Crab ravioli with a creamy tomato sauce, garlic bread and banana cream puffs... sound good? That's what I made over the weekend. None of which is half as hard as it sounds. I will say in advance that I have a bread maker, and a pasta roller.
In a bread maker add the following ingredients in order.
1 1/2 cups of warm water (about body temp)
1 tsp salt
1 Tbsp sugar
2 Tbsp butter (or margarine)
4 cups sifted flour
1 package yeast
Turn the bread maker on to dough/pasta setting. Allow the dough to rise once in the bread maker. Turn your oven light on. Flour your working surface, remove dough from the bread maker. Beat it down, separate the dough in two even sections, roll into a loaf, and put a few slits on the top of each loaf. Place the loafs into a greased bread pan. Place the bread pans on the middle rack in the oven, cover with a tea towel, allow the bread to rise for at least an hour, up to 3. Remove from oven, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Bake bread for approximately 20-25 minutes. *Tip: for a softer crust on your bread place a dish with water on the bottom rack while you're preheating and cooking your bread. You can also substitute shortening for the butter.
Cream puffs, and eclairs are some of my favorite treats. They've always seemed very daunting. But really it's not so hard at all. The recipe below is a combination of a bunch of recipes I found.
Banana Cream Puffs
Prepare 1 box of banana (or whatever flavor you're in the mood for) instant pudding.
1 cup water
1/2 cup shortening
1 cup flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 Tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
In a medium sauce pan bring water and shortening to a boil until the shortening is completely melted.
Add vanilla, sugar, and salt. Remove from heat add flour and mix with a wooden spoon until the dough forms a ball. Allow the dough to cool until it is just warm (about 45mins or speed it up by mixing it more). Once the dough is cool, add the eggs one at a time stirring vigorously to add as much air as possible. The dough will be thick and gummy.
Preheat oven to 425. Spoon little balls onto a nonstick baking sheet. Cook the puff shells for 20-25 minutes. When they begin to get brown, be sure to poke holes in them (a shish kabob skewer works well). This is crucial to make sure that the inside puffs up and dries out.
Allow the cream puffs to cool. Use an icing bag and medium pipping end to fill the shells with pudding. Top with icing sugar, or if you're any good with a double boiler, dip in a chocolate gnash. I suck when it comes to a double boiler so I just melted some chocolate chips in the microwave and dipped the puffs in that.
I also filled some of the puff with whipped cream. The canned kind made filling the puffs really easy and fun!
Stayed tuned for weekend of cooking II