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  • pixeltheatre 12:01 am on June 27, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: baklava, phyllo dough   

    Daring Bakers 51st Challenge: From phyllo dough to baklava 

    Erica of Erica’s Edibles was our host for the Daring Baker’s June challenge. Erica challenged us to be truly DARING by making homemade phyllo dough and then to use that homemade dough to make Baklava. I had made baklava a couple of times before, with store- bought phyllo. I was a little leery of having to having the dough from scratch. Actually, making the dough was not the issue. The rolling and stretching was. My hunch was right. The recipe yielded a very nice and pliable dough. Unfortunately that’s where it ended for me. As I started rolling the first sheet (I needed 18 in all), it became clear an exercise in frustration was ahead. Words of one of my chef instructors came to mind: “Liz, you have to pick your battles.” Though this originally related to my hopelessness in turning vegetables, as well as not very good knife skills in general, I knew this was another battle I would not pick. After failing to stretch properly a couple of sheets, I gave up. I ended up using the dough to make a “pets de soeurs” (“nuns’ farts”), a common way in Quebec to use up pastry dough. Spread some butter, brown sugar and cinnamon, roll up and cut pin wheels. Bake at 350F until dough is cooked through. The next day I bought some phyllo sheets and completed the challenge. Very nice and incredibly sweet recipe. I highly recommend buying pre-made phyllo sheets. Life is too short. 😉

    Pets de soeurs

    Baklava

    Phyllo Dough:

    *Note 1: To have enough to fill my 9” x 9” baking dish with 18 layers of phyllo I doubled this recipe.

    *Note 2: Single recipe will fill a 8” x 5” baking dish.

    *Note 3: Dough can be made a head of time and froze. Just remove from freezer and allow to thaw and continue making your baklava

    Ingredients:

    • 1 1/3 cups (320 ml) (185 gm/6½ oz) unbleached all purpose (plain) flour
    • 1/8 teaspoon (2/3 ml) (¾ gm) salt 1/2 cup less 1 tablespoon (105 ml) water, plus more if needed
    • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) vegetable oil, plus additional for coating the dough
    • 1/2 teaspoon (2½ ml) cider vinegar, (could substitute white wine vinegar or red wine vinegar, but could affect the taste)

    Directions:

    • In the bowl of your stand mixer combine flour and salt
    • Mix with paddle attachment
    • Combine water, oil and vinegar in a small bowl.
    • Add water & oil mixture with mixer on low speed, mix until you get a soft dough, if it appears dry add a little more water (I had to add a tablespoon more)
    • Change to the dough hook and let knead approximately 10 minutes. You will end up with beautiful smooth dough. If you are kneading by hand, knead approx. 20 minutes.
    • Remove the dough from mixer and continue to knead for 2 more minutes. Pick up the dough and through it down hard on the counter a few times during the kneading process.
    • Shape the dough into a ball and lightly cover with oil
    • Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and let rest 30-90 minutes, longer is best ( I let mine rest 2 hours and it was perfect)

    Rolling your Phyllo

    ** Remove all rings and jewelry so it does not snag the dough** Use whatever means you have to get the dough as thin as you can.

    • Unwrap your dough and cut off a chunk slightly larger then a golf ball. While you are rolling be sure to keep the other dough covered so it doesn’t dry out.
    • Be sure to flour your hands, rolling pin and counter. As you roll you will need to keep adding, don’t worry, you can’t over-flour.
    • Roll out the dough a bit to flatten it out.
    • Wrap the dough around your rolling pin/dowel
    • Roll back and forth quickly with the dough remaining on the dowel (see attached video for a visual, its much easier then it sounds. Nope, not for me, it wasn’t.)
    • Remove; notice how much bigger it is!
    • Rotate and repeat until it is as thin as you can it. Don’t worry if you get rips in the dough, as long as you have one perfect one for the top you will never notice.
    • When you get it as thin as you can with the rolling pin, carefully pick it up with well floured hands and stretch it on the backs of your hands as you would a pizza dough, just helps make it that much thinner. Roll out your dough until it is transparent. NOTE: you will not get it as thin as the frozen phyllo dough you purchase at the store, it is made by machine
    • Set aside on a well-floured surface. Repeat the process until your dough is used up. Between each sheet again flower well. You will not need to cover your dough with a wet cloth, as you do with boxed dough, it is moist enough that it will not try out.

    Baklava Recipe

    Adapted from Alton Brown, The Food Network 30 servings Ingredients For the syrup:

    • 1 1/4 cups (300 ml) honey
    • 1 1/4 cups (300ml) water
    • 1 1/4 cups (300 ml) (280 gm/10 oz) sugar
    • 1 cinnamon stick
    • 1 (2-inch/50 mm) piece fresh citrus peel (lemon or orange work best)
    • a few cloves or a pinch or ground clove When you put your baklava in the oven start making your syrup. When you combine the two, one of them needs to be hot, I find it better when the baklava is hot and the syrup has cooled

    Directions

    • Combine all ingredients in a medium pot over medium high heat. Stir occasionally until sugar has dissolved
    • Boil for 10 minutes, stir occasionally.
    • Once boiled for 10 minutes remove from heat and strain cinnamon stick and lemon, allow to cool as baklava cooks

    Ingredients for the Filling:

    • 1 (5-inch/125mm piece) cinnamon stick, broken into 2 to 3 pieces or 2 teaspoons (10 ml) (8 gm) ground cinnamon
    • 15 to 20 whole allspice berries ( I just used a few pinches)
    • 3/4 cup (180 ml) (170 gm/6 oz) blanched almonds
    • 3/4 cup (180 ml) (155 gm/5½ oz) raw or roasted walnuts
    • 3/4 cup (180 ml) (140 gm/5 oz) raw or roasted pistachios
    • 2/3 cup (160 ml) (150 gm/ 5 1/3 oz) sugar
    • phyllo dough (see recipe above)
    • 1 cup (2 sticks) (240 ml) (225g/8 oz) melted butter ** I did not need this much, less then half**

    Directions:

    • Preheat oven to moderate 350°F/180°C/gas mark 4.
    • Combine nuts, sugar and spices in a food processor and pulse on high until finely chopped. If you do not have a food processor chop with a sharp knife as fine as you can. Set aside
    • Trim your phyllo sheets to fit in your pan
    • Brush bottom of pan with butter and place first phyllo sheet
    • Brush the first phyllo sheet with butter and repeat approximately 5 times ending with butter. (Most recipes say more, but homemade phyllo is thicker so it’s not needed)
    • Sprinkle 1/3 of the nut mixture on top
    • Continue layering phyllo and buttering repeating 4 times
    • Sprinkle 1/3 of the nut mixture on top
    • Continue layering phyllo and buttering repeating 4 times
    • Sprinkle 1/3 of the nut mixture on top
    • Continue layering and buttering phyllo 5 more times. On the top layer, make sure you have a piece of phyllo with no holes if possible, just looks better.
    • Once you have applied the top layer tuck in all the edges to give a nice appearance.
    • With a Sharp knife cut your baklava in desired shapes and number of pieces. If you can’t cut all the ways through don’t worry you will cut again later. A 9×9 pan cuts nicely into 30 pieces. Then brush with a generous layer of butter making sure to cover every area and edge
    • Bake for approximately 30 minutes; remove from oven and cut again this time all the way through. Continue baking for another 30 minutes. (Oven temperatures will vary, you are looking for the top to be a golden brown, take close watch yours may need more or less time in the oven)
    • When baklava is cooked remove from oven and pour the cooled (will still be warmish) syrup evenly over the top, taking care to cover all surfaces when pouring. It looks like it is a lot but over night the syrup will soak into the baklava creating a beautifully sweet and wonderfully textured baklava!
    • Allow to cool to room temperature. Once cooled cover and store at room temperature. Allow the baklava to sit overnight to absorb the syrup.
    • Serve at room temperature

    Freezing/Storage Instructions/Tips:

    There are a few ways to store your Baklava. It is recommended that you store your baklava at room temperature in an airtight container. Stored at room temperature your baklava will last for up to 2 weeks. You will notice as the days pass it will get a little juicier and chewier. You may choose to store it in the fridge; this will make it a little harder and chewy, but does increase the shelf life. You can also freeze your baklava and then just set it out at room temperature to thaw.

