Friday, January 8, 2010

Ezekiel Bread

I have had a few requests since my teaser for the Ezekiel Bread. I have yet to make another batch of this bread, after my overdone batch a couple of days ago (which made great chicken feed!) I will post the recipe now, and hopefully in the next day or so, I will get around to making it again. When I do, I will get some pictures to add to this post.

Ezekiel Bread (also known as Bible Bread) has come about from the scripture Ezekiel 4:9 "Take thou also unto thee wheat, and barley, and beans, and lentiles, and millet, and fitches, and put them in one vessel, and make thee bread thereof, according to the number of the days that thou shalt lie upon thy side, three hundred and ninety days shalt thou eat thereof." So according to the Bible, this combination sustained Ezekiel for 390 days.

Dairy products, meats and eggs contain all eight of the food-supplied amino acids our bodies need. Most vegetables and grains are "incomplete proteins" (with the exception of soy). Grains such as wheat tend to be low in lysine, while beans and legumes are high in lysine. Beans are low in methionine and cysteine, where grains have a higher content of those. When we eat beans and grains together all of the essential amino acids are provided. By milling your flour at home you can combine beans, grains and legumes to create a bread which is a complete protein.

Food For Life, the company that commercially produces Ezekiel Bread for health food stores, posts the following on their website (here ) "We discovered when these six grains and legumes are sprouted and combined, an amazing thing happens. A complete protein is created that closely parallels the protein found in milk and eggs. In fact, the protein quality is so high, that it is 84.3% as efficient as the highest recognized source of protein, containing all 9 essential amino acids. There are 18 amino acids present in this unique bread – from all vegetable sources – naturally balanced in nature."

So take what you will from the above statement. I am not a scientist, so I can't validate their "facts". My family enjoys this bread, and I do believe that combining the grains with the legumes makes for a more complete protein. Whether one can survive on this solely for 390 days, I won't put that to the test! This bread is more of a batter type bread than a dough that will form a ball. You want to mix it in your mixer until it is elastic (kind of stretchy). It will tend to climb your paddle if you mix it at too high of a speed. This recipe does require use of a grain mill that will handle grinding beans. If you don't have a mill, there are a few places online where you can purchase the grains already milled. I would tend to worry about the flours going rancid quickly or not all of the components of the whole grain being included in the milling process. Whole Wheat flour at the store does not include the wheat germ as the oils tend to start degrading after 72 hours. One reader mentioned eating Ezekiel muffins. I had never thought to make this into muffins, but I don't see why you couldn't. In fact, maybe when I make it, I will take one pans worth and try it! I like to make up bags of the grains mix ahead of time. I just measure out the whole grains and beans and store them (1 recipe worth per bag) in gallon size ziplock bags. Then when it comes time to grind, I just have to pour the contents of the bag into my grain mill. If you are concerned about your mill not grinding the beans at the same time as the grains, you can put them in a smaller bag inside the bigger bag. Then you can run the beans through the mill at a larger setting and then decrease the setting size for the remaining grains.

Ezekiel Bread

2 1/2 C (16 oz) Hard Red Wheat
1 1/2 C (10 oz) Spelt
1/2 C (4 oz) Barley
1/4 C (1 3/4 oz) Millet
1/4 C (1 3/4 oz) Lentils
2 T Great Northern beans
2 T Pinto beans
2 T Kidney beans
4 C warm water
1 C honey
1/2 C vegetable oil
2 T active dry yeast
2 tsp salt

Grind grains in a mill. Mix water, honey, oil and yeast in mixing bowl and set aside 5 minutes until frothy. Add salt and all of flour to yeast mixture, mixing until smooth and elastic (about 7 minutes). Pour into 3 greased bread pans. Place in oven on lowest heat (170*) and allow to rise to within 1/2" of tops of pans (15-20 minutes). Once risen (WITHOUT OPENING OVEN DOOR), turn heat up to 350* Bake 45-50 minutes or until nicely browned.

