Thursday, May 25, 2017

Make a single recipe of Pate Brisee:
1 1/4 cups flour
1/2 stick butter
1/2 t salt
1 T sugar
3T water
Chill till the apples are cooked.

Peel core and quarter 7-8 apples.  Cortland, Granny Smith or if you like them,
Golden Delicious.
I cast iron frying pan, 10 inch a similar heavy bottomed pan will work but best not
to use something that is too thin as the apples will turn to mush if too much heat
melt 6 tablespoons of butter(real butter, probably unsalted is best)on med heat.
Add 1 cup sugar when the foam subsides but before it colors.
Cook until the sugar melts in the butter(try not to stir, but it will be OK if you
must)and continue till it turns a nice amber color.  Add extra butter if it refuses
to melt.
Arrange the quartered apples VERY tightly in the caramel in a pleasing pattern with
the nice side facing down into the pan. Shingle them in if you must.
Continue to cook the caramel and apples till the apples are tender but not soft. 
Caramel will bubble up around the apples.
NO Spices, but if you cannot live without, use some cinnamon.
As the bubbling subsides, roll out the Pate Brisee till it just overlaps the top of
the pan by 14 inch.  It does not have to be neat! Or round!
Lay to pastry over the top of the apples and press down till it makes full contact.
 Tuck the excess down around the apples into the pan edge not fuss,
it should be a bit rustic. Do not poke holes in it.
Bake at 375 in mid oven for 30 min. 
Turn over onto a platter to unmold before the caramel has time to cool...within
three minutes or so.
Serve hot or cold.  If you have Creme Fraishe so much the better.
Does not taste like apple pie.  Fresher, more appley, so choose an apple you like
the taste of.
Do not substitute pastry type if you like authentic, but others will work.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Mildred Stevens Cafarella's Raisin M-m-m-Mumbles


2 1/2 cups Raisins
1/2 cup sugar
2T cornstarch
3/4 cup water
3T lemon juice

Combine and stir over low heat till thickened.

The Crumbs

3/4 cup soft margarine
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 t salt
1/2 soda
1 1/2 cups rolled oats

mix butter and sugar, add dry ingredients.  then add oats.

Press half of the crumbs into the bottom of a greased 13 x 9 x 2 inch pan.
Spread the filling on the crumb base.
Pat on the rest of the crumbs.
Bake for 20 to 30 minutes at 400 degrees F.
Cut in squares as it cools.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Fondant Potato

Cut the ends off three Russet potatoes.  Cut down to remove the skin around the edges of the potato to form a cylinder with the cut ends as the ends.  Cut the cylinders in half.  you are left with three short cylinders like enormous Scallops.  Place the cylinders in vegetable oil in a cast iron Pan, flat end down.  Fry till medium golden brown.  Turn over to the opposite ends. sop up all the oil with a paper towel.  replace the oil with three tablespoons of butter.  Add fresh thyme(or dried) to the butter.  Baste briefly.  Add 1/2 cup chicken broth and baste again.  Place in 425 degree oven for about half an hour, or till tender in the middle. 
You may add more broth if they dry out completely while cooking.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Nothing Says Loving Like Something Deadly From The Oven.

I thought I had discovered something new and awful in my food today, but in researching it I found that it has been in use since the 1950s.  Interestereified soybean oil was in the cookies I just ate.  Why Oh Why don't they check out the ingredients at the store!!!??? (There has to be something wrong with an ingredient whose name has a homonym for terrified in it.)  This was in a care package sent to me from a cousin.
These oils are chemically modified versions of old familiar trans-fat oils and fats.  They do not actually fit into the same category as TRANS-FATS which are absolutely horrendous for our health.  So, they are no longer mentioned as trans-fats, but are seemingly much worse.  These will lodge themselves in Male arteries, inflame them and promote plaque adhesion.  In women, they lodge in fats of the body and so promote cancer such as in the fat of the breast.  There were a number of other issues surrounding them, but too many for me to list here.  Sooooo....just avoid them!
I hope that all of you are already looking for and avoiding labels that say Trans-fats, Saturated fats, Hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated...for that matter...why not just avoid all fats, but if you cannot, go for Olive oil, Butter and mono-unsaturated fats.
Now, I really want to avoid butter....good heavens what a bad choice, but if you are making something that requires shortening, Butter is a much better overall choice. 
Here is the real kicker...these fats may not even appear on the ingredients list!

