Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Hats of to the chef -no not me

Well kind of me. I made a chef. What is a chef you ask? It is a type of sourdough starter. Not a poolish, not a levin, a chef.

This is what it looks like right after I feed it. In a hour or so it will look like some kind of bubbly swamp monster.

But then it turns into this:
Can you say yum? I can't because my mouth is full of bread. Anyhoo, I am kind of disappointed that my bread isn't super sour. Maybe the wild yeast in New Mexico is too tame (come on wild west, whats the deal?). Next time I travel maybe I will make another chef and see how they compare. My only hope for now is that my chef will become more tangy as time goes on.

This is my super lazy chef making practice:
Get a quart sized container, add some flour ( I used half white, half whole wheat) add some water stir and add more of either flour or water until it looks just a bit to thick to make paper mache with place in a sunny window with the top sort-of-on and sort-of-off. Leave it alone for 24 hours. Wow the swamp monster will be there to greet you.

Then add equal parts water and flour and stir vigorously. I repeated this for 5 days. I was following a recipe from a book but we all know how I am with recipes so that stopped at like instruction number 2.

After the five days are up use half to make some bread, feed the "bitch" ( you will have to excuse the language it came from a hilarious book called kitchen confidential- where the bread guy was the best bread guy in NY but too drunk most morning to go the the restaurant to feed his chef, so he would call in a beg some of the other kitchen staff to please please feed the bitch) by adding equal parts flour and water.

Again let it sit out for an hour or however long it takes your bread to rise and then cover tightly and place in the fridge. Use half at least once a week or give that half to the compost and re-feed. One book I read said to remember that a chef is more like a pet than a food so if you go out of town you need to get a chef sitter.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Savory Polenta Scones with Myriad Veggies and Mushroom Goat Cheese

This evening I thought I would make something a bit fancier than normal and I think I went a bit overboard. I made savory polenta scones with summer squash, and sweet potatoes with a mushroom-goat cheese-oregano sauce.

Here's the detailed scoop:

Savory Polenta Scones
1 cup freshly cooked polenta (cooled)
1 cup flour
1 egg
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup butter

Mix all that together and press into the bottom of a spring-form pan. Bake at 350 until the bottom and edges are golden brown (about 45 min).

While the scones are backing wrap up a sweet potato or two in foil and bake until soft.

While those are in the oven. Chop 1/2 red onion and 3 cloves garlic. Saute until translucent, I used coconut oil for the first time and it was good. Didn't have to stir the onions as much as when I use butter. While the onions are doing their thing slice up a zucchini and a summer squash. Add them to the onions and cook until tender.

In another small sauce pan melt 1 tablespoon butter and let brown. Add to this 5 largely chopped mushrooms and a chopped clove of garlic. Saute mushrooms until brown. Then pour in some cream. ( I have no idea how much- so whatever looks yummy) then add the oregano. Simmer until a bit reduced and then add the goat cheese. Let's say about 5 tablespoons. or a 5th of a large log. It is amazing to me that Colin and I don't way 300 pounds each.

Then peel the potatoes and slice. Cut the polenta into triangles and pile all the other stuff on top.

Yum- but I will won't do this again as it created way to many dishes for only two people. Might be worth it for four or more. If making for four or more up all those ingredients. I like the meals that use only one pan.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The birdbrains are getting big but not smart

Here are our chickens now that they are bigger. 

In the top picture they are laying down on the ground at bedtime instead of going in their coop. I know I am no Norm Abram (this old house) but come on the coop is decent. It's got gorgeous legs.

I also just put on another addition to the coop, so when that is painted I will post those pictures. I think my poor carpentry comes from a few places. 1) I am incredibly impatient. ( I looked for right sized scraps of wood so I wouldn't have to get the saw out) 2) The power tools have 18 volt batteries which make them incredibly heavy for my have-not-been-used-for-anything-more-than-tea in a year arms. But all excuses aside it really just comes down to the fact that I am pretty lazy and it if it is a chicken coop I feel that it doesn't have to be perfect.