Friday, August 3, 2007

It's a Triple, or a Home Run

Today you get not one, not two, but three recipes! I decided to participate in the weekend cookbook challenge. This time the theme is Dinner and a DVD.

Hmm, but what dvd should I use as inspiration? There are my classic chick flicks (breakfast at tiffany’s with pastries? French kiss with a french salad and cheese platter? My big fat greek wedding with spanikopita?). Or there are The action movies I am coerced into watching (The good, the bad and the ugly with cowboy spaghetti [spaghetti western, get it?!]? Old Boy with dumplings?) No, none of these worked for me or were listed in my cookbooks.

A quick rummage through the unused pages of Rachel Ray 365 gave me the perfect inspiration! Baseball movies! Her Chicago Dog Salad made me immediately think of a dressed up ball park frank!

At this point, I feel it is crucial to mention that I was raised on baseball. Cal Ripken was a God in my family. I have seen The Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown as well as the Little League Hall of Fame. I was not raised on soccer, basketball or football (though I have grown to love them all in their own way). My dad loved baseball. He even has a hilarious story about an all-star game he tried to attend, though he would likely not enjoy me posting it on the internet. It is with this background in mind, that you should understand why I can reference many a baseball movie. Ok, so the recipe was a CHICAGO hotdog turned into a salad, so I decided to pair it with Rookie of the Year. The story of a kid whose arm becomes a fast-pitch machine after an injury. He is then recruited by the cubs.

Larry Fisher: Hey, kid! How'd you like to play for the Chicago Cubs?
Henry Rowengartner: Great! But I gotta ask my mom first.

The salad was great! So simple and easy! I will definitely repeat. AND, a bonus, I think the boy would like it as long as I add some ketchup to the dressing!

Tips and Changes for Next Time: Use a lot less vinegar. Use a lot of good tomatoes. I used grape which was fine, but mine were losing their freshness, so that didn’t help. Plus I should have added a lot more. I would sear hotdogs longer next time, until very dark since I like crispy dogs. I will also try to remember to drain them! Maybe add ketchup to the dressing.
Rookie of the Year’s Chicago Dog Salad from the Rachel Ray 365 Cookbook
1/4 cup yellow mustard
2 tablespoons vinegar, eyeball it (I used 1 TBSP)
1 rounded teaspoon sugar
4 tablespoons vegetable oil (I used a little less)
1/2 medium red onion, thinly sliced (I used ¼ of a white onion chopped since I am not a huge raw onion fan)
1/2 of a 16-ounce sack shredded cabbage blend for slaw salads
1 romaine heart, shredded
2 vine ripe tomatoes, diced (I used a very large handful of grape tomatoes chopped up)
3 large half sour or garlic pickles, chopped (I used 2 or 3 scoops of relish)
Salt and pepper
8 pork or beef hot dogs, cut into 1-inch-thick slices on an angle (since it was just for my dinner and my lunch, I only used 4 and I used chicken dogs)

In the bottom of a large bowl, combine mustard, vinegar, sugar, and about 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil. Add the onions, cabbage, romaine, tomatoes, and pickles and toss the salad. Season with salt and pepper, adjust seasonings, and reserve.
Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add in remaining 1 tablespoon vegetable oil (1 turn of the pan) then arrange the sliced dogs in a single layer. Sear them a couple of minutes on each. Remove to paper towels to drain (forgot this step! Showed, but wasn’t horrible).
Mound up the salad on plates, top with seared dogs, and serve
Then, I took this dinner a step further with a baseball movie themed side dish. Field of Dreams revolves around a farmer who hears voices coming from his cornfield. They tell him to build a baseball field in the field. He does build it, and “they” come. The field becomes populated by the ghosts of past baseball players. Got me thinking about corn…

Ray Kinsella: It's okay, honey. I... I was just talking to the cornfield.

So, for this one I tried my Joy of Cooking cookbook, but wasn’t happy with what I found. I then Turned to my Pillsbury cookbook and decided on Roast Corn on the Cob.

