Entries in recipe (488)

Saturday
Apr282018

tahini

I think this week is only getting crazier.  But it is all first world problems.  My phone ringing too many times from an old company.  The washing machine not draining.  This is first world.  A cup of tea.  A slice of toast.  Maybe even an adult beverage.  It is all better.

Recently, hummus has been a huge life saver while traveling.  Whether it is across country or just for a MotoGP weekend.  Only buying one meal at an event because there is hummus and crackers in the car for when you leave is huge!  I usually travel with food anyhow, even if travel is just errands.  If it is more then my normal library errands I have at least a piece of fruit with me.  It builds from there but hummus and crackers are definitely a potential.  There was leftovers from camping and the boyos decided they really liked lunches that were centered around it.

I got online and ordered chickpeas from my favorite bean company.  I also looked to see if they carried sesame seeds.  They do not.  I planned to make my own tahini.  With the right tools, ever so easy.

I purchased about 3/4 pounds of sesame seeds.  I toasted them in a dry cast iron pan for about five to ten minutes.  That is all up to you.  How toasty tasting do you wish your tahini?

I then put the toasted sesame seeds in my food processor.  Just the regular blade.  I turned it on and in about three minutes I had this meal textured mass.  

Since I make my own fermented mustard, I know that something special happens after the seven to ten minute mark.  The recipes I read said that you may wish to add oil at about this point.  I decided to turn the machine on again.

Magic happened.  I had runny smooth tahini.  At this point, I tasted it to see if I wished to add salt.  I knew I was going to add some salt when I made the hummus, so I decided not to.  Three quarters of a pound of sesame seeds made just over one cup of tahini.  Really made for good hummus.  It will make lunches easier.

Tuesday
Apr172018

mulberry blackberry jam

I feel like there should be this long complicated post for this jam.  Because that is how much work went into making it.  Not the actual making but the foraging.  This is mulberry blackberry jam.

The bushes and trees in our neighborhood are still producing copious amounts of berries.  There are still so many green berries it is not funny!  Especially since I will be gone this weekend and wish to pick more soon.  The blackberries are eating my hands and forearms.  I am stiff from all the bending and squatting to pick the blackberries.  Reaching for the mulberries feels good.

I have been picking about 2 kilos of berries every time I go out.  I save off four cups for crisp and then make the rest into jam.  I add 1 kilo of sugar and cook until it is the consistency I wish.  The flavor is stupendous!  All the boyos have gotten some and I have seen them eat it straight from the jar.  

It is good.

It is different then the mountain jam because we have different berries but it is still ours.  Still foraged.  But people need realize forage does not mean no work.  It is work.  And then work to preserve it for later in the year.  It just does not take money for the berries themselves.  The sugar, jars, and lids.  Yes, that takes money.  But food is not going to waste which is a good thing.

More picking next week.  I get to go into a tent for the weekend starting Thursday!  I am excited.

Thursday
Apr122018

foraging for crisp

Monday some foraging went on.  The mulberries and blackberries are ripening.  There was more then enough within walking distance to forage 2 kilos worth.  The funny thing that this is along the long walk I take in the morning.  The only people I see picking berries out there are people from other countries.  More for us!  

The mulberries remind one person of the berries she ate in South America.  The other lady we speak to never tells us what she is doing with them but she picks about every day.  She did say she made jam.  It is just funny to me that there is all this food and no one is gathering it.  It tastes better then anything I have bought from the grocery store berry wise in years!

I used my recipe for apple crisp but replaced it with the berries.  I set about four berries aside for crisp.  They were sprinkled with four to five soup spoons of sugar because not all the berries that were picked were perfectly ripe.  Especially the mulberries.  I would be picking and would also need to hold my container under them so I could catch what was falling!  

I was going to link to my apple crisp recipe but I realized it is not here.  I guess I need to actually type it out!

mulberry blackberry crisp/crumble

Note:  To make this apple, I peel, core, and slice up two apples.  I usually use cinnamon and ginger in the crisp/crumble recipe.  You can also change the flour to gluten free types.  The consistency will be different and I find I usually use 2 cups of gluten free flours to 1 cup of wheat when I am measuring by volume.  I look at the texture to see if it is right.  I am going to try oat flour with this next time because one of the boyos is gluten free.

