Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Beetroot and Ginger soup

1tbsp sunflower oil
1 onion, chopped
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 garlic clove crushed
5cm/2inch piece of ginger, peeled and grated
450g/1lb beetroot, cooked, peeled and roughly chopped
860ml/1&1/2 pints chicken stock
salt and pepper
1tbsp cider vinegar
1tbsp vodka (optional)
To Serve:
4 tbsp greek yogurt
chopped chives, dill or coriander

in a heavy bottom saucepan heat the oil and cook the onion and carrot til soft but not colored. Stir in the cumin, ground ginger, garlic, and half the fresh ginger. Cook stirring for 1 min.
Add beetroot, and stock. Season with salt and pepper, bring back to a boil, reduce and simmer for 20 minutes.
Liquidize the soup and sieve into a washed out pan.
When ready to serve, reheat without boiling, season if necessary, and add the rest of the fresh ginger (to taste).
Pour into bowls and garnish.

I’ve always liked beets, but I was convinced that if I cooked with them everything would turn red, my hands, my dishes, my countertops etc. Turns out it’s not actually that big a deal. I didn’t even get purple fingers.

I chose this recipe because I thought it would be a nice cleansing dinner (after my recent dessert binge). It was exactly that. You could really taste the beets and the ginger. I could have cooked and processed mine a bit longer, as it was it could not be strained, but I don’t need my soups to be perfectly smooth, so I was ok with that. I thought it would be a prettier color, but I guess the other ingredients wash out the color of the beets. All in all, this was good, but I'm not over the moon about it.

This was from “Leith’s Healthy Eating”, and I made it with the Brown Soda Bread. It was a nice combination. I think I will use beets more in the future.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Oven baked Pork Chops in Maple Barbecue sauce

Pictured with corn bread muffins and spanish beans

4 pork chops
1 tbsp olive oil
1 dessertspoon lemon juice
1 medium onion, peeled and finely chopped
salt and pepper

for the sauce
2tbsp maple syrup
75ml/3oz red wine
4tbsp Japanese soy sauce
2tbsp red wine vinegar
1 heaped tbsp tomato puree
1 heaped tsp ground ginger
1 heaped tsp mustard powder
2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
1&1/2 tsp Tabasco sauce

to finish
55ml/2oz red wine
a few sprigs watercress to garnish

Mix the olive oli and lemon juice
Place the pork chops in a roasting tin with the onions tucked in among them. Season with salt and pepper, then brush the chops with the oil and lemon juice. You can do this part well in advance if you like, just cover the tray with a cloth and leave in a cool place.
Preheat to 400f/200c cook on a high shelf for 25 minutes exactly. Meanwhile combine the sauce ingredients, using a whisk to blend thoroughly. After the 25 minutes, pour off any excess fat, and pour the sauce all over, coating well. Put back in the oven another 25 minutes, basting twice during this time.
Remove from the oven and place over direct heat. Pour in the additional red wine, and stir and reduce for a minute.

These are Delia Smith . I'm a pretty big fan of her recipes actually. I love her books too, they are the kind of cookbooks you can sit down and read, not just flip through. I love that.

These were really good. The pork chops were slightly dry, and I think next time I won’t pour off all of the fat, but the sauce was outstanding. Really good flavor, with a nice kick. My husband said he definitely wants to have these again sometime, and I agree. Too spicy for the boys though.

Corn bread muffins

pictured with maple barbecue chops and spanish beans

Preheat to 220c/425f

Whisk together:
1&1/4 cups cornmeal
3/4 cup flour
1-4 tbsp sugar
2tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
in another bowl whisk together:
2 large eggs
2/3 cup milk
2/3 cup buttermilk
add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir until moistened. Fold in:
2-3 Tbsp warm melted butter or oil.
Scrape into pan and tilt to spread evenly. Bake 10 –12 minutes if using a muffin pan, 20-25 minutes in a square pan. Use a toothpick to test doneness

Kind of lame. The texture was just right, but there was little to no flavor. I had every intention of adding some fresh corn and some cheese, but totally forgot. I think it would be pretty good if I added that next time, but I think I might need a new recipe too. I got this from The Joy Of Cooking, which to me is like getting information from an encyclopedia. It will definitely have something there, but chances are it will really just be a jumping off point. I do like a lot of recipes in there, but when it comes to specialist stuff, it tends to run kind of mainstream. I’ll have to work on this one.

Sour Cream Chocolate cake with sour cream icing

I probably should have let it cool before putting the icing on...

For the cake
200g plain flour
200g sugar
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
1/2 tsp salt
200g soft unsalted butter
40g cocoa
150ml sour cream
2 large eggs
1&1/2 tsp vanilla extract

for the icing
80g milk chocolate
80g dark chocolate
75g unsalted butter
125ml sour cream
1tsp vanilla extract
1tbsp golden syrup
300g golden icing sugar (powdered sugar), sieved (plus more if needed)
1/2 tsp hot water

Preheat to 180c/350f
Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, bicarb, and salt in a large bowl. Then using an electric mixer, add the butter. In another bowl whisk together the cocoa, sour cream, eggs, and vanilla. Slowly add this mix to the dry ingredients, beating until thoroughly mixed. Pour batter into 2 lined and buttered 20cm sandwich tins, and bake for 30 min. When they are ready, the cakes should be starting to shrink back from the edges of the tins. Leave for 10 minutes, then turn out to cool..

To make the icing, melt the chocolate and butter in the microwave, or in a bowl over hot water. Let it cool a little, then stir in the vanilla, sour cream, and syrup. Add the sugar and a little hot water blending till smooth (add more sugar or water as needed to get the consistency right.

This one is from Nigella Lawson’s book, “How to be a Domestic Goddess”. This book is great fun for all things baked.
This cake is just about the chocolate-y-ist experience that you could possibly have short of injecting chocolate directly into your veins. As a special note to one specific friend (and if you are reading, you know who you are), this is a really good recipe for just making the frosting and eating it out of a bowl from your fridge.

I didn’t read carefully enough beforehand and so I did not realize that the cake tins required are quite a bit smaller then normal ones. As it turns out, I did not have the right size pans. Instead of making a small two layer cake, I wound up making a large single layer. It worked just fine, but it meant that I had a ton of extra frosting (not exactly heartbreaking). I totally recommend this cake, but only if you are looking for a seriously decadent chocolate experience.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Vegan Junk Food for the Oscars

cute little tofu hot wings that don't suck at all.

recipe # 195 & 196

People take the Oscars pretty seriously, here in LA. Parties, parties, parties. I went grocery shopping the morning of and I swear it could have been the day before Thanksgiving. Whole Foods was nuts. I waited for a parking spot at Trader Joe's for 12 minutes.

