Archive for August, 2013

Mini Peach Tarts – A small batch

peach tart

Mason jars are all the rage and I’m totally caught up in the wave. I stumbled upon a ‘Pin’ using Mason jar rims as mini tart forms. Well, to my surprise, this pin actually worked.

Filling
1 large ripe peach, sliced into 8 pieces
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon honey
a sprinkling of ginger

Toss and allow peaches to macerate

Preheat oven to 400° F

Dough
1/2 cup AP flour
pinch of salt
1/4 teaspoon sugar
3 tablespoons butter, unsalted, cold, cut into small pieces
4 teaspoons water, ice cold

In a food processor combine flour, sugar, and salt
cut in butter
add water

Dump crumbly dough onto a piece of plastic wrap
pulling up the corners, form a mass
wrap tightly and refrigerate for about 30 minutes

Place the lid rims onto a parchment or silicone covered cookie sheet

When the dough has rested
cut into 3 or 4 even pieces
push the dough into the forms with your fingers
fill the dough with the fruit slices
drizzle the liquid over the fruit

Bake for 15-20 minutes

Let cool slightly before attempting to remove tarts from forms

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August 20, 2013 at 5:52 pm Leave a comment

Char Siu Bao – A small batch

char siu bao-001

A savory sibling to the previously posted Bao; these are filled with seasoned pork.

Dough
1 scant teaspoon active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water
1 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2 cup AP flour
1/4 cup self-rising flour
1 teaspoon butter, melted

parchment or waxed paper, cut into approximately 3” squares

Combine flours, sugar, yeast, warm water, and melted butter
mix until well combined
(the dough will be a shaggy mess at this point)

Turn the dough out onto a floured surface
kneading until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes

Allow dough to rise in an oiled bowl, covered, for 1 hour or until doubled

Filling
1 teaspoon 5 spice powder: pepper, anise, clove, cinnamon, and fennel seed, ground
1/3 pound pork, ground or cut into very small pieces (about a cup)
1 green onion, thinly sliced
1/2 cup cabbage, shredded
1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
1 clove garlic, grated
pinch of salt

Brown the meat
add the spices
add cabbage, green onion, ginger, and garlic
add hoisin, vinegar, soy, and honey
cook until most of the liquid has evaporated
set aside

Punch down dough and knead briefly (about 5 minutes)
roll the dough into a log
divide the dough into approximately 6 portions
flatten and shape each portion, with your hands, into circles
spoon about a tablespoon of prepared pork filling into the middle of the flattened dough
gathering the edges together and gently twist to seal
place the bun, sealed-side down onto the prepared parchment squares

Steam the buns over high heat, covered, for about 15 minutes
serve hot

Makes 6 buns

Left overs can be stored in an air-tight container and steamed again later

August 18, 2013 at 4:38 pm Leave a comment

Gravlax – A small batch

salmon

The DIY process to cure salmon really got me curious as to whether it could actually be done in the home kitchen successfully, and in the end actually be good. I based my process on a recipe I found on TheKitchn.com. You can find very detailed instructions there.

I wanted the smoked flavor that you get with Nova lox, but smoked salt, as called for in the original recipe, is quite pricy. So, I used kosher salt and more than a few dashes of bottled smoke, which can be found at a well-stocked supermarket.

1 pound fresh salmon, skin on, divided into two pieces
1/4 cup brown sugar
3 tablespoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon fresh cracked black pepper
1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke

Check for pin bones by running your fingertips along the flesh of the fish. Remove any with tweezers or needle nose pliers.

Combine salt cure ingredients

salmon 4

Place the fish skin side down on a large piece of plastic wrap,
sprinkle the fish with salt mixture, making sure all surfaces are well covered

Cover one piece of fish with the other, flesh sides together
wrap the fish well, but not tightly, using the plastic wrap already used

Place wrapped fish into a glass container, slightly elevated. Really, use glass, or your plastic bowl will forever be your Gravlax making bowl. You’ll never get the stink out. Use a smaller plate, balled up plastic wrap or foil to elevate the fish from the bottom.

Constant pressure needs to be applied; I use pie weights sealed in a sandwich bag.

Cover bowl with an additional piece of plastic wrap to keep the orders contained while curing.

The fish can cure in the fridge for 2 to 5 days
each day remove the plate, drain away the leached liquid, flip the plastic wrapped fish, and replace the plate (If you find yourself forgetting this part, don’t worry. This is why you want to elevate the fish.)

At the end of the curing process, remove the fish from the plastic wrap and rinse VERY well.

Slice thinly using a sharp knife against the grain and serve as desired.

August 17, 2013 at 1:36 pm 1 comment

Bao

bao-001

aka baozi or pao
Chinese steamed buns with red bean paste

1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1/2 cup warm water
scant 1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 cup AP flour
1/2 cup self-rising flour
3 teaspoons butter, melted
1/2 cup red bean paste

parchment paper, cut into approximately 3” squares

Combine flours, sugar, yeast, warm water, and melted butter
mix until well combined
(the dough will be a shaggy mess at this point)

Turn the dough out onto a floured surface
kneading until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes

Allow dough to rise in an oiled bowl, covered, for 1 hour or until doubled

bao

Punch down dough and knead briefly (about 5 minutes)
roll the dough into a log
divide the dough into approximately 12 portions
flatten and shape each portion, with your hands, into circles
spoon about 1 1/2 teaspoons of red bean paste into the middle of the flattened dough
(as you can see, I use a zip top bag as a pastry bag to aid in filling)
gathering the edges together and gently twist to seal
place the bun, sealed-side down onto the prepared parchment squares

Steam the buns over high heat, covered, for about 15 minutes
serve hot

Left overs can be stored in an air-tight container and steamed again later.

Make sure to confirm water level in pot between batches.

August 8, 2013 at 3:52 pm Leave a comment

Lentil Quinoa Veggie Burgers

veggie

Let me begin by saying that veggie burgers are hard. Or shall I say, I’ve found that making an easy and tasty veggie burger is hard. But that said, I think I finally got it; this one’s a keeper. A shout out goes to my buddy J, for the box of quinoa she offered as first prize in a caption contest she had on Facebook.

1/2 cup quinoa, dried
1/2 cup brown lentils, dried
1 sweet potato, cooked and mashed
1 rib celery, diced
1 carrot, grated
1 onion, diced
1 clove garlic
2 tablespoons mayonnaise*
1 egg*
1/4 cup dried bread crumbs
seasonings to taste
oil, for sautéing

Prepare quinoa and lentils as directed and set aside

Sauté celery, onion, carrot, and garlic

When the ingredients are prepared, combine all listed, and mix well

Season to taste with your favorite seasonings: salt, pepper, chili powder, curry, whatever you like

Chill in the fridge for about an hour
form into patties
dust lightly with flour on both sides
and fry until golden brown

Makes 8 generous burgers and freeze well.

* Vegetarians use appropriate replacements if so inclined.

August 5, 2013 at 2:48 pm Leave a comment


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#persimmons are plentiful this time of year. 'What to do with them?' is always the question. I'm considering apple & persimmon #handpies a #smallbatch #audreycancook It's going to be a #smallbatch #thanksgiving this year. #audreycancook #indigo dyed #shibori pillows
#audreycancook Another #leftover creation, skillet #appletart, a #smallbatch #audreycancook Skillet chicken #enchiladas a #smallbatch.  A great recipe for clearing out the fridge. On the blog soon. #audreycancook I've been working on a recipe for #icecream made without a machine. They're all over the web. I'm still not convinced, it's overly sweet and the texture is like frozen mousse. #audreycancook