Monthly Archives: June 2014

Coconut Curry Popcorn

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Ingredients:

1/2 Cup popcorn kernels

1/4 cup or more Coconut Oil

Fine ground salt

Spices, in order of greatest-to-least proportion used:

Curry
Paprika, smoked (go easy if using scant oil)
Cumin
Cilantro flakes
Black Pepper
Coriander (just a dash)

Directions:

For popping in pot:
Turn on the exhaust fan and open all the windows. This recipe makes smoke.

Heat a tablespoon of oil on med-high heat with 3 kernels. When kernels pop, add the rest. Keep the lid on, and using mitts pick up the pot and shake it vigorously to move the kernels around, every 6 seconds or so. Continue until all the kernels are popped. If the oil smokes a little that’s okay, but if it smokes a LOT then turn the heat down because you don’t want it to catch fire. When popcorn is done, transfer to a bowl and add the remaining oil and spices.

Popping in a popcorn machine:
Pop the popcorn according to the directions on the machine, then transfer to a large bowl and add the oil. If the popcorn is hot, the oil may melt by itself – else, heat it in a saucepan and drizzle over.

Season: salt liberally. If the salt doesn’t stick to the popcorn, add more oil. Add the seasonings one at a time, sprinkling and mixing thoroughly. Exact amounts aren’t important, so much as the overall flavor, so add and adjust to your liking.

Eat and enjoy!

::BK::

 

 

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Whole-Wheat Cream Puffs

I loved this whole wheat, sugar-free cream puff recipe! Unfortunately, the recipe leaves a lot unsaid. The first time me and my roommate tried it, it turned out into perfect little puffy puffs! The second time, however, it was a total flop even though I followed the recipe to the letter. I spent some time experimenting and consulting, and figured out the technique. Here’s my adaptation.

This recipe makes 15-20 puffs. I advise making extra batches; these go quickly!
Time: 45 cooking, plus 30 prep and filling them
Tools: Mixing bowls, pot on stove, pans in oven, and mixer/whisk for cream.

Ingredients:
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup butter [add pinch salt if using unsalted butter]
1/2 cup ‘white whole wheat’ flour: see below
2 servings stevia: see Notes
3 eggs

Filling:
2 cups heavy cream (any kind that will whip will do; can be regular or ‘extra heavy’)
2-3 servings stevia: see Notes
2 tsp vanilla or almond extract

Directions:
1. An hour or so before beginning preparation, set all ingredients out to come to room temperature. This makes the cream whip up much more effectively (especially thin cream), and helps the eggs combine smoothly in the mix.

Preheat oven at 350º. (Convection: 325º)

2. Combine water, butter, and salt in a sauce pan over medium heat. Bring to a boil and let simmer for a few minutes. The butter will melt, and should steam and mingle with the water. Do not brown the butter, but allow it to simmer for 2-5 minutes and evaporate a little.

3. Combine flour and stevia. Remove saucepan from heat. Shake in the flour, and mix till smooth.
At this point it may resemble pancake batter, pourable in texture.
Put saucepan over low heat, and cook for a few minutes, stirring all the while. Time will vary based on particular flour, and how long the butter was simmered in Step 2.
Stop when it becomes thicker than a brownie batter but not yet like cookie dough. Remove from heat.

4. One at a time, break the eggs into a cup, give a few beats with a fork, and add to the dough. Stir till combined before adding the next egg. This will seem weird and clumpy and the dough won’t want to readily combine with the egg; keep at it!

5. With batter now complete, set it back on low heat and stir. The goal here is to thicken it a little. Do not use higher heat; it will cook the eggs. Stir constantly and scrape up from the bottom of the pan to prevent burning.
As the batter thickens, it will begin to form a ball. When the dough pulls away from the pan readily, it is done. It will be like a cookie dough: soft, but keeps its shape when molded or scooped.
If it drizzles off your spoon like peanut butter, it’s not ready. The dough must be just barely thick enough that it doesn’t spread when dropped on the baking sheet.

6. Remove pan from heat. If it doesn’t cool quickly, remove the dough ball into a bowl so it doesn’t continue to cook.
To prevent sticking, grease baking sheet or use parchment paper (which works much better).
Using a spoon, scoop dough onto baking sheet, about 1-2 TB each. Space mounds 1-2 inches apart.

Set on middle rack in oven, and
Bake for 40 minutes at 350º, or till puffed and golden brown on top.
Convection: 25-ish minutes at 325º. These turned out wonderfully in the convection!

7. While puffs are baking, whip up that cream! Plain cream is fine, vanilla is classic, and I like almond extract for that “little something-something” it adds to baked goods. Whip to stiff peaks, then pop in the fridge to chill.

8. When puffs are done, let them cool before filling. Try to have something else to do, so as not to eat them while watching them cool. 😛
Fill them: Using a spoon and a very sharp knife, slice each puff in half horizontally, and scoop a heaping spoonful of cream into the center. Stick the halves back together, and presto!

9. Get yourself a spatula and eat the rest of that whipping cream. One other flaw I found in the original recipe creates a disproportionate amount of filling to the amount of puffs. No problem at all. 🙂
NOTES:
Stevia: depending on the variety, a ‘serving’ will differ, but it’s usually enough to sweeten 8oz of something. You can use any kind of stevia. 2 of those packets, or 1-2 droppers of the liquid (consult the label), or 2 itty bitty scoops with the included scoop from the pure powdered extract kind.
The flour puffs don’t need to taste noticeably sweet.
When sweetening the cream filling, taste before it’s done whipping, and add more stevia to taste if necessary. It should be just-barely-sweet to the taste. Cream puffs are not an overly saccharine treat.

Flour: aka ‘Soft White Winter Wheat’,or ‘Whole wheat pastry flour’. It’s a type of wheat that produces a finer, fluffier flour while still being whole-grain. Regular whole-wheat will work too. We also tried a combo with half white flour and half whole-wheat, and that worked fine.

 

Enjoy! How do you like your cream puffs?  😀 😀

As a bonus, this lovely indulgence is mostly harmless, made with all whole foods and not loaded with sugar. I may or may not have eaten these for breakfast on several occasions.

::BK::

Making: Carrot Soup

Carrot Cilantro Soup by Chez Panisse Vegetables. Love this cookbook.
It made quite a big batch, so I poured the colorful pureé into big jars for later tastiness. 🙂 Will garnish with the accompanying onion-jalepeño-cilantro-lime fresh salsa! I didn’t have a mortar to pound it for authenticity, but it should still be fine. 😉

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::BK::

RIP Terra Chips

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Hains now owns TERRA chips, and all flavors but the plain ‘original’ now have adulterations of sugar, yeast extract… And really don’t taste so exotic. These tasted like the same flavor palettes of regular ‘junk’ chips. I always bought Terra because they were different. Shame! ;(

::KB::