Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Time For Pho.

I love a good pho
and pho is never any farther away than my own freezer.
When I make pho broth,
I make a big batch - 5 or so quarts at a time,
and I freeze it.

See my post here to learn how to make the broth.
It is truly ambrosial.
It's a clear broth with delicious umami flavor
developed from a combination of spices
and charred onion and ginger.

I have only made pho bo,
which is made from beef.

There is also a pho ga, made from chicken.
That will have to be another project for me.

Once you've made the broth,
here are the accoutrements.
Sliced shrooms.

Cilantro, basil, mint, scallions, lime, hot peppers.
Pretty dahlias.

Rice noodles and mushrooms.

I never buy any meat that isn't on sale.
I think of it as "aged."

Cut into strips.
You could use all different cuts of meat.
I just happened to have the chuck in the freezer.

Cook noodles according to package directions.

I'm making a little marinade for the meat -
some cornstarch, rice vinegar, and soy sauce.

Pour it over the meat.

More prepared accoutrements:
lime slices
chopped scallions
chopped cilantro, basil, and mint

Minced jalapeno and cayenne.

I sautéed my mushrooms in butter and oil.

Then I sautéed the meat.

Scrape all those goodie bits up.

Put some bean sprouts in there.
And some other green sprouts.
It's a partay!
Pho is my phavorite.

Pho is exciting.
Different flavors in every spoonful.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Rosie Makes Granola Bars

 I've noticed my boys have been buying granola bars,
since they leave the wrappers all over the damn place.
And those bars are expensive.
I know I can make granola bars, cheaper and better.
So I did.
Last time I made granola bars,
I jotted a few notes in the margins of my "recipe"
for suggestions for the next time.
And my suggestions worked.
This was better than the first batch.

 Rosie's Granola
4 cups oatmeal
1 1/2 cups grape nuts
1 cup sweetened coconut flakes
1/3 cup dark brown sugar
1/3 cup light corn syrup
1 cup sliced almonds
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup dried dates
1/4 cup honey
1/8 cup maple syrup (the real deal, not the chemicals)
1/8 cup coconut oil
1 stick unsalted butter, melted

Thoroughly mix all dry ingredients together.
Add in liquid ingredients.
Stir to incorporate.
Spread evenly onto greased rimmed, baking sheet.
Bake at 300° 35-40 minutes.
Let cool in pan, then slice into bars.
  Hide them.

 Nice chewy textures
and I love the flavors.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Rosie Makes Coffee Cake For Her Boys.

Youngest Hawthorne was breezing through the room the other day.
"Mama, you think you could make coffee cake sometime?"

Now is as good a time as ever.

Quick Coffee Cake

Cake Ingredients
1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
12 oz. sour cream
1 tsp vanilla 

Topping Ingredients
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1 cup chopped pecans
Mix all topping ingredients together and set aside.

Cream butter and sugar.
Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
In a small bowl, mix together flour, 
baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
Add the dry ingredients alternatively with the sour cream,
beginning and ending with the flour mixture.
Pour half the batter into a greased 9 x 13 baking pan.
Sprinkle with half the topping.
Add remaining batter and sprinkle with rest of topping. 
Bake at 350° for 25- 30 minutes,
until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

My house smells nice and cinnamony!

Youngest Hawthorne followed his nose downstairs
and took a look at his coffee cake.
"Don't you think it needs some icing?"

1/3 cup powdered sugar
2-3 TB cream
1 tsp vanilla
Mix well.
No clumps.
 Drizzle over top of cake.

 Quick and easy.
Moist and delicious.
The Hawthorne boys were happy.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Rosie Is Challenged. But Then You Knew That.

 I was recently challenged by a friend
to incorporate teff into my culinary repertoire.
Teff is the national grain of Ethiopia.

I started on the fermentation
and made injera. 
But during the meantime,
I made teff polenta.

These are teff grains.
The smallest grain.

 Teff Polenta
1 TB unsalted butter
1 TB olive oil
1 small zucchini, peeled and chopped
1 pepper, small dice
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 shallot, chopped
pinch of sugar
2/3 cup teff grain
2 cups boiling water
handful of grape tomatoes
handful of mushrooms
handful of basil

Heat skillet over medium heat.
Add butter and oil.
When butter starts to get foamy,
add in zucchini, garlic, shallot, and pepper.
Sprinkle maybe a teaspoon of sugar over top.
Cook until mushrooms are browned
and veggies start to caramelize - about 5 minutes.
Stir in the teff and add boiling water and salt.
Simmer for about 2 minutes.
Add tomatoes and basil.
Cover and simmer for 10-15 minutes, 
stirring occasionally, until the water is absorbed.
Serve with a pat of butter and grated Manchego cheese.

 Remember, you eat with your eyes first.
So close your eyes.

Mild, nutty flavor.
Serious nutritional punch.
I feel healthier already!

Whenever I have something super-nutritional,
I have to balance it out - with butter and cheese.

Middle Hawthorne loved this,
especially once I told him about teff's super powers.
He finished it off tonight.
Mr. H. asked MH to save him some.
Didn't happen.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

It's Pizza Time!

 I love a good pizza
and I'm making one tonight.
I'm making the crust from scratch
and I'm making a fresh tomato sauce from my garden.

I peeled, cored, seeded, juiced, and chopped 3 large tomatoes.
Chopped half an onion and some basil.
Put all in a pan over low heat,
added a teaspoon each of sugar, kosher salt, and freshly ground pepper.
Let it cook down for about an hour.
Taste test.

While the sauce was cooking,
I made my pizza dough.

Pizza Dough
1 package yeast
1 tsp sugar
1/2 cup warm water
about 1 3/4 cups bread flour
kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

Pour water in a small bowl.
Sprinkle yeast over top,
then sprinkle sugar on top of yeast.
Stir to dissolve.
Let the yeast "proof."
Gradually stir in flour, just a little at a time.
When you can gather it into a shaggy ball,
turn it out onto a lightly floured board
and knead away, adding more flour if dough is too sticky.
When the dough is smooth and elastic,
put it in an oiled bowl, turning to coat,
and let it rise until doubled in bulk.

Work the dough, spreading it out.
Dimple it, then pour in some olive oil.
I used a blood orange infused olive oil.

450° oven for about 10 minutes,
until the crust is golden.

Provolone slices on the bottom.

Some fresh tomato sauce on top.

Add some sautéed portabellas and spinach.

Sliced black olives.
And there are pepperoni slices going on.
I slice them thinly and put them on a paper towel.
Nuke for about 22 seconds to get rid of all that grease.

Grated Mozzarella on top.

Back into 450° oven until bubbly,
about 8 minutes.

Best pizza I've had in some time!