I will definitely repeat this one, but I will make a few changes. I wasn’t pleased with the paprika taste on the corn. I also wasn’t crazy about the Tabasco, but I could deal with that as it gave it a nice touch of heat (though it could be replaced by a little LITTLE bit of chili powder or cayenne maybe?). The corn was perfectly cooked though. Very juicy and tender, but not mushy. Just need to work on the flavoring.

Tips and Changes for next time: Remove paprika. Possibly replace Tabasco with a touch of another spice? Or maybe try garlic powder.
Field of Dreams’ Roast Corn on the Cob adapted from “The Pillsbury Family Cook Book,” 6th printing, 1970
1 ear of corn
1 ½ tsp softened butter
Pinch salt
Pinch paprika
Pinch pepper
1 drop hot pepper sauce (used Tabasco)
Heavy foil

Pull corn husks away from cob but do not pull off completely.Remove corn silk. Spread corn with mixture of butter, salt, paprika, pepper and hot pepper sauce. Fold husks over cob. Wrap corn in foil. Place directly on coals or in a 350 degree oven). Roast 30 minutes until corn is tender, turning occasionally.
Finally, for dessert, I turned to a combo chick flick and Baseball movie. A League of their Own is about the time during WWII when a professional women’s baseball league was created because most male players were at war. In the movie, and in real life, one of the league’s teams was the Rockford Peaches. This movie is based on real events, and at the Baseball Hall of Fame, there is an exhibit for the league and they sell Rockford Peaches jerseys.

Helen Haley: This is you! You're with us! You're a Rockford Peach!

This recipe was a little harder to come by. I wanted one that could be brought to work the next day since I have had too many sweets recently (this way I can pawn them off on coworkers who need a sugar fix). Peach cobblers dominated my books, but I wanted a cupcake or muffin. I turned to my new muffin book, but found nothing. So I improvised. I turned a banana nut muffin into a peach and seed muffin.

It was hard to get the right consistency within the muffin. I baked for 20 minutes and realized that the peaches had made the inside soggy, even though it was cooked and golden brown. I then baked for another 5 minutes, then (because I like my muffins firm) I turned them upside down in the tins to bake the bottom a few minutes. That did the trick. Still soft, but much better. In my opinion, the texture was better the next day, though. Taste was fantastic! Just need to fix the texture. Tips and Changes for next time: Work on the baking time. I’d bake for 25 minutes, then flip them bottom side up, bake about 2 minutes then remove. I’d also put some sunflower seeds on top as they bake so that they stay on top and people can see what is in it. I keep fearing someone isn’t going to realize there are seed in them and then break out in hives, but so far so good!
A League of Their Own’s Peach Sunflower Seed Muffins, Adapted from Banana Pecan Muffins in “Muffins: 40 Tantalizing Recipes for Tasty Muffins”
Generous 1 cup flour
1 ½ tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt
1/3 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup shelled sunflower seeds
2 ripe peaches diced
5 TBSP milk
2 TBSP butter, melted
1 large egg, beaten
1 tsp vanilla extract
Pinch cinnamon

1) Preheat oven to 375. Line 12 muffin cups.
2) Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Add sugar and seeds and stir.
3) Use a mixer to combine peaches, milk, butter, egg, cinnamon and vanilla. Add to dry ingredients and gently stir until just combined
4) Divide batter between 8-12 muffin liner to get them about 2/3 full (number of muffins depends on the size of the peaches).
5) Bake for 20-25 min (then maybe turn them upside down in the tins to bake the bottoms more)


Jess said...

Of course I love this post because it is about sports lol! The muffins sounded fun though and yummy!

Paige said...

Thanks for the submission! The corn looks awesome.

Deborah Dowd said...

I would never have thought of a hot dog salad, but sometimes those recipes that sound funky are really good, I have to give this trio a try!

Sara said...

Wow, it all looks so good! Thanks for joining WCC this month, hope to see you again.