Saturday, November 24, 2012

Slowed Cooked Teriyaki Pork and Shiitake Mushroom Sweet Red Pepper Risotto

I haven’t penned a recipe in ages so forgive me if this is a little herky-jerky.

Let me just say at the onset that I love the country rib cut of pork. Sure it’s a little fatty but slow cooked it is always tender and delicious- and since I vowed to only buy ‘happy’ meat it is also one of the more economical cuts I can get from my pig guy at the farmers market.

The Ribs

4 boneless country style ribs
½ cup teriyaki sauce (I used the Mezzetta Island Teriyaki left over from my unsuccessful bid to build an award winning sandwich)

Bake at 250 covered for 1½ hours, uncovered for one hour. The ribs will get pretty saucy so I flipped them midway through the uncovered baking period to brown them evenly and help caramelize the glaze.

The Rissotto

1 cup Arborio rice

1 quart chicken broth
½ tsp powdered ginger
¼ tsp cayenne powder
½-1 tsp soy sauce
½ cup dried sliced shiitake mushrooms (or one cup fresh)

½ yellow onion chopped
1 TBS olive oil

½ cup thinly sliced kale
1 sweet red pepper julienned (I used a combo of red and yellow)-divided

¼ cup sake

Put chicken broth in medium sized pot and bring to simmer adding ginger, cayenne powder, and soy sauce. At this point I put the dried mushrooms in the broth and allowed them to plump up (10-15 minutes?). When mushrooms are plump and soft remove from broth and chop- removing any tough stems-set aside. Keep brth on heat.

Heat a large pot over medium heat sauté chopped onions in olive oil about three minutes, add mushrooms and kale and sauté a few minutes more until kale and mushrooms have given off some moisture. Add rice and cook until rice is coated with oil and just a tiny bit translucent around the edges. Add sake and cook, stirring almost constantly, until liquid is absorbed. Then add hot broth- about ¾ cup at a time- stir and allow the liquid to be absorbed before adding the next batch. The risotto should be slightly firm and cream, not mushy. I like my peppers crisp so I added half to the risotto along with the last bit of liquid and then garnished with the rest.

Remove from heat and allow to rest, covered, while you pull the pork out of the oven

By this time the pork should be tender and swimming in a richly favored broth. There is usually a pretty thick layer of oil/fat on the top of the broth. Skim as much of that off as you can and then serve with the risotto, drizzling a few table spoon of the broth over the pork once plated.

slow cooked teriyaki pork with shiitake risotto
 I garnished with parsley because that's what I had on hand but cilantro would probably be better.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Honey Raspberry Frozen Yogurt

A few weeks ago a generous neighbor gave me her Kitchenaid Ice Cream maker attachment and a copy of  Sweet Scoops. I've been lusting over ice cream makers for years, ever since I bought one as a gift for someone else, but it seemed so frivolous- especially when money's tight. Plus, to really put the thing to use I have to give up precious freezer space so the bowl is always ready to go. Right now, one week into our first extended stretch of summer, it is worth it. 

I started out making Vanilla for the 4th of July. YUM- perhaps a little sweeter that I might like but still delicious and a great way t test out both the recipe book and the ice cream maker. A few days later we had guests over to grill up some lamb kebobs. Yogurt and lamb go together in my mind so a batch of frozen yogurt seemed to fit the bill. Sweet Scoops has a honey-poppyseed frozen yogurt recipe that I loosely followed. You can pretty pictures and the original recipe here.

honey-raspberry frozen yogurt w/poppy seeds

  1. 3 cups honey low fat or whole milk yogurt (I used Nancy's honey yogurt which wasn't nearly as sweet as I expected)
  1. 1 cup heavy cream
  1. 1/4-1/2 cup wildflower honey (We always buy local honey-  it's supposed to help with allergies and well I like knowing the people that  produce the food I eat- I've never met the bees though)
  1. 1/2 cup fresh raspberries pressed through a strainer to keep out the seeds
  1. 1 tbsp poppy seeds
  1.  pinch of salt
     In a large bowl, whisk together all of the ingredients until smooth in texture. 

