Sunday, October 30, 2011

Autumnal Dinner

Pork butts were on sale, so picked one up. I put it in a roasting pan, made slits in the meat, pushed in slivers of garlic. Seasoned it with salt, pepper, and a bit of thyme. Then roasted it all afternoon. I served it with roasted squash (seasoned with salt and ginger), buttered peas, and potatoes Anna.

We'll have leftovers in sandwiches today. With barbeque sauce.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Potatoes Anna

Put some olive oil in the pan, then layer sliced potatoes, salt and pepper, a bit of dried sage, crumbled. After a couple of layers, I added some grated hard cheese. Use a liberal amount of olive oil. You end up pouring the oil off before plating the dish. I started it on the stove, on low, while I was layering the potatoes, cooked them for a bit on the stovetop, covered, then finished in the oven, uncovered.
Drain the excess oil from the potatoes, (holding them in place in the pan) then invert onto a plate. Cut into wedges to serve.

Indonesian Yellow Rice

Basmati or jasmine rice, tumeric, lemon grass, ginger, coconut milk (or half coconut milk, half chicken stock), a little salt. Put it all in the rice cooker.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Cardamom Cookies

Cream together salted butter and sugar, add egg. Mix in flour (use a good one, I used Wheat Montana Prairie Gold), healthy pinch of cardamom, bit of baking powder. Roll into balls, roll in sugar, press with fork. Baked at 350F convection for about 9 minutes.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Coconut Raisin Rice

Cooked basmati, added milk, unsweetened coconut flakes, bit of sugar, dash nutmeg, raisins. Cooked it some more.

Monday, October 24, 2011

A Curry Powder

Curry powder is a blend of spices, unique to each kitchen, and preferably freshly made form whole spices, toasted and ground. This was made from leftover spices used in a class last week, featuring Indian food and music. I looked at several blends online, started with a Garam Masala recipe, and went from there.

Measurements are approximate, I used heaping spoons...

8 T. cumin
7 T. coriander
5 T. tumeric
3 T. cardamom
3 T. black pepper
3 T. cinnamon
2 T. ginger
1 T. mustard
1 T. fennel
3 t. cloves
3 t. nutmeg
2 t. paprika
1 t. ancho chili powder

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Saag Paneer

Saute one onion, 6 cloves garlic, and a tablespoon of fresh ginger.
Add spices: 1/2 tsp. Tumeric, 1/4 tsp. cayenne powder (I used ancho chili powder), 2 tsp. ground coriander.
Cook until onion is translucent. Add 12 oz. frozen chopped spinach, add water, simmer for about 10-15 minutes. Remove from heat, let cool a bit, puree.
Stir in yogurt , about 1 cup, return to a brief simmer, remove from heat. Add fried cheese (paneer, can use queso fresco, I used something else and it was too "melty.").
One can also add potatoes, shrimp, tofu, or garbanzo beans to this dish I served it with brown rice (used toasted sesame oil for flavor), and leftovers from yesterday's tofu stirfry. I drizzled a sweet/spicy/lemongrass dipping sauce over the top of the spicy tofu.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Peanutbutter Cookies

Peanut butter (no sugar type, natural), a bit of soft butter, brown sugar, an egg, some flour. Roll into balls, roll in sugar, flatten with a fork. 375F about 9 minutes.

Spicy Tofu/Cashew Stiry Fry

Saute onion, garlic, grated ginger, add coriander, tumeric. Cook until onions are transparent and spices are fragrant. Add cubed, pressed firm tofu. I opened the package, put it into a strainer (that yellow Tupperware one), put a small plate on top, weighted it with a heavy canned good (today was Hormel chili... yep. Do that before you start the cooking). Back to the pan... Stir in some Thai chili sauce. Towards end of cooking, add cashew pieces (or more of a rough butter, or chopped). Yum.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Indian Inspired Vegetable Lentil Stew

Put some oil in a pan, saute onion, green pepper, garlic, cubed eggplant, added some red curry paste. Put in some cauliflower, diced tomatoes, coconut milk, tumeric, cumin, salt, ground coriander. Cook until tender (I started the cauliflower in the microwave, then added partially cooked)I cooked the red lentils separately in my rice cooker. Make sure you rinse the lentils well before cooking. I served the vegetables over the lentils, but will combine it all together for leftovers.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Strawberry Jam Cupcakes

