Savor The Earth

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Waffle Cones—Puddin’ Up with It January 31, 2010

Filed under: cookies/brownies,dessert,easy,fast,Uncategorized — Austin Frugal Foodie @ 1:46 pm

what a spread

wafer wafer

A surplus of milk—we don’t drink the stuff so our supply catches up with us sometimes—wound up as a large bowl of crème pâtissière.  Naturally I wanted to bake a batch of éclairs (anyone familiar with San Francisco’s Tartine bakery?  Legendary éclairs there.  They warrant a Muni detour—yes, every day!— and are definitely worth waiting in the line that wraps around the corner.  Try the frangipane croissant, too.   I might whoop up a pan of those when I retire.)

Life, that is, children, kept me from pâte à choux-ing (gesundheit!) this week.  But waffle cone iron cookies baked up crisp and quick, the simple batter requiring no leavener, no resting, and no precooking.  Spread your wafers with pastry cream, stacking them if you wish to construct a Napoleonic dessert.  If you don’t have a waffle cone iron (I bought mine at the thrift store, of course, but I think it’s the only one I’ve come across in resale shops), pizzelle irons (I do see these occasionally) and krumkake irons (haven’t found a used one yet) will produce perfectly acceptable wafers just as handily.

All this talk of waffle cones and irons reminds me of my friends at Traveling Bistro right here in Austin, Texas.  These folks crisp up imaginatively flavored hot waffles every Sunday for their weekly brunches.  Check ’em out!

WAFFLE CONES makes about 8 large wafers

  • 1 local egg
  • 1 local egg white
  • ¼ teaspoon salt.  I use Real Salt.
  • 100 grams (½ cup) organic sugar.  Central Market sells their own brand for $2.99 for a 2-pound bag.
  • flavoring:  ½ teaspoon vanilla extract and/or 1 teaspoon citrus zest
  • 40 grams organic white whole wheat flour.  Whole Foods offers King Arthur brand in the 5-pound bag for the best deal.
  • 40 grams (1/3 cup) organic all-purpose flour.  WF 365 brand is usually the least expensive.
  • 2 Tablespoons organic butter, melted and cooled.  I love Organic ValleyClick for a coupon.

Whisk together the eggs and salt.  Whisk in the sugar and flavoring until the eggs lighten in color and consistency.  An old-fashioned eggbeater shines here.  Whisk in the flours then stir in the butter.

Heat up your iron hot.  For adjustable irons, try the medium setting first.  You’ll have to play around (or read your instruction manual!) to determine the amount of batter required and best cooking time.  For my old Toastmaster model, a generous 2 Tablespoon scoop (a spring-loaded scooper helps) and a generous minute of baking produced wafers about 6½” across.

Let your cookies cool and crisp on a rack before spreading them with pastry cream (or preserves or creme de marrons or whatever you like).

A few words on crème pâtissière.  Here’s a basic formula:  1 cup milk, heated to hot, whisked into (combined) ½ cup sugar, 1/8 teaspoon salt and 3 Tablespoons flour.  Cook, whisking constantly, over medium-low heat until thickened and smooth, then temper in 2 egg yolks and continue to cook and whisk until the mixture boils.  Be sure to boil the pastry cream, as the yolks contain an enzyme that must be deactivated lest your eggs, defiantly deliquescent, reliquefy the cream later.  Pour the hot pudding (that’s what we have here!) into a wide bowl and stir in 2 Tablespoons butter and 2 teaspoons vanilla extract.  Taste for sweetness and add more sugar if your tooth requires it.  Place a sheet of waxed paper directly onto the surface of the crème and cut a few small slits in the paper with a sharp knife.  Let cool and refrigerate right away.

 

Rutabaga Rice January 28, 2010

Filed under: Dai Due,Indian,meat,rice,sunset valley farmers market,vegetables — Austin Frugal Foodie @ 6:01 pm

luscious links

A recent purchase of Dai Due‘s bison and ginger sausage (Thunderheart Bison and local(!) ginger root) got me hankerin’ for Indian food (no, really?).  Armed with a rotund rutabaga, courtesy of Johnson’s Backyard Garden at Sunset Valley Farmers Market, I assembled a one-pot meal, spiced rice dish.  Carnivores dug in, lured by lengths of meat.

