Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Swazi Babotie

This is a traditional Swazi recipe for a spiced meat meatloaf that's finished by baking it under a spiced custard. While S made the Malva Pudding for dessert, D, R, and D made the main dish for our feast from Swaziland.


Ingredients

  • 1 lb organic grassfed beef, ground
  • 1 fennel bulb, thinly sliced
  • 1 leek, trimmed and thinly sliced
  • olive oil
  • 1 T curry powder
  • 1/2 t ground turmeric
  • 1/2 t ground, smoked paprika
  • freshly ground salt and pepper, to taste
  • 3 T ketchup
  • 3 T apricot jam
  • 7 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 C fresh chopped herbs + 2 T for garnish (we used a mixture of parsley, cilantro, and oregano)
  • ½ C organic whole milk

Procedure
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large frying pan, heat a splash of olive oil and cook the fennel and leeks until translucent and softened

Add in the meat and cook until completely browned. Season with spices and stir in the ketchup and jam. 


Spoon the mixture into a well-greased, oven-proof dish. Then combine the eggs with the milk and herbs and beat well. Pour the mixture over the babotie.


Cover and bake for an hour, or until the custard has set. Remove the cover and bake for an additional 10 minutes, until golden brown. Let cool for 5 to 10 minutes in the pan before slicing and serving.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Malva Pudding {Swaziland}


Tonight, to go along with our tabletop travel to Swaziland, S made a Malva Pudding while I made the caramel sauce. Ah. Mazing. Malva pudding is a sweet pudding that contains apricot jam and has a spongy caramelized texture. A cream sauce - or a caramel sauce - is poured over it while it is still hot; we went for the caramel.

Ingredients
Pudding

  • 3/4 C organic granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 T apricot jam 
  • ½ C flour (we used whole wheat pastry flour)
  • 1 t baking soda
  • 1/2 t salt (we used a vanilla salt)
  • 1/3 C whole milk
  • 1 t apple cider vinegar
  • 1T butter, melted + some for greasing pan
Sauce

  • 7 T butter
  • 1/3 C organic granulated sugar
  • 1 C organic heavy cream
  • 1 t pure vanilla extract


Procedure
Pudding
Line a baking dish with parchment paper and butter generously. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a medium mixing bowl, combine sugar and eggs. Beat until thick and lemon-colored.  Mix in the apricot jam and beat again. In another bowl, blend together the flour, baking soda and salt.

In a smaller bowl, combine the milk, vinegar and butter. Pour the milk mixture and flour mixture into eggs and sugar. Beat well until combined thoroughly. Pour batter into prepared pan.


Cover with foil and bake for 45-50 minutes. The pudding will be dark brown and firm to the touch. 

While the pudding bakes, make the sauce.

Sauce
In a flat-bottom pan, melt butter over medium heat. Mix in sugar and cook until it begins to bubble and turn a darker brown. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Be careful...it will bubble up violently. Pour in the cream and cook to let it form a caramel. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving. Cut pudding into slices and pour caramel sauce over the top.

Chavez Cellars 2010 Zinfandel {Tasting Notes}


We went on a hunt for wildflowers yesterday. According to one of the park docents, we missed it by about three weeks. Instead of hills draped in a carpet of orange poppies, we had charred blossoms; they weren't just wilted, they were positively singed. Look at my crew of unhappy hikers. They felt duped, as did I. I had promised them wildflowers. Boo.


We stopped at the store on the way home from the park and I spotted this bottle of wine. It had poppies on the label and it was from Antelope Valley. I know the kiddos couldn't - and wouldn't - enjoy it. But Jake and I joked that we found poppies!

And though I readily admit that I bought this bottle for the label, it was perfect with dinner after a day in the desert.


Tasting Notes: Garnet color with rose, plum, and vanilla aromas. On the palate it's medium-bodied, elegant with great texture and mild acidity with a lingering sweet finish. Lighter than I expected from a zinfndel. Easy drinking wine. I paired it with Ostrich Lasagna, green salad, and roasted beets.

Food'N'Flix Invitation: Chef


It's my turn to host Food'N'Flix where we watch movies and head  into the kitchen and cook or bake or make something based on a recipe they actually make in it or just something we were driven to make after watching it.
Food‘nFlix
For April's round, I selected Chef. I watched the movie when it was released last year, but I'm excited to see what inspires all of you. There is so much from which to choose. I won't tell you too much...just that the main character is a chef in a high end restaurant. He leaves that job and starts his own business - in a food truck.


Here's a trailer...


If you’ve never seen Chef, you must. Really. Just watching him plate pasta is gorgeous. But all the food looks incredible. Jon Favreau does his own slicing, dicing, and cooking in the movie. It's impressive and inspiring. Just be sure to eat ahead of watching...or have dinner reservations right after, because you will want to eat some incredible food when the movie is over.


