cissalj: (scribe)
Danish Strips

A homemade version of the Danish butter cookies that come in a tin. This makes a LOT of cookies, and is dead easy. It is a Traditional Family Recipe I clipped from a newspaper many years ago.

2 eggs
2 cups sugar
2 cups (1 pound) butter, room temp, NOT margarine, and use good-quality- Land of Lakes is both decent and affordable.
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 scant teaspoon salt

Decorations: sugar, sanding or colored sugar, chopped nuts, etc.- I usually use colored sugars

Separate 1 egg, reserving the white. Mix the other egg, the yolk, sugar, butter, and vanilla. Stir in flour and salt. it can be chilled at this point; this will make puffier cookies.

Heat oven to 350F. Grease cookie sheet.

Roll 3-3.25 oz dough into a cookie-sheet-long log. Put 3 such logs onto cookie sheet. pat out till they are around 1.25 inches wide and around 0.25 inch thick.

Beat egg white with 1 teaspoon water till frothy. Brush dough with this and sprinkle with decorations.

Bake for 8-10 min, watching carefully. Ideally, they are just barely cooked, but I like some browning. Remove, and while hot, use a knife of pizza cutter to cut them into narrow diagonal strips. Remove to a rack, or newspapers covered with waxed paper to cool.

Once they are really cooled, put into sealed containers.
cissalj: (scribe)
We are still working on the leftovers for dinner! Although tonight I do need to make julekaga for us and for Game Night tomorrow.

And here's the recipe I use, slightly tweaked from previous versions:

-------------------------
This is the recipe for the Norwegian Xmas bread I always make. The traditional version uses fruitcake mix, but a very yummy alternative is the diced fruit mix Trader Joe's has sometimes had, with apple, apricot, and cherries.

I'm not Norwegian by heritage, but Swedish (in part). I grew up in a heavily Norwegian part of the country, though, and hey- it's all Scandinavia, right? :)

This recipe is designed for hand mixing, but I usually make it in a Kitchenaid, except I knead in the fruits by hand.

Julekaga
Makes 3 loaves

6.25 cups + 2 tblsp flour
6 tblsp sugar
1.5 tsp salt
1.5 teaspoons+ cardamon*
3 tblsp oil (optional)
1 heaping tablespoon yeast
1 cup warm water (for yeast)
1 cup milk (warmed speeds up rising)
3 eggs, 2 plus 1 white beaten, yolk reserved
6 tblsp currants***
3/4 cup raisins***
3/4 cup candied fruit, chopped (aka fruitcake mix or alternative)***
1 egg yolk, reserved (for glaze)**
1 tblsp cold water (for glaze)
3 candied cherries (decoration)

Mix flour, sugar, salt, and cardamon. Dissolve yeast in water. Add yeast mixture, oil, milk, beaten eggs, and fruits to dry ingredients**. Knead 3-5 minutes, put in greased bowl, turn over to grease top, cover, and let rise until doubled. Punch down; let rise again (this second rising can be omitted, as I usually do.) Shape into round loaf, place on greased cookie sheet, cover, and let rise till doubled. Preheat oven to 350F (don't know centigrade equivalent; it's a medium oven). Mix yolk and water to make wash; brush over loaf. make indentation in center of loaf, put in cherry, brush lightly with wash. Bake at 350F for 20 minutes; remove from oven, brush again with wash, turn cookie sheet around, and bake 10 more minutes. Give it one more coat of wash immediately after removing from oven, if you like.

Let cool, preferably on rack, slice, and serve. It makes great toast with butter and cinnamon sugar, and great French toast.

Where I grew up it was always sold with a powdered-sugar and water icing, but that makes it impossible to toast so I don't do it. The wash gives it a lovely sheen.

* Cardamon loses its flavor quickly at room temperature. I store mine in the freezer. some extra doesn't hurt- it loses potency in the baking.

