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MY COOKBOOK

MY COOKBOOK
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31.7.13

SAUTÉED SUGAR SNAP PEAS


I tried making these into főzelék once, it was a bad idea. Sometimes I wish I could get my hands on fresh peas, but then I discovered how to cook snap peas… and it was love at first sight. The other bonus is sugar snap peas are available year around here. They come in a cellophane bag and are generally located in the chilled vegetable section. I had fresh carrots* from the garden, oooh these just added some wonderfulness to this great vegetable. The secret of cooking snap peas is in the timing. Never cook them beyond the bright green phase, once dulled in color, snap peas are spoilt. The best way to cook them is to sauté in a large, non stick skillet; sear them and turn them over often so they can cook quickly and evenly.
 
1/2 pkg. fresh sugar snap peas
1 Tbsp olive oil
salt
 
• Wash the sugar snap peas under cold running water and drain.
• Cut off the stem ends and discard.
• Heat the olive oil in a large non stick skillet over medium heat.
• Add the sugar snap peas and salt to taste.
• Sauté tossing often for 5 minutes, until the sugar snap peas are crispy tender.
• Serve immediately.
 
*If using, sauté the carrot slices separately and then set them aside. Then add to the snap peas just before serving. New carrots cook up faster than old carrots.
 

29.7.13

FREEZING APRICOTS


Apricots can be packed in sugar syrup or simply vacuum packed or packed into heavy freezer bags. Ordinary plastic bags cannot lock in freshness. Nothing tastes quite as nasty as freezer burnt food. Most fruits, including apricots last remarkably well for about a year. Frozen fruit eventually deteriorates, so it’s a good idea to label and date every package with a permanent marker. There is no point saving frozen food for prosperity. Other than meat or convenience foods, most home preserved foods are forgotten and eventually get tossed when the freezer is cleaned. So start using the frozen fruit you spent money and time preparing as soon as that fresh fruit is gone.
 
fresh, firm apricots [Don’t freeze overripe, mushy fruit.]
freezer bags
 
• Wash the apricots in clean running water.
• Slice them in half with a paring knife and take out the stone.
• Lay the apricots on a tray with cut side up.
• Lightly sprinkle the tops with Fruitfresh* and freeze.
• When the fruit is fully frozen pack into bags, label and freeze.
• Frozen apricots last for 1 year.
 
*Fruitfresh is Ascorbic Acid. It is the same as lemon juice without flavor. Fruitfresh is sold in powder and liquid form. I have only seen it as a powder. You will find it among the canning supplies. It doesn't really keep the fruit fresh; it just stops the fruit oxidizing and turning brown.

 
 
 

28.7.13

CHOCOLATE STRAWBERRY CUPCAKES


There is this famous cupcake place in Alberta I keep hearing about; I tasted it once and all I can say is; they don’t hold the candle to my cupcakes. For a chocolate and strawberry combination made in heaven, I had a perfectly chocolaty chocolate cupcake recipe. All I had to do was concoct a real strawberry buttercream. The cupcakes were delicious yesterday, but chilling in the fridge overnight … made them fantastic! Jimre is in heaven, I believe he has one more left in the fridge. I guess I will be baking tomorrow.
 
1 batch of Chocolate Chiffon Cupcakes
1 batch of Real Strawberry Buttercream [click on link for recipe]
5 fresh strawberries, quartered
 
Chocolate Chiffon Cupcakes:
 
1 cup cake flour
1-1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup cocoa powder
2 Tbsp sugar
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup hot water
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
5 egg yolks
2/3 cup sugar
4 egg whites
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
cooking spray
 
• Bake 18 cupcakes.
• Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
• In a medium mixing bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside. • In a small bowl, combine the cocoa powder, 2 Tbsp sugar and oil.
• Add the hot water and whisk thoroughly to combine. Set aside.
• Place the egg yolks and sugar into a large mixing bowl and beat on high for 2 minutes or until the mixture becomes pale yellow and thick.
• Add the cocoa mixture and vanilla and whisk to combine.
• Add the dry ingredients and whisk just to combine.
• Place the egg whites and cream of tartar in a clean bowl and beat on high stiff peaks form.
• Gradually, gently, being mindful not to crush, fold the beaten egg whites into the batter.
• Spray a 12-cup muffin tin with cooking spray.
• Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin tin, dividing the batter evenly between the cups.
• Place in the preheated oven and bake for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
 
