I always try to eat delicious food. Unfortunately I don't have that much money, so I have to cook a lot of it at home. But thats OK because I love cooking and I love eating at home with my wife. This is a website with my favorite recipes and a little bit of commentary.

Saturday, June 21, 2008


Today we finally made it to Schimpff's Confectionery. It is an old time family run candy store, factory and museum. We saw a special on Schimpff's on the History channel about a year ago.
We bought some lemon drops, horehound candy, Modjeskas, red hots and Turtles. I am currently eating a piece of horehound. I like their version but mine was a little better. I think someone might have burnt the herb during the making of the candy.

The turtles were amazing. The modjeskas were also amazing. They were named after an actress who visited Louisville named Helena Modjeska. Imagine a marshmallow coated in caramel and you know what a modjeska tastes like. I haven't tried the red hots yet but they are supposed to be one of the signature candies of Schimpff's.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Last Moonlighting, Last Call

Last Saturday was my last night of moonlighting in the ER. I've been moonlighting in Hardinsburg, Kentucky for a couple years now. I had a really good time there and I got to know quite a few of the local doctors and of course all of the ER nurses. We had a really good time and I made a boatload of money.

Hardinsburg is about an hour and 15 minutes from Louisville. They have a hospital called Breckenridge Memorial. It has 45 inpatient beds and 4 ER beds. I saw some pretty crazy stuff during the 2 years I worked there.

I usually got food at one of three places while I was moonlighting. One was Subway. Another was Pizza Tonight. I thought the pizza at Pizza Tonight was fairly tasty and I really liked that it was a home town small business. The last time I ordered it I got a Taco Pizza which was topped with taco meat, tomatoes, onions, green and black olives, mozzarella and cheddar cheeses. I really liked it but I was pretty much the only one who did. There is a gigantic policeman who comes in to the ER quite a bit. He must be close to 8 feet tall with a mustache and everything. I used to bring in cinnamon rolls so the ER nurses thought I was some sort of a cook. The policeman jokingly said he doubted my prowess given my choice of pizza.

The other place I got food from quite a bit was Miguel's El Gallo Restaurant. I was pretty impressed by the quality of the food, but the most amazing thing was the volume of food they brought for such a low price. I usually got the Special Dinner which included a chalupa, taco, chili relleno, tamale, enchilada, rice and beans. All of that for only $8.25 and I guarantee you cannot finish it. They couldn't quite fit their name on the menu but that is OK.
I will miss all of the nurses and doctors at BMH and wish them all the best.

Last night was my last night of call for the University of Louisville! It was uneventful.

Kar 98 K gets a scope

About a year and a half ago I bought a Kar 98 K Mauser. I restored it and got it into working order. One problem I was having with it was that it shot about 10 inches high at 200 yards with the factory sites. I removed the factory sites and kept them of course. I installed an adjustable site system and it pretty much corrected the problem.

I was thinking about doing a little hunting this fall in South Dakota. Everything I have read leads me to believe that a scoped rifle would work a little better out there. The problem was how to get a scope on the gun without irreversibly modifying it.

For those who don't know what I am talking about, the Karabiner 98 Kurz is a German bolt action rifle from WWII.

The Karabiner 98k was a bolt-action rifle with Mauser-type action holding five rounds of 7.92x57mm Mauser on a stripper clip, loaded into an internal magazine. It was derived from earlier rifles, namely the Karabiner 98b, which in turn had been developed from the Mauser Model 1898. The Gewehr 98 or Model 1898 took its principles from the Lebel Model 1886 rifle with the improvement of a metallic magazine of five cartridges. Since the rifle was shorter than the earlier Karabiner 98b from which it was derived (the 98b was a carbine in name only, being identical in length to the Gewehr 98 long rifle), it was given the designation Karabiner 98 Kurz, meaning "Carbine 98 Short". Just like its predecessor, the rifle was noted for its reliability, good accuracy and an effective range of up to 500 meters (547 yards) with iron sights.

It is famous for the quality of its action and accuracy. Most modern bolt action rifles are based on the 98 Mauser design. The action is used pretty much unchanged in the Remington model 798 Safari rifles.

Several special models of the Karabiner 98k existed.

