Friday, April 28, 2006

Pizza or Calzones

• 1 pkg dried yeast (or 3-tsp instant)
• 1 Cup warm water (105F - 110F) Bottled water is best
• 1 tsp salt
• 3 1/2 Cups High Gluten Bread flour
• 2 T olive oil
• Cornmeal to prevent sticking (not needed if you use parchment paper)
• Makes two 13-14 inch pizza shells or 6-calzones.

Dissolve yeast in water; let stand 5-10 minutes. Combine flour and salt in large bowl. Make a well in center of flour and gradually work half the yeast mixture into well with your fingers. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil and gradually work in remaining yeast mixture. Add a tablespoon or more of water, if needed to make dough soft and smooth. Turn dough onto flat surface and knead vigorously for at least 10 minutes.

Shape dough in large ball and place in large greased bowl, turning dough over to grease top. Cover with a damp cloth, let rise in a warm place till doubled in bulk, about 45-60 minutes. Place in refrigerator for further rising for 6 hours.

Once risen, divide dough in half or 6- rounds for calzones. (At this point, dough may be frozen for later use.) On parchment paper, roll each half into a 13-14 inch circle about 1/8 inch thick, leaving a thick ridge around edge so topping will not spill over. Rub surface with about a tablespoon of olive oil and top with your favorite filling.

If doing calzones, stuff the rolled out dough leaving 1” around the edges, fold over, and wet the edges. Press with a fork to seal. Make slices in the top for the steam to escape. Heat oven to 500 degrees for about 30 minutes for pizza. Then lower heat to 475F – 450F and bake pizza for 10-15 minutes (depending upon the heat accuracy of your oven). Bake it directly on your pizza stone which has been in the oven while it is preheating or on a parchment lined cookie sheet.

Be sure you have made slits in the top of each calzone so the steam can escape. Bake Calzones at 400F on a parchment lined cookie sheet until puffy and golden. To serve, dip in marinara sauce.
Calzone pictured.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Lamb Braised in Yogurt and Cream-Rogani Gosht

1 cup plain yogurt (or sour cream)
1 cup heavy cream
2 medium onions, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup blanched almonds
2 tablespoons chopped fresh ginger
2 tablespoons ground coriander
1 tablespoon ground cardamom
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
2 lb. boneless lean lamb, cut into 1-2 inch pieces
2 large potatoes, peeled and quartered

Combine all ingredients except the lamb and potatoes in a blender or food processor and process until smooth.

Put the yogurt mixture and the lamb into a large, heavy pot (preferably nonstick) and bring to a boil over moderate heat. Reduce the heat and simmer tightly covered for 2 hours.

Check the mixture and stir frequently, adding milk or water as needed if the sauce becomes too thick. Add the potatoes and continue cooking until tender, 30 to 45 minutes.

Serve with your favorite rice.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Charcoal Broiled Leg of Lamb

I'd rather have lamb than roast beef, salmon, or just about any red or white meat or seafood (scallops, halibut, swordfish, shark excepted.)

1 3-5 Pound sirloin leg of lamb
3 TBS olive oil
2 VERY large Garlic buds
Powdered Rosemary
Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

Charcoal broiler
2 Fatwood sticks

Start your fire about 45-minutes ahead of time. Place several sheets of newspaper in charcoal pan; 2-halved sticks of fatwood, generous amonut of charcoal. Light newspapers from the bottom. Let coals get to the ashy/white stage. If you like the lamb taste as opposed to a charcoal taste as with beef or pork, do NOT charbroil; you will lose much of the wonderful taste of the lamb!! Oven roast it for the delightful taste of the lamb.

Coat roast generously with olive oil. Make small slices in the fat side of the roast and insert thinly sliced garlic buds in the scored roast. If you have a heat-proof meat thermometer, stick it in the roast - AWAY from any bone. Turn or reposition the roast occasionally. Cook for several hours until thermometer reads 150F. For juicy, tender lamb, it should be roasted to NO more than 150F. internal temperature; medium rare - to medium. Save the juices for gravy. After roasting is completed, let the roast sit for 15-minutes before slicing. Save juice. This recipe can also be roasted in the oven at 325F. with peeled, quartered pototoes. (Photo)


3-4 Cups water
2-Chicken bouillion cubes
Drippings from roast after it's been sliced
2 TBS flour
1/4 Cup HOT water.

