Wednesday, April 6, 2011

drunken sorbet, not!

Ok, its time to use the blueberries and raspberries in the freezer...hmmm what about a sorbet?
put 8c of frozen bluberries and raspberries ( mine are organic, picked myself)
let set in food processor for 30 min.
add 4T raw honey, flavoring (rum is what I used, about 1T) begin processing. stopping to scrape. Pour about 1/2 to 1c of cabernet, or some concentrated apple juice. Process till combined, and fruit is ground smooth. Put in container store in freezer. put in fridge to temper 30 min. before serving! Refreshing! (I think you could use a blender and process a little at a time.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Phat Thai

I have veered off for a moment: Phat Thai, a general fav.
you need 1 lb package of "rice sticks" soaked till transclucent
1 package of extra firm tofu chunked
1-2 c finely chopped peanuts
2 c fresh beansprouts, rinsed
fresh shrimp, peeled, deveined, tail on (1/2 lb)
4 eggs
garlic and shallots 2T each minced
garlic tops (sub: 1 bunch green onions, cut in 2" lengths)
for the sauce: 3/4 c vinegar, 3/4c fish sauce, 1/3 c dk brown sugar, 2T dark soy sauce
bring to boil in wok, let cool.
to make Phat Thai
stir fry garlic and shallots in 1/4c oil remove half for second half of noodles,keep flame on and stir in tofu till browning, then place drained noodles in wok, stiring to combine with oil, make sure all noodles are covered. Add 2 eggs in middle of noodles and stirfry till all is coated, add about 1/3 cup of sauce stir fry till all coated if noodles a little dry add a little water and continue to stir fry. add peanuts, and 1/4 of bean sprouts, and 1/2 of greens continue to stir fry till greens wilt. remove and serve with chilis, lime wedges, extra peanuts. Stir fry the second batch the same. you will have some extra sauce. reserve in fridge for next time. :)

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Peanut Sauce-from Thailand

Hi! I lived in Thailand for 10 years and learned from those who served in our home as cooks. The lowly peanut rises to its heights in the Thai peanut sauce
This is my easiest recipe for peanut sauce:
I did not like the one in NT
this is a mild version:
1 can cocoanut cream (savoy)(reserve 1/4 cup if you are making Satay to keep the meat moist)
1T red curry paste
1T roasted chili paste
1T dk brown sugar
1/2 c chunky peanut butter (can use smooth)
1T lemon juice (Tamarind juice preferred)
nampla to taste (or salt)
Stir fry on medium heat: pastes with a small amount of cocoanut cream, when aroma rises stir in cocoanut cream, when bubbly add peanut butter and brown sugar. when incorporated and bubbly turn off.( if you are using right away stir in lemon and add nampla to taste) serve immediately. Peanut sauce can be thinned with chicken stock if you are wanting a thinner sauce to use over greens. if you are serving with satay you can let it come to room temp and serve with the grilled meat. See how easy this is? Hope to get a vdo of this soon :)

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

coming: My version of Peanut Sauce

even my friends who hate peanuts like Peanut sauce!
get ready.
NT does the typical sauce and I must say no and give you my version!!! Living in Thailand does have some perks: Food!!!

Enchilada Sauce--oh Wow!

I know that my randomness is coming out here and its ok if you need to stop reading! I do promise that more NT is coming and today I will write about making the NT enchilada sauce. After living with a family who's background was Mexican, I found some amazing foods that I still make today. Our hostess made her enchilada sauce from SCRATCH(as well as all tortillas, etc.) She gave me the recipe but after 30 years its gone. I have used some very excellent canned sauces but what NT enchilada sauce does is to bring back that flavor I remember. OK, you need 1/2 package of Ancho chilis(yes they are not cheap) I bought a couple of different ones but made the decision on the Ancho called for, a good decision: they are not hot and enchilada sauce is not spicy. The total ingredients: the chilis,olive oil, onion, cumin,stock,garlic, tomato paste, red wine vinegar. You must be careful with any chili, fresh or dried. I was careful but did not use Gloves(they make me itch) the chilis can be put aside while the olive oil, onion and cumin are saute'd. add stock and chilis and boil. (if needed, skim it) simmer, whisk in garlic tomato paste and vinegar. simmer covered 45min(I did add some extra water)Meanwhile I tried the breaded chicken breast recipe. I do not think I have the patience for all the dredging but it did have great flavor: Pound the breasts( i did it with a motar), dredge through flour, then egg then breadcrumbs/parmesan cheese. Then because I had time while the sauce was simmering, The enchiladas were prepped. I used the Ezekiel tortillas, grated cheddar cheese and chopped onion. Since the sauce was done it was zipped in my blender(there is a Hot Liquid level on mine) so the first set went on the bottom of my 9/13 then a layer of tortillas, chopped onion cheese, then another layer of tortillias and the next sauce set, cheese on top sprinkled with more fresh onion. Covered with foil baked at 400 25min. Wish there was a picture! The recipe for the sauce said 3 cups but I know it made 5 cups. My husband was very excited and loved the flavor and so did I: mexican comfort food:)