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  • pixeltheatre 12:01 am on March 14, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    Daring Cooks 23rd Challenge: ¡Me Encanta Perú! – Ceviche and Papas Rellenas 

    Kathlyn of Bake Like a Ninja was our Daring Cooks’ March 2011 hostess. Kathlyn challenges us to make two classic Peruvian dishes: Ceviche de Pescado from “Peruvian Cooking – Basic Recipes” by Annik Franco Barreau. And Papas Rellenas adapted from a home recipe by Kathlyn’s Spanish teacher, Mayra. Ceviche, I’d done before, but the Papas Rellenas were a definite first. The recipe was straightforward and delicious. We do our frying outside, and as a tribute to the Andes, the Vancouver weather contributed some snow to make the whole experience even more relevant. Very nice challenge.

    Cheviche de Pescado (Fish Ceviche):

    Serves 6 as a “starter” or lunch portion. Serves 2 as a dinner.

    Ingredients

    2 lbs. (about 1 kg) firm white fish (scallops or other seafood may be substituted)*
    2 garlic cloves, mashed
    1 chili pepper, minced (I recommend Aji if you can find it, but Jalapeno or other peppers can sub)
    1 cup (240 ml) freshly squeezed lime juice (between 8-12 limes)
    Fresh juice only, no bottled. Can use lemons in lieu of limes.
    1 tablespoon (15 ml) (4 grams) (1/8 oz) fresh coriander (cilantro), finely chopped
    1 red onion, thinly sliced lengthwise
    Salt and pepper (to taste)

    Garnish:
    1 large sweet potato
    1 large ear of corn
    Lettuce leaves

    Directions:

    1. Boil sweet potato and corn (separately) if using for garnish. Allow to cool. (Can be done hours or even a day in advance)
    2. Wash and trim your fish. Slice into pieces between ½ inch (15 mm) cubes to 2 inch (50mm) pieces, depending on taste.**
    3. Place fish in a non-reactive, shallow pan in a thin layer. Season with salt and pepper.
    4. Combine lime juice, chili pepper, coriander and garlic. Pour mixture over fish. Stir lightly to expose all the fish to some of the lime juice mixture.
    5. Put sliced onion on top of fish as it “cooks”
    6. Let fish stand for 10 minutes.*** Lift fish out of the lime juice and plate individual portions ,**** garnishing with lettuce, slices of sweet potato and slices or kernels of corn if using.
    • It is important to use high quality, really fresh fish. You can use previously frozen (I’ve been using it because I am too cheap to buy this much sashimi grade fish), but it’s not as good. The better your fish, the better your ceviche.

    ** The fish is going to “cook” in the lime juice – how thick you make the pieces will determine how much the fish cooks, so keep your own preference in mind when you are cutting the fish up.

    Papas Rellenas (de carne):

    Makes 6

    Ingredients

    For the dough:
    2¼ lb (1 kg) russet potatoes
    1 large egg

    For the filling:
    2 tablespoon (30 ml) of a light flavored oil
    ½ lb (250 grams) ground (minced) beef
    6 black olives, pitted and chopped (use more if you love olives)
    3 hard boiled large eggs, chopped
    1 small onion, finely diced (about 1 cup (240 ml))
    ½ cup (120 ml) (90 gm) (3 oz) raisins, soaked in 1 cup (240 ml) boiling water for 10 minutes, then minced
    1 finely diced aji pepper (ok to sub jalapeño or other pepper – if you are shy about heat, use less)
    2 cloves garlic, minced or passed through a press (if you love garlic, add more)
    1 teaspoon (5 ml) (4 gm) (1/8 oz) ground cumin (use more if you like cumin)
    ½ teaspoon (2.5 ml) (2 gm) (1/16 oz) sweet paprika
    ¼ c. white wine, water or beef stock for deglazing
    Salt and pepper to taste

    For the final preparation:
    1 large egg, beaten
    1 cup (240 ml) (140 gm) (5 oz) all-purpose flour
    Dash cayenne pepper
    Dash salt
    1 cup dry (240 ml) (110 gm) (4 oz) or fresh (240 ml) (60 gm) (2 oz) bread crumbs (you can use regular, panko, make your own or use store-bought)

    Oil for frying (enough for 2” (50 mm) in a heavy pan like a medium sized dutch oven)

    Directions:

    In order to save time, you can boil the potatoes, and while they are cooling, you can make the filling. While that is cooling, you can make the potato “dough.” In this way, little time is spent waiting for anything to cool.

    For the dough:

    1. Boil the potatoes until they pierce easily with a fork. Remove them from the water and cool.
    2. Once the potatoes have cooled, peel them and mash them with a potato masher or force them through a potato ricer (preferred).
    3. Add egg, salt and pepper and knead “dough” thoroughly to ensure that ingredients are well combined and uniformly distributed.

    While the potatoes cool down before finishing the dough, you can make the filling:

    1. Gently brown onion and garlic in oil (about 5 minutes).
    2. Add the chili pepper and sauté for a couple more minutes.
    3. Add ground beef and brown.
    4. Add raisins, cumin and paprika and cook briefly (a few seconds).
    5. Deglaze the pan with white wine.
    6. Add olives and cook for a few moments longer.
    7. Add hard boiled eggs and fold in off heat.
    8. Allow filling to cool before forming “papas.”

    Forming and frying the papas:

    1. Use three small bowls to prepare the papas. In one, combine flour, cayenne and salt. In the second, a beaten egg with a tiny bit of water. Put bread crumbs in the third
    2. Flour your hands and scoop up 1/6 of the total dough to make a round pancake with your hands. Make a slight indentation in the middle for the filling.
    3. Spoon a generous amount of filling into the center and then roll the potato closed, forming a smooth, potato-shaped casing around the filling. Repeat with all dough (you should have about 6 papas).
    4. Heat 1 ½ – 2 inches (4 – 5 cm) of oil in a pan to about 350 – 375° F (175 – 190°C).
    5. Dip each papa in the three bowls to coat: first roll in flour, then dip in egg, then roll in bread crumbs.
    6. Fry the papas (in batches if necessary) about 2-3 minutes until golden brown. Flip once in the middle of frying to brown both sides.
    7. Drain on paper towel and store in a 200ºF (95ºC) (gas mark ¼) oven if frying in batches.
    8. Serve with salsa criolla (or other sauce of preference) immediately.

    Salsa Criolla:

    Ingredients

    2 medium red onions, cut in half and very thinly sliced (as half-circles)
    1/2 chili pepper (your preference)
    1 tablespoon vinegar
    Juice from 1 lime
    Salt and pepper to taste

    1. Soak the onions in cold salt water for about 10 minutes to remove bitterness. Drain.
    2. In a medium bowl, combine the onions with the rest of the ingredients, season with salt and pepper.
    3. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes for the onions to macerate and the flavors to combine
     
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  • pixeltheatre 4:24 pm on December 29, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: stollen   

    Daring Bakers 45th Challenge: Stollen 

    The 2010 December Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Penny of Sweet Sadie’s Baking. She chose to challenge Daring Bakers’ to make Stollen. She adapted a friend’s family recipe and combined it with information from friends, techniques from Peter Reinhart’s book………and Martha Stewart’s demonstration.