• While the cupcakes are baking, make the buttercream.
• Remove the cupcakes from the oven to a cooling rack and cool completely before piping with strawberry buttercream.
• Fill a large piping bag with strawberry buttercream and with a medium large star attachment pipe a spiral starting on the outside and ending in the middle.
• Push a quarter piece of fresh strawberry into the middle.
• Chill the cupcakes for at least two hours.
 
 
 

REAL STRAWBERRY BUTTERCREAM


This buttercream has a lovely strawberry flavour. It is not as intense as artificially flavoured buttercreams, but the taste is real; after all, the flavour comes from fresh strawberries. I read somewhere that freezing the fruit before use intensifies the flavours, except frozen fruit makes a rather runny puree. So it’s debatable if less of a more intensely flavoured puree can result in a more intense flavoured buttercream or not. Instead of freezing, I opted for using more strawberries. The cream remained remarkably stable and pipe-able in spite of the 3/4 cup of strawberry puree. The butter and the sugar were whipped together frothy and the strawberry puree was incorporated ever so slowly and gradually. Had I dumped together the ingredients at the beginning, it would have been a runny mess. So take care and beat this buttercream long and hard and add the strawberry puree slowly and very gradually. The recipe makes just the right amount of buttercream to decorate 18 cupcakes. Or it could be used to fill or to cover a cake. To both fill and cover a cake, double the amount. The cream will survive at room temperature, but it tastes best when chilled. Cakes decorated with this buttercream should be well chilled before slicing.
 
2/3 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
2-1/4 cups icing sugar, sifted
3/4 cup fresh strawberry puree
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
 
• Cream butter and the icing sugar until very frothy, for about 5 minutes.
• Gradually add the strawberry puree and beat between additions.
• Finally beat in the lemon juice.

26.7.13

MEAT FILLED PASTA - HÚSOS DERELYE


Italian ravioli, Russian pelmeni and Hungarian húsos derelye are all poached pasta with meat filling. But that is where the similarities end. Made with ground beef or veal, ravioli is spicy and pelmeni is bland. On the other hand, Hungarian derelye is filled with lightly seasoned ground pork and is served with sour cream. Meat filled derelye is fairly large, about 4 by 4 inches. You can use fresh lasagne sheets; but I prefer to make my own pasta with a hand cranked pasta machine.

Lean ground pork is sold in stacks of 6 inch strips where we live. I found the easiest way to break up the strands is to chop them with kitchen shears. I like to precook the filling, that way I don’t have to worry about undercooked meat or overcooked pasta.
 
PASTA:
3 cups flour
4 eggs
pinch of salt
1 egg white
2+1 Tbsp butter
 
FILLING:
1 Tbsp olive oil
220g lean ground pork
2 Roma tomatoes, skinned and chopped
1 Hungarian banana pepper sliced
1 green onion chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 sprigs of flat leaf parsley
1 tsp Hungarian paprika
salt and pepper to taste

SERVING SUGGESTION: 
Serve the derelye with sour cream on the side.
 
• Combine 3 cups flour, 4 eggs and salt and knead it smooth and velvety into fairly firm dough.
• Shape it into a ball, wrap in plastic and let it rest for 30 minutes. This will make the dough soft and easy to roll out.
• Meanwhile prepare the filling.
• In a non-stick skillet slowly begin to sauté the ground pork.
• When the meat is no longer pink, one by one start chopping and adding the rest of the ingredients.
• Give the meat a stir after each addition.
• After the parsley is added, remove the skillet from heat.
• Stir in the paprika and season with salt and pepper.
• Next roll the dough out very thinly and cut it into 4X4 inch squares.
• Divide the filling on the squares.
• Fold each square into a triangle, enclosing the filling, and press down firmly on the edges. [Commercial fresh pasta may require egg wash to glue the pasta edges together. You don’t want the pasta to separate and the filling escaping into the cooking water. Whisk an egg white lightly and trhen brush the dough between the heaps of filling with it.
• Press in between the heaps of filling.
• Cook in boiling salted water in a covered saucepan for 8 to10 minutes.
• When the pasta squares are cooked transfer them to a sieve to drain.
• Place in a serving bowl and pour 1 Tbsp melted butter on the top.
• Serve hot with green onions and sour cream.
• Yield 3 to 4 servings