I watched it again last week when the house was quiet and all my boys were asleep. I pulled out a notepad and scribbled down some recipe ideas. What should I attempt? I haven't quite decided yet.  But I hope you'll join the fun. Watch the movie, then post about it on your blog with a link back to this post and to Food'N'Flix. Use of the logo is optional.

Your post must be current (during month of film). And of course we don't mind if your post is linked to other events...the more the merrier. Have fun with it!

Email your entries to me at: constantmotioncamilla [at] gmail [dot] com and include...

~Your name
~Your blog's name and URL
~The name of your dish and the permalink to the specific post you're submitting
~Attach a photo of any size (or just give me permission to "pull" one from your post)
~Indicate "Food 'n Flix Submission" in the subject line


Deadline for submission is: April 28th.*

*watch for the roundup to be posted by April 30th!

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Ostrich Lasagna


Yesterday we visited an ostrich farm and fed some of the animals.

I had warned the kiddos that it was a farm and we might purchase eggs and, possibly, meat. The guy manning the store didn't have the meat there, but told me where - in town - I could find it. So, today, we tracked some down. The kids had voted for the steaks, but all the store had was ground ostrich meat. I had been planning on making lasagna anyway, so I decided to make ostrich lasagna. I'm certain that the flavor is masked by the herbs and the wine, so we'll have to try again another time.


Ingredients

  • 1 onion, peeled and diced
  • 1 small fennel bulb, trimmed and diced
  • olive oil
  • 2 pounds ground ostrich meat
  • 2 T butter
  • 2 C fresh tomato sauce
  • 1/2 C red wine
  • 1/2 C water
  • 1 C fresh chopped parsley
  • 2 T fresh oregano
  • freshly ground salt, to taste
  • freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • lasagna noodles
  • 3 C shredded cheese (I used a mixture of mozzarella, asiago, provolone, and Monterey jack)
  • 1 C shredded parmesan
  • 3 C small curd cottage cheese

Procedure
In a large, flat-bottom pan, saute the onions and fennel in a splash of olive oil until softened and translucent. Add in the ground ostrich meat and 2 T butter; friends had warned me that ostrich was lean and needed added fat. Cook till browned through completely.


Add in the tomato sauce, wine, and water. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer, stir in herbs, then season to taste with salt and pepper.


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. To assemble the lasagna, layer meat sauce, noodles, shredded cheese blend , cottage cheese, and meat sauce. Repeat till your pan is full though the last layer should be meat so that the noodles are completely covered.


Cover with foil. Bake in the 375 degree F oven for one hour. Remove the foil. Sprinkle with shredded parmesan. Return pan to the oven for another 10 to 15 minutes until the sauce is bubbling and the cheese melted. Let cool for 10 to 15 minutes before slicing. Serve hot.

On a side note...we just realized that the table does actually have six chairs. And we found the leaf for the table in the girls' closet. So, tonight, we ate all together instead of in two shifts. Great conversation with lots of giggles. Now I just need to figure out how to get all of us in the shot...and in focus.

Goedangan, a Surinamese Salad


Goedangan is a cool and refreshing salad that's similar to Indonesian gado-gado. It's made with blanched vegetables in a cococnut-based dressing.

Ingredients

  • 1 small head of cabbage, thinly sliced
  • 8 oz green beans, ends trimmed
  • 2 C mung bean sprouts
  • 2 hard boiled eggs
  • 1/3 C coconut cream
  • 1/2 C yogurt
  • 3 T organic turbinado sugar
  • 3 T fresh cilantro, chopped
  • juice from 1 organic Meyer lemon
  • pinch of salt
  • ground paprika for garnish
Procedure
Whisk together the coconut cream and yogurt. Stir in the sugar, cilantro, lemon juice, and salt. Chill until ready to serve.


Slice the cabbage into thin strips and trim the ends off the green beans.



In batches, blanch the cabbage, green beans, and mung bean sprouts. Drain and plunge them into a batch of ice water. Let stand for 5 minutes. then drain.

Place the vegtables in a large mixing bowl. Spoon dressing over the top and toss to coat. Arrange vegetables on a platter and top with wedges of egg. Sprinkle with paprika for garnish. Serve immediately.

