sproutedbread1_little-house-dunes

by Heather Harris Brady

On a weekly basis my husband will happily shell out $5 a loaf for what the rest of us have come to call “woodpecker bread” – a term coined by my son who said that if woodpeckers ran a bread factory this is the kind of bread they would make – chuck full of seeds and good health. It is, in fact, sprouted grain bread. There lots of online research you can do on sprouted grains, but basically, the act of sprouting frees up a lot of nutrients that are now easier for the body to absorb. You can mix up the grains for sprouting, and add other things like flax seeds, sesame, whatever strikes your fancy.

I’m actually a little surprised it’s taken me this long to get around to making it myself, given my lifelong Laura Ingalls Wilder penchant. You need a weekend and two pounds of wheat to take on this project – so get’s started!

Step One: The sprouting

  • Two lbs. wheat kernals
  • Two quart glass jars with tops
  • Water

Take two pounds of whole wheat kernals, sometimes called wheat berries. They might look like this, or this. Wash them well and divide them between two quart canning jars. Put the top on and put them under the cupboard. Rinse them every twelve hours. They’re ready to use when each one sends out a tiny white shoot, like so:

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In my room-temperature house this took a full 24 hours. If they sprout before you’re ready to bake, put them in the fridge otherwise – continue on!

Step Two: Making the dough

  • 1/3 c. honey or granulated sugar
  • 1 pkg. fast-rising yeast
  • 1-1/3 c. whole wheat flour
  • 1 T. salt
  • 3 T. olive oil
  • Sprouted wheat from step one

Rinse the wheat and dump it (you can only work with one jar at a time) into your food processor. Process for about two minutes, until it’s finely chopped.

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Put it into a large mixing bowl and stir in everything but the olive oil.

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Put half the batch in the food processor. Add half the flour and half the olive oil, process to a thick dough. Repeat with the other half of the wheat.

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Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface.

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Knead for about five minutes. It’s a little rough at first, then it gets better. Resist the urge to add a lot of flour, or your finished loaf will be dry.

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Put it in a bowl and let rise until doubled. Punch it down. (I got carried away and almost forgot to take a picture.)

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Divide it in half. Roll each half out and roll it back up jelly-roll style. Put it in a greased loaf pan. Repeat for the other half.

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Again, let rise until doubled. Preheat the oven to 350.

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When the dough reaches the top of the pan it’s ready.

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Bake for about 40 minutes, until nicely browned. I brush the tops with butter.

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Turn them out on a rack and cover them with a tea towel. When they’re cool wrap them in plastic and store the bread in the refrigerator.

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When it’s cool it slices nicely. The bread is definitely more substantial than what most people are probably used to, but it has a nice toothsome chew with lots of flavor.

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It’s good for sandwiches, or just on its own with a schmear of something. It makes two loaves, which is two weeks’ worth in our house. It’s definitely worth a go if you like whole grain breads. It tastes a lot better than store loaves.

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Two years ago: Quick Cuban Black Bean Soup
One year ago: Asparagus & Wild Mushroom Risotto

smoresbar1_little-house-dunes

by Heather Harris Brady

I worked on this recipe over the holiday weekend since we’re heading into prime picnic/beach season. Just about everyone loves smores but sometimes they’re a pain. You’ve got to tote all the ingredients with you, make sure you can get a fire going and keep people from eating the marshmallows and chocolate beforehand – which, let’s face it, is not an easy task. You can bake these squares in a leisurely, civilized way and even wrap them individually for your picnic basket. All the goodness of smores neatly in hand, and if the firewood’s wet you can still have dessert. And did I mention they’re whole-grain?

S’mores Bars, Makes one 13×9 pan (about 20 squares)

  • 4 T. butter
  • 2/3 c. packed brown sugar
  • 1/3 c. granulated sugar
  • Two eggs
  • 1 t. vanilla
  • 1 t. salt
  • 1 t. baking powder
  • 1/2 t. baking soda
  • 3/4 c. white whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 c. graham flour
  • 1 c. rolled oats
  • 1/2 c. quinoa flour
  • 1/3 c. unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 c. marshmallow creme
  • 6 oz. mini chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350. Cream the sugars and the butter together well.

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Beat in the eggs and vanilla.

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Then the dry ingredients.

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Then the applesauce. You should have a thick creamy batter.

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Spread half the batter in a lightly greased 13×9 pan and sprinkle it with the chocolate chips.

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Add dollops of marshmallow creme. I smoothed it a little bit with a wet spoon.

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Then cover it with the rest of the batter.

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Bake for about 20-25 minutes, until nicely brown.

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I sprinkled some more chips on top right when it came out of the oven.