I wasn't planning on doing anything special, but the city at large seemed so festive and it is like the Super Bowl for my husband, I figured WTF and made a few plates of junk food. As I am clearly going thru my vegan stage in learning to cook what I ended up with wasn't all that junky.

First and best were the hot wings. I got the recipe from my friend Lacey's new cookbook, Down to Earth.

Basically it is extra firm tofu dredged in flour, fried and tossed in a spicy sauce. The ranch dip is what is really impressive. It is made mainly of celery, tofu, onions and spike seasoning. I don't love celery, but I really liked this dip. I think I ate most of it. I let my husband eat the potato skins. I didn't love them. I made a nutritional yeast 'cheese' sauce to go on them and I just hate nutritional yeast. Really. It is terrible stuff. It is just okay on popcorn, but intolerable all the other ways I have experienced it.

not good vegan potato skins

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More from Babycakes

spelt scone

recipe #193 & 194

Currently there is a moratorium in my house that prevents me from buying another kind of flour. I have about 9 kinds (that I can locate). No more. Not until I use up some of what I got.

My most recent acquisition was spelt. I needed it (really really) to make wheat free, sugar free vegan scones. Doesn't sound good, but came out nicely. Another recipe from Babycakes.

From an article in Food & Wine, this recipe was originally for raspberry scones, but I made them with dried black currants:

Spelt Scones
* 2 cups spelt flour
* 1 tablespoon baking powder
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1/3 cup canola oil
* 1/3 cup agave nectar
* 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
* 1/3 cup hot water
* 1 cup fresh raspberries
1. Preheat the oven to 375°. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a bowl, whisk the spelt with the baking powder and salt. Stir in the oil, agave nectar and vanilla. Stir in the hot water, then the raspberries.
2. Scoop 12 mounds of batter 1/3 cup each onto the prepared baking sheet and lightly brush the tops with oil. Bake the scones for 20 minutes, or until golden. Let the baking sheet cool completely on top of a rack.

NOTES One Scone 168 cal, 7 gm fat, 0.5 gm sat fat, 23 gm carb, 3 gm fiber.

Fine. Scone like. Healthy. My kids will eat them. My husband pretends to like them.
Moving on. . .

This didn't work out so well.


Cinnamon Banana Bread
  • 1 cup Bob's Red Mill gluten-free, all-purpose baking flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 overripe bananas, mashed
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1/3 cup agave nectar
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened soy milk
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Lightly oil an 81/2-by-41/2-inch loaf pan. Line the bottom and sides of the loaf pan with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk the baking flour with the baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, xanthan gum and salt. In another bowl, whisk the bananas with the oil, agave nectar, soy milk and vanilla. Add the banana mixture to the dry ingredients and whisk until smooth. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let the banana bread cool on a rack for 20 minutes before turning it out. Let cool completely before slicing.
This fuck up I easily take responsibility for. I didn't use the Bob's All Purpose flour, instead I made a mixture of tapioca flour, besan and oat flour. Not such a good choice. I also should have used very very overripe bananas instead of just ripe ones.

The one thing I did right was add walnuts.

I'll try this one again.

These whole grain and bean based flours are great, but surprisingly high in calories. White bleached flour has 100 calories per 1/4 cup. Spelt has 140 per 1/4 cup. Whole Foods has comprehensive nutrional info on all of them here.

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Sunday, February 25, 2007

Huevos A La Flamenca (Colorful Baked Eggs)

I love Spanish food, but for some reason, when I make it myself, it comes out less then remarkable. Here’s my latest attempt…

Pretty, but not great...

Huevos A La Flamenca
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
4 Tbsp olive oil
100g/4oz either Chorizo, spicy sausage, gammon, or bacon
2 red or green peppers, chopped
350g/12oz either ripe tomatoes, without skin or seeds or 300g/10oz canned tomatoes with juice
100g/4oz peas
100g/4oz French beans, snapped into short lengths
8 large eggs
1-2 Tbsp Fino or Sherry
Salt and a pinch of cayenne pepper

Heat to 180c/350f, and warm a shallow casserole or baking dish
In a frying pan, heat the oil, and soften the onion slowly. Add the garlic and push to the sides of the pan. Add the meat, cook till colored, then remove to a plate. Add peppers and tomatoes and cook to reduce, stirring occasionally. Add some sherry if the mixture gets to dry. Cook the peas and beans and add them too.
Transfer the vegetable mix to the casserole, and distribute the meat. Swirl the eggs together with a fork, without over mixing. Season with the salt and cayenne, pour over the veg and meat, and bake 10-15 minutes, till the eggs are set

From a book called “Recipes From A Spanish Village

These came out so pretty, but I have to say, they left me a little cold. Then again I guess that wasn’t really the recipe’s fault. I couldn’t afford Chorizo this week, so I used the bacon instead. I also had to leave out the cayenne because of the boys. It was nice, but nothing terribly special.

I like the idea, and I think you could probably use it as a way to use up whatever you have left in your fridge at the end of the week. I might make it again with various left overs.

Judias Blancas A Lo Tio Lucas (Uncle Luke’s mildly spicy beans)

Judias Blancas A Lo Tio Lucas with the Huevos A La Flamenca
500g/1lb dried haricot beans
150g/5oz bacon or ham
2tbsp olive oil
2 large onions, chopped
1 garlic bulb, cloves peeled and finely chopped
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 bay leaf
2tsp paprika
1tbsp vinegar
1/4 tsp ground cumin
pinch of ground cloves
1tbsp finely chopped parsley
Salt and pepper

Soak the beans for 1 hour in boiling water, or over night in cold water.
Cut the fat off the meat, and fry it with the onion and olive oil for 10 min. Add the lean meat chopped into the size of small soup croutons, then the garlic. Drain the beans and add them with the remaining ingredients, and enough water to cover them well. Simmer for 1&1/4 – 1& 1/2 hours, checking occasionally to make sure they don’t dry out.

