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Monday, October 29, 2012

More Sourdough Bread Tips

As some will know who read this blog - I make bread every week. I do that because I like the taste, texture and economy of homemade bread.  When you have to pay $3- $5 for a decent loaf in the store it is time to make bread! I have been working for months on different Sourdough recipes.  Here is today's tip.


Sourdough can get dry quickly. Especially in the desert.  In order to make it last longer I have tried several different methods.

1. Mashed potatoes - basically i adapted my Potato Bread Recipe. works OK and the texture is fine.

2. Milk - must be scalded and then cooled.  It was alright but not my favorite

3. Dry Milk -- better - but but it does slow the rise.  Allow LOTS of time for proofing

so far no clear winner. I will keep trying and let you know.  If you have a suggestion please let me know.


Starters I use one from King Arthur flour. Works great!  I also use their instant yeast which is amazing. And yes I do yeast to my sourdough.

So what is your favorite bread recipe??

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Quick and Tasty Omelet

Do you have a left over Baked Potato?  If so this is a great way to use it.


Folded Omelet

I small baked potato - cooled
3 eggs
1 Slice American Cheese
1 Slice Pepper Jack Cheese
1/ 4 teaspoon Ground Cumin
1/4 teaspoon Garlic Powder
salt and pepper to taste

Peel off the skin of the cold baked potato and dice into small pieces.  Heat and pan and add oil.  When the pan is hot put the potato in and saute for a few minutes.  Add the Cumin and Garlic powder.  Stir or Flip the potatoes to cook.

Beat the eggs until light yellow and add 1 teaspoon of water or milk.  Water will make the omelet puffy and the milk will make it more tender.    Once the potatoes are hot pour the eggs in the middle of the pan.   LE the eggs start to set.  Then tilt the pan and lift up the edges with a silicone spatula to allow the eggs to run underneath.  Once the eggs are almost cooked add the cheese and place under a hot broiler until the omelet is cooked and starting puff up.  Remove the pan. Using the spatula, fold the omelet over and slice onto your plate.  Garnish with Salsa and sour cream.

You can also add some onions if you like.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Pot Roast

I have written many  times about Pot Roasts. I still get questions about how to do them and how to make sure that they are tender and juicy. So here is refresher course in time for Fall and Winter meals.

The most important thing to remember is low and slow.  Pot Roast is usually a tough cut of meat with lots of connective tissue which needs to break down. That takes a low heat for a long time.

Next BROWN the meat!!  Sear on all sides for a great taste and wonderful gravy.

Add veggies to eat during the last hour.

This recipe is from the first cookbook

POT ROAST
The important thing about a pot roast is the technique. Once you learn how to cook a good pot roast you can adapt the method for a myriad of other recipes.  This technique is braising.
TIP: BROWN THE MEAT! DO NOT PUT THE MEAT IN THE PAN IF IT IS WET OR THE PAN IS NOT HOT.  BROWNED FOOD TASTES BETTER!
INGREDIENTS
Chuck Roast - 4 – 6 pounds
Kosher Salt                             Pepper
Olive Oil
1-2  Onions                 2 cloves of garlic – minced or pressed
2-3 carrots                  
Beef broth 2 – 3 cups – hot
Bay leaf
Spring of thyme
Heat the pan (Use a good Dutch Oven or one with a lid that is oven safe)
When the pan is hot add the olive oil. Wait a few seconds for the oil to heat.  Make sure the roast will fit and that it is DRY.  Salt and pepper the roast and put the season side down.  If you do not hear a good sizzle, the pan was not hot enough.  Leave the meat to cook on the first side for at least 5 – 10 minutes. Salt and pepper the meat on the side that is not cooking.  Prepare the rest while you wait.
Peal the carrots and cut each one into six pieces.  Rough chop the onion.  Turn the meat over and brown the other side.  Once the meat is browned take the meat out of the pan set on a plate while you add the carrots and onions.  Cook the carrots and onions for at least 3 – 5 minutes and then add the garlic. Add the meat back to the pan along with any juices that have accumulated.  Slowly add the beef broth until the meat is covered.  Add the bay leaf and the thyme.  Cover the pot and put it in a 275 over for at least 3 hours.  The longer the better.  When you are ready to serve, take the meat and vegetable out, retrieve the spices and make the gravy,
Pot Roast Gravy
3- 4 ounces butter
3- 4 ounces flour
Make a roux by cooking the butter and flour in small skillet over medium heat until the raw flour taste is gone.  Taste the liquid from the pot roast.  It may need to be reduced.  One you have done that, slowly add the roux to the hot liquid while whisking to make sure there are no lumps.  Taste gravy and adjust for seasoning.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Pork Roasts

