Gastronomy

A little song, a little dance, a little seltzer down your pants.

Re: Gastronomy

Postby Antipatros » Wed Sep 19, 2012 2:55 pm

From Lorenza de' Medici, The de' Medici Kitchen:

Coniglio ai Capperi e Basilico

Rabbit in Caper Sauce with Basil

Rabbit is popular in Italy, where it is usually butchered young, at six months or less. It is often cooked in a wine marinade or roasted alla cacciatora, with tomato and mushrooms. For the most elegant preparation, only the saddle is used. The following recipe can also be used for chicken or veal.

1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 rabbit, about 4 lb. (1.8 kg), cut into serving pieces
2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
1 carrot, cut into pieces
1 onion, cut into pieces
1 stalk celery, cut into pieces
6 fresh plum (egg) tomatoes, peeled, or canned with their liquid
1 handful of fresh flat-leaf (Italian) parsley, chopped
6 fresh chives, chopped
1 cup (8 fl oz/240 mL) dry white wine
salt and freshly ground pepper
3 tbsp. capers, well drained
1 handful of fresh basil leaves, torn into pieces

Heat the oil in a heavy pan over medium heat. Add the rabbit pieces and cook until golden brown on all sides, about 10 minutes. Sprinkle with the flour and add the vegetables, parsley and chives. Pour in the wine, season to taste with the salt and pepper, cover, and cook over low heat about 1 1/2 hours, adding a little water if necessary to keep the rabbit moist.

Remove the rabbit to a heated serving dish and keep hot.

Puree the juices and vegetables with a hand blender. Reheat the puree and stir int the capers. Pour over the rabbit, sprinkle with the basil, and serve immediately.

Serves 6.
Be not too curious of Good and Evil;
Seek not to count the future waves of Time;
But be ye satisfied that you have light
Enough to take your step and find your foothold.

--T.S. Eliot
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Re: Gastronomy

Postby Antipatros » Wed Sep 19, 2012 3:15 pm

I suppose it's only fitting to include a recipe for panzanella after referring to it in connexion with the Lebanese fatoush. This is also from Lorenza de' Medici, The de' Medici Kitchen:

Panzanella

Bread Salad with Tomato

In Tuscany, leftover bread is mixed with vine-ripened tomatoes, onions, and deep green olive oil to create this simple yet delicious salad.

8 oz. (240 g) week-old, coarse-textured bread
3 large ripe tomatoes, peeled and cut into small cubes
2 small red (Spanish) onions, sliced paper-thin
1/2 cup (1/2 oz./15 g) whole fresh basil leaves
2 tbsp. red wine vinegar
salt
1/3 cup (3 fl. oz./90 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
freshly ground pepper

In a bowl soak the bread in water to cover for a few minutes. Squeeze dry and crumble into a large mixing bowl.

Add the tomatoes, onions, and basil to the bread.

In a small bowl, whisk the vinegar with a pinch of salt until the salt is dissolved. Whisk in the olive oil. Add the dressing to the salad, toss, season to taste with the salt and pepper, and serve.

Serves 6.
Be not too curious of Good and Evil;
Seek not to count the future waves of Time;
But be ye satisfied that you have light
Enough to take your step and find your foothold.

--T.S. Eliot
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Wild boar

Postby Antipatros » Thu Sep 20, 2012 3:07 pm

I’ll dedicate this to the folks on American Hoggers, as well as anyone who’s going hunting. From Lorenza de’ Medici, Lorenza’s Italian Seasons:

Autumn comes late in Chianti, where I live. The sun is still hot in September and hopefully the weather will stay warm and dry into October for the grape harvest. We still enjoy picnics and alfresco luncheons and I notice that everyone, especially autumn visitors from the north, seems to spend more time at the table in gardens, outdoor restaurants and cafés, soaking up the last rays of the sun. By November there is a definite chill in the air and we must make haste to pick our olives, the other major crop in Tuscany, before the first frost. In the vineyards the vine leaves turn yellow and brown and in the woods the chestnut and oak trees begin to show their autumn colours. The days are short and in the evening it is time to light a fire and enjoy the comforting aroma and taste of grilled (broiled) meats for supper.

Besides the cultivated harvest of grapes and olives, autumn provides an abundant wild harvest of mushrooms, chestnuts, figs, berries, even snails and, of course, game, big wild boar and small birds....

Cinghiale ai Mirtilli Rossi

Wild Boar with Cranberries

Wild boars have always been popular in Tuscany, where they are cooked in many different ways. The most famous method is described in my book The Renaissance of Italian Cooking, and is called Cinghiale in Dolceforte as it is cooked in a sweet-and-sour sauce with garlic and chocolate. Here, it is accompanied by cranberries, which still grow in autumn if it is particularly warm. You could use the back legs of the boar for this dish.

1.5 kg/3 lbs. wild boar
½ bottle red wine
½ wine glass red wine vinegar (4 tbsp.)
2 onions, sliced
3 carrots, sliced
3 celery stalks, sliced
1 tsp. cloves
1 tsp. juniper berries
1 tsp. black peppercorns
1 tbsp. unsalted butter
2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp. cornflour (cornstarch)
Grated zest of 1 organic orange
150g/5 ozs. cranberries
Salt

Place the wild boar in a large bowl and pour over the wine and vinegar to cover the meat. Add 1 onion, 1 carrot, 1 celery stalk, the cloves, juniper berries and peppercorns. Cover and leave to marinate for 2 days in the refrigerator.

Drain the meat, reserving the marinade. Strain the marinade through a colander. Discard the vegetables and spices. Dry the meat on a clean cloth.

Heat the butter and oil in a large flameproof casserole. Add the meat and fry over a high heat, turning, until golden brown all over, about 10 minutes. Add the remaining onion, carrots, and celery. Pour in the strained wine, cover and cook on the hob over a low heat for about 3 hours, adding water when necessary to prevent the cooking juices from drying out. Add salt to taste.

Drain the wild boar, reserving the cooking juices. Set aside and keep warm. Skim the fat from the surface of the cooking juices, then strain them through a fine sieve or a mouli into a clean pan. Add the cornflour (cornstarch) to the juices, whisking as you go to avoid lumps. Add the orange zest, the cranberries, and a little water to thin the sauce. Cook for about 10 minutes over a low heat until you have a smooth sauce.

Slice the boar, transfer to a warmed serving platter, cover with the sauce and serve.

Serves 6.
_____________

I don’t have The Renaissance of Italian Cooking in my collection, and the only online version of Lorenza’s recipe I could find was in German. Google Translate did an adequate job on the ingredients (other than the expected, such as failing to substitute 'prunes" for “dried plums”), but the directions became somewhat garbled. I have reconstructed them as best I can, drawing guidance from the directions for the Cinghiale ai Mirtilli Rossi, above, and this other recipe for Cinghiale in Dolceforte:

Cinghiale in Dolceforte

Wild Boar in Sweet and Sour Sauce

1.5 kg wild boar meat for braising (leg or shoulder), cut into pieces
2 carrots, roughly chopped
2 celery stalks, roughly chopped
2 onions, coarsely chopped
1 bottle of Chianti Classico

4 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp. juniper berries
1 tsp. black peppercorns
2 bay leaves
Salt and pepper
50 g (2 ozs.) sugar
4 garlic cloves, minced
120 mL (1/2 cup) of red wine vinegar
50 g (2 ozs.) dark chocolate, grated
50 g (2 ozs.) pitted prunes - soaked
1 tbsp. lemon peel, finely chopped

Place the pieces of meat and the vegetables into a large pan, pour over the wine and leave it in the refrigerator to marinate for 24 hours. Stir often.
Remove the meat from the marinade and pat dry. Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven over high heat, add the pieces of meat and sear on all sides.

Pour the marinade through a sieve to separate the vegetables from the marinade; reserve both. Add the vegetables, juniper berries, peppercorns and 1 bay leaf to the meat. Add salt, and pour in a little of the marinade. Cover and simmer for 1½ hours, gradually adding the remaining marinade.

Remove the meat, puree the vegetables with the braising liquid, pour over the meat and reheat.
.
Melt the sugar in a sauté pan with the garlic and the remaining bay leaf until slightly brown. Pour in the vinegar, stir in the chocolate and simmer briefly. Add this mixture, the prunes and lemon peel to the meat and simmer gently simmering for 10 minutes.

Serve with carrots and zucchini cubes, blanched, seasoned and tossed in butter.
Be not too curious of Good and Evil;
Seek not to count the future waves of Time;
But be ye satisfied that you have light
Enough to take your step and find your foothold.

--T.S. Eliot
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Wicked game

Postby Antipatros » Thu Sep 20, 2012 3:49 pm

Also from Lorenza de’ Medici, Lorenza’s Italian Seasons:

Capriolo ai Marsala

Venison with Marsala

Marsala, with its strong taste, goes very well with the sweet taste of the meat.

