Thursday, March 2, 2017

Stephanie's Kitchen Drawer: Enamel Dutch Oven

Remember my wild yeast starter and book about bread making?  I learned crusty bread needs steam and since a professional steam oven was way out of my price range the next best solution mentioned a variety of books and blogs was a dutch oven.  My yeast starter is getting bigger by the week so I needed to get serious about sourdough break baking.  After baking two loaves of sour dough bread in the 7.5 quart Lodge Dutch Oven I am a believer.  The bread was perfect and delicious.  I bought this dutch oven here.  You don't need the biggest Dutch Oven though, the 3 quart model would work well and your loaf would grow high versus wide like mine did.

Stephanie's Food For Thought

Last year just before Christmas I had this wonderful and crazy idea to make homemade chocolate chip Panetone for Christmas breakfast.  We have a family tradition of eating Panetone for Christmas morning.  My children don't like the traditional Panetone with dried fruit but they do like the chocolate chip variety.  I had been holding onto Panetone paper molds for a few years with the intention of making homemade Panetone.  I have a book recommended by my expert chef/scientist PhD friend Kristy called "The Bread Baker's Apprentice: Mastering the Art of Extraordinary Bread."  I bought the book on Amazon here.  In this book is a great section on Panetone and it's history along with a recipe.  I highly recommend the book.  

Back to the wild yeast starter.  I wanted my own wild yeast starter so I could make traditional Panetone,  I bought this wild yeast starter from Amazon here.   My yeast starter wasn't ready in time for making the Panetone but I have used it to make the sourdough bread recipe found in "The Bread Baker's Apprentice: Mastering the Art of Extraordinary Bread."  The bread was delicious.  I highly recommend this starter and the book if you get a chance to order them both.   My starter is kept in a half gallon mason jar in my refrigerator.  I feed it once a week with high gluten flour and filtered water.  

Stephanie's Kitchen Drawer: Pressure Cooker Part 3

Have you heard about the latest in electric pressure cookers?  It's called the Instant Pot.   I left my pressure cooker in NYC with a friend since I had cooked chili in it for our very last Astoria Ward Halloween Party and Chili Cook-off.   We were moving and I had my friend Nellie hold onto the pressure cooker with the chili in it and bring it to church and told her to keep the pressure cooker after the activity.  Anyway point is I gave up my pressure cooker and have cooked without it for a little over a year.  Recently Amazon was celebrating receiving some award for excellence by giving every a discount of a little over $8 so I decided to take the plunge into the Instant Pot universe and buy one. I bought this particular instant pot.  This particular pressure cooker has over 16,000 reviews and averages 4 1/2 stars and is a Amazon #1 Best Seller so I figured all those reviews are very very good sign.  Today I'm using it for the first time to cook pork tenderloin.  We have a weekly food menu that calls for pork on Thursday's for dinner.  Pork tenderloin is one of the most versatile, inexpensive, and tender cuts of meat you can find.  I'll let you know what I think of it after I've tried it out on a few recipes.