For snipers, Karabiner 98k rifles selected for being exceptionally accurate during factory tests, were fitted with a telescopic sight as sniper rifles. Karabiner 98k sniper rifles had an effective range up to 800 meters (875 yards) when used by a skilled sniper. The German Zeiss Zielvier 4x (ZF39) telescopic sight had bullet drop compensation in 50 m increments for ranges from 100 m up to 800 m or in some variations from 100 m up to 1000 m. There were also ZF42, Zeiss Zielsechs 6x and other telescopic sights by various manufacturers like the Ajack 4x, Hensoldt Dialytan 4x and Kahles Heliavier 4x with similar features employed on Karabiner 98k sniper rifles. Several different mountings produced by various manufacturers were used. Approximately 132,000 of these sniper rifles were produced by Germany.
So here comes the problem. In order to mount a scope in the normal position (shown above), you have to drill holes in the receiver to accept the scope mounts. Also, because of the way the bolt works, the bolt has to be modified to avoid hitting the scope. Mounting a scope in the traditional position on a Kar98K also makes it more difficult to load.

Another option is to remove the rear site and mount the scope there. I decided to do it that way because all of the changes are reversible and the weapon can be restored to its original configuration in a couple minutes.

Mounting the scope that far forward requires a special scope with what is called an intermediate eye relief. That just means that your eye is farther away from the scope. I found a company called B Squared that manufactures a mount for the Kar 98 K. I also found a really good scope made by Leupold called a scout scope.

I put everything together and headed out to Knob Creek for some testing. Who should I meet there but my medical student who taught me how to make his family's recipe for moonshine!
After a little trial and error I got it sited in at 100 yards. I was able to shoot a 1 inch group exactly where I was aiming at that distance. My shoulder really started to hurt so I had to stop. My next project is to get it sited in at 200 yards and then do measurements at various distances to figure out how much the bullets rise or drop at various yardages.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Really Sourdough Bread

I decided to make an entirely white entirely sourdough bread. All of the ones I have featured so far have featured some combination of grains and have added commercial yeast. This bread features only wild yeast and a long room temperature fermentation time. This is sort of a classic sourdough method that I am experimenting with. I have to sit down and figure out the baker's percentages for this recipe. The long fermentation is supposed to add more sourness to the finished product. I made up a full batch of dough which will make 2 big loaves. I made one loaf just now and I put the dough for the other loaf inside a ziplock bag and put it in the fridge. We'll see which ends up tastier. All of my experience with breads leads me to believe that a little time in the fridge works magic somehow.

White Really Sourdough Bread

Step 1: Levain

8 ounces sourdough starter

2 ounces bread flour

Combine above ingredients in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let sit on the counter for 8 to 10 hours. It will be thicker and more doughlike than the starter itself.

Step 2: Make the Poolish

All of the Levain

8 ounces water

8 ounces flour

Combine the levain with the water and flour. Place in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let sit at room temperature overnight up to 24 hours.

Step 3: Make the Dough

All of the Poolish

16 oz water

27 to 32 ounces flour

¾ ounce salt (1 T)

Combine the polish and water. Add 10 ounces of flour and mix together to form a ball. Using the kitchenaid mixer, gradually add flour while kneading using the dough hook until it forms a firm smooth dough. It should feel tacky but not necessarily sticky.

Step 4: Dough Rise

Let the dough rise in a covered bowl about 2 ½ hours until doubled in size.

Step 5: Rest #1

Punch the dough down and recover. Let rest ½ hour.

Step 6: Rest #2

Punch the dough down and let rise ½ more hour.

Step 7: Proof loaves

Either make 1 big round loaf or 2 smaller torpedo shaped loaves. Proof about 1 hour until increased by 1 ½ times the original size.

Step 8: Bake

The rack should be in the middle with the baking stone. A rack underneath the backing stone should hold a pan which will accept ice to generate steam. For the shape of loaf shown below I heated the oven to 450. Mist the loaf with a spray bottle just before sliding on the stone and then every 10 minutes while in the oven. The loaf shown below baked 25 minutes. I turned it halfway through baking. At the end I measured the internal temperature at 205 degrees. You can see the loaf is nice and brown all over.

Our little one was guarding Mr. Owl from the hot oven.

