Sunday, November 16, 2008


I've decided to move over to wordpress. I like the simplicity of the user interface and many of the features. I have hummed and hawwed about it, but instead of updating two sites, I will focus on the other one. So if anyone is following along in my culinary adventures I can now be found here.

:) bakergirl

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

daring baker's challenge: pizza dough

For someone who likes to bake, yeast scares me. I never seem to have dough that has the right elasticity, texture and overall correct feel. With this month's Daring Baker's Challenge I was apprehensive. We love pizza, however I cheat, I get it at the bakery a block over. For $1.25 a pound, how could you go wrong?

I've attempted pizza dough before but it was always too ... heavy?
This recipe recalled 5-7 minutes of kneading, and the overall recipe used a stand mixer with a dough hook. In the world's smallest kitchen there is no space for a stand mixer, so instead of kneading by hand, I decided to head out to my mom's for a visit, with the side benefit of using her's. I don't know if it was the recipe, the mixer or cooking in my mom's kitchen, the dough turned out! I loved the texture, finally, the dough felt right! And one day when I leave the tiny kitchens of downtown apartments, I too will make this dough again, when there is space for a kitchen mixer, or perhaps if I head out for another visit :).

The Pizza dough challenge, hosted by Rosa at Yummy Yum's was lots of fun. Not only were you to make the dough, but a sauce and demonstrate proficiency (eeerrhmm?) in tossing the dough. Dough - check. Sauce - check. Tossing - oops! I tried, I swear I did, but really it was a disaster waiting to happy. The dough was thick in spots, and thin others. I think I was more throwing it up than throwing and spinning around... for lots of delish looking pizzas and some expert tossers check out the Daring Baker's Blog Roll.

One thing I would do differently next time with this dough, is to
cook it on our bbq rather than the pizza stone. The bbq gives it more of a smokey and crispy end result than the pizza stone which bakes it more... not sure if that makes sense! The pizza below is topped with a simple spicy tomato sauce, hot Italian sausage, caramelized onions and oyster mushrooms and sesame seeds.

Basic Pizza Dough Ingredients
Makes 4 large pizza crusts

4 1/2 cups all purpose flour, chilled
1 3/4 tsp salt

1 Tsp instant yeast
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 3/4 cups water, ice cold (40° F/4.5° C)
1 Tbsp sugar
Semolina/durum flour or cornmeal for dusting
Directions: Day One
  1. Mix together the flour, salt and instant yeast in a big bowl (or in the bowl of your stand mixer).
  2. Add the oil, sugar and cold water and mix well (with the help of a large wooden spoon or with the paddle attachment, on low speed) in order to form a sticky ball of dough.
  3. On a clean surface, knead for about 5-7 minutes, until the dough is smooth and the ingredients are homogeneously distributed. If it is too wet, add a little flour (not too much, though) and if it is too dry add 1 or 2 teaspoons extra water. (If you are using an electric mixer, switch to the dough hook and mix on medium speed for the same amount of time.The dough should clear the sides of the bowl but stick to the bottom of the bowl. If the dough is too wet, sprinkle in a little more flour, so that it clears the sides. If, on the contrary, it clears the bottom of the bowl, dribble in a teaspoon or two of cold water.
  4. The finished dough should be springy, elastic, and sticky, not just tacky, and register 50°-55° F/10°-13° C
  5. Flour a work surface or counter. Line a jelly pan with baking paper/parchment. Lightly oil the paper.
  6. With the help of a metal or plastic dough scraper, cut the dough into 6 equal pieces (or larger if you want to make larger pizzas).
    Tip: To avoid the dough from sticking to the scraper, dip the scraper into water between cuts.
  7. Sprinkle some flour over the dough. Make sure your hands are dry and then flour them. Gently round each piece into a ball.
    Tip: If the dough sticks to your hands, then dip your hands into the flour again.
  8. Transfer the dough balls to the lined jelly pan and mist them generously with spray oil. Slip the pan into plastic bag or enclose in plastic food wrap.
  9. Put the pan into the refrigerator and let the dough rest overnight or for up to thee days.
    Tip:You can store the dough balls in a zippered freezer bag if you want to save some of the dough for any future baking. In that case, pour some oil(a few tablespoons only) in a medium bowl and dip each dough ball into the oil, so that it is completely covered in oil. Then put each ball into a separate bag. Store the bags in the freezer for no longer than 3 months. The day before you plan to make pizza, remember to transfer the dough balls from the freezer to the refrigerator.
Directions: Day Two
  1. On the day you plan to eat pizza, exactly 2 hours before you make it, remove the desired number of dough balls from the refrigerator.
  2. Dust the counter with flour and spray lightly with oil. Place the dough balls on a floured surface and sprinkle them with flour.
  3. Dust your hands with flour and delicately press the dough into disks about 1/2 inch/1.3 cm thick and 5 inches/12.7 cm in diameter.
  4. Sprinkle with flour and mist with oil. Loosely cover the dough rounds with plastic wrap and then allow to rest for 2 hours.
  5. At least 45 minutes before making the pizza, place a baking stone on the lower third of the oven. Preheat the oven as hot as possible (500° F/260° C).
    Tip: If you do not have a baking stone, then use the back of a jelly pan. Do not preheat the pan.
  6. Generously sprinkle the back of a jelly pan with semolina/durum flour or cornmeal.
  7. Flour your hands (palms, backs and knuckles). Take 1 piece of dough by lifting it with a pastry scraper. Lay the dough across your fists in a very delicate way and carefully stretch it by bouncing it in a circular motion on your hands, and by giving it a little stretch with each bounce. Once the dough has expanded outward, move to a full toss.
    Tip: Make only one pizza at a time. During the tossing process, if the dough tends to stick to your hands, lay it down on the floured counter and reflour your hands, then continue the tossing and shaping. In case you would be having trouble tossing the dough or if the dough never wants to expand and always springs back, let it rest for approximately 5-20 minutes in order for the gluten to relax fully,then try again. You can also resort to using a rolling pin, although it isn’t as effective as the toss method.
  8. When the dough has the shape you want (about 9-12 inches/23-30 cm in diameter - for a 6 ounces/180g piece of dough), place it on the back of the jelly pan, making sure there is enough semolina/durum flour or cornmeal to allow it to slide and not stick to the pan. Slide the garnished pizza onto the stone in the oven or bake directly on the jelly pan. Close the door and bake for abour 5-8 minutes.
  9. After 2 minutes baking, take a peek. For an even baking, rotate 180°.
  10. If the top gets done before the bottom, you will need to move the stone or jelly pane to a lower shelf before the next round. On the contrary, if the bottom crisps before the cheese caramelizes, then you will need to raise the stone or jelly.
  11. Take the pizza out of the oven and transfer it to a cutting board or your plate. In order to allow the cheese to set a little, wait 3-5 minutes before slicing or serving.
Original recipe taken from The Bread Baker’s Apprentice by Peter Reinhart.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

