quarta-feira, 28 de abril de 2010

Daring Bakers' Challenge - April 2010

Blog-checking lines: The April 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Esther of The Lilac Kitchen. She challenged everyone to make a traditional British pudding using, if possible, a very traditional British ingredient: suet.

Recipe Source: Recipes come from the following sources: Delia Smith’s Complete Cookery Course, The pudding club (http://www.puddingclub.com/), Mrs Beeton’s Book of Household Management and the Dairy Book of Home Cooking and my family’s recipe notes!

Variations allowed: we were allowed completely free rein on flavours and fillings.
Any variations due to restricted diets are of course allowed. Due to the way these recipes are cooked it’s very easy to substitute for gluten-free flours and get very much the same results as wheat.
They can be made vegetarian and even vegan just by using the vegetarian replacement suet and an appropriate flavour/filling.

Type 1 Puddings — suet crusts.
Pudding Crust for both Savoury Pudding or Sweet Pudding (using suet or a suet substitute):
250 g Self-raising flour (Note* If you cannot find self-raising flour, use a combination of all-purpose flour and baking powder.)
175 g Shredded suet or suet substitute (i.e., Vegetable Suet, Crisco, Lard)
Salt and pepper (Note* If making a savory dish, can be replaced with spices for sweet if wished.)
210 ml Water (Note* You can use a milk or a water and milk mix for a richer pastry.)
Mix the flour and suet together. Season the flour and suet mixture with salt and pepper if savory and just a bit of salt and/or spices if sweet. Add the water, a tablespoonful at a time, as you mix the ingredients together. Make up the pastry to firm an elastic dough that leaves the bowl clean. The liquid amounts are only an estimate and most recipes just say water to mix. Don’t over handle the pastry or it will be too hard. Reserve a quarter for the lid and roll out the rest and line a well-greased bowl. At this point add your filling. Roll the final piece of pastry out into a circle big enough to cover the top of the basin, dampen the edges and put in position on the pudding, pinching the edges together to seal. Seal well and cover with a double sheet of foil – pleated in the centre to allow room for expansion while cooking. Secure with string, and place it in a steamer over boiling water. Steam for up to 5 hours, you may need to add more boiling water halfway through or possibly more often. There is a lot of leeway in this steaming time and different recipes give different steaming times. Delia Smith says 5 hours for Steak and kidney where as Mrs Beeton says 2.5 for a similar dish! One way to tell that it is cooked is when the pastry changes colour and goes from white to a sort of light golden brown. It is also hard to over steam a pudding so you can leave it bubbling away until you are ready.

This sort of pastry can also be used as a topping for a baked meat pie and becomes quite a light crusty pastry when baked.

Sweet Pudding Options: Sussex Pond Pudding
1 amount of suet pastry (see recipe above)
120 g Demerara Sugar
120 g unsalted butter
1 large lemon
Cut the butter into small pieces and put half in the basin with half the sugar. Prick the whole lemon (preferably one with a thin skin) all over, using a thick skewer. Place on top of the butter and sugar in the basin. Cover with the rest of the butter and sugar. Finish building the pudding as per the pastry recipe. Steam for 3 ½ hours, or longer (for a really tender lemon), adding more water if needed. To serve, turn the pudding into a dish with a deep rim, when you slice into it the rich lemon sauce will gush out. Make sure each person is served some of the suet crust, lemon and tangy luscious sauce.

