Monday, August 31, 2009

Shredded Wheat Yeast Bread

This is a nice brown bread which is particularly good when toasted for breakfast. This recipe comes from Cooks.com.


2 - 3/4 cups boiling water
3 shredded wheat biscuits
1/2 cup molasses (may substitute honey or maple syrup)
2 tablespoons shortening
1 rounded teaspoon salt
1 tbl. dry yeast dissolved in 1/4 cup warm water
8 cups flour

Pour boiling water over the shredded wheat biscuits; add molasses, shortening, salt, and dissolved yeast. Beat well. Then sift and add 8 cups flour. If you have a stand mixer with a dough hook use it, but be sure you only add flour a cup at a time. Dough will be sticky.

Turn out onto a floured board and knead lightly. Let rise until doubled.

Place in 2 large or 3 medium well-greased bread pans. Let dough rise until double again.

Bake in 375 degree oven, 35-45 minutes or until it sounds hollow when you tap on the bottom.


Sunday, August 30, 2009

Chicken Dijon

Beez doesn't much like chicken, so I tend to order it a lot when out for supper. I had a version of Chicken Dijon many years ago and couldn't get over how delicious and how simple a dish it was. Here is a recipe from Cooks.com.

Chicken pieces
Dijon mustard
Italian style bread crumbs

Generous coat chicken pieces with Dijon mustard. Roll pieces in Italian style bread crumbs. Bake at 325 degrees on a cookie sheet for 1 hour or until chicken is tender and moist.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Planked Steak

You just never know what memories will come floating out when you start a recipe blog like this. I came across this recipe for "Flank Steak" or London Broil, and remembered the production that my parents used to do for us on some Saturday nights. They prepared and cooked the steak and then placed it on a large "planking board," which had little steel teeth to keep the steak in place and a groove around the edge to collect the juices. Mashed potatoes were piped decoratively around the edge of the board and brushed with melted butter. The plank was then run under the broiler just to brown the potatoes. As a finishing touch, cooked vegetables were piled around the steak and inside the potato border. It was a beautiful presentation and one of the few occasions that I remember my parents cooking together in the kitchen.

This recipe comes from the Stillmeadow Cook Book, by Gladys Taber.

1 flank steak, a pound or more
Meat tenderizer
1 clove of garlic
Salad oil
Butter, salt, pepper

Sprinkle the steak with meat tenderizer and let stand (following directions on the tenderizer package). Rub the cut garlic over both sides of the meat, and sprinkle it with salad oil. Broil 5 minutes on high about 1 1/2 inches from the heat, turn the meat over and broil for 5 minutes or less on the other side.

Dot with butter, season with salt and pepper. Cut the steak in thin, slanting slices against the grain.


Friday, August 28, 2009

Farmer's Omelette

We actually lived on the Tiny Farm when we ate this kind of stuff for breakfast. It was okay to eat like this back then, because we spent our days digging and hauling and delivering lambs and feeding chickens and chasing down goats and milking and hoeing, etc. etc.

1/2 lb. bulk sausage (we used our own delicious and delicately flavored lamb sausage, but I doubt that you'll ever find anything like that in your grocery store so just go ahead and use pork sausage)
1/2 sweet onion, chopped
Some chopped red pepper, if you wish
3 potatoes, peeled, diced, cooked until tender, and drained
Salt and pepper
6 eggs, beaten
Grated cheese

Stir fry the onions and peppers in a large frying pan until just a bit transparent. Add the sausage and cook until almost done. Add the potatoes and continue stirring and cooking until they begin to brown. Season with a bit of salt and pepper. Pour the eggs over and continue cooking until they have set. Sprinkle with grated cheese, run the whole thing under the broiler to melt it, and serve.

Serves 4.

Anna's Crumblecake Preserve Bars

Another one of my accounting cohorts, Anna, decided to try her hand at baking for us. She said that this was a cake recipe, but when she brought it into work, she had cut the pieces up into wonderful little bars. Here's her recipe, taken from her grandmother's recipe (I think):

--2 Eggs
--1 cup Sugar
--1 cup Butter, softened (2 sticks)
--Flour
--Jam or Preserves
(or Raisins, Nuts, Lemon -- Anna used Apricot Jam)

Beat together eggs and sugar. Add butter. Add enough flour to make into a dough. Separate dough in half. Chill half the dough. Spread the other half into the bottom of a pyrex dish. Spread a layer of preserves over the top. Crumble the chilled half of the dough on top. Bake for 25-30 minutes at 425 degrees Fahrenheit.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Brickyard Pizza Crackers

From The Harlow's Bread & Cracker Cookbook. This recipe will surely make a lot of crackers (the author doesn't say); I would cut the ingredients in half.

1/2 lb. Parmesan cheese
2 tbl. oregano
4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
1 - 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
2 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. pepper
3 cups water
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1 cup tomato paste
9 cups bread flour

Combine cheese with dry ingredients except flour in a large mixing bowl and blend thoroughly. Mix the water, oil, and tomato paste together, then work them into the first mixing bowl. Add as much flour as you can work in, up to 9 cups. When ready, the dough will ball up like bread or cookie dough.

Chill the dough for at least 60 minutes, then roll out as thin as possible. Note: We use our pasta maker to roll the dough thin enough.

Preheat oven to 350°. Place the rolled sheets of dough on a parchment-lined cookie sheet, score with a pastry cutter, and bake until done, about 7 to 8 minutes.