25.7.13

BLUEBERRY STREUSEL COFFEE CAKE

 
I put the wrong yoghurt into the cart a couple of weeks ago. Instead of plain yoghurt, it was French Vanilla flavoured. I served myself a bowl and took a mouthful. Ugh. Since I ate into it, it could not be returned to the store. I contemplated throwing it away and then I made a nice, moist coffee cake with some frozen berries, since the fresh ones keep appearing on the kitchen table. My industrious better half practically lives in the garden these days. Today will be another sunny day and I can look forward to some kind of fresh berry again and some could even make it to the deepfreeze. Life is sweet in summer.
 
CAKE
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 eggs
1 cup plain or vanilla Greek yogurt
1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
2 cups cake flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 pinch of salt
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
 
STREUSEL TOPPING
1 cup brown sugar, packed
2/3 cup flour
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 Tbsp butter, very soft
 
• Preheat the oven to 350F.
• Butter a 9X13 baking pan.
• Cream the butter and sugar.
• Add the eggs, yogurt, and the vanilla and set it aside.
• Whisk together the flour, baking soda and the salt.
• Add the dry ingredients to the yogurt-egg mixture.
• Stir until just combined.
• Spread half the mixture in the baking pan.
• Smooth out the top with a small offset spatula.
• Scatter the blueberries on the top.
• Distribute the remaining batter all over the pan. Do not tru to spread it out. There will be considerable spaces left without the batter.
• Next make the streusel topping.
• Mix the brown sugar, flour and the cinnamon.
• Rub the soft butter into the mixture.
• Drop the streusel mixture into the holes between the mounds of batter.
• Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

 
 
 
 
 

21.7.13

STRAWBERRY LEMON BARS


Adapted from Freckled Strawberry Lemonade Bars, this is one of the most deliciously luscious treat I made recently. Taking a photo was a challenge. First, this is not a particularly stable bar, besides I had to work with a massacred project the following day. My better half couldn’t stop eating it last night; he kept going back to the kitchen to cut just one more slice. These bars are that good. I don’t think I had to stare in the face a more tantalizing fare since I went on this non-diet diet of mine. Heaven help me, the combination of shortbread, lemon and strawberry is brilliant!
 
Shortbread Base
1 cup flour
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup icing sugar
dash of salt
 
Lemon Layer
3 eggs
1/8 cup softened cream cheese
2 Tbsp flour
1-1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
 
Strawberry Topping
1/2 cup strawberry puree
2 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp cornstarch
 
• Preheat the oven to 350F.
• Line a 9×9 inch baking pan with parchment paper.
• In a large bowl, combine the flour, butter, icing sugar, and salt until well mixed.
• Press the mixture into the prepared pan.
• Bake in the preheated oven for15 minutes.
• Meanwhile combine the eggs, cream cheese, 2 Tbsp flour, 1-1/2 cup sugar, and the lemon juice.
• Pour over the cooked crust.
• In a blender, puree the strawberries, 2 Tbsp sugar, and the cornstarch.
• Spoon the strawberry mixture randomly over the lemon layer.
• Return to the oven and bake for an additional 20-25 minutes, or until the lemon layer is fully cooked and firmly set. You will be able to tell by sight.
• Cool completely before cutting into squares or triangles.
• Dust with a little icing sugar before serving.

