Monday, October 31, 2011

Roasted pork & adzuki bean soup ~

Homework soup ~~ Insert love here.  Most mornings Former Little Dude gets himself up and out the door to high school on his own.  I'm on a two schools-three children schedule around here.  Up until this year all three were at the same school that went through 8th grade.  This year FLD not only is in high school, start time is at 7:45a., he's also taller than me by almost a handful of inches.  He's challenging as a male teenager that is never wrong and I love him anyway.  Since most mornings he is out the door before I rouse from bed, a tinge of guilt from not making him breakfast is a steady feeling early in the mornings.  I was always good at warm homemade breakfasts most mornings...until this year.  What I do now that is new and nurturing is that I have ready a good after school snack for him.  It's more like a small meal...that boy at 14 growing thing.   Today it was this soup.  "Looks like there is a lot of meat in it, Mom, so I'll probably want a lot of it."  Okay.

Got some smokey seasoning blend?  I did.   Pretty fun stuff.  I don't often purchase spice blends, but this was one of their free sample tastings.  They mixed it with yogurt for a spicy sauce to serve as a spread with a chicken patty sandwich.  We did that.   Moving onto what I used it for after that....

The prep ~
I did the roast and beans the day before making the soup

Pork roast, either shoulder or butt.  (I've been told it's the same cut.  I don't understand that, but that's what one butcher told me.)
Seasoning blend
2 T. oil
Carrots, two
Onion, one medium
Bay leaf
1 c. chicken stock

2 c. dried adzuki beans
Kosher salt
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • Season the roast with salt and a smokey seasoning blend.
  • Heat a  3" high saute pan over medium high heat, or use a stock pot.  Add oil.
  • Sear off the pork roast, letting it brown on each side without moving it until it releases from crusting/browning.  Turn once.  When browned, remove to a plate.
  • In the pan, add the carrot and onion and saute until browned.
  • Add the chicken stock, scrap the bottom to release the tasty browned bits.  
  • Add the roast back to the pan, cover and braised in the oven for two hours.
  • Remove the roast and let cool a little before using or putting in the fridge.  Save the veggies and broth if you want to use in the soup....goooood flavor.
While the roast is cooking --
  • Rinse the beans and cover with hot water.
  • Heat over high to boiling, then remove from heat.  
  • Drain the beans and rinse.  Return to the pot.
  • Add hot water, covering the beans by four inches or more above the bean line.  
  • Again bring to a boil.  Reduce to a simmer, covered.  
  • Please monitor the cooking beans often, be generous with testing starting at the hour mark.  Simmer for 90 minutes, add salt - about 1 1/2 tablespoons, more depending on how much water you used.  Ideally the salt is added in the last half hour of cooking time. 
Note ----  I pulled these off the heat before they were completely soft throughout - I left them still firm in the very middle middle.  They will get more cooking time with the soup process.

The next day ~ the soup ~

Two carrots, small chop
Two celery stalks, sliced
One onion, diced
Olive oil
Two bay leaves
Smokey seasoning blend
6 c. chicken stock
Shredded pork roast
Cooked adzuki beans
1-2 tsp. puree of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
Corn, fresh cut from the cob, one cob
  • Heat a stock pot over medium heat.  When hot, add oil.
  • Add the veggies, season with salt and seasoning blend.  Sauted until there is some brown on the onions.
  • Add the chicken stock, the pork, the beans, and bay leaves.
  • Let simmer for 30-45 minutes. 
  • Adjust seasoning to your liking, adding a bit more salt if necessary.  Salt should never "sit" on the top of a finished soup, only for final small adjustments.
  • Add the fresh corn, then serve - or freeze some.  I did.  :)

    Monday, October 24, 2011

    Apple yeast bread ~


    Nest, nest, nest, nest, nest, nest, nest.   Indulgent, productively indulgent nurturing feelings flowing within.  :)  It's coming out looking like apple yeast bread.  Oh, my lucky children. 

    It starts here in the past.

    The adjustments included using half the recipe.  In the divided recipe amount bumping up the salt to 1 1/4 tsp., less on the vanilla to 1 tsp., 1/2 c. whole wheat flour and 3 1/2 c. white flour, nix the spices.

    The inspiration for this are the little wonderful Central Oregon apples.  Someone showed up to a meeting I attended with a paper grocery bag of these small beauties.  Being that there were about a dozen others in the room and a handful of them would want them, I had to silence my impulse to scream out "Mine!  Back off!"  Well, come on -- it's me, it's free, it's nature in the form of food sans impulse is to lunge and hoard.  I took the one with the longest stem because I found it enchanting.  *love*  Then I sat back until after the meeting and everyone else took what they wanted.  My patience-letting go in life continues to grow, this is a gift I've nurtured.  Nurture that which is kind, honest, loving, forgiving, joyful...serenity comes into place in life on it's own.  Then I go have fun making stuff like this recipe! :)

    There were smaller than baseballs
    This is being linked to the wonderful website Yeastspotting

    Apple yeast bread ~

    Use the above link to the cardamom bread with the noted adjustments.  This will make two rolls. 

