Sunday, September 28, 2014

Over 10,000 page views? Now I feel really bad about not updating.

Greetings, gentle readers.  Apparently there are quite a few of you.  My deepest apologies for the hiatus.  Babies were born (highborn, not baseborn, of course)  jobs were changed etc. etc.

I hope to get back into regular cooking and blogging mode and as a token of good faith, I give you "Night's Watch Stew."  I'm skipping the first stew reference, as I am plum out of squirrel.  (OK, that's a lie, there are like 10 of them in my yard as I type...but I don't feel like eating them.)

(Edit:  wow..it really HAS been a while...I did a king's road stew, sans squirrel)
Inside, the hall was immense and drafty, even with a fire roaring in its great hearth. Crows nested in the timbers of its lofty ceiling. Jon heard their cries overhead as he accepted a bowl of stew and a heel of black bread from the day's cooks. Grenn and Toad and some of the others were seated at the bench nearest the warmth, laughing and cursing each other in rough voices. Jon eyed them thoughtfully for a moment. Then he chose a spot at the far end of the hall, well away from the other diners.


Tyrion Lannister sat across from him, sniffing at the stew suspiciously. "Barley, onion, carrot," he muttered. "Someone should tell the cooks that turnip isn't a meat."

Ingredients

    5 cups beef stock or broth
    12 oz Dark Beer or Stout.  (I used Harpoon Chocolate Stout...because why not?)
     1 shallot chopped
    2 carrots chopped
    2 cups turnips cubed (or more if you want to be "book accurate"  but I don't like turnips that much)
    6 medium stalks of celery sliced
    1 cup onion chopped
    3 large Portobello mushroom caps cubed
    4 cloves garlic minced
    1/4 cup barley
    1 Lb. preferred lean stew beef (calculated w/ chuck) (or mutton, again if you want accuracy)
    2 tbsp flour
    (And these are optional...it's all stuff that would keep well, so theoretically the Night's Watch would be able to keep them...but how much seasoning they would use is open for debate)
     
    1 tbsp cumin
    1 tbsp coriander
    1 tsp allspice
    1 tbsp oregano (dried)
    1 tbsp black pepper

Directions

Place a large stew pot over high heat.  Add beef broth/stock and beer to pot.

In large skillet, soften onions, celery and shallot over medium heat. Add to pot of broth.


Turn skillet heat up to medium-high, and add garlic, salt and mushroom. Cook until mushrooms are browned. Add to pot.

In medium sized mixing bowl, combine flour, cumin, coriander, and allspice. Cut beef into chunks, and dredge in flour mixture. Coat heated skillet with oil, and brown meat and flour mixture. Add to pot. 

Add barley, oregano, and pepper to pot. Cover and let simmer for 1 hour.  Uncover and bring to a boil.  Cook for another 50 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add carrots and turnips.  Reduce to low heat and simmer, covered, for another 30 minutes.
Uncover and bring to a boil and cook for another 10 minutes or until turnips are tender.



Sunday, October 20, 2013

Stew on the King's Road

Yoren sat on a stone, skinning a squirrel. The savory smell of stew filled Tyrion's nostrils. He dragged himself over to where his man Morrec was tending the stewpot. Wordlessly, Morrec handed him the ladle. Tyrion tasted and handed it back. "More pepper," he said.

Deeply sorry for the prolonged absence.  We've had lots of changes here at the kitchen. New babies, new jobs, new states.

However, it is fall now, and fall means stew.

I envisioned this to be a simple easy stew that the men of the Night's Watch could scrabble together from things found in their travels, and perhaps a few provisions tithed by Winterfell.  I'm not much for eating squirrel, so I used beef.  However, a closer parallel would be rabbit.  Still, the stew was tasty!

Ingredients:

3tbs lard, grease or other cooking oil.
1 onion peeled and chopped
3 cloves of garlic chopped
1 sprig fresh rosemary, chopped
1 sprig fresh thyme, chopped
2lbs stew meat cubed
salt to taste
1/2 tsp black pepper (or more if you are cooking for Tyrion)
2tbs flour
1 cup sweet red wine (I used Marsala)
1lb butternut squash cut into cubes (or potato, or sweet potato, or whatever else the Night's Watch may have found growing on their trail)
1/4 cup sun dried tomatoes
2 cups chopped mushroom (or more...I used more.  I like mushroom)
3-4 cups beef broth

crusty bread for serving

In a large soup pot or dutch oven heat lard/grease/oil over medium heat.  Add onions, garlic, rosemary, thyme.  Cook until tender.

