Category Archives: Savory

Twist and Shout

A wood-burning pizza oven baking a pizza.

Image via Wikipedia

Good news bad news situation here. Good news is that today I did a little baking. Bad news is, I killed my sourdough starter. I just kinda forgot about it, and then there was a blueish liquid on top,as well as what looked to be mold around the edges. Maybe this summer, I will try to start another one. Anyway, back to the good news. Today, I saw some rather sad-looking, black-speckeled bananas sitting on our counter and decided to make banana bread. But, I wanted something a little bit different from your average banana bread. It is a twist on the common and familiar, hence the name of this post. I went looking around foodgawker.com and found a recipe for Oatmeal Sweet Potato Banana Everything Bread over at Flour Child’s blog. I made it with a fourth of a cup of sweet potato and one and one-fourth cup mashed bananas. My bread did not use oat bran and used all white flour, and instead of buttermilk, I used greek yogurt. I just pulled the loaves out of the oven and they look and smell delicious. Looks like I am going to be doing some more baking because my mom just informed me that she would like home made pizza for dinner, so I am making some. Once again, I looked on foodgawker.com and found some good-looking recipes. I chose this recipe, pizza dough, from acouplecooks. To forgo leftovers, I divided it in half for tonight and just set it to rest. Later bakers!

~thechildcooks

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Filed under Breads, Meals, Savory, Sourdough, Uncategorized

Chili for my Belly

Homemade Chili Powder

Image by MarxFoods.com via Flickr

Yesterday, I posted the basic recipe for Meatless Chili. I just finished assembling all of the ingredients and it is now simmering away in our crock pot. The predominate smell that is wafting my way is the cumin and tomatoes. As a meat substitute, I used tvp(more can be found about tvp here). This is my first time using tvp and I was amazed at how much the texture was like meat. The color, however, was not. Tvp is beigeish and looked like a sort of super-ground chicken. I made a few tweaks to the recipes and based on how it tastes this time, I will make more(or less) next time I make it. I will know how it tastes in about an hour and a half when the dinner starters. Hopefully people will not be swayed from trying it just because it is meatless. I will post some pictures later.

~thechildcooks

Tvp Country Chili

From Bob’s Red Mill adapted by Me

Ingredients2 cups TVP® (Textured Vegetable Protein) 2 Tbsp Ketchup  1 Large Onion, chopped 

1 Red Pepper, chopped 

2 Cloves Garlic, chopped 

1 small Carrot, chopped

1 small Celery Stalk, chopped

1 tsp Oil 

2 tsp Chili Powder 

2 tsp Cumin 

2 tsp Oregano, Mediterranean 

½ tsp Paprika 

2- 28oz Cans Tomatoes, chopped 

1/2 pound dried white beans

2 cups Hot Water 

Directions
In a large bowl, pour 2 cups of boiling water over 2 cups of TVP flakes (or chunks) and ketchup. Set aside.Heat a large Dutch oven, add 2 Tbsp oil. Saute the onions, peppers, garlic, carrots and celery for a few minutes. Into the TVP mixture, sprinkle seasonings and stir with fork. Add TVP to the vegetable mixture, cook for a few minutes. Stir in tomatoes, kidney beans and 2 cups hot water.Cover and simmer for 30 minutes to one hour. Taste and add salt if needed. If desired, add a 16 oz pkg of frozen corn in the last 15 minutes. Makes 10 Servings. (Note: I finished the chili up in a crock pot for about 1 1/2 hours)

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Crazy in the Kitchen

So far this weekend, I have been on a baking spree. Yesterday, I made homemade roti(Indian flatbread) and Rustic Pear-Apple Tarts. Today, I made Pretzel Bites and Brownies with Chocolate Frosting. As for tomorrow, I don’t know what I am going to make, but my sourdough is calling from the ‘fridge; I think that a Sunday Sourdough Pancake Dinner is in order. You may be thinking that all of the goodies that I made are completely random, but they all have reasons for why I made them. The roti is because on thursday, I went to a great Indian place and had bread there. After eating, we stopped and bought some curry and tandoori spices. Then, Friday night we had curry-seasoned turkey cutlets with roti and rice. later that night, I was mooching around the internet, looking at various food blogs and was inspired to go into the kitchen and bake. I saw a slightly too-squishy pear and remembered some granny smith apples in the cellar and a tart was born. Today, once again, I was looking at a multitude of food blogs(seems to be a reoccurring theme, huh?)and was inspired to bake. I wanted to do something with my sourdough, but was short on time, so I made a fast rising pretzel recipe instead. As for the brownies and frosting, my dad teaches a Sunday School class full of hungry children, nuff said. Last Saturday, I made an angel food cake for my grandmother’s birthday, I will add the recipe below. Feel free to add a comment as to what you have been baking lately, I alway could use an inspiration.

