Archive for Geo:American

Chocolate with The Key Chocolate Class

We had a cooking class with teenagers from The Key, a youth-run community-based organization.
champurrado The common ingredient was Mexican chocolate — which we prepared as Champurrado, a hot drink, slightly thickened with corn masa. Here is the Champurrado recipe.
and a luscious chile sauce called Red Mole. In the picture, it is served with roast turkey. Here is the Red Mole recipe.
Traditionally, the meat is slowly cooked (braised) in the mole for about 1 1/2 hours. But to fit into our 2-hour class schedule, we roasted free-range chickens instead. Here is the Roast Chicken recipe.
Unfortunately, we ran out of time to prepare a Hot Fudge Pudding Cake, a fun dessert with a brownie-like layer that floats on a pudding-like chocolate sauce. Here is the Hot Fudge Pudding Cake recipe.

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Basic Waffles

Sweet Lou, a new waffle shop just opened in our town. Predictably, Andi, Alyssa and their friends have taken an interest in waffles. For the times that we can’t hang out in the new cool shop, we make them at home. Pictured is a topping of blackberry preserves and crème fraîche.

Here is the recipe.

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Muffins

An officemate asked me “How do you make muffins rise?” I consulted the reliable Cooks Illustrated and found the following advice: “Make enough batter to fill up the cups for big, shapely muffins.” Here is a Lemon Blueberry Muffins recipe that shows the trick.

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Buffalo Wings

Buffalo Wings prepared with free-range chicken make compelling appetizers.

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Pound Cake with Lemon Glaze

This American classic is baked in an unusual way — in a cold oven set at 225°F for 20 minutes and then at 325°F for 30 to 40 minutes more. The result is a very moist cake. We served this cake at home last night to a party of teens and grown-ups. Every piece was consumed with delight. Here is the recipe.

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Cantaloupe and Spinach

Today, our Coop organized several demonstrations for children. Strider, our produce manager, asked us to take advantage of a new shipment of cantaloupes from California and baby spinach from our neighboring town of Farmington. Kathy, our grocery manager, asked us to use a soy milk product on promotion.

To combine the various themes, we prepared three kid-drawing dishes:

image the cantaloupe into a refreshing drink

the spinach into a creamed sauce, and the soy milk into a honeydew smoothie. Kids and grown-ups relished the results.

Here are the Horchata de Melon, Pasta With Creamed Spinach, and Honeydew Smoothie recipes.

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Cream of Rutabaga Soup

Today, we cooked rutabaga with sautéed onions in homemade vegetable broth, pureed the rutabaga and onions, and then enriched the soup with cream. The soup was flavorful and light, a welcome treat on a rainy day.

Here is the recipe.

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Smoothies

Today, we had lots of fun making a variety of cold fruit drinks called smoothies. We pureed banana, fruits, and juice into a slushy mixture bursting with natural flavor. By using frozen fruits, we managed to enjoy out-of-season fruits like blackberries, save time, and skip using ice (which dilutes the flavor of the drink and requires extra sweeteners). We also juiced oranges and tangerines to maximize freshness, flavor, and nutrition.

Here are the recipes.

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Vegetable Gumbo

Gumbo is a chunky tomato-based soup full of flavor. This recipe was given to me in a sealed envelope marked “Top Secret” by Bill Poynton, a member of the Just Food Coop. Thank you, Bill, for sharing your secret.

Gumbo is derived from the West African word “gombo” which means okra. The name implies that okra is a necessary ingredient. The other necessary ingredients are a dark brown roux (flour cooked in oil) and gumbo filé (pronounced fee-lay), which is the powder form of sassafras leaves.

Okra evokes both affection and aversion. Those who hate it cite the vegetable’s slimy texture. In this recipe, the okra is sautéed before it is added to the rest of the ingredients to reduce its sliminess.

The demonstration was a resounding success. The only unpleasant experience was taking 3 hours to cook the flour. I need help to learn how to get this done faster. Suggestions, anyone?

Here is the recipe.

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