4 cups berries, cleaned

4 to 5 tablespoons sugar

1/2 cup butter

3/4 cup brown sugar

1 cup flour

1 teaspoon ginger

1 tablespoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

If an 8x8 inch square pan or something similar, put the 4 cups of cleaned berries. Sprinkle with four to five tablespoons of sugar.

In a small bowl, cream the brown sugar and butter together.  Mix in the flour.  The mixture should be very crumbly.  If you are using gluten free flours, make sure the topping is a coarse sand texture.  Mix in the ginger and vanilla.

Sprinkle over the berries.

Put in the preheated oven and bake for 45 minutes. 

It smelled so good.  I was asked if it could be eaten straight out of the oven.  My comment was only if you wished to burn your mouth!  A ten minute wait was had.  I truly suggest the ten minutes because I have burnt my mouth that many times.

This is the best picture of the crisp I had.  It was gone so fast!  I really need to go forage more berries today but I am waiting to bake bread.  I have two loaves of bread to bake and a pan of cinnamon rolls.  I also have six bagels.  The foraging should wait until after that.  

I also swept up some mulberries so I will see what they do to silk.  Life is interesting but I really like this foraging thing!

Tuesday
Mar272018

a simple lasagna

I was watching a food show on Netflix recently that featured David Chang.  Ugly Delicious.  On the show, he went to his friends home and ate with the family.  Now, his friend is considered one of the best chefs in the world.  But this chef.  He does not cook at home.  His wife does.  Nadine Redzepi.  And she wrote a cookbook that I checked out from the library.  It is called Downtime and I really enjoyed it.  This is one that I think I might wish to own because there are a dozen recipes that I wish to try there.  And I have to use interlibrary loan to get it.  If I got it from my local library system, maybe that would be a different story.

When I was reading her header on the lasagna recipe it spoke to me.  I have always felt that lasagna was a lot of work.  And I am not going to say this one is not.  But most lasagna is a lot of work with a lot of grocery money in it.  Her recipe cut the cheese way back and I thought that was interesting, so I gave it a try.  The work is worth it.

I do not really have a recipe for all of this.  The only part of her recipe I did use was the bechamel sauce but it is a basic bechamel.  But I used the ideas.  A red sauce that had flavor with beef in it and 56 ounces of my favorite canned tomatoes.  I did try make the sweet Italian sausage meatballs like she tried but next time I will just brown it with the beef or other ground meat I use in the red sauce.  The meatballs were too fussy.

I made my own pasta sheets because I already had the dough in the refrigerator.  But I did not cook them because there was enough sauce in the dish to cook the pasta as it baked.  Two cups of grated parmesan.

Layer the sauce, then pasta, then sauce, then cheese, until everything is in the pan with sauce and cheese on top.  Bake it for 50 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit and let rest for 20 minutes.  The rest makes the lasagna hold together better and makes it even tastier.

For how simple the ingredients are, I would make this again.  It still needs a tweak.  It is much lighter then most American lasagna which I really like.  It could be made even easier with no-boil pasta sheets but I just had the pasta dough.  The top picture is a reheated dish of this lasagna.  The boyos are getting leftovers for lunch and are happy.

basic bechamel sauce

Note:  to make gluten free, you can use sorghum or amaranth or potato flour.  I find they all work.

1/2 cup butter

1/2 cup flour

4 cups milk

salt to taste

Melt the butter over a medium low heat.  When melted, slowly whisk in the flour.  Let cook until a paste and does not taste like raw flour.  Let it bubble a bit.  Do not let it brown.  This is a blonde roux.  Slowly whisk in the milk.  Let cook over low heat for until it thickens a bit but be careful not to let it stick to the pan.  It will try to and it will brown or burn if you are not careful.  You want slightly thick and smooth.  Add a bit of salt to taste.  Some people also add a touch of nutmeg which I am not a fan of.

