Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Raven's Curry with Rice

I've been waiting with baited (curry) breath for Linda over at Raven's RV to put up the Curry recipe she talked about making early in the winter. She's finally let the cat out and posted a fine recipe with pictures on how to make Easy-peasy Curry. I am making it soon, as it looks and sounds delicious.

Here are the ingredients you'll need:
(The parenthesis are the original recipe)
1 chicken breast or 1/2 lb ground meat
2.5 cups water
2 medium carrots
3 stalks celery
1 onion (1/2 onion plus 1 green pepper)
Sprinkle of salt (1 teaspoon salt)
Sprinkle of pepper (1/8 teaspoon pepper)
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 cup tomato sauce
1/2 cup milk
2 tablespoons cornstarch

Go on over to Raven's RV to see the steps to make this delicious Easy-peasy Curry.

Pineapple-Cheese Sourdough Muffins

I have in my notes this recipe was "great". I remember how good they were and it was back in the '80s. I am a sucker for anything with cheese, or pineapple for that matter. The smell that fills the house while they bake is amazing. The recipe takes 1/2 cup of sourdough starter which should be removed from the refrigerator a few minutes before using. This recipe makes 15 to 18 muffins.

1-3/4 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup shredded Cheddar cheese (3 oz)
1 egg
1/2 cup sourdough starter
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 cup crushed pineapple
1/2 cup milk

Grease 18 muffin cups or line with paper liners. Preheat oven to 375F. In a large bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugar. Stir in cheese until evenly distributed. In a medium bowl, beat the egg. Stir in sourdough starter, oil, pineapple with juice and milk. Add to flour mixture. Stir with a fork until the dry ingredients are just moistened. Fill prepared muffin cups 2/3 to 3/4 full with batter. Bake in preheated oven 18 to 20 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from muffin cups. Serve hot.

Cinnamon Sourdough Biscuits

These biscuits use the sourdough starter from a previous post. I've made them several times and they are heavenly. They are wonderful for breakfast, along with a strong cup of coffee. The aroma that fills the house is memorable. The recipe comes from the book, "Sourdough Cookery" by Rita Davenport. This book is a great wealth of easy and wonderful sourdough recipes. I found this recipe made about 16 biscuits.

Remove 1 cup sourdough starter from your supply in the refrigerator. Let stand at room temp for a few minutes before mixing in.

1-1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup raisins
1 cup sourdough starter
2 Tablespoons melted butter

Grease a baking sheet; set aside. Preheat oven to 425F. In a large bowl stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Using a pastry blender, cut in shortening until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add raisins and sourdough starter. Stir until well blended. Turn out onto lightly floured surface. Knead dough about 30 seconds. Roll out dough 1/2 inch thick. Cut the biscuits with a biscuit cutter or glass dipped in flour. Arrange on pan with sides of biscuits touching each other. Brush tops with melted butter. Bake in preheated oven 12 to 15 minutes or until tops are golden brown. Remove from pan. Serve hot.

Note: The original recipe says it makes 20 to 22 biscuits - 2 to 2-1/2 inches across. I use an old biscuit cutter and it makes 16.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Basic Sourdough Starter

I have always loved sourdough bread and other baked goods. The aroma is the best part of the experience. Years ago I was into sourdough and began a 'starter', which is what you use as the basis of any sourdough recipe. You grow your starter until it begins to ferment, then keep in the refrigerator until you use it. The starter must be maintained by 'feeding' periodically. The older the starter is, the better the flavor develops. The gold-miners in California were known for their sourdough breads; they would carry and protect the 'starter' while they travelled. Starters were known to have been passed down from generation to generation. I had one for a couple of years once and it was really good. It becomes something that is alive, and you must feed and nurture. It's kind of rewarding in a funny sort of way. Once you start it though, you must bake at least every 10 days. So don't do it if you are going to be on a low carb diet. The recipe is from 'Sourdough Cookery' by Rita Davenport. I will follow this week with ways to use the starter and recipes.

