CookingCooking techniques, recipes, recommendations and cooking equipment
- Scalded whole rye flour.
- Dried bitter orange - 2 pieces, i.e. about half of the peel from one bitter orange.
- Cinnamon powder
- Baking trays and bread pans.
Dough after rising one hour:
Loaves after rising:
Finished bread (photo from another occasion):
Recording device: Zoom H2n
The $250 Cookie Recipe
1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups flour
1 tsp. soda
1 tsp. baking powder
2½ cups blended oatmeal
½ tsp. salt
12 oz. chocolate chips
1½ cups chopped nuts (your choice)
Cream the butter and both sugars. Add eggs and vanilla. Mix dry ingredients together in separate bowl. Combine with the butter/sugar/egg mixture. Add chocolate chips. Roll into balls and place 2 inches apart on a cookie sheet.
Bake for 10–12 minutes at 375°F.
It's oatmeal, I don't know how much we need in terms of notes.
- 2 cups water
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 2/3 cup steel cut/pinhead oats
- 1/8 teaspoon total allspice, nutmeg, cinnamon
- 1/4 cup brown/demerara/whatever sort of sugar
- 1/2 cup raisins
- boil water and salt
- heat on medium, add oats, spices, sugar
- stirring regularly, cook for 6 minutes, or until you get tired of stirring.
- remove from heat, add raisins.
- let sit for a few minutes to cool/finish absorbing water.
Frank describes his recipe for Five Seed Bread, inspired by Kerry Greenwood's first Corinna Chapman mystery novel, "Earthly Delights."
List of Ingredients:
- 1 cp. (237 ml.) warm water
- 1 packet yeast
- 1 1/2 cps. (213 grams) white flour, approx.
- 1 1/2 cps. (213 grams) rye flour, approx.
- 1 tbs. (14 grams) each dill seed, fennel seed, sesame seed, caraway seed, or to taste
- 1 tsp. (5 ml.) coriander (the reference in the story referred to coriander seed, but I didn’t have any of that, so I ad libbed)
- 1/4 (1 ml.) tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. (2 ml.) light brown sugar
- Kerry Greenwood: http://phrynefisher.com/Kerrygreenwood.html
- The Corrina Chapman Cookbook: http://mysteryreadersinc.blogspot.com/2012/03/kerry-greenwood-cookbook.html
- US-Metric Equivalents: http://whatscookingamerica.net/Q-A/equiv.htm
How to Make Kamboucha Tea
Makes about 1 gallon
Ingredient US Metric water 3 1/2 quarts ?? white sugar 1 cup ?? black tea 8 bags (or 2 tablespoons loose tea) ?? starter tea from last batch of kombucha or store-bought 2 cups ?? scoby 1 per fermentation jar N/A
Optional flavoring extras for bottling: 1 to 2 cups chopped fruit, 2 to 3 cups fruit juice, 1 to 2 tablespoons flavored tea (like hibiscus or Earl Grey), 1/4 cup honey, 2 to 4 tablespoons fresh herbs or spices
- Stock pot
- 1-gallon glass jar or two 2-quart glass jars
- Bottles: Six 16-oz glass bottles with plastic lids, 6 swing-top bottles, or clean soda bottles
Note: Avoid prolonged contact between the kombucha and metal both during and after brewing. This can affect the flavor of your kombucha and weaken the scoby over time.
1. Make the Tea Base: Bring the water to a boil. Remove from heat and stir in the sugar to dissolve. Drop in the tea and allow it to steep until the water has cooled. Depending on the size of your pot, this will take a few hours. You can speed up the cooling process by placing the pot in an ice bath.
2. Add the Starter Tea: Once the tea is cool, remove the tea bags or strain out the loose tea. Stir in the starter tea. (The starter tea makes the liquid acidic, which prevents unfriendly bacteria from taking up residence in the first few days of fermentation.)
