here and there

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Easter Bread- Babka

Aunty Marion gave me this recipe this morning. Although she has not made this in a couple of years, she likes the addition of oranges and says it’s much better than lemon. My Mom used to make one  with orange and it is interesting that this recipe also doesn't use as many eggs. Some Babka recipes add as many as 12 eggs to the dough. My mom did not like the taste of a very eggy dough.. Not to mention that it needs to be handled very carefully during and after baking so this very light dough does not collapse.. Some cooks suggest cooling the baked bread on a pillow, this I did when I first cooked the Babka in Winnipeg.. much to the amusement of my Mom and today my Aunt!  She also suggests as did my Mom to cook at one temperature, depending on your oven, 325 or 350 degrees for 1/2 hour.  
Here is her recipe
2 cups of lukewarm scaled milk
1/2 c lukewarm water. 
2 packages of quick rise, now she only uses regular so the yeast has to be proofed first in the lukewarm water and milk 
1 cup of sugar or least
pinch of salt 
1/2 cup of butter
6 egg yolks or whole egg
2 oranges, rind and juce of the 2 oranges
1/2 pound of golden seedless raisins
10 cups of flour , more or less according to her!!LOl

Tomorrow I will be doing Easter breads with my nephew's wife and their kids, twins that are almost 3 and a 5 year old.. we will be using coffee tins, in this case the size is 19 inches circumference, 6 1/2 inches diameter and height. 
Since the three children will be taking their own Easter Basket to Bless at the Church on Easter weekend, we will be making individual sized Paska and Babka bread! 

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Long Haul Driver

Today, there is sadness as my first cousin is being buried in Manitoba.. He was a long haul driver as long as I can remember and even when his health was poor, he continued..
He even appeared at my son's wedding in Northern Alberta driving his semi!!
Last weekend while driving through Alberta, he drove into high winds and his truck was trashed as it was pushed over by the high winds.. Bruised from the spill, his boss had him catch the greyhound to Manitoba, where he was hospitalized then sent home to his rural home where he died in a couple of hours.

This song by Luke Doucet makes me think of him

My cousin loved and died behind the Wheels of his Semi

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Madhur Jaffrey's recipe for Beef Baked with Yogurt and Black Pepper

I tried with great anticipation last night the recipe posted in our newspaper from Jaffrey's  My Kitchen Table: 100 Weeknight curries cookbook..Beef baked with yogurt and Black pepper .. I followed the recipe, only lowered the temperature and cooked it slower in my oven at 275 and longer.. the smell was incredible as my daughter in law with a busy day was in and out of my house, leaving my grand daughter with me and she decided to stay for supper as it did smell fabulous!!.. I used a very heavy caste iron pot with a lid, my Straub which I love!

Beef Baked with Yogurt and Black Pepper
Jaffrey notes this is her take on a traditional cooking method that involves sealing the pot and lid with a stiff dough and then leaving it to cook over a gentle fire with hot ashes spread over the lid. Serve with rice, chapati, paratha or naan.
She adds you can make this dish with stewing lamb from the shoulder as a change from beef.
6 tbsp (100 mL) vegetable oil
2 lb (1 kg) boneless stewing beef from the neck and shoulder, cut into 1 1/2-inch (4-cm) cubes
8 oz (250 g) onions, very finely chopped (2 cups/500 mL)
6 garlic cloves, very finely chopped
1/2 tsp (2 mL) ground ginger
1/4 to (1 to 2 mL) 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper, optional
1 tbsp (15 mL) paprika
2 tsp (10 mL) salt
1/2 tsp (2 mL) very coarsely ground black pepper
1 ¼ cups (300 mL) natural yogurt, lightly beaten
Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Put the oil in a wide, flame-proof casserole and set over medium-high heat.
When the oil is hot, put in as many meat pieces as the pan will hold easily in a single layer. Brown the meat pieces on all sides, then set them aside in a deep plate. Brown all the meat this way.
Add the onion and garlic to the pan and reduce the heat to medium. Stir-fry for about 10 minutes or until browned. Add the browned meat and any juices. Also add the ginger, cayenne, paprika, salt and black pepper and stir for a minute.
Add the yogurt to the pan and bring to a simmer.
Cover tightly with foil and then with a lid, and bake for 1 1/2 hours.
If the meat is not tender after this time, pour in 2/3 cup (150 mL) boiling water, cover tightly and bake for a further 20 to 30 minutes or until the meat is tender.
Stir gently before serving.
Serves 4 to 6.

I must say that the dish was a disappointment as the yogurt sauce was not thick and creamy as it appears in the picture in the paper..

the yogurt sauce had separated . I was surprised as sour cream and yogurt will separate at high temperatures! This was not  as high a temp as suggested in the recipe.. 

 I tried to savage the sauce by thickening it with a bit of cornstarch which did help.. The flavour was also bland.. which was a surprise.. I think I would do this again but hold the yogurt until the end, also flavour it more with more seasoning at the end. I also think this would work well in the crock pot !