sarahbyrdd: (Cooking)
We're going to the Big E on Tuesday and I'm super excited for all the animals and fair food.  Fried!  On a Stick!  AFTER THAT, I'm going to need to amend my ways and do some good things for my digestive system which is still a little tetchy from the stomach bug I had over the summer.  I think I may have convinced my cellmate to join me on month of crap free eating which should help with the day time excesses.  To wit:

I've bought a bunch of new lunch containers in smaller portion sizes and am starting with a couple of recipes this week to get the ball rolling.

Okay, yes it's a muffin and has some sugar.  But it amounts to about a tablespoon a portion, and is otherwise shockingly healthy.  I tend to think that any baked goods I make myself are okay as I control what goes into them.  I'm going to play with using honey as a sweetener exclusively over the month.

These should be ready in a week or so for use on sandwiches or as a little pickle on the side of whatever like the Japanese do.

Just because it's good for you and we had the ingredients lying about.

Also, not healthy but TASTY: home made blue cheese dressing: plus a little worchester sauce.
There's no reason to buy store made again. 
sarahbyrdd: (Cooking)

I love how the color transforms when you cook it.

Slightly different method this time.  Small chop then cook with minimal stirring.

4 lbs diced quince (cored but not peeled)
2 lbs sugar
1 lbs honey
4 Tbls lemon juice
16 cardomom pods. (which just tossed into the pot, I don't know that I'll be able to fish them out later per the receipe)
2 Tbs. rosewater

-The cooking method seems much like steaming rice.
-That was a lot of chopping
-After 2 hours the color was lovely but the syrup still needed cooking down ... for almost another hour.
-I'm not really tasting the cardomom except a tiny bit on the finish

-I cooked up the cores and pips and strained off a cup of pectin to be used in something else down the road.  I'm canning it with the jam.  Beer jam?

Yield: 4 lbs quince = 11 4oz jars, 4 8oz, plus 8oz of pectin

-I saved out 2 quince to make more liqueur.
sarahbyrdd: (Cooking)
Quince enablers strike again. *** because I wanted to use honey I mostly followed this one.

And a little help from Nostradamus.  No really Nostradamus.

Part 2 Chapter XV To make a quince jelly of superb beauty, goodness, flavour and excellence fit to set before a King, and which lasts a good long time.
Take whatever quinces you like, as long as they are fully ripe and yellow.
Cut them up into quarters without peeling them (for those who peel them do not know what they are doing, since the skin enhances the smell), and divide each quarter into five or six pieces.
Remove the seeds, because the fruit will turn into jelly perfectly well without them.
As you are cutting them up, place them in a basin full of water, for unless they are plunged into water the moment they are cut up they will turn black.
Once they are cut up, boil them in a good quantity of water until they are well done, almost to the point of shrivelling up.
When they have boiled thoroughly, strain this liquid through a thick piece of new linen and squeeze the whole preparation through it as hard as you can.
Then take this decoction, and if there are six pounds of it, take one and a half pounds of Madeira sugar and put it into the decoction, and bring it to the boil over a gentle charcoal fire until you see that.
towards the end, it is reducing in volume considerably.
Then damp the fire down, so that it does not burn at the sides -- which would give a bad colour to the jelly.
Then, when it is nearly done, and so as to know when it is done perfectly, take some of it with a spatula or silver spoon and put it on a platter, and if you see that when it has cooled it comes off as a globule, without sticking either here or there, then it is done.
  Take it off the fire and wait for the scum on the top to settle, then pour the still-hot liquid into small wooden or glass containers.
And if you want to write or gouge something on the bottom of the container, you can do so, for it will be seen easily [through the jelly].
For the colour will be as diaphanous as an oriental ruby.
So excellent will the colour be -- and the taste even more so -- that it may be given to sick and healthy alike.

I decided to strip this batch down to the barest ingredients: quince, sweetener, water.  For the jelly I used honey, and for the quince paste I used sugar.

There was no trouble getting the jelly up to 222 as the recipe recommended, and I was a little concerned because it didn't convincingly pass the saucer test, but it seems to be gelling nicely in the jars.

