Thursday, February 12, 2015

Cinnamon Candy Popcorn for Valentine's Day

A Sweet and Crunchy Treat

The Cooking School staff at Jungle Jim's International Market has had cinnamon on the brain lately. We have been enjoying a highly fragrant and delicious tea from Harney & Sons Fine Teas called Hot Cinnamon Sunset. You can find this wonderful tea near Sherwood Forest in the International Department. We also love the Backroad Country Old Fashioned Cinnamon Twists. To continue the cinnamon obsession, we made a batch of Cinnamon Candy Popcorn. It's a fun and easy snack to make and it's a pretty red color just right for a Valentine's Day gift. 

 
Combine the butter, cinnamon candy, sugar and corn syrup in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-low heat, stirring frequently. Boil for 5 minutes without stirring. Remove from heat and add salt, vanilla and baking soda; stir well. Mixture will sputter and become thick and foamy.

 
Pour the hot cinnamon mixture over the popped popcorn and stir to coat as evenly as possible. Bake for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes. Cool completely on waxed paper and break apart. Makes 12 cups.

 
This is an easy gift to package up. It's portable and delicious.


Cinnamon Candy Popcorn

3 quarts air popped popcorn (1/2 half cup before popping)
1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
9 ounces Red Hots or Cinnamon Imperials (1-1/8 cups)
1/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup light corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Place popcorn in a large, ungreased, shallow stainless steel bowl (15 inch diameter).

Combine butter, cinnamon candy, sugar and corn syrup in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-low heat, stirring frequently. Boil for 5 minutes without stirring. Remove from heat and add salt, vanilla and baking soda; stir well. Mixture will sputter and become thick and foamy. Pour over popcorn and stir to coat as evenly as possible. Bake for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes. Cool completely on waxed paper and break apart. Makes 12 cups.

To bake in a baking pan:  Place popcorn a a large bowl. Pour cooked cinnamon mixture over corn and stir well. Turn into a greased 15 x10-inch baking pan and bake as above.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Candy Bar Mug Blondie

Spend a Snow Day in the Kitchen

Chances of a snow day in February are pretty good, so we've got a great activity you can do with your kids. Try this simple, sweet treat that you can easily mix up and bake in the oven. Candy Bar Mug Blondie will definitely satisfy your sweet tooth! It's fun to do with kids, but delicious enough to serve as dessert for guests. The Cooking School staff recommends eating the blondie while it is still warm and strongly suggest topping it with a scoop of good quality ice cream. Our candy bar of choice was a Snickers bar, but you can use your favorite candy to mix into the batter. We nestled a scoop of Steve's Burnt Sugar Vanilla on top. You can find this creamy confection in the craft ice cream freezers at Jungle Jim's International Market.



Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Prepare all the ingredients. We needed 3 regular sized Snickers bars to get one cup. Our blondies were a little chewy, but we think the nougat from the Snickers made them that way. Not bad, mind you! You usually don't describe a blondie as chewy. So the texture of the blondie will probably vary depending on your choice of candy.


Mix butter and brown sugar in large bowl until well blended. Add egg yolk and vanilla; mix well. Mix 1/2 cup of the flour, cinnamon and baking powder in a medium bowl. Set aside. Toss chopped candy bars and remaining 2 tablespoons flour in a small bowl. Set aside.


Add flour mixture; mix just until moistened. Shake chopped candy bars to remove excess flour. Stir into batter.


The batter will be thick and sticky.




 Divide amount four ovenproof 8-ounce ungreased coffee mugs. 


Place mugs on  a baking sheet. The batter fills the mug a little less than half way.


Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out almost clean. 


Let stand 10 minutes before serving.


Add a scoop of ice cream to the warm mugs. Enjoy! 


Candy Bar Mug Blondie
recipe courtesy of McCormick

1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons flour, divided
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup chopped candy bars
3 tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix 1/2 cup of the flour, cinnamon and baking powder in a medium bowl. Set aside. Toss chopped candy bars and remaining 2 tablespoons flour in a small bowl. Set aside.