1.5 kg/3 lb. leg of venison, bone in
1 tbsp. unsalted butter
2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 handful fresh sage leaves
6 tbsp. Marsala
Salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 170⁰C/350⁰F/Gas 4.

Trim the venison leg and tie with kitchen string. Sprinkle the meat with salt and pepper to taste. Heat the butter and oil in a roasting tin (pan), add the venison and sage and cook on the hob over a medium heat, turning, until golden on all sides, about 10 minutes.

Transfer the roasting tin (pan) to the oven and cook for another 45 minutes. Remove from the oven, transfer the meat to a warmed plate, cover with (aluminum) foil and leave to rest.

Pour the Marsala into the roasting tin (pan) and deglaze the cooking juices over a medium heat, stirring, until the Marsala has evaporated. Strain the sauce.

Untie the meat and cut into slices. Places the slices on a warmed serving platter, pour over the sauce and serve immediately.

Serves 6.

Pernici al Funghi

Partridge with Mushrooms

I just remove the fat if there is too much before adding the Cognac.

6 partridges prepared for the oven
6 paper-thin pancetta slices
1 tbsp. unsalted butter
5 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
4 tbsp. Cognac
300g/10 ozs. fresh porcini mushrooms
1 handful fresh mint
3 garlic cloves
Salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 200⁰C/400⁰F/Gas 6.

Clean the partridges and sprinkle with a little salt. Wrap each partridge in a slice of pancetta, tie with kitchen string and place in a roasting tin (pan) with the butter and 2 tbsp. of the oil. Cook in the oven for about 20 minutes, turning them once.

Remove the string from the partridges and place them in a deep heatproof serving dish. Heat the Cognac in a saucepan and flame it (set fire to the surface with a match, standing well back as you do so). Pour the flaming Cognac over the partridges. Cover with (aluminum) foil and leave to rest.

Wipe the mushrooms clean and slice them. Heat the rest of the oil in a pan and sauté the mushrooms with the mint and garlic for about 5 minutes, stirring a couple of times. Discard the mint and garlic and add salt and pepper to taste.

Transfer the partridges to a warmed serving platter, surround with the mushrooms and serve.

Serves 6.

Lepre alle Ciliegie

Hare with Cherries

As the hare has quite a strong flavour, the sweetness of the cherries is very appropriate and gives this dish a milder taste.

1.5kg/3 lb. hare, bone in, prepared for the oven
120g/4 oz./1 cup plain (all-purpose) flour
1 tbsp. unsalted butter
2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp. chopped shallots
1 tbsp. chopped carrot
1 tbsp. chopped celery
1 tbsp. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
½ bottle dry white wine
1 bay leaf
1 tsp. black peppercorns
3 fresh thyme sprigs
240g/8 ozs. cherries in syrup, drained
Salt

Preheat the oven to 170⁰C/350⁰F/Gas 4.

Cut the hare into serving pieces and dredge in the flour. Heat the butter and oil in a roasting tin (pan), add the hare and sauté for a few minutes until golden brown. Add the shallots, carrot, celery, parsley, wine, bay leaf, peppercorns and thyme. Sprinkle with salt to taste and cook in the oven, uncovered, for about 1 hour, turning the pieces a couple of times.

Transfer the hare pieces to a serving platter. Heat the cooking juices in the pan over a medium heat and simmer until thickened. Add the cherries and heat through. Pour the sauce over the hare and serve.

Serves 6.
Be not too curious of Good and Evil;
Seek not to count the future waves of Time;
But be ye satisfied that you have light
Enough to take your step and find your foothold.

--T.S. Eliot
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Re: Gastronomy

Postby Antipatros » Tue Sep 25, 2012 2:43 pm

St. Basil's Ukrainian Catholic Women's League, South Edmonton, Culinary Treasures (ca. 1958):

"Ardent efforts with a good intention for a good cause are rewarded"

Sour Cream Cup Cakes

1 egg
1 cup light brown sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 cup sour cream
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. allspice
1/2 tsp. cloves
1/2 tsp. ginger

Sift the flour, then measure. Resift the flour with all the dry ingredients. Beat the egg, add brown sugar and beat until light. Add vanilla and sour cream, mix and add the sifted flour with spices. Pour in muffin tins and bake in 375 deg. F. oven for 20 minutes.

-- Mrs. O. Youzwishen

These are light and fluffy with autumnal spices appropriate to the rapidly approaching [Canadian] Thanksgiving. They are also an excellent way to use up short-dated sour cream. ;)

General warning: Some of the recipes I post, such as this one, are for elevations of 3,000-3,500 ft. or greater. You may need to adjust cooking/baking times, etc., accordingly.
Be not too curious of Good and Evil;
Seek not to count the future waves of Time;
But be ye satisfied that you have light
Enough to take your step and find your foothold.

--T.S. Eliot
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Cheap like borscht 2

Postby Antipatros » Tue Sep 25, 2012 3:31 pm

St. Basil's Ukrainian Catholic Women's League, South Edmonton, Culinary Treasures (ca. 1958):

Spring Borsch

8 small young red beets with tops
1 small onion, chopped fine
1/2 cup diced string beans and broad beans
1/3 cup peas, freshly shelled
1 cup shredded cabbage
1 tbsp. vinegar or lemon juice
1 tbsp. chopped green dill
Chopped parsley, about 1 tbsp.
1/2 cup thick sour cream
1 tbsp. flour
Salt and pepper

Wash the beets; cut in thin strips. Cut off the tops and wash them thoroughly, then cut them in small pieces. Place beet tops in a kettle along with all other vegetables. Cover with water. Cook until vegetables are tender. Add the vinegar or lemon juice to give the desired tartness. Blend the flour with the sour cream and stir into the borsch. Bring to a boil. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Note: If beets are old, cook them first until tender, then add the remaining vegetables. Do not add the beet tops: they can only be used when very young and tender.

The amount of cream to be added depends on personal preference. You may reduce the amount suggested or increase it.

Some cooks prefer to add a finely diced potato along with the vegetables; it also helps to thicken the soup.

Good borsch should be pleasantly tart. This is achieved partly by adding sour cream.*** Also by the use of lemon juice, tomato juice, vinegar, or rhubarb juice, or addition of a gew pieces of young green rhubarb chopped along with the vegetables.

Winter Borsch

1 pint canned sauerkraut
1 quart shredded beets (canned)
1 onion, chopped and fried
1 can mushroom soup
Salt and pepper
1 can consomme soup (optional)
1 cup thick sweet or slightly soured cream
1/2 tsp. parsley flakes
1 clove garlic (optional)

If sauerkraut is sour, wash in several waters, then cover with water and boil until done. Add canned beets, soup, seasoning and garlic (if whole, remove before serving soup). Simmer for a few minutes, add cream, stir and serve.

Variation: Either smoked or plain spare ribs, cut in serving pieces and boiled, can be added along with the stock in which the ribs were cooked. Add them along with canned beets, etc.

--Mrs. M. Mykulak

[***Expecting sour cream to be sour is an almost infallible sign of an old recipe. Most commercial sour cream these days is merely insipid, although Jersey Farms and some small dairies make a tangier product.]
Be not too curious of Good and Evil;
Seek not to count the future waves of Time;
But be ye satisfied that you have light
Enough to take your step and find your foothold.

--T.S. Eliot
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Wild rice

Postby Antipatros » Wed Oct 03, 2012 4:12 pm

As Canadian Thanksgiving approaches, wild rice seems an appropriate choice.

This recipe is from the Winter family, local producers of free-range turkeys, with thanks to Julie van Rosendaal:

Brown and Wild Rice Stuffing with Apples, Cranberries and Pecans

Wild rice stuffing is a favourite in the Winter household; substitute 2 cups of brown and wild rice blend if you can't find wild rice. It's delicious as a turkey stuffing -- which is how they cook it -- but also makes an interesting vegetarian option when made with vegetable stock and cooked alongside.

4 cups chicken or vegetable stock or water
1 cup wild rice
1 cup brown rice
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup dried cranberries
1/3 cup butter, melted
2-3 shallots or 1 medium onion, diced
2-3 celery stalks, diced (include the leaves if there are any)
1 tart apple, cored and diced
1 tbsp. finely chopped fresh sage (or 1 tsp. dried)
2 tsp. finely chopped fresh thyme (or 1/2 tsp. dried)
1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup toasted pecans (optional)

Bring the stock or water to a simmer in a large suacepan; add the rice and salt, reduce heat to low and cook, covered, until the rice is tender, about 45 minutes. Remove from the heat and fluff with a fork. Add the dried cranberries as you do.

