In light of the COVID-19 precautions...


Wash your hands frequently with soap and water, or use hand sanitizers that contains at least 60% alcohol.

Avoid close contact with anyone who appears sick.

Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then toss the tissue in the trash.

Disinfect frequently-touched objects and surfaces.

Talk to your doctor if you develop symptoms.

Stay home if you develop symptoms.

Avoid nonessential travel to areas with active COVID-19 outbreaks.


Visit the website for your local health department for updates.


If you are caring for an older adult:

Know what medications are needed and help them have extra.

Monitor food and medical supplies and have a back-up plan.

Stock up on non-perishable food to reduce shopping trips.

If a loved one is in a care facility, monitor the situation, ask about the residents and know the protocol if there is an outbreak.


Friday, September 21, 2018

Anna Sultana's German Oven Pancake & Yorkshire Pudding / The Autumnal Equinox & The Harvest Moon

I recently posted the recipe for Yorkshire Pudding.
It’s been around a long time, and I really think it has inspired a few variations.
Cousin recipes, if you like.

German Oven Pancake is similar to Yorkshire Pudding.
But you can make a meal of it and serve it as a brunch.
You can also serve it as a dessert

Ma got a recipe for German Oven Pancake from a neighbour, whom, I’m sure, got it from another neighbour, who got it from her mother, and so on...
So it goes with good old recipes.

Ma made a change so that she could save some time.
But she still called them German Oven Pancakes.
It would’ve been confusing if she called them Maltese Oven Pancakes.
Well, that’s what Ma said when she served them.


Hints:

If you are feeding a crowd follow Ma's example.
She found the recipe easy to multiply and that it could be baked in pie plates.
If your plates are glassware, as Ma’s were, reduce the temperature by 25º F to 325º F.

Here’s how Ma made her pancakes:

Have on hand 4 9-inch pie plates

In each pie plate place
2 Tablespoons butter
Place the pie plates in the oven to melt the butter.

Place in a large bowl
8 eggs
2 teaspoons salt
Beat together.
Add
1 Cup flour
Beat until smooth.
Add 
2 Cups milk
Beat to blend.

Remove the plates from the oven and jiggle them to spread the melted butter.
Pour one quarter of the batter into each plate.
Return the plates to the oven and bake 25 minutes.
Remove from the oven, loosen, fill, roll up and place each pancake on a platter.

About the filling... you’re going to need more filling than in the recipes below.
Double or triple the recipes, or choose two or three and give your family a choice.
If you’re in a rush, canned pie filling can also be used.

The Apple Filling can also be made using peaches, nectarines or berries.
If you're using blueberries in the Berry Filling use lemon juice instead of orange.

If you want the pancakes to be more of a meal, they can also be served in the pie plates - either as is or rolled - one per person, with your choice of filling.


                                   German Oven Pancake


Preheat oven 350º F

Place in medium bowl
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon salt
Beat together.
Add
1/4 Cup flour
Beat until smooth.
Add 
1/2 Cup milk
Beat to blend.

Melt in a 10 inch oven proof skillet
2 Tablespoons butter
Pour in the batter.
Bake 25 minutes.
Remove from oven, loosen and place the pancake on a platter.
Add filling, roll up, cut into portions if you wish to, and serve.


                                   Filling Ideas

Jam Filling
Spread on a cooked pancake
1/2 to 3/4 Cup plum jam (or another jam, such as strawberry)
Roll up and top with
1/4 Cup sour cream
2 teaspoons sugar
2 Tablespoons toasted walnuts
Slice and serve.

Apple Filling
Melt in heavy skillet
1/3 Cup margarine
Add 
4 Cups peeled apple slices
Cook 5 minutes.

Combine in a small bowl
1/3 Cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
Sprinkle the sugar mixture over the cooked apple slices.
Cover and simmer another 5 minutes.
Uncover and cook 5 minutes more.
Spread the fruit over the cooked pancake.
Roll up and sprinkle with
1 Tablespoon sugar
Slice and serve.

Berry Filling
Thaw in a saucepan
1 package (about 10 ounces) frozen raspberries or strawberries
Mash with a fork and heat.

Combine in a cup
1 Tablespoon cornstarch
2 Tablespoons orange juice
Add to raspberries and continue cooking, stirring until thick.

Spread on the cooked pancake
1 Cup sour cream
Roll up and pour the cooked berries over it.
Slice and serve.

