Thursday, July 29, 2010

Roasted eggplant&things and potatoes

for veggies:
1 eggplant, peel and brown bruised bits cut off
2 green UFO-shaped summer squash
1/2 head cauliflower
5 cloves garlic, smashed and coarsely chopped
1/2 c olive oil
1/4 c old red wine that's been in the fridge for a couple weeks
rosemary pulled off 3-4" of stem
4 medium-small farmer's market tomatoes, quartered
generous salt and pepper

Cut non-tomato veggies into bite-sized pieces and put in a large bowl with garlic. Mix oil, wine, and rosemary in a small bowl, pour over the veggies, and toss well. Dump into a 9x13 pan, gently stir in tomatoes, and sprinkle salt and pepper on top. Roast at 400F for 40 min, stirring occasionally.

for potatoes:
5 3" fingerling potatoes, cut into bite-sized pieces
3 T olive oil
rosemary pulled off 1-2" of stem
more salt and pepper

Combine potatoes and dressing in a loaf pan. Roast at 400F for 40 min, chuffing (vigorously shaking to soften up the potatoes' interior) partway through.

Serve with Israeli couscous with arugula, bread and Boursin, Toni's fennel and dumpling soup, and red wine. Yep, my house is pretty great.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


6 oz cream cheese
1.5 sticks butter, cut into small pieces
1/4 c sugar
2 c flour
1/4 t cardamom

Combine cream cheese and butter in food processor, and process until smooth-ish (the ease of achieving smoothness may depend on the size of your starting butter pieces and the frequency with which you scrape down the sides of the bowl). Add sugar, process. Add flour and cardamom, process briefly. Scoop out 4 equal blobs of dough onto 4 equal-sized pieces of plastic wrap, fold the plastic wrap over each piece, and squish the dough into discs. Put in the freezer for 1/2 - 1 hr until well chilled.

3/4 c walnut pieces
1/2 c chocolate chips
1/2 c brown sugar
1 t cinnamon

While the dough is chilling, wash the food processor then get it dirty again by processing together the filling ingredients until they form something between a grit and a paste.

to assemble:
flour for the board
parchment paper on baking sheets
optional spreads, eg orange marmalade, blackberry sauce, nutella
1 egg + 1 T milk, beaten together

Preheat oven to 350F. Working with one piece of dough at a time, remove the dough from the freezer a few minutes before rolling it out. Flour a work surface and rolling pin. Roll the dough into a 8-10" circle, turning dough over frequently and reflouring as needed to prevent sticking. (Now might be a good time to take out the next piece of dough.) Spread with spread (if using) and cover with a quarter of the filling, making sure to get both almost to the edge of the circle. Cut into 12 wedges with a sharp little knife. Starting at the wide end, roll up each wedge, and place it on a parchment-covered baking sheet. If the filling is falling out around the edges, press it into the dough a bit. (Also, note me stressing the parchment-covered nature of the baking sheets.) Repeat with the other pieces of dough. Brush with a thin layer of the egg wash and bake for 20 min.


Mash together:
2 avocados
a few medium-small farmer's market tomatoes, diced
1 spring onion, bulb minced and green part sliced
1/2 green bell pepper, minced
salt to taste

Of course one could also add lime juice, cilantro, or other sources of excitement, but this worked quite well enough.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Not quite Lester's artichoke pasta

olive oil
1 shallot, minced
spoonful pesto or minced garlic
1 can TJ's artichoke hearts
1/3 c white wine
1 c shelled farmer's market peas
2 handfuls arugula
1 package long flat pasta (fettuccine, pappardelle, etc)
grated asiago, lemon juice, salt, and pepper, to taste

In a largish pot/pan saute shallot and pesto in oil; simultaneously boil water for pasta. When the pasta is ready to go in the pot, add the artichokes and wine to the shallots. Mash up the artichokes while sauteing. When the pasta is almost done, mix veggies, cheese, and seasonings into the artichoke pan. Drain pasta, add it to the artichokes, incorporate as thoroughly as possible. Serve with the rest of the wine and more cheese.

Pumpkin-applesauce bread pudding

1 loaf Metropolis Baking Company golden duram bread (challah or other slightly sweet white bread will work too), preferably stale
3 eggs
1/3 c brown sugar
1/3 c molasses
1/2 c applesauce
1/2 c pumpkin butter
1 c cream
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp cloves
1 tsp cardamom
2/3 c currants

Cut the bread into as many 1-inch cubes as will fit in a 8x8 or 9x9 square baking dish. If the bread isn't stale, let it dry on the counter for a while, or put the cubes in a warm (~250 F) oven for a while (I did the latter). Mix everything else together. Combine the liquid and the bread cubes, making sure the cubes get coated and the currants get distributed. Put in a buttered pan and bake at 350 F for 30-45 min or until the liquid is nowhere runny (baking took longer than I expected, your mileage may vary).