    I was late in checking the new challenge this month. It goes live on the 17th of every month. Hilariously enough, I looked at it after coming back from the first German Christmas Market in Vancouver. A open-air market with vendors selling typical German-fare such as gluhwein and…stollen! I had bought one, as it is one of my favorite Christmas treat. I told my partner that it was something I always wanted to to make, but never got around to it. I had bought some marzipan a couple of years ago with the intention of making it, but it was still in my cupboard. No more excuses. I particularly liked this recipe, though it’s a multi-day affair. I made this a couple of times, adding marzipan both times. The first, despite reading the instructions over and over, I rolled the wrong side of the dough, ending with a very fat wreath. Still good, though. The second time around, rolled it the right way, but it took a lot longer to bake than the time indicated in the recipe. Still turned out right. This will become a staple of my Christmas baking. Thanks Penny for a great challenge!

    Stollen Wreath

    Makes one large wreath or two traditional shaped Stollen loaves. Serves 10-12 people

    Ingredients

    ¼ cup (60ml) lukewarm water (110º F / 43º C)
    2 packages (4 1/2 teaspoons) (22 ml) (14 grams) (1/2 oz) active dry yeast
    1 cup (240 ml) milk
    10 tablespoons (150 ml) (140 grams) unsalted butter (can use salted butter)
    5½ cups (1320 ml) (27 ozs) (770 grams) all-purpose (plain) flour (Measure flour first – then sift- plus extra for dusting)
    ½ cup (120 ml) (115 gms) sugar
    ¾ teaspoon (3 ¾ ml) (4 ½ grams) salt (if using salted butter there is no need to alter this salt measurement)
    1 teaspoon (5 ml) (6 grams) cinnamon
    3 large eggs, lightly beaten
    Grated zest of 1 lemon and 1 orange
    2 teaspoons (10 ml) (very good) vanilla extract
    1 teaspoon (5 ml) lemon extract or orange extract
    ¾ cup (180 ml) (4 ¾ ozs) (135 grams) mixed peel (link below to make your own)
    1 cup (240 ml) (6 ozs) (170 gms) firmly packed raisins
    3 tablespoons (45ml) rum
    12 red glacé cherries (roughly chopped) for the color and the taste. (optional)
    1 cup (240 ml) (3 ½ ozs) (100 grams) flaked almonds
    Melted unsalted butter for coating the wreath
    Confectioners’ (icing) (powdered) sugar for dusting wreath

    Note: If you don’t want to use alcohol, double the lemon or orange extract or you could use the juice from the zested orange.

    Directions:

    Soak the raisins
    In a small bowl, soak the raisins in the rum (or in the orange juice from the zested orange) and set aside. See Note under raisins.

    To make the dough

    Pour ¼ cup (60 ml) warm water into a small bowl, sprinkle with yeast and let stand 5 minutes. Stir to dissolve yeast completely.

    In a small saucepan, combine 1 cup (240 ml) milk and 10 tablespoons (150 ml) butter over medium – low heat until butter is melted. Let stand until lukewarm, about 5 minutes.

    Lightly beat eggs in a small bowl and add lemon and vanilla extracts.

    In a large mixing bowl (4 qt) (4 liters) (or in the bowl of an electric mixer with paddle attachment), stir together the flour, sugar, salt, cinnamon, orange and lemon zests.

    Then stir in (or mix on low speed with the paddle attachment) the yeast/water mixture, eggs and the lukewarm milk/butter mixture. This should take about 2 minutes. It should be a soft, but not sticky ball. When the dough comes together, cover the bowl with either plastic or a tea cloth and let rest for 10 minutes.

    Add in the mixed peel, soaked fruit and almonds and mix with your hands or on low speed to incorporate. Here is where you can add the cherries if you would like. Be delicate with the cherries or all your dough will turn red!

    Sprinkle flour on the counter, transfer the dough to the counter, and begin kneading (or mixing with the dough hook) to distribute the fruit evenly, adding additional flour if needed. The dough should be soft and satiny, tacky but not sticky. Knead for approximately 8 minutes (6 minutes by machine). The full six minutes of kneading is needed to distribute the dried fruit and other ingredients and to make the dough have a reasonable bread-dough consistency. You can tell when the dough is kneaded enough – a few raisins will start to fall off the dough onto the counter because at the beginning of the kneading process the dough is very sticky and the raisins will be held into the dough but when the dough is done it is tacky which isn’t enough to bind the outside raisins onto the dough ball.

    Lightly oil a large bowl and transfer the dough to the bowl, rolling around to coat it with the oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap.
    Put it in the fridge overnight. The dough becomes very firm in the fridge (since the butter goes firm) but it does rise slowly… the raw dough can be kept in the refrigerator up to a week and then baked on the day you want.

    Shaping the Dough and Baking the Wreath

    1. Let the dough rest for 2 hours after taking out of the fridge in order to warm slightly.
    2. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
    3. Preheat oven to moderate 350°F/180°C/gas mark 4 with the oven rack on the middle shelf.
    4. Punch dough down, roll into a rectangle about 16 x 24 inches (40 x 61 cms) and ¼ inch (6 mm) thick.

    Starting with a long side, roll up tightly, forming a long, thin cylinder.

    Transfer the cylinder roll to the sheet pan. Join the ends together, trying to overlap the layers to make the seam stronger and pinch with your fingers to make it stick, forming a large circle. You can form it around a bowl to keep the shape.

    This was before I pinched it together

    Using kitchen scissors, make cuts along outside of circle, in 2-inch (5 cm) intervals, cutting 2/3 of the way through the dough.

    Twist each segment outward, forming a wreath shape. Mist the dough with spray oil and cover loosely with plastic wrap.

    Proof for approximately 2 hours at room temperature, or until about 1½ times its original size.

    Bake the stollen for 20 minutes, then rotate the pan 180 degrees for even baking and continue to bake for 20 to 30 minutes. The bread will bake to a dark mahogany color, should register 190°F/88°C in the center of the loaf, and should sound hollow when thumped on the bottom.

    Transfer to a cooling rack and brush the top with melted butter while still hot.
    Immediately tap a layer of powdered sugar over the top through a sieve or sifter.
    Wait for 1 minute, then tap another layer over the first.
    The bread should be coated generously with the powdered sugar.
    Let cool at least an hour before serving. Coat the stollen in butter and icing sugar three times, since this many coatings helps keeps the stollen fresh – especially if you intend on sending it in the mail as Christmas presents!

    When completely cool, store in a plastic bag. Or leave it out uncovered overnight to dry out slightly, German style.

    The stollen tastes even better in a couple of days and it toasts superbly…. so delicious with butter and a cup of tea….mmmmm

    Storage
    The more rum and the more coatings of butter and sugar you use the longer it will store.
    The following is for the recipe as written and uses the 45 mls of rum and two coatings of butter and icing sugar
    1. Stollen freezes beautifully about 4 months
    2. The baked stollen stores well for 2 weeks covered in foil and plastic wrap on the counter at room temperature and
    3. One month in the refrigerator well covered with foil and plastic wrap.

     
    • Audax Artifex 5:00 pm on December 29, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      I just love that first photo your stollen looks so perfect and rustic wonderful effort and the snow effect on you blog is so cute.

      Cheers from Audax in Sydney Australia.

    • Coz 7:37 pm on December 29, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      I think your stollen looks like a snow topped mountain. I like how you did your cuts to make it look that way.

    • Erin 8:13 pm on January 3, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Wonderful job on the challenge this month!! Your stollen is beautiful and just looks so festive. I love that you made the recipe a couple of times during the month. Well done!

  • pixeltheatre 12:01 am on August 14, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: pierogis, smoked salmon   

    Daring Cooks 16th Challenge: Pierogis 

    The August 2010 Daring Cooks’ Challenge was hosted by LizG of Bits n’ Bites and Anula of Anula’s Kitchen. They chose to challenge Daring Cooks to make pierogi from scratch and an optional challenge to provide one filling that best represents their locale.