Now I must say:I must have done something REALLY wrong!
I couln'd find suet in the market. We are not used to that in Brasil. I asked my butcher and he told me to go to a place where the animals are killed.Well, the nearest one is an hour driving distance. No way! So I used lard. Pork lard.
The first thing I've noticed was I should not use the same amount of lard as of suet. It wouldn'd work. I understood that this dough should be done as a pate sable, mixing that fat with flour, using 2 knives, til you have something with a coarse consistency, so I had to add more flour to get the desired consistency of the dough. 
I was fascinated too by the idea of the Sussex Pond. Whole lemon? I was wondering if it wouln'd be to bitter, you know? That white peel usually tastes bad. But, I decided to try.
The result was awful. I don't know if it was the amount of fat (lard from the dough + butter from the filling) but I didn't get that flaky pastry. I looked more like the other type of pudding, The sponge type (look below).  And, of couse, it was incredible bitter and...I don't know how to express that. Terrible, disgusting, Baaaggghhh!
Someone asked me if I used waxed lemons. Well, I've never heard anithing about waxing lemons until I joined the DK. And I could find noone who knew anithing about that. I suppose limes, lemons and orages are not waxed in Brasil unless they are exported (?). So that was not the problem. I don't know what might have happen...
But I was decided to try this again. Perhaps with another filling. And I wanted to make a Spoted Dick too. I've first listened about that a long time ago, in a Jamie Oliver's TV show. Since than, I'm very curious. Keep reading.

Type 2 puddings – Steamed Suet Pudding, sponge type.
100 g All-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoons Baking powder
100 g breadcrumbs
75 g Caster sugar
75 g Shredded suet or suet substitute (i.e., Vegetable Suet, Crisco, Lard)
1 large egg
6 to 8 tablespoons Cold milk
Sift flour, salt and baking powder into bowl. Add breadcrumbs, sugar and suet. Mix to a soft batter with beaten egg and milk. Turn into a buttered 1 litre/ 2pint pudding basin and cover securely with buttered greaseproof paper or aluminum foil. Steam steadily for 2.5 to 3 hours. Turn out onto warm plate, Serve with sweet sauce to taste such as custard, caramel or a sweetened fruit sauce.

Spotted Dick - Add 75g/ 3oz currants and 25g/1 oz of mixed chopped peel with the sugar.

This time everything was ok. No mistakes. I liked the Spoted Dick very much. I think I'll do it again. But I'll use butter insted of lard. I belive it will be even better.

Many thanks to Esther for this challenge. I loved taking part of it. I'm sure I'll try alot more puddings in a near future.

Additional Information:

Vegetable suet:

Delia Smith shows you how to make suet pastry with step-by-step photos here: (http://www.deliaonline.com/how-to-cook/baking/how-to-make-suet-pastry.html).

Video of the whole process of making a suet crust pudding.

Video of making a steamed pudding:

A very good place to find recipes for many British puddings is the Pudding Club website http://www.puddingclub.com/

Steamed Pudding:

Mrs Beeton of course had many suet based puddings in her book and thefoody.com lists many of them. Some are described as boiled but nearly all can be steamed in a bowl in the same way as the full recipes I've give here including:

Staffordshire Fig Pudding:
Boiled raisin Pudding
Boiled Rhubarb Pudding
Ginger pudding
 and several more.

Bacon and Leek Pudding:

Butter based versions of steamed pudding

Found a vegan one

The whole of Mrs Beeton on line

and just the puddings

segunda-feira, 19 de abril de 2010

Some more pictures

Some more pictures. We've joined another picture shooting class. Now it was about picture composition. We worked with lines, forms, colours, light. Check the results at Laboratório Gastronômico.

quarta-feira, 14 de abril de 2010

Daring Cooks' Challenge - April 2010

Blog Checking Lines- The 2010 April Daring Cooks challenge was hosted by Wolf of Wolf’s Den. She chose to challenge Daring Cooks to make Brunswick Stew. Wolf chose recipes for her challenge from The Lee Bros. Southern Cookbook by Matt Lee and Ted Lee, and from the Callaway, Virginia Ruritan Club.

