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Friday, September 30, 2011

CORRECTION ON COOKBOOK RECIPE

I must apologize!  I found a typo on the Cheesecake Recipe in my cookbook. The Temp setting should read 275  not 225!  Big difference.  Please take note for anyone who bough the book.  I will make the changes on the second edition due out next year.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Results on Bread recipe one

These pictures show how the dough performed.  The first one show the ingredients in the mixing bowl.  The directions tell you to put the yeast and water in the bowl. stir and then add the rest.  For this recipe I am using a 6 QT Kitchen Aid Pro mixer with the dough hook. 

The next picture shows how wet the dough is when you finish.  I did knead the dough longer than the recipe called for but I think after seeing the final product I would do it even longer.
This picture shows you the dough after a two hour rise and before it goes into the fridge.  By the next morning the dough was at the top of the bowl.

Over all the idea of the recipe is good, but the final results were disappointing.  When I find a really great recipe I will pass it on.  This one claimed that you do not have to knead.  However considering the structure of the bread and the fact that it does not rise much in the oven.  I would say that I disagree and will make some changes.  Due to copyright I cannot put the recipe here.  I will have  the link in a future post and the recipe will referred to as Bread 1.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Follow on the bread

well I will make some changes to that recipe. It is OK but the bread did not raise as high as I would have liked it.  The loaves were small  and dense with a nice crust. Much like you would find in an artisan bakery.  The bread had a good flavor. I still have some in the fridge so I will bake it in a few days to see if it develops a sourdough type taste.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Bread

I have two loaves of bread in the oven as I write this.  It is one of the recipes that I wanted to try to pass on to you.  I have pictures and will post the results later.   The recipe I used lets you make a large "mother" batch that you take dough out as you need it for up to 14 days.  It came together well and the bread looks good.  Stay tuned!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Artisan Bread

I am doing some experiments with recipes for Artisan Breads.  These recipes are ones that do not use a lot of yeast and have long times for fermentation and raising.  They also rely on the air born yeast that is all around us to help.  Because they use such a long raise time ( usually about 12 - 24 hours) they develop a richer flavor and some will remind you of sourdough.  So stay tuned and I will post pictures of the research and the results.  (This will not be good for my waistline!  But I always like to go the extra mile for my readers and followers!)

More later!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

COOKING CLASS PHOTO

This was one of the displays for the class on Olive Oil 

I used wine glasses so the class could see the color and smell the aroma from the different Olive Oils. This one was the mildest.  The class was able to see not only the color differences but the vivid differences in the bouquet. 

Ollive Oil

Who knew there were so many Olive Oils?  If you had been a the class today you could raise your hand!
You would also have learned the difference between Extra Virgin, Virgin and Olive Oil.  If you have questions about Olive Oil let me know.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Faro Salad

I will demonstrating a new recipe in the Sous Chef Series at Williams Sonoma today at 12 noon. Come by for taste!  I cannot share the recipe here, but if you come by the store there will be copies there.  Today I will be making Faro Salad.  A great fall time change for an entree salad or a side dish. 

See there!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Some changes

I made some changes to the blog.  I added some links for Smashwords.  It is one of the places my cookbook is marketed.  They have been very helpful.  If you are considering writing a cook book or any kind of EBook, I recommend you check out the links.  I will add more links as I find cookbooks or other "foodie" stuff.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Making Stock

Soon it will be time for soups and stews. If you make your own stock it will be better and you will know what is in it. If you have been keeping all your end pieces of celery and other veggies and the all the chicken parts you do not use in the freezer, then you are prepared to make stock.  If not just pick up a chicken and some veggies.  Here is a very simple stock method.

Chicken Stock

(Use the outside of onions - the part you usually throw out and you will have a deeper color to your stock)

Chicken Parts or one whole chicken cut in quarters
3 onions - peel and all
the end piece of a stock of celery
12 garlic cloves - slice in half
2 carrots - unpeeled and rough chopped
2 bay leaves
Bouquet Garni -- Rosemary, thyme, sage and tarragon - tied together or in an cheesecloth bag
12 cups of water or enough to cover

Put all the ingredients in a large stock pot and bring to a boil.  Turn the heat down to low so it barely simmers.  cook for 8 - 10 hours.   After about 1 hour check to see if you need to skim any foam that may have formed.  Note if you want to use the chicken meat, remove after about one hour. De-bone and return the bones to the pot. 

After the stock is cooked, strain out all the bones, veggies and spices. Pour the stock though a fine mesh strainer and refrigerate overnight.  Next day skim off any fat.  You can divide the stock into smaller containers.   Frozen the stock will be good for about 3 months.  Refrigerated the stock is good for about two weeks

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Non Stick Cookware

I have used one form or another of non stick cookware for years.  I am sure you have too. However do you know what not to use with non stick cookware?  Spray oil in a can.  After speaking with a rep from Calphalon, I discovered that over time the nonstick spray oil will build up a residue on the non stick pans.  This residue is hard to remove and in some case may also damage the pan.