    So, this month I got the privilege of co-hosting the Daring Cooks Challenge. I agreed to do this way back late last year. I chose pierogis after Hun gave me the recipe his mother used to make pierogis. His sister Sara then gave us a copy of the The Mennonite Treasury of Recipes. I thought this would make a nice versatile challenge, easy on the pocketbook. The additional challenge for our cooks was to come up with a fillings that reflected their locale. I was very lucky to have been teamed with Anula. Turns out Anula is Polish and an old hand at pierogis. She and her husband, who turns out to be a professional chef, provided wonderful pictures to illustrate the challenge for the Cooks. Thanks Anula!

    The fillings that came out of this challenge were amazing. Everything from sweet potato to mexican style to various fruit and seafood and haggis! For mine, I settled on a typical Northwest Coast ingredient: smoked salmon. I made a mash of smoked salmon bits, capers, red onions, dill and lemon rind. Added a bit of whipping cream to smooth everything out. I served it with a lemon and dill white wine sauce. Not bad at all. I bought some pierogi moulds to make a better seal. Never had a very consistent result when doing these by hand.

    Drop by The Daring Kitchen to see pictures of everyone’s pierogis.

    Pierogis

    Equipment list

    • Measuring cups/spoons
    • Scale
    • Knives, utensils
    • Bowls to mix ingredients
    • Pans, pots to cook fillings and pierogi
    • Pierogi forms (really not necessary, you can get them easily in Polish or ethnic shops, they are very(!) cheap and handy too) if you don’t have these forms don’t worry! your hands and a fork will do.

    Cottage Cheese Wareneki (pierogi)

    Dough:
    ½ cup (125 ml) milk (can be whole milk, 2% or skim milk)
    ½ cup (125 ml) whipping cream
    3 large egg whites
    1 tsp (5 ml) salt
    3 cups (450 gm) all-purpose flour

    1. Mix flour and salt, add other ingredients, and knead dough until you have a smooth dough. (I kneaded this dough quite a bit, and it yielded a nice, pliable dough).
    2. On a floured surface roll out fairly thin (1/8” or about 3 millimeters), cut into 2” (5 cm) squares, and fill with 1 tsp (5ml) cottage cheese filling (see below).

    Filling:
    Traditional
    1 lb (455 g) dry cottage cheese (this is usually found beside the “wet” cottage cheese in the supermarket’s dairy aisle. If you can’t find it, please see below for how to proceed with the “wet” cottage cheese.)
    3 large egg yolks
    Salt to taste

    1. Mix well all the ingredients for the filling.
    2. Put 1 rounded teaspoon (5 ml) of the filling in each square, fold corners to form a triangle, seal edges well using your fingers or a fork
    3. Cook in salted, boiling water for 5 minutes.

    Boiled pierogi can also be fried after boiling for a nice crunchy dumpling.

    If you can’t find dry cottage cheese, simply drain normal cottage cheese by nesting the cottage  in a few layers of cheese cloth or a fine sieve over a bowl.

    Adapted from The Mennonite Treasury of Recipes

    • You can very easy make a sweet version of Warenki – just add some fruits and sugar to the cheese filling and mix well together (strawberries or blueberries are great idea!).

    Russian style pierogi (makes 4 generous servings, around 30 dumplings)
    (Traditional Polish recipe, although each family will have their own version, this is Anula’s family recipe)

    Dough:
    2 to 2 1/2 cups (300 to 375 g) all-purpose (plain) flour
    1 large egg
    1 teaspoon (5 ml) salt
    About 1 cup (250 ml) lukewarm water

    Filling:
    3 big potatoes, cooked & mashed (1 1/2 cup instant or leftover mashed potatoes is fine too)
    1 cup (225 g) cottage cheese, drained
    1 onion, diced & sauteed in butter until clear
    3 slices of streaky bacon, diced and fried till crispy (you can add more bacon if you like or omit that part completely if you’re vegetarian)
    1 egg yolk (from medium egg)
    1 tablespoon (15 g) butter, melted
    1/4 (1.25 ml) teaspoon salt
    pinch of pepper to taste

    1. Combine all the ingredients for the filling (it’s best to use one’s hands to do that) put into the bowl, cover and set aside in the fridge until you have to use it.

    2. Place 2 cups flour in a large bowl or on a work surface and make a well in the center. Break the egg into it, add the salt and a little lukewarm at a time (in my situation 1/2 cup was enough). Bring the dough together, kneading well and adding more flour or water as necessary. Cover the dough with a bowl or towel. You’re aiming for soft dough. Let it rest 20 minutes.

    3. On a floured work surface, roll the dough out thinly (1/8” or about 3 millimeters) cut with a 2-inch (5 cm) round or glass (personally I used 4-inch/10 cm cutter as it makes nice size pierogi – this way I got around 30 of them and 1 full, heaped teaspoon of filling is perfect for that size). Spoon a portion (teaspoon will be the best) of the filling into the middle of each circle. Fold dough in half and pinch edges together. Gather scraps, re-roll and fill. Repeat with remaining dough.

    4. Bring a large, low saucepan of salted water to boil. Drop in the pierogi, not too many, only single layer in the pan! Return to the boil and reduce heat. When the pierogi rise to the surface, continue to simmer a few minutes more ( usually about 5 minutes). Remove one dumpling with a slotted spoon and taste if ready. When satisfied, remove remaining pierogi from the water.

    5. Serve immediately preferably with creme fraiche or fry. Cold pierogi can be fried.  Boiled Russian pierogi can be easily frozen and boiled taken out straight from the freezer.

    Gluten-free pierogi recipe (from Recipezaar)

    Other types of fillings:

    Potato and cheese
    4 – 5 boiled potatoes
    4 table spoons butter (60 g) or olive oil (60 ml)
    50 ml (3 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon) milk
    1 egg white (from medium egg)
    about 120 ml (½ cup) farmers’ cheese (any unripened cheese like Indian Paneer)
    salt and pepper

    Meat and cabbage
    200 g (7 oz) cooked meat (minced or cut very finely)
    500 g white cabbage (chopped and simmered in a little bit of water, until soft)
    1 onion (diced and fried)
    1 whole medium egg
    1 tablespoon (15g) butter
    dry breadcrumbs (add as much to hold the filling together, about 2 tablespoons)
    salt and pepper

    Soy bean filling
    350 g soy beans (canned, drained and minced)
    2 medium eggs
    1 onion (diced and fired)
    100 g (2/3 cup) dry breadcrumbs
    salt and pepper

    Sauerkraut filling
    2 cups (500 g)  sauerkraut
    1 big carrot, grated
    1 shallot, chopped and fried with a tablespoon of butter
    few (about 3) wild mushrooms (I used dry ones, you can use fresh but chop them and fry on some butter before adding to the sauerkraut cabbage)
    salt, pepper and cumin

    • Saute all the ingredients together until soft, cool before filling pierogi.

    You can also fill pierogi with whole seasonal fruits for example- strawberries, blueberries, morels, grated apples etc. To prevent the fruits from ‘sogging’ just add a little bit of potato flour inside with the fruit and sweeten them after the boiling on the plate rather than putting sugar inside.

    A little visual help:
    Video: How to make varenyky / pierogi (Youtube)
    Video: How to make pierogi (About.com)

     
    • sarah 5:27 am on August 14, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Fantastic challenge, thanks Liz! I really enjoyed making the little dumplings. I tried using a whole wheat dough, which was delicious, though maybe a bit hard to roll out thinly. Thanks for hosting this month!

    • Shelley 5:55 am on August 14, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Thank you so much for choosing such an awesome challenge. I love pierogis and had a blast coming up with something fun to fill mine with. This was really a great challenge. Thank you!!!