Brunswick Stew has a long, and oft debated history. Brunswick, Georgia claimed that the first Brunswick Stew was created there in 1898. There is, at the Golden Isles Welcome Center on Interstate 95, a bronzed stew pot with a plaque proclaiming this fact.
However, Brunswick, Virginia claims that the first Brunswick Stew was created there by a camp cook named Jimmy Matthews in 1828, for a hunting expedition led by Dr. Creed Haskings, a member of the Virginia State Legislature for a number of years. He was said to have used squirrel in the original Brunswick Stew created for the group when they returned. The hunters were at first skeptical of the thick, hearty concoction, but upon tasting it, were convinced and asked for more.
Every year, there is an Annual Brunswick Stew Cookoff that pits ‘Stewmasters’ from both Virgina and Georgia against their counterparts, and takes place every October in Georgia.
In the early 20th Cent, the rivalry of the two Brunswicks helped make this dish as popular as it is today, and it quickly became a pan-Southern classic. Some recipe call for the original addition of squirrel, but most allow for chicken, turkey, ham, or pork, even beef on occasion. Rabbit is also used. The vegetables can vary widely from variation to variation, however, the Brunswick Stewmasters recipe says *exactly* what is used in competion stews, and states that “Adding any additional ingredient(s) will disqualify the stew from being an original Brunswick Stew.”
However, most agree that, Brunswick stew is not done properly “until the paddle stands up in the middle.”

Recipe Source(s)- Wolf has included two different recipes for this Challenge, out of the hundreds of variations out there. The first is from “The Lee Bros. Southern Cookbook: Stories and Recipes for Southerners and Would-Be Southerners” by Matt Lee and Ted Lee”, and the second from the Callaway, Va Ruritan Club, who hand out cards with their recipe printed on them, every year at the Blue Ridge Folklife Festival, and where I tried my first ever Brunswick Stew.

Variations allowed
Recipes may be halved if you choose.
You may substitute any vegetables you don’t prefer. You may use fresh, canned or frozen vegetables.
You may sub out the rabbit for pork, turkey, beef, or even another game animal if you have it available.

You must use one of the two recipes provided. Now, to not exclude our vegans/vegetarians, if you’d like, use vegetable stock and leave out the meats. It won’t be a ‘true’ Brunswick Stew, but it’ll have the spirit of one. There’s no gluten anywhere in this that I’m aware of, so we’re good in that regard.

Recipe 1, the Long Way- This was the one I chose

From “The Lee Bros. Southern Cookbook: Stories and Recipes for Southerners and Would-Be Southerners” by Matt Lee and Ted Lee

