Tuesday, February 2, 2021

Isolation Loaf (Rustic Farmhouse Bread)

1 1/2 c warm water 
2 1/2 tsp or 1 packet active dry yeast 
 3 1/2 c unbleached flour 
1 tsp sea salt 
2 TBS extra virgin olive oil  
Cornmeal for sprinkling 

Sprinkle the yeast over slightly warm (95 degree) water in a small bowl or measuring cup. Let sit for 10 minutes. 

Measure 3 cups of the flour and salt into large mixing bowl, blend with wooden spoon. Slowly drizzle the olive oil into the flour and stir to combine. Slowly pour in the yeast and water mixture. Stir the flour with the yeast and water mixture until well blended, then turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead for 5 minutes. After kneading, you should have a smooth, springy dough that bounces back lightly when pressed with your finger. Check the texture of the dough during the kneading process. If the dough is sticky, add up to 1/2 cup additional flour. 

Place the dough in a clean bowl that has been lightly oiled. Cover the dough in the bowl with plastic wrap that has a thin coat of olive oil, and a kitchen towel. Let rise in warm place for 1 hour or until doubled.

Punch down, then knead the risen dough by hand on a floured surface for about a minute to remove air. Form the dough into a ball, and place on a 15-inch baking sheet that has been sprinkled liberally with cornmeal. Cover the loaf again with wrap and towel, and let rise a second time for 20-25 minutes or until doubled. 

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Bake the loaves for 23-25 minutes or until browned. Bake 5 minutes longer for a crispier crust.

Monday, June 29, 2020

Amazing Deep Dark Chocolate Cupcakes

3/4 cup cups warm water
3/4 cup Hershey's Special Dark cocoa powder

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon teaspoon salt

2 large eggs
1 TBS white vinegar and milk to make 3/4 cup
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp Irish whiskey (or vanilla extract)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line a muffin tin with cupcake liners; makes 24.

Combine warm water and cocoa powder; whisk until blended. Set aside to allow flavor to bloom.

Combine vinegar and milk, set aside for 5-10 minutes.

Mix together flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a stand mixer using a low speed until combined.

Add eggs, milk, water with cocoa, oil, and whiskey or vanilla. Beat on a medium speed until smooth, scraping the sides and bottom of the mixing bowl to blend.

Fill each cupcake 2/3 full.

Bake for 20-25 minutes until cupcakes test clean. Remove from tins and cool completely.I

Frost with Fudge Frosting, using Special Dark cocoa, and substituting Irish Whiskey for vanilla if desired.

Saturday, June 6, 2020

Al Pastor Salsa & Marinade

1 1/2 c fresh pineapple, cubed
1/2 white onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic
1 jalapeƱo, seeded and chopped
1 small poblano pepper, seeded and chopped
1 lime, juiced
1/2 can San Marino chipotle peppers with sauce
1 tsp Ancho chile powder
2 tsp Orange peel

Combine all ingredients in large glass bowl; use immersion blender to puree until smooth. Spoon over small cubed fresh pork and marinate for Street Tacos or use as salsa.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Oaxacan Black Mole

8oz dried pasilla chiles
hot water

Spice blend:
1-2 TBS seeds from the softened pasillas
1 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp three peppercorn blend
1/2 tsp anise seed
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp cloves
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp Mexican oregano
1/2 tsp thyme
3 TBS slivered almonds
1/4 c pumpkin seeds
1/4 c sesame seeds

3 TBS olive oil
1 medium white onion, chopped
5 cloves garlic, peeled & quartered
4-5 tomatillos, husked, rinsed & chopped

2 chipotle chiles in ancho sauce

2 c chicken stock + more as needed
3 TBS unsweetened cocoa powder
1 TBS honey
1 TBS dry red wine
salt to taste

Place dried chiles in very large non-metal bowl, cover with hot water. You may need to place a plate on top of them to keep them submerged. Stir occasionally, and let soak for at least 2 hours to rehydrate until the peppers are soft & pliable. Remove the peppers, stem & seed them saving 2 TBS of the seeds, & place in another bowl; reserve the liquid.

Now, dry roast the spice blend. Place all blend ingredients in large, dry, heavy cast iron fry pan. Roast over medium heat for 3-5 minutes, stirring frequently to keep them from burning. Allow the blend to brown nicely, but do not burn. Remove from heat and cool slightly. Place the roasted blend in a spice mill or coffee grinder & grind to a fine powder.

Add olive oil to the fry pan & saute the onion, garlic and tomatillos until soft & fragrant. Remove from heat.

Set large stock pot on stove, measure in 1 c of the pasilla soaking water.

Working in batches with a blender (not a food processor), puree 1/3 of the pasillas & the chipotles with a portion of the onion, garlic & tomatillo mixture, adding a little of the chicken stock as needed to form a smooth, thick puree. Pour into stock pot and repeat, in batches, until all ingredients are pureed.