If you use something other then butter, like sausage grease, this is sausage gravy.  It all works the same.  The roux can also become the black roux for gumbo.  Also, know as Cajun napalm.  What I am trying to tell you is becareful of the bubbles in the roux.  If they splatter and get your skin, they will burn.

Saturday
Feb032018

An Italianish brioche

To no one's surprise, I am a baker.  So this should be no surprise that that many of the people I follow on Instagram are bakers.  The Sullivan Street Bakery Cookbook has come up a few times.  It is always very interesting to see what other cookbooks other bakers are interested in.  Especially those of us who make bread.  I have not gotten very deep in the volume I got for Christmas!  That is going to be interesting when I do.  Beware close friends!  I may be hitting you up to receive bread!

I was able to get the cookbook from the library.  Which is my preferred first choice of reviewing a cookbook.  I flipped through it.  I have heard of Jim Lahey and no-knead bread before.  If you want to do this technique, I think it is great and more power to you.  You will have fresh bread at home and that is the goal.  Personally, I have been baking too long and it is too messy and fussy for me.  Saying that, he did have a brioche recipe that I wanted to use as a guideline.

To be completely honest, I like a good brioche better then a good croissant.  The main problem is that most purchased brioche are on the dry side, tending to stale.  It is just the amount of butter, eggs, and milk that are in them.  I have good brioche recipes so I was not really on the look out for another one.  According to Jim Lahey, this was an Italian style one.  Not quite so plain.  Was I going to give an Italian brioche recipe a try?  Of course!  I am not an Italian grandmother but I have been accused of those tendencies.

I really liked it.  I would make them again.  There was a bit of lemon and vanilla added.  I could see making them with orange like the coronetto I make have in them.  Again, Italian flavors.  And for a baker, who more then likes a cup of tea, a perfect breakfast with some mountain jam and butter on them.  A small bit of heaven.

italianish brioche

Note:  This recipe is modified from The Sullivan Street Bakery Cookbook.

100 grams (a scant half cup) water

113 grams (8 tablespoons) butter

90 grams (a scant 1/2 cup) sugar

5 grams (1 teaspoon) honey

2 large eggs

4 grams (1 teaspoon) vanilla extract

finely grated zest of 1/2 lemon or 1/2 teaspoon lemon extract (I had extract and not the lemon)

125 grams sourdough starter

540 grams (3 3/4 cups) flour plus extra flour for kneading and shaping

6 grams (1 teaspoon) salt 

In a large bowl, put the water, butter, sugar, honey, eggs, vanilla, lemon, and starter.  Mix well but it will be lumpy.  Mix in half the flour, 270 grams (1 3/4 cups flour).  Mix well.  It will still be lumpy.  Cover and let rise until a bubbly mass like pancake batter.

At this point, mix in the salt.  Add in the rest of the flour.  Mix until you can mix no more and then turn out onto a clean floured surface and knead until smooth. 

Put back into a clean bowl, and let rise for an hour, covered.  After an hour, flatten the dough.  Fold the dough like a piece of paper into thirds.  Then fold the ends into the middle.  Put the folded side down.  Cover and let sit again for an hour.  I do this about three or four times.  

After the last fold, put in the refrigerator for an overnight rise.

The next morning, cover a baking sheet with a Silpat or parchment paper.  I shaped the dough into knots instead of the traditional brioche shape.  Dust you hands with flour and took a golf ball size of dough. Shape it into a snake and then tied a knot.  Place it on the baking sheet.   When all the dough has been shaped this way, cover and let slowly rise until double.  Since the dough was pulled from the refrigerator, this could take some time depending on the temperature of your kitchen.  My kitchen was cold so it took almost all day.  I probably did not need to refrigerate the dough.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

When the dough is risen, bake the rolls for about 20 to 30 minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit.  The range is due to the size.  You want a golden roll.  I used a white whole wheat flour which tends to a darker shade when fully baked.

I toasted mine and smear them with jam and butter for breakfast.  So good!  If I did not have three half loaves of bread currently, I would be making more for breakfast and tea.  But that is life.