From “Recipes From A Spanish Village”

These smelled wonderful, but did not blow me away. The liquid was really tasty, but I think it could have used another hour or so of cooking. The beans were still a little hard and they hadn’t absorbed enough of the flavor. I’m going to let the leftovers sit in the fridge for a couple of days, and then cook some more. I think they’ll be good after that.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Noodles with Peanut and Ginger Sauce and a Carrot Salad

250g/9oz Soba or buckwheat noodles
2Tbsp peanut butter, crunchy or smooth
2Tbsp soy sauce
1Tbsp Mirin*, rice syrup, or honey
1Tbsp fresh ginger, grated
2 Garlic cloves, crushed
1Tbsp sesame oil
for garnish:
a few chilli flakes
a little fresh coriander, chopped

Cook the noodles as per the directions on packet
Mix the peanut butter with the soy sauce, mirin (or rice syrup, or honey), ginger and garlic.
When the noodles are done, drain them and put them back in the pot, swirl in the sesame oil, then add the peanut mixture and toss to coat.

Sprinkle with a few chilli flakes, season and serve scattered with some chopped coriander.

* Mirin is a Japanese sweetener made from fermented sweet rice. I got mine at the grocery store, but you might have to go to a health food store to get it.

This rocks! It’s from a BBC book called Fast, Fresh and Fabulous. When we lived in Brooklyn we used to get sesame noodles from our local Chinese take away. It was one of my all time favorites. This recipe is close enough to make me a bit misty. I love it! My youngest son enjoyed it so much that he got some noodles stuck to his forehead in all the excitement. I used whole wheat spaghetti instead of soba noodles because it’s what I had in the house, and they worked just fine. Next time I make them (probably tonight or tomorrow, that’s how much I like them), I will try using sesame butter and some sesame seeds, just to see if I can get even closer to the original.

I would recommend small portions of this one, as it’s a very heavy sauce. Because of that it goes really nicely with something light and simple like:

Shredded carrots

This is more of a suggestion then a recipe. It’s from the same book, and it’s listed as another thing you could do with some grated carrots. From the list of suggestions, I tried the juice of one orange, and some fresh mint leaves. It was really simple and quite nice. I could see eating it a lot in nicer weather. Some other suggestions included other fresh herbs, various toasted seeds, and other citrus juices.

Steamed Aubergine (Eggplant)

2 medium aubergines (eggplants)
For the dressing:
2tsp sugar
4 tbsp soy sauce
3 tbsp sweet chilli dipping sauce
2tsp sesame oil
zest and juice of 1 lemon
4 spring onions, sliced
2 fresh red chillies, finely chopped
1 large handful of fresh coriander, roughly sliced
1 large handful of fresh basil, roughly sliced
1 large handful of fresh mint, roughly sliced
1 large handful of yellow celery leaves
salt and pepper

Slice the aubergines in half lengthwise, and steam cut side down for 10 minutes. Check that they are soft by giving them a little squeeze. Remove from the steamer to a colander till it’s cool enough to handle, then cut into 1 inch dice.
Mix all dressing ingredients together, and toss with aubergine.

I made this to go with the Steamed Pork buns Chinese style that I posted earlier. I remembered to take a picture of those this time too, here’s what they look like…

And here’s what they look like inside.

You can see that the boys like them.

These two recipes worked really nicely together, and the aubergine is so simple to make, it can almost be done as an afterthought. It’s also Jamie Oliver. It may be a touch sweet for some, and I think next time I would leave out part of the sugar, but it’s a really lovely combination of flavors. I would have never imagined using mint in a dish like this, but it’s all just really nice.

Bread and Butter Pudding

So a little while ago my husband and I were going to go on a diet. It devolved quickly into a promise from me that I would stop baking cakes for awhile. Technically, this is not breaking the deal, because it’s a pudding, not a cake.

For the flavored butter:
100g/3.5oz unsalted butter
large pinch of ground nutmeg
large pinch of ground cinnamon
zest of 1 large orange

8 x 1cm/1/2inch slices of bread
9 large eggs
140g/5oz sugar
500ml/ 17.5oz whole milk
565ml/ 1 pint double cream
1 vanilla pod scored lengthwise and seeds removed
4tbsp good quality fine-cut marmalade

preheat to 180c/350f

Mix together the butter ingredients, and use some of the flavored butter to grease your baking dish. Use the rest to butter each slice of bread, and then put the slices into the buttered dish
Separate the eggs using all nine yolks, but only one white, and whisk that with the sugar. Gently heat the milk and cream with the vanilla pod and seeds, and then pour into the eggs, stirring all the time. Remove the vanilla pod and pour the mixture into the bread leaving to soak for 20 min.
Put your baking dish into a roasting tray and pour enough boiling water into the tray to come halfway up the baking dish. Bake for 45 min until the custard has just set. Meanwhile, gently warm the marmalade in a saucepan. Remove the dish from the oven, and brush the warm marmalade over the top, then return to the oven for 5 or 10 min. Allow it to cool some, so the custard can set.

I had a bad day yesterday, and I decided that I needed a dessert. I also decided that if I was going to abandon the last vestiges of the concept of dieting, it was going to be for something special. I turned to Jamie Oliver, as I do in times like these…

I forgot to get a vanilla pod, but I had some vanilla sugar, so I used about a quarter or a third vanilla sugar, with the plain sugar. It worked nicely. I also used a pan that was slightly too small. I had to get rid of some of the custard mixture that just wouldn’t fit. Luckily, over the coarse of the 20 minutes of soaking, the bread absorbed enough that I could pour a little more in every few minutes. You want a pan small enough that the tops will stick up and out, but it has to be big enough to accommodate around two pints of liquid.

This was soooo good! It had all the consistencies that you want in your dessert. There is the silky custard all around the bread, there is the smushy part of the bread that is all warm and soaked with custard, and then the crusts are all crispy and chewy from the marmalade. Totally satisfying, I forgot my whole bad day.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Figs Soaked in Sweet Vermouth

delicious breakfast treat

recipe # 192

I got these figs from the farmers market, packed them into a jar, filled the jar with sweet vermouth and have been letting them sit for a week now. The recipe came from the Cafe Pongo Cookbook and suggests serving them with ice cream. I think that they might be good for breakfast over pancakes.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Miso Soup and Sunomono

miso soup costs about 30 cents to make at home.

recipe # 190 & 191

I'm learning to make these to save on the cost of sushi takeout. I figure that making these at home will save maybe $7 to $10. Also, amazingly, I had everything I needed to make this stuff. I've been hauling around the dashi and wakame from apartment to apartment for 4 years now. It is older that my kids. It still tasted okay, tho.

Miso Soup

1/2 cup dried wakame
1/4 cup shiro miso
6 cups dashi
1/2 lb soft tofu, drained and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/4 cup thinly sliced scallion greens (I skipped those)

Prepare wakame: Combine wakame with warm water to cover by 1 inch and let stand 15 minutes, or until reconstituted. Drain in a sieve.