Dark Brownies

These are a variation of Alton Brown's brownies. They are dark and delicious. I have been making these brownies for a couple of years now. They are my families favorite. The bad thing about them is this recipe only makes an 8X8 pan. The good thing about them is this recipe only makes an 8X8 pan ;-) A small piece goes a long way to satisfying you. They are meant to be fudgy in the center, so don't overcook them! I use my kitchen scale to measure the flour and cocoa powder (I am REALLY trying to convince you to buy a kitchen scale. This is the most accurate way to measure.) The cocoa powder should be sifted to break up the lumps. I just put my mixing bowl and sieve on the scale, Tare it out and then measure the cocoa powder right into the sieve. You can Tare it out again and add the flour to the cocoa powder as well. Then just stir the powders through the sieve with a spoon and it is combined and lump free! Make sure your brown sugar is soft, otherwise it won't cream well with the eggs. I like to line my pan with parchment paper. I leave edges long enough so I can lift the brownies right out of the pan when they are completely cooled. This makes for easier cutting (and easy clean up!). If you have a health food store locally that has a bulk foods section, see if they have cocoa powder. It is much cheaper if you buy it in bulk than at the grocery store. You can buy as little or as much as you need. I store it in a quart jar.

Dark Brownies

4 large eggs
1 C sugar
1 C brown sugar
100 grams (1 1/4 C) natural cocoa powder (NOT dutch processed)
68 grams (1/2 C) AP flour
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 T instant coffee granules
2 tsp vanilla
8 oz butter, melted

Beat eggs until light. Add sugars and beat well. Sift dry ingredients together and add to egg mixture. Add vanilla and slowly add butter while the mixer is still running. Pour into a parchment lined 8X8 pan (or grease and flour your pan well) Bake at 325* for 50-60 minutes. If you can hold out, these brownies are best when cooled completely, and even better the next day!) I had to hide the brownies last night from my family!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Unstuffed Cabbage

My mother's parents are of Polish descent {yes that makes me part Pollock ;-)} My mom learned very early on how to cook. Grandma didn't much enjoy cooking, and it was either cook (for a family of 7) or clean up (after same family of 7!) Mom loved to cook (and still does) She is the BEST cook I know! I strive to be half as good as her. One dish I remember fondly having on occasion is Guampki. These are basically cabbage leaves, stuffed with a meat mixture and cooked in a tomato based sauce. To make them even more divine, salt pork is rendered and the crispy bits are sprinkled on each serving. MMMMmmmmm! I came across this Unstuffed Cabbage recipe recently at My Tasty Treasures ***{warning this food blog is for mature audiences only. If you get offended easily or talks of a sexual nature embarrass you... choose not to follow this link. I happen to think she is a great cook and can overlook her naughtiness in order to access her wonderful recipes. (k, so in reality I'm laughing my head off most of the time) }***

Back to the recipe! I was intrigued by the concept of this dish. My family LOVED it! I loved how easy it is, and that it only used one pot. We did still top ours with some ketchup and I didn't think about using salt pork until after the fact. I do believe next time I make this dish... I will buy the salt pork! (Bacon could be substituted, if you are not familiar with or don't want to use salt pork.) Since I still have an abundance of wild game, I used a pound of ground deer and a pound of ground beef. The deer was undetectable in this dish. I hope you enjoy my slightly tweaked version of this recipe!

Cool Kitchen Gadget: I LOVE using the Pampered Chef mix n chop tool for breaking down hamburger. After my burger was put in the colander to drain off the grease, I put my stewed tomatoes in the stockpot and used the tool to break up the tomatoes as well!
Unstuffed Cabbage

2 lbs ground beef
1 medium onion chopped
6 cloves garlic, minced
2 (14.5 oz) cans Italian diced tomatoes
1 (6 oz) can tomato paste
1 1/4 C water
1 T dried parsley flakes
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 small head cabbage, shredded

Brown the ground beef, onion and garlic in a stockpot. Drain the grease and add the remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil then simmer covered for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, stirring occasionally.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Easy Skillet Chili

This dish is super easy and only requires one pot. When I cook rice, I like to do it in my rice cooker. I always make extra (it freezes well). I never have luck cooking rice in casseroles. Inevitably, the rice is underdone and everything else is turning to mush. Nathan loves porcupine meatballs, and the rice was NEVER done in the time it was supposed to be. That dish is what has converted me to using cooked rice in any recipe that calls for the rice to cook with the dish. Nathan isn't a big rice eater, so this dish adds some rice in our diet without being so pronounced. I used half ground deer in this recipe and you could not detect it at all. Another recipe to use to hide gamey flavors from the littles! It may not look like much, but it is hearty, satisfying and there are NO complaints from anyone when eating this. BTW... if you wanted to keep it a tad on the healthier side, you could omit the cheese, or just sprinkle a bit on the top. It will still taste yummy!

