Monday, May 4, 2015

Orange Cinnamon Sugar Buns



Think of these as a cross between a cinnamon bun and a sticky bun, and maybe even a sugary cake donut too! I happened upon this recipe when searching for "sugar buns" just out of the blue, I do that sort of thing on my mobile.. almost daily.. 

I remember seeing these before, maybe even bookmarking the recipe, it comes to us today via Seven Spoons and I think it can be made in many different variations, take the basic recipe and go wild!
Start with the Quick Danish dough, made the night before or a couple of days ahead

Seven Spoon Author writes "The is a whole wheaten adaptation of Nigella Lawson's Food Processor Danish Pasty Dough from How to be a Domestic Goddess, which I make by hand (a modest effort for less dishes). It can, of course, be pulsed together in a processor instead. "

¼ cup warm water
½ cup milk, at room temperature
1 large egg, at room temperature and lightly beaten 
A few drops almond extract, optional
1 ½ cup all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting
¾ cup whole wheat bread flour (I substituted a.p flour, just a tad more than 3/4 cup) 
2 ¼ teaspoons (1 packet) active dry yeast (sub. 1 1/4 tsp instant yeast of using) 
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1 cup (8 ounces, 2 sticks) unsalted butter, cold and cut into small dice
In a small pitcher or measuring cup, stir together the water, milk, egg and almond extract, if using.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, salt, sugar and yeast. Scatter the cubed butter across the flour mixture. With two knives or a pastry cutter, cut the butter into the dry mix, as you would in making biscuits or pastry. Stop cutting once the butter is distributed but chunks still visible.

Make a well in the centre of the flour mixture,  then pour in the milk/egg mixture. Stir quickly to bring everything together into a messy dough. It won’t be pretty, it will be shaggy and sticky and uneven. Not to worry. As long as the flour is all combined, it is ready to go. Cover the bowl with clingfilm and refrigerate overnight, or as much as two days.

When ready to proceed, bring the dough to room temperature. On a lightly-floured surface, roll out the dough to a 20-inch square. (The dough may be hard to work with on the first rolling, but it will get silkier and easier with each turn.) Fold the dough in thirds, as with a business letter. Turn the package 90 degrees counter-clockwise, so that the closed ends are to your left. Roll out again to a 20-inch square, and fold again, then turn. Repeat the process of rolling and turning 3 more times, 5 folds and turns in total. If the dough seems to be getting sticky or greasy, chill briefly in between turns.

Wrap the dough in clingfilm and refrigerate for 20 minutes before using, or freeze for a later date.

SUGAR BUNS

Ingredients

(I would use a tad less of both sugars, as the overall recipe is very sweet) 

1/3 cup granulated sugar, plus extra for dusting
1/3 cup golden brown sugar
Zest of 1 orange, depending on taste 
1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
A good pinch of kosher salt
6 tablespoons (3 ounces, 3/4 stick) browned butter, cooled
All-purpose flour for dusting 
2 pounds quick Danish dough, recipe below


Combine sugars, zest, spices and salt in a small bowl. Set aside. 

Brush the wells of a 12-cup muffin tin (see note) with a thin film of browned butter, using maybe 1 tablespoon in total. Set aside the rest. 
Coat the wells generously with granulated sugar, tapping out excess. Set aside.

On a lightly-floured work surface, roll your Danish dough to an 8x20-inch rectangle. Brush the remaining browned butter across the dough, leaving a 1/2-inch border on the long sides. Sprinkle the sugar mixture evenly atop the butter. Press the sugar lightly into the dough. Starting from the long side closest to you, carefully roll the dough into a tight log. Once completely rolled, pinch the seam to seal. Turn the rolled dough onto its seam and cut into 12 equal portions. Turn each slice onto one of its flat sides, and press down lightly to level. Place slices in prepared pan.

 Set aside to rise in a warm, draft free spot until just about doubled in size, around 45 minutes.

Meanwhile, preheat an oven to 375°F (190°C).

Bake the buns until puffed and golden, around 20 minutes. Immediately turn the buns out onto another sheet pan. Carefully flip buns right side up, cool until just manageable to touch, around 5-10 minutes. One by one, roll the hot buns in a small bowl of granulated sugar, coating completely but shaking off excess. 

Best when eaten still warm. 

Makes 12.






Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Kabsa




Chicken Kabsa
Recipe modified from here 

Chicken & Rice:
4 cups  parboiled basmati rice (sila basmati found in Afghan grocers)

If using parboiled rice follow this section:

5 hours prior to beginning the recipe wash and soak rice in plenty of water. Set aside.

