4.29.2010

Potato Bread with Chives

Potato Bread with Chives

The Bread Baking Babes are celebrating spring with an (allegedly) simple bread, chosen by Sara from i like to cook. I was a bit lazy when shaping the loaf and it spread quite a bit while in the oven. As you can see in the picture the bread seemed to be underbaked after 40 minutes, so I put it back in the oven for 10 minutes but the texture stayed the same. Maybe it's got something to do with the potatoes.

I'm sending this to Susan's YeastSpotting.

Potato Bread with Chives
Source: Vegan Planet by Robin Robertson


2 1/4 tsp (1 packet) active dry yeast
1 cup warm water
1 tsp sugar or pure maple syrup
2 Tb corn oil
2 tsp salt
1 cup cold mashed potatos
1 cup soy milk or other dairy free milk
5 cups unbleached all purpose flour, plus more for kneading
2 Tb minced fresh chives

In a large bowl, combine the yeast and 1/4 cup of the water. Add the sugar and stir to dissolve. Let the mixture stand for 10 minutes, then stir in the remaining 3/4 cup of water, the corn oil and the salt. Mix in the potatos, then stir in the soy milk. Add about half the flour, stirring to combine, then work in the remaining flour to form a stiff dough. Transfer to a lightly floured board.

Lightly flour your hands and work surface. Knead the dough well until it is smooth and elastic, 8 to 10 minutes, using more flour as necessary so the dough does not stick. Place in a large lightly oiled bowl and turn over once to coat with oil. Cover with a clean kitchen towel or lightly oiled piece of plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, 1 to 2 hours.

Meanwhile, lightly oil a large baking sheet and set aside. Punch the dough down and knead lightly. Turn out onto a lightly floured work surface, sprinkle with the chives, and knead until the dough is elastic and the chives are well distributed, 3 to 5 minutes. Shape the dough into one large or two small round loaves and place on the prepared baking sheet. Flatten slightly and cover with a clean damp towel or lightly oiled plastic wrap. Set aside in a warm place and let rise again until doubled in bulk, about 45 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 400'F. Use a sharp knife to cut an X into the top of the loaf or loaves. Bake on the center oven rack until golden brown, 35 to 45 minutes, depending on size. Tap on the bottom of the loaf or loaves - if they sound hollow, the bread is done. Remove from the sheet and let cool slightly on a wire rack before slicing.

4.27.2010

Ramson Risotto

Ramson Risotto

Ramson is another harbinger of spring and this risotto is a great way of using it. The sheep's cheese adds a welcome hot-cold combination.

Ramson Risotto

This recipe is a variation of the "Risotto with Spinach and Sheep's Cheese"
from Cook with Jamie by Jamie Oliver.

Ingredients:

olive oil
1 onion, diced
about 750 ml vegetable stock *
0,1 l white wine
1 cup arborio rice
1 bunch ramson
1 cup parmesan cheese, grated
150 g sheep's cheese

* Maybe a bit more. I keep adding fresh water to the stock pot (one laddle in for one laddle out, so the water can warm up) when it runs low.

Method:

Dice the sheep's cheese and set aside.
Roughly chop the ramson and set aside.
Make a risotto * and stir in the ramson for the last 3 minutes of cooking.
Sprinkle the serving portions with the sheep's cheese.

* Bring your stock almost to the simmer. In a rather large pot, heat the olive oil, fry the onion until translucent. Add the rice and stir thoroughly. Add the white wine and let the alcohol cook off. Add the stock one laddle at a time, stirring very frequently. When the rice is done, after about 15 to 18 minutes, stir in the parmesan cheese.

4.24.2010

Quinoa and Carrot Rösti

Quinoa and Carrot Rösti Kaiserschmarrn

IHCCThe first potluck with Mark Bittman is coming up and I went for another recipe with quinoa. For some reason or another (maybe I didn't press it down hard enouh, maybe the seasoning of the (new) pan was incomplete...) the rösti didn't hold together at all and I ended up with a quinoa and carrot Kasierschmarrn (a kind of scrambled pancake). But it still tasted very good. To balance the nutty-sweet of quinoa and carrots, I added some yoghurt with a bit of cumin stirred in.


