Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Homemade Pizza Dough

Pizza is a quick easy meal  for us, especially during the summer months with all the fresh summer vegetables coming out of the garden. Today's pizza was topped with roasted elephant garlic, the roasted Jaune Flammes tomatoes from yesterday (see life on the homestead blog), sauteed onions, mushrooms and Malabar spinach. Then we covered it with fresh crumbled goat cheese and mozzarella and a perfect pizza was created! Other combos might be garlic, summer squash and goat cheese. Of course it also makes a wonderful traditional pizza with a red sauce and meat.
You can use any kind of flour or combination of flours. Experiment with white, wheat and/or spelt to see what your favorite might be. This dough can be used right away or left to rise for several hours. I have found letting it rise produces a better crust but if in a hurry just use it right away.
Pizza Dough
3 tbsp. olive oil
2 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. honey
2 tbsp. yeast
2 cups hot water
5-6 cups flour
Put first 5 ingredients in a mixer attached with dough hook. Add flour a bit at a time until it pulls away from sides and cleans the bowl. Let knead for about 5 minutes. Let rise up to 5 hours or use right away.
Preheat oven to 425*. Divide into 2 balls. Roll out and place on stones or pizza pans. Barely prick with a fork and prebake for 7 minutes. Remove, add toppings and bake until crust is brown and cheese is melted. 

Monday, July 9, 2012

Creamy Lamb Curry

This was a recipe born of desperation. My intention tonight was to make a Greek meatloaf with a creamy dill and cucumber sauce. Then I realized my dill was dead and I had none dried. Ugh. Plan B was a creamy lamb curry. I started gathering ingredients. I had most everything and headed to the pantry to get some chicken stock. There was none! This is ridicules!! Luke offered to go to the store. Absolutely not, I fumed. Doug asked if I had a plan C. Smarty pants. As Clint Eastwood once said, you must improvise, adapt and overcome. And so I created my own version. It turned out quit good I must say. I served it over brown rice with a salad. 

1 lb. ground lamb
1 medium onion, chopped
1 fresh jalapeno, diced
1, 1 inch piece fresh ginger grated
3 -4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp. ground coriander
1 tsp cumin
1 cinnamon stick
2 bay leaves
1 pint canned tomatoes
2 cups beef broth
1/2 cup sour cream

Brown lamb in a bit of butter. Remove to a bowl. Saute onion, jalapeno and ginger in pan until soft. Add 
garlic, saute 1 more minute. Add coriander and cumin. Cook until very fragrant. Add lamb and rest of 
ingredients. Simmer 45 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in sour cream. Remove bay leaf and cinnamon
stick. Serve over rice.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Homemade Salsa

Now is the time of year that our garden is producing all of the fresh ingredients for salsa. I can at least 24-30 pints each year. We actually ran out several weeks ago! I have made this recipe for about 12 years now and everyone loves it. I think the original recipe was in Countryside magazine all those years ago.

5 lbs tomatoes, cored, peeled and chopped
2 cups onion, chopped
2 1/4 cups assorted peppers, chopped
2-3 tbsp. minced garlic
1 tbsp. cumin
1 tbsp. salt
1 cup vinegar
2 small cans tomato paste

Put all ingredients in a large stock pot. simmer for 15-20 minutes, stirring often to prevent from sticking.
Process in a boiling water bath for 15 minutes. Makes 6-7 pints.

Some tips~
This doubles easily! Twice the salsa, once the mess.
If time runs short and I don't have time to can the day I make it, it will store in the fridge a couple of days until you get to it.
I use my blender to chop the veggies. Pulse tomatoes once or twice to get a chunky consistency. To chop the peppers and onions I cut into large pieces and pulse. To make it easier, put about a quarter cup of tomatoes in the blender each time. The liquid helps chop more easily.
Use any assortment of peppers. I use whatever is ready in the garden. Today it was mostly banana peppers, hot and mild, with a couple of bells and jalapenos for a bit of heat.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Corn Chowder

Our first corn harvest came in over the weekend. A  favorite soup is a bacon corn chowder made from fresh ingredients harvested this time of year. Served with sliced tomatoes and cucumbers it makes a tasty homestead meal. During winter months I use corn from the freezer. This soup can be frozen for a month or so since it makes such a huge pot. We rarely ever have to do that though!! Enjoy~


6 slices bacon
12-14 ears of fresh corn, cut from the cob
1 large onion, thinly sliced
2 carrots, shredded
1 large potato, cubed
1 quart chicken broth
2-3 cups milk 

Cook bacon until crisp. Crumble and set aside. In 3 tablespoons of grease saute onion and carrot until soft. Add potato and chicken broth. If too thick add a bit of water. Cook until potato is tender, 20 minutes or so. Add milk and continue to simmer for 15 minutes more.( I use whole raw milk with the cream so you may want to use some cream for a richer soup). Thicken with 2 tablespoons of flour mixed with enough water to make a paste. Stir in crumbled bacon. If using frozen corn, about 1 quart works well.