Before beginning the recipe by up to an hour begin by boiling a large pot of water on the stove, add plenty of salt (as you would pasta) and 1 tbsp oil.

When it comes to a boil add the drained rice, cook for 7 minutes. Taste as you go along, you want it par boiled in a sense, like an al dante pasta but not too soft/mushy.

Drain and add lots of cold water to cool the rice down, be gentle as not to break/crumble the beautiful rice grains. Set it aside in a strainer over a bowl.

--- At this point follow the recipe (sautee the onion, garlic, spices and prepare to stew the chicken)


2 tbsp (30 mL) vegetable oil
1/2 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp (5 mL) each: ground cumin, ground coriander, ground cinnamon, ground cardamom, curry powder, black pepper
1 chicken (about 3-1/2 lb/1.6 kg), halved or cut in 6 to 8 serving pieces (or equivalent amount of bone-in, skin-on chicken pieces)
1 large tomato, chopped
10 black peppercorns
4 each: whole cloves, whole green cardamom pods
2-inch (5-cm) cinnamon stick or bark
2 bay leafs
Enough water to cover meat
1/3 cup (80 mL) tomato paste
1/2 jalapeno with seeds
2 tsp (10 mL) table or fine sea salt, or to taste



Basting Sauce:
2 tbsp (30 mL) each: lemon juice, vegetable oil
1 tbsp (15 mL) each: minced garlic, plain yogurt
1 tsp (5 mL) paprika
1/2 tsp (2 mL) table or fine sea salt, or to taste



In large, heavy pot, heat oil over medium-high. Add onions and garlic. Cook, stirring, 2 minutes. Add cumin, coriander, cinnamon, cardamom, curry and pepper. Cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add chicken and tomato. Cook 1 minute. Add peppercorns, cloves, cardamom pods, cinnamon stick or bark and bay leafs. Cover; Cook 5 minutes. Add water to cover chicken, tomato paste, jalapeno and salt. Raise heat to high; bring to boil. Cover; simmer on low for 20 minutes.


For basting sauce, in small bowl, stir together lemon, oil, garlic, yogurt, paprika and salt.
Using tongs, transfer cooked chicken pieces from saucepan to large roasting pan.
Using basting brush, brush all over with lemon-garlic mixture. Place pieces skin side up. Cover pan tightly with foil. Cook in preheated 550F (290C) oven 15 minutes. Remove foil. Cook until skin is browned, about 7 to 10 minutes. Broil if needed, keeping a close eye on it.

While the chicken is in the oven and once you removed it from the pot/cooking liquid start the rice so that it all comes together at the same time.

Cooking the rice: Meanwhile, bring chicken cooking liquid to boil over high heat (if there is too much remove some out of the pot) You really don't need much water for parboiled rice once it's preboiled because it'll "steam".  Add 2 tbsp oil to the liquid and Stir in rice. Reduce heat to low. Wrap the lid of the pot in a cotton kitchen towel and cover the pot to trap steam.  Cook 15-20 minutes or until liquid is absorbed and rice is tender. Stir to fluff. Keep warm until ready to serve.


Topping can be made while chicken is stewing and set aside for later.

Topping:
1 cup (250 mL) vegetable oil
1 cup (250 mL) thinly sliced onion
1 tbsp (15 mL) ground dried black lime (from about 1 dried black lime)
1/4 cup (60 mL) tomato paste
1/4 cup (60 mL) raisins

For toppings, in medium skillet, heat oil over medium-high. Add onion. Cook 2 minutes. Add ground lime. Cook 3 minutes. Add tomato paste and raisins. Remove from heat. Let stand 2 minutes. Drain oil.

Makes about 6 servings.

Gulf House Sauce (optional):
1 large tomato, halved
1/2 jalapeno, stemmed
Juice of 1 lemon
2 cloves garlic, peeled, smashed
Table or fine sea salt to taste

For Gulf House sauce, if making, in food processor, combine tomato, jalapeno, lemon juice, garlic and salt. Purée.
To serve, place rice on platter. Top with chicken pieces. Scatter with onion-raisin topping. Pass Gulf House sauce separately, if desired.