PASTA WITH KALE


I read an article the other day about a trendy New York chef experimenting with traditionally discarded plant parts such as carrot tops and greens. Oh and the craze is catching on! So now there is this great debate brewing about carrot green’s toxicity levels – if it’s at a tolerable level for human consumption or not. Yes, Europeans always utilized carrot tops – it is packed with flavour, but never used parts of the stem or the leaves. No matter how good the greens look at the end of an orange carrot those things are still TOXIC. Just watch some people try to slice some bitter potato berries into the salad next. As Jimre says human stupidity has no limits.
 
Speaking of bitter foods… kale is nothing to write home about either. Though I have to admit it wasn’t much different than tasting brussel sprouts or stuffed olives for the first time. I could learn to like kale, I think, it is good for the body. But I just cannot eat swiss chard or beet greens. I must have a taste bud that sends foul alert to my brain whenever I take a bite of those. My friend simply LOVES beet greens. I tried it the other day, yet again, but no. I won’t succumb; it will just have to keep going into the compost bin. If I was starving maybe… but for now it’s earth to earth. On the other hand, my opinion of kale is a little better. I will not brave to eat it on its own, not just yet, but with garlicky pork slivers, havarti cheese, cherry tomatoes and the great equalizer… pasta – it isn’t, it wasn’t that bad. Not bad at all.
 
2 slices of lean boneless pork chops, cut into thin strips
1-1/2 Tbsp olive oil
3 large garlic cloves, chopped
1/4 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained and chopped
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, cut in half
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste
2 servings of penne pasta
4 leaves of kale with the stem removed
shaved white cheese for topping 
 
• Stir fry the pork strips in olive oil.
• When the meat is no longer pink, add the chopped garlic.
• Continue to sauté and add the tomatoes and sauté for 2 minutes.
• Season the strips with salt and pepper.
• Meanwhile in a larger pot cook the pasta in salted boiling water according to package directions.
• Add the kale, and cook 1 minute or until it wilts.
• Drain into a large colander.
• Put the pasta and kale mixture back in the pot and add the stir fry.
• Mix to combine.
• Adjust the seasoning.
• Sprinkle with fresh lemon juice and shave some white cheese on the top.
 
 

20.7.13

BRANDIED CHERRIES

 
These cherries were brandied for my black forest cake. The only complaint I got for the cake was there should have been more brandied cherries in it. There were plenty, but I guess the cherries were a hit. So it got me thinking to include brandied cherries in my recipes. Not to be confused with Hungarian rum cherries, these take a short time to make, plus they don’t last as long as rum cherries. The difference is not in the choice of spirit, it is in the preparation. Brandied cherries develop within a day or two and after that they start to mellow. Brandied cherries are best if made from fresh fruit, but canned and dry fruit can also be brandied. I brandied a few dried cherries just to see how they would turn out; they were enjoyable, though not as picturesque as the fresh ones.
 
1-1/2 cups pitted cherries
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup water
1/4 cup Kirsch, cherry brandy or rum
 
• Wash and pit the cherries. A cherry pitter is useful.
• Place the cherries in a lidded heat proof container and set aside.
• Combine sugar and water in a small saucepan.
• Bring to the boil and reduce to 1/4 cup.
• Remove from heat and stir in the choice of liqueur.
• Pour the syrup over the cherries and cover.
• Let the cherries stand in the brandied syrup for 10 hours or overnight. The cherries will let out some of their juice, so the syrup will triple in volume.
 

19.7.13

CHERRY CAKE BARS - CSERESZNYÉS PITE

 
Not a cake, although it looks like one. The Hungarian pite is an untranslatable wonder. Google and Bing translator calls it pie, but the pite is no pie. It is a pite. Soft, full of flavour and it stays that way for days. People make heavy shortbread bases to showcase seasonal fruit, serve it with ice cream or whipped cream and discard what is left the following day. The answer is pite. It stays lovely for days and stands on its own without the ice ream brigade. I kept these beauties chilling in the fridge for close to a week. You have to refrigerate it, because the cherries on top are full of moisture and could mould in a few days. Take out a slice and let it come to room temperature or put it in the microwave for 20 seconds and the pite will be as good as the day it was made.
 
