Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Monday, June 29, 2009
Wow I'm awesome at flash photography: churnin!
Ah, the adventures that ensue from the biblioteca. I took out David Lebovitz's The Perfect Scoop a few weeks ago and since then I've been churning away! More to come on a custard that I didn't destroy!
Thursday, June 25, 2009
Crusty dill-pepper boules! SO EASY
Annie's makes a divine (HAH) Green Goddess dressing with tahini etc....it's really delicious! If you've been to Dojo by NYU you'll know that delicious tahini-soy love (but this is sans carrots).
Here's how the stuffs were made!
Whole-wheat country style boules
So Rachel admonished me for not going on foodgawker, and I was glad I found this recipe before I went to bed last night! If you remember the Irish quick bread, this would be its yeasty partner in crime. (My Slovenian couchsurfer said it was like the stuff grandmas make in farmy towns..yes!)
The recipe I used called for 2 cups white and 1 cup white whole-wheat, but I didn't have all-purpose so white whole-wheat it was!
3 cups white whole-wheat flour
3/4 tsp yeast (NOT FAST RISING)
1 tsp sea salt
1-1 1/2 cups warm water
Mix n's of choice: I mixed them right in with the dough, used about a tsp. of ground pepper and a couple tablespoons of dried dill weed.
Mix the dry ingredients, then add water until dough is elastic and a bit wet/sticky.
Cover and let rise for 6-8 hours (sleep?)
Put a baking pan filled with water in your oven and heat to 450, put in your 'hearth' (cooking stone, or what have you) in for 15 minutes after the oven has heated.
Separate dough into 2 boules, shape on a floured surface and coat in oil. I cut some slits in the top and sprinkled sesame seeds, adds a nice touch! Bake for 35-40 minutes, cool on a wire rack for 10. Slather with some good butter when cooled.
On to the dressing. This is quite a simple concoction. But, you must have tahini (it's usually $5 for a jar that will last you centuries..unless you make a lot of tahini stuffs). Basically I just put stuff together that was on the back of the bottle.
Amounts (NOT EXACT) adjust to your tastes
1/4 cup vegetable oil
juice of half a lemon
2 tablespoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons tahini
2 tsp. dried parsely
1 tsp. freshly ground pepper
water to thin
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar (white wine etc. is probably fine)
Whisk it all together and enjoy the rich nuttiness of tahini all the time!
Sunday, June 21, 2009
Friday, June 19, 2009
What to do with your left-over lemonade skins? make lemonade! no candied lemon peels! YES. Since I'm OBSESSED...no I just have the book right now, I used Alice Waters' recipe.
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Cutting the pretty stalks and removing toughness
Perhaps it's a premature to go all mid-west turn of the century old woman, but I've been canning! It's pretty simple to can high acid foods like tomatoes, pickles, and fruity preserves. You don't NEED equipment but it will increase your chances of not getting scalded!
Monday, June 15, 2009
Sunday, June 14, 2009
Cone FAIL: cookies?? pizzelle?
Since it's been a few days since the last post, I figured it would be fitting to give two examples of what NOT to do. My fails aren't well documented since they're usually not very memorable or photogenic.
I tried to make a custard and wasn't quite patient or knowledgeable in the ways of my stove, therefore the milk got TOO hot, dare I say boiling! Such is not cool for custard. Therefore, ample chunks of eggies were present and it didn't get nice n' thick. Lesson learned: custard requires patience and will probably end up with more chunks than not until mastered.
Inspired by The Perfect Scoop, I tried the cone recipe, thinking myself above parchment paper and nursing them in the oven. Of course the batter was yummy, along with the end resume. But, as you can see the mixture didn't come off the paper, much less form something resembling a cone. Lesson: use parchment paper and check the little ones while they bake!
Saturday, June 13, 2009
I was quite happy to see a plethora of pickled veggies: peppers, artichokes, olives the works. Cheeses, nuts, dried fruits, sweets like baklava and the little pink thing above is like Turkish delight...covered in dried rose petals!
