Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Tiny bubbles, in my... PIZZA!!!

We finally got to try out the sourdough starter today. I used this recipe, adapted somewhat from the recipe here, baked in the oven at 525.

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup olive oil
2 1/2 cups sourdough starter
1/2 cup water

First I combined the dry ingredients in my mixer bowl, then poured in the wet ones, and mixed until they were throughly combined. I like thin pizzas, so I went for a sticky, wet dough.

I lightly oiled it and put the bowl in a warm (80-90 degree) oven for a couple of hours (about 2 1/2) to rise.

Of course, I forgot to take a picture of the risen dough. But...

There's the pizza crust (which was cooked for about 6 minutes before adding sauce) with the beginning of the sauce. And then the final product...

Which my family proceeded to eat...

And the verdict?

Yeah, there were no leftovers, and everyone agreed it was the tastiest homemade pizza I had made. Sourdough crust won. Next? Sourdough BREAD.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Pretty healthy ranch

This is the recipe we use for ranch. I like using olive oil mayo (cause it's both good and olive oil is a nice, healthy fat). I really like greek yogurt in this more than regular, as it's more savory and tart, which I think is nice in a ranch.

2 cups plain greek yogurt
1/4 cup mayo
1/4 cup finely chopped green onion (I have also used garlic chives to great result; ramps are fun too)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley or 1 teaspoon dried, crushed
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1/4 cup grated parmessan

Combine, and allow to sit for at least a half an hour to let flavors combine. It'll keep for a few days, but because it's made with fresh veggies it won't last forever, unlike the crap in a bottle. But it tastes SO GOOD.

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Tiny bubbles, in my bread

The sourdough experiment continues. This time it never collapsed into grey goo; at this point it smells somewhere between yeast and alcohol (and smells like I want to eat it), and tiny bubbles have formed.

I'm feeding the starter regular water now (but still whole wheat flour), and in a couple of days I'm going to switch to white flour. After two weeks, with luck, I should be able to make my first loaf. Yay!

Thursday, February 02, 2012

Yakibuta - Japanese Pork Tenderloin

1 1/2-2 lbs pork tenderloin
1 tablespoon sake
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
3 1/2 tablespoons sugar
2 green onions, chopped
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1 1/2 tablespoons cinnamon (I like Ceylon cinnamon, but regular will work)
1/2 teaspoon sanshou or sichuan peppercorns (not really anything like regular peppercorns - this is the hardest to replace)
1 1/2 teaspoons star anise (or regular ground anise)
1/2 cup soy sauce

If you have a whole tenderloin, cut it in half so it fits nicely in a medium pot. Combine all the ingredients in the pot (you could do it in a different bowl, but I like less dishes) and allow the meat to marinate for 1-4 hours.

Put a little bit of oil in a fry pan (I like cast iron) and put over a high heat. Take pork out of marinade and brown on all sides, then return to pot with all the marinade. Add just enough water to cover the meat, and bring pot to a boil.

Boil for 25-35 minutes, until meat reads 160 on an instant read thermometer (Mine took about 25 minutes, as it was a thin loin), and remove pork to a plate. Reduce remaining sauce down until slightly thick. Cut loin into quarter inch thick pieces, and spoon sauce over pieces on plate. Serve with white rice and whatever else (we had it with Chawanmushi and grilled asparagus)

Chawanmushi - Japanese savory egg custard

We had chawanmushi when we went to Charlie Trotters, and it was perhaps my favorite dish. I've since discovered it is really, really easy and incredibly delicious. The texture is custard-like, but it isn't a dessert at all; I've made it for both breakfast (in place of regular eggs) and for a part of dinner. It's easiest to make in a bamboo steamer (which are surprisingly inexpensive); but you can use any way that you use to steam veggies. I don't have dedicated chawanmushi cups, so I use glass custard cups, which I cover with foil. This recipe makes 6 servings. You can also add other ingredients, like cooked chicken, prawns, shitaake, or the traditional ginko nuts; this is just for a really simple version. We really like green onions, so I'm including it.

5 eggs
3 cups dashi (some people substitute chicken broth, but it's just not the same)
2 tablespoons mirin
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 green onions, finely chopped
1/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat the steamer over low/medium heat (important; if you cook it over a igh heat you'll end up with an unappetizing grey mess) Beat the eggs until they are combined. Add the rest of the ingredients except the onions, stir throughly, and strain thru a mesh strainer (some of the egg parts will be left behind in the strainer, this is ok.) Pour into cups, divide the onion into each, cover with foil, arrange in steamer.

Cook for about a half an hour, checking after about 20 minutes. It'll be done when it is lightly set, and the color changes to a pale yellow; a toothpick inserted in the center will come out clean if it's done.

The completed chawanmushi is on the left.

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Sourdough starter... again

So I'm trying to start some sourdough starter again. Last time I followed a recipe that gave me bubbles at first, then collapsed into a grey, unpleasant goo (twice). This time I'm following a recipe that many swear by, that I found on Breadtopia. I'm making it with whole wheat flour (the recipe also calls for pineapple juice and eventually purified water). I'll update every few days to show you how it's going.

The first ingredients ready to go!

The mixture all together, and ready to wait its two days before more flour and pineapple juice. Wish it luck!