Sunday, October 16, 2016

salted butter crackers

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salted butter crackers

via myself and the little red kitchen 

1 3/4 c. all-purpose flour
     or gluten-free:
     127 g. (4.5 oz) tapioca starch
     42 g. (1.5 oz) sweet rice flour
     42 g. (1.5 oz) sorghum flour
3/4  1 tsp. sel gris or kosher salt or sea salt
9 tbsp. (127 g./4.5 oz) cold butter, cut into 18 pieces
 5 tbsp. cold water
1 egg yolk, for the glaze

Pour the flour(s) and salt in a food processor and pulse to mix. Drop the butter in and pulse until it looks like coarse meal with pea-sized and smaller pieces. While the machine is running, slowly add some of the cold water. Only add enough water to make a dough that almost forms a bowl. It will be very malleable.

Move the dough onto a big clean cutting board and form it into a square. Wrap it in plastic and refrigerate for about 1 hour (or up to 3 days).

When it's time to bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and make sure your rack is centred. Line your baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper.

Roll the dough out between sheets of plastic wrap until it becomes a rough rectangle that's about 1/4-inch thick and about 5 by 11 inches. Peel it onto your prepared baking sheet.

Whisk the egg yolk with a few drops of cold water, and use a pastry brush to brush the dough with the egg glaze.

Bake 30  40 minutes, or until golden. It should be firm to touch, but with a little spring when you press its centre. Dorie says the perfect break-up is crisp on the outside and still tender on the inside. When it's not too fragile, transfer it to a rack and let it cool to room temperature. Break into cracker pieces   or let your guests break it up  and serve with cheese.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

walnut pesto

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walnut pesto
slightly adapted from smitten kitchen

1 c. roasted walnuts*
1/4 c. parmesan cheese, grated
1 garlic clove, crushed
couple small shakes of dried thyme**
nice salt to taste
small splash sherry vinegar
1/4 to 1/3 c. good olive oil
3 tbsp. sundried tomatoes, chopped finely (oil-packed or re-hydrated dry tomatoes)

Pulse the walnuts, parmesan, garlic, thyme, salt and a small splash of sherry vinegar together in a food processor. You are looking for a coarse grind, not a uniform paste. Scrape it out into a bowl and stir in the smaller amount of olive oil. Add more olive oil if you'd like it to be looser. Stir in the sun-dried tomatoes. Taste for seasoning and decide if you need another small splash of sherry vinegar or more salt.

Spread on crackers and eat. Store what you don't use in the fridge for quite a few days.

* To roast the walnuts, preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Spread the walnuts on a cookie tray and roast them for about 10 minutes until they smell good and you can see the nut meat has become golden.  
** Smitten Kitchen's original recipe calls for the leaves from 3 sprigs of thyme. I'm sure that would be even better but I don't always have fresh thyme around. 

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

hyperbraised fennel

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hyperbraised fennel
via R. W. Apple Jr. adapted from Alice Waters in The Essential New York Times Cookbook by Amanda Hesser
serves 4 to 6

4 large fennel bulbs including feathery fronds*
1/2 c. extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 c. water
2 tbsp. fennel seeds, finely ground in a spice grinder or mortar and pestle
2 pinches crushed red pepper flakes**
1 tsp. kosher salt (or 1/2 tsp. table salt)
2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice

Cut the stalks off your fennel bulbs. Finely chop the fronds and set them aside. Cut each fennel bulb into eighths.

Place the fennel pieces into a heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven. Add the olive oil and water. Cover the pot and turn the heat up to high. As soon as it boils, turn the heat down to medium. Stir, cover and let cook for 5 minutes.

Stir in the fennel fronds, ground fennel seeds, red pepper flakes and salt. Turn the heat up to medium-high. Cover and cook until the liquid has almost evaporated and the fennel is very tender, about 10 minutes. (If you still have too much liquid, you can simmer it uncovered for a few minutes.)

Take the pot off the heat and stir in the lemon juice. Taste for salt and add more if necessary. Serve.