Easy Skillet Chili

2lb ground beef
1 large bell pepper
1 med onion
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 T Chili powder
2 tsp oregano
2 tsp salt
1 (15 oz) can kidney beans, undrained
1 (15 oz) can black beans, undrained
2 (15 oz) cans corn, drained
1 (6 oz) can olives, sliced
2 C cooked rice
2 C V8 juice
2 C grated cheddar cheese

Brown hamburger with onion, bell pepper and garlic. Drain any grease and return back to pot and add remaining ingredients. Warm through and serve!

Blog stalking

So I can't keep away from blog stalking! I LOVE being able to peek into others lives and see how they are doing AND what they are cooking! I was doing this last night in the comfort of my bed (thank you Honey for the laptop!!!) I had a batch of Ezekial Bread in the oven (3 loaves). In my getting swept away with reading about others lives, I forgot about the bread... until I could smell it! My bedroom is a bit away from the kitchen. So needless to say, if I can smell it in my room, it's overdone! I was so disappointed! Nathan was planning on rabbit hunting this morning, and I wanted to pack him a lunch with some sandwiches. I did have some bread left over from last time I made bread, but it was stale and only enough for one sandwich. So for breakfast I made him eggs and ham on (crust removed) toast. So at least he had a hearty breakfast! (and I did pack more goodies in his lunchbag to make up for only one sandwich) One of my favorite food blogs is celebrating their two year anniversary (I can't wait for mine to "mature!") They are having a giveaway to celebrate it. Check them out at Grumpys Honeybunch and enter to win. (just promise you'll share some truffles with me if you win!) I will make more bread soon, so I will share the recipe with you when I have a pic to go with it!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Chicken and Dumplings

Hmmmm.... What to have for dinner when you didn't plan ahead!?! I wasn't thinking until this morning that we didn't have any meat defrosted. I have been blog stalking at Sisters Cafe (one of my FAVORITE food blogs... go check them out!) They posted last year (O.K.... so that was only 4 days ago ;-)...I couldn't resist) a recipe for chicken and dumplings. I had Costco canned chicken, so I decided to adapt the recipe and make it for dinner. It was super fast, easy AND delicious. I do think it would taste better with chicken not from a can, but in a pinch it works! I was also out of Poultry Seasoning, so I made up my own! The dumplings were flavorful, light and airy. I hope you enjoy my version... we all did :-)
Chicken and Dumplings

3 (12.5 oz) cans chicken chunks (or 3 C diced, cooked chicken)
1/2 C butter
1/2 C flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
2 (14 oz) cans chicken broth (afterthought... If I were to make this again with canned chicken, I would use the juice from the chicken as part of the broth, but would not add the extra salt)
1 (10 3/4 oz) can cream of chicken soup
2 C flour
1 T baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp poultry seasoning (1/4 tsp each of rosemary, marjoram, sage, thyme and a dash of nutmeg)
1 tsp celery seeds
1 C milk
1/4 C vegetable oil

Spread chicken evenly in a 9 X 13 pan. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over med high heat. Add the flour and cook for a couple of minutes to cook out the "raw" taste of the flour. Add the chicken broth and cook, stirring frequently until it is thickened. Stir in the cream of chicken soup until it is smooth and pour over the chicken. In a medium bowl, combine dry dumpling ingredients. Add the milk and oil all at once and stir just until it is combined. I used a medium (# 40) scoop to drop the dough onto the gravy. I yielded 18 dumplings. Bake uncovered at 425* for 25 minutes.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Chocolate Crackle Cookies

I have a chef in training! My youngest daughter Ellie (7) loves to help in the kitchen. Of course I have encouraged her with an extension of my cookbook addiction. She has a good start. So far she has 4 cookbooks that cater to children cooking in the kitchen. She REALLY wanted to make these chocolate crackle cookies so we started them yesterday and finished them tonight. Freezer space around here is pretty limited, so instead of popping the dough in the freezer for the allotted time, we chilled them overnight. This recipe needs some tweaking. The chilled dough was still pretty soft and we were having a hard time getting it to come out of the scoop. I used a #60 scoop and got 34 cookies out of this batch. The chocolate flavor was amazing and the cookies were pillow soft. Ellie is so proud of her creation. She had so much fun rolling the dough in the powdered sugar and knocking off the extra powdered sugar using a sieve. She can't wait for school tomorrow so she can share some with her bus driver.

