Saturday, March 8, 2014
Fully-Cooked Sausage Crumbles. Me? Compete in a cooking contest? That's really stepping out of my comfort zone, you see. I'd never survive being in a Pillsbury Bakeoff contest. I just don't have that kind of
Thursday, February 27, 2014
In recent weeks, I've been cooking up a storm with my pressure cooker, especially on work nights. Before you non pressure cooker owners decide to abandon reading this post, hold on! You can always make this recipe on the stovetop. It'll just take a bit longer. (Pressure cooker usually decreases conventional cooking time by at least 50%-- and sometimes 75%). Homemade rice pudding in 16 minute? Incredible!
I downloaded America's Test Kitchen's book, "Pressure Cooker Perfection", and then forgot about it-- for several months. Recently, I began to read it from cover to cover. It's a good book, with basic information on pressure cooking from the science behind it, to choosing which pressure cooker is best.
Sunday, February 23, 2014
Sauerbraten is a classic German Pot Roast. To make it, a big chunk of meat (beef is most common, but venison, lamb or pork can be used) is marinated, for several days, in vinegar, wine and spices that includes juniper berries. The meat is marinated for several days, in order to tenderize the meat. The vinegar gives the "sour" taste -- in a good way.
If you've read my "About Me" page, I talk about growing up with a Bavarian mom. As a little kid, my Mutti felt it was her duty to teach me how to cook. At the time, I was resentful about it. Today, I'm very grateful for all that she taught me. She is gone to her heavenly home, now, so I continue to carry on her traditional German recipes. Sauerbraten is one dish that I don't recall my mother making at home and I've never made one-- until now.
I used a beef bottom-round roast. See my tasting notes for a different cut that would work even better.
The February issue of Cuisine at Home Magazine was loaded with several recipes that jumped out at me. I made their Milk-Braised Pork Loin Roast with Porcini Mushroom Sauce (in a slow cooker) that was a total success. I also made their Cuban Style Pork Tenderloin with Roasted Sweet Potatoes-- also fast and really good. Lo and behold, there was a recipe for making this traditional German dish in a slow cooker, without marinating it for several days. Really? As I read the ingredients listing, I thought to myself "this could totally work"!
I keep ginger in the freezer, because I don't use it often enough. I minced one tablespoon of fresh ginger (don't use powdered, please).
Pickling spices are placed in a cheese cloth, and tied with string.
Friday, February 21, 2014
Following King Arthur Flour's recipe, I drained the cherries. The recipe suggests using their pie filling enhancer or tapioca. I ran out of pie filling enhancer, but I did have a jar of Instant Clearjel. I prefer this product over using either flour or tapioca, because I believe it doesn't "muddy" the color or flavor of my pies-- and it works great!
King Arthur Flour Baker's Hotline and they told me to use 7 1/2 teaspoons Clearjel, mixed into the sugar. So the filling was made, and I set it aside. I preheated the oven to 425F. It's time to roll out the pie crust.
I made the pie crust dough the day before, and refrigerated it. I let it slightly soften, for no more than 30 minutes. This would be my first time making a lattice pie crust. For some reason, I had it in my head that this would be a challenge to do. After looking at step-by-step tutorials, I took a deep breath and got rolling. Pun intended.
NOTE: I've posted several pie recipes on my blog and, so far, my personal favorite recipe for pie crust is to use all butter (Pate Brisee). Personally, I prefer the flavor that butter imparts. I honestly believe I can achieve a very tender pie crust, without using shortening. For shortening/lard purists, I have posted a few pies with shortening as the ingredient.
I spooned the filling into the pie crust. I keep forgetting to adjust for my deep dish pie pan. I should have used one more can of cherries, so the pie filling would go all the way to the top. No sense fretting, and I continued on...
Time to make the lattice top.
Well, that was easy!