BLT with a Fried Egg

There is a restaurant named Cunningham's we eat at occasionally in Louisville that is down by the river. It is on a little canal that connects to the river. It has a nice deck you can sit on while you eat your tasty dinner. Boats pull up and dock there and get tasty food as well. Cunningham's is known for onion rings, stewed tomatoes and fish sandwiches. I usually get a hamburger when I go there but last time I got a steak sandwich.

The last time we ate there my wife got a BLT. They served it with a fried egg and it was a hit with both of us. Last night we used some of our leftover sourdough to make BLT's with a fried egg.

Monday, June 16, 2008

The Best Banana Pudding

For desert, my wife and naughty daughter made some delicious banana pudding. Our little one helped with everything except slicing the banana. She did a very good job. I am a fan of all puddings but this one and the butterscotch one they made earlier are my 2 all time favorites.

Southern Banana Pudding

1 12oz box vanilla wafers

2 boxes vanilla pudding (not instant)

4 c milk

Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg

4 very ripe bananas

½ c plus 1/8 c raw, unbeaten egg whites (from about 6 eggs), room temperature

2 T sugar

½ tsp vanilla

¾ tsp fresh lemon juice

Line the bottom and the sides of an 8 X 8 by 2 inch baking dish (oven safe and non-reactive) with a layer of the vanilla wafers. They should just cover the bottom of the dish.

Prepare the vanilla pudding according to the pudding directions on the package (you will need the 4 cups of milk to do this. While the pudding is still hot, stir in the nutmeg and set aside to cool for 5 minutes (but no longer.)

Preheat the oven to 500 degrees.

Peel 2 of the bananas and slice them into 3/8 inch thick rounds. Top the payer of cookies in the bottom of the dish with the banana slices. Top the banana slices with a second layer of vanilla wafers. Peel the remaining 2 bananas and slice them. Evenly distribute them on top of the second cookie layer. For the final layer, top those bananas with another layer of cookies.

Pour the still warm pudding over all. Shake the dish carefully, and tap it on the counter, to remove any air holes within the layers.

Make the meringue. Combine the egg whites, sugar, vanilla extract and lemon juice in a mixer and whisk on medium speed until it just holds a peak. It should be light and fluffy, do not over-mix it.

Using a rubber spatula, top the entire surface of the pudding evenly with the meringue. Dip a spoon into the surface of the meringue and pull it out quickly to create little peaks all over the top of the pudding.

Place the pudding on the top rack of the oven. Bake just until it is nicely browned on top (about 3 minutes.) It can burn very easily so watch it carefully. Remove the pudding from the oven and let it cool down for 1 hour on the countertop. Them refrigerate and chill for at least 3 hours but not more than 5 hours.

Alfredo Cabbage

As a side dish to Steak Diane, my wife made another Emeril recipe for Alfredo Cabbage. It was super tasty. We thought if we were to make it again we would use regular cabbage because it is less expensive.

Emeril’s Creamy Cabbage Alfredo

2 T unsalted butter

2 ¾ lb Napa cabbage, finely sliced (12 cups)

¾ c peeled and finely sliced or grated carrots

1 c heavy cream

½ c grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

¾ tsp. salt

¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper

Melt the butter in a large skillet of sauté pan over high heat. Add the cabbage and carrots and cook, stirring, until the cabbage is wilted (about 25 minutes.)

Drain in a colander, return to the pan and place over medium-high heat. Add the remaining ingredients and cook until the mixture is thick, stirring occasionally (about 5 minutes.

Serve immediately.

Steak Diane

For Father's day, my wife made me Steak Diane. She got the recipe from an Emeril cookbook called Delmonico. This is an older recipe that used to be made at the table in fancy restaurants. It puts on a nice show when you light the brandy.

Emeril’s Steak Diane

Four, 3 oz. filet megnon medallions

½ tsp. salt

¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper

1 T unsalted butter

4 tsp. minced shallots

1 tsp. minced garlic

1 c sliced white mushroom caps

¼ c cognac or brandy

2 tsp. Dijon mustard

¼ c heavy cream

¼ c reduced veal stock (or beef broth)

2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

2 drops hot sauce

1 T finely choppe

d green onions

1 tsp. minced fresh parsley

Season the beef medallions on both sides with the salt and pepper

Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the meat and cook for 45 seconds on the first side. Turn and cook for 30 seconds on the second side. Add the shallots and garlic to the side of the pan and cook, stirring, for 20 seconds. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring, until soft 2 minutes. Place the meat on a plate and cover to keep warm.