Mix butter and brown sugar in large bowl until well blended. Add egg yolk and vanilla; mix well. Add flour mixture; mix just until moistened. Shake chopped candy bars to remove excess flour. Stir into batter. Divide amount four ovenproof 8-ounce coffee mugs. Place mugs on baking sheet.

Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center comes out almost clean. Let stand 10 minutes before serving. (Blondie may fall in center upon cooling). Serve with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream, if desired.

Serves 4.


Monday, February 2, 2015

Baked Mini Ham and Swiss Sandwiches

A Blast from the Past

Some of you may fondly recognize these sandwiches from your youth. Both Leigh and Jenny's mothers made these hot ham and Swiss sandwiches when they were young. We searched the internet for a recipe that would recreate our memory of enjoying these buttery, 
cheesy, warm sandwiches and Baked Mini Ham and Swiss Sandwiches come very close. The only ingredient missing is a mother's love! The cheese and ham are both from Boar's Head:  Gold Swiss and Sweet Slice Ham. You can purchase both these products at the deli at Jungle Jim's International Market. Enjoy these sandwiches as a hearty side to a hot bowl of soup. 


Cut  the dinner rolls in half. We bought the dinner rolls from the bakery at Jungle Jim's. They fit perfectly into a disposable 9x13 inch pan. You can make them in a glass or metal 9x13 inch pan, but if you are taking these out, a disposable pan is very convenient. Cut the sliced ham and cheese into pieces and cover bottom of rolls. 


 Put the tops back on the rolls. Arrange the filled rolls tightly in a 9x13-inch baking dish.


Combine the remaining ingredients in a saucepan; place over medium heat until the unsalted butter melts.


Mix well as the butter melts.


Spoon the butter mixture evenly over the rolls. 


Cover with foil and refrigerate four hours or overnight. Bake, covered with foil, at 350° for 20 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 10-15 minutes until golden and cheese is melted. Serve warm.

Leigh's tip:  Once the butter mixture is poured over the buns, place in the refrigerator for 15-20 minutes. The butter hardens and doesn't stick to the foil.



Baked Mini Ham and Swiss Sandwiches

12 Jungle Jim’s Dinner Rolls (1 pound)
12 ounces deli ham, sliced thin (Boar’s Head Sweet Slice)
6-8 ounces Swiss cheese, sliced thin (Boar’s Head Gold)
1 stick butter
3 heaping tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon dried minced onion
2 teaspoons poppy seeds
¼ teaspoon garlic powder


Cut rolls in half. Cut ham and cheese into pieces and cover bottom of rolls. Put tops back on rolls. Arrange filled rolls tightly in a 9x13-inch baking dish.

Combine remaining ingredients in a saucepan; place over medium heat until butter melts. Mix well and spoon evenly over rolls. Cover with foil and refrigerate four hours or overnight. Bake, covered with foil, at 350° for 20 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 10-15 minutes until golden and cheese is melted. Serve warm.


Makes 12

Friday, January 23, 2015

Italian Pecorino and Prosciutto Bread

A Good Winter Bread

A gray Ohio winter can challenge even the most positive, upbeat soul. So what can cheer up a Buckeye (other than a national championship!)? How about a nice warm bowl of soup and the tantalizing aroma of freshly baked bread. As the Cooking School staff at Jungle Jim's International Market begins cooking in 2015, we thought we would offer this flavorful Italian Pecorino and Prosciutto Bread recipe as a tasty accompaniment to hearty soup or stew. As you can see in the photo below, we enjoyed it for lunch as a grilled cheese sandwich!


Stir the yeast into the warm milk in a large mixing bowl and let stand until dissolved, 5 to 10 minutes.


Beat in the eggs, olive oil, and butter until well blended.



Combine 3½ cups flour with the salt and pepper, add it to the yeast mixture, and stir to form a dough.



Work in the cheeses and the prosciutto.



The dough is sticky - don't be alarmed!


Transfer the dough to a floured work surface and knead, adding more flour if the dough is too sticky, until smooth and satiny, 7 to 10 minutes.



Shape the dough into 1 round and bulbous loaf.



Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.



Cover with a clean kitchen towel and let rise in a warm, draft-free place until doubled in bulk, 1½ to 2 hours.