Jenn's Moist Chocolate Cake

Here's another of Jenn's wonderful cakes:

--1 and 3/4 cups Flour
--3/4 cup Cocoa Powder
--2 cups Sugar
--1 and 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
--1 and 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
--1 tsp Salt
--1 tsp Instant Coffee
--2 Eggs
--1 cup Milk
--1/2 cup Vegetable Oil
--2 tsp Pure Vanilla
--1 cup Boiling Water

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Sift dry ingredients into a bowl. In another bowl, mix all the wet ingredients except the boiling water. Combine the wet ingredients and the dry ingredients. Mix well. Slowly stir in the boiling water. Turn out into cake pan (Jenn says don't use an angel food cake pan because it won't work. She uses a spring ring). Bake for 30 to 35 minutes.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Jenn's 7-Up Cake

My accounting coworkers are a bunch of bakers. The first week Jennifer was hired, she asked everyone in the company for birth dates. For each and every birthday, she brings in a homemade cake of some sort (even to those co-workers who don't deserve cake. Here is what happens every time: First, Jenn places a cake in the kitchen. Then, she sends out an email to the company that a cake is available in honor of So-and-so's Birthday. This email is immediately followed by the thundering sound of hurried footsteps. People run for Jenn's cakes! Finally, Jenn presents the accounting department with a second cake that is just for us. We eat.

Here's one of her recipes:

--3 cups Flour
--3 cups Sugar
--5 Eggs
--1 and 1/2 cups Butter (OR 1 cup Butter plus 1/2 cup Shortening)
--2 tsp Lemon Extract
--3/4 cup Lemon-Lime Soda

Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Combine flour and sugar. Beat in one egg at a time. Add the butter, then the lemon extract, then lemon-lime soda. Turn the batter out into a cake pan (Jenn says the best is a Bundt cake pan). Bake for 60 to 75 minutes.

Orange Cottage Bread

This recipe comes from The Harlow's Bread & Cracker Cookbook. The book is out of print now but, thanks to the Internet, you can still find a copy. Do so, you won't be disappointed. The author, Joan Harlow, had a wonderful little bakery in Epping, New Hampshire that our family loved to visit. It was a small red-orange painted cape and looked like a little storybook cottage, with its flower beds and bow windows.

4 cups lukewarm water
1 cup cottage cheese
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1/2 cup sugar
1 tbl. salt
1 tbl. fennel seed (put in a plastic bag and crush with a rolling pin to release the flavor)
1 orange, chopped up (include juice and grated rind)
2 tbl. dry yeast
10-12 cups bread flour
whole-egg wash

Put all the ingredients except the flour and the yeast in a large mixing bowl and combine them. Add the proofed yeast, then work in the flour a little at a time until no longer sticky.

Turn out onto a floured board and knead a bit. Place in a greased bowl, cover, and let rise until doubled. Punch down and shape into 3 loaves. Put each loaf into a greased bread pan, brushing tops with whole-egg wash. Cover and let rise until almost doubled.

Bake at 375° for 45 minutes or until done. Cool on rack.



Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Indian Fry Bread: Low-Fat Version

The August 2009 issue of New Mexico Magazine has a great article on Indian tacos, including this low-fat version of Indian "Fry" Bread which is made without frying.

I've made these a couple of times now and they are an absolutely delicious substitute for flour tortillas. Just fold them up with some cheese, taco meat, tomatoes, lettuce, and salsa inside and you have yourself a meal.

Please check out the whole article (Indian Summer Celebration), which includes frying directions, just in case you want to try the more authentic and higher calorie version of this Southwestern classic.

3 cups unbleached flour
1 - 1/2 tbl. baking powder
3/4 tsp. kosher salt
1 - 1/8 cups warm water

Mix ingredients together, knead well for 4 or 5 minutes, adding flour as needed. You should end up with a soft and pliable dough which is no longer sticky. Cover and let rise for 1/2 an hour.

Shape the dough into 8 small balls. Roll out to 1/4" thickness, using your hands or a rolling pin, until each piece is 6" to 8" in diameter. Cook on a hot ungreased griddle for about 2-3 minutes per side, or until browned.



Monday, August 24, 2009

Tortas

A recent discovery of mine has been THE TORTA. It's a Mexican sandwich, kind of like a burrito on a roll. The meat inside is up to you; it's the other stuff that gives it the unique Mexican identity. I recommend something slow cooked, like roasted pork or perhaps some leftover chicken, shredded and heated up in a pan. One of my favorite breakfast sandwiches ever has chorizo and egg scrambled together and put into a torta.

--Fresh Roll
--Beans (Refried, Black Beans, or Pinto Beans)
--Sliced Fresh Avocado
--A slice of White Cheese (Queso Blanco)
--Pickled Jalapeno
--Lettuce
--Slice of Tomato
--Meat

Toast a roll. On the top bun, place the lettuce, a slice of tomato, sliced avocado and a slice of white cheese. On the bottom bun, spread beans, then lay a couple of slices of pickled jalapeno. Place your meat on top of that, then close the sandwich. Oh, I've also see recipes that include Sliced Onion, Sour Cream, and Mayonnaise. Really, it's your call!

Orange Coconut Curried Chicken

This is quick to make and (finally!) is one of my recipes that actually serves just two, maybe three.

One whole chicken breast, skinned and deboned
1/2 sweet onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
1/2 cup chicken stock

1/2 tsp. garam masala (if you have it)
1/2 tsp. curry powder
1/4 tsp. ground ginger (fresh ginger would be nice, too)
Salt and pepper to taste

Juice and grated rind of one orange
3 tbl. orange juice concentrate
1/2 cup grated coconut

1/3 cup plain yogurt

Cut the chicken into 1/2 inch chunks. Brown the chicken, along with the onion and garlic, in a little olive oil. Make sure all the pink is gone.

Add the chicken stock and the spices, bring to a boil, cover, and simmer for about 10 minutes until the chicken is cooked through.

Add the fresh orange juice and the concentrate. Simmer uncovered until the liquid in the pan has reduced somewhat.

Just before serving, stir in the coconut and yogurt, stirring well. Keep the heat very low and just heat through--do not bring to another boil.

Serve immediately with rice and chutney.



Sunday, August 23, 2009

Grandma Elva's Clam Chowder

How my mother loved a good chowder! She was born in New Brunswick, and lived in Maine and Massachusetts before moving out west, so I guess she knew a thing or two about making one. Of course, she probably started out making her earlier versions from freshly shucked clams, but I remember her making do quite nicely with canned clams from our inland grocery store.

