Black Bean and Corn Salsa

Oct 14, 2013 2

finished-bbcsalsa-h

Black Bean and Corn Salsa

I came across a form of this, what they called “spicy”, recipe years ago and had to give it a try. It turned out, whoever’s recipe it was, had hyper-active heat sensors on their taste buds. There just wasn’t any heat. The concept was there though, so I tweaked it. This still isn’t really hot, so most anyone can enjoy it, but there’s also enough heat to please those who like it hot. If you have people over who really don’t do spicy food, just eliminate the heat mixture. If you’ve got a heat loving crowd coming over, double up on the heat mixture. This recipe is easily customized. The ingredient list on this one is longer than the instructions too (I love those kinds of recipes!) It also gives me the excuse to get out my molcajete and use it. I think I have this exact one here (it’s really a mortar and pestle, but growing up in Arizona I always thought they were just called “molcajetes”. I was nearly an adult before I realized there was a difference.)

*as always. whenever possible use fresh, organic, and local.

This stuff is easy!

Drain and rinse the black beans. Juice about 3 limes for the 1/3 Cup (I love the convenience of this lime juicer.) Combine all the ingredient from the salsa recipe except the tomatoes in a large bowl. Salt and pepper to taste.

 

juice-limes

 

Put the vinegar in to the molcajete. Add the minced jalapenos (with seeds and veins.) Pay special attention to trying to grind the jalapeno seeds as this helps to release some of those oils in the seed itself. Mash the jalapeno in to the vinegar.

 

diced-jalapeno

smash-jalapeno

 

This is also why using a molcajete is so fun, you can really get in there with some force and feel like you’re being destructive…anything with pounding, smashing, grinding food by hand (well, without a motor at least)…it’s a little primal.

Add the garlic, spices, and hot sauce, and continue to smash together.

 

assblaster

 

Ass Blaster or Spontaneous Combustion are a couple of my favorites.

 

add-spices

spice-mix

 

You’ll end up with a finely chopped salsa looking mix.

Once the heat mix is nice and combined take a taste test of it. If it needs a little more hot sauce, by all means, feel free.

If you can make the heat mixture a head of time and let it sit in it’s own juices for a few hours, that flavor will develop even further, but this is not required. If adding the heat mix, add it to the base now and stir it all together. Cover and chill in refrigerator for at least 2 hours. Stir in tomatoes just before serving.

 

finished-salsa

 

*Note – in my opinion, there’s no such thing as “too much cilantro” so use the 1/2 Cup as a guide.

*Note – If you’re sensitive to peppers, or are prone to cutting peppers then touching your face, you might want to wear some rubber gloves while preparing the jalapenos.

This is excellent on organic tortilla chips. You can also use it as a burrito filling by itself. If you want to be a carnivore add some shredded chicken or I imagine carnitas, or a shredded beef (barbacoa style maybe)) would be awesome as well, but haven’t tried the carnitas or barbacoa yet.

Enjoy!

Black Bean and Corn Salsa
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This is a simple yet bright and flavorful black bean and corn salsa. If you want to make it spicy simply mix in the optional spice mix mixture (recipe included). This is an awesome traditional salsa alternative on tortilla chips. It's also packed with nutrition and can stand as a meal of it's own. If you want to add some shredded chicken, carnitas, or barbacoa feel free! This recipe is very customizable.
Prep Time
20minutes
Prep Time
20minutes
Black Bean and Corn Salsa
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This is a simple yet bright and flavorful black bean and corn salsa. If you want to make it spicy simply mix in the optional spice mix mixture (recipe included). This is an awesome traditional salsa alternative on tortilla chips. It's also packed with nutrition and can stand as a meal of it's own. If you want to add some shredded chicken, carnitas, or barbacoa feel free! This recipe is very customizable.
Prep Time
20minutes
Prep Time
20minutes
Ingredients
Servings:
Units:
Instructions
  1. Drain and rinse the black beans.
  2. Juice about 3 limes (1/3 Cup).
  3. Combine all ingredients except tomatoes in a large mixing bowl.
  4. Salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Add tomatoes and mix in just before serving.
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Spicy Heat Mixture
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This spicy heat mixture can be mixed in to just about anything you can mix stuff into to add an element of depth and heat.
Spicy Heat Mixture
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This spicy heat mixture can be mixed in to just about anything you can mix stuff into to add an element of depth and heat.
Ingredients
Servings:
Units:
Instructions
  1. In a food processor or molcajete (mortar and pestle) put the vinegar and add the jalapenos and mash together. If using the molcajete, pay attention to smashing the seeds well to release the oils.
  2. Add the garlic, spices, and hot sauce and continue to smash everything together.
  3. It is done when it's the consistency of a finely chopped salsa.
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100% Whole Wheat Bread

Oct 11, 2013 0

finished-bread-h

100% Whole Wheat Bread

Make that bread out of these basic ingredients.

 

ingredients

 

I would recommend getting a mixer if you do not have one yet. I would recommend either of the following mixers. If you are not going to multiply this recipe you’re probably fine getting this lift bowl type mixer, but if you want to double or more this recipe I would recommend getting this more powerful mixer.

A brief note on the type of wheat (it does matter.) Research is showing that wheat that has been sprayed with pesticides, specifically glysophate are linked to gluten sensitivities. See this report at gmo-awarness.com for details. It’s important to use an organic, non-gmo grain when possible.

It is also preferable to use freshly milled flour. You may be able to find a local mill that is milling flour fresh that you can buy, or you can buy a home mill and grind your own wheat berries into flour when needed. See our post on milling your own flours at home here.

Lets make some bread

Start with 2 1/2 cups water and warm it on your stove until the water feels just room temperature on your finger. I put the 4-Cup measuring cup right on the burner.