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When it’s completely cool you can cut it into squares.

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The marshmallow will stay nice and fluffy. Store at room temperature covered with plastic wrap. The applesauce will keep them nice and chewy.

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Two years ago: Baked Beans in a Beanpot
One year ago: Quick Peach Turnovers

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by Heather Harris Brady

This is a favorite order of mine at Korean restaurants, and it’s a nice choice if you’re cooking out this weekend and want to mix things up. It’s best if you grill the meat over charcoal, but due to weather and other factors I had to cook mine inside. It was still delicious. This marinade recipe is based on one published by Maangchi on her terrific site. Start this a day or two before you’re ready to grill.

Bulgogi, Makes four servings

  • 1 lb. good quality sirloin steak
  • ½ c. applesauce
  • ¼ c. onion purée, or finely chopped onion
  • 4 cloves of minced garlic
  • 1 t. gingeroot puree
  • 2 T. soy sauce
  • 2 T. brown sugar
  • Black pepper to taste
  • 1 T. sesame oil
  • Thin slices of carrot
  • Rice noodles
  • 1 pkg. Asian cabbage blend (optional)
  • Kimchee for the side

Put the beef in the freezer for an hour or so, until it’s nearly frozen through. Shave slices against the grain as thinly as possible and set them aside.

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Combine all the marinade ingredients and stir well.

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Add the beef to the marinade, cover it well and refrigerate it until you’re ready to barbeque – but let it sit in the marinade for at least a day.

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When you’re ready to cook, cook your rice noodles according to package directions and set them aside. I like to drizzle them with a little sesame oil to keep them from sticking together.

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Remove the meat from the marinade. The easiest way to grill it is to thread the pieces on skewers, but I had to cook mine on the stove so you always have that option as well. I started by stir-frying some Asian cabbage in a skillet with a splash of sesame oil.

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Then I stir-fried the meat until it was no longer pink (about three minutes).

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Marry the meat and vegetables together quickly. Divide the noodles between bowls and spoon the meat mixture over them.

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Serve with kimchee and extra hot sauce on the side.


Two years ago: Moroccan Baked Chicken
One year ago: Wild Mushrooms Florentine

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by Heather Harris Brady

Growing up we never really had anything around other than white (wheat) flour, and I’m slowly branching out. Although given the looks of my flour drawer slow is probably a point of debate. For now, until I really understand how the different flours work I’m sticking to things that don’t rely so heavily for gluten on their structures – that is, the more sandy, crumbly types of baked goods. I developed the recipe below based on Maida Heatter’s Whole Wheat Peanut Butter Cookies.

These cookies are soft right out of the oven but they soon crisp up for a nice, peanut buttery crunch. You could replace the whole wheat and brown rice flours with regular all-purpose flour if you like, but I promise, no one would ever know you’re sneaking them some whole grain deliciousness. And yes, I finally found my camera at the bottom of one of the dance bags – so, yay!

Peanut Butter Chip Cookies, Makes about 40 3″ cookies

  • 1/2 c. (one stick) butter
  • 3/4 c. firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 c. granulated sugar
  • One egg
  • 1/2 c. natural peanut butter
  • 1 t. baking soda
  • 3/4 c. whole wheat flour (I used white whole wheat.)
  • 3/4 c. brown rice flour
  • 1 c. mini chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350. Combine the butter and the sugars in a mixing bowl. Cream well.

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Then cream in the egg.

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Beat in the peanut butter.

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Then the baking soda and flours.

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Then stir in the chips.

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Drop teaspoons onto greased cookie sheets and give them the little criss-cross with a fork.

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Bake the cookies for about 10 minutes, until the edges barely begin to brown.

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If you want to keep these soft just add a slice of bread to the cookie jar.

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“I’m ready for my glass of milk Mr. DeMille!”

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Two years ago: Apple Oat Bran Muffins
One year ago: Cinnamon Scones

quinoascone2_little-house-dunes

by Heather Harris Brady

May is always crazy at our house and somehow each year manages to be more hectic than the last. In the midst of dance performances, end of the year concerts and college exams I’ve managed to lose my camera, so I apologize in advance for these ipad pics. That said, one still has to eat and I threw these scones together in a few minutes one morning before we left for the theatre for the day.

The quinoa flour, besides being a nice shot of protein and calcium, gives these a melting, delicate texture that plays well with the filling I reused from my chocolate babka recipe. I think that I actually prefer quinoa flour in these now, as opposed to regular wheat flour.

