Monday, May 1, 2017

Lime curd

I had two limes that had been sitting in our hanging basket a bit too long, and knew it was time to do something with them. Lime curd. No idea where the idea came from, but once I thought it I knew I had to have it, because lemon curd is one of my favorite foods, so lime curd isn't that far off. I couldn't remember goes into curd, so a little googling later, I came up with this. The reason for the funky egg/egg yolk thing is a compromise between some recipes calling for whole eggs, some recipes calling for egg yolks, and me having very small eggs on hand.

It was delicious. I took a picture of the curd spread on bread, but don't let that fool you. I mostly have been eating this stuff with a spoon out of the jar.

I would double the recipe if you have enough limes. Since I only had two, I made a very small batch. Considering the spoon situation I mentioned above, this is probably for the best.

1 egg
1 egg yolk
2/3C sugar
1/4C lime juice (this was a little short using just the lime juice, so I topped it off with bottled lemon juice I had in the fridge)
Zest of both limes
2tbs butter, in pieces


In a metal bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar, juice, and zest. Place the bowl over a pot of boiling water to create a double boiler. You could do this straight on the stove top, but then you risk adding too much heat at once and scrambling your eggs. You want to just slowly bring them up to heat, stirring continuously. If they start to scramble, immediately pull the mixture off the heat and continue to stir.

After 5-10 minutes, the curd should be thickened, and pull away from the edge of the bowl. At this point, lower the heat even more, and stir in the butter, one little piece at a time, melting it slowly into the curd.

Then lick every appliance you used to create the curd. Pack a jar or a tupperware, or use immediately. This stuff is so versatile. You can use it as a layer between cakes, you can fill linzertorte-style cookies, you can swirl into cheesecake, you can spread on bread, you can stir into oatmeal, you can top ice cream, you can fill cupcakes, you can spread onto shortbread, you can bake into a glorious lemon tart, or you can eat it with a spoon. 


Friday, April 14, 2017

Sourdough English muffins

A few months back, Ari gave me some of his sourdough starter. This means we've been making lots of bread. Luckily it's a hearty starter, meaning I can leave it in the fridge for a week or two between feedings, but still, there's more baking going on than usual. At least, we've been going through flour a lot more frequently than before.

The other weekend, I didn't have anything planned, and I picked up our dog-eared King Arthur Flour cookbook, to see what they had to say about sourdough. I learned that the addition of baking soda can nullify some of the sour flavor, which could be a very useful tidbit of information if you're looking to make non-sour sourdough things. Or I could just use yeast, but it's sort of like, why use yeast if I've got the natural stuff sitting in a jar in my fridge? Anyway, besides several variations on bread, which we've discovered by now on our own, King Arthur Flour had a recipe for English muffins. That sounds delicious! Time to try it. 

I used half the recipe, since we're only two people after all.

May have burned one. Oops!

How about topping with butter, jam, and a scoop or two of cottage cheese or ricotta? I recommend.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Squash mac and cheese


This is one that's worth making again! Mac and cheese is delicious, and now you can make it nutritious AND orange at the same time... that was your goal, right? right? Crap, I guess not. Well, regardless, this was good, and even got a good Ed-rating. You could skip the oven part, and just call this a pasta sauce. It works all ways.

Start with an onion. Everything starts with an onion. Chop it up, and fry in some oil until it's caramelized. At which point, add some garlic and a handful of fresh sage.

The squash: Peel and cube a butternut squash, saving the seeds because roasted butternut squash seeds are delish. Delicata seeds are the best, but butternut seeds are a close second. 

Add some butter to your pan, and fry up those squash cubes, leaving them in place long enough to get some browning. Browning = flavor. If you're a big fan of squash chunks, leave some aside to stir into the pasta as chunks instead of sauce.

Then food process everything in that pan until it makes a beautiful orange sauce. It might be chunky, but don't worry, you'll be adding the cheese sauce shortly, and that'll thin it out and help with the processing.

As the water boils for the pasta, start the sauce. 