I also found some fruit syrup (I don't think Marco Polo brand is top of the line) which I miss for making a low-effort juice by just putting a bit in water (or flavor whatever is good tasting like fruit). I know Brighton Beach is a good place for such syrups: black currant, raspberry, the works!
Oh, not to forget, the baked goods! They had a lot of bread and pies, eggplant and bean dishes etc. Pictured above is the remains of my spinach, tahini, walnut pie!
The two markets I visited:
They're both on Route 16 in Watertown, going into Boston.
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
Miso miso fighting in the dojo, oriental prince in a land of soup!
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
My classic is a whole wheat Irish Soda Loaf. What I made today uses the same general chemical processes, but is a lot jazzier and risky.
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup unbleached all purpose flour
4 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons honey
4 tablespoons agave nectar
1 cup nonfat plain greek yogurt
a splash or two of buttermilk
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
melt butter. add sweet stuff. add yogurt and buttermilk. whisk until smooth. add egg and balsamic vinegar. whisk until smooth. combine dry ingredients well and add to wet ingredients. a pasty batter will form that is strange, but go with it and load it into a small bread pan. put it in a 375 degree oven and cook for 20 minutes, until the top is golden, then turn the oven down to 325 and let cook thoroughly, testing with your preferred method, whatever that may be.
Wah! It tastes a lot like banana bread! Moist, good with butter and honey. Would be great with nuts and fruits inside. Also, check the ingredients list. Whole wheat, some healthier sweetener alternatives*, and not too much butter! Most of the moistness definitely comes from the yogurt.
So easy. The next one I make will be a lemon/herb loaf or a beer/cheese loaf or any loaf....
* I started using agave nectar when I had some blood sugar (all speculation, but indulge me) issues. It is low glycemic, because it is way high in fructose, which doesn't rely on insulin and has to pass through your liver, unlike the other popular monosaccharide, glucose, which gets absorbed anywhere and asks for insulin to help. Now, this DOESN'T mean it's a good sweetener for everyone, or even healthy. First of all, nothing is naturally that high in fructose, and your body probably isn't supposed to get that overload all at once, since nothing from nature is that high in fructose (not even fruit). The stuff from the plant is processed to make it that way (high fructose corn syrup, anyone?). Also, it ... ok... I'm just going to link to this article: AGAVE NECTAR. It is a very anti-agave article, and it is a really interesting read. Puts some things into perspective. But, clearly, since agave is in my recipe, the everything in moderation rule is well in place in this chicken's brain.
Monday, June 8, 2009
Saturday, June 6, 2009
Your public library has many wonderful things to offer: including 'free' trendy cookbooks!
Officially I like Marcus Samuelsson very much. His last restaurant to open in New York was Merkato 55 on Gansevoort st. in the West Village: it's African food..mostly of the pan-African persuasion, with dishes from around the continent. But, Samuelsson himself was born in Ethiopia so the North definitely gets some attention. Ah, but Marcus grew up in Sweden, which is where Aquavit comes in, the delicious Swedish restaurant in Midtown.
Here's where I come to last night's meal, and the library. I got out The Soul of a New Cuisine yesterday and made sense of it along with what I had in the kitchen. The book is basically the spirit of Merkato 55, African deliciousness. Thus far I've liked such food: hearty, nutty, saucy.
Bobotie: traditional dish of South Africa. It's usually made with ground beef but I had ground turkey so I used that and added butter to compensate for the fat.
Bulgur wheat salad: cracked wheat is a popular grain in the Mediterranean lands (all around the big old sea) and goes well with dried fruits and nuts
Sambal: chili-based sauces used in South Africa originally from Malaysia and Indonesia
The real one is much classier but I just cut up some red onion, mango, and added ginger and spicy peanut butter, sounds gross but it's good
The bobotie is pretty easy to make..but you need about 2 hours since there's a lot of time the food hangs out and soaks in itself..so worth it!
