16th March 2008

    Taste & Create VII: Whole Wheat Potato Bread

    I’m not sure how this happens, butevery single Taste & Create event ends up with me baking. This month I was paired with the truthfully-titled Heaven is Chocolate, Cheese, and Carbs, a relatively new food blog featuring a bunch of baked breads and treats. I was really close to making the awesome-sounding Double Chocolate Caramel Brownie Tart that was featured for Pi(e) Day, but decided instead to make something I’d never attempted, a hot, fresh loaf of bread. This particular loaf is a potato bread, one of two (so far) featured on HICCAC. We had a bunch of wheat flour on hand, so we used that instead of regular bread flour. For a first attempt, this was a homerun — the bread was delicious! The recipe makes enough for two loaves, and for my second I made a long free-form loaf, adding freshly chopped rosemary to the dough and sprinkled sea-salt on the outside before baking. Wonderful!

    Lisa says:

    Whoa, you made bread!

    Chris says:

    I know, what’s up with that?

    Lisa says:

    I’m all for it — wow, this is good. Is there anything better than a freshly baked loaf of bread?

    Chris says:

    The act of eating said loaf?

    Lisa says:

    True! I like these T&C events, you make things you never would have tried otherwise.

    Chris says:

    That’s certainly true — wow, that second loaf with the rosemary is awesome.

    Lisa says:

    I’m taking the pieces with the most salt on the crust. I love it.

    Whole Wheat Potato Bread
    ————————
    2 cups water*
    5 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
    2 teaspoons instant yeast
    8 ounces mashed potatoes (8 ounces by weight — about 1 1/4 cup mashed)
    2 tablespoons butter
    1 cup all-purpose flour
    1 tablespoon salt

    *You’ll use the water from boiling the potatoes for this.

    Peel and cut potatoes and boil for approximately 30 minutes, or until soft enough to mash. Measure out 8 ounces of potatoes, and two cups of water, plus a little more on the side in case you need it. Mash the potatoes in the potato water and allow to cool until approximately 100F. Add the wheat flour and yeast to the potato/water mixture. Add the butter and mix until well combined. Mix in the salt.
    Spread the all-purpose flour onto your work surface and begin to knead the dough, adding more flour and water as needed. Work that dough, baby!
    Grease a large bowl and put the dough in, greasing the top of the dough. Cover the bowl and let rest for approximately an hour, or until doubled in size. Punch down, cut the dough in half and let rest for a few minutes. Form two loafs and put them in greased loaf pans. Cover and let rise another hour, or until doubled in size.
    Preheat oven to 375F.
    Cut two or three slits in the top, lightly flour the tops and bake bread approximately 20 minutes. Turn and bake for another 15 minutes* or until tops are golden brown and a thermometer inserted inside reads 200F.

    * Note that the loaf in the breadpan actually took about 10 minutes longer than my freeform loaf. If the top of the loaf starts to get too brown and the inside isn’t done, you can make a foil “tent” to cover the top of your loaf while it cooks through.

    Makes 2 Loaves

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    posted in Breads and Muffins | 2 Comments

    15th March 2008

    Mushroom and Tofu Stir Fry


    A few nights ago Lisa raided the CSA box and made this stir fry, based on one she found on Elise’s site. She changed up the vegetables a bit and cut the oil almost in half (Elise loves her oil)! ;)

    Chris says:

    Wow the sauce on this is fantastic.

    Lisa says:

    Yeah, and spicy! I got to use your rooster sauce.

    Chris says:

    Everything’s better with rooster sauce…

    Lisa says:

    The tofu and the rice make this a lot more filling than I thought it would be.

    Chris says:

    I know! I’m kind of full but I’m going to eat more anyway — it’s all veggies so I know I’ll just be hungry later on.

    Lisa says:

    I’m going to save the rest for my lunch.

    Chris says:

    Sorry sucka — “the rest”? “The rest” is already in my belly.

    Mushroom and Tofu Stir Fry
    ————————–
    Glaze
    2 Tbsp soy sauce
    2 Tbsp honey
    1/4 cup of chickenbroth

    Sauce
    3 Tbsp soy sauce
    3/4 cup chicken or vegetable broth
    2 Tbsp honey
    1 Tbsp rice wine
    1 teaspoon Sriracha
    1 Tbsp corn starch

    Vegetables
    4 teaspoons minced garlic
    4 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
    2 Tbsp vegetable oil
    1 lb of cremini or button mushrooms, quartered
    1 cup onion
    4 oz extra-firm tofu
    1 cup broccoli, roughly chopped
    1 cup carrots, in 1/2-inch dice
    1/2 cup chicken broth
    1/2 red bell pepper, diced
    1/2 green bell pepper, diced
    1 1b bok choy stems, in 1/2-inch dice
    1 Tbsp toasted sesame seeds