Bake the bread until the loaf sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom, 30 to 40 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack.



Slice and enjoy with soup or stew. Thinly slice and make a grilled cheese sandwich. 



Italian Pecorino and Prosciutto Bread

2 packages active dry yeast
½ cup warm milk (110 to 115°)
4 large eggs
¼ cup fruity olive oil
¼ cup (½ stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
3½ to 4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese
½ cup shredded Fontina or provolone cheese
4 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto, cut into thin shreds


Stir the yeast into the milk in a large mixing bowl and let stand until dissolved, 5 to 10 minutes. Beat in the eggs, olive oil, and butter until well blended. Combine 3½ cups flour with the salt and pepper, add it to the yeast mixture, and stir to form a dough. Work in the cheeses and the prosciutto.

Transfer the dough to a floured work surface and knead, adding more flour if the dough is too sticky, until smooth and satiny, 7 to 10 minutes. Shape the dough into 1 round and bulbous loaf. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and let rise in a warm, draft-free place until doubled in bulk, 1½ to 2 hours.

Preheat the oven to 400°.

Bake the bread until the loaf sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom, 30 to 40 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack.

Makes 1 large loaf



Recipe: Sarah Leah Chase, Cold-Weather Cooking

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Gingerbread Biscotti

Cookies, Coffee and Christmas!

The holiday cooking classes are over and our staff has mixed, rolled, shaped and baked 9 different cookies for 80 students. If you are looking to add some new ideas to your holiday cookie trays and cookie exchanges, think about joining The Cooking School at Jungle Jim's International Market next year for our annual cookie extravaganza held in the beginning of December. With the class schedule winding down for 2014, we decided to take a break, have a cup of coffee and enjoy a ginger scented, crunchy biscotti. Leigh added a pretty holiday touch with a drizzle of white chocolate and a sprinkle of coarse sugar. Great aroma and taste - the perfect combination! The recipe for Gingerbread Biscotti from Fine Cooking is an interesting recipe that yields great results. Biscotti last a long time when stored in a tin and are a perfect treat when you're finally able to put your feet up and enjoy a well-deserved rest after the holidays.


Position a rack in the middle of the oven and heat the oven to 350°F. Line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper.

In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the flour, brown sugar, ginger, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg, and baking soda. 


In a measuring cup, lightly whisk the molasses, eggs, and orange zest. 


Blend the dry ingredients on medium-low speed until well blended.


On low speed, briefly mix in the pecans and apricots.


With the mixer on low, slowly pour in the egg mixture. Continue mixing until the dough is well blended and comes together in large, moist clumps, 1 to 2 minutes.


Dump the dough onto an unfloured work surface.


Shape each pile into a log that's 10 inches long and about 1-1/2 inches in diameter, lightly flouring your hands as needed (the dough is a bit sticky). Position the logs on the lined cookie sheet about 4 inches apart. Bake until the tops are cracked and spring back slightly when gently pressed, 30 to 35 minutes.


Carefully peel the biscotti logs from the parchment and transfer to a cutting board. Using a serrated knife, saw each log into diagonal slices 3/4 inch wide. Return the slices to the cookie sheet (no need for fresh parchment) and arrange them cut side down. It's all right if they touch because they won't spread.


Bake until the biscotti are dried to your taste, about 10 minutes (for slightly moist and chewy) to 20 minutes (for super-dry and crunchy). Transfer the cookie sheet to a rack and let the biscotti cool completely. The biscotti will still give slightly when pressed, but will harden as they cool. When cool, store in airtight containers.


Leigh's decorative tip: Melt 2 ounces of white Ghiradelli chocolate, put it in a sandwich bag and snip off a corner and drizzle over the baked and sliced biscotti.



Gingerbread Biscotti
recipe from Fine Cooking

10 oz.(2-1/4 cups) unbleached all-purpose flour
1-1/4 cups packed dark brown sugar
2 tsp. ground ginger
1-1/4 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. table salt
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp. baking soda
4 oz. (1 cup) pecans, coarsely chopped
4 oz. (1/2 cup) lightly packed dried apricots, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup molasses
2 large eggs
2 tsp. finely grated orange zest (from about 1 medium navel orange)



Position a rack in the middle of the oven and heat the oven to 350°F. Line a large cookie sheet with parchment.

