Spice Tea

2 c. Tang
1 can powdered lemonade
3/4 c. instant tea
1 2/4 c. sugar
1 t. cinnamon
1 t. cloves

Add 2-3 T. per mug.  Amazing for a sore throat!!

Gram’s Granola

5c. rolled oats
1/2c. almonds
1/2c. sesame seeds
2c. sunflower seeds
1c. coconut
1c. powdered milk
1c. dates
1c. raisins
1c. honey
1c. vegetable oil

Heat honey and oil. Combine the rest (except raisins) with the honey-oil mix, spread on cookie sheets, and bake at 250 for 1hr until slightly brown.

My gram has made this since my mom was a kid, and I’ve spared you the soy nuts and soy flour (she had a wheat allergy).  The calories are off the charts, as written, so it begs for some adjustments. Or not – enjoy!

Cha Siu, Bow

My mom took some Chinese cooking classes from a neighbor when I was a kid, and we were treated to some dishes that haven’t been matched in any restaurant since. This is a particular favorite.

Cha Siu:
2T chicken stock
2T soy sauce
1/2 T. salt
1 T. dry sherry
2/3 c. sugar
garlic powder & ginger
2# boneless pork

Cut pork into 2” strips. Lay strips flat, and cut them in half lengthwise. Mix the first 6 ingredients in a shallow pan and add the pork. Beat mixture into the pork by stabbing the pork with a fork. Turn often.

Marinate 3 hours or overnight if possible.

Preheat oven to 350. Hang pork strips in oven from top rack, over a large pan of water. Roast 45 minutes.

Turn heat up to 450 and roast 15 minutes more.

Cut strips paperthin, and serve hot or cold.

Cha Siu filling for Bow:
2T oil
1# Cha Siu, finely chopped
1T sugar
2T soy sauce
2T cornstarch in 3T water

Heat oil until it smokes, add Cha Siu, and fry quickly.

1 package instant dry yeast
1 3/4 cups warm water
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
6 1/2 cup all purpose flour

Dissolve 1/2 yeast cake with sugar in warm water. Add baking powder and flour. Knead about 20 minutes, until dough is smooth and elastic.

Place in mixing bowl, cover, and leave in a dry, warm, draft-free place until dough doubles in bulk (about 3 hours).

Punch down dough and knead about 5 minutes.

Knead 5 minutes more and it’s ready to be stuffed. Divide Cha Siu filling and dough into 24 portions. Flatten each dough ball, roll out into a 4” circle, leaving centers thicker than the edges. Place filling in center of each, wrapping the sides around the filling, twisting dough to close.

Place on a 2” square piece of wax paper, twist-side down.

Allow to rise in a warm place until doubled. Brush with egg wash (1 beaten egg white, 1 t. water, 1/4 t. sugar).

Steam 15 minutes or bake in a preheated 350 oven 20 minutes.

Curried Mashed Sweet Potatoes

This comes from the Top Chef Cookbook… which I unfortunately don’t open very often.  It’s such a simple combination, I’m surprised I’d never tried it before.

Roast sweet potatoes about an hour at 375 (peeled, cut into about 1” chunks), with olive oil and curry powder and salt. Penzey’s hot curry powder is very nice for this.  Blend in food processor or mash by hand, with 1T butter and 1T lemon juice for every 2 medium potatoes.

YUM.  The combination of sweet potato, curry, and lemon juice is very, very yummy.

The quinoa pilaf recipe that’s supposed to be the main dish is also tasty, but it’s the sweet potatoes that I find myself making ALL The Time.

Pizza Dough

My standby pizza dough recipe.  There are three containers of it in my fridge RIGHT NOW. This version makes three small (about individual-size) pizzas.

339 g unbleached AP flour, 1 t ea sugar, salt, and instant yeast (mix in yeast or salt first, though, to keep them from coming in contact with each other and the salt KILLING THE YEASTIES DEAD). 237 g water and a good splash of olive oil. Mix into a rough dough.

