Cooking with Annie: Episode 12 – Chicken Broth

Homemade chicken broth is one of those magical flavor boosters that just isn’t replicable with base, paste, or even store bought broth.  While those all work well out of necessity, once a taste of homemade chicken broth has hit your soup, it’s hard to go back.  Or at least hard not to notice the difference.  In this episode, we show you how to make broth from bones that were part of a chicken dinner and in a future episode, we’ll talk about what to do with any leftover meat to make a third meal.

If you missed the two soup episodes using up leftovers, they are here:  Carrot, Coconut, Ginger Soup and Creamy Potato Soup.

We’ve already talked about how to roast a whole chicken, and the next step is to take those leftover bones and all of the innards from the chicken – heart, liver, and gizzard – and add them to a stew pot.  Add a carrot, an onion with the peel, and a stalk of celery and cover everything with several inches of water.  Bring the pot to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and simmer for at least 45 minutes to an hour.  This sort of broth doesn’t take as long as full on chicken stock made with a whole, uncooked chicken.  The bones have already released some of their flavor and if you cook the broth too long, it begins to loose some of it’s wonderful flavor.  Lastly, strain the entire pot in a colander set over another pot and let drain.  Discard all of the bones and vegetables and store the broth in the refrigerator for up to a week or in the freezer (labeled and dated please!) for upto 6 months.

Annie
Happy cooking!

Baking Newfi Bread at Home – See it on 207!

If you missed the airing of the most recent 207 show, or don’t live in the area, no worries, you can see it here.  This one is about Newfi Bread, a boat and family favorite for sure.  It’s a very easy yeast bread recipe which has a slight twist with the addition of molasses which gives the bread a tangy sweetness and turns the bread a warm, dark caramel color.

This recipe is not mine, but one passed down through the fleet and probably even before that.  Someone more detailed about history might have a better take on the origins.  I was always told that Newfi stands for Newfoundland and that this is a traditional bread from northeastern North America.  Dee Carstophen published a version of it in her cookbook, “Windjammer Cooking” and it’s also published in one of my cookbook, “At Home, At Sea: Recipes from a Maine Windjammer“.

No matter the origins, bread making, especially yeast breads, is one of those calming, rhythmic tasks that allow for an ease in the mind while the body works.  I understand completely.  At first I thought that the task of making bread would come and go quickly in our nation’s interest.  Bread making, while simple, is not always easy and sometimes it takes time for successes to feel confident.  But I was wrong!  Even yesterday when I went to the grocery store, the flour section was completely bare.  Never, in all my years of buying huge bags of flour for the Riggin have I seen such a run on a staple ingredient.  I’m baffled.  I’m entertained.  I’m kinda proud.  And also, dudes, save some flour for the rest of us!  And when you are all done with this hobby, send me your half used 50# bags of flour.  I’ll send ya a fresh baked loaf in return.

Newfi Bread      
6 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon instant yeast
2 teaspoons table salt
2 cups warm water
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature (plus extra for the bread pans)
2/3 cup molasses

Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Stir in all the remaining ingredients, reserving 1/4 cup water. Mix thoroughly and add more water if needed. Knead for 5 to 10 minutes or until smooth. Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl, cover, cover, and place in a warm place to rise for 1 hour or until doubled.

Preheat oven to 375°F. Lightly grease 2, 8 1/2- x 4 1/2-inch bread pans. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface, form 2 loaves, and place them in the bread pans. Cover and allow to rise again until doubled. Place the pans in the oven, throw a cup of water over hot stones set in a pan in the bottom of the oven to generate steam and quickly close the oven door. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until an internal-read thermometer registers 190°F.

Makes 2 loaves or 18 rolls

Variation
Rolls – After the dough has been combined, kneaded, and risen once, divide the dough into 24 equal pieces.  Roll into balls and transfer to a baking sheet.  Follow rising and baking instructions as above.  Reduce baking time to 25 to 30 minutes.

Annie
Hang in there everyone!

Cooking with Annie: Episode 11 – Irish Soda Bread

Hands down, my favorite meal to have with this bread is New England Boiled Dinner, an absolute classic.  Next would be a beef stew or other hearty soup.  It makes wonderful toast the next day and doesn’t last long in our house at all.  For those of you having a hard time finding yeast, this is a good one.  No yeast required.  Also, no rising time.  It’s an easy one!