Dissolve cubes in the 3-4 cups of water.
Mix 1/4 cup hot water with flour
Place all together on a pan, whisk constantly until it thickens.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Chimichangas with rice and refried beans

Next to green chili with pork, this is my favorite Mexican dish.

1 lb Lean beef or venison
1 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Pepper
1/4 tsp Garlic powder
4 Tomatoes
1 1/2 tsp lard
1/2 onion chopped
1/2 bell pepper chopped
1 1/2 tsp Flour
1/2 c canned whole green Chiles
4 fl Tortillas
Oil for deep frying
Red chile sauce or salsa
1 c Jack or Colby cheese, shredded
1 c Sour cream
8 Black olives
1/4 c Green onion, chopped
1 tb Whipping cream
2 cups Shredded lettuce

Cut the beef into 4 pieces. Place in a 5 to 6-quart pan and add water tocover. Bring to a boil; skim the foam from the surface. Add the salt,pepper, and garlic. Simmer until tender, approximately 1-1/2 to 2 hours. Drain the beef, reserving 1/2 cup of the broth.

When the meat is cool, coarsely Shred in a food processor. Chop 2 of the tomatoes. Melt the shortening in a pan over medium heat. Add the onion and bell pepper and sauté until tender. Add the flour, whisking until no lumps remain, and cook 2 minutes. Add the shredded beef, reserved broth, chopped tomatoes, and whole chilies. Simmer 15 minutes.

Place about 1/2 cup of the meat mixture in a line down the center of each tortilla. Fold both ends over 1 inch to 2 inch; fold one side over the other and roll up in a neat package. Secure with a toothpick. Deep fry in very hot oil 400'F until crisp and well browned. Drain on paper towels.

Preheat the broiler. Place the chimichangas on an ovenproof plate or in a baking pan. Spoon red chili sauce over liberally. Sprinkle with grated cheese and green onion. Place under the broiler until the cheese melts.Combine the sour cream and the whipping cream. Slice the remaining 2 tomatos. Top the chimichangas with the sour cream mixture and Guacamole. Garnish with shredded lettuce, diced tomato, guacamole and olives.

Serve with rice and refried beans.

Mexican Rice

This is the perfect rice side dish for the chimichangas.

1 cup uncooked rice -- your choice
2 cups cold water
2 cloves garlic, minced or crushed
Olive oil
1/2 Onion Coarsely chopped
1 Small roma tomato, chopped into about 4 pieces
Hot pepper of your choice, sliced lengthwise
3 TBS Tomato sauce
1 tsp cumin powder
1 TBS chicken bouillon (1 cube in the cooking water)
Salt, to taste

Put a little olive oil (1-2 Tbs.) into a medium-sized pot and heat to a medium temperature, add the rice, uncooked, and brown in the oil. Make sure all the rice is lightly coated with the oil. You do not have to stir the rice around very much at first while browning, but as the rice becomes browner stir it around to make sure it all browns evenly and doesn't burn. It will turn brown, but it's not burning unless it's turning dark/black. Towards the end of the browning, add the garlic so that it is sauteed/browned.

Next, dump the water on the rice (it will steam up) and add the remaining ingredients. Stir well and cover (with a small air escape). Reduce heat to medium-low to medium, and let cook for 20-30 minutes. (Cooking time and temperature varies with your stove. Check after 20 minutes to make sure you don't burn it. The essential rule of this recipe is "Do Not Peek" while the rice is cooking.

When it is ready, all the water will be absorbed, the rice will fluff, and each grain will be "split open" because of the browning. It should be dry, not saucy. You can adjust the spices/peppers to your taste. The recipe can be changed by keeping with the 1 cup rice/2 cups water ratio, and adjusting remaining ingredients.

Just before serving, add green enchilada sauce to the rice and stir in.