Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Food for Protesting

So things are going crazy in the States right now. Black Lives Matter and other groups are protesting the public lynching of George Floyd, one of hundreds of Black people to die at the hands of the police in the last decade.

If you are going out to support the protest, and you want to help provide some supplies, I am putting together a list of recipes that are easy to make in large quantities, easy to portion, and can be kept hot in a crock pot or similar for a long time.

Chickpea Curry

This is a vegan curry that is still plenty creamy and is quick and easy to make.

Chicken Tikka Masala

An easy to make crowd pleaser that is easy to sub out things like cream and yogurt with coconut cream and easily swapped out protein to make a vegan or vegetarian option.

Spaghetti with Meat Sauce

Classic family favorite, keeps well, portions well, cheap and quick to make.

Bring water, milk, masks, snacks, anything you can to help. If you are white, be a shield, not a savior, be a partner, do not take control. 

If do not want to join the protests, for whatever reason, please consider donating to local bail funds and the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. Also, make sure you are registered to vote. Vote early, vote often.

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Oatmeal Bread

Well, it certainly is crazy out there. Covid-19 has people panic buying, so I am going to go over how to make a couple of staple, in my opinion, products that seem to be flying off the shelves, starting with a loaf of my favorite oatmeal bread.

Ingredients:

Bread

365 gr bread flour
1 cup rolled oats (old fashioned oats)
2 tbsp butter or oil
1.5 tsp salt
4 tbsp honey
3 tsp instant yeast
1.25 cup warm milk*

Topping:

1 egg white**
1 tbsp water
2 tbsp rolled oats (old fashioned)

Directions:

I recommend using a stand mixer for this, it's a pretty loose dough that is hard to manipulate by hand.

Using the bread dough hook of your stand mixer, gently bring all of the bread ingredients together in the bowl of your stand mixer. Once everything is incorporated and a sticky, gluten-y mass has formed, knead on medium high speed for 5 minutes or until the dough is smooth.

Place the dough ball in a greased bowl and allow to rise for 1 hour. It should nearly double in size.

After an hour remove the dough and press it out into small (6"x8") sheet before rolling it into a log. The easiest way is to fold the upper corners in and then roll it into a log. Place in a greased loaf tin and allow to rise for 1.5 hrs or until it rises about an inch above the tin.

When the loaf is nearly ready, preheat the oven to 350.

Before placing your loaf in the oven, whip the egg white with the water and brush over the top before sprinkling on the rolled oats.

Bake for 35-40 minutes or until the internal temp reads 190. If the top browns too quickly, cover with tin foil to prevent burning.

Turn it out on to a rack and cool completely before slicing.

*Putting the milk in warm helps the dough rise faster, a slower rise will yield more flavor, but you might need to adjust the amount of time you let it rest.

**I know that separating eggs is a bit of a pain, but a whole egg will brown quicker than just an egg white. This might fool you into thinking the bread is done too soon, which might ruin the loaf.

Saturday, November 2, 2019

Cheddar Bicuits

Well, I gave you a recipe for biscuit mix, I guess I should give you something to make with it too! These cheesy cheddar biscuits are great by themselves or as a side with some good BBQ. This is a really simple recipe that is quick to whip up if you just need to add something to dinner.
Feel free to add other things to the dough like chives or green onion or even cooked bacon bits. This is really just a jumping off point.

Ingredients:

2 cups biscuit mix
½ lb cheddar cheese
½ c milk

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425.
Mix together the biscuit mix and the cheese before pouring in the milk and kneading to form a stiff dough. Feel free to hold back some of the milk to keep the dough from getting too wet and sticky, you want to be able to work it without adding extra mix.
Roll out into ½ inch thick sheet and punch out 2 inch rounds and place "shoulder to shoulder" or gently touching each other on a lightly greased or lined baking sheet.
Bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown.
Let cool for 10 minutes before enjoying with butter or with pork belly or your favorite BBQ

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

DIY Biscuit Mix

So awhile ago I inherited a treasure trove of recipes from my grandmother. It included a lot of things that can be made with Bisquick. A lot of them looked like they could be pretty fun to experiment with, but first I had to come up with my own baking mix. This is a modification of my own buttermilk biscuit recipe and, while it does need to be refrigerated, it can keep for two months if sealed and even longer in the freezer.