Heat the butter or oil in a large frying pan and saute the shallots and celery until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the apple and cook for a few more minutes, until it begins to soften. Stir in the sage, thyme, pepper and cook for a few more minutes. Transfer to a bowl and toss with rice and pecans.

Use to stuff a turkey, or put in a buttered baking dish, cover and bake (alongside your turkey, if you like) at 350F for about half an hour.

Serves 6-8.

(EDIT: I doubled the amount of sage and thyme stated in the recipe, and that was adequate. Next time, I may add marjoram and summer savory, the other traditional components of "poultry seasoning," or perhaps some turkey andouille.)

From Jehane Benoit, The Canadiana Cookbook:

Indian Wild Rice Casserole

Perfect to serve as is for luncheon or as a vegetable with venison or game birds.

1 1/2 cups wild rice***
2 1/2 cups cold water
2 1/2 tsp. salt
1 large onion, diced
1/2 lb. mushrooms, sliced
6 slices bacon, diced
1 cup grated carrots
1/2 cup light cream or milk
1 egg

Place the wild rice, water and salt in a large saucepan. Bring to a fast rolling boil. Boil for 10 minutes. Turn off the heat, cover and let stand 30 minutes or until all the water has been absorbed.

Brown the bacon, then add the onion and mushrooms, stir until lightly browned, add the carrots and mix well. Then add the rice and blend the whole thoroughly. Beat the cream and egg together and add to rice mixture.

Place in a casserole. Cover and bake 30 minutes in a 325F oven. Remove cover, stir with a fork and bake covered for another 15 to 20 minutes. Serve.

***Wild rice can be replaced by an equal quantity of brown rice or packaged wild rice dinner. Then cook according to directions on package.
Be not too curious of Good and Evil;
Seek not to count the future waves of Time;
But be ye satisfied that you have light
Enough to take your step and find your foothold.

--T.S. Eliot
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Re: Gastronomy

Postby Antipatros » Wed Oct 10, 2012 3:54 pm

We have a leaden grey sky today, with a miserable wind and the threat of 1" or so of snow. The afternoon in particular could be a perfect time for plenty of very strong coffee and some comfort food, e.g., cinnamon rolls. The mashed potato in this recipe produces a lovely, fluffy texture.

Low-Cholesterol Cinnamon Rolls

Bon Appetit, November 1990

http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Low-Cholesterol-Cinnamon-Rolls-2746

Yield: Makes 10 rolls

Ingredients

1 large russet potato, peeled

1 envelope dry yeast
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 cup warm water (105°F to 115°F.)

1/2 cup evaporated milk
1/4 cup honey
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon salt
5 cups (about) unbleached all purpose flour

2 egg whites, beaten to blend
1 1/4 cups firmly packed dark brown sugar
1 cup raisins
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
Vegetable oil

Preparation

Cook potato in medium saucepan of boiling water until tender, about 30 minutes. Drain, reserving 3/4 cup cooking liquid. Mash potato and transfer 1 cup to large bowl, reserving remainder for another use. Mix 3/4 cup cooking liquid into potato. Cool to lukewarm.

Sprinkle yeast and sugar over 1/2 cup warm water in small bowl; stir to dissolve. Let yeast mixture stand until foamy, about 10 minutes. Add yeast to mashed potato mixture.

Add milk, honey, 3 tablespoons oil and salt to potato mixture. Stir in enough flour, 1 cup at a time, to form soft dough. Knead dough on lightly floured surface until smooth and elastic, adding more flour if dough is sticky, about 5 minutes. Let dough rest on floured work surface 20 minutes. Gently punch dough down.

Grease large bowl. Add dough, turning to coat entire surface. Cover bowl. Let dough rise in warm area until doubled in volume, about 40 minutes.

Grease large cookie sheet. Gently punch dough down. Roll dough out on lightly floured surface to 20x15-inch rectangle. Brush dough with egg whites. Mix brown sugar, raisins and cinnamon in medium bowl. Spread sugar mixture over dough, leaving 1-inch border on all sides. Starting at 1 long side, roll dough up jelly roll fashion to form cylinder. Pinch seam to seal. Cut cylinder into 2-inch-wide pieces. Arrange rolls on prepared sheet, placing cut side up and spacing 2 inches apart. Brush rolls with vegetable oil. Let cinnamon rolls rise until doubled in volume, about 35 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Bake rolls until golden brown, about 30 minutes. Cool slightly in pan on rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Be not too curious of Good and Evil;
Seek not to count the future waves of Time;
But be ye satisfied that you have light
Enough to take your step and find your foothold.

--T.S. Eliot
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Re: Gastronomy

Postby Marcus » Wed Oct 10, 2012 6:53 pm

Yesterday's bread:

7 cups flour (2 c unbleached bread flour, 1/2 c spelt flour, 1/2 c rye flour, 4 c whole wheat flour)
couple tbsp molasses
couple tbsp oil
4 tsp salt
2/3 cup pumpkin seeds
1 tsp yeast
2-2/3 cups cool water to form tacky dough, add water as needed

Mix all together until thoroughly combined, three or four minutes; place in covered bowl and let rise at room temp 18 - 24 hours; knock down, form into two loaves or place in two bread pans, let rise another two hours or so; bake at 450˚ for 10 minutes, rotate loaves 180˚, reduce temp to 400˚ and bake another 10 - 15 minutes or until done.

A very hearty loaf, nearly a meal in itself . . excellent toasted . .
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Re: Gastronomy

Postby Antipatros » Wed Oct 10, 2012 7:07 pm

Lake Tahoe cookies

2 cups raisins
1 cup butter
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup peanut butter
3 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
1/4 cup milk
1 1/2 cups flour
3/4 tsp. salt
3/4 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. cinnamon
3 1/2 cups rolled oats

Pour boiling water over raisins and let sit 5 minutes. Drain.

Cream butter, sugar, and peanut butter. Add eggs, vanilla, and milk. Add dry ingredients. Drop from spoon. Bake at 375F for 15 minutes.
Be not too curious of Good and Evil;
Seek not to count the future waves of Time;
But be ye satisfied that you have light
Enough to take your step and find your foothold.

--T.S. Eliot
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Re: Gastronomy

Postby Antipatros » Wed Oct 10, 2012 8:32 pm

That bread sounds good, Marcus. Speaking of hearty:

Sunny Boy Loaf

Preheat oven to 250⁰F.

2 cups Sunny Boy [or Red River] cereal
2 cups flour
2 ½ cups water
¼ cup molasses
1 tsp salt
2 tsp baking soda
raisins (or dates)

Mix ingredients, let stand ½ hour and mix again.

Butter both sides of wax paper and line 13 x 4 x 2 loaf pan. Bake at 250⁰ for 1 ½ hours. Remove paper right away.
Be not too curious of Good and Evil;
Seek not to count the future waves of Time;
But be ye satisfied that you have light
Enough to take your step and find your foothold.

--T.S. Eliot
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Re: Gastronomy

Postby Antipatros » Wed Oct 10, 2012 8:43 pm

Using a biga, poolish, or yeast sponge -- call it what you will -- can add flavour and texture to bread, reminiscent of its rustic, sourdough roots.

Biga

Amy Scherber
La Cucina Italiana, July-August 2001


¼ tsp. active dry yeast
3 cups (14 ozs.) unbleached all-purpose flour

Dissolve the yeast in 1 ¾ cups (14 ozs.) of very warm water (105° to 115° F) in a medium bowl. Add the flour and stir vigorously with a wooden spoon or your hand for 2-3 minutes, or until a smooth, somewhat elastic dough has formed. The starter will be thick and stretchy. It will be softer and more elastic after it has risen.

Scrape the starter into a clear container with high sides and cover with plastic film. Mark the height of the starter and the time on a piece of tape on the side of the container so you can see how much it rises.

To make dough later the same day: Let the starter rise at room temperature until it has risen to the point where it just begins to indent on top; this may take 6-8 hours. It will triple in volume and very small dents and folds will begin to appear in the surface as it reaches its peak and begins to deflate. It is important that you use the starter before it sinks too much.

To make dough the following day: Let the starter rise for one hour after mixing it, then place it in the refrigerator and let it rise there for at least 14 hours before taking it out to use as described in the recipe. Compensate for the cold temperature of the starter by using warm water (85° to 90° F) instead of the cool water specified in the recipe when mixing the biga into the dough. Or let the starter sit out, covered, until it reaches room temperature (this may take several hours).

Yields 28 ozs. of starter, enough for one recipe of Rustic Italian Bread.

Rustic Italian Bread

Amy Scherber
La Cucina Italiana, July-August 2001


1 ½ tsp. active dry yeast
extra-virgin olive oil to grease
3 ½ cups (28 ozs.) biga
7 cups (32 ozs.) unbleached bread flour, plus extra for the counter
2 tbsp. plus 2 tsp. kosher salt
cornmeal for baking peel and baking sheets

Combine ½ cup (4 ozs.) of very warm water (105° to 115°F) and the yeast in a glass measuring cup. Stir with a fork to dissolve the yeast. Let stand for 3 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl. Add 2 ½ cups (20 ozs.) of cool water (75°F).

