Wednesday, October 27, 2010
fried in quality oil (at a temperature that creates a crispy nutty flavored shell without taking in too much grease), and then quick shaken in a mixture of earthy Matcha Green Tea powder and organic cane sugar - it's impossible to just nibble. After several of these jeweled pillows of sweetness, I can most assuredly tell you - OH MY GOSH they are so good!
The October 2010 Daring Bakers challenge was hosted by Lori of Butter Me Up. Lori chose to challenge DBers to make doughnuts. She used several sources for her recipes including Alton Brown, Nancy Silverton, Kate Neumann and Epicurious.
From what I've read, there are several stories about how the original doughnut started. The one that I like has the Dutch frying up left over bread pieces (love resourcefulness), but the centers were often undercooked. Home cooks (always thinking) filled the dough-heavy centers with nuts to balance the problem. Hello, "Dough-nuts".
Then, according to more of the stories, there was a sailor captain who didn't like the nuts his mom had put in these sweet breads she had sent with him on a mission, so he punched those out and stacked the breads on his ship's wooden wheel prong. Hello, "hole in the middle".
(If this story has any truth, my teenage son may be on to something with his quaint way of removing all the beans from every stew I cook. Maybe someday the beans removed will be some kind of weird snack food called "Stew-Aways"?)
My favorite recipe, given by Daring Bakers for doughnuts, was by Alton Brown. This recipe is amazingly easy to follow and very successful.
For the sugared topping, I used equal amounts of Matcha Green Tea Powder and Organic cane sugar. While the doughnuts are still warm, I simply tossed them in the tea/sugar combo and let rest on a plate.
I also glazed a few of them with a glaze mixture that closely resembled Krispy Kreme style glazing:
1/3 cup milk, heated in a saucepan with 1 tsp. vanilla or caramel flavoring
Whisk in about 2 cups powdered sugar til creamy and smooth.
Dip each doughnut into the glaze, then drain on parchment or a rack.
Yeast Doughnuts: (adapted from Alton Brown)
Hands on prep time - 25 minutes Rising time - 1.5 hours total Cooking time - 12 minutes
Yield: 20 to 25 doughnuts & 20 to 25 doughnut holes, depending on size
Milk 1.5 cup / 360 ml
Vegetable Shortening 1/3 cup / 80 ml / 70 gm / 2.5 oz (can substitute butter, margarine or lard)
Active Dry Yeast 4.5 teaspoon (2 pkgs.) / 22.5 ml / 14 gm / 1⁄2 oz
Warm Water 1/3 cup / 80 ml (95°F to 105°F / 35°C to 41°C)
Eggs, Large, beaten 2
White Granulated Sugar 1⁄4 cup / 60 ml / 55 gm / 2 oz
Table Salt 1.5 teaspoon / 7.5 ml / 9 gm / 1/3 oz
Nutmeg, grated 1 tsp. / 5 ml / 6 gm / 1⁄4 oz
All Purpose Flour 4 2/3 cup / 1,120 ml / 650 gm / 23 oz + extra for dusting surface
Canola Oil DEPENDS on size of vessel you are frying in – you want THREE (3) inches of oil
(can substitute any flavorless oil used for frying)
1. Place the milk in a medium saucepan and heat over medium heat just until warm enough to melt the shortening. (Make sure the shortening is melted so that it incorporates well into the batter.)
2. Place the shortening in a bowl and pour warmed milk over. Set aside.
3. In a small bowl, sprinkle the yeast over the warm water and let dissolve for 5 minutes. It should get foamy. After 5
minutes, pour the yeast mixture into the large bowl of a stand mixer and add the milk and shortening mixture, first
making sure the milk and shortening mixture has cooled to lukewarm.
4. Add the eggs, sugar, salt, nutmeg, and half of the flour. Using the paddle attachment of your mixer (if you have one),
combine the ingredients on low speed until flour is incorporated and then turn the speed up to medium and beat
until well combined.
5. Add the remaining flour, combining on low speed at first, and then increase the speed to medium and beat well.
6. Change to the dough hook attachment of the mixer and beat on medium speed until the dough pulls away from the
bowl and becomes smooth, approximately 3 to 4 minutes (for me this only took about two minutes). If you do not
have a dough hook/stand mixer – knead until the dough is smooth and not sticky.