Make a roux - ~2tbs butter, whisk in 2tbs flour, cook while whisking for 5 minutes, and add some milk. Probably about a cup? Keep adding and whisking until it's the thickness you like. Add some to the food processor to help puree the squash. Dump the pureed squash back into the pan with the roux, and taste and adjust seasoning. Salt, pepper, a hint of nutmeg. Dump in ~1-2 cups of grated cheese. Stir until that is melted. Set it aside.

Drain the pasta when it is still very al dente. Stir in the squash-cheese sauce, and load it into a casserole dish. Sprinkle a little more cheese on top, and bake another 15-20 minutes, until everything is bubbling and delicious. Or you can totally skip that step and just eat pasta with the cheesy squash sauce. It's all good!



Ingredients
1 onion
2 cloves garlic
a handful of fresh sage
1 butternut squash
1 lb pasta (small shapes, of any variety)
1-2C grated cheddar
2 tbs butter
2 tbs flour
1-2C milk
parmesan cheese, for serving



I like my pasta smothered in parmesan cheese.


We added green things.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Pizza


Pizza needs anchovies, right? Anchovies, bay scallops, pesto, sauteed leek, and cheddar (I think?). 

Delicious. But maybe a *few* too many anchovies. 

I use a basic bread recipe with maybe four glugs of olive oil into the dough while mixing to make a pizza dough. I only rise it for 15-20 minutes, then get on with rolling it out. It'll still taste delicious (if not quite as full a flavor), and we're hungry NOW. 

Pesto - 
Grind a hunk of parmesan with a clove of garlic in a food processor
Add as much basil as you can fit, a few shakes of almond meal, and a few pinches of salt
A glug or three of olive oil
Process until green and smooth
Add more oil if it won't grind
Taste, and adjust

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Pumpkin cinnamon rolls

It's autumn, which means all things pumpkin. I usually don't go too crazy for this stuff, but a few weeks ago we had two guys staying with us, one our American friend living in Madrid, and one his Spanish friend. Greg has been missing all things American, like maple syrup, cheddar cheese, and all things pumpkin spice. Juanma had no idea what he was in for, when they went to the grocery store and came back with EVERYTHING pumpkin spice. To be fair, I think the pumpkin spice thing is overdone, but it is good in small doses, and I do love me my squashes.

So Greg and Juanma got me thinking about pumpkin spice, and I had a box of pearl sugar that I'd picked up in Sweden (the best souvenirs are the edible sort), and I don't really like the glaze part of cinnamon rolls anyway, so it was time to make pumpkin cinnamon rolls, with pearl sugar instead of a glaze. I found the pumpkin in the dough makes for a very flavorful and fluffy roll, not at all bready, and the pumpkin in the filling makes it even more moist. I highly recommend taking the five minutes to brown the butter rather than just melting in the microwave - deepens the flavor. I'm thinking that these rolls don't need to be an autumn-only sort of thing... I'll be making them all year!


Dough
2.5 tsp yeast
1/2C warm milk
3/4C pumpkin puree
1 egg
5 tbs butter, melted and divided
2 tbs sugar

3.5C flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground cardamom
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground ginger

Filling
1/4C pumpkin puree
The other half of the butter you melted earlier
2 tbs white sugar
1/4C brown sugar
1/4tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon

Topping
Pearl sugar

Assembly
Melt the butter in a saucepan. Take it a little beyond melted stage, and brown it. It'll sizzle and spit for a while, and then it'll stop sizzling and turn brown. This makes it taste so nutty and delicious, you don't want to skip this step.

Warm the milk, and stir in the yeast and proof it. Then add about half the melted butter, the pumpkin, the egg, and the sugar. Stir that around, and then in with the dry goods! Start with about a cup of flour and all the spices, and then keep adding flour until you get a dough you can knead. Turn it out to a floured surface and knead, maybe 8 minutes.

Return the dough to a greased bowl, and let it rise 1 hour, until just about doubled in bulk. It becomes this beautiful orange color; I love it.

Once the dough has risen, generously flour a surface, turn out the dough, flour the top, and roll it out. It'll be loose, soft and pillowy - I think because of the pumpkin. You want a sheet about 11x17".