FRUIT TOPPING
 
2 cups pitted cherries [cut in half]
 
PITE
 
2 eggs
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup soft butter
1/3 cup 14% sour cream
1/3 cup milk
1-3/4 cup flour
2-1/2 tsp baking powder
 
• Wash, pit and cut the cherries in half.
• Preheat the oven to 375F.
• Line with parchment or butter a 9X12 inch baking pan.
• In a large mixing bowl whisk the flour and the baking powder and set aside.
• Beat the eggs and the sugar for 4 minutes until very fluffy.
• Add the butter and beat until fully incorporated and very fluffy.
• Gradually beat in the sour cream and beat until fully incorporated.
• Add the milk and again beat the mixture until fully incorporated.
• Add to the flour mixture and gently fold in.
• Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and smooth out the top with an offset spatula. • Arrange the cherries on the top and gently press them into the batter.
• Bake in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes or until cake tester inserted in the middle comes out clean. Do not over bake.
• Remove from the oven and let it cool down.
• With a sharp knife cut the pite into squares. [Pite is always square shaped.]
• The pite will stay soft and moist until it lasts. Store it in the fridge and let it come to room temperature or slightly heat in the microwave before serving.

 
 
 

14.7.13

BLACK FOREST CAKE


Black Forest cake is a popular celebration cake. You know it’s popular when Costco sells it in large slabs. I had it; it is a cake for a crowd. Bakeries have it too, most of them look good, but the taste is forgettable. The best black forest cake I ever had was from the Red Coach Inn Bakery in 100 Mile House back in the early seventies. Sadly it is no more.

I had fresh cherries so I made a black forest cake. If you don’t have fresh cherries substitute canned or dried cherries. This cake will not be around too long, so there is no need to cook the life out of the fresh cherries. I thought I will be authentic and followed an “authentic” German recipe. It was as authentic as slow cooker gulyás. So I went to one of my old standbys and made a moist, chocolaty cake. I winged the rest and this is how it turned out.

The cherries require overnight soaking time. This makes it a two day project, still this is not a complex cake. Bake the cake and set the cherries to soak. A day old cake is much easier to handle. The following day make the chocolate ganache and whip up the cream and assemble the cake. Let it chill for a few hours so the flavours can develop. Jolly good cake.

CAKE COMPONENTS

Brandied Bing Cherries
Cocoa Cake
Chocolate Ganache
Whipped Cream

• Make the brandied cherries first.
• Bake the cocoa cake and set aside until the following day.
• Next day make the ganache and let it cool to room temperature.
• Drain the brandied cherries and reserve the syrup.
• Select 12 brandied cherries and set them aside for the decoration
• Meanwhile cut the cake into two horizontal layers.
• Next whip the cream and place it in the fridge until needed.
• Assemble the cake.
• Chill for a few hours before serving.

BRANDIED CHERRIES

1 cup + 12 pitted cherries
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup water
1/4 cup Kirsch or cherry brandy or rum

• Wash and pit the cherries. A cherry pitter is useful.
• Place the cherries in a lidded heat proof container and set aside.
• Combine sugar and water in a small saucepan.
• Bring to the boil and reduce to 1/4 cup.
• Remove from heat and stir in the choice of liqueur.
• Pour the syrup over the cherries and cover.
• Let the cherries stand in the brandied syrup for 10 hours or overnight. The cherries will let out some of their juice, so the syrup will triple in volume. Some of it will be used for soaking the cake.

COCOA CAKE

4 Tbsp cake flour, sifted
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa, sifted
8 egg yolks
8 Tbsp sugar
8 egg whites
1/4 tsp cream of tartar

• Preheat the oven to 350F.
• Very lightly oil the bottom of 9 inch spring form cake pan.
• Oiling the bottoms will keep the parchment paper in place. Make sure no oil gets on the sides.
• Line a bottom with parchment paper.
• Line the bottom of the cake pans with the parchment circles.
• Sift the cake flour, baking powder and the cocoa into a medium sized bowl and set it aside.
• Beat the egg yolks and sugar for 5 minutes.
• Stir the flour mixture into the yolk mix with a wooden spoon.
• With clean beaters beat the egg whites until soft peaks form.
• Add 1/4 tsp cream of tartar.
• Gradually fold the egg whites into the yolk mixture.
• Transfer the batter to the prepared cake pan.
• Gently smooth out the top.
• Bake at 350F until the middle springs back.
• Remove cake from the oven.
• Gently cut along the edge and place on a wire rack to cool.
• Open up the springs and remove the ring.
• Place the cake, still attached to the bottom of the spring form pan on a platter.
• Loosely cover the cake and place it in the fridge for overnight.

