Einkorn Apple Walnut Crumble

February 5, 2016 § 6 Comments

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Some of you may be familiar with Einkorn, and some may be thinking “What kind of crumble?”

For those of you not familiar with it, Einkorn is nature’s original wheat. It is the only wheat out there that hasn’t been hybridized, which allows many gluten intolerant people to eat it without experiencing the sometimes severe reactions they have to “regular” wheat.

Although neither I or Kevin have a gluten sensitivity, we do feel better not eating it. So I had switched to spelt flour when baking. Spelt has less gluten but what really appealed to me was that Einkorn hasn’t been messed with. It is the same wheat now as it has been for thousands of years. So it’s what I bake and cook with now all the time.

That said, baking with it can be a challenge sometimes. I highly recommend Carla Bartolucci’s book Einkorn. The owner of Jovial Foods, Carla has worked out how to cook and bake with Einkorn flour. The recipes are delicious and easy to follow.

Hopefully I didn’t scare you away from trying it. I simply substitute Einkorn flour for regular wheat flour and the results have worked out just fine. If you’re going to try bread I suggest following Carla’s recipes.

Here’s a simple recipe to try. I used Empire apples, MacIntosh would work well also, you want a softer apple as the baking time is short and you want the apples to soften into a applesauce consistency.

Apple Part

3 to 4 large apple, peeled, cored and cut into medium size chunks

Juice of 1/2 lemon

2 TBL unsalted butter

1/4 tsp cinnamon

Mix all together and place in greased pie dish

Crumble Part

6 TBL unsalted butter

2/3 cup Einkorn all-purpose flour

1/4 cup sugar

2 TBL milk or cream

2 to 3 TBL chopped walnuts

Cut butter into flour with either your hands or a Dough and Pastry Blender, add sugar, then add the milk. Blend it all together with a fork then spread it over the apples. Sprinkle with the walnuts.

Bake in a 350 degree oven and bake 35 to 45 minutes, until lightly brown and bubbly.

Serve warm with freshly whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

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This is great for breakfast!

 

Roasted Fennel Soup

January 18, 2016 § 4 Comments

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Hello everyone, sorry for the absence! Here it is the middle of January already. The days are flying by no matter how hard I try to live in the moment and all that.

I had a lot of recipes I was planning on writing about today but these days it’s all about soup. I find soup making so easy that I’ve always got a big pot of something going. Even a cup of steaming chicken broth helps take the chill off. Sometimes I’ll toss in some fresh parsley or add some of last nights veggies but usually it’s just plain broth.

Always on the lookout for soup ingredients I came home with 2 nice large fennel bulbs. I love fennel when it’s cooked. Raw not so much. A bit overpowering for me. Sambuca, no thank you.

When you cook fennel aka anise, it’s strong flavor mellows and becomes almost sweet. I like roasting it, cut into chunks, alongside root vegetables in a hot oven, tossed with just olive oil and salt and pepper. Or cut in half and tucked under a whole chicken or pork roast. This gratin, made with cream and garlic is my absolute favorite way to eat it.

So back to soup. Simple being my motto, how to make a simple fennel soup? Cut it up, toss with some onions and olive oil and roast. When done, add some stock then puree. Add some cream if you wish. And that is it. Almost doesn’t need a recipe it’s so easy.

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Ingredients:

1 large fennel bulb, fronds cut off and hard core removed

1 large onion

2 to 3 TBL olive oil

1/4 tsp salt, 1/8 tsp pepper

about 3 1/2 cups vegetable, beef or chicken stock

orange zest, fresh thyme

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly grease a baking pan. I like to use one with sides, keeps the vegetables a bit moister I find.

Coarsely chop the fennel and onion. Toss with the  olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast between 30 and 45 minutes until very tender, tossing occasionally.

When the vegetables are done put them into a good size pot and add the stock. Bring to a boil, the simmer 10 to 15 minutes to meld the flavors.

Pour about 1/4 of this into a blender or food processor. Be very careful when pureeing hot liquids, only do small amounts at a time and cover the top with a kitchen towel. Puree for 10 seconds each time to really break up the vegetables and give it a creamy consistency.

Pour it all back into the soup pot. If you’re a cream lover like me you can now add some fresh heavy cream or half and half. Doesn’t need much, maybe a few tablespoons. Taste for seasoning.

