• Basic Flaky Pie Crust

    pie crust

     

     

     

     

     

    Basic Flaky Pie Crust

    This pie crust is light, flaky, tender and very crisp.

    Ingredients:

    • 8 Tbs – Unsalted butter, cold (4 oz)
    • 1 1/3 Cups + 4 tsp – pastry flour or all purpose flour (6.5 oz)
    • 1/4 tsp – salt
    • 1/8 tsp – baking powder
    • 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 Tbs – ice water
    • 1 1/2 tsp – cider vinegar

    Directions:

    1. Divide the butter into two parts, about two thirds to one third (5 Tbs and 3 Tbs)
    2. Cut the butter into 3/4 inch cubes. Wrap each portion of butter with plastic wrap. Refrigerate the larger amount and freeze the smaller for at least 30 minutes. Place the flour, salt, and baking powder in a reclosable gallon-size freezer bag and freeze for at least 30 minutes.
    3. Place the flour mixture in a food processor with the metal blade and process for a few seconds to combine. Set the bag aside.
    4. Add the larger amount of butter cubes to the flour and process for about 20 seconds or until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Add the remaining frozen butter cubes and pulse until all of the frozen butter is the size of peas. (Toss with a fork to see it better.)
    5. Add the lowest amount of the ice water and the vinegar and pulse 6 times. Pinch a small amount of the mixture together between your fingers. If it does not hold together, add half the remaining water and pulse 3 times. Try pinching the mixture again. If necessary, add the remaining water, pulsing 3 times to incorporate it. The mixture will be in articles and will not hold together without bing pinched.
    6. Spoon the mixture into the plastic bag.
    7. Holding both ends of the bag opening with your fingers, knead the mixture by alternately pressing it. From the outside of the bag, with the knuckles and heals of your hands until the mixture holds together in one piece and feels slightly stretchy when pulled.
    8. Wrap the dough with plastic wrap, flatten it into a disc and refrigerate for at least 45 minutes, preferably overnight.

    Store: Refrigerated, up to 2 days; frozen up to 3 months

     

     

    I like adding a base to the pie crust if not pre-baking it

    • 4 (2-inch) Gingersnaps
    • 1/4 cup – Pecan halves

    Process the gingersnaps and pecans until finely ground. Sprinkle them over the bottom of the pie crust and, using your fingers and the back of a spoon, press them into the dough to coat the entire bottom, going about 1/2 inch up the sides.


  • GREEK-STYLE POCKETLESS PITA BREAD

    Risotto

    GREEK-STYLE POCKETLESS PITA BREAD
    Makes enough pitas to last a family for a week

      • Unbleached all-purpose wheat flour [1,111g](90%)
      • Whole wheat flour [123g](10%)
      • Natural sea salt [25g](2%)
      • Instant yeast [3g](0.25%)
      • Extra virgin olive oil [19g](1.5%)
      • Natural mineral water [717g](58%)

     

    1. Mix all ingredients until dough is formed
    2. Rest dough for 1 hour at room temp.
    3. Chill dough in tightly sealed container for minimum 1 day or up to 1 week (the longer it’s chilled, the better the flavour and dough handling)
    4. De-chill dough for 1 hour or so at room temp.
    5. Divide and pre-shape dough into balls
    6. Rest balled dough for 30 minutes or so at room temp.
    7. Flatten balled dough with rolling pin; dust with flour as necessary (the thickness of the dough will expand 2 or 3 fold after it’s baked)
    8. Optional: Prick entire flatten dough with a fork
    9. Bake flatten dough in preheated oven (+350C) with baking stones for less than a minute; turn off top heating element if possible; when dough starts to puff, flip it using tongs; additional flipping may be necessary
    10. Remove pita when each side has blotches of browning
    11. Cool and eat

    Note: If you don’t have a oven that can heat above 350C, then I recommend using a stove top or grill.

