Monday, January 21, 2013

Bao Dough

This is just a general version of the dough used to make a wide assortment of bao (Chinese steamed buns).  This is the basic formula, but you'll probably want to multiply it when you use it.

For every 1 C of flour you'll want:
1/3 C warm water
1 T sugar
1 T oil
a hefty pinch of salt
1/2 t baking powder
heavy sprinkle of yeast

Mix the sugar and water, and after a few minutes add the yeast and mix.  Let it sit until foamy, then mix in the rest of the ingredients.  Let the whole mess sit for a couple of hours, at least until it has doubled in size, then punch it down and let it rise a little more.  Roll the dough out, fill it, and steam it for 15 minutes.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Stir Fried Long Beans

A simple vegetarian Chinese dish that can be ready in minutes.

1 lb Chinese long beans, ends trimmed, and chopped into two inch pieces
1 1/2 T garlic, thinnly sliced
1 1/2 T ginger, grated
3/4 t Sichuan pepper, toasted and ground
3 T oil
handful of dried chiles
2 green onions, thinly sliced in horse ear cuts
salt to taste

Heat the oil in a wok over high heat; blacken the chiles.  Add the garlic and the ginger, and toss briefly.  Add the long beans, toss for a minute.  Add the Sichuan pepper and green onions, toss, add the salt, and continue to stir fry until the beans are cooked, but still have some crunch to them.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Penne alla Vecchia (Penne with Vodka Sauce)

A simple, easy to make pasta sauce.  It's basically this recipe, but I'm posting it here as I played with it a little.

1/4 C olive oil
2 small yellow onions, chopped
5 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 C parmesan, grated
2 28-oz cans of whole peeled san marzano tomatoes
1 C vodka
1 1/2 t dried oregano, plus another 3/4 t
2 t kosher salt
salt and pepper to taste
1 C cream
1/2 t crushed red pepper

Preheat the oven to 375 F.  Heat the oil and saute the onions and 3 cloves of the garlic; add in the crushed red pepper and the first 1 1/2 t of oregano and give it another minute.  Add in the vodka and reduce by half.

Hand crush the tomatoes into the pot, add 2 t salt and some pepper.  Cover the pot and put into the oven for 1 1/2 hours.

Remove, allow to cool slightly, then add the rest of the garlic, the cream, and the rest of the oregano.  Blend until smooth.  Add in the parmesan, simmer gently for a few minutes, then adjust the seasoning as necessary.  Serve on top of al dente penne pasta.

Friday, January 4, 2013

French Onion Soup

I tend to eat a lot more soup in the winters, but even then most of them don't blow me away; this one did.  I was just playing around looking for something to eat that would use up some of the gallon and a half of homemade chicken stock in my fridge, but damned if it isn't by far the best French onion soup I've ever had.

4 C onion, thinly sliced
6 C chicken or beef stock (homemade preferably, this is such a simple soup that store-bought probably wouldn't bring enough flavor to the party.  Also, if you're using chicken stock make sure it's made with well browned chicken)
2 t dried sage, rubbed
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cloves garlic, poached for 20 minutes and smashed
1 bay leaf
3 T butter
1/2 C glace de viande or glace de volaille (you could leave it out, but it just wouldn't be the same)
1 C burgundy
Salt and pepper to taste

Melt the butter and brown the crap out of the onions slowly over low to medium low.  About a minute before the onions are done add in the chopped garlic.

Add in the rest and simmer for 45 minutes.

Traditionally this would then be topped with toasted bread and gruyere, then broiled to brown the cheese, but I thought it was just fine with a little cheese thrown in and a side of crispy garlic potatoes.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Deep Dish Pizza Sauce, Meatless

I typically make my pizza sauce with sausage in it, but this is my meatless version for when I have vegetarians around, or just those who don't like sausage (the blasphemers).

2 T olive oil
1/2 t fennel seed, toasted
2 T garlic, chopped
2 t basil
1 t oregano
salt to taste
1/2 t crushed red pepper
2 t burgundy wine
1 t sugar
1 onion, chopped
28 oz can san marzano tomatoes, crushed
1/4 t black pepper, ground

Saute the onion and half of the garlic in the olive oil.  Add in the fennel, basil, oregano, red pepper, and black pepper, and saute until fragrant.  Add in everything else except for the 1 T of reserved garlic, and simmer, covered, for an hour.  Add in the reserved garlic and stir to combine, then remove from the heat.

Deep Dish Pizza Crust

This is the basic crust for making deep dish pizza.  I wouldn't use this one for non-deep dish.

1 1/2 C warm water
heavy sprinkle yeast
heavy pinch sugar
1/2 C olive oil
1/2 C corn meal
1 t kosher salt
3 1/2 C AP flour

Mix water, sugar, and yeast, and let sit until foamy.  Mix in the rest of the other ingredients and knead until smooth.  Let it sit somewhere warm until it doubles in size.