I don't seem to have my mom's directions written down, but I have watched her make it many times. This version from Allrecipes comes the closest.

4 slices bacon, diced
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
1 1/2 cups water
4 cups peeled and cubed potatoes
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
ground black pepper to taste
3 cups half-and-half (half of this can be whole milk)
3 tablespoons butter
2 (10 ounce) cans minced clams

Place diced bacon in large stock pot over medium-high heat. Cook until almost crisp; add onions, and cook 5 minutes. Stir in water and potatoes, and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, and cook uncovered for 15 minutes, or until potatoes are fork tender.

Pour in half-and-half, and add butter. Drain clams, reserving clam liquid; stir clams and 1/2 of the clam liquid into the soup. Cook for about 5 minutes, or until heated through. Do not allow to boil.

**Now, here is where Grandma Elva added her own particular touch. After the chowder was heated through, she insisted that it should sit on the stove (off the heat) for at least an hour to develop its full flavor. Then she would carefully reheat it (no boiling, very important!) and serve it with oyster crackers. Common crackers, split and buttered, are wonderful, too.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Cheese Fondue

We couldn't have made cheese fondue too many times, but it is so much fun that I guess kids tend to remember it. Ben has asked for it, and I've found a recipe just like the one we used on 101 Cookbooks. You can check out their page for a nice discussion of fondue pots, techniques for dipping, and a list of foods to dip.

We never got too fancy--we just used cut up French bread for dunking.

1 clove garlic, minced
1 lb. Gruyere cheese, shredded (or 1/2 lb Gruyere + 1/2 lb Emmental cheese)
3 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
1 3/4 cup dry white wine
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
A splash or two of kirsch (optional--I don't believe that we bothered)

Toss the cheese with the flour. Rub the interior of a medium saucepan with the peeled garlic. Place over medium heat and add the wine. Bring to a simmer and add the cheese mixture, one handful at a time. Stir in the nutmeg.

Stir over low heat until smooth and cheese is melted and bubbling. Add a splash or two of kirsch (opt.). Continue stirring until it starts to bubble just a bit. Transfer the cheese mixture to a fondue pot and you are ready for dipping. Continue to stir frequently.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Grandma Elva's Deviled Eggs

Grandma Elva in a devilish moment














These are simple, classic, and delicious--just the way Grandma used to make them. If you want to try some variations, be sure to visit The Deviled Egg Gourmet.

6 hard-cooked eggs, peeled and cut lengthwise
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/2 tsp. mustard (your choice--when Grandma made these we only had yellow mustard!)
1/8 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper, freshly ground
Paprika for garnish

Optional: A bit of relish

Mash the egg yolks with a fork, then add the rest of the ingredients (except the paprika), mixing until smooth. Taste and add more mustard, if you wish. If you need a softer mixture, add a little more mayo.

Spoon the yolk mixture back into the egg white halves, sprinkle with paprika, and arrange all on a serving plate.

Be sure to keep the eggs chilled at all times until you serve them.

Auntie's Pear Ambrosia

It was Auntie Bucksnort's birthday a couple of days ago and we had a short email exchange. She left me a short recipe that I plan to try this weekend. She says:

I made up a great new drink a few weeks ago at your mom's. I mixed some of her Vanilla Vodka, some Pear Nectar and lots of Sparkling Water (and Ice, of course). Very yummy and you can cut the sweetness with more [sparkling] water. I suppose you could puree and strain Fresh or Canned Pears for it to. Don't know what to call it but it tastes like ambrosia and has quite a kick to it. And I suppose you could use regular vodka and just add some vanilla extract too.

Thank you so much, Auntie! Happy birthday!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Lentils

I was a little surprised when Ben asked for my lentil recipe, because I only remember making this dish once, long ago. It was delicious, but then we kind of forgot about lentils in the intervening years.

The recipe comes from Jeff Smith's first Frugal Gourmet cookbook. Here it is, sounding very simple and very, very good.

2 cups lentils
4 chicken bouillon cubes (we prefer Knorr's at the Zees--less salty than the other kinds)
Salt to taste
1 cup sautéed yellow onions
3 tbl. sesame oil.

Soak the lentils in a quart of cold water for 3 hours. Place the lentils and the water in a pot and simmer for about an hour, or until barely tender.

Add the bouillon cubes, salt, yellow onions, and sesame oil. Place all this in a greased baking casserole, and bake at 325˚ for about an hour. Serve as a side dish.

Boterkoek (Dutch Buttercake)

Tracking down "Dutch Cuisine" has proven difficult. For a people who eat very well, they have not contributed much to the larger food culture. The most distinct "Dutch food" that I've eaten has Indonesian origins, and as far as I can tell, the rest originated from my Oma (grandmother). The one and only Dutch cookbook that I've seen, The Netherlands Cookbook by Heleen A.M. Halverhout, was originally published in 1957. It's a tiny thing with a small number of meat-and-potatoes dishes and it rarely adventures beyond spicing with nutmeg and salt. The strongest flavoring is stubborn Dutch pride. When I saw that my mother was looking for my Oma's buttercake recipe, I looked in this cookbook. Here are the two versions:

--2 cups Flour
--1 cup Butter (REAL BUTTER!)
--1 cup Super-fine Sugar
--1 small Egg, beaten
--Pinch of Salt
--3 oz Candied Ginger, finely chopped (for version 1)
--2 cups Almond Paste (for version 2) (To make yourself, grind 2 cups Blanched Almonds, then mix in 1/4 cup Sugar, 1 Small Egg and the grated Peel of Half a Lemon. Grind once more.)

