Category Archives: Recipes

Bread Challenge–No Recipe Bread

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So last week on Sunday I came across a Cook or Die Challenge in the goons with spoons forum of SA. As I had not made a loaf in a while and it seemed like a fun idea, I ran with it. For your pleasure, I happened to also know the general gist of how I made it and the ratios, so you too can eat delicious bread!

The whole idea of the challenge was to make a yeast-risen bread without a recipe. You could do anything you wanted, as long as no recipe and it was yeast risen.

I present the Mushroom Pepperjack Delicious Bread*

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup freshly grated pepper jack cheese
  • 2-3 tsp Spanish paprika
  • 4-5 large white button mushrooms, diced
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2 tsp dry active yeast
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 c of flour premixed with wheat gluten, plus some extra for kneading
  • 1 egg for washing

Tools:

  • clean counter for kneading
  • 1 bread loaf pan
  • bowl for mixing in
  • cup to proof yeast in if needed

Recipe! (which I totally didn’t have at the time, but can give you πŸ˜› )

  1. Combine yeast, salt, sugar, and water, stir thoroughly to dissolve. Set aside.
  2. In mixing bowl, combine flour premixed with wheat gluten, pepperjack, mushrooms, and paprika thoroughly.
  3. Add proofed yeast mix into the bowl and stir. If needed, add more flour, until you get a dough blob.
  4. Throw your dough blob on a well flour counter and knead. Knead until you get a pretty thing, like this: Try to add as little flour as possible, mine was a bit tacky still.
  5. Clean your mixing bowl, oil it, and put the dough in. Cover with either plastic wrap or a damp towel and let it rise for 1-2 hours, till doubled.
  6. Once dough has risen, gently turn out onto counter, and press flat with hand. Shape into a loaf shape and put in a lightly floured bread pan. Slash across the top with a sharp knife 3 times, then cover and let rise for another 1-2 hours Like so.
  7. Preheat your oven to 425F/218 C.
  8. Once everything is ready, if desired, brush the top of the loaf with an egg wash (1 egg + 2 Tbsp water). Put in oven for about 15-20 minutes. The internal temperature should be roughly 200F/93C when it is done, and it will look delicious.
  9. Turn onto cooling rack and allow to cool for about 15-30 minutes before eating.

So delicious! The challenge was really quite good for me, it’s given me a lot of courage in trying to make my own breads. This one is really the perfect crumb for what I like in my bread, so I’m quite happy.

 

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*the name might need some work

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Pasta Brooke Style

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So I got in a real food mood tonight, so thought I’d show off the basics (and an example) of a Brooke Style pasta.

The gist:
pick some veggies
pick a noodle
get your butter out

Friendly kitchen dinosaur to watch the process is totally optional:

I usually use a wine of some sort to blend in, and also a bit more oil when I don’t want to plow through my butter reserves. (Did I say this recipe is low fat? Ops.)

I start by boiling my noodles. If I’m doing a thick noodle, like linguine, I go ahead and dunk it and let it cook about 4-5 minutes before I start the veggies. If I’m doing cappelini (super thin noodles), I just get the water boiling. Those cook in literally the time it takes you to put it in the water.

In a different pan, you’re going to heat up your butter/oil. This should be pretty high temp, you’re basically sauteeing the veggies. Dump them all in and sautee.

Check your noodles while this is going on. If they get to al dente you want to go ahead and turn the heat off so they don’t cook too much farther. Meanwhile, once the veggies are mostly cooked out (onions caramalized if using, mushrooms lost most liquid), add your wine/stock/spices.

(This $5 marsala is surprisingly delicious)

Then, before all the liquid cooks off, toss in your butta.

You now have a kind of liquidy buttery soup with your veggies. Good. Now, before they get too cooked off again, grab the noodles and just dump them in the pan. All of them. (This is not a recipe for more than 2 people without huge pans) The pasta water is gonna help sticky the sauce and everyone is gonna soak in everyone else.

Stir/swish generously, then remove from heat before anyone starts burning. Usually this step takes 1-2 mins tops.

Plate, salt, and pepper:

(that toast is toast covered in homemade ricotta, balsamic vinegar, Himelayan mineral salt, and pepper. oh. em. gee.)

And that, my friends, is how you make Brooke style pasta.