3. Transfer to Jars and Add the Scoby: Pour the mixture into a 1-gallon glass jar (or divide between two 2-quart jars, in which case you'll need 2 scobys) and gently slide the scoby into the jar with clean hands. Cover the mouth of the jar with a few layers of cheesecloth or paper towels secured with a rubber band.
4. Ferment for 7 to 10 Days: Keep the jar at room temperature, out of direct sunlight, and where it won't get jostled. Ferment for 7 to 10 days, checking the kombucha and the scoby periodically.
It's not unusual for the scoby to float at the top, bottom, or even sideways. A new cream-colored layer of scoby should start forming on the surface of the kombucha within a few days. It usually attaches to the old scoby, but it's ok if they separate. You may also see brown stringy bits floating beneath the scoby, sediment collecting at the bottom, and bubbles collecting around the scoby. This is all normal and signs of healthy fermentation.
After seven days, begin tasting the kombucha daily by pouring a little out of the jar and into a cup. When it reaches a balance of sweetness and tartness that is pleasant to you, the kombucha is ready to bottle.
5. Remove the Scoby: Before proceeding, prepare and cool another pot of strong tea for your next batch of kombucha, as outlined above. With clean hands, gently lift the scoby out of the kombucha and set it on a clean plate. As you do, check it over and remove the bottom layer if the scoby is getting very thick.
6. Bottle the Finished Kombucha: Measure out your starter tea from this batch of kombucha and set it aside for the next batch. Pour the fermented kombucha (straining, if desired) into bottles, along with any juice, herbs, or fruit you may want to use as flavoring. Leave about a half inch of head room in each bottle. (Alternatively, infuse the kombucha with flavorings for a day or two in another jar covered with cheesecloth, strain, and then bottle. This makes a cleaner kombucha without "stuff" in it.)
7. Carbonate and Refrigerate the Finished Kombucha: Store the bottled kombucha at room-temperature out of direct sunlight and allow 1 to 3 days for the kombucha to carbonate. Until you get a feel for how quickly your kombucha carbonates, it's helpful to keep it in plastic bottles; the kombucha is carbonated when the bottles feel rock solid. Refrigerate to stop fermentation and carbonation, and then consume your kombucha within a month.
8. Make a Fresh Batch of Kombucha: Clean the jar being used for kombucha fermentation. Combine the starter tea from your last batch of kombucha with the fresh batch of sugary tea, and pour it into the fermentation jar. Slide the scoby on top, cover, and ferment for 7 to 10 days.
• Batch Size: To increase or decrease the amount of kombucha you make, maintain the basic ratio of 1 cup of sugar, 8 bags of tea, and 2 cups starter tea per gallon batch. One scoby will ferment any size batch, though larger batches may take longer.
• Putting Kombucha on Pause: If you'll be away for 3 weeks or less, just make a fresh batch and leave it on your counter. It will likely be too vinegary to drink by the time you get back, but the scoby will be fine. For longer breaks, store the scoby in a fresh batch of the tea base with starter tea in the fridge. Change out the tea for a fresh batch every 4 to 6 weeks.
• Other Tea Options: Black tea tends to be the easiest and most reliable for the scoby to ferment into kombucha, but once your scoby is going strong, you can try branching out into other kinds. Green tea, white tea, oolong tea, or a even mix of these make especially good kombucha. Herbal teas are ok, but be sure to use at least a few bags of black tea in the mix to make sure the scoby is getting all the nutrients it needs. Avoid any teas that contain oils, like earl grey or flavored teas.
• Avoid Prolonged Contact with Metal: Using metal utensils is generally fine, but avoid fermenting or bottling the kombucha in anything that brings them into contact with metal. Metals, especially reactive metals like aluminum, can give the kombucha a metallic flavor and weaken the scoby over time.