Saturday, March 5, 2011

poached eggs

I know that it does not come from the cookbook. Poached eggs are a perfect way to make eggs, hard or soft! Bring small pot of water to boil with 1/2 t of salt. crack up to 4 eggs into boiling water, lower heat and cover. set timer for 2 min and check on the eggs. As they become more done you will notice a change in the color of the yolk: from the dark yellow to the pale yellow of hard cooked eggs.When they are to your liking pour off the water and the eggs will be in a great form ready for eggs benedict or just on toast. I have pulled the pan off the heat, poured off the water and let them sit while getting other things ready. This made it possible to have them perfectly cooked and still warm. Ps. there is a smallish amount of white that separates but i just send it down the drain with the water.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Update: its all good, Squash soup and Chicken Curry!

How do I describe this soup from NT cookbook? Wow, the best soup from the lowly squash ever! So creamy, rich and flavorful! I froze it in zip loc to have when we need a quick meal. We added sour cream the first time then the second time we added parmesan cheese.
We also made a chicken curry from the NT cookbook and it turned out deliciously! I looked over the ingredients and used my Thai green curry paste(which I keep frozen).
Oh No! I have used all the walnuts! So, now i will soak Almonds and pecans in the filtered water and lemon juice to make "crispy nuts".
I am setting out soup bones to make a beef stock. Have some onions and celery to toss in with the bones....can't wait! I would like to try a dessert from the book for our monday meeting...maybe some pictures soon!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Butternut squash and sun dried tomato soup with basil

The butternut squash is one of the most flavorful squash. The most flavorful is the Hubbard, but you need a machete' to open it. Butternut has a creamy texture. We grill it in the summer along with all the other favs: onion, eggplant, mushrooms.
on to the soup of the day!
I have to split the squash and roast it for 1 hour or so--till tender.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Hot Rocks

Walnuts ah la Hot Rocks!

The crispy walnuts worked wonderfully in my oven! My friend Amy told me to try my Bread Proof setting and it was perfect! Today I have melted butter and added hot rock spices instead of dried rosemary and cayanne pepper, a little upgrade of my own. The results are great! Yummy! Better get them into a container quick! They are supposed to be stored in the fridge, good idea.
I will post a picture of the jar of hot rocks. My dear brother, an excellent cook in his own right, along with his fiancee' gave us these spices for Christmas!
Talk soon,

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

rosemary walnuts for a snack?

Well hello there, I was hungry for some walnuts today and thought what would Nourishing Traditions say about my seasoning and roasting walnuts for a quick pick me up? Well, I will not enjoy the walnuts today, maybe tomorrow. You see I had to soak them first in filtered salted water for 7-24 hours. Then I can bake them in a low heat till they are crispy. I can eat them like that but if I want seasoned I have to go the next step. Tell you later if they were eaten with or without the extra step.
Now for some salad dressing
I have decided to put my experiments on video so I have to set up my camera. Coming soon: video clips of my cooking!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

finally! a dinner is ready!

Oh! the aroma of the spicy beef! Now for the rice dish. I am used to this kind of mexican rice but the ingredients are different! Ok, I saute' a pinch of saffron till yellow in butter and olive oil( my substitute for annatto seed--when I lived in Wisconsin we had to massage a paste form of annatto seed to make our oleo margarine look like butter--ugh)then saute a chopped onion with seasonings (chili flakes and cumin seeds) till soft. Add brown long grain rice and saute' till milky. Pour in liquid of choice, either chicken stock or stock and water along with some oregano, garlic and salt. Boil till liquid is to the level of the rice then cover and cook at low heat for 2 or more hours.
We thoroughly enjoyed the meal.
PS.I would never do this again! The recipe is way too much trouble for a side of rice.
Here is what i normally do with my Mexican Rice: Fry the rice till it changes to translucent, add liquid to one inch above rice, cover and add chopped tomatoes, garlic, onion, halfway through cooking time which is 35-40 minutes. I do not add salt, My Mexican/American hosts taught me this when I lived with them--delicious.