Honey-Raspberry Frozen Yogurt with Poppyseeds
makes about 1 quart

         Cover and refrigerate   for 2-24 hours.
Pour the cold yogurt mixture into your ice cream machine and freeze according to your   manufacturer’s instructions. 
Scrape the frozen yogurt into a freezer safe container (I used, suprise suprise, an empty Nancy's Yogurt bin), cover tightly, and freeze until firm.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Homemade Sourdough Baguettes

Homemade Wholewheat Sourdough Baguette

Equipment needed:

Kitchen scale with tare button (a must for consistent baking results at home)

Rounded bowl scraper/spatula (this is the bread making tool I value the most and it costs $2.00! Mine is a Fat Daddio's.

Medium size bowl

Parchment paper (I think this is the easiest way to bake these, I forget sometimes and have to pry these off the pan)and baking sheet

Squirt bottle with plain water or a couple of ice cubes

Total time about 8 hours, hands on time less than 20 minutes-depending on how good you are at shaping a baguette.

This is the recipe I use (with modifications I often make in parenthesis)- as you can see it isn’t very detailed.

3 ounces starter
11 ounces flour (I sometimes use AP, often I use about 3 ounces of whole wheat or spelt and 8 of bread flour)
¼ ounce salt
6.6 ounces water
                                    mix to shaggy
                                    rest 30 minutes
fold 4X @ 30 minute intervals
bulk ferment 1 ½ hours, fold
bulk ferment 2 hours, divide
preshape- let rest 15 minutes
proof 1 to 1 ½ hours
bake at 500 degrees with steam for 20 minutes

Additional thoughts and notes:

Our starter's hydration level varies. There are a lot of great threads over at The Fresh Loaf if you want to learn all about establishing and maintaining a starter. I'm pretty loosey-goosey about the whole thing, I feed the starter when I remember and usually throw it in the fridge if I'm not baking much and am feeding the starter less than once a day in warm weather or once every two days in cool weather. I made this starter six years ago and it is a tough kid, she can take some falls on the playground and get right back up again.

And about the timing on this recipe- I've followed it to the letter and I've also had a few of the 30 minute stretches go an hour or so. I've also had the first bulk ferment turn into an overnight in the refrigerator. (Actually the bread in the photos above sat for two days in the fridge, it was still quite good but I definitely pushed the boundaries.)I think the handling is key, using one of those spatula/scrapers is gluten forming magic. 

Monday, March 26, 2012

Grown Up Mac and Cheese with Blue Cheese and Swiss Chard

I made this bread video and I was going to post it on Thursday no Friday okay on Saturday, for sure on Saturday. And on Saturday I tried. Youtube and I are having some issues. And it’s not even that interesting, five minutes of bread making. But maybe I think that because I’ve seen it so many times I don’t need my recipe anymore. So that’s coming, I want to take some still shots so I need to bake some more bread. But in the meantime we still have to eat and I’m trying out a homemade lightbox in an attempt to up my game photo wise.

Blue CHeese Mac and Cheese with Garlic Swiss Chard
Tangy Grown Up Mac and Cheese with Swiss Chard and Spring Rabb
Ever since I baked that Spinach Tart I have been craving Macaroni and Cheese.  I resisted until I couldn’t resist anymore. This take has tons of veggies and was made with high fiber pasta. The Swiss chard tucked in the middle is a pleasant compliment to the tangy blue cheese. Served with spring rabb lightly sautéed in homemade chicken broth.

The recipe is a guess- based on recollection. I used ingredients in the fridge and pantry.

Blue Cheese Penne with Swiss Chard

Grown Up Mac and Cheese

2 ½ cups low fat milk
2 tsp butter
2 TBSP flour
1 heaping tsp country style Dijon mustard (a recipe for this will follow at some point)
About 1 cup shredded mozzarella
¼ cup American cheese (the secret cheese at a restaurant I worked at where everybody raved about our Mac and Cheese, it adds a creamy consistency you just can get from ‘real’ cheese)
½ cup blue cheese crumbled.
Fresh ground pepper to taste

1 bundle Swiss chard including most of the stems, chopped up fine
2-3 cloves of garlic
2 TBS homemade chicken broth

14-ounce package of Trader Joe’s high fiber penne pasta, cooked a minute or two less than instructed.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Sautee garlic, chicken broth, and Swiss chard over a medium-low heat until chard is tender and most of the liquid evaporates- about 7 minutes. Set aside.