Mix the pumpkin puree with the remaining melted butter, and brush that onto the dough. Sprinkle the sugar on top, and the cinnamon on top of that. Roll up the sheet of dough starting with the end nearest to you, until it makes a neat little log. Then cut the log into ~1" slices. If you use a serrated knife, you won't squish the spiral. Try to cut without applying any downward pressure.

Arrange the rolls flat-side-up in a greased pan (two 9" round pans, in my case), and let them rise another 45 minutes.

Once they've risen, sprinkle the tops with pearl sugar, and bake at 350F for 25 minutes. You could brush the top with melted butter before adding the sugar, but you can also skip that step.

Devour.




Saturday, August 27, 2016

Kannebular

Sam is an excellent baker, and we were lucky enough to have her hone her skill on the rest day during the world champs this week. Wahoo! She made us kannebullar, which is basically just cinnamon buns, but with that awesome Swedish pearl sugar on top. Naturally, I made her get two boxes of pearl sugar, so I can bring one home. This is a very tasty recipe, and definitely worth making again. For fika, perhaps... 





Dough
150g smör = 10.5tbs butter
50g jäst = 5 tsp active dry yeast
5dl mjölk = 2.1C milk
1.5dl strösocker = 0.63C sugar
1/2tsp salt = 1/2 tsp salt
1.5 tsp nystötta kardemummakärnor) = 1.5 tsp ground cardamom
11-12dl vetemjöl = 4.6-5C flour

Filling
150g butter (smör) = 10.5tbs butter
1 tbs kanel = 1 tbs cinnamon
1.5 dl strösocker = 0.63C sugar

Topping
1 egg
pearl sugar

I think the original recipe is calling for fresh yeast (I think that might be the wrong word for it, but not the dry stuff we usually see at home), but Sam used a packet of dry yeast (14g), which says it is equivalent to 50g of fresh yeast. According to some online calculator, that is ~5tsp of active dry yeast. Go with it!

Heat the milk (to 37 degrees C, but I assume that's warm but not hot, same as you would for bread), and dissolve the yeast into it.

Add the sugar, salt, butter, cardamom, and part of the flour. Mix and keep adding flour until you have a smooth dough, that is not too dry. Let this rise for 45 minutes.

Turn out the dough onto a floured surface. Divide in half. Roll out each half into a rectangle.

Melt the filling butter, and mix with the rest of the filling ingredients. Spread on the dough. Roll up and cut into 2-3cm thick slices. Put them onto a baking sheet to rise again. Optionally, you can place them into little muffin wrappers first, for maximal prettiness at the end. Let the rolls rise another 40 minutes.

Heat the oven to 250 degrees C. Brush the buns with beaten egg and top with pearl sugar. Bake for 8-10 minutes (that didn't quite work for us - we had them in there at least 15).

Try not to eat ALL of them at once.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Pizza and summer drinks


It's not the artsiest of photos, and I left the salad dressing in the middle of it, but hey - you gotta see the pinkness of that pink drink!

Ed has been really into making cocktails lately, mostly thanks to Grand Ten's awesome liqueurs and good spirits. This one was absolutely perfect for a hot summer night, just the right balance of sweet and tart and only mildly alcoholic. Not sure what to call it... how about just Pink Drink.

Equal parts (~3/4 oz)
- Craneberry (Grand Ten product)
- Angelica (Grand Ten product)
- Campari
A dash of grenadine
Several ice cubes
Fill the glass with cold Rose wine

Delicious. 

The pizza was also worth mentioning. The crust was the NYT no-knead bread recipe, with one of the three cups of flour a white whole wheat. We determined that this recipe functions just fine as pizza dough, but is not perfect. It's loose and gloopy, rather than stretchy and handle-able, and serves better as actual bread. But, it was perfectly functional for our pizza last night!

The toppings were where it's at, though. We parboiled a potato, and slowly caramelized a leek in butter, and soaked some old mushrooms in white wine and then cooked for a while in more butter. Then we drizzled olive oil all over the crust, sprinkled on a whole bunch of fresh sage, and added those toppings, plus a whole bunch of very delicious ricotta cheese (from Purity Cheese, found at Russos, not that water mass-produced crap). Overall, delicious combination of flavors.