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Old 04-26-2007, 03:09 AM   #106
Urbane Guerrilla
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Who Wants... Bagels?

Before today's Food section, I had no idea what went into making bagels -- I was raised in the mountain states in the seventies, and it was a New Jersey buddy who introduced me to the Jewish toroid. Toroid, not Torah; you stop that. This recipe is for a high-gluten white flour, the writers note that this one isn't so hot for whole-wheat while retaining the true bagel ethnicity:

Bagels

Start to finish, 15 hours clock time, 1:15 active.

Servings: 12 regular or 24 small bagels

The Sponge:
1 tsp Instant Yeast
4 cups Unbleached White Bread Flour
2 1/2 cups Water @ room temperature

In the bowl of a stand mixer combine yeast and flour. Add water and mix together with a spoon until it forms a sticky batter. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and leave at room temperature about two hours, or until foamy and bubbly. Mixture should nearly double in size and collapse when bowl is tapped on the counter.

The Dough:
1/2 tsp Instant Yeast
3 3/4 cups Unbleached white bread Flour
2 3/4 tsp Salt
1 TBSP Barley Malt Syrup, or Honey

Set the bowl with the raised sponge in the mixer with a dough hook attachment on. Turn mixer on Low, add the yeast, then the 3 cups of the flour, all of the salt and the syrup/honey. Mix on Low speed until ingredients form a ball, slowly adding in the remaining 3/4 cup flour. Let mixer knead dough for six minutes. Dough should be pliable and smooth, feeling satiny but not tacky. Add a few drops of water or a sift of flour as needed to get the desired texture.

The Finishing Touches:
1 TBSP Baking Soda for the boiling water
Cornmeal or Semolina Flour, for dusting
Kosher Salt, Sesame Seeds, Poppy Seeds, or other bagel toppings, for sprinkles

Form the Bagels:

Wipe down your worksurface with a damp cloth. Transfer dough onto work surface and divide into 12 to 24 portions. One at a time, cup each portion in your hand and firmly press it into the counter. Move your hand circularly while pressing. In a short time, the dough should form a tight ball. Cover dough balls with damp towel, let rise 20 minutes. Meanwhile, line 2 baking pans with parchment paper and spray lightly with cooking spray.

To shape bagels, pick up each piece and push your thumb through the center. Gently rotate your thumb around in the hole to stretch it to about 2 1/2 inches (somewhat less for smaller bagels). Keep bagel evenly shaped all the way around, no thick or thin parts.

Arrange bagels 2" apart on baking sheets, and spray lightly overall with cooking spray, loosely cover with plastic wrap and let sit another 20 minutes at room temp.

This is important: then refrigerate bagels overnight, or even over two nights. Rest, therefore, from your labors. Under refrigeration, the bagel dough slowly ferments, releasing enzymes essential to true bagel-ness and savor.

To cook Bagels:
Arrange oven racks in the middle of the oven and preheat to 500 degrees F. Bring a large pot of water to boil with the 1 TBSP baking soda added. Have a slotted spoon ready to turn bagels with.

Remove bagels from refrigerator and gently place a few of them into the boiling water. After 1 minute, flip bagels over for 1 minute on the other side. If you want chewy bagels, boil 2 minutes each side.

While bagels get boiled, sprinkle the parchment papered baking sheets with the cornmeal or semolina flour. As bagels finish their boiling, return bagels to the baking sheets. If topping is desired, sprinkle toppings as soon as the bagels come out of the boiling water, while they're still wet.

When all bagels have been boiled, place pans in oven and bake at 500 degrees F for 5 minutes. Rotate the pans 180 degrees for evenness of cooking, switching shelves too, and lower heat to 450 degrees F for an additional baking time of 5 minutes, or until bagels are golden brown.

Cool on rack for 15 minutes.

Note: Bagel dough is stiff stuff. You want a powerful stand mixer to do the mixing. Commercial bakeries have those big Hobarts -- Kitchenaids on steroids and growth hormone -- but look to your mixer's directions for stiff doughs: it will likely be either to only use low speed or to give your mixer motor a rest every couple of minutes mixing time to avoid serious heat buildup. Some people start with a mixer and finish kneading by hand to "get a feel for the dough." Maybe they do.

Find barley malt syrup at natural-foods grocers. Malt powder isn't a good substitute as it messes with the dough texture.

There are special high-gluten white flours milled for bagel making, and bagel bakeries can be persuaded to part with some for a consideration. Failing that, unbleached white bread flour works. Mr. Reinhart is researching on a recipe for whole wheat flour -- and it seems to me every W/W bagel I've ever eaten more nearly resembled a Freckle-Face roll than a whole grain slice of bread...