7. Transfer to a well-oiled bowl, cover, and let rise for 1 hour or until doubled in size.
8. On a well-floured surface, roll out dough to 3/8-inch (9 mm)thick. (Make sure the surface really is well-floured
otherwise your doughnuts will stick to the counter).
9. Cut out dough using a 2 1/2-inch (65 mm) doughnut cutter or pastry ring or drinking glass and using a 7/8-inch (22
mm) ring for the center whole. Set on floured baking sheet, cover lightly with a tea towel, and let rise for 30 minutes.
10. Preheat the oil in a deep fryer or Dutch oven to 365 °F/185°C.
11. Gently place the doughnuts into the oil, 3 to 4 at a time. Cook for 1 minute per side or until golden brown (my
doughnuts only took about 30 seconds on each side at this temperature). 12. Transfer to a cooling rack placed in baking pan. Allow to cool for 15 to 20 minutes prior to glazing, if desired.
Sunday, October 24, 2010
(aka: * Ninja Energy Bites)
The simple ingredients, the speedy process, the healthy use of Agave instead of corn syrup, the fun way of punching and kneading in a bag, and the fast, accurate but friendly knife skills of chop-chop-chop make this worthy of "Food Ninja" status. Don't you agree?
RECIPE: Cocoa Tootsie Rolls (Ninja Energy Bites)
(*measurements given for dry ingredients by weight*)
2 0z. real dark cocoa
2 oz. Unsalted Butter
Put these two ingredients into a double boiler (or bowl over a saucepan of simmer water) and heat, stirring until the butter melts and you have a thick paste.
4 oz. Agave syrup
2 tsp. Vanilla
Add these two ingredients to the cocoa paste, heat and stir until fully incorporated. You'll have a thick syrup. Remove from heat.
4 1/2 oz. Confectioner Sugar
2 oz. Dry Milk
Add these two ingredients, stirring to incorporate. You'll have a very thick batter.
In a large ziplock bag, pour in 7 1/2 more oz. confectioner sugar, then pour in the thick cocoa batter. Close up and knead ingredients together in the bag (you may have to let air out of the bag now and then for better movement). Kids and friends will love to help with this and there's no messy cleanup, so let'em at it.
Knead all together until you achieve a ball of dough that holds together (about 3 minutes).
Place the cocoa dough on a work space that is sprinkled with about 4 more oz. of confectionary sugar. Knead dough again, working the sugar into the dough until it is stiff, but moldable.
Cut the dough into about 6 even pieces. Roll those pieces out into ropes and cut into pieces about 2 inches long. Place those on a sheet pan and let dry or place in refrigerator to help harden just a bit. Wrap in parchment paper, or a printed paper of choice. These would be great in Halloween theme or...wait for it...NINJA print paper!
Monday, October 18, 2010
So, along with the kiwi I added this month's produce for TigressCanJam - Peppers! O-and-howdy, I love peppers and how they can turn something really plain into a kick-ass taste bonanza.
RECIPE: Jalapeno Kiwi Kissin' Jam
(inspired by Blue Ribbon Preserves- Amendt)
1 1/2 lb. (peeled, cored, chopped and slightly mashed) Kiwi fruit
6 med. Jalapeno peppers, topped and chopped (remove seeds if you want less heat)
16 oz.(about 3 1/2 cups) organic cane sugar
1/3 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
3 oz. liquid natural pectin
In a large pot, combine first 5 ingredients, (all except pectin) and stir.
Let sit covered for at least 30 minutes to dissolve sugar.
Heat on low, stirring until sugar is dissolved.
Increase heat to med/high and bring to rolling boil for 5-10 minutes, stirring often.
Remove from heat and add the pectin, stir to dissolve.
Return to heat and bring to rolling boil, stirring, for 1 minute.
Remove from heat and let sit for about 3 minutes so fruit will not float to top. Pour into sterilized jars, seal and water process for 10 minutes.
Remove jars, sit in dry place on rack, undisturbed for 24 hours to achieve good seal.
1) Add a tablespoon of jam to chicken, lamb or pork
2) Serve on cream cheese topped crackers for quick snacks
3) Serve a dollop with sour cream on corn bread or muffins
4) Serve a dollop on tomato, squash or corn soup
5) Add a dollop on top of warm polenta
Friday, October 15, 2010
(Halloumi Cheese with Honey Crisp Apples & Bacon)
Most of the time, I've seen it sold in packages with brine (like Mozzarella) to keep it fresh. It comes in a block or round form and can be sliced, cubed, or crumbled. It makes a surprising little gift on skewers with roasted vegetables and in salads instead of croutons.