Make soup: Stir together miso and 1/2 cup dashi in a bowl until smooth. Heat remaining dashi in a saucepan over moderately high heat until hot, then gently stir in tofu and reconstituted wakame. Simmer 1 minute and remove from heat. Immediately stir in miso mixture and scallion greens and serve.

Serves 6.

this salad is often served with a variety of raw fish, but it s still nice without it.

This is from the Food Network
1 large English cucumber, or 2 to 3 Japanese cucumbers
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
1 drop soy sauce

Peel and slice cucumbers into very thin slices. Sprinkle sliced cucumber slices with salt and let stand a few minutes. Squeeze out excess moisture. Combine vinegar, sugar, and soy in a bowl and mix well. Pour the vinegar mixture over the cucumber slices and mix well. Serve in individual dishes.

May add Wakame (seaweed), crab, and shrimp.

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Magic Cookies

recipe # 189

Buy this book.
These are tasty.
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Mustard Pickles

I had this boyfriend in college, whose grandmother used to send him care packages with home made mustard pickles. They were the greatest pickles I ever had. When you shook up a jar, it became an ugly dirty yellow cloud of pickle juice. The first bite of one would always give you a burning sensation in your nose the way Wasabi does . I asked him if I could have the recipe once, but it turned out I would only be able to get it from her on her death bed, and even then, I would have had to be married into the family.

mustard pickles

Here’s what I made…
Mustard Pickles
1lb/450g cucumber
1lb/450g onions
8oz/225g carrots
1 cauliflower, medium size
3 pints/1710ml vinegar
2oz/50g sugar
2oz/50g mustard
1oz/25g salt

Chop all the vegetables into even sized pieces, keeping the carrot and cauliflower separate.
Add sugar and salt to the vinegar and bring to a boil. Mix a little vinegar into the mustard for easier mixing, then add the mustard to the vinegar on the stove and mix well before adding the cauliflower and carrots. Boil for 15 min, then add the rest of the vegetables and cook until tender. Pour into warmed jars, seal and label.

I didn’t have any cauliflower, so I used extra cucumber instead. I went with white wine vinegar, though ran out just a little early, and replaced the last bit with cider vinegar. Also, I used mustard powder. I figured that’s what they meant, otherwise why would you have to pre mix it before adding it to the pot. I might have been wrong there.


Here is my advice to you. ONLY MAKE THESE ON A WARM DAY. I cannot stress this enough. As it turns out, when you mix mustard powder with vinegar and use it to boil onions, it makes your entire house a little toxic. My eyes were tearing up even at the opposite end of the house. It was not a terribly nice day, but I still had to open all the windows, and the back door. The smell went away fairly quickly after it was done, but next time I will wait for a sunny lovely day.

We opened the jar tonight and tried them, even though I should have let them sit longer. They are really quite tangy. I’m pretty excited about them. Not as good as the original, but an acceptable substitute for now.

This recipe was from a website called Hookery Cookery.

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Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Pickled Eggs

scary good, I hope

recipe #188

AteThat, the pickled stuff looks good so I want to get in on some of that action too. I came across a pickled egg thread on chowhound and I decided to go for it.

I settled on a recipe provided by Kaisgraham. I changed it a bit because I didn't have somethings on hand. My changes are in ().

Pickled Eggs
3 cups apple cider vinegar
2 cups water
2 tsp sugar
2 tsp salt
1 tsp seasoned salt (cajun seasoning)
4 Tbsp tobasco sauce (skipped)
1 small can hot peppers (2 oz. chipolte peppers in adobo sauce)
1 medium yellow onion, sliced thin
1 can sliced beets
1/4 cup dry sherry
2 or 3 bay leaves
2 dozen hard boiled eggs, shelled

Throw it all together in a big jar and seal it up for a while.

This recipe horrifies my husband. He actually shouted in shock and fear upon opening the fridge door and seeing the jar lurking there.

We'll see how it is in 48 hours.

Roasted Asparagus with Poached Eggs and Miso Butter

my first recipe from chowhound
recipe #185

This one is right from chowhound. Not surprisingly, most look really good.

Roasted Asparagus with Poached Eggs and Miso Butter

Makes: 2 servings
* 2 tablespons unsalted butter, at room temperature
* 2 tablespoons white miso paste
* 1/2 teaspoon sherry vinegar
* 1 bunch of thin green asparagus, bottom ends trimmed (about 1 pound)
* 2 teaspoons olive oil
* 2 poached eggs
1. In a small bowl, combine the butter, miso, and sherry vinegar, stirring until it is smooth. (Mixture will be thick.) Set aside.
2. Place asparagus in a large mixing bowl and toss with the olive oil. Season well with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
3. Heat a large, dry frying pan over medium heat. When hot, place asparagus in the pan and let it pan-roast, stirring only occasionally, until it is tender and lightly blackened. Remove from heat.
4. Divide the miso butter between two serving plates and top with the roasted asparagus. Place a poached egg on top of the asparagus and sprinkle with more salt and freshly ground black pepper.

It is pretty damn good. I made it for breakfast, but it would be a darn tasty side dish too. I'm a big fan of asparagus with poached eggs. I'm going to try a few different varieties.

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Miso Orange Salmon with Sauteed Pea Tendrils

a lovely bunch of pea greens from the farmers market. They were only a buck.

recipe # 186 & 187

Miso Orange Salmon with Sauteed Pea Tendrils
1/3 cup yellow miso 2 tablespoons orange juice
1 tablespoon mirin
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon grated orange peel
6 6-ounce salmon fillets
Finely chopped green onions

Whisk first 6 ingredients in small bowl.

Preheat broiler. Line baking sheet with aluminum foil. Place salmon on foil, skin side down. Spread miso mixture over salmon. Broil fish until glaze begins to blister and brown, about 3 minutes. Cover fish loosely with foil. Broil until fish is cooked through, about 5 minutes longer. Transfer fish to plates. Top with onions.
photo by my husband, jordan

Makes 6 servings.

I skipped the onions. This is a good recipe for salmon that isn't the best. We have this huge bag of salmon filets from costco that is just okay so I have to slather it with all sorts of stuff to make myself want to eat it. I prepared this one, my husband cooked it up. I think it could have stood another few minutes in the broiler to get brown.

The pea greens were great. I sauteed them up with some olive oil and garlic. Easy breeze.