To finish, grate a little orange zest on top and sprinkle with some fresh thyme leaves. Toast a good hearty piece of bread, topped with a slice of gruyere or cheddar and once it’s in your bowl (ovenproof) place under the broiler for a few seconds. Keep your eyes on it, it can burn quickly. Or just grate some cheese on top if you don’t want the bread.

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Happy Winter!

Sage, Bacon and Cheddar Cornbread

January 14, 2015 § 5 Comments

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Today was a stay inside kind of day for me. It started out gray (as usual) and then started snowing a little bit. I had a few things in mind for dinners throughout the week and for some reason just decided to cook them all.

I started off with a sort-of stew of braised oxtails with fennel. As that was in the oven I started a version of pot roast, with lots of onions, red wine and tomatoes. Then I put a big pot of beef stock on to simmer, using up some leftover bones from the freezer and adding some fresh ones to it. That’s been simmering all day and will be for another few days.

I still needed some cooking therapy I guess so cornbread came to mind. I wanted to jazz it up a bit, so I added bacon, cheddar cheese, sautéed onions and sage to an otherwise plain cornbread recipe.  I used a cast iron pan to cook the bacon and onions in and then kept it hot as I made the batter, then spooned it on top. Once it came out of the oven I felt the urge to add even more cheddar, (probably because I’d been nibbling on some the whole time) so I sprinkled another 1/2 cup on as it cooled, making a nice cheesy glaze.

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This is best served warm. To reheat the next day, wrap in foil and place in hot oven for about 10 minutes. Or, I like to melt a little butter in a pan and add some slices of cornbread to it. Makes a great breakfast, topped with a fried or poached egg.

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Ingredients:

3 pieces bacon, cut into pieces

1 large onion, sliced

3/4 cup cornmeal

1 cup flour, I use white spelt

2 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese

2 eggs

1/2 cup milk

3/4 cup sour cream

2 Tbl butter, melted

1/4 cup cheddar, grated, for top

dried sage for top

 

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

In a cast iron pan, about 8″, cook the bacon until almost done, remove to a plate.

Add the sliced onions to the pan, adding more fat to the pan if you need it. Cook until golden.

Put the bacon back in with the onions, and keep the pan warm while you mix up the batter. You could put in the oven but keep an eye on it.

In a separate bowl, combine all the dry ingredients. Add the grated cheddar.

In another bowl, beat the eggs, then add the milk, butter and sour cream.

Add wet to dry, mix.

Spoon into the hot pan with the bacon and onions, sprinkle crumbled dried sage over the top.

Bake about 15 minutes, until tester comes out dry.

Remove from oven and immediately sprinkle with the 1/4 cup grated cheddar.

 

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I’ll be giving you the recipes for the oxtail stew and pot roast soon…..oh one more thing…I also made the chickens a treat: melted some old peanut butter, added some seeds, oats, and grains then popped it into the freezer for tomorrow’s treat….think I’m done for this day!

Lentil Soup for Lunch

December 2, 2014 § Leave a comment

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Maple Pumpkin Custard

November 23, 2014 § 4 Comments

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My favorite holiday is almost here. Thanksgiving, the holiday which is all about food! Cranberries and turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, stuffing and squash, and of course, pumpkin.

I see a lot of pumpkin recipes out there now, and from signature cocktails to bread, there’s pumpkin in everything. For me, pumpkin pie is what Thanksgiving dessert is all about……except for this.

It’s a light dessert perfect to finish off your Turkey Day feasting. There’s no crust like in the traditional pie, just a light and creamy custard sweetened with maple syrup and infused with cinnamon, cardamon, ginger and vanilla bean.

It’s so light you could eat this for breakfast the next day, if you have any left!

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Ingredients:

1 cup heavy cream

1/2 cup whole milk

1 cup pumpkin puree

1/4 tsp cinnamon

1/8 tsp each allspice, cardamon, ginger

4 large egg yolks

1/4 cup maple syrup

1 vanilla bean or 1 tsp vanilla extract (try to use the bean, the flavor is sublime)

heavy cream for topping, with extra maple syrup for sweetening

walnuts or pecans for topping

 

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

In a medium saucepan, bring cream and milk to a simmer.

