Thursday, March 9, 2017

Black bean soup

Black Bean Soup

·       1 bag of dried black beans
·       1 can crushed tomatoes (16 oz or more)
·       1 bunch cilantro, minced
·       6 cloves garlic
·       2 tablespoon chili powder
·       2 tablespoons cumin
·       1 tablespoon salt
·       2 chili peppers, chopped
·       1/4 stick of butter (or corn oil if preparing Vegan)
·       juice from 2 limes (2 teaspoons)
·       1 beer (Dos Equis preferred)
·       1/2 cup sweet peppers, chopped
·       2 red onions, minced
·       1 fresh tomato, diced
§       optional sour cream

clean beans in cold water
soak for a minimum of 3 hours in warm water
sauté half the cilantro, cumin and chili powder in butter
add beans, garlic, 1& 1/2 onion, all the peppers to the sauté
cover with bean liquid to 2" over the top
in a separate pot, cook canned tomato, the rest of garlic, cumin and chili powder, all the lime juice and beer in the remainder of the bean liquid
cook both at medium heat till the beans reach the desired tenderness
combine both mixtures in a large pot and cook at low for 1 hour
taste and add more salt if needed

Serve with a mixture of onions, cilantro, fresh tomatoes and sour cream

Monday, March 6, 2017

never wrote it down

CLAM SAUCE WITH LINGUINI
for 1 pound pasta

·       16 oz clams (frozen, fresh OR canned) whole and chopped
§       if frozen or fresh, add  6 oz of clam juice
·       1/2 red onion, minced
·       1 oz canned anchovies
·       2 oz capers with half the brine liquid
·       1 tablespoon parmesan cheese plus enough to sprinkle on top
·       1 teaspoon dry oregano
·       2 cloves garlic, minced
·       1 red pepper, minced
·       1/2 teaspoon dry crushed red pepper
·       1 cup white or rose wine
·       olive oil to sauté garlic, anchovies and peppers
·       parsley, minced to sprinkle on top

sauté onion, pepper, anchovies and garlic in olive oil
onion should be just translucent
add capers and half the liquid from the jar
add clam juice (from cans or separate jar) and wine
steam clams as the liquid reduces to 3/4 of the volume
add clams to the reduced liquid and turn off heat
add parmesan cheese and mix well
cook the linguine to the desired tenderness (do not salt water)
add 1 cup of the pasta water to the clam sauce and bring to a simmer
drain the pasta and add some clam sauce (without clams) and mix
plate the pasta with a ladle of sauce

top with cheese, then parsley

Monday, January 2, 2017

searching looking for my blueberry buckle recipe and find it not posted!

a favorite from childhood:

My Blueberry Buckle


For the cake:
·       2 cups cake flour
·       1 teaspoon baking powder
·       1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
·       1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
·       1/2 teaspoon Rosemary, finely minced
·       4 ounces butter, room temperature
·       3/4 cup raw sugar
·       2 large eggs
·       1 teaspoon lemon juice
·       1/2 cup whole milk
·       16 ounces fresh whole blueberries
For the topping:
§       1/2 cup sugar (white works best)
§       2/3 cup flour
§       1/2 teaspoon freshly ground cinnamon
§       2 ounces butter, chilled and cubed
§       2 ounces butter room temperature

For the cake:
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
butter the sides of Spray a 9 by 9-inch glass baking dish, set aside.
whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and ground ginger. Set aside.
Whisk the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 1 minute.
Whisk in eggs and lemon juice
Mix flour then milk in 1/3 increments until everything has combined.
Stir in the blueberries and pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish.
For the topping:
In a small bowl combine the sugar, flour, thyme and nutmeg.
Add the butter and Mix into the dry ingredients until the mixture has a crumb-like texture.
Sprinkle the mixture on top of the cake.

Bake for 35 minutes or until golden in color.

Cool for at least 10 minutes before serving.


The Greek cookie most requested from me - kourambiedes

These are beautiful cookies - i make them a bit sweeter and heavier than the original and these are my most requested:

Kourambiedes
(Joe's version)
makes 4 to 6 dozen cookies

·       1 pound sweet (unsalted) butter - room temp
·       1 cup raw sugar (less ¼ cup for less sweet cookie)
·       1 tablespoon TANG (this primarily adds acid, not flavor)
·       4 teaspoons vanilla
·       2 tablespoons fresh orange zest
·       1 tablespoon fresh lemon zest
·       2 teaspoon anise flavor
·       1 teaspoon orange flavor
·       4 eggs (use fewer eggs for lighter, crumblier cookies)
·       3 cups pecans, chopped fine
·       2 teaspoons water
·       4 or more cups flour, added in ¼ cup increments
·       powdered sugar to finely coat the cooled cookies