*If your fennel comes frondless, you may substitute 1/4 c. chervil leaves or leave them out.
**I like to use my handy Korean red pepper flakes here. They don't give any heat.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

roasted rhubarb with wine and vanilla

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roasted rhubarb with wine and vanilla
slightly adapted from orangette, who was inspired by canal house cooking

1 lb. (454 g.) rhubarb, cut into lengths about 2  3 inches long
1/4 c. white or red wine
1/4 c. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla

Get out a heavy baking dish with high sides, such as a Dutch oven or Corningware casserole dish. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

In a medium bowl, toss the rhubarb with the wine, sugar and vanilla. Line the rhubarb up like soldiers in the baking dish and put in the oven.

After 15 minutes, carefully stir the rhubarb so it all gets cooked.

After 15 more minutes, check on the rhubarb. It should look intact but actually be tender and ready to eat. Serve with a bit of the syrup that's pooled in the bottom of the dish.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

sriracha tofu with broccolini and coconut rice

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sriracha tofu and broccolini with coconut rice
adapted from gourmet
serves 4

1 1/2 c. long-grain white rice*
1 1/2 c. water
1 tsp. sugar
1 c. + 1/2 c. coconut milk, well-stirred
3/4 tsp. + 3/4 tsp. salt
1 lb (454 g.) broccolini or broccolette**
1 block firm tofu, cut into bite-sized cubes
2 1/2 tbsp. sriracha sauce
2 tsp. cornstarch
1/4 c. + 1/4 c. chicken broth
1 tbsp. vegetable, canola or grapeseed oil

Rinse the rice under cold water and drain well. Pour into a medium-sized sauce pan with a heavy bottom. Add 1 1/2 cups water, 1 cup coconut milk and 3/4 teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and cover. Cook for 20 minutes, then take it off the heat and let it stand for 5 minutes, still covered.

While the rice is cooking, peel the broccolini stalks and cut the whole thing into 1-inch lengths. Set aside.

In another bowl, toss the tofu with the with the sriracha and the remaining 3/4 teaspoon of salt. Set aside.

In a smaller bowl, stir the cornstarch, 1/4 cup chicken broth,  and 1/2 cup coconut milk until the cornstarch dissolves.

Heat a big heavy-bottomed skillet or Dutch oven over high heat. Add oil. Add broccolini and fry until it turns bright-green. Stir in the remaining 1/4 cup chicken broth. Once the liquid has evaporated (about 3 minutes), add the dressed tofu. Stir often and cook for 2 minutes. Stir the cornstarch mixture again and add it to the broccolini and tofu. Stir until the sauce is slightly thickened, about 3 minutes.

Fluff the rice and serve it with the broccolini mixture. Eat!

* We like Jasmine or Basmati rice 
** You could also use regular broccoli, peeled and cut more finely

Monday, February 15, 2016

gluten-free sandwich bread

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gluten-free sandwich bread
adapted from canadian living
bakes 2 loaves

250 g. (2 c.) tapioca starch
125 g. (1 c.) brown rice flour
63 g. (1/2 c. + 2 tbsp. + 2 tsp.) gluten-free oat flour*
63 g. (1/2 c. + 1 tbsp.) millet flour
270 g. (1 1/2 c.) potato starch
38 g. (6 tbsp.) ground flax meal
4 tsp. quick-rising (instant) dry yeast
4 tsp. xanthan gum
1 1/2 tsp. salt
672 g. (2 2/3 c.) milk, warmed
4 eggs (224 g.)
37 g. (2 tbsp.) liquid honey
16 g. (4 tsp.) olive oil
2 tsp. cider vinegar

Grease two non-stick loaf pans with a neutral-tasting oil. Set aside.

Get out a large bowl. Whisk together the tapioca starch, brown rice flour, oat flour, millet flour, potato starch, ground flax meal, yeast, xanthan gum and salt. Set aside.

In another bowl, whisk together the milk, eggs, honey, olive oil and cider vinegar. Stir the dry ingredients into the liquid. Mix well.