Remove from the heat, stir in the pumpkin and spices. Set aside.

Beat egg yolks in large bowl with electric mixer until light and fluffy, about a minute or two.

Add the maple syrup and combine well. Keep beating another minute or two until it doubles in volume.

Split the vanilla bean down the middle with a sharp knife and scrape out the seeds right into the bowl. Whisk until blended.

Very slowly add a little of the warm cream mixture into the egg mixture and whisking constantly, keep adding until it’s all blended.

Now I recommend pouring this into a Pyrex measuring cup with a spout for easier pouring.

Pour into 6 oven proof ramekins. You might need more depending on the size. If you don’t have ramekins, use coffee cups. Pretty much anything will work as long as it’s ovenproof.

Set them into a large baking dish and pour some hot water into it. You want the water to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins.

Bake about 40 minutes, until almost set, but this will depend on the size. It should jiggle a bit in the center and will firm up as it cools.

You can eat right away or put in fridge to chill. Before serving, whip up some heavy cream with a little more maple syrup, top the custards with this and some finely chopped walnuts or pecans.

 

 

Oh, and don’t throw away that vanilla pod! Add it to a small jar of sugar, let it infuse in your pantry, then use it on all sorts of things: sprinkled on cake or muffins right before they go into the oven, over pancakes and french toast, in your morning oatmeal, for sweetening whipped cream, in your coffee or tea…..

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Happy Thanksgiving!

Guylas Suppe

November 9, 2014 § 2 Comments

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I remember eating Guylas quite often growing up. There are some things I remember not liking too much, like lentils and liver (who did?) but most of my mother’s cooking I loved. And Guylas and Guylas Suppe, aka goulash soup was probably my favorite. Having a Hungarian father paprika was put on almost every dish. Eggs, chicken, fish, even toast with cream cheese had some paprika sprinkled on it. But Guylas has more than a sprinkling, 2 heaping tablespoons go into this, and that’s what gives it it’s unique flavor.

I’ve heard that peppers are very often added, but my mother never put peppers into her Guylas, only meat, lots of onions, carrots and paprika. You could always add them if you’re a pepper fan, me not so much. If you want to make a stew instead of a soup, just cut down on the liquid somewhat. And don’t forget the sour cream, that’s another thing we put on and in everything!

Ingredients:

bacon fat, lard or olive oil for browning the meat, about 3 TBL

1 1/2 lbs beef chuck, cut into small cubes about 1/2 ”

handful of flour, for dusting the meat

2 medium onions, diced

1 clove garlic, crushed

2 medium carrots, chopped

1 TBL tomato paste

2 heaping TBL good sweet Hungarian paprika

1/4 cup red wine

handful of parsley, roughly chopped

1 bay leaf

1/2 tsp dried thyme

1 tsp salt and  1/4 tsp pepper

3 cups beef stock or water will do, heated

2 large potatoes. peeled and cut into small pieces, 1/2 ”

sour cream

 

Prepare the meat by salting and dusting with some flour.

In a large soup pot, heat the fat until hot. Add the meat cubes and sear on all sides. Don’t crowd the pot as you’ll end of steaming the meat.

Remove to a plate, add the onions to the remaining fat. You should have enough fat to sauté the onions, if not, add more. Don’t be afraid of fat!

Add the paprika, stir and cook slowly about 10 to 15 minutes until soft.

Add a little bit of red wine now to loosen everything up, then add the garlic, carrots, tomato paste, parsley, salt, pepper, bay leaf and thyme.

Put the meat back in, add the heated stock or water to cover everything, slowly bring to boil.

Turn heat to a simmer and cook about 1 1/2 hours until meat is very tender.

Add the diced potatoes and cook until soft, about another half hour.

Taste for seasoning, put into serving bowl and add a big scoop of sour cream.

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This soup is even better the next day, like so many other things!

 

Makes about 6 large servings.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Savory Ham Scones with Cheddar and Sage

October 28, 2014 § 5 Comments

 

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It started last evening, a nice warm autumn drizzle which then turned into a whole day of downpours. What I would call a soup day, and I had everything I needed to make my Cabbage, Ham and Potato Soup. So that’s what I did, and as the soup simmered away, I pondered what to do with a little bit of extra ham I had leftover. So since I always have some good Vermont cheddar in the fridge, I came up with this: a savory scone, to slather with butter, to have for breakfast or with breakfast, to grab as a quick snack or just have with that bowl of soup.