Top with fresh whipped cream or other tasty substance of your choice. Adding some apple slices or cubes would work well too, or some chopped nuts.

Mushroom parsnip mini pies

butter for sauteing
2 onions, thinly sliced
3 parsnips, grated
lots of assorted exciting mushrooms, coarsely chopped, and knowledge
about how long they take to cook
1/2 c bouillon
1/2 c port
a goodly quantity of pepper
8 oz gruyere, grated
handful fresh dill, minced
puff pastry, either storebought or by hand, eg youtube

Caramelize onions. Add parsnips, cook until soft, transfer to bowl.
Saute the mushrooms, add the bouillon and port, simmer for a while.
Pepper to taste. Mix the mushrooms, cheese, and dill into the
parsnips. Preheat the oven to 500F. Cut the puff pastry into ~30
squares that are the right size to line your cupcake pan with the
corners sticking up; do so. Fill each pie and fold the corners loosely
over the top. Put in oven, turn oven down to 400F, bake for ~30 min
until browned.

Boysenvelvet cupcakes

2 baskets boysenberries, washed, squished, and strained to make juice
1 stick butter, softened
1.25 c white sugar
2 eggs
.25 c cocoa powder
2 c flour, sifted
1 tsp salt
.5 c plain yogurt
.25 c milk
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp apple cider vinegar

Butter pans for 24 regular-size cupcakes and preheat the oven to 350F. In a big bowl, cream the butter and the sugar together. Beat in the eggs until very fluffy. In a little bowl, mix .5 c boysenberry juice with the cocoa powder until homogenous, and beat into the butter &etc. In another little bowl, mix the yogurt, milk, and vanilla together to break up any clumps of yogurt. To the batter stir in half the flour/salt, then the yogurt &etc, then the rest of the flour. In a third little bowl, dissolve the baking soda in the vinegar, and gently but thoroughly stir into the batter. Spoon into cupcake tins and bake for 15 min. Let cool in the pan for a bit, then gently run a knife around the edges and gently transfer to cooling racks. Store in tupperware lined with wax paper. Gently gently gently, these are rather fragile (I think they could use a little more flour in fact).

To decorate, maybe stir a little more boysenberry juice into some creme fraiche and dollop on top. Maybe top the dollop with whole raspberries or a little less-squished chunk of boysenberry.

Walnut Wolfish bread

  • Fry 2-3 c chopped walnuts in earth balance with a handful of brown sugar
  • Dissolve 2 packets yeast in 2 c warm water and a bit of earth balance
  • Put 3.5 c white flour, 1 c wheat flour, 1 c wheat bran, and 0.5 c milk powder in a bowl
  • Add liquid, mix, knead
  • Add walnuts, knead
  • Add 1-2 tsp salt, knead
  • Rise in bowl
  • Form into 2 loaves
  • Rise on baking sheet dusted in cornmeal
  • Bake at 400 for 30 min on the bottom rack, with a dish of water on the top rack

Two-day white bread

from Uncle John's Original Bread Book

night before:
1 packet yeast
2 c lukewarm watter
3 c white bread flour

Mix together all ingredients. Stir well but don't need to knead. Cover with a cloth and set in a warm place overnight.

day of:
2 c milk, scalded
2 T butter
0.25 c sugar
4 t salt
yeseterday's sponge
4-8 c white bread flour

Stir together butter, sugar, and salt into the hot milk, cool to lukewarm. Add liquid to the sponge (the stuff from last night) and stir to mix. Add flour gradually until you have a dough you're happy with (recipe calls for 4 more cups of flour, I added at least 8 and it was still on the sticky side). Knead lots. Put in greased bowl covered with cloth in warm place, rise until doubled. (This rise was a bit slow for me, probably because the house was cold.) Punch down and scoop out onto a floured surface. Cut into the number of pieces you want. With each piece, pick it up by one end and slap it against the surface a few times, then gently form into a ball and let rest for 10 min. Elongate to the length of your loaf pan, roll the sides under a bit, and place in the greased loaf pan. Cover and let rise (this rise took about an hour). Bake at 400-425 for 45 min, rotating the pans if your oven is as cramped as mine. Brush the tops with butter. Serve to your friends, or toast and eat for breakfast with cinnamon sugar and rooibos tea.

