Monday, September 12, 2011

Secret Recipe Club (SRC) Reveal: Meet the Swans

Secret Recipe ClubThis being my first month of participating in the Secret Recipe Club, I hope I'm doing everything correctly. What's the Secret Recipe Club, you ask? It's a group organized by Amanda of Amanda's Cookin'. Each month, every participant is assigned to someone else's blog from which they pick a recipe - or two - to make and post, but it's all a secret until the big day. Today's the day. I always love a kitchen challenge and some culinary adventure, but I'm a little bit nervous here.

I was assigned the Meet the Swans blog and immediately got to work perusing the "Kitchen with Krista" section.

So many treats, so little time. From her Easy and Elegant - Double Chocolate Ice Cream Waffle CupCakes to her Pumpkin Pie Snickerdoodle Bars, everything looked delectable.

But being the savory gal that I am, I decided to try my hand at her Beer Bread. I loved the simplicity: three ingredients, or four if you don't have self-rising flour.

Beer Breads
I had initially thought to do a six-pack's worth of breads, but life got busy as it always does. Still I managed to bake two versions of this bread and it was a hit both times.

The first time I tried Krista's beer bread, the only bottle in my fridge was a Wipeout IPA. So I decided on a Wipeout IPA Whole Wheat Bread. It was deliciously simple.

12 oz beer
3 C white whole wheat flour
3 T baking powder
1/3 C organic granulated sugar

In a large bowl mix the dry ingredients. Slowly pour in the beer. Stir to mix. Batter will be very sticky. Pour batter into a buttered loaf pan. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for one hour.
The verdict: success!

We were all amazed at how much flavor from the beer was retained in the bread. The dense bread was crisp on the outside, soft on the inside, and had the distinctive bitter but intensely floral hop aroma of an IPA.


A few days later I wanted a hearty bread to go with my quince ratatouille. I whipped up another version of Krista's beer bread, this time it was a Double Chocolate Stout Rye Bread.

12 oz chocolate stout
3 C dark rye flour
3 T baking powder
1/3 C organic granulated sugar

In a large bowl mix the dry ingredients. Slowly pour in the beer. Stir to mix. Batter will be very sticky. Pour batter into a buttered loaf pan. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for one hour.

Another success. This loaf had the bite of the rye but the sweetness of chocolate and it paired nicely with my slightly tart ratatouille with quince.

Quince Butter
Another of Krista's recipes that caught my eye was her Homemade Apple Butter. As I don't have a crockpot, I looked at a few more apple butter recipes that helped me change proportions for a stovetop version of a fruit butter. I incorporated numerous adjustments based on how I was cooking this and on what I had in my cupboards: first, I didn't have any apples, but I did have some quince from a friend's garden; second, I added liquids; third, I substituted spices to match what I had on-hand.

I suppose it would be more fair to say that Krista's apple butter recipe inspired me to try my hand at making a fruit butter which I have never done. Her recipe was a great launching point and I will certainly be making this again. Maybe next time I'll use apples!

8 large quince, peeled, cored, and diced
1/2 C white balsamic vinegar
1/2 C balsamic vinegar
4 C water
3 C organic granulated sugar
1 T ground cinnamon
1 t ground cloves
1 t ground nutmeg
1 t ground cardamom

Put quince pieces into wide thick-bottomed pot, add all ingredients, cover, bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer, cook until pieces are soft, about 20 minutes. Remove cover and cook uncovered, stirring constantly to prevent burning and encourage evaporation. Scrape the bottom of the pot while you stir to make sure a crust is not forming at the bottom. Cook until thick and smooth, about one hour.

Spoon the butter into sterilized jars, leaving about a 1/2" gap to the top. Gently tap the bottom of each jar on the counter to release any air bubbles. Using a damp clean towel, wipe the rims of the jars and secure the lids and rings. Process in a water bath for 10-15 minutes. Remove the containers with tongs and let cool on the counter. You’ll hear the sound of can tops popping shortly—a sign that a secure seal has been made. Pop, pop, pop. Or, you can refrigerate the jar without processing and use it within three weeks. Enjoy!

Thanks so much, Krista, for the culinary inspirations. I am so glad to have met the Swans. I'll be stopping back by to make some of your pumpkin-y treats later this month.

xoxox,

20 comments:

  1. We love beer bread!! it's a favorite here!

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  2. We love beer bread too! Thanks for trying it out and the "apple" butter! It's always fun to see what ideas others have for recipes. I especially love your idea for Chocolate Stout Rye Bread - I want to try this version!!

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  3. Yummy beer bread! I have several to try but this sounds the most delicious!

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  4. beer bread is awesome - and it's amazing how each loaf is different depending on the beer used! Great choices for the SRC =)

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  5. 4 ingredient beer bread? That sounds too easy to be true...can't wait to try it!

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  6. I've never tried beer bread. That's a new one for my list! I'm still thinking about the quince butter. You're very creative with all of the changes that you made. Bet it was great!

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  7. YUM, what a delicious recipe - especially love the one with chocolate stout! :)

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  8. Oh my gosh, do I love a good beer bread! Great SRC choice.

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  9. Both breads sound wonderful as does the quince butter and Welcome to the SRC.


    If you haven't already, I'd love for you to check out my SRC recipe this month: Welsh Cakes.

    Lisa~~
    Cook Lisa Cook

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  10. I love a good beer bread - I haven't made one in years! Thanks for the inspiration to do it again!

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  11. Wow! I love beer bread but have never thought to make it myself. Probably because I had no idea it would be so easy! Now I'm intrigued and determined to make this happen for myself. Thanks for sharing, and it's nice to meet you via SRC. :)

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  12. That beer bread looks phenomenal, and making quince jam to spread on it takes it over the top. Amazing choice and beautifully done!

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  13. The bread looks really inviting, and there's no waiting involved. I think thats my favorite part of the recipe!

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  14. Great recipe picks! That Chocolate Stout Rye Bread looks fabulous, not to mention super-easy to make. I bet it would be perfect with a big pot of spicy chili!

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  15. Wow you were so industrious this week! I love that you tried the beer bread with two very different types of beer and it worked out both times. And the quince butter looks just delicious!

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  16. Oh my word. You have the cutest blog. I'm drooling over all your recipes.

    Thanx again for dropping a line at my blog and do check out the Taste and Create site for a similiar food challenge.

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  17. I haven't made beer bread in a long, long time. I really like your rye version! Looks like Krista kept you busy!

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  18. That beer bread sounds really amazing. I had tried making it one but wasn't very impressed with the results. U inspire me to give it a second try.

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  19. Hi this is Nicole from Colie’s Kitchen I just discovered your blog and wanted to drop by and say hi. I am now a new follower. I would love to have you stop by Colie’s Kitchen if you get a chance. www.colieskitchen.com

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