mushroom risotto

As part of our fall feast on Saturday night I made mushroom risotto. Two winters ago I was a great lover of risotto, easily I made it once a week. I think Pete was a little risotto'ed out! However when we saw the lovely lobster and oyster mushrooms at the farmer's market, I knew that it would be a risotto night! This is a basic risotto, nothing to spectacular about it, but so yummy and filling. Topped with asiago cheese instead of parmigiano reggiano, it is a slightly different flavour. My favourite thing about risotto is that you can be super creative with it. So get out there and get mix match and enjoy a hearty dinner!

4 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp
3 cups assorted mushrooms roughly chopped
2 shallots, finely minced
2 cloves garlic
1 cup arborio rice
1/3 cup cooking sherry
4 cups veggie stock (approx)
1/3 cup grated asiago cheese
chopped garlic chives to top
  1. In a sauce pan, heat up veggie stock.
  2. Heat half of the olive oil and butter in a non-stick skillet. Add chopped mushrooms and allow to cook the water out.
  3. With a slotted spoon remove the mushrooms from the pan. Drain the "juices" to a bowl on the side.
  4. Heat up remainder of olive oil and butter, over med heat sautee onions until translucent - 8-10 minutes. Add garlic.
  5. Just before garlic and onion brown, add rice. Toast for about 90 seconds.
  6. Add cooking sherry. Stir and allow to be absorbed.
  7. Add mushroom juices that you had reserved, stir and allow to cook out for about 1-2 minutes.
  8. Add 1/3 cup stock, stir, allow to absorb, stir occasionally - I don't find you need to stir risotto constantly if you are using a non-stick pan. Repeat this step until the risotto is al dente.
  9. Remove from heat.
  10. Take almost all of the sauteed mushrooms (reserve enough to top the plated risotto) and add to the pan. Stir in the grated cheese (again reserving some for topping), stir and cover. Let sit for 3 minutes.
  11. Dish onto plates, top with reserved mushrooms, cheese and chives.
  12. Optional - drizzle with a little olive oil.
Serves 2

Saturday, October 25, 2008

last harvest: carrot apple soup

I was not looking forward to today. You see, it marked the last day of the farmer's market that is right around the corner from us. It couldn't be more than a 3 minute walk. I know there is the winter farmer's market on alternating weekends. But (insert whining voice) I would have to drive there...and I never seem to make it, let alone remember.

Our community garden plot is along the same the same road as the farmer's market. So off we went this morning, coffee's in hand, a happy puppy by our sides and a beautiful fall day awaiting us; I figured we would not only shop, but pull the last our carrots from the garden. The carrots have been slow in growing, I almost wonder if I planted some sort of dwarf carrot variation by mistake earlier on this summer. Regardless, they may be small, but they were plentiful and very tasty. I've been giving "bouquet's of carrots" when we have been visiting friends - maybe that is weird?!

At the market we saw the beautiful colours of autumn. Deep oranges, brilliant yellows, reds, and deep greens. After we harvested our 7 lbs of baby sized carrots (that is a lot of pinky sized carrots, let me tell you!), we picked up a bag full of organic lobster and oyster mushrooms, some fresh and crunchy gala apples and an amazing looking acorn squash. It doesn't sound like a lot, but with a little creativity it turned into a great three course dinner: cream of carrot apple soup, mushroom rissotto, and acorn squash/pear pie (I know, that sounds like such an odd combo).

Tonight's post is the soup. This recipe is totally of my own imagination (or so I thought until I googled carrot apple soup!), and as I was cooking I was just opening the fridge/cupboards trying to figure out what should go in it, the result was surprisingly tasty and rich.

1 medium onion, diced
1 tbsp butter
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp fresh grated ginger
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 gala apple, peeled and chopped
3 cups chopped carrots
5 cups veggie stock
1/2 cup whipping cream
salt to taste
chives to top

  1. In a dutchoven heat olive oil and butter, over medium heat saute onions for about 10 minutes until translucent.
  2. Add garlic, sugar, and ginger. Stir and allow to caramelize (about 3 more minutes).
  3. Add apple and carrots, soften for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Add veggie stock, bring to a medium simmer and cook for about 30 minutes.
  5. Remove from heat, with an immersion blender, or in batches in your blender, carefully puree soup.
  6. Stir in whipping cream.
  7. Season to taste.
  8. Top with chives.
Next time I would also top with savoury croutons. It would add a nice touch of salt, to juxtapose the sweet of the carrot and apple and a fabulous crunch to compliment something so rich and smooth.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

chicken pot pie

A new food blog has emerged, cute name too: Small Kitchen, Big Ideas. The couple who write this blog, have the right idea...they love food, and they like to create together. In reading their first food post, I smiled at the entry: Chicken Pot Pie.

Chicken pot pie is a quintessential comfort food in my world. I have lots of memories of my mom and I making them together in our kitchen and freezing them for a quick meal from the freezer. We also had the ones out of the box, don't get me wrong, everything wasn't always home made (sorry mom!) but nothing was like homemade.

Given that it has been a stunningly beautiful autumn weekend I knew Sunday night dinner had to be flavours of fall. I gave Pete the choice, lentil soup or chicken pot pie, and considering the title of the post, it's not too hard to figure out what he chose already. Truthfully he chose the most sensible option in terms of what we had the kitchen. We still had half a rotisserie chicken left in the fridge that should be used, so while he was out at field hockey. Into the kitchen to chop and bake I went.

I used mainly things we had around, that is one of the great things about pot pies. I also like double crusted pot pies, so I made the top and the bottom. And while I usually prefer personal sized pies, I thought I would make a full size one for the two of us and use the leftovers for lunch.

This recipe has enough filling for two pies, so I made one. And took a few ramekins filled them and just topped with some of the left over dough, making 3 small personal pot pies. Next time I would just drop the left over into a Tupperware container and through into the freezer; easy filling for next time.