 

soaker-water

 

Pour that warm water and apple cider vinegar over 3 cups of the wheat flour and whisk it until there’s no more dry flour left and it’s like a slightly thinner pancake batter. I’ve settled on soaking with a little apple cider vinegar, but you can use white vinegar, or even just water as well. At this time if your yeast is in the fridge, get it out, get it measured, and get it on the counter. The yeast needs to be at room temp when added in. Once the flour and water are whisked together cover the bowl with a warm, damp tea towel.

 

soaker

 

Let the flour soak for at least 2 hours, but even longer if you can. I’ve got up to a 5 hour soak and the bread was even better, but I wouldn’t go less than 2 hours.

About 30 minutes before your flour is done soaking take a 1-Cup Pyrex and put 1/4 cup of filtered water up to room temperature and stir 2 tsp of honey in. Add the 2 1/2 tsp of yeast and gently stir in until it’s just mixed it. Let it sit at room temperature for about thirty minutes. This, and the soaking of the flour, are the two secrets to this bread. After 30 minutes your yeast mixture, aka “the sponge”, will look like this; bubbling, foaming, growing.

 

sponge

 

It’s alive!

 

Put your salt in the bowl of a mixer. Add the 1/3 cup of honey. Add the 3 Tbs of melted butter. Pour in your soaked flour mixture. Finally pour in the sponge mixture. If you were adding the egg, this is when you would add it. Turn your mixer on a low speed (on my Kitchen Aid it’s a 2) and mix for about a minute until fairly well combined. You’ll probably have a bit of a butter ring around the edge.

 

kneading-dough

Time to knead!

Now, about 1/2 cup at a time, add in the dry flour. Mix (again on setting 2 for my mixer) until fully incorporated, and then add another 1/2 cup and repeat. Occasionally scrape down the sides of the bowl. Continue this until the dough is cleaning the sides of the bowl for you. This video shows what “cleaning the sides of the bowl” looks like.

 

 

Let this mix for about 5 minutes. Then add the smallest amount of water back in (think about a tsp at a time). Let mix more until it doesn’t appear wet and sticky. Repeat that 2-3 times. The dough will take in more water after this initial 5 minutes of kneading. Stop adding water when you think “if I add more, it’s going to begin to start to stick again.” Let the mixer run for another 3-5 minutes.

Grease a large glass bowl (I use a little cold expeller pressed olive oil.) Put a little of the oil on the counter. Take the dough out and form it into a ball on the counter with your hands. Put it int he glass bowl and cover with a kitchen towel. Put the bowl somewhere warm and let it proof rise for an hour. We don’t use our microwave, but have found that it makes an excellent built in dough proofer.

 

finished-dough

proof-dough

 

After about an hour the dough should have doubled. Depending on your elevation, room temperature, humidity…etc, etc. etc. it might be a little more or less. After an hour mine looks like this:

 

dough-rise

 

Punch the dough down. Oil the counter again (if needed) and knead the dough by hand for a minute or two (mostly to try to remove any bubbles). Divide the dough in half. This will make two 2 lb loafs. If you have a kitchen scale put a plate on top and zero it out. Put the dough on the plate to compare the two half to make sure they are nearly equal in weight. Form your loaf shape. A good beginner technique is to flatten you dough out into a rectangular(ish) shape where the narrow width is the same as the length of your loaf pan and then roll it up length wise. I use a 9 x 5 x 2.75 (2 lb) loaf pan. I found these silicone coated loaf pans and LOVE them. They are coated in a silicone coating somewhere that makes them nonstick without all of the chemicals found in most (or all?) nonstick coatings. If you have non coated loaf pans you might want to use some butter and grease the inside of your loaf pan. Once the loaf is formed put the loaves in your pans.

 

dough-loaves

 

Preheat oven to 400°. Cover again with a kitchen towel and back into the microwave. Let these rise until the dough just crests the top of the loaf pan (they will continue to rise A LOT in the oven). This will take between 30 minutes to an hour so check regularly. It’s time to stop letting them rise when they look like this:

 

risen-loaves

 

Put these in the oven and reset the oven to 350°. Bake for about 40-50 minutes. Use a thermometer with a probe this digital cooking thermometer to check internal temperature. We’re looking for 180°. Remove loaves from oven and place on a cooling rack. Notice the rise difference from entering the oven to leaving the oven.

 

baked-loaves

 

Let these cool completely (this time, this is where I went to bed. When I woke up they turned right out and fell onto the cooling rack (with no greasing the loaf pans!)). That’s it! You’re done! Get a serrated bread knife and cut it as thin or thick as you want. Make sure it is completely cool before cutting. Warm bread will be too soft and you’ll tear the slices up. You have got to be patient if you want it to slice. If you want to tear it off by the fist full then dive right in as soon as they’re cool enough to touch!

 

sliced-bread

 

I’ve had this last easily over a week, maybe two, before it seemed too old/dry to eat as is (still toasts great at that point though.) Spread with some homemade butter and you’re good to go!

*EDIT – We are now soaking the flour for a full 24 hours and are seeing noticeable improvements in the bread.