** If making in a bread machine or mixer, DO NOT dd the fruits; knead the dough, then knead the fruits in by hand.

*** More fruit is always better.
cissalj: (scribe)
This is the best garlic bread, and suitable for tweaking.

Garlic Bread (for 1 loaf)

1 loaf good italian or french bread. You want a fairly smooth crumb and a crispy but not hard crust

1 head garlic
olive oil
salt

6 tablespoons softened unsalted butter or olive oil
0.5 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons parmesan (optional)
1 tablespoon fresh chopped or dried parsley (optional)

Heat oven to 350-400F.

Cut garlic head(s) in half, put on foil, and sprinkle with olive oil and a wee bit of salt. Wrap well and put on cookie sheet.

Bake around 1 hour. Remove and let cool.

Meanwhile, cut bread in half horizontally.

When garlic is cool, put oil or butter in a small bowl. Squeeze out the roasted garlic into it, picking out the papery bits. Add parm or parley if using (I tend to add the parsley to the non-dairy version, to make the differences obvious when I make both, but if that's not an issue it's nice in the dairy one, too.)

Put half the garlic mix on each half of the bread and spread evenly. Wrap in foil and bake at 350F-500F for 5-10 min. Serve hot, ideally, but it's also great at room temp. If you use the cheese, opening up the foil so it browns is nice.
cissalj: (scribe)
This is my take on a lovely appetizer I had at Farmhouse in Burlington, VT. I think it's an improvement, because the beets are a bit more caramelized and the dressing is a nice contrast to the smoothness of the beets and goat cheese.

It would also be excellent on a bed of mixed greens, with some extra vinaigrette, and maybe something for crunch.

Roasted Beet Appetizer

Bunch beets, usually 3-4
olive oil
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
2 tablespoons (cheap) balsamic vinegar
Thyme (optional)
Mild goat cheese- around 2 oz

Preheat oven to 350F.

Trim beet greens off beets, leaving roughly 1 inch of stems attached to the beets. Save the greens for another use (they are basically swiss chard). Scrub the beets, rub them with olive oil (or use spray oil), and wrap them in a pouch of foil. Put that on a cookie sheet.

Roast beets for around 1 hour, until done. The time can vary, but unless you have tiny beets you are not likely to overcook them. They should be tender throughout, and ideally a bit caramelized.

Remove from oven and let cool. Once cool, you can easily slip off the skins. Dice them as you prefer- I like 0.5-0.75 chunks, but that depends on what you're doing with them.

Meanwhile, mix the mustard and the vinegar, and the thyme if using. Add around 3 tablespoons olive oil, slowly, whisking to make a vinaigrette. (Note that this is also my favorite salad dressing!) You can tweak the amount of oil as you prefer.

Add enough vinaigrette to the beet cubes to dress them.

Crumble the goat cheese and sprinkle it on top of the beets. Serve. Room temp works fine.
cissalj: (scribe)
Here's a great, delicious, and dead easy mint sauce for lamb, adapted from Cook's Illustrated. It's so much better than mint jelly!:

Sweet and Sour Mint Sauce

0.5 cup fresh mint leaves, chopped
0.25 cup red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar (or honey)
Salt to taste

Mix together mint, vinegar, and sugar, till sugar is dissolved.

Let sit for 20 min, minimum, stirring occasionally.

When ready to serve, add salt if you think it needs it, and/or maybe pepper.

Serve with lamb.
cissalj: (scribe)
This is one of our favorite meals. SO easy and good! The juices from the roasting chicken permeate the potatoes, making them extra-tasty. The leftover potatoes do not reheat well, though, which is sad, but they are brilliant freshly cooked.

The underskin rub is optional, but really good, and it does flavor the potatoes. Do not over-salt the potatoes- the chicken juices have salt content themselves.

---------

High-roasted Butterflied Chicken over Potatoes
Serves 4, generously, especially if you increase the potatoes from 2.5 lbs.