Pour the batter into the waiting loaf pans and smooth the tops a bit. Let rise in a draft-free place for about an hour, until the tops have risen just above the loaf pans. I like to put the pans in the microwave with a mug of just-boiled water to steam it up. If you leave them on the counter, make sure you cover them with lightly-greased plastic wrap so they aren't susceptible to drafts.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (180 degrees Celcius) and bake for about one hour. When they're done, the tops will be golden brown and a cake tester will come out clean. If you have a thermometer, the inside of the bread will measure 205 degrees Fahrenheit.

Let cool a bit, then transfer to racks to fully cool. Slice and eat. If you will be keeping it longer than 24 hours, slice, double-bag and freeze. Toast slices as you need them.

* I just whirl my gluten-free oats in the food processor until they're fairly fine and use that as oat flour. 

Sunday, January 10, 2016

kimchi soup

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kimchi soup
adapted from the new york times
serves 6  8

1 lb. (454 g.) pork rib roast or pork shoulder, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp. fresh ginger, grated
2 tbsp. soy sauce
1 tsp. sesame oil
1 tsp. fish sauce
2 tbsp. butter
1 medium onion, cut in half, sliced lengthwise and cut in half again
2 c. kimchi, squeezed dry and chopped*
1 tbsp. Korean red pepper flakes**
 2 c. kimchi juice
8 c. chicken or beef broth
8 oz. (222 g.) soft or silken tofu, cut in large cubes
8 green onions, chopped, for garnish
Japanese rice, for serving (optional)

Get a bowl out and toss the pork with garlic, ginger, soy sauce, sesame oil and fish sauce. Marinate for 10 minutes.

Put a heavy-bottomed soup pot on medium heat. Melt the butter, then add the pork mixture. Cook gently for 5 minutes. Stir onion in and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Turn the heat up to medium high and add the kimchi and red pepper flakes. Simmer for 2 minutes.

Pour kimchi juice and broth in. Bring to a boil. Reduce to a brisk simmer and cook 20 minutes. Taste the broth and adjust the seasoning if you need to.

Right before serving, add the tofu and stir gently. When the tofu is hot, ladle into bowls and garnish generously with green onion. If you like, serve alongside Japanese rice.

* You can buy the kimchi or make your own. Here's the recipe I used.
** Buy red pepper flakes at a Korean grocery store or in the Asian section of a regular grocery store. They are not hot (spicy).

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

granola no. 3

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granola no. 3
adapted from orangette's granola no. 5
bakes a lot of granola, maybe 12 cups

750 g. (about 7 1/2 c.) rolled oats*
65 g. (about 1 1/4 c.) coconut flakes or chips
300 g. (about 2  3 c.) nuts,** chopped
2 tsp. Diamond kosher salt (or 1 tsp. regular salt)
240 ml (1 c.) maple syrup
160 ml (2/3 c.) olive oil

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Line one large or two regular baking sheets with parchment paper.

Get out your biggest bowl and mix the oats, coconut, nuts and salt together well. Add the maple syrup and olive oil, and stir until everything is coated. Spread it evenly onto the baking sheet(s).

Bake for 20 minutes. Take it out and stir carefully. Bake for another 15 minutes. Stir and decide if it's done enough for you. You'll probably want to bake it for another 5 or 10 minutes. Look for the coconut and nuts to toast, and the oats to be lightly golden brown. (Remember, it will bake and set a bit more as it cools.)

Let cool completely on a rack. Store it in an airtight container on the counter. Molly says that if you want to keep it longer than a couple weeks, you could freeze some of it  but we've never needed to.

* If you're making this for a Celiac, make sure you use oats that are labelled "wheat-free" or "gluten-free."
** I like a combination of hazelnuts and walnuts and often throw some almonds in. You could also use some seeds here. I find seeds are often too adventurous in the morning.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

ginger meringues

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ginger meringues
fika by anna brones and johanna kindvall
bakes 15 large or 30 small

slice of lemon
3 egg whites, at room temperature
3/4 c. (148 g., 5.25 oz.) white sugar or natural cane sugar
1 tsp. ginger, grated

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Fahrenheit (95 degrees Celsius). Take out one very big or two regular cookie sheets and line with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper.

If you have a stainless steel bowl  or a regular grease-free bowl  wipe it with the lemon. Discard the lemon. Beat the egg whites until they form soft peaks, about 2 minutes. Slowly add the sugar and keep beating until it's glossy and you see hard peaks. Beat in the ginger.

