Garlic Parmesan Monkey Buns

Garlic Parmesan Monkey Buns

Garlic Parmesan Monkey Buns

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Today’s Garlic Parmesan Monkey Buns are so good served warm and fresh with flecks of garlic and Parmesan cheese. They’re a little crispy around the bottom and each bite is buttery and delicious. That is why this is a small-batch recipe. Simply put, they are best enjoyed the day they are made, warm and fresh from the oven, and you don’t always need a dozen of them for one meal.

They are easy to mix by hand with no special equipment required. Six is the perfect number for a small family enjoying a bowl of soup, stew or chili. I like to say they are meal-specific and made to tear apart and dunk into a luscious tomato sauce or hearty stew rather than sliced and piled with lunch meat.

These Garlic Parmesan Monkey Buns do take a few hours, so plan accordingly. I like to initially mix a wet dough and allow it to rest to hydrate most of the flour. This will help with the first stages of kneading because the moisture has been absorbed by the flour. From here, the flour you knead into the dough can be readily absorbed.

The final dough should be tacky but not sticking to your fingers. The exact amount of flour will depend on your environment and measuring of the ingredients. Once the initial cup of flour has been kneaded into the dough, add flour by the teaspoon if needed until the dough is soft and a little tacky to the touch.

Author:  Compelled to Cook

 

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Garlic Parmesan Monkey Buns

Total Time 3 hours
Servings 6 Buns

Ingredients

.

    Buns

    • 1/2 cup 2% milk
    • 1 tsp granulated sugar
    • 1 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
    • 1 cup bread flour
    • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
    • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
    • 2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted

    Garlic Butter

    • 2 cloves garlic
    • 2 tbsp fresh parsley
    • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
    • 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan Cheese
    • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted

    Instructions

    • Warm the milk to 90 – 110°F.  Stir in the sugar and yeast and allow to bloom for 10 minutes.
    • To the milk add ¾ cup of the bread flour, melted butter,  salt, and garlic powder.  Stir to combine into a wet dough.  Cover and allow to hydrate for 15-20 minutes.
    • Spread the remaining ¼ cup of flour onto your work surface.  Scoop the dough onto the flour and sprinkle the top with flour as you start to knead.  Knead the dough, absorbing the flour gradually as you go until all the flour has been absorbed.  Knead for a total of 8-10 minutes until the dough is smooth and tacky to the touch.  If you require more flour, add it to your work surface a teaspoon at a time.
    • Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl and turn to coat.  Cover and allow to proof until doubled in size, about 45-60 minutes depending on your environment.
    • Meanwhile, chop two cloves of garlic.  Add the parsley leaves to the garlic and finely mince together.  Set aside in a large bowl.
    • Once the dough has risen, scoop it out onto your work surface and knead gently two or three times to remove the air.  Divide dough evenly into six portions.
    • To the garlic and parsley add ¼ cup of butter that has been melted along with the Parmesan cheese. Stir to combine.
    • Cut each dough portion into 6 equal pieces and add to the butter.  Toss gently to combine.
    • Using a non-stick muffin tin, place 6 dough pieces into each tin cup, nestling them gently as you go.  Top each with any remaining butter mixture.
    • Cover lightly with plastic wrap and allow to rise until puffy, about 30-40 minutes.
       
    • Bake in a pre-heated 350°F oven for 20 minutes until golden.
    • Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Remove to a serving dish or cooling rack.

    Braised Kale with Bacon

    Braised Kale with Bacon

    Braised Kale with Bacon served in a shallow white bowl resting on a wooden trivel and blue checkered kitchen towel.

    Braised Kale with Bacon

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    Bacon has its own food group for a reason, it makes people actually want to eat Kale, LOL! At least in my world it does, and autumn is the perfect season to enjoy plenty of robust braised greens. While this recipe has been made with kale, other greens like Swiss chard, beet greens or collards will work very well also. Braised Kale with Bacon is a great side dish with roasted meats, and if by chance you have any leftovers, it’s perfect to add to a frittata, baked pasta or simply topped with a runny egg. The latter being my personal favourite because I’m a firm believer that a runny egg makes the world a tastier place and the bacon is already included, so it’s a win-win scenario.

    Ingredients for Braised Kale with Bacon nestled in a shallow white tray.
    Sauteed onions in an off white dutch oven in preparation of Braised Kale with Bacon.

    Eating kale doesn’t have to mean you’re on a diet. The ratio of bacon and parmesan cheese in this recipe tips the healthy scale a little, but it’s also the reason it’s so tasty. Don’t be skimpy on the cheese my friends. Enjoy!

    Can’t eat kale, even with bacon? Here’s a few more veggie sides to choose from.