--From Peter Reinhart's The Bread Baker's Apprentice
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Old 05-10-2007, 04:24 AM   #107
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I made the Lemon Meringue Pie recipe last weekend for a cast party, to general acclaim. I didn't mention I'd stirred vitamin C crystals from Trader Joe's into the filling, nor about a teaspoon of psyllium husk into the double-batch graham cracker crust. Those people actually ate a decadent, meringued dessert that was good for their health.
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Old 05-21-2007, 04:26 PM   #108
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my recipes are pretty simple - just the basics - some of you may already have this

PEACH COBBLER - (easy)

1 c flour (self rising)
1 c sugar
1 c milk
1 stick butter (softened)
1 can peaches w/juice (if double, use a large can)

mix together (will be runny) bake 1 hour 350

(i double - cause my boys love it & lots of v. ice cream)
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Old 05-27-2007, 04:47 AM   #109
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If You Know Jack... Aubrey, That Is

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Intermediate Eater: Keep your crew smiling and full with these nautical nibbles

By JOHN OWEN
SPECIAL TO THE P-I

Do you have a favorite recipe for Boiled Baby?

Or maybe your tastes run more toward Dog's Body or Soused Hog's Face. If so, you may want to obtain a copy of "Lobscouse and Spotted Dog." This book was recommended to me by reader Gary L. Burk after I made reference to Horatio Hornblower in a recent "Intermediate Eater" column. Burk has read all of the Hornblower novels and graduated to the works of Patrick O'Brian, author of "Master and Commander" and other nautical classics.

O'Brian has a devoted following, including a mother-daughter sailing team from Long Island who researched all the sailor's fare mentioned in the books. Before I put you off your feed I should point out that Boiled Baby is actually a pudding that the ship's cook wrapped in white swaddling cloth and immersed in boiling water. Dog's Body was a variety of pease pudding. As for Soused Hog's Face, well, all I can say is that what you see is what you get. And it ain't pretty. If a pig runs into my galley while we're cruising the Mediterranean, I think my crew might prefer:


SOUSED TENDERLOIN
SERVES 4

* 1 pork tenderloin (about 1 1/2 pounds)
* 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
* Salt
* 1 tablespoon olive oil
* 1/2 cup red wine
* 1/2 cup chicken broth
* Zest of one lemon
* 8 kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
* Rosemary sprigs

Roll the tenderloin in rosemary, then sprinkle with salt. Brown on all sides in hot oil, about 5 minutes total. Remove to a baking pan and bake at 425 degrees for 12 minutes, or until internal temperature is 155 degrees.

While the meat is cooking, simmer the red wine and chicken broth in a small saucepan for about 5 minutes. Add the lemon zest and olives.

Cut the loin into 1/3 -inch slices. Place on a platter, garnish with rosemary sprigs and pass the sauce around to slop over the meat.

The British tar in that era was allotted a gallon of beer a day. The wine-swigging officers probably preferred their beer included in:


TAR STEW
SERVES 4

* 2 pounds stew beef hunks
* 2 tablespoons butter
* 2 tablespoons olive oil
* 3 large onions, thinly sliced
* 1 tablespoon flour
* 2 tablespoons brandy
* 1 cup beer
* 1/2 cup beef broth
* 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
* Salt
* Pepper
* 2 tablespoons sour cream
* 1 teaspoon dried dill weed

Beat butter and oil in a heavy skillet. Add beef hunks in batches, browning on all sides. When all the meat is browned, transfer to an oven casserole.

Toss the onions into the skillet (adding more oil if needed) and cook over low heat until soft and golden. Sprinkle with flour, then add to the casserole.

Add to the casserole the brandy, beer, broth and allspice. Shove the casserole into a 350-degree oven and let it simmer until tender, maybe 1 1/2 or 2 hours. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Finally, stir into the stew the sour cream and dill weed.

Then you can go up on deck with a full stomach to see if the ship needs steering.
____________
John Owen writes "The Intermediate Eater" weekly. Contact him by e-mail at ieater@verizon.net.
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Old 05-27-2007, 05:18 AM   #110
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If You Know Jack A, Pt. II

I've been looking for a grownup mince pie for some time; there's only so far you can take bottled mince. This is from Lobscouse And Spotted Dog: Which it's a Gastronomic Guide:

Mince Pies

'I will just see my people aboard,' said Jack... When he reached the cabin, Captain Lambert was calling for 'a glass of brandy, there, and mince pies; but only small ones, d'ye hear me, only small ones,' ... 'What did he mean by mince pies? ... Mince pies. Why, of course: it must be Christmas in a day or two.'