Tilt the pan toward you and add the cognac. Tip the pan away from yourself and ignite the cognac with a match. (Alternatively remove the pan from the heat to ignite and then return to the heat.)

When the flame has burned out, add the mustard and cream. Mix thoroughly and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the veal stock and simmer for 1 minute. Add the Worcestershire and hot sauce and stir to combine. Return the meat and any accumulated juices to the pan and turn the meat to coat with the sauce.

Remove from the heat and stir in the green onions and parsley. Divide the medallions and sauce between 2 large plates and serve immediately.

Multi Grain Sourdough

I made some sourdough this past weekend based on a recipe I found in The Bread Bible. Both of us agreed this is one of the all time best breads to date. It isn't a true sourdough because it adds a tiny bit of commercial yeast, but it has a nice mild sourdough flavor.
This is an extremely wet dough, 72.7% water.
Multi Grain Sourdough Bread

Sourdough Component

sourdough Starter 2/3 cup (100 g)
bread flour 1/3 cup (50 g)
water 3 1/2 T (50 g)

Combine all the ingredients in a bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit on the counter until nice and bubbly, 3 to 4 hours. If you want to you can put this portion of the recipe in the fridge until you're ready to use it or you can use it right away. If you put it in the fridge, let it warm up for an hour and a half before use.

Final Dough

Sourdough component from above - use all of it
water 1 1/3 cups (300 grams)
bread flour 2 cups (312 grams)
rye flour 2/3 cup (80 grams)
whole wheat flour 6 T (58 grams)
instant yeast 1/2 t (2 grams)
salt 1 1/2 t (12 grams)

Dump everything together in the bowl. Mix everything using the dough hook to form a ball. Cover bowl and let everything sit for 20 minutes. Next kneed at #4 on the kitchen aid for 10 minutes. It will be an extemeley sticky dough.

Let dough rise in a covered bowl until doubled, 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Punch the dough down, recover and let rise another hour. You can proceed to baking at this time or you can put it in the fridge overnight to develop flavor. I put mine in the fridge.

Shape dough into a round ball and let it rise in a banneton until doubled - about an hour.

Preheat oven to 475 with the stone on the bottom rack and a cookie sheet on a rack a few notches above. A trick to get the dough onto the stone is to put a piece of parchment paper on a pizza peel or cookie sheet. Invert the dough onto the paper and slide the dough and paper together onto the stone. Drop 1/2 cup ice cubes into the cookie sheet and bake the dough 5 minutes. Reduce heat to 450 and continue baking 20 to 25 minutes, turning halfway through for even cooking. An instant read thermometer inserted in the middle of the dough should read at least 210 degrees. Cool on a wire rack completely before slicing.
It has a very chewy crust and a super nice inside with an interesting texture.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

New York Deli Rye

My wife used my starter to make an absolutely fabulous rye bread from The Bread Baker's Apprentice. This is the tastiest rye bread either of us have ever had. It has a little bit of onion baked right into the bread.

New York Deli Rye
Makes one big loaf

Rye Starter

1/2 cup (3.5 ounces) starter
1/2 cup (2 1/4 ounces) rye flour
1/4 cup (2 ounces) water
1 onion, diced and sauteed in a little oil

Final Dough

1 3/4 cups (8 ounces) bread flour
1/2 cup (2 1/4 ounces) rye flour
1 T brown sugar
1 t salt
1 t instant yeast
1 t caraway seeds
1 t melted butter
1/2 cup buttermilk
about 1/4 cup water

