MyKitchenInHalfCups

Once Upon a time: Cooking … Baking … Traveling … Laughing …


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BBB Aloo Partha

Let me tell you, satellite internet is not wonderful. Well, at least the one we have here in the north woods isn’t.  When the wind blows, it rains, it snows, and sometimes it’s just  beautiful outside … our satellite doesn’t really care … it just randomly takes a rest. That’s what is’s done for the last three days and that’s my excuse for being so late. The only thing I miss about the big city is the high speed internet.

Karen is our Kitchen of the Month. Thank You Karen for the BBB’s very first bread recipe without yeast!  Aloo Paratha has long been on my list for baking and we loved these. Shamelessly easy to make.  Filling them is only limited by your imagination. Serve as a little bite with wine. Serve as a light lunch.  Serve with the evening soup. Be traditional, serve with a warming curry.

BBB Aloo Paratha

Recipe By: Karen of BakeMyDay from how to cook everything by Mark Bittman”

2 cups white whole wheat flour
1 cup sprouted wheat flour
salt
1 teaspoon ajwain* dried thyme, or ground cumin
3/4 cup water
2 tablespoons grapeseed oil, like grapeseed or corn, plus more for brushing the breads
1.1/2 lb. starchy potatoes, peeled and cut in half
1 jalapeño or other fresh hot chile, seeded and minced or more to taste
2 teaspoons ground coriander
freshly ground pepper
juice of 1/2 small lemon
1 clove garlic pressed
3/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
melted butter
*ajwain comes from carom seeds which look like celery but taste like very strong, slightly coarse thyme

They look like the real Aloo Paratha! done in a skillet.

They look like the real Aloo Paratha! done in a skillet.

1. Combine the flours with 1 teaspoon salt and the thyme in a food processor.  OK, let’s stop right there. I have a food processor, yes I do. I even gave in and went to the friend’s hanger where he’s kindly allowing us to store a lot of boxes while we try to put in a kitchen and get a storage shed built. Gorn even located said food processor and I unpacked it … or most of it. It seems the critical piece that makes the electrical contact was left out … hopefully packed in another box that will one day be unpacked … but that was not yesterday nor today. I’m reasoning that even today there are a huge number of cooks in India making paratha and even today a huge number are making paratha without the aid of a food processor … SOOOOOOOO like a good Daring Baker (thank you Lisa) and good Bread Baking Babe that I am I forged ahead mixing the dough by hand and even though it took slightly longer than 30-45 seconds (5 minutes actually) I did end up with a dough slightly sticky to the touch and continued on.

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Turn the machine on and add the oil and 3/4 cup water through the feed tube. Process for about 30 seconds, until the mixture forms a ball and is slightly sticky to the touch. If it is dry, add another tablespoon or two of water and process for another 10 seconds. In the unlikely event that the mixture is too sticky, add flour a tablespoon at a time. Remove the dough and, using flour as necessary, shape into a ball; wrap in plastic and let rest while you make the potato mixture. (At this point, you may wrap the dough tightly in plastic and refrigerate for up to a day or freeze for up to a week; bring back to room temperature before proceeding.)
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2. Put the potatoes in a large saucepan and add water to cover and a large pinch of salt.  Sorry, we have to stop right here again … I don’t have a stove top upstairs in our “kitchen” yet and I just wasn’t willing to run outside in the rain to use the stove downstairs … so I baked the potato, I suppose I could have steamed them in the microwave but I baked them. Oh, and all that green … I added a nice handful of spinach.  Turn the heat to high, bring to a boil, and adjust the heat so the mixture simmers steadily; cook until the potatoes are tender, 15 to 20 minutes, then drain. Mash the potatoes along with half (all) the chile, the coriander, a large pinch of salt, some pepper, and the lemon juice; taste and adjust the seasoning (you may prefer more chile; sometimes aloo paratha are quite hot).

Divide

Divide

3. When the dough has rested, set out a bowl of all-purpose flour and a small bowl of oil, with a spoon or brush, on your work surface. Lightly flour your work surface and your rolling pin. Break off a piece of dough about the size of a golf ball. Toss it in the bowl of flour and then roll it in your hands to make a ball. Flatten it into a 2-inch disk, then use a floured rolling pin to roll it into a thin round, about 5 inches in diameter, dusting with flour as necessary.
Pull up the sides to make a purse and then flatten, roll thin.

Pull up the sides to make a purse and then flatten, roll thin.