CHOCOLATE GANACHE

1 cup heavy whipping cream [at least 35%]
8 squares [8oz] of good quality semi-sweet chocolate, chopped

• The following day make the ganache first.
• Bring 1 cup of heavy whipping cream to a boil.
• Lower heat and stir in 8 squares or 8 oz of semisweet chocolate.
• Stir briskly until partially melted.
• Remove from heat and whisk until smooth.
• The ganache will thicken as it cools.
• To spead up cooling, refrigerate the ganache for a short time, stirring often, until it reaches spreadable consistency. If the ganache becomes too stiff, place the dish in hot water, but only for a short time. Whisk it again for uniform consistency.
• Next prepare the whipping cream.

WHIPPED CREAM

1-1/2 cups whipping cream [at least 35%]
3 tbsp icing sugar
1-1/2 tsp pure vanilla

• Refrigerate the mixing bowl and beater for 15 minutes.
• Whip the cream until soft peaks form.
• Add the sugar and the vanilla extract and whip until stiff peaks form.
• Refrigerate whipped cream until use.

ASSEMBLING THE CAKE

• Drain the cherries, reserving the syrup.
• Select out 12 cherries and set them aside for the decoration.
• Remove the parchment and place the cake on a clean, level surface.
• Cut the cake into two layers horizontally.
• Place the bottom cake layer on a serving platter.
• Sprinkle with 3/8 cup of the reserved cherry syrup.
• Place 1/2 cup of ganache in a piping bag and pipe a ring around the edge of the cake layer. This will prevent the whipped cream from oozing out between the layers.
• Spread half of the whipped cream inside the piped ganache ring.
• Scatter the cherries on the top [not including the 12 you set aside for decoration]
• Place the other cake layer on the top.
• Poke the top with a fork and sprinkle 3/8 cup of cherry syrup on the top.
• Spread 2/3 of the remaining ganache on the sides.
• Spread the remaining ganache on the top.
• From the remaining whipping cream, pipe large rosettes around the perimeter.
• Place the brandied cherries you set aside in the middle of each rosette.
• Refrigerate for at least 4 hours for all the flavours to develop.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

11.7.13

MY DAILY BREAD


I was on search for a type of bread the entire family could enjoy and not grow tired of. I didn’t want a labour-intensive bread. I tried several types and then I took another look at the no knead white bread I sometimes make. I tried several variations of it and then I settled on this one. The recipe makes a 1kg loaf, there is no kneading, and the rising time is minimal. Put it together the night before, set it to rise the next morning and in a little more than an hour you are slicing the most wonderful bread.
 
1-3/4 cups whole wheat bread flour
2-1/2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
1 Tbsp granulated quick-rise yeast
1-1/2 tsp salt
2 cups lukewarm water
parchment lined baking sheet
bread pan for water
 
• Combine the flours, yeast and the salt in a large bowl.
• Add the water and stir until the flour is just incorporated.
• Let the dough sit uncovered for 2 hours.
• Cover the bowl and refrigerate it overnight.
• Next day line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
• Next plunk the dough down and quickly guide it into a loaf shape. Do not roll it with a rolling pin or tuck the ends under, not if you want a uniform texture; free from large air pockets.
• Place the shaped loaf on the prepared baking sheet.
• Set the timer for 20 minutes.
• After 20 minutes rest, sprinkle the top with a little flour.
• Slash the top 1/4” deep 4 times.
• Place an empty bread pan in the oven.
• Set the temperature to 450F and set the timer for 20 more minutes.
• Do not worry if your loaf does not raise much. The final raise takes place in the oven and it is substantial.
• After 20 minutes pour 1 cup of hot water into the bread pan.
• Take care not to scald yourself as the hot steam rises.
• Quickly slide the loaf into the oven.
• Bake for 25-30 minutes.
• Remove the loaf and cool it on a baking rack.
• Let the bread cool down before slicing.
• For thin slices the loaf should rest for a day.