Ingredients for pastry dough

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
1/4 pound cold unsalted butter, diced
1/2 to 2/3 cup ice water
1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water, for egg wash
Flaked sea salt and cracked black pepper

Ingredients for Filling
1 sweet yellow onion, diced
3 stalks celery, chopped
2 cloves garlic, diced
1 cup diced mushrooms
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
4 tbsp unsalted butter
2 small sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
2 large carrots, peeled and diced
4 cups chicken broth
1 cube bullion
1/2 cup all purpose flour
2/3 cup cream
2 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tbsp Italian seasoning
1/2 cup frozen corn
1/3 cup frozen peas
half a leftover rotisserie chicken chopped up (about 3 cups)
Directions for dough
  1. For the pastry, mix the flour, salt, and baking powder in a large bowl.
  2. Add the shortening and butter and mix quickly with your fingers until each piece is coated with flour. Using a pastry knife or two butter knives, cut the butter and shortening into the flour until the fat is the size of peas.
  3. Add the ice water; with a wooden spoon, mix only enough to moisten the dough and have it just come together.
  4. Dump the dough out onto a floured board and knead quickly into a ball.
  5. Wrap the dough in plastic and allow it to rest in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
Directions for the filling:
  1. In a large dutch oven heat up olive oil and butter over medium high heat.
  2. Saute onions, and celery for 5-10 minutes. Stir every few minutes to ensure it doesn't stick to the bottom of your pot.
  3. Heat up the chicken stock in a medium sized pot, add one cube of bullion.
  4. Blanch the carrots and sweet potatoes in the stock for 3 minutes, remove and set aside.
  5. Add the garlic. And mushrooms and cook for another 5-7 minutes.
  6. Add the flour and cook out the starch for about 2 minutes. Stirring constantly, do not burn.
  7. Add the hot chicken stock. Allow to come to a low simmer for a few minutes as you stir to thicken it.
  8. After 2-3 minutes add the salt, pepper, Italian seasoning and cream, cook for 1 minute.
  9. Add carrots, sweet potato, corn and peas. Stir until the filling comes to a low simmer. Remove from heat.
Directions for Assembly:
  1. Assemble the pie by rolling out half the dough, filling pie and topping with dough.
  2. Whisk egg, and brush lightly over pie top. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  3. Using aluminum foil protect edges of pie.
  4. Bake for 45 minutes at 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  5. Remove aluminum foil, return to oven for another 15 minutes. Once crust is golden remove from oven.
  6. Allow to set for 15 minutes. Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

thai chicken pizza

Pizza is a great quick and easy meal to make, especially on the BBQ. I will admit it, i am the one who cheats and buys ready made pizza dough from our bakery half a block away. For the $1.25 it costs per pound, how could you go wrong?

Things with yeast and I don't seem to work very well. Bread never is as light as it should be, same with homemade pizza dough... that being said, every once in a while I go back and revisit it and try again.

This is going to be a super quick post because I am leaving for Mexico in 3 hours! The only reason this is going up now is because I was trying to clean up my memory card to make lots of space available for pictures. In doing so, I came across this.

(enough for 1 medium sized pizza)
1/2 lb pizza dough
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp sesame seeds
1/3 cup peanut satay sauce
3 left over chicken satays cut up into chunks
3/4 cup grated mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup bean sprouts rinsed and dried as much as possible
1 large carrot, grated

  1. Heat BBQ to med/high heat - 400F
  2. Roll out pizza dough with rolling pin, or shape with your hands. I never really care about the shape, I often actually like the rustic square/round shape that results, I like to imagine it is more gourmet!
  3. Brush olive oil onto one side of pizza dough. Place this side down over the hot grill. Cover and let cook for about 5 minutes, until there are light grill marks on one side. While this is happening, brush the top side with the remaining olive oil.
  4. Flip pizza dough, have all ingredients on hand.
  5. Apply peanut sauce, scatter the chicken chunks and top with mozza. Sprinkle the sesame seeds around the crust.
  6. Close lid and let cook for about 6-7 min. This will fully cook the crust and melt the cheese.
  7. Remove from heat, place on cutting board, allow to cool down slighly, this would allow for easier cutting.
  8. Top with sprouts and grated carrots. Enjoy!

Monday, September 29, 2008

a day of canning

One of my favourite things about the fall is the ensuing harvest!

Yesterday was our second annual canning extravaganza. A group of my friends come together, everyone bringing bits and pieces for the day and then we mass produce our preserves and split everything at the end. Last year we canned Spicy Pickled Beans, Peaches, Hot Pepper and Garlic Jelly (courtesy of Fiber at 28 cooks) and a variety of jams. Now we loved everything but the jam. Collectively as a group we don't eat enough jam to warrant the volume we created...and truly you can only give away so much!

This year we repeated the pickled beans, and garlic jelly (too late for the peaches in our part of the world) and added garlic dill pickles to our repertoire. The most time consuming part of the day was pealing the garlic. Other than that, we were fairly efficient and were pleased with the results. Special thanks to Brent for playing photographer!

Below are all the recipes we used and the quantities that we used to make enough for 4 couples (no kids!).

Spicy Pickled Beans Ingredients

20 x 500 mL jars
9 lbs Young green beans
20 long, thin red chilies (cut into eighths)
80 large Garlic cloves (4 per jar)
1/4 tsp per jar Peppercorns (white, black, green or a mixture)
1/4 cup loosely-packed fresh dill sprigs per jar
12 + 1/2 cup water (12 ½ cup)
12 + 1/2 cup white vinegar (12 ½ cup)
1 1/4 cup table salt


  1. Trim and strings from the beans. Rinse well and set aside.
  2. Peal and prepare garlic, slice hot peppers (make sure to wear gloves, nasty burns can ensure if you aren't careful!)
  3. Sterilize jars and lids in not quite boiling water. When jars are cool enough to handle, fill each upright with beans until they are snug. Insert chilies and garlic cloves (preferably around outside so they can be seen). Divide peppercorns and dill among jars.
  4. Separately bring the water, vinegar and salt to a boil in a non-reactive sauce pan. Ladle the hot brine over the beans leaving about 1/2-inch head space.
  5. Wipe jar edge clean and screw on sterilized lid and band according to manufacturers instructions.
  6. Process in a boiling water bath for 12 minutes (no more, or you get soggy beans!). Remove and allow to cool completely at room temperature away from drafts.
  7. Check lids to make sure proper seal has been attained.
  8. Store for at least six weeks before using to allow flavours to develop. - YUM - so good with Caesars or just on their own.