100% Whole Wheat Bread
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100% fresh ground whole wheat bread with no white flour. The bread is wonderfully light and spongy, and has a deep complex flavor from the fresh wheat. This bread is not dense and all and rises quite fast.
Servings Prep Time
2loaves 360minutes
Cook Time
40minutes
Servings Prep Time
2loaves 360minutes
Cook Time
40minutes
100% Whole Wheat Bread
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100% fresh ground whole wheat bread with no white flour. The bread is wonderfully light and spongy, and has a deep complex flavor from the fresh wheat. This bread is not dense and all and rises quite fast.
Servings Prep Time
2loaves 360minutes
Cook Time
40minutes
Servings Prep Time
2loaves 360minutes
Cook Time
40minutes
Ingredients
  • 6-7 Cups Whole wheat flour freshly ground is best
  • 1 tsp Salt (add 1/2 tsp salt is using a real/minimally processed salt as they tend to be less salty)
  • 3 Tbsp Butter melted and cooled, from grassfed cows
  • 2 1/2 tsp Yeast
  • 1/3 Cup Honey
  • 2 tsp Honey
  • 2 1/2 Cups Water
  • 1/4 Cup Water
  • 1 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar Organic and raw if possible
  • 1 Egg pastured (optional)(gives this bread a slight egg bread flavor, yummy!)
Servings: loaves
Units:
Instructions
  1. Warm up 2 1/2 cups of water until warm to the touch.
  2. Combine warm water, and apple cider vinegar with 3 cups of the flour and whisk until all lumps are gone and there's no dry flour left.
  3. Cover with a damp tea towel and let sit on counter for at least 2 hours (I have let it sit for up to 5 hours even.) Update: I now leave this sit for a full 24 hours.
  4. About 30 minutes before the flour is done soaking warm up the 1/4 cup of water to room temperature and stir in the 2 tsp of honey. Lightly whisk in the yeast and let this mixture sit at on counter for about 30 minutes. This will make "the sponge."
  5. Pour the salt into the bowl of your mixer and add the 1/3 cup of honey and the melted butter.
  6. Pour in the soaked flour, the sponge, and the optional egg. Turn the mixer on a low speed (speed 2 on mine). Mixer to combine for about a minute.
  7. Now, 1/2 cup at a time, add in the remaining 3-4 cups of flour. Add in a 1/2 cup and mix until well combined and then add another 1/2 cup. Scrape down the sides of the bowl occasionally.
  8. Continue adding flour just until the dough is "cleaning the bowl" or it's picking up all the little pieces of dough that where sticking to the sides. Let it mix for 5 minutes.
  9. Grease a large bowl (I used a little cold pressed olive oil or butter here). Also put a little of the oil on the counter and turn the dough out of the mixer bowl onto the counter. Knead the dough a bit little bit just to form a ball.
  10. Put the dough in a bowl and cover with a kitchen towel. Place it somewhere warm to let the dough proof (I put mine in the microwave and let it sit there). Let dough proof for about an hour until dough has doubled.
  11. Punch the dough down and let the dough rise a second time. Oil the counter again if needed and knead the bread by hand for 1-2 minutes.
  12. Divide the dough in half. You should have 2 two lbs loafs.
  13. Form dough into loaf shape and place in loaf pans. The pans I have the finest layer of silicone coating so no greasing is needed, but typically you would need to grease the bottom and sides of your loaf pans.
  14. Preheat over to 400 F. Cover loaf pans with towel again and let rise for 30-60 minutes just until the dough starts to crest over the top of the loaf pan.
  15. Put the loafs in the oven and then turn the oven down to 350 F and bake for 40-50 minutes. We're looking for 180 F inside the loaf when done.
  16. Remove loaves from oven and place on cooling rack. Let cool completely and turn loaves out of pans.
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100% Whole Grain Pancakes

Oct 11, 2013 0

finished-pancakes-h

100% Whole Grain Pancakes

Start preheating a heavy cast iron skillet like this square cast iron griddle over medium heat (on my stove it’s set at 4).
Whisk vinegar into milk gently and let it sit for 5 minutes to sour the milk. Whisk in to the milk the 2 eggs.Mix all dry ingredients together. Whisk the milk, vinegar, and egg mixture into the dry ingredients and whisk well to break down all lumps. Finally whisk in the melted butter. You could probably combine it all in a blender too, I just haven’t gone there yet. Hand whisking is easier than blender cleaning I guess. Once batter is mixed, put a bit of butter on the skillet and spread it around. I actually use my own purified bacon drippings instead of butter for this.

Pour the batter!

Use a 1/2 Cup measuring cup to pour batter on to skillet. Let it cook for 2-3 minutes until edges start to appear dry and air bubbles releasing from batter has slowed like this.

 

pour-batter

 

Use a wide and heavy spatula (even if you’re a master “flip it straight from the pan” type of chef, the weight of the cast iron makes this technique a little extra challenging.) I use my “pancake spatula” like this stainless steel turner with wood handle. Pancakes should be a nice golden brown.

 

flip-pancake

 

Cook for another 3-4 minutes. Flip again and look for desired color on the other side. Cook a little more and flip until cooked to your liking. This batch should make about 6 pancakes of this size plus 1 more slightly smaller than the others.

Pour something all over it!

Now just server yourself a nice manly stack of three of these (or 4 if your insanely awesome.) You may not need to eat for the rest of the day. These will not make you feel like you need to roll to your bed and die because you’re so full. You will, however, not be hungry for a long time. These grow big and tall and are so fluffy.

Just look at this stack when cut in to soaked in real maple syrup (feel free to expand on the use of maple syrup if you choose.)

 

cut-pancake

cut-bite

 

Enjoy!

Whole Grain Pancakes
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These whole grain pancakes are light, fluffy, and have no all-purpose white flour in them at all! They are super healthy, but don't taste like it. Our kids even love them!
Servings Prep Time
6Pancakes (about) 10minutes
Cook Time
6minutes
Servings Prep Time
6Pancakes (about) 10minutes
Cook Time
6minutes
Whole Grain Pancakes
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These whole grain pancakes are light, fluffy, and have no all-purpose white flour in them at all! They are super healthy, but don't taste like it. Our kids even love them!
Servings Prep Time
6Pancakes (about) 10minutes
Cook Time
6minutes
Servings Prep Time
6Pancakes (about) 10minutes
Cook Time
6minutes
Ingredients
Servings: Pancakes (about)
Units:
Instructions
  1. I prefer to melt butter over medium low heat, so I start with melting the butter in a ramekin in a toaster oven or on the stove. When melted set aside so it can cool a little.
  2. If you have one to use, use a cast iron skillet and get it preheating over medium heat (on my stove it's about a 4.)
  3. Whisk the vinegar into the milk and let it sit for 5 minutes. Do this even if using already acidic cultured buttermilk as the baking soda LOVES the vinegar.
  4. Whisk all dry ingredients together.
  5. Whisk together the dry and wet ingredients (excluding the butter). Whisk together until there's no lumps. I haven't but you could do this step in a blender as well.
  6. Lastly, whisk the melted butter into the pancake batter.
  7. Using a 1/2 cup measuring cup pour the batter onto preheated skillet. Let cook for 2-3 minutes until edges start to look dry and the release of air bubbles from the batter has slowed.
  8. Flip pancake and cook for another 3-4 minutes.
  9. Flip pancake again to check for desired color. It should be a nice golden brown
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How to use homemade yogurt

