A Venezuelan Christmas with pan de jamón

pan-de-jamonVenezuelan Christmas Ham Bread Recipe

Yield: 1 loaf

  • 1 1/2c lukewarm milk (can use any milk)
  • 1 T sugar
  • 1 pkg active dry yeast
  • 4 1/2 c flour, plus more as needed (can use whole wheat if desired, but adjust amount accordingly)
  • 7 T butter, melted (can use olive oil)
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 c dark raisins
  • 3/4 c light raisins
  • 1/2 lb ham, prosciutto works wonderfully
  • 1 c sliced pimento stuffed olives
  • 1 egg yolk beaten with 1 tsp milk for egg wash

In a large bowl, combine the milk, sugar, and yeast. Stir and let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. Whisk in 1 cup of the flour and set to rise in a warm place for 1 hour.

After one hour is up, whisk in 4 tablespoons of the melted butter, 2 eggs, and the salt. Add 2 cups of flour and mix well. Continue to add the remainder of the flour and mix until you have a soft and sticky dough. Transfer the dough to a well floured workspace and knead until smooth and elastic adding more flour as needed.

Shape the dough into a ball and place it in a buttered bowl. Roll the dough in the bowl to coat all sides with butter. Cover loosely with plastic wrap or a clean dish towel and allow to rise until doubled in bulk, about 1-2 hours. *Hate to knead? Mix until the dough is soft and sticky then allow to rise for one hour. After that, pop it in the fridge to rise overnight. The next day, follow the remaining steps.*

While the dough is rising, soak the raisins in hot water and cover until plump (about 15 minutes).

When doubled in bulk, place the dough on a lightly floured surface and roll out to a 14″ x 18″ rectangle. Brush with the remaining butter and layer the ham, raisins, and olives. Starting on the long edge, roll the dough up (like a jelly roll) and place seam side down on a lightly buttered baking sheet. Cover with a clean towel and let rest for 15 minutes while the oven preheats to 350 F. Before placing in the oven, brush the bread with the egg wash. Bake for about 40 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and cover with a damp kitchen towel for 15 minutes.

Banana Cream Pie

bcpIf you’re looking for a quick, fairly-healthy fix for your banana cream pie craving, give this recipe a try!

Ingredients for 2 servings:

¼ c Almonds – finely ground

6 oz greek yogurt (I used vanilla flavored)

1 ripe banana – sliced

Using two jam jars, layer the above ingredients as you wish. A lidded jar will keep for about 2 days.

Strawberry Rhubarb Oatmeal Bars

srbIt’s rhubarb season again! I found this recipe on Smitten Kitchen and made some tweaks:

*whole wheat flour instead of AP

* 1/4 cup of demerara sugar instead of light brown

*5 Tablespoons of Olive Oil instead of butter

*didn’t use cornstarch or the tablespoon of sugar on the fruit

*Added some dollops of ginger spread from Ginger People on the fruit layer

Next time I make them I will double the recipe because mine came out quite thin. Delicious crumbled on top of ice cream though!


Chocolate Garbanzo Cupcakes

photo (5)These turned out better than expected! I made some adjustments to the original recipe. For the frosting, I combined sesame caramel from Sofra with Teddie’s chunky peanut butter with flax and topped them with a sprinkle of espresso sea salt from the Filling Station. The texture of the cake is very moist and crumbly. In the future, I might play around with the dry ingredients to create a lighter/fluffier consistency. Also, I didn’t get 12 cupcakes, more like 9.

Chocolate Garbanzo Cupcakes

1 can of garbanzo beans (rinsed well and drained)

1/3 cup almond milk

2 eggs

2 flax eggs (1 T flax and 3T water = 1 egg)

2 T olive oil

1 tsp vanilla

1/2 cup cocoa powder

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 cup sugar

In all honesty, I made this in my Vitamix. I blended the wet ingredients and then added the dry ingredients and blended until the batter was smooth. Bake at 350F for about 25 minutes.



Pork and Apple Pie with Cheddar Sage Crust

Pork, sage, apple meat pieFall is upon us! This pork and apple pie with cheddar sage crust pairs perfectly with a crisp autumn day. I was sent this recipe in a newsletter from The Meat Market, but the original comes from The Apple Lover’s Cookbook. You can find the recipe here.

I can’t take credit for this pie, I was just lucky enough to eat it. The flavors were wonderful and the crust was fantastic!

Chef’s notes:

I reduced the amount of apples from 3lbs to 2lbs. This seemed to be a more balanced meat to fruit ratio and a smaller pie pan could be used. I also did not pulse the meat in a food processor. Although, traditionally many of these meat pies were placed in a meat grinder until a coarse sand-like texture was achieved, I prefer the heartier pebble-like consistency that ground pork supplies.

With so many wonderful flavors in this meat pie, the sage crust can really get overpowered. When I make this again I would increase the amount of dried sage from 2 teaspoons to 3 teaspoons. Alternatively, you could add some fresh or dried sage to the apples while browning them.