Add the biga starter to the yeast mixture in the bowl. Mix with your fingers for about 2 minutes, breaking up the starter. The mixture should look milky and slightly foamy.

Add the flour and salt. Mix with your fingers to incorporate the flour, scraping the sides of the bowl and folding the ingredients together until the dough gathers into a mass. It will be wet and sticky, and long strands of it will hang from your fingers. If the dough is not sticky, add 1 tbsp. of cool water. Move the dough to a lightly floured surface and knead it for about 5 minutes, until it becomes supple and fairly smooth. This is a sticky, wet dough, so don’t be tempted to add more flour to the work surface or the texture of the bread will be affected. Dust the dough lightly with flour and use a dough scraper to loosen the dough from the table during kneading. Allow the dough to rest for 10 or 15 minutes, covered with well-oiled plastic wrap; this allows the dough to develop without all the work of hand kneading.

Uncover the dough and knead it again for 5 to 7 minutes, or until it is stretchy and smooth yet still slightly sticky. Shape the dough into a loose ball, place it in a well-oiled bowl, and turn it in the bowl to coat with the oil. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and let the dough rise at room temperature for about 1 hour, or until it looks slightly puffy but has not doubled.

Turn the dough out onto an unfloured counter. Give it a turn by folding it in half, then in half again, and then turn it over and push it down gently with your fingers; this redistributes food for the yeast. Place the dough back in the bowl and cover tightly again. Let the dough rise for 45 minutes at room temperature, or until nearly double in volume.

Flour a work surface generously. Gently dump the dough onto it. Pat the dough very lightly into a rectangle, being careful not to deflate it or lose any air bubbles: you want a big pillow of dough on the worktable.

To shape the dough into larger loaves, cut a 26-ounce rectangle of dough into 3 equal rectangles, so that the short side of the original rectangle becomes the long side of each loaf. To shape the dough into narrow, long loaves (filone in Italian), cut a 26-ounce rectangle of dough in half the long way. To shape the dough into short rustic loaves, cut the rectangle of dough in half the short way so that you have two short loaves that resemble square pillows. Alternatively, shape the dough into balls.

Cover an area of your work surface with a thick layer of flour and place each loaf, top side down, on the flour. The loaves will be loose and slightly irregular in shape. Leave 3 inches of space between loaves because they will spread as they rise. Cover the loaves with well-oiled plastic and let them rise for 35 to 45 minutes at room temperature.

To bake: 30 minutes before baking, preheat the oven to 475°F. Place a baking stone in the oven and position an oven rack just below the stone. Sprinkle a baking peel very generously with cornmeal. Line an upside-down baking sheet with parchment paper and sprinkle it with cornmeal.

When the shaped loaves have risen sufficiently, lift one of the loaves, gently turn it over so that the floured side is on top, and place it on the baking peel. Repeat with a second loaf. A standard peel can accommodate two loaves; any remaining loaves will need to be placed on the parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Loosen the loaves from the peel or baking sheet, then carefully slide them onto the baking stone.

Using a plant sprayer, quickly mist the loaves and the walls of the oven with water 8 times, then immediately shut the oven door. Mist the loaves again after 1 minute, then again 1 minute later, shutting the door immediately.

Bake for 10 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 450°F. Bake 15 minutes longer, or until the loaves sound hollow when tapped on the bottom and the crust is medium to dark brown. If the crust is not brown, the loaves will soften as they cool. Transfer to a cooling rack for at least 30 minutes before serving.

Yields 3 large rustic loaves or one large loaf and 3 small breads (such as olive, Prosciutto, focaccia or breadsticks).

For Prosciutto-Pepper Loaf: Take ¼ of the dough, flatten it gently into a wide disk on a floured counter. Sprinkle it evenly with ¼ - ½ tsp. of freshly ground black pepper, then spread a generous ½ cup (4 ozs.) of finely chopped Prosciutto (preferably San Danielle or Parma) onto it, covering the entire surface of the dough evenly. Using the palm of your hand, press the Prosciutto onto the dough so that it sticks.

Fold the dough in thirds like a business letter. Roll the dough into a short log; the short side of the rectangle of dough will form the length of the loaf. Seal the seam with the heel of your hand.

Let the loaf rise on a lightly floured cloth for 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes, or until almost doubled in volume. Score the loaf with three short cuts.

Line an upside-down baking sheet with parchment paper and sprinkle it generously with cornmeal. Place the loaf on the parchment paper and bake for 35 to 40 minutes in the preheated 475°F oven on the rack below the baking stone. Mist the loaf 3 times during the first 3 minutes to encourage crisping.

For Olive Bread: Take ¼ of the dough, flatten gently into a wide disk on a floured counter, and spread a generous ½ cup (3 ½ ozs.) of roughly chopped, pitted, oil-cured black olives such as Gaeta onto the dough, covering the entire surface evenly. Fold the dough in thirds like a business letter. Working from left to right, roll it into a long cylinder, sealing the seam with the heel of your hand. This loaf is narrow and long with olives throughout.

Let the loaf rise on a lightly floured cloth for 1 hour, or until it is almost double in volume. Score the loaf gently, making a long line down the middle.

Place the loaf on the parchment paper and bake for 30 minutes in the preheated 475°F oven on the rack below the baking stone. Mist 3 times during the first 3 minutes of baking to encourage crisping.

Let the loaf cool on a rack for at least 30 minutes before eating.

For Tomato Focaccia: Take 1/3 of the dough and shape it loosely into a disk. Place it on a lightly oiled baking sheet and pat it to flatten it slightly. Cover with well-oiled plastic wrap and let it rise for about 45 minutes.

Slice 2 ripe red and 2 ripe yellow tomatoes and place them in an attractive pattern on top of the dough. Push them into the dough slightly, but be careful not to deflate the dough. If you are using rosemary, poke 8 to 12 small sprigs around the surface. Sprinkle with ¼ to ½ tsp. of coarse sea salt and drizzle with ¼ cup of extra-virgin olive oil. Let rise for 10 minutes, then dimple with your fingers in 10 places to keep the focaccia from doming (rising crazily) in the oven.

Bake in the preheated 475°F oven on the rack below the baking stone for 25 to 30 minutes, misting 3 times during the first 3 minutes.

If you are using basil rather than rosemary, wash 12 basil leaves, stack them and cut them into very thin strips. Sprinkle them over the surface of the focaccia after it has been baked and cooled slightly to prevent the basil from darkening.

For Sesame Breadsticks: Scatter 1 cup of unhulled sesame seeds (available in health food stores) and 2 tsp. of coarse sea salt on a rectangular baking sheet with edges.

Cut 1/3 of the dough into a neat rectangle and place it on an unfloured surface. Mist with water. Place the moist side of the dough on the seeds and salt, and press gently to help them stick to the dough. Mist the other side of the dough and flip onto the seeds and salt to coat completely. Make sure the surface of the dough is entirely coated with seeds and salt.

Place the seeded dough on the work surface (which is still unfloured) and cut into 18 even sticks with a pastry cutter. Place the breadsticks on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, leaving ½ inch of space between each breadstick. Stretch the breadsticks a bit if you like crispier sticks. Let rise for 10 minutes.

Bake for 15 to 20 minutes in the preheated 475°F oven on the rack below the baking stone. Mist 3 times during the first 3 minutes of baking.

Breadsticks can be eaten immediately.
Be not too curious of Good and Evil;
Seek not to count the future waves of Time;
But be ye satisfied that you have light
Enough to take your step and find your foothold.

--T.S. Eliot
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Re: Gastronomy

Postby Antipatros » Mon Oct 15, 2012 2:25 pm

World Food Day, 16 October 2012

Agricultural cooperatives – key to feeding the world

http://www.fao.org/getinvolved/worldfoodday/en/

Agricultural cooperatives are the focus of World Food Day 2012.

The official World Food Day theme, announced each spring by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), gives focus to World Food Day observances and raises awareness and understanding of approaches to ending hunger.

“Agricultural cooperatives – key to feeding the world” is the formal wording of the 2012 theme. It has been chosen to highlight the role of cooperatives in improving food security and contributing to the eradication of hunger.

Interest in cooperatives and rural organizations is also reflected in the decision of the UN General Assembly to designate 2012 “International Year of Cooperatives.”

Watch this page for information materials and news about World Food Day observances taking place around the world.

I don't know about feeding the world. I do believe that small producers or producers' cooperatives often make better products than do large corporations. And with the current emphasis on supporting local producers, there can be no better time to get acquainted with them.
Be not too curious of Good and Evil;
Seek not to count the future waves of Time;
But be ye satisfied that you have light
Enough to take your step and find your foothold.