Sep 12, 2013 1

greek-yogurt-h

(Greek yogurt with diced pineapple)

How to use homemade yogurt

So you just made a batch of fresh, homemade yogurt from our other post here.

“So I made this 1/2 gallon or gallon of yogurt. That’s a lot! What do I do with it?”

What don’t you do with it? I mean this could be a seriously long post, and I don’t think I feel like typing that much really 🙂 Let’s just cover some of the basics and then you can roll with it from there.

Greek yogurt

One of the most popular types of yogurt today is Greek yogurt, and for good reason. Pint for pint it has a lot more protein in it than regular yogurt (about double). It’s also thicker making it a suitable sour cream substitute.

“Well, I just made regular yogurt not Greek yogurt.”

That’s right, but all Greek yogurt is is strained regular yogurt (what you just made here.) With one more step and some extra hours you can take your regular yogurt and make Greek yogurt and have some whey left over!

Here’s what you do. Depending on how much yogurt you want to strain get a sufficiently sized bowl. Rubber band some (about 5-8) layers of cheesecloth to the top of the bowl (with some slack in the cheesecloth). Pour your yogurt onto the cheesecloth and wait. 2-4 hours later (depending on how thick you want it) scrape the yogurt off the cheese cloth into a dish and you’re done. You now have a plain Greek yogurt. Us this anywhere sour cream is called for as a high protein substitute. DON’T throw away the whey! Like buttermilk, yogurt whey is just the byproduct of the process, but whey too is a liquid gold and is very versatile in the kitchen.

Yogurt cheese

Mmmm cheese. Did you know you can turn yogurt into cheese? The process is identical to the process above for making Greek yogurt only let the yogurt strain on the cheesecloth longer. To get a good yogurt cheese, let the yogurt strain for anywhere from  6 to 12 hours depending on how thick you want it. Scrape off the cheesecloth and chill in the fridge. You now have a yogurt based cream cheese substitute! Allow for about 1 cup of yogurt for every 1/3 Cup of yogurt cheese you want to end up with (that’s how much whey we strain out)

Flavored Yogurt

Plain is pretty yummy, but most people aren’t going to sit down to a bowl of plain yogurt. Add some flavor! The limits here are up to your imagination. Puree some strawberries and add a little local raw honey and stir it in. Stir in a tablespoon of organic, no sugar added fruit jams. Put 1 tablespoon of local honey and a splash of vanilla extract. Mash up some blueberries and some banana and stir it in. The point is it’s all just real food you’re adding and it’s awesome! You’re flavoring options are limited to only what ingredients you can find.

Whey!

This probably will become it’s own post shortly and will link to it soon.

UPDATE: Frozen Yogurt! (10/10/2013)

I’m not sure how I left that out of the initial post! Pretty simple on this one if you have a homemade ice cream maker. Add yogurt and flavorings in to the ice cream maker and follow the directions that came with it. Yumm! I healthy treat for the family!

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Italian Red Sauce

Sep 11, 2013 0

Finished Red Sauce

Italian red sauce

Is it marinara sauce? Is it pizza sauce? Is it spaghetti sauce? In Italy it’s just called “sauce.” We call this “red sauce”, because we make other sauces of other colors in our kitchen. I guess in Italy “sauce” gets the point across though. Put it on a pizza, smother some spaghetti with it, pour it on some chicken; it’s just crazy good. Obviously the best part of this sauce is the flavor of the tomatoes with the fresh herbs, garlic, onions…etc. However, the second best part of this awesome mess is the aroma that floats out from the kitchen and through the house as you’re making it. If you haven’t taken the time to break away from the store bought jar of spaghetti sauce and made a pot of your own at home, then you’re missing out. Seriously, you might be a deprived individual (well, you might be anyways, but we won’t address that here.) One of the best parts for me is the aroma from each step is unique and builds on the last one. If you’re like me you could just sit there and smell onions and garlic simmering together in olive oil all day right? However it gets even better. Use local organic ingredients where possible.

Let’s begin:

Here’s the ingredients you’ll need:

 

R2L_160111_002

(that’s all it is!)

 

R2L_160111_003

Fresh herbs!

It’s still crazy good with dried, but it’s a unique experience eating fresh herbs cooked into a tomato sauce. Mince, or chop all the herbs (though most purists out there will says you never cut an herb, only tear it. I don’t care THAT much about that….yet) and set aside in a separate bowl. Add the brown sugar, salt, and Italian seasoning mix to the bowl. What is that awesome cutting board chopper thing you ask? Some kitchen gadget I got from my brother and sister-in-law straight from Alaska. It’s an “ulu” which is Eskimo for “Woman’s knife”, but please don’t remind me (and I REALLY wish I didn’t know that in the first place.) Translation aside, these things, along with their Italian counter-part the mezzaluna (many physical differences between the two, but in this case both seem to work great), are amazing for mincing fresh herbs. The cutting board on this even had a bowl formed into it. I’d link to it for you, but never cared to look for one (because I have one.)

Put the tomatoes in a blender and puree them. This may need to be done in two batches depending on the blender jar size. Chop the onion and mince the garlic.