~thechildcooks

Roti(Indian Flatbread)

My Version

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup whole wheat flour

water

Melted butter, optional

Mix flour and just enough water to make a kneadable dough. Mix the water in slowly and stir with your hands as to feel when the dough is ready. Knead for 4-5 minutes or until all flour is absorbed. Let rest for 10 minutes to soften the dough. Knead a few times to further soften the dough. Portion the dough and roll into flat, thin circles. Fry on a ungreased skillet until cooked through. Flip once. Serve with a sauce or use as a tortilla-like wrap.

Soft Pretzels
 
Based of the CDKitchen Recipe
 
1 1/2 cup warm water
1 1/8 teaspoon active dry yeast
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup bread flour
3 cups regular flour
2 cups Warm water
2 tablespoons baking soda
coarse salt, cinnamon sugar or other topping

Sprinkle yeast on lukewarm water in mixing bowl; stir to dissolve. Add sugar, salt and stir to dissolve; add flour and knead dough until smooth and elastic. Let rise at least 1/2 hour.

While dough is rising, prepare a baking soda water bath with 2 cups warm water and 2 Tbsp baking soda. Be certain to stir often. After dough has risen, pinch off bits of dough and roll into a long rope(about 1/2 inch or less thick) and shape or cut into bites like I did. Dip pretzel in soda solution and place on greased baking sheet. Allow pretzels to rise again. Sprinkle with topping. Bake in 450 oven for about 10 minutes or until golden.

 
Rustic Pear-Apple Tart
 
Crust:
1 1/2 cups flour
 
1/3 cups vegetable oil
 
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
 
Pinch of salt
 
2-3 tablespoon of water
Mix flour, ginger and salt in large bowl. Add oil and stir. Gradually add water a bit at a time until the dough comes together. Gather into a ball, wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 20 minutes or while you prepare the filling.
 
Filling:
1 medium pear
 
2 small granny smith apples
 
A few dashes each(to your taste)cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice and cloves
 
1 tablespoon brown sugar
 
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
 
1/8 teaspoon almond extract
 
2 teaspoons apple juice
 
Preheat oven to 350F. Peel both the pear and apples. Cut into 1/4 inch pieces and add spices, sugars, extract and apple juice. Place fruit in fine mesh strainer over bowl to draw out some of the juices. Begin rolling out the dough into a large round as thin or thick as you like. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Once a small amount of juices have come out of the fruits, dump them in the middle of the dough circle and fold up the edges over them. Brush the crust with the fruit juice and bake for 20-30 minutes checking to make sure the crust is not too brown and that the fruit is soft. Remove from oven and cool.
 
Brownies(From Betty Crocker)
 
2 ounces of unsweetened chocolate
 
1/3 cup shortening
 
1 cup sugar
 
2 eggs
 
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
 
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
 
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
 
1/2 teaspoon salt
 
1/4 cup mini-chocolate chips(I added this in place of 1/2 cup chopped nuts)
 
Preheat oven to 350F. Heat chocolate and shortening in 2-quart saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly, until melted. Remove from heat. Mix in sugar, eggs and vanilla. Stir in remaining ingredients. Spread in greased 8x8x2 pan. Bake brownies until the sides begin to pull away from the pan edges, 30-35 minutes. Cool slightly and frost with chocolate frosting(do not use all of the recipe unless you enjoy a lot of chocolate).
 
Chocolate Butter Frosting(Also from Betty Crocker)
 
1/3 cu softened butter
 
2 ounces melted, unsweetened chocolate(cool)
 
2 cups powdered sugar
 
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
 
2 tablespoons milk
 
Mix butter and chocolate. Stir in sugar. Beat in vanilla and milk until frosting is to spreading consistency.
 
