Archive for August, 2010

Deep-fried dough: A Mennonite classic!

3 eggs
¾ cup cream
1 cup milk
2 ½ tsp salt
3 tsp baking powder
4 3/4 (approx) cups flour

Whisk together eggs, cream, milk and milk. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, salt and baking powder. Add dry ingredients to wet and bring together until a ball begins to form. Turn out onto a lightly-floured surface and knead to form a soft dough. Place in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap; let rest in fridge for an hour.

Heat a few inches of canola oil in a deep, wide pot, to 375-400 degrees.

Meanwhile, roll dough out, one third at a time, to ¼-inch thick. Cut into rectangles, approximately 3 by 5-inches. Cut a short, lengthwise slit in the centre and fold one end through. Place, two at a time, in the hot oil, turning to cook both sides to a light golden brown. Remove to a baking sheet covered with paper towel to drain and cool slightly. Serve with spears of watermelon.

Note: Roll kuken go stale by the next day, but the dough freezes well, and can be pulled out for small fresh batches all summer.

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Teri’s notes: Halva is one of those 1-2-3-4 ratio recipes, so you can scale it up or down as you wish. We used a juice glass to measure out the ingredients and ended up with halva that fit in an 8 inch bundt pan. It’s a ridiculously simple recipe – you barely have to do anything and it’s hard to mess up.
1 part olive oil
(You can also use another oil if you don’t have olive on hand. Also, halva has the tendency to be oily, so if you want to use a little less than 1 part, go ahead.)
2 parts coarse semolina
(NOTE: Semolina is a by-product of durum wheat. Use coarse semolina for this recipe, which is distinctly grainy. Fine semolina will be more flour-y and won’t work.)
3 parts sugar
4 parts water
Optional: as many nuts as you want
Step 1. In a medium pot, add the sugar to the water and bring to a boil for about 5-7 minutes until the sugar is dissolved. Skim off any foam that might develop on the surface of the water. Set the water mixture aside.
Step 2. In a large pot, heat the oil and add the semolina. This is the only step that requires a bit of work. Keep stirring it around so that the oil is incorporated by the semolina. The semolina will start getting fragrant and toasty. Do this for a few minutes until it’s golden, and don’t let it burn.
Step 3. Add the water mixture to the pot with the semolina. It will hiss and steam, so don’t be alarmed. Stir it around a bit and then let the pot sit. If you want nuts, throw a bunch in now (and you probably do; almonds and walnuts are especially good.) The mixture will thicken into a porridge-like consistency and you’ll see satisfyingly big, slow, fat bubbles coming up to the surface. It will smell very good.
Step 4. Pour the thickened mixture into a pan or a mold – bundt pans are good for this. When it’s cooled and set, turn onto a plate and sprinkle with lots of cinnamon. Then, slice and serve.

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Pronounced Tsvee-bah, this is the Mennonite answer to the French butter buns known as Brioch.

1 1/2 tsp dry yeast
1 tbs plus 1 tsp sugar
1/2 cup lukewarm water
1 cup milk
1/2 cup butter
1 tsp salt
1 large egg, beaten
4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
Dissolve yeast and 1 tsp sugar in water. Scald milk and add butter, salt and remaining sugar. Cool until lukewarm, place in a large mixing bowl, then combine with yeast mixture, remaining sugar and egg.
Gradually add flour, mixing until ingredients come together. Turn onto a floured surface. Knead about five minutes, incorporating more flour if necessary, to form a soft dough.
Cover and set in a warm place to rise until doubled. Punch down. Pinch off balls of dough the size of large walnuts. Place on a greased pan, 1-inch apart. Pinch off slightly smaller balls, set on top of larger ones, and press down through both balls with thumb. Cover to rise until doubled. Bake at 400F for 15 minutes. Traditionally served for Faspa, with cheese and preserves.

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Q:What to do with all those summer zucchini?
A: Chocolate Zucchini Cake, of course.

1 cup butter, softened
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup sour cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
2 cups grated zucchini, packed
1 cup chocolate chips
In the bowl of an electric mixer on medium speed, cream together butter and sugar. Beat in eggs, sour cream and vanilla. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, cinnamon, baking soda and baking powder. Beat into butter mixture until smooth but not over-mixed. Fold in zucchini and chocolate chips. Transfer batter to a buttered and floured bundt pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 50-60 minutes, or until a tester inserted into the centre comes out clean. Cool completely before turning out.

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This recipe is reserved for beet season at the Farmer’s Market, when they’re fresh and perfect.

approx. 2 1/2 lbs mixed, medium (golf ball-sized) beets
(use all purple, or all pale varieties to prevent colour transfer)
2 shallots, peeled, quartered
5 tbs extra-virgin olive oil
8 sprigs thyme
1 stalk oregano, leaves only
2 tbs rice wine vinegar
kosher salt/fresh ground pepper
Scrub beets and trim off tops. Divide onto two large sheets of aluminum foil and drizzle each with a tbs of olive oil. Add shallots, three whole sprigs thyme each, and season moderately with salt and pepper. Wrap into packets and place on the top rack of a heated outdoor grill (or roast in oven) until tender to the tip of a knife; an hour or more.
When done, cool beets and gently rub skins off using paper towels. Discard thyme. Quarter beets and slice shallots and place in a medium bowl. Add the chopped leaves from the oregano and toss with remaining olive oil and rice wine vinegar. Season to taste.

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You know you’re a Mennonite when…

2 1/4 cups flour
3/4 cup sugar

3/4 cup butter
1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 cup buttermilk
1 fresh egg
1 tsp vanilla

For the fruit:

1 3/4 lb fresh rhubarb, chopped

3/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup water

In a large pot, stew rhubarb with 1/2 cup water and 3/4 cup sugar (less or more) for 20 minutes, until softened.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour and sugar. Cut in butter until the mixture is crumbly. Remove and set aside 1 cup of the crumbs, and into the remaining, add baking powder and baking soda.

Whisk together milk, egg and vanilla. Make a well in the centre of the crumbs and add milk mixture. Bring together with a fork until just combined.

Spread 2/3 of the batter into a buttered 9×13” baking dish. Top with rhubarb. Dot with remaining batter and sprinkle reserved crumbs over top.

Bake at 350F for 40 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean. Cool completely.

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Lemon Butter

Stolen from a pastry chef, this is the best, most fail-proof recipe for lemon butter (lemon curd).

4 eggs
1 cup sugar
3 large lemons
1/2 pound unsalted butter, cut into cubes
1 tsp plain gelatin powder
1 tbs cold water
In a large bowl (that will be the top half of a Bain Marie), whisk together eggs and 1/2 cup of the sugar.
In a small pot, combine remaining sugar with zest from 2 of the lemons and juice from all three. Bring to a boil, cook for 1 minute. A little at a time, add hot juice to egg mixture to temper the eggs, whisking constantly. Place bowl over a boiling water bath and whisk frequently until mixture is the consistency of warm custard.
Soak gelatin in water and whisk into lemon mixture. 4-5 cubes at a time, quickly whisk butter into mixture until melted and mixture is smooth. Cool completely.
Use as a spread for scones, in pies and tarts or layer cakes.

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