Quinoa and Carrot Rösti

Source: How to cook everything vegetarian by Mark Bittman

Ingredients:

salt
1 pound carrots
1 cup cooked quinoa
freshly ground black pepper
6 Tbsp butter, melted
2 Tbsp minced fresh chives for garnish

Method:

- Bring a large pot of water to a boil and salt it. Cut the carrots in half if necessary to fit the pot. When the water boils, add the carrots and cook, checking once or twice until crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Drain and set aside to cool.

- Put the quinoa in a large bowl, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and drizzle with 2 Tbsp of the butter. Toss lightly with your hands or a large fork.

- Peel the carrots and coarsly grate them over a strainer. Use a large spoon or a potato masher to press down on them and extract as much water as possible. Add them to the bowl with the quinoa and toss just enough to combine. Taste and adjust the seasoning.

- Put 2 Tbsp of the remaining butter in deep skillet over medium-high heat. When the butter is melted and hot but not smoking, add the quinoa mixture all at once, firmly pressing it down into the pan to form a solid "cake". Turn the heat down to low and cook, undisturbed, until the rösti starts to smell toasted-you'll know-20 to 25 minutes.

- Remove the lid, carefully put a large dish over the skillet, and flip it to turn out the rösti. Add the remaining 2 Tbsp butter to the pan, swirl it around, and turn the heat up to medium. Carefully slide the rösti off the plate and back into place. Leave the skillet uncovered and cook the second side for 10 minutes or so,peekingonce or twice to make sure it's browned nicely. Slide the finished rösti back onto the plate and sprinkle with chives. Serve immediately or at room temperature, cut into wedges.

4.22.2010

Washoku Warriors - Spring

Temple Garden Chowder

Spring is in the air and was also chosen as the theme for the Washoku Warriors. I went for the temple garden chowder, which is a dashi-based broth to which I added carrots (as a winter staple), leeks (as a winter vegetable), red radishes (as an early spring vegetable) and ramps (as a later spring vegetable). The carrots and leeks get fried in a bit of sesame oil before being added to the broth to soften them up. The final soup should be thickened with cornstarch, but I completely forgot to do that. ;)


4.17.2010

New Season Garlic Soup

New Season Garlic Soup

Finally you can tell it's spring from the produce available at the green market. I had bookmarked this recipe since quite a while and was waiting week after week until fresh garlic made it's appearance. The soup has a nicely subtle taste and if you can find fresh garlic it's worth giving it a try. As I had only fresh bread, I just used it for dipping up instead of adding it to the soup as indicated by the recipe.

New Season Garlic and Bread Soup

Source: Nose to Tail Eating by Fergus Henderson

To serve six

Ingredients:

8 fresh whole garlic heads
1 litre chicken stock
sea salt and pepper
a healthy handful of chunks, without crust, of yesterday's - if not the day before's - white bread

Method:

Place the garlic in the stock* and bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer until the garlic is cookd soft - approximately 40 minutes. Then pass the garlic through a mouli; or press though a sieve. Mix the garlic pulp back into the stock and season to taste. Reheat and throw in the bread a couple of minutes before serving, so it has just long enough to sup up the soup, but not fall apart.

* I'm not sure if the recipe is overly brief here, but I decided to cut the garlic heads in half, peel off the outer two or three layers and then take out the cloves before proceeding with the recipe.

4.16.2010

Yakisoba

Yakisoba

IHCCFor this week's pantry raid with Mark Bittman, I settled for yakisoba in order to use up some chai soba (soba noodles coloured with green tea; like matcha ice cream) and a glass of mung bean sprouts. As yakisoba is more of a concept than an actuall recipe it probably doesn't matter that I used soba noodles, which normally you don't. It's a tasty dish and great for cleaning out the pantry.