    • Ruth H. 6:18 am on August 14, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Thank you for such a great challenge! I love the creativity you inspired, and it was a lot of fun to re-familiarize myself with a favorite dish!!

    • Mary 7:01 am on August 14, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      This was a great challenge, Liz. Thank you! I think I’ll be making these again in the future.
      🙂

    • Lindsay 7:37 am on August 14, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Hi Liz! Thanks so much for a great challenge — the boyfriend has declared this a repeat recipe, so it will definitely be made again and again here!

      Thanks for all your work to challenge and educate us!

    • chef_d 9:17 am on August 14, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Thanks for co-hosting this month’s challenge. Your pierogis look yummy!

    • Heather Mulholland 1:12 pm on August 14, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Thank you Liz for co-hosting this months challenge 🙂

    • Debbie 3:37 pm on August 14, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Thanks so much for hosting this months challenge! That was what I would have chosen if ever asked to host a challenge, so I think you made a perfect choice. Great Job!

    • Chantel 8:15 pm on August 14, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Great challenge! Thanks!

    • tariqata 6:36 am on August 15, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Thank you so much for the challenge! I had a great time, and I’ll definitely make them again!

    • Valérie 4:48 pm on August 15, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Thank you so much for this challenge! It was a great idea, and lots of fun! Great job as hostess!

    • lisamichele 3:08 am on August 16, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Liz, thanks so much for a great challenge! Loved it and ate way too may of them LOL Beautiful job on your pierogis!

    • Margie 7:08 am on August 16, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Oh my goodness, your smoked salmon pierogis were a great idea and look amazing! I gotta get me one of those pierogi molds. Thanks so much for co-hosting such a wonderful challenge. Looking forward to leftovers for lunch today!

    • Suz 9:14 am on August 16, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Thanks so much for introducing me to pierogi. I think I’m hooked! Mmm, and your smoked salmon pierogi look divine.

      Great challenge!

    • Monkeyshines in the Kitchen 5:23 pm on August 16, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Thanks for hosting a great challenge Liz! We very much enjoyed the opportunity to make something new to us. Your local salmon and caper pierogi sound delicious too – it’s been a blast seeing how everyone has localized this versatile dish.

    • Kelly @ It's a Food Life 8:03 pm on August 16, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Thanks for a great challenge. I am so glad that I now know how to make perogies!

    • cuppy 3:48 pm on August 18, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      I have had a great time making pierogi, and it’s the sort of thing that adds perfectly to my meal plan. Thank you for sharing your recipes and hosting this month’s challenge!

  • pixeltheatre 12:01 am on May 14, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: chile, enchiladas   

    Daring Cooks 13th Challenge: Stacked green chile and grilled chicken enchiladas 

    Our hosts this month, Barbara of Barbara Bakes and Bunnee of Anna+Food have chosen a delicious Stacked Green Chile & Grilled Chicken Enchilada recipe in celebration of Cinco de Mayo! The recipe, featuring a homemade enchilada sauce was found on http://www.finecooking.com and written by Robb Walsh. Grilled chicken, melted cheese and spicy salsa, how can you go wrong. I was on this challenge in no time. Hun did the grilling and I assembled the salsa and final dish. We couldn’t find any Anaheim chiles, so used Poblanos instead, spiked with a few jalapenos.  It packed a kick in the end, but what’s Tex-Mex without some heat. Great recipe!

    Stacked green chile and grilled chicken enchiladas

    Preparation time: Below are the approximate prep times for each step of the process. The sauce is the most time-intensive, but it can be made ahead and several of the steps can be done simultaneously. See additional information below for more preparation times and tips.

    Roasting/preparing chiles and tomatillos: 30 – 60 min.
    Assembling/simmering enchilada sauce: 30 min.
    Grill chicken: 10 – 15 min.
    Assembly/ baking enchilada stacks: 30 min.

    Equipment required:
    • Grill, broiler, or gas stove to roast Anaheim chiles
    • Grill, broiler, or saucepan to cook tomatillos
    • Bowl and plastic wrap to cover the bowl or a paper bag to steam Anaheim chiles
    • Blender or food processor to puree tomatillos (or very finely chop)
    • Small frying pan (for frying tortillas)
    • Baking dish – either one large (10×15 inch) or individual gratin dishes
    • Cheese grater
    • Knives for cutting chicken and roasted chiles
    • Spoons for stirring sauce
    • Tongs are helpful for turning chiles as they roast, chicken as it grills and tortillas as they fry

    Ingredients

    1½ pounds Fresh Anaheim chiles (about eight 6 to 8 inch chiles) 24 ounces 678 grams – roast, peel, remove seeds, chop coarsely. Other green chiles (NOT bell peppers) could probably be substituted but be conscious of heat and size!)
    7-8 ounces Tomatillos (about 4-5 medium)212 grams – peel, remove stems
    4 cups Chicken broth (32 ounces/920 grams)
    1 clove Garlic, minced
    2 teaspoons yellow onion, minced
    1 teaspoon dried oregano
    ½ tsp Kosher salt (add more to taste)
    ¼ tsp Black Pepper (add more to taste)
    2 tablespoons Cornstarch (dissolve in 2 tablespoons water, for thickening)
    Hot sauce, your favorite, optional
    2 Boneless chicken breasts (you can also use bone-in chicken breasts or thighs)
    3 tablespoons Olive oil or other neutral vegetable oil (use more as needed)
    Kosher salt and pepper
    12 Small Corn tortillas (5-6 inch/13-15 cm). (you can also use wheat tortillas or other wraps)
    6 ounces grated Monterey Jack, 170 grams (other cheeses (cheddar, pepper jack, Mexican cheeses) can be used. Just be sure they melt well and complement the filling)
    Cilantro for garnish, chopped and sprinkled optional

    Directions:

    Roasting Fresh Chiles

    1. Coat each chile with a little vegetable oil. If you are doing only a couple chiles, using the gas stove works. For larger batches (as in this recipe), grilling or broiling is faster.
    2. Lay the oiled chiles on the grill or baking sheet (line pan with foil for simpler clean-up). Place the grill or broil close to the element, turning the chiles so they char evenly. They should be black and blistered.
    3. As they are completely charred (they will probably not all be done at once), remove them to a bowl and cover with plastic, or close up in a paper bag. Let them rest until they are cool.
    4. Pull on the stem and the seed core MAY pop out (it rarely does for me). Open the chile and remove the seeds. Turn the chile skin side up and with a paring knife, scrape away the skin. Sometimes it just pulls right off, sometimes you really have to scrape it.
    5. DO NOT RINSE!

    Green Chile Sauce

    1. Put a medium saucepan of water on to boil and remove the papery outer skin from the tomatillos. Boil the tomatillos until soft, 5 to 10 minutes. You can also grill the tomatillos until soft.
    2. Drain and puree in a blender or food processor.
    3. Return the tomatillos to the saucepan along with the chicken broth, chopped green chiles, minced onion, oregano, garlic, salt and pepper.
    4. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and then reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
    5. Add the cornstarch/water mixture and stir well. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is thickened and reduced to 4-5 cups, another 10-15 minutes.
    6. Adjust seasonings and add hot sauce if you want a little more heat.