The paste was another matter.  I burnt the bottom in the first pan.  Switched to a second pan.  Managed to get it to touch 200 or so but then it started burning again so I gave up and threw it in a parchment lined baking dish in a 225 oven as suggested by some of the modern recipes I'd seen. Almost 2 hours later it was around 214, which I'm calling good enough, and it's cooling on the window sill.   We'll see how that works out.  Worst case I'll spoon blobs in to jars and it will still taste amazing.


Sep. 12th, 2015 05:04 pm
sarahbyrdd: (Cornucopia)
Made use of our windfall eggplants.  First step was charing them on the stove top then roasting in the oven until mushy.  Plus a bulb of garlic, because why not.

Then I scraped out the pulp and divided it into two bowls to make variations on these recipes (limited by what we had on hand), dividing the roasted garlic between them.  Both are pretty awesome.
red onion, no pine nuts, red peppers we had in freezer, spanish olives from fridge, a pinch of garlic insanity, no extra salt
corriander seed rather than fresh leaves

sarahbyrdd: (Canning)
Using up stuff we had on hand and unleashing my Southern cook:

riffing on this:

2 cups ham minced in food processor
1/4 minced onion
1 cup finely diced celery
2 Tbls grainy mustard (George's own)
2 hard boiled eggs
1 4oz jar of my picked jalapenos.
several dashes of tobasco
1/2 cup mayonaise
2 Tbls chopped parsley

Mix together and serve on crackers, in a sammich, spooned into seeded tomato halves, or as you like.

Also did a potato salad

4 cups red potatoes diced and boiled
1 cup diced celery
1/4 cup minced onion
1/4 cider vinegar
1/4 olive oil
1/2 tsp dried dill
1 cup frozen peas
1/4 salt preserved lemon, diced fine (I put up some myer lemons a few weeks ago)
black pepper
salt to taste

Mix together and let the flavors marry.  Fold in 1/2 cup sour cream.  Sprinkle with chopped scallions. 
sarahbyrdd: (Canning)
1 bonus bag of jalapeno peppers.

Using this recipe for quick pickles
but reducing the sugar by 1 Tbl, and upping the vinegar to water ratio to follow the Ball Book recommendations.

yeild = 11 four oz jars 
sarahbyrdd: (Cooking)  Last time I made this.

This week the Times sent around this:

Wouldn't you know, it's the same recipe.

Still no buttermilk lurking in the house, so this time I used a combination of milk and sour cream.  That can't be bad can it?

sarahbyrdd: (Cooking)
Having come into a few pounds of quince, I'm trying a few things.

Ratafia inspired by the spices from this site , but the cooked method from this site

1 lb quince chopped, cores and peels (fuzz washed off)
3/4 cup turbinado sugar
2 whole cloves
1 2 inch piece of cinnamon stick
3 grains of paradise (in lieu of white pepper)
1 quart brandy (AppStrawBrandies raisin brandy, made by a local CT guy, which my wine shop recommended for the project).

And also Paste of Genua

To make Paste of Genua, as they doe beyond the Seas

Boile faire yellow Peare-Quinces tender in their skinnes, and so let them stand vntill the next day, till they be colde, then pare them, and scrape all the pulp from the coare, then take as much pulp of yellow Peaches as the pulp of Quinces doth weigh, and dry it vpon a little chafingdish of coales, alwaies stirring it, then boile these pulps in double refined Sugar, and so let it boile, always stirring it vntill it come to a candie height, with as much Rosewater as will melt that Sugar, and put in your pulps, alway stirring it in the boiling, vntill it come from the bottome of the Posnet, then fashion it vpon a pie plate, or a sheete of glasse, some like leaues, some like halfe fruits, and some you may print with moulds, set them into a warme Ouen after the bread is drawne, or into a Stoue, the next day you may turne them, and when the stuffe is through dry, you may box it, and keepe it for all the yeere, but be sure it be through dried before you lay it vp in store.

From John Murrel, A Daily Exercise for Ladies and Gentlewomen, (London: 1617)

I only have one day to play, so I'm going to proceed as for apple sauce (rough chop peel & pips included, cook, food mill), then cook an equal weight of peaches, hit them with the stick blender, and combine and add an equal weight of sugar and a TINY amount of rosewater to avoid it tasting like soap, and cook down until it will set up.  Then dry as for fruit leather:

I can see why the added colorants in period.  It's a rather dull tan color, but the flavor is good.  As I was stirring in the rosewater I was strongly reminded of turkish delight.