Ingredients:
1 whole chicken- giblets and extra fat removed. Use a really high-quality chicken for this. You're looking for one free-range, and around 4 pounds (a bit smaller or largteer won't hurt, but the timing is for a fryer, not a roaster)

0.5 cup sugar
1 cup kosher salt, or 0.5 cup table salt

2.5-3.5 pounds of russet and/or yellow potatoes, sliced thin (0.125-0.25 in)
1.5 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper top taste

1-2 tablespoons unsalted butter, soft
1-2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
good pinch of dried thyme

Equipment:
Broiler pan in DARK color. Shiny silver does not work. Mine is enameled steel. This should be a shallow pan that fitys under a slotted, bumpy upper sheet.
Helpful: mandolin slicer, poultry shears

Instructions:
Butterfly the chicken by cutting out its spine. You may also need to use a chef's knife to break the front part of the breast keel bone. Once the spine is gone, flip it over and press down to flatten it. (save spine and neck for chicken stock; save fat for schmaltz; give the innards to critters or eat them.)

Mix salt and sugar into water in a bowl large enough to hold the bird. Once they dissolve, add the bird. Let brine for 1-2 hours.

Meanwhile, slice the potatoes- a mandolin is helpful if you have it. You do not want them paper-thin. Once sliced, soak in cold water.

Also mix up the butter, smashed garlic, mustard, and thyme into a paste.

When you near the end of the brining, heat your oven to 500F.

Line the bottom broiler pan with foil (easier clean-up). Spray with spray oil. Also spray the bottom of the top part of the pan.

Dry the potatoes- a salad spinner works well- and toss with a SMALL amount of salt, some pepper, and the olive oil. lay the slices flat into the foil-lined broiler pan. There will be several layers. make sure the corners aren't too scanty or they will burn.

Spray the top of the top, perforated part of the boiler pan with oil. Position the chicken on, it, flat- the legs should be together, and fold the scrawny tips of the wings under. Using the butter/mustard mix, put a quarter or it each under the skin of each thigh- moving it it the drumstick if possible- and under the skin on each half of the breast.

Dry off the surface and smear with olive oil, and/or salt and pepper if you like. Put the top part of the broiling pan- with the chicken- over the potatoes.

Bake 20-25 min. Rotate 180 degrees, and bake another 20-25 min.

Remove from oven, put the chicken on a plate and cover it to rest.

Meanwhile, turn on broiler, and broil the potatoes until the top is crispy.

Serve hot, especially the potatoes.
cissalj: (scribe)
I had thought this would be a bit meh, but it's really tasty, and I think will warm up well for the leftovers.

Monkfish Couscous

My notes: This is better with a meaty fish than a flaky one, which would fall apart (but still taste good). A garnish of chopped chives or scallions would be excellent. I used a pinch of tumeric rather than saffron, and replaced the couscous with millet cooked in the rice cooker- 1 cup millet, 2 cups water, small pinch of salt. We cook pretty low-salt, so a bit of salt as a garnish may be appropriate.

My notes are in parentheses.

Monkfish Couscous- Makes 4-6 servings

2 tablespoons cooking oil
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
water
3 1/2 cups canned tomatoes (one 28-ounce can), drained and chopped, liquid reserved (or diced)
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 teaspoon packed saffron threads (see note above)

1 1/2 pounds monkfish fillets, membranes removed, fish cut into 1-inch pieces
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

1 1/3 cups couscous (see note above)

In a large pot, heat the oil over moderately low heat. Add the onion and a pinch of salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. (or more.)

Add minced or pressed garlic and cook for around 30 seconds.

Add enough water to the reserved tomato juice to equal 2 cups. (If the juice is over that, add it to the onion mixture and cook down some.) Add this to the onion mixture along with the drained tomatoes, the cumin, black pepper, and cayenne. Crumble in the saffron (or add the tumeric). Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer, (partially) covered, for 10 minutes.

Add the monkfish. Cook until the fish is just done, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in 2 tablespoons of the parsley.

Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, bring 2 cups of water and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt to a boil. Stir in the couscous. Cover, remove from the heat, and let sit for 5 minutes. (Or cook 1 cup of miullet or quinoa in a rice cooker with 2 cups of water and an optional pinch of salt.)

