Tag Archives: dip

Slow Weekend for Cooking … Soup, Bread, Mayonnaise and Hummus

Parts of the world need rain but here, in south-western Ontario, we’ve had rain 4 out of the last 5 days, including this weekend. A bit of sun would be greatly appreciated. Since I have lots of food in the freezer, I decided to take a break from cooking … though I did want to use up the last few leaves of kale in my crisper, and some of the sweet peppers I bought on sale (4-pack for $1.88) since areas were getting ‘soft’. The carrots are getting a bit tired too. And, for a change of pace, I soaked some white quinoa to add to the soup in place of rice, potatoes or pasta/noodles.

The result, a Veggie, Turkey and Quinoa soup with the tiny bit of turkey breast left in the fridge after eating it for most of the past week.

If you have some diced tomatoes (canned or fresh) or marinara sauce, you can add that to the soup as well. I just had some tomato paste, so, with that, dried thyme and chicken stock, I made this delicious soup.

Work lunches need bread and since I prefer buns, I made a batch of yeast dough and played with the shaping. Some of it ended up as kaiser rolls (~70 gm) and the rest … well, with Halloween and Thanksgiving (US) ahead, and the Canadian one behind, I shaped some of the dough into pretty little pumpkins (~50 gm) with a whole clove for a stem. For a bit of texture/nutrition/fun, I added a cup of finely ground and sifted rolled oats in the dough in place of a cup of all purpose flour.

Rolled Oats Flour Bread

 

Rolled Oats/Ground Oatmeal Bread – makes ~840 gms of dough

1 cup milk, scalded
2 tbsp butter
2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
2 tbsp sugar, divided
1/4 cup warm water
4 cups flour (1 cup rolled oats, fine ground and ~3 cups AP flour), divided
1 tsp salt

Scald the milk in a pyrex measuring cup in the microwave. Stir in the butter and let cool until just barely warm.

In a small bowl, combine the warm water and 1 tsp out of the total sugar. Stir in or sprinkle on the dry yeast. Let sit in a warm place to proof until the yeast is nice and foamy (5-10 min).

In a large bowl, combine 1 cup of the finely ground rolled oats, 1 cup of the flour and the salt.

Whisk in the warm milk mixture and the proofed yeast. Beat well with a wooden spoon until you have a smooth batter. Gradually stir in the rest of the flour, starting with about 1/3 of a cup at a time, until it’s too thick to stir and forms a ball around your wooden spoon.

Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured work surface, using part of the reserved flour. Knead for about 10 minutes. Cover with the mixing bowl, and let rest for about 5 min. Continue kneading for another 5 minutes until you have a firm but supple dough. Shape the dough into a round ball.

Add a couple of tsp of vegetable oil to a large bowl, place the ball of dough into the bowl and roll around several times to coat the ball of dough. Cover with a sheet of plastic wrap or a damp towel (so the surface doesn’t dry out) and place in a warm place to rise until doubled, about 45 min. An electric oven with just the light on works well.

Preheat the oven to 400 deg F.

Shaping:

I cut the dough in half (>400 gms each), and shaped one half into 8(~50 gm) pumpkin rolls) and the other half into 6 (~70 gm) kaiser rolls. I let the rolls proof for about 30 minutes in a warm place, covered, then brushed the top with a whole egg beaten well with 1 tbsp of cold water, and then baked the rolls until well browned (15-20 min) and cooked through.

Let cool on wire rack.

For Pigs in Blankets:

300 gms of dough was rolled out into a 6 inch by 12 inch rectangle and cut across the short side into 1 inch strips and then wrapped around each Jumbo hot dog. The wrapped sausages were placed on a baking sheet and baked, unglazed, for 15-18 min, until the top was a golden brown and the bottom was firm and lightly golden as well.

Tasty sandwiches sometimes need a spread, like mayonnaise, and since I didn’t feel like going to the grocery store, I made a batch of blender mayonnaise. It failed on the first try, so I poured the oily mixture into a measuring cup, added a 3rd egg yolk, a squirt of French’s mustard and a bit of lemon juice back to the blender cup and then slowly poured in the failed oil mixture while my immersion blender was running again. Success. (Every once in a while I get a mayo fail, but I never throw it away. It’s worth adding another egg yolk or 2 to get a thick creamy mayo. In fact, it may have been a bit TOO thick.)

There was one red pepper in my 4-pack, so while my oven was still hot from baking the rolls, I cut it up, brushed some oil over the top, put the pepper on a lined baking sheet and then placed the sheet under the broiler to blister and turn black in places. Peeled and added to a batch of hummus, it made for another great sandwich spread or dip for veggies or pita breads.

Red Pepper Hummus

PS: I made dessert, too, but I’ll save that for a separate post.

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A Foodie Confession

My friends, I’m about to reveal something to you that you may not have known about me.

No, I haven’t buried anyone in my back yard.

It’s worse than that.

I’m a food snob.

No shocked gasps??

I’m disappointed.

For years, I turned my nose up at using canned beans in my chili or soups. Cause my mom always used to  buy dry beans, cook them up, and then use them in her recipes. A shortage of funds as an immigrant to Canada may have had to do something with it. Or maybe just having grown up in Europe between the two world wars when the luxury of buying canned vegetables wasn’t available to subsistence farmers in Yugoslavia.

Many years, ago, I discovered hummus and decided to make it at home. From dried chickpeas/garbanzo beans.

But no matter how long I cooked the chickpeas … no matter what recipe I used, I ended up with something other than that smooth luscious spread I got in Middle Eastern restaurants. It TASTED delicious, but the texture was disappointing. I blamed my inexpensive blender. I switched to a food processor. Nothing.

Until I bought a 79 cent can of chickpeas on sale.

And it happened.

I will never have to buy hummus again.

I’m SO happy.

I’ve re-posted the recipe I used below with the information needed to make a roasted red pepper version.

ETA: Click on the middle eastern ‘tag’ for some other amazing recipes.

Extra Creamy Hummus – makes a bit over 4 cups, 1.1 kg

1/2 cup tahini (ground sesame seed paste)
juice of 2 lemons (~1/2 cup)
1/2 cup water
2-3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
~3 cups cooked chickpeas (2 14-oz cans, rinsed and drained)
1/3 cup light olive oil
1 1/2 tsp smoked paprika (optional)
1 tsp cumin
salt and pepper to taste (start with 1 tsp of salt and ~1/2 tsp pepper)

For red pepper variation (my original post)
1 roasted red pepper (1/2-3/4 cup)

Roasted red pepper variation: Halve a red pepper, remove the seeds, brush with a bit of oil on skin and then broil, skin side up on a foil lined baking sheet, for 10-15 min or until the skin starts to blister and char. Put into a bowl covered with saran wrap and let sweat enough to loosen the skin. Peel off the skin.

Add tahini, lemon juice and water to a food processor (or blender). Process on high speed until it becomes very light-colored and fluffy, which shouldn’t take long.

Add the roasted red pepper and garlic and process again until incorporated. Add the chickpeas and olive oil, about 1/3 at a time, processing to incorporate them completely before adding more. Once all of the chickpeas and olive oil are added, process for a few minutes longer, stopping to scrape the sides down occasionally, until it becomes as creamy as you’d like. If it seems too thick, add a bit more water (or olive oil for a richer hummus).

When it’s reached your desired consistency, stop the food processor and sprinkle in the paprika, cumin, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Process to blend them in. Taste and add more salt and pepper if you’d like, processing after each addition.

Serve with crunchy vegetables, pita bread or tortilla chips, or use as a spread on sandwiches!