 

R2L_160110_004

(I know the recipe says 4 cloves, but every time my eyes read the recipe my brain tells me that this much is “4”)

Time to cook!

Get out a 5 qt or 8 qt sauce pot. Preheat it over medium heat.
Add olive oil (not Extra Virgin unless EV is all you have (EV should never be heated)) and onions to the pot. Season this layer with a little salt and pepper. Let onion saute until translucent but not browned.

About halfway through the onions being done add in the garlic. I find the garlic sautes faster so I don’t add them at the same time.

 

Saute onions

 

When onions and garlic are near done, raise the heat to medium high for a minute and then deglaze the pot with the beef stock. Stir it together and let it simmer to reduce for a few minutes (we’re just trying to concentrate the beef flavor here, but not cook off the liquid.)

After reducing the stock add in the tomatoes. Stir together and bring this mixture to a boil. Once at full boil let it cook for 7 minutes. You will want a mesh splash screen here to avoid a kitchen disaster as you do not want to put a lid on the pot here (we want some evaporation to reduce the sauce a bit.)

After the tomatoes have cooked for 7 minutes lower the temperature to a simmer. Dump in all the herbs, salt, and brown sugar that you had set aside previously and stir them into the sauce.

 

cook sauce

 

Replace the splatter guard if simmering tomato sauce makes you nervous. Simmer for 25 minutes.

When done, taste, and adjust the salt to your liking if needed.

 

sauce done

 

Tada! Buon Appetito!


In our house this is our default pizza sauce on homemade pizza. You can also use it in stuffed and breaded chicken breasts with this on top (recipes for both coming soon.)
* If using the smaller cans of tomatoes add a slight bit more of all the flavor ingredients as that’s a few more ounces of tomatoes.
* Look for canned tomatoes that come in BPA free cans to be safer (erring on the side of caution). Most canned tomatoes on the market are lined with BPA. More info on BPA can be found here at WebMD.
* If in season, always look to get fresh tomatoes (if you’re willing to peel them (for me, that depends on what day it is)). Tomatoes in the stores, when out of season, tend to have tougher skins as they are bred to withstand colder winter temps. Canned would be the better option during the winter. Here in AZ, locally harvested tomatoes are in season May-November. Use this seasonality guide at ask.com for you state.
*If you like a smooth sauce (or need it for a particular use) just pour back into blender. Do not put lid on completely, but cover blender jar well. If you put the blender lid on and turn the blender on with hot sauce inside you will get a sauce explosion and that’s not the kind of “Wow!” effect we’re going for here. Leave room for steam to vent away from your hand as you hold the lid. Puree again until smooth.

Italian Red Sauce
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This is a beautifully bright tomato sauce that goes great on just about everything. The oils coming from the fresh herbs are incredible. Easy to customize by adjusting the onion and garlic amounts.
Servings Prep Time
241/2 C 15minutes
Cook Time
45minutes
Servings Prep Time
241/2 C 15minutes
Cook Time
45minutes
Italian Red Sauce
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This is a beautifully bright tomato sauce that goes great on just about everything. The oils coming from the fresh herbs are incredible. Easy to customize by adjusting the onion and garlic amounts.
Servings Prep Time
241/2 C 15minutes
Cook Time
45minutes
Servings Prep Time
241/2 C 15minutes
Cook Time
45minutes
Ingredients
Servings: 1/2 C
Units:
Instructions
  1. Chop all herbs and set aside in a bowl.
  2. Add salt and brown sugar to the herb bowl.
  3. Put a 5 quart or 8 quart sauce pot on medium low heat.
  4. Add olive oil and onions to the pot and sauté until onions are almost translucent.
  5. Add garlic to the pot and sauté together for about 3 minutes.
  6. Raise heat to medium and add the beef stock to the pot to deglaze the bottom of the pot.
  7. Puree the tomatoes in a blender
  8. Add tomatoes to the pot, raise the heat to medium-high, and allow tomatoes to come to full boil, stirring occasionally.
  9. Once boiling, cover with a splatter guard and boil for 7 minutes.
  10. Lower the heat to simmer. Add the herbs, salt, and brown sugar. Simmer for 25 minutes.
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How To Make Homemade Yogurt

Sep 10, 2013 0

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How to make homemade yogurt

The health benefits of yogurt (some of which we discussed in our post about cultured dairy here) are many. Today it is or already has become one of the new “it” foods. Just look at the grocery store, there’s probably one aisle dedicated to yogurt and cheese. The variety and type of yogurt seem endless;

“Do I buy kefir, or do I buy Greek?”

“What about goat’s milk yogurt?”

“Swedish yogurt? I don’t even know what that is!”

“2%, fat free, whole, ….raw!?”

With that kind of selection why make your own yogurt? Well, maybe you’re just obsessed with knowing how everything is made and trying to make it yourself (or maybe that’s just me.)

Control

Well, the main reason to make your own yogurt is sugar. To a lot of people, plain yogurt just doesn’t taste that good, so how do you sell it? Add sugar! Mmmmm, yummy, “now they’ll buy it!” The problem is depending on type and flavor, there’s quite a bit of sugar in these. A  cup of a major name brand has 26 g of sugar (a 12 oz Coke has 39 g)! The little plain yogurt that I use some of as a starter has 15 g and we don’t even use the whole thing. Plus that little bit of yogurt makes a 1/2 gallon of yogurt. One of the main points of yogurt and that the bacteria eat the lactose (dairy sugar) and convert it to lactic acid (tangy yumminess!). Then we go and add refined sugar back into it so that it “tastes better.”

Also, as is the case with all do-it-yourself recipes, there’s ingredient control. Want to know what quality of milk your yogurt started out as? Want to know how many (or few) live active cultures are in your yogurt? How about which and how much of those sweeteners are used? Well, we should want to know all of this, and making it at home you get to decide what does and does not go in.