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Loin Chops with Maui Onion Guava Marmalade

I don't have mad pork cooking skills

recipe # 183 & 184

Loin Chops with Maui Onions Guava Marmalade
two 1-inch-thick boneless pork loin chops (about 6 ounces each)
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary, crumbled
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion (about 3/4 pound), halved lengthwise and sliced thin crosswise
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons red-currant jelly

Trim excess fat from pork chops and sprinkle with rosemary and salt and pepper to taste. In a heavy 10-inch skillet heat oil over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking and sauté pork chops until browned on both sides, about 5 minutes. Transfer pork chops with tongs to a plate.

In drippings remaining in skillet sauté onion until it begins to brown. Add water, vinegar, and jelly and bring to a boil, stirring until jelly melts. Simmer mixture, covered, over moderate heat until onion is tender, about 5 minutes.

Return pork to skillet and cook, uncovered, turning once, until cooked through and almost all liquid is evaporated, about 5 minutes.
Serves 2.

lovely maui onions from the farmers market

The yams recipe is from The Down to Earth Cookbook, which is co-written by my friend Lacie.
Maple Roasted Yams
Basically the recipe goes like this:
Boil up some yams for 5 minutes. Chop them up, mix them with sea salt and olive oil. Throw them on a baking sheet and roast them at 400 for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes toss them with some maple syrup and roast them for 10 more minutes. Then eat.

Good. Loved the pork (surprise) and really loved the yams. Nice dinner together.

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Eggs Mc Meg

This wasn't the best bread for this sandwich, but it was what I had

recipe # 182

Recipe coming soon

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Brown Soda Bread

This bread is my friend. I love this bread. It practically speaks to me.

450g/1lb wholemeal (wholewheat) flour
or 340g/12oz wholemeal flour and 110g/4oz plain flour
1tsp salt
1tsp bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
2 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp sugar
20g/3/4oz butter
290-435ml/1/2 –3/4 pint skimmed milk
If you are using all wholemeal flour then you will need the larger amount of liquid

Preheat to 190c/375f
Sift the dry ingredients into a dry warm bowl
Rub in the butter and mix to a soft dough with the milk
Shape with a minimum of kneading into a large circle, and use a wooden spoon handle to make a cross shaped indentation in the top
Bake on a greased sheet for 25-30 min, and allow to cool on a wire rack

I varied only slightly from the recipe. I have a sifter, but frankly can’t be bothered. I do make an effort to use my wire whisk to mix dry ingredients, it mixes them really well, and adds a bit of air to them too. I also use soy milk instead of regular or skimmed. It’s the kind of milk we keep in the house, and again, I can’t be bothered to make a special milk run. This is true of all the things I bake, and it’s never given me a problem.

I made this today for the first time. It’s a quick bread (no yeast, no raising or heavy kneading). I meant for it to last a couple of days, but we accidentally ate the whole loaf in one sitting. It was that good. In the words of my husband “It touched our souls”.

It was from a cookbook called “Leith’s Healthy Cooking

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Coconut and Coriander Chicken

Coconut and Coriander Chicken
1 small bunch fresh coriander
6 chicken supremes
4tbsp olive oil
1 large Spanish onion, finely chopped
2 sweet potatoes- around 450g/1lb, finely diced
3tbsp mild curry paste
400ml/14oz can coconut milk
400ml/14oz jar passata (like a tomato broth)
150ml (1/4 pint) hot chicken stock
Lime wedges to serve

Set aside some coriander sprigs for garnishing.
Separate the leaves and stalks of the coriander and chop each. Tuck the chopped leaves under the skin of each piece of chicken.
In a frying pan or casserole heat the oil and fry the coriander stalks with the onions and potatoes for 10-12 minutes.
Add the curry paste and continue cooking for 3-4 min. Then add the passata, broth, coconut milk, and chicken pieces, and simmer gently for 30 min, or until the chicken is tender. Serve with the lime.

From Good Housekeeping Magazine

I have to say, I was really excited about this one, and it kind of let me down. It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t great either. Part of the problem was that I forgot to put the lime wedges on the plates. They were just sitting there on the counter. I think my last three bites had lime (that’s when I remembered them), and they were really quite a bit better. I think the lime juice would have really brought it all together nicely. Also, if I was going to make it again, I would use a hotter curry paste. It called for mild, but I thought it needed a bit more of a kick, Again, that could have been the lack of lime.

One last thing… I have no idea what a supreme of chicken is. I know it’s a part, but have no idea what part it is. I just used the chicken parts that were on sale this week.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Pizza Dough

I've been using cooking to de-stress for the past couple of days. If this keeps up, we'll need a baking section and a pickle section too. It is calming though.

Pizza Dough
800g/1&3/4 lbs strong white bread flour
200g/7oz fine ground semolina flour or strong white bread flour
1 level tbsp fine sea salt
2x7g sachets of dried yeast
1tbsp sugar
650ml/just over a pint lukewarm water

Combine the flour(s) and salt and make a well in the center. Add the yeast and sugar to the water, mix with a fork and leave it to sit a few minutes, before pouring it into the well you’ve made. Mix together into a dough, and then knead for 10 minutes. Flour the top of your dough, cover it with cling film and leave it to rest for 15min.

Break into pieces (depending on how big you want your pizzas), and roll them out to about 1/4 inch thick and about 15-30 minutes before you are going to put them in the oven. Put on whatever toppings you want, and bake at 250c/500f for 7 to 10 minutes.

European pizza is more of the thin and crispy crust variety. Growing up in New York, it was hard for me to accept any pizza that wasn’t gorgeous hand stretched thin-ish but chewy and crispy at the same time golden crust loveliness. Still, I’ve been here a long time now, and the thin crispy crust European pizza has become our normal pizza. Sometimes I’m sad that the Boy’s will grow up without Brooklyn’s finest food, but I just make sure to feed it to them every time we visit.

This pizza was really lovely and easy to make. I only made a quarter of the recipe because it was just me and the boys, not the whole National Guard. Once you roll them out, you can put them onto a greased and floured piece of tin foil and wrap them in cling film to refrigerate if you want to cook them later. Just flour each one and lay them on top of each other, they won’t stick. This particular pizza dough is from a Jamie Oliver cookbook, and he has all kinds of wonderful looking toppings, but I just made them out of whatever was lying around in the fridge. It wound up being cheese, ham and olives. The great part was that my three year old was able to make his very own little pizza all by himself. He totally dug that. A fair amount of topping that was meant to go on the pizza, actually went right into his mouth, but it came out very nice in the end.

For me the only real down side is that it is an incredibly hot oven, and mine does not preheat very fast. Next time I make them I’m going to start preheating as soon as I get up in the morning.

