Monday, March 30, 2009

Blender Ground Wheat Bread-Compromise Loaf

Update: I am not getting the same results with this recipe each time. The blended grain idea seems to be useful, but the amount of white flour is turning out to be more like half of the recipe. 4-11-09

Help me with this method. Would you try this experiment?

You can grind your own wheat berries in your blender to make this "compromise" loaf of bread. It uses sourdough for the acid medium to neutralize the phytates and a little yeast to help things along after it's kneaded. It does use some high gluten white flour which does not need soaking. The whole grain has already been soaked, so a yeast rise which is fairly quick is OK to me since I still use a little yeast. I have never mastered a sourdough 100% whole wheat loaf that I like, so this is my compromise. I use my usual recipe amounts.

1+1/2 C. wheat berries (1 C. = 8 oz. berries)
1+1/2 C. water with a little more to drizzle in (use minimum amount possible) to maintain a vortex.
Glob of sourdough starter (about 1/4 C).

Blend for 3 minutes while maintaining a vortex in the blender.

Pour back some of the blended grain/water/sourdough mixture into the sourdough jar to save.
Let the rest soak overnight in the blender or in the bread machine bowl.

Next day add:

2 C. King Arthur All Purpose or Bread Flour
1 t. yeast or less-I've not tried this without yeast yet.
2 t. Real Salt
1 T Olive Oil or melted butter

Start the bread machine and check the dough for correct hydration since I've not used exact measurements. When the dough cycle is complete, form the loaf by hand and put in the pans you use. Bake as usual.

This dough has a great texture and seems nicer than using pre-ground whole wheat flour. The white flour has enough gluten to give this a huge rise.

This is even better: I also tried soaking whole wheat berries in whey and water and then blended the soaked berries the next day. I did add some sourdough to this dough for flavor. I got GREAT bread but almost burned out my blender. I formed two batards on parchment paper, and when they had risen, I put them in a cold oven and set it to 400 degrees and set the timer to 45 minutes.

The texture of this bread is like soft white bread. It seems pretty magical and has a nice artisan crust. The dough is at least 2/3 whole wheat (by weight) , so this is a nice surprise. The bread has nice pieces of wheatberries in it with a lovely texture. Wow! I have never gotten this crust with this much whole wheat. I believe the gluten in the whole wheat was preserved since the acid medium soak was on the outside only and didn't destroy the gluten which happens a lot to me when I make sourdough bread.

If you own a Bosch Universal, will you try blending soaked wheat berries in your Bosch with the amount of water you usually use for your bread recipe? I'd like to know if the Bosch can handle it.

Note: My wheat berries weigh about 8 oz./cup and flour usually weighs 4.5 oz./cup so my usual recipe of 3+1/2 C. flour to 1+1/2 C. water makes this about 2/3 whole grain bread. And you don't have to have a grain mill.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Gravy made with Beef Broth and Oatmeal

Oat Groats

I love gravy. I am also tired of soup at the moment. It doesn't last long, but it happens sometimes. So I decided to make gravy because I can never get enough.

Grind Oat Groats in a food mill and mix with water and whey to make a slurry.

Or put 1 C. groats in blender and add 1 C. water plus whey, blending for three minutes, drizzling in water to maintain a vortex.

I use about 2 T. whey per quart of mixture. Soak this overnight and then keep in refrigerator to use whenever you get hungry for gravy or need to thicken something. You can even cook this with water for breakfast and call it gruel.

To make gravy, heat beef broth and pour in a little slurry of oatmeal, add salt, and cook for a few minutes. You can make it any thickness you desire and can keep adding oat mixture to keep thickening it.

Tonight I baked lamb shanks and necks, covered in my le Crueset, and after they were soft and browned, I poured in water and oat mixture and put it back in the oven until it thickened.