Angel Food Cake(Pillsbury Healthy Baking Cookbook)
 
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
 
3/4 cup sugar
 
1 1/2 cups(approximately 12) egg whites, room temperature
 
1 1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar
 
1/4 teaspoon salt
 
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
 
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
 
3/4 cup sugar
 
Preheat oven to 375F. In small bowl combine flour and 3/4 cup sugar. In large bowl beat egg whites, cream of tartar, salt, vanilla and almond extract until mixture forms soft peaks. Gradually add 3/4 cup sugar and mix on high-speed until stiff peaks form. Spoon flour-sugar mixture 1/4 cup at a time over the egg whites; fold in gently just until blended. Pour batter into ungreased 10-inch tube pan. With knife, cut gently through batter to remove large air bubbles. Bake on lowest oven rack for 30 to 40 minutes or until the crust is golden brown and cracks are very dry. immediately invert cake onto funnel or soft drink bottle; let hang until completely cool. Remove from pan. 

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Filed under Breads, Cake, Pie, Savory

Plenty of Pierogies

Pierogies. Small, noodle dumplings filled with a mixture of potatoes and cheese. Originating from Eastern Europe, they are common in places like Pittsburg and other areas where people from Europe immigrated. They are very simple to make, and the hardest parts is rolling the dough over and over. Oh yeah, don’t think that just because you want your pierogies now doesn’t mean you get them now. It took me about three hours start to finish, with two of those hours vigorously rolling and filling 50 plus little dumplings. It would probably go faster if I had someone helping me, but that didn’t happen. With help, you could probably be done in about 2 hours. Though, seeing that I didn’t have school today because of the large snowstorms that came through the area, I probably wouldn’t have been doing anything better with my time anyway. Serve the pierogies(I just love typing that word, don’t you just love reading it?)in a broth or with gravy, as the main portion of the meal or as a side. You can freeze any leftovers cooked, or uncooked.  The recipe that I used is from momfukufor2. Remember, if you wish to make pierogies, enlist help and start early.

~thechildcooks

Pierogies from Momofuku from epicurious

Makes approximately 50

Dough

3 cups all-purpose flour plus additional for kneading

1 cup water

1 large egg

2 teaspoons vegetable oil

1 teaspoon salt

Filling:

1 1/2 pound russet (baking) potatoes

6 ounces coarsely Cheddar(for plain pierogies, I left this out)

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Other optional spices include garlic powder, onion powder or whatever you think would taste good

Put flour in a large shallow bowl and make a well in center. Add water, egg, oil, and salt to well and carefully beat together with a fork without incorporating flour. Continue stirring with a wooden spoon, gradually incorporating flour, until a soft dough forms. Transfer dough to a lightly floured surface and knead, dusting with flour as needed to keep dough from sticking, until smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes (dough will be very soft). Invert a bowl over dough and let stand at room temperature 1 hour.

Peel potatoes and cut into 1-inch pieces. Cook potatoes in a large saucepan of boiling until tender, about 8 minutes. Drain potatoes, then transfer to a bowl along with cheese, salt and pepper and mash with a potato masher or a handheld electric mixer at low-speed until smooth.

When mashed potatoes are cool enough to handle, spoon out a rounded teaspoon and lightly roll into a ball between palms of your hands. Transfer ball to a plate and keep covered with plastic wrap while making 47 (or so)more balls in same manner.

Halve dough and roll out 1 half (keep remaining half under inverted bowl) on lightly floured surface (do not overflour surface or dough will slide instead of stretching) with a lightly floured rolling-pin into a 15-inch round (1/8 inch thick), then cut out 24 rounds with lightly floured cutter. Holding 1 round in palm of your hand, put 1 potato ball in center of round and close your hand to fold round in half, enclosing filling. Pinch edges together to seal completely. (If edges don’t adhere, brush them lightly with water, then seal; do not leave any gaps or pierogi may open during cooking.) Transfer pierogi to a lightly floured kitchen towel (not terry cloth) and cover with another towel. Form more pierogies in same manner.

Bring a 6- to 8-quart pot of water to a boil. Add half of pierogies, stirring once or twice to keep them from sticking together, and cook 5 minutes from time pierogies float to surface.If desired, fry in butter or oil until brown.

