Monday, December 14, 2009

Dakota Bread

This is one of my favorite breads. Everyone who eats it loves it too, so I have never actually gotten a picture of the finished product. It's gone that fast. So here it is on the dough hook, although this actually is a little drier than I usually make it (as in the sides of the bowl are usually not that clean, since it is a moderately sticky dough with all the whole-wheat flour. just a heads-up if you don't work a lot with whole wheat flour--your finished dough will be a lot stickier than a white flour dough).

Anyway. This bread is called Dakota Bread, and it is SO good. It's a really flavorful bread with a great texture and crumb, plus it is studded with all kinds of goodies so it has a very artisanal feel. And like I said before, total crowd-pleaser (in fact, I'm posting it here by request).

Credit for this bread goes to Gena Petersen, a friend of my mom's.

Dakota Bread
2 c. warm water
1/3 c. honey
3 T. walnut or sesame oil (I just use extra virgin olive)
4 c. whole wheat flour
1 c. white flour
1/3 c. dry milk
1 t. salt
2 T. yeast
1/2 c. each sunflower seeds, chopped walnuts, pepetas (pumpkin seeds)
1/2 c. (at least! I like more) dried cherries or Craisins
1 T. each millet, poppyseed, flax, sesame seeds

Mix water and honey. Sprinkle yeast over water and allow to proof. Add oil to water. Stir milk, flour, and salt into water (I like to add all the wheat flour first and let it knead for awhile to really work the gluten). Add nuts, seeds, and fruit to dough and knead 10 minutes (or just until it looks "right"). Allow to rise until double; punch down, shape into round loaf. Let rise on greased baking sheet. Bake 30-40 minutes (35 in my oven) at 350.

The seeds, nuts, and fruit in the recipe are just guidelines--add whatever you have on hand or sounds tasty to you! I make this differently every time. In the loaves I made this evening for a party, I used sunflower seeds, pepitas, Craisins, millet, and flax, and I used probably a quarter-cup each of millet and flax rather than just a tablespoon, because a tablespoon really gets lost between two loaves. The best place to buy sunflower seeds, pepitas, millet, flax, etc. is probably your local health food store, where you can buy in bulk rather than teeny little boxes.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Stuffed Mushrooms

This recipe is from Better Homes and Gardens. It's tasty, but I also really like the one from Veganomicon (which doesn't use cheese or butter). Anyway.

24 large fresh mushrooms, 1.5 to 2 inches in diameter
1/4 c. sliced green onions (2)
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 c. butter
2/3 c. fine dry bread crumbs
1/2 c. shredded cheddar, smoked Gouda, or crumbled blue cheese (2 oz) **note: I've had this with Gouda and feta, both were excellent**

Rinse and drain mushrooms. Remove stems; reserve caps. Chop enough stems to make 1 c.
In a medium saucepan cook the chopped stems, green onions, and garlic in butter until tender. Stir in bread crumbs and cheese. Spoon crumb mixture into mushroom caps. Arrange stuffed mushrooms on baking sheet; bake in a 425-degree oven 8 to 10 minutes or until heated through.

Monday, September 14, 2009


This recipe is from The New Vegetarian Epicure, by Anna Thomas. It makes a lot, but it's so heavenly that I wouldn't cut it in half! And while it isn't the most attractive dish in terms of color or firm texture, it is seriously one of the best things I've ever eaten. It makes me want to move to Provence right this second.

2 lbs young, firm eggplants

salt to taste

2 lbs zucchini

6 cloves garlic, chopped

3 large onions, cut in 1/2 inch pieces

1.5 lbs red and green peppers, seeded and cut in 1/2 inch dice

2 c. Summer Tomato Sauce (recipe follows)

2 T. olive oil

handful chopped fresh parsley

handful chopped fresh basil

1 T. balasamic vinegar

fresh-ground black pepper to taste

3 large, red tomatoes, cut in 1-inch pieces

  • Peel the eggplants and cut them in 1/2 inch dice. Toss the cut eggplants with a generous amount of salt and drain in colander for at least 45 minutes. Trim the zucchini and cut into similar-sized pieces, toss with salt, and put in another colander to drain.