I don’t cook rutabaga much.  It tastes good and sweet and rooty-tooty, and I totally go for that kind of thing.  But big bad ‘bagas just don’t show up in our local markets with the same frequency as turnips, radishes and kohlrabi.  I offer a cooking suggestion anyways:   Cut it into small cubes (take care busting into it–rutabaga’s a tough tuber to crack), then simmer it in a little apple juice with a dab of mustard, a dash of garam masala, a pinch of turmeric and salt to taste. Finish the dish with your best butter (I recommend Lucky Layla from Texas or Organic Valley Pasture butter), fresh cilantro or parsley, and a squeeze of lemon juice.  I’d pepper it with lots of cracked black pepper, too, but not on the kids’ portions.

If you just can’t get enough rutabaga—I mean if you can get enough, to grace your table again, that is, try this Indian-inspired pilaf.

RUTABAGA RICE WITH SAUSAGE serves a family with possible leftovers, depending on your family size!

  • 2 cups Indian or Pakistani basmati rice, rinsed well, soaked in water for 10 minutes, then drained and rested in a sieve for another 10 minutes.  I buy 10-pound bags at Fiesta or MGM.
  • 1 pound local sausage.  Dai Due’s bison and ginger sausage, seductively succulent, blended well with the Indian-spiced flavors in this dish, but a local kielbasa would work, too.  I’d also consider it in a bun with sauerkraut and spicy mustard.  But that’s a different post.
  • 1  good-sized local rutabaga, about as big as a largish grapefruit, well peeled and cut into batons (about 1/3″ thick “short french fry” pieces)
  • 3 Tablespoons yogurt.  I make my own and it’s easy.  Click to see how.  I usually use Swede Farm Dairy‘s goat milk, available at SVFM.  Other local options include Wateroak Farms’ goat milk (SVFM) and now Way Back When’s cow’s milk available at SVFM and Austin Farmers Market.
  • 2 teaspoons minced or grated fresh ginger root—I use a Microplane.
  • 2 teaspoons minced hot green chile, if you have it and you wanna.  Otherwise use about ½ teaspoon paprika.
  • 2 Tablepsoons minced local cilantro—growin’ right now!
  • ¼ cup organic dessicated shredded coconut—I like Let’s Do…Organic brand, available at our local grocery stores like Central Market and Whole Foods.
  • 1 or 2 Tablespoons organic coconut oil.  Nutiva in the big ole jar or Whole Foods 365 are usually the best buys.
  • 9 whole cloves
  • about a 2½” piece of cinnamon stick
  • 1 large bay leaf, preferably fresh.  Try growing your own!  Bay is hardy and easy to care for.  My specimen is proof.
  • 2 ½ teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 2 ½ to 3 teaspoons salt.  I like Real Salt.  Whole Foods carries it in the bulk department.
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground turmeric
  • 2 teaspoons turbinado sugar—I buy this in bulk at Central Market.
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice from a local and/or organic lemon.  I got a mind to puttin’ in a lemon tree soon.  Ask your neighbors.
  • 3 ¼ cups water
  • several very well peeled broccoli stems, diced small.  Yep.  I’m still going whole hog on broccoli.  Use it or lose it!
  • lemon wedges, if desired

Combine yogurt with the next four ingredients and mix in the rutabaga.  Let the mixture sit while you prepare the rest of the recipe.  Combine the whole spices (cloves through the cumin) in a small dish and combine the powdered seasonings (salt through the turbinado sugar) in another small dish.  Keep these spice stashes handy.

In a large saute pan or wide casserole pan (stovetop safe), brown the sausage links on all sides over medium-high heat.  Remove to a plate and set aside.  Add the coconut oil and whole spices to the pan and toast on medium-high heat until the cumin smells as browned and toasty as you like.  Dump in the rutabaga and stir and fry until the tuber has browned some.  Add the powdered spices, lemon juice and water, raise the heat to high, cover the pan with a lid (I prefer a see-through top) and bring to a boil.  Lower the heat to LOW and cook for 10 minutes.  Quickly lift the lid and scatter the broccoli stems over the surface and place the sausages on top.  Replace the lid and continue cooking on LOW for another 10 minutes.  When finished, place the pan on a cooling rack or trivet and let sit for 10 minutes before carefully fluffing the rice.

