Monday, December 24, 2012

Waffle Night! Stan's Sourdough Waffles

Waffle Night!
Stan’s Famous Sourdough Waffles
Makes 8 Belgian-type waffles.
Stan quadruples the recipe for an extended family crowd.
He multiplies it by 8 for a huge college crowd.

Stan is a little reluctant to share this prized recipe since it's been in the family for many, many months and was generously handed down to him by the Internet (in the year 2010). Gwen is even more reluctant, due to her need to get credit for everything, and her arrested development in the sharing department. But, as Charlotte Brontë said, 
"Happiness quite unshared can scarcely be called happiness; it has no taste." 
So, Enjoy! We'd hate to be hogs.

And, if you want a Soper's Waffle Night T-shirt, tough noogies, they're all gone
(but, for a price, we can make more).

BTW, Stan’s Famous Sourdough Waffle Night has become a Sunday night tradition at our house these past few years. He was looking for a way for us to stay connected to our growing children, nieces, nephews and their friends. So, Thanks Stan! We love Waffle Night.  He starts the batter on Sunday morning and leaves it to rise for hours. Just before everyone arrives in the evening he stirs in the eggs and soda, then starts cranking out the waffles. You can't believe how good they are. Thanks to Karey & Patrick for sharing their sourdough starter, that has a long history back to prehistoric times or something like that. Someday there will be a throw-down between Grandpa Lanny, Patrick and Stan to see whose waffles are the best.  Bring it on. 

[Recipe from waffle fanatic, Stan Soper, who got it from Breadtopia dot com, who got it from Nancy Silverton’s La Brea Bakery.]

½ C (115 g) butter

1 C (225 g) milk
1 C (255g) sourdough starter
1 tsp salt

1 TBL brown sugar, packed

1 ½ C (170 g) flour, unbleached all purpose, (Stan grinds his own flour—soft white wheat kernels)

* DON'T FORGET to add this later (see instruction #4):
2 large eggs
1/4 tsp baking soda.

  1. 8 – 14 hours before making waffles:  Heat butter and milk in a pan until the better is melted.  Let cool to room temperature.
  2. In large mixing bowl add starter, salt, brown sugar and flour.  Combine well.  Add milk/butter mixture to that.  Mix well to form a thick batter.  Cover bowl tightly with plastic wrap and let stand, room temperature, for 8-14 hours.  If you do this before bedtime you’ll have batter ready for breakfast the next day.  (Remember to refill the starter jar that you store in the refrigerator by adding equal portions flour and water to the top).
  3. Just before making waffles:  Preheat waffle iron for 10 – 15 minutes. (Preheat oven to 150º for keeping waffles hot for a crowd). 
  4. Uncover the batter and whisk in eggs and soda.
  5. Pour ½ - ¾  C batter on the hot waffle iron and close lid.  Let cook for 3 – 5 minutes until golden brown and crisp.
Serve the waffles buffet style with lots of maple syrup, applesauce, fresh fruit, canned whipping cream with the cool nozzle, and almond butter (or peanut butter). You don’t need butter, since there is so much in the batter.  Lisa, Ama and Karey usually bring extra toppings, like their last bag of precious hand cut frozen orchard peaches.

* Cheese and Tomato Stuffed waffles:  pour ¼ cup batter on waffle iron, lay sliced cheddar cheese on top, and one tomato slice (thinly sliced), cover with another ¼ C batter and close lid.

Nana's Yams & Apples

Nana's enamel casserole dish
Nana’s Yams & Apples
Nana brings this to dinner every Thanksgiving.  She’s 92 years old (2000). She always uses bright orange sweet potatoes, not yams, but I can't bring myself to change the name. I make it every Thanksgiving when we’re living away from home (and Nana) for the holidays. Sometimes I bake it the day before and reheat it the next day for Thanksgiving so that the flavors have had a chance to meld. 

It helps to buy yams that are all similar in size and width. I look for yams that are shaped like a cylinder (about 2-½  inches in diameter, rather than the ones in the shape of a huge football. 

[Update 2010: sweet Nana passed away when she was nearly ninety-nine. Guess which enamel casserole dish we use for yams and apples every year. Nana's.]

Challa Bread

Challa Bread
Makes 2 loaves
My neighbor, Bonnie, grew up with a Jewish friend and learned to love their family traditions, songs and the Hebrew language. Every Sunday she taught our Mormon young women a lot about the Hebrew alphabet and about many Jewish traditions (I was a teacher in Young Women so I got to hear her lessons). Even though she didn't talk about food, her lessons gave me the nudge to learn how to make something I'd always wanted to try . . . challa bread. Check out how to braid a six-strand challa.