But really, it’s cheap, it’s EASY, and it’s amazingly good! Maybe it’s even a little fun doing the process right in your own kitchen that is THOUSANDS of years old (if you’re a history buff and/or love geeking out on useless info check out this history of yogurt on dairygoodness.ca)!

There’s many ways to make yogurt (the variety is in the details), but the science is simple. Heat the milk to prepare the whey proteins. Cool the milk a bit to not kill the incoming bacteria. Add bacteria. Let it sit while bacteria multiply. Stop bacteria from multiplying. That’s it, easy right?

Here’s the method and tools I use.

To start, put your half gallon of milk in a sauce pan on low heat (we’re trying to heat the milk without scalding it). Using a thermometer like this one we use, heat the milk to 190°.

 

Heat milk

(the fat floats to the surface when the milk is not homogenized.)

 

Once at 190°, we need to quickly cool it down to 120°. I do this by “floating” the 3qt pot in a 8qt pot will some ice water in it and whisk until cooled to 120°.

 

Float to cool

 

Whisk the yogurt and the pectin in well and then divide the yogurt into the two 1qt jars.

 

whisk it in

yogurt jars

Place the jars in an igloo style lunch box and fill with HOT tap water (tap water needs to reach temp of about 120° and mine sits right at 120° on full heat). Once filled with water up to the line on the jar where the top of the yogurt reaches, cover the lunch box and let sit for 4-8 hours.

 

in igloo

 

The longer it sits, the stronger the tangy yogurt flavor will be. When it’s ready, take the jars out, dry them off, and whisk the yogurt in the jar (the whisking helps stop the culturing process). Put the jars in the fridge and let cool. When cooled, you have 1/2 gallon of awesome yogurt!

Great! Now what do I do with it? This post was for the why and the how. See our post here for what to do with it.

Homemade organic plain yogurt
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This yogurt is probiotic rich full of live active culture. When made with non-homogenized milk it's even extra creamy. It's delicious and great for you! This recipe uses yogurt as the starter. You can use a starter culture but follow the recipe on the box if it varies from this recipe. Additional yogurt and/or a little powdered milk can be used to make this even thicker, but this is how we like it as is.
Servings Prep Time
81 Cup 5minutes
Cook Time
30minutes
Servings Prep Time
81 Cup 5minutes
Cook Time
30minutes
Homemade organic plain yogurt
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This yogurt is probiotic rich full of live active culture. When made with non-homogenized milk it's even extra creamy. It's delicious and great for you! This recipe uses yogurt as the starter. You can use a starter culture but follow the recipe on the box if it varies from this recipe. Additional yogurt and/or a little powdered milk can be used to make this even thicker, but this is how we like it as is.
Servings Prep Time
81 Cup 5minutes
Cook Time
30minutes
Servings Prep Time
81 Cup 5minutes
Cook Time
30minutes
Ingredients
  • 1/2 Gallon milk 2% or Whole (organic, non-homogenized, low-pastuerized at best)
  • 3-4 Tbsp Yogurt organic (must be plain)
  • 3-4 Tbsp Pectin Liquid
Servings: 1 Cup
Units:
Instructions
  1. Heat milk over medium to medium-low heat to 190 F. Stirring frequently so as not to scald the milk.
  2. While milk is coming up to temperature prepare a cold water bath in a larger pot that you can float the pot with the milk in it.
  3. When milk is at temperature float it in the cold water bath and whisk milk until it has cooled to 120 F
  4. Once at 120 F whisk in the yogurt and pectin and divide into two 1 qt jars.
  5. Place the jars in the igloo type lunchbox and will to top of yogurt with 120 F water. My tap water, at it's hottest, is right around 120 F and yours probably is too. If so just use your hottest tap water.
  6. Close the lunchbox and let it rest for 4-8 hours. Yogurt will become tangier the longer it incubates.
  7. When done incubating, remove jars and whisk the yogurt to begin to stopping of the culturing process and then refrigerate. Yogurt is ready to eat when chilled.
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Homemade Cultured Butter and Buttermilk

Sep 3, 2013 1

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Homemade cultured butter and buttermilk

The joys of real buttermilk. Sometimes I make butter just because we’re out of buttermilk (joking, but I have been tempted.) When I first realized that buttermilk was just the liquid that separates from the fat when you make butter I ran out and got a couple pints of the common brand name cream that is available here and ran home and (after a little research for instructions) made butter. I chilled the buttermilk and made my usual pancake recipe with it……epic fail! Total disaster. They were so salty we couldn’t eat them. What!? Isn’t buttermilk supposed to make pancakes and waffles insanely better? Now I was on a mission to figure this out. Turns out, there’s A LOT to it.

Some notes:

  1. You want to start with cream from grass-fed or mostly grass-fed cows (see here for why).
  2. You want to start with cultured cream (see here for why).
  3. Try to find an organic cream that is ideally low pasteurized, else pasteurized, if not, then ultra pasteurized in that order. The lower the temps used in the pasteurization process the better for dairy proteins.
  4. If you have awesome grass-fed organic raw cream then you’ve got a whole different process to follow. This post deals with pasteurized cream and inoculating it with yogurt. Your raw cream should culture on its own.

Once you have the right kind of cream and have it prepped, you’re ready to churn.

 

 

“Chuuurn baby, churn!” No? That could be your new theme song that you play while making butter…just a thought. You can just leave that playing while you finish reading (you know you want to.)

Give it some culture!

Let the cream sit until room temperature. In a very clean mixing bowl lightly whisk the yogurt and cream together. Cover air tight and leave on the counter for 12-24 hours. I tend to lean towards the 12 hour mark. The longer it cultures the more “soured” the flavor comes out to be. If you’re new to cultured butter, 12 hours might even be a little strong for you. After about 12 hours your cream will look similar to this when lightly sloshed:

 

cultured-cream

 

Once cultured, put the cream in the fridge for 3-5 hours and chill to stop the culturing process. If you have an electric mixer with a metal bowl put it in the freezer for an hour before beginning. Your mixer might also have a cold water bath accessory you can use. Keeping the cream chilled will aid in keeping the butter firm while kneading it later.

