Sunday, January 29, 2012

If You Haven't Noticed

There is a recurring theme on my blog. Cooking. I do enjoy it. My sister brought me a bumper sticker sized magnet for my fridge:

She knows me.

Inspired by my niece, Shannon, at Thanksgiving, we made a decadent breakfast treat for New Year's. We made Aunt Lucy's Orange Cranberry Walnut Bread batter and then scooped it into the deep fryer to create amazing doughnut holes. SO. GOOD. Certainly not something you'd want to eat every day. Well, you might, but you shouldn't. I think you know what I mean. No recipe here, but I'd encourage you to try making your favorite quick bread into doughnut wholes sometime. Really. Be brave and just wing it.

And I need to share with you how easy it is to make your own mayonnaise. We don't purchase mayonnaise anymore, it's filled with unnecessary additives, unhealthy ingredients, and it's over-priced. Enter homemade. I found this recipe on Mary Hunt's website, I don't know where she got it. Oh, and the best part - you make it right in the jar!

So to a wide-mouth, pint canning jar, place these ingredients in order:

Homemade Mayonnaise

1 egg
1 Tbsp lemon juice (bottled is fine)
1 tsp white vinegar
1/2 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup canola oil*, room temperature

Place an immersion blender in the jar, all the way to the bottom and over the egg yolk. Turn the blender on high and lift toward the top as you see the mayonnaise develop. It should only take one pass of 10-20 seconds. Now rinse off the blender - you're done.

* Ok, canola oil isn't necessarily "healthy", it is over-processed and won't make the list of truly healthy oils. You can use good quality olive oil if you like and I have, but for the least intrusive oil flavor, I do use canola for my mayo. If you ever want to talk about oils, saturated, unsaturated, instability due to missing hydrogen atoms, etc., we can have a private convo.

It makes great mayonnaise. If you cover the jar and let it sit for about 8 hours on the counter, the lemon juice and vinegar will pasteurize the mix. It keeps well in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

And it's so quick, you can make it for a hungry guy at lunch while he's getting sandwich fixings out.

Something I can't believe I've never made before is Pita Bread. We enjoy it dipped in hummus and I love to stuff a pita with hummus, sprouts, cucumber and radish. Why have I never thought to make my own? Maybe it was the mysterious pocket.

Mystery revealed. I found this great recipe here. And I'll repost it here for your convenience:

Pita Bread

1 tablespoon yeast
1 ¼ cup warm water
1 teaspoon salt
3- 3 ½ cups flour
  1. Dissolve yeast in water for about 5 minutes in the bowl of an electric mixer.
  2. Add salt and 1 ½ cups flour and with the dough hook, beat to make a batter. Add additional flour until a rough, shaggy mass is formed. Knead 8 minutes until dough is smooth and elastic. Add more flour if it is too sticky.
  3. Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface and divide into six pieces for large pitas or ten for smaller. I make all sorts of sizes to suit different snacks and meals.
  4. Form dough into balls, then flatten with a rolling pin into ¼ inch thick discs. Try and keep an even thickness as this is what helps them ‘puff’.
  5. Let rest on the floured surface 30-40 minutes until slightly puffed. Preheat oven to 425F.
  6. With a large spatula, flip the rounds of dough upside down on to a baking sheet. Bake 10-15 minutes until light golden. Stick around to watch for the first five minutes of baking when the pitas perform their magic and puff up from flat pancakes to proud, four inch high pitas!
These store for up to two days well wrapped or frozen for three weeks.

How about a pita stuffed with chicken salad from a pasture raised chicken with homemade mayonnaise? Oh yeah.

And finally, tonight we had a turkey dinner with trimmings. Kent butchered 3 more turkeys yesterday and we roasted a 23 pounder for a big family dinner. After a lovely meal of turkey, dressing, green beans and cranberries, some smart aleck said they were looking forward to the pumpkin pie. There was no pumpkin pie. But wait, I like to feed people. I like them to leave my table happy. What could I do? How about... Pumpkin Pie ice cream? Sure, why not? What if I put the pie ingredients, minus the crust and with cream instead of evaporated milk, into the ice cream maker?

Let me tell you that it was a HUGE success! The creamiest, mousse-like, delicious pumpkin ice cream - I don't think I'll ever need pie again. This was truly amazing.

So I'll wrap up and leave you with this recipe:

Pumpkin Pie Ice Cream

1 can pumpkin puree
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1 1/4 cups heavy cream

Place all the ingredients in a mixing bowl and whisk until smooth and well-blended. With ice cream maker running (if you have a Cuisinart), pour the mixture in and let it run for 25 minutes. Enjoy. Just that easy.

I hope you have a great day and if you stop by my house, I'll cook you some tasty food.

1 comment:

Rae said...

You're my hero! Creative, intelligent, adventuresome, lovely, funny...