April 2011 Archives

whole_wheat_pita.jpgI've tried a few pita recipes, and this one is hands-down my favorite. The whole wheat flour adds flavor without weighing the dough down, and a bit of yogurt keeps the texture soft. Wonderful with homemade falafel or chicken souvlaki.

1 tablespoon sugar
1 package dry yeast (about 2 1/4 teaspoons)
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons warm water (100° to 110°)
2 1/4 cups white flour
1 cup whole-wheat flour (best with whole wheat pastry flour), divided
2 tablespoons 2% Greek-style yogurt
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
3/4 teaspoon salt
Olive oil cooking spray
Dissolve sugar and yeast in 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons warm water in a large bowl; let stand 5 minutes. Weigh or lightly spoon flours into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Add bread flour, 3 ounces (about 3/4 cup) whole-wheat flour, yogurt, oil, and salt to the yeast mixture; beat with a mixer at medium speed until smooth. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface. Knead dough until smooth and elastic (about 10 minutes); add enough of remaining whole-wheat flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, to prevent dough from sticking to hands (dough will feel sticky). Place dough in a large bowl coated with cooking spray, turning to coat top. Cover and let rise in a warm place (85°), free from drafts, for 45 minutes or until doubled in size.

Place bread stone in oven and preheat the oven to 500°. If you don't have a bread stone place the oven shelf on the lowest rack.

Divide dough into 8 portions. Working with one portion at a time, gently roll each portion into a 5 1/2-inch circle. Bake on bread stone or place 4 dough circles on each of 2 baking sheets heavily coated with cooking spray. Bake, 1 sheet at a time, at 500° for 8 minutes or until puffed and browned. Cool on a wire rack.

Original Recipe

ginger_pork_stirfry_with_butternut.jpgI don't generally like ginger in savory dishes, but in this Asian stir fry it blends well with the subtle cinnamon and orange flavors in the dish. Precooking the butternut squash a few minutes in the microwave gives enough of a head start in the cooking process to ensure tender cubes. Serve with rice.

1 (2-pound) butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 tablespoons peanut oil
2 tablespoons coarsely grated orange rind
1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 (3-inch) cinnamon stick, broken
1 1/4 pounds pork tenderloin, trimmed and cut into 2-inch strips
2 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons Chinese black vinegar (or balsamic vinegar)
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup chopped green onions
Place squash in a large microwave-safe bowl. Add water to a depth of 1 inch. Cover with plastic wrap; vent. Microwave at high 8 minutes or until tender. Drain and set aside.
Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add rind, ginger, red pepper, and cinnamon stick pieces; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove and discard cinnamon stick pieces.
Increase heat to medium-high. Add pork to pan, and sauté 4 minutes or until browned. Combine sugar and next 5 ingredients (through salt), stirring with a whisk. Add sugar mixture to pan; cook 2 minutes or until sauce is slightly thickened, stirring constantly. Add squash; toss to coat. Stir in green onions.
sweet_sour_pork.jpgFollowing the standard crockpot steps of brown meat, chop vegetables, combine ingredients and forget about it, this hearty Asian dish makes an easy, comforting, weeknight meal. The sauce is more tangy than the usual tomato based sweet and sour, add hot pepper flakes or chili sauce for more of a kick. Serve over rice.

2 tablespoons plus 1-1/2 teaspoons paprika
1-1/2 pounds boneless pork loin roast, cut into 1-inch strips
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 can (20 ounces) unsweetened pineapple chunks
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium green pepper, chopped
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1-3 tablespoons brown sugar
3 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 cup cold water
Hot cooked rice, optional

Time estimate:Prep: 20 min. Cook: 6-1/2 hours

Place paprika in a large resealable plastic bag. Add pork, a few pieces at a time, and shake to coat. In a nonstick skillet, brown pork in oil in batches over medium-high heat. Transfer to a 3-qt. slow cooker.
Drain pineapple, reserving juice; refrigerate the pineapple. Add the pineapple juice, onion, green pepper, vinegar, brown sugar, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce and salt to slow cooker; mix well. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours or until meat is tender.
Combine cornstarch and water until smooth; stir into pork mixture. Add pineapple. Cover and cook 30 minutes longer or until sauce is thickened.
Yield: 6 servings.
baked_pancake.jpgKnown as a "baked pancake" in the Dewberry & Brown houses, this rich, custardy dish rises while baking for an impressive presentation. Serve as you would normal pancakes - with syrup and fresh fruit.