Version 1 (with Ginger): Knead flour, butter, sugar, half the beaten egg, salt and ginger into a smooth paste. Butter a pie pan of 1-inch deep and 8-inch diameter. Press the dough into it. Brush the rest of the egg on top of the dough and use the back of a knife to carve "decorations" into it. Bake for 30 minutes at 350 Degrees Fahrenheit. While still hot, press down the middle of the cake with the back of a spoon. When firm to the touch, turn out on wire rack. The cake should be soft on the inside and hard on the outside.

Version 2 (with Almond Paste): Knead flour, butter, sugar, the beaten egg, and salt into a firm ball. Divide in half. Butter a pie pan of 1-inch deep and 8-inch diameter. Press half the dough into it. Spread almond paste on top. Press the other half of the dough on top of that. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit until golden brown, about an hour. Remove from pan and cool on rack.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Favorite Restaurants

Mom asked me to add some New York restaurants to the "Favorite Restaurants" feature on this blog (along the right-hand side). I went a little overboard, though I can honestly say that about a third to a half of these restaurants are actually my favorites. What can I say? I like food!

Portuguese Sweet Bread

Although Ben has requested this recipe, I can't ever remember making it. I do recall that we used to buy fresh loaves from some past grocery store (which I also can't remember). I got this version from Cooks.com. This bread makes a wonderful breakfast toast.

2 - 1/2 lb. flour
2 c. sugar
1 - 1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 lb. butter, softened
5 large eggs
2 cups lukewarm milk
2 tbl. dry yeast

Beat eggs to lemon color. Add sugar, melted butter and yeast. Mix and add flour alternating with milk. When dough is stiff, knead until it has a satiny sheen. Cover and let rise until double in bulk. Knead again, let rise again, place in loaf pan (round is okay too). Do not let dough get chilled. Let rise again and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.

Volume Conversions

Approximate Liquid and Volume Measurements

1 teaspoon = 1/3 tablespoon = 5 ml
1 tablespoon = 1/2 fluid ounce = 3 teaspoons = 15 ml (15 cc)
2 tablespoons = 1 fluid ounce = 1/8 cup = 30 ml (30 cc)
1/4 cup = 2 fluid ounces = 4 tablespoons = 59 ml
1/3 cup = 2 2/3 fluid ounces = 5 tablespoons & 1 teaspoon = 79 ml
1/2 cup = 4 fluid ounces = 8 tablespoons = 118 ml
2/3 cup = 5 1/3 fluid ounces = 10 tablespoons & 2 teaspoons = 158 ml
3/4 cup = 6 fluid ounces = 12 tablespoons = 177 ml
7/8 cup = 7 fluid ounces = 14 tablespoons = 207 ml
1 cup = 8 fluid ounces = 1/2 pint = 16 tablespoons = 237 ml
2 cups = 16 fluid ounces = 1 pint = 32 tablespoons = 473 ml
4 cups = 32 fluid ounces = 1 quart = 2 pints = 946 ml
1 pint = 16 fluid ounces = 2 cups = 32 tablespoons = 1/2 quart = 473 ml
2 pints = 32 fluid ounces = 1.0 quart = 946 ml = 0.946 liters
8 pints = 1 gallon = 128 fluid ounces = 4 quarts = 3785 ml = 3.78 liters
1 quart = 32 fluid ounces = 2 pints = 946 ml = 0.946 liters
4 quarts = 1 gallon = 128 fluid ounces = 8 pints = 3785 ml = 3.78 liters
128 fluid ounces = 1 gallon = 3785 ml = 3.78 liters

1 Liter = 1000 ml = 1.057 Quarts = 1.76 Pints = 35.2 Fluid Ounces

1 pint, dry = 1.1636 pints, liquid
1 quart, dry = 1.1636 quarts, liquid
1 gallon, dry = 1.1636 gallons, liquid

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Haitian Sweet Potato "Bread"

This is an old recipe from Auntie Bucksnort's recipe box. I thought that I'd copied it down incorrectly because, as you will see, there is no flour in it. I researched the recipe a bit online and found that it is usually called "bread" with quotes around the word and with a note that the original is called "pain patate."

I used this online recipe to help fill in the blanks, as Auntie's recipe card left rather a lot to the imagination!

2 lbs. sweet potatoes, peeled, cooked, mashed, and cooled
1 banana, peeled and mashed
4 tbl. soft butter
3 eggs
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup dark corn syrup
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup evaporated milk
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/4 cup raisins

Mash the sweet potatoes and banana together. Add the soft butter, the sugar, corn syrup, salt, and spices and beat well. Stir in the milks and blend, then add the raisins and vanilla and stir well.

Pour the batter into a well-greased 2 quart loaf pan and bake at 350˚ for 55 minutes, until the center is firm and the top is golden.

Let the "bread" cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn it out onto a plate. Slice and serve plain, or with whipped cream or a little rum poured over the top.



Weight Conversions

DRY or WEIGHT Measurements (Approximate)

1 ounce = 1/16 pound = 28.35 grams
2 ounces = 1/8 pound = 55 grams
3 ounces = 3/16 pound = 85 grams
4 ounces = 1/4 pound = 125 grams
8 ounces = 1/2 pound = 240 grams
12 ounces = 3/4 pound = 375 grams
16 ounces = 1 pound = 454 grams
32 ounces = 2 pounds = 907 grams
1 kilogram = 2.2 pounds/35.2 ounces = 1000 grams

lbs/2.2 = kilograms
kg x 2.2 = pounds
1 g = 0.00220462262 lb
1 lb = 453.59237 g
1000 mg = 1 g
1000 g = 1 kg

Monday, August 17, 2009

Refrigerator Bran Muffins

The beauty of this recipe is that you can make the batter up ahead of time, store it in a covered container in the refrigerator, then bake as many fresh muffins as you want for breakfast.

Even as I type those words I have to wonder if anyone, anywhere, bothers with this sort of thing any more. I've always preferred cooking for breakfast rather than for supper, so I've never minded baking up a batch of muffins or pancakes or waffles for breakfast. Now that I am retired I have just continued the custom, only in progressively smaller batches.