Combine ingredients  
 
I left it on the counter one night. It didn't work. 
 
After two hours put it in the fridge
 
Next morning it looks like this 
 
Plunk it on the baking sheet 
 
Just before going in the oven
 
 Still warm, but you can cut a slice
 
 A sercli a legjobb
 
Nice bread 
 
Slices thinly the following day
 

9.7.13

STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE


Strawberry shortcake is a seasonal dessert, it is best when the local strawberries finally arrive in the stores. The year around supply of California strawberries lack the intensity of flavour necessary for this simple dessert. I realize shortcake is a biscuit, but the way I like mine is with soft piskóta.  The basis was my swiss roll recipe; except I used 8 instead of 6 eggs and I added 1/2 tsp of baking powder. The rest was sweetened whipped cream and fresh, sliced strawberries. We shared the cake and the portion I kept in the fridge lasted for 3 days.
 
8 eggs separated
8 Tbsp sugar
8 Tbsp cake flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 Tbsp lemon zest, finely grated
500 ml whipping cream [35% fat content]
2 Tbsp icing sugar
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 lb fresh strawberries
 
• Preheat the oven to 350F.
• Beat the egg yolks and sugar until thick and lemon coloured.
• Whisk together the cake flour and the baking powder and sift.
• Add the zest to sifted flour mixture.
• Stir the flour mixture into the yolk mix.
• Wash the beaters and beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form.
• Gently incorporate the egg whites into the yolk mixture.
• Line two 9 inch cake pans with parchment paper.
• Divide the batter between the cake pans.
• Gently smooth out the top.
• Bake at 350F until the middle springs back.
• Let the cakes cool in the pan for 15 minutes.
• Remove the cakes and peel off the parchment paper.
• Let the cakes cool down completely before assembly.
• Wash and hull the strawberries.
• Place them on paper towel to dry.
• Meanwhile whip the whipping cream until soft peaks form.
• Add the icing sugar and continue to whip until stiff peaks form. • Whip in the vanilla extract.
• Place the whipped cream in the fridge while you finish prepping the strawberries. • Cut 8 strawberries in half and set them aside.
• Slice the rest of the strawberries and set them aside.
• Place one of the cakes on a platter.
• Spread with a thick layer of whipped cream.
• Arrange the strawberry slices on the top and cover the strawberries with more whipped cream.
• Lightly cover the entire cake with whipped cream and place in the fridge for 20 minutes.
• Spread the remaining whipped cream over the cakes and arrange the strawberry halves on the top.
• Place in the fridge for 20 minutes before serving.

 
 

8.7.13

BROCCOLI PASTA


This is what happens when you have broccoli and you do not know what to do with the over abundance. You look for ways of incorporating the particular vegetable into anything and everything. Today I will add some broccoli to a container of homemade chicken stock and add dumplings to make a clear soup. And then I think I will drench some broccoli with flour and deep fry it for the man and steam some for myself. By then the bucketful my darling brought up yesterday will be all used up. Should more broccolis appear in the meantime, I will do some blanching and freezing.
 
This dish is so pleasant, even if you are not a fan of broccoli you will wish you were. I was going to make it with nokedli, but we came home late last night and I was really tired. So I picked a bag of small shell pasta from the pantry, [bowtie or small penne will work too] and proceeded with dinner. Cook the pasta soft/firm, not al dente or soggy/soft. The broccoli will be slightly crunchy so the pasta should not be. The dish is flavoured with a little meat; use either lean, boneless pork or chicken.
 