All Day Spicy Stew and Mexi rice

Today the beef goes into my crockpot, along with the can of tomatoes, tomato paste beef stock and seasonings. ready set go: 8 hours on low. tonight i will make the mexi rice and have a wonderful dinner.
This morning we had steel cut oats with blueberries, creamy whole milk yogurt and honey for Chas and Maple syrup for me. So satisfying. ( had to soak the steel cut oats in warm water and fresh lemon juice overnight)
tomorrow morning we will have eggs and probably some mexi rice, if there is any left.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

marinate beef in what?

today I have to marinate the beef chunks in lemon juice for tomorrow's all day stew. this is new to me: lemon juice marinade. It makes sense as far as breaking down the meat, I use vinegar all the time in marinades. We will see if it makes a difference because vinegar is much cheaper and always available.

The beef I am using is grass fed local. Frankly, I do not like the round steak cut of beef so it makes sense to cook it for a long time or bury it in a sauce. Round steak is not really be steak-like. Usually my mother would make "swiss steak" with it and although I have fond memories of the flavors of the sauce the beef wasn't very enjoyable.Anyway,I have cut it into 1" chunks, dried off the liquid and used organic lemon juice, about 1/2C, placed in container and left in the fridge(turned one time )
I have to get canned tomatoes, onions, green olives. Also checking my spices to see if there is enough coriander, alspice, chili powder (bought a package of mexican chili powder and made chili with it...awful--a real mistake) and cayenne. I am good with the spices for the Stew. For the rice i have been looking for annatto seeds to no avail, but I have the rest of the ingredients, Chicken Stock, cumin seeds, chili flakes, oregano, garlic.
For those of you reading my blog: I purchase a large bag of garlic heads and throw it into my freezer. When I need pressed garlic i remove and give the frozen cloves (still in their skin) a little time then slice off the tips and the back end then press.
see you tomorrow for the rest of the post

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

the lowly cabbage

I am not sure but it was the biggest cabbage ever! It was irresistable! I got it home and could hardly cut it in half! After using it for a Thai meal I turned to my Nourishing Traditions cookbook. Yes, Cabbage is good for you and can be turned into a wonderful "side". I used the slicer on my Cuisinart and followed the simple directions: rinse the shredded cabbage (6 cups) in filtered water, not shaking or spinning the cabbage, place it in heavy skillet, salt and pepper and several pats of butter on top, turn on heat, turning down when it starts to steam, cook covered 5 min or until just wilted. We had it several days in a row (because of the very large cabbage!!) with everything from our breakfast of sausage patties and eggs, grilled chicken, and burgers. Yummy and so good Ok the next post will be a whole meal from the book :)

Monday, January 17, 2011

The tome: Nourishing Traditions

Today is my introduction to cooking through this amazingly verbose but interesting cookbook/historybook.
page 452 paragraph 2 caught my attention because it states that a diet high in unfermented whole grains can lead to serious mineral deficiencies and bone loss. In addition a diet say, of unfermented oats can cause GI track disturbances. The reason? Pytic acid keeps the nutrients bound in most whole grains.
There, so now you know that our adventure starts with Breakfast!
so,on the first day I did this:
1 cup of oats (rolled, steel cut) Add 1 cup warm filtered H2O and 2 T of organic lemon juice, or vinegar,Whey*. cover and leave in a warm place overnight.(now i do this in the pan will cook them in this seems logical and my friend Linda casually said it was her practice thus less mess.)
in the morning add 1 cup of boiling filtered water with 1t of sea salt to the pan and simmer for about 5 min.
Serve warm with butter or cream (which helps nutrient absorbtion) along with raw honey for Charlie, maple syrup,for me.
additions: dried nuts, ground flax, cocoanut flakes.
here is our thoughts: Delicious, easy, satisfying!
We were hooked!
*i have to admit i did make Whey: take a carton of whole, organic pasturized yogurt and using a cheese cloth and a strainer allow the yogurt to release the whey liquid for 1-4 days at room temp. store the liquid in the fridge for 6 months, and enjoy the lovely cream cheese for 1 month.
i will be back soon!