    Num, num

    The apple filling ~

    Apples of your choice, approximately three cups diced.
    1/2 c. brown sugar
    1 T. tapioca flour
    1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon - more or less to your taste.
    Pinch of salt
    (I cannot believe I am out of nutmeg, so these were without - and were just deliciously cinnamon laden.) 
    4-6 T. melted butter
    • Mix the dry ingredients in a small bowl.
    • Add half the mix to the apples in a mixing bowl and toss.  Set aside for a short time.  If you let it sit long it will start to juice from the sugar.  That is going to happen during the rise time anyway, I just don't want to roll it while wet.
    • Roll the dough to 12" x 16".  Spread the dough with melted butter. 
    • Sprinkle the one dough with half the remaining brown sugar.  Sprinkle out half the apples.  
    • Roll, seal, let rise for 30 minutes.  The apples will weep the sugar mixture.  This is the time to preheat the oven to 375-400 degrees.  
    • Brush with an egg wash before putting in the oven.  Sprinkle with optional sugar.  Then make cuts.
    • I baked these at 400 degrees for 35 minutes.  I believe it would have been better to bake at 375 for 50+ minutes.  The apples will make the inside layers to be moist.  If the bread is not cooked all the way, it will be undone and doughy.  So...better a little longer than not. 

    Showing the apple-sugar that has seeped out of the bottom

    Before baking, the egg wash with the sugar, then slit
    Have a wonderful week ~

      Thursday, October 13, 2011

      Potato Hashbrown Soup ~

      Oh boy, another hard to resist item for me -- potatoes.  This is another food item we just don't have in the house bacon.  Oh look - they are both here in attendance.  :)  

      ~FLD's after school snack, very filling ~
      I was talking about soups with FLD (Former Little Dude) last week when I made chicken soup.  I bought a bag of *REALLY* cheap potatoes in a moment of "These are cheap - we are poor" mode the same week.  Dysfunctional offerings to the public - genetically modified potatoes.  They will be the last in this home, I hope.  Back to my main thought...I mentioned potato soup to FLD because he loves potatoes.  He likes to try things, has an open mind when it comes to I said I would make potato soup.  He was happy to hear that it also had bacon.  Insert male grunting happy for meat sounds here.  14 years old = often hungry.

      Potato Soup ~

      6 slices thick cut bacon, trimmed of excess fat, sliced in 3/4" pieces
      1/2 white onion, diced
      4-6 medium red russet potatoes, large cubes, cooked.  Leave on skins.  Drain and set aside
      2 medium red russet potatoes, peeled, diced.
      5 c. chicken stock.
      3/4 c. half and half.
      2 tsp. pureed chipotle in adobo sauce
      1 T. freshly chopped Mexican oregano
      Freshly ground pepper
      • Note that this recipe has cooked potatoes.  If you have not done this, now is the time, use salted water.
      • In a stock pot heated over medium, brown bacon until it is crisp and has released all it's fat.
      • Remove bacon and all but 2 T. fat.  Reserve fat if you feel you might use a tad more in the recipe.
      • Saute diced potatoes in the bacon fat over medium-low heat until half cooked, some browning is good.  Remember to salt and pepper the potatoes as you start.  Remove when half cooked and reserve.  These do not get added until after the other boiled cubed potatoes have been pureed.
      • If you feel you need a tad more grease use either the reserved bacon fat or a touch of olive oil.  In this, saute the onions until brown.
      • Add the cooked cubed potatoes, not the sauteed diced potatoes, 3 - 4 cups of the stock and the oregano to the onions.  Let warm through.
      • Remove the potatoes and stock to puree in a blender, in batches.  Watch the overspill, leave the lid ajar with a towel covering or it will spray out.  Never blend hot liquids in a closed atmosphere.
      • Add the puree back to the stock pot.  Add the remaining chicken stock, the half and half, the chipotle puree and the reserved sauteed diced potatoes.  Let come to a gentle simmer until the diced sauteed potatoes are cooked through, but still fairly firm to the bite.
      • At this point, since salting the hashbrowns and the onions, there should not be too much need for more salt, only minor adjustments.  I tend to like a peppery potato soup, so I added more freshly ground pepper.  The chipotle puree ads depth to taste.  Add water if you want it thinner.
      Happy Fall day!  Eskimo kisses ~ ~ ~

      This is linked to the happy sharing day of Foodie Friday. 

      Wednesday, October 12, 2011

      Winter Cinnamon Rolls ~

      Num, num.  :)  It might be more accurate to say that I make this in joyful anticipation of an upcoming Winter season. 

      For Miss Annie

      I make cinnamon rolls about once a year.  They are up there in the top five Hard-to-Resist list for me.  Monday I made a batch of cinnamon rolls.  This being Wednesday evening I still feel like I ate too many.  *oy*  Tuesday morning I woke with a sugar headache, that doesn't happen often...but considering much I've not been eating white flour/sugar combos since the first of the year, I'm not surprised.  