Hot Pepper and Garlic Jelly
30 x 250 mL jars

6 red bell peppers, minced
4 cups fresh mix hot peppers, chopped
2 cups minced garlic
6 cups white vinegar
24 cups sugar - I know that is so much!
8 tsp cracked black pepper
4-5 pkt liquid Certo (4 for a more liquidy jelly and 5 for a little more strength to it)


  1. Place all ingredients in large saucepan and mix well. Bring to a boil, stirring often - watch though, because once this comes to a boil, it is a little temperamental.
  2. Boil for 5-6 minutes. Remove from heat and add Certo. Stir well.
  3. Pour into sterilized jars and cover with prepared lids to seal (specific canning instructions are below)

*The easiest way to can is this - wash and dry canning jars thoroughly. Place lids and rings in a pot of barely simmering water. Once jelly is ready, fill a jar, leaving about a 1/4" headspace. With tongs, remove lid and ring from water, place on jar, and tighten, although not all the way. Turn jar upside down on a dishtowel. Repeat with remaining jars. Allow to cool for 10-15 minutes. Turn upright and allow to seal. Tighten rings on all jars. If any of the jars don't seal, simply store in the refrigerator once cool. The other jars can be stored in a pantry for 8 months to a year, if it lasts that long.

A special thank you to Fiber for this great recipe. It is amazing with crackers and cheeses, mixed in cream cheese as a dip, my mom even uses it with sausage rolls. I imagine spring rolls would be nice with it too!

Garlic Dill Pickles
28 x 1 L jars

30 lbs fresh pickling baby cukes
13 1/2 cups vinegar
45 cups (11 Litres + 1 cup) water
3 3/8 cups pickling salt
10 Bunches of dill
Bowl of peppercorns (1/4 tsp per jar)
140 peeled whole garlic cloves


  1. Sterilize canning jars in a hot oven.
  2. Scrub cucumbers in cold water until clean.
  3. Bring a large vat of water, enough to cover all the cucumbers, to a boil.(I think we used about 30 Liters to cover up the cukes in the sink).
  4. Pour boiled water over cucumbers in a well cleaned and rinsed sink and let sit for 20 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile peel garlic, set aside peppercorns, clean and separate out dill bunches.
  6. In another pot add vinegar, water, salt to a boil - DO NOT over boil or salty pickles will be had by all
  7. Pull hot jars from oven and to each jar add a handful of dill (or more if you like dilly-ious pickles),5 cloves garlic, and peppercorns.
  8. Tightly pack jars with hot pickles - this turned into a race for us and was lots of fun to see which way worked best!
  9. Fill each jar with hot/boiling brine (~2 cups per jar), leaving 1/2" headspace.
  10. Adjust lids/rings and seal tightly - no processing needed.

A big thank you to my good friend, Tlell for this recipe she has shared. She and her mom make these pickles and as a receiver of such a nice treat, I must be sure to pass along credit where credit is due!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

daring baker's challenge: lavash crackers + dips

This has to be a record fast post. First of all I am up against the clock deadline of the Daring Bakers Challenge to post today. Second of all, we had company surprise us and drop in (and they are still here!) I'm not very good with that. I like notice and to feel prepared. It's not even making sure the house is tidy, it's just my mindset...

Anyhow as I write this the crackers are baking. This month's challenge was Lavash Crackers, a first for the Daring Bakers, courteousy of bakers from the "alternative baking list", Natalie from Gluten A Go Go and Shel of Musings From the Fishbowl teamed up to bring us a two-part challenge. After months of rich cakes, and involved recipes, this was lovely. Quick easy and you have everything you need in your pantry. The second part of the challenge was to create a topping or dip that was vegan friendly. Because I am up against the clock, I had to make something quick and easy (sorry!) and insert hummus. Yum!

For a great look at lots of delicious savoury niblets check out the Daring Baker's Blog Roll. And for the recipe, visit Natalie (Gluten A Go Go) and Shel (Musings From the Fishbowl). One thing I have noticed about this recipe is that the thinner you can roll the dough, the better it is. I thought I had rolled it out enough, but I just peaked in the oven and it resembles pita more than crispy crackers. Over at A Whisk and Spoon, she suggested rolling the dough with a pasta machine on the setting for lasagna - BRILLIANT! Now if only I had a pasta machine... next time, more muscles!

(worst picture ever!)

Hummus Ingredients
1 can drained chickpeas
1/4 cup tahini paste
5 cloves of roasted garlic
2 Tbsp olive oil
3 Tbsp sour cream (not necessary, but a nice touch if you are ok with making this non-vegan)
salt to taste

Take all ingredients, blend until creamy and ready to eat in a food processor. And you are done!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

easy chicken satay

One of the student groups I advise had a potluck dinner on Monday night. I was assigned "any type of meat". I have been busy lately, really when I look around, who isn't? Anyhow, as a result I was trying to think of something really quick and easy that I could prep in the morning before work, and then cook when I got to the potluck. Insert: chicken satay.

The thing I liked about this recipe is that I made chicken satay a few weeks ago and thought it was gross. I had added peanut butter to the marinade, based on a recipe I found on the internet and it made the chicken taste muddy. I don't know what real satay is supposed to be marinaded in, and truly, I don't care. The night before I was going to make this, I was drifting off to sleep trying to decide what to put in it (based on what we had in the house) And below is the result. In honour of my friend Cate, I must say, "Tasty, Tasty".

2 lbs, boneless + skinless chicken thighs
2 Tbsp fish sauce
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 Tbsp brown sugar
4 crushed garlic cloves
1 Tbsp sesame oil
3 Tbsp lime juice
1 Tbsp chili sambal sauce

  1. Combine all the ingredients into a large ziploc bag, massage so that all the ingredients combine.
  2. Allow to marinate in the fridge for at least 4 hours, meanwhile soak skewers to prevent burning.
  3. Heat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Thread chicken onto skewers, bake on a cookie sheet for about 10 minutes, turn and bake for another 5-7 minutes.
  4. Serve with your favourite Peanut Sauce. Mine is Asian Family's Speacilaty Foods Satay Peanut Sauce
Alternatively you could cook these over your grill. This is a lot of chicken, so adjust as needed, this was enough for 10 people + extras for leftovers. (Thai chicken pizza to come)


Monday, September 15, 2008

new zealand roast rack of lamb

To any vegetarian's or vegans I apologize. This post is for the carnivore...of which I am and with whom I live. One of our favourite meats is lamb. Truthfully it is something I had to develop a taste for and since really finding an appreciation for it, beef doesn't taste the same.