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Pickled Mushrooms, Two Versions

version 1

Pickled mushrooms version 1
500g/1lb mushrooms
250ml/8oz white wine vinegar
250ml/8oz white wine
250ml/8oz water
1 thyme sprig
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
3 black peppercorns
2 tbsp caster sugar
1&1/4 tsp salt

Cut any large mushrooms into quarters.
Pour the other ingredients into a saucepan and bring to a boil, then add the mushrooms. Lower the heat and simmer for about 8min. Remove the mushrooms with a slotted spoon and continue to cook the liquid for a further 5 minutes to reduce. Remove from the heat and leave to cool.
Sterilize a preserving jar. Fill with mushrooms and pour over liquid. Seal with an airtight lid and store in a dark dry place.

My only big problem with this one, is that it doesn’t say how long to leave them before opening. I have to assume that means that they don’t need very long. I think I am going to open them next week and see how they are. I will post again to let you know. I did taste one that didn’t fit into the jar, and if it was any indication of the final product, I think I will be quite pleased. This was a pretty easy and very satisfying process.

version 2

Pickled mushrooms version 2
500g/1lb chanterelle mushrooms
1 shallot
1 thyme sprig
5 peppercorns
1&1/4 tsp salt
250ml/8oz whit wine vinegar
250ml/8oz water

cut any large mushrooms in half and place all the mushrooms in the preserving jar. Add the shallot thyme peppercorns and salt.
Pour the vinegar and water into a pan bring to a boil then reduce the heat and simmer for 2-3 min. Pour the mixture into the jar and seal with an airtight lid.
Place the jar in a large saucepan, add enough water to cover and bring to a boil. Boil for 1 hour (timed from when it starts to boil). Remove the jar from the pan and leave to cool completely. Store in a dark, dry place.

Big failure! Absolutely not right!
The main reason that I tried this one, is because I had a huge fear of boiling sealed containers. I was always led to believe that if you put a sealed jar or can into boiling water, it would explode. Apparently this is only sometimes true. I needed to go ahead and do it, so that I could see for myself that there would be no screaming and bloodshed as a result, and that part was a success. The jar just boiled away happily for an hour.

The failure was the actual mushrooms. I did not use Chanterelle, I used regular old button. The problem with that is button mushrooms have no give at all. I tried to force as many as possible into the jar, but if I pushed too hard they would crack and fall apart. The jar looked pretty full, but after an hour of cooking, the mushrooms got more flexible, and also smaller, which left me with a jar that was almost half empty liquid, with some mushrooms floating on top, and also had way too much air trapped in it. It was not possible to store them in that condition.

I decided to eat them right away instead of storing them. They taste ok, and if I had done a better job, it might be a really good recipe, but the other recipe was so much easier and I think they will be just as tasty.

At least I got over my fear of boiling jars.

Oh, and these were both from a book called "Jams, conserves & Preserving"

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Brown Bread

Brown Bread
200g/7oz rye flour
200g/7oz whole wheat flour
200g/7oz strong white bread flour
7g (1 packet) easy blend yeast, or 15g fresh yeast
1 tbsp salt
a little more then 300- 350ml/10.5-12oz warm tap water
1tbsp unsalted butter, softened

Put the flour yeast and salt into a bowl and pour in 200ml/7oz of the water mixing as you do. Be prepared to add more water, what you want is a shaggy mess. Add butter and mix that in, then start kneading. Knead for about 10 min, adding more four if you need to form the dough into a ball and put in a large oiled or buttered bowl turning once so the top of the dough is greased. Cover with cling film and leave to raise till about doubled (about an hour). Punch it down, and knead for a minute or two, then form into a ball and place on a baking sheet covered loosely with cling film. Let it raise again till almost doubled again while preheating the oven to 200c/400f. When it’s ready, uncover it, and dust with flour before placing it in the oven. Bake for 45 min. Test if it is done by tapping the bottom of the loaf, it should sound hollow.

This is from a Nigella Lawson cookbook called How to be a Domestic Goddess. I’m not yet, but hey, maybe someday.

I mentioned once before that her recipes tend to work best if you weigh your flours instead of using cup measurements. There is a reason for that, but I won’t tire you with the details. I ran out of rye flour, and just used a mix of half whole wheat and half white bread flour to make up the difference.

It’s a nice bread. It may be a little too in between for some people. By that I mean that it’s not as hearty as a really serious health bread, but it’s not as fluffy as a home made white bread. If you are looking for something in between though, this is a nice way to go. I made this one to go with the chorizo hash, and they worked nicely together.

Here’s a little tip about bread making, that is terribly obvious I guess, but I didn’t know it. You cannot make a white bread recipe into a whole wheat recipe just by replacing the white flour with whole wheat flour. I tried that once. The result was nice to look at, but it was kind of like a neutron star; a spoonful weighed a ton. It was dense and heavy and dry, all of the things that homemade bread should not be. It turns out that wheat flour requires more liquid, a different cooking temperature, and a different cooking time too. I have also noticed that most of the time whole wheat flour gets mixed other flours instead of standing on it’s own.

Chorizo Hash with Peppers and Paprika

Chorizo Hash with peppers and Paprika
5oz/150g chorizo
1 small red pepper
1 rounded tsp hot paprika
1 medium onion
10oz/275g potatoes
3 tbsp olive oil
1 large clove of garlic, peeled, and crushed
2 large very fresh eggs

Peel the onion and slice in half then slice as thin as you can into half-moon shapes. Halve and deseed the pepper then cut into 1/2 inch chunks. Peel the skin off the chorizo and cut to the same size as the pepper. Wash the potatoes and cut into 1/2 inch cubes leaving the skin on.
Place the potatoes in a saucepan and pour in boiling water to almost cover them. Add salt and a lid and simmer for 5 min before draining them in a colander and covering with a tea towel to absorb the steam.
Heat 2 tbs oil in a heavy based pan, add the onion, pepper, and garlic and cook for about 6 min. Push it all to the side of the pan and add the chorizo, and cook for about 2 min. Add the paprika and stir everything around, then remove it all to a plate. Add the last tbsp of oil to the pan and keeping the heat high add the potatoes and some salt and pepper. Toss them around for about 3 min, keeping them moving. Add back the pepper mixture and cook for another 5- 6 min, turning the mixture as it cooks.
Fry the eggs to serve with the hash.

Hey Cookbad, I was inspired by your Red Flannel Salmon Hash and decided to try a hash recipe of my own. I was never a big fan of corned beef hash, but then, I had only ever had that kind that comes from a can and tastes like a salt lick. I found this recipe in a Delia Smith cookbook. I love chorizo, and they happened to have some for cheap at the supermarket this weekend, so there you go.