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San Fransisco and Norway, All in One Day

How did I do that? Well, the great thing about cooking and baking is that you can travel all over the earth without ever leaving you kitchen.  To go to good old California, I made some sourdough bread using my 2011 starter; I made half of it into the recommended loaf and the other half became rolls. I modified my basic recipe slightly by adding more whole wheat flour to the mix, but I won’t bother putting a new recipe up because, surprise, I don’t actually know how much more I added. After hitting the beaches in Cali(I wish), I traveled on to Norway with Norwegian Potato Lefse. Last night, we had baked potatoes and happened to have some left over. I grated them,with skins on, I decided that lefse was the answer. I have made it once before for Christmas(when they are traditionally eaten) and really liked them then, so decided to go for it. They taste really good, sort of like a tortilla, but can be slightly hard to roll out and cook. With practice, though, it is not that hard to eat your potatoes in a new way:you can fill them with a meat,jam or other filling of your choice, roll and enjoy! I really hope to be going Asin with some foods soon and will let you know how that turns out.  

~thechildcooks

Norwegian Potato Lefse

Beatrice Ojakangas’ Great Holiday Baking Book

2 pound russet potatoes, peeled and diced

1 tsp salt

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 1/2-2 cups all-purpose flour

Cook potatoes until tender(either boil them in water, or baked them with skins on). Press through a ricer or grate, you should end up with about 3 1/3 cups. Stir potatoes, salt and butter together. Cool to room temperature. Stir in 1 1/2 cups of the flour and stir throughly until a stiff dough is formed. Add the rest of the flour if needed. Divide into four parts, then four parts again(16 total pieces) and roll into balls. Refrigerate until ready to cook. When ready to cook, preheat a large skillet or electric griddle to 400F. On lightly floured surface, roll one ball at a time into a thin, 10-inch circle. Bake 1-2 minutes per side or until brown spots appear. Leftovers can be frozen.

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Filed under Breads, Savory, Sourdough

Lentil Soup

As it was the weekend, I had more time to do what I love:homework! No, just kidding, that should really be cooking. I made dinner for my family out of some common kitchen staples. After doing another thing I loved-searching food blogs- I came up with enough to make my own simple recipe for yummy and healthy lentil soup. Even though I scaled the recipes down, it still make an incredibly large amount of soup, some of which went to my grandmother and more of which is going to my neighbour. This soup goes very well with a slice(or two, or three, or well, nevermind)of home-made sourdough bread. Just a note, but you may want to add more spices to your soup, because my family is slightly bland.

~thechildcooks

Lentil Soup by Me

Serves 8-10

The Stock

3 quarts of water

2 large carrots,chopped

2 stalks of celery,cubed

1/2   of a medium onion,chopped

4 cloves of garlic,chopped

Salt and Pepper

The Soup

1 1/2 cups of lentils

2 large potatoes, cubed

2 carrots,cut thin

1 cup chopped spinach

15 ounce can of diced tomatoes, drained

Put the 3 quarts of water into a 4 quart pot and heat on medium heat. In a saucepan, sweat the onions and garlic until soft, 3-4 minutes. Add to the water. In the same pan, sweat the carrots and celery until soft, 4-5 minutes and add to the pot. Add 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt and pepper to your taste. Cover and let cook over medium heat for 20 minutes. Strain to remove all small particles and then return to pot.

To the vegetable stock, add the lentils and let cook for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare remaining ingredients. After 10 minutes, add the cubed potatoes and let cook for another 10 minutes. Add the carrots and continue to cook for 10 minutes. After the last 10 minutes has ended, add the spinach and tomatoes. Let cook for another 5-10 minutes or until potatoes and lentils are cooked. Serve hot with bread and a light salad.

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Easy BBQ Chicken Sandwiches

I love barbecue sauce! On meat and bread and veggies and I probably would eat it on pasta or rice. Today for dinner we were doing shredded chicken sandwiches and I had a revelation. I saw the idea yesterday on foodgawker and decided to create my simple version of it;pulled chicken sandwiches. I didn’t go through the trouble of roasting my own chicken, making my own sauce or buns though, simplicity is the key here. All together this is a three ingredient meal.

Easy BBQ Chicken Sandwiches

1(four serving) can of white-meat chicken chunks

1 cup of bottled BBQ sauce(your favorite brand)

4 sandwich buns

Heat chicken and BBQ sauce in saucepan with enough water as to not burn it. meanwhile, toast the buns in a toaster oven. After chicken is hot, 5-10 minutes, spoon chicken onto toasted buns and serve. Enjoy! 

~thechildcooks

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