- The Far Side of the World, p. 102

Mince pies are indelibly associated with Christmas. Indeed, until the mid-17th Century, they were known exclusively as Christmas Pies—they were usually rectangular, to represent the cradle of Jesus, and the dried fruits and spices were supposed to symbolize the Gifts of the Magi. The Christmas Pie of Little Jack Horner was a mince pie, though in his case it contained something more than meat and fruit. Sir John Horner was responsible for the delivery of a Christmas Pie to Henry VIII; and the plum he pulled out was the deed to a piece of confiscated church property—one of several hidden beneath the crust.

Under Puritan rule, Christmas Pies were briefly outlawed as emblems of Popery, but they resurfaced shortly afterward in less controversial guise, as Mince or Shrid (Shred) Pies. Under any name, they represent a very old tradition—the practice of preserving meat by combining it with dried fruits, spices, sugars, and alcohol dates back at least as far as medieval times, and may even have originated in ancient Rome.

Today, alas, mincemeat has lost something in translation—too often it is neither minced nor meat—but in Aubrey's time it was still faithful to its roots.

[Note: the two pastry recipes mentioned below appear elsewhere in Lobscouse and Spotted Dog and are not reproduced here to save space—but you can substitute any good short pie crust and/or any puff paste.]

2 recipes (1 pound) Short Pastry
1/2 recipe (1/2 pound) Puff Paste
1 quart Mincemeat (see below)

Mint Spies [Is this in here to see if we're paying attention? Or just to make intelligence-gathering... savory? --UG]

* Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

* On a lightly floured board, with a lightly floured rolling pin, roll out the short pastry until it is about 1/8-inch thick. Cut the sheet of pastry into 4 circles big enough to line 4 small pie dishes (the ones we use are 4 1/2 inches in diameter).

* Fill the pies with mincemeat.

* Re-flour the board and rolling pin, and roll out the puff paste until it is 1/8-inch thick. Cut 4 circles slightly larger than the pie dishes. Cut a small hole in the center of each, and place them on the pies. Crimp the edges together.

* Bake 10 minutes, then turn the oven down to 350 degrees for about 20 minutes.

* Makes 4 small pies.

Mincemeat:

3 pounds shin of beef
1 pound suet, finely grated
1/2 pound currants
1/4 pound raisins
1/4 pound sultanas
1/2 cup candied orange peel, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup candied citron, coarsely chopped
1 pound tart apples, peeled, cored and coarsely chopped (about 3 cups)
juice and coarsely chopped zest of 1 lemon
juice and coarsely chopped zest of 1 Seville orange
2 tablespoons grated ginger
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon mace
1 teaspoon ground cloves
2 teaspoons nutmeg
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup cider
1/2 cup brandy
1/2 cup red wine

Finished Mince Pies. Yum!

* Put the beef in a pot with water to cover. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer, covered, 2 hours, or until the meat is tender enough to fall off the bone.

* Take the meat out of the pot (you may want to season and save the stock, as we do, for future use). When it is cool enough to handle, remove and discard the bones, fat and gristle. You should have about 1 pound of meat.

* Shred or coarsely chop the meat, and mix it thoroughly with all the other ingredients. Put the mincemeat in a sealed container and set it to ripen in a cool dark place. It will be ready for use after about 2 weeks... or it can be refrigerated for several months (ours has been aging for about a year now, and it gets a little more interesting every day).

* Makes about 3 quarts.
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Last edited by Urbane Guerrilla; 05-27-2007 at 05:27 AM.
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Old 05-27-2007, 10:34 AM   #111
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meat and fruit. -- not my favorite combination.

We had mincemeat pies at Christmas. A relative brought them, but I refused to eat anything with suet in it.
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Old 05-29-2007, 03:37 AM   #112
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I think that's what the array of spices is in the mix for: to keep the suet, in particular, palatable. The fat that is the suet, of course, also helps seal the rest of the pie's contents away from the atmosphere and its attendant microbes, which prosper best with water, not lipids.

Fruit'n'meaty things are something I've gotten quite a taste for since picking up medievalism as a hobby. I even like prunes in my cock-a-leekie, a feature that was regarded as oldfashioned even in the eighteenth century.

The great bastion of fruit and meat living together is Scandinavia. They do not live entirely on Swedish meatballs up there, ya know.

