Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Lye on a Piece of Pie- Pizza Pie

Now playing: Stone Temple Pilots - Piece Of Pie
via FoxyTunes

You may want to re-visit a previous blog to get started:


I am feeling more comfortable using lye in cooking applications, thanks to my friend Lucie. I've made the rolls mentioned in the previous blog and even a few batches of pretzels. I long ago decided to brush some lye on pizza crusts and sprinkle with salt. My son complains if my pizza is served without it now! Lucie says that this sort of pizza has been done before now. I'm not surprised.

This pizza crust also has quinoa to enhance it through the taste buds and then the rest of a body too. The pizza below has chicken, but with the quinoa in the crust, it could be served as a healthy vegetarian alternative- still getting a complete protein.

Just use your favourite crust recipe and substitute some of the flour with quinoa flour. If you are on a gluten free diet, then substitute all of it.

I usually make individual pizzas. Whatever the form your pizza takes, make sure you use sheets that you don't mind getting marked up by the lye. It leaves it's mark every time, even through parchment paper!

Here is the formula for the lye once again:

The first ingredients are gloves on your hands and goggles on your eyes. Also, wear old clothes and/or an apron.

Reminder of an important rule:

Never add water to lye! Add lye to the water slowly!

0.5 liter cold water
20 g NaOH Sodium Hydroxide food grade
Makes a 4% lye mixture

Store in a well labeled jar. For the pizza crust, I pour some out in a glass bowl and use a silicon brush to paint it on the crust edge.

The toppings for last night's pizza:

*sun-dried tomato
*Mozzarella and Provolone cheese combo

This pizza is dedicated to Cliff, he loves my pesto pizza so much. :-)

Thursday, March 17, 2011

St. Citrus

Now playing: Rush - Limelight
via FoxyTunes

Key Lime Panna Cotta w/ Lacy Oatmeal Biscuit

This doesn't have any artificial colour in it to make it more green.

For the Panna Cotta:

Lightly caramelise 1 c. sugar with 1/2 cup water and the juice of 10 key limes. After it cools a bit, Add 2 c. warm half and half. Bloom, then melt 6 small sheets of gelatin. Stir in milk mixture, pour into forms and refrigerate, until set.

For the Lacy Oatmeal Biscuits:

1 c. Irish oats, toasted
1/4 c. all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. butter
1 lrg. egg
1 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven to 325 deg.. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Combine dry ingred., set aside.

Cream sugar and butter. Add egg and vanilla, and beat until smooth. Add flour mixture mix until combined. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Bake for approx. 10 minutes. Let cool.

If you want it more green, you will need some sort of goggles:

Well, I did serve this dessert on a very green coloured plate.


Then, we have Preserved Lemon, since I couldn't find any at the store for my Moroccan dish, this was made at home. By 5/11, I mean February 5th, 2011.

10 Meyer lemons
1/2 cup kosher salt

Sterilised quart jar

Sprinkle some salt at the bottom of the jar.

Cut lemons through the peel in quarters, but not all the way to the bottom of the fruit. You should be able to fan the fruit out, but it should be intact at the bottom. Repeat this for 8 of the lemons. Juice 2 of the lemons. Proceed to salt the 8 cut lemons and stack them one by one in the jar. Salt between layers. Add some juice as you go, as well. Pack tightly in the jar ans close the lid. Let set overnight. Put to the back of the refrigerator for approx. 3 weeks.

I will show you my recipe for chicken cooked with these in a tagine soon.


Next, we have Mixed Peel I had to make for the next installment of the British cookbook. I couldn't find any here at Fort Fun. Stayed tuned for that biscuit recipe around Easter....

Dice the peel of orange, lemon and grapefruit. Boil in water 3 times, draining the water and refresh with new water each time. Make a heavy syrup and boil the peel in that once more. Let set overnight. Drain and reserve syrup. Roll peel in granulated sugar. Place on a baking sheet and dry out in a 180 deg. oven, Gas mark 1. Pack in a jar and add back a bit of syrup to keep from drying out too far.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Using My Noodle

Now playing: Herbert Grönemeyer - Männer
via FoxyTunes

Lucie taught a new noodle to me today. This one is new to me anyway....