3 eggs
½ c. sugar
1 tsp. salt
2 c. milk
1 ¼ c. flour
½ stick butter, melted
1 tsp. vanilla
1/8 tsp. cinnamon
or
½ tsp. almond extract
Preheat oven to 375°.
Put all ingredients except butter into bowl. Beat with electric mixer until blended (will be very thin)
Melt ½ stick butter in 9x13" pan.
When butter is melted, add about ½ of it to batter leaving remaining butter in pan. Pour batter over hot butter and bake at 375° for 30 minutes

From: Dewberry/Brown family traditions
noknead_peasant_bread2.jpgThis is my favorite recipe from the cookbook "Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day" because it has a slightly buttery flavor from the rye and wheat flours added to the usual recipe. The method is simple: mix everything together, let it rise once for a couple of hours, then keep in the fridge until you want to bake. On baking days, it only takes about 1 hour and 20 minutes to make a loaf, which really isn't bad for real yeast bread. Steam and a baking stone help the crust develop a crackling artisan texture. This dough can be used for other recipes as well - calzones are one of my favorite alternatives when we've had our fill of plain bread. 

3 cups lukewarm water
1 1/2 tablespoons yeast (or 2 packets)
1 tablespoon Kosher salt (original recipe calls for 1.5)
1/2 cup rye flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
5 1/2 cups all purpose flour
cornmeal for pizza peel
-Makes 4 1-pound loaves but can be doubled or halved.

Mix
Mix yeast and salt with the water in a 5 quart (20 cup) container (best if it has a lid but is not airtight).
Mix in remaining dry ingredients without kneading, using a wooden spoon or mixer.
Cover (not airtight) and allow to rest at room temperature until dough rises and collapses (or flattens on the top) approximately 2 hours.
The dough can be used immediately after the initial rise, though it is easier to handle when cold. Refrigerate in a lidded (not airtight) container and use over the next 14 days.

Shape
On baking day, dust the surface of the refrigerated dough with flour and cut of a 1 pound (grapefruit-size) piece. Dust with more flour and quickly shape it into a ball by stretching the surface of the dough around the bottom on all four sides, rotating the ball a quarter-turn as you go.

Rest
Allow to rest and rise for 40 minutes on a pizza peel or cutting board that is well covered in cornmeal. Note: you won't see much change in size during this time.

20 minutes before baking, preheat the oven to 450 degrees F, with a baking stone placed on the middle rack. Place and empty (metal!) pan or broiler tray on any other shelf that won't interfere with the rising bread.

Bake
Sprinkle the loaf liberally with flour and slash a cross, scallop or tic-tac-toe pattern into the top, using a serrated bread knife. Leave flour in place for baking, tap some of it off before slicing.

Slide the loaf directly onto the hot stone. Pour 1 cup of hot tap water into the broiler tray and quickly close the oven door. Bake for about 35 minutes, or until the top crust is deeply browned and firm. Allow to cool before slicing.

From: Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day
dill_chicken_salad.jpgThis recipe is famous back home at ladies meetings and potlucks. The dill gives it a delicious spring flavor and if made in a food processor it makes a wonderful creamy spread for crackers or homemade bread. And don't forget the celery salt- it really makes a difference in taste. As with all chicken salads the measurements are approximate.

1/3 c. mayonnaise
1/2 c. plain yogurt
1/2 tbs. dried dill
1/2 tsp. celery salt
juice from 1/2 lemon (optional)
~2 c. cooked chicken, chopped fine

Combine the first 5 ingredients thoroughly. Taste, adjust, and add to the chicken. Mix well and serve with bread or crackers. Alternatively: if serving as a dip, blend all ingredients in food processor until creamy.

Recipe by Debi Akiyama

tuna_cakes.jpgCrispy pan fried tuna cakes made from pantry staples. Perfect for a light summery lunch with salad or as an appetizer.

1 7-oz can of tuna
2 tsp dijon mustard
2 green onions, chopped
2 eggs
1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs + another 1/2 cup for breading
salt and freshly cracked black pepper
squeeze of lemon juice
olive oil

Mix together tuna, mustard, onions, eggs, 1/4 cup breadcrumbs and lemon juice in a medium bowl. Season with salt and pepper.

Using your hands, pat into 6-8 patties. Roll in remaining breadcrumbs. Place on a flat dry surface for 15 minutes (this allows them to firm up and the breadcrumbs to absorb excess moisture).

Heat a tablespoon or two of olive oil over medium heat. Fry tuna cakes about 3 minutes per side until golden brown and cooked through.

Original Recipe

banana_blueberry_muffins.jpgA delicious, fairly lowfat use for overripe bananas and fresh blueberries. Note: use white flour only, wheat overwhelms the delicate banana flavor.

2 ½ cups sifted flour
2 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
1 cups sugar
1 egg, beaten
½ cup orange juice
1/2 tsp. vanilla (optional)

2 Tbsp. butter, room temp.
1 ½ cups (or more) chopped fresh blueberries
½ cup chopped walnuts (optional)
3 ripe bananas, mashed

Sift the dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt) together.  Then add the sugar, egg, oj, and butter. Whisk together.  Fold in the bananas and blueberries.

Pour into a 9"X5" greased loaf pan or a lined muffin tin and bake at 350 degrees for 1 ¼ hours (for loaf) or 20 minutes (for muffins).  Remove from pan when done and cool on rack.