But come to think of it, if you wanted to try it, you could. Yipes. I mean, should a guy make himself that sick of Swedish meatballs??
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Old 05-29-2007, 03:48 AM   #113
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OK, if you don't like fruit and meat, does that mean no cranberry sauce on your turkey? No apple sauce on your pork?

What about apricot chicken?

Mmmmm...fruit and meat are very good together I reckon, although we don't put meat in our fruit mince pies at xmas time. I usually just use dried fruit that I simmer in water with sugar and 'some other spices' till it become syrupy, then put them in sweet shortcrust pastry. Yummmbo. Oh, and don't forget to dust them with icing sugar when they're cool.
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Old 05-29-2007, 10:15 AM   #114
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I can't imagine roast duck or goose without fruit. Oh, I can, but it wouldn't be that palatable a dish.

Pork and ham do very well with fruit accompaniment. Stuff a pork roast with prunes, Danish style, or dress a ham with apricot glaze.

Chutneys or salsa can put a sandwich of last night's roast in the realm of nirvana. Guacamole with turkey, tomato jelly with beef, peaches and ham: mix it up.

Oh, lamb and apricots is very Middle Eastern. Try a bit of apricot in your moussaka.

Aside from citrus, I'm having a hard time thinking of fruits I'd use with fish. Bland fish could use tomato of course. But something heartier like mackerel? I'm thinking something tart or zesty, perhaps cranberry? I guess I'll have to smell some fresh mackerel to come up with a fruit dressing.
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Old 05-29-2007, 03:53 PM   #115
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great grill recipe for chicken lovers

I haven't made this for anyone who didn't totally love it and want the recipe. It's quite simple and you can kebab to your hearts content, adding whatever you kebab lovers love to kebab.

Cut boneless skinless chicken breasts into chunks 1-1/2 to 2 inches squarish. Dip one side into brown sugar, the other into chili powder (I add a bit of garlic powder, onion powder, and cajun seasoning for kick.)

Wrap a half a slice bacon around chunk and skewer. Kebab at will.

I've only made them in my gas broiler, and the bacon gets really crispy (i.e. it's not slimy.) I can imagine they would be good grilled. You can also make smaller ones on toothpicks for appetizers.

Tres yummy!
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Old 05-29-2007, 10:53 PM   #116
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Alright, so I have four massive fig trees in the backyard of our new house, and the little fruit buds are already visible everywhere. We're going to have so damn many of these things. What does one do with figs?
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Old 05-30-2007, 12:04 AM   #117
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You pick them only when the neck bends. There will be a noticeable droop. They will be soft. There should be no milky sap when the skin is broken. Wash them gently, pat dry and bite from the blossom end. You can eat the entire fig up to the stem.

Wrap whole or halved figs in ham. Prosciutto is very nice. Maybe a fume blanc with them.

Cut a few in large dice and serve over ice cream or custard. I prefer custard because the ice cream is too cold for the delicate taste of fresh figs.

You can drag the blossom end in melted milk chocolate. I think dark chocolate is too strong.
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Old 05-30-2007, 12:47 AM   #118
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from a couple that has a plum tree ,,,,,
The First year its like YAAAAAA we have PLUMS !!! I made an EPIC batch of wine !!! Carol made plum preserves ,WAAAAAAAY killer !!
Year three , YeHaww We got plums ! more or LESS of the same .
year 4 , a wind storm blew off ALL the blooms . damn it !
Year 5 , we have plums agqain yehaww .
year 6 , more plums
year 7 , plums AGAIN , cut the grass , go strolling thru the fresh cut grass with a cold beer , surveighing your work ,AHH life is GOOD untill,, SPLUT as you step on a WAY over ripe plum , it is like stepping on a dog turd , but less smelly
year 11 , an EARLY freeze ,,,,,,,, Blooms freeze and die ALL over the place . Damn it !!! the fucking plums SURVIVED !!!!!
Ill let you know about year 12 next year .
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Old 05-30-2007, 02:26 AM   #119
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clodfobble View Post
Alright, so I have four massive fig trees in the backyard of our new house, and the little fruit buds are already visible everywhere. We're going to have so damn many of these things. What does one do with figs?
Eat them. Make jelly from them and then serve it with strong cheese (if you're into cheese platters). Eat them. Use them in cooking. Oh, and don't forget to eat them.
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Old 05-30-2007, 03:22 AM   #120
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Drying Figs -- I searched on that term and got numerous hits.

Drying and Freezing Figs
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