Yakisoba

Inspiration: Yakisoba by Mark Bittman

200 g chai soba
200 g mung bean sprouts, drained
200 g chicken breast, evenly diced
1 bunch scallions, cut into 1 cm slices
peanut oil

For the sauce:

2 Tbsp apple vinegar
2 Tbsp mirin
2 tsp ajvar

Cook the soba or noodles of choice according to manufacturer's instructions and drain. In a small bowl, combine the sauce ingredients and set aside.
In a skillet, heat the oil and fry the chicken breast until their whole surface has turned white, stirring often. Add the scallions, stir-fry for 3-4 minutes. Add the bean sprouts, reduce heat to medium-low, cover and let cook for a few minutes. Add the noodles to the skillet and stir in.
Garnish the serving portions with the sauce.

4.13.2010

Sounding Radish Slivers

Sounding Radish Slivers

Spring is finally here, but is still unsure if it really wants to stay. So, before clearing out the pantry with Mark Bittman later this week I'd like to post this wintry recipe. The name refers to the crunching sound the radishes make while you eat them. It's dead easy to make and really tasty. And best of all, it was an extension of my culinary horizon as traditionally white radishes are grated and used as a condiment for boiled meat.


Sounding Radish Slivers

Source: Revolutionary Chinese Cookbook by Fuchsia Dunlop

Ingredients:

1 pound Asian white radish (daikon)
salt
1 fresh red chile
2 scallions, green parts only *
1 tsp light soy sauce
1 1/2 tsp clear rice vinegar
3/4 tsp potato flour mixed with 2 Tbsp cold water (optional) **
1 tsp sesame oil
3 Tbsp peanut oil or lard

* Used all of 2 trimmed scallions.
** Omitted.

Method:

Peel the radish and cut into 2 1/2-inch sections. Cut each section first into very thin slices, and then into fine slivers. Combine with 3/4 tsp salt, then set aside for 15 minutes or so.

Discard the stem and seeds of the chile, and cut into fine slivers to match the radish. Cut the scallion greens into similar slivers.

Before cooking, drain the radish slivers and squeeze dry; set aside.

Heat the wok over a high flame until smoke rises, then add the oil or lard and swirl around. Add the chile and sizzle for a few secondsbefore adding the radish slivers. Stir-fry vigorously for a couple of minutes, adding the soy sauce and salt to taste, if necessary.

When the radish slivers are hot, add the scallions and vinegar and stir well to combine. Then add the potato flour mixture to the middle of the wok, stirring rapidly as it thickens to a gloss. Finally, remove the wok from the heat, stir in the sesame oil, and serve.

4.09.2010

Sweet Potato and Quinoa Salad

Sweet Potato and Quinoa Salad

IHCCAs I really liked the taste of sweet potatoes, I thought I'd use them to introduce me to another new ingredient, quinoa. Quinoa itself doesn't have much of a taste of its own, but it doesn't have the starchiness of lentils or peas either. Maybe rice comes closest in taste and texture. The salad has a nice soft-crunchy contrast and is quite filling. Instead of the chives in the recipe, I used the green part of a celery stalk. Next time I would try to cook the quinoa for a shorter time for a little more bite. (On the package it said to boil for 20 minutes, then turn off the heat and let stand with a closed lid for 5 minutes. Maybe that's a bit much in total.)


Sweet Potato and Quinoa Salad

Source: Sweet Potato and Quinoa Salad by Mark Bittman

Ingredients:

2 1/2 cups cooked quinoa or other small-kernel grain or 1 cup raw
1 large or 2 medium (about 1 pound) sweet potatoes
salt
1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and diced
1/4 cup minced red onion or shallot
freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic, sherry, or red wine vinegar
1/4 cup minced fresh chives or parsley leaves

Method:

- If you haven’t already, cook the quinoa or other grain. Drain in a strainer and rinse. Meanwhile, peel the sweet potato and dice it into 1/2-inch or smaller pieces. Cook it in boiling salted water to cover until tender, about 15 minutes; drain well.