    Stacked Green Chile and Grilled Chicken Enchiladas

    1. Heat a gas grill to medium high or build a medium-hot charcoal Coat the chicken with olive oil and season well with salt and pepper. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
    2. Grill the chicken until just cooked through, 4-5 minutes a side for boneless chicken breasts.
    3. Cool and then slice into thin strips or shred.
    4. In a small skillet, heat 3 tablespoons oil over medium-high heat until very hot. Dip the edge of a tortilla into the oil to check – it should sizzle immediately.
    5. Using tongs, put a tortilla into the pan and cook until soft and lightly brown on each side, about 15-20 seconds per side (at the most).
    6. Drain on paper towels.
    7. Add oil as needed and continue until all 12 tortillas are done.
    8. In a baking dish large enough to hold four separate stacks of tortillas, ladle a thin layer of sauce.
    9. Lay four tortillas in the dish and ladle another ½ cup (4 ounces/112 grams) of sauce over the tortillas.
    10. Divide half the chicken among the first layer of tortillas, top with another ½ cup of sauce and 1/3 of the grated cheese.
    11. Stack another four tortillas, top with the rest of the chicken, more sauce and another third of the cheese.
    12. Finish with the third tortilla, topped with the remaining sauce and cheese.
    13. Bake until the sauce has thickened and the cheese melted, about 20 minutes. Let rest for 5-10 minutes.
    14. To serve, transfer each stack to a plate. Spoon any leftover sauce over the stacks and sprinkle with cilantro, if you wish. The stacks may also be cooked in individual gratin dishes.

     
    • Olive 5:30 pm on May 14, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      I love this month’s DC challenge too.. your enchiladas looks so yummy! 🙂

  • pixeltheatre 12:01 am on April 27, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: english pudding, suet   

    Daring Bakers’ 28th Challenge: English Pudding 

    The April 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Esther of The Lilac Kitchen. She challenged everyone to make a traditional British pudding using, if possible, a very traditional British ingredient: suet. I had heard of English pudding before, but never had it. The beef suet was interesting, so I decided to try to use it. I found it fairly easily, in frozen pellet form, at Famous Foods. The recipe was pretty straightforward. I didn’t have any self-rising flour, so I added some baking powder, as suggested. I don’t think I used enough, though, as the top lid did not rise much. I went with a bacon and leek filling. I steamed it for an hour and a half. The result was interesting. The beef suet definitely has a distintive taste. I can’t say I didn’t like it, but I’m not sure I liked it. But it was interesting nonetheless.  As a good challenge should be. I still have some suet left and will try this recipe again, but baled instead of steamed.

    English Pudding

    Preparation time: Preparation time is 5 to 20 minutes depending on the filling. Cooking time is 1 to 5 hours so do this on a day you have jobs around the house to do or are popping in and out as you need to occasionally check the pan hasn’t boiled dry! However it is otherwise a very low time requirement dish.

    Equipment required:
    • 2 pint (1 litre) pudding bowl or steam-able containers to contain a similar amount they should be higher rather than wide and low
    Traditional pudding bowl so you know what is normally used.

    • Steamer or large pan, ideally with a steaming stand, upturned plate or crumpled up piece of kitchen foil
    • Mixing bowl
    • Spoon
    • Measuring cups or scales
    • Foil or grease proof paper to cover the bowl
    • String

    Type 1 Puddings — suet crusts.

    Pudding Crust for both Savoury Pudding or Sweet Pudding (using suet or a suet substitute):

    Ingredients

    (250 grams/12 ounces) Self-raising flour (Note* If you cannot find self-raising flour, use a combination of all-purpose flour and baking powder.)
    (175 grams/6 ounces) Shredded suet or suet substitute (i.e., Vegetable Suet, Crisco, Lard)
    (a pinch) Salt and pepper (Note* If making a savory dish, can be replaced with spices for sweet if wished.)
    (210 millilitres/a little less than a cup) Water (Note* You can use a milk or a water and milk mix for a richer pastry.)

    1. Mix the flour and suet together.
    2. Season the flour and suet mixture with salt and pepper if savory and just a bit of salt and/or spices if sweet.
    3. Add the water, a tablespoonful at a time, as you mix the ingredients together. Make up the pastry to firm an elastic dough that leaves the bowl clean. The liquid amounts are only an estimate and most recipes just say water to mix.
    4. Don’t over handle the pastry or it will be too hard.
    5. Reserve a quarter for the lid and roll out the rest and line a well-greased bowl.
    6. At this point add your filling.. a couple of options are give below but have fun and go wild!
    7. Roll the final piece of pastry out into a circle big enough to cover the top of the basin, dampen the edges and put in position on the pudding, pinching the edges together to seal.
    8. Seal well and cover with a double sheet of foil – pleated in the centre to allow room for expansion while cooking. Secure with string, and place it in a steamer over boiling water.
    9. Steam for up to 5 hours, you may need to add more boiling water halfway through or possibly more often. There is a lot of leeway in this steaming time and different recipes give different steaming times. Delia Smith says 5 hours for Steak and kidney where as Mrs Beeton says 2.5 for a similar dish! One way to tell that it is cooked is when the pastry changes colour and goes from white to a sort of light golden brown. It is also hard to over steam a pudding so you can leave it bubbling away until you are ready.

    This sort of pastry can also be used as a topping for a baked meat pie and becomes quite a light crusty pastry when baked.

    Bacon and Leek filling

    8 slices of bacon, chopped and cooked
    3 small leeks, finely chopped and cooked
    enough chicken broth to soak the filling
    salt and pepper to taste
    dash of smoked paprika.

     
    • Audax Artifex 12:52 am on April 27, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      WOW that does look like a wonderful photo (I only saw it for a moment then flickr shut down LOL) well done on this challenge. Cheers from Audax in Sydney Australia.

    • Elra 4:16 pm on April 27, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      I am not sure why, but I can not see your photographs. I can only imagine, must be superb.

  • pixeltheatre 12:01 am on March 14, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Risotto   

    Daring Cooks 11th Challenge: Risotto 

    The 2010 March Daring Cooks challenge was hosted by Eleanor of MelbournefoodGeek and Jess of Jessthebaker. They chose to challenge Daring Cooks to make risotto. The various components of their challenge recipe are based on input from the Australian Masterchef cookbook and the cookbook Moorish by Greg Malouf.

    I was glad to see this challenge. For one, I love risotto, and two, I have made it many times. So, perhaps not so much of a challenge for me, but I was grateful for a familiar challenge. February had been nuts with the Olympics in town — which is why I never got around to the Daring Bakers’ challenge of tiramisu — and March kicked off with my oven going on the fritz. My new one should be hooked up Sunday (today). Eleanor and Jess added a component to this challenge by requiring we also make the stock to be used in the risotto. Gosh darn, wouldn’t you believe I had some homemade already frozen. So, I spent a relaxing 45 minutes on Thursday night completing this challenge. I paired the rice with some left over General Tao chicken. A nice fusion of italian and chinese. I used a prosecco wine for my first liquid laddle. Hmmm…Hmmmm….

    Risotto

    Preparation time:
    Stock: 20 minutes prep time, 3 hours cooking.
    Pumpkin Risotto: 10 minutes prep time, 20-30 minutes cooking. ,
    Lemon Risotto: 10 minutes prep time, 20-30 minutes cooking.

    Equipment required:
    • 5 Litre stock pot, or other large pan
    • knife
    • chopping board
    • tablespoon
    • teaspoon
    • sieve
    • ladle
    • hand blender (optional)
    • wooden spoon or other stirring implement
    • grater
    • saucepans
    • measuring cups
    • scales

    Chicken Stock

    Ingredients:
    1 large chicken 2-3 pounds about 1 kg
    chicken bones 2-3 pounds 1 kg
    2 onions, roughly diced
    1 medium leek – white part only, roughly diced
    2 sticks celery, roughly diced
    2 cloves garlic, halved
    1 cinnamon stick
    1 tsp. white peppercorns ( Any type of whole peppercorn will do)
    2 bay leaves (fresh or dried, it doesn’t matter.)
    peel of 1/2 lemon
    1/4 tsp. allspice

    Directions:

    1. Wash the chicken and bones and places in a 5 Litre pot, cover completely with water and bring to a boil
    2. Skim away any scum as it comes to the surface
    3. Add the vegetables and bring back to a boil
    4. Add the rest remaining ingredients and simmer very gently, uncovered for 1.5 hours
    5. Carefully lift out the chicken, set aside. The chicken meat can be removed from the chicken, shredded off and used for other things like soup!
    6. Simmer the stock gently for another hour. At , at the end you should have around 2 Liters
    7. Carefully ladle the liquid into a fine sieve, the less the bones and vegetables are disturbed in this process the clearer the stock will be. 
The stock is now ready for use. Freeze what you don’t need for later use.