Serves about 12
100 g bacon, rough diced
2 Serrano, Thai or other dried red chiles, stems trimmed, sliced, seeded, flattened
450g rabbit, quartered, skinned. I’ve not finded it, so I used turkey
1,8 – 2,2kg chicken, quartered, skinned, and most of the fat removed
1 Tablespoon sea salt for seasoning, plus extra to taste
8 - 12 cups Sunday Chicken Broth As you may already know by now I always have homemade chicken stock in my freezer
2 Bay leaves
2 large celery stalk
900 g Yukon Gold potatoes, or other waxy type potatoes, peeled, rough diced
350 g carrots (about 5 small carrots), chopped
800 g onion (about 4 medium onions) chopped
450 fresh corn kernels, cut from the cob (about 4 ears)
700 g butterbeans, preferably fresh (1 ¼ lbs) or defrosted frozen I used chickpeas
900 g whole, peeled tomatoes, drained
¼ cup red wine vinegar
Juice of 2 lemons
Tabasco sauce to taste
In the largest stockpot you have, which is hopefully larger than the 5 qt ones I have, preferably a 10-12 qt or even a Dutch Oven if you’re lucky enough to have one, fry the bacon over medium-high heat until it just starts to crisp. Transfer to a large bowl, and set aside. Reserve most of the bacon fat in your pan, and with the pan on the burner, add in the chiles. Toast the chiles until they just start to smell good, or make your nose tingle, about a minute tops. Remove to bowl with the bacon.
Season liberally both sides of the rabbit and chicken pieces with sea salt and pepper. Place the rabbit pieces in the pot and sear off all sides possible. You just want to brown them, not cook them completely. Remove to bowl with bacon and chiles, add more bacon fat if needed, or olive oil, or other oil of your choice, then add in chicken pieces, again, browning all sides nicely. Remember not to crowd your pieces, especially if you have a narrow bottomed pot. Put the chicken in the bowl with the bacon, chiles and rabbit. Set it aside.
Add 2 cups of your chicken broth or stock, if you prefer, to the pan and basically deglaze the4 pan, making sure to get all the goodness cooked onto the bottom. The stock will become a nice rich dark color and start smelling good. Bring it up to a boil and let it boil away until reduced by at least half. Add your remaining stock, the bay leaves, celery, potatoes, chicken, rabbit, bacon, chiles and any liquid that may have gathered at the bottom of the bowl they were resting in. Bring the pot back up to a low boil/high simmer, over medium/high heat. Reduce heat to low and cover, remember to stir every 15 minutes, give or take, to thoroughly meld the flavors. Simmer, on low, for approximately 1 ½ hours. Supposedly, the stock may become a yellow tinge with pieces of chicken or rabbit floating up, the celery will be very limp, as will the chiles. Taste the stock, according to the recipe, it “should taste like the best chicken soup you’ve ever had”.
With a pair of tongs, remove the chicken and rabbit pieces to a colander over the bowl you used earlier. Be careful, as by this time, the meats will be very tender and may start falling apart. Remove the bay leaf, celery, chiles, bacon and discard.5 After you’ve allowed the meat to cool enough to handle, carefully remove all the meat from the bones, shredding it as you go. Return the meat to the pot, throwing away the bones. Add in your carrots, and stir gently, allowing it to come back to a slow simmer. Simmer gently, uncovered, for at least 25 minutes, or until the carrots have started to soften.
Add in your onion, butterbeans, corn and tomatoes. As you add the tomatoes, crush them up, be careful not to pull a me, and squirt juice straight up into the air, requiring cleaning of the entire stove. Simmer for another 30 minutes, stirring every so often until the stew has reduced slightly, and onions, corn and butterbeans are tender. Remove from heat and add in vinegar, lemon juice, stir to blend in well. Season to taste with sea salt, pepper, and Tabasco sauce if desired.
You can either serve immediately or refrigerate for 24 hours, which makes the flavors meld more and makes the overall stew even better. Serve hot, either on its own, or with a side of corn bread, over steamed white rice, with any braised greens as a side.

Recipe Two, The Short Way
This version goes on the assumption that you already have cooked your meats and have broth on hand. It’s got more of a tomato base, has larger, chunkier vegetables, but is just as wonderful as recipe one. However, it is a lot quicker to make than the first recipe.

Brunswick Stew recipe from the Callaway, Va Ruritan Club, served yearly at the Blue Ridge Folklife Festival in Ferrum, Va.

Serves about 10
2 ½ lb TOTAL diced stewed chicken, turkey, and ham, with broth - yes, all three meats
3 medium diced potatoes
2 medium ripe crushed tomatoes
2 medium diced onions
3 cups/ 689.76 grams / 24.228oz frozen corn
1 ½ cups / 344.88 grams / 12.114oz frozen lima beans
4-5 strips crumbled bacon
½ stick / 4 tablespoons / ¼ cup / 56.94 grams / 2oz of butter
1 Tablespoon / 14.235 grams / .5 oz sugar
1 Tablespoon / 14.235 grams / .5 oz ‘Poultry Seasoning’
Dash of red pepper
2 diced carrots (optional)
In large stock pot or Dutch Oven, mix all ingredients, heat until bubbly and hot. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add tomato juice as desired. Cook until all vegetables are tender. Serve hot.

History of Brunswick Stew

Brunswick Stewmaster's Association

The New Georgia Encyclopedia Brunswick Stew

Georgia’s World Famous Brunswick Stew

Video of a variation on Brunswick Stew

domingo, 11 de abril de 2010

Daring Bakers' Challenge - March 2010

The 2010 March Daring Baker’s challenge was hosted by Jennifer of Chocolate Shavings. She chose Orange Tian as the challenge for this month, a dessert based on a recipe from Alain Ducasse’s Cooking School in Paris.

