Tuesday, September 26, 2006

bread, beets & pressure cookers

as fall has arrived, it is root vegetable time. one of my favourites is the beet. i recently picked up a huge bag of smallish sized beets for next to nothing and decided to use my pressure cooker that i really only use for cooking vegetables, grains & beans. i am always amazed at how fast and perfectly everything manages to cook — in approximately 1/3 the time. instead of 35 - 40 minutes of waiting, the beets were magnificently done in 12 minutes! i should use this beast more often to cook. it is hardly the frightening and precarious implement i remember my mom using when i was a child. today's pressure cookers are of a new breed and well worth the investment. for a lot more information on them, time charts and recipes for using one, check out Miss Vickie's website.

a recipe involving beets that i recommend:

pink herring salad
with beets, green apple, baby potatoes & sour cream
1 lb beets, cooked [diced]
2 6 oz. jars pickled herring, drained and cut up
1 granny smith apple, diced
1/2 lb baby potatoes, cooked and cut in half
1/2 med. red onion, sliced thinly
1/4 c. white vinegar
2 tbsp sugar [or more]
salt to taste
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 c sour cream or whipping cream
2 hard boiled eggs, sliced in quarters [optional]

in a large bowl mix the cream with the sugar, vinegar, and pepper. add the remaining ingredients and salt to taste. marinate overnight. garnish with the egg slices.

* * * * *

i also spent some time bread baking and really have to catch up on my testing. i am far behind. life in general & the craziness of the holidays put a damper on my progress. below is the wholegrain loaf i made. i liked this one quite a bit and was skeptical at the beginning as the bread was made by combining two fermented doughs. that in itself is not unusual .... what bothered me was that the whole grains dough was very loose and not very doughlike. it was a combination of cooked brown rice, coarse cornmeal [which sent me running all around trying to find], ground flaxmeal, oat bran & some other things which i cannot recall at the moment.

a view of its "innards":

* * * * *

i also made a batch of ciabatta, the rustic way — fait à la main [by hand]. this was a wet dough preparation. think thickened wallpaper paste: a big gloopy & gloppy mass but which miraculously turns into a dough with exceptional results. definitely not a beginners' bread but well worth the effort and sticky hands.

needless to say, it was excellent made into panini sandwiches.


Franco said...

nice theme!
that is my page: www-franco.blogspot.com

burekaboy said...

thanx for the compliment & stopping by. ;p