1) Make starter a day ahead. Mix all of the ingredients in the rye starter, stir and cover with plastic wrap. Let sit at room temp until it bubbles, 3 to 4 hours. Refrigerate overnight.
2) Remove starter from fridge 1 hour before use.
3) To make the dough, dump everything together in the mixer. Add only as much water as needed so that it forms a soft, not sticky dough. Let rest for 5 minutes.
4) Mix on medium low speed with the dough hook. Add in flour as needed to make a firm, slightly tachy dough. Do this in less than 5 minutes so that the dough does not get gummy.
5) Place dough in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise for 1 1/2 to 2 hours until it doubles in size.
6) Shape dough into a loaf and place in an oiled dough pan. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until dough is about an inch above the lip of the pan.
7) Preheat oven to 350 degrees with the rack in the middle.
8) To bake place loaf pan in the middle of a cookie sheet and then place in oven on middle rack. Bake 20 minutes, turn 180 degrees and bake 15 to 20 more minutes. The loaf should be nice and golden brown and measure 185 to 195 degrees in the center.
9) Cool for at least an hour before slicing.

We made it into Reuben sandwiches with homemade Russian dressing. Our little one requested that Mr. Duck pose with the sandwich.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Kindof Sourdough Pizza

The last time I tried my hand at sourdough pizza was clear back in the beginning of my quest for Gino's East. It must have been at least 15 years ago. A few nights ago I refreshed my starter. When I woke up in the morning it was incredibly active. I decided I couldn't waste the chance. I made the batch of sourdough rye bread (which by the way turned out like a brick) and I threw together a partially sourdough pizza crust. Into the fridge it went and tonight it was ready for baking.

It was surprisingly easy to make but it was super tasty. I'll have to study this dough a bit. I made a pizza Margarita, which is what I always make when trying out a new dough. It was as tasty as the best pizzas I made in Kansas City a couple years ago.

NY Style Pizza with a Sourdough Kick

Makes one 14 inch pizza

Flour (100%): 281 G

Water (60%): 169g

IDY (.0625%): a pinch

Salt (2%): 6g

Starter (5%): 14g

1 – Put water and salt in mixing bowl and stir until dissolved.
2 – Dump in half the flour. Add the pinch of yeast. Stir until the yeast is mixed in well.

3 – Add the starter and stir for 1 minute until well incorporated.
4 – Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let everything sit for 20 minutes. This is called an autolyse.
5 - Put the dough hook on the mixer and slowly add in the remaining flour. Once all the flour is in mix 1 minute at medium speed.
6 – Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let rest 15 minutes.
7 – Kneed the dough in the mixer for an additional minute or so until the dough is springy.
8 - Form dough into a ball and place into a gallon ziplock bag which has been misted with spray oil.
9 – Put ziplock bag into the fridge and let it sit there for at least overnight and possibly up to 3 days.

10 – when you are ready to use the dough, remove the bag from the fridge and let it warm up in the ziplock bag on the counter for 2 to 3 hours.

Do not punch down or otherwise mess with the dough, just let it warm up to room temp.

Are you ready? Wait for it ....

Wait for it ...


Sunday, June 08, 2008

Whole Grain Sourdough Rye Bread

I refreshed my sourdough starter over the weekend. This morning when I got up it was going crazy in the pot. It usually takes a couple weeks of refreshing to get the culture to perform like it should. Mine was right on time. I started it about 2 weeks ago. So far it hasn't gotten too stinky and it has been well tolerated by my wife. I've been keeping it in the fridge between refreshes and every time I refresh it I thoroughly clean out my starter keeper.

I decided I couldn't let the active starter go to waste. I decided to try another whole grain bread from Peter Reinhart's new book Whole Grain Breads.

I am a huge fan of rye bread and of Rueben Sandwiches in particular. Contrary to popular belief, the Rueben was invented in Omaha Nebraska, not in NYC. I decided to try one of the ryes in the book.

It will take a day or so for me to finish this bread. I'll put photos up when its all done.

Peter Reinhart's 100% Rye Hearth Bread

1 3/4 cup (227 grams) whole rye flour
1/2 t (4 grams) salt
1 cup (227 grams) water

1. Mix all the ingredients together real well. Cover and let sit at room temp overnight to 24 hours.

1/3 cup (71 grams) starter
1 2/3 cups (213 grams) whole rye flour
3/4 cups (170 grams) water

1. Mix all of the ingredients together in a bowl to form a ball. Kneed with wet hands for 2 minutes. Let the dough rest 5 minutes and then kneed again for another 2 minutes with wet hands.
2. Form dough into a ball and place in a nice clean bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit on the counter until doubled in size. This may take 4 to 8 hours or longer depending on how active your starter is.
3. When the starter has doubled in size kneed it for a few seconds to degas the dough. Cover bowl tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

