Friday, February 20, 2015

Quick Curried Beef- In the pressure cooker

I really liked this recipe for a quick curried beef  it was meant to be a recipe for a hand pie filling, and I can no longer find the source.....but it worked very well to serve on rice as well.  Quick and made with what was on hand.

Curried Beef

2 lbs stewing beef cut in 1 inch cubes
2 cups water
2 Tbsp oil
1 1/2 Tbsp beef soup base powder
1 1/2 Tbsp brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp basil
1 1/2 tsp parsley
1 1/2 tsp oregano
1 1/2 tsp paprika
1 1/2 tsp cumin
1 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp Vindaloo curry paste
2 tsp soy sauce

1 cup mixed vegetables (I used frozen peas and fresh carrots)

2 Tbsp corn starch and water to thicken

Cut meat into 1 inch cubes and dry well with paper towel.  Season meat with salt and pepper and brown in batches in the oil over medium high heat.  Remove browned meat to a plate while doing the remaining batches and adding extra oil if needed.  Once all meat is browned, return it to the pot with all remaining seasonings. and a few Tbsp of the water.  Stir to scrape up any browned bits off the bottom.  Add in remaining water so that you have 2 cup in total added.  Put on the lid to your pressure cooker and bring up to 15 lb pressure over a high heat setting (around 8 on my stove)....or high setting.  Once the pressure button has indicated you are up to pressure, and there is a steady stream of steam escaping the pot...turn down the heat on the stove to medium (enough so that steam continues to stream out steadily, but not forcefully.  Begin timing for 20 minutes.  At the end of 20 minutes remove pot from element and let the pot depressurize naturally.  If you are in a rush, you can depressurize quickly.  Open the pot, return to heat and bring to simmer.  Adjust heat to keep at a simmer and add in your vegetables.  Cook until vegetables are tender, stirring periodically.  Once veggies are ready, mix cornstarch with cold water and stir into the pot to thicken.  You can add only half of the corn starch mixture and see if it is may not need it all...or you may want to add more depending on the thickness you like.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Ontbijtkoek for Breakfast

I was out looking for a recipe to make Taai taai when I stopped in at the daring bakers to check out the December challenge.  I was interested to try Ontbijtkoek as I never have before, and I do love spice cakes and gingerbread.
For the month of December, Andrea from 4pure took us on a trip to the Netherlands. She challenged us to take our taste buds on a joyride through the land of sugar and spice by baking three different types of Dutch sweet bread. 
Ontbijtkoek is a breakfast cake or loaf that is so common in Holland that it is primarily store bought with only a few recipes for it online.  It varies from region to region, but I liked the sound of this recipe as it contained rye flour which offers an interesting texture and flavour.  The cake is commonly served sliced with butter and is served with a cup of hot coffee or tea.  The texture of the loaf is heavier, and quite sticky from all the sugar sources, but I believe this is how it should be.  You may adjust the spices up or down depending on your preferences, but you may consider this to be comparable to a gingerbread loaf in flavour.  Some recipes contained the addition of candied ginger, mixed peel, and raisins to the mix, and I believe these would all be good additions.  This loaf is very very moist and it is best eaten a day after being baked to allow the spices a chance to develop.  Today this loaf is four days old and it is still perfectly fresh and moist.  It needs no frosting and is just right with a thick spread of butter.  If you like spice cakes and gingerbread flavours, this one is very much worth the try and is a little different.  I love spiced cakes, so I was a slightly heavy handed with the spice addition and used golden sugar rather than dark brown as it is what I had on hand...I added a wee bit more molasses because of that.  Loved this and will make it again....I believe the neighbours can expect to receive a loaf to try in the near future.

(from The Dutch Table)

1 cup rye flour
1 cup all purpose flour
3 tsp baking powder
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 cup molasses
1/2 cup honey
1 cup milk
pinch of salt

Sift all dry together to break up any lumps from the brown sugar.  You will need to break up any brown sugar lumps that will not pass through the  sifter by hand.  Add in liquid ingredients and mix to a smooth batter.  (I used a stand mixer and mixed in the milk first until smooth and then added the remaining molasses and honey)  Pour into a greased loaf pan and bake at 300 F for about 80 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean. (I lined my pan with a strip of parchment).  Once cooled wrap loaf in foil and let rest a day before slicing ...if you can wait that long.  Wrapping in foil will make the crust a bit sticky which appears to be as it should.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Browned Butter Banana Blondies

Yesterday was the last day of after school sewing classes at our elementary school.  The last day to have to think of a good nut free bit of baking to bring in for the kids before the lessons started.  This time I was interested by a recipe over at Cookies and Cups and decided to give it a try. I did brown the butter as was suggested as an option to try and substituted a bit of the vanilla flavouring for rum. The browned butter gave it more adult appeal I think.  Just be cautious when browning the butter to do it slowly and not burn it.  When browning the butter you are browning the milk solids in the butter.  You'll want them to be browned...but not blackened. The recipe was quite nice and not overly banana...I think the browned butter icing (I also browned the butter on that as well) distracted from the banana flavour and increased the butter flavour quite a bit..  It is well worth a try and quite easy to prepare.  If you are looking for a nut free school option, you might like to give this a go.

Banana Blondies

1/2 cup butter, melted and brown if you like
1 cup golden sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp rum flavouring
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup flour
1 medium banana mashed (about 1/2 cup)

Brown Sugar Frosting

1/4 cup butter, melted and browned if you like
1/2 cup golden sugar
2 Tbsp milk
1 cup powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350F.  Line a 8X8 inch pan with foil and grease foil.  In mixing bowl, cream the melted butter and golden sugar until combined.  Add in egg and flavourings and mix to combine.  Mix in mashed banana and mix to combine.  Add in flour and mix to combine.

Spread batter evenly into foil lined pan and pop into oven for 25-30 minutes or until center is set.  My oven is convection and set it to 350F and checked at 15 minutes and it was already firm in the center and done.  Remove pan from oven and set to cool.

For frosting, melt butter in pan and continue to swirl while browning if you are going to brown the butter.  If not, once melted, add in sugar and milk and heat while stirring until it reaches a boil.  If browning butter, add the sugar and milk once you have browned the butter to the amount you want.  Remove from heat to cool for 5 minutes before adding the icing sugar.  You'll want the butter and golden sugar and milk to be still quite warm when you add the icing stick to the 5 minute guideline and do not let it cool completely.  Stir in the icing sugar with a whisk to get it nice and smooth and immediately pour over the blondie and spread evenly.  The icing will start to set up and crust on the surface shortly.  Allow to cool completely before cutting or you may run the risk of your frosting running away on you.