Dairy Filling
Spread on the cooked pancake
1 Cup sour cream or ricotta
Roll up and top with
1/2 Cup sour cream
4 Tablespoons toasted walnuts
1 Tablespoon sugar (regular or vanilla sugar)
Slice and serve with lemon wedges.


Back to the Yorkshire Pudding…
Thanks to a misunderstanding with Napoleon, after which Malta became a part of the British Empire, English recipes became popular in Malta.
Of course Ma had her own way of making Yorkshire Pudding.
She had developed her own money-saving way of making it.

Yorkshire Puddings can be made even if you haven’t just cooked a large roast.
Really.
Bacon fat, lard, rendered chicken fat, and vegetable oil can also be used. 
The different fats will give different flavours:
Bacon fat will give your pudding a salty, mildly smoky flavour
Beef drippings or lard will add a beefy flavour 
Chicken fat will give a more delicate, yet still meaty, flavour
Vegetable oil is perfect for when you’re serving something vegetarian, like mushrooms

While you can’t use butter because the milk fats burn at a low temperature, you can use clarified butter, which is easy to make:
Gently melt butter in a pot for about 10 minutes, until the milk solids look like they are about to burn. Strain the liquid into a jar, and discard the milk solids.
The strained oily liquid is clarified butter and can be used for frying, since the removal of the milk solids allows it to be heated to higher temperatures without smoking.


This recipe can be made using the pan in which you roasted the meat.
You'll need 1/2 Cup fat. Remove and save the rest of the drippings for another meal.
You can also make the pudding in pie pans, cast iron frying pans, or baking pans, or you can divide the fat between 12 muffin cups.
When pouring the batter into the pans or muffin cups the containers should be filled about 1/3 of the way. 

If you’re using a glass pan, reduce temperature by 25º F.


                                   Yorkshire Pudding

Serves 8

When the meat is almost done, sift together into a bowl
1 Cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt or 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
Set aside.

Place in another bowl
4 eggs
1 Cup milk
Beat together until light and foamy. 

Remove the roast from the oven and place the meat on a platter to rest.
Remove excess fat if using the roasting pan, or scoop out 1/2 Cup of drippings to add to the other pan(s).
Place the oven rack in the middle position.
Preheat oven to 425° F

Place in the pan(s) or divide in the muffin tins
1/2 Cup beef drippings or other fats (see above)
Put the pan(s) in the oven and get the fat hot. 

While the fat is being heated, add the dry ingredients into the egg / milk mixture and stir until blended with no lumps. 

Carefully take the pan(s) out of the oven and pour in the batter. 
Put the pan(s) back in the oven.
Bake until the pudding is puffed and golden.
This can take 12 minutes in the muffin tins, or 15 to 20 minutes in the other pan(s).

Remove from the oven. 
If prepared in large pan you can slice and serve. 
If prepared in muffin tins, remove the puddings and place them on a platter to serve.

This is delicious with gravy, if you’ve made some.


About the sky, thanks to the folks at The Farmers' Almanac…

September 21 - Venus reaches greatest brilliancy on September 21st, shining at magnitude –4.8 and casting an eerily brilliant light from low in the west. Since the end of February, it has been a very prominent object in the evening sky soon after sunset. 

By month’s end the Red Planet sets well before the end of twilight. Its sunlit hemisphere currently is oriented mostly away from the Earth, so it appears as a crescent. Telescopic observers may want to keep Venus under surveillance and watch this crescent grow rapidly thinner and longer. Even with steadily held binoculars you might discern it, especially toward the end of the month, but, unfortunately, Venus may be a bit too low after sunset to show a steady image. 

By mid-October, Venus sets only a half-hour after the Sun and then will be gone. It will pass between the Earth and the Sun on October 27th, then a couple of weeks later it will reappear in the predawn sky as a “morning star”.

September 22 - The Autumnal Equinox, 9:54 p.m. While there’s nothing to see in the sky, this is the official first day of Fall!

September 24 - Full  Moon at 10:52 p.m. At this phase, the visible Moon is fully illuminated by direct sunlight. 
But is it the full Harvest Moon or the full Corn Moon?  
Because this full Moon is nearest the autumnal equinox (September 22 in 2018) so it is the Harvest MoonWhen the September full Moon is not the Harvest Moon, we call it the Corn or Barley Moon.