Ingredients:

500 gr AP flour
2 tbsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
½ c buttermilk powder
½ c shortening, butter, or lard chilled and cut into cubes

Directions:

In a food processor combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and buttermilk powder.
Pulse a few times to make sure everything is combined.
Add your choice of fat, one cube at a time, and pulse until incorporated before adding the next one.
Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to two months.

Sunday, July 21, 2019

National Junk Food Day

Today is National Junk Food Day! I cannot think of a recipe of mine that more represents the spirit of the day then my Grillswith. You start with a donut, fry it a little more, and add ice cream. Which is also appropriate because it is National Ice Cream Day! Two for one! I love it when a plan comes together.

Checkout my Grillswith recipe here. It is one of my most popular, and with good reason.
A glazed donut shallow fried in butter and served with ice cream. Amazing.

Saturday, July 20, 2019

Meatballs in Marinara Sauce

A delicious plate of spaghetti and meatballs

Ingredients:

Sauce:

2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp fresh oregano
2 tbsp fresh basil
2 tbsp fresh parsley
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp salt
28 oz can of crushed tomatoes
2 oz whiskey
ladle of water or pasta water

Meatballs:

2 tbsp fresh oregano
2 tbsp fresh basil
2 tbsp fresh parsley
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 c parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp salt
1 lb ground beef, veal, pork mix (often sold as "meatloaf mix")
1/3 c bread crumbs
1/4 cup milk

Directions:

Sauce:

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat until it shimmers.
Sauté the minced garlic until nicely browned.
Pour in the can of crushed tomatoes, bring to a simmer and then lower the heat to just maintain a simmer.
Stir in the salt, herbs, and whiskey and simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally to keep it from burning.
If the sauce gets too thick, stir in a ladle full, my ladle is about half a cup, of water. The best would be water from cooking pasta, but just a ladle of water will do fine.

Meatballs:

Preheat oven to 400ºF and and grease or line a baking tray with non stick paper.
Mix all of the ingredients for the meatballs together in a mixing bowl until everything is just combined. The more you handle the ingredients the tougher your meatballs will be, so less is more.
Form into 1" balls, or golf ball sized balls.*
Bake in preheated oven for 15-20 minutes or until cooked through and lightly brown.

If you time it right, you can get these all done at roughly the same time. Add the meatballs to the sauce and serve over pasta, or ladle some sauce over pasta and place some meatballs on top, however you want to serve it. Enjoy!

*If you are going to be making a meatball sandwich like a meatball sub or meatball parm, make the balls a bit larger, you will just have to adjust your cooking time accordingly.

Thursday, July 4, 2019

Slow Cooker BBQ Spare Ribs

A delicious plate of BBq ribs
To me, nothing says 4th of July like a plate of ribs. Grilled and especially smoked ribs might be the definitive expression of the art, but nothing gets consistently quality results like a slow cooker. Also, the 4th in my area is promising to be a rainy one, which will push people inside and grilling in bad weather is only fun to a select group of odd balls (like me). So, to make sure no ones celebration is spoiled, here is a good recipe to use if it (literally) rains on your parade.

Ingredients:

1 rack of spare ribs*
½ C brown sugar
2 tsp salt
½ tsp chili powder
½ tsp garlic powder
½ tsp onion powder
½ tsp smoked paprika
¼ tsp red pepper
BBQ sauce**

Directions:

Cut the ribs in half so they fit better in a slow cooker. Pat dry with some paper towels to help the dry rub stick.
Mix together everything remaining except the BBQ sauce and rub onto the ribs. Make sure you cover both sides and every edge.
Place in a slow cooker and cook on low for 8 hours or high for 5-6 or until they reach an internal temp of 190-205 F. Yes, this is way higher than the done temp for pork, but ribs, especially spare ribs, have a lot of fat and collagen in them. This needs to be rendered out for the ribs to be their best. If you cook to the usual pork temp of 160 F you will have much tougher and fattier ribs. This makes it difficult for low and slow methods to over-cook ribs, but it is easy to under-cook them.
Once they have reached temp, remove and let them rest for 10-15 minutes before cutting into portions. I like to get them into pairs so people do not have to commit to a half or full rack, but can still take a plateful. Toss in BBQ sauce and serve, with plenty of napkins, to a grateful world.

*This recipe was specifically made with spare ribs in mind. If you are using baby-back ribs, you might need to adjust times.
**I made this dry rub to specifically go with my BBQ sauce recipe by using the same base of spices, but any sauce that goes well with some sweet heat will work great.