Quinoa Scones, Makes about eight 3″ squares

  • 4 T. butter
  • 2-1/3 c. quinoa flour
  • 1/2 c. all-purpose flour, or GF blend
  • 1/3 c. granulated sugar
  • 2 t. baking powder
  • 1 c. heavy cream
  • 1 egg
  • 1 t. vanilla

Filling

  • 4 T. butter
  • 3/4 c. chocolate chips
  • 1/3 c. cocoa powder
  • 1/2 c. powdered sugar

Make the filling using the directions from my previously posted chocolate babka recipe. Set it aside.

Preheat the oven to 400. Combine the flour, sugar, and baking powder in a mixing bowl, then cut in the flour.

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Combine the heavy cream, egg and vanilla in a mixing cup and beat well. Stir it into the flour briskly until the flour is all absorbed.

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Grease a baking dish and pat half the dough into the bottom.

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Sprinkle half the babka filling over the bottom layer, then repeat with the rest of the dough and filling.

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Bake about 15 minutes.

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Cut in squares and serve warm. Store any leftovers at room temperature, covered with plastic wrap.

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Two years ago: Pita Chips
One year ago: Aebelskiver (Danish Pancakes)

minipoundcakes8_little-house-dunes

by Heather Harris Brady

These tea-friendly little cakes are another idea for gifts or special occasions. They keep well, so you can make them ahead and if you want to be really old-school give them a nice splash of brandy or rum before you set them aside. The butter and brandy will age together into a lovely complex perfumy-flavor. I baked these in mini-bundt forms but you could use mini-muffin tins, cupcake tins or tiny loaf pans too. The recipe is based on Dorie Greenspan’s excellent one from Baking: From My Home to Yours.

These would also be amazing with fresh fruit piled over the top.

Mini Pound Cakes, Makes about 15 3″ cakes

  • 1/2 c. butter
  • 1/2 c. granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 t. vanilla
  • Zest of one lemon
  • 1/2 t. almond extract
  • 1 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 t. baking powder
  • 1/2 recipe chocolate ganache or 6 oz. chocolate coverture, for glaze

Preheat the oven to 325. Combine the butter, zest and sugar in a mixing bowl. Cream well.

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Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Then the flavorings.

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Then beat in the flour and baking powder. You should have a thick creamy batter.

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Divide it between your pans.

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Check at 10 minutes. If the centers are firm, turn them out onto racks. Warm your chocolate or ganache to pourable consistency.

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Drizzle the cakes with the chocolate to finish. These would also be nice with a lemon glaze.

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These little cakes have a dense but tender crumb with a crispy outside.

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Two years ago: Wild Leek Pizza
One year ago: No-Bake Strawberry Pineapple Cheesecake

chocolatepetitfours16_little-house-dunes

by Heather Harris Brady

These petit fours are a great choice when you want to celebrate something special but not necessarily have a whole cake. They are elegant, indulgent and great for parties or gifts. Use the best chocolate you can find for these and your prettiest little pans or papers.

For the cakes

  • 5 T. butter
  • 3 oz. dark chocolate
  • 6 oz. semisweet chocolate
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 t. baking powder
  • 1/3 c. gluten free flour blend (or all-purpose flour)
  • 1 t. vanilla

For the ganache

  • 3.5 oz (one bar) dark chocolate (I used Ghirardelli Cabernet)
  • 1/2 c. heavy cream
  • 1 T. butter

Make the ganache. (I’m not doing pics for this part because I’ve shown it so often.) Heat the cream in a small saucepan to just below boiling. Break the chocolate into the cream and set it aside for two minutes. Whisk the butter in until smooth. Set aside.

Preheat the oven to 350. Melt the 5 T. butter in a saucepan.

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Whisk in the chocolates.

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Remove from heat and let it cool slightly to lukewarm. Whisk in the eggs and vanilla.

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Then the flour and baking powder.

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You should have a nice thick batter.

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Spoon it into the pans. I’m using tiny little hearts here, but you could use mini muffin tins.

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Check at eight minutes, the centers should be just set.

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Then the cakes out onto racks.

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Dip each cake into the ganache.

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Then turn it back up on the racks to cool.

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When the first coating has set drizzle more ganache over the top to make them pretty. A fork works well for this.

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Let them stand until the coating sets. Store at room temperature. Each cake is like a tiny delicious chocolate truffle.

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Two years ago: Flour Tortillas
One year ago: Lemon Poppyseed Pancakes with Lemon Hard Sauce

calicocookies4_little-house-dunes

by Heather Harris Brady

These are made with butter and chips after all, so I’m not going to pretend this is a health-food post. That said, if you’re looking for ways to work more whole grains into the diet and still feel like you’re living life to the fullest these are crispy and delicious – good enough to give any cookie out there a run for the money.