The beauty of this is that you can use it almost immediately, or leave it out on the counter for a few hours  (or days). Put it in the fridge for up to 3 days (any more than that, and the yeasties are exhausted, and the crust gets kind of airless).  If you use it immediately, the crust will be dense, but super-tender (don’t pile on the toppings).  If you wait a while, and knead it well, you’ll get more gluten formation, so more structure to support toppings.

Increase the water and roll out very thin, for a crispier crust (wetter dough = crispier crust)

You can sub in some cornmeal for the flour (gram for gram, but I wouldn’t go above 30 g), but then you must let it rest a day so that the cornmeal can soak up some water and soften. Otherwise, it seems to slice up the gluten, and you end up with a dough that won’t stretch or knead without tearing.

Bake it any way you like!  I’ve used a pizza stone, but usually I just build it on a pan with cornmeal underneath, and throw it in, and it’s still great.  The hotter, the better — I usually bake at 475-500.

nb: the recipe also makes great nearly-instant pita bread!!

ETA: This is a great freezer-stocking recipe!  Separate the dough into balls of about 200g, roll each out into a thin circle.  Lightly flour and place each on its own silpat or plate in the freezer for a couple hours. When frozen, place each in a gallon-sized freezer bag and store for up to 3 months!  Clean pizza boxes are excellent for storage, and will help keep them from getting broken. To use, simply brush off excess flour and place on a silpat or peel dusted with cornmeal.  Add sauce and toppings as desired, and bake at 450F until browned.

Spinach-Rice Casserole

I’ll start with a perennial favorite: the Spinach-Rice Casserole from the New Moosewood Cookbook (p. 135). It’s quite flexible, but I think the nutmeg & cayenne give it a particularly nice flavor.  Kale works ok if you cook it down, but I tried it once with mustard greens and it was not tasty. Freezes ok, if you don’t nom it up right away! Vegetarian as written, and you can eliminate the dairy, for a vegan version (though you may want to add something binder-y).

The basics:
Saute 2# spinach with some onion, salt and garlic. Mix into 3c. cooked rice. Add 1/4t. nutmeg, 1/4t. cayenne, 1/2c. sunflower seeds. If you like, beat 2 eggs with 1c. milk, and add to the rice mixture. Mix in 1 1/2 c. grated cheddar.

Spread into a baking pan (oiled/sprayed), dust with paprika, and bake until browned (about 40 minutes).

I like to serve it with a little feta and a sprinkling of sunflower seeds, and a dash of sriracha.

Cabbage & Apple Salad

photo of apple, from monkeyc on Flickr

I miss Bishop’s Orchards so much sometimes!

We have Curtis Orchards in Champaign, and other nearby apple farmers who come to the markets in Urbana and Bloomington, but I miss the variety of fruit throughout available throughout the whole summer-fall, pick-your-own or shop in their store, in southern Connecticut (who’d have thought?)

I buy lots of apples at the markets, though, and then sometimes wonder what to do with them when I get home.  I found this recipe last year about this time, and thought it was a nice way to enjoy apples in a slightly savory application.

1 head red cabbage, shredded or chopped
2 carrots, grated
2 celery stalks, diced
2 tart apples, diced

6T peanut oil
6T cider vinegar
2T sugar (or to taste)
2t caraway seed
salt & pepper to taste

Whisk dressing ingredients together, and pour over salad ingredients. Tastes best after an hour in the fridge; not so much after about 24 hours.

Homemade Nutella

Can you imagine? One of my favorite Twitterers recommends this particular recipe, and it certainly looks both straightforward and OHMYGODSOGOOD.

Option 1: the recommended version

1/3 c. hazelnuts (skins on)
3/4 c. sweetened condensed milk
1/2 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips
3T honey

Roast hazelnuts at 350 on a shallow pan – about 15 minutes, until skins are very dark. Wrap in kitchen towel and rub until skins are mostly all off (discard them).  Process in food processor, about 5 minutes.