Chocolate Crackle Cookies

2 oz unsweetened chocolate
2 eggs, room temperature
2/3 C sugar
1/4 C vegetable oil
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 C whole wheat flour
1/2 C AP flour
Place chocolate in a small microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on 70% power for 1 minute. Stir and continue heating in 15 second increments until chocolate is completely melted and smooth. Let stand until cool. Scrape into mixer bowl. Add eggs (if they are not room temperature they will harden the chocolate), sugar, oil, baking powder, vanilla and cinnamon. Beat at medium speed until combined. Slowly add the flours, continuing to beat until a soft dough forms. You will need to scrape the sides of the bowl periodically. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place in the freezer 30-60 minutes or until the dough is easy to shape. Pour a cup or so of powdered sugar into a small shallow bowl (feel free to use more, you can reuse any remaining powdered sugar). Portion out dough into even sizes and roll each portion into balls (this is where the small scoop came in handy!) Roll the dough balls in the powdered sugar and knock any excess off. Place balls 1 inch apart on greased or lined cookie sheets. Bake at 375* for 8-10 minutes until edges are set and tops are dry. Cool on pan for a couple of minutes and transfer to a wire rack.

Grilled Halibut with Grapefruit Oregano Relish

I was looking for something different to do with Halibut. I found a recipe that was definitely unique! I wasn't too sure how my family would take to it. Nathan said it was an unusual flavor combination (grapefruit and stone ground mustard) but he said he liked it. He even had a large serving of seconds and really piled on the relish. Now the two littles on the other hand didn't want to try it. I "made" them each try 1 bite with the relish. As expected, they didn't like it. The marinade and the relish are very similar ingredient wise, but once cooked, the fish doesn't have a strong flavor of the marinade so they didn't mind eating the fish without the relish. I did splurge and buy some fresh oregano for this dish.

Grilled Halibut with Grapefruit Oregano Relish

1 1/2 lbs halibut steaks or fillets

3 tablespoons dijon mustard
1/2 cup grapefruit juice
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh oregano, chopped or 1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
In a shallow dish, whisk together marinade ingredients; add halibut, turning to coat. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour

1 tablespoon stone ground mustard
1 red grapefruit, sectioned and chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped or 1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
In a small bowl, whisk together the relish ingredients. Cover and refrigerate

Preheat grill or broiler to high. Grill Halibut for about 4 minutes per side or until fish flakes easily with a fork. Serve with relish spooned on top.

Creamed Corn Bread

When I made my stew a few days ago, I opened up a can of creamed corn on accident. I guess I should check my labels a little more carefully ;-). I didn't want to "muddy" up my stew as it was the first time I would be taking pictures of it for this blog! So I stashed it in the fridge and decided to use it for corn bread today. My all time favorite corn bread is soft and cake-like. I didn't think it would pair well with the creamed corn. I searched through several of my cook books and finally found a recipe that didn't also use the "Jiffy" muffin mixes. I prefer to make from scratch when I can. This recipe was simple and came together quickly. I don't think it necessarily needs the cheese on top. I don't feel it added that much to it other than a chewier top. I do think I would definitely add a can of diced green chilies next time. That would put them over the top!

Creamed Corn Bread
1 C AP flour
1 C yellow cornmeal
1 tsp salt
4 tsp baking powder
4 eggs
1/2 C sour cream
1 (16 oz) cream-style corn
2 T vegetable oil
3/4 C grated cheddar cheese
Stir together the dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs and add the sour cream, corn and oil. Combine the wet and dry ingredients together stirring just until combined. Pour into a greased 8X8 pan. Top with grated cheese and bake at 400* for 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted near the middle comes out clean.

Buttermilk Syrup

We have an overabundance of fresh eggs (thanks to our 28 hens!), and I made 4 loaves of my Honey Whole Wheat and Flax bread recently that we haven't used near enough of. I decided I better make french toast this morning! We are out of syrup and I keep forgetting to buy more at the store. I DO happen to have buttermilk in the fridge, so Buttermilk syrup it is! This syrup is decadent and you only have to use a little. Store the leftovers in a microwaveable container for easy reheating. When making initially and for storing, make sure that you have a large enough pan/jar as it grows due to the baking soda!

Buttermilk Syrup

1 stick butter
1 C sugar
1 T corn syrup
1/2 C buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp baking soda

In a large saucepan combine the butter, sugar, corn syrup, and buttermilk. Bring to a boil, remove from heat and add the vanilla and baking soda. Stir constantly as the syrup will foam up.