But I have to wonder--am I the only one in the world who is still baking??

3 cups 100% bran cereal
1 cup boiling water
2 cups buttermilk
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup raisins or chopped prunes
2 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 cup of sugar or honey
2 - 1/2 cups flour

Mix the cereal with the boiling water in a large bowl. Let cool.

Add the eggs, buttermilk, oil, and fruit. Beat well.

Stir together the baking soda, salt, sugar, and flour. Stir into cereal mixture only until all is blended.

Use immediately or refrigerate (tightly covered) for up to 2 weeks.

Bake in well greased muffin tins at 325˚ for 25 minutes or until done. Makes about 3 dozen large muffins.




Temperature Conversions

More handy conversions to print onto a card!

Liquids

Water Freezes at Sea Level: 32 Degrees Fahrenheit = 0 Degrees Celsius
Room Temperature: 70 - 75 Degrees Fahrenheit = 21.11 - 23.89 Degrees Celsius
Lukewarm Liquid: 85 - 100 Degrees Fahrenheit = 29.44 - 37.78 Degrees Celsius
Simmer: 165 - 175 Degrees Fahrenheit = 73.89 - 79.44 Degrees Celsius
Water Boils at Sea Level: 212 Degrees Fahrenheit = 100 Degrees Celsius
Deep Fat Frying: 375 - 400 Degrees Fahrenheit = 190.56 - 204.44 Degrees Celsius

Oven Baking

Very Slow: 250 - 300 Degrees Fahrenheit = 121.11 - 148.89 Degrees Celsius
Slow: 300 - 325 Degrees Fahrenheit = 148.89 - 162.78 Degrees Celsius
Moderate: 325 - 350 Degrees Fahrenheit = 162.78 - 176.67 Degrees Celsius
Moderately Hot: 375 Degrees Fahrenheit = 190.56 Degrees Celsius
Hot: 400 - 425 Degrees Fahrenheit = 204.44 - 218.33 Degrees Celsius
Very Hot: 450+ Degrees Fahrenheit = 232.22+ Degrees Celsius

Approximate conversion

250°F = 120°C
275°F = 140°C
300°F = 150°C
325°F = 160°C
350°F = 180°C
375°F = 190°C
400°F = 200°C
425°F = 220°C
450°F = 230°C
475°F = 240°C
500°F = 260°C
550°F = 290°C

From Celsius to Fahrenheit is oF= (oC × 9/5) + 32
From Fahrenheit to Celsius is oC = (oF - 32) × 5/9

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Zucchini Bread

You can't ever have too many zucchini recipes, especially when your garden starts producing armloads of the stuff!

3 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
2 tbl. baking powder
1 tsp. cinnamon

2 cups grated fresh zucchini
1 cup vegetable oil
3 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup chopped nuts
1/2 cup coconut
1/2 cup raisins

Sift the dry ingredients into a large bowl. Stir in the remaining ingredients, mixing well. Pour into two greased loaf pans. Bake at 350˚ for one hour.

Ingredient Weights

After a dreadful time trying to convert that Panda Bread recipe, I decided that it wouldn't be a bad idea to search for some conversion references.

Bread Crumbs, dry: 1 Cup = 150 Grams
Butter: 1 Cup = 8 ounces (or 1/2 ounce per tablespoon) = 227 Grams
Buttermilk: 1 Cup = 8.5 ounces = 240 Grams
Cocoa: 1 Cup = 3.33 ounces = 94 Grams
Corn Meal: 1 Cup = 4.5 ounces = 128 Grams
Corn Starch: 1 Cup = 120 Grams
Corn Syrup: 1 Cup = 11.5 ounces = 326 Grams
Couscous: 1 Cup = 6.75 ounces = 180 Grams
Egg, Large, Entire: 1.75 ounces = 50 Grams
Egg, Large, White: 1 ounce = 28 Grams
Egg, Large, Yolk: 0.75 ounce = 18 Grams
Flour, All-Purpose: 1 cup = 5 ounces = 142 Grams
Flour, Bread: 1 Cup = 5.5 ounces = 156 Grams
Flour, Cake: 1 cup = 4.5 ounces = 128 Grams
Flour, Whole Wheat: 1 Cup = 5 ounces = 142 Grams
Half and Half: 1 Cup = 8.5 ounces = 240 Grams
Heavy Cream: 1 Cup = 8.1 ounces = 230 Grams
Macaroni, uncooked: 1 Cup = 140 Grams
Milk: 1 Cup = 8.5 ounces = 240 Grams
Molasses: 1 Cup = 11.25 ounces = 314 Grams
Oats, uncooked = 90 Grams
Powdered Milk: 1 Cup = 2.5 ounces = 71 Grams
Rice, Uncooked: 1 Cup = 190 Grams
Salt, table: 1 Cup = 300 Grams
Shortening: 1 Cup = 6.75 ounces = 191 Grams
Sour Cream: 1 Cup = 8.5 ounces = 240 Grams
Sugar, Dark Brown: 1 Cup = 8.5 ounces = 241 Grams
Sugar, Granulated: 1 Cup = 7 ounces = 198 Grams
Sugar, Light Brown: 1 Cup = 7.5 ounces = 213 Grams
Sugar, Powdered: 1 Cup = 4 ounces = 114 Grams
Vegetable Oil: 1 Cup = 6.75 ounces = 191 Grams
Water: 1 Cup = 8.3 ounces = 235 Grams

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Yorkshire Pudding

1 - 1/2 cups sifted flour
1/2 tsp. salt
3 eggs, well beaten
1 - 1/2 cups milk
1/3 cup shortening or beef drippings

Mix the flour and salt. Gradually stir in the eggs combined with the milk. Beat until smooth. Pour the batter into a shallow pan containing the melted drippings. The batter should be 1/2" deep.

Bake in a 400˚ oven for 30 minutes. Cut into squares and serve at once.