Easter Babies (Croatian Easter Bread Dolls)

Easter Babies
Makes 12 Easter Babies
These Easter Babies (Croatian Easter bread dolls a.k.a. primorski uskrsne bebeare a new tradition in our family. The egg dying, dough mixing and braiding is so fun for children and grownups—it’s contagious. Traditionally, they are made with red-dyed eggs, but we use the colors we already have dyed. They make sweet gifts and they also look charming laying next to each Easter dinner plate. This lady uses naturally dyed eggs for her Easter babies.

If you're already making challa bread, use extra challa dough for these babies (simply make enough dough for 2 loaves, only bake one challa, and use the remaining dough for the Easter Babies).

Butterhorn Rolls

Winnifred Jardine’s
12-Hour Butterhorns
Makes 32 butterhorns.

We love you Win. Winnifred Jardine, a family friend since childhood, 
used to be the food editor of the Deseret News for many years, threw great birthday parties in the 70's for her daughter Ann and is a general all-around-great-lady. 

Time saving tip: make dough the night before and refrigerate. Adaptable for sweetrolls too.

Sandy Everett's Mace Cake

Sandy Everett’s Mace Cake
This was one of our all-time favorite cakes that my mother used to make for us children.  Yummmmm.
Sandy lived down the street from us on Millcreek Road and she and my mother, Shirley, were good friends while we were growing up, both sharing a love of music.  My mother was, and still is, a singer and choir director in many Mormon congregations, and Sandy was the organist in her Methodist congregation. Sandy’s cake calls for mace, but we like freshly grated nutmeg even better.
(Mace is a spice made from the shell of the nutmeg kernel).

Lemon-Buttermilk Sherbet

Auntie Kare’s Lemon-Buttermilk Sherbet
Amazingly simple and incredibly good. When Auntie Karey was raising her children in Montreal, she gleaned this amazing recipe from the huge collection of Bon Appetit magazines her friend Terri Tustain had given her. The first time we all tasted it was when she, Rochelle and Dwight made it and brought it
to an Easter Sunday dinner with a cake decorated like a lamb. Yum.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Pizza Night!

Pizza Night!

Small individual Pizzas: Makes 6 to 8 individual pizzas   (eight- to ten-inch)
Large Pizzas: Makes 3 or 4   fifteen-inch pizzas

Stan loves to roast nearly everything in our backyard wood-burning oven: pizza, huge platters of vegetables, whole chicken, Thanksgiving turkey, baked desserts, roast fruits, etc… (keep an eye on your little children). If you make pizza in a super hot wood-burning oven do NOT use oil or sugar in the pizza dough recipe; the sugar and oil cause the dough to burn too easily.  We often use 3/4ths unbleached flour and 1/4th whole-wheat pastry flour* for the dough. “Montana Wheat unbleached flour” is non-GMO organic. That’s what we use.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Butterflied Chicken Breasts (Chicken Piccata)

Butterflied Chicken Breasts (chicken Piccata)
This very quick way to sauté moist, tender chicken is worthy of serving company or simply cooking a quick meal at college. Shannon was served this a lot on her mission. Butterflying the breasts is faster than pounding the meat thin with a mallet. It makes them about a consistent 1-centimeter thick, which ensures even cooking. Serve the chicken breasts plain or with any of the sauces that follow this recipe.  If making a pan sauce, turn the oven to 200º before you start this recipe and place the cooked chicken in the warm oven while making the pan sauce.

Meat Loaf

Sunday Meat Loaf
Serves 6-8
A favorite Sunday dinner the children look forward to!  It is baked free-form, so it is much healthier.

Broil-Bake Salmon

Stan & Gwen’s Broil/Bake Salmon
Serves 10

We fixed this countless times when we lived in Bellingham, WA.  Some local fishermen used to pay Stan for his legal services with salmon.  It has become a staple in our family menu.

Lamb Tagine

Image from Emily Avila
Moroccan Lamb Tagine With Apricots, Almonds & Honey (Mrouzia)
Serves 6-8
Family favorite. After days of research I put together this recipe that comes close to some amazing Tagines we ate at The Grand Mosque (Moroccan temple) in Paris and later in Cannes (Paris 2007 w/ the Aglaure’s and Daniel Hieramente—and the restaurant in Cannes with Stan). 

Mrouzia (this salty-sweet tagine) is one of the most important dishes of Moroccan cuisine.  It is traditionally made after the celebration of Aid el Kebir ("Feast of the Slaughter of the Lamb"), an occasion when, historically, a family would have large amounts of meat on hand. In the days before refrigeration, the lamb was cooked in copious amounts of fat and spices to preserve it. 

