Tuesday, April 13, 2010

From My Files

Recipe Treasures
This is a shot of some of my recipe files. These folders are almost 30 years worth of recipe collecting and perfecting. There are some serious treasures in here. Problem is the recipes don't always make it back into their folders and the folders don't always make it back into their box.
One of the reasons I share so many recipes on this blog is to ensure that some of the best of these recipes are not lost.
Here is one of my children's favorites. It is simple to make, requires few ingredients, and always makes them happy.
Donburi is basically Japanese fast food. It consists of a bowl of hot, sticky rice and some meat, eggs, or vegetables on top. This particular recipe only has eggs and onions but any veggies could be added for more nutrition and flavor.
Egg Bound Onions
Tama Tama Donburi (egg bound onions)
1 onion sliced
1 cup water
1 tsp hondashi (fish soup stock flavoring)
1/2 tsp salt
4 Tbsp Soy Sauce
2 Tbsp Mirin + 1 tsp
4 eggs lightly beaten
Put everything but the eggs into a pan and boil till the onions are translucent.
Pour the eggs over the onions in a thin stream. Cook just until the eggs are set. DO NOT STIR.
Remove from heat and serve over rice.
Add any chopped veggies to the onions you like such as carrots, celery, broccoli, etc.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Hollandaise Happiness

Hollandaise Happiness

I have to admit that I haven't always loved this sauce. As a child I didn't trust it but knew that something had to be up because of the fuss the adults made about it. I have had it in many forms, some of which I think must be aberrations. (nasty things)

I have now made it a few times myself with varied success. This past week though I found a fast, and fabulous recipe for it. It is made in the blender. Here is the recipe.

Fast & Fabulous Hollandaise Sauce

3 egg yolks
2 Tbsp Lemon Juice
1/2 tsp Salt
Dash of hot sauce
1/2 cup melted butter

Blend the egg yolks, lemon juice, salt and hot sauce in the blender. Melt the butter and bring to a boil on the stove top. You want to boil it until it start to brown (like an light tan) this starts to caramelize the flavor of the butter and really opens it up.
Turn on the blender with your egg mixture in it. Start gradually pouring the boiling butter into the running blender in a steady stream. It will thicken quickly.
Serve immediately with your steamed vegetables or on eggs Benedict. (that sounds so yummy, I might have to get some fixing for that tomorrow!)

If that doesn't "feel" cooked enough for you, you can place it in a double boiler over hot water. You really have to watch it though. It can curdle which isn't cool. (you can fix that though by adding a table spoon of boiling water to it and mixing it well.
You have to serve this immediately. It is not something that is meant to last a long time so fix it very last before serving your food.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Dad's Amazing Fresh Strawberry Ice Cream

Among the many things my dad was amazing at, cooking was one of the most interesting. He tried to be a shiterein cook. However, he didn't always achieve the desired results and some of his more famous dishes were "frope stew", and "last trip to Tulsa" (if you have ever tried to navigate from East to West through Tulsa you would understand). However, when he did get it right, he got it right and I would make him write it down before he forgot. My favorite things that he cooked were his hot pudding, rice pudding, Spanish rice, chop suey, Dad's old rashioned oatmeal cookies (my kid's favorite too), instant fudge, whole wheat bread, blender madness, and fresh strawberry ice cream. The ice cream became an institution of it's own. In it's day it was pretty much expected at all family and church put luck gatherings.
Well with the plethora of strawberries DH purchased for me this past week, I HAD to break out the old recipe and introduce my children to it. I am also going to share it with you because I promised some nieces and nephews that I would post it so they too could carry on Grandpa's tradition. (my mother also made this ice cream and I highly suspect her influence in the recipe)

Easters 2010 045

My Dad's Amazing Fresh Strawberry Ice Cream
3 pints fresh strawberries
1 (3 oz) pkg. strawberry gelatin
1/2 cup hot water
3/4 cup lemon juice (fresh, frozen or bottled)
1/2 (6 oz) can can frozen orange juice concentrate
1 quart milk
1 pint half and half
1 pint heavy cream
3 1/4 cup sugar