      Aside from that, I made cinnamon rolls while Annabelle was on a three day school camp trip.  Oops.  Big oops in a child's mind.  I might have been a baker at one time, but my children did not get a steady treat of baked goods.  Last night, I fully realized that Annie finding out we had cinnamon rolls while she was gone was not going to go over well.  I made a different recipe today, a better one.  This time I didn't eat a single one.  I did try a piece....for testing see if I want to keep this recipe.  (I do, but it's not the favorite one.)  Annie indeed was not happy when I said I made rolls, she interrupted me mid-story asking, "Did you save one for me?!!!"  I said no...she pouted...I said I made a fresh batch.  Quick smile and satisfaction in her eyes.  Yay.  She's home, she's sleeping, she liked her cinnamon rolls, she said she missed us, loves us and repeated several times tonight that she is so happy to be home.  Not because camping wasn't fun, it was.  Because she loves who live in this little cozy run down old house.  I feel loved and centered.

      I didn't realize until this post how close to a year it has been.  Happy cinnamon rolls to you!

      This recipe, using yeast ~ is sharing company with other yeast recipes at The Wild Yeast blog.

       1/2 c. butter melted
      1 c. milk - I used 2%
      4 tsp. yeast
      1/4 water, 105-ish degrees
      2 eggs, room temp.
      1/2 c. sugar
      3/4 tsp. salt
      5 c. flour -  bread flour or unbleached all-purpose is fine

      Interior ~

      1/2 c. butter, either softened or melted and cooled, but not set.
      1 c. brown sugar, packed
      5 T. cinnamon
      Optional nuts and cinnamon

      • Melt butter in a saucepan, remove from heat.  Add milk to warm. 
      • Proof yeast with the water, in a mixer bowl if using a stand mixer.  Let stand 10 minutes.
      • Add eggs, sugar, salt to the yeast, mix.  If using a stand mixer, use a paddle attachment.
      • Add three cups flour, mix thoroughly.
      • Add the fourth cup and continue to mix to shaggy.  Replace the paddle attachment with the dough hook if using a stand mixer.
      • Add the fifth cup of flour, knead a few minutes or three to five minutes with a mixer.
      • Let sit for 5-10 minutes, then resume kneading for another 3-5 minutes until smooth.
      Note here -- I'm in a dry part of the states, so five cups flour gives me a nice smooth dough....if in the South, you might need a little more - but remember...a little tacky is better than a little tough when it comes to possibly adding more flour. 
      • Put dough in a greased bowl and let rise until double.
      • Roll out dough on a floured surface to approx. 15" deep x 24" wide.
      • Schmear butter over dough except for the front one inch.  Sprinkle on sugar mixture.
      • Roll from the 24" side.  Seal seam.
      • Cut in half and each half in half in eighths.
      • Place in a buttered 10" round or whatever you have where they fit and none are touching.  
      • Cover loosely and let rise until double.
      • Preheat oven to 350-375, your choice.  Bake 25-35 minutes until nicely golden and a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into a doughy area. 
      • Let loved ones enjoy warm.  If they are children, let them have two when they ask if they can have another.  Okay - it's only Former Little Dude that asks and he's he can.  :) 
      We didn't feel like adding icing, we tend to like not-to-sugary treats and these are sugary enough....but FLD and I being the critic team came to the conclusion they would be very good with cream cheese icing...yes, they would!

      Before the oven

      Saturday, October 1, 2011

      Rhubarb, straight rhubarb

      A tart made for Annabelle Elizabeth

      No rhubarb-strawberry, no rhubarb-raspberry...rhubarb sans fruit.  Rhubarb as the sugared up vegetable that it is, this is my favorite way to have a rhubarb in tart or pie form.  My Annie loves this tart.  Though two years ago she would have passed it over completely.  I am thrilled her taste buds took a turn to a wider spectrum in all food areas...I have my own personal issues to climb over with having had to cook for people that sustain themselves on mostly protein, starch and sugar.  I am not far from a good or bad diet, but variety is what I like since I dislike so few foods in general.  Cooking and baking for someone with very limited tastes doesn't sit well with me.  I am fortunate to have veggie loving, ethnic food loving, whole grain eating children.  :)

      This was the last of the Redmond rhubarb from a dear friend's plant....a simple joy to use something fresh from the garden of someone I love.  *ahhh*  Love truly feels good.

      This is a smaller tart pan, adjust recipe as needed.  A pie pan will take double this amount.

      Single crust recipe of your have a favorite, I'm sure.  :)

      12 oz. rhubarb, cut into 1/2 slices
      2/3 c. sugar plus 1 T.
      1/4 tsp. cinnamon
      Freshly grated nutmeg, as much as you like, I used 1/2+ tsp. for this amount of rhubarb
      The barest pinch of salt
      2 tsp. tapioca flour

      • Mix sugar, salt, spices, tapioca flour.
      • Add in rhubarb, mix and let sit for 20 minutes.
      • Roll out tart dough for pan, use as single tart or single with scraps rolled for lattice.
      • Add rhubarb into tart, top with lattice, egg wash the top and sprinkle with sugar.
       Bake at 375-400 degrees - your choice.  Bake for 35-50 minutes, depending on your oven temp and just how toasty brown you like it.  Not very accurate am I?  These things are subject to me ~ I'm a happily moody baker.

      That's pretty toasty brown...right there up front...bubbly luscious ~ ~