Panda Bread

I really just had to post this. Thanks to Marsha for the link to Perfect Pandas. Words fail me, so I posted pictures. I did my best to provide converted measurements, though hopefully I didn't complicate an already-complicated recipe into an impossible one! Good luck!

--230 grams All-Purpose Flour (Approximately 1 and 1/2 cups)
--70 grams Cake Flour (Approximately 1/2 cup)
--30 grams Sugar (Approximately 2 tablespoons)
--Milk + 1 Egg Yolk= 210 grams (Approximately 3/4 cup milk plus 1 egg yolk)
--4.5 grams Salt (Approximately 3/4 teaspoon)
--18 grams Unsalted Butter (Approximately 1 tablespoon)
--4 grams Yeast (Approximately 2/3 teaspoon)
--8 grams Green Tea Powder dissolved in 10 grams Boiling Hot Water (Let's say 1 teaspoon powder dissolved in 1 tablespoon water)
--8 grams Cocoa Powder dissolved in 8 grams Boiling Hot Water (Let's say 1 teaspoon powder dissolved in 1 tablespoon water)

Beat the egg yolk lightly with milk and send it to the microwave on HIGH for 30 seconds (Heat to 38 Degrees Celsius). Put all ingredients in bread machine and set to dough cycle. Let it knead for 20 minutes. Stop the cycle and restart the dough cycle and let it knead for another 15 minutes. Divide dough (about 560g) into 3 parts: 75g for the chocolate, 210g plain and the rest of the dough which is less than 280g for the green tea (1/2 will be "green tea dough", 3/8 will be "plain dough", and 1/8 will be "Chocolate dough". Add dissolved cocoa powder to the "chocolate dough" and knead till the colour is even. Add dissolved green tea to the "green tea dough" and knead till colour is even. Let dough balls rise for 30–40 minutes. Punch air out of and let rise for another 20–30 minutes. Use about half of the plain dough (90 grams) for the face and 1/3 of the chocolate dough for each eye (27 grams each).

Fill the space between the eyes with 1/3 of the remaining plain dough (30 grams).

Roll remaining plain dough over the patterned dough.

Divide the remaining chocolate dough into 2 pieces for the ears (17.5 grams each).

Use 1/4 of the green tea dough for the space between the ears (70 grams).

Wrap the rest of the green tea dough all around the patterned dough.

Place dough into a well-greased loaf pan and let rise for another 50–60 minutes. Bake at at about 375-400 Degrees Fahrenheit for 25–30 minutes (185-200 Degrees Celsius).

Seriously...good luck with this recipe. Here is the original if it helps.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Pumpkin Bread

1 cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed
1/2 cup white sugar
1 cup cooked or canned pumpkin
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs, unbeaten
2 cups sifted flour
1/2 tsp. each: Salt, nutmeg, and cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ginger
1 cup raisins
1/2 cup chopped nuts
1/4 cup water

Combine the sugars, pumpkin, oil, and eggs; beat until blended. Sift together dry ingredients, add to other mixture and beat well. Stir in the raisins, nuts, and water.

Spoon into a well oiled 9" x 5" x 3" loaf pan. Bake at 350˚ for 65 to 75 minutes until done. Cool thoroughly on a rack.

Becky's Pasta Salad

My friend Becky (who I've known since she was 4 years old, for those who are counting) and I have been cooking out every week lately. We both have summer Friday afternoons off and she works next to the green market in Rockefeller Plaza, so we get together with Marc and Jessi and a bunch of food and then we fire up the ol' grill! Each week, as Becky has rediscovered her passion for cooking, something wonderful has evolved. In her own words (beware the foul language, sensitive readers):

--1 lb Elbow Macaroni
--4-5 Hard Boiled Eggs,
[chopped or sliced - bdvdb]
--2 Tomatoes, sliced
--1 large Cucumber, quartered and sliced
--1 large Red Onion, diced
--1 package Hillshire Farms Deli-sliced Honey Ham (You can of course use other ham, but that’s how I know how much to use)
--Mayonnaise (Enough to hold it together. I use Hellman’s light mayonnaise)
--Peter Luger Sauce** (5 capfuls, though I usually throw a dash more in on top of that)
--Cider Vinegar (1 capful)
--Salt and Pepper to taste.

Then just mix all that sh*t together and let cool. Or eat some while it’s still warm. It’s still pretty f*ckin’ tasty then too. -Becky


**Peter Luger's Steak Sauce pulls this whole salad together, so don't substitute it with anything else. It's also worth seeking out because it's possibly the most delicious condiment EVER. Once you taste it, Peter Luger will never be absent from your fridge again! Fortunately, the world is waking up to this sauce and it's becoming widely available in the meat department of many supermarkets. So go get it. Put it on everything.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Roman Meal Waffles

1 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 scant tsp. salt
2 eggs
4 tbl. oil
Buttermilk

Mix together dry ingredients in a bowl. Beat the eggs with the oil and add enough buttermilk to make 2 cups. Stir the liquid ingredients into the dry mixture just to mix (don't beat). Spoon onto a hot waffle iron. Serves 5 to 6.

Foul Madamas

Foul Madamas (or Ful Madamas -- Pronounced "fool" like the court jester) was another of my wonderful street food discoveries from King Shwarma. It's kind of a fava bean salad type of dish. According to many sources on the internet, it's an Egyptian breakfast side-dish to be served with a fried egg, but I always liked it spooned into a pita along with some lettuce and tomato and served as a sandwich. You can do whatever you want to do with it. It will remain delicious. I made up a hybrid recipe based on several recipes from the internet and my memory of King Schwarma's version.