--T.S. Eliot
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Re: Gastronomy

Postby Antipatros » Mon Oct 15, 2012 3:15 pm

The humble meatloaf has been unfairly derided for generations. Exalt it, don't belittle it.

Barbecue Meatloaf Aussie Style

(Winner — Calgary Sun Meatloaf Contest 1990)

1 lb. lean ground beef
1 lb. sausage stuffing
1 cup fine breadcrumbs
2 medium onions, finely chopped
1 tbsp. curry powder
salt and pepper to taste
1 tbsp. chopped parsley
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 egg, beaten
½ cup water
½ cup milk

Sauce:

1 small onion, chopped very finely
¼ cup water
½ cup ketchup
¼ cup red wine or beef stock
2 tbsp. vinegar
1 tsp. instant coffee
¼ cup packed brown sugar
1 oz. margarine
2 tbsp. lemon juice
¼ cup Worcestershire sauce

Loaf: Combine all ingredients milk and water in a large bowl and mix well. Mix milk and water and add to meat mixture a little at a time until smooth but firm. Shape into loaf and put into greased baking pan. Bake 30 minutes at 375⁰F.

Sauce: Sauté onions in margarine until golden and add all other ingredients. Bring slowly to a boil, then lower heat and simmer 10-15 minutes.

After loaf has cooked for 30 minutes, pour half the sauce over the meat. Return to oven and bake 45 minutes more, basting often with remaining sauce. Serve loaf hot in thick slices with any remaining sauce.

(Sauce may also be used for chicken or ribs.)

I got this recipe from Gourmet magazine so long ago that it's apparently not even available on Epicurious.com:

Old-Fashioned Meat Loaf

1½ cups minced onion
½ cup minced celery
1½ tsp. thyme
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp. butter
2 tsp. salt
1½ tsp. pepper
2 cups finely chopped mushrooms
2-2¼ lbs. lean ground beef
1 cup fresh breadcrumbs
2 eggs, lightly beaten
⅔ cup chili sauce/ketchup
1 small can stewed tomatoes, chopped
⅓ cup minced fresh parsley

Sauté the onion, celery, garlic and thyme in butter until tender. Add salt, pepper and mushrooms and sauté 10 minutes longer. Cool.

Mix sautéd vegetables with beef, breadcrumbs, eggs, ⅓ cup chili sauce, tomatoes, and parsley and stir well. Form into a 10” x 7” oval loaf in a shallow baking pan and spread with remaining chili sauce. Bake in 350⁰F oven 1 hour. Serve with mushroom sauce.

Serves 6-8.

Mushroom Sauce

2 tbsp. butter
2 tbsp. flour
2 cups milk
1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
2 tbsp. minced onions
dash Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp. tomato paste
¼ tsp. each thyme and parsley

Melt butter, stir in flour and gradually add milk. Cook and stir over medium heat to make a smooth white sauce. Sauté mushrooms and onions in butter. When tender, add to sauce, along with remaining ingredients. Stir and heat. Serve with meatloaf.
Be not too curious of Good and Evil;
Seek not to count the future waves of Time;
But be ye satisfied that you have light
Enough to take your step and find your foothold.

--T.S. Eliot
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Re: Gastronomy

Postby Antipatros » Fri Oct 19, 2012 6:49 pm

A quick, easy, gooey treat for the kids, grandkids, or chocoholic spouse:

Hot Fudge Pudding Cake

1 cup flour
2/3 cup white sugar
2 tbsp. cocoa
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup milk
2 tbsp. oil
1/2 cup nuts, finely chopped
1 cup yellow sugar
1/4 cup cocoa
2 cups boiling water

Measure flour, white sugar, 2 tbsp. cocoa, baking powder, and salt into a mixing bowl. Blend in milk and oil/ Stir in nuts. Pour into an ungreased 9" x 9" (2 litre) pan.

Stir together yellow sugar and 1/4 cup cocoa. Sprinkle over batter. Drizzle the boiling water over the batter.

Bake in a 350F oven for 45 minutes until top is dark brown and a crust has formed.

While hot, cut into squares, invert each onto a dessert plate and spoon sauce over each serving. Serves 8.
Be not too curious of Good and Evil;
Seek not to count the future waves of Time;
But be ye satisfied that you have light
Enough to take your step and find your foothold.

--T.S. Eliot
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Re: Gastronomy

Postby Antipatros » Mon Oct 22, 2012 4:10 pm

Calgary Cassoulet

1¾ cups dried white beans
2 tbsp. butter
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 onion
1 rib celery
1 carrot
2 cups chicken stock
2 cups water*
3 garlic cloves
1 bouquet garni**
1 Roma tomato or 3 tbsp. tomato sauce
2 Spolumbo’s mild Italian sausages
4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
salt and pepper to taste
chopped fresh parsley for garnish

*Omit or reduce amount if using slow cooker
**2 or 3 sprigs of parsley; 3 bay leaves; and 1 to 2 sprigs fresh thyme. [Add some savory for extra flavour].

Soak beans overnight in 1 litre of water. Drain and rinse.

In a large soup pot, melt butter and olive oil over medium-high heat until sizzling. Roughly chop onion, celery and carrot and add to pot. Sauté until onion is golden brown, then add water and chicken stock. Smash garlic cloves and toss into pot along with bouquet garni. Simmer over low heat for 2 to 3 hours.

Strain stock into a crock pot or heavy-bottomed soup pot. Discard vegetables and herbs. Add chopped tomato or tomato sauce. Add beans and bring to a boil before lowering to a simmer.

Sear the chicken and sausage for both colour and flavour in a hot pan (cast iron preferred), about 1 minute on each side. Do not cook through. Add to soup.

Cook until beans are tender, about 4 hours on a simmer or 8 hours in a crock pot on low. Take out ½ cup of soup without meat and puree in blender or food processor. Return to soup and stir to thicken. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Split sausages in half or thirds and serve with a dash of parsley on top.

Serves 4 to 6.
____

The sausages specified in the cassoulet recipe are large, each the size of three or so Johnsonville (or equivalent) bangers. Find a local equivalent, or consider making and substituting either of the turkey creations below.
Be not too curious of Good and Evil;
Seek not to count the future waves of Time;
But be ye satisfied that you have light
Enough to take your step and find your foothold.

--T.S. Eliot
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Re: Gastronomy

Postby Antipatros » Mon Oct 22, 2012 4:15 pm

From Chef Paul's sister:

Enola Prudhomme, Low-Calorie Cajun Cooking (1991)

Turkey Tasso

Makes about 2½ pounds

Tasso is a highly seasoned smoked ham used in gumbos, stuffings and bean or pasta dishes. I developed this version made with turkey instead of pork. Plan ahead when making turkey tasso -- the meat marinates for 2 days and smokes for 1.

2 tbsp. sugar
2 tbsp. granulated garlic
2 tbsp. onion powder
2 tbsp. ground red pepper
2 tbsp. ground black pepper
2 tbsp. paprika
1 tsp. ground white pepper
2 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. ground cumin
3 lbs. skinned and boned turkey breast
2 tbsp. liquid smoke

In a small bowl, combine the sugar, garlic, onion powder, red, white and black peppers, paprika, salt and cummin, mixing well. Place the turkey breast in a large glass bowl and sprinkle with 4 tbsp. of the seasoning mix, coating well. (Store the remaining seasoning in a covered container for another use.)

Sprinkle the turkey with liquid smoke, rubbing the seasoning and liquid over the entire turkey breast. Cover the bowl and marinate for 2 days in the refrigerator, turning the turkey over several times while marinating.

Light the charcoal in a water smoker, cover, and let the heat and smoke accumulate. When the smoker is ready, place the turkey on the wire rack and smoke for 7 hours. Add water to the smoker as needed. Add a few mesquite chips to the charcoal every hour or so.

When the tasso is done, remove and set aside until cool enough to handle. Store in plastic freezer bags, removing as much [air] as possible, up to 1 month in the refrigerator or 6 months in the freezer.

Per ½ pound:

KCAL 434
Fatgm 3
CHOLmg 227
SODmg 931

Smoked Turkey Sausage

Makes about 3 pounds

Andouille is the most popular Cajun smoked pork sausage, but turkey sausage is much lower in fat and calories, so I use it in all my low-calorie recipes. Turkey sausage is now available in supermarkets, but if you would like to try your hand at making your own, here's how. You can also buy turkey sausage and smoke it yourself.

I've included two methods for making sausage; you can use sausage casings (small quantities are readuily available in many supermarkets) or aluminum foil if casings are not available.

sausage casings
3½ lbs. boneless turkey breast
½ lb. potatoes, peeled and quartered
1 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. paprika
1½ tsp. ground red pepper
1 tsp. ground white pepper
1 tsp. granulated garlic
½ tsp. ground sage
¼ tsp. ground nutmeg
2 tsp. liquid smoke

Following the manufacturer's directions, light the smoker, cover, and allow the heat and smoke to accumulate.