I prefer beef or lamb flavor with oatmeal but did not like the chicken/oatmeal flavor.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Nixtamalized Blender Corn Pancakes a la Sue Gregg

I've been having such fun with Sue Gregg's Blender pancake recipe. I tried it with whole corn kernels that I nixtamalized, washed, and then ground in my blender.

1 1/2 C. Nixtamalized whole corn
1 Egg
1 1/2 T Olive Oil
1+ C. water drizzled in to make a vortex

Blend 3 minutes on high beginning by pulsing.

Using a funnel in the top of my blender, I added:

1/2 t. Soda
1/2 t. Baking Powder
3/4 t. Salt

Blend only a few seconds to distribute the leavening agents.

Pour onto hot griddle. My batter was a rather thin which I really liked. These have a marvelous flavor which is really enhanced by the nixtamalization. They are very nutty and ready for spicy toppings. I had my first one with butter like a pancake. The amazing thing about this recipe is that you can have dried corn available in the pantry and then without a grain mill, you can easily use the whole grain for cooking. I froze some of the wet corn since I wasn't ready to use it. This is very handy in case I get inspired on the spur of the moment.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Sue Gregg's Blender Pancakes-Judy's Version

I love Sue Gregg's Blender Pancake recipe. It's the perfect blend of traditional cooking and technology. Her website has many variations listed and if you are overwhelmed with the information, I've extracted a simple recipe.

Night before you serve pancakes:

1 C. mixed whole grains (not flour), put in blender and add,
1 C Yogurt, Kefir, or Buttermilk.

Blend 3 minutes on high and maintain a VORTEX by drizzling in a little water. The Vortex is important in getting all the grains blended and looks like a funnel or tornado in your blender and ensures that everything is blended well. Let sit overnight or 7 hours at least for the acid medium to remove the phytates on the grains. Phytates are an anti-nutrient which keeps you from absorbing other nutrients you are eating. In history, people just soaked their grains without knowing why. It's very traditional to do this.

In the morning, add the following. Get the dry ingredients ready to dump in all at once.

1 T. Flax seeds-optional
1 Egg
2 T. Olive Oil or melted butter

3/4 t. Real salt
1/2 t. Baking Soda
1/2 t. Baking Powder

Put the egg, flax and oil in the blender and blend on high while maintaining a vortex using more liquid.

When the flax seeds seem to be ground up, add the dry ingredients into the vortex. The easiest way is to place a funnel in the top of your blender and dump them in. The funnel makes them hit the right spot. Blend only a few seconds after the leavening is added because it thickens and that's the way you want it.

Pour batter onto heated griddle and serve with butter and maple syrup and bacon on the side!

This is part of the Nourishing Gourmet's Handmade Gift Carnival.

Update, 11-14-09: If you use Kefir, beware that storing the leftover batter with a tight lid causes pressure to build up and the jar may explode, if not with broken glass, then all over you. Kefir has good bacteria that continues to grow.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Curried Coconut Fish Chowder

Onions sauteed in Coconut Oil
Potatoes, diced

Curry powder
Ginger, fresh grated

Chicken broth
Coconut milk-not low fat
Fish cut into cubes and added at the end of cooking.

This chowder has lots of superfood ingredients. Coconut Oil, Turmeric (in the curry), Garlic, Chicken broth, and Coconut milk. All in one dish!

I served it with croutons made from sourdough "brick" bread tossed with butter and salt and then toasted. I save my bread flops to use for croutons or croistini. They really taste very good and the texture is no drawback.

Grain Mix for Blender Pancakes-Favorite

Using Sue Gregg's Blender Pancake recipe. I like this mix of whole grains:

2 parts Kamut
2 parts brown rice
2 parts buckwheat
2 parts oat groats
1 part rye berries

These can be changed at whim from what I can deduce. You can go gluten-free easily and maintain excellent flavor and texture. This is a pretty amazing recipe. One of those better than could be imagined. Making pancakes from this is unlike trying to use 100% whole wheat bread which is really hard to make light and tasty. One can get used to it of course, but the pancakes can be passed off as "regular" to anyone, even skeptics of healthy eating. I refrigerate the leftover batter for several days without loss of quality.