Here is a health tip to top all health tips:

Make as much of your food from scratch as possible!

Butter vs shortening

I remember the taste of rolls in big pans...wonderful...and baked goods of all kinds, made with shortening.  I guess it is made out of vegetable fat, and that has to count for something, but it is of the great watchwords for foods to avoid. Butter on the other hand may be high in calories, and full of fat, but at least it is not hydrogenated.  If you are baking, shortening makes the baked goods much more tender, and butter tends to crisp the baked goods up a bit, sometimes unpleasantly so, but it is clearly the better choice if you must eat fat in baked goods.
Here is a compromise...I give you permission to eat butter instead of shortening....but eat much less just to please me!
Margarine too is hydrogenated and though it may work in your baked things, is not a good choice for your health.  To be fair though, you should read the label on your brand of margarine to look for the words Hydrogenated, trans-fat and saturated fat.  If they appear, you should avoid them.
Olive oil is a mono-unsaturated fat.  It is a good oil, as are others, but it may not be satisfactory for baking.  There are some fine recipes in the Italian repertoire for baked goods with Olive Oil, but traditional recipes do not work well with it because of the liquid state of the oil and because of the pronounced taste of the oil.
If you are Italian though, you probably enjoy the taste of Olive Oil on your bread, vegetables etc., so please try this instead of butter or margarine.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Apple Tea in the Turkish Style

    2-3 average sized red apples, leave unpeeled and quarter them
    1 unpeeled orange, quartered
    1 cinnamon stick
    1 litre water
    2 cloves – whole


1.    Add all the ingredients together into a saucepan. Bring to the boil. Once at boiling point, leave the ingredients to simmer and  to soften.
2.    Squeeze the remaining juice from the fruits and strain all the liquid into a jug.
3.    The tea is now ready to be served and can be sweetened with sugar cubes, as in Turkey, or honey if you prefer.

Alternatively, grind red unpeeled apples finely and spread them to dry on a hard surface, or dry in a very low oven till no longer moist, store sealed and brew like regular tea.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

To Make Corned Beef

Use a five pound piece of beef trimmed of fat etc.  Brisket is traditional but I like Eye of the round. Cheap tough cuts are usual.

mix together:
1/2 cup kosher salt
1 1/2 tablespoons of black peppercorns
3/4 tablespoon allspice ground
1 t thyme dried
3/4 T paprika
2 bay leaves or three if small

Pierce the meat liberally with a skewer or fork or meat fork...Swiss cheese it! on all sides
mix all the ingredients above and rub the meat on all sides with it.
Place in a zip lock bag or a non reactive pan just large enough to hold it with little airspace. Cover with water just barely. Very little water in a tight pan, or more salt will be needed.  You can also just seal the meat in a bag with no air and let it exude its own juices under weights.
Weight it down in the water to keep it from bobbing to the surface and refrigerate for 5 to 7 days, turning daily in the brine.
To cook rinse and boil in enough water to cover with plenty of space in the pot to add tons of vegetables and potatoes.
Should cook 2 to 3 hours until tender when pierced.  Remove and cover tightly and add carrots turnips potatoes parsnips, quartered onions...anything you like and boil to cook, ass cabbage at the top for half and hour or till tender to your taste. 


fred Burrill's Uncle Ed Bearce's Griddle Cakes. From Alberta Burrill

I just rummaged around in packed boxes and came up with these, here where my cooking facilities are minimal, so instead of cooking and eating, I will put them in the blog to satisfy my craving.

Sift together:
1 1/2 cups flour
1 t soda
2 t cream of tartar
1 t salt

 1 egg beaten
3 T melted shortening
1 cup milk

Stir only to mix

This should be stirred as little as possible to make it fairly uniform as otherwise gluten will form

Cook on a hot seasoned or buttered pan

This forms a very light and fluffy batter similar to a mousse
1/4 cup measures must be spread around manually in the pan as it will form a mound without doing that.  It makes very light and fluffy pancakes.  Add a little more milk to make a more traditional batter.  Add blueberries or other berries or apples.  Try with chopped nuts like pecans or walnuts.  soak raisins in brandy till they plump and add them with as little liquid as possible.