In a meat grinder or food processor, grind together the turkey and potatoes until coarsely ground. Transfer to a mixing bowl and add the remaining ingredients, mixing thoroughly. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Sausage-Casings Method: Soak the sausage casings for 1 hour in a small bowl with enough water to cover. Rinse the casings thoroughly to remove the excess salt. Running water through the casings will indicate if there are any holes in the casings. If holes or leaks are found, discard the casing. Place one of the casings on a sausage horn stuffer, taking care not to tear it, tie a knot in the other end and stuff the casing with the turkey mixture. When stuffed, tie a knot to enclose the other end. Place the sausage on the rack in the smoker and smoke for 2 hours. Turn the sausage and smoke for an additional 2 hours.

Aluminum Foil Method: Tear off two 20-inch pieces of aluminum foil. Place half the turkey mixture lengthwise on each piece of foil 3 inches from the edge. Roll the foil tightly to form a log. Place the sausage on the rack in the smoker and smoke for 2 hours, turning every 20 to 30 minugtes to cook on all sides. Remove the sausage from the smoker and carefully remove the foil. Smoke the sausage without the foil for an additional 2 hours, turning the sausage every 20 minutes or so to smoke evenly.

When the sausage is done, you can eat it as is or use as directed in my recipes. The sausage can be refrigerated or frozen until ready to use.

Per ½ pound:
KCAL 340
FATgm 2
CHOLmg 189
SODmg 120
Be not too curious of Good and Evil;
Seek not to count the future waves of Time;
But be ye satisfied that you have light
Enough to take your step and find your foothold.

--T.S. Eliot
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Re: Gastronomy

Postby Antipatros » Wed Oct 24, 2012 2:53 pm

We gave this a try last night. We used ground turkey rather than a mix of ground and cubed, and substituted chipotles in adobo for the green jalapenos, but otherwise followed the recipe exactly. The result was delicious, although it looked very much like what I gave the cat for her breakfast.

White Turkey Chili

Bon Appétit | November 1996

http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/White-Turkey-Chili-4560

Via Cucina, Arlington VA

Yield: Serves 4

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 cup minced onion
1 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic
4 teaspoons ground cumin
1 pound uncooked turkey breast slices, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/2 pound ground turkey

3 cups (or more) chicken stock or canned low-salt broth
1/4 cup pearl barley
2 tablespoons chopped seeded jalapeño chilies
1 teaspoon dried marjoram
1 teaspoon dried summer savory

1 15- to 16-ounce can cannellini (white kidney beans) or Great Northern beans, rinsed, drained
1 15- to 16-can garbanzo beans (chickpeas), rinsed, drained
Several dashes of hot pepper sauce (such as Tabasco)

Chopped green onions
Grated cheddar cheese
Sour cream

Heat vegetable oil in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and sauté until tender, about 5 minutes. Add cumin and stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add cubed turkey breast and ground turkey. Sauté until no longer pink, about 4 minutes.

Add 3 cups stock, barley, jalapeños, marjoram and summer savory to turkey mixture. Cover and simmer until barley is almost tender, stirring occasionally, about 40 minutes.

Add cannellini and garbanzo beans to chili. Simmer uncovered until barley is tender and chili is thick, about 15 minutes. Season with hot pepper sauce, salt and pepper. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill.Bring to simmer before serving.)

Serve chili, passing green onions, cheese and sour cream separately.
_____

Next time I'll probably use regular kidney beans for a bit of colour, and may substitute quinoa, bulgur, or some other cracked or whole grain for the pearl barley.
Be not too curious of Good and Evil;
Seek not to count the future waves of Time;
But be ye satisfied that you have light
Enough to take your step and find your foothold.

--T.S. Eliot
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Re: Gastronomy

Postby Antipatros » Wed Oct 24, 2012 3:00 pm

While I'm in the neighbourhood, here are the selections in Epicurious' recipe slideshow on comfort food:

Warm and Wonderful

Satisfying comfort foods for chilly fall nights

http://www.epicurious.com/recipesmenus/slideshows/Comfort-Food-147?slide=0

1. Red Wine-Braised Shortribs
2. Cioppino
3. Duck Fat-Potato Galette with Caraway and Sweet Onions
4. Gnocchi Gratin with Gorgonzola Dolce
5. Pumpkin Shrimp Curry
6. Chicken Pot Pie
7. French Onion Soup
8. Lamb Tagine with Chickpeas and Apricots
9. Confit Duck Legs
10. Caramelized Onion and Gorgonzola Grilled Pizza
11. Oxtail Bourguinonne
12. Braised Lamb Shanks with Swiss Chard
13. Multi-Grain Pasta with Butternut Squash, Ground Lamb and Kasseri
14. Greek Lamb Burgers with Spinach and Red Onion Salad
15. Kabocha Squash Risotto with Sage and Pine Nuts
16. New Coq au Vin
17. Celery and Potato Salad
18. Farmland Vegetable Pie
19. Chicken Tostadas
20. Fried Mozzerella with Arugula and Prosciutto
21. Shrimp in Ginger Butter Sauce
22. White Lasagna with Parmigiano Besciamella (Lasagna in Bianco)

Personally, I would have included beef stew, several types of chili, more soups, and more fish dishes. It's hard to beat a cutthroat trout that goes from the water to frying pan to plate within minutes.
Be not too curious of Good and Evil;
Seek not to count the future waves of Time;
But be ye satisfied that you have light
Enough to take your step and find your foothold.

--T.S. Eliot
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World Pasta Day

Postby Antipatros » Thu Oct 25, 2012 3:22 pm

World Pasta Day

http://www.pasta-unafpa.org/pasta-day.htm

At world level the collective promotion in favour of pasta received a powerful impulsion thanks to the outcome of the World Pasta Congress held in Rome on 25th October 1995. Delegations from various countries discussed together the theme of the collective promotion in favour of pasta consumption, exchanging their ideas and experiences. Account was taken and stress was laid on the importance of spreading to the utmost the knowledge of pasta among consumers throughout the world by means of collective initiatives of promotional nature and institutional information campaigns.

The countries with greatest experience in this field made available their know-how for the benefit of those countries which have only recently come to realise the virtues and merits of pasta. The ambitious project of organising on a world-wide basis World Pasta Day on 25th October of each year, for the purpose of recalling and enhancing the first event that saw the gathering of the international pasta community was successfully carried through, thanks to the efforts of the Steering Committee, consisting of representatives of the National Pasta Association (United States), of UN.A.F.P.A. and of the Associations of Venezuela and of Turkey, set up to co-ordinate the organisation of this important event.

UN.A.F.P.A. carried out an important task of co-ordination of the initiative and thereafter saw to the collection and spreading of information on the various initiatives undertaken for World Pasta Day in the various countries of the world.

These are principles based on the idea:

* On 25th October of each year, the world over, World Pasta Day is celebrated in the form of events and promotional initiatives in different countries of the world.

* The objective of World Pasta Day is to draw the attention of the media and consumers to pasta. Communication should underline the fact that pasta is a global food, consumed in all five continents, having unquestionable merits, appropriate for a dynamic and healthy life style capable of meeting both primary food requirements and those of high-level gastronomy

* Every country celebrates World Pasta Day in absolute autonomy, while respecting a global strategy, and making use of the official logo of the event;

* The key messages, recurring in the various communication initiatives, emphasise the economic feasibility, gastronomic versatility and nutritional value of pasta....

Pasta Puttanesca

Gourmet, June 2006

http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Pasta-Puttanesca-242590

Our take on this dish, famously named for the fact that Italy's "ladies of the evening" quickly made it between clients, is just as fast and easy as the original and requires nothing more than some everyday items you probably have in your pantry already.

Yield: Makes 6 servings
Active Time: 10 min
Total Time: 30 min

1 pound dried spaghetti, spaghettini, or linguine fini
5 garlic cloves, forced through a garlic press
2 teaspoons anchovy paste
1/2 teaspoon hot red-pepper flakes
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 (28-ounce) can whole tomatoes in juice (preferably Italian)
1/2 cup pitted Kalamata olives
2 tablespoons drained capers
Pinch of sugar (optional)
3/4 cup coarsely chopped basil

Cook spaghetti in a pasta pot of boiling salted water (2 1/2 Tbsp salt for 6 qt water) until barely al dente.

While pasta boils, cook garlic, anchovy paste, red-pepper flakes, 1 tsp salt, and 1/2 tsp pepper in oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until fragrant and pale golden, about 2 minutes.

Meanwhile, purée tomatoes with juice in a blender.