Clean and wash the strawberries and whirl in blender until liquid. Strain out the seeds if desired. Dissolve the gelatin in hot water, then combine with the remaining ingredients. Freeze in a 6 quart ice cream freezer according to manufacturers directions. Pack to ripen. Serve the same day.
You can also use fresh black berries and raspberries and substitute raspberry jello for the strawberry jello.
To pack the ice cream, remove the dasher, put the lid on and cork it. Then pack more ice around the ice cream canister and wrap blankets around the whole bucket. It is a long wait but so worth it in the end.
My mom and dad would bring this to church socials at the creek with their hand cranked ice cream machine. People would take turns churning while the meal was being prepared and people gathered. Then it would be packed and ripening while we ate and played. Then at the end of the social my dad would break out the ice cream and it was divine.
I have taken this mix and frozen it it solid and then cut it into chunks and sent it through my champion juicer and have instant soft serve ice cream for my family. They love it! I think the flavor it the best when you make ice cream immediately but the frozen stuff was still the best strawberry ice cream ever!

Monday, April 05, 2010

Strawberry Sale

So my local Stuff Mart had strawberries on sale this past week for $1.50 per quart. That is way better that $3.99 or worse so I told my Honey to pick me up a lot so I could re-stock the freezer with the kids favorite jam. Well ...... He DID! I brought home 22 pounds of strawberries. Yikes. That is a ton. So I spent the next day making said jam. I put up 56 pints of freezer jam. It is fabulous.
Wheat Grass and worms 044

I would post a recipe BUT freezer jam is a tricky beast. You have to follow the recipe on the box exactly or you DON'T get jam and jells. You get runny stuff. Great on ice cream but not great in a sandwich.
However, I will post some tips I have learned over time in making jam.
*Freezer jam is the easiest jam ever. You just mash the fruit, add the sugar, add the pectin and wait and you have scrumptious jam.
*Measure, Measure, Measure. It is very important to measure your jam ingredients precisely. Freezer jam is a science, not an art. That means to measure exactly don't guess and dash. That makes it something that anyone can do. Not talent required. :o)
One pound (or quart) of strawberries will make about 3 pints of jam. We usually freeze it in half pints because that is enough for one meal (usually).
There are several kinds of pectin on the market. The kinds I have tried and liked are Sure*Jell, Ball, and Certo.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Canned Turkey

Canned turkey
Looks kinda like some really odd science lab specimen doesn't it?! I have to tell you the truth, that I had a hard time using home canned meat the first time I canned some. However, when I finally did try it, I was blown away by the flavor and the quality. It was wonderful. My kids prefer home canned turkey or chicken to tuna any day. We use it in casseroles, sandwiches, meat pies and pasties. We love it!
When I get a screaming deal on meat I try to snatch up as much as I can and then can it. Winter and Spring are the best times to do the meat because it is cold outside and you aren't going to kill yourself with the heat of the pressure canner.
To can mean you HAVE TO use a pressure canner. Steam and water canning isn't safe.
What I do to can meat is .... cut it from the bone if there is a bone, and cube the meat. Then I pack it raw into clean pint or quart jars. Then I add salt, 1 teaspoon per quart and 1/2 teaspoon per pint. I do not add any liquid. Then I add new lids and rings and pressure can it according to the weight and time for the canner I have. Each type of canner is a little different and you have to check out the instructions for your canner. I have the rocker kind and love it.
You can also pre cook your meat. I wasn't sure about that at first but learned that if you pre cook your meat even for a few minutes. This keeps the meat from shrinking while you are pressure canning it. This is great but when you are canning 100+ pounds of meat at a time, time is the key and I don't have time to pre-cook the meat. When you pre-cook the meat you do have to add liquid. The liquid you see in these jars is just the natural juices from the meat. It is like liquid gold in your recipes.
If you haven't given canning meat a try, you should. It is a wonderful addition to your home storage pantry and a way to control what is in the food your family is eating. This week I was able to put up 63 pints and 19 quarts of turkey breast. I am so thrilled to have this in my pantry again. We have sorely missed it. My old children were pretty excited to see it. They remember it from when they were really little. I actually had 2 pints that didn't seal and they were pretty happy to make "turkey fish" sandwiches with it.
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