Smothered Chicken

Auntie Lisa's Smothered Chicken
This recipe comes from Auntie Lisa.  We’ve made it a lot because it’s SO good and SO easy. Serve with rice on a dinner plate, OR serve it on top of a mound of mashed potatoes, or mashed cauliflower in big individual soup bowls.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Ama's Indian Chicken Curry

Ama’s Indian Chicken Curry
Ama Shirley and Grandpa Lanny served this at a group discussion about India. Lanny told stories about his time spent in India as a Fulbright Scholar in 1968. He spent a day-and-a-half with Mother Theresa, and an afternoon with the wife of Mahatma Ghandhi.

Best served with fresh Naan bread and Jasmine or Basmati rice.  Optional: add 8 TBL curry, or add potatoes and peas, or use all coconut milk (no yogurt).

German Red Cabbage with Apple & Onion

Trudy’s Red Cabbage with Apple & Onion
A traditional accompaniment for Rouladen, Spaetzle, & Green Salad “field greens”. 

1 small head read cabbage, chopped
(or 1 bottle Red Cabbage**)
1 apple, chopped
1 onion, peeled and studded on one half with cloves
Brown sugar, to taste 
1-2 TBL cider vinegar 
Bay leaf
Salt and Pepper

1.     If using raw cabbage, sauté onion first, then add cabbage, apple, sugar, vinegar and seasonings.   Add ¼ C water.  Bring to a boil.  Add onion/cloves.
2.     Reduce heat to a simmer, cover and let steam.  Simmer for 20 to 30 minutes, adding water if necessary.
3.     If using bottled Red Cabbage:  add to pot, add remaining ingredients.  Cover and let simmer for 20 to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, adding water if necessary.

*To cut cabbage:  Cut head of cabbage into quarters.  Lay 1 quarter on a flat side.  Start chopping from pointed tip of cabbage and slightly shift cabbage (or knife) after each cut, so that you create a new edge on the cabbage with each cut.  This helps create shorter shreds, rather than long shreds.

** Available at World Market

Lovage Soup with Dumplings

Trudy’s Lovage Soup with Dumplings
Makes 8 Cups
Lovage is a nutty, flavorful herb that Trudy Schenk grows in her garden, which I walk over to pick from frequently.  Her plant is from Germany. Lovage is especially tasty with potatoes, peas, beans and lentils. Trudy says chives are also used a LOT in German cooking.

Update: after we moved to Orem in 2009, Trudy told me she would not give me a start of her plant for my garden…that if I wanted lovage, I’d have to drive to her home to pick some! :)

Swedish Tea Ring

Ama’s Swedish Tea Ring
Makes 2 tea rings
Now THIS brings back Christmas memories. I remember my mom making many of these for neighbors at Christmas time. Thanks for the visions I still have of watching you bake Mom.

Torta di Ricotta Cake

Torta di Ricotta Cake
Serves 8
The most memorable cake I can ever recall was from a tiny café in Argentina.  I was a full-time Mormon missionary, I always felt hungry, and so maybe that is why it was so memorable.  I liked it because it wasn't too sweet, had a soft ricotta filling and the cake was very dense.  Argentina has many people of Italian, German and Welsh origin, thus this Italian cake.

2 C flour
2 TBL baking powder
125 g butter
110g sugar
1 egg
1 yolk
2 TBL milk
500 g ricotta cheese
1 C sugar
3 eggs, separated
Zest of lemon
1 TBL cornstarch

For the dough:
1.     Cut up the cold butter and beat with sugar. Add the egg, the yolk and whisk. 
2.     Mix the flour with the baking powder in another bowl. 
3.     To the sugar/butter mixture, alternate adding the flour and milk. Mix to blend. 
4.     Cover with foil and let rest in refrigerator at least 30 minutes. 

For the filling:
1.     Mix the ricotta cheese with the sugar and lemon zest. 
2.     Incorporate the yolks and whisk gently, stirring in the cornstarch at the end.
3.     Beat the egg whites in a clean bowl until stiff. Fold the egg whites gently into the ricotta mixture.
4.     Remove dough from the fridge.
5.      Roll 2/3 of the dough so that it is large enough to line a 9-inch cake tin or spring-form pan, with extra dough to fold over the filling by 2 cm.
6.     Fill with the ricotta mixture. Fold the extra 2 cm of dough over the filling. 
7.     With remaining 1/3 of the dough, roll into a disk or a decorative shape and place over the filling in the center
8.     Bake in oven at 180 degrees until golden. 
9.     Serve cold.