To serve, mound the couscous onto plates and top with the fish and vegetables. Ladle the liquid over the top and sprinkle with the remaining 1 tablespoon parsley. 
cissalj: (scribe)
This is from Ruhlman:

Homemade Tomato Sauce
• 1 28-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes or 2 pounds Roma tomatoes
• 1 Spanish onion, diced or sliced, sauteed in a little butter till softened
• four-fingered pinch kosher salt, or more to taste
Optional:
• 1 bunch fresh oregano or 1 tablespoon good quality dried oregano
• 2 bay leaves
• 1 tablespoon fish sauce

1. Put the tomatoes, sauteed onion and salt in a blender and puree until the tomatoes are smooth, 30 seconds or so (you can roast or saute fresh tomatoes before hand if you wish).
2. Pour the tomatoes into a medium sauce pan, add any optional ingredients you want to use and simmer on low for 1 hour.
Yield: 3 to 4 cups of sauce.

Notes: I usually use a yellow onion, finely diced. I usually use a can of crushed tomatoes (28-35 oz), and I do not puree. Thus: I saute the onion; when it is cooked- preferably not browned, but it doesn't matter that much (cook on low heat- it's best if it's sweated)- add the crushed tomatoes and whatever optionals you want. Simmer it down till it's the texture you want; an hour is not always necessary.

Any or all of the optionals are good.

It's a very simple sauce that almost anyone would like, including fussy kids (especially if you pureed in the onions). I love it as the tomato part of a NYC-style pizza (though it has a bit more going on than is really traditional), and it's also great over pasta with some good parm, and as a dip for a cheesy calzone.

Personally, I always have onions, salt, and canned tomatoes, so it's really handy! I can ALWAYS make this for dinner!
cissalj: (scribe)
I think I have recovered this recipe that was a favorite 20+ years ago but we lost.

Citrus Chicken with Carrots
makes 2-4 servings, depending on how big the chicken breast is and how much carrot you use. Can be mulitpied; jut keep a similar scale.

Carrots- julienned- 6-8 small (not baby) or 3+ large
Whole chicken breast, skin-on and bone-in (or boneless skinless breasts,
2-4 depending on size, or raw chicken tenders
0.25-0.33 cup flour
3 tablespoons butter or olive oil
1 cup orange juice
1/3rd to 0.5 cup lemon juice
0.5 tablespoon dried rosemary*
Cooked rice for serving

Start the rice. Rice cookers ROCK.

Mix the orange juice, the lemon juice, and the rosemary. Let sit for at least 20 min if your rosemary is dried.

*This is also really good with tarragon. The dried tarragon does not need to soak.

Skin and bone chicken and cut the meat into bite-sized pieces. Reserve the skin for making schmaltz and the bones for stock. Toss chicken with the flour and some salt and generous black pepper.

Melt the fat. Start sauteing the chicken. After about 5 min, add the julienned carrots; continue to cook, adding some of the citrus mix if it's getting dry.

Once the carrots and chicken are pretty much done, add the rest of the juice mixture and mix well. The sauce should thicken due to the flour from the chicken.

Serve over rice.

Fresh OJ and lemon juice is ideal, but bottled works just fine.

-I am very pleased to have re-created this dish! It's pretty easy- and would be easier if one had boneless skinless chicken on hand- and has a very fresh, non-stodgy flavor. Adding a bit of fresh chopped parsley just before serving would be pretty.
cissalj: (Default)
OK, I am officially in love with Ruhlman's "Twenty" sort-of cookbook.

I have now made 5 recipes from it, and 4 have been brilliant. (The fifth will not be done for another 3 months or so- it's a preserved lemon confit.)

I raved about the pizza previously, and I am still craving it so will be making it again shortly.

But- today I made the "quick" coq au vin, and it is truly splendid. It incorporated roasted shallots, which were pretty splendid on their own. Now, in theory one can make the chicken in an hour; it took me 2 (elapsed time, not hands-on), but I am not a particularly efficient cook. The sauce is dark and rich and lovely. The mushrooms cooked down perfectly in the oven. The chicken legs are tender but not at all mushy. I served it over rice, to make good use of the lovely sauce it created.