Calico Whole-Grain Cookies, Makes about 48 3″ cookies

  • 1/2 c. + 6 T. butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 c. light brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 1/2 c. granulated sugar
  • 2 t. vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 t. salt
  • 1 t. baking soda
  • 1-1/2 c. white whole-wheat flour
  • 3 c. old-fashioned rolled oatmeal
  • 1 c. butterscotch chips
  • 1 c. mini chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350.

Cream the butter and sugars together well, then beat in the eggs one at a time until the mixture is light and fluffy.

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Beat in the vanilla, then add the dry ingredients except for the chips. Mix well.

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Then stir in the chips.

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Drop tablespoons of dough onto greased baking sheets. Press each mound down with a sugared glass or a fork.

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Bake for about 10 minutes.

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Let the cookies stand for a minute so you can admire their crispy prettiness, then move them to racks to finish cooling.

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Store in an airtight jar or bag. These keep well, but will continue to crisp up during storage. If you want to keep them soft add a slice of bread to the cookie jar or storage bag.


Two years ago: Breakfast Cookies
One year ago: Quick Caramel Apple Cake


 

buttermuffins_little-house-dunes

by Heather Harris Brady

The other morning I felt like having tea and jam for breakfast, but of course I couldn’t have just that because I am an Adult and I have to set an Example. So I made muffins to give me something to put the jam on. These are good, basic muffins with lots of nooks and crannies – a great way to showcase any kind of nice jam.

Butter Muffins, Makes 12 muffins

  • 1 c. milk
  • 1 t. vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 T. melted butter
  • 1/3 c. sugar
  • 2 c. all-purpose flour
  • 2-1/2 t. baking powder
  • Streusel, option (recipe under Basics page above)

Preheat the oven to 400 and combine the first four ingredients in a bowl. Mix well.

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Then add the dry ingredients, all at once.

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Stir briskly five-six times. It’s okay to have a few streaks of flour and some lumps, those will all take care of themselves.

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Fill muffin cups about 3/4 full, dividing the batter evenly.

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Put a little sprinkle of streusel on top if you like. (I make large batches and keep it on hand in the freezer.)

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Slide them into the oven and bake about 15 minutes.

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They will rise up and look quite fetching.

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They look even better with a lash of butter.

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Serve these warm. They are best eaten the same day but if you have some leftover wrap them in plastic wrap and warm them in the microwave for a few seconds when you want them.

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Two years ago: Yogurt Flatbread
One year ago: Spoonbread

arepa12_little-house-dunes

by Heather Harris Brady

Over the next few weeks I’m going to be working in some south-of-the-border recipes as we head toward Cinco de Mayo. Today I’m bringing you arepas. Now they might be street food in your neck of the woods, but should you not be that lucky the good news is – it’s easy to make your own.

You do need the special masa, pre-cooked cornmeal, which you can order online. Note: This is not to be confused with masa harina. It’s often called masarepa or just look for the bag marked P.A.N.

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I found it at my local Latino grocery, where the shopkeeper said most people prefer the Venezulean variety as opposed to the Colombian one. It comes in white cornmeal, yellow cornmeal and a sweetened variety. I’m using the plain white cornmeal.

You can cook these as patties, then split them for filling – or you can cook them filled with just about anything – cheese, refried beans, chopped veggies or meat. As you knead it the dough takes on a super-fun resilient texture that feels great when you work with it. These remind me very much of the fried cornmeal mush my grandma used to make, just in a different form. They’re gluten-free, easy, quick and delicious – and they’d make a terrific vegetarian entree.

Arepas, Makes about eight 3″ filled patties

  • 2 c. precooked cornmeal
  • 2 T. softened butter
  • 1 t. salt
  • 2-1/2 c. warm water
  • 1-1/2 c. filling ingredients (shredded cheese, refried beans, etc.)

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Combine the cornmeal and salt in a bowl. Swirl the warm water in with your fingertips. As the dough starts to come together knead in the butter. Continue kneading for two minutes until you have a soft, bouncy dough.

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Assemble your filling ingredients. I’m using leftover fajita chicken, chopped fine, and cheese.

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Pat a round of dough out into a circle and add a dab of filling.

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Top it with another circle and pinch around the edges to seal.

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When you have all your patties formed, heat 2 T. of olive oil in a heavy skillet. (You also grill these.)

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Cook for about four-five minutes, until nicely browned. Then turn and do the other side.

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Serve these hot with salsa or another spicy sauce of your choice.

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Two years ago: Fresh Ginger Carrot Muffins
One year ago: Chicken Kiev with Farro Pilaf

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