Pete's mom often made us a version of this. It is another one of those random pieces of paper on the bookshelf that I am cleaning out. Originally the recipe was for a leg of lamb. It requires a long marinating time (ahhhemmm...planning?) and is usually something we bbq over the grill. Tonight however we made it with a Frenched rack of lamb that I first seared and then roasted in the oven until it was a lovely medium-rare. I really liked the searing in melted butter in my cast iron pan. It adds a richness that the meat really benefited from.

I have no idea how to take any decent looking picture of meat, so here it is, in all it's glory on the cutting board.

1 rack of lamb, Frenched (8 popsicles)
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon rosemary
2 cloves minced garlic
1 teaspoon salt
4 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
6 Tablespoons dry white wine

2 Tablespoons butter
1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

  1. The night before, in a Tupperware container or in a large freezer bag, combine Worcestershire and wine
  2. Rub spices into meat.
  3. Drop meat into container/bag, massage and refrigerate. Turn halfway through.
  4. 1 hour before wanting to eat, take meat out of fridge and allow to come to room temp.
  5. Heat oven to 450 degrees.
  6. Place cast iron skillet in oven to heat up for 10 minutes.
  7. Add butter and olive oil to skillet, ensure it doesn't burn. Over a burner at medium (it will still have a lot of residual heat from the oven) sear each side of the rack (2 minutes a side). Baste the rack that isn't being seared with the melted butter/oil combo.
  8. One you have a nice sear on it that will keep the rack nice and rack, place skillet in the hot oven. For a total of 12 minutes (for medium rare), 6 minutes a side.
  9. Remove and allow to rest covered for 5-10 minutes.
  10. Slice and serve!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

pumpkin pie muffins with cream cheese filling

One of my favourite pies is a moist and flavourful pumpkin pie. I loved it as a kid and I love it as an adult. In the fall, closer to Thanksgiving (in Canada!) and Halloween you can easily find the 2 for $5 pies at Safeway or any local grocery store. As a child I loved those... as an adult, not so much. The crusts are moderately better than cardboard and the flavour of filling is, ok. A few years ago for Thanksgiving I found a recipe from somewhere on the internet that was a combination of pumpkin, maple syrup and cayenne pepper (yes, really). I'm not here for Thanksgiving this year, but that won't stop me from enjoying the bounty of pumpkin season...even if it has to come from a can (shhh... don't tell).

I wanted a pumpkin muffin that was rich and moist, and felt like a treat to eat. Stuffed with an gooey cream cheese filling, and topped with pumpkin seeds (which I didn't have so substituted walnuts instead) and a little brown sugar. As these baked the apartment smelled wonderful. Settle in with a cup of tea, wrapped in a blanket on the patio on a cool afternoon, and it is a lovely way to take a time out from the busyness of life.

Muffin Ingredients
4 eggs
1 cup oil
1 x 14 oz can pure pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
1 1/2 cup white sugar
1/8 cup brown sugar
1 tsp salt
2 1/4 tsp baking powder
1 1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1 1/2 cups AP flour
1 pinch cayenne pepper
1 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp baking soda

Cream Cheese Filling Ingredients
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup + 1 tbsp white sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 Tbsp butter
(you could easily half this and have less cream cheese filling in the muffin, that would be Pete's preference, I like the ooey gooey cream cheese filling)

Topping Ingredients
Small handful of chopped walnuts are pumpkin seeds
2 tbsp brown sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Lightly grease a muffin pan and line with muffin liners (I like to grease the pan even though I use the liners so the muffin tops don't get stuck to the pan)
  3. Combine filling ingredients until smooth, set aside.
  4. Combine eggs, oil, and pumpkin until smooth.
  5. Stir together dry ingredients and add to the wet.
  6. Fill muffin tin 3/4 of the way with batter.
  7. With two spoons, use one to create a well in each muffin and the other to drop in about a teaspoon of the cream cheese filling.
  8. Top with pumpkin seeds or walnuts and a little touch of brown sugar.
  9. Bake for about 20 minutes. Test the doneness by inserting a toothpick or skewer into the muffin part of the muffin (not the cream cheese part).
  10. Allow to set for about 15-20 minutes, this allows the cream cheese filling to settle a little more so that the muffins don't tear apart.

Makes 18 good sized muffins.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

easiest, tastiest steak marinade

I am on a house cleaning purge - perhaps instead of spring cleaning, I am fall cleaning. One place that needs some love is my cookbook bookcase. I am always ripping out recipes or being given recipes that I think "I will make one day" - I am sure many people have this as well.

Years ago a former colleague gave me this recipe. Photocopied from a book. Unfortunately I have no idea what the source is, so apologies to the creator. But in an effort to clean the shelf, random papers must go, and this needs to be added to the blog for posterity.

When I think of this recipe I think of the word, umami. The kitchen even smells great when the steak is marinating! No picture, but just know that when this all comes together and you cook your steak perfectly it is a great addition to a meal from the grill!

1 cup dark soy sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
2 cloves finally minced garlic cloves
1 Tbsp finely chopped fresh ginger
(sometimes I used ground ginger from the spice rack and that works fine too)

freshly ground pepper to taste
1/4 cup of rice wine vinegar (or juice from 1/2 a lemon)
1 Tbsp cornstarch (or tapioca starch)

  1. Mix all the ingredients together in a non-reactive dish.
  2. Add the meat, turn to coat and marinate for 10-30 minutes. Turn meat half way through to ensure equal marinating. Do not marinate overnight, as this is a fairly salty marinade.
  3. Cook steaks to the doneness you like. Be sure to allow them to rest for 4 minutes and the quickly return to grill to heat up for 30 seconds or so.
** Enough for 4 steaks

Thursday, September 11, 2008

chewy chocolate chip cookies

I love summer...but sometimes I love fall even more. There is something so lovely about the fresh air, the consistently warm weather, the crisp evening air. AND, I feel like the fall brings on the baking bug for me. The call of the oven is louder because the house isn't melting from July/August heat! And work slows down as everyone gets settled in once classes start.

All week long I have been brainstorming things I want to make: cookies, muffins (pumpkin and zucchini) and homemade bread (to accompany several soups I want to make!). I've been reading the food blogs and it seems like everyone is picking up again! One of my favourite bloggers, Annie, made some delicious looking Thick and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies. I thought I would take a stab at them given that I was craving baking, and here they are...

