Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Lime in the sides.

The pork was yummo!  To use another Food Network star's word for delicious.  The side dishes were traditional with a twist of lime.

Daughter bought five humongous ears of sweet corn and a head of green cabbage almost too big for my chef's knife to reach through.
First The corn:
Oldest grandson helped me shuck the corn.  He is so funny.  Three hours after I tried to get to taste the Barbecue sauce straight from the bottle he's still complaining that he won't like dinner, but wants to eat raw corn.

After a quick wash, I cut/broke each ear "half" and laid them in a microwave safe glass baking dish.  (13 X 9 inches) I sprinkled on a bit of salt and black pepper.  The Microplane made fast work of zesting a lime directly over the corn and a reamer made adding the juice of 1/2 lime easy.  Roll em over a couple times.  I sliced 1/4 inch slices from a cube margarine  and then cut each slice in half.  I carefully placed one piece of margarine on each cob section.  I covered the dish with it's microwave safe lid and put the corn in the fridge for an hour or so.

While the sauce was reducing, (see Pulled Pork?) I got the corn out.  In our microwave, that big baking dish requires that the turntable be turned off .  I just loosened a corner of the lid and put the dish in on high for 5 minutes.  Turned it around and gave it another 3 minutes.
Then the salad:

I stripped off the discolored outer leaves and gave the whole head a quick rinse in cold water.  This head was very heavy for its size (like a bowling ball, not a child's ball).  Sizing it up for surgery, I made sure it was FLAT on the bottom before I divided the head in two and removed the core. One half went back into a bag for another meal.  At this point, I really missed the food processor. (a small part broke making the slicer useless).  No trouble.  I just sliced the head into thirds parallel to the core and then shredded each third with the knife.

The rest of the ingredients:
2 ribs of celery, chopped
4 green onions, thinly sliced green and white parts
1/2 cup (+/-) Dried Cranberries
1/2 cup (+/-) Sunflower seeds (we like raw, unsalted)
Juice of 1/2 Lime
1/2 cup (+/-) light Mayonnaise
Salt (a couple shakes and a moment of silence)
Black Pepper (grind it until you think it's enough and then give it one more twist)

Mix it all together and chill an hour or so before dinner.  The sweetness of the cranberries will blend with tartness of the lime.  If your sunflower seeds are toasted, roasted, or otherwise cooked leave them out and add them to each serving.  (they get soggy)

Oh Yeah, the grandson who was going to hate dinner based on a drop of cold barbecue sauce -- He declared the entire meal to be the best he ever ate and asked for triple sauce on his second sandwich!

Pulled Pork?

Daughter went nuts at the store and brought home over $300.00 (US) of fresh meat and produce.  We're eating good stuff, but not fast enough since their schedule has them gone most of the time since she shopped.  She found a fantastic recipe for turkey (pork) cutlet with a rhubarb chutney and made that with about 1.3 pounds of the 4 or 5 pound pork loin  she bought.  The rest of the loin sat in the bottom of the fridge for a few days.

I watch Food Network too much.  Guy Fieri did a thing on pulled pork.  Claire Robinson did a thing on pulled pork.  Paula Deen... Well you get the idea.  I was ready for tender pork with BBQ sauce on a crusty roll with some cole slaw.

Crock Pots were made for this.  I always spray the crock first for easier clean up. (Cooking Spray has made life so much easier.)
I sliced a large onion into the bottom of our 6 quart slow cooker.  Added 1 teaspoon (+/-) ground coriander, 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin, 1/4 teaspoon (scant) ground cloves, and two bay leaves.  Then I salted (very lightly) and peppered (moderately) the trimmed, boneless pork loin pieces (I had three about 1, 1.5, and 2 pounds) and laid them over the onions.

I carefully removed the blasted squeeze top from a 16 ounce bottle of Sweet Baby Ray's Original Barbecue Sauce and poured it over everything.  I added a bit of water (1/4 cup?) to the bottle put the lid back shook it up and poured that in, also.  Then I rolled the meat over a couple times so it was well coated.  Washed my hands, clapped the lid on, set the cook time for 6 hours on high, and went to play on Facebook.

I had to go out a bout two hours later and my son-in-law was concerned about the high heat.  So we agreed to turn it down to low.  It still only cooked six hours.  It temped at 190+ F.

I carefully removed the meat to a bowl and broke it down with a table fork.  Pouring very carefully I put the sauce and drippings into a saucepan on the stove and brought it to a boil reducing it a bit. (From about 4 cups to 3 cups)

We served it on crusty wheat rolls by putting the "dry" meat on then ladling sauce over the meat to the taste of the diner before closing the roll.  We also had Cabbage Salad with craisins and sunflower seeds and roasted microwave corn-on-the-cob with lime "butter".  

Friday, August 19, 2011

Primate Bread

I told the boys I would make Monkey Bread today while they were gone.  (Mommy took them to Silverwood.)  The five year old told me that he was not a monkey so could I make "Dog Bread.""  I told him he wouldn't like bread made for dogs.

Daddy and I are saving the sticky bubbles for Mommy and the boys, but we've devoured a one pound loaf of swirled bread. with extra margarine.

I used my basic Whole Wheat Bread recipe.
2 cups lukewarm water
1 Tablespoon Molasses
1 Tablespoon Oil (canola)
1 Tablespoon Active Dry Yeast
1 teaspoon Salt
6 - 8 cups 100% Whole Wheat flour

Increased the Molasses and Oil to 3 Tablespoons each.
Added 2 eggs and 2 Tablespoons melted Margarine.

I beat 4 - 5 cups of flour with everything else for about 5 minutes in my 6 quart Kitchen Aid mixer.  Cover it up and let it rest for about an hour so the yeast gets working.  I just leave it on the mixer unless the kitchen is cold or drafty.

After it gets all bubbly and starts rising up the bowl I add another cup or three of flour and mix it until it forms a ball.  Give it a couple (2 -3 not more) minutes to build the gluten and take it off the mixer.

For the Primate Bread I mixed:
1 1/2 cups finely chopped Pecans
1/2 cup fine shredded coconut
1 cup (packed) brown sugar
2 teaspoons allspice
1 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon cloves
1/4 teaspoon cardamom
Mix thoroughly.

Meanwhile I melted 1 1/2 sticks of dairy free soy margarine.

Spray a tube pan with cooking spray.  IF the pan has a removable bottom wrap it with heavy duty foil to prevent drips and place pan on baking sheet.

Pinch walnut (1 1/2 inch) sized lumps from the dough.  Dip into melted margarine  then roll in spiced sugar and nuts and place in prepared pan.  The pan should only be about  half full when you are done.  It's hard to describe how to lay the lumps into the pan  they should be touching each other without crowding.  remember they will rise about double in bulk.

I used about the recipe to make Primate bread.  The rest of the dough I turned into two small loaves - one plain, the other swirled with left over topping.

As usual, I preheated the oven to 185 F while I was shaping the bread.  Turned off the heat and turned on the oven light.  This makes a great place for yeast doughs to raise.  I left the two loaves and the Primate Bread alone in the warm for about 2 hours. then I turned the oven on to 350 F.  The loaves were done in about 40 minutes.  The Primate Bread took closer to an hour.

The eggs and the extra oil made a very soft dough.  The extra molasses gave it flavor that is often lacking in regular sweet doughs.