April 30, 2009

Apricot Gingerbread

Robin, 4 April 09, ‘Apricots’

½ c sugar

½ c butter

½ c blackstrap molasses

1 egg lightly beaten

3 c flour**

1 ½ tsp baking soda

1 tsp baking powder

1 ½ tsp (ground) ginger

1 tsp cinnamon

¼ tsp cloves

1 c orange juice

½ tsp orange essence

½ c chopped candied ginger

1 ½ c chopped dried apricots

Cream butter and sugar.  Add molasses, then egg.  Beat thoroughly.  Add the orange essence to the orange juice, and add alternately with flour mixed with baking powder, etc.  Beat till it goes all smooth and creamy.***  (You can use your electric mixer if you want.)  Stir in candied ginger and apricots.  Pour into buttered 13 x 9″ pan;  350°F about 35 minutes, till done:  you know, toothpick in the middle comes out clean, sides of the cake just beginning to pull away from the dish.

** Mostly white, but I usually use something like 2 c unbleached white, ¾ c wholemeal spelt, and ¼ c either barley flour or fine oatmeal.  I’ve told you before about using a little barley or oatmeal for background depth of flavour^.

^ Blah blah blah blah blah. What is this, a wine tasting?

*** I don’t have to tell you (again) to adjust as you see fit, do I?  I was wondering why Betty Crocker and Fanny Farmer never tell you to adjust if your batter looks too runny/ too dry.  And it’s probably because Betty and Fanny are expecting you to buy standard white flour at the standard white shop, instead of cruising the countryside and the internet for small cranky independent whole grain millers–whose unbleached white is creamy beige and faintly freckled–let alone wholemeal and stuff like oatmeal and barley.

Cinnamon Ice Cream

Diane in MN, 6 April 09, comment to ‘Apricots’

1 cup heavy cream, 2 cups half and half, 1/2 cup sugar, 2 TBSP cinnamon (or to taste). Put it in the [ice cream maker] machine and that’s it.

German Pancakes (puff pancakes)

GBKDalton, 15 April 09, Recipe Thread

Preheat oven to 450
Stir together:
3 eggs
3/4 cup cold milk
3/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon of salt

Put 3 tablespoons of butter in oven proof pan, put in oven. When butter is melted, poor in batter. Cook for 15mins on 450 and ten minutes on 300. serve with powdered sugar or cinnamon.

Parmigiana di Melanzane

AJLR, 15 April 09, Recipe Thread

Antonio Carluccio, from ‘The Taste of Health’, BBC, 1985
Serves 4

2 lbs aubergines/eggplant (I use two large or three medium sized ones)
some olive oil
2 x 6 ox fresh mozzarella, ie, the small ball of cheese in whey, in a sealed bag
2 x 14 ox cans chopped tomatoes
2 cloves of garlic
2 T freshly grated parmesan cheese
seasoning to taste

First make the tomato sauce: crush/chop the garlic cloves, fry in a medium saucepan in some hot olive oil. After 30 seconds add the two tins of chopped tomato, some freshly ground black pepper, and a half tsp of sugar. Bring to simmering point and leave to cook and thicken on a low-ish heat for about 15 minutes.

While the sauce is cooking, wash the aubergines and cut into slices of about 1cm or half inch thick. Place in a single layer on a grill pan, brush with olive oil and put under a pre-heated, grill until browned. Turn slices over, brush with a little more oil, grill till brown. Repeat until all slices browned on both sides. Keep the slices warm.

Take mozzarella cheese balls out of their little bags and dry. Slice them fairly thinly. In a large oven-proof dish (about two litres/five pints) spread 3 – 4 T of the tomato sauce on the bottom, add a layer of aubergines slices, then some mozzarella slices, repeat until all three ingredients are used up. Sprinkle the grated parmesan over the top of the final layer. Bake for 20 – 25 minutes in the centre of an oven preheated to Gas Mk 7.

NB Needs a sharp knife to cut into portions and even then the melted mozzarella will try to hang on to everything within reach.

Eggplant Parmigiana

cgbookcat1, 15 April 09, Recipe Thread

From The Vegetarian Epicure, by Anna Thomas

Eggplant Parmigiana
1 medium eggplant, sliced thick
1 egg beaten with some milk
dried breadcrumbs, wheat germ, or cracker meal
olive oil
1/2 lb Swiss or Mozzarella, sliced
6 oz tomato paste
white or red wine as needed
pinch of oregano
clove of garlic
salt and pepper
1 cup fresh-grated Parmesan cheese

Wash your eggplant and, without peeling it, slice it about 3/4 inch thick. Dip these slices first in flour, then into the egg, then into the breadcrumbs so they are well coated. Sauté them in a little olive oil, a few at a time, until they are nicely browned on both sides; tend them carefully and add oil if it is needed.

When they are crisp and brown, arrange them in a baking dish and put a slice or two of Swiss or Mozzarella cheese on each one. Make a thick tomato sauce by diluting the tomato paste with wine. Mix the tomato sauce with the oregano, salt, pepper, and crushed garlic clove, and spread 2 to 3 tablespoons on each slice. Finally, sprinkle the grated Parmesan on top of it all. Bake at 400 degrees F for about 15 minutes and serve steaming hot.

This hearty dish will serve 4 to 6 people.

Ice Cream (with chocolate variation)

Abigailmm,11 April 09, Recipe Thread

This is the traditional recipe we have been making for half a century or more in my family. The custard, cooled but not frozen, with a suitable admixture of “the flavoring” (generally bourbon) was my great-aunts’ holiday concoction, served in small cups with cake and called “boiled custard.”

