Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Sourdough Pretzels

I've been giving homemade sourdough a shot the last month. I used this basic starter recipe and have had lots of fun from there! I've made two different loaves of bread, a batch of cinnamon rolls and these pretzels. The starter just keeps getting better and better the longer it sours. I've read that some sourdough aficionados have used the same starter for years and years.
I used this recipe with a few tweaks. They have a thin, crispy outside and a soft, chewy inside. Perfect with some sharp cheddar cheese or melted butter. I did get some caramel sauce but I like them much better with cheese.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Mandarin Orange Ice Cream

My very own creation!! This is amazing. Creamy and refreshing...yummy, yummy, yummy.

2 eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 can of orange juice concentrate, thawed
1/2 cup mandarin oranges
2 cups heavy cream
2 cups milk
4 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt

Beat eggs and sugar until thick. Add oj concentrate, oranges, vanilla and salt and combine. Add milk and cream. Mix well. Freeze in ice cream maker. Devour. Don't hold back the audible YUM.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Brazilian Stew

This stew is awesome. Make it. Soon. It actually tastes better the second day after the flavors have melded together. But wonderful the first time too.

Brazilian Stew

1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 pound ground chorizo sausage*
1/3 pound cooked ham, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 (1 pound) sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
1 large red bell pepper, diced
2 (14.5 ounce) cans diced tomatoes with juice
1 small hot green chile pepper, diced**
1 1/2 cups water
2 (16 ounce) cans black beans, rinsed and drained
2-3 mangoes - peeled, seeded and diced
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 teaspoon salt

Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat, and cook the chorizo and ham 2 to 3 minutes. Place the onion in the pot, and cook until tender. Stir in garlic, and cook until tender, then mix in the sweet potatoes, bell pepper, tomatoes with juice, chile pepper, and water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer until sweet potatoes are tender.
Stir the beans into the pot, and cook uncovered until heated through. Mix in the mango and cilantro, and season with salt. Serve over rice.

*The original recipe called for link chorizo but our butcher only carried ground and it was wonderful.
**I used a pretty large jalapeno and it wasn't very spicy. I'll use a serrano next time.

I served it with a spinach salad: fresh pineapple, red onion, walnuts and a honey orange vinaigrette.

Zucchini Sweet Potato Bread

Zucchini Sweet Potato Bread from Hogwash

2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup flour
1/2 cup cornmeal
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon cinnamon
2 cups sugar
3 eggs
1 cup oil
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups grated zucchini
2 cups grated sweet potato

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Grease and flour bundt pan.

Whisk the flours, cornmeal, soda, salt and cinnamon together.

Whip the sugar and eggs for 2 minutes on medium-high speed, until light. Add the oil and vanilla and mix to blend. Add the dry ingredients a bit at a time, mixing until the flour is just incorporated. Stir in the zucchini and sweet potato.

Bake 60 to 70 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool 20 minutes in pan, then transfer to rack to cool to room temperature. Store wrapped in foil.