Thursday, August 20, 2009

Super Easy Blueberry Cobbler

Got a big container of ripe plump blueberries from Costco the other day and then forgot about them...when I remembered them stashed in the fridge, I thought I'd better put them to use right quick! And what better or quicker way to use them than in a great blueberry cobbler.

I've been a blueberry fan since I was a little bitty girl. My parents tell stories of me picking blueberries from the backpack carrier when I was a tot and entertaining the other harvesters since my mom wasn't aware I was eating them until she took me down to find me covered in blue mess. But here in Texas we don't get a lot of blueberries since they don't do too well in our heat. So when I get a nice box of them from anywhere, I LOVE to use them well.

This recipe is one of the easiest I've ever made for blueberry cobbler. It's from the cookbook How to Cook Everything by Mark Bittman and comes together super quick and super easy. I really like this cookbook for it's explanations as well as it's recipes. Here's a link to it on Amazon:

The Recipe:

Blueberry Cobbler

Makes 6 to 8 servings
Time: About 1 hour

My friend John Willoughby found this recipe in a southern boardinghouse about ten years ago. I've since made it dozens of times, and it's always been a hit. I love this with blueberries, but you can make it with any fruit you like.

  • 4 to 6 cups blueberries or other fruit, washed and well dried
  • 1 cup sugar, or to taste
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) cold, unsalted butter, cut into bits, plus some for greasing the pan
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Toss the fruit with half the sugar, and spread it in a lightly buttered 8-inch square or 9-inch round baking pan.
  2. Combine the flour, baking powder, salt, and 1/2 cup sugar in the container of a food processor and pulse once or twice. Add the butter and process for 10 seconds, until the mixture is well blended. By hand, beat in the egg and vanilla.
  3. Drop this mixture onto the fruit by tablespoonfuls; do not spread it out. Bake until golden yellow and just starting to brown, 35 to 45 minutes. Serve immediately.
My Results:

As I mentioned, this is one of the quickest and easiest blueberry cobblers I've ever made and it was heavenly as well. Here's a photo of my ingredients before:

Because this recipe mostly comes together in a food processor, it is very easy. Toss the berries with the sugar and pour into the pan, then pulse the cobbler ingredients together in the food processor, mix in the egg and vanilla and then dollop it onto the berries. Here's what it looked like before entering the oven:

And here it is fresh out of the oven...

Now, the best part of this cobbler is that it isn't too "bready". I like shortcake, but to me cobbler should be less "cakey" and more fruity. And this recipe makes a beautiful cake/bread component along with the wonderfully saucy berries. Even without sprinkling with sugar, there is a sugary crunchy crack to the cobbler topping which is almost like a brulee topping and it is SO yummy! Definitely a do for the we'll try it with our frozen hill country peaches! Hope you'll give this one a try and let me know how it works out for you!

Blueberry Honey Cobbler on Foodista

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Grilled chicken with Korean dipping sauce

As I mentioned, I'm good at doing the recipes, but not so great at getting time to blog them! Here's a recipe from a couple of weeks back that we tried which is a basic grilled chicken breast with a wonderful Korean style dipping sauce. We served this with steamed Jasmine rice and an Asian vegetable medley. Even our little one like this meal! Today's recipe comes from The Best Recipe Grilling & Barbecue from the Cook's Illustrated folks. This is the same book that our grilled pork tenderloin recipe came from. Here's the link for the book:

The Recipes:

Charcoal-Grilled Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts

Serves 4

It's imperative to coat the breasts with a little oil so they don't stick to the grill. Note the short brining time here; the chicken will be finished brining by the time the charcoal is ready.

  • 1/2 cup kosher salt or 1/4 cup table salt
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (1 1/2 to 1 3/4 ls) tenderloins removed and reserved for another use
  • 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • Ground black pepper

  1. Dissolve the salt and sugar in 1 quart of cold water in a gallon-sized zipper-lock plastic bag. Add the chicken breasts; press out as much air as possible from the bag and seal. Refrigerate until fully seasoned, about 30 minutes.
  2. Light a large chimney starter filled with charcoal (about 2 1/2 lbs) and allow to burn until all the charcoal is covered with a layer of fine gray ash. Build a modified two-level fire by spreading all the coals over two-thirds of the grill. Set the cooking rack in place, cover the grill with the lid, and let the rack heat up, about 5 minutes. Use a wire brush to scrape clean the cooking grate. The grill is ready when the coals are hot.
  3. Meanwhile, remove the chicken from the brine, rinse well under cold, running water, and dry throughly with paper towels. Toss chicken in a medium bowl with oil to coat. Season with pepper to taste.
  4. Cook the chicken, uncovered, smooth-side down, directly over the hot coals until the chicken is opaque about two-thirds up the sides and rich brown grill marks appear; 4 to 5 minutes. Turn and continue grilling until the chicken is fully cooked, about 4 minutes. (If using a glaze or paste, cook for 3 minutes after turning the chicken, brush the glaze or paste on both sides, and cook another minute or so, turning once.) To test for doneness, peek into the thickest part of the chicken with the tip of a small knife (It should be opaque at the center), or check the internal temperature with an instant-read thermometer, which should register 160 degrees.
  5. Transfer the chicken to a serving platter. Serve hot or at room temperature, with a dipping sauce if desired.

Korean-Style Dipping Sauce

Makes about 3/4 cup
Enough for 4 chicken breasts or 6 chicken thighs.

For a Korean-style barbecue, simply divide this sauce in two and dip the chicken into the sauce before grilling. Serve the chicken, sliced, with extra sauce on the side, along with steamed plain short-grain rice and hot Korean pickles known as kimchee. Be sure to use light soy sauce, as the chicken is already well seasoned from the brine. This sauce lends itself best to boneless chicken thighs, as the strong soy flavor is balanced by the richer dark meat.

  • 1/2 cup light soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp minced fresh ginger
  • 2 medium garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp hot red pepper flakes
  • 4 scallions, whites and green parts, sliced into thin rounds
  • 2 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
  • 2 tsp Asian sesame oil

Mix all ingredients together in a small bowl. Serve as a dipping sauce with sliced, grilled chicken.

My Results:

So I didn't snap a picture of the chicken breasts and brining ingredients since they're so basic, but I followed the directions for brining exactly and am pleased with how moist the chicken breasts remained during and after cooking. I once again chose to grill indoors mainly because it was 102F outdoors the day we did these and neither of us really wanted to stand out by the grill! Too hot! I have decided that I desperately need a better vent hood if I'm going to do much more indoor grilling! :) Here is a photo of the ingredients I used for the dipping sauce:

You'll notice that I did NOT use reduced sodium soy sauce (lite soy sauce) because I didn't have any on hand, but I would highly suggest it since the chicken was a bit salty with the brining AND sauce. Next time I'll use the "lite"...just gotta get to the Asian market to get some (darn! just HATE having to go there...LOL!) I did follow the directions for this one exactly as well and then followed the note suggestion to divide it in two and dip the breasts in it before grilling. Here's a picture of the sauce before refrigerating:

This was some great chicken! Here's a picture of the final results. This also reheated well the next day for lunch...

Hope you'll give it a try and let me know what you think! And don't forget, you can click on the thumbnail pictures to see it bigger...

Monday, August 17, 2009

Foodie Blogroll!

I'm so excited to be added to the Foodie Blogroll! If you're a foodie and have a blog, be sure to add yourself to the blog roll by clicking on the widget in my sidebar! It's a great collection of some of the best food bloggers on the net and I'm really glad to be part of it! Come join us!