Monday, November 23, 2009

Pan Roasted Cabbage Sprouts

I really wish there was a picture for this but hey, it gets dark at 4 pm now and I don't have any fancy lighting.

Using the cabbage sprouts I got at the Holiday Farmer's Market, I decided to modify a recipe I saw from Sunny Anderson on Cooking for Real. She used brussel sprouts instead.

4 strips thick-cut bacon
2 tablespoons butter
1 pound cabbage sprouts, shredded
1/2 large onion, chopped
Salt and pepper

~Cook bacon in a large skillet over medium-high heat until crispy. Remove, allow to cool and chop.

~Shred cabbage sprouts and add to the same pan with bacon fat. Add butter and onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until sprouts are golden brown, 10 to 12 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and add bacon back to pan.

~Serve warm.

recipe modified from: Sunny Anderson

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Holiday Farmer's Market

I joined a CSA this year which saved on going to the actual market.

How did it go, exactly, since I only blogged about it for a few weeks? We got a lot of corn, green beans, potatoes, squash, tomatoes and radishes. I froze a lot of the corn and squash to give to The Good Baby in a few months. We also ate a lot of green beans with bacon and mashed potatoes.

This weekend there was a Holiday Market which drew a lot of different vendors from the area. There were a lot of local meat vendors there, which was awesome, considering only a few make it to the regular farmer's market.

What did I score?

Natural White Cheddar

Honey candy

Cabbage Sprouts

Banana Blueberry bread

All Purpose Seasoning

Classic Catawba Wine

Chocolate Mocha biscotti

Apple Butter

(Not pictured) Beef Jerky

Chicken drummies

Beef Sticks

All of the goodies were either local, organic or both.

I am super excited to make the chicken since I already ate the jerky and beef sticks and they were amazing.

I plan on making pan roasted cabbage sprouts and potato gratin with white cheddar. I am not sure what I will do with the chicken. Maybe some braised chicken with white wine, but I am not sure.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The longest wait for food ever or Classic Sourdough Bread

Sourdough is on the list of 100 Foods I Want to Make. So cross another one off the list. Yay (just excuse that I totally missed the deadline)!

Every first Monday of the month my newspaper contains the Relish magazine insert. I always glance at it and think I will make something from it but I never do. Until I got October's issue.

There on the cover, in all it's carbohydrate goodness, was the most beautiful sourdough bread ever. I intently read the article to The Good Baby, assuring her in a few months she could eat some as well. Hell, in a few months the first batch might be finished by then.

It's no lie that sourdough takes forever to make. You have to make the starter and let it good and soured before you can even begin to think about making bread. But it was on my list and I wanted to concur it.

I made my first batch of bread 2 weeks after beginning my starter. I made the second batch a week after that. I could tell the difference. The sour taste was just a little more ripe than the first batch and just the way I like it.

So the wait wasn't that bad.

Sourdough Starter

3 (1/4-ounce) packets dry yeast
1 1/2 cups warm water
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

~Dissolve yeast in water in a large plastic container (gallon-size works well). Add sugar. When yeast bubbles (about 10 minutes), stir in flour until you have a smooth paste.

~Cover loosely to allow gases to escape and place in a warm spot in your kitchen 2 to 3 days. The mixture should bubble and give off a sour odor. Stir starter once a day, making sure to stir in any crust that’s formed. After this point, you can store starter in the refrigerator or leave it out in a cool, dark area of your kitchen.

~Feed starter by stirring in 1 cup all-purpose flour and 1/2 cup water every day if you leave it out, or every few days if it’s refrigerated; otherwise, it will become too acidic and eventually die.

~Once starter has grown a few weeks and has reached full strength, you can decrease feedings to once a week.

~If you don’t use your starter regularly, it’s going to get unruly and burst the bounds of its container. Give some away to friends along with feeding and baking instructions.

Recipe by Gesine Prado, "The Start of Something Good," Oct. 2009.

Classic Sourdough Bread

1 cup Sourdough Starter (see recipe)
2 1/4 cups warm water, divided
5 to 7 cups white bread flour, divided
2 (1/4-ounce) packets dry yeast
2 teaspoons sugar, divided
2 teaspoons salt

~Mix sourdough starter, 2 cups water and 5 cups flour in a large bowl. Mix well; cover with a dish towel and let rise 8 hours or overnight.

~Combine yeast, 1/4 cup warm water, and 1/2 teaspoon sugar. Let stand 5 minutes, until mixture bubbles.

~Place flour mixture in the bowl of a stand mixture. Add yeast mixture, salt and remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar. Mix well. With your hands or a dough hook, knead while gradually adding up to 2 additional cups of flour, 1/2 cup at a time. Knead until a smooth, soft dough forms. Dough should be shiny and supple, not sticky and wet. If you plan to add additional ingredients (see note), add them at this point so they are evenly distributed.

~Place dough in an oiled bowl; cover with a dishtowel and let rise about 2 hours.

~Punch down and divide in half for 2 large loaves or fourths for 4 smaller loaves. Knead each portion by hand on a lightly floured surface until smooth; shape into rounds. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet and lightly cover with a dishtowel. Let rise 1 hour, until double in size.

~Preheat oven to 375F. Just before placing bread in the oven, place an ovenproof bowl filled with 2 cups of water or ice cubes in the bottom of oven to create steam to help bread form a crisp crust.

~Slash tops of loaves with a sharp knife. For a rustic look, sprinkle with flour. Bake about 45 minutes, until loaves sound hollow when tapped on the bottom. Makes 2 loaves, 12 servings each.

Recipe by Gesine Prado, "The Start of Something Good," Oct. 2009.

The Organized Kitchen, Part 1 - Pots and Pans

When we moved from The Good Apartment, we went from literally one kitchen drawer and 5 cabinets to more than double that space. I had more than enough room for my tiny stash of kitchen wear but I still had enough for it to become messy if not controlled.

Previously, all the pots and pans were in the drawer under the stove. But we have a gas oven in the new house and that eliminated the pot and pan drawer. So I dedicated the double cabinet to the left of the stove as the pot and pan headquarters.

The cabinet looks like this:

My skillets are on the left, in order of size. The pots are in the back, smallest to largest. The lids are on the right. The shelf is reserved for the stock pots, my wok skillet and my extra 12 inch skillet. I got the lid holder for less than $10 at Target. I am able to see which lid I need quickly and easily. I only have 5 lids here but it will hold up to 7.

I also got the pan holder at Target for around $12. You can use it either vertically, like I did here or you can use it horizontally. I find I save more space using it vertically. It also comes with two screws so you can secure it to your cabinet but I haven't used them. I don't think I will need them, considering I have my cast iron skillets on the rack and it holds them just fine.
It holds 6 pans.

So instead of one big drawer under the stove, where everything would be piled on top of one another, I have a neat and organized cabinet. Having the pots and pans in this order allows for such ease of access, since I am not pulling out 5 pots to get to the middle one stacked inside.