twist of lemon or drop in a maraschino cherry. Makes 4 cocktails.