There is a movement to help keep Halloumi cheese as a Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) cheese, like Parmigiano Reggiano. Then it would most likely be made only in Cyprus or places so designated and by traditional methods. The hope is to protect Halloumi cheese from being made of Cow's milk, or deluded and sold cheaper by mass producing it with lesser quality ingredients.
Get your cheese hats on (not cheesy hats, we all own a few of those) and start thinking of ways to use this exciting and fun grill-able cheese. My teen son was caught popping the grilled cubes into his mouth like (or instead of, hopefully) candy. Can they sell halloumi that way; known to slow down teens long enough to actually eat well?
OH, and one more thing: today's Halloumi Breadless Grilled Cheese is part of my Let's Lunch Bunch group. So, talking about cheese....go visit their "Grilled Cheese for Lunch" posts and you'll be drooling at your computer/phone/ipad for sure!
A Tiger In The Kitchen - Cheddar/Blue w/ Asian Pears and Rosemary Honey
Cowgirl Chef - Brie, Pears and Proscuitto
Free Range Cookies - Oven Grilled Cheese Sandwich
Blog Well Done - Grilled Colby, Ham and Pickles
Bon Vivant - Mousetrap (Cheese, tomatoes, peppers and bacon)
and give a welcome to our newest -
Emma at Dreaming of Pots and Pans - Smoked Gouda and Truffle Oil!
RECIPE: Grilled Halloumi with Honey Crisp Apples, Arugula and Bacon
Slice the Halloumi cheese into 1/2 inch thickness and drain on towel.
Heat a grill pan on Med/High with a small drizzle of olive oil
When the grill pan is hot, place the cheese slices down and remain undisturbed for about 3-5 minutes. Turn and repeat for other side. Remove cheese slices and allow to cool for a few minutes, but compose the sandwiches while the cheese is warm. It helps hold the ingredients together.
Cut triangles or desired shapes before composing sandwiches.
Cut apples in half, then into thin slices (you may sprinkle with a touch of lemon juice to preserve color)
Compose sandwich with apple slices, bacon and arugula (or other crunchy, not too sweet green.)
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
with Rice, Mushrooms, Figs and PinenutsOur October 2010 hostess, Lori of Lori’s Lipsmacking Goodness, has challenged The Daring Cooks to stuff grape leaves. Lori chose a recipe from Aromas of Aleppo and a recipe from The New Book of Middle Eastern Food.
Dolma is from the Turkish verb - Dolmak, which means to stuff and is usually referring to any stuffed vegetable like eggplant, cucumber, peppers, etc..
Sarma is from the Turkish verb - Sarmak, which means to wrap and is usually referring to anything wrapped in leaves like grape, lettuces, vine leaves, etc. These words are now often interchangeable depending on the country or area. There are stuffed vegetables and stuffed leaves in many countries from Iran, Turkey, Greece to Southern Asia. Grape leaves can be found in grocery stores with ethnic, especially Mediterranean sections. I was surprised to find out that even in my Whole Foods store right here in Los Angeles, California - I could NOT find them.
I could get already made and stuffed in the canned section, the hot foods section and the chilled sections, but NO leaves. I decided Chard would be fun, and then right there in the produce I spied a table heaped with organic grapes that had many leaves attached. I carefully picked a small bunch that had several good leaves (and ok, maybe I took a few more leaves from the other bunches, but I added them to the bag before being weighed.)After washing the leaves, I plunged them in boiling water a few times to soften them and I drained them on clean towels. For the Chard (look how beautiful those greens with the purple/red spines look), I plunged the leaves into boiling water once and drained. Handle them carefully, but you can use pieces to repair any torn parts.I wanted a vegan/vegetarian filling that was full of flavor. I chose to use a cup of short grain rice that I covered in boiling water for 30 minutes, then drained.
I added it to a handful of chopped mushrooms, a few dried figs chopped up, a small shallot minced, and a pinch of salt, pepper, cinnamon and allspice.
