Sunday, 22 July 2012

ROTW Week 28 - Pork and Cabbage Pie

Busy week this week!  We made some great new recipes though, so it was difficult for me to choose one to be ROTW.  In the end, I went with this delicious pork and cabbage pie because it was the recipe I made up.

We watch a reasonable amount of Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives while we're waiting for actual good shows to come on, and I love getting insider tips on ethnic foods from there.  We've seen a number of them featuring Eastern European cooking recently, and as a result I bought a cabbage hoping to make cabbage rolls.

HA.  Do you know how long it takes to make cabbage rolls?  Too long for me.  So we used half the cabbage making warm caraway slaw, and the other half had been languishing in the fridge waiting for me to figure out what on earth I could use it for.

Combined with ground pork I had intended for Thai pork salad (which other needed ingredients I didn't have) and a bit of leftover pie crust from Strawberry Rhubarb fame, and voila:  pork and cabbage pie.

Makes 1 family sized pie and 2 mini pies.

1 pastry recipe of your choice, I used this one.
1lb ground pork
1 onion, diced
half a savoy cabbage, chopped
1 cup chicken stock
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp dried oregano
salt and pepper to taste
2 tbsp flour
1 tbsp butter
1 egg yolk
1tbsp water

Preheat the oven to 375F.

In a large skillet, brown the pork over medium high heat, 4-5 minutes.  Drain any fat from the pan and return to heat - add onion and cook until golden brown, about 4 minutes. Add the cabbage and cook for an additional three minutes before pouring in the chicken stock.  Be sure to scrape any delicious brown bits from the bottom of the skillet.  Add the nutmeg, paprika, and oregano.

Bring the mixture to a simmer, turn the heat down to med-low, and reduce for 15 minutes.  Add salt and pepper to taste and stir in the flour to thicken the sauce.  Remove from heat, and stir in the butter.  Spoon the filling into casserole dishes ready for serving - I used one large round casserole, and two smaller ramekin-sized ones.

Roll out your pastry to about 1/8" thickness.  Cut out circles to fit inside your casserole dish, and brush the top with the egg and water beaten together.  Bake at 375 for 15 minutes, or until the tops of your crustare beautifully golden.

Serve with a delicious veg for a tasty meal!

Monday, 16 July 2012

ROTW Week 27, Bar Nuts

This recipe comes from the outstanding cookbook Refined American Cuisine by Patrick OConnell, owner and (self taught) chef at the Inn at Little Washington.

I left out the pineapple that the recipe calls for.  If you insist, toss the finished nuts with 1" cubes of nasty dried pineapple.

Bar Nuts, from Refined American Cuisine by Patrick O'Connell

4 tbsp butter
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tsp Cajun seasoning
2 tsp ground cumin
3 tbsp sugar
1lb mixed pecans, cashews, and almonds (whole)
Salt and sugar to taste

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, melt the butter.  Add the cayenne, Cajun seasoning, cumin, and sugar, and stir until the butter starts to foam.

Immediately add the mixed nuts, stirring or tossing constantly for about 3 minutes, or until the nuts are nicely toasted and lightly coloured.

Pour the nuts onto a wire rack placed over a baking sheet to drain - let cool to room temperature.  Transfer the cooled nuts to a mixing bowl and toss with salt and sugar to taste.

Store in an airtight container until you're ready to serve and enjoy!

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

ROTW Week 26, Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

Well, it took till the halfway point, but I completely missed the boat on posting this one.  Here is is, with no further ado:

Delish looking, yes?  Delish-tasting, too.

I made the pie using a comglomerate of Smitten Kitchen's two recipes on the subject:  Strawberry Rhubarb Pie (improved) for the filling and crust recipe and the original Strawberry Rhubarb Pie with lattice crust for tips on the crust shaping (Hers is prettier, my top crust is way too thin.  Do a better job of following instructions than I did please.)