Since grains can be stored whole easily, I think it's the perfect marriage of tradition and technology.

Sweet Potato Apple Sausage Bake

Sweet Potatoes - wash, dry, peel and save the peelings.
Apples- peel and slice apples
Sausage-Fry and crumble.

Toss Sweet Potatoes and Apples with cinnamon, salt, and pepper.
Put in oven proof lidded casserole and put sausage on top.
Add chicken broth or water to come up 1/4 of the ingredients.
Cover and bake for 1 hour. Best served after cooling slightly.
Green Beans with garlic and butter on the side.

While the casserole is in the oven, toss the peelings in olive oil and salt. Bake until crisp. This happens fast, so watch. I actually used my toaster/convection oven for these. They are like potato chips and since I don't really like them left on the potato in this casserole, this was a delicious way to eat this vitamins.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Polenta from Nixtamalized Corn using Blender

I used nixtamalized corn to make polenta without a grinder or mortar and pestle. I followed the method posted at Mother Earth News.

I put the corn in my blender with water. I was able to blend the corn to a nice consistency maintaining a vortex (by drizzling in water) while blending for 3 minutes. This is similar in method to making Sue Gregg's blender pancakes from whole grains. I then added more water (could be broth) and salt and cooked it in a double boiler. This made a wonderful polenta with the nutty flavor that's mentioned in the article and has all the nutrients available.

I added farmer's cheese to the hot mush and served with sauce made from onions, ground beef, chili powder, garlic, and tomatoes over the top. I added a dollop of sour cream.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Curried Beef with Potatoes and Turmeric

The texture of the meat is on the dry side (in a good way) and the potatoes roast on top and get crispy. It reminds me of sloppy joes except with Indian spices

2 medium onions chopped and sauteed in
4 T Butter
1 lb. hamburger or cut up beef sauteed with butter and onions

1 T Curry Powder
1 t. Turmeric
1 t. Salt
1 t. Thyme
1 t. Red pepper flakes

4 Cloves garlic chopped and added with spices.

Stir everything together in a oven-proof casserole and top with:

Diced potatoes coated in tallow or melted butter and 1/2 t. Turmeric

Bake at 350 with lid for 30 minutes
Uncover and bake for 30 more minutes

I served this with steamed, buttered kale, sour cream, red sauerkraut (probiotic), and hot black tea spiced with cardamom, cinnamon, and cloves with milk and honey.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Blueberry Banana Smoothies

This smoothie recipe is adaptable to whatever you have or want to include, such as supplements but not Cod Liver Oil obviously. For 1 Q. smoothies use approximately:

In blender pour 2 cups kefir or yogurt
2 egg yolks from pastured eggs
1/4 cup heavy raw cream or more
1/4 t. unrefined sea salt
2 T. coconut oil-can be hard or liquid
Banana-can be frozen in chunks
Blueberries that are frozen-maybe 1 1/2 C.
Blend until smooth. If it's warm weather, add a couple of ice cubes to thicken the mixture and blend them well. You can put this in the refrigerator if you are not quite ready to drink it, but it's creamiest when just blended.
Update: I've recently learned that this cold mixture of dairy and bananas is especially hard to digest, so I save this for a treat rather than a daily ritual.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Roasted Vegetables

Sweet Potatoes
Red Onions
Red Peppers
Any other vegetables you like
Peel and wash appropriately. Cut into 3/8" slices and combine in a large bowl. Drizzle in Extra Virgin Olive Oil and add minced garlic and a little fresh rosemary or dried. Toss the vegetables and then add unrefined sea salt and coarse ground pepper. Once you add the salt, the mixture needs to be roasted immediately or it will start to get wet. Bake loosely spaced on large baking sheet at 425 degrees for 30 -35 minutes.
These vegetables are delicious served with pork especially. They refrigerate well and can be reheated best in a convection oven.