I put all of those in a small skillet with a drizzle of olive oil and heated it on med/high just til everything was warmed up. This helps hold the ingredients together for rolling up in the leaves. I let it cool to slightly warm before using.Place a spoonful of the filling on the lower part of a leaf. Roll the bottom over the filling, then turn the sides in as you continue rolling the rest of the way up.When the rolls are finished, drizzle olive oil into a skillet and place the filled leaves on top of the oil and separate some of them with a few dried apricots. Cover and heat on Med. for 5-8 minutes until the grape leaves look glossy or sweat a bit.
In a bowl mix together: one cup water with 1/3 cup olive oil and 1/4 cup lemon juice. Pour the mixture into the skillet with the dolmas, cover and simmer on low for 30-40 minutes. Gently pour the dolmas out onto a platter or very gently scoop them up. These can be served warm, room temp, or chilled. Preserved lemons or yogurt is a great garnish and dip to serve along side.
Recipes given for Dolmas:
Grape Leaves Stuffed with Ground Meat and Rice with Apricot Tamarind Sauce/ Yebra
Adapted from Aromas of Aleppo by Poopa Dweck and Michael J. Cohen. Published by Harper Collins, 2007
Yield: 6 to 8 servings
Ingredients for hashu/filling:
1 pound (455 gm) ground (minced) beef
1/3 cup (80 ml) (2 1/3 oz) (65 gm) short grain rice
1 teaspoon (5 ml) (6 gm) all spice
2 tablespoons (30 ml) vegetable oil
1 teaspoon (5 ml) (6 gm) cinnamon
1 teaspoon (5 ml) (3 gm) kosher (coarse) salt **if using regular table salt only use ½ tsp.**
¼ teaspoon (1¼ ml) (1½ gm) white pepper
1 onion, chopped **optional**
1 cup (5½ oz) (150 gm) pine nuts **optional**
1.Soak rice in water, enough to cover, for 30 minutes. Combine meat, rice, allspice, vegetable oil, cinnamon, salt, white pepper, and if desired, onion and pine nuts, in a large mixing bowl. Mix well.
Ingredients for assembly:
1 pound (455 gm) hashu/filling (see recipe above)
36 preserved grape leaves, stems trimmed, drained, rinsed and patted dry
1 tablespoon (15 ml) vegetable oil
6 dried apricots – or more if you desire
3 tablespoons (45 ml) tamarind concentrate **if you can’t find it, you can omit it**
¼ cup (60 ml) freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon (15 ml) (9 gm) kosher (coarse) salt **if using regular table salt only use 1.5 tsp.**
If using grape leaves preserved in brine, to remove salt put them in a bowl and pour boiling water over them. Make sure that the water penetrates well between the layers, and leave them soaking for about twenty minutes, then change the water a time or two using fresh cold water.
If using fresh leaves, plunge a few at a time in boiling water for a few seconds only, until they become limp, and lift them out.
Tamarind is actually fairly easy to find. There is a paste that is in package already made up. You can find it at Asian, Mexican or Indian grocers. You can also find the pods (a little more difficult) and make it yourself. It is akin to a sweet/tangy tea flavor. If you can’t find it, you can skip the sauce all togheter. The grape leaves will be just as delicious without the sauce. But we hope that those that can find it will use it.
1.Place a grape leaf on a flat surface, vein side up. You can trim the little stem if you would like.
2.Place about two teaspoons (10 ml) of the filling in the center of the leaf, near the stem edge.
3.Roll the leaf end to end, starting from the stem edge. As you roll, fold the sides of the leaf in toward the center. The leaf should resemble a small cigar, about 2 to 2 1/2 inches (50 mm to 65mm) long.
4.Repeat with the remaining leaves and filling.
a.(You can freeze the stuffed grape leaves at this point. Just line a baking sheet with wax paper. When firmly frozen, transfer to an airtight plastic bag place back in the freezer.)
5.In a medium saucepan put in the vegetable oil and then place the filled grape leaves in the pot.
6.Place apricots in between the stuffed grape leaves. Cover and cook over low heat for 5- 8 minutes or until the grape leaves begin to sweat.
7.Using all three tablespoons, place a little of the tamarind concentrate, if using, over the rolls.
8.Combine lemon juice, salt, and water then add to pan, filling it ¾ full.