In the fall Pork is usually lower in price than Beef.  That is true this year. Also Pork is a lot leaner than it used to be so it can be a good choice to lower your fat intake and still have some flavor.  I just bought a nice Pork loin.  It was huge!! So I divided it into three smaller roasts.  The first one I cooked Sunday - that recipes follows.  However I will take one of the left over uncooked roasts and cut it into boneless pork chops.  The other one I will keep for smoking and making great shredded pork or just eat it as a roast.

Here is the recipe


2 - 4 lb boneless Pork roast
DAVIS DUST
2 oz of apple juice or water

Preheat the oven to 350

Rinse the Pork and pat dry.  Set it in a small roasting pan with the fat cap up. Sprinkle with DAVIS DUST and rub some on the ends too.   Add the apple juice to the bottom of the pan.. Cover with foil being sure to tent so that the foil does not touch the meat and it is sealed around the edges.

Bake for 1 hour or until the temperature is 145.  don;t overcook or it will be tough.  Remove form oven and let it rest for 10 minutes.  



Tuesday, October 23, 2012

NEW RECIPE!

I had to take some time off. I know it has been a long time between posts. But this blog is not set up to make money only to help.  I had to attend to some personal business.  I will start regular posts again.

Here is new recipe I just created for the second cookbook.

SOUTHWEST POTATO CHEESE BISQUE

© Wes Davis 2012 – all rights reserved

This is a variation of the recipe in the cookbook.  I have added some tips and steps to make it easier.


4- 8 small to medium potatoes
1 medium onion
5 stocks of celery
8 cups of water
1- 2 tablespoon of chicken base (I use Better Than Bullion –it is a great product and is available at grocery stores)


Peel the potatoes and rinse.  I use this size so that they fit through the feed tube of my processor.  Slice using your processor so that all the pieces are the same thickness.  Put in a large stock pot and add 7 cups of water.

Dice the onion and celery using the large blade on your processor and add to the pan.  Add the last cup of water to make sure that everything is covered by at least 1 inch of water.  For thicker soup at the end use less water.

Cook for 25 minutes on medium.  It just needs to simmer.  Check the potatoes – they should be tender but not mushy.  If you need to cook longer to get that result just add some more time and maybe some more water.  Since we did not rise the starch out you will notice that the soup is already taking on a thicker consistency.

Then add:

1 ½ Teaspoons of Cumin powder
4 - 4 oz. cans of diced green chilies you can also use whole and puree them
1 – 2 cups of Half and Half (what you thought this was going to be low fat??)
1 8 oz. package of cream cheese
4 cups of shredded sharp cheddar I use white cheddar which makes the soup white rather than yellow cheddar but either will work

Mix and bring back to a simmer.  Using an immersion blender, blend the soup until it has the consistency of a bisque.  Taste for salt and pepper and adjust.  Serve with chopped green onions to top.

TIPS:  Try using a good white cheddar – I used Cougar Gold from the University of Washington.
If you want a really thick soup, add some left over mashed potatoes at the end.  Or use less water to cook the potatoes.  You can also use more cheese.