Final Dough
All of the soaker
All of the Starter
3/4 cup plus 2 T (113 grams) whole rye flour
5/8 t (5 grams) salt
2 1/4 t (7 grams) instant yeast
2 t caraway seeds

1. Chop up the starter ball and the soaker into 12 smaller pieces. Let the starter warm up to room temperature for 2 hours.
2. Dump everything into the mixer. Kneed using the dough hook for about 2 minutes. The dough should be soft and slightly sticky. If not add more flour or water as needed.
3. Mix using the dough hook for 4 minutes on medium speed.
4. Dust a work surface with flour. Roll the dough in the flour to coat. Kneed dough by hand for 3 to 4 minutes until the dough feels very sticky yet lively, like modeling clay. Form dough into a ball and let it rest on the counter for 5 minutes.
5. Kneed the dough for 1 minute longer. It will be slightly sticky. Place into an oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let rise at room temperature for 45 to 60 minutes, until it is 1 1/2 times it's original size.
6. Reshape the dough into a ball and place it into your rising basket or a bowl. Cover the top of the bowl with plastic wrap and let it rise for about 30 minutes, or until 1 1/2 times its original size.

Preheat oven to 500 with the stone on the bottom rack and a cookie sheet on the top rack to act as a steam pan. Prepare the dough to be baked by inverting the bowl onto a peel with a piece of parchment paper on it. Slash the dough on top. Slide the dough (still on the parchment paper) onto the stone. Dump 1 cup water into the steam pan. Lower the temp to 425 degrees and bake for 20 minutes. Rotate the dough 180 degrees and bake another 20 to 30 minutes until the dough is a rich brown on all sides and registers 200 degrees in the center. When the bread appears to be fully baked, turn off the oven and leave it in for another 5 to ten minutes.

Transfer the bread to a wire cooling rack and cool for at least 2 hours. For best flavor wrap the cooled loaf in aluminum foil and serve the next day.

While I've been making the dough I've been listening to that old Stevie Wonder album Innervisions. There is one song on there that I particularly like. You can listen to it by clicking the play button below. If you want the playback to stop you will have to push the pause button, otherwise you are very likely to get annoyed.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Ferrara's Soup of the Monestery

We decided to try another soup recipe from the book The Splendid Table.

Ferrara is a city in the Emilia-Romagna region of northern Italy.

There were some naughty Capuchin Friars in Ferrara who made a particularly tasty soup.

Ferrara's Soup of the Monestery

1 1/2 T olive oil
1 ounce minced pancetta (substitute bacon)
1 large onion, diced
1 cauliflower, cored and cut into bite sized pieces
3 T minced Italian parsley
1/2 t dried sage
1 t dried rosemary
1 clove garlic, minced
2 cups drained canned tomatoes, cut up
salt and pepper to taste
8 cups chicken broth
t T red wine vinegar

2 T minced Italian parsley
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 t dried rosemary leaves

Heat olive oil in a pot. Cook the pancetta until it is golden. Remove and reserve the pancetta. Add the onion, cauliflower, parsley and herbs. Cook, stirring, 8 to 10 minutes until onion is golden brown. Stir in the garlic and tomatoes, simmer 5 minutes. Add the chicken broth and simmer 15 minutes. To serve, pour into a big serving bowl and sprinkle with vinegar, garnish ingredients and the reserved pancetta.
This soup makes a great dipper for leftover crusts from pizza (see below).
While I was making the soup our little one decided that all the animals needed to go swimming - in toilet paper swimsuits!


Friday, June 06, 2008

NY Style Pizza

I decided to try out a NY style pizza in my new oven. I decided to make a couple pizzas based on the Tom Lehmann recipes.

NY Style Pizza
Makes two 16 inch pizzas

Flour (100%): 698 g
Water (62%): 433 g
IDY (.3%): 2 g
Salt (1.5%): 10 g
Olive Oil (1.5%): 10 g
Honey (2%): 14 g

Single Ball: 584 g

How to Prepare:

Standard Dough Making Procedure: Put water into the mixing bowl, add the salt and sugar, then add the flour and the yeast. Mix at low speed for about 2 minutes, then mix at medium speed until all of the flour has been picked up into the dough. Now add the oil and mix in for 2 minutes at low speed, then mix the dough at medium speed until it develops a smooth, satiny appearance (generally about 8 to 10 minutes using a planetary mixer).