Add tomato purée to garlic oil along with olives and capers and simmer, stirring occasionally, until pasta is ready. Stir in sugar if desired.

Drain pasta and add to sauce. Simmer, turning pasta with tongs, until pasta is al dente, about 2 minutes. Sprinkle with basil.

Per serving: 433 calories, 16g fat (2g saturated), 6mg cholesterol, 880mg sodium, 63g carbohydrates, 4g fiber, 11g protein

Here are a couple of old recipes from Beth Elon:

Fettucine all'Alfredo

Marcella Hazan in her Classic Italian Cookbook tells us that Alfredo had a gold fork and spoon with which he gave the final toss to each serving of his fettucine. Here is her recipe:

1 cup heavy cream
3 tbsp. butter
salt
500g fresh fettucine
2/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
freshly ground pepper
small grating of nutmeg

Choose a flameproof casserole that can later accommodate the cooked fettucine comfortably. Put in two-thirds of the cream and all of the butter and simmer over medium heat until the butter and cream have thickened, less than a minute. Remove from heat.

Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil and drop in the fettucine.

Cover the pot until the water returns to the boil. If you are using fresh pasta, the fettucine will be cooked in a minute; if dry they will take a bit longer. Bite into one; when it is still really firm but bites through, it is enough. Drain, shake the colander and transfer the pasta to the casserole with the cream sauce.

Over a low flame, toss the fettucine in the cream sauce, coating well. Add the rest of the cream, the grated cheese, some salt, freshly ground pepper, and a grating of nutmeg. Mix until all the cream has thickened and the fettucine are well coated. Taste, correct seasoning, and serve immediately. (Serves 5 or 6.)

Penne with Roasted Cherry Tomatoes and Olives

Il Pasticcio is a great fun word in Italian. It can mean a big mess, or lots of trouble. But it can also mean a deliciously inviting oven pasta dish that is baked for whatever time it takes to get crisp on top....

400g penne or other short pasta
500g ripe red cherry tomatoes, halved and seeded
3 cloves garlic
1 small bunch basil leaves
1 tbsp. oregano leaves
5 tbsp. olive oil
1 small hot chili pepper, seeded and chopped
50g pitted green olives, halved
50g pitted black olives, halved
75g grated Parmesan cheese
50g toasted bread crumbs (see below)
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Heat the oven to 200C [400F]. In a large baking dish, spread a bit of olive oil across the bottom and, in a single layer, spread the tomatoes across. Chop two of the garlic cloves finely and sprinkle over the tomatoes. Chop the basil leaves and oregano and sprinkle over the tomatoes. Drip a bit of oil over, add some salt, and place in the oven for 15 minutes while you prepare the pasta.

Cook the pasta in a large amount of boiling salted water until just al dente. Drain and place in a bowl. Mix well with a tablespoon of fresh oil. In a small pan, heat the remaining olive oil, press in the third garlic clove and the hot pepper. When the garlic begins to fry, add the halved olives and cook for another minute. Remove from heat and quickly mix well with the pasta.

Mix the cheese with the bread crumbs, which can be gently toasted in a dry nonstick pan, making sure not to burn them. Remove the tomatoes from the oven, spread the pasta over the tomatoes, and top with the mixed cheese and bread crumbs. Put back in the oven for 5 or 6 minutes until the top is crisp and brown.

(Serves 4 as main course.)
Be not too curious of Good and Evil;
Seek not to count the future waves of Time;
But be ye satisfied that you have light
Enough to take your step and find your foothold.

--T.S. Eliot
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Re: Gastronomy

Postby Antipatros » Thu Oct 25, 2012 3:39 pm

These have the taste of the classic cookies but of course not the appearance. Visualising each bar as a Dutch child in traditional costume is optional.

Rogers Foods Ltd., 50th Anniversary Recipe Collection (2002):

Anise Taai-Taai

Chewy Dutch cookie bars with a mild licorice flavour

2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. cream of tartar
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. anise seeds
1/2 cup chopped candied fruit peel (optional)
1 cup strong coffee***
3 tbsp. corn syrup or honey

Preheat oven to 350F (180C).

In a bowl, combine flour, sugar, cream of tartar, baking powder, baking soda, and anise seeds (and chopped peel, if using); stir well. Combine coffee and corn syrup and add to dry ingredients; mix well. Pour into prepared 13" x 9" (3.5L) pan. Bake for 40-45 minutes. Cool and cut into bars.

***or use 2 tbsp. instant coffee and 1 cup warm water.

Yield: about 40 bars.
Be not too curious of Good and Evil;
Seek not to count the future waves of Time;
But be ye satisfied that you have light
Enough to take your step and find your foothold.

--T.S. Eliot
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Hallowe'en

Postby Antipatros » Fri Oct 26, 2012 2:13 pm

In this morning's Test Kitchen Notes from America's Test Kitchen:

Candy-Coated Caramel Apples

http://www.cookscountry.com/recipes/Candy-Coated-Caramel-Apples/6958?Extcode=L2KN4AA00

Why this recipe works: Candy bars with crunchy cookies, caramel, or toffee were the best match for our Candy-Coated Caramel Apples recipe. We chose smaller, tart apples for the best flavor and ratio of caramel to apple. Granny Smith or McIntosh apples provided a tart bite that cut through the richness of the caramel and candy. For the caramel coating, we melted together soft caramel candies and a little heavy cream, which enabled the caramel to coat the apples smoothly. We coated the apples with caramel by spooning the hot caramel over the apples. It flowed smoothly around the apple to make a thin, uniform layer

Makes 6

Freezing the caramels for 10 minutes will make it easier to remove their wrapping.

Ingredients

2 cups crushed Kit Kat, Twix, or Heath candy bars
6 small apples
1 (14-ounce) bag soft caramel candies
1/4 cup heavy cream

Instructions

1. Prepare apples and candy bars: Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Place crushed candy bars in shallow bowl. Insert craft stick into stem end of each apple.

2. Melt caramels: Heat caramels and heavy cream in medium saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until smooth.

3. Coat apples: Holding 1 apple with stick over pot of caramel, spoon sauce over apple to coat, allowing excess to drip back into pot. Roll apples in crushed candy, pressing to help candy adhere. Place apple, stick up, on parchment paper. Repeat with remaining apples and serve. (Apples can be refrigerated for several days; bring to room temperature before serving.)
Be not too curious of Good and Evil;
Seek not to count the future waves of Time;
But be ye satisfied that you have light
Enough to take your step and find your foothold.

--T.S. Eliot
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Hearty winter soups 1

Postby Antipatros » Fri Oct 26, 2012 3:42 pm

Some more old recipes from Beth Elon:

Aquacotta

A real specialty [of Tuscany] are the rather thick zuppe you'll find everywhere and often can serve as an entire meal: zuppe di farro (a rosemary-flavored porridge of pureed beans and spelt), or a pappa pomodoro (bread soaking up a rich tomato stew), or ribollito (an oven-finished nibestrone over rough farm bread), or aquacotta ("cooked water"), which can vary in its ingredients but also comes atop some good bread. All zuppas arrive with olive oil and grated Parmesan to sprinkle over them....

1/2 cup olive oil
3 onions, sliced
250g sweet red peppers, seeds and ribs removed
1 cup diced celery
700g ripe tomatoes, peeled and seeded
9 cups boiling water
4 eggs
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
12 slices country bread, toasted or stale
1 pinch salt, plus salt to taste

Heat the oil in a large heavy soup pot and saute the onions until soft and translucent.

Cut the peppers into 1 cm. strips. Add them to the pan together with celery and tomatoes, season to taste with salt and cook over a brisk flame for 30 minutes. Pour in the boiling water, check seasoning, and boil for five minutes.

Beat the eggs until smooth with a pinch of salt and stir in the cheese.

Pour the soup into a heated tureen and stir in the egg mixture. Ladle into bowls over the bread and serve. (Serves 6.)

Imbrecciata

Dried Legumes and Grain Soup

This is a fairly complicated process of cooking, in that the different ingredients require separate cooking and various times, but the result is an evenly cooked, quite delicious amalgam.

100 gr. wheat kernels
100 gr. dried corn kernels (or fresh, adding during the last cooking)
100 gr. dried white beans
100 gr. dried chickpeas (humous)
100 gr. dried broad beans (ful) [fava]
3 Tbsp. olive oil
1 onion, chopped well
1 cup tomato puree
1 sprig rosemary or sage
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 slices farm bread, cubed and gently fried in a bit of olive oil

Soak the legumes and grains separately overnight, the chickpeas even longer. Then cook each ingredient separately, beginning with cold water.

The wheat grains and broad beans will need about an hour, the chickpeas and white beans about an hour and one-half. Test throughout the cooking; the length very much depends on the freshness of the beans. As each ingredient finishes cooking, drain well and place together in a large bowl.