This dessert is made of different layers: a pate sablee with orange marmalade, a flavored whipped cream topped with fresh orange segments and served with a caramel and orange sauce. You build the dessert upside down and then unmold the dessert so that the bottom layer (the orange segments) becomes the top layer.

Recipe slightly adapted from Alain Ducasse‘s Cooking School in Paris, France (http://www.ecolecuisine-alainducasse.com/).

Stabilized whipped cream (http://tamsin-cakes.com/2009/06/05/tamsincakes-on-flickr-adventures-in-s...)

Pate Sablee:

2 medium-sized egg yolks at room temperature
80 grams granulated sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
100 grams Unsalted butter, ice cold, cubed
2 grams Salt
200 grams All-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
Put the flour, baking powder, ice cold cubed butter and salt in a food processor fitted with a steel blade. In a separate bowl, add the eggs yolks, vanilla extract and sugar and beat with a whisk until the mixture is pale. Pour the egg mixture in the food processor. Process until the dough just comes together. If you find that the dough is still a little too crumbly to come together, add a couple drops of water and process again to form a homogenous ball of dough. Form into a disc, cover with plastic wrap and leave to rest in the fridge for 30 minutes. Preheat your oven to 350 degree Fahrenheit. Roll out the dough onto a lightly floured surface until you obtain a ¼ inch thick circle. Using your cookie cutter, cut out circles of dough and place on a parchment (or silicone) lined baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes or until the circles of dough are just golden.

¼ cup + 3 tablespoons freshly pressed orange juice
1 large orange used to make orange slices
Cold water to cook the orange slices
5 grams pectin
Granulated sugar: use the same weight as the weight of orange slices once they are cooked
Finely slice the orange. Place the orange slices in a medium-sized pot filled with cold water. Simmer for about 10 minutes, discard the water, re-fill with cold water and blanch the oranges for another 10 minutes. Blanch the orange slices 3 times. This process removes the bitterness from the orange peel, so it is essential to use a new batch of cold water every time when you blanch the slices. Once blanched 3 times, drain the slices and let them cool. Once they are cool enough to handle, finely mince them (using a knife or a food processor).
Weigh the slices and use the same amount of granulated sugar . If you don’t have a scale, you can place the slices in a cup measurer and use the same amount of sugar.
In a pot over medium heat, add the minced orange slices, the sugar you just weighed, the orange juice and the pectin. Cook until the mixture reaches a jam consistency (10-15 minutes).
Transfer to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and put in the fridge.

Orange Segments:
For this step you will need 8 oranges.
Cut the oranges into segments over a shallow bowl and make sure to keep the juice. Add the segments to the bowl with the juice.

200 grams granulated sugar
1.5 cups + 2 tablespoons orange juice
Place the sugar in a pan on medium heat and begin heating it.
Once the sugar starts to bubble and foam, slowly add the orange juice. As soon as the mixture starts boiling, remove from the heat and pour half of the mixture over the orange segments.
Reserve the other half of the caramel mixture in a small bowl — you will use this later to spoon over the finished dessert. When the dessert is assembled and setting in the freezer, heat the kept caramel sauce in a small saucepan over low heat until it thickens and just coats the back of a spoon (about 10 minutes). You can then spoon it over the orange tians.
[Tip: Be very careful when making the caramel — if you have never made caramel before, I would suggest making this step while you don’t have to worry about anything else. Bubbling sugar is extremely, extremely hot, so make sure you have a bowl of ice cold water in the kitchen in case anyone gets burnt!]