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Yorkshire Potted Shrimps and Yorkshire Pudding


Last month we celebrated Folklorama in Winnipeg.

Inspired by the delicious food we enjoyed there, and a few of the traditional food featuring episodes we watched on the British television show Escape to the Country, we’ve been trying English recipes.

A while ago we watched a couple exploring houses in Yorkshire and, lucky for us, the hostess/real estate agent on Escape went to a food shop and sampled the classic local dish, Potted Shrimps.
The shrimps are cooked, placed in a small bowl, and then covered with melted butter.


Potted Shrimps was created when people didn’t have luxuries like refrigerators.
The reason for the butter cover is that it was used as a preservative for the shrimp, as well as for other seafood, chopped meats or cheese.
In the 1826 Housewife's Manual Meg Dods said that game "to be sent to distant places" would keep for a month if potted correctly with a layer of melted butter.

We have refrigerators now, so the preservative aspect isn’t important anymore.
But it’s an easy recipe and can be used as a 'can be done in advance' appetizer.
And it’s delicious, too.


Potted Shrimps can also be served as a Yorkshire Shrimp Tea, by serving it with hot buttered toast, fresh lemon wedges and a pot of hot tea. 


Potted Shrimps also has a bit of literary history…
It was a favourite dish of Ian Fleming, who often ordered the dish when he dined at Scott’s Restaurant on Mount Street in Mayfair, London. 
Fleming decided that his fictional hero, James Bond, would share his love of this dish.
So, if you’d like to make a theme night of it, serve the Potted Shrimps with a drink that’s been shaken, not stirred.


Hints:

Some recipes call for clarified butter, which is easy to make.
Gently melt butter in a pot for about 10 minutes, until the milk solids look like they are about to burn. Strain the liquid into a jar, and discard the milk solids.
The strained oily liquid is clarified butter and can be used for frying, since the removal of the milk solids allows it to be heated to higher temperatures without smoking.

The recipe can also be see to make Potted Crab Meat.

This recipe has been around a long time, so of course there are variations.
Some recipes called for a 1/2 teaspoon of anchovy paste or 1 chopped anchovy fillet, or Gentleman's Relish, along with 1 Tablespoon lemon juice.

White pepper, which gives a more subtle flavour, or cloves or cayenne pepper have been included in other recipes.

There’s also a recipe which included a Tablespoon each of lemon juice and finely chopped shallot, in addition to a pinch of bay leaf powder and a dash of Tabasco sauce.

The procedure is the same for all recipes, while the spices are open to variations.
Suit yourself and enjoy.


Potted Shrimp is best made the day before and left in the refrigerator overnight, but it can also be made a few days in advance, which makes sense since the whole point of the melted butter is to serve as a preservative.

You can also serve Potted Shrimps on toast, with pickles on the side.


                                   Potted Shrimps

Serves 6

Cook and peel
12 ounces prawns or shrimps
Set aside.

Place in a small pot
3 1/2 ounces unsalted butter
Melt over a low heat.
Stir in
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg 
Add the cooked prawns or shrimps 
Stir to warm the shrimp through.
Using a slotted spoon, remove the seafood and press them into the ramekins. 
Allow to cool, then chill for 10 to 15 minutes or until set. 
Reheat the butter and pour it over the prawns to cover. 
Place the ramekins in the refrigerator to set overnight.
Heat oven to 375º F 

Cut a ciabatta loaf into thin slices, and place slices on a pan.
Brush slices with olive oil (about 1 Tablespoon should be enough for the loaf), and toast in the oven. 
Keep an eye on the slices so they don't burn.
Once golden, arrange slices on a serving board.
Serve the bread with the potted prawns and lemon wedges 


Hope you enjoyed your shrimp with a York twist.
Here are a few more shrimp recipes:










While we’re exploring Yorkshire recipes I’ll include a recipe for Yorkshire Pudding. 
It’s an easy recipe which can add a little something extra to a roast beef dinner, especially if you’re serving leftovers.
But I don't think it would go well with the Potted Shrimps.


                                   Yorkshire Pudding

Serves 8

Preheat oven to 450° F

Place muffin pan in oven to heat. 

Combine in a medium bowl
3/4 Cup flour 
1/2 teaspoon salt 

Place in another medium bowl
2 eggs 
1 Cup milk 
1 Tablespoon butter, melted 
Whisk until blended. 
Add to flour mixture. 
Mix well.