It does call for buttermilk, but don’t fret.  If you don’t have that on hand, combine a bit more than 3/4 cup milk with 1 tablespoon lemon juice or vinegar and let it sit for 5 minutes or so.  Presto!  Buttermilk is made.

Irish Soda Bread 
This is another recipe passed down through the women in my family. I’ve used dried apricots or raisins in place of the currants. The caraway seeds are traditional, but also optional. My grandma favored currents and caraway seeds and my mom made it unadorned. Either way, it’s a versatile recipe.

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon table salt
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon caraway seeds (optional)
1/2 cup currants
3/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons buttermilk (maybe a little extra)

Preheat oven to 350°F. Sift the flour, salt, baking soda, cream of tartar, and sugar in a large bowl. Make a well in the center of the flour and add the milk. Stir until a ball just forms, adding a little extra buttermilk if needed to get everything to come together.  Turn onto floured board and knead until just combined, about 5 turns. Cut the dough in half and shape into two 6-inch round loaves. Place the loaves on a baking sheet. Make two perpendicular cuts on top of the loaves in the shape of a cross. Bake for 40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Makes 1 loaf

Variations
Fennel and Raisin – Add 2 tablespoons fennel seeds and 1 cup raisins.
Caraway and Currants – Add 2 tablespoons caraway seeds and 1 cup currants.
Whole Wheat and Flax Seed – Replace 1 cup all-purpose flour with whole wheat flour. Add 3 tablespoons whole flax seeds.
Stilton and Chives – Reduce the buttermilk by 1 tablespoon. Add 1 cup crumbled Stilton and 1/2 cup minced chives.

Cooking with Annie: Episode 10 – Using Up Leftovers = Carrot, Coconut, Ginger Soup

This one is really more of a method rather than a recipe.  I’ve already done another similar video to this on Potato Soup, and what can I say, we just like soup in our family.  And, to be honest, we have a lot of leftovers because even though there are only 3 people in our household right now, I can’t help but make food for more.  I just can’t help it.  The idea here is to continue to give everyone ideas on how to use up what you have on hand.  This is good kitchen management during good times, but especially true in the times where we want to be more careful of our resources.

No one is going to have this unique combination of ingredients in their house, but I know you’ve got something hanging out behind the ketchup that could use some love.  Give it a shot.  And if you run into trouble, reach out in all the social media ways.  I’m not hard to find.  Also, you can find all of my cookbooks in the online store.  I’m happy to sign them for you or for someone you love who is looking for some cooking help or inspiration.

Annie
Walking with grace and integrity into the future

Cooking with Annie: Episode 9 – Chocolate Mint Brownies

I can feel steel being forged in my spine and my spirit as each day I wake to choose calm, grace, kindness, and caring. As I choose to focus on how grateful I am for so many of the ‘little’ things, while what I maybe would have called the ‘big’ things swirl around and around. Outside of me. Outside of my control. Outside of my realm of influence.

The realm I choose is grateful. The realm I choose is grace. The realm I choose is forging steel in my spine and my spirit as each day I sit, sometimes with faith and sometimes with discomfort, and give witness to this experience. It will not go to waste, this time of waiting.

And until the waiting is over, we bake… with chocolate.

 

Bailey’s Irish Cream Chocolate Mint Bars 
This is one that my family would make every Christmas, sans Bailey’s when we were little. My brothers and I could eat a pan of these in no time flat. It’s really no different on the Riggin – they disappear quickly.  Excerpted from At Home, At Sea: Recipes from a Maine Windjammer.

2/3 cup (1 1/3 sticks) unsalted butter
4 ounces (4 squares) unsweetened chocolate
2 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
3 large eggs1 tablespoon Bailey’s Irish Cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon table salt

Frosting
2 cups confectioner’s sugar
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 tablespoons Bailey’s Irish Cream
3/4 teaspoon peppermint extract

Glaze
3 ounces (3 squares) unsweetened chocolate
2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 9- x 13-inch baking pan. Melt the chocolate and butter in a double boiler until the chocolate is almost melted. Remove from heat and stir occasionally until the chocolate is completely melted and cooled to room temperature. Beat in the sugar, eggs, Bailey’s, and vanilla. Sift in the dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean and the center springs back when lightly pressed. Cool in the pan on a wire rack.

Frosting
Beat the frosting ingredients together until light and creamy and then frost the bars.

