Archive for the ‘recipes’ Category

Now that it is November (complete with glorious lake effect snow/rain/snain in Rochester), I’m thinking about the holidays, and, most pertinently, the associated foodstuffs. Today I’m making my mom’s cinnamon swirl bread, which I think started as a special Christmas treat but has expanded to fill the surrounding months which are cold and generally in need to cheer.

It’s a pretty great yeast bread recipe, and has some sugar in it so it’s pretty hard to mess up. Also, each slice has a swirl of cinnamon-sugar through it (hence, you know, the name), so it looks super fancy without being too technically difficult.

Here is the recipe, straight from mom:

Orange Cinnamon Swirl Bread

6 cups bread or all-purpose flour, approximately
2 packages dry yeast
1/3 cup nonfat dry milk
½ cup granulated sugar
1 ½ teaspoons of salt
1 ¼ cups of hot water
½ stick butter, room temperature, or softened in the microwave
1 tablespoon grated orange peel
¾ cup orange juice
1 egg, room temperature

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon mixed with ½ cup sugar
2 teaspoons of water

Measure 2 cups flour into a large mixing or mixer bowl and add the dry ingredients. Pour in the hot water and stir vigorously to blend into a thin batter. Add the butter, orange peel, orange juice, and egg.

Add flour ¼ cup at a time, stirring with strong strokes after each addition until the dough becomes a rough shaggy mass that can be turned out onto a floured work surface.

Knead for 8 minutes. Add a bit more flour if the moisture works through the surface and sticks to the work counter.

Place the dough in a greased bowl, turning the dough to be certain it is filmed on all sides. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and put aside until the dough has doubled in bulk (approximately 1 hour).

Punch down the dough. Turn onto a floured surface, and divide in two. Cover with wax paper and let rest 10 minutes ( I don’t do this! )

Roll each piece into a 15” by 7” rectangle. Each will be about ½” thick. Spread each piece with the cinnamon sugar mixture, and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of water. Smooth with a spatula. Roll from the narrow side. Seal the edges securely by pinching tightly and along the seams. Tuck in the ends and place seam down in the pans.

Cover the pans with wax paper and let stand until the dough has doubled in bulk, about 45 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 375˚ 20 minutes before baking.

Bake for 10 minutes, then reduce heat to 325˚, and bake for 30 minutes more, or until the loaves are nicely browned, and test done when tapped on the bottom with a forefinger. The sound will be hard and hollow. (I actually cover the loaves with a large piece of aluminum foil to keep the from burning on top after the first 10 minutes, and remove it during the last ten minutes). Remove from pans and cool.

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Circles by Dave Kleinschmidt

What better to do when snowed in than make thick, delicious barley soup? This recipe is from the Moosewood New Classics cookbook and is really hearty. You can use just about any vegetables you want as long as you end up with 6-7 cups—I used Kale, potatoes, sweet potatoes, peppers, and carrots.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 c unhulled raw barley (rinsed and picked over)
  • 7 c water
  • 3 T olive oil
  • 2 c chopped onions
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 1 1/2 c cubed white potato
  • 1/2 c diced celery
  • 1 c diced red or yellow bell peppers
  • 1 c peeled and diced carrots
  • 1 c cut green beans (1-ing pieces)
  • 1 c cubed yellow or green summer squash
  • 1 c chopped mushrooms
  • 1/4 t dried marjoram
  • 1/2 t dried thyme
  • 2 T dry sherry
  • 3 T barley miso (I just used regular miso)
  • ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/3 c chopped fresh parsley
  • chopped scallions (for garnish)

Rinse the barley and boil it in 3 c of the water until it’s tender, which should be about 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours. When it’s done, drain the barley. About a half hour before it’s done, start the rest of the stuff going:

Heat the oil in your soup pot and cook the onions and salt until tender and just beginning to brown (eight-ish minutes). While the onions cook, heat the other four cups water to a simmer in another pot.

Stir all the veggies into the onions until everything’s good and covered with oil. Add the herbs and sherry and cook for a couple of minutes, stirring.

Pour the simmering water into the veggies. Mix 1/2 c of the hot water with the miso in a small bowl until you have a smooth paste, and then pour the paste into the soup pot. Add pepper to taste, cover, and simmer until the veggies are tender (about 15 minutes). Add the (drained) barley and parsley, and cook for about 5 minutes more. Top with scallions and serve.

(Link: photo from flickr)

Dal

This is mostly for my darling sister, but these are so delicious that everyone should try them.  The recipe is from An Invitation to Indian Cooking by Madhur Jaffrey, which is full of delicious, delicious Delhi-area food that can be made with stuff readily available in the supermarket (for the most part).  My favorite part of the book is the section on Dals, where there are a million variations on spiced legumes.  The basic pattern is always the same though, and the recipes fall into three parts: cook the dal with some seasonings until its tender, then add the delicate stuff, and finally “give a tarka” of whole spices (or onions or ginger or anything, really) toasted briefly in hot oil.

This recipe (for brown lentils like you buy at the supermarket) has you first cook the lentils with cinnamon, bay leaf, garlic, ginger, and turmeric, then add lemon for a little bit, and finally add the tarka of whole cumin seeds. See the full recipe after the jump.

This dispatch comes to you in the midst of the ceremonial first procrastination of the new academic year, since I am responsible for presenting a paper at tomorrow morning’s lab meeting and have put off making slides for about as long as possible. Even though the slides aren’t done yet, I did bake some de-abso-fucking-lutely-licious sweet and savory cookies (thanks, Mark Bittman!)

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 F.
  2. Combine 2 c flour, 1 t baking powder, a pinch of salt, 1 t minced fresh rosemary (or 1/2 t dried), and 1/4 t freshly ground black pepper in a bowl.
  3. Cream 1/2 c sugar together with one stick of softened butter with a fork, and beat until nice and fluffy.
  4. Add half the dry ingredients to the sugar and butter mixture, and beat for about a minute.
  5. Add 1/4 c red wine, and beat for about 10 seconds (just long enough to combine).
  6. Add the rest of the dry ingredients, and stir, only as much as necessary to make a soft dough that holds together reasonably well (you may need to add a bit more wine to get it wet enough).
  7. Bake for 10-ish minutes, until just starting to brown. Let ’em cool for about 2 minutes on the sheet, and then move them to a cooling rack and dust with confectioners sugar.

Let me tell you: these things are delicious. They are, as advertised, both sweet and savory, and now I’m not even upset that there is no chocolate in my apartment and it is way too late to go to the store.