Time to make the butter

Remove cream from fridge and whisk it to blend it back together and pour it into the chilled mixer bowl. Turn the mixer on to a low speed (I set my lift bowl stand mixer to speed 2). You’ll prefer a slow churn. Your butter comes out silkier, softer, and easier to spread. Churning at high speed seems to toughen the butter up a bit. Let it sit churning, for a long time, churning away at low speed (you can introduce churning theme song here)(this can be 45 minutes to an hour churning)(at about 30 minutes start checking regularly) once the cream is ready to start separating it will happen quickly and can potentially make a mess of your kitchen if you don’t have a splatter guard set up (at speed 2 mine doesn’t make a mess, so no splatter guard in the pictures.) The following are pictures just before separation and after separation and a video of that whole stage.

 

whip-cream

butter-buttermilk

(notice the yellow color of the fat)

 

 

Once the buttermilk and butter have separated, pour through a Fine Mesh Strainer over a bowl to catch the buttermilk. Knead butter in the strainer with a spoon or spatula to squeeze out the buttermilk. I love these silicone spatulas as it’s very easy to scrape butter off of them. Try to get every last drop of buttermilk (it’s liquid gold! (culinarily speaking that is)). Pour buttermilk into a mason jar and put it in the fridge.

 

drain-buttermilk

buttermilk

jar-buttermilk

Don’t forget to rinse it!

Now you need to rinse the butter. If you leave any of that buttermilk in the butter it will spoil quickly. To rinse, put the butter back in the mixer bowl and add some ice water (ice included is OK) back into the bowl and mix it at speed 1; this will knead the butter and rinse out the buttermilk. I cover the mixer bowl with something similar to this stainless steel splatter screen and pour the water out.
Repeat this step 2-4 times until the water remains fairly clear. You can also just put the butter and ice water in a bowl and get your hands down in there and knead it yourself.

 

rinse-butter

rinse-water

(water is mostly clean though the butter on bottom of bowl makes it look less clear)

 

When it’s finally rinsed I like to put the butter in a cheesecloth and wring it out compressing the butter and forcing the remaining liquid out.

 

wringout-butter

 

You can leave the butter unsalted, or at this stage you can knead in some salt by hand. You can also put it in your butter dish and let it warm up a bit and then mix some salt into the butter with a fork. Just a pinch or two of salt will be enough to enhance the flavor.

Any recipe for pancakes, cornbread, or waffles…etc that calls for milk you can now substitute 1 for 1 with your new cultured buttermilk and taste the amazing difference. Also, you’re getting the added bonus that this buttermilk is probiotic and full of healthy for your gut bacteria…awesome.

 

finished-butter

 

Again, don’t make this a staple of your diet. Real, traditional, healthy butter is good for you, when eaten in the correct amounts.

Enjoy!

Homemade Cultured Butter and Buttermilk
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This is our method for making tangy homemade cultured butter and buttermilk. However much cream you start with, you will end up with roughly half of it in butter and the other half in buttermilk. In this case our 2 pints of cream become 1 pint of butter and 1 pint of buttermilk.
Servings Prep Time
1Pint of butter 720minutes
Cook Time
60minutes
Servings Prep Time
1Pint of butter 720minutes
Cook Time
60minutes
Homemade Cultured Butter and Buttermilk
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This is our method for making tangy homemade cultured butter and buttermilk. However much cream you start with, you will end up with roughly half of it in butter and the other half in buttermilk. In this case our 2 pints of cream become 1 pint of butter and 1 pint of buttermilk.
Servings Prep Time
1Pint of butter 720minutes
Cook Time
60minutes
Servings Prep Time
1Pint of butter 720minutes
Cook Time
60minutes
Ingredients
Servings: Pint of butter
Units:
Instructions
  1. Let cream sit on counter until at room temperature.
  2. In a very clean mixing bowl whisk the yogurt into the cream.
  3. Cover air tight and let cream sit at room temperature for 12-24 hours.
  4. When finished with the culturing process, but the bowl for your mixer in the freezer and the bowl of cream in the refrigerator for about an hour.
  5. Attach mixer bowl to mixer and pour the cream in.
  6. Begin churning the cream on low speed (2).
  7. Churn the cream for about 45-60 minutes, but after 30 minutes check it regularly as once the cream is ready to separate it happens quickly.
  8. When butter and buttermilk have separated, pour both into a fine mesh strainer over a clean bowl to catch the buttermilk.
  9. Knead the butter in the strainer a little bit and pour out (into the bowl) any buttermilk on the surface of the butter.
  10. Pour buttermilk into a mason jar and chill in the refrigerator as the buttermilk is done at this point.
  11. Put butter back in stand mixer along with plenty of ice water and run at low speed for about 30 seconds. Using a fine mesh splatter guard (or something else you have) pour out the water. Add in more clean ice water and repeat. This will rinse the remaining buttermilk out of the butter.
  12. Once completely rinsed, put butter in a cheesecloth and wring out as much of the water as you can. You can also knead it with wooden or silicone spatulas to knead out the water.
  13. Once all the water is removed store your butter in a butter jar or mold and let it chill in the refrigerator (to set the mold if using one). Now the butter is done.
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Homemade Basic Mayonnaise

Aug 20, 2013 0

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Homemade basic mayonnaise

First I would start by getting a food processor if you don’t have one yet. I have and love this one: 12-Cup Food Processor

This isn’t the most healthy hippie mayonnaise (that’ll get posted later though) due to the oil of choice. While processed and depending on the brand, potentially having vegetable oils added to it extra light olive oil is essentially flavorless. That mild flavor is what make this taste not like oil, but citrusy and bright.

