Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Czecholslovakian Baked Doughnuts

(recipe courtesy of Christine Deschatelets)

2 medium white potatoes, peeled and quartered
1 cup milk
1/4 cup warm water from cooking the potatoes
2 large eggs, beaten
3/4 cup lard or shortening
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp salt
4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast

1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
3 tbs cup melted butter

Cook potatoes in boiling water until tender. Pass through a potato ricer and set aside 1 cup to cool.

Place potatoes, milk, water, eggs, lard, sugar and salt in the pan of a bread maker. Cover with flour and place yeast on top. Set machine to “Dough” function.

When dough is ready, turn out onto a lightly floured surface, kneading in a little more flour, if necessary, to form a workable dough. Roll to 1/2-inch thick and cut using a 2 1/2-inch doughnut cutter. Place on greased baking sheets. Cover with lint-free kitchen towels and let rise until almost doubled (about an hour in a warm place). Bake at 350F for 15-20 minutes, until lightly golden. Brush warm doughnuts lightly with butter and dip in cinnamon sugar.

Root Vegetable Pave

3 medium carrots, peeled and finely sliced
2 medium parsnips, peeled and finely sliced
2 celery roots, peeled and finely sliced
1 fennel bulb, trimmed and finely sliced
1 turnip, peeled and finely sliced
3 shallots, peeled and finely sliced
1 bunch parsley, finely chopped (leaves only)
7 tbs flour
1 3/4 cups cream
1/2 cup or more finely grated parmesan
kosher salt/fresh ground pepper

Line a 10-inch springform pan with parchment paper (nothing fancy, just stuff in a large piece to contain the liquids).

In a very large bowl toss together all the vegetables and parsley. Sprinkle with flour, along with about half a dozen five-fingered-pinches of salt, ten turns of the pepper mill, and toss to coat. Add 1 cup of the cream and toss again.

Cover bottom of springform with a generous layer of the veg. Sprinkle with a bit of salt and pepper, drizzle with cream, then add a sprinkling of parmesan. Continue layering to the top, pressing down. Finish with 1/3 of the parmesan.

Bake at 350F for 70 to 90 minutes, until vegetables in the centre are soft to the tip of a knife. Cool completely and refrigerate overnight to set.

To serve, remove ring from pan and peel away parchment. Slice into wedges and place on a baking sheet. Reheat just as many as you need (restaurant tip) in a 350 oven, until warmed through.

Note: If you prefer a more rustic, loose dish, just bake in glass baking dishes and let cool for 15 minutes before serving.

Banana Oatmeal Muffins

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp kosher salt
2 large eggs
1/4 cup vegetable or canola oil
1/4 cup milk
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
3 large mashed bananas
3/4 cup milk chocolate chips, chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs, oil and milk and vanilla. Add mashed bananas and stir to combine. Add to flour and oat mixture and mix with a fork until just combined. Fold in chocolate or nuts, if using.

Line or grease 12 regular muffin cups and fill 3/4 full. Bake at 400F for 18-20 minutes, or until a tester inserted into the centre of the muffins comes out clean.

Swedish Meatballs

3 oz (2 slices) fresh white bread
1/4 cup milk
3 tbs clarified butter
1/2 small onion, finely chopped
pinch, plus tsp kosher salt
3/4 lb lean ground beef
3/4 lb lean ground pork or veal
2 large egg yolks
about 12 turns of a pepper mill
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground allspice
1/4 cup flour
3 cups beef stock
1/4 cup whipping cream
canola oil for cooking meatballs

Tear bread into small pieces, place into a small bowl and drizzle with milk. Set aside.

Into a large frying pan over medium low heat, add butter. When hot, add onions together with a pinch of salt. Sweat until soft, then remove from heat and set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, add bread mixture, ground meats, egg yolks, seasonings and onions. Turn to medium speed and beat for 2 minutes.

Form mixture into 25-30 1-oz meatballs, placing them on a baking sheet.

In batches, fry meatballs over medium-low heat. Cook until golden on all sides. Remove, using a slotted spoon, to a casserole dish and place in a 350F oven to finish cooking (to an internal temperature of 160F).

Meanwhile, reduce heat under pan, melt remaining butter and add flour. Whisk until light brown, about 1 or 2 minutes. Gradually add beef stock, whisking until sauce begins to thicken. Add cream, whisking until sauce reaches the consistency of gravy. Adjust seasoning. Pour over meatballs and serve with egg noodles and sour cream.