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28th-Dec-2007 02:45 pm - Basic Bread Recipe
I realized that I hadn't posted this in whatchacookin (or if I had, it hasn't been tagged), so I thought I'd share it.

Basic Bread Recipe
2 cups of very warm water (between 115-120 F)
2 pkg yeast
2 tbs sugar
6 cups of flour, divided
1 tbs salt
2 tbs fat of your choice (I usually use olive oil or room temp butter)

This recipe is for a stand mixer with a dough hook.

Add the yeast and sugar to the water.

In mixer bowl, place 3 cups of flour and the salt (and any flavorings you'd like to add). Turn on the mixer for just a moment to mix the salt into the flour.

When the yeast has bloomed, turn on the mixer, and slowly add the water.

Add the fat.

Add the rest of the flour in 1/2 cup increments (or so, just not the whole whack at a time), allowing flour to incorporate before adding more.

When all the flour has been incorporated, allow the mixer to knead for 7-10 minutes.

Place dough large, oiled bowl, turning once to coat. Cover bowl and leave in a warm, draft-free place for about 45 min or until doubled in size.

Punch down, knead about 10 strokes, let rest for 5 min or so, then make 2 (or more) loaves however you want, cover, allow to rise about 30 min.

Bake in 375 oven for 25-30 min or until done (I don't actually time this, as I know when it's close to "done" by how it smells).

NOTES: I have successfully made this (although it's denser) with: all purpose flour, whole wheat flour, and up to 1/2 the wheat flour being replaced by oat flour, and up to 1/4 replaced by almond flour.This doesn't easily convert to a "sweet" bread, but is good with cinnamon and cloves when pressed out into a rectangle and sprinkled with *lots* of cinnamon/clove sugar and rolled, then cut into buns, and served with icing on top. Also good with whatever spices/nuts you want to use.
man, these are YUMMY but time intensive. Of course, I made a *ton* of them, so...

2 pkg gyoza (NOT won ton) wrapper (40-50 ct)
2 lbs ground pork
1 lb ground beef
1 med head of green or nappa cabbage
1 med onion
1 large carrot
2 tbs soy sauce
1 tbs fish sauce (or oyster sauce)
1" stick ginger
2 cloves garlic
2 eggs

finely chop cabbage. The next time I do this, I will probably run it through the food processor. Toss cabbage with salt and put in colander over a bowl, let sit for 20-30 min while you prepare other ingredients. Grate carrots and squeeze excess liquid out. Grate onion and do the same (if you have them wear goggles or a diving mask... no, really). Grate ginger and garlic (don't squeeze!), gently mix everything but cabbage together into a more or less homogeneous mush. Fold cabbage in, a handfull or so at a time until it's all incorporated.

I have a gyoza press, but the gyoza skins I had were too small for it, so I did them by hand.

place a skin on your hand, wet your finger with water and run it around the outside edge of the skin. put 1/2T of filling in the middle, fold the skin over it and pinch the "top" of the semi circle. Working from the top down one side, then the other, press out all the air and pinch the seam closed. you can do fancy pleats and stuff, but I haven't been able to make that work. You can also make little "purses" out of them (I do that when I put too much in to close it "properly."

Oh, pull about 10 or so wrappers out of the package at a time, and keep the rest covered with a damp cloth.

Since I was doing this mainly to be frozen and used later, I lined 20-30 up on a foil covered wire rack and put them in the freezer, put the rest of the stuff in the fridge and took a break when I needed to. After about 30 min, they're frozen enough to go into a zip lock.

To cook (either from fresh or frozen), heat a heavy bottomed pan (preferably non-stick, well seasoned cast iron works well, hard anodized aluminum that's NOT non stick, not so much, ask me how I know...), swirl some canola or other relatively high heat oil in there, and gently place your gyoza in the pan. When the bottoms are browned to your liking, put about 1/2 cup of water in and close the lid. Allow to cook with the lid on for 15-20 min, remove lid, test one to be sure it's cooked through, let any additional liquid evaporate to crisp the bottoms again, then remove to a plate for serving, and repeat.

I forgot to take photos before we ate the ones we had for dinner. I'll take some of the frozen ones this afternoon and post. :)
18th-Sep-2007 02:37 pm - Old Fashioned Chocolate Cake
Posted esp for silverstah and _good_kitty . I made cupcakes from this a couple of weeks ago, and it's also the cake I made for evilkorean 's bday last year.

3c All Purpose Flour
2c sugar
1/2 c unsweetened cocoa powder*
2tsp baking soda
1t table salt (I use kosher)
2c hot water
3/4c vegetable oil
2T white vinegar
1T instant coffee granules*
1T vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 with rack in the center
Grease 2 8" round cake pans with nonstick spray (note: makes approx. 28 cupcakes)
Whisk dry ingredients together in a large mixing bowl
Combine water, oil, vinegar, coffee granules and vanilla in large measuring cup
Add to dry ingredients and whisk until combined (a few lumps are OK).
Divide batter between pans (about 3 c each) and bake until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean (35-40 min). For cupcakes, I think it was about 20 min.
Cool cakes for 15 min then invert onto rack, leave upside down until completely cooled before frosting.

