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   Jul 10

Recipes

Dark Rye Bread – I read an article about all the foods that are good for you; nuts, chocolate, coffee; and I remembered this recipe.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons dry yeast
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 3 tablespoons molasses
  • 3 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup warm milk (about 110o F)
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 cup ground walnuts
  • 1½ cups rye flour
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1½ tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 2½ tablespoons instant coffee  
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 1 large egg, beaten

Directions

  1. Combine the yeast, sugar, melted butter, egg, molasses, cocoa, instant coffee and milk in the bowl.
  2. Finely grind walnuts in food processor.
  3. Add the salt, rye flour, and all-purpose flour. Mix until the mixture forms a ball and leaves the sides of the bowl.
  4. Knead the dough into a ball and place it into an oiled bowl, turning it to oil all sides. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm, draft-free place until it doubles in size.
  5. Remove the dough from the bowl and invert it onto a lightly floured surface.
  6. Knead the dough again for a couple of minutes.
  7. Cut in half and place the dough into greased loaf pans. For dinner rolls cut the dough into 12 pieces and place into greased muffin pan.
  8. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm, draft-free place until they double in size.
  9. Bake at 350O F until lightly brown, 30 to 35 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool on a rack. Serve warm with butter.

 

Eggplant Appetizer – Eggplant is incorporated into many dishes. This recipe makes a great appetizer.

2 Tablespoons Olive oil; 1 Onion, medium, finely chopped; 2 Garlic clove, minced; 1 Cup Eggplant, cut into ¼ inch cubes; 6 Sun dried tomatoes, finely chopped; 1 Cup Canned crushed tomatoes; 1 Teaspoon Capers, finely chopped; 1/3 Cup Black olives, pitted and chopped; 2 Tablespoons Parsley; 1 Tablespoon Basil; 2  Tablespoons Pine nuts, coarsely chopped; Salt and pepper to taste

  1. Place medium sized saucepan over medium heat.  Add the olive oil and heat.  Stir in the onion and cook, stirring often, until barely softened, about 3 minutes.
  2. Add garlic, cook 1 minute more, and add the remaining ingredients except for the nuts.  Gently simmer the relish for 3 to 4 minutes, until heated through.
  3. Stir the nuts in and refrigerate.

 Serve at room temperature on little cross cut toasted French bread.

Drying Tomatoes - One thing about a home vegetable garden is that you do over estimate the quantity of plants needed to feed your family and end up sharing a lot with your neighbors. Zucchini clearly wins the prize for most overgrown and joked about vegetable, but right behind it has to be the tomato.

Now I love tomatoes, and I have to admit that I’ve really gotten hooked on heirloom varieties. A few years ago, at a Farmer’s Market, I purchased one of every variety and conducted a taste test with my family when I got home. We settled on five varieties that we liked and I saved the seeds.

Taste is one thing, how well plants grow and produce in the garden is another. Green Zebra is a delicious tomato, but after years of associating the color red with ripe tomatoes, the brain cannot make the same link with the color green. So, I have since dropped that and other varieties and added new ones. In order to properly conduct a field test, you need to grow several plants of each variety. This year I am growing six different varieties. At three plants each, that’s 18 plants. Years ago when we were five people living at home I only had about six plants and always had a surplus. Now with just two of us you can imagine what the harvest looks likes.

The residents of BuñolSpainhave an interesting solution.  Every year on the last Wednesday in August at the end of their festival they hold a two-hour tomato fight. This event attracts thousands of visitors and presumably a lot of tourist dollars, though I have to wonder what the clean-up costs are. Fun as that might be, if we tried that here I think people would find other things to throw. Practical person that I am, I prefer to make sun dried tomatoes.

The traditional recipe for sun drying tomatoes requires old ladies in white aprons, a south facing hill, wood slats to lay the tomatoes on, cheese cloth to cover them and three sunny days. While there is a white apron somewhere in the house, there is also an easier way to dry tomatoes. It is called an oven.

It really is very easy to dry tomatoes. Spread them on a cookie sheet, place in an oven set at very low heat (2250F) and read a book for a few hours. The type of tomato is irrelevant, I like plum or oval shaped varieties sliced lengthwise. Baseball sized tomatoes can be quartered. Even Beefsteaks can be dried. The secret is to dehydrate, not cook.

Let me set the stage. A cool August day, the windows are open and the tomatoes are in the oven. As they begin to dehydrate concentrating their sugars, the aroma spreads through the house. After a few hours you begin to check them, removing the pieces that have become rubbery. Assuming you didn’t eat them as they came out of the oven; when all of the slices are dehydrated, put them in a sandwich bag and place them in the freezer.

Garlic Scape Pesto - A garlic scape is the seed head growing from the plant. It is removed before it blooms to focus the plant’s energy on the underground bulb and is edible-from the flower (seed head) through the curly stalk. It is milder than regular garlic, but still has the flavor. This pesto is good on pasta or vegetables.

½ pound Garlic scapes, 1 cup Olive oil, 1 cup Parmesan or Romano cheese, grated, 3 tablespoons lemon juice

Puree the scapes and olive oil in a blender until smooth. Pour into a bowl and mix in the cheese and lemon juice. Store in the refrigerator for immediate use, or freeze for later use.

Garlic Scape Penne Chicken – If this doesn’t sell you on growing your own vegetables, nothing will.

3 or 4 Chicken breast, skinless, 1 cup garlic scape pesto, ¾ cup sun dried tomato, 1 onion, halved and thinly sliced, 1 Tbl capers, 1 pound           Penne pasta, cooked al dente

Melt one tablespoon of butter with two table spoons of olive oil in a large frying pan, and brown the chicken breasts. Remove the chicken breasts from the frying pan and sauté the onion. While the onion is sautéing, cut the chick crosswise into ¼-inch thick slices. Add the pesto, tomato and capers to the onion; stir in the chicken slices. Toss together the pasta and chicken pesto in large serving bowl.

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