It’s a basic recipe and you can easily change the ingredients depending on your mood or what you have in your kitchen. Here’s a few ideas:

Bacon and Onion: cook enough chopped bacon to measure about 3/4 cup, sauté 1/2 minced onion until soft

Apple and Cheddar: a classic, use 1 cup peeled, chopped apple and 1 cup grated cheddar

Sun dried Tomato and Goat Cheese: chop 1 cup drained sun dried tomato and add with about 1 cup crumbled goat cheese

Olive and Pine Nut: chop about 1 cup olives finely, then add 1/2 cup pine nuts at the end

You can change the herbs, try thyme, oregano or lavender, add some sautéed mushrooms, substitute different cheeses (crumbled bleu would be delicious) the list is pretty endless.

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Basic Recipe:

2 cups flour, I use organic white spelt

1 TBL baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

1 – 2 TBL fresh chopped sage or 3/4 tsp crumbled dried

1 tsp sugar

6 TBL cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes

1 cup coarsely grated cheddar cheese

1 cup chopped ham

1 egg, beaten

about 1/4 cup heavy cream

 

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Grease a cookie sheet or line with parchment.

Combine the dry ingredients, including the sage.

Cut in the butter until it resembles small peas, with either your fingers or a pastry cutter.

Add the ham and cheese and stir.

Beat the egg and cream together and add to dry ingredients. Mix well with a fork.

Knead it all together right in the bowl, if it seems a bit dry add a little more cream until it holds together. You don’t want to overwork it, just a few kneads will do.

Pat out on a floured surface and shape into a 7″ disk, about 3/4″ thick.

Transfer to your baking sheet, then using a knife, cut it into 8 wedges, like a pie.

Separate the wedges a bit, then brush with a bit of cream to give it a nice golden crust.

Bake about 18 to 22 minutes until golden brown.

Let cool right on the cookie sheet.

 

These are best served warm, and if by some miracle you have any left over the next day, wrap in foil and heat in a 300 degree oven about 15 minutes.

Makes 8 scones.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pear Cobbler

October 12, 2014 § 4 Comments

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As much as I hate to see summer go, part of me is glad. It’s the part that weeds and waters the gardens, deadheads the flowers, cans the fruit and picks the endless supply of blueberries.

I don’t want that to sound like a complaint, but those who have large gardens understand I’m sure. And there is also the part that likes the changes of the seasons, the soups and stews, and the smell of the wood stove.

 

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Today started off a beautiful warm, sunny day. Then the clouds rolled in, and it got a bit chilly! I grabbed a sweater and decided a cobbler would be perfect for the afternoon’s coffee break. I had some pears that I meant to use in a salad and were calling to me, “use us now or else!”

The recipe uses fresh mint, which I love to use in baking. It’s from a recipe I’ve had for many, many years, from Lee Bailey’s cookbook Country Weekends. I usually change things a bit when following a recipe, always cutting down the amount of sugar, or using maple syrup instead, adding a spice or two, and substituting spelt or Einkorn flour for the all purpose flour most recipes use.

You can also make this with apples and add a handful of raisins and some cinnamon. So now that cobbler weather is here, bake yourself one, and serve with sweetened whipped cream, vanilla ice cream or just grab a spoon and have it for breakfast.

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Fruit Part:

6 large pears, I used Bartlett

juice and zest of 1/2 lemon

2 TBL maple syrup

1/4 tsp powdered ginger

grating of fresh nutmeg

1 tsp chopped fresh mint

Batter:

1 cup all purpose flour, I use organic white spelt

1 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 cup maple syrup

2 egg yolks

1/4 cup milk or almond milk

2 TBL unsalted butter, melted

 

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Grease a 9″ovenproof pie dish.

Peel and core the pears, then cut into medium size chunks.

Pour lemon juice over the pears, then add the zest. Mix.

Combine spices, maple syrup and mint, add to the pears and put in pie dish.

 

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Make batter by mixing flour, baking powder and salt.

In separate bowl beat egg yolks with milk and maple syrup, then add to flour mixture.