Rula's bulgar with two beans

1 T olive oil
1 onion
1 c bulgar
1 T garlic
2.5 c stock
.25 t cinnamon
.25 t allspice
1 t salt
pepper to taste
1 T tomato paste
1 15oz can black beans
1 15oz can garbanzos
2-3 diced tomatoes
8oz feta
.5 c herbs (mint, oregano, parsley)
lemon juice

Cook onion in oil. Add bulgar, toast 5 min. Add garlic, cook. Add everything up to and including beans, bring to boil. Cover, reduce heat, cook 15 min until bulgar is tender. Add fresh things. Eat and rejoice.

Blueberry brunch challah, with variations

1 bag Trader Joe's dried blueberries (alternate filling: chopped walnuts)
1 stick butter
1/2 cup or more honey or brown sugar (preferably honey, but brown sugar works too)
2 eggs
1 cup milk and/or water (this may be an underestimate)
2 packets yeast
2 cups whole wheat flour and/or 1 cup oats
4-8 cups white bread flour
some cardamom or other spices of choice
2 tsp salt
a bit more brown sugar and butter
2 pie pans

Put butter in a microwavable bowl. If using honey, put it in too. If
using oats, put them in too along with some extra liquid. If both
loaves will be blueberry, put the blueberries in too. Microwave until
butter is melted and/or oats are at least partly cooked. Add eggs,
milk/water, and brown sugar (if you didn't use honey), mix well, and
cool to a nice lukewarm temperature that will make the yeast happy.
Look at the bowl you're using and decide if it's big enough to hold
the flour too; transfer the goop to a larger bowl if not.

Sprinkle on yeast and wait a few minutes for it to proof. Add the
flour(s), spices if you want, and salt. (You don't want a stiff dough,
so don't add too much flour to start out with.) Mix to form a soft but
not sticky dough and knead for several minutes until the dough is
pliable. If you want to make one loaf blueberry and one loaf something
else (eg walnut), cut the dough in half and knead
a couple handfuls of blueberries into one half and a couple handfuls
of whatever else into the other half. Lightly oil one (or two)
bowl(s), form dough into ball(s), put the ball(s) into the bowl(s),
and turn the ball(s) over to coat with oil on all sides. Cover and let
rise in a warm place until doubled, 1-2 hr.

Prepare the pans by buttering and sprinkling with brown sugar, as for
cinnamon rolls.

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. If the dough isn't
already divided in half, cut it in half. Slap each half on the surface
a couple times to deflate. For each half: cut into three equal-sized
pieces. Elongate each piece into a 1.5-2 foot long, ~1 inch diameter
rope. Some blueberries will be falling out; this is fine. Lay the
three strands side by side and braid, starting in the middle and
working toward each end (this makes for a more symmetrical braid).
Gather up any blueberries that have fallen out and sprinkle them in
the prepared pan. Loosely coil the braid around itself to form a
circle almost as big as the pan, and place it in the prepared pan.
Cover and let rise in a warm place.

Preheat the oven to 400 F (hotter or cooler ok). Bake 25-45 minutes
until nicely browned and otherwise done. If they brown too fast, cover
with foil while they finish baking. Brush the tops with butter if you
want, and cool in the pan. Tear off chunks and eat them!

Certain and various biscuits

Biscuits—what Uncle John's Original Bread Book says
1 Tb baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 c normal flour
4 Tb butter
1 c milk

Biscuits—what the bag of self-rising flour we happened to have says
1/2 tsp baking soda
2.5 c self-rising flour
2 tsp sugar
1/2 c butter
3/4–1 c buttermilk

Biscuits—a good variation/combination of the two
1 Tb baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 c normal flour
2 c self-rising flour
1 stick butter
1 c plain yogurt
1 c milk

In all cases: mix dry ingredients, cut in cold butter, stir in
milk-like substance, knead gently and fold over a few times, cut into
biscuits, bake on ungreased sheet at 450F for 10–15 min, serve warm to
your friends.

Laura's blueberry buckle

1/3 c flour
1/2 c sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
4 Tb cold butter in small pieces
  • Rub together until crumbly.
1 c flour
1.5 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
some cardamom for good measure
1/2 sugar
1/4 c shortening
1 egg
1/3 c milk
  • Mix dry ingredients in a small bowl.
  • In a large bowl, cream the sugar and shortening, then add the egg.
  • Add the dry ingredients alternating with the milk.

to assemble:
>2 c blueberries
whipped cream
  • Butter 8" square pan. (If you want some to bring to work and some to leave at home, make a 1.5x batch, and put some in an 8" pan and some in a loaf pan.)
  • Spread batter in pan, sprinkle with blueberries (all parts of the pan should be ~2 berries deep), sprinkle with topping.
  • Bake at 350F for 40 min. Serve with whipped cream.