Combine condensed milk, chocolate chips, and honey in a double boiler, heat until chocolate has melted (or heat milk and honey in a saucepan, and add to the chips in a separate bowl). Add to the hazelnuts (in the food processor), and process until smooth, about 5 more minutes. Store, refrigerated, up to a month.

Option 2: ganache

You’ve made ganache, right? Easy peasy.

Toast your hazelnuts (1/3 c.), process until smooth and buttery. Add 3 oz. chocolate chips, and pulse some more. Heat 1/2 c. heavy cream, 3 T brown sugar, 1/2 t. vanilla and 1 t. salt in a saucepan until just boiling. Add to the food processor and pulse some more. Store in the refrigerator (nut oils go rancid on the shelf without hydrogenating them or adding some other preservatives, people!)

Enjoy the heck out of this stuff… I know I will!

Anadama Cornbread

From Mother Earth News.  I keep hearing friends/tweeps/bloggersIfollow talk about this, and haven’t gotten around to making it yet.  But I might now!!  Sounds like it would be fantastic with chili, which we make almost weekly now that it’s cold.

Update 12/28/09 – made it!  And it’s super-yummy.  Dark and spongy and chewy. There’s definitely a hint of molasses flavor, but it’s not overpowering. Plus, the recipe makes a ton of bread!  I didn’t weigh the blob that I pulled off to bake, but it made a loaf about the right size for two of us for dinner, and there’s a TON left in the fridge, growing by the minute.

Mother Earth News says this is in pretty much every traditional American cookbook.

1.5 c. cornmeal
1/4 c. wheat germ
2 1/4 c. whole wheat flour
3 c. unbleached all-purpose flour
1 1/2 T (2 packets) yeast
1 T. kosher salt (or to taste)
1/4 c. vital wheat gluten
3 1/2 c. lukewarm water
1/2 c. molasses

Combine all (dry to wet, but don’t let the yeast hit the salt directly). Rest until it rises and collapses again, about 2 hrs. Bake immediately, or refrigerate and use within 7 days.

I used the bread machine for this, due to a severe multitasking need, and it went ok.  The dough is quite thick, and I poked at it a couple times because I wasn’t certain the molasses was getting combined.  Next time, I’ll try the mixer instead.

When you’re ready to bake, dust surface with flour, cut off 1# piece, dust with flour and shape into a ball (stretched, not rolled). Rest 90 minutes (40 if you just made it).

Preheat oven to 450°F.  Brush top crust with water, and slash the top. Bake on a stone or on a silicone mat, about 30 minutes. Allow to cool before slicing.

Recipe on Mother Earth also recommends a technique used in the Bread Bible for many hearth breads: throwing a bit of water into the broiler pan (placed anywhere in the oven), and quickly shutting the door.  The steam, it is suggested, helps to keep the outer crust moist, allowing it to stretch during the early part of the baking. A handful of ice cubes works, as well.

Who Wants Recipes?

(moved from Tumblr, which didn’t organize/archive things very well.)

I know I do!!  Though I have a great cookbook library, it can be difficult to find something to match my mood and/or the contents of my fridge/pantry, and I end up going with something I know. I’ve tossed around the idea of recipe-sharing with friends enough times now, so here goes…something.

I’d like for this to be a group blog — anyone who would like to join, just twitter/msg/email/comment me. The rules are simple:

  • Write out as much of the recipe as you feel comfortable, copyright-wise (but be sure to list ingredients, for searching!)
  • Cite your source
  • Take pictures and/or write something about it! I don’t know about you, but a list of ingredients doesn’t get me very excited about a recipe. Describe the flavors, tell a story about making it 🙂
  • If you make one of the recipes listed here, add a comment!

All recipes (and ratios!) welcome.