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie, with Lattice Crust from Smitten Kitchen

1 recipe All Butter, Really Flaky Pie Dough or double-crust pie dough of your choice
3 1/2 cups (about 1 1/2 pounds, untrimmed) rhubarb, in 1/2-inch thick slices
3 1/2 cups (about 1 pound) strawberries, hulled and sliced if big, halved if tiny
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup quick-cooking tapioca
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 large egg yolk beaten to blend with 1 teaspoon water (for glaze)

For the dough:
2 1/2 cups (315 grams) flour
1 tablespoon (15 grams) sugar
1 teaspoon (5 grams) table salt
2 sticks (8 ounces, 225 grams tablespoons or 1 cup) unsalted butter, very cold

Fill a one cup liquid measuring cup with water, and drop in a few ice cubes; set it aside. In a large bowl whisk together 2 1/2 cups flour, 1 tablespoon of sugar and a teaspoon of salt. Dice two sticks (8 ounces or 1 cup) of very cold unsalted butter into 1/2-inch pieces. Get out your pastry blender (or two knives).

Sprinkle the butter cubes over the flour and begin working them in with the pastry blender, using it to scoop and redistribute the mixture as needed so all parts are worked evenly. When all of the butter pieces are the size of tiny peas — this won’t take long — stop.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. On a well-floured counter, roll half of pie dough into a 12-inch circle and carefully transfer to a 9-inch pie plate. 

Stir together rhubarb, strawberries, sugars, lemon, salt and tapioca in a large bowl. Mound filling inside bottom pie crust and dot with bits of unsalted butter.

Roll out second dough disk on lightly floured surface to 13-inch round. Cut into fourteen 1/2-inch-wide strips. Spoon filling into crust. Arrange 7 dough strips atop filling, spacing evenly. Form lattice by placing remaining dough strips in opposite direction atop filling. Trim ends of dough strips even with overhang of bottom crust. Fold strip ends and overhang under, pressing to seal. Crimp edges decoratively.

Transfer pie to a baking sheet and brush egg yolk mixture over dough. Bake for 20 minutes then reduce temperature to 350 degrees and bake for an additional 25 to 30 minutes, until the pie is golden and the juices bubble visibly.

Transfer pie to wire rack to cool. When fully cool (several hours later) the juices gel. Serve as is, or with ice cream or whipped cream for a really decadent dessert.


Monday, 2 July 2012

ROTW, Week 25: Coffee Braised Beef

Late is better than never, right?

For those of you not in the DC area, you might not know about a doozy of a storm we had on Friday night.  Some people in the area are still without power, and while we got our power back on Saturday late afternoon, it still seriously mucked with my plans for the weekend.

So when the AC has been out for several long hours, what do you feel like eating?


We've been trying to recreate this dish since we had it at Momocho Mod Mex in Cleveland (featured on Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives).  If you're ever in the Cleve, I insist you stop buy and start with a trio of specialty guac, washed down by fresh squeezed fruit margaritas, then try some of their delightful taquitos.  The coffee braised beef was featured on the show, and it. was. to. die. for.

Brandon said I did a good job making the food, but it was only sortof like the restaurant.  That's ok, it was my first try.

Coffee Braised Beef Tacos

For the beef:
1.5-2lbs stewing beef
2 tbsp olive oil
3 cloves garlic
1 onion, roughly diced
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
3 tbsp garlic powder
1 large dried ancho chili, finely minced (or 1 tbsp chili flakes)
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tbsp coriander
1tbsp cumin

4 cups stock (I used chicken, because it was what I had.  Please use beef if you can.)
8 cups of coffee
1/2 cup red wine

Salt and pepper to taste

Begin with a large stock pot.  Heat the oil over medium heat and brown the beef on all sides.  Remove the beef from the heat and cook the onion and garlic in the same pot until the onion is translucent.  Return the beef to the pan.  Add all the above spices and stir to coat.

Add the stock, coffee, and red wine.  If your husband hasnt finished his beer and its gotten warm, add that too.  Scrap up all the bits from the bottom.

Simmer until the liquid is reduced or absorbed into the beef, and the beef falls into shredded pieces as you stir.  Serve on corn tortillas with slow-cooked red onion, grated cheese, guac, and shredded lettuce with a hint of chopped basil.