I am not sure who is more pumped for the games today, Ryan or Murphy. Here is Murphy getting ready for the games, and keeping a vigilant watch of all the squirrels and bunnies:
I dressed Murphy this morning (yes Murphy wears clothes, and I promise he likes it). But Ryan is less than thrilled with my selection. Personally, I think he looks good!!!
Well, as promised, all of the recipes have a Wisconsin twist and here they are. Stay tuned for pictures and Ryan’s “review.” Ryan is currently working on his rating scale, and he says that he needs to be more selective in his scoring. He warned me yesterday that he was going to be “tougher” than he was last year, and he didn’t want my feelings to be hurt by his new tough grading. Seeing as no one likes food more than Ryan (other than possibly Murphy), I am not too worried. Although last year, he only gave out one 10 – for the Bacon Wrapped Cinnamon Rolls – so I would say he was plenty tough last year as well.
Sourdough Beer Bread
- 12 oz room temperature Wisconsin Beer – I used Lakefront’s Oktoberfest
- 1 cup Sourdough Starter (see below)
- 5 cups (approximately) Bread Flour
- For the Sourdough Starter – Make one to two days in advance
- Mix together 3 cups of warm water, 1 ½ tablespoons active dry yeast, and 1 teaspoon sugar.
- Let sit for about five minutes, until the mixture begins to foam
- Add the flour and mix
- Let sit covered for 8-12 hours (overnight)
- Store in the fridge loosely covered with plastic wrap
- For the Bread
- Mix the beer, sourdough starter, and sugar in a bowl.
- Slowly add the flour until a ball of dough forms (I did not need to add all of the flour, but I did end up adding it as I kneaded the bread)
- Knead the dough on a floured surface for approximately 10 minutes
- Place dough in a greased bowl (make sure all sides of the dough are greased), cover loosely with plastic wrap, and let for an hour or two.
- Knead the dough on a floured surface for five minutes, split into two, and place in well greased bread pans.
- Cover the bread pans loosely with plastic wrap and let sit for approximately 45 minutes.
- Bake at 325 degrees for 45 minutes – I had to turn the temperature down because I used dark/non-stick pans
- Let cool on a wire rack
- Do not let Ryan eat ANY, or you will have no bread and you will have to make a second batch of bread later in the day.
As I mentioned yesterday, neither of us are big fans of seafood, so I figured that this would be a challenge. I decided to replace the seafood with Wisconsin type meats. We will see how this one turns out. As a preview of Ryan’s rating, he tried the Bacon Flavored Chicken last night, and he said “You know what would be excellent, if you shredded this – the Bacon Flavored Chicken – added some gravy, and put it over mashed potatoes.” Well, that is what Ryan always says when he really likes something. Apparently, the only way to improve on something you really really really like is to add gravy and mashed potatoes in Ryan’s world.
- 2-3 pounds of cubed or shredded “Bacon Flavored Chicken”
- 1 pound sausage
- Olive Oil
- 1 Yellow Onion
- 2-3 Garlic Cloves
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- ¼ cup tomato paste
- 28 oz diced tomatoes (I used petite diced tomatoes)
- 5 cups chicken broth
- Salt and Pepper to Taste
- For the Bacon Flavored Chicken
- In a dutch oven (or other stove and oven friendly pot), sauté ½ pound thick cut bacon cut into small pieces until crispy.
- Add one diced yellow onion, and 2-3 chopped garlic cloves and sauté until fragrant.
- Add 2-3 pounds of chicken breasts, cover with 1 12 oz Wisconsin beer – I used Lakefront again – and chicken broth until chicken breasts are covered in liquid. Add whatever fresh herbs you have on hand.
- Cook covered in the oven at 350 degrees for about an hour and a half.
- Let cool, and strain the broth for later.
- For the “Wisconsin” Cioppino
- Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat.
- Add the onions and some salt and pepper and sauté until translucent
- Add the garlic and pepper flakes and sauté until fragrant (about 2 minutes)
- Add the tomato paste, diced tomatoes, and the chicken broth (I first used by left over broth from the Bacon Flavored Chicken, and then made up the difference with regular chicken broth).
- Reduce heat, cover, and let simmer for 30 minutes to an hour
- Add the sausage and the chicken, and cook until heated through.
Oatmeal Cranberry Ice Cream Sandwiches
Apparently San Francisco is famous for “It-Its,” a type of ice cream sandwich made with oatmeal cookies. I decided to make this a “Wisconsin” dish by adding cranberries. Unfortunately, this is my only menu item of the day that wasn’t cooked with beer. I was thinking about trying it with beer, but I am not sure how that would work. My parents do own an ice cream machine, so maybe next time I will borrow it, and make beer-flavored ice cream for the filling.
- ¾ cup old-fashioned oats
- ¾ cup flour
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 10 tablespoons (1 stick plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter)
- 2/3 cup sugar (any variety – white or brown)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 egg
- 2/3 cub dried cranberries
- In a small/medium bowl mix together all of the dry ingredients.
- Cream together the butter and sugar.
- Add the egg and vanilla and mix until smooth.
- Slowly add the dry ingredients and mix until incorporated.
- Add the cranberries.
- Spread in a well greased cookie sheet.
- Bake at 325 degrees for 8 minutes.
- Cut into squares and let cool.
- Freeze the squares.
- Once frozen, add ice cream and make your sandwich.
- Serve as is, cover in chocolate, or whatever else you like.
- As with the bread, do not let Ryan eat, or you will be making a second batch AGAIN.