Add the remaining stock, 2-4 TBS of the ground spice blend, & the cocoa powder to the puree in the stock pot, stirring well with a wooden spoon. Heat the mixture to a simmer over medium heat, stirring frequently. Add the honey & red wine, and add salt to taste. Simmer the mole until it is thick and flavorful, adding stock if the mole thickens too much (it should be pourable).

Tia's Tortillas

1/3 c coarse ground cornmeal
2 c water

4 c flour
2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 TBS butter (or margarine) + additional

Combine corn meal & water in medium heavy saucepan, place over medium heat. Bring to rapid boil, stirring constantly. Set aside to cool to luke-warm temperature (you will be mixing this with your hands, you do not want it too hot to touch).

Combine flour, salt and baking powder in large mixing bowl, stirring gently with wooden spoon to combine. Cut in butter, mixing gently with hands until worked throughout. Spoon cornmeal evenly into flour mixture, mix quickly but gently with hands until a rough dough forms. Gather into 1 large lump and rub outside thoroughly with butter. Pinch off small amount (golfball size clumps) and roll into balls; dip lightly in flour & roll to cover. Let stand for 15 minutes, lightly covered with cloth towel.

Preheat heavy griddle over medium heat (or electric to 350). Working with one ball at a time, flatten dough ball into disc shape. Plunk onto lightly floured surface; using rolling pin, roll lightly from middle, turning dough after each roll, until desired thickness. Cook on griddle, flipping when tortilla begins to "bubble". Cook until done. Stack & wrap in cloth until cool.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Florentine Lasagna Soup

2 TBS olive oil
1.25 lbs. extra lean ground beef

1 large onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced

1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried basil
2 tsp dried parsley
1/2 tsp crushed dried red pepper
salt to taste (I use 1/2 tsp, you may want more)

2 - 14 oz cans petite diced tomatoes (or 1 can crushed, 1 can diced)
1 - 6 oz can tomato paste

5 c. warm organic beef broth (or 5 c. water & good boullion)

2 c. mafalda (mini lasagna) or bow tie pasta

1 & 1/2 c fresh baby spinach, cut in 1/4 inch wide strips
1/4 c fresh basil, cut in 1/8 inch wide strips

shredded 5 cheese Italian blend

Heat oil over medium high heat in large Dutch oven or soup pot. Add meat & brown well. Add onion & garlic & cook, stirring often, until onion just begins to be translucent. Add seasonings.

Add one can of tomatoes, crushing well with a fork (or use 1 can crushed tomatoes). Add additional can of tomatoes & tomato paste, stirring well to incorporate.

Pour in warm broth & blend in well; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover & simmer for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Stir in pasta; cover. Continue to simmer for an additional 7 minutes, stirring often. Blend in spinach & basil, cook an additional 3-5 minutes or until pasta is al dente.

To serve, ladle into bowls & top with 1/4 c shredded cheese blend, stirring to melt. Pair with a salad & a nice crusty bread.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Tres Leches Cake

2 & 1/4 c unbleached flour
3 & 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp sea salt

1/2 cup (8 TBS) unsalted butter, softened
1 & 1/2 c sugar
3 eggs, room temperature
2 tsp vanilla extract

1 & 1/4 c milk (I use 1%)

1 c whipping cream
1 - 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 c milk (again, I used 1%)
2 TBS Bacardi white rum

Freshly whipped or canned whipped cream

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease & flour 9x13 non-stick cake pan.

Blend together flour, baking powder, & salt in medium bowl; set aside.

In large mixing bowl, beat butter & sugar until light. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla & blend until smooth.

Add 1/2 of the dry ingredients, mix until just incorporated, then 1/2 the milk, & repeat. Pour into prepared pan. Bake for 30 - 40 minutes until lightly browned & center tests clean. Remove to wire rack to cool 15 minutes.

While cake is cooling, whisk together all Tres Leches ingredients. When cake has cooled slightly, pierce evenly with long tined fork (about 1- 1 1/2 inches apart). Pour the milk mixture slowly & evenly over top of cake, covering completely. Allow cake to cool, refrigerate for at least 3 hours before serving.

Cut cake & serve individual pieces with whipped cream to top & cinnamon to sprinkle. If all cake will be used immediately, spread with whipped cream & sprinkle cinnamon lightly over the top before cutting & serving.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Thai Basil Cashew Chicken

2 TBS low sodium soy sauce
fresh juice of one lime
2 tsp honey
1 TBS corn starch

2 TBS olive oil
1.25 lb chicken breast, cubed

1 medium onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 hot pepper (jalapeno, serrano or thai), minced

1/2 c roasted, unsalted cashews

1/4 c fresh Thai basil leaves

Combine soy sauce, lime juice, honey, and corn starch in small ceramic bowl, set aside.

Heat oil in Dutch oven or wok; add chicken & saute until no longer pink and any juice has cooked off. Add onion, garlic & peppers & saute until onion becomes translucent. Stir in cashews & cook until heated through (about 5 minutes), stirring frequently. Pour in sauce mixture, thoroughly combine; cook until thick & bubbly. Quickly stir in Thai basil leaves, cook briefly until wilted.

Serve over Jasmine rice.