Archive for the 'cooking' Category

19
Feb
18

swedish cardamon rusk ,norwegian tea cakes

 

I like cookies, but love the flavor of crisp rusk and tea cakes, similar to twice baked dried cookie like biscotti. Not as sweet as the chocolate chip cookie is, but superior is the texture and flavor of the crispy cakes  as far as I’m concerned.

Two recipes here that were baked more than once during the Holiday season !

Diane makes this recipe…..

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courtesy of Taste Of Home cookbook

 

 

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fresh ground from the mortar and pestile , cardamon.

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My recipe, I like the ginger and cinnamon addition

from recipe reminiscing

Norwegian Christmas tea cakes

  • 4 eggs
  • 125 grams sugar 4.5oz
  • 25 butter 1 oz
  • 450 grams sifted flour 16oz
  • 1.5 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cardamon
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ginger, ground
  • 50 grams almounds finelt chopped 2 oz
  • 2 tablespoon nib sugar

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……perhaps a bit over baked but the crisp edges are OK to me!

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another rendition of the tea cake recipe, more presentable, rolled with the sugar and almonds.

19
Feb
18

polenta biscuits, lemon and thyme

Here’s a recipe I posted for archive  and I’ve made this several times .The polenta recipes started when I had some corn flour/ polenta flour in the pantry. A crispy, what I term semi sweet cookie type biscotti biscuit, and of course this type of biscuit good with coffe , tea or other sipping drink.

https://riseofthesourdoughpreacher.wordpress.com/2016/04/29/3693/

 

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03
Feb
18

Malted barley sourdough bread

Linking through several gravitars, lead me this site , The Zero Waste Chef(Link)https://zerowastechef.com/2015/09/17/sourdough-bread/

Recent reading on sourdough technics gave way to this loaf. Milling grains for beer, or more accurately crushing malted barley, I tightened up the Victoria mill for a fine grind of barley , that being 120 caramel/crystal malt. This mix will lead to a dark gold color as the barley is roasted, 120 being the color scale measurment of the malt. Just as a side note, this is how your red, porters and stout beers account for their color. The dark roasted grains may be an aquired taste.

https://www.morebeer.com/products/briess-caramel-120l-malt.html

Now I didn’t get the exact measurement of barley in addition to the 1 kg all purpose flour , probably around 1/2 cup, the new technics were to age the soughdough starter AND what’s know as a leven by soaking the grains, the all purpose flour, with water. Sour dough bread is a non yeast bread relying on the starter to provide the fermentation. 

OK, if time is on your side, as this is a long process, that being, the proofing, and temperature plays into the completion of the bread. Experience is the best teacher in this type of baking. My process is harvesting some starter from the crock in the fridge to start, feeding the crock ,before returning into cold storage. 

Now I fed the starter with the barley flour and water and prepared the leven as well. The very active starter didn’t take long to bubble and from prior failed proof of concepts, ( that’s a literal “proof”) with the additive of barley, an overnight soak sounds like a good idea for fussy grains like whole wheat and fresh ground barley malt who seem to take their time absorbing liquids.

The sourdough barley malt starter.

After an overnight stay, Now it’s a simple matter of mixing the starter and the leven. You can see the roasted barley bits in the dough.

Runny very hydrated dough , pre globular !

It’s Alive ! The organism starts to grow and pick up a cohesive texture, turn every hour or so, I find that tilting the bowl to the horizontal and utility a spatula dipped in water will easily fold the entity.

I used the floured towel and bowl method to nest the slow ferment the globular organism.


Several points to consider, the dough stuck to the towel when moved to the Dutch oven, being a pottery one versus cast iron with the bumpy top as result. Internal temp at the finish is 200 degrees Fahrenheit.  The next loaf will be either a lower oven temp or less cover off baking time. 

Several hours later, in the Dutch oven, the result.

A dark crust, crunchy right from the oven the apparent dark grains has a part to play in the finish color.

As apparent by the white dough spots (I split the main ferment into 2 bowls) the leven and starter did not fully mix in some areas, the dough was mixed in kitchen aid bowls and had a flour ball at the bottom, I just let it go. A marble loaf possible using 2 different color dough. The crumb airy and light not like other sours that I have baked that were the dense variety. (Small green fleck is from broccoli 🙂

One trait I notice with the sour ferments is that the crumb has a slight rubbery texture even though no oils were added, not like a slightly grainy finish from yeast/all purpose flour mixes or those with semolina additions.

“The toast test” , nice caramelisation at the edge, tender crunch. I need to improve storage as a plastic bag storage yielded a soft crust the next day. (Actually broiled both sides)


One other ferment  was placed stasis refrigeration, warming up to be nest fermented and baked. 