The dough temperature should be between 80 and 85F. Immediately divide the dough into desired weight pieces and round into balls. Wipe the dough balls with salad oil, and place into plastic dough boxes. Make sure that the dough balls are spaced about 2 inches apart. Cross stack the uncovered dough boxes in the cooler for 2 hours as this will allow the dough balls to cool down thoroughly, and uniformly. The dough boxes can then be nested, with the top box being covered. This will prevent excessive drying of the dough balls.

The dough balls will be ready to use after about 12 hours of refrigeration. They can be used after up to 72 hours of refrigeration with good results. To use the dough balls, remove a quantity from the cooler and allow them to warm at room temperature for approximately 2-3 hours. The dough can then be shaped into skins, or shaped into pans for proofing. Unused dough can remain at room temperature (covered to prevent drying) for up to 6 hours after removal from the cooler.

Shaping the Dough
1) Remove dough balls from ziplock bags. Dust both sides well. Dust prep area with flour.
2) Flatten ball into a thick pancake-like shape with palm of hand, ~ 2" thick. Keep well dusted. Rest around 5 minutes.
3) Press fingertips into center and working toward the rim until skin is ~9 inches round. Keep well dusted and rest 5 minutes.
4) Place hands palm down inside rim and stretch outward while turning. Stretch to ~11 inches round. Rest around 5 minutes.
5) Place skin over knuckles (1st time dough is lifted off bench) and stretch to 14 inches.
6) Pat excess flour off skin. Place on a pizza peel dusted with corn meal and dress with favorite toppings.
7) Just before sliding off the peel and into the oven, run a piece of dental floss under the dough. That will help the pizza slide off easier.

I took me a while to come up with the optimal oven configuration, but I wanted to come as close as possible to a Neapolitan pizza oven. They are characterized by a stone floor and a low ceiling. To duplicate that I have the pizza stone on the bottom rack and another stone on another rack, about 7.5 inches above the first. The top stone provides radiant heat to the top of the pizza. The pizza is cooked directly on the bottom stone.

Preparing the Oven
1) Place a baking stone on the lowest rack in the oven.
2) Place another baking stone (or some unglazed quarry tiles) on a rack 3 notches above the first. Notches vary from oven to oven so shoot for 7.5 inches.
3) Turn the oven to the highest possible heat and preheat for 1 hour.
4) While the oven is preheating you will hear the gas turn off. When this happens open the door until the gas kicks back on.

Our little one worked up quite an appetite with Mr. Duck at the park today!
You should use good cheeses to make your pizzas.
We had a pizza margarita.
And a pepperoni pizza.
Lesson learned: our oven should only be used to bake a pizza 14 inches or less.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Less than 3 weeks

Its hard to believe it but I have been training since 1992. How long is that? My last official day as a resident is June 22nd, which means I have less than 3 weeks left in my training.

You remember that scene at the end of The Graduate where Dustin Hoffman gets on the bus with Elaine? They are relieved that they are on the bus and together but they kind of take a second and then look out the rear window and the look on their face is "what now!!??!??!?!" I feel a little like that. I am glad to be getting done but it is the start of a whole new era. Every change has its uncertainty and stress.

Scotch Egg!

I don't know why, but before today I had never heard of a Scotch Egg.
A Scotch Egg is a hard boiled egg, wrapped in sausage and then dipped in some sort of a batter. After the dipping it is deep fat fried! At the Minnesota state fair they are served on a stick. Scotch eggs aren't Scottish but rather English. Read all about them by clicking the link above.

I found out about Scotch Eggs because I was doing some huge case today and one of the scrub nurses mentioned them. As you might imagine I was very much intrigued. I asked where to get Scotch Eggs and she said at Irish Rover. We canceled our dinner post haste and ate there. Scotch Eggs are to die for!

Ours was served with Colman's Mustard.
It is different from the usual mustard in that it is sweeter.