2 cups plus 2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
12 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted and cooled until warm
1 cup brown sugar, packed
½ cup granulated sugar
1 large egg plus 1 egg yolk
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 ½ cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

(If I was to make these again, I would use less chocolate chips and add some pecans or walnuts to the batter!)


  1. Adjust oven racks to upper and lower-middle positions. Preheat oven 325°. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Whisk dry ingredients together in a medium bowl; set aside.
  3. With electric mixer, or by hand, mix butter and sugars until thoroughly combined.
  4. Beat in egg, yolk, and vanilla until combined.
  5. Add dry ingredients and beat at low-speed just until combined. Stir in chocolate chips.
  6. Roll a scant half-cup of dough into a ball. Holding dough ball in fingertips of both hands, pull apart into two equal halves. Rotate halves 90 degrees and, with jagged surfaces facing up, place formed dough onto cookie sheet, leaving ample room between each ball.
  7. Bake, rotate cookie sheet by 180 degrees halfway through baking, until cookies are light golden brown and outer edges start to harden yet centers are still soft and puffy (approximately 11-14 minutes). Do not overbake.
  8. Cool cookies on sheets until able to lift without breaking. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Source: adapted from Annie's Eats, originally from Baking Illustrated

Saturday, August 23, 2008

gummy creations

August is always a crazy month for me. Getting ready for classes to start again, and for the return of students I still am amazed how fast the month flies by. So while I haven't been posting, I have been busy, and busy with lots of food related stuff.

We went to the family reunion in the Okanagan, and brought back with us, some peaches, pears, cherries, tomatoes and peppers...and so I have been busy canning some new stuff (to be posted later when I get a decent picture of the jars in natural light).

As I was sitting at the table looking at the freshly canned Roma tomatoes, I started to think about how I could have walked about 50 feet to the little grocery store practically out my door and picked up a tin of tomatoes for a measly buck something, there is something so satisfying doing it myself.

Then, as it often does, my mind wondered away and I started thinking about random things I could try to make from home.... I am not sure if anyone has ever watched "How It's Made", but it tends to be something that catches my attention, perhaps because it helps me think about how I could make things that we so often run out to the store to buy. I just love the challenge of trying to make something at least once...and so came the ah, ha moment when I thought, why don't I make my own gummy candies. Truly I have never desired to do it, but I figured the kitchen is already a mess, why not!? The result is below... not exactly the same as the junk you can buy at the corner store, but still kind of fun. We made the recipe below twice, first raspberry flavoured and then lime. I'm looking forward to trying to make these with my nephew!


1 package flavored jello
6 packages unflavored gelatin
1/2 cup cold water


1. In a small saucepan, mix both the flavored and the unflavored gelatin.

2. Stir the gelatins up. Pour cold water in mixture and stir with a spatula until you have a gloppy-chunky blob not unlike play-doh.

3. Turn heat stove top burner on medium and melt blob.

4. Stir the blob constantly until melted.

5. Spray molds very lightly with a vegetable spray like Pam.

6. Pour the melted mixture into miniature bear molds, or other small candy type molds.

7. Place filled molds in freezer for 10 minutes to cool.

** I don't have candy molds but I do have silicon shapes ice cube trays from Ikea...and as a result, flowers and puzzle pieces. Voila!
Recipe from Marianne Dambra

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

dulce de leche pecan ice cream

At the wedding we went to a few weeks ago, instead of having a seating chart, there was a table with escort cards laid out. On each card there was the name of a guest, their table number and a favourite recipe of the newlywed's to take home (and hopefully make!).

This recipe comes from Pete's escort card. And given that he loves caramel and ice cream, we knew we would have to make it. I have had at the happy couple's house before, and it didn't disappoint when we made it - so a big thank you to them!

This is a delicious ice cream to is not however a healthy treat, sweet and rich - so to make on occasion is good, just not something you may need to have in you freezer at all times. We made a few adaptations to the recipe, so below is what we ended up making.

1 c milk, plus 2 T
1 c whipping cream
4 egg yolks
1/4 c sugar
1 jars dulche de leche (or 1 can prepared sweetened condensed milk)
1/2 c pecan halves
Freshly ground black pepper


  1. In a small saucepan, heat 1 c milk and the cream over medium heat, just until bubbles appear around edge of pan. Remove from heat and set aside.
  2. In a bowl, beat together egg yolks and sugar. Add warm milk mixture.
  3. Wipe saucepan clean. Return custard mixture to pan and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until custard thickens and coats back of a spoon, 8-10 minutes.
  4. Immediately remove from heat and strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a clean bowl.
  5. Stir 1/3 can dulce de leche into warm custard.
  6. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing it directly on surface of custard, and let cool completely.
  7. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
  8. Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C). Spread pecans on a baking sheet, sprinkle with 1 T of water, and season to taste with pepper. Toast pecans until fragrant and lightly browned, 7-8 minutes. Let cool, then roughly chop. Set aside.
  9. Freeze chilled dulce de leche custard in an ice-cream maker. Transfer to a chilled freezer-proof container and fold in toasted pecans. In a small bowl, mix half of the remaining dulce de leche with 2 T milk, then fold into ice cream just enough to form a marbled effect. Freeze until service.
  10. Accompany ice cream with 1/3 can dulce de leche.
To prepare sweetened condensed milk into dulce de leche:
  1. In a large dutch oven, filled with water, bring water to a rolling boil.
  2. Carefully drop can of condensed milk into water, ensure it is fully covered, preferably with an inch or two of water.
  3. Keep water boiling at a low boil for 3 hours.
  4. You will need to keep adding water to the pot to keep the can covered, this allows can to be under constant and equal pressure. (I checked every 15-20 minutes_
  5. After 3 hours (though many sites say anywhere for as short as 90 minutes) remove can from water and allow to cool.
  6. You can store the can in the fridge once prepared unopened, and it would last for months.
**Please be careful while preparing the dulce de leche - it can be a little dangerous!**

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma, TASTE

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

filo wrapped coho salmon

So the mussels (below) were the appetizers as part of our seafood extravaganza. And the filo wrapped salmon was the entrée. It was quite possibly one of the fastest proteins I have ever prepared...with the goat cheese it was pretty rich. Tasty but rich. Next time I think I would cream together the goat cheese with a little bit of honey dijon or something like that to cut the richness just a bit. What I did love was how beautifully the filo turned out. I am always apprehensive to work with it, for fear of drying out or tearing, but then whenever I do, always a happy surprise!