4. Mound about 2 tablespoons (that was too much for the size I made, adjust accordingly)  of the filling into the center of one of the rounds of dough. Bring the edges of the round up over the top of the filling and press them together to make a pouch. Press down on the “neck” of the pouch with the palm of one hand to make a slightly rounded disk. Turn the disk in the bowl of flour and roll it out again into a round 6 to 7 inches in diameter. Pat it between your hands to brush off the excess flour. Put the paratha on a plate and cover with a sheet of plastic wrap. Continue to roll all of the remaining dough into parathas and stack them on the plate with a sheet of plastic wrap between them. You can keep the paratha stacked like this for an hour or two in the refrigerator before cooking them if necessary.
Keep them stacked for two hours … perfect! The rain had stopped and I used the stove top downstairs to cook two of them.
5. Heat a griddle or cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat for a minute or two, then put on a paratha (or two, if they’ll fit) and cook until it darkens slightly, usually less than a minute. Flip the paratha with a spatula and cook for another 30 seconds on the second side. Use the back of a spoon or a brush to coat the top of the paratha with oil. Flip and coat the other side with oil. Continue cooking the paratha until the bottom of the bread has browned, flip, and repeat.
Panni Aloo Paratha India + Italy

Panni Aloo Paratha
India + Italy

I did do two in this traditional stove top manner but … on two occasions I used the panni grill. While that doesn’t give the traditional look to the paratha, it produces a nice paratha.
Do this a few times until both sides of the paratha are golden brown and very crisp, 2 to 3 minutes total for each paratha. As the paratha finish, remove them from the pan and brush with melted butter if you’re going to serve hot; otherwise wait until you’ve reheated them.6.  variations: cauliflower, sweet potato …
Yep, we enjoyed these immensely with our wine in the evening. These are shamelessly easy to make. The dough can be held over in the fridge a day or two so it’s a delight when there is just the two of us to make these for several days in a row. They make wonderful little bites for a light lunch or a little bite with a glass of wine in the evening.
Now the only question remaining here is: Are you going to join in and become a Bread Baking Buddy?If you’d like to join in, simply bake this Aloo Paratha (yes, you may adapt) – and then send Karen a link to your post via email (bake my day at gmail dot com).  Submissions are due by November 29th.  Once you’ve posted, Karen will send you a fabulous Buddy Badge designed by our own Babe Lien for baking along and you’ll appear in the Buddy post.  I hope you’ll join us this month!
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Fresh Corn Cakes (aka Corny Pancakes)

Sometimes I can still surprise myself.  Surprise myself on several different levels when I least expect it.  For years, I’ve looked on in envy and wished I could get my hands on King Arthur’s little newsletter The Baking Sheet.  I’ve stopped subscribing and stopped buying most magazines because they just seem to get drooled over and then pile up all over everywhere until I’m forced to take them all to the library or HalfPriceBooks or the trash before a new pile comes in from the mail box.  But this is baking and this would be King Arthur … and then I placed an order and at the end an offer came up … a year’s subscription to YES, the Baking Sheet … for Free!  Could you have said no?  Well, maybe you’d have been principled and not clicked that box but me, no there were no principles between me and that click.  No, that doesn’t surprise me about myself, I know myself only too well.

What surprised me was … you got it, I’m baking from it … well in this case it’s griddleing.  (Right that is not a word but I’m using it and I just know you know what it means.)

I’m one that thinks if you buy a cook book and enjoy the reading of it and get even one keeper of a recipe out of it, it was worth the $$$.  So to find a little newsletter and get a keeper of a recipe seems so much more a concentrated value.  Does that make sense to you?

This recipe came from a book, Yankee Hill-Country Cooking published in 1963 and is a collection of Heirloom Recipes from Rural Kitchens.  The author, Beatrice Vaughan, titles these Green Corn Cakes and I’ve no idea why … although when I think about these and that title I conjure up some crazy idea in my head of stacking or layering the corn cakes with fried green tomatoes and finding a nirvana but that’s something else.

Reading the recipe you rather doubt these could turn out: 8 ears of corn, 2 tablespoons white whole wheat flour, salt, Aleppo pepper and two eggs, separated.  How’s that going to hold together much less leave you wanting more.  Well, trust me, it will.  No sugar but these are deliciously sweet and so I added in a finely chopped jalapeño pepper from my garden.

Adding the jalapeño was brilliant, loved it but it also blossomed into the idea that these little cakes would adapt to innumerable flavors.  I just know you don’t need any of my suggestions as I’m sure about now you’ve generated 7 great combos. … cinnamon, cardamom, vanilla; ginger; ham … oh, tell me more …

There were only two of us in the house this morning so I cut this way back: used only 2 ears of corn and 1 tablespoon of flour with one egg.  Obviously I didn’t need the 6 quart Kitchen Aid to whip that one little egg white into stiff peaks, neither did I really want to do it by hand.  Bring on that stick blender whisk!

The two things I think are most important to the success of this are:

1. Score each row of corn down the center of each row.

2. Scrape, do not cut, all the corn from the cob into a bowl. A deep bowl that you can put the cob on the bottom works well to contain all the splattering of corn and it’s juice when scraped.

For more variations, play with the flour and if you want them gluten free: use a gluten-free flour blend or make them with corn meal – try blue corn meal … see what I mean there are just so many possibilities and additions to these.

A tablespoon of delicate delicious!  I promise.  You see the other thing that surprised me about all this was that both of us really enjoyed these and the talk is to have them again … soon … as in tomorrow!