• It is normal for the scoby to float on the top, bottom, or sideways in the jar. It is also normal for brown strings to form below the scoby or to collect on the bottom. If your scoby develops a hole, bumps, dried patches, darker brown patches, or clear jelly-like patches, it is still fine to use. Usually these are all indicative of changes in the environment of your kitchen and not a problem with the scoby itself.
• Kombucha will start off with a neutral aroma and then smell progressively more vinegary as brewing progresses. If it starts to smell cheesy, rotten, or otherwise unpleasant, this is a sign that something has gone wrong. If you see no signs of mold on the scoby, discard the liquid and begin again with fresh tea. If you do see signs of mold, discard both the scoby and the liquid and begin again with new ingredients.
• A scoby will last a very long time, but it's not indestructible. If the scoby becomes black, that is a sign that it has passed its lifespan. If it develops green or black mold, it is has become infected. In both of these cases, throw away the scoby and begin again.
• To prolong the life and maintain the health of your scoby, stick to the ratio of sugar, tea, starter tea, and water outlined in the recipe. You should also peel off the bottom (oldest) layer every few batches. This can be discarded, composted, used to start a new batch of kombucha, or given to a friend to start their own.
• If you're ever in doubt about whether there is a problem with your scoby, just continue brewing batches but discard the kombucha they make. If there's a problem, it will get worse over time and become very apparent. If it's just a natural aspect of the scoby, then it will stay consistent from batch to batch and the kombucha is fine for drinking.
How to Make Perfect Steel-Cut Oats
Steel-Cut oats are amazingly good—delicious and nutritious—but they're kind of a pain to cook because they're so hard and require so much simmering. It can take up to 30 minutes to cook them on the stove top and you have to stir constantly to make sure they don't boil over or stick to the pan. I tried doing them in a rice maker and in the microwave, neither of which turned out well. Then I tried the slow cooker and found that this is the perfect way to make steel-cut oats exactly right every time with hardly any effort.
- Steel-cut oats
- Water (4-to-1 water-to-oats ratio)
- Salt (¼ teaspoon for each ¼ c. oats)
- Pure maple syrup to taste
- Butter to taste
Just put all the ingredients in the slow cooker and cook on 200 degrees Fahrenheit for about 4 hours. The water and oats should be combined in a 4 to 1 ratio. When I make this using American measurements, I used 1 Cup water for each ¼ cup of oats. In the metric system this is about 240 ml water for each 40 grams of oats.
Not for the first time I'm following in the footsteps of Frank Bell. Frank did an HPR episode entitled "A Beginner with a Wok", episode number 1787, on 2015-06-09. On it he spoke about his experiences stir-fry cooking using a wok.
Frank got a lot of comments about his episode and there seemed to be an interest in the subject. I have been interested in Chinese, Indonesian and other Far Eastern cookery styles for some time, and do a lot of cooking, so I thought I'd record a show about one of the recipes I use.
My son visits around once a week and eats dinner with me. I offered to cook him my version of Chow Mein, which since he is vegetarian, needed to use no meat. This is my description of the recipe I used.
I loosely based this version of Chow Mein on Ken Hom's recipe in his book Chinese Cookery, page 226. This is from his 1984 BBC TV series, which I watched. I also learnt many of my preparation techniques from Ken Hom's books and TV shows.
I have written out a long set of notes to accompany this episode and these are available here http://hackerpublicradio.org/eps/hpr1946/full_shownotes.html.
Apologies for the sounds of a mouse scroll wheel in the audio. I was trying a new microphone position and didn't realise how sensitive it was to these sounds.
