Monday, February 25, 2008

Fruit Compote

This is a variation on an original from Delia Smith in her How To Cook Book Two. Basically, I used what I had, and changed the liquid amounts to compensate. So here's a basic recipe of what I might have done:

1 cup of dried apricots roughly chopped (could use any dried fruits -- Delia used prunes)
1/2 cup golden raisins
4-5 apples, peeled and chopped in chunks (basically all the apples in the fruit bowl that were on their way out!)
1 Tbsp. brown sugar
Some cinnamon, ginger, and cloves
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1 cup white wine (can use apple juice instead)
1/2 cup brandy (can use apple juice instead)
extra apple juice if needed
I dumped everything into a saucepan and made sure there was enough liquid so that it wouldn't go dry on me. Then, I simmered it for about 45 minutes until things were nice and soft and the liquid was nearly gone. Excellent with pork or chicken, and really lovely on scones or toast!

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Oatmeal Bread

This is my favorite recipe for homemade bread. The recipe is easily doubled or tripled.

(adapted from the More-with-Less Cookbook)

Combine in a large bowl:
1 cup oatmeal
½ cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup honey (or less; also can use molasses, sugar, etc)
1 tablespoon salt
2 tablespoons oil

Pour over above ingredients:
2 cups boiling water

Stir to combine.

In a separate bowl, dissolve:
1 Tbsp. yeast
½ cup warm water

When oatmeal mixture has cooled to lukewarm, add the yeast mixture.

Stir in:
5 cups whole wheat flour (can use part whole wheat, part white)

When dough is stiff enough to handle, turn onto a floured surface and knead 5-10 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, cover, and let rise until doubled in size (usually at least an hour). Punch down and shape into two round loaves. Place loaves on a greased baking sheet, or in greased loaf tins. If making round loaves, slash tops of loaves with a knife. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until done. Cool on a rack. When cool, store in plastic bags.