Thursday, September 23, 2010

Soft Whole Wheat Pretzels

I really love making big soft pretzels and this recipe that uses the food processor is pretty simple.


Makes 12 pretzels

1/4 c. warm water (about 110 degrees F)
1 package (1/4 oz.) active dry yeast
1 Tbsp. agave nectar
1 1/4 c. unbleached flour
1 1/4 c. whole wheat flour
1 tsp. sea salt
1/2 c. warm water
1 Tbsp. baking soda
soy milk for brushing
Coarse salt

In the bowl of a food processor fitted with metal blade, mix yeast with 1/4 c. warm water and agave nectar and let stand until bubbly. Add both flours and sea salt. With processor running, add enough of the additional 1/2 c. warm water until the mixture forms a ball that cleans the inside of the bowl. rocess until ball turns around bowl around 25 times. Turn off p rocessor and let dough stand several minutes.

Turn dough out onto lightly floured surface. Shape into a ball, cover, and let rest for about 10 minutes.

Divide dough into 12 pieces. Roll each piece into a 15" strand and form into a pretzel shape. Let rise on a greased baking sheet for 30 minutes until almost doubled.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. In a large saute pan or Dutch oven, bring about 1 1/2 quarts of water to a boil. Add 1 Tbsp. baking soda. Gently pick up the  pretzels (I use my fingers but you can also try a wide pancake spatula) and drop them in the boiling water 2 or 3 at a time. Let boil 15 minutes until they puff up.

Put pretzels on a parchment lined baking sheet and brush lightly with soymilk. Sprinkle coarse salt on top. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from baking sheet and cool on a wire rack.

I really like these served with ballpark mustard.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Vegetarian Enchiladas

I just finished assembling this recipe from Native American cuisine expert Lois Ellen Frank in New Mexico Magazine. I chose it because it uses a lot of vegetables and a lot of green chiles. The recipe is HERE in an article about clay pot cooking - I substituted my own green chile sauce from Fiesta Vegan for the bottled sauce and I used two FYH vegan cheeses in lieu of the cotija. I'm going to end up cooking it in the microwave as it is still too hot here to turn on the oven. (It is actually cooling a bit outside but unfortunately it is still extra-hot in our house because the passive-solar design seems to collect more heat as the sun is lower in the sky with the change of seasons.)

I'm keeping my fingers crossed that we'll need some wood from our woodpile soon. Actually very soon as I'm dying to do some baking. I'm looking forward to Top Chef Desserts starting this Wednesday and I plan to cook a dessert I've never made before each week to go with the show. This week's dessert is going to be the Sticky Toffee Pudding from the vegan dessert book Sweet Utopia by Sharon Valencik. I bought the Kindle version of this cookbook and everything looks just wonderful. 

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Green Chiles from Hatch, New Mexico

The green chile harvest from the town of Hatch in southern NM has arrived all over the state. Hatch chiles are not a specific variety of chile pepper; there are different varieties grown for mild, medium, hot and extra hot. This year we bought two 35 lb. bags but I think we're going to get another one to last us through the year. We also get bags of roasted green chiles from our local CSA. Occasionally we buy them fresh and roast our own - HERE is a blog post on how I do that.

After each 35 lb bag is roasted, they are put in a plastic bag in a box. This steams off the skins and if you leave the chiles like that for a few hours, you'll get a nice smoky flavor as well.

Most people here just put the whole chiles, skins and all, in freezer bags and freeze them. They're really easy to peel once thawed. I learned in a class at Santa Fe School of Cooking to NEVER rinse them while peeling and seeding because you do lose some of the wonderful roasted flavor.

If you'd like to see what the process of roasting them looks like, I did a post last year that showed that - 70 Pounds of Hatch Green Chiles . My southwestern cookbook, Fiesta Vegan (available in print at Amazon and as a less expensive ebook on Lulu) has some recipes that use green chiles like my Green Chile Enchiladas with Chard, Chile Rellenos, and Pinto Beans and Calabacitas. I also have a few recipes hereon the blog that use green chiles: Hatch Green Chile Stew and Zucchiny and Hominy Soup.

More Ideas on What to Do with our Wonderful Hatch Green Chiles:

1. Eat them plain. Once at Santa Fe Farmer's Market a woman was putting chile pieces on crackers and sprinkling them with garlic salt. Anywhere they're roasting chiles you'll see plenty of customers taste-testing the whole roasted green chiles to make sure they get the amount of heat they want.
2. Rajas (caramelized onions with chile strips)
3. Pizza - by far my favorite way to eat green chiles
4. In rice and beans
5. In tofu migas and tofu scrambles
6. Chile Rellenos - I stuff them with a mashed potato mixture (recipe in Fiesta Vegan) but we've also used non-dairy cheese They're also good with non-dairy cream cheese inside
7. Lay thick strips inside homemade tamales
8. Enchiladas
9. Green chile sauce
10. Green chile stew
11. Posole
12. All types of bean and veggie chilis
13. Macaroni and Cheese with green chiles
14. Green chile risotto or a Mexican green rice w/cilantro
15. Grilled cheese and green chile sandwiches
16. Chili Mac
17. Cornbread
18. Yeast breads - I have a green chile cheese bread (not vegan) in my 1st cookbook 'Tis the Season.
19. Burritos - breakfast burritos, bean burritos, veggie and cheese burritos
20. Quesadillas
21. Salsa and Salsa Verde
22. Mashed potatoes with green chiles
23. Three Bean Salad
24. Tortilla Soup
25. Tostadas
26. Chimichangas
27. Calabacitas - zucchini with green chiles and corn
28. Chilaquiles
29. Guacamole
30. Finally, I've seen recipes for green chile apple pie which I need to try this fall.
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