  • While the eggplant and squash drain, prep the other vegetables and/or sauce.

  • Heat the olive oil in a large stew or stock pot. Add the garlic and stir for 1 minute. Add the chopped onion and a dash of salt, then cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the onion is soft and just beginning to color.

  • Rinse the eggplant and swuash in cold water, pressing gently against the colander to squeeze out excess moisture. Add the eggplant and zucchini to the onions with a scant teaspoon of salt and saute, stirring frequently, for 6-7 minutes. Stir in the peppers and tomato sauce, cover, reduce the flame, and simmer for about 20 minutes.

  • Uncover the pan and stir. If it looks too soup, simmer uncovered, stirring often, until it is a thick stew. Add the chopped herbs, the balsamic, more salt if needed, and a generous grating of black pepper. Stir in the cut-up tomatoes and simmer for 2 minutes to heat through.

**I use about 1 lb peppers, no parsley, and extra basil. I also like to serve this with crumbled feta, dark purple grape juice, and lots of good-quality French bread.**

Summer Tomato Sauce

3 lbs ripe tomatoes
1 T. olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 T. finely chopped fresh basil leaves
salt and pepper to taste

Blanch tomatoes in boiling water for 1 minute to loosen skins. Remove skins, cut out cores, and process to a rough texture in a blender.

Heat the olive oil in a saucepan and add the garlic. Saute for a minute, then pour in tomatoes. Add basil and a little salt and pepper, then cook on medium flame for about half an hour, or until reduced by about a third (I cook it longer so it's a really thick and pungent sauce).

Use at once or keep in the 'fridge for several days.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Gulab Jamuns

3 c. sugar
4 1/2 c. water
6 cardomom pods, cracked

Gulab Jamuns:
1 c. self-rising flour
2 c. Carnation powdered milk
3/4 c. whipping cream

  1. Mix sugar and water in large pot and add seeds from cracked cardomom pods. Bring to boil. Lower heat to medium, and boil for 7 min.
  2. Mix flour and powdered milk in medium-sized bowl. Add whipping cream slowly while stirring until dough is somewhat stiff and not sticky. Form dough into 1" balls.
  3. In a separate pot, heat 2-3 cups vegetable oil until 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Fry dough balls slowly (should take 4-5 minutes) until golden, remove, and drain on paper towels.
  4. When all balls are fried, place in a separate container and pour the syrup over them (do this just before serving). Serve hot. If balls are fried too quickly, they will not be done on the inside. If balls wait too long before serving, they will be soggy and mushy.

Fattoush (Lebanese salad)

**I usually double this--this version is cut down for 2-4 people or for a meal where lots of other things are being served.

1 head romaine lettuce
1 cucumber, chopped
3 tomatoes, chopped
pita bread, cut into bite-sized squares, toasted or fried (add just before serving)

2 t. chopped dried mint
2 t. chopped dried parsley
1/8 c. olive oil
1/8 c. lemon juice
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 ½ t. sumac powder
1/2 t. salt
1/8 t. pepper


2 c. white flour
½ t. salt
1 T. yeast
4 T. lukewarm milk
1 T. vegetable oil
2 T. plain yogurt
1 egg

  1. Sift flour and salt together in large bowl. In smaller bowl, combine yeast with milk and set aside for 15 minutes.
  2. Add yeast mixture, oil, yogurt and egg to flour and mix to soft dough.
  3. Knead dough until smooth (I use the KitchenAid, then knead on counter for about 2 minutes). Place in greased bowl, cover, and let rise in warm place until doubled in size.
  4. Preheat oven to highest setting, at least 450.
  5. Turn dough back onto floured surface and knead for 2 minutes.
  6. Divide into 3 equal pieces, roll each out into teardrop shape about 10 in. long, 5 in. wide, and ¼ in. thick
  7. Bake naan for 3-4 minutes, or until puffed up.Brush naan with butter/sprinkle of cilantro and place under broiler for about a minute until browned.