If you're making the recipe using plain regular basmati or long grain rice use the orginal recipe here

OR below


 Chicken & Rice:
4 cups (1L) white basmati rice
2 tbsp (30 mL) vegetable oil
1/2 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp (5 mL) each: ground cumin, ground coriander, ground cinnamon, ground cardamom, curry powder, black pepper
1 chicken (about 3-1/2 lb/1.6 kg), halved or cut in 6 to 8 serving pieces (or equivalent amount of bone-in, skin-on chicken pieces)
1 large tomato, chopped
10 black peppercorns
4 each: whole cloves, whole green cardamom pods
2-inch (5-cm) cinnamon stick or bark
2 bay leafs
7 cups (1.75L) water
1/3 cup (80 mL) tomato paste
1/2 jalapeno with seeds
2 tsp (10 mL) table or fine sea salt, or to taste
Basting Sauce:
2 tbsp (30 mL) each: lemon juice, vegetable oil
1 tbsp (15 mL) each: minced garlic, plain yogurt
1 tsp (5 mL) paprika
1/2 tsp (2 mL) table or fine sea salt, or to taste
Topping:
1 cup (250 mL) vegetable oil
1 cup (250 mL) thinly sliced onion
1 tbsp (15 mL) ground dried black lime (from about 1 dried black lime)
1/4 cup (60 mL) tomato paste
1/4 cup (60 mL) raisins
Gulf House Sauce (optional):
1 large tomato, halved
1/2 jalapeno, stemmed
Juice of 1 lemon
2 cloves garlic, peeled, smashed
Table or fine sea salt to taste
For chicken and rice, put rice in large bowl. Cover with water. Let soak at least 1 hour. When ready to use, drain.
In large, heavy pot, heat oil over medium-high. Add onions and garlic. Cook, stirring, 2 minutes. Add cumin, coriander, cinnamon, cardamom, curry and pepper. Cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add chicken and tomato. Cook 1 minute. Add peppercorns, cloves, cardamom pods, cinnamon stick or bark and bay leafs. Cover; Cook 5 minutes. Add water, tomato paste, jalapeno and salt. Raise heat to high; bring to boil. Cover; cook 20 minutes.
For basting sauce, in small bowl, stir together lemon, oil, garlic, yogurt, paprika and salt.
Using tongs, transfer chicken pieces from saucepan to large roasting pan.
Using basting brush, brush all over with lemon-garlic mixture. Place pieces skin side up. Cover pan tightly with foil. Cook in preheated 550F (290C) oven 15 minutes. Remove foil. Cook until skin is browned, about 7 to 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, bring chicken cooking liquid to boil over high heat. Stir in rice. Reduce heat to low. Cover. Cook 10 minutes or until liquid is absorbed and rice is tender. Stir well to fluff. Keep warm until ready to serve.
For toppings, in medium skillet, heat oil over medium-high. Add onion. Cook 2 minutes. Add ground lime. Cook 3 minutes. Add tomato paste and raisins. Remove from heat. Let stand 2 minutes. Drain oil.
For Gulf House sauce, if making, in food processor, combine tomato, jalapeno, lemon juice, garlic and salt. Purée.
To serve, place rice on platter. Top with chicken pieces. Scatter with onion-raisin topping. Pass Gulf House sauce separately, if desired.
Makes about 6 servings.


Friday, February 13, 2015

Valentine's Day Brownies





My favourite brownie recipe

3/4 cup grape seed oil (healthiest option if you don't want to do olive oil) 
1 1/2 cup white sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3 eggs

3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/3 cup cocoa plus 3 tbsp 

(use high quality cocoa, I got mine from soma in toronto either found at their store in the distillery district or at the hudsons bay eaton's centre  basement in the O&B sweet store) 

1/4 tsp baking powder plus 1/8 tsp
1/4 tsp salt plus 1/8 tsp salt


2-3 strawberries, washed, dried and sliced (with green part on or off, up to you)


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). If using a glass pan put oven on 325 F.

(Grease a 8x8 inch baking pan.)

2. In a medium bowl, mix together the oil, sugar, and vanilla. Beat in eggs. Combine flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt; gradually stir into the egg mixture until well blended. Spread the batter evenly into the prepared pan.

Slice strawberries and before placing them on the brownie batter in the pan press each piece down on a plate of cocoa powder so the bottom is covered in cocoa to avoid fruit sinking in the brownie while baking.  I did half the pan strawberries and half without.**

3. Bake for 30-40 minutes (this is just approximate time so keep an eye out!) or until the brownie begins to pull away from edges of pan.

Let cool on a wire rack before cutting into squares or frosting/glazing it.