I checked the broccoli for critters, but just to be sure no worm ends up in the dish, I threw the broccoli florets into the boiling pasta water for a minute or two to coax out what I may have missed. If anything floats out it gets discarded with the cooking water and a fresh pot is put on for the pasta. There were no critters in the bathwater, so the supper proceeded without interruption. Of course if you don’t have your home-grown broccoli and you don’t buy organic, this issue will never come up. But then you may want to pre-soak and rinse your broccoli several times to get rid of all the pesticides. Sorry, I couldn’t resist that. The amount feeds two people very well. I packed away the leftover for the man. He will get it again tonight with the fried broccoli and maybe something else. But here is the recipe; the rest of the story is all there.
 
2 handfuls of broccoli florets [125g]
2 pork chops or corresponding chicken meat [about 125g]
2 Tbsp olive oil
salt and ground pepper to taste
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups small shell pasta
2 tsp mustard
1/2 cup whipping cream
 
• Bring to boil a medium large pot of water.
• Wash and chop the broccoli florets.
• With a sharp knife mince the meat.
• Heat 2 Tbsp of olive oil in a large non stick skillet.
• Add the minced meat and sauté on medium heat, turning often.
• Stir in the minced garlic.
• When the water comes to full boil, add the chopped broccoli.
• Blanch the broccoli for 1-2 minutes.
• With a slotted spoon start transferring the broccoli to the skillet with the meat. [Keep boiling the water.] Some of the cooking water will transfer too, but that’s good.
• When the entire batch of broccoli florets are transferred, place a lid on the skillet and continue slow cooking until the broccoli is tender, but still crunchy.
• Meanwhile add the shell pasta to the boiling water and cook until pasta is soft, but not mushy.
• Add the mustard to a small bowl and gradually stir in the whipping cream. Stir until well combined.
• When the pasta is soft pour it into a large sieve to drain the water.
• Put the drained pasta back into the same pot it was cooked in.
• Add the mustard and cream mixture to the pasta and give it a stir.
• Transfer the contents of the skillet and stir it into the pasta.
• Adjust seasoning and serve at once if you like a saucy pasta. If you prefer it less saucy, like my hubby, cover the pot for five to ten minutes until the sauce is absorbed by the pasta.

6.7.13

STRAWBERRY RHUBARB CRUMBLE


This years Father’s Day celebration ended with a wonderful rhubarb crumble. Liv had chocolate dipped strawberries; the dads might be fond of rhubarb but the chocoholic grandchild could not be overlooked. Even though there were a couple of tense moments at the start, I forgot to put on the one order of pesto pasta; however the conclusion went rather well. Pulling together the meal is getting harder for me; there was a lot on my mind at the time plus being an almost senior citizen well you know… I forgot to take pictures, so this one is of the repeat. Father’s Day was almost a month ago, but the crumble was repeatedly good and now I know I will live for another day and with a few more dishes to come even though Canada Day went by the wayside. Never the mind, here is a cool video to celebrate Canada, the land and its creatures. Have a Happy Day!

Fruit Filling
2 cups diced rhubarb
2 cups sliced strawberries
1/2 cup blueberries [optional]
1 Tbsp fresh orange juice
1/4 cup sugar
2 Tbsp cornstarch
2 Tbsp finely grated orange rind

Topping
3/8 cups flour
1 pinch cinnamon
1 pinch salt
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup butter, softened
3/8 cup oats

• Preheat the oven to 375F.
• Place the fruits in a bowl.
• Add the juice, sugar, cornstarch and the orange rind and toss.
• Butter a small baking dish and pour in the fruit mixture.
• In a medium sized bowl combine the flour, cinnamon, salt and the brown sugar.
• Rub the soft butter into the flour mixture.
• Mix in the oats.
• Crumble over the fruit and bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes.
• Reduce heat to 325F and continue baking until the fruit filling is bubbling and the topping begins to brown at the sides.
• Let the crumble rest for 15 minutes.
• Serve with vanilla ice cream and/or whipped cream.

 
 
 
 


 

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I began to post recipes for my family and it turned out to be a work in progress. "zsuzsa is in the kitchen" has over 900 recipes of Hungarian and international recipes. My recipes are organized into a cookbook format. On top of the page click on the cookbook to get access to all my recipes. If I ever figure out how to add a printer friendly gadget I will add it. In the meantime feel free to cut and paste. Happy cooking!

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