--1 lb of dried Fava Beans
--4 cloves crushed Garlic
--Half a Red Onion, chopped
--Handful of Fresh Mint, chopped fine
--Handful of Fresh Parsley, chopped fine
--Juice of 2 or 3 Lemons
--1/4 cup Olive Oil
--1 tsp Ground Cumin

Soak beans overnight in water. Drain, and cover with fresh water in large saucepan. Bring to a boil and simmer on low for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until beans are tender. Drain and place in medium bowl. Add remaining ingredients. In my opinion, it should be GENTLY mixed together, leaving beans whole, though it is more commonly served mashed together. Refrigerate and serve cool.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Shawarma

In 1995, my folks dropped me off in Greenwich Village for college at NYU. I had a Cadillac meal plan, with enough food to keep me fed three times a day. The food was a-plenty, but it sure was tiresome. For the first time in my life, I was counting on salt just to provide the remembrance of flavor. Fortunately, a block away on MacDougal Street, my introduction to street food was about to begin. I believe that the best food I've purchased in my life has cost me either less than $5 or more than $30. Knishes, pizza, pretzels, falafel, tortas, tacos, halal meat, okonomiyaki, fresh papaya... you name it and an ethnic group sells it on the corner (or in a take-out shop) for a few bucks. One fall afternoon in 1995, I walked into King Shwarma and my life changed. I ate my first shwarma sandwich. Was it Turkish? Or Lebanese? I don't know. I never found out the origin of the shwarmas that The King used to make and I probably never will know (King Shwarma is now closed forever). And the hot sauce was outstanding too! It will also remain a mystery lost in time... Anyhoo, here's an inferior online shwarma recipe (sorry, I lost the source). It makes 6 pita sandwiches. I haven't tried it yet, so I may need to revisit this recipe.

--1 1/2 lbs boned Leg of Lamb (in a Middle Eastern restaurant, the lamb would be on one of these vertical rotating spits, a slowly cooking meat-cone)
--2 cups thinly sliced Onion
--1/3 cup fresh Lemon Juice
--1/2 tsp ground Cinnamon
--1/2 tsp ground Allspice
--1/2 tsp Black Pepper
--1/4 tsp Salt
--5 Thyme Sprigs
--(several online recipes also swear by using Mace to spice your shwarma)
--6 (7-inch) Pitas
--Yogurt-Tahini Dip or my mom's hummus
--1/2 cup Onion slices (Red or White), separated into rings
--1/4 cup chopped Fresh Mint or shredded Lettuce
--12 (1/4-inch-thick) slices Tomato, halved
--3 Gherkin Dill Pickles, thinly sliced lengthwise
--Hot Sauce such as Sriracha

Trim fat from lamb. Combine 2 cups onion and herbs and spices (onion through thyme) in a large zip-top plastic bag. Add lamb to bag; seal. Marinate in refrigerator 2 hours (better yet: overnight), turning occasionally. Remove lamb from bag; discard marinade. Preheat oven to 350° Fahrenheit. Place lamb on a broiler pan; insert meat thermometer into thickest portion of lamb. Bake at 350° for 1 hour or until thermometer registers 145° (medium-rare) to 160° (medium). Let stand 15 minutes. Slice lengthwise into thin strips. Spread each pita with about 2 1/2 tablespoons Yogurt-Tahini Dip (or hummus). Divide lamb, red onion, mint (or lettuce), tomato, and pickles evenly among each pita. Serve immediately.

Mexican Cornbread Casserole

This makes a nice supper, just by itself.

1 onion, chopped
1 clove of garlic, chopped
1 lb. ground beef
Salt, pepper, cumin, chile powder to taste

1 cup of corn (you can use creamed corn, or just canned or frozen whole corn)
1 can of diced tomatoes and green chiles
Additional green chiles, if you wish

Grated cheese--about 1 cup

Your favorite cornbread recipe--this one is mine

Saute the onion and garlic in a little oil until they are a bit transparent. Add the beef and seasonings and cook until there is no more pink showing. Add the corn, tomatoes, and chiles. Stir well, heat until simmering, then remove from heat.

Mix up the cornbread. Spread half of the batter in a greased 2-quart casserole or a 9" x 13" pan. Sprinkle the meat mixture evenly over the batter. Sprinkle on the grated cheese, then top with the rest of the cornbread batter.

Note: If you want a less bread-y meal, you can prepare a half-recipe of cornbread and just spread it on the top of the meat mixture, as proceed with the baking.

Bake at 350˚ for 35 to 40 minutes.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Hash Browns

This is the kind of breakfast dish you prepare in the years before you start seeing a cardiologist. Hey, maybe this kind of breakfast dish is why I see a cardiologist now, what do you think? Now that I've reached the time of life where I count out the eggs we are allowed to eat each week (maximum of four!), I am willing to make all kinds of deals, meal-wise, to allow myself to continue to live long enough to really enjoy this wonderful retired life.

Ah, well. We used to eat this stuff with our eggs in the mornings. You decide what to do with your own breakfast menu...

To make lovely, crisp hash brown potatoes, scrub several russet potatoes and dry them carefully.

Heat a large griddle and butter it (I'm warning you, I'm pulling out all the stops and telling you the truth here).

When the griddle is good and hot, grate the unpeeled, clean potatoes directly onto its surface. Don't grate the potatoes ahead of time, because they will turn an unlovely pink. You don't want that.

Dab the grated potatoes here and there with more butter (!), and sprinkle with salt and freshly ground pepper. and a little paprika, if you wish.

Turn the heat to medium. Cook the potatoes slowly, turning over in sections and adding more butter (that's it, I'm done making excuses) as "needed."

When the potatoes are all crispy and brown and well cooked, serve them with eggs, any style. And some homemade bread, lightly toasted. And, what the heck, spread a little more butter on your toast. Just remember the warning above about the cardiologist, and don't eat like this too often.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Cranberry Muffins

This version comes from About.com: Southern Food
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar, divided
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
  • 1 tablespoon grated orange peel

Preparation:

Toss cranberries with 1/4 cup of sugar in a bowl; set aside.

