Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Sheepherder's Bread

I wanted to share one of my staple recipes with you today. My favorite, tried and true bread recipe. This is the one I make over and over, for sandwiches, toast or sliced thick with butter to pair with a steaming hot bowl of homemade soup or stew.   There is nothing like fresh from the oven home baked bread and wow does it make the house smell g-double o- d good!
This recipe makes four loaves and I always like to bless someone with a loaf whenever I make it.  Last week it was my hairdresser, who was planning on BLT sandwiches for dinner that night - I love when things work out that way!  Wonderboy's music teacher, The Principal's co-workers and several neighbors have been happy recipeints as well.  If you are local let me know if you'd like a loaf and it can most assuredly be arranged ;-)

                                                                                                                                                                             Sheepherder's Bread  

3 cups warm water
1/2 cup oil (olive/safflower/coconut oil or combination - anything goes ;-))
1/2 cup honey
2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons yeast
9 cups flour
(I typically use 1/2 unbleached white and 1/2 fresh ground prairie gold wheat)
2 tablespoons melted butter

Combine the water, oil, honey, salt and yeast in a large mixing bowl.  Stir to dissolve the yeast.  Allow to sit for 15 to 20 minutes (sponge) to proof the yeast.  Add 7-8 cups of flour.  Turn out onto floured surface and knead.  Add flour as needed (dough gets very sticky).  Knead for 10 minutes (by hand - if you have a Bosch or other mixture, knead for 8 minutes).  Put dough into a greased bowl to rise.  Cover with a clean towel.  Let rise until double.  Punch dough down.  Let rise until almost double.  Punch down again.  Form into loaves or rolls.  Let rise until double.  Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until tests done. Remove from pans and place on cooling racks, brush crust with melted butter.
*For raisin bread, I add 2 tablespoons cinnamon and 1 cup raisins(soak in warm water and drain and pat dry prior to adding in.
**  I buy the plastic bowl covers ( we call them party hats here) that come in 3 sizes at The Dollar Tree and use these instead of dishtowels - they work great if you put them on the bowl to rise in the oven with the oven light one and then one on each pan after you form into loaves.

This can easily be made into dinner rolls as well.

Yields 4 loaves or 2 loaves and 1 1/2 dozen rolls.

Do you have a stand by favorite bread you make?  Let me know if you try this recipe and how it turns out for you.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Garden Food.....Tomato Corn Salad

The garden has started to produce and the meals we are eating are reflecting the bounty we are enjoying.  Most meals around our house lately include a plate of sliced tomatoes and  cucumbers - so good with a sprinkle of salt or pepper!  Last night I tried a new recipe I had seen on Pinterest for Buttermilk Grilled Chicken and wanted something to go with it.  This Tomato Corn Salad was just the ticket.  I shared some with my neighbor and she called to say she wanted the recipe, that her 14 yr.old grandson was drinking the juice from the bowl!

Tomato Corn Salad

3 good sized tomatoes, chopped
1 small red onion, halved and thinly sliced
1/3 cup chopped green onions
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
3 tabelspoons chopped fresh basil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
4 cups fresh corn (about 9 ears of corn) - I used frozen
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 cloves finely chopped garlic
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
Optional - chopped olives, sweet bell/hot peppers or celery to taste

In a large bowl, combine first 8 ingredients. In a large skillet, saute corn in oil until tender longer fro fresh, for frozen just until thawed. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer. Stir in mustard. Add to vegetable mixture; mix well, toss to coat. Refrigerate briefly or serve immediately using a slotted spoon.  Enjoy! 

What's cooking from your garden? Do you have some tried and true favorite 'garden food' recipes?  Please share them in the comments!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Coconut (You Choose) Curry

Do you love curry?  There was a time when curry kind of scared me until a friend made a pot of chicken curry one night while I was fortunate enough to be visiting and I was hooked.  I have tweaked this recipe and made it many times with consistently good results.  An easily flexible recipe - chicken, shrimp, veggies, beef you choose.  This one was chicken, but the shrimp is really our house favorite.

Coconut (You Choose) Curry

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium red or yellow onion, finely chopped
1 handful frozen peas
2-3 sweet peppers chopped in largish chunks
1 teaspoon ground pepper
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger,  about a 1-inch peeled piece
1 tablespoon kosher salt
2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely minced
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1-2 teaspoon curry powder
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 can coconut milk, light or regular - I use Chaokoh brand Thai - delish!
2 tablespoon arrowroot powder
1/4 cup water
1 cup chopped fresh cilantro

If shrimp is your protein of choice a try this simple marinade, toss the shrimp with the 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper, 1/8 tsp cayenne and juice from 1 lemon in a resealable large bag or in a bowl. Refrigerate for 15-20 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a medium-sized pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat until rippling and hot. Saute onion, pepper chunks and frozen peas 2-3 minutes. Stir in the pepper, ginger, salt, garlic, coriander, turmeric and curry powder. Continue cooking over medium heat, stirring often, until the mixture is very fragrant and the onion is soft and translucent, about 5-7 minutes. Add undrained tomatoes to the pot and cook, stirring for about 1 minute. Increase the heat to medium-high and simmer for 5-10 minutes, stirring often. Add the coconut milk, stir to combine. Bring the mixture to a boil and add the shrimp and any accumulated juices from the marinade. If using shrimp bring the mixture to a simmer and cook until the shrimp are curled, lightly pink and cooked through, about 2-4 minutes. Dissolve arrowroot powder in water stir in to pot and remove from heat to thicken.  Stir in the cilantro. Wonderful served over rice or potatoes or all by itself with some yummy naan bread.

This is one of my favorite recipes in my 'One Pot Wonder' repertoire.  Do you have a favorite go to 'One Pot Wonder'?  I'd love for you to share it.

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