Slice the sausages if you want to.  And squeeze some lemon juice over individual servings for a little zing.

  • 3 ¼ cups water

 

Frito Meringues January 25, 2010

Filed under: cookies/brownies,dessert,easy,leftovers — Austin Frugal Foodie @ 11:46 am

corny cookies

This title sounds like wordplay to my ears.  Can’t place that pun though.  Let me know if you get it.

Using up the last of the game night Central Market organic corn chips (had to arm our pantry with plenty of frito pie fixin’s), I took advantage of a cloudless, low humidity day to whoop up meringue cookies.  The salty and the sweet, all crunchy to boot.  And easy.

FRITO MERINGUES makes about 30 cookies

  • 3 egg whites (90 grams) from local eggs—not a trace of yolk (or any other fat) in here, please
  • 10 ½ ounces (1 ½ cups, packed) organic light brown sugar.  Central Market brand is usually the best buy.
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or homemade vanilla rum
  • 1 6-ounce bag Central Market organic corn chips—This is the only organic brand I’ve found  (and I’ve searched for years!!)

Get to whoopin’ up your egg whites, preferably using a stand mixer.   Meanwhile, crush up the corn chips.  I spin ’em in the food processor.  When your egg whites are foaming up to nearly soft peaks, add the sugar and continue whipping until the meringue looms lofty and stiffly peaks.  Beat in the vanilla.  Fold in the crushed corn chips, in two batches if you wish, and scoop out 2 Tablespoon portions (I use a spring-loaded scooper) onto parchment lined baking sheets, leaving a couple inches between mounds.

Bake at 300º for about 20 minutes, until cracked and the surface has set, but the cookies are still soft and moist inside.  Place cookie sheets on racks to cool for a minute or two before carefully loosening meringues from parchment with a pancake turner and setting the cookies on the cooling rack to finish cooling.


 

Glittereati–Amoebic! January 24, 2010

Filed under: cake,glittereati — Austin Frugal Foodie @ 10:14 am

take me to your cake

gateau geode

 

Glazed Veggies January 23, 2010

Filed under: easy,Indian,thrift,vegetables,vegetarian — Austin Frugal Foodie @ 4:56 pm

eat your veggies!

We’re gettin’ back to our roots around here.  Winter roots, that is, plus the ubiquitous broccoli stems (I confess I’d eat broccoli almost every day if it were available year-round locally).  Here’s a fantastic glazed veggie recipe, gleaned from that essential tome, Lord Krishna’s Cuisine,  The Art of Indian Vegetarian Cooking. Yamuna Devi‘s invaluable reference, this encyclopedic guide will learn you a thing or twenty about Vedic cuisine, including many south Indian and Bengali recipes and techniques.  Even dedicated carnivores can appreciate the wealth of dishes explained and the breadth of styles explored.  Devi, a warm and engaging woman (these Hindus must be on to something), sang back up for the Beatles(!) and has written several other cookbooks, but this text, her magnum opus, constitutes a culinary education.

I first cracked open Lord Krishna’s Cuisine, a treasured gift from a lost friend, almost two decades ago, and the experience, expertise and spirit of Devi (no, I’m not a Hindu) drew in this young foodie as if it were my own bildungsroman of cookery.  I grew as a cook, albeit a conscientiously meat-eating cook.  You could take away all my other cookbooks–that would be hundreds–and I would miss only cake (I don’t need formulas for frying bacon!).  But of course, I’ve been in love with the flavorful foods of the subcontinent for many years.

Though I do sometimes add onions and garlic to Devi’s allium-less recipes (an unfortunate Vedic principle), nearly every dish I’ve tried from her book is perfect.  So I respectfully present to you this very slightly modified version of  her “Gajar Sabji–Glazed Carrots.”