(Lighting in the picture is horrible!)

2 coho salmon fillets - personalize size, de-boned and skinned
3 Tbsp crumbled herb goat cheese
1 lemon 5-10 thin garlic chives
2 Tbsp melted butter
2 sheets filo paper
salt and pepper

  1. Pre-heat oven to 400 F
  2. Lay one sheet of filo out. Cover the other with a damp cloth/paper towel to ensure that it doesn't dry out.
  3. Brush top half of the sheet with melted butter.
  4. Flip bottom half of sheet up onto the top, brush with butter.
  5. Pat salmon dry, season with salt and pepper.
  6. Place de-boned and skinned fillet on with 3 inches from the end of the sheet.
  7. Top salmon with half of the crumbled cheese, 1/4 of the chives - chopped up into small pieces, and some juice from half of the lemon.
  8. Fold top, bottom and short side of the filo ont the salmon, and then fold the salmon along the long side of the filo.
  9. Brush outer filo with butter.
  10. Repeat for second fillet.
  11. Place packs on a cookie sheet and bake until golden brown - approximately 20 minutes.
  12. Garnish (if you would like to!) with the other half of the lemon and remaining chives
Best served with a fresh light garden salad!

Serves 2.

Monday, July 28, 2008

chorizo mussels

Every summer I have a few seafood kicks. Living on the west coast, there is an abundance of delights from the sea. A few months ago there was the Spotted Prawn Festival in Vancouver...fresh fresh fresh meaty prawns, cooked simply either steamed or grilled and a little garlic butter - delish!

Today after work I wondered down to Granville Island, visited our favourite fish shop and picked up a few pounds of mussels and wild coho salmon fillets...and out of it we had a tasty summer seafood fest.

Here is our appetizer: chorizio mussels - the heat was delayed, using fresh chili's would have a stronger intense heat, the chorizo was more subtle.

2 Tbsp olive oil
1/3 diced yellow onion
1 Roma tomato diced
3 cloves diced garlic
1 pinch salt
1 large chorizo sausage, sliced
1 Tbsp chili flakes
1/3 cup white wine
1/3 cup vegetable stock
2 lbs mussels, cleaned - only use tightly closed mussels
1/3 cup heavy cream
4-5 basil leaves

Lots slices of crusty bread

  1. Over medium heat, heat olive oil in a large heavy bottomed pot (I used a dutch oven)
  2. Add to garlic, onions and salt to the pot, sauté until they begin to sweat, do not let brown
  3. Add chorizo sausage and chili flakes, sauté for about 2 minutes, stir occasionally
  4. Add tomatoes, allow to warm through
  5. Add white wine and vegetable stock - bring to a boil
  6. Add cleaned mussels, cover and let steam for approximately 5 minutes
  7. Once the majority of all the mussels have opened, remove from heat.
  8. Transfer mussels to a large bowl, leave sauce in the pot.
  9. Add heavy cream, bring to simmer and allow to thicken - about 2 minutes.
  10. Take all but one leaf of the basil, tear and add to pot, stir and pour into bowl with mussels.
  11. Garnish with remaining leaf.
  12. Serve with bread - use it to absorb all the tasty broth
NB: Only eat the mussels that have fully opened - the other's should be tossed.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

musings and gardening

We have been busy this month! Between a wedding of good friends and all the excitement, events and errands around that, working many evenings and family there have been lots of dinners out and food ordered or baking has been something that has not been on my mind at all! Sure, we've bbq'd burgers on the grill, and I've baked some vanilla cupcakes, but nothing to write on the blog about! But not for long, I have a list as long as my arm of things I am looking forward to make over the next few weeks, and can't wait!

What I have been up to has kept me outdoors. Living in an 800 - something square foot apartment I have really been missing the joy of gardening. I have a vault full of memories of being a kid and watching my dad garden, and every few summers my mom would put in a veggie garden. I loved watching the little seedlings start out scrony and over the course of a month or two bush out, fill with fragrant blossoms and in the case of the veggies produce food that could make it to the table in mere minutes.

Last year I put my name on a wait list for a community garden plot, as luck would have it, this year I got a large plot for me to with it whatever my little heart wanted - I was stoked! The plot is about 8'x20' it is on a slope, so I went with a fairly traditional approach, basic rows filled with:
green beens, sugar peas, butternut squash, carrots, onions, chives, beets, radishes and lettuce (I planted spinach but it totally bolted in the never ending June rain). I also planted several sweet pea plants - a little floral beauty. The picture below is the finished product of a hot afternoon in May turning the soil and planting.

And today, I finally got the chance to go and collect our bounty! Don't get me wrong, over the last weeks I have picked a few sugar peas off the plant, and some lettuce leaves, but today I went prepared, basket and shears in hand... and I walked away with an exciting assortment - bring on the kitchen now! I will get back in the kitchen -- till next week then!

In the picture from left to right:
Chives, Sugar Peas, Butter Lettuce, Green Beans, Sweat Peas, Radishes

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

o canada, our home and native land...

No recipes in this post. But, in honour of my fair country's 141st birthday, we did the typically Canadian thing: pack the car, pack some beer and get out of the city...and it was a great time for all.

This past weekend we went camping at Shuswap Provincial Park. I love camping. Love it. I don't know if it is the childhood memories, of big campfires, swimming in a lakes, having fun with friends and cousins, but there is something I just adore about packing up the car and heading out to the "wilderness". Pete likes to point out that how we camp, is not real is car camping. Fair enough. He is the strap on a 70 lb pack and walk up a mountain. I am the person who is completely satisfied to have a car to zip to the store if I need anything.

My favourite thing about camping now as an adult is to cook a delicious meal with pretty basic ingredients, and the kicker, is to try to cook everything over open flames. We always bring our camping stove, just in case there is a campfire ban, but there is NOTHING like grilled steak with a smoky wood flavour. A few pictures for fun are below. Our first night's dinner was delish, grilled steaks, mushroom risotto and salad - no picture of that, we were too hungry to take any!

Breakfast: Eggs, Roasted Potatoes and Sausages

Dinner: Teriyaki Salmon, Grilled Asparagus and Roasted Potatoes

Sunday, June 29, 2008

daring baker's challenge: danish braid

For some reason I thought that starting this month's daring baker's challenge at 8:00 pm was a good idea - what was I thinking? Before I even get to that point, let me start by saying that I thought that this month's challenge of Danish Braid sounded exciting, challenging yes, but I was excited to try to create a laminate dough...and i loved that I had everything needed for the recipe except for the whole milk so there was no need spend $50+ on ingredients - so than you to Ben and Kelly who hosted this month!

