Monday, February 15, 2010

Lamb chop invention...well not really


I have been trying to use up what I have in my two freezers and my refrig. I still have a bunch of lamb left from the whole lamb that I bought before winter. We have used up all the parts we like and I have lots of chops left. I wanted to do something with them and I kept thinking that they would taste good with a Ceasar dressing on them. Then I remembered that we once made a lamb roast that had garlic and anchovies. So, I decided to play around with the idea.

I took one can of anchovies and about 1 tablespoon of minced garlic and 1/4 of a C of olive oil. I put it in a food processor and made a paste. I marinated them for about 3 hours and then pan seared them and finished them in a 350 oven.

Not bad.


Friday, February 12, 2010

I won and then I cooked


I won "Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day" by Jeff Hertzberg and Zoë François. I also won Bob's Red Mill Wheat flour and Vital Wheat Gluten from The Foodie Blog Roll! Yay. So of course I had to try out a recipe. I tried the Wheat Bread with Olive Oil. Pretty simple to do.


Mix ingredients together and let sit for 2 hour and then refrigerate overnight,


Let sit for 90 minutes.


Bake and voila!

100% White Whole Wheat Bread with Olive Oil

3 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour (or use whole wheat flour)
3/4 T yeast
3/4 T fine sea salt (original recipe used kosher salt, which I didn't have. I increased the salt a little.)
2 T vital wheat gluten
1 3/4 cups water
1/4 cup olive oil

Mix dry ingredients in a mixing bowl. Add liquids and either mix by hand or with a stand mixer and paddle attachment.

Cover the dough with plastic wrap (do not put in airtight container) and let sit until the dough rises (about 2 hours)

Refrigerate for 3 hours or as long as 7 days.

To prepare dough to bake, sprinkle the surface of the dough with flour, then remove a grapefruit sized piece of dough. Sprinkle with flour again, shape the dough into a ball by folding the sides under and stretching the top to a smooth surface. Shape into loaf (like in my picture). Put dough on a pizza peel, parchment paper, or cookie sheet to rest. Cover. Let sit for 90 minutes.

30 minutes before baking preheat oven with the pizza stone and a pan on the bottom shelf that will 1 C of water.

Before baking brush the surface of bread with water, then using a serrated knife, cut parallel slashes into the surface of the bread. Then slide the bread onto the pizza stone or baking sheet, and immediately pour 1 cup hot water into the other baking dish and shut the oven door.

Bake bread for 30-35 minutes, or until firm and nicely browned. If you're baking on parchment paper or silicone mat, remove them after 20 minutes so the bottom of the bread will brown.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Baking and cooking and too lazy to post


Sorry about not posting lately. I have just been lazy. Doesn't mean that I haven't been cooking and baking though. Last week I decided to make my own hamburger buns and they came out really well.


I also made another loaf of "No Knead" bread and it was my best yet. I think I got it down.


On Saturday friends were coming to dinner so I made one of my favorites. I have posted the recipe here before and I really urge you to give it a try.


Salt pork and chicken how can it be bad?

Saveur Cooks 
Authentic French
Pintade au Chou 
(Guinea Hen with Cabbage)

(When I went to go get a "Guinea Hen" the man at the meat department 
told me that it was no more than a small chicken. I was surprised but 
that is what I used)

1 2-1/2-3lb Guinea Hen (like I said, I used a small chicken)

Salt and freshly ground black pepper 

2 tbsp vegetable oil

8 oz lean salt pork diced

2 medium yellow onions peeled and finely chopped

2 tbsp butter

2 carrots, peeled and sliced into thin rounds

12 new potatoes 

1 medium savoy cabbage, quartered, cored and cut into 1/4" wide strips 

1 12oz bottle of lager-style beer

1. Rub chicken inside and out with salt and pepper, then tie legs 
together with kitchen string

2. Heat 1 tbsp. of the oil in the bottom of a pressure cooker over 
medium heat, add salt pork, and saute until brown and crisp, about 10 
min. Remove salt pork with a slotted spoon and set aside. Saute 
onions in salt pork fat until soft, about 20 minutes. Remove with a 
slotted spoon and set aside.

3. Add butter and remaining 1 tbsp oil to pressure cooker. Add 
chicken and brown all over, turning several times, for about 20 
minutes. Season with salt and pepper, then add salt pork, onions, 
carrots, potatoes, and cabbage. Pour beer over chicken and 
vegetables. Place lid on pressure cooker, close tightly, and process 
according to manufacturer's instructions at a pressure of 10lbs or on 
high for 20 minutes. Remove from heat, let stand for 5 minutes, and 
carefully open cover.


Sunday it was Superbowl and I had to make a token appetizer. I wasn't going to mention it, but Dr Food is addicted to this Rotel and Velveta cheese goo that he makes once a year on Superbowl day. It is a Texas thing from his childhood. Gives ME the willies. I made a crab and salsa thingy that was pretty good.


This salsa was fantastic and easy to make. Just a little roasting of vegetables and it is done in minutes.


