Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Some Like It Cold

I like cold-brewed coffee. I've been told that something like 90% of the caffeine (and all the good flavor) is retained, while only about 15% of the usual acid is present. And, fewer oils. So, it's easier on your stomach, and I think it tastes better—more like coffee smells. It strongly concentrates the coffee flavor of coffee, makes the coffee up to twice as strong, but the overall brew has far less acidity and no "burnt" taste.

It does take more time to brew without the heat, although the resulting brew lasts up to two weeks in the fridge. Mine never lasts that long.

I use my French press to make my cold brew since you steep the coffee in room-temp water and then need to strain the grounds off later:

Basically, the ratio is 4:1 water to coffee. Measure a 1/2 cup of coffee into the brewing container. Add about 2 cups of room-temperature water. Stir the mixture up. Cover the container and let it sit a minimum of 4 hours or ideally, overnight. It can sit up to about 12 hours, but less time works too—it'll just be slightly less concentrated. Strain (French press comes in handy here) and pour into a jar for storage in the fridge.

Mix your cold-brew concentrate with water or milk to taste. It makes great iced coffee, is also good nuked by the cup, and is equally good leaded or unleaded. Especially helpful if you only have one coffee drinker in your household.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Saturday Morning Puff Pancake

This recipe is so great. Easy, tasty and helps season your cast iron pans! I vary the recipe all the time—add a little sugar, pumpkin pie spice or Chinese Five Spice... nutmeg, vanilla, almond—you get the picture. Delicious topped with fresh fruit, nuts, cream, yogurt or made savory with cheese and ham, etc.

Saturday Morning Puff Pancake
2 eggs
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup milk
dash of salt
2 Tbsp. butter

Heat the oven to 450F and put a large cast-iron skillet in to heat. In a bowl, beat the eggs, flour, milk, and salt together. It's important to mix all the ingredients together at once, otherwise your pancakewon't puff. The more air you beat into the batter, the higher it will rise in the oven.

When the oven is hot, toss the butter into the hot skillet and let it melt. Pour the batter into the skillet and return it to the oven. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until the pancake is puffed and golden. Cut it in half and serve immediately with warm maple syrup, or whatever else strikes your fancy.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Fast Slow Food

Pulled pork sandwiches are a favorite of Joel's. Actually, I love them too, but they take awhile. Enter the crock pot. I forget to use my crock pot because I'm more of a see-what's-in-the-fridge-and-make-up-something-for-dinner gal. Either that or I plan something fairly elaborate and new. But, the crock pot is one of those great tools that does work for you while you do more interesting things. Other tools I love for this are the dishwasher, wash machine and dryer, microwave, self-cleaning oven, etc. If I had something that could mop for me that would be amazing. Ooh, or a self-cleaning toilet. Now, that would rock!

So, in the spirit of ease (and because I forgot to pick up a couple ingredients in the original recipe, which basically made homemade bbq sauce) here's my new Pulled Pork recipe (modified greatly from Cooking Light):

2 lbs. pork sirloin roast (cut into three slabs)
3 Tbs. sugar
1 Tbs. ground chipotle chili (Penzey's)
1 large onion, chopped
1 cup Guinness barbeque sauce (had it in the fridge)
A couple squeezes of ketchup
1/2 Tbs. cumin
1/2 Tbs. dry mustard powder
1 clove crushed garlic
Several glugs of malt vinegar
Several glugs of Worchestershire
3 T. molasses

Coat the pork in the chili and sugar. Add all other ingredients to the crock pot, stir and add the pork on top. Cook on high setting for about an hour, then on low for 7 hours. When done, shred pork with two forks and stir into the sauce in pot. Pile on good crusty rolls with your favorite toppings (Sliced red onion, pickled peppers, etc.)

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Coconut Milk Ice Cream

We make this often in our ice cream freezer. It's delicious, really easy, and great for lactose-intolerant folks! I've always used "light" coconut milk and had great results. I also save the toasted coconut for garnish and serve with fresh fruit. Pretty good drizzled with toasted almonds and dark chocolate syrup too!

3 cans unsweetened coconut milk
3/4 cup superfine sugar or granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon coconut extract
(Get real extract at Uwajimaya-smells like toasted coconut-product of Thailand. Imitation smells like Hawaiin Tropics suntan oil...not what you want in ice cream!)
1 1/4 cups unsweetened coconut flakes, optional
1/4 cup toasted coconut, optional

Combine the coconut milk and sugar, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Stir in the extract and the coconut flakes (optional - I usually leave out). Chill in the freezer, stirring occasionally until hardened, or prepare in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's directions.

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Magical Corn Moussaka

I love this recipe. Joel's mom makes it and it's glorious. I call it magical because it's so versatile, comforting and delicious. Good when you're feeling crummy, good when you're feeling great, it's fast, tasty, packed full of protein and a little starchy veg. Excellent comfort food. (hmm...the date I wrote on my recipe card says June 1995 so I at least had the restraint to wait until we were married to raid the family recipes...)

Whip up a pan. Heck, whip up two and freeze one for later (heat longer if frozen):

1 (17 oz) can corn (drained)
1 1/2 pnds hamburger
1 Tbs. flour
1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
1/2 tsp. garlic salt
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
2 beaten eggs
1 1/2 c. cottage cheese
1/4 c. grated Paremesan cheese
1 c. shredded mozzarela

Preheat oven to 350-degrees F. Spread corn in 8x8 pan. Brown hamburger and drain. Add flour, cook and stir 1 minute. Stir in tomato sauce and seasonings, then pour over corn. Mix eggs and cottage cheese together and pour over meat mixture. Top with parmesan and mozzarela. Bake about 25 minutes or until cheese is golden and bubbling.

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Apple Of My Eye

I love this apple bread. Jen gave me a small loaf of it last winter and it was the one thing that I had a really hard time resisting while on the GDM diabetic diet. I made muffins with the recipe and had to give most of it away. It's pretty quick and very tasty. Moist, dense and apple-icious, and a great way to use our apples from the tree in the backyard! Try it:


Blog Widget by LinkWithin