I realized at the last minute that all I had in the house was regular (not hot) paprika, so I just used that. In the future I would definitely make a point of using the right kind, or maybe adding some cayenne pepper. It’s a little tough for me because I love spicy, but my husband and kids are not such big fans. Even without the spicy, this had a lovely flavor. We had it for dinner not breakfast, I think it would be a little heavy early in the morning, but would make a very nice brunch.

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Monday, February 19, 2007

I need this

Dear AteThat,
Will you get some of this delicious stuff? It will go really well with my brownie guiness ice cream float I like to have on St. Patric's Day.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Coconut and Lemon Grass Ice Cream

goodness on a spoon

recipe # 182

I found a few recipes for coconut and lemon grass sorbet and ice cream, but I wanted something sweet but sugar free and with texture.

conut & Lemon Grass Ice Cream (version 1)
2 can of coconut milk
1/2 cup agave syrup (more or less to taste)
5 stalks of lemon grass, chopped
1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

Heat coconut milk with chopped lemon grass until boiling. Add agave nectar. Let it boil for 2 minutes then let it cool to room temp. Strain out lemon grass. Add shredded coconut. Stir. Pour into ice cream maker and follow maker instructions.

Coconut & Lemon Grass Ice Cream (version 2)

Coconut & Lemon Grass Ice Cream (version 2)
1 can of coconut milk
1 package of coconut milk powder
8 oz plain soy milk
1/2 cup agave syrup (more or less to taste)
3 stalks of lemon grass, chopped
1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut (optional)

Heat coconut milk with chopped lemon grass until boiling. Add agave nectar. Let it boil for 2 minutes then let it cool to room temp. Strain out lemon grass. Add shredded coconut. Stir. Pour into ice cream maker and follow maker instructions.

Very very tasty.

AteThat: Thai Fried Minced Pork with Egg Noodles

Thai Fried Minced Pork with Egg Noodles
2 Garlic cloves finely chopped
3 shallots finely chopped
1 inch ginger finely chopped
2 tbsp oil
500g/1lb2oz ground pork
2tbsp Thai fish sauce
1tbsp dark soy sauce
1tbsp red thai curry paste
4 dried Kaffir lime leaves, crumbled
4 plum tomatoes, chopped
3tbsp fresh coriander (cilantro), chopped
Salt and pepper
Boiled Chinese style egg noodles

Heat the oil, add the garlic, shallots and ginger, stir frying for about 2 minutes. Stir in the pork and continue stirring until golden brown. Stir in the fish sauce, Soy sauce, curry paste, and lime leaves. Stir fry for another1-2 minutes. Add tomatoes and cook for 5-6 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in chopped coriander, season with salt and pepper and serve spooned onto the egg noodles.

There is a series of cook books called “What’s Cooking” out here. You see them in every book store, they are really highly illustrated and they are all named for the type of food (What’s Cooking Thai, What’s Cooking Italian, What’s cooking Chicken). This is from the Thai book. They are good starter books if you are intimidated by a certain genre of food (or by cooking in general which is why I have several of them).

This recipe gets top marks because it’s dead easy and fast to make, and it’s really tasty. It’s far more subtle then you would think. As a matter of fact I think next time I might double up on the curry paste and see how that is. My sons ate it, although that might be more for the noodles then the sauce. I think it’s satisfying in the same way as a good spaghetti bolognaise is, because it is a tomato sauce, but at the same time, it’s kind of exotic and fun, cuz it’s Thai. The ingredient list looks if-y, but I can get all those things in my local grocery store, so it shouldn’t be too hard to find.

One more thing… if you’ve never used Thai fish sauce before, it smells disturbingly like stinky feet and crotch. Don’t worry, it’s supposed to smell like that, it adds a beautiful flavor to cooking, just never never never taste it on it’s own.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Lentil on Lentil

terribly healthy and lentil heavy dinner, but that isn't really a bad thing.

recipe # 181, 182, 183

Last week I tried to make a recipe for a romaine salad with lentil croutons from the Cafe Pongo Cookbook. The recipe called for soaking lentils for 8 hours. I let them go over night figuring that there would be no difference. I was quite wrong. When I finally got around to them they had all sprouted. I guess, that this is a good thing. Lentils become a very complete food after sprouting. From what I read on the internets it is one of the most wonderful fantastic life giving, cancer curing, you see the holy mother mary after eating them sort of food. They don't taste awesome. The internets is also lacking good recipes for sprouted lentils. I kept finding one called Curried Lentil Salad that had ketsup and mayo in it. Meh.

lentils that have been sprouting for about 4 days, I guess eating them after sprouting for 2-3 days is ideal.

This is what I ended up doing with them:
heavily modified from the Cafe Pongo Cookbook:
Sprouted Lentil and Mint Salad with Tahini Dressing
zest of one lemon
juice of 2.5 lemons
1/4 cup tahini
1/4 cup soy sauce
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
3/4 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

mix all tahini dressing ingredience together in a food processor.

2 cups of sprouted lentils
2 cups peeled, seeded and chopped cucumber
2 handfuls chopped fresh mint
1 cup chopped blanched greenbeans

Mix up, pour dressing over, let sit for 20 minutes before serving.

Lentil Patty Sandwich
lentil patties
8 ounces dried brown lentils soaked for 8 hours
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
8 scallions thinly sliced
2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
2 teaspoons baking powder
dash of cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups vegetable, peanut or canola oil

puree all ingredience for lentil patties together in processor. Form patties, fry in oil. Drain on newspaper.

Toast pita or crusty bread (I used wheat free boring bread). Smear all interior or bread with tahini or hummus. Squeeze some lemon on that. Add a tomato slices and romaine lettuce. Throw in a few slices of raw sweet onion. Pop in the patty. Eat.

I also made this but neither of us ate it. It might actually still be in the oven.

From epicurious:
Butternut Squash, Hominy, Corn and Bell Peppers Stew
3 tablespoons butter ( I used olive oil)
3/4 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
1/2 cup finely chopped green bell pepper
2 cups 1/2-inch pieces peeled butternut squash
1 15-ounce can whole golden hominy, rinsed, drained
1 cup frozen corn kernels, thawed
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Melt 2 tablespoons butter in heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add red and green bell peppers; sauté until tender, about 5 minutes. Add squash; stir to blend. Cover; cook until squash is almost tender, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Stir in hominy and corn. Cover; cook until corn is tender, stirring frequently, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Mix in cilantro and remaining 1 tablespoon butter. Transfer to bowl; serve.