    Whisk the glaze ingredients together in a bowl and the sauce ingredients together in a different bowl. In a third bowl, mix the garlic, ginger and 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil.
    Heat 1 Tbsp of vegetable oil in a large, stick-free skillet on medium-high heat. Add mushrooms, onion, and tofu, and cook, without stirring, until browned on one side, about 2 to 3 minutes. Reduce heat to medium and use tongs to turn the mushrooms to brown the other side. When mushrooms are browned and tender, about 5 minutes, increase the heat to medium-high and add the glaze. Cook, stirring to coat the mushrooms, 1 to 2 minutes more. Transfer mushrooms to a large bowl. Wipe out skillet with a paper towel.
    Heat a teaspoon of vegetable oil in the skillet on medium-high heat until the pan begins to smoke. Add carrots and broccoli and cook, stirring occasionally, until they begin to brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Add 1/2 cup broth and cover skillet. Cook until carrots are tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Uncover and cook until liquid evaporates. Transfer carrots to bowl with mushrooms. Wipe skillet clean with paper towel.
    Heat a teaspoon of vegetable oil in the skillet on medium high heat until it begins to smoke. Add the bell pepper and bok choy stems and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables begin to brown and soften, about 1 to 2 minutes. Add leafy greens and cook for a minute further. Push the veggies to the side of the pan and add the garlic-ginger mixture in the clearing. Cook 15 seconds, until fragrant, and then mix in with the other vegetables.
    Add all the vegetables back into the pan (mushrooms, carrots, etc.). Add the sauce to the pan. Mix well and cook, stirring, until the sauce has thickened and all the vegetables are coated with the sauce, about 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a serving platter. Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds if desired. Serve immediately with rice.

    4 Servings

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    posted in Main Dishes | 0 Comments

    14th March 2008

    Morning Glory Muffins


    Lisa’s been getting her bake on (mmm… bacon…) in these last few weeks before work starts again, and today she made these muffins, based off a recipe in Cooking Light. We were out of eggs, so applesauce made an appearance, and raisins and dried cranberries subbed for dried pineapple. My contribution was pulling the coconut out of the pantry.

    Chris says:

    I love all these treats that have been coming out of the kitchen lately.

    Lisa says:

    Pretty good, aren’t they?

    Chris says:

    I’ll say — if these muffins needed a movie title I’d suggest 3:10 to Yumma.

    Lisa says:

    And they’re actually good for you!

    Chris says:

    I’m totally taking credit for the coconut ones though.

    Lisa says:

    You certainly get credit for eating them.

    Chris says:

    Hey! Don’t give me any flak…

    Lisa says:

    That’s flax, actually. Told you they’re good for you!

    Morning Glory Muffins
    ———————
    Cooking spray
    1 cup whole wheat flour (about 4 3/4 ounces)
    1/2 cup all-purpose flour (about 2 1/4 ounces)
    1 cup regular oats
    3/4 cup packed brown sugar
    1 tablespoon wheat bran
    2 teaspoons baking soda
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    1 cup plain fat-free yogurt
    1 cup mashed ripe banana (about 2)
    1/4 cup applesauce
    1/4 cup chopped pitted dates
    3/4 cup chopped walnuts
    1 cup dried cranberries
    1/4 cup golden raisins
    3 tablespoons ground flaxseed (about 2 tablespoons whole)
    sweetened coconut, shredded

    Preheat oven to 350°. Place 18 muffin cups liners in muffin cups; coat liners with cooking spray. Lightly spoon flours into dry measuring cups, and level with a knife. Combine flours and next 5 ingredients (through salt) in a large bowl; stir with a whisk. Make a well in center of mixture. Combine yogurt, banana, and applesauce; add to flour mixture, stirring just until moist. Add more applesauce if batter seems too dry. Fold in dates, walnuts, cranberries, and raisins. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups. Sprinkle evenly with flaxseed. Sprinkle sweetened coconut over half of the muffins. Bake at 350° for 20 minutes or until muffins spring back when touched lightly in center. Remove muffins from pans immediately; cool on a wire rack.

    18 Muffins

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    posted in Cooking Light | 6 Comments

    13th March 2008

    Caribbean Salt Cod and Okra Soup (featuring Mashed Yams!)


    This awesome soup comes from The Ultimate Soup Bible: salt cod, spinach, and okra in a tomato-wine broth surround a mountain of mashed yams. Very different, and very delicious!

    Lisa says:

    This is so good! I like the cod, though it’s not as salty as I’d expected.

    Chris says:

    Soaking for over a day will do that, I guess.

    Lisa says:

    Never in a million years would I have thought to put mashed yams in the middle of a soup!

    Chris says:

    Mashed Yams? More like Mashed YUMS!

    Lisa says:

    I know! We should make the yams on their own, too — so good.

    Abbie says:

    I like our mountain of potatoes… I’d live on it if I were this big…

    Chris says:

    You may not realize that the people out there can’t see you touching your fingers together to indicate that “this big” means “miniscule”.