Heat the oil in a large pot, add the chopped onion and cook until the onion is translucent, about four minutes. Add the tomato puree and the rosemary or sage and continue to cook over a low flame for 10 minutes, until the sauce somewhat thickens. Add the beans and wheat grain, mix well and continue to cook for another 15 minutes.

Taste, and add a good amount of salt and freshly ground pepper. Pour into a soup tureen and sprinkle the fried pieces of bread over.

Chickpea and Potato Soup with Anchovy Rouille

You can use canned chickpeas for this garlicky soup, but it's ever so much better with dried ones. Simply soak them for about 24 hours before beginning the recipe.

The anchovy mayonnaise is delicious on top.

200 gr. dried chickpeas, soaked for at least 24 hours (or 1 large can of chickpeas, drained)
500 gr. potatoes, peeled
2 large fresh green chili peppers, seeded, deribbed and chopped
1 small head celery, with leaves
10 cloves garlic, peeled
3 tomatoes, seeded
salt and freshly ground pepper
8 anchovy fillets
1 sprig fresh rosemary
1 or 2 lemons
½ to 1 cup olive oil

After soaking for at least 24 hours, drain the chickpeas. Place them in a large pan and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil, skimming off the gassy foam from the top.

Peel and quarter the potatoes if they are large; halve them if small. Do the same with the head of celery. Add the potatoes to the cooking chickpeas, as well as the celery, the chili peppers, garlic, and tomatoes.

Cover partially, and simmer gently until the chickpeas are soft, adding boiling water (or vegetable stock) to cover as necessary.

When the chickpeas are completely cooked, remove the celery. Put about half the solids into a blender or mixer, and blend to a smooth puree.

Return to the pot, mix well, and add salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.

To make the sauce, turn on the mixer to high, and drop the anchovies and rosemary into the tube with the juice of one lemon. Blend well and slowly add the olive oil and blend into a mayonnaise. Taste, season with lots of freshly ground pepper and add the juice of another lemon if you like. Pour the soup into a tureen, with the sauce on top. Or, serve the sauce separately for each bowl.

Serves 6.
Be not too curious of Good and Evil;
Seek not to count the future waves of Time;
But be ye satisfied that you have light
Enough to take your step and find your foothold.

--T.S. Eliot
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Hearty winter soups 2

Postby Antipatros » Fri Oct 26, 2012 3:44 pm

Lentil Soup with Avgolemono

Avgolemono is a Greek way of thickening soups, actually an egg- and-lemon mayonnaise made using the soup itself. With this lentil minestrone, it's perfectly delicious.

1 cup lentils, soaked for at least three hours
2 onions, finely chopped 'c
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 rib celery, with leaves, chopped well
½ cup olive oil
1 tsp. dried oregano
2 bay leaves
1 small chili pepper, seeds removed and chopped
1 cup peeled, chopped and seeded tomatoes
6 cups chicken or vegetable broth
2 cups spinach or Swiss chard, chopped well
1 small eggplant, diced (with peel, if fresh)
2 large eggs
¼ cup lemon juice
leaves of 1 small bunch parsley, finely chopped

Soak the lentils. Put the onions, garlic and celery into a heavy soup pot with the olive oil. Over a medium fire, saute until the onions and celery have softened. Add the oregano, the bay leaves and chili pepper and stir well.

Add the lentils, the tomatoes and the broth, and allow to simmer for about half an hour. Add the chopped spinach, the eggplant, and salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Cook until the vegetables are just done to a bite. Remove from heat.

In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs and lemon juice, and slowly add about 1 cup of the broth, whisking as you go.
Stir back into the soup, and heat to a bare simmer for a minute, just until the soup is slightly thickened. Don't let it boil. Add the chopped parsley and serve.

Serves 6.

Farmer’s Minestrone

A simple, perfect vegetable soup, made into a meal with the addition of some short pasta. With some fresh warmed bread, it makes a perfect winter supper.

2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 large tomatoes, peeled, seeded and sliced into strips
250 gr. mushrooms, cleaned or peeled, sliced rather thickly
500 gr. frozen peas
2 large zucchini, diced into 2 cm. squares
2 eggplants, diced into 2 cm. squares
160 gr. short thick pasta, such as ribbed penne or macaroni
leaves of 1 small bunch basil, finely chopped
leaves of 3 sprigs marjoram, finely chopped
salt and freshly ground pepper
grated Parmesan cheese, at the table

Heat the oil and spritz in the garlic. Add the vegetables and allow to saute gently for 10 minutes. Add about 6 cups vegetable broth, salt and pepper, and allow to cook over a low flame for about an hour, until the vegetables are well cooked. Add the pasta and cook for another 10 mins.

Add the chopped basil and marjoram and cook for another two mins. Serve with a good sprinkling of Parmesan cheese and some more olive oil at the table. This soup is great served at room temperature as well.

Serves 6.
Be not too curious of Good and Evil;
Seek not to count the future waves of Time;
But be ye satisfied that you have light
Enough to take your step and find your foothold.

--T.S. Eliot
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Budget Beef Wellington

Postby Antipatros » Fri Oct 26, 2012 4:28 pm

The Quest for Tender Beef

Project Title: Establishing Time/Temperature Aging Constants for Sub-Primal Cuts of Boxed Beef

Researchers: Dr. Jennifer Aalhus, W.M. Robertson, L.L. Gibson, M.E.R. Dugan, W.J. Meadus, I.L. Larson and S. Landry

http://www.beefresearch.ca/factsheet.cfm/the-quest-for-tender-beef-91
http://www.beefresearch.ca/fact-sheets/the-quest-for-tender-beef.pdf

Consumer research carried out by the Beef Information Centre has consistently shown that beef tenderness is highly desired by consumers. It has long been recognized by beef processors that aging increases the tenderness of beef. This is achieved as the beef’s natural enzymes break down connective tissue in the muscle. The most common form of aging done in North America today is called wet aging where cuts of beef are vacuum-sealed in packaging and stored under controlled temperature conditions.

The majority of scientific studies on tenderness and how to improve it have examined the aging process in loin and rib-eye muscles. It was assumed that all muscles would react similarly; however, other studies indicated that not all cuts responded to the aging process with the same degree of increased tenderness as the loin and rib-eye cuts. This research project was undertaken to measure the effect of aging and the effect of the temperature at which aging occurs, on six different sub-primal cuts – the striploin, inside round, outside round, eye of round, blade eye, and chuck tender.

Two methods were used to judge tenderness – an objective (measurable) method and a subjective method (opinion). For the objective method, a Warner-Bratzler shear force device was used to measure tenderness of each cut at different ages. Warner-Bratzler shear force assesses the tenderness of meat by measuring the amount of force in kilograms necessary to shear half-inch core samples from each cut evaluated. For the subjective method, a panel of individuals sampled cooked cuts at various stages of aging and gave their opinion on how the tenderness compared. The panel also judged the cuts of beef for juiciness and intensity of flavour and off-flavour.

The six sub-primal cuts were evaluated at zero, six, 14, 21, 35, 42 and 56 days of aging at +5, +3, +1, or -1 degrees Celsius storage temperature.

The study confirmed that aging of different muscles does not consistently result in tenderness improvement. The blade eye, chuck tender, eye of round, and striploin were the most tender at 35 days of aging, and became less tender at longer aging times. On the other hand, the inside round did not benefit from aging at all, and the outside round became less tender with longer aging.

Although aging at higher temperatures (+3 and +5 degrees Celsius) resulted in some slight improvements in tenderness, the elevated temperature also contributed significantly to lower scores for beef flavour and higher scores for off-flavour. Therefore, lower storage temperatures during periods of extended aging were therefore recommended.

The study found that meat juiciness and flavour steadily decreased with aging; therefore it is recommended that aging only be extended to a point where the meat has reached an optimum tenderness. The results indicate that optimum tenderness for each cut is reached at the following days of aging:

> outside round: 0 days
> inside round: 0 days
> blade eye: 14 days
> chuck tender: 21 days
> striploin: 35 days
> eye of round: 35 days

Every stage of beef production, from the cattle producer to the cook, impacts beef quality. This study provides beef processors and retailers valuable information on how aging should be adjusted for different muscle cuts in order to increase the consumer-desired quality of beef tenderness.

It may be "sub-primal," but I have used the chuck tender -- a.k.a. shoulder tender, petite tender, and several other names -- with great success for Beef Wellington. Slather the roast in a flavourful Duxelles, wrap it in pastry, roast to medium rare or medium, rest it, and you have a treat in store. At much lower cost than if using filet mignon, chuck tender delivers on flavour, juiciness and tenderness.
Be not too curious of Good and Evil;
Seek not to count the future waves of Time;
But be ye satisfied that you have light
Enough to take your step and find your foothold.

--T.S. Eliot
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