Thursday, October 17, 2013

Quick Comfort-English Muffins and Shrimp and Zucchini Tomato Soup

How time flies. August 20th was my last entry. Days pass by, weeks pass by, and I fear life is passing me by. As I sit here tonight with all my going-ons, listening to Marc Anthony's Mended album on Spotify, I am relieved I can take just a little moment to share my newest baking accomplishment, making English muffins. I think I forget how trying new recipes comforts me. The past few days have not been great. Family issues continue to burden me, and I was thrilled that all the stirring, rolling, cutting, and baking could release some of my pent-up energy.

In no way did I come up with this recipe myself. I googled recipes for Whole Wheat English muffins. Something I have noticed about myself is that I like to have options. I don't have just one mac and cheese recipe, I have several. I don't have one set of measuring cups and spoons, I have three of each. As I peruse the clearance pages of websites like Anchor Hocking and Sur la Table, I am slowly but surely adding to my collection of dish towels, measuring cups, glass dishes, and so, in the same fashion, I printed out two versions of whole wheat english muffins. For my first attempt I chose the simpler, quicker recipe. In this one, the dough doesn't rise for an hour.

I would much rather post the pictures of what I did. I will include the link to the recipe. There isn't anything particular creative that I added or did to this recipe. I just feel really proud that I made it. Thanks Savory Simple!

This was a blend of 50/50 whole wheat flour and all purpose flour. I am sure the taste will lean toward whole wheat, it tends to dominate. The all purpose flour will just soften it a bit. 

This was my lightly floured board. I actually found that I had to add quite a bit of extra flour as needed because the dough would stick. 

Rolled out to an inch thick!

There's my pretty...

After cutting the muffins out of the dough, they rest on a cornmeal-dusted baking sheet. Who knew that this is how they got their cornmeal-y crust! Ahhhh!!! Amazing!
I don't have biscuit cutters, but this circular ramekin did the job! I actually rolled and re-rolled the remaining dough about two or three more times until I had a tiny sliver of dough left. Amazing!

The little guys left to rise for 20 minutes.

They have

Cooked on medium-low instead of low heat for 5 minutes each side til golden brown and crispy. This was the second batch, these look like the real thing!

According to the recipe, these bad boys stay fresh for 2 weeks at room temp in an airtight container. Hope so! I will be using them to make mini pizzas, as a breakfast vehicle for butter, peanut butter, or honey, and maybe breakfast sandwiches. The possibilities are endless when you have 17 English muffins to work with!
On a side note, for dinner I did make a soup I'd like to share the recipe for. I made a soup similar to this ages ago, but could not find my copy of the recipe. It was by Rocco DiSpirito and I think it was called Shrimp and Red Pepper Soup or something, but for the life of me I couldn't find it, even when I tried googling and searching on Food Network. So this is my version:
Shrimp and Zucchini Tomato Soup. Yum!

Shrimp and Zucchini Tomato Soup:
Serves 4-6
1-24 oz jar tomato sauce (any kind you want!)
1-8 oz bottle clam juice
1-16 oz bag raw shrimp (try to get peeled and deveined shrimp if possible, saves time!)
3 medium sized zucchini, ends trimmed, cut in half lengthwise, then sliced into have moons
1/4 t salt
1/2 t black pepper
1/2 t cayenne
1 T dried parsley
1/2 t dried basil
1/2 t sugar
1/4 cup red wine or cooking red wine

~ Heat a stockpot over medium-high heat. Add the jar of tomato sauce. Pour the clam juice inside the jar, put the lid back on, and shake the jar to "swill" it out. Pour this into the pot.

~Add 3 cups water, salt, black pepper, cayenne, parsley, basil, and sugar. Stir and bring to boil.

~Add zucchini and red wine. Let bubble away for 2 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-high heat and cook 15 minutes (you want zucchini firm-tender, not too soft).

~Add shrimp, let cook 5 minutes more. Turn off heat, ladle into bowls, and serve!

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