    This recipe comes from BakingBadly at Reddit
     


  • Felicity’s perfect risotto recipe

    Risotto

    Here is my favorite risotto recipe.

    Serves two.

    Felicity’s perfect risotto recipe

      • Half an onion, finely chopped
      • 25g butter or 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
      • 1.25l good stock, chicken or vegetable
      • 200g arborio, carnaroli, or vialone nano rice
      • 50g unsalted butter, diced
      • 50g Parmesan or Grana Padano (for a vegetarian option) cheese, grated

     

    1. Bring the stock to the boil (cubes will often be too salty, so taste and water it down if necessary).
    2. Melt the 25g of butter (or use the vegetable oil) and soften the onion in a heavy-bottomed, straight-sided pan, then add the carnaroli rice. Turn up the heat, and stir to coat the grains with butter.
    3. When they are hot, add a small glass of white wine, and keep stirring until this has evaporated. Then you’re ready to start adding the stock, a ladleful at a time. Stir until it has nearly all been absorbed – the rice should always be sloppy, rather than dry – and then add another, and so on.
    4. Add any extra ingredients at some point during this time, depending on how robust they are – usually about 10 minutes in.
    5. When the rice begins to soften (after about 13 minutes, but the only way to know is to keep checking), add the stock in smaller amounts, and test it regularly, until it is cooked to your liking. Then add 50g of diced butter, and 50g of grated cheese, and beat in with gusto, until the risotto is rich and creamy. Check the seasoning, then serve immediately.

    http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/wordofmouth/2010/may/06/how-to-make-perfect-risotto

     


  • Picture Gallery

    Hi everyone,
    Just wanted to give everyone a link to where I am uploading pictures to now… http://trd54.smugmug.com/. I move over to smugmug because of the unlimited storage capability.If you would like to upload pictures of your own get in touch with me and I can give you a link to upload to.

    If you are looking for somewhere to keep your own photos I recommend: SmugMug

    Tom


  • Skillet lasagna

    For the jarred tomato sauce I like marinara, but you can use whatever type you like. Any brand of curly-edged lasagna noodles will work here, but do not use no-boil lasagna noodles. If the pasta is especially dry and shattery, you may need to add extra water to the skillet while the pasta cooks. If you can’t find meatloaf mix, us ½ pound 85 percent lean ground beef and ½ pound ground pork. Like it spicy? Increase the amount of red pepper flakes up to 1 teaspoon. To make things go even quicker, you can replace the mozzarella and Parmesan with ¾ cup of shredded Italian cheese blend.

    • 1-pound meatloaf mix
    • 2 garlic cloves, minced
    • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
    • Salt and ground black pepper
    • 6 ounces curly-edged lasagna noodles (8 noodles), broken into 2-inch pieces
    • 1 (26-ounce) jar tomato sauce, such as marinara (about 3 cups)
    • 2 cups water
    • ½ cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
    • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
    • ¾ cup whole-milk ricotta cheese
    • ¼ cup minced fresh basil

    Mince the garlic and measure out the pasta while the meat cooks.

    1. Cook and drain meat: Cook meat in 12-inch nonstick skillet over high heat, breaking it into pieces with wooden spoon, until fat renders, 3 to 5 minutes. Drain meat and return it to skillet.

    2. Sauté aromatics: Stir in garlic, pepper flakes, and ½ teaspoon salt and cook over medium-high heat until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

    3. Simmer lasagna noodles: Sprinkle broken noodles into skillet, then pour in tomato sauce and water over top. Cover and cook, stirring often and adjusting heat as needed to maintain vigorous simmer, until noodles are tender, about 20 minutes.

    4. Add Cheese: Off heat, stir in half of mozzarella and half of Parmesan. Season with salt and pepper. Dot heaping teaspoons of ricotta over noodles, then sprinkle with remaining mozzarella and Parmesan. Cover and let stand off heat until cheeses melt, 3 to 5 minutes. Sprinkle with basil before serving.