Monday, November 23, 2009

Spiced apple cider marshmallows

I adapted this recipe from two sources - Gourmet's recipe for Lillet Marshmallows here
and Francisco Migoya's post on apple cider marshmallows here.
I swapped out the Lillet for apple cider (Simply Apple, in this case). For spices, Migoya used cloves instead of nutmeg, I'm the opposite (not a clove fan) so nutmeg went in instead.

Turned out from the mixer right into the casserole and smoothed over

Marshmallows are a mess to work with, just do your best to keep your hands clean. Migoya also had a great idea in his earlier marshmallow post: Dust the sticky marshmallows with rice flour instead of confectioners sugar (I always find it to be sickeningly sweet). This worked well.

Dusted, cut, and ready to eat

The taste was subtle and cloying. If I do this again, I'll substitute apple brandy or applejack for a portion of the cider to see if I can boost the flavor. This was an interesting experiment.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Update regularity/Trotter gear

Ok, so it's been a while. I'll do my best to post at least once a month.

I made up some trotter gear from Fergus Henderson's 'Beyond Nose to Tail'.  Here's a pic and a link:

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Oatmeal Wheat Bread (pp 671-672)

Some cliches exist for a reason, this is one of them: there's nothing better than a loaf of bread out of the oven. It 'smells up the place real good', it tastes great, and it's still warm.

You'll need 2C whole milk, 1C old-fashioned rolled oats (I thought these would be harder to find, they weren't), warm water to activate your 2Tb yeast, 1/2C honey, 1/2 stick melted butter, 2C whole wheat flour (called for stone-ground, I just used regular, King Arthur to be specific), 2C unbleached AP flour, 1 t salt, and 1 lg egg beaten w/1 t water to make a wash.

Heat up the milk, add the oatmeal to hydrate. Stir your warm water and yeast together, add 1 t honey. Let stand 'til foamy.  stir together yeast mix with butter and the rest of the honey, add to oatmeal. In a large bowl, mix the whole wheat flour, 1 1/2 c AP flour, and the salt. Add in the oatmeal-honey-yeast mix, stirring until you've got a basic dough. Turn out onto a floured surface and work the dough, adding more flour until it is only slightly sticky. Shape this into a ball and put it in an oiled bowl to rise and double at room temp for 1 1/2 - 2 hours. I put mine in the fridge overnight. Butter 2 loaf pans. Split the dough in half and shape them both into basic loaf shapes. Put them in the pans, seam side down. Cover with a towel (the book says no to terry cloth but that's what I use in the kitchen and no problems there) and let rise for about an hour or until doubled. Preheat the oven to 375. LIGHTLY brush the tops of the loaves with the egg wash. Don't overdo it or it'll run down the sides and you'll have some sticking issues (one of my loaves got shredded due to this). Sprinke lightly with some oats.
Doughy goodness

Bake for 35-40 minutes or until the loaf sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom. Depan them and let them cool on a rack.
Loafy goodness

So, how was it?
This was a good, solid loaf. It also toasted up nicely.

What did you learn?
The egg-wash thing, don't overdo it. Egg proteins are basically like glue. They'll grab on and stick to the pan.

Recommend it?
Indeed. This is a good loaf to try. I'd make it again.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Bonus pic: Pickled peppers (chiles)
I'll let you know how they turn out.

Greek Beef Stew (p. 450)

I made this for a party. Everyone said they liked it. I thought it wasn't bad. Two things jumped out at me while I read this recipe - a) the meat isn't browned and b) there isn't a whole lot of liquid.

You'll want 2 pounds of boiling onions (the book says these are 1-1 1/2 inches in diameter, I substituted 2 1/2 bags of pearl onions), 1 cup chopped parsley, 6 oz tomato paste, 1/2 cup dry white wine (went with a cheap pinot grigio), 1/4 cup red wine vinegar (I plan on making my own red wine and sherry vinegars in the near future), 2 tsp salt (kosher, as always), 1 tsp freshly ground cumin, 1 tsp ground cinnamon, 1 tsp crumbled dried oregano, 1 Turkish bay leaf (go Penzeys!), 3 pounds boneless chuck, cut into 1 1/2 cubes, 1/2 pound feta, 1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts, and orzo.

Preheat to 325. The book said to blanch the onions first to make peeling easier, this seemed like a larger pain in the butt than just plain peeling, in retrospect, blanching probably would have gone faster. Throw this in a big oven safe, lidded pot. Add everything else except the feta, walnuts, and orzo.
 All potted up

Bring this to a boil while stirring (to be fair, with as little liquid as is present, it's a little difficult to determine when it hits the boil). When I saw steam and some hissing, I lidded it up and put it in the preheated oven. Let it sit in there for about 2 1/2 hours. When that time is close to up, prepare your orzo. Lay down the orzo, spoon the stew on top, and add some feta and walnuts.
Ready to go

So, how was it?
Not bad. The combination of the spices, beef, and onions and the small amount of liquid made this a heartier meal than a regular stew. It was even better the next day.

What did you learn?
Browning isn't crucial to stew success (although it helps). I was advised to add the cinnnamon later in the game since it wasn't as detectable as the cumin and would help balance that out. Cinnamon is probably more volatile than cumin. I'd add to that the idea of adding the parsley in the last 10 - 20 minutes of cooking instead of at the beginning. I like my greens green.

Recommend it?
It was definitely different. I liked how it laid on the orzo instead of dripping everywhere. I can recommend this if you've got the time and the ingredients.

Monday, October 5, 2009

RIP Gourmet 1940 - 2009

Gourmet's last issue is November 2009. This is sad news.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Celery Root and Potato Latkes (p. 592)

Ok so I had some celeriac kicking around in the fridge for a while that I was planning on using for a sauce for venison steaks but it had been a while since it had been acquired (fortunately it keeps for a while) so when I saw a few  celery root recipes, I bit on the latkes.
 Here's the thing about celeriac. Everyone and their mother has said how much nuttier and earthier it is compared to its stalky brethren. But seriously. When you peel it for the first time, you'll catch a whiff and you'll understand. Your first bite -  the same understanding.
I've never made latkes before, and the experience of grating an onion is both odd and tear-inducing.

You'll need a pound and a half of peeled celeriac (I had about a pound when it was all said and done), a pound and a half of russets, lemon juice, pound of onions, 2/3 C AP flour, 4 large eggs, salt, pepper, celery seed, and veg. oil.

Grate your celeriac. Grate your potatoes into a large bowl. Toss w/lemon juice. Grate your onions into the same bowl. Drain off the liquid, dump the mess into the middle of a kitchen towel, and twist it up to squeeze out as much moisture as possible (you'll be surprised how much you get out). Put this back in the big bowl and stir in your 4 beaten eggs, your flour, the salt, pepper, and celery seed.
The mix

Put about 1/3 inch oil in a 10 in. pan and bring it up to heat but not smoking. Spooon out about a 1/4 cup of mix into the pan and flatten into a disc.
On the heat

When the edges look brown (you can lift it up to check the bottom), flip it over. The top should be a nice golden brown color. When the bottom looks similar, take it out and set on a wire rack to drain. You can put the rack on a pan and rest in a 250 degree oven to keep it warm or just eat them as they go. I had a roomate help me with a few. You can top with sour cream or applesauce.

I opted for sour cream.

So, how was it?
Right out of the pan, they're really good. Warm, they're ok. 

What did you learn?

Grating onions isn't as hard as it sounds, just really weird.

Recommend it?
Yeah, it'd be good as part of a breakfast or accompanying some meat.