This is a large recipe, for a traditional ice-filled crank freezer. Makes 1-1/2 gallons.

11 cups milk
1 can evaporated milk
2 cups cream
3-1/2 cups sugar
8 beaten eggs
2 Tbsp gelatin or 4 Tbsp flour
3 Tbsp vanilla (good-quality, real vanilla)
3/8 tsp salt (I think you can leave this out)

Heat half of milk with sugar, eggs, salt, and flour. If gelatin used, omit flour and add softened gelatin after taking off heat. Cook, stirring constantly, until it coats the spoon. Add remainder of milk, cream, and vanilla. Cool. Freeze.

For incredibly deep dark not-too-sweet chocolate, my invention is to add 1 cup of cocoa powder and a 12-ounce bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips before heating. Stir and stir, both to keep it from sticking and to get the chips to melt and mix. Mmmmmmmm!

This sticks and burns easily if you don’t stir pretty religiously. For a smaller recipe divided down to fit one of the newer freezers, I would recommend a double boiler. It will take longer, though.

Allow ample time for the hot custard to cool and then be chilled in the refrigerator till thoroughly cold before attempting to freeze. For a gallon and a half, it takes quite a while.

‘What’s in the Fridge’ Omelette

AJLR, 9 March 09, Recipe Thread

Filling for two omelettes:

2 heaped T cooked spinach (which has had as much moisture as possible squeezed out of it)
1 small clove garlic (optional), peeled and crushed
1 rounded T pine nuts
2 rounded T crumbled feta cheese
2 tsps oil or butter
a scrape of nutmeg (optional)

Dry roast pine nuts in a smallish pan, for the few minutes until golden on both sides. Put pine nuts to one side for a moment and heat oil/butter in the pan, then add the garlic bits. Heat for 30 seconds then add the spinach and nutmeg. Stir over medium heat for 3 or 4 minutes, then add the feta. Heat for another minute and then add the pine nuts. Use half straight away as the filling in an omelette (that you’ve had cooking in a separate pan at the same time). Repeat with second omelette.


Maureen E, 27 April 09, Festival Food

2 lbs ricotta pot cheese
6 oz cream cheese
1/2 lb butter
1/2 c fruit–golden raisins and apricots usually, cut into small bits
1 tsp. vanilla
1 c heavy cream
4 egg yolks
1 c sugar
1/2 c whole almonds and candied fruit for decorating

Drain ricotta. Combine fruit and nuts in rum and vanilla; let soak 1 hour.

Beat butter and cream cheese into the ricotta.

Heat heavy cream in a saucepan until it starts to bubble, NOT boil.

Beat egg yolks and sugar until it changes color and gets sluggish. Add slowly to heated cream, stirring CONSTANTLY! Cook over low heat until it is a thick custard (big batch takes 20-30 min). It will curdle if it boils–DO NOT BOIL. Take off heat; add fruit and nuts.

Set in bowl of ice water, stir until cool–fold gently into cheese mixture.

We usually use the little green potting pots (clean, obviously) to mold the pascha but you could use any sort of container with a drainage hole. Line it with cheese cloth and pour in the mixture. Place in a tray and put a weight on the top if you want. Let set in the refrigerator at least overnight (you’ll probably want it to stay in the fridge longer). Unwrap, turn it out on a plate as you would a cake. Decorate with fruit and nuts.


Maureen E, 27 April 09, Festival Food

Original recipe:
1 c lukewarm milk
6 tsp yeast
1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 c golden raisins
1/2 tsp powdered saffron (1/2 tsp tumeric)
1/4 c rum
2 c powdered sugar
5-6 cup flour
2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
10 egg yolks lightly beaten
1/2 pound butter–cut into bits
1/2 c slivered or chopped almonds
1/2 c golden dried or candied fruits–apricot, papaya, mango, etc., cut into small bits

In 2008 we did 1 1/2 times the recipe and used 15 eggs. We also substituted 1/2 margarine and 2 Tbs butter for the 1/2 lb butter. While all butter is wonderful, it also leads to an extremely dense bread and rising problems. Usually we use 1/2 c golden raisins and 1/2 c mixed fruit, 3 Tbsp yeast for 1 1/2 times the recipe.

Dissolve yeast in milk with 1/2 tsp. sugar. Keep warm until it doubles in volume. Soak raisins and dried fruit in rum/brand and saffron/tumeric.

Combine powdered sugar, 4 cups of flour and salt. Pour in yeast mixture, vanilla, and egg yolks. Add fruit and rum mixture and mix until smooth (or as smooth as possible with fruit). Add butter a little at a time. Dough will be soft. Kneed or mix 10 minutes. Let rest 10 minutes. Add up to 2 more cups of flour until dough is shiny and elastic.

Place in buttered bowl. Cover. **Place in a warm spot** Let rise until double. Punch down. Add almonds.

The traditional kulich shape is tall and fairly skinny. We use old tin cans to bake it in. The smallish coffee size is ideal but any largeish tin can should work. Line with foil and waxpaper, grease heavily. Fill can a little over half full with dough. Shape the top into a smooth dome. Cover with towel and put back in your warm place. Let rise until almost to the top of the can.

Preheat oven to 350/325 degrees. Bake for 10-15 minutes depending on the size of the cans, then lower to 300 degress. Bake for one hour, or until done (depends on heat of oven and size of cans). Cool 5-10 minutes before removing from can.

Glaze with thick white icing: 1 c powdered sugar, 1/2 t vanilla, 1 Tbsp milk.