- Toss together the potato, quinoa, bell pepper, and onion; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Whisk the oil and vinegar together and toss the salad with about half of this mixture; add all or some of the rest to taste. Taste and adjust the seasoning, garnish with the chives and serve.

4.07.2010

Carrot Cake

Carrot Cake

Another version of a classic (here's the one from last year). Using honey instead of sugar adds a subtle flavour, which plays with the cinnamon.

Carrot Cake

Source: Ich helf dir kochen by Hedwig Maria Stuber

Ingredients:

4 egg yolks
3 Tbsp warm water
100 g confectioner's sugar
1 Tbsp Kirsch
1 tsp cinnamon
3 Tbsp bread crumbs
250 g carrots, finely grated
4 egg whites
75 g sugar *
250 g hazelnuts, ground
1 sachet baking powder, sieved

* Used about 1 1/2 Tbsp honey, for a half-batch.

Method:

Prehat the oven to 180°C. Line a 26 cm spring form with parchment paper.

Whisk the egg yolks with the water and confectioner's sugar until foamy. Mix in Kirsch, cinnamon, bread crumbs and carrots. Beat the egg whites until stiff, add the sugar one spoonful at a time, beat further until very stiff. Pour the egg whites onto the yolk mixture, sprinkle hazelnuts and baking powder on top and fold in. Transfer to the spring form and bake for about an hour. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

4.03.2010

Sweet Potatoes with Cardamon and Chiles

Sweet Potatoes with Cardamon and Chiles

I haven't had sweet potatoes before, and wanted to try them (helped along by some encouraging remarks by Joanne from Eats well with others). After several attempts, I found some at the green market and headed off to the kitchen. There are a lot of flavours in this dish and they all come together in a nice balance of the earthy sweetness of the potatoes, the chile heat and the slight acidity of the lime.

Cheryl Rathkopf's Sri Lankan
Sweet Potatoes with Cardamon and Chiles

Source: World Vegetarian by Madhur Jaffrey

Ingredients:

2 very large sweet potatoes (about 2 1/2 pounds)
1/4 tsp ground turmeric
5 Tbsp peanut or olive oil
3 whole dried hot chiles, broken into halves
2 whole cardamon pods
1 (3-inch) cinnamon stick
20 fresh curry leaves (substitute fresh holy basil or basil leaves for a different but equally interesting flavour) *
3 good-sized onions (about 1 1/4 pounds), cut into halves lengthwise and then into very fine half rings
1 to 3 tsp coarsly crushed dried hot red chiles **
1 1/4 to 1 1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 Tbsp fresh lime juice, or to taste

* Used basil leaves.
** Omitted, because I used very hot bird's eye chiles to flavour the oil.

Method:

Peel the sweet potatoes and quarter lengthwise. Now cut crosswise at 3/4-inch intervals to get chunky pieces. Put the sweet potato pieces in a large pot and cover well with water. Add the turmeric and bring to a boil. Stir well to mix in the turmeric. Boil, uncovered, for 5 to 6 minutes, or until the sweet potatoes are tender but still firm. Drain.

Put the oil in a large frying pan and set over medium-high heat. When hot, put in the red chiles. Stir once and when the chiles darken, a matter of seconds, put in the cardamon annd cinnamon.
Stir once or twice and put in the curry leaves. Stir once and put in the onions. Stir and cook the onions for 5 to 6 minutes, or until they are lightly browned.
Put in the sweet potatoes. Stir and fry for 5 minutes. Put in the crushed red chiles, salt and lime juice. Stir and cook, lowering the heat as needed, until the sweet potatoes are tender enough for your taste.

Remove the cinnamon stick and cardamon pods before serving.