In a mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt, and remaining 1 cup sugar. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Combine eggs with milk; stir into flour mixture until just moistened. Gently fold in nuts and orange peel and cranberries. Fill paper-lined muffin tins two thirds full. Bake at 400° for 20 to 25 minutes. Makes about 18 muffins.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Cranberry Bread

This recipe comes from Allrecipes

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon grated orange zest
1 1/2 cups fresh cranberries
1/2 cup pecans, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup margarine, softened
1 cup white sugar
1 egg
3/4 cup orange juice



Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour a 9x5 inch loaf pan. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir in orange zest, cranberries, and pecans. Set aside.

In a large bowl, cream together margarine, sugar, and egg until smooth. Stir in orange juice. Beat in flour mixture until just moistened. Pour into prepared pan.

Bake for 1 hour in the preheated oven, or until the bread springs back when lightly touched. Let stand 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool. Wrap in plastic when completely cool.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Red Chile

Red Chiles Drying (Library of Congress)*
This post first appeared on my other blog, The Zees Go West, long before I had a recipe blog. It makes sense to duplicate it here.

If you travel around New Mexico during harvest time you are bound to see ristras (strings) of red chiles hanging outside to dry in the hot sunshine. Down in Mesilla, south of Las Cruces, we saw them spread out on rooftops and up north in Chimayo they were hanging everywhere.

You can buy fresh green chiles in the summertime and the dried red ones later in the fall. They both come from the same plant—the red ones have just been allowed to ripen longer on the plant before being dried. They have an earthier flavor to me. When I grew my own chiles in Las Cruces, I couldn’t get over how many wonderful chile colors could be found on a single plant—sometimes all at once--the greens at first, and then as the chiles ripened they ranged through yellow and orange to red.

We make a very simple version of Carne Adovada at our house. We brown pork strips with onions and garlic, then simmer all in red chile sauce (below)** until the pork is tender and well done. I know that traditional versions call for a long marinating period, but the kind we make is absolutely delicious.

For some good basics to get you started, see Chile Colorado (Red Chile).
Visit the Focus New Mexico web site for information on both red and green chiles, where to find them in New Mexico, and how to use them. Be sure to check out the rest of the web site, too, for travel information.

*Library of Congress photograph: I do not know of any copyright restrictions associated with this photo. If you do, please notify me via the comments section of this blog.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Posole

Photograph from Library of Congress*
This post first appeared on my other blog, The Zees Go West. That was way back before this recipe blog was started. It makes sense to duplicate it here.






Posole defined:

1. Kernels of corn that have been soaked in lime water, hulled, and dried.
2. Hominy and pork stew flavored with red chiles



Posole stew is a New Mexican tradition and can be ordered as a side dish in many New Mexican restaurants. You can order some real NM posole from the resources below, or you may substitute yellow or white canned hominy in the recipes.

Blue Corn Posole recipe, resources, and a wonderful memory about eating posole at San Ildefonso Pueblo

A nice collection of New Mexican Posole Recipes

Posole Recipe courtesy of Comida de Campos farm and cooking school, Embudo, N.M.

Posole recipes from the Santa Fe School of Cooking

Posole Stew, A New Mexico Holiday Tradition

If you have a moment, take time to read this evocative New York Times article--In Pueblo Food, Deep Respect for the Earth, which includes a recipe for posole. They might spell" chile" as “chili” but they know how to make New Mexican food sound delicious.
*************

*The Library of Congress knows of no restrictions on the publication of this photograph. If you do, please let me know via the comments section on this blog.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Onion Dip

In our younger days, several years after Ben was born. That's our Dee on the left.

If you have been reading this blog for any time, you know that it is a mother and son collaboration. In order to agree on the recipes presented here as family history, there is a lot of correspondence back and forth about food memories. Some of Ben's questions really make me laugh, such as this one:

Do I crave onion dip because you ate it when I was in the womb or is there something to it beyond a mix packet?

If we went by what I ate while carrying the pre-born Benjamin, he would be eating a lot of herrings in sour cream right from the jar (imagine!) and throwing up instantly at the smell of spiced tea. Sorry to talk about throwing up right in the middle of the recipes.

The Onion Dip that Ben is so fond of is the same one that everyone else makes, and comes right from the box of Lipton's Onion Soup Mix (or right from Lipton's website):

1 envelope Lipton® Recipe Secrets® Onion Soup Mix
1 container (16 oz.) sour cream

1.In medium bowl, blend all ingredients; chill if desired.
2.Serve with your favorite dippers.




Ask Andy: BBQ Sauce

My friend Andy and I liked to experiment with food when we were growing up. Our foray into outdoor cooking occurred sometime around the 7th or 8th grade, with "The 1st [and ONLY] Annual Hot Foods Festival." Despite the rain, the event was a success, with four boys choking down fiery food and sweating profusely. Most of the food was successful, except for the Tabasco cookies. The chemical structure of the dough broke down, leaving behind wafer-thin crispy discs.

As adults, Andy and I continued our experimentation whenever we were in the same town... At my first job out of college, I discovered that a coworker grew Scotch Bonnet Habenero Peppers (this discovery was both intriguing and alarming because "What kind of person would plant THOSE?!"). I wrapped them up safely for a trip to New Hampshire where I handed them with Andy. We spent several hours making a wicked BBQ sauce out of only molasses, onion, and Habenero pepper. I damaged my stomach a little, but man (!) it was wonderful stuff.

A few years ago Andy attended culinary school, where he acquired some serious knowledge, but his most valuable skill in the kitchen is patience. He has spent years testing and experimenting with sauces and rubs. He once told me about how he spent an entire weekend roasting turkey bones, then boiling them into a stock with a bunch of veggies (and cognac I think), then reduced and reduced the stock down so much that the liquid could be frozen 12 tiny ice cubes. "Instant Flavor Cubes" he called them.

We still pick each other's brains about food whenever we see each other. The other night, he passed through New York, and we talked about some of our old BBQ sauces. I asked him what makes a perfect BBQ sauce. He listed, "Caramelized Onion, a can of Tomato Paste, Molasses, and Bourbon should do you just right." And, of course, lots of time and patience...