Christmas Dinner + Recipes for All

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I know I promised this post way ages ago, but I’ve only got around to it. This is going to be a whammy of a post, including all sorts of goodies. This was the first time I’ve ever made a rack of lamb, and I’ve got to say–it’s good. It’s good eats. If you like lamb for the reasons I do (the slightly sweet fat, the tenderness of meat, how juicy it is) you are going to love rack of lamb.

I’ve also included the recipes for what I ate with it, as best I recall them, because everyone likes food.

Have a beauty shot of the lamb though:

(and that’s after it rested for 10 minutes)

That photo came out super yellow, which is a shame, because I didn’t realize it till just now. Should know to take tons more pictures. Alas.

And the whole meal:

No, I can’t wait till green things are in season again. Eating in season is boring on the colour palette, that’s for sure! I really like how I laid the lamb out in this shot though.

Anyway, time for the two recipes you’re here for: one for lamb, one for the distinctly brown onion-mushroom marsala (I assume you know how to make potato sticks fried)

Roast Rack of Lamb

Ingredients:

  • 1 rack of lamb
  • ground mustard
  • majoram
  • rosemary
  • salt & black pepper
  • thyme
  • honey

Tools

  • 12″ cast iron skillet or similiar oven friendly pan
  • foil
  • tongs
  • oven/stove

Do ahead:

  1. Between 1 – 3 days before you are going to be preparing the lamb, rub it down in the majoram, rosemary, mustard, thyme, salt, and pepper. Be generous. Wrap in butcher’s paper or wax paper and store in fridge.

Cooking

  1. Make sure the lamb is room temperature. Preheat oven to 450F.
  2. Β Heat pan over medium with some oil in (I use grape seed). Brown the lamb on both sides (roughly 1 -2 mins a side). Set aside on a cutting board/platter.
  3. Wrap the exposed bone in foil.Β  With bones down, cover the ‘top’ of the lamb in honey. Set in skillet bones down.
  4. Put in oven, and roast for 12-18 mins depending on taste. I cook mine to 14 for the slight pink in center.
  5. Rest on a platter or rack for 5-10 mins.
  6. Cut between the bones and arrange for eating.

 

Super Mushroom & Onion Marsala

Ingredients

  • 1/2 pound of mushrooms
  • 1/2 large onion or 1 medium onion
  • Marsala dessert wine
  • 4 Tbsp of butter
  • 1/2-1 cup chicken, lamb, or veggie stock

Tools

  • Nonstick pan, 12″
  • Knife

Cooking

  1. Slice the onions and mushrooms thinly. Preheat the pan on medium-high heat.
  2. Warm some oil/1 Tbsp of butter in pan. Saute mushrooms and onions till most liquid cooked off.
  3. Add 1/4-1/2 cup of marsala wine, and allow to cook down till most liquid gone again.
  4. Add stock. Stir and bring to simmer.
  5. Add 3Tbps of butter, until melted and mixture creamy. Cook down so it is thicker.
  6. Top with salt and eat!

Voila! Hope at least one of these appeals to you and happy eating.

Tortellini!!

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I got on a wild pasta kick thanks to rereading Heat by Bill Buford again. Thanks to the fact my eggs are local–and very very good eggs–I decided to wing a pasta based off of the ratios that are described from his stint with the nice Italian lady in her kitchen.

As it has made one of the better sheets of pasta, I’m going to share it with you:

1 etto flour (roughly 7/8 cups)

1 good egg

I cannot overstate how important that good egg is–it should be orange, nearly red, in the yolk and not runny at all. If you have a local farmer who lets his chickens free roam, they will probably have exactly the type of egg you are looking for.

You make a well in the flour, and then you beat the egg with a fork in the center, and slowly incorporate the flour until you get a dough like thing. Then you get to knead for a while, until it’s nice and smooth and elastic.

Anyway, then comes the rolling–I roll mine out by hand with my fabulous rolling pin I’ve blogged about previously. It’s how I get my upper body exercise πŸ˜›

Roll and roll and roll until it’s as thin as you can make it–I can see the light through mine and worry constantly about it tearing. That’s a good thing. The nice thing about this ‘recipe’ is that it doesn’t actually need more flour or water when you’re rolling it out. I did mine on a mostly unfloured counter, and it didn’t stick at all.

Pasta rollers can work too.

Then make your little circles!

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Aren’t they pretty? I know a lot look more like pacman than circles, but they took up the stuffing just as well.