In short- wonderful. I've made coq au vin before, but this is the best I've done, and other recipes have been a LOT fussier.

My main quibble with this book is its size and heft. I really wish "fancy" cookbooks would get out of the idea that they need to be coffee-table books. This one is too big and way too heavy to read easily- and since MOST of it is text- not recipes per se (the recipes are included to illustrate the text), it's damn hard to read. I'll continue to struggle with it- it's that good- but it IS a nuisance, and did not really need to be this massive.

Still- I look forward to finding more recipes of the "Ooo! I MUST make this immediately!" type! -not to mention getting a firmer grasp on various cooking basics.
cissalj: (Default)
A couple of days ago, I cooked 4, similarly-sized, room temp eggs in a controlled-temp water-bath (sous vide): 1 each for 1:15; 1; 0:45; 0:30 min.

The 1:15 has some greensish discoloring around the yolk. The white is fully cooked but tender; the yolk is semi-translucent but would make fine deviled eggs... except for the discoloration (which would not be relevant if one mushed everything up).

The 1 hour egg has a wee bit of discoloration, and a slightly more tender white. it would still be usable for deviled eggs, probably, but the white is a bit undercooked for that. The yolk is similar to the above, but with less discoloration.

The 45-min egg has a notably more tender white, and only a wee bit of discoloration. The white is tender enough not to be usable for deviled eggs. The yolk is similar, but only faintly discolored.

The 30-min egg has a white that is mushy and WAY too tender for deviled eggs. The yolk has no discoloration at all, and is cooked to semi-translucency, just like the others.

I will be using all these in tonight's chard-and-onion pie.

Next step, I think, is to crank the heat up another couple of degrees, and try 1 hour, 45 min, and 30 min.
cissalj: (Default)
This is based on a kale pie i found online. I think the chard works better. I added the mushrooms and the cheese, and will probably continue to experiment. Most veg would work well in this, as long as they are pre-cooked.

I tried it mostly because the idea of a batter crust appealed to me. It's rather like yorkshire pudding in texture and flavor.

Chard and Onion Pie
Ingredients
serves Serves 6-12

• 2 tablespoons butter, plus more as needed (unless bacon)
• A bunch of swiss chard, leaves removed from stems and sliced, and stems chopped
• 1 medium onion, chopped
• 8-10 oz mushrooms, sliced
• Salt and freshly ground black pepper
• 1/4 cup chopped mixed herbs, such as parsley, thyme, chervil and chives
• 4-8 oz cheese- cheddar, colby-jack, pepperjack, etc., shredded or cubed (optional)
• 3 hard-cooked eggs, coarsely chopped
• 0.25-0.5 lb bacon, chopped and browned before the onions etc.- optional

• 3 uncooked eggs, whisked
• 1 cup whole-milk yogurt or sour cream
• 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
• 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
• 1 1/4 cups flour

Procedures
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large (12-inch) skillet, heat the butter over medium heat until the foam subsides, or cook the bacon so the fat renders. Add the chard stems, mushrooms, and onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 10-12 minutes. Add leaves and stir till wilted. Season liberally with salt and pepper.
2. Add the chopped herbs, cheese, and hard-boiled eggs to the kale mixture, stir gently to combine, and remove from the heat.
3. In the meantime, combine the yogurt or sour cream, mayonnaise, and whisked eggs. Add in the flour, baking powder, and a good pinch of salt and whisk until just smooth.
4. Pour half the batter in the bottom of a greased 12-inch pie dish or a 9 x 13" dish. Layer in the veg mixture, then cover with the remaining batter. Bake for 45 minutes, until the top is shiny and golden. Cool for 15 minutes and serve warm.
cissalj: (scribe)
These homemade scallion pancakes are at least as good as anything I've ever gotten at a restaurant- and pretty easy! A bit fussy, OK, but easy.

http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2011/04/extra-flaky-scallion-pancakes-recipe.html

The technique is somewhat like that used for croissants and puff pastry: the dough is layered with fat and rolled out repeatedly. These are not as tender, but then, they don't have as much resting time- and I don't know that scallion pancakes are really meant to be tender like croissants. They are certainly lovely and easy and flaky.