INDIAN STYLE GLAZED VEGETABLES serves several

  • about one pound glazeable local vegetables such as carrots, radishes, turnips, kohlrabi or rutabagas, plus—you guessed it—very well peeled broccoli stems
  • 2 Tablespoons ghee or organic butter plus one Tablespoon butter  (divided use)—I make my own ghee out of Organic Valley butter.  Click to find out how.
  • 2 Tablespoons organic brown sugar, light or dark.  Central Market’s organic brand is usually the best buy.
  • ¼ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander
  • 2 Tablespoons Texas orange juice—you’ll find Texas oranges, sweet and succulently juicy, at local grocery stores as well as our farmers markets right now.  Whole Foods is even offering bagged organic Texas oranges on special right now.
  • 2/3 cup water
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice from a local and/or organic lemon—ask your neighbor!
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • freshly cracked black pepper
  • chopped local cilantro

Chop your veggies into bite-sized chunks.  You can halve or quarter radishes and baby turnips depending on their size.  Combine your hardest veggies—carrots, mature turnips, kohlrabi, rutabaga and large daikon radishes–in a skillet or small straight-sided saute pan–I use a 2-quart saute pan.  Add the two tablespoons ghee or butter and the next seven ingredients.  Bring to a boil over high heat, cover, turn the heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes.  I like to use a glass lid so I can keep an eye on the process.  Not all cookware lines come equipped with handy see-through lids so check out your local thrift store to find assorted brands of glass lids for a buck or two.

After simmering for 10 minutes, add your tenderer vegetables like broccoli stems and baby turnips.  Continue to cook for about 6 minutes or so until the veggies are about done to your liking, then remove the lid and raise the heat to evaporate the cooking liquid, leaving your roots glossily glazed.  Stir in the remaining tablespoon of butter plus the lemon juice and nutmeg, an black pepper and cilantro to taste.

Do eat this hot, preferably at one meal.  I have a high tolerance for leftovers but I’ll confide that this dish is best when freshly prepared.

 

Cosmic Cowgirl Confers Confiture–Cake it! January 19, 2010

Filed under: cake,dessert,easy — Austin Frugal Foodie @ 5:49 pm

winter's sweet rewards

At a recent yummy gathering of food and folks, local food blogger cosmic cowgirl bestowed gem-like jars of jewel-toned Texas red grapefruit marmalade on lucky lingerers.  That’s right, my favorite fruit, finely preserved.  You know where my booty went—right into a cake!

Check out cosmic cowgirl’s step-by-step illustrated instructions and stretch the local bounty with cannin’ in your canon.

Bake a cake as for the Bonus recipe in my  “Quick Coffee Cake and Bonus” post.  Split the cooled cake into two layers and spread a great local or homemade jam in between.  For this grapefruit version, I glazed my gateau with a simple blend of Texas red grapefruit juice and organic powdered sugar (look for Central Market’s brand for the best value) with a touch of vanilla extract.

Local sweet’s the sweetest!

 

Dai Due–Toss-o in the Tasso

Filed under: Austin Farmers Market,beans,Dai Due,easy,slow cooker,tasso — Austin Frugal Foodie @ 1:04 pm

tasso on top

Once again my favorite local charcuterie source seasons my beans.  Dried legumes, even organic, are a bargain as well as nutritional gold.  So you can afford delicious, sustainable and good for you meat when you stretch its flavor with versatile beans.  A half pound of Dai Due‘s seriously smoky tasso (hewn from local pork and crafted without nitrates) can fortify a good two pounds of dried black-eyed peas (or the pulse of your choice) or fancy up your feijoada for posher prandials.  My last batch of hoppin’ john included a pound of organic black-eyed peas (from Whole Foods bulk department.  I bring my own bag.), Texas leeks, local carrot tops (always cut off the tops before storing your carrots, but don’t throw them away!), domestic organic garlic, a home grown bay leaf and that fragrantly meaty, smoky tasso, seared for Maillard’s sake, all crocked up in the slow cooker on HIGH for a few hours.  I added a splash of organic apple cider vinegar (WF 365 brand is usually the best buy) towards the end.  Remember to salt at the beginning of the process, to fully salinate the beans and facilitate even cooking.

Serve over cooked Lowell Farms Texas grown organic jasmine rice with lots of freshly cracked black pepper and pickled hot peppers or hot sauce, if you please.  Cornbread plays friendly here, too.