A nice ganache topping makes these brownies just a bit more special! 

to makea  ganache add some heavy cream to a double boiler and heat, as soon as it's warm add a good quality chopped chocolate, you want more chocolate than cream. Let it sit 2-5 minutes on the counter until the chocolate melts then stir until it's glossy and beautiful. 

Slice your brownies and  plate.

Spread some ganache on each of the plain brownie squares and sprinkle with some edible gold. 


Saturday, January 17, 2015

Kenyan Goat Stew


If you ever find yourself with some goat meat on hand and you're thinking to yourself "What should I do with this?" then this is the recipe for you! 

Kenyan Goat stew, I found the recipe through an article, written about a Kenyan Chef as he explains that this meat can be trickier to cook than other meats I was able to get a brief guildeline on how to cook it. 

This recipe could not be simpler, and what I like the most is that there is no browning required, it's all very straight forward by adding a couple of new ingredients to the bubbling pot every couple half. 


Starting with the goat meat I had on hand. This small package of stewing meat in my freezer came from a local goat farm here in Ontario called Cross Wind Farm, I had picked up a couple of their products from a farmers market during the late summer months.  They're absolutely worth checking out for all your goat needs! (Try their goat feta and goat pepperette style sausages, to die for!)



Kenyan Goat Stew:
Ingredients:
Goat (1 lb)
Garlic (4 cloves)
Spices -  cumin, curry, garam masala, ground coriander, cardamom, turmeric, paprika, ground ginger, cinnamon,
Aromatics: Tomatoes chopped (I used half a tin of san marzano) , Onion (half a white onion, chopped in medium dice), green pepper (1 whole, small dice), red pepper (1 red pepper, small dice)
Herbs: Cilantro (1/2 cup stems removed and leaves chopped)

Optional: Potatoes, this was my own addition, as I didn't want to cook something else on the side to eat with it so I simply threw some potatoes in towards the last 30 minutes.

Step 1: To begin add the fresh or thawed (from frozen) goat meat in the bottom of a large pot. Cover with lots of water!  Adding a couple of peeled cloves of garlic here is a good idea too

 I had a tiny package of meat on hand, not exactly cure how much, might have been a pound, so it probably wasn't necessary to add to much water but I did anyway. I used 4 large cloves of garlic. 

Set the pot on the burner and bring to a medium boil, watch out with this stage as the foam rises to the top and sometimes it over flows. Skim the scum stuff that floats to the top away and discard.

The pot should be at a medium boil most of the cooking so finding that sweet spot on your stove/burner is key because it's going to be cooking for around 3 hours start to finish.  Having the cooking fan on too is a good idea too.

Cook for one hour

Step 2: Add the following spices: a dash or 1/2 tsp of each Cumin, Curry, Garam masala, Cardamom (I used ground from my baking supplies but you can use the whole pod, throw about 4  pods in)

(salt to taste)

Cook another 30 minutes.

Step 3: Add aromatics, chopped tomato, onion, red and green pepper.

Cook for 45 minutes. At this point you may want to cook with or without the lid depending on how much liquid is left in the pot. You don't want to end up with a lot of liquid at the end. It should be a proper ratio of ingredients to liquid like any other stew. If you need to boil off a little of the liquid them absolutely do so. I tried to keep doing that with every step along the way. 

Step 4: Add more spices.... turmeric, ground coriander, ground ginger, fennel seeds, cinnamon and paprika (half a tsp of each)

At this stage I would add potato if you're including them, about a handful of those baby potatoes sliced in half each. 

Simmer for 30 minutes.

Step 5: Add chopped cilantro. Allow to cook for another 5 minutes and then remove from the heat and serve!

There is no mention of adding salt in the recipe but I did, around stage 2.

The goat in this recipe was so tender, falling off the fat (there were no bones in my goat but I would imagine some bones would be fine and add to the flavour)

So what do you think?  I hope this recipe inspires you to try goat, because it is a very yummy meat and this recipe taught me that cooking it is not as intimidating as I had previously imagined.

And finally one last note, if you found the spices to be rather mild then next time you're making it feel free to add more and gauge it to your taste. 




If you're left with any of the delicious liquids from the stew I have a couple of recipes you could try to use it up (do not throw that stuff away!)
Try making my famous  Tuna Rice  by cooking rice and tuna in it.  Or making a lentil soup, it could be very similar along the lines of a Moroccan Harira soup or a plain red lentil soup, use the broth from the stew with extra water to simmer the lentils then whisk for a creamy flavourful soup!