Sunday, January 30, 2011

Yep, More Pizza: Artichoke and Asparagus Dip

Softened cream cheese, can of drained artichoke hearts, some blanched asparagus, a bit of green onion, Italian blend shredded cheese... put it all in a food processor, puree.
I made some pizza crusts, (flour, yeast, water, oil, salt), prebaked them.
On one, I put dollops of the dip, pizza sauce, and pesto. Sprinkled chopped onion over the top, along with some dried garlic/red pepper.
On the other, I just spread the dip, and sprinkled with the dried garlic/red pepper seasoning.

Ricotta Pancakes

I saw something like this on a cooking show, using cottage cheese. I googled a couple of recipes, too. This is what I did.
First, I made some ricotta. I emptied out what was left of the half gallon of milk in the fridge. Brought it to almost boiling, 181F-190F. Then poured in some apple cider vinegar. I let it sit and curdle while I went on line and surfed around, watched some news, back to a cooking show, back to the news....
After it was curdled, I strained it. I got about a cup, maybe a little over. I didn't measure it.
To the ricotta, I added 3 egg yolks, and about a cup (a little less) of milk; used a whisk and stirred it all together.
In another bowl I put about a cup of self-rising flour. I bought some by accident a while back and am trying to use it up. To that, I added good spoonful of sugar.
In a third bowl, I whipped the 3 egg whites to stiff peaks.
Combine dry to the ricotta/yolk mixture, then fold in the whites.
Cook on a griddle.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Sweet Rice

Aborio rice, cooked al dente
To the rice, I added milk, butter, honey and a bit of sugar, dash of nutmeg; cooked it further.


Warning: decadent

(Adapted from the back of the flour bag.)

In a saucepan, melt and combine:
3/4 cup cocoa, I used dark cocoa powder
1/2 cup shortening
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup butter

In a bowl, combine:
4 eggs
2 cup sugar
1 t. vanilla

Add chocolate mixture to egg mixture, careful to not have the choc. too hot.

Mix in 2 cups self-rising flour.

Bake at 325F until it pulls away from the pan and is set in the middle. Cool completely. Cut into bars.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Biscuits: Self-Rising Flour

This recipe uses self-rising flour, as well as whole wheat flour, along with a bit of sourdough starter.
In a bowl combine:
1/2 - 2/3 cup sourdough starter
1 cup buttermilk (I used water, dry milk powder, cap of cider vinegar)
1/4 tsp. baking soda

In another bowl, mix:
2 cups self-rising flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 Tblsp. sugar
1/3 cup shortening
1 1/2 Tblsp. butter

Add the wet to the dry, knead briefly, roll, cut, brush tops with melted butter and bake.
Hot oven (375F) convection, about 10 minutes, until starting to turn golden.

Wonderful with butter and honey. Especially this honey!

Split Pea Soup

Saute onion, celery, carrot. Add rinsed,dried split peas. Cover with water, cook. When beans are tender, puree. Put it into a slow cooker, add diced ham, some real bacon bits, a bay leaf, thyme, salt and pepper.
We went skiing.
Had some when we got home.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Macadamia and Walnut Oatmeal Cookie Bars

1 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 sugar
2 Tblsp Dark Molasses
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 tsp. almond extract
1 tsp. salt

1 1/2 cup Hungarian Whole Wheat, high altitude flour
1/2 cup unbleached AP flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 cup ground flax seed
1 1/2 cups chopped nuts: walnuts, macadamias

Cream butter, sugar; add eggs, extract, salt.
In a separate bowl, combine dry ingredients.
Mix together. You can make into cookies, but I pressed it into a 9x13 glass baking dish.
Cooked for about 20-25 minutes in a 350F oven, convection.
Let cool slightly, cut into squares.

French Fries

The secret to making a really good fry, is to fry them twice. Fry the first time at a little lower temp 350F, and take out of the fryer just before they start to color. Drain well. I find they can stick to paper towels, so I put them on paper, newsprint or parchment, blot with paper towels. They can be held like this until needed.
Then when ready to fry, use a bit hotter oil , 365F, and fry in batches until golden.
Drain on paper towel, sprinkle with salt while hot.
Really that simple.
Now, one can use canola, peanut, corn or other vegetable oils. Some may want to use lard. They say the secret to the great taste of the original fries at the arches, was beef fat. The oils may have different smoking points, points at which they burn, but once you start using them, you can adjust accordingly (heat settings, time it takes, etc). If frying on top of the stove, use a heavy bottomed, tall pan. The oil will bubble up. If it were to bubble over the top you would have a disaster. like call the ambulance and fire department...

Macadamia Biscotti

2 1/2 cups AP flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
3 eggs, beaten lightly (added a 4th egg while mixing, seemed dry)
1 tsp. almond extract
2/3 - 3/4 cup Macadamia nuts, broken up

Sift together the dry ingredients. Beat the eggs, add extract. Mix eggs into the flour mixture. Knead in nuts. Form into logs and bake on a greased and floured baking sheet 30 minutes at 400F. (Or until golden)
Let cool 5 minutes.
Slice diagonally and place back on baking sheet. Bake 5 minutes, turn them, and bake another 5.
Let them cool completely before packaging.

and more pizza....

Whole wheat crust, used about half Hungarian High Altitude flour and half unbleached AAP. Used water, olive oil, sugar, salt, flour in the crust. While it was rising, we went skiing...
I rolled/stretched the crusts, docked them with a fork, put olive oil on top and baked until partway done, no color on the dough.
For the sauce, I ground some fennel, and roasted pepper/garlic seasoning, put it in a saucepan with olive oil. Added some smoked paprika, and a can of tomato sauce. Added lots of oregano, and some rosemary. I let it simmer until thick.One pizza was just salami, Italian sausage, green pepper, cheese. I made another one adding the rest of the Hickory Farms cheese spread, and bacon bits (along with some sausage, salami, gr. peppers, and mozzarella).
I made a couple of small, no meat pizzas, too. Pesto/cheese, pesto/red sauce/cheese, and red sauce/cheese. I did not pre-bake the small crusts, but took them off the pan partway through to place directly on the rack.
Bake directly on the rack for a crisp crust. Hot oven 44F, convection.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Breakfast Today...

Grapefruit with Himalayan pink salt (thanks, KK!) and a touch of sugar, biscuit with raspberry all fruit, seedless jam.
Black coffee.