In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the flour, brown sugar, ginger, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg, and baking soda on medium-low speed until well blended. On low speed, briefly mix in the pecans and apricots. In a measuring cup, lightly whisk the molasses, eggs, and orange zest. With the mixer on low, slowly pour in the egg mixture. Continue mixing until the dough is well blended and comes together in large, moist clumps, 1 to 2 minutes.

Dump the dough onto an unfloured work surface. Divide into two equal piles (about 1 lb. each). Shape each pile into a log that's 10 inches long and about 1-1/2 inches in diameter, lightly flouring your hands as needed (the dough is a bit sticky).

Position the logs on the lined cookie sheet about 4 inches apart. Bake until the tops are cracked and spring back slightly when gently pressed, 30 to 35 minutes. Transfer the sheet to a rack and let cool until the logs are cool enough to handle, about 10 minutes.

Carefully peel the biscotti logs from the parchment and transfer to a cutting board. Using a serrated knife, saw each log into diagonal slices 3/4 inch wide. Return the slices to the cookie sheet (no need for fresh parchment) and arrange them cut side down. It's all right if they touch because they won't spread.
Bake until the biscotti are dried to your taste, about 10 minutes (for slightly moist and chewy) to 20 minutes (for super-dry and crunchy). Transfer the cookie sheet to a rack and let the biscotti cool completely. The biscotti will still give slightly when pressed, but will harden as they cool. When cool, store in airtight containers.

Leigh's decorative tip: Melt 2 ounces of white Ghiradelli chocolate and drizzle over the baked and sliced biscotti.















Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Steak and Red Wine Soup

Sumptuous Soup

If this soup could be rated, The Cooking School staff at Jungle Jim's International Market would give this the "Adult with Discriminating Taste Only" rating! We used the very best ingredients for this winter weather, hearty Steak and Red Wine Soup. Cooking school students enjoyed a Wine and Food pairing class with Leigh Barnhart Ochs, Dave Schmerr and Chip Emmerich. Wine aficionados will recognize the Burnet Ridge Winery label. Burnet Ridge Winery is a Cincinnati gem and if you have not tried Chip's wines, please consider doing so. After class, we had some award-winning Purple Trillium, so we used it in the soup. When using wine in cooking, use a wine you would drink. Anything labeled "cooking wine" is not something you would drink, nor would you want to, so don't use it in your cooking!


The beef we used for the soup was superb - 2 pounds of medium-rare New York Strip roast. A top sirloin would work, too. The beef was already cooked perfectly; it was leftover from the Wine and Food class with Burnet Ridge. Cut it into ½-inch dice. If you don't have leftover beef, you can sear a steak or grill it and use it for the soup in place of the New York Strip roast. 


Heat the olive oil in a 7-quart Dutch oven over medium-high heat and sauté the onions, carrots, celery and garlic.  



Saute until the vegetables are beginning to soften, about 8-10 minutes. 


Stir in remaining ingredients...



Including the delicious red wine and bring to a boil. 


 Reduce the heat, cover the pan and simmer 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.


Enjoy the tantalizing aroma. 


After 30 minutes of simmering, check for seasoning and dine with gusto! 



Steak and Red Wine Soup

Warm and satisfying, this hearty soup is a meal in a bowl. Add a chunk of crusty bread for a quick and delicious dinner.

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, diced
4 large carrots, peeled and diced
2 stalks celery, diced
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
2 pounds rare to medium rare steak, NY Strip, top sirloin, etc., ½-inch dice
4 cups beef broth
1 cup dry red wine
28 ounces canned crushed tomatoes
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons steak sauce
1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
Salt, to taste

Heat the olive oil in a 7-quart Dutch oven over medium-high heat and sauté the onions, carrots, celery and garlic until the vegetables are beginning to soften, about 8-10 minutes. Stir in remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover the pan and simmer 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Serves 6-8



Leigh’s Tips: Like most soups, this can be served immediately – but will taste even better if refrigerated overnight. Steak and Red Wine Soup freezes well for 2-3 months.