Back to the 8:00 pm start, I had read through the ingredients, I was prepared to do all the dough turning, and leave it in the fridge overnight to bake the next day. Then came the slow unravellings of what could have been a long evening. My dough mixer wouldn't power up. I had run out of ground cardamom apparently, so had to crack the pods and pound to smithereens with my mortar and pestle. Then I made a batch of dough and forgot to add the eggs, but didn't know until had made the first well and had the liquid pour out all over the counter...and then finally, finally after remaking the dough, rolling out and turning it, but wait, one more mess to clean up, I spilt the carton of milk all over the counter - sigh - by 1:30 am, I was ready to go to bed.

I seldom loose my patience in the kitchen, but boy I am sure Pete was glad that I had something to get my frustrations out on! I enjoyed the process of braiding, it was interesting to see how such a simple step could create something that looked well presented. Below is the result - the dough didn't rise as much as I would have liked.

For the dough (Detrempe)
1 ounce fresh yeast or 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
1/2 cup whole milk
1/3 cup sugar
Zest of 1 orange, finely grated
3/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 vanilla bean, split and scraped
2 large eggs, chilled
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
3-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt

For the butter block (Beurrage)
1/2 pound (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour

Apple Filling
4 Fuji or other apples, peeled, cored, and cut into ¼-inch pieces
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 vanilla bean, split and scraped
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
4 tablespoons unsalted butter

Directions: Dough
  1. Combine yeast and milk in a bowl with a hand mixer on low speed or a whisk.
  2. Add sugar, orange zest, cardamom, vanilla extract, vanilla seeds, eggs, and orange juice and mix well.
  3. Sift flour and salt on your working surface and make a fountain (My edit after round two - start in a large bowl, make well and add liquid, combine in the same method as follows). Make sure that the “walls” of your fountain are thick and even.
  4. Pour the liquid in the middle of the fountain.
  5. With your fingertips, mix the liquid and the flour starting from the middle of the fountain, slowly working towards the edges.
  6. When the ingredients have been incorporated start kneading the dough with the heel of your hands until it becomes smooth and easy to work with, around 5 to 7 minutes. You might need to add more flour if the dough is sticky.

Directions: Butter Block
  1. Combine butter and flour in the bowl of a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and beat on medium speed for 1 minute.
  2. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and the paddle and then beat for 1 minute more, or until smooth and lump free.
  3. Set aside at room temperature.
Directions: Turning the Dough
  1. After the detrempe has chilled 30 minutes, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface.
  2. Roll the dough into a rectangle approximately 18 x 13 inches and ¼ inch thick.
  3. The dough may be sticky, so keep dusting it lightly with flour.
  4. Spread the butter evenly over the center and right thirds of the dough.
  5. Fold the left edge of the detrempe to the right, covering half of the butter.
  6. Fold the right third of the rectangle over the center third. The first turn has now been completed. Mark the dough by poking it with your finger to keep track of your turns, or use a sticky and keep a tally.
  7. Place the dough on a baking sheet, wrap it in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  8. Place the dough lengthwise on a floured work surface. The open ends should be to your right and left.
  9. Roll the dough into another approximately 13 x 18 inch, ¼-inch-thick rectangle.
  10. Again, fold the left third of the rectangle over the center third and the right third over the center third. No additional butter will be added as it is already in the dough. The second turn has now been completed.
  11. Refrigerate the dough for 30 minutes.
  12. Roll out, turn, and refrigerate the dough two more times, for a total of four single turns. Make sure you are keeping track of your turns. Refrigerate the dough after the final turn for at least 5 hours or overnight.
  13. The Danish dough is now ready to be used. If you will not be using the dough within 24 hours, freeze it. To do this, roll the dough out to about 1 inch in thickness, wrap tightly in plastic wrap, and freeze. Defrost the dough slowly in the refrigerator for easiest handling. Danish dough will keep in the freezer for up to 1 month.

Directions: Apple Filling
  1. Toss all ingredients except butter in a large bowl.
  2. Melt the butter in a sauté pan over medium heat until slightly nutty in color, about 6 - 8 minutes.
  3. Then add the apple mixture and sauté until apples are softened and caramelized, 10 to 15 minutes. If you’ve chosen Fujis, the apples will be caramelized, but have still retained their shape.
  4. Pour the cooked apples onto a baking sheet to cool completely before forming the braid. (If making ahead, cool to room temperature, seal, and refrigerate.) They will cool faster when spread in a thin layer over the surface of the sheet. After they have cooled, the filling can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Left over filling can be used as an ice cream
Putting it all together
(Makes enough for 2 large braids)

1 recipe Danish Dough (see below)
2 cups apple filling, jam, or preserves (see below)

For the egg wash: 1 large egg, plus 1 large egg yolk

  1. Line a baking sheet with a silicone mat or parchment paper.
  2. On a lightly floured surface, roll the Danish Dough into a 15 x 20-inch rectangle, ¼ inch thick. If the dough seems elastic and shrinks back when rolled, let it rest for a few minutes, then roll again. Place the dough on the baking sheet.
  3. Along one long side of the pastry make parallel, 5-inch-long cuts with a knife or rolling pastry wheel, each about 1 inch apart. Repeat on the opposite side, making sure to line up the cuts with those you’ve already made.
  4. Spoon the filling you’ve chosen to fill your braid down the center of the rectangle. Starting with the top and bottom “flaps”, fold the top flap down over the filling to cover. Next, fold the bottom “flap” up to cover filling. This helps keep the braid neat and helps to hold in the filling. Now begin folding the cut side strips of dough over the filling, alternating first left, then right, left, right, until finished. Trim any excess dough and tuck in the ends.
Proofing and Baking
  1. Spray cooking oil (Pam…) onto a piece of plastic wrap, and place over the braid. Proof at room temperature or, if possible, in a controlled 90 degree F environment for about 2 hours, or until doubled in volume and light to the touch.
  2. Near the end of proofing, preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Position a rack in the center of the oven.
  3. Bake for 10 minutes, then rotate the pan so that the side of the braid previously in the back of the oven is now in the front. Lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees F, and bake about 15-20 minutes more, or until golden brown. Cool and serve the braid either still warm from the oven or at room temperature. The cooled braid can be wrapped airtight and stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 days, or freeze for 1 month.