1 1/4 pounds ground beef
red onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tb green masala or curry
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp crushed coriander
2 tomatoes/canned diced tomatoes
1/4 cup bread crumbs
1/4 cup crushed peanuts or unsweetened peanut butter
2 tsp salt
1 cup milk
2 eggs + 2 yolks
cook beef and onion, add garlic, spices, and tomatoes then reduce the heat to low and cook for 10 minutes
Stir in bread crumbs, peanuts, salt (you don't need all of it), and 1/2 cup water, cook for 15 more minutes.
Drain the mixture if you want and then refrigerate fro 20 minutes
Preheat the oven to 350 and butter a baking dish.
Pour the mixture into the pan and cover with the mixture of eggs, milk, nutmeg, and a bit of salt.
Put the pan into another pan of water so that the water rises up an inch on the side of the actual food dish.
Cover with foild and bake for 25 minutes, then take off the foil and bake for another 20
Cut into squares and serve...he says with mango sambal and creamed swiss chard.
I failed a bit with the whole water bath thing, the water wasn't deep enough and the egg was NOT cooking so I turned up the heat and added more water to the dish. This recipe sounds sort of complicated but it's just a little time heavy..soo worthy it and ground turkey definitely matches the flavors.
NO JOKE SAHHS. We both made molasses cookies in the same week, without planning it: skills. They are both looking like poo, delicious, and powerful delights.
I got my recipe from the Silver Palate, basically if you want your baked goods to taste like they're from a legit bakery, use their recipes. I've received such results from the zuccini bread, banana bread, semolina bread, and molasses cookies thusfar.
I definitely cooked mine longer (but then again my oven fails)
This section of the book is entitled: The Cookie Basket, in case you were wondering
1 1/2 sticks sweet butter
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup molasses
1 3/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
(nutmeg wouldn't hurt)
Preheat to 350
Melt butter, add sugar, molasses, mix then add lightly beaten egg
Sift dry ingredients, then mix in
Drop spoonfuls of dough onto aluminum foil (on top of your baking sheet) leaving ample room between each cookie (batter will be wet and expands)
Cook for 8-10 minutes, take out while still soft, cool on the foil
excellent! add some candied citrus peel on top
excuse my lobsided polenta shot!
Friday, June 5, 2009
The cookies are incredibly rich and the salted caramel topping is a bit crunchy, but mostly chewy, and you cant beat the little salty lick you get as an after taste.
Next time, I think I would make them perfectly round and small and press a hole in the middle with my thumb. I would then fill that with the hot caramel, and wait until they were cooled completely to drop a few huge crystals of sea salt on top. I think there might actually be a next time for these babies!
You probably wouldn't want to eat a small bowl of stewed beef as a snack, but then again, you aren't me.
Topped with a touch of sour cream.
All you have to do is bring some stock to a boil with the tough, cheap chunks of meat included. Then, reduce to a simmer. An hour or two later you'll come back and the meat will still look like jerky and you'll say to yourself "man, will this ever work?". Come back two hours after that. Oh yes, the most succulent melty meat you've ever had.
Thursday, June 4, 2009
ferment my friends!
Doing some worldly food stalking I cam across a kimchi recipe on David Lebovitz and it's actually much easier than I thought! Once you get your economy-sized korean chili paste and chili power, you're good to go (outside of the likes of K-town, it's go big or go home).
What you'll need:
1 large Napa cabbage (2 pounds, 1kg)
2 tablespoons coarse salt (do not use fine table salt)
1/3 cup (80ml) white rice vinegar
3 tablespoons Korean chili pepper paste (gochujang)
1 tablespoon very-finely minced garlic
2 tablespoons coarse Korean chili powder (gokchu garu)
1/2 tablespoon very-finely minced fresh ginger
4 scallions, sliced in 2-inch (5cm) batons, including the green part
1 glass jar (a quart will be fine)