Remove hot muffin pan from oven.
Grease 8 of the muffin cups.
Pour batter (about 1/4 cup) into each of the the prepared cups.
Bake 35 minutes.
Reduce oven temperature to 350° F and bake another 20 minutes.
The tops should be puffed and golden brown. 
Transfer the puddings from the muffin pan to a wire rack. 
Use the tip of sharp knife to cut a slit in each pudding's top to vent the steam. 
Serve with gravy. 

Saturday, September 1, 2018

Anna Sultana’s Buttermilk Pie (Old-Fashioned, Quick & Impossible)

A couple of weeks ago I posted the recipe for ma’s Lemon Ricotta Cheesecake.
I sure hope it helps you get through the stress of preparing for the back-to-school and holiday season.

A reader emailed and said she wanted to make a dairy dessert but she didn’t want to buy ricotta.
She wanted to know if a pie can be made from buttermilk, the way the quiche was made from cream and milk.
Of course it can.

Buttermilk Pie, like all really great recipes, has been around a long time and has become a favourite everywhere it’s been made.
As far as anyone knows, it was originally made in the United Kingdom, and it is now a considered a traditional pie of the southern United States. 
I’m not surprised at its popularity - it is a comforting custard pie with a slightly caramelized topping.
it’s easy to make and the ingredients are usually found in anyone’s kitchen.


Hints:

About the Old-Fashioned Buttermilk Pie…
You can double the vanilla and the ground nutmeg for a slightly stronger flavour.
It can also baked at 350ºF for 40 to 60 minutes, which is handy to know if you’re also baking a casserole. 
A knife inserted in the centre comes out clean before removing from the oven.

For a lemony flavour leave the nutmeg out and add
1 Tablespoon lemon zest or 1 teaspoon lemon extract
3 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice

If you want to make this pie but don’t want to buy buttermilk, just combine in a measuring cup
1 Tablespoon vinegar or lemon juice
enough fresh milk to make 1 cup
Stir and let it sit 5 minutes before using the mixture in the recipe.
The Quick Pie recipe just needs a 1/2 Cup buttermilk, so either halve this recipe or make two pies.
This mixture will make a fine substitute for a baking recipe, but it won't taste like regular buttermilk if you want a drink.
Well, nothing's perfect.

Cover leftovers with plastic wrap and refrigerate for two to three days.


                                Old-Fashioned Buttermilk Pie

Heat oven to 400°F

Melt 
1/2 Cup butter
Set aside to cool.

Place in large mixer bowl
3 eggs
1 1/2 cups sugar
Beat until smooth.
Add
the cooled melted butter
3 Tablespoons flour
1 Cup buttermilk
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon of salt
Beat together until smooth.
Pour into 
1 unbaked 9-inch pie crust
Bake at 400 for 10 minutes.
Reduce heat to 350 degrees and continue bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until golden brown and knife inserted in the centre comes out clean. 
The centre might jiggle a tiny bit. That’s fine. Don’t over bake - it could burn.
Place pie on a wire rack.
Cool 1 to 2 hours at room temperature.
Serve with a dollop of whipped cream and a sprinkling of nutmeg… or not


                                Quick Buttermilk Pie

Heat oven to 350°F

Place in large mixer bowl
1 1/2 Cups sugar
1/4 Cup margarine
Cream until light and fluffy.
Add
3 beaten eggs
3 Tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 Cup buttermilk
Turn mixture into unbaked pie shell.
Bake 35 - 40 minutes. 
It should be golden brown and a knife inserted in the centre will come out clean. 
Cool 5 minutes before serving.


If you saw the post for Anna Sultana’s Coconut Cream Pie and enjoyed the Bisquick™ Impossible Pie you might also like this pie:

                                                
                                Impossible Buttermilk Pie

Heat oven to 350°F
Grease 9-inch pie plate

Melt 
1/3 Cup butter or margarine
Set aside to cool.

Place in medium bowl
1 1/2 Cups sugar
1/2 Cup Original Bisquick™ mix
1 Cup buttermilk
the melted butter or margarine
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 eggs
Beat all ingredients until smooth - 30 seconds in a blender on high or 1 minute with a hand beater. It can also be beaten with a fork.
Pour into the greased pie plate.
Bake 30 minutes
It should be golden brown and a knife inserted in the centre will come out clean.
Cool 5 minutes.
Serve with mixed fresh fruit if desired.