Sunday, October 26, 2008

apple pie applesauce

I've been making applesauce each year for I don't know how long.  Where I live there are plenty of apples every fall.  Just about any kind you could want.  I always mix apples for my applesauce because they each have their own quality.  Now some apples I never use, like red or yellow delicious, or Rome apples.  It's not that I have anything against them, they just seem more like eating apples than cooking apples.  I have an absolute passion for a good yellow delicious with cheese, and they make a nice tart tatin also.  But anyway, I always include either gravenstiens, or newtons, or granny smiths.  The rest that I include are usually very red, because those add sweetness and color.

Obviously one doesn't need a real recipe for making applesauce, and it's all about taste.  But for what it's worth here's the ratio I used.

25 pounds of apples, about 5 pounds each of 5 different kinds, some green, some red
3 cups of white sugar
1 tbls Ceylon cinnamon, or whatever kind you have
5 cups of good nature apple cider

For the cooking and canning details on the recipe see my other blog here.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Emily's Chocolate Baby Cake with cherries and pecans

I got a pan for Emily at Williams and Sonoma, 7" round by 2". Stuck to the pan was a recipe just the right size for the pan. We modified the recipe a bit, and it turned out to be a really nice cake.

5 ounces flour (140 gr)
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup Dutch cocoa (30 gr)

1 stick butter
1 cup of sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla

2/3 cup water

1/3 cup dried cherries
1/3 cup pecans
1 Tbl flour

or instead of cherries and pecans add 2 ounces of finely ground almonds and a bit of vanilla essence.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
Grease and flour the pan.
In a medium mixing bowl combine the first 4 ingredients.
Cream the butter and sugar, then add in the egg and vanilla.
Combing the wet and dry ingredients alternately with the water.
Mix well, but don't beat to death or you will expend the baking soda.
On a chopping board stir together the cherries, nuts, and 2 Tbls flour and chop up with a big knife. Add to the cake batter, and pour into the cake pan.
Bake for 45 minutes.
Cool for a bit and turn out onto a cooling rack.


1 1/2 cups icing sugar
1/2 stick of butter - 2 ounces, room temperature
2 teaspoons kirsch or brandy or any thing you like
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
milk, needed only if the icing is not spreadable enough.

Put the icing sugar and butter and brandy and vanilla into a smallish mixing bowl and beat for about 2-3 minutes with a hand mixer, add the milk to get the consistency you want - spreadable.

Assembly: Cut the cooled cake in half. Place the bottom half on a cake plate and cover with icing. Put on the top layer and cover it with icing. Do not ice the sides. Save any left-over icing for graham crackers.

This cake has been entered into the "Not Quite Nigella"
Ultimate Chocolate Cake Contest.
To find out about it just click here.

This is not my only ultimate chocolate cake, but I could only enter one. There is also "the perfect chocolate cake" and "chocolate roulade", and "orange chocolate gateau", to name some.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Oven French Fries


These were a really big hit.  I did them for my grandson's birthday.  Riley was out of town, and I was running out of energy, and getting out the deep fryer just seemed overwhelming.  But I think these turned out as good as deep fried, with much less fuss and bother.

Turn the oven up to as high as it will go.  Mine went to 530 degrees.  It needs a while to get up to temperature.

oil - I used a light olive oil
salt and pepper

Get a large bowl or pot and fill it with cold water.  Peel the potatoes and cut them into strips about a centimeter square on the ends.  As you cut the potatoes, put the strips into the cold water.

Get a large flat pan, I used a tray that comes with my Meile oven.  Put oil on the tray, then take the potatoes out of the water in little batches, put them on a tea towel and pat the batch dry, them put them on the tray and push them around a bit to get oil all over them.  Continue this until the tray is full, or you've come to the end of the potatoes.

If you have more potatoes than will fit on your tray, then I bet a second tray can be done.  I didn't need to do that, but If you periodically switch the trays during cooking I think it will work.

Put the potatoes into the oven for about 15 minutes.  Then take the tray out of the oven and carefully turn over all of the fries.  Then put back into the oven for about 15 more minutes.  You be the judge of doneness.  Keep you eyes on the fries.

When you take them out, this is the time to salt and pepper them.  The reason for not salting the fries during cooking is to not pull the moisture out of the potatoes and make things soggy.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Riley's Famous Barbecued Chateaubriand


I don't remember when Riley started making this steak, but it has been a huge hit ever since. It's what I like to have on my birthday, and what Christian likes. Because we have the barbecuer on the front porch out of the rain, we can have this anytime.

I hunk of Chateaubriand steak, about 2 - 2.5 pounds, at room temperature
Adolph's tenderizer
coarse pepper
soy sauce
Worcestershire sauce
garlic salt

About 45 minutes before you want to barbecue the steak, put the goals to heat - however you do that. When you do finally spread the coals about, put two thirds on one side and one third on the other - this is so you have a hotter spot and a not so hot spot.

Then put the steak into a baking dish that is just big enough to hold the meat. Poke the meat on both sides with a fork, maybe ten times a side. Put tenderizer liberally on both sides of the meat. Do the same with the the garlic salt and pepper, patting the steaks to make the stuff stick. Then douse some Worcestershire sauce and soy sauce to both sides. Now just let the meat sit in this marinade for about 30 minutes or so, turning the meat over in the middle of the time. You can marinate anywhere from 20 minutes to 2 hours.

To cook the steak place the steak on the hot side of the grill at an angle to the grill for about 3 minutes, then turn the steak ninety degrees, and leave for another three minutes. Then do the same on the other side. Then transfer to the meat to the not so hot side and cook on both sides for a bit longer, until the desired amount of doneness has been reached. I like mine RARE.