    Cranberry Almond Roasted Broccoli

    Garlicky Buttered Beans

    Honey Garlic Carrots and Parsnips

    Author:  Compelled to Cook

     

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    Braised Kale with Bacon

    Prep Time 30 minutes
    Cook Time 15 minutes
    Total Time 45 minutes
    Servings 6 1/2 cup servings

    Ingredients

    • 10 ounces kale about 6 ounces trimmed
    • 4 ounces bacon, 3-4 slices, diced
    • 1 tbsp olive oil
    • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
    • 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
    • 1/2 tsp chili flakes
    • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
    • 1/4 tsp pepper
    • 1 cup vegetable broth
    • 1/2 cup water
    • 3/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
    • 1/2 medium juice of 1/2 a lemon

    Instructions

    • Trim kale of ribs and stems and tear them into bite-size pieces.
    • Heat a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add chopped bacon and cook until rendered and crisp. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate.
    • Add enough olive oil to the remaining bacon fat to equal 2 tbsp (you may not need it).
    • Add sliced onions and cook over medium heat until soft, about 5-7 minutes. Add sliced garlic and chili flakes and continue to cook for an additional 2 minutes.
    • Toss in trimmed kale and salt and pepper and cook, stirring often until kale is starting to wilt 3-5 minutes.
    • Pour in broth and water, cover and cook for 12-15 minutes, stirring once or twice until kale is soft. Remove lid and continue to cook for 3-5 minutes until most of the liquid has cooked out.
    • Add parmesan cheese and bacon and toss to combine. Add a generous squeeze of fresh lemon juice. Serve immediately.

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    Creamy Caper Smashed Potatoes

    Creamy Caper Smashed Potatoes

    Creamy Caper Smashed Potatoes…oh my!

    One of my quick and easy weeknight meals consists of broiled fish with a creamy caper paste.  It takes mere minutes to cook and is tender, moist and full of flavour.  I decided to use this same paste on smashed baby potatoes for an easy side dish that’s super delicious and pairs well with roasted meats and fish. 

    Capers are the unripened flowers buds of Capparis spinosa or Capparis inermis and are generally dried and pickled.  Here’s a handy link from The Spruce Eats that tells you a little more about the amazing caper. 

    You won’t be disappointed!

    Roasted mini potatoes get a gentle smash and topped with a creamy caper paste made with capers, lemon, dill, mayonnaise, and parmesan cheese.  Crispy little potato disks with fluffy centres are the perfect base for the briny capers, fresh dill and creamy mayo.  

    If you’re not familiar with capers, they’re a handy pantry item to have kicking around.  They’re pungent and briny and not all that good on their own, but combine them with cream, butter or lemon and you have a flavour explosion. They add a salty depth of flavour that enhances sauces, dressing, salads, and more. Enjoy!

    Author: Compelled to Cook

    Creamy Caper Smashed Potatoes
    Print Recipe
      Servings Prep Time
      3-4 people 15 minutes
      Cook Time
      30-35 minutes
      Servings Prep Time
      3-4 people 15 minutes
      Cook Time
      30-35 minutes
      Creamy Caper Smashed Potatoes
      Print Recipe
        Servings Prep Time
        3-4 people 15 minutes
        Cook Time
        30-35 minutes
        Servings Prep Time
        3-4 people 15 minutes
        Cook Time
        30-35 minutes
        Ingredients
        Servings: people
        Instructions
        1. Preheat oven to 350℉. In a medium bowl toss together potatoes, olive oil and a sprinkle of salt and pepper.
        2. Spread out evenly on a baking tray and bake for 30-35 minutes, turning once, until just tender.
        3. While potatoes are baking, combine together mayonnaise, parmesan, capers, dill, lemon juice and pepper.
        4. Remove potatoes from oven and gently flatten each with a flat surfaced utensil (I use a metal potato masher) to a third of its original height.
        5. Set oven rack to 7" from broiler and turn oven to broil. Spread 1 tbsp of paste onto each potato. Broil for 2-3 minutes until golden and bubbly. Remove from oven and serve immediately, garnishing with fresh dill if desired.

        Classic Pesto

        Classic Pesto

        Well, I guess Classic Pesto is just that, a classic. It’s hard to mess with because it’s great just as it is. Simple everyday ingredients that become a vibrant, garlicky and herbaceous sauce with just a few pulses in the food processor.  While its historic use is to be tossed with pasta, you just can’t overlook all the other great ways to use it.  How about drizzled over scallops, spread onto hot cheese bread or grilled sandwiches, swirled into mashed potatoes or soup, used as pizza sauce and… I think you get the idea. There are plenty of ways that will have you scraping at the jar for every last drop.

        I’d have to say this post isn’t about revamping a recipe or creating something new, it’s more of a reminder of how good a classic really is.  In this case the Classic Pesto is easy, delicious and versatile. Only a handful of ingredients, a few minutes of time and a food processor or mortar and pestle is all that’s required.  So although the sauce is not new, one needs to ask what’s a new way to enjoy it? Make up a batch and be creative, I’d love to know what you come up with.  Enjoy!

        Recipe adapted slightly from: Wayne Gisslen Professional Cooking, seventh edition.

        Classic Pesto
        Print Recipe
          Servings Prep Time
          1 cup 15 minutes
          Servings Prep Time
          1 cup 15 minutes
          Classic Pesto
          Print Recipe
            Servings Prep Time
            1 cup 15 minutes
            Servings Prep Time
            1 cup 15 minutes
            Ingredients
            Servings: cup
            Instructions
            1. Add all ingredients to a food processor and puree until blended but still has some texture, about 20-30 seconds. Use immediately or store in an air tight container in the fridge for up to 1 week or freeze for up to 1 month.
            Recipe Notes

            Romano is a little stronger and saltier than parmesan and a nice addition, however you can use all parmesan if desired.

            You can also use a blender or mortar and pestle if desired.