Whipped Cream:
200 grams heavy whipping cream
3 tablespoons of hot water
1 tsp Gelatine
1 tablespoon of confectioner's sugar
1 tablespoon orange marmalade (see recipe above)
In a small bowl, add the gelatine and hot water, stirring well until the gelatine dissolves. Let the gelatine cool to room temperature while you make the whipped cream. Combine the cream in a chilled mixing bowl. Whip the cream using a hand mixer on low speed until the cream starts to thicken for about one minute. Add the confectioner sugar. Increase the speed to medium-high. Whip the cream until the beaters leave visible (but not lasting) trails in the cream, then add the cooled gelatine slowly while beating continuously. Continue whipping until the cream is light and fluffy and forms soft peaks. Transfer the whipped cream to a bowl and fold in the orange marmalade.
[Tip: Use an ice cold bowl to make the whipped cream in. You can do this by putting your mixing bowl, cream and beater in the fridge for 20 minutes prior to whipping the cream.]

Assembling the Dessert:
Make sure you have some room in your freezer. Ideally, you should be able to fit a small baking sheet or tray of desserts to set in the freezer.
Line a small tray or baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone sheet. Lay out 6 cookie cutters onto the parchment paper/silicone.
Drain the orange segments on a kitchen towel.
Have the marmalade, whipped cream and baked circles of dough ready to use.
Arrange the orange segments at the bottom of each cookie cutter. Make sure the segments all touch either and that there are no gaps. Make sure they fit snuggly and look pretty as they will end up being the top of the dessert. Arrange them as you would sliced apples when making an apple tart.
Once you have neatly arranged one layer of orange segments at the bottom of each cookie cutter, add a couple spoonfuls of whipped cream and gently spread it so that it fills the cookie cutter in an even layer. Leave about 1/4 inch at the top so there is room for dough circle.
Using a butter knife or small spoon, spread a small even layer of orange marmalade on each circle of dough.
Carefully place a circle of dough over each ring (the side of dough covered in marmalade should be the side touching the whipping cream). Gently press on the circle of dough to make sure the dessert is compact.
Place the desserts to set in the freezer to set for 10 minutes.
Using a small knife, gently go around the edges of the cookie cutter to make sure the dessert will be easy to unmold. Gently place your serving plate on top of a dessert (on top of the circle of dough) and turn the plate over. Gently remove the cookie cutter, add a spoonful of caramel sauce and serve immediately.

http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-a-tian.htm (An article about the dessert known as tian.)

YouTube link on how to segment an orange: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZG5mcEEBlcI

To learn more about Pectin: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pectin

What to substitute for Pectin: http://www.gourmetsleuth.com/Dictionary/P/Pectin-6222.aspx

Note: There are quite a few steps to making this dessert; however a lot of them can be made in advance. The orange marmalade can be made several days ahead of time and the caramel sauce and orange segments preparation should be made the day before you make the dessert. Also, if you have a scale, try and use the weighed measurements as they will be the most accurate.

The recipe can be a little bit tricky to put together, especially the first time. My main tip is to make sure the whipped cream is firm enough when you make it and be sure to leave the desserts to set in the freezer for long enough or they will fall apart when you unmold them.

Variations allowed:
• You can choose to serve the dessert ‘family-style’ and don’t have to make it in individual portions
• You can use your favorite “Pate Sablee” recipe if you have one, but it must be a pate sablee
• You can add any additional flavoring to your whipped cream
• You can play with different citrus in this dessert (grapefruit, blood orange, lemon) at any step in the recipe.
However, you must make the tart dough, the whipped cream, the caramel sauce, citrus segments and marmalade.

Ok, so as variations were allowed, I did some. The first one was I added orange zests to the dough (Pate Sablee). Then, as I don't like the taste of orange mixed to dairy products, I've decided to switch oranges for a Brazilian berry: Jaboticaba as we say. Hummm, good.

Brazilian Berry Marmelade
300g berries
Cold water
Juice of 1 lime.
Soak the berries in cold water and bring to simmer. In low heat let it boil until the little fruits start to pop up. Then turn it into a sieve, keeping the liquid. Don't press the berries in the sieve, just drain them. Mesure how many cups of liquid you have and add the same amout of sugar. Add the lime juice and cook it  til a jam consistency.