If you’re a fan of mayonnaise (or even if you’re not a fan, but are tired of being made fun of) and would like to taste how amazingly rich and bright real homemade fresh mayonnaise can be this is a great recipe to begin with. My wife is usually a “mayo avoider”, but this one even she will eat.

There are better oils to use, but the flavor will not be exactly the same. That’s not to say they’ll taste worse, but just different. Avocado and coconut oils are favorites to experiment with.Many (most?) mayonnaise recipes call for adding mustard. I prefer my mayo without any mustard though. If I also want a mustard flavor in my dish I’d add some separate. It’d be hard to make a blue cheese dressing with mustard flavored mayo.

You can also add herbs, spices, even chopped pickles (if you’re disgusting and like pickles that is) no offence)). You can also get crazy and experiment with using different oils or combinations of oils. Do not use all of any oil that will solidify in the fridge or your mayo will become plastic until it reaches room temperature again. Using mayo as a base you can get into making all sorts of different remoulades and aiolis.

*Raw eggs

OK, so I personally don’t make my mayo with raw eggs. There’s a need in my house at the time to cook them so I just avoid it at the moment. If you have the right kind of eggs this would be perfectly safe to use a raw egg in this recipe. Raw eggs have higher nutritional content than cooked eggs. There’s a good in depth look at the nutrition information in raw/cooked eggs on this article at www.whfoods.org. I get my eggs from Farmer Goose here locally in Phoenix. To find fresh pastured eggs near you you can use either of these internet resources www.localharvest.org and www.eatwild.com

If you don’t have safer eggs to use and/or just want to avoid them raw altogether you can still make mayo at home by simply tempering the egg. This brings the egg to just hot enough to kill the potential threat, but leaves the eggs still runny and not yet scrambled (have a couple extra eggs available if this is your first attempt at tempering eggs as you may end up with a scrambled egg or two at first.)(have a tortilla ready for breakfast burritos just in case.)

*If you’re going to make this recipe with raw eggs then you MUST have all ingredients at room temperature.

If you’re going to temper your egg as I do then I recommend using a double boiler like this Sauce Pan with Double Boiler. If you do not have one you can improvise with holding a mixing bowl over a pot of hot steaming water on the stove (be careful of the hot stream and your hand holding the bowl)

Put 1/4 Cup olive oil in a food processor and add the tsp of salt. If using the egg raw add it and your acid here as well and skip the next step.

Combine the egg and acid in the double boiler and whisk together until egg is just thickened (there is a fine line here between just thickened and scrambled.) Once thickened remove quickly from double boiler and pour into food processor that already has salt and oil measured into it. Your egg may scramble if this isn’t done quick enough.

 

whisk-egg

 

Put food processor lid on and mix the oil, salt, acid, and egg together for about 30 seconds.

 

process-egg

process-mayo

 

If you have a Kitchen Aid food processor, or your processor has a pusher that has a small hole on the bottom of the pusher (shown below) this must have been designed to make mayonnaise.

 

pour-hole

 

Slowly pour the remaining 1 C olive oil into the top of the pusher and that hole will allow the oil to stream/drip out just slow enough to make mayonnaise. If yours doesn’t have the hole in the pusher then you must pour the slowest steady stream of oil into the processor as it is running as you can (it should take 3-4 minutes). If the stream is too fast the mayo will not emulsify. I don’t believe there is such a thing as too slow.

 

pour-oil

 

Once the 1 C of oil is incorporated let food processor run another 5-10 seconds and stop. All done!

 

processed-mayo

 

Put your mayo in a Wide Mouth Mason Jar 1 pint. If you typically go through your mayo quickly then just let chill in the fridge and enjoy.

 

finished-mayo

 

If you’re a slow mayo user like me then I use my Vacuum Sealer (mine’s an older model, but I’d get that today.) with the Wide-Mouth Jar Adapter and vacuum seal the mayo to increase it’s fridge life.

 

seal-mayo

 

You can also try adding in some whey to increase it’s fridge life (especially if you don’t have the vacuum sealer). The good bacteria in the whey will fight off the bad bacteria that would cause the mayo to spoil. I’ve heard you can also lacto-ferment the mayo by adding the whey and leaving it out on the counter for several hours resulting in a probiotic enzyme rich mayo.

 

Done. Enjoy!

Homemade Basic Mayonnaise
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This is our homemade basic mayonnaise. It has a fresh and bright flavor especially due to the lemon juice and the virtually flavorless oil. This is a great mayonnaise to try to transition off of store bought mayonnaise. It is very close to store bought flavor and consistency, yet on a whole new level at the same time.
Servings Prep Time
281 Tbsp (aprox) 15minutes
Servings Prep Time
281 Tbsp (aprox) 15minutes
Homemade Basic Mayonnaise
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This is our homemade basic mayonnaise. It has a fresh and bright flavor especially due to the lemon juice and the virtually flavorless oil. This is a great mayonnaise to try to transition off of store bought mayonnaise. It is very close to store bought flavor and consistency, yet on a whole new level at the same time.
Servings Prep Time
281 Tbsp (aprox) 15minutes
Servings Prep Time
281 Tbsp (aprox) 15minutes
Ingredients
Servings: 1 Tbsp (aprox)
Units:
Instructions
  1. In a double boiler whisk together the egg and lemon juice.
  2. On low to medium low heat temper the egg with the lemon juice until it just starts to thicken. If it starts to scramble it's over done. Skip this step if you intend to use a raw egg.
  3. In a food processor ad the 1/4 cup of oil, the lemon juice and egg mixture, and the salt and mix together well for about 30 seconds.
  4. Keep the processor running and drizzle in the remaining 1 cup of oil. Do this with the slowest steady stream of oil you can. 1 cup should take about 2-3 minutes to drizzle in.
  5. Once all the oil is added the mayo should be complete and you'll have a beautiful emulsion. Chill this in a glass jar in the refrigerator and enjoy when chilled.
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