Add mushrooms and brown slightly.

Toss beef in salt, pepper and flour.  Turn heat up to medium high and add beef.  Cook until beef is browned at the edges (about 5 minutes.  Do not overcook.  

Add the wine and scrape all the browned bits off the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon.  Add squash and tomatoes and stir.

Add enough beef broth to cover beef and squash.  Bring stew to a boil over high heat, then reduce to low heat and simmer, covered, for 1 hour.

Season with salt and pepper (lots of pepper for Tyrion).

Eat.







Thursday, July 19, 2012

Dothraki Wedding: The thrilling conclusion!

I have been horribly neglectful, but I hope this recipe  is worth it!  It's another variant on the Dothraki blood pie.  This one is more of a pie...though it feels somewhat too "western" for a Dothraki dish.

You will need:

2 lbs cubed "horse" (I used lamb)
flour
salt to taste
pepper to taste
1 tbs cardamon
1 tbs cumin
6 cloves of garlic crushed
olive oil
2lbs fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 large sweet onion
1/2 cup blood (I harvested mine from all the lamb I've used so far)
hot water
2 pie crusts.

First, to make the pie crusts you will need:

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for rolling
1 cup (2 sticks or 8 ounces) unsalted butter, very-cold, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon pepper
6 to 8 Tbsp ice water

Mix all the dry ingredients. Then cut in the butter with a pastry cutter.  Add water slowly until the dough forms into a coarse, moldable dough.  If it's too crumbly add more water.

Once your dough is "right" form it into 2 balls. Take each ball and flatten, fold, and reflatten with your hands to make "layers" for a flaky crust.  Do this about 6 times, then take the flattened disk and put in a cool place. (you should have 2 disks)

Now for the meat!




















Coat the steak in flour, spices, salt and pepper.  Sear the meat in about 1/2 cup of olive oil.  You only want to brown it, not cook it. Remove from pan and place on a plate.

Leave the oil and drippings in the pan, and sauté the onions and mushrooms.  Wisk 3tbl of flour in 12 oz of hot water, until all lumps are dissolved.  Pour slowly into the pan with the onions and mushrooms, stirring constantly.  Add the blood.  Let the mixture come to a  boil.  Continue stirring.  Once the sauce thickens, reduce the heat to a simmer and add the meat. Simmer over very low heat for about 30 minutes.  

While it simmers, roll out your two pie crusts.  Line a pie tin with one.

Pour meat into the pie pan, cover with the top pie crust and seal well.  Cut holes in top crust to vent.  Back at 350degrees 30-40 minutes until the pie crust is fully cooked.


My camera is giving me un-rotatable photos again.  Fail!







Mmmmmmmmm!!!!!!!!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Dothraki Wedding Part 4


This  will be first in a 2 part series on "blood pies".  The first recipe borrows heavily from the Mongolian HuuShuur, a handy, portable meat pie good for a nomadic people.

 For dough:
  • 21/4 cups wheat flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup warm water
  • 1tsp black pepper
you can use white or all purpose but the dough will be elastic and  more difficult to manage.

For filling and frying;
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 pound ground lamb.  Do not use a lean cut, the fat will keep the filling moist and help ensure thorough cooking.
  • 1 cup minced onion
  • 2 scallions, minced
  • 1 tbs ginger
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tbs Corriander
  • 1tbs cumin
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 6 to 8 cups cooking oil




Make dough:
Stir together flour pepper and salt, then stir in warm water until a dough forms. Transfer to a floured surface and knead briefly. Form into 16 (1 1/2-inch) balls. Let stand, covered with an inverted large bowl, at room temperature 1 to 2 hours. If your dough is "wrong" use more flour or water as needed.

Make filling while dough stands:
Mince and mash garlic to a paste with 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and the spices, then stir together with lamb, onion, scallions, and water in a bowl. 

Form and fry pies:
Roll out 1 ball of dough into a 3- to 4-inch round on a floured surface with a floured rolling pin. Put about 2 tablespoons filling to one side on round, flattening filling slightly, and fold other half over it to form a half-moon. Press edges together to seal, forcing out air. Starting at one end of curve, fold edge over in triangles (each fold should overlap previous one), pressing as you go and pressing last fold under (this will help seal). Repeat with remaining dough and filling. 