Chicken Tikka Masala

**recipe from My Kitchen Cafe**

2 chicken breasts*
1 c. plain yogurt
1 T. lemon juice
2 t. cumin
1 t. cinnamon
2 t. black pepper
1 T. minced ginger
1 t. salt
1 t. cayenne
1 t. paprika

Marinate chicken for 1 hr, then grill or fry chicken.**

1 T. butter
1 clove minced garlic
1 chopped jalapeno
2 t. cumin
2 t. paprika
½ t. salt
8 oz tomato sauce
1 c. cream
¼ c. chopped cilantro

  1. Melt butter, then sauté garlic and jalapeno for 1-2 minutes.
  2. Add cumin, paprika, salt, fry for a minute.
  3. Add tomato sauce and cream.
  4. Simmer over low heat until thickened (about 20 minutes).
  5. Add chicken and simmer 10 minutes, add cilantro before serving.

    *I cut my chicken into strips about ¾ in. thick before marinating, then cut it into bite-sized pieces after cooking.
    **I like to broil the chicken—5 minutes on the first side, 4 minutes on the other.

Masala Channa

1 ½ cans chickpeas
1 T. tamarind concentrate
3 T. oil
½ t. cumin seeds
1 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 in. fresh ginger root, grated
1 fresh green chili, finely chopped
1 t. ground cumin
1 t. ground coriander
¼ t. ground turmeric
½ t. salt
8 oz tomatoes, skinned and finely chopped (I use canned)
½ t. garam masala

  1. Heat oil in wok and fry cumin seeds until they begin to splutter (2 min.) Add chopped onion, garlic, ginger, chili and fry for 5 minutes.
  2. Add cumin, coriander, turmeric and salt and fry for 3-4 minutes. Add tomatoes and tamarind. Bring to boil and simmer for 5 minutes.
  3. Add chickpeas and garam masala, cover and simmer for 15 minutes.

    Note: original recipe calls for dried chickpeas and tamarind pulp; I used canned chickpeas and tamarind concentrate to save time. I use all the tomato juice.

Chicken Saag

10 oz frozen spinach, defrosted
1 in. fresh ginger root, grated
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 fresh green chili, chopped
Scant 1 c. water
2 T. oil
2 bay leaves
¼ t. black peppercorns
1 onion, finely chopped
14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes
2 t. curry powder
1 t. salt
1 t. chili powder
3 T. plain yogurt
2 chicken breasts, chopped

  1. Put the spinach, ginger, garlic, and chili with ¼ c. water into food processor and puree.
  2. Heat oil, add bay leaves and peppercorns and fry for 2 minutes. Add onion and fry 6-8 minutes more.
  3. Add tomatoes to pan and simmer 5 minutes. Add curry powder, salt, chili powder and stir well. Cook for 2 more minutes.
  4. Add spinach puree and remaining water to pan; simmer for 5 minutes.
  5. Stir in yogurt, 1 T. at a time, and simmer for 5 minutes.
  6. Add chicken. Cover and cook for 25-30 minutes or until chicken is tender. Serve with warm naan, drizzle with plain yogurt and dust lightly with chili powder.

Note: original recipe calls for fresh spinach, fresh tomatoes, and chicken thighs. I use all the tomato juice in place of some of the water.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Hummus (my mom's recipe)

1 can chickpeas, partially drained
1 T. tahini (sesame seed paste)
3 T. lemon juice
1 T. olive oil
1/2 t. salt
2-3 cloves smashed garlic (I use a couple more)

Blend up ingredients in food processor (I use my immersion blender). Drizzle with olive oil, if you like, and dust with paprika.

**If you're a local, the best source for tahini is the Asian market (called "Asia") on Yeager catty-corner from the BP. The tahini is downstairs on the wall opposite all the vegetables. It's a tasty variety and quite inexpensive.