Saturday, October 30, 2010

Metal or Glass?

 I have made my last two loaves of bread in a metal pan and I wanted to see if I can see a difference in how the bread turns out when cooking in glass. Here is the run-down: Glass absorbs heat and retains it more than metal (cooking your dish quicker, browning more), so the oven should be set for 25 degrees F lower than with a metal pan. Also, baked items tend to stick more to glass bakeware...

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Pickles, part 2

Some photos surfaced of the original pickling process as well as the finished product. Without the cucumbers in them, them mason jars looks like terrariums!

Potato and Spinach Salad, Lemon-Mustard Dressing

This dish is something I ate at a potluck and have been trying to re-create ever since. I have mostly not had luck trying to make up the recipe on the fly. Today I took a little time and came up with something that resembles the original dish.

3 Cubed and boiled potatoes
Fresh spinach leaves
Optional: other veggies that sound good to you

Dressing (whisk together ingredients while potatoes cook):
1/8 Cup olive oil
1/8 Cup Lemon juice
2 tsp stoneground mustard
Zest of 1/2 a lemon
1 garlic cloved diced or pressed very small
salt and pepper to taste
I cooked and drained the potatoes and put them in the bowl and poured the dressing over them while still hot. Let them sit for a couple of minutes and prepare the spinach to add. I added a large handful of spinach and ripped it into pieces easy enough to eat. I pickled some green beans recently that sound pretty good in this as well as the sliced onion I added.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Some words on Hazelnuts

This post is a shot-out to a very tasty local tree nut: The hazel nut, sometimes referred to as Filberts (depending on shape). And as Bree noted, Filbert would be a great name for a small-ish dog. Phil for short!

Raw hazelnuts in a chop salad.
Roasted hazelnuts.
Roasted hazelnuts in a salad.
Hazelnuts in my steel cut oats.

I revisited brown sugar rosemary hazelnuts and was just as satisfied by them as when I first posted.

To roast:
Place shelled nuts on a baking pan and cook for 5-10 minutes at 375, until golden brown. Then take the nuts out of oven and use a dishtowel to partially remove some of the skins from the nuts. These nuts are hot (!) so be careful. Sprinkle with salt or add a glaze and cook a little more.
Pour a desired glaze of the nuts and toss in a bowl until nuts are coated. Cover the baking sheet with parchment paper and spread the coated nuts over the surface. Then pop it ack into the oven and cook until sugar is bubbly and thick. And as before: separate nuts from each other once out of the oven so that they don't stick to each other as they cool.

As fall sets in, I'd love to roast more nuts. It makes my apartment smell good and stay very warm!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Pickling Vegetables

I've always wanted to pickle vegetables but just never followed through. Spear-headed by the suggestion from Bree, we pickled some cucumbers (pickles!), grean beans (dilly beans!) and red onion with cauliflower. the whole event was filled with awe, excitement (mostly me), and lots of preemptive congratulatory statements.

Here is the only photo I took of the entire process:
This is a picture of the cucumbers and green beans awaiting the water/vinager/salt solution. Inside, each jar has fresh dill sprigs, garlic, and pickling spices that include black pepper, mustardseed, and dried hot red pepper.

In the future I would love to pickle beets, peppers and maybe even carrots or something...