Taste is a earthy barley background clinging dark malt aftertaste. Do you taste your ingredients? That’s how to become familiar with the different flavours. Taste and smell the flours and grains that you use in recipes. Always have some ferment going on in the house. Fit in the mixing , fermentation, and baking to your schedule and it will become an aquired skill. 

23
Jan
18

Noodle with shrimp

A simple dish maybe complicated by the fact that I made my own noodle. But a quick and easy meal none the less.

Boil the required amount of noodle, here I used an semolina and egg recipe.

The frozen shrimps were defrosted in water, a bit of chopped lettuce, mushroom and broccoli prepped. the sauce was a throw together compilation of minced garlic, ginger hoi sin , soy , and fish sauce, water, oil, shrimp sauce, sugar and rice vinegar in amounts to balance out the flavor and viscosity to your preference. A spot of habernao paste for heat.

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Start by panning the noodle with a bit of oil over high heat, add the veggies, stir fry several minutes. now add the sauce to coat and cook and stir, adding a bit  shrimp water to keep things liquid without burning. Add  the shrimp and continue cooking, adding small amounts of water if necessary, keep things moving. Flame off let sit a couple of minutes and plate.

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I leave the shells and tails on the shrimp for texture of the crunch.

16
Jan
18

Bangladeshi Style Creamy Chicken Korma with Crisp Shallots

from Food 52 Chicken Korma, Bangladeshi Style

Chicken again ? Here’s a recipe that I was bound to try for a cardamom use, first up, modify the size of the recipe to reflect what I have on hand and the size of the servings, since I didn’t have a whole chicken around, 2 chicken thighs would be used, skin on. I’ve done recipes before that require the yogurt marinade but this recipe looks deceptively simple on the spices, I mean like where’s the curry, coriander, cumin ?

I halved all the ingredients to go with the 2 chicken thighs which weighed in at about 1 lbs.

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Some processed ginger root and garlic were added to the yogurt and then mixed up, bagged with the chicken thighs, about 1 and 1/2 teaspoon of each to 1/2 cup plain full milk yogurt. (is it only me that has a hard time finding PLAIN full fat yogurt at the market?).

Gather the rest of the ingredients while the chicken marinades.

  • 1 and 1/2 tablespoon ghee (unsalted butter, clarified)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (if you use chicken with the skin, you may want to cut back on the oil, my result was on the oily side, but I prefer the skin on and the result.
  • 1 large onion , minced
  • 4 cardamom pods
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon ground almond
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon raisins, golden if you have them
  •  chiles, here it’s open for interpretation, I had some dried serannos, sliced thin and the amount to the level of heat that they are.
  • slivered almonds
  • 1 shallot thin sliced and fried

Ok the usual start, fry the diced onions in the ghee and olive oil for about 5 minutes, till golden.

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Do you like an aromatic kitchen and home or are you the type to run the exhaust vent full blast when frying onions and cooking spicy dishes?

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(frying onions is an appetizing odor to me) Ahem! back to the stove, add the cinnamon stick and bay leaf with the cardamom pods. Stir in and activate the aroma for a few minutes.

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Add the chicken with the marinade yogurt and the salt, now raise up the temperature at least medium, and cook , not to brown, the juices will separate, keep stirring, no browning !

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Mine gives off a fair amount of oils from the chicken, so I call it a more westernized style!

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Keep the mixture moving, about 10 minutes, you see a reduction, add in some liquid, several tablespoons or as needed to partially submerge the chicken. I used hot stock. Now cover and stir occasionally 20-30 minutes, to an active simmer, this may be less time in this case as the recipe volume is less than the full specifications.

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Meanwhile during the simmering, thinly slice the shallot, if you haven’t already, and in a fair amount of oil, fry them crisp, set on paper towelling or brown paper and reserve for garnish.

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Check on the chicken occasionally and when the liquid reduces and the oil rises add the lemon juice, ground almonds, sugar, raisins, and chilis. Taste for balance, and cover and cook for 5 minutes.  Take off heat. Prepare warm plates.

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It’s apparent that my result is a bit more gravy-ish than the pictures on the recipe website.

The crisp shallots and almonds make this an attractive dish.

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An unlikely companion, roasted sweet potatoes fries, yes the thighs are on the dish, just covered with gravy, this recipe begs for some steamed basmati rice.

Though the recipe does not comment on fishing out the cinnamon, bay leaf and cardamom, chilis etc. I like to serve it as is. It won’t be a homogenous mix, you may bite into a cardamom pod or get a burst of spicy heat from  the pepper, that’s OK by me! Or it could be served simply as family style, bringing the hot pot to the table.