Mix in the butter then drop onto the fruit. Bake about 30 to 35 minutes, making sure the middle is done by lifting a piece of pear and checking.

 

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Braised Rabbit with Bacon and Sour Cream

April 18, 2014 § Leave a comment

 

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Most likely you’ve got your Easter meal planned already but in case you haven’t and are looking for something a little different, how about rabbit? Easter and rabbits are somewhat synonymous aren’t they?

It was hard to find rabbit anywhere not that long ago. Only farmers and the European cultures knew what a tasty and healthy food rabbit was. I remember my grandmother and her rabbits. She raised them for her food, like the chickens and ducks. And she would use every part of every animal, making sausage and stocks. Luckily now you don’t have to raise them, you can buy rabbit in major supermarkets and order online as well.

True peasant food, it’s a very lean, delicious meat that needs some fat in the cooking process. And bacon and rabbit go together like, well Easter and eggs. Though there’s not much that bacon doesn’t go well with! It’s even in chocolate now, a brilliant combination I think!

I love to braise meat and rabbit cooked this way comes out moist and tender. Simply start the process on top of the stove then put it in a hot oven to finish. A side dish of asparagus and boiled potatoes to soak up the sour cream sauce would make a wonderful Easter dinner. And it’s so simple, the way I like to cook.

 

Ingredients:

1 whole rabbit cut up

1 onion, chopped

2 or 3 slices of bacon, chopped

chicken stock, about 1 to 2 cups

salt, pepper, paprika

1 cup white wine

large scoop of sour cream

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Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Salt and pepper the rabbit.

In a large saucepan over medium heat, cook the bacon and onions until soft. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.

If you don’t have enough fat to brown the rabbit add some olive oil to the pan, about 3 to 4 TBL.

Turn the heat up high and add the rabbit pieces. Brown well.

After you finish browning, add the chicken stock so that the rabbit is submerged in it.

Return the bacon and onion to the pan. Sprinkle liberally with paprika.

Bring to a boil then cover tightly and put in the preheated oven.

Bake until tender, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Check occasionally to make sure the liquid hasn’t boiled away. Add more stock if necessary.

When done, remove rabbit to a warm plate, cover with foil while you make the sauce.

Turn the heat to high. You should still have some liquid in the pan, if not, add more to the pan. Add the wine, then bring to a boil and boil a few minutes, stirring up all the good stuff on the bottom of the pan.

Turn off heat. At this point you can puree the liquid in a blender if you want (be careful with hot liquid!) Or if you like a chunky sauce, don’t.

Stir in the sour cream, taste for seasoning.

Return the rabbit and the juices on the plate back to the pan. Let it sit for a few minutes.

Serve with potatoes or a side dish to your liking, or just a vegetable. Applesauce or cranberry sauce goes well with this.

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Enjoy and Happy Easter!

Breakfast Bars

January 26, 2014 § 4 Comments

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We all know that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, right? After a long night without food, we need to give our bodies some fuel to get us through the day. In winter I usually start my day with a warm cup of tea and either some oatmeal or eggs. But there are times when I have to run out the door without the time to make anything….sounds familiar, right?

So here’s where these healthy breakfast bars come in. No sugar, gluten free and made with healthy coconut oil. They take no time to make or bake. You can vary the ingredients endlessly and keep them wrapped up so you just have to grab and go.

Wish I had one today – drove my daughter to the airport for her trip to Alaska. Sorry Cara! I’ll make a fresh batch. 🙂

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Ingredients:

2 cups oats – I used gluten free oats

1/4 cup coconut oil

1 egg, beaten

1/3 cup maple syrup

3/4 cup cream or milk

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

1/4 cup pumpkin seeds

1/4 cup raisins

1/4 cup cashews

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8″ square pan.

Mix all ingredients in a large bowl until well blended. Smooth the top evenly.

Put into pan and bake about 30 minutes until slightly browned.

Let cool completely before cutting into squares.

This is the way I made them today, but you can use any combinations of nuts, seeds or spices you like. Next time I’ll use dried cranberries instead of the raisins, sunflower seeds instead of pumpkin and almonds instead of walnuts. You can use dates, dried fruit like apples, mango, or pineapple. Try adding some flaked coconut. You could also add some mashed bananas (cut down the milk a little) to the oats or even chocolate chips. Pretty much anything goes!

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