Instead use a little oil or butter.  Not a lot!  Just a little and your non stick pans will last a lot longer.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Sunday Cooking Class

WOW had a great turn out today!  Lots of fun and good food!!!   Here are some of the tips I passed on during the class.

1. Put seasonings in your pizza dough.  I use the Williams Sonoma Pizza Spice which was very good. Not much about a tablespoon for enough dough to make two pizzas

2. When making your dough remember it is the foundation for your pizza.

3. Add extra yeast.  The recipe I used call for one packet.  I added two.  Why?  Because then I had a more active dough and could do more with it. It does add more niacin and if you want to make the dough a day ahead, just cover it and put it in the fridge.

4. Cooking a Pizza stone makes a great crust.

Drop by next Sunday when we go over Olive Oil.

Thanks to all that attended!!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

COOKING CLASS SUNDAY

This Sunday I am teaching a class on pizza.  It is all about the crust and the many ways you can make pizza dough. So if you ever wanted to know the best way and the best short cuts come by the Williams Sonoma in Green Valley at The District in Henderson NV Sunday at 12 noon.

I will also show you a few other recipes that you how you can use pizza dough to make some great appetizers.  So drop by.

Friday, September 16, 2011

AUTUMN HOUSEKEEPING

Now that fall is almost here we all think about the change in menu. For most that means more oven coking and using the indoor appliances more. But at the same time you need to look at your spice cabinet.  Most spices only have a 2 year shelf life. That includes the time from manufacturing, shipping and setting on a stores shelves.  Look at your spices. If they are ground such as Cinnamon or other spices, they may need to be replaced.  Paprika will loose it red color over time. This does not affect the taste until it approached the 2 year mark but can affect how it browns food.  If you plan to make chili when the weather gets cold, are you spices too old to due your recipe justice?

Oil also has a shelf life. Check those too. Use the change in seasons to check your seasonings. Hopefully you also have fire extinguisher in the kitchen. Does it need to be recharged?

Fall and winter are usually very busy times in the kitchen.  Use this time to be prepared and you will enjoy cooking more.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Food Processors

Recently I purchased a new food processor. The one I got has three bowls and lots of horse power.  It has all bells and whistles. During my research on which one to buy, I did find some very good information.

We all know that there are a lot of gadgets out there and lot of different prices.  What I found out that was news to me is what a difference the right blade makes.  If you have one that has a "Dough Blade" use it.  I never paid much attention until I found out that the longer blades actually cut the gluten when you are kneading the dough with a processor.  If you have made pizza dough or bread in a food processor and had so so results that is most likely why. 

So as you can see no matter how long you have been cooking, you can always learn.  If you have a tip pass it on.  It will help someone.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

OOPS

Sorry for the late post!  But on the up side, I did get some recipes via email which I will include in the new cook book.  Remember send me any cookie or treat recipe for the holidays and you will be included in the book.

One of the tips I found in an old cookbook from 1920 was to dip your cookie cutter in cake flour.  That seemed a little odd so I tried it. It works very well.  The cake flour is lighter and does not leave any residue on the cookie. Try it

Monday, September 12, 2011

COOKIES!!

I am creating a Holiday Edition of Cookies and Treats. Yes I know it is only September but the holidays are not far off.  If you have a special recipe that you would like to share please submit it through the comments section.  I will credit you in the cookbook. If you send three or more I will send you a free copy of the cookbook. The deadline is Sept 30 and I will have the cook book out by October 15.

So get cooking and send me your recipes!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

PASTA

Since I will be teaching a class on Pasta today I thought I would post some facts about Pasta on the blog. Pasta is in every culture in one way or another.  Pasta was first found in China in the 2000 BC. The Greeks and the Romans all have references to Pasta.  One the most interesting to me was a dish called lagana that was very popular in the Roman Empire.  It was flour blended with lettuce juice and made into thin sheets. These sheets were then fried and served with herbs.  Most historians credit this dish with what we now call Lasagna.

The use of the word Pasta was first used in England. The Italians then adapted it to describe their "Pasta". Italian Law defines what can be used to make pasta - dry pasta or Pasta Asciutta, can only be made with durum wheat flour or durum wheat semolina.  In other cultures other grains are used.