The simple additions of the spices and aromatics, both in the marinade and recipe combine for a many layered finish than seems possible. I would definitely repeat this dish with the required whole chicken and a side of rice.

Also the habit of using fruit and nuts (raisins and almonds) in a recipe such as this is appealing as the sweetness of the raisins do show through versus a sugar only sweetness for the balance, and the ground almonds give a slight nutty background and thickness to the dish.

 

 

 

 

 

11
Jan
18

DAL, two recipes

Dal, lentils and beans all in the same catagory, recipes abound and as probably you have researched, the more research yeilds that the recipe usually was what the cook has on hand especially as to the spicing of the dish. Here’s one from the Bob’s Red Mill bag of Dal followed by the Milk Street recipe for Turkish Red Lentil Soup.

New Delhi Dal

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I utilized curry powder in place of the tumeric. Some ground cloves sufficed for the 12 whole cloved required. (have to order some cloves)

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Boiling the beans, alot of water! these beans will soak up quite a bit of liquid. This is 1/2 the recipe.

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most dal recipes require an addition to be added to the beans once cooked

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mash them and then add the oil spice mixture

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Basicallly I ate these alone to get a taste for the beans, they would make a good spread for chips or an addition to rice.

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A Turkish Red Lentil Soup with Aleppo Pepper

 Turkish Red Lentil Soup

from 177 milk street.com

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Are we ready ? I used the Bob’s Red Mill orange/yellow dal.

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the sweating of the onions

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Add the garlic for about 30 seconds, to the onions, then add the rest of the ingriedents, minus the water (broth), lentils and rice. cook up for about a minute.

 

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……..in go the beans, rice and water

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a lively simmer, cook covered about 30 minutes, the rice will break down somewhat adding to the texture, I cooked leaving the beans at the aldenti stage.

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I skipped the addition of the Aleppo pepper since I didn’t want to search it out at this time , I added a bit of finely chopped dried pepper that are sitting on the windows sill drying out from green to a shrivled red, some moderate heat in the background.

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Even though there is a lot of paprikia, which I though would be overpowering, the balance is delicious and the beans have a pasta like texture. The tomato paste smooths it out. My best use of the dal so far. No mint or lemon wedges served. 

11
Jan
18

Muffins, the English Style

Dough , dough , dough, bread and rolls ! What else to do ? How bout a muffin? The prestigious english muffin, used to  store-bought variety? Here’s a winner from the famous duo, (Paul and Mary, if you are a fan of the British Baking Show, from the master class series, where they reveal the elements and techniques behind the challenges) a simple basic technique that doesn’t require oven baking!

Ready, set, …… BAKE!

Goes together quickly if you have the elements in place, prepare to hand knead the dough for about 10 minutes.

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place the flour in a large bowl

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place the yeast on one side , the salt on the other (mistakenly the sugar in the photo, but I am not in competition)

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Add the rest of the ingredients….

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I elected to mix everything in the bowl versus the countertop, prepare to have on hand tied up in the muck, some flour close by and start the kneading for about 10 minutes, this is one of the types of dough that will pull together into a soft clump, don’t be tempted to add any more flour than absolutely necessary.

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Ready for the first rising to a double size, oil it up.

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Roll out the dough after the rise to about 2.5 cm thick, close to an inch and cut to biscuits 3 and 1/2 inch diameter, 9 centimeters if you are british. I got less than the 8 muffins I would go a bit thinner on the dough, some were combined and re-rolled a bit thinner. Lightly flour and dust the trays, here the polenta, or semolina is not an ingredient in the muffins but is a major component of the feel and texture of the finished product, don’t omit as the even the presentation of the muffins and mouthfeel will suffer. Second proof is about 30 minutes, the yeast very active and pillowly muffins are the result.

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A griddle or a cast iron pan well heated then put on low distributed heat, time the muffins, 5 to 6 minutes PER SIDE, know the attributes of your baking iron or pan as to shuffle the muffins on the iron to attain the browning and the necessary baking time needed.

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I didn’t skimp on the semolina/flour dusting even on the griddle. Even while baking on the iron, still raising a bit.

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Flip the babies, and bake another 5 to 6 minutes.

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Ummm…… the smell of the dough and the semolina baking !!!

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The muffins are higher in height than the store-bough variety so I turned the flame to almost nill and shuffled them several more minutes to insure they were baked internally.

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After baking let them cool a bit to utilize any internal heat to finish baking.

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The final test, hand split, (don’t get caught using a knife to separate the muffin !) broiled and buttered !

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I’ll let your eyes be the  judge !

Butter addition is excellent to taste the yeasty goodness of the muffin, but a fried soft  egg would be a crowning achievement  to the nooks and crannies. ! Jam anyone?




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