Quince, sure has lots of pectin in it.  I could see gel building up on pips that had been left in the sink.

The final weights were: 1 lb. quince mash, 3/4 lb. peach mash, 1 lb. sugar, 1/2 tsp rosewater.

**Two weeks later I cut the paste into pretty bits.  It looks like the top crystalized a bit, and the middle ones are still quite moist though they do hold their shape.


Edit:  After the summer I checked the tin and it had gone to mold.  Oh well.  I'll try again eventually.

Hippy Food

Feb. 7th, 2015 06:14 pm
sarahbyrdd: (Cooking)
Made this granola to go with the abudance of yogurt we suddenly have.

It smelled amazing in the oven and tastes very good.  Not too sweet, though the cardomom is a tad overpowered by the tahini.  Might be old cardomom.

Next, I threw together a quick white chili:

1 cup dried white beans
Olive oil
2 onions
2 cloves garlic
2 lbs. ground turkey
1 jar tomatillo salsa
1 packet herb-ox beef boulion
a dried chipolte
a handful of cornmeal

Cook the beans for half an hour(ish) in a pressure cooker to soften.  Chop onions and garlic, and sweat in a dutch oven in oilive oil.  Add turkey and brown.  Add remaining ingredients including the softened beans.  Add a little water if it looks necessary.  Cook for around half an hour on the stove at low heat until thickened and flavors have melded.   Fish out that chipolte before serving.  Don't ask about amounts for the spices ... I was just thowing things in the pot.

I haven't gotten around to this fish taco recipe, but put it here in hopes we'll get to it during the week or next weekend.
sarahbyrdd: (Cooking)
Bytchearse brought home a half galon of raw milk from his adventures in New Hampshire.  How fortunate we are that a day later I had time to Do Something With It.  Sure we could have just drunk it, but where's the fun in that?
As he picked up a jar of vindaloo sauce for chicken we had in the freezer, I thought I'd give a try at my favorite Indian dessert: rasmalai.

Having now been through the process, it's not difficult, just time consuming because there are pauses between parts of the process.  First you make paneer.  Which then gets kneeded until the texture is smooth(er) and roll it into balls which get squished into patties, which get cooked in sugar syrup in a pressure cooker.  Then you reduce more milk and season it with sugar, cardomom and nuts, and the cheese patties sit in the reduced milk and soak up the flavorings like cheesey sponges.  The longer it soaks the better.  I followed this recipe, though I took exception to using an entire cup of lemon juice.  I think I had used maybe 3 Tbls. when the curds coagulated.  I also didn't think that I had enough curd for the recipe, but those little patties EXPAND.  It's like a sweetened milk miracle.

sarahbyrdd: (Cooking)
Bytchearse cautioned me about cooking too much because the freezer was full.  Hah!  If I cook things already in the freezer, I'm sure it doesn't count.

Excavated from the freezer:

Stew beef
italian cheese mix
duck breast
couscous salad

First, I made this winter blah busting salad:

The recipe never mentions the scallions that are shown.  Use scallions, add cilantro, it'll be much better for it.  I also dust the duck with 5 spice before putting it in the pan.  Just a dab will do ya.  This time around I also put orange bell pepper in for color, used a habanero (seeded) for the heat, and added avacado, because why not.


For Sunday I made another tart/pizza thing. This time the filling is around a cup of 'cheese mix' we had in the freezer, 2 eggs, cream, minced parsley, thyme and celery leaves, carmelized onions, bacon, and a pinch of nutmeg.   Going for something like an alsatian tart.  It smells good.


The stew beef is slow cooking in a dutch oven becoming beef daube provencal, following this, sorta. and  Sorta.

I was lazy and didn't marinate the ingredients.  I used bacon like the Blessed Julia.  Browned the beef removed it from the pan.  Added the  garlic and the tomato paste.  Deglazed the pan with wine.  Added the vegetables, the beef back in, olives and stock plus aromatics and shoved it in the oven and forgot about it for a while.  That's going to get served over the couscous from the freezer.
sarahbyrdd: (Cooking)
Resurecting this crust from the tomato pie of a few years ago:

(Tomato Pie Entry

Using this recipe as a guide:

But the intention is to use up windfall leeks we received this week plus random cheeses that have been lurking in the fridge: St. Andre, a little gouda, a little camembert, and some parmasean.  It should be stinkalicious.  I'm going to roll it out more like a tart/gallett/pizza in a sheet pan, rather than a pie so we can cut it into squares for easier portioning.  I'm pretty happy with how it looks going in.