Serves 6

The sandwich and salad were good. I felt healthy. It was basically falafel only in a patty form and made with lentils. I might make it again.

AteThat: Pickles

2 x 17&1/2oz jars
3/4 oz/ 20g fresh dill, stalks removed, broken into sprigs
1lb/450g cucumbers
4 shallots
1pint/570ml good quality with wine vinegar
1 heaped tsp coriander seeds
1 heaped tsp black peppercorns
1oz/25g sea salt

Cut the cucumbers in quarters lengthways, then into 1 inch chunks. Peel the shallots and slice in half through the root, then into three. Place the cucumbers and shallots in layers in a non-metallic colander, sprinkling salt between the layers, making sure they are evenly coated. Place a plate over them with something heavy on top to press out the moisture and leave that way overnight. Put a dish under the colander to catch the drips.
Next day, rinse the veggies under cold running water and spread them out on a cloth to dry. Leave for about an hour. After that pack into hot sterilized jars. Place the vinegar and spices in a pot and bring to a boil, simmer for about 30 seconds then pour the whole lot over the veggies covering them completely. Swivel the jars to express the trapped air, and push the veggies down under the liquid before placing a wax disc on top. Seal tightly with a vinegar proof lid and allow to mellow for 3 months.

As an American living in the UK I miss American pickles more then you could imagine. They just are not the same out here, not even close. I hope these work out. I’m trying them with variations too, like garlic pickles, spicy hot pickles. I won’t know if it’s working until May, so wish me luck, and I’ll post the answer when I finally get to taste them.

AteThat: Steamed Pork Buns Chinese style

Steamed Pork Buns Chinese style
For the Filling:
Olive oil
2x 200g/7oz Pork chops
Salt and pepper
1 tbsp five spice
3 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
1 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and sliced
2 dried chillies, crumbled
1 wineglass of fresh orange juice
6tbsp hoi-sin sauce
1 tbsp sesame oil
1tbsp sweet chilli sauce
optional one handful fresh lime leaves
For the buns:
1x 7g individual sachet of dried yeast
200ml/7oz tepid water
250g/9oz plain flour
100g/ 3&1/2 oz cornflour
1tsp salt
50g/ 1&3/4 oz butter

to serve – soy sauce and sweet chilli sauce

For the filling:
Season the chops with the salt and pepper and five spice and fry in the olive oil till brown and cooked through. Add garlic, ginger and chilli, and continue to fry for a minute, then add the orange juice and let it reduce by half. Empty into a bowl and let it cool. When it’s cool, remove one chop and put everything else into a food processor and pulse till fine. Cut the other chop by hand for texture, add it all to a bowl with the hoi-sin, sesame oil and chili sauce. Mix well.

For the buns:
Put the yeast in a bowl with half the water. In another bowl mix the flour and salt and rub in the butter. When the yeast has bubbled up pour in the rest of the water, add to the flour and butter and mix to form a soft dough. Cover with cling film and leave in a warm place until it doubles in size. Then break into about eight pieces (about the size of a golf ball), and shape into balls. Take each dough ball, and flatten in the palm of your hand and form a cup shape, put a tsp of the pork mixture in the center, and gently wrap the sides of the dough up and around the filling. Pinch it to seal it up. Allow the buns to sit for 5 min, then steam them for 10 min, allow enough room for expansion. If using Lime leaves, line the steamer with them, and place the buns on top.

These were really fun to make, and they were so delicious that the boys were fighting over them. One problem though, it did not mention in the recipe that if you are not using lime leaves, you still need something between the buns and the steamer, otherwise they will stick like cement. I forgot to take pictures, which is too bad because they were so beautiful when the steamer came out of the pot, and because they looked like such a disaster once I scraped them off onto a plate.

I will make them again soon and take pictures then.

It’s Jamie Oliver by the way.

AteThat: Lentil and Black Olive Pate

Lentil and Black Olive Pate
425g/15oz can of lentils, drained
small crushed garlic clove
4 sun-dried tomatoes
120-175g/ 4.5-6oz black olives, pits removed
The juice of half a lemon
Salt and pepper

Put it all in the food processor and puree it.

This came from a vegetarian cookbook called Fast, Fresh and Fabulous. It comes out looking more disgusting then I ever would have imagined. It would be kind to say that it looks like cat food, That said… IT ROCKS! I just wanted to try it because I’m wondering what to make for picnics when it gets warmer. I almost didn’t even taste it, but then when I did I decided that I needed to eat it as my whole lunch (on Oatcakes, they’re like crackers, but oat-y, yum). I’m going to be stocking up on lentils.

Introducing, AteThat: Scones


I’m new here. Actually this will be the first time I’ve ever posted to a blog, so wish me luck that I do it right.

I’m an American living in the UK (and yes I guess I am a bit in love with Jamie Oliver, how could I not be?). I’m going to try to make sure I always have all of the necessary conversions and funny names for things, so they could be used in either place. I have a very different style of cooking then cookbad does, I think mostly because it’s so much colder where I am. Right now I am way big into comfort foods.

So here goes…

I made these this morning. Scones are really important over here, they are everywhere and I figured it was about time I learned how to make them. This recipe comes from Nigella Lawson. A little note about her, I recommend that you weigh your flour if at all possible. For some reason I’ve noticed that when I use cup measurements with her recipes they tend to be wildly off, it will still work, but will probably require some adjusting.

500g/ 1lb 2oz plain flour
1 tsp salt
2 tsp bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
4&1/2 tsp cream of tartar
50g/2oz cold unsalted butter, diced
25g/1oz TREX*, in teaspooned lumps (or use another 25g butter)
300ml/10.5floz milk
1 large egg, beaten, for egg wash
75g/3oz of raisins

*TREX is like Crisco from what I understand. It has no hydrogenated oil by the way cookbad, does that make it trans or non-trans?

preheat to 220c/425f

sift together the flour, salt, baking soda and cream of tartar, and rub in the fats till it’s like damp sand. Add the raisins and the milk all at once, mix briefly (briefly), turn out onto a floured surface and knead into a dough. Roll out to a 3cm thickness (but I recommend much thicker then that, you can see in the picture that some of them are much thicker then others), and use a 6&1/2cm round cutter to cut out about 12 scones. You may have to re-roll for the last two or so. Place on a baking try (cookie sheet), brush tops with egg wash and bake for 10 min (a couple of minutes longer if you make them thicker).

Serve with butter and jelly if you are in the states, clotted cream and jam if you are in the UK.

They were so good that I might make them again tomorrow. I think my three year old had four of them, and I have blocked from my memory how many I had.