Crab and Gruyere nachos with charred tomato salsa
adapted from Small Bites
Jennifer Joyce

1/2lb bag good quality corn tortilla chips
8 oz cooked fresh white crab meat
1 pickled jalapeno pepper, very thinly sliced (I used more)
1 small onion, finely diced
8oz Gruyere cheese, finely grated

4 garlic cloves, unpeeled
2 jalapenos
1 lb ripe plum tomatoes
1 red onion, thickly sliced
1 chipotle in adobo
small handful fresh cilantro
1/2 tsp salt
Juice of 1 lime

1. To make salsa, place the garlic cloves and Jalapenos in a nonstick frying pan and dry-fry over medium-high heat, stirring, until blackened on all sides. Remove from the heat and set the garlic aside. Place the peppers in a resealable plastic gag, seal, and leave for 5 minutes to steam. Scrape off the skins and take the seeds out. Peel the cooled garlic.

2. Meanwhile, heat the broiler to high. Spread out the tomatoes and onion on a large, nonstick baking sheet and broil for 6-7 minutes, until blackened. Transfer to a food processor with the garlic, peppers, chipotle in adobo, cilantro and salt. Pulse until you have a coarse-textured puree. Transfer to a bowl and add the lime juice and extra salt to taste, if necessary.

3. Preheat the oven to 400F. Spread the tortilla chips out on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with crab, pickled jalapeno, onion, and cheese. Bake for 6 minutes, until the cheese is melted. Serve immediately with the salsa.

Monday, February 1, 2010

I love middle eastern food.


I felt like cooking something Middle Eastern last night so Dr. Food and I decided to make this Fatteh Djaj. It is a layered chicken and yogurt casserole and boy it did not disappoint. I think I have found my new "Food crush".

It is pretty easy to make. It starts with boiling a chicken to get the meat and the stock. Since it was below freezing here we sped up the process to defat the stock.


Pretty convenient having your own walkin refrigerator/freezer.


Toasted up some pine nuts (skipped the pistachios because it only called for 2Tbl so I just added more of the pine nuts.


Toasted some pita (didn't make my own this time).


Topped with yogurt

So go ahead and make this and make believe you are in Lebanon or Syria. Wait, where did I put that hookah?

Layered Chicken And Yogurt Casserole (Fatteh Djaj)
“Flatbreads and Flavors” by Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid

3 Pounds roasting chicken
2 1/2 Quarts water
1 Tablespoon black peppercorns
2 Inch cinnamon stick
1/4 Teaspoon cloves
1 Medium onion -- coarsely chopped
2 Large Sprigs fresh thyme
2 Cups plain yogurt
1 Cup long-grain white rice
4 Cloves garlic -- finely chopped
juice of one lemon
1 1/2 Teaspoons salt
4 Cups toasted pita
3/4 Cup mixed flat-leaf parsley and fresh mint -- finely chopped
3 Tablespoons pine nuts -- dry-roasted
2 Tablespoons unsalted pistachios -- coarsely chopped

Wash the chicken. Pull off the skin and trim off excess fat.

Place the cold water and chicken in a large soup pot. Add the
peppercorns, cinnamon, cloves, onion, and thyme and bring to a boil
over medium-high heat. Lower the heat and simmer gently, partially
covered, for 1 hour. Remove from the heat.

Meanwhile place the yogurt in a sieve or colander lined with cheesecloth.
Let drain over a bowl for 1 hour to thicken.

Remove the chicken from the broth with tongs, and place the chicken on a
work surface. Let cool somewhat, then pull the chicken meat off the
bones, shredding it into bite-size pieces. Discard the bones. Strain the
broth and discard the solids. Pour 4 1/2 cups of the broth into a container and
place the broth in the refrigerator to cool (If you are in a rush, you can
skip this step and use the broth without defatting it). Set aside the
remainder of the broth in the refrigerator or freezer for another use.
(The recipe can be prepared ahead to this point and the chicken, broth,
and yogurt stored, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 48 hours).
Skim the fat off the surface of the cooled broth.

Rinse the rice thoroughly in cold water until the water runs clear, then
drain well. Place in a saucepan with a tight-fitting lid and add 2 1/4
cups of the defatted broth. Bring to a vigorous boil, then cover, reduce
the heat to very low, and cook for 20 minutes. Remove from heat.

Meantime, combine the remainder of the defatted broth, the chopped garlic,
and lemon juice in a small saucepan and bring to a gentle boil. Add 1
teaspoon of the salt and simmer for 5 minutes. (If you have refrigerated
the chicken pieces, place them in the broth to rewarm). You are now ready
to assemble the fatteh.

Assemble the fatteh on a large shallow serving dish or platter. Leave 1
cup of the toasted pits in triangle-shaped pieces and break up the rest
into bite-sized pieces. Spread the broken pieces over the bottom of the
dish and lean the triangles up agains the sites, or if using a platter,
place around the edge. Pour two thirds of the garlic broth over the
crumpled bread. Spoon on the rices, spreading it evenly, then distribute
the chicken pieces evenly over the rice Pour the remainder of the broth
over the chicken.

Mix together the yogurt and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and spread
over the chicken. Scatter the chopped herbs over the yogurt, then
sprinkle on the pine nuts and chopped pistachios. Alternatively, you can
mix the chopped mint into the yogurt, leaving only the parsley and nuts
as top dressing. Serve immediately.