I've started experimenting with using chili sesame oil rather than toasted between the layers. I think caramelized or roasted garlic would be a nice option instead of or in addition to the scallions.

The dipping sauce is pretty solid, though again- I'd encourage some heat in it. But then, I like the spicy.
cissalj: (Default)
The ham steak dish was easy and very good. it says it serves 6 not-especially-hungry people; I'd say 4- but we hadn't had ham for a long time so we ate largish pieces. Stretch it out by including more potatoes and/or apples.

1.5 pound ham steak
2 medium sweet potatoes
2 tart apples (I used Granny Smith)
0.5 cup brown sugar
0.5 cup water

Cut the sweet potatoes into quarters and parboil for 5 minutes in boiling salted water. Meanwhile, if there's a lot of fat on the ham slice, cut through it so it'll cook flat. Quarter apples and core. (The recipe says to cut into 1-inch slices, but I didn't and they were still overdone if anything.)

Grease a baking dish- I used a stainless steel frying pan- and put the ham in the middle. Surround it with the apples and the drained sweet potatoes. Sprinkle the sugar over it all and add the water.

Bake for 30-45 min or so at 350F, till the potatoes are done.

Serve with rice or quinoa or mashed potatoes to enjoy some of the juice. If you want to, or are doing it for company, I'd suggest resting the ham, potatoes, and apples while you boil down the juices to reduce them, and maybe add a bit of butter at the last minute off heat to thicken it.

Note: I did cook this covered; the recipe didn't specify. It might be well to uncover it for the last 10 min or so. Also, ginger would be an excellent addition to the flavorings, maybe minced and lightly sauteed before adding the rest of the stuff.

This is adapted from a 1920s era cookbook ("At Home on the Range"). In the cookbook, it's a paragraph description; I turned it into a more modern format with a bit more explanation.

ETA: I'd probably also sub apple juice or cider for the water here when i make it again.
cissalj: (Default)
I did say I'd be reading the forum to see the amount of train-wreck.

An lo! there is train-wreck.

Apparently the Etsy rules for Direct Checkout are now basically requiring that one mark the order as "shipped". Them one waits 3+ days before actually shipping it, because one is not supposed to ship until the transaction has been completed... and the transaction cannot be completed until one marks the item as "shipped" (even when it wasn't).

I see a problem here.

Also, and again- it is not at ALL compatible to custom work, for which one needs a deposit WELL before "shipping" anything. And since one cannot choose which items one applies DC to... well. I can see horrendous losses if I go with it, with any degree of honesty, and do not see any way they are dealing with those risks.

They;re sure as hell protecting the BUYERS. They are not protecting the SELLERS at all. I have had enough experience with buyers that I am not willing to assume they are all totally honest innocents; most are delightful, but there are definitely bad apples.

And using DC, a bad apple could be devastating.

I'll continue to monitor the forum... but so far, not really tempted. More sales would be great... but not if I don't get PAID for them.
cissalj: (Default)
I'm not sure if I've posted about it before or not, but I've put together from several sources a way to make an oven-roasted round roast be really tender and good. (If you roast one normally, it's pretty tough, and while they sometimes make good pot roasts, I usually use shoulder/chuck for that- it's more reliable there; however we get round roasts from the CSA, so I needed to figure out how to make it yummy!)

It takes a few days till roasting, but is pretty low-effort. Also: ideally, you'll have a probe thermometer that you can stick in it and leave there, even when it's in the oven. Mine has an alarm when the temp gets to my goal temp, and that's really handy!

First, unwrap it and dry it off. Salt it lightly with sea or kosher salt. Ideally, wrap it up again and let it sit in the fridge for a day. You can add a rub or something to the salt if you like. This tenderizes the meat without making it mushy, and seasons it, and stabilizes the moisture so it is less likely to dry out in cooking.