    Risotto Base

    Ingredients:olive oil 2 fluid oz 60 ml
    1 small onion, quateredrice 14 oz 400g
    Any type of risotto rice will do. I use Arborio but the recipe itself says Vialone Nano. Another to look for is Carnaroli.
    white wine 2 fl oz 60 ml
    chicken or vegetable stock , simmering 2 pints 1 L

    Directions:

    1. Heat oil in a pan and add onion. Fry for a few minutes to flavour the oil then discard. (We diced ours and left it in as we like onion).
    2. Add the rice and stir for a few minutes to coat each grain of rice with oil and toast slightly.
    3. Add the wine and let it bubble away until evaporated.
    4. Add enough stock to cover the rice by a finger’s width (about an inch or two). Don’t actually stick your finger in, it will be hot. Just eye it off.
    5. Cook on medium heat, stirring with a wooden spoon from time to time, until most of the stock has been absorbed.
    6. Repeat Step 5 making sure to leave aside approximately 100 ml. of stock for the final step. .
    7. Repeat, save 100ml for the final stage.
    8. Once you are at this point, the base is made. You now get to add your own variation.
     
  • pixeltheatre 12:01 am on January 14, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , satay, thai   

    Daring Cooks 9th Challenge: Pork Satay 

    The January 2010 DC challenge was hosted by Cuppy of Cuppylicious and she chose a delicious Thai-inspired recipe for Pork Satay from the book 1000 Recipes by Martha Day. The main challenge of this dish was the marinating of the meat. I opted for the traditional marinade and chose pork as the meat. The weather was nice and mild this year, perfect for a charcoal bbq. So we kicked off the new year with pork bbq satay. A nice and relaxed way to celebrate a new decade of, what I hope will be, many more cooking and baking challenges.

    Pork Satay with Peanut Sauce

    Satay Marinade

    1/2 small onion, chopped
    2 garlic cloves, crushed
    1 T ginger root, chopped (optional) (2 cm cubed)
    2 T lemon juice (1 oz or 30 mls)
    1 T soy sauce (0.5 oz or 15 mls)
    1 tsp ground coriander (5 mls)
    1 tsp ground cumin (5 mls)
    1/2 tsp ground turmeric (2-2.5 mls)
    2 T vegetable oil (or peanut or olive oil) (30 mls)
    1 pound of pork (loin or shoulder cuts) (16 oz or 450g)

    Feeling the need to make it more Thai? Try adding a dragon chili, an extra tablespoon of ginger root, and 1 tablespoon (0.5 oz or 15 mls) of fish sauce. (I keep some premature (still green) dragon chili peppers in the freezer for just such an occasion.)

    Directions:
    1a. Cheater alert: If you have a food processor or blender, dump in everything except the pork and blend until smooth. Lacking a food processor, I prefer to chop my onions, garlic and ginger really fine then mix it all together in a medium to large bowl.
    2a. Cut pork into 1 inch strips.
    3a. Cover pork with marinade. You can place the pork into a bowl, cover/seal and chill, or place the whole lot of it into a ziplock bag, seal and chill.


    Chill Chart

    Pork Beef/Lamb Chicken Vegetables Tofu (no oil)
    4-8 hrs
    Up to 24 hrs
    6-8 hrs
    Up to 24 hrs
    1-4 hours
    Up to 12 hrs
    20 min – 2 hrs
    Up to 4 hrs
    20 min – 4 hrs
    Up to 12 hrs

    Faster (cheaper!) marinade:

    2 T vegetable oil (or peanut or olive oil) (1 oz or 30 mls)
    2 T lemon juice (1 oz or 30 mls)
    1 T soy sauce (0.5 oz or 15 mls)
    1 tsp ginger powder (5 mls)
    1 tsp garlic powder (5 mls)
    1 tsp cayenne pepper (5 mls)

    Directions:
    1b. Mix well.
    2b. Cut pork into 1 inch thick strips (2-2.5 cm thick), any length.
    3b. Cover pork with marinade. You can place the pork into a bowl, cover/seal and chill, or place the whole lot of it into a ziplock bag, seal and chill.

    Cooking Directions (continued):

    4. If using wooden or bamboo skewers, soak your skewers in warm water for at least 20 minutes before preparing skewers.
    5. Gently and slowly slide meat strips onto skewers. Discard leftover marinade.*
    6. Broil or grill at 290°C/550° F (or pan fry on medium-high) for 8-10 minutes or until the edges just start to char. Flip and cook another 8-10 minutes.

    • If you’re grilling or broiling, you could definitely brush once with extra marinade when you flip the skewers.

    Peanut Sauce

    3/4 cup coconut milk (6 oz or 180 mls)
    4 Tbsp peanut butter (2 oz or 60 mls)
    1 Tbsp lemon juice (0.5 oz or 15 mls)
    1 Tbsp soy sauce (0.5 oz or 15 mls)
    1 tsp brown sugar (5 mls)
    1/2 tsp ground cumin (2.5 mls)
    1/2 tsp ground coriander (2.5 mls)
    1-2 dried red chilies, chopped (keep the seeds for heat)

    1. Mix dry ingredients in a small bowl. Add soy sauce and lemon, mix well.
    2. Over low heat, combine coconut milk, peanut butter and your soy-lemon-seasoning mix. Mix well, stir often.
    3. All you’re doing is melting the peanut butter, so make your peanut sauce after you’ve made everything else in your meal, or make ahead of time and reheat.

     
    • Frenchie 1:26 pm on January 14, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      I would have loved to barbecue my satay to get that nice char on it, too bad I live in Montreal, where the brutally cold whether would not permit that. I am sure your satay was delicious.

    • Audax Artifex 1:50 am on January 15, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Love that 2nd photo and the purple flame coming though. Great you liked it so much. In Australia it was 40C so so so hot LOL LOL LOL. Cheers from Audax in Sydney Australia.

  • pixeltheatre 12:01 am on September 14, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: dosa, Indian, , vegan   

    Daring Cooks 5th Challenge: Indian Dosas 

    This month’s challenge was hosted by Debyi, of the The Healthy Vegan Kitchen. She chose a dish I recently discovered, the dosa. Dosas are crispy indian crepes, traditionally made of lentils and rice, stuffed with a savoury filling. Thanks to an important East Indian population in Vancouver, there is a fair amount of restaurants offering this dish. My mouth fell open the first time I saw one of those. They look huge, extending well beyond the plate. The filling however is usually just in the middle of it. We had our choice of filling for this challenge, so long as it remained vegan. I stayed with the one Debyi suggested, a curried garbanzo filling, accompanied by a coconut curry sauce. The pancake batter introduced me to a new ingredient: almond milk. Didn’t even know that existed and managed to find some in my favorite baking supplies store, Famous Foods. What don’t they carry?… The results were very flavourful and healthy. Very nice recipe. Thanks for the challenge!

    Indian Dosas
    This recipe comes in 3 parts, the dosas, the filling and the sauce. It does take awhile to make, but the filling and sauce can be made ahead and frozen if need be. You can serve them as a main course with rice and veggies, or as an appetizer. This does take a little planning ahead, so make sure you read the recipe through before starting (I forgot & didn’t start making the rice until everything was ready, oops).