- HPR episode 1787, "A Beginner with a Wok", by Frank Bell: http://hackerpublicradio.org/eps.php?id=1787
- Wikipedia article on Ken Hom: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ken_Hom
- Ken Hom's Chinese Cookery:
- 1986 edition (ISBN-13: 978-0060960599): http://www.amazon.com/Ken-Homs-Chinese-Cookery-Hom/dp/0060960590
- 2009 edition (ISBN-13: 978-1846076053): http://www.amazon.co.uk/Chinese-Cookery-Ken-Hom/dp/1846076056/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1450957458&sr=1-15
- Wikipedia article on the Green bean: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Green_bean
- Wikipedia page on Mange tout: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mange_tout
- Wikipedia page on the Snow pea: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Snow_pea
- Wikipedia article on Agaricus bisporus, the Chestnut mushroom: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agaricus_bisporus
- Wikipedia article on the Bean sprout: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bean_sprout
- Wikipedia article on Quorn: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quorn
- Lao Gan Ma website: http://m.laoganma.com.cn/product.aspx
- Wikipedia page for Lao Gan Ma: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lao_Gan_Ma
Ken Fallon was asking for bread-making advice on a recent Community News recording. I've been making my own bread since the 1970's and I thought I'd share my methods in response. Frank Bell also did an excellent bread-making episode in 2013.
I have prepared a long description of my bread-making process, with photographs and a recipe, and this is all available here: http://hackerpublicradio.org/eps/hpr1827/full_shownotes.html
- Full notes: http://hackerpublicradio.org/eps/hpr1827/full_shownotes.html
- Frank Bell's HPR episode on bread making: http://hackerpublicradio.org/eps.php?id=1327
- Kenwood Chef: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kenwood_Chef
- Panasonic SD255: http://www.chrisrand.com/panasonic-SD255-breadmaker-bread-maker/
- Wholemeal bread recipe: http://hackerpublicradio.org/eps/hpr1827/Wholemeal_Bread_Recipe.pdf
Frank describes James Beard's simple and almost infallible recipe for making Hollandaise sauce with a blender.
The recipe from the _Theory_and_Practice_of_Good_Cooking_, used copies of which can be readily found via a web search. According to Amazon.doc, new copies are also available. Frank's copy is a first edition dating from 1977, though it's been used too much to be a collector's item.
Merriam-Websters defines "stir-fry" as "to fry quickly over high heat in a lightly oiled pan (as a wok) while stirring continuously." (Source: http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/stir-fry)
Talk about stir-frying. Not an expert by any means, but think I've learned enough to share a bit.
Frank bought a wok, quite on impulse, and has been experimenting with stir-fry recipes and has found it surprisingly easy--much easier than, say, making a souffle or oysters Rockefeller. In this podcast, he discusses what he has learned and in the context of narrating the preparation of a meal.
- http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/shrimp-vegetable-stir-fry (Note: The first step in this recipe is to make your own teriyaki sauce. You can use a commercial sauce instead.)
OggCast 2014. we cook dinner, I drink beer, a time is had by all. I'd like to amp this, but Audacity won't let me, so listen carefully.
Broam, Briptastic, and FiftyOneFifty talk about the meal they are making for Saturday Night at Oggcast Planet Live 2014 from when they thought about it until dinner was served, as well as that day's fun at Knoebels theme park at Elysburg PA and the plans to visit the ghost town of Centralia the following day.
Using a Weber grill to cook all your food.
- Weber Grills: http://weber.com
- Basic Grill Model: http://www.weber.com/grills/series/one-touch/one-touch-silver-225
- Chimney: http://store.weber.com/accessories/category/cook/1466
- Lighter Cubes: http://store.weber.com/accessories/category/cook/1324
- Grate for use with a Wok: http://store.weber.com/accessories/category/cook/cookware/1390
Frank Bell prattles on about baking bread while he bakes two loaves of honey wheat bread.
- Table of US, Imperial, and Metric equivalents: http://whatscookingamerica.net/Q-A/equiv.htm
- Picture of honey wheat bread under construction; http://www.pineviewfarm.net/weblog/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/Frank_Bread.jpg
- Frank's generic bread recipe: http://www.pineviewfarm.net/weblog/2011/11/well-bread/
- Sour dough starter: http://breadbaking.about.com/od/sourdoughbreads/r/basicstarter.htm
- Kon-Tiki: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kon-Tiki