If you are able drop the class today.  However we have over 30 signed up. Space is limited.  Let me know if you have any questions about Pasta.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Low and Slow

It is cloudy and gloomy here today. It reminds me that soon we will have cooler temperatures and be able to cook more soups, stews and pot roasts.  But why wait?  I just brown the meat - today some stew meat - in a dutch oven and then add 1 onion and some garlic.  As soon as the onion is translucent I add about three cups of beef stock and then put in the oven set at 225 - 250.  I set the timed cook feature to 4 1/2 hours and walk away.  Since it is still a little warm I turn on the vet fan. That takes the heat out of the house.  When I get back from work I could make a stew.  However I will shred the beef and then add some Hatch chillies and some other spices and make some enchiladas.  YUM!  Since I will not need all of the cooking liquid, I will freeze some in small batches to make gravy or to add to soup when it really gets cold.

Easy two or three meals all done while I am at work. 

By the way - I am doing a class on pasta on Sunday.  Drop by and see all the many varieties and shapes and how to use them.  Class is at 12 noon at the Williams Sonoma in The District in Green Valley.  See you there!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Davis Dust

For those who have read my cookbook, you may have seen a reference to Davis Dust.  I am happy to say that it is starting production and hopefully will be available soon. Keep an eye on the blog and I will announce the product roll out very soon.

Fro those who are not familiar with Davis Dust, it is a spice blend I have been working on for about four years. It is a GREAT rub on Pork Ribs, or Pork Shoulder and Butt, and is excellent on Chicken and fish. Originally designed as just a dry rub, we discovered that it also is superb seasoning for may dishes. So stay tuned.

I will have a website soon that will allow you to buy the seasonings and my cookbooks.  Yes there is more on the way.  Let me know if you want to be on the first batch mailing.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Crispy Tempura and Other Fried Food

No one likes a soggy fried anything!  If you want a very light a crispy tempura, use rice flour.  If you do not have rice flour you can make it by using a Vitamix Blender or other powerful blender. Just put a cup of rice in and process for 30 seconds.  You will have some very light rice flour.  Use this instead of an all purpose flour and your tempura will be very light and crispy - Just make sure the oil is at the right temperature!!

For other fried foods I use panko bread crumbs in a three bread system.  Flour - eggs - bread crumbs. These will make big difference.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Drying Herbs

Summer is slowing ending and many people like to dry herbs that they have grown in their garden. Some tips for the beginner.

1. If you are drying leafy herbs like Oregano or Thyme, cut the sprigs at a point where you can have a stem to use for tying them together.  If you cut too close to the leaves, you will lose some of the herb in the process.

2. Hang herbs upside down to dry. the essential oils will concentrate in the leaves and will not evaporate out or run out the stems.

3. If you are placing the herbs on a sheet such a dehydrator or outside, leave room for air to circulate around the herbs. If you drying outside make sure that you cover the herbs with cheesecloth to keep the bugs and birds at bay.

4. Remember once dried, herbs are potent than when they are fresh.  Use them accordingly or you have a very bitter dish or one that is over seasoned.

If plan to make an herb vinegar be sure to read how to do that.  Otherwise you can have mold and other organisms invade and ruin your efforts,

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Back to the grind!

So if you are like me and don't really have the time today to cook, and you do not want fast food what do you do?

On Sunday I took a chicken out of the freezer and put in a brine to thaw in the refrigerator.  Now all I have to do today is put in on the rotisserie or bake it. All of that can be timed so when I get home from work I have the main part of dinner ready.   By using some technology and planning ahead, I don't have to eat fast food or take hours to cook. (slow cookers work well with a brined chicken too. I just prefer a little brown to add flavor.)

Or if you have left overs from a weekend BBQ, You can make sliders out of brisket or pork or chicken.

Just some thoughts..

Saturday, September 3, 2011

HOT DOG OR BRATWURST BOIL

For those who may not have read the cookbook, there is a recipe in it that will improve the flavor of hot dogs or Brats especially if you are planning to grill them this weekend. Here is the short version.

Cook hot dogs in beer that you have added at least one clove of garlic  (smashed), half of  diced onion and a bay leaf.  Cook on simmer for 10 minutes and then grill.  You will be happy you did.

Have a safe weekend!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Labor Day Weekend

For those who are planning a weekend feast some ideas that may help.

First - remember to make sure food is held and served at the proper temperature. Cold food should be held at less than 40 degrees and hot food held at higher than 140. Foods that have a lot of sugar and/or fat in them such as baked beans or some fruit salads can harbor bacteria once they cross the temperature threshold. Keep an eye on these.

Meats - Bratwurst and Hotdogs have a lot of fat and can go bad if they are left out even after they are cooked. Keep them cold before you cook them and keep them hot or serve them right away. Hamburger, Turkey Burgers etc. - if you are taking these to a cook out, then either use the frozen patties or keep the meat as close to 32 degrees as possible.

Mayo - keep it cold along with the mustard and ketchup.

Stay safe and enjoy the last three day weekend of summer.