Monday, December 24, 2012

holiday cooking 2012 [two recipes and some photos]

One of the really nice things about an extended at-home vacation is that Hanna and I can eat on our own schedule, which for both of us is more along the brunch-at-ten-late-lunch-at-four-cocoa-before-bed than breakfast at seven, lunch at noon, and dinner at six.

Hanna's parents gave us Rose Elliot's New Complete Vegetarian for Christmas and we've made some lovely and simple recipes from it, like the oatcakes and most recently vegetarian toad-in-a-hole. Toad-in-a-Hole is basically a baked pancake with sausage in, and very simple to make! Elliot's version is as follows:

1. Heat oven to 450 Fahrenheit.

2. Brown vegetarian sausages (we used the Field Roast apple & sage, but any kind would work!) in 1/4 cup of oil (we used olive, but any nut or vegetable oil would work) in a cast iron skillet, remove from the pan and set aside. Leave the remaining oil in the pan for later use.

3. In a mixing bowl or blender, combine:

1 cup white flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
150ml milk
150ml water

Beat until smooth and put in a pitcher (I used a Pyrex measure) or leave in blender for easy pouring.

4. Put skillet with oil into heated oven and let warm until the oil is very hot and just starting to smoke.

5. Pull out the oven rack and pour the batter directly into the pre-heated skillet. Drop the sausages into the pan, distributed as evenly as possible, and close the oven door as quick as you can.

6. Bake for approximately 25 minutes (don't open the door to peek!). Check after 25 minutes and once the top of the pancake is golden brown remove from the oven and serve immediately.

It was just the sort of meal we needed prior to going out on a brisk walk yesterday afternoon to the Chestnut Hill Reservoir and back.

This morning, Christmas Eve, we're having coffee and cinnamon buns while listening to the MPBN broadcast of the Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols from King's College, Cambridge. The buns are inspired by our favorite recipe of Joy the Baker's, her sugar and spice yeast rolls. But this time I did make a few changes that Hanna and I agreed were

  • I substituted half whole wheat flour for the 2 1/2 cups white flour in the recipe
  • I swapped the amounts of cinnamon and cardamom in the dough, since Hanna and I love cardamom
  • Instead of the citrus zest I put in a tablespoon of cocoa powder
  • I also added two teaspoons of cocoa powder to the filling
  • And instead of butter I used coconut oil in both the dough and filling
In other news, we're forecast to have a couple of inches of snow overnight and into the morning hours of Christmas Day, so hopefully Hanna will have the white Christmas she's yearning for!

Happy Holidays!

Cross-posted at the feminist librarian.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Thursday, March 15, 2012

welsh rarebit mac and cheese

What to make when celebrating the end of a two-day migraine? Macaroni and cheese, of course! Here's the recipe for a mac-and-cheese dish I put together on the fly this evening in celebration of actually feeling hungry again.

1. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. In a medium pot, set about a quart of water to boil (for cooking pasta). When the water boils, add about 2 cups of dry pasta and cook until just tender.

3. In a medium saucepan, melt 2 tablespoons of butter and saute one large onion, minced as finely as you can make it.

4. When the onions are going translucent, add 2 tablespoons of your favorite mustard (we used Stonewall Kitchen's cheddar ale mustard; a strong Dijon would also be nice) and about 1/4 tsp of smoked paprika.

5. In a 2-cup pyrex measure, warm 1/2 cup milk in the microwave and stir in 2 teaspoons of cornstarch. Add to onion mixture and stir until mixture begins to thicken.

6. Add remaining cup of milk and about a cup of shredded cheese (we used sharp cheddar). Add salt and pepper to taste.

7. Turn off heat until milk mixture once everything has incorporated, and set aside until pasta is done.

8. Mix pasta and cheese sauce in one of the saucepans and pour into a loaf pan or equivalent oven-safe dish.

9. Sprinkle top with about 1/4 of paprika and bake in oven for 30 minutes.


Saturday, February 4, 2012

two modified savory bread recipes

This weekend, Hanna and I made two of our standard bread recipes -- with slight variation. Mostly due to that thing where we didn't have what the recipe called for in the cupboards, so we had to improvise (that happens a lot!).

1. Goat Cheese Apricot Stilton Biscuits (Joy the Baker). We've long loved this particular drop biscuit recipe, which you make in a cast iron pan in the oven. We happened to be craving biscuits to go with tomato and vegetable soup on Saturday and thought to make these. Except we didn't have goat cheese. We

2. Cheddar, Beer and Mustard Pull-Apart Bread (Smitten Kitchen). So okay, we didn't so much improvise this one as let Smitten Kitchen improvise for us. With some pretty tasty results! In a slight variation, we used whole seed mustard and a cheddar made with caramelized onions. You won't be sorry.