Melt butter, add flour and whisk until flour is completely coated. Slowly add milk, whisking constantly until smooth and sauce like. Add cheeses one at a time stirring until incorporated and creamy (reserving a little bit of blue cheese and mozzarella to sprinkle over the top) Salt and pepper to taste.

Add sauce to cooked pasta (I return the pasta to its cooking pot, you want a vessel large enough to stir it together easily)

Pour about ½ the coated pasta into a lightly oiled or non-stick 8X11 pan. Top with cooled Swiss chard mixture, then add the remaining pasta and any left over sauce.
Sprinkle the remaining blue cheese and mozzarella over the top and bake until bubbly and melty- usually about 15-20 minutes.

A layer of Swiss Chard adds color and tempers the bold flavor of the blue cheese.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Ridiculously Healthy Spinach and Mushroom Tart

Spinach and Mushroom Tart with Olive OIl Crust
Spinach and Mushroom Tart Topped with Briny Kalamata Olives

Yup- no butter, no bacon but the yogurt lends a pleasant tang and the olives provide a briny burst. She ain’t pretty but she’s good.

Enough for a 9inch tart pan

Preheat oven to 400

½ cup AP flour
½ cup Whole Wheat Flour
1 Tbs Ground Flax Seed
¼ tsp salt
¼ cup cold water
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
Ground pepper to taste

Mix first five ingredients in a bowl, add water and olive oil. Stir until incorporated. Knead briefly. Dough should be soft and wet, almost like cookie dough. Roll out or press into tart pan. Dough is pretty thin, about the thickness of a nickel. Refrigerate until filling is ready

Olive Oil Crust with Whole Wheat and Flax
Olive Oil Crust with Whole Wheat and Flax Seed with a curious cat


About 15 mushrooms, cut into matchsticks
¾ lb leafy greens(I used frozen spinach because it’s what I had but the recipe is based off of a Provecal Swiss Chard tart)
1 small red onion, coarsely chopped
Garlic to taste
1 egg
¾ cup yogurt
¾ cup shredded Romano cheese
¼ tsp grated nutmeg
16 or so Kalamata olives pitted and cut length wise

Sauté mushrooms in a little olive oil over medium heat until liquid is released and dissipated. Add well-minced garlic during last few minutes of cooking.

Chopping mushrooms for Spinach Tart
Crimini Mushrooms

Meanwhile puree thawed spinach (or blanched fresh Chard or Kale) and onion in a food processor.

Set mushrooms aside and sauté spinach to remove excess moisture- about ten minutes over med-low heat. Remove from heat.

Sheeps Milk Reggiano and freshly grated Nutmeg

Combine yogurt, egg, nutmeg, and cheese together in a medium bowl. Add spinach and thoroughly combine. Add mushrooms and mix until evenly distributed.

Uncooked Spinach Mushroom Tart
Dark Kitchen + Bright Green Spinach = Picture that looks like it came from the fifties

Spread filling into awaiting tart shell, top with olives and bake for about forty minutes until crust looks brown and has begun to pull away from the sides of the tart pan and the filling is set.

Serve warm or at room temperature.

Pitted Kalamatas top this savory SPinach and Mushroom Tart

I just learned that I have high cholesterol- I do love cheese and butter and eggs and bacon... I think I could live quite happily (if not quite as long) on a diet of breakfast food and macaroni and cheese. 

But I also love my leafy greens (really! thanks Dad!) and avocados and garlic and ginger and onions and spicy peppers- in fact I love almost everything on the heart healthy diet- except for nuts but they don’t love me either so we’re square. 

Why did I resist?

Two weeks in and I feel great (though that mention of Mac and Cheese has got me yearning). I’m still eating things I like all I’ve done is flip the ratios around, add a salad course. Even if six months from now the medical community changes its mind yet again and decided that there is some other X factor that causes heart disease I’d still make this tart again, only this time with Kale!