    Abbie says:

    Um, it’s kind of implied if I refer to it as a “mountain” of potatoes.

    Chris says:

    Good point.

    Caribbean Salt Cod and Okra Soup
    ——————————–
    1/2 lb salt cod, soaked for 24 hours, with several water changes
    1 tbsp olive oil
    3 garlic cloves, chopped
    1 onion, chopped
    1 jalapeño, seeded and chopped
    6 plum tomatoes, peeled and chopped, or 1 32-oz can whole tomatoes, drained and chopped
    1 cup white wine
    2 bay leaves
    3 3/4 cups water
    8 oz okra, trimmed and cut into thirds
    8 oz spinach
    salt and pepper

    For the potatoes:
    1 1/2 lbs yams
    juice of 1 lemon
    1/4 cup butter
    2 tbsp heavy cream
    1 tbsp chopped chives

    Drain and skin the salt cod, then rinse under cold water. Cut into bite-sized pieces and set aside. Heat the oil in a large, heavy pan. Add the garlic, onion, and jalapeño and cook for 4-5 minutes over medium-high heat until softened. Add the salt cod and cook for another 4 minutes until it begins to color. Stir in the tomatoes, wine, and bay leaves and bring to a boil. Add the water, return to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the okra the soup and cook an additional 10 minutes. Stir in the spinach and cook for 5 minutes until the okra is tender. While the soup is cooking, prepare the yams. Peel the yams and cut into large dice, then place in a pan with the lemon juice and add cold water to cover. Bring to a boil and cook for 15-20 minutes, until tender. Drain well, then return to the pan to dry over the heat for a few minutes. Add the butter and cream, and mash the potatoes. Season as desired. Add the chives.
    Season the soup with salt and pepper. Spoon portions of the yams into the center of six bowls and ladle the soup around it. Serve and enjoy!

    6 Servings

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    posted in Main Dishes, The Soup Bible | 2 Comments

    10th March 2008

    Chicken Machaca and Mexican Red Rice


    Tonight I made Chicken Machaca — a stir-fry with southwestern flavors — and Mexican Red Rice. Both of these recipes come from The Border Cookbook, which focuses on home cooked meals from the American Southwest and Northern Mexico. This is another one of those books where we’ve yet to find a dud.

    Chris says:

    I love the consistency of this rice. It’s really moist without being goopy. Much better than those “just add water” pre-mix ones you can buy.

    Lisa says:

    Yum, I really like it. What was all that grinding going on in here?

    Chris says:

    I used the coffee grinder for the cumin in the chicken and to grind New Mexico chiles for the rice.

    Lisa says:

    I’m glad we’re getting some use out of that thing, we don’t make coffee at home!

    Chris says:

    Yeah it works perfectly! And the freshly ground spices seem to be more intense than those jars that have been sitting in the cabinet for months.

    Lisa says:

    I [heart] fajitas, and this chicken is almost like fajitas.

    Chris says:

    Yeah it’s really close… but what it’s stir-fried with has a much different flavor than you usually find with fajitas. There’s soy sauce in there.

    Lisa says:

    Well I [heart] them just the same!

    Chicken Machaca
    —————
    2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breast
    1 1/2 tbsp vegetable oil
    1 medium onion, diced
    2 roma tomatoes, chopped
    1/2 red bell pepper, diced
    1/2 green bell pepper, diced
    1 jalapeño, minced
    2 garlic cloves, minced
    1 tbsp soy sauce
    1 tsp white wine vinegar
    1/2 tsp cumin seeds, toasted and ground
    cilantro, for garnish

    Pound the chicken breasts to 1/2-inch thickness, then cut in long 1/2-inch wide strips. In a large skillet over high heat, warm the oil. Swirl the oil around the pan to coat completely, and add the chicken. Cook the chicken, stirring often, until just done. Remove with a slotted spoon to another plate and set aside. Add the onions, tomatoes, bell peppers, and jalapeño and cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium and stir in the garlic, soy sauce, vinegar, and cumin. Cook another 2 minutes, then add the chicken back to the pan and heat through.
    Garnish with cilantro.

    4-6 Servings

    Mexican Red Rice
    —————-
    1 1/2 tbsp peanut oil
    1 medium onion, minced
    2 garlic cloves, minced
    1 cup uncooked basmati rice
    2 roma tomatoes, chopped
    2 cups chicken broth
    1 tbsp ground New Mexico chile
    3/4 tbsp salt

    In a medium saucepan, warm the peanut oil over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and saute until softened. Add the rice and tomatoes, stirring for a couple of minutes so that the rice is coated with the oil. Add the stock, chile, and salt, and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook for 15-18 minutes until all the liquid is absorbed. Remove from the heat and let steam, covered, for 5 to 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork.

    4-6 Servings

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    posted in Main Dishes, The Border Cookbook | 1 Comment


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