A mother-daughter conversation on food and cooking (mostly)

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Cranberry Orange Relish

I made cranberry orange relish today, just like every Thanksgiving. It's the earliest thing I can remember cooking — grinding the oranges and cranberries with Russell, the hand grinder clamped on a chair covered in newspaper.

The recipe is unimportant; I basically use what's on the back of the Ocean Spray bag — one orange, one bag of cranberries, and between a half-cup and 3/4 cup of sugar. No cinnamon or any of the other fussy stuff.

What's absolutely critical is the hand grinder. I tried it once in the food processor and it was mushy. I tried it once with the meat grinder attachment on my Kitchen Aid and it was...OK. But the hand grinder is perfect.

I think it has something to do with this:
All that juice runs off during the grinding process, and I use it to make drinks. It's not sticking around mingling with the sugar, making things mushy.

Here was my setup today.
 I use the middle grind size.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Still Baking Bread

I was nominated to bring bread to a potluck last week, so I contributed two loaves.   The back loaf is my regular whole wheat bread, which I posted about back in 2008.  The front loaf is a version of the no-knead artisan bread which has been making the rounds for years.  Jack sent me a recipe for it recently, and I tried it with 2 cups whole wheat flour and 1 cup white flour, plus 1 1/2 tablespoons gluten flour.  It was very good, and was by far the favorite of the dinner guests.

Today I'm making it with all whole wheat flour, and a little more gluten. It's looking good so far.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Chicken and Vegetable Tagine

I really get a kick out of finding a great recipe in a newspaper or magazine.  It's like a treasure hunt, or a needle-in-a-haystack hunt, to be more precise, since there's so much dross to sort through before discovering a gem.

Back in November of 2006 I posted a link to this recipe from Parade magazine, but when Mary Ellen asked for it yesterday I saw that the link had expired.  So here's my version.  You can cook this ahead and reheat it, making it a very good thing to serve to company.

Chicken and Vegetable Tagine

6 tablespoons olive oil
3 cups slivered onions
6 large cloves of garlic, minced

Heat half of the olive oil in  large skillet or pot.  Saute the onions and garlic for 10-15 minutes, stirring, until softened.

1 tablespoon paprika
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
Pepper to taste

Stir in the spices and cook for another minute.  Than add:

1 1-pound can diced tomatoes
1 cup water
3 tablespoons lemon juice

Bring to a boil and cook for two minutes and then stir in

4 large chicken thighs, cut into two or three pieces each

Make sure the chicken is covered with sauce.  Simmer, partly covered, for about fifty minutes, turning the chicken pieces over halfway through.

1 large eggplant

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Cut the eggplant, peeled if desired, into 1-inch cubes.  Toss with remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a shallow baking pan.  Roast for about 25 minutes until tender and golden, turning once or twice.  Remove from oven and set aside.

When chicken is tender, add the eggplant.  Taste for salt and pepper.  Cook for about 5 minutes to blend flavors, then serve topped with:

Chopped parsley or cilantro
1/3 cup slivered blanched almonds