I made a filling with goat cheese, shredded young gouda from Frisian farms, balsamic vinegar (to bind the ingredients), hungarian paprika, cilantro, majoram, and red pepper flakes.

Then you start filling up your circles. You put some in the center, fold in half (I did not need to use water to get mine closed). Fold again along the flat edge (a valley fold for you origami people), so the circle part stretches out. Press them.

Voila! Belly button!

Do this until all of your circles are done:

Lots of belly buttons! Whee!! Store in plastic until ready to cook. Boil them in water. I’ll be boiling these for dinner tonight, with leftovers for lunch.

Bread!

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I think I posted my recipe for bread ages ago, but having just made it again, I wanted to share. Like most breads, it’s affected by humidity and heat and all that good stuff, so tweak it if you need to. This version of my bread is less sweet than the other, but still delightfully dense and chewy with a nice crust.

Brooke’s Bread (Not Sweet)

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups flour, +some to sprinkle counter
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 packet (2Tbsp) active dry yeast
  • 5 Tbsp white sugar
  • 1 Tbsp oil
  • salt

Makes 1 loaf of bread.

Instructions:

  1. Mix sugar into the warm water. Add yeast. Proof for 5 minutes (recommended)
  2. Slowly add the flour in until you have a doughy consistency. Drizzle the oil in around cup 2, and then add more flour till more solid and less liquid again. I usually get about 2.5 cups of flour in total. Flop onto counter and incorporate the last of your flour, or until the dough is doughy.
  3. Knead until soft and springy, and use flour sparingly to keep off counter–don’t try and incorperate anymore unless it’s a really wet day and the dough just won’t behave. This takes roughly 10 minutes.
  4. Put into ball and place in well oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit until doubled (roughly 30 minutes in a warm room, more in colder). Preheat the oven to 350F.
  5. Roll onto counter and gently press air out. Shape into a loaf. Place in pan. Let rise for 30 minutes or until 1″ above pan. (Honestly, mine usually just rises for 30 and I don’t bother waiting for the 1″ thing. I thing that’s a remnant from the recipe I base mine off of)
  6. Pop in oven for 30 minutes. Take out of pan and let cool. Try not to eat in one sitting, or double the recipe and eat one now and one later!

Some neat things:

If you slash the top of the dough before the second rise, you get those cute slash marks you see on baguettes and the crust tends not to pop open on one side of the dough since it’s not as stressed.

Gluten flour is the best thing since sliced bread (which I don’t actually use or buy anymore haha!). It basically helps make your all purpose white flour into a bread flour, and more gluten is good for breads. I use it for anything that needs a little more help in the rising–bread, brioche buns, ect. (You really should look into pastry dough, which has LESS gluten, for your croissants though). You mix it in according to the directions your box has to your flour prior to putting it in. It’s an extra minute of prep that I never regret.

Gluten flour is not good for those who go gluten-free, whether by choice or diet. Just saying.

In fact, most of my pastries are terrible for my gf friends. Sorry guys. 😦

The Amaaaaazing Mushroom Stock

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I can take no real credit for coming up with how to make this stock. I was entirely inspired by the French Laundry, and how they make their stock, which takes a very long time. I edited how they did it, because I didn’t have all the things they had, and I also wanted the faintest hint of spice.

The nice thing about stock is other than your base flavour, you can really go anywhere with it–just keep in mind you’re going to reducing it, so don’t add a billion spicy things at the beginning. Really, you won’t know the true final flavour until you do that final reduction.

This took me about 4 hours to make, and resulted in 4 cups of stock. I use it in place of chicken stock, as I have yet to find the time to make some chicken stock, but I imagine it or the lamb stock will be coming up shortly. You’re going to end up tossing all the veggie solids, alas, which I did with a twinge of regret; I do not suggest making mushroom stock when you are broke and can’t afford to lose the money. (chicken stock, on the other hand, uses chicken carcasses you can’t eat anyway)

Mushroom Stock, a la French Laundry

Ingredients

  • 1/2 lb white button mushrooms, diced*
  • 1/4 lb pearl oyster mushrooms, diced
  • 1/4 lb shiitake mushrooms, diced
  • 2 large portabella mushroom caps, diced
  • 1/2 lb carrots, diced
  • 2 leeks, diced
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 1 hot banana pepper**
  • 2-3 TBsp oil, enough to coat bottom of pot