2 cups all-purpose flour
3 Tablespoons sugar
1 envelope active dry yeast(1 Tablespoon)
1/2 teaspoon salt, if desired
2 cups warm water(105F, 40C)

In a 4 to 6 cup non-metal container, combine all ingredients. Beat with a wooden or plastic spoon. Sourdough is very sensitive to metal. Fermentation will dissolve small lumps. Cover bowl with a cloth. You want the yeast organisms in the air to permeate the mixture, so don't seal the bowl off tightly. Set in a warm place, free from drafts(85F, 30C) Let ferment for 2 to 3 days. Stir the mixture several times a day. Check after 3 days that the mixture is bubbly and beginning to smell good. Refrigerate starter until use, in a container with an air vent or hole in the top. Label container. Replenish every 7 to 10 days by stirring equal parts flour and water into starter. Let stand at room temperature overnight. Return to refrigerator. If a clear or yellow liquid forms on top just stir it in. If the liquid is brown or pink, throw it away.

To use: Remove amount of starter needed for your recipe. Let sit at room temp for a while before using, until it looks bubbly again. Keep the unused starter in the refrigerator.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Sausage and Egg Breakfast Casserole

I had some sausage to use up so made this casserole for our Saturday morning late breakfast. It was delicious. I made something similar for Christmas morning once and everyone loved it. I couldn't find the recipe, but remembered the basics. This amount served 2, but could serve 4 if they aren't piggy like us. This is best served warm, but could also be good at room temp at a brunch or buffet.

1/2 lb of spicy bulk sausage
3 scallions, chopped
1/2 red bell pepper, in small strips
3 eggs
3/4 to 1 cup of milk(adjust until consistency looks right)
1 day-old whole wheat BBQ bun, cubed (they're a little larger and firmer than a hamburger bun)
1/2 teaspoon seasoning salt
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon dry mustard
Dash of Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon dry basil
black pepper

Brown up the sausage in a pan. Spray an 8"x8" casserole with cooking spray. Spread the crumbled sausage in the bottom of casserole. Saute the red pepper and scallion in the sausage pan, then layer those over the sausage in the casserole. Cube the whole wheat bun and throw it on top.

Beat the 3 eggs with a fork, then add milk to just past the thickened consistency. You don't want it too runny or it won't set. Add seasonings, then pour over the top of other ingredients.

Press bread into egg mixture, then mix so all bread can absorb. Heat your oven to 350 degrees. When the oven is heated, place on center rack for about 25 minutes, or until poking a fork in the center comes out clean. Cool for a few minutes and eat while warm.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Beef and Lentil Soup

The last time I made the Stove-top Machaca Beef recipe, I saved the juices from the pot and also had some leftover meat. This formed the base for a great soup. I may have added too many lentils, so next time I would only use half a bag. Here is what I did.

1 bag of dried lentils
1-8 oz. box of fresh mushrooms, quartered
Leftover machaca beef, shredded
2 stalks celery, sliced
2 carrots, sliced thin
1/2 chopped onion
1 beef boullion cube
1 teaspoon each dried thyme, sage, and seasoning salt
1 bay leaf
Freshly ground pepper

Start with the leftover machaca beef juices and put them in a large pot. Bring up to a fast simmer. Add the beef, and all other ingredients except the lentils. Rinse the lentils and drain. Add to the pot and bring back to the boil. Add water to cover and keep adding water as the lentils cook down and absorb the liquid. Make the soup the consistency you like. Lentils should be tender in about 20 to 30 minutes. Enjoy with a loaf of crusty french bread.

Chicken Salad with Gorganzola Cheese

Last week we came to one of those nights when we decided to eat up leftovers or fend for ourselves as far as dinner went. My husband came up with this lovely salad for himself. He really should cook more......

Romaine lettuce, chopped
One side breast of a roasted chicken
Cherry tomatoes
Crumbled gorganzola cheese
Sliced pepperoncinis
Ranch salad dressing
Freshly ground sea salt and pepper

Arrange ingredients in a salad dish. Slice the chicken breast and place on top. Add dressing.

Be creative and add any variation of ingredients. This salad is a meal!