It is EXTREMELY important that you seal these well or the leaking lamb fat will cause explosions of epic proportions.

Meanwhile, heat 1 1/2 to 2 inches oil to 350°F in a deep 4- to 5-quart heavy pot.

Fry pies, 4 at a time, until golden and meat is just cooked through, about 3-6 minutes. Transfer to paper towels to drain. 

         

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Dothraki Wedding Part 3

As soon as I read "joints of meat" I immediately recalled "ouzi", a delicious lamb dish made for feasts and special occasions.  For large gatherings, and entire lamb will be roasted, but more commonly it's the leg or shoulder so...joints!

It's not really lamb season so the butcher did not have any bone in legs, or shoulders, so I made do with boneless, but for a proper meat joint presentation, you would want those bones.


  • 2 shoulder's of lamb,or one leg (If you want to go REALLY authentic dothraki, use goat)
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp cloves
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp cardamom
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 tbs olive oil
  • 1 onion, cut into 8ths
  • 6 cloves of garlic sliced
FOR THE RICE:

  • 2 1/2 c basmati rice(soak at least 30 mins before cooking)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 tbs oil
  • 1 lb ground lamb
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tbs cinnamon
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp ground cloves
  • 4 1/4 c lamb or chicken stock
  • 1/2 c almonds, sliced and toasted
  • 1/3 c pine nuts toasted
  • 1/2 cup pistachios



 Preheat oven to 425.  Rub the spices all over your lamb with the oil. Place in a roasting pan and put into oven.

 


After 20 minutes take your pan from the oven and transfer to a dutch oven. cover the lamb with 1-2 cups of water, add onion and garlic. place back into the oven on 300 F, cooking for 2.5 hours for rare, 3 hours for medium or  3.5 hours for well.  I like rare.

When the lamb has an hour left start your rice.  In a sauce pan fry the onion with 2 tbs of oil. Add the ground lamb and cook. Add the rest of your spices, stir well and add rice.

 
Pour in the boiling stock, mix well and simmer covered for 10-20 mins until rice is tender, add more stock if it becomes dry. Drain and place on plate then add your lamb on top decorating the top with the nuts.Serve the broth from the pan for dipping, and the onions as a side.  NOMNOMNOM!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Dothraki Wedding Part 2

Sweet grass stew, you say? That can mean only one thing! (And this is one of the few vegan friendly recipes this blog will ever have!)

  • 4 stalks lemongrass
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped sweet onion
  • 1 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp cardamom
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 2 sweet potatoes peeled and chopped
  • 3 carrots chopped
  • 2 cups mushrooms (I used baby portabellas because they were handy, and sliced them, but enoki would be awesome!)
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup snap peas
  • 13.5 oz of coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped

First, "dress" the lemon grass.  Peel the hard outer layers and cut off the dry green tips.  Take the soft white bases and crush with a knife.  Enjoy the delicious aroma of sweet, sweet, lemon grass.  In fact, rub some on your wrists, just for fun!

Heat the olive oil and saute the grass and onion for 3 minutes.  Add the spices and saute  for another 2-3 minutes.  Then add the remaining veggies.


Yes... I picked this sweet potato because it looked just like a Kamakura cookie!

Cook for another 2 minutes, then add the broth and water.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 25 minutes.


Remove the lemongrass...or don't. I didn't.  However, when eating the soup, be careful not to eat the lemongrass.  It won't kill you put it's not pleasant to nom.

Add the peas and the coconut milk.  Cook 3 more minutes, then add the cilantro and serve.



Delicious and soooooooooooooo healthy!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Ahoy! Here Thar be Soy!

In researching my Dothraki wedding feast, I came to the conclusion that, statements of GRRM about composite cultures aside, I wanted to make Mongolian-esque food.

This of course required the use of Soy sauce.  But would that be proper? What exactly is this delightfully salty sauce and would a Dothraki Horde have access to it?

Answer: Yes.



The good folks over at the Kikkoman Soy Museum have put together a nice condensed history of soy sauce, but the take home point is that soy sauce (the American and British name derived from the Japanese term "Shoyu" or "Shio") is an ancient method that served the two very important purposes of both preserving perishable foods and enhancing the flavor in an economical and efficient manner given the high cost of pure salt.



For more on Salt, and the history of Salt, including a great discussion of the history of soy sauce and the many wars fought over the salt trades, I highly recommend this book.   All the salt and history you could ever want, and more!