Steps

  1. In heavy bottomed stock pot, heat up oil–I used olive oil, but canola is also good.
  2. Dump all the diced veggies in. Season with spices if you want–I used a little red pepper flake, majoram, and rosemary. Thyme and bay leaf are also commonly used. Cook the veggies for a little while, browning them some to get the juices started releasing.
  3. Once juices are releasing, add 2 quarters ( 8 cups) of water to the pot. Stir a bit, then let simmer for 40 minutes – hour. Stir occasionally.
  4. Kitchen will probably smell great. Carefully placing pot over a bowl to drain into (bowl, or another pot), put a sieve in. Strain liquid into the new pot/bowl, pressing juices out of the veggies as much as possible.
  5. Return veggies to the first stockpot. Add another quart of water. Simmer 40 minutes to an hour. Dream of all the things you can make with mushroom stock.
  6. Repeat step 4, draining into another bowl/pot.
  7. Toss the veggies out. They have served their purpose. Place the other two bowls back into the original stock pot.
  8. Reduce until you are left with about 4 cups–the stock will noticeably darken. Add your salt and pepper to taste AFTER liquid is mostly reduced, so as not to overpower the stock.
  9. Put the stock in whatever you are going to store it in. It can be frozen for a later date, or kept in the fridge for more immediate use.

And, after about 4 hours–2 of that spent reducing because I was terrified to burn the liquid though maybe I shouldn’t have been–you now have delicious mushroom stock. Ta daaaa!

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*Or you can just go for 1 lb of button mushrooms. I wanted to have the other mushrooms for flavour.

**While the banana pepper adds only a tiny bit of heat(mind, my banana peppers are freaking HOT, so I didn’t dare use more than one), it is also entirely optional. You may not desire it in your stock. If so, leave it out. It’s ok. If, however, you would like an even hotter stock, use 2. My stock came out with a subtle heat that usually only comes out once cooked with, and otherwise just plays on the tongue a little.

Recipe Time

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Maybe I should change the blog title to “Silverrose Cooks” with how much I post about food around these parts. Nevertheless, tonight I made a delicious thing, and it ISN’T entirely someone else’s recipe, so I thought to share.

The inspiration for the recipe was one that came with my farmer’s market pasta. It used asparagus–I currently lack asparagus, but the idea of using a bit of vinegar and finishing the pasta as I added a bunch of liquids seemed interesting, so I ran with it. I think I was meant to use balsamic–I tasted some red wine vinegar, though, and thought that went well with how I knew the marsala wine would work, so went that route instead.

Alas, I didn’t take pictures. I’m sure you’ve all seen brown and buttery mushrooms in your life. If you haven’t, you are missing way out.

Mushroom and Onion Marsala Pasta

Ingredients

  • Button mushrooms, sliced – 3/4 lb
  • one small onion, or quarter of a large one, diced
  • 3 TBsp butter
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • 4 oz dry fettuccine noodles–I used garlic pasta from my local farmer’s market
  • salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup Marsala
  • 1/4 cup stock*
  • 1 tsp red wine vinegar
  • crushed red pepper flakes (optional, based off spice preference)

Steps

  1. Bring pot of well-salted water to boil. Place noodles in, and cook until al dente. Drain, reserving roughly 1/8 cup of pasta water.
  2. In cast iron or heavy bottomed pan (10-12″), melt 2 TBsp of butter. Put mushrooms and onion in pan and cook until liquid mushrooms give off is mostly evaporated, stirring occasionally.
  3. Add Marsala wine and garlic together. Cook until most of the Marsala has evaporated.
  4. Add in stock, vinegar, reserved pasta water, and pasta in all at once. Add last TBsp of butter. Stir, adding in red pepper flakes if desired. Once most of liquid is gone, remove from heat.
  5. Plate! Salt and pepper to taste, and enjoy. πŸ™‚

The longest part is probably just waiting on the mushrooms to stop releasing all their liquids–they’re pretty juicy buggers. This is pretty important, though, because once they’ve done that, they get to soak up all the lovely liquids you throw in afterwards.

Yes, I do still knit. I’m currently on the last sleeve of Lizette.

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*I used homemade mushroom stock. It took a while to make, but it is very tasty. Chicken or veal stock would be excellent substitutes if you do not happen to have mushroom stock; nonhomemade mushroom stock would work as well.