Use a tablespoon to plop the meringue batter onto the cookie sheet. About 1 tablespoon makes a small meringue and about 2 tablespoons make a large meringue.

Bake 1 1/2 hours for small and 2 hours for large. They should feel crisp on the outside and sound hollow when they're done. Leave them in the oven to cool down after you turn the oven off.

Store in an airtight container for a few weeks.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

squash pasta with caramelized onions

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squash pasta
slightly adapted from The Wednesday Chef and The New York Times

2 1/2  3 lb. orange squash, such as butternut, peeled, seeded and cut into small pieces (about 1/8  1/4 inch thick)
3 tbsp. + 3 tbsp. olive oil
1/2 teaspon Korean red pepper flakes or dried chile flakes
3 tsp. kosher salt (1 1/2 tsp. regular salt)
1 onion, peeled and thinly sliced
1/4 c. apple cider vinegar
1/4 c. maple syrup
a good amount of parmesan or asiago, grated, to top
optional: scoop out the squash seeds, toss them with olive oil and salt and roast them in a small pan while you're roasting the squash flesh.

1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Take out a cookie sheet and line it with parchment paper. Stir the squash, 3 tablespoons olive oil, chile flakes and 2 teaspoons kosher salt in a bowl. Spread onto the prepared pan, and cook, stirring once, about 15 minutes  until it's tender and a bit coloured. (You may wish to also roast the squash seeds at this point.) Take out of the oven.

2. In the meantime, set a heavy pot over medium-high heat and heat the other 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Stir in the onions and remaining teaspoon of salt. Stir often, and cook until the onions are very soft and getting darker, about 10  15 minutes. Then pour in the vinegar and syrup and reduce the heat to medium-low. Cook until it gets almost syrupy and the onions break down, a bit like a jam.

3. Put the squash and onions in a bowl and use a fork to mash them together. Taste for seasoning and add more salt and pepper if necessary.

4. Boil your pasta  preferably penne or rigatoni  in lightly salted water until al dente. Near the end, set aside 1  2 cups of the starchy pasta cooking water. Strain the pasta and then stir the squash-onion mixture in, also using some (or all) of the reserved pasta water to thin it. Serve with grated parmesan to go on top, and roasted seeds, if you made them.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

chicken coconut curry soup

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chicken coconut curry soup
adapted from savory sweet life
serves 3  4

2 tbsp. olive oil
3 medium carrots, peeled and chopped finely
1/2 onion, chopped finely
1 red, orange or yellow bell pepper, chopped finely
2 tbsp. fish sauce
3 tbsp. red curry paste*
2 tbsp. brown sugar
1 can coconut milk (about 400 ml or 14 oz.)
 4 c. chicken broth
1 c. cooked chicken meat (may be previously frozen), shredded or chopped
1 c. cooked white rice (may be previously frozen) **
3 small limes, juiced
3 tbsp. fresh cilantro, chopped finely

Set a big heavy pot over medium heat. Heat the olive oil, then stir in the carrot, onion and red bell pepper. Cook for 5 minutes. Stir in the fish sauce, curry paste and brown sugar. Cook until the curry paste is incorporated, about 2  3 minutes.

Add the chicken broth and coconut milk and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down to medium and cook for 15  20 minutes, until the vegetables are tender.

Stir in the chicken, rice and lime juice. Bring it back to a gentle simmer. Taste for seasoning. You might need a bit more curry paste or a little salt here (although the fish sauce can be very salty), or maybe the juice of another lime to perk it up. Stir in most of the cilantro. Serve with a bit of fresh cilantro on top.

* I use the Thai Kitchen brand. It's not hot at all, and I sometimes add more at the end.
** I like Jasmine or Japanese rice here

Monday, June 29, 2015

martini rosso

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martini rosso
this is an idea for a rough outline of a recipe   just pour and you'll be fine

1 part Martini Rosso
4 parts 7UP or ginger ale
ice cubes

Stir the Martini Rosso and 7UP together. Taste and adjust if necessary. Add ice. Sit under a tree in the backyard and take a long sip.