DGF rating:
[**********] (10 heads exploding out of 10!!!!) (Triple must have treat, super fantastic!)

Sunday, June 01, 2008

The Ultimate Americanized Naan

There is no more American foodstuff than sourdough. I made some sourdough naan tonight. To make it I made my usual naan dough but started with what looked like 25% of the dough being sourdough culture. It took 8 hours on the counter to double in size and cooked up very nice. It was the last thing made by my current oven. Tomorrow it gets swapped out because of a defective bottom burner.
Our little one requested a photo with Mr. Blanket.
She also requested that Mr. Duck pose with the butter chicken. It was better this time. I made it with just a few drops of red food coloring and I was extremely careful with the salt.
Here is a nice photo of our Indian feast. If you pair these two dishes be sure to include some chutney. The flavors of these two dishes are so strong that you need to cleanse your palate when you switch between dishes.

Eggplant Tomato Curry

We were so impressed by VahRehVah's Butter Chicken recipe that we decided to try another of his recipes - eggplant tomato curry. He has a video for this recipe as well.

He calls for an ingredient that I haven't used before - curry leaves. They come in both dried and fresh forms. There is not supposed to be a good substitution although bay leaves have been mentioned but taste totally different. You can order them from the internet. I found some at an International Grocery Store in Louisville.

I converted his recipe to text so that it would be easier for me to use.

Eggplant Tomato Curry
Slice 1 eggplant into slices and then quarter each slice. Heat some oil in a frying pan. Brown the slices of eggplant in the oil and set aside. You aren't supposed to reuse the oil.

Heat a frying pan over medium heat and drop in about a tablespoon of oil. Add 1 whole dried red chili, 1/2 t mustard seed, 1/2 t cumin seed, 1 large diced onion, 6 curry leaves, 1 diced green chili, a tablespoon of a 50/50 mixture of garlic and ginger and 1/2 t turmeric.

Saute until the onions are transparent. Add 2 diced tomatoes, 1 1/2 t coriander powder and 1/2 t Indian chili powder. Cover and simmer 5 minutes.

Meanwhile heat a pan with a little oil in it. Drop in 2 T peanuts and cook until they turn brown and split. Add 1 T sesame seeds and roast for a little while longer. Grind up the whole mess in a mortar and pestle or in the blender.

Add the eggplant to the pot and cook 5 minutes covered. Taste and add a little salt if needed. Stir in the peanuts and the sesame seeds. Stir and remove from heat. Top with a little chopped cilantro and serve.

This is one of the tastier eggplant dishes we have ever eaten. Wifey says she likes the nuttiness and smokyness added by the peanuts and sesame seeds.


The Louisville Look

There is a look that I thought was peculiar to Louisville teens and early 20's. We used to go to the mall and watch for these kids. They are easy to find because they are always heading to or away from Spencer's Gifts.

Usually it is boys (not men) with women's haircuts either died jet black or jet black with some high lites. They always have on really tight women's jeans, Van's checkered shoes or Converse All Stars, concert tee shirts and white studded belts. Black studded belts are OK but white is much preferred.
Not every kid going for this look can afford or find all of the necessary components of the look. Original Clash tee shirts are hard to find. Also because of the popularity of the white studded belt, some are opting for canvas.

Notice that the youth in the above photo is missing the right shoes. He is almost there with the hair but it needs to be all one length and it needs to be dyed. His dad probably threatened him with no allowance or something. He is skinny enough but he needs to find tighter jeans. Also he needs to stop eating meat so he can develop that malnourished pasty white skin.
This one must be in a cold climate, although I have never seen a Louisville Looker in anything but a T-Shirt even in the middle of winter and there is never any evidence of a coat to be seen. I think they must get their mom's to drop them off at the mall and pick them up. The other thing about these kids is that they seem to enter the mall in weird, low traffic places, lending credence to the idea that their moms are dropping them off.
Here are a few standing outside of a store. Probably the security guard hassled them and they had to leave.

The other thing about these kids is that they always look like they are about to cry, but in a belligerent way. Emo's, the other kids that dress something like this cry all the time but in a "woe is me" sort of way. The one in this picture seems disgruntled because he has a black studded belt and not a white one.
After a while I googled a description of these kids and found out that there is a name for this look. They are called "Scene Kids."