    Serves 4

    Equipment needed:
    large bowl
    whisk
    griddle or skillet
    ladle (or large spoon)
    spatula
    vegetable peeler &/or knife
    large saucepan
    food processor or bean masher

    Dosa Pancakes
    1 cup (120gm/8oz) spelt flour (or all-purpose, gluten free flour)
    ½ tsp (2½ gm) salt
    ½ tsp (2½ gm) baking powder
    ½ tsp (2½ gm) curry powder
    ½ cup (125ml/4oz) almond milk (or soy, or rice, etc.)
    ¾ cup (175ml/6oz) water
    cooking spray, if needed

    Dosa Filling
    1 batch Curried Garbanzo Filling (see below), heated

    Dosa Toppings
    1 batch Coconut Curry Sauce (see below), heated
    ¼ cup (125gm) grated coconut
    ¼ cucumber, sliced

    Dosa Pancakes
    1.Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl, slowly adding the almond milk and water, whisking until smooth.
    2.Heat a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Spray your pan with a thin layer of cooking spray, if needed.
    3.Ladle 2 tablespoons of batter into the center of your pan in a circular motion until it is a thin, round pancake. When bubbles appear on the surface and it no longer looks wet, flip it over and cook for a few seconds. Remove from heat and repeat with remaining batter. Makes 8 pancakes.

    Curried Garbanzo Filling
    This filling works great as a rice bowl topping or as a wrap too, so don’t be afraid to make a full batch.

    5 cloves garlic
    1 onion, peeled and finely diced
    1 carrot, peeled and finely diced
    1 green pepper, finely diced (red, yellow or orange are fine too)
    2 medium hot banana chilies, minced
    2 TBSP (16gm) cumin, ground
    1 TBSP (8gm) oregano
    1 TBSP (8gm) sea salt (coarse)
    1 TBSP (8gm) turmeric
    4 cups (850gm/30oz) cooked or canned chick peas (about 2 cans)
    ½ cup (125gm/4oz) tomato paste

    1.Heat a large saucepan over medium to low heat. Add the garlic, veggies, and spices, cooking until soft, stirring occasionally.
    2.Mash the chickpeas by hand, or in a food processor. Add the chickpeas and tomato paste to the saucepan, stirring until heated through.

    Coconut Curry Sauce
    This makes a great sauce to just pour over rice as well. This does freeze well, but the texture will be a little different. The flavor is still the same though. My picture of this sauce is one that I had made, had to freeze, then thaw to use. It tastes great, but the texture is a little runnier, not quite as thick as it was before freezing.

    1 onion, peeled and chopped
    2 cloves garlic
    ½ (2½ gm) tsp cumin, ground
    ¾ (3¾ gm) tsp sea salt (coarse)
    3 TBSP (30gm) curry powder
    3 TBSP (30gm) spelt flour (or all-purpose GF flour)
    3 cups (750ml/24oz) vegetable broth
    2 cups (500ml/24oz) coconut milk
    3 large tomatoes, diced

    1.Heat a saucepan over medium heat, add the onion and garlic, cooking for 5 minutes, or until soft.
    2.Add the spices, cooking for 1 minutes more. Add the flour and cook for 1 additional minute.
    3.Gradually stir in the vegetable broth to prevent lumps. Once the flour has been incorporated, add the coconut milk and tomatoes, stirring occasionally.
    4.Let it simmer for half an hour.

     
    • Simon 4:49 am on September 14, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      I was new to almont milk as well. Don’t know if I’ll ever use it again but it was interesting while I did.

    • Lauren 7:25 am on September 14, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      my husband drinks almond milk because he is lactose intolerant. he loves it! —the recipe looks fantastic!

    • Mary 2:28 pm on September 14, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      Your dosas look beautiful. I hope you enjoyed them. I loved the challenge but thought it was a lot of work.

    • Lauren 3:08 pm on September 14, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      I’m glad you enjoyed the challenge!! Your dosas look amazing =D. I love almond milk, and have it from time to time as a treat (especially the vanilla kind =D)

    • Heather B 6:08 pm on September 18, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      Great job on your dosas! They came out perfectly!

  • pixeltheatre 10:13 pm on June 26, 2008 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , cuisine, , nanaimo bar, , , sugar, sweet   

    Mmm…Canada – The Sweet Edition 

    Jennifer (The Domestic Goddess) is hosting this year the Mmm…Canada – The Sweet Edition. In 2005 she asked Canadian bloggers and non-bloggers to talk about their favorite meal, the one that really said Canada to them. This year she decided to up the ante:

    This year let’s make our proverbial pot a little bigger; a little sweeter, if you will. Let’s get together as many bloggers as we can to share their favourite Canadian confection, indulgence, dessert, sweet…anything really! As long as says Canada to you and you can get some sort of Sugar High from it, we want to know about it.

    As mentioned below in the Savoury Edition, I am Québec-born and bred. Quebecers are renowned for their sweet tooth. The dessert that most typifies this for me is Sugar Pie (with a name like that, how can you go wrong?). Tarte au sucre is one of those recipes that offers a lot of variations: maple sugar, brown sugar, flour, no flour, butter or not, cream, etc. Some families guard their version and pass it down generation to generation. I blogged on this last year. The full post can be found here.This entry is the most popular on my site, thanks to an incoming link from Wipedia. I never realized how many people were interested in this dessert…

    Here’s the recipe I usually use. It’s foolproof and quick to prepare.

    Quick Sugar Pie
    (Recipe: courtesy of Mme Paquin, Trois-Rivières)
    1 cup of brown sugar, packed
    1/2 cup whipping cream
    1 tablespoon flour

    Mix ingredients in bowl until smooth. Throw in a frozen pie crust and bake at 400F for 30 minutes. Serve with vanilla ice cream. It tastes even better cold, the day after.

    Now, living on the West Coast, my other favorite sugar high is provided by the Nanaimo Bar.  You can’t beat it for a quick pick-me-up in the afternoon (followed by the inevitable crash). Here’s a recipe from The City of Nanaimo’s website:

    Nanaimo Bar - Stephanie Spencer - Wikipedia Commons Nanaimo Bar Recipe
    Bottom Layer

    • ½ cup unsalted butter (European style cultured)
    • ¼ cup sugar
    • 5 tbsp. cocoa
      1 egg beaten
    • 1 ¼ cups graham wafer crumbs
    • ½ c. finely chopped almonds
    • 1 cup coconut

    Melt first 3 ingredients in top of double boiler. Add egg and stir to cook and thicken. Remove from heat. Stir in crumbs, coconut, and nuts. Press firmly into an ungreased 8″ x 8″ pan.
    Second Layer

    • ½ cup unsalted butter
    • 2 Tbsp. and 2 Tsp. cream
    • 2 Tbsp. vanilla custard powder
    • 2 cups icing sugar

    Cream butter, cream, custard powder, and icing sugar together well. Beat until light. Spread over bottom layer.
    Third Layer

    • 4 squares semi-sweet chocolate (1 oz. each)
    • 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter

    Melt chocolate and butter overlow heat. Cool. Once cool, but still liquid, pour over second layer and chill in refrigerator.

    Note: This dessert/snack also comes in prepackaged mixes for the time-pressed.

    (Photo: Stephanie Spencer, Wikipedia Commons)

     
    • Jennifer 11:55 am on June 28, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      Ah, sugar pie…very few things are more Canadian than that! Thanks so much for joining in on Mmm…Canada!

    • Candice 10:18 pm on June 30, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      Last time I made sugar pie, it turned out a bit too runny. Next time I’m going to try your recipe! Thanks for sharing it. 🙂

    • madcapCupcake 7:56 am on July 2, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      TWO sweet delights – and both looks delcious 🙂

    • ileygilbert 7:11 pm on July 31, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      oh my gosh these all look amazing!

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