9.Weigh down the grape leaves with a heat proof plate or board to prevent them from unraveling. Cover and bring to a boil over medium high heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 40 minutes.
a.Alternatively, place the saucepan in an oven preheated to moderate 350°F/180°C/gas mark 4 and cook for an hour.
10.Spoon cooking liquid over the grape leaves occasionally. You will know they are done, when the grape leaves are neither soupy nor dry.
11.Tilt pan sideways over serving platter, allowing the grape leaves to tumble out. Try not to handle them individually to reduce unraveling.
a.Alternately you can try spooning them out very gently.
Saturday, October 9, 2010
1 French Baguette - sliced on the diagonal, drizzle each piece with olive oil and toast til crisp
On each crostini:
1 tsp. Ricotta cheese (so easy to make your own; see here)
1/3 slice of Black Forest Ham (roll into a cone for a little height on the crostini)
1 tsp. of Fig Jam (any not too sweet jam goes great with this)
A few strips of fresh mint chopped
Then add a tiny drizzle of good olive oil, and serve on a platter.
The combo of the earthy ham, the sweet jam, the creamy cheese, the crunch of the crostini and the surprise of the mint...is so satisfying. Here's wishing all of you love and happiness in your relationships - and Simple Saturdays.
Sunday, October 3, 2010
(Challenge #3 in the FoodBuzz Next Food Blogger Star Challenge: Luxury Dinner Party to be interpreted and posted by 200 chosen bloggers and voted on by YOU - Oct. 4-8, 2010)
Tea Smoked Chicken Scrap Salad in Cheddar Lace Cups (salad recipe here)
Here's the "whole deck o' cards"
Everyone will get a basket of their own utensils, plates and napkins. And, please remember that Prohibition is in affect, so bring a flask at your own risk.
It's always fun with a lawn full of Joe Palookas and Skirts, enjoying a little jorum of skee, just so nobody gets zozzled. Ya know what I mean?
If you've virtually enjoyed this afternoon and would like to RSVP (read that: VOTE for ShowFoodChef) - why, I'd be literally thrilled and grateful. You may do so starting Monday morning Oct. 4th til Friday, Oct. 8th, 2010 by clicking on my FoodBuzz profile pic, and I thank you.
Also, if you would like to throw your own themed fun and food event, I've included a few recipes below and a couple helpful hints. I'd love to be invited (virtually or otherwise) to your soiree.
RECIPE: Chipotle Corn and Bacon
3 ears of fresh corn, (remove kernels from the cobs for recipe)
3 stripes of bacon (cut into about 1 inch pieces)
1 chipotle pepper (dried, reconstituted in a cup of boiling water, chopped)
1 tsp. ground chipotle chili pepper
2 oz. (1/4 cup) of heavy cream
2 oz. (1/4 cup) of water (if needed)
salt/pepper for extra seasoning
1) In a large skillet, cook bacon pieces until crisp. Carefully pour-off extra bacon fat (reserve for buttermilk dressing on cole slaw).
2) Pour corn into the skillet with the bacon and cook while stirring for 2 minutes.
3) Add the chipotle pepper and stir, again, to incorporate.
4) Add the cream and stir until thickened. Season to taste. Pour into a serving dish.
*Can be served warm or chilled
RECIPE: Haricot Verts and Roasted Cherry Tomatoes with Herbal Vinaigrette
1 pint cherry tomatoes
1 lb. Haricot Verts (can use french or traditional green beans)
Several stems of fresh thyme or tarragon
1/4 - 1/2 cup olive oil
3 Tbls. Balsamic Vinegar
2 Tbls. Brown sugar
Slice Cherry tomatoes in half and spread on a parchment covered sheet pan. Drizzle with olive oil and toss in a few sprigs of thyme or tarragon. Roast in 350F oven for 10 mins. Remove and let cool. Tomatoes can be prepared ahead and held in refrigerator. Blanche Green beans in boiling water for 3 minutes, Shock in Cold ice water, and drain. Blanched beans can be held covered in refrigerator for 2 days before using in the recipe. For the Vinaigrette: In a small bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, Balsamic Vinegar, a handful of chopped herbs (I love tarragon), and a pinch of salt and pepper. Gradually whisk in Olive oil until mixture thickens. In a large serving bowl, toss together the greens, tomatoes and vinaigrette - serve room temp. or chilled.
Thanks for reading!