My daughter wanted yellow cake with strawberries and ice cream for her birthday. Well, the strawberries in the store looked a little sad, so this is what I did. I made a regular "butter" cake mix, made it according to the directions, with the addition of about 1/3 cup of Montana Wheat Prairie Gold flour. I don't like the fluffiness of cake mixes. Then, I put the batter into cupcake tins, and added a bit of strawberry jam to each one, baked as usual. I frosted them with cream cheese frosting (yes, I bought it), and put some red food coloring in to tint it pink. Serve with Breyer's Natural Strawberry ice cream

Easy Slow Cooker Beef Stew

This is so easy! I got a package of stew meat (beef), seasoned it with pepper, paprika, and salt, browned it in a cast iron pan with a bit of vegetable oil. I did it in batches so as not to overcrowd the pan. Overcrowding the pan will result in steaming, and you won't get that nice brown color. I did it in two batches. Put it in the slow cooker as you brown each batch. Then I added a bit more oil to the pan and slowly caramelized some chopped onion, threw that into the cooker. I used one small packet of reduced beef stock (Knorr's), and threw in a bay leaf. I peeled and cut up some russet potatoes and carrots. It cooked on high for a couple of hours, then turned it on low for the remaining couple of hours. I started this around noon, so that's why I started it on high. If doing it in the morning, cook it on low. Ah-mazing.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Pita Bread

I found a recipe online, ( but used different flour and changed the cooking time. Here it is... 1 pkg. yeast 1/2 cup warm water 1 tsp. sugar Combine in a small bow (or the measuring cup) and let it get foamy. 1 cup White Wheat Montana flour 2 cups Golden Prairie Wheat Montana flour 1 1/4 tsp. salt Combine in a large bowl, make a well in the center. Add the yeast mixture plus 1 cup lukewarm water. Mix well, knead (I used about 1/4 cup more flour during this process) for about 10 minutes, until elastic. Let rise until doubled in bulk. Punch down, roll into a long snake. Cut into 12 pieces, roll each into a ball and let rest for 10 minutes. Roll out each circle and place on a preheated baking sheet (I used a large cast iron pan), in a preheated very hot oven, 500F. The original recipe called for 4 minutes on the first side, and 2 minutes on the second. After burning 6 of them, I reduced the cooking time to about a minute and a half on both sides. Put into storage bags right away so that the resulting steam softens the bread. (and I have no idea why this is published in paragraph form, it's not how it looks in my draft form... sorry!)

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Preserved Lemons

While researching for a class, I came across preserved lemons, used as an ingredient in many North African and Middle Eastern dishes. I've never had preserved lemon, and thought it looked interesting. I have a few more shops to look, but cannot find this in town. So, I decided to make some. One can find many recipes on the internet, just google it. Here's what I did: Wash lemons, not only to clean, but to remove any wax that may have been applied to the fruit for shipping. I used regular, store-bought lemons. Cut the lemons in quarters, almost all the way through. I ended up cutting them in half, then one in quarters, as I was using small jars. Stuff kosher salt into the lemon. Pack into jars. The juice will start to come out, add more lemon juice to the jars to cover. I wiped off the rims of the jars with clean paper towel to remove any salt or lemon residue, then put lids on them. (I used sterilized jars and lids.) I put them in a water bath for 10 minutes, although this step isn't required. I would imagine that one could use a large apothecary jar, or a sun tea jar, or something similar. If using larger jars, keep the lemons "whole" (but sliced almost through). One can also add spices like cinnamon, and a bay leaf. I left mine plain. Let it sit for 3 weeks, turning the jar every day or so, to help the salt redistribute and dissolve. We'll see what happens... check back in a month for a dish where I'll use them as an ingredient.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Fall Picnic

We were driving back from Colorado and stopped at Washington Park in Laramie. We had purchased some cheese, salami, crackers, and amazing double fudge cookies with walnuts at Whole Foods in Ft. Collins. It was great to be in Laramie on a fall day, reminiscent of our time spent there 30+ years ago. Yum.