Unwrap it, put it on a rack (or put some paper towels under it- you want as much meat exposed as possible), and let it sit in the fridge for another 2-4 days, turning it occasionally (especially if it's on a paper towel). This dries out the surface some, and also allows it to mellow and get more tender- it's a quick version of the "dry-aging" that costs so much when done "right".

If you're time-pressed, you CAN just salt/season it and put it on the rack- it doesn't work quite as well, but it does the job. You can also skip the "aging" step. It's really best when you do both, though.

For cooking, it's mostly done low and slow. You can either brown the roast on the stovetop before roasting, or blast it in the oven after it's mostly done; both seem to work fine.

Heat oven to 225F. Lightly oil the roast and add pepper, or whatever rub you like. Add a bit more oil to a pan that'll hold the roast, and brown it on all sides. (I think the pan-browning does a better job than the hot-oven-blast, but either work.)

Put on rack in pan in oven (or just leave it in the other pan if it's got low sides and is oven-safe), and cook until it measures 115F for medium-rare. How long this takes depends on the size- this approach works for a wide variety (I've done it with 2-pound roasts). For 3.5-4 pounds, expect maybe 1.5 hours.

Turn oven off and leave the roast in, ideally without opening the door (a probe-type thermometer helps here!) till it hits around 130F, usually a half hour or so.

Take it out of the oven. If you did not pre-sear, turn the oven up HOT- like, 500F- and when it gets hot, stick it in for 10 min or so until it's crisped up. or use the broiler. (This is why pre-searing is easier!)

Once it's done, tent it and let it rest ofr 15-25 min, then carve thinly.

You will not get much in the way of drippings, if any, so there's no gravy or yorkshire pudding, alas. However- it makes a tricky cut of beef into a truly delectable roast!
cissalj: (Default)
Note: I use brown rice almost all the time when I make rice. I also use a rice cooker- $20 or so at Target.

1-2 onions (around 1 - 1.5 cups, chopped)
1 tablespoon butter
salt
1 cup brown rice
2.5 cups water

Chop your onion(s) medium to small. Saute them in butter, with a dash of salt, until they are caramelized; this will probably take at least 30-40 min. Stir occasionally (like, every 10 min or so). Using really low heat with a lid on the pan helps, as does the dash of salt.

Put a cup of brown rice into your rice cooker. Add the onion mixture. Add 2.5 cups of water.

Set the cooker to "cook" until the rice is done. This will probably take 45 min- 1 hour. I recommend putting a kitchen towel around the lid of the cooker, because brown rice tends to boil over and that will prevent it from making a mess of your countertop.

When the rice is done, stir well to mix in the onions.

This works well with various types of brown rice- I usually use long-grain, but today did it with short grain and it was yummy.
cissalj: (Default)
These are not authentic, but are very tasty. Feel free to play with the proportions.

Cold Sesame Noodles

1 pound fine egg noodles

1+ tablespoon chopped scallions (I usually use a lot more)
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
1 tablespoon minced garlic
0.5 tablespoon canola or peanut oil

2-3 tablespoons sesame oil (hot chili sesame oil or just roasted)

2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
6 tablespoons soy sauce (I use a mix of authentic Chinese and Eden Shoyu)
4 tablespoons peanut butter (smooth or crunchy; I use natural without added sugar and usually without salt)
0.5 teaspoon hot chili oil (optional)

Chopped cooked chicken or turkey (optional)

Cook the noodles as specified on the box/bag. Drain well. Toss with 1-2 tablespoons of the sesame oil (hot or not), in a large bowl.

Put the canola or peanut oil in a small pan and heat. Add the garlic, ginger, and scallions. Saute until soft but not browned. Add the sugar, vinegar, soy sauce, and peanut butter, and cook- stirring- until they come together in a glossy dressing. Add the chopped poultry, if using, and stir in. Add the chili oil if you like, especially if you have not used hot sesame oil on the noodles.