whip the butter
Add sugar and TANG to the whipped butter and whip till fluffy.
Add zests, nuts, vanilla, orange and anise flavor and whip again
add water to eggs and whip in a separate bowl
change to a beater bar and slowly add flour, mixing with portions of eggs
slowly beat until the mixture begins to clump on the beater bar
(more flour may be needed)
roll the dough into 1 inch balls and place on a lightly greased cookie sheet
squash the balls using a smooth wetted glass or metal object

bake for 20 minutes at 350º F, but check after 15 minutes.
The cookies will have the edges just brown.
They must cool before removing from tray.
Place on tray and cover with powdered sugar.
Eat at room temperature.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

i happen to love pumpkins

But not always as pie, so this is my take on a stuffed pumpkin for dessert

Pumpkins for dessert

·        1 medium sugar pumpkin
·        2 apples (or 1 apple and one pear), cored and diced
·        1/2 cup walnuts
·        1/2 cup raisins
·        1/2 cup cranberries
·        1/2 stick butter
·        1/4 cup brown sugar
·        1/4 cup apple juice
·        2 teaspoons cinnamon
·        1 teaspoon cloves, ground
·        1 teaspoon allspice, ground
·        1 teaspoon nutmeg
·        1/2 teaspoon ginger

hollow out the pumpkin, removing stringy interior
save seeds for roasting
hydrate the raisins in hot apple juice with butter
just pop the cranberries in the hot liquid
mix all the ingredients together and stuff the pumpkin
bake @ 325 F for  hour in a baking pan to catch any liquid
serve warn with vanilla ice cream


Wednesday, November 16, 2016

the analytical cook?

Whenever i try to do something,
i think about it,
research it
and try to remember my mom's or a restaraunts way...
when i eat out -
 i try to figure out
 some of the things that made a particular,
"something" so good...

here are some examples:
A bowl of chili at a restaurant, where the chopped meat was tender!
There were other difference, but i never had a bowl of chili where the meat tasted "medium rare" tender...
what did they do?
They cooked the chili "base separately, then added the beef uncooked into the hot bowl and let the chili cook it.

I was cooking dry beans and remembered some thing vaguely and tried to look it up...
No food site had anything i wanted, but several chemistry sites did...
i remembered my mom adding baking soda to the water she soaked the beans in and there was some mention in a food site of it being an old time method, but did not answer the question: Why?
The chemistry sites all pointed out that beans are neutral in pH (acidity) and that acid makes the outer shell tough!

Put these 2 thoughts together and when i make  vegetarian chili with beans and some other vegetables...
Eureka!
I have a method!

Beans are soaked in slightly basic (using baking soda) water.
they are then cooked in all the elements of my chili that is not acidic - this means any tomatoes,
onions, vinegar, beer sugar or chili peppers are cooked separately.
dry spice, water, salt, butter and other vegetables are cooked with the beans.

they are blended after the beans are cooked, usually just before serving...
the result is a vegetarian chili which was described by one meat only chili person eating it at a cook-off as surprisingly wonderful.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Moussaka

My mom's side of the family is from Greece - Cyprus and crete specifically and i love the flavors -
garlic, oregano, mint, cinnamon and others and Moussaka embodies many of those -
the Greek Cookbook that i adapted this from is one that my mom had more markers and notes than any other cookbook she owned - The complete Greek cookbook, but she added her own spin on some of these...as do i. I just made it and so this recipe is "tweaked".

Moussaka

·       2 medium eggplants, cut into 1/2" cubes
·       1/2 cup butter, melted
·       1 lb ground meat (traditionally lamb, but beef or pork my be used)
·       2 onions, diced
·       2 cloves garlic, crushed or minced fine
·       1 tablespoon Oregano, dry
·       1 teaspoon black pepper
·       1/2 teaspoon allspice, ground
·       1/2 cut parsley, chopped
·       1/2 cup tomato sauce
·       1/2 cup red wine
·       1 cup grated cheese, Kefalotyri or Parmesan



White sauce - traditional (3000 years old) way
·       1/2 cup water
·       2 cups milk
·       2 tablespoons corn starch dissolved in cold water
·       1 tablespoon butter
·       1 & 1/2 teaspoon salt
·       1 egg, whipped
·       1/4 teaspoon cinnamon


         
          bring milk, butter and salt to a boil over medium heat
          thicken with corn starch and remove from heat
          slowly mix 3 tablespoons warm milk to the egg and blend it
          add egg and cinnamon to milk and mix well

wash and salt eggplant and leave for 10 min.
rinse and blot dry
brush with oil and butter mix and baked @ 350 F for 30 min
cook onion, garlic, meat, wine, tomato sauce and spices mixing in order
reduce to near dryness or strain
layer eggplant, meat, eggplant, add white sauce
top with cheese, parsley and cinnamon
bake @ 325 for 45 min.