Tuesday, December 30, 2014

a lot of cooking but little posting

Christmas season is a season for me doing things i am not used to doing...
baking particularly, but also some of the main proteins.
I have made some mistakes - like drying out a meat because i was cooking something else that needed a higher temperature than i needed to cook the meat at...gravy fixed that, but back to baking..

my favorite and easiest recipe is something i can not imagine doing without modern tools, like electric mixers, yet my mom learned this from family who did just that and i do not think i would want to arm wrestle them!

I have adopted the basic idea of this recipe to things like corn bread because the flour used is not what sticks this cake together!


Greek nut cake

8 eggs, separated
1 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon allspice (though nutmeg can be used, it is not traditional)
1 teaspoon finely diced orange peel (zest)
1/8 teaspoon cream of tarter (to acidify the eggs, they whip better)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup flour
2 cups chopped or ground hazelnuts (i like hazelnuts, but walnuts can be used)

after baking, the cake can be soaked with a syrup which needs the following:
1/2 cup sugar
1 whole orange (minus the zest used in the cake and without the rind, which is bitter)
1/4 cup honey
1 cup water
Greeks generally use 1/2 cup of fortified wine (sherry or port), but it is an option
this is reduced by 1/4 volume and then strained and cooled, but kept slightly warm

making the cake
whisk the egg whites with the cream of tarter until stiff and then set aside
Whisk the egg yokes until thick then add the sugar and spices and continue to mix
separately, mix the flour, salt and baking powder
If using an electric mixer, change to a paddle and mix in the flour
remove from the mixer and fold in the egg whites (you must fold it!)
Fold in the nuts
Pour into a 9 x 12 greased cake pan
cook at 350 F for 40 minutes
Remove from the oven and set aside for 10 minutes
the cake may be topped with the syrup or dust it with powdered sugar
serve cool

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

a hangin' offence

What i did today would earn me a quick trip to the nearest cottonwood tree in my home state of Texas.
Chili, you see, is something of national, excuse me, state pride (I forgot for a moment that Texas is no longer its own country) and must be made of beef and have a deep red color through out.  It is not low fat and does not have a lot of vegetables, (though one must remember that peppers are a kind of fruit, seeds on the inside) but onions are vegetables and all my Texas chili has onion (without complaint from the chili board).
Today though, i dared to make something I called green chili chicken chili and i now wait for the dreaded knock on my door, even though i am many states away...

Green Chicken Chili

1.   3 lbs of ground chicken
2.   5 green chilies, diced
3.   1 and 1/2 red onion, diced
4.   16 oz Recaito (from Goya)
5.   1 tablespoon chili powder (commercial)
6.   juice of 1 lime
7.   1 or 2 beers (minus a swig or 2)
8.   1 cup bell peppers, diced
9.   salt to taste

all my chili is begun by cooking the meat first, adding liquid and then all the peppers and onions and then the spices.
I cook for a minimum of 3 hours at a low simmer, adding more beer as needed

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

leftover turkey

What?  You say it is all gone?
I do not believe you America!
There has to be turkey to make great turkey sandwiches or horrible casseroles or even a good soup for cold days.
Freeze it? naw, use it in a good turkey salad and you will not have any left over!
this is my twist and it is good!

Turkey Salad

1.   3 cups turkey, cut into ~ 1/2 inch cubes
          white, dark or mixed meat, but all white is best
2.   1/2 cup mayonnaise
          or as little as 1/4 cup, but no less
3.   1/4 teaspoon dry Chipolte peppers, minced fine
4.   1/2 large red onion, minced fine
5.   1/2 cup fresh celery, diced fine
6.   1/2 teaspoon black pepper, coarse grind
7.   1/4 teaspoon curry powder
          (yes, i know this is not real, but just run with it)
8.   salt to taste

mix all the ingredients together except the turkey
heat the turkey (sauce pan or microwave)
        if you use a microwave - use glass -phthalates do leech in from plastic
mix the turkey into the other ingredients while it is still warm
cool in the refrigerator and serve cold.