And coming out:

Only took 20 minutes to bake because it was so much thinner.
sarahbyrdd: (Cooking)
I am now in posession of about a cup of schmaltz and a plate of gribenes that Himself is happily snacking on while I fuss with the rest of dinner.  Next challenge: actually USE the schmaltz.

Dinner is this:

With a side of barley, collards with butternut squash 'croutons', riffed off of this:
sarahbyrdd: (Cooking)
I decided I needed red beans and rice and cornbread today.  The recipe card has my mother's writing, but it's my granny's (or older) recipe.


I will say that it is improved if you grease the skillet with bacon grease rather than vegetable oil.

I sorta mostly kinda followed this recipe for the beans,, I don't think we actually have one written down in the family.  I used a hambone we had in the freezer, and cut the cooking time by a bit by using the pressure cooker, though I did have to let it simmer uncovered for half an hour or so to thicken up while the rice and cornbread were cooking.

sarahbyrdd: (Cornucopia)
My new party staple are these pecan cheese wafers:

Very southern belle.  By happy chance I made some for Thanksgiving with Bob's Red Mill gluten free biscuit mix because one of my friends was recently diagnosed with celiac and was missing baked treats.  The dough was sticky and hard to work with and put off lots of grease when baked, but I THINK these might be better with the gluten free mix.  I remember a friend who's into molecular gastronomy saying something about wheat not having a good flavor release, and the bake mix is mostly rice and chickpea flour.  It seemed closer to a cheese tuille.

For New Year's I'm making a double recipe with the following alterations:

1 extra tbl of the bake mix for a total of 13 tbls for a double recipe
no extra salt
only 3 tbls butter
another serious pinch of the red pepper flake

let cool on a paper towel to blot up extra grease 

Lemon Curd

Dec. 14th, 2014 07:19 pm
sarahbyrdd: (Canning)
Same recipe:

7 lemons for a triple batch

Yield = 1 flat of 4 oz jars, plus a tiny bit for the fridge.

Also completed two quick christmas hats for gifts.  Even if I'm not feeling very elfish things are getting done. 
sarahbyrdd: (Cornucopia)
My standard recipe:  Pro-tip: if you accidentially scorch the cranberry sauce you then call it "caramelized".

This year's experiment is with a fermented cranberry relish.  Riffing on this recipe:  I used 1 bag o berries, 1 apple cored pealed and rough chopped,1/2c honey, 1/2 cup orange juice, 1/2 cup lemon juice, tsp kosher salt, tsp cinamon, 1/2 tsp(ish) ground cloves, 1/2 c rasins, PLUS 1 packet of villi yogurt culture that had been in the fridge for a while because I didn't have any whey. If it works, great.  If not, oh well.  It tastes pretty good as is, we'll see what a few days of sitting on the counter will get us.  I slipped a saucer under the jar because I expect it to weep. 


Oct. 5th, 2014 04:04 pm
sarahbyrdd: (Canning)
7ish pounds of crispins & spencers from Lymans Orchards.
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup lemon juice

7 pints + of apple sauce at roughly $1.20/jar.

I like to prove to myself that it's economical to home-can.  
sarahbyrdd: (Canning)
Used last year's recipe for plain ole peach jam:

$8 for a 1/2 peck of peaches = 13 4-oz. jars, 1 8-oz. jar, and a bit more.

Which works out to around $2 a pint for a low sugar jam.  Not too shabby for an afternoon's work.
sarahbyrdd: (Canning)
This year we're making only salsa with our tomato box, since that's what we used the most.

This recipe for roasted tomato salsa:

And this year's pepper mix was 4 anaheims, 2 jalapeños, and 2 dried chiplotles per batch.
EDIT:  Apparently we forgot to add the roasted peppers.  So we've got 20 pints of mildly mexican spiced tomatoes.  I guess it'll be like Rotel.  Still useful, but not what I was after.  Damn.

Yield 20 pints of salsa, plus 1.5 quarts of crushed roasted tomatoes that we'll use during the week.
Materials per pint work out to around $1.25.


sarahbyrdd: (Default)

October 2016



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