This noodle has different names in Germany- Schupfnudeln (rolled noodle), Fingernudeln (finger noodle), or Bubespitzle (boy's penis).

....And here I was thinking it looked like a pulled American football.

We made this potato noodle with Yukon Gold potatoes, for extra flavour. You can use any starchy potato. Lucie boiled the potatoes the night before, about 3 lbs. give or take, after peeling and removing bad spots. We used Lucie's spaetzle press this time and pressed those potatoes into a big bowl. To the potatoes we added 2 large eggs. I am guessing she poured about 1 1/2 of the 2 cups of flour I brought to her. Salt the dough to taste. Add nutmeg to taste. Mix this all together into a smooth dough, like pictured.

Then, we rolled and portioned the dough, so we could roll the noodles into the right shape. The board we worked on was well-floured. They are rolled between two palms that are also well-floured. When I did it I just rolled whilst turning my top hand from side to side to make the tapered-end shape. Lucie said when she was younger and cooking with her grandmother, that Grandmother would be very strict about the quality of the shape. Sometimes, Grandmother would hand those noodles back to be done right!

Next the noodles are boiled (not a rolling boil like spaetzle) in salt water until they rise to the top. Strain out of the water and hold on a platter.

They should look like this now:

One way the noodles are delicious is toasted in butter over sauerkraut.

This is a sauerkraut Lucie gave to me. She found some at a local store. It is from her area in Germany.

Caramelised onions with brown sugar. Then add the sauerkraut (rinsed and drained), white wine, juniper berries, a bay leaf, cloves and diced apple. This is cooked down until golden in the pan. I put bacon (pancetta) lardons in mine.

I used a half of a Granny Smith apple and half of the new variety called Opal.

I've been getting good use out of that sauerkraut. I even made a Sauerkraut Dark Chocolate Cake. These turn out very moist and with a added kick in flavour.

Friday, March 4, 2011

A Stand-by All Grown Up- Eminence Front, It's Not A Put On

Now playing: The Who - Eminence Front
via FoxyTunes

An inexpensive stand-by that was made for a quick meal, Ramen Egg Foo Young is growing up. This version has more sophisticated flavors brought to you by a fusion of fresher ingredients. This version is healthier, as well!

Soba Sweet Potato Egg Foo Young

It starts with a sweet potato, choose a good-sized beauty.

This sweet potato can be processed by peeling before small dicing, or shredding.

Ramen noodles are replaced with healthier Buckwheat noodles.

The little spice packet is replaced with new spices and flavorings.

The Recipe:

6 oz. soba noodles, prepared according to instructions on the package. (I boil water, add noodles turn heat off and let go limp, then I rinse in cold water and hold them until I am ready.)
1 sweet potato, small diced, or shredded
4 eggs
2 tbsp. five spice powder
1 lrg. clove garlic, crushed
1 tbsp. tamari
pinch of salt
pinch of pepper
canola oil

Beat eggs with five spice powder, crushed garlic, tamari, and salt and pepper. Add the noodles and sweet potato, coat them by turning with tongs.

Heat a skillet, add a shallow layer of oil. When the oil is hot, add a portion of the noodle mixture and pat down into a cake with a spatula. Brown both sides. Remove from oil and drain on a paper towel. You can get about 6 large cakes.


1 diced tomato
1 bunch scallion, cut thinly on the bias
1/4 chopped cilantro

Top each Egg Foo Young with topping. Season with more salt and pepper, as desired. Serve with sweet chili sauce on the side.

Told you this was fusion with a capital F! Wow, I better quit now before it starts sounding too Charlie Sheen-esque.

*Just a little side note, my Egg Foo Young was cut with a large round cookie cutter, for a good view of the sweet potato in it.