* I used Hershey's Special Dark cocoa and they came out practically BLACK. Also, I used hot coffee instead of water and coffee granules. You can leave the coffee granules out and it's still very nice.
11th-Sep-2007 06:21 pm - Tomato and chevre salad

Know what's good on a rainy, somber day?

Luscious sliced tomatoes on a plate, drizzled with balsamic vinegar and covered in crumbled chevre.

Use different types of tomatoes for an interesting flavor, and I'd imagine basil or thyme would intensify this already mouth-watering salad.
14th-Aug-2007 09:17 pm(no subject)
lovely | last year's love letters
I'm looking for a good sugar cookie recipe -- I know sugar cookies are common as sand, but I've yet to come across the sort I want: the large, soft, old-fashioned sort, sort of cracked on top. I have a harder recipe which I like fairly well, but I'm really craving a nice soft cosy sugar cookie. What are your favourites?

In exchange, here is my favourite peanut butter cookie recipe. I make these all the time; they're excellent as comfort food.

14th-Aug-2007 12:04 pm - Cobbler (aka Virginia Pudding)
I have no idea why it's called "Virginia Pudding" in my family, but it is, so there.

Stupid easy. :)

1/2 stick butter
1 cup milk
1 cup sugar
1 cup self rising flour (OR 1 cup flour + 1/2 teaspoon baking powder + 1/4 teaspoon salt)
spices to taste (I'm a crazy head and often do about a tablespoon of cinnamon, or about a tablespoon total of cinnamon, ginger and cloves)
1 can of pie filling (or equivalent)
1 8x8 or 9x9 baking dish

Put butter in baking dish, put in oven, set oven to 350. While oven is heating, mix together milk, sugar, flour and spices. When oven is at temp and butter is melted, pour batter into dish, then dump the pie filling in. Bake until it starts to smell "done" and the batter is now a golden cake-like substance. :)
16th-Jul-2007 02:43 pm - Potato Pancake recipe
This recipe is from the son of the owners of Das Rheinlandhaus, which sadly closed a couple of years ago. I haven't made these yet, but they were scrummy. I know that this is really a pretty basic recipe, but the restaurant was a favorite of mine and is now gone. :(

Rheinlandhaus Potato Pancakes

2 cups all-purpose flower
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
3 large baking potatoes peeled, boiled and mashed
1/2 cup onion finely chopped
1 cup whole milk
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon white pepper

In a medium bowl, mix flour, salt, baking powder and spices. Stir in mashed potatoes and onions [if you like onions] until thoroughly mixed. In another bowl, whisk eggs and milk, stir into potato mixture. Heat large griddle to med-high. Use butter or shortening to fry. Spoon mixture with ice cream scoop onto griddle. Fry until brown on both sides.
3rd-Jul-2007 11:06 am - Yellow Squash
fun sized

I just got a ton of yellow summer squash from a friend.  I am a big fan of zuchinni.  I love to grill it or put it in something where it stays nice and firm or crispy like on the grill.  However I've had a hard time keeping yellow squash firm/crispy when cooking it even though they are similar.  Any suggestions for cooking yellow squash so it stays firm/crispy?


15th-Jun-2007 12:03 pm - turkey burgers
Tasty, thrown together meal last night. I bought a couple of chubs of frozen ground turkey because they were on sale ($1/lb), but without any real thought on what to make with them. Here's what I came up with.

Turkey burgers
1lb ground turkey
2 eggs
1/2 cup quick cook or instant oats
1/8-1/4 cup prepared mustard (I used a whole grain)
1 tbs worchestershire sauce
1/4 tsp garlic powder
some salt and pepper

mix everything up, make into pattys, cook on medium high for about 3 minutes, flip, cook 3 minutes more or until done (I ended up throwing some water into the skillet and covering to get it to cook a little faster). You *do* want these well-done as they're turkey.

I served these with sauteed yellow squash and sweet onions and rice. It was easy and damn tasty :)
18th-Apr-2007 09:30 am(no subject)
fun sized
I have a friend who's daughter was injured in the recent tragedy at VT. She will be bringing her daughter home this weekend (thank God) and several of us were going to take food to the house. I am looking for some different ideas that others might not think of. I was also considering maybe a soup mix of some sort in case her freezer gets full. Or if I were going to do something like chili what would be the best way to get it to her so she could freeze it? We are also getting ready for some summer weather here so maybe something less wintry than chili.

Thanks for any suggestions.
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