(Non-Traditional) Bojo Cake from Suriname


Bojo is a flourless cake made, traditionally, from grated coconut and cassava. Cassava is a starchy root plant also known as yucca. It's also, traditionally, made with rum-soaked rasins. I completely failed on multiple counts in bringing the ingredients for this dessert. I forgot the cassava in my freezer at home; so we used potatoes instead. And I intended to just use raisins - without the rum - but I left those at home, too. So, we did without raisins, too. It was dense and delicious...but is not your traditional Bojo.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 pound new red potatoes, boiled, cooled, and grated
  • 2 C grated coconut (we used dried)
  • 1/3 C organic granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 C coconut milk
  • 1 T organic pure vanilla extract
  • 2 t organic almond extract
  • 4 T butter, melted
  • 1 t salt

Procedure
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Butter a 9-inch round cake pan and line bottom of pan with parchment paper.

Stir the coconut and grated potatoe together with the sugar in a large mixing bowl.


In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs, coconut milk, vanilla, almond extract, and salt. Stir the wet ingredients into the coconut mixture. Pour in the melted butter. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.



Bake until golden brown on top, approximately one hour. While the cake is still warm, run a knife around the edge of the pan. Then let cool in the pan. Slice into wedges and serve.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Redemption: Kouign Amann v.2

Remember when I made briquettes? Well, I couldn't let that failure stand. So, the day after I completely failed at creating those dreamy, buttery, flaky morsels, I went back into the kitchen and gave it another try. This time - success!



Ingredients

  • 1 C water, room temperature
  • 1 T active dry yeast
  • 2 3/4 C flour, divided
  • 1 t sea salt
  • 1/2 C cold salted butter + more for greasing the pan
  • 1 1/2 C organic granulated sugar, divided, plus extra for shaping the pastries
  • ground cardamom for sprinkling

Procedure
Combine the water and yeast in a large mixing bowl. Let stand for 15 minutes for the yeast to bloom. Add 2 1/2 C of the flour, keeping 1/4 C for later, and the salt. Stir with a wooden spoon until a shaggy dough forms.

Cover the mixing bowl and let the dough rise until doubled in size, approximately one hour.


Once the dough has doubled, place it in the fridge to chill for at least an hour or as long as overnight. Pound the butter into rectangle. Some people use a ruler and make it very precise. I am less-precise. Wrap the butter in parchment and chill with the dough.

When you're ready, sprinkle a piece of parchment paper with flour and place dough on top. Roll the dough into a rectangle roughly 12"x 20". Remember, I'm less than precise, but it was around that size.


Remove the butter from the fridge and lay it in the middle of the dough. Fold the corners of the dough in to form an envelope.


It should look like this...


Using the rolling pin, roll it out to 12"20" again. This time, fold one third of the dough over the other third, like folding a letter. 

Now you have to turn the dough. This process was new to me. Turning the dough, by rolling and folding, creates very thin layers of butter and dough. This recipe needs to be turned 4 times: 2 turns now, and then the final 2 turns after you chill the dough. If the butter pushes through a layer of dough, rub it with a little flour. If the butter seems to be melting, chill the dough for 30 minutes between each turn. Keep the parchment, the rolling pin, and the surface of the pastry well-floured.

To turn: Rotate the package of dough and butter so that the narrower, open end is facing you, like the pages of a book.


Roll the dough out to a rectangle and fold the top third down and the bottom third up, again like a letter. Rotate the dough 90 degrees so that the open end is again facing you. Repeat. Roll the dough out to a rectangle and fold the top third down and the bottom third up. That's 2 turns.

Transfer the dough to a parchment-lined baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate 30 minutes. Do not refrigerate much longer than 30 minutes or the butter will break when you roll it out.

Remove the dough from the fridge and transfer it to a well-floured parchment. With the open end facing you, roll the dough out to a rectangle, again. Fold the top third down and the bottom third up. Rotate the dough 90 degrees and repeat. That's 4 turns.

Transfer the dough to a parchment-lined baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate 30 minutes.

Rub the insides of a muffin tins with butter. Set aside.

Remove the dough from the fridge and transfer it to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Roll the dough out to approximately 1/4" thick. Sprinkle 1 C of sugar and ground cardamom over the top of the dough. Slice the dough into twelve squares.

Pull the corners of each square toward the center. Transfer the dough to the prepared muffin tin. Sprinkle the remaining sugar over the tops of the pastries. Cover the kouign amann loosely and let rise until slightly puffy, approximately 30 to 40 minutes.


Preheat the oven to 400°F about half-way through the rise.

Place the kouign amann in the oven and immediately turn the heat down to 350°F. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes. Pastries are finished when the tops are deep golden and the tips look as if they might be just starting to burn.

Let cool for 5 to 10 minutes in the baking dish but be sure remove them after that. If they cool completely in the baking dish, they will be impossible to remove. Gently wiggle them out of the tray, then transfer the kouign amann to a wire rack to finish cooling completely.

Best served the day they are baked.

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