Mix the dressing with the noodles. Taste, and add more sesame and/or hot oil if it seems to need it. Chill.

This is good at anywhere from cold to room temp, and makes a TON.
cissalj: (Default)
This came to us through J's dad's family. The non-revised version called for "1.5 inches" of butter! I remember seeing J's mom measuring a stick of butter with a yardstick... Thing is, this made tasty but, er, STURDY cookies; they took some serious gnawing, and could probably be described as tasty granola nuggets.

Since I am fascinated by both the formulae of cooking, and food history, I re-thought this. At the time the recipe was written, it seemed likely that butter was sold in 1-pound blocks, not 0.25-pound sticks... which would mean 4 times the butter. When I checked this against other cookie recipes, the quantities looked reasonable, so I tried it- and the results were very cookie-like (and LOTS easier to mix!).

Gluten-free flour, like from King Arthur, makes more tender but just as tasty cookies.

Fisher Christmas Cookies

0.67 (2/3rds) cup butter (1.5 inches, or 5.33 oz.)
1.5 cups brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon baking soda
0.5 teaspoon salt
1.5 cups all-purpose or gluten-free flour
2 cups shredded coconut (5.25 oz.)
1 cup rolled oats
1 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
1 pound chopped dates

Heat oven to 375F. Grease cookie sheets, or use Silpat or parchment paper.

Cream butter and sugar till light and fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla and mix in.

Mix baking soda and salt with flour; add to butter mixture and mix.

Slowly add the rest of the stuff, mixing by hand (and often, just using your clean hands to stir it up is fastest and easiest!).

Drop from spoon (or fingers) in roughly 1 tablespoon+ blobs. Bake for around 10 min- it may be a bit shorter or longer. Cool on rack or whatever, and when cool, put in bowl or tin.
cissalj: (Default)
This is a Secret Family Recipe* that I clipped out of the Boston Globe probably 15+ years ago; it was published as a Rosh Hashannah turkey-stuffing recipe, but I looked at it and said to myself "This would be PERFECT in goose!" and so it is.

I joke that it involved throwing the kitchen at it, and it rather does... but it is REALLY good, and very suitable for fatty birds like goose and duck, since there's nothing to absorb extra fat.

Fruit and Nut Stuffing

2 tablespoons butter
1 large onion, chopped
2 ribs celery, diced
0.5 cup orange juice
0.25 cup sugar
1.5 cup cranberries (frozen or frozen/thawed OK; rinsed and picked over)
12 seedless prunes, chopped (quartered)
6+ dried apricots, chopped (quartered)
1 cup raisins or currants
3 med or 2 lg apples, diced (I like Granny Smith)
1.5 cup slivered or sliced almonds (or other nuts)
2 lg eggs, lightly beaten
0.5 cup chopped parsley
1 teaspoon cinnamon
0.25 teaspoon ground cloves
0.125-0.25 teaspoon ground ginger
Salt, pepper to taste

Melt butter. Add celery and onions; cook till tender and maybe just barely browned. Add a TINY bit of salt to help them tenderize. Set aside.

In the same pan, heat the orange juice and sugar slightly. Add the cranberries and cover. Simmer slowly until the cranberries are all or mostly popped. Add to the veg.

Meanwhile, chop the prunes and apricots (kitchen shears are easy). Add them and the raisins to the veg.

Wash the apples well (I use soap to get rid of wax), or peel them. Quarter, core, cut the quarters in half, and dice the slices. Add to rest.

Add almonds.

Add eggs and parsley, Stir some to start mixing. Add the spices, including pepper, and mix well. I do not add more salt- it's really flavorful- but do so if you wish.

Stuff into bird, close ends, truss, and cook.

If you make it ahead, maybe leave the eggs out, warm it up in the microwave, then add and mix in the eggs right before you stuff.

* ETA: I am not a fan of Secret Family Recipes that people adore, but because the cook is secretive, they die with her/him. As a cook, I am in dialog with other cooks, and sharing and adapting recipes is lots of what makes that FUN!
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