Glaze
Melt the glaze ingredients, cool slightly, and pour the glaze over the frosting. Tilt the pan to spread the glaze. Cool before cutting.  Cut into 24 bars.

Makes 24 bars

Annie
Hang in there!

Cooking with Annie: Episode 8 – Roast Chicken and Root Vegetables

To help stretch the groceries in the house, this meal turns into three meals with a couple of simple techniques.  The roast chicken is one meal.  The broth that gets made with the bones can become soup.  And any leftover meat can become a third meal.  I’ll share the broth and the leftover meal in future episodes, but for now, roast chicken is one of the simplest meals that we love to have over and over.

If you are in a hurry, butterfly or spatchcock the chicken by cutting the chicken through the breastbone and laying it flat on a baking sheet. It will reduce the cooking time by about 45 minutes.  The herbs in the variation are a classic blend, Herbs de Provence, but not always the same.  The ones I like to use are thyme, rosemary, basil, savory, and lavender buds.  Others I’ve seen added are fennel, marjoram, and mints.  Most grocery stores carry a pre-mixed version, so it’s not necessary to buy each herb individually.

Roasted Chicken and Root Vegetables
1 (4 1/2 pound) whole chicken
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon kosher salt (plus extra for the vegetables)
several grinds fresh black pepper (plus extra for the vegetables)
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 large onion, cut into 1-inch chunks
2 large parsnips, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch slices
3 large carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch slices (or 3 cups baby carrots)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Preheat oven to 400°F. Rub the chicken outside and inside with the paprika, salt, and pepper and place on a roasting pan with the onion, parsnips, and carrots. Drizzle the vegetables with the oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Roast for 1 1/2 hours or until the legs feel loose in the joint and the vegetables are tender. Transfer the chicken to a serving platter. Whisk the mustard into the pan to make a pan sauce, adding a little water if needed to loosen the sticky bits on the bottom of the pan. Serve with mashed potatoes.

Variations
Lemon Garlic Chicken
Follow the instructions above and stuff the chicken with one whole lemon cut in half and two heads of garlic. If butterflied, place the chicken on top of the lemon and garlic, then roast.
5-Herb Chicken
Follow the instructions above and add 2 teaspoons Herbs de Provence to the paprika, salt, and pepper.

Serves 4 to 6

Annie
Hang in there!

Cooking with Annie: Episode 7 – Maine Blueberry Muffins (with and without eggs)

So you’re jonesing for a baked good, but you don’t have any eggs (or couldn’t get them at the grocery store this run).  No problem.  There are some handy substitutes for eggs that work almost as well as the eggs themselves.  If you are a vegan, same goes.  No need to go without baked goods, there are some pretty great substitutes out there which will have your non-vegan friends fooled.

To be sure, there’s a decent amount of talk around substituting ground flax seeds or chia seeds, but to my taste, these always end up tasting “healthy”.  And there’s nothing wrong with that.  However, when I want a seedy breakfast muffin, I’ll ask for it, not make it by default.

The other direction when substituting for eggs in baked goods is some kind of mushy fruit – either mashed bananas, apple sauce, or stewed prunes.  All of which work wonderfully for making moist baked goods, but don’t do so much in the leavening/rising department.  These subs tend to make for flatter baked goods without that nice dome on top.

There are two substitutions which I’ve used consistently over the years which work beautifully and are nearly imperceptible from the baked goods with eggs.  They are either carbonated water OR a mixture of baking soda and vinegar.  Both create a wonderful rise and crumb without taking away any level of moisture.  That said, this substitution works best in quick breads, muffins, and cakes.  Not so much with say, eclairs or some other egg dependent confection.

In the latest episode of Cooking with Annie, I make Maine Blueberry Muffins with both of my favorite substitutions and show you the difference in the end result.  As they come out of the oven, the lighting in the video begins to change (thanks so much Maine weather) so it may be a little tough to see 100% clearly, but the carbonated water muffins have a perfect dome and are a little lighter in color.  The baking soda and vinegar muffins didn’t rise quite as much but have a more golden color.

Substitutions for eggs in baking
1. 1/4 cup carbonated water to 1 egg
2. 1 teaspoon baking soda and 1 tablespoon vinegar to 1 egg
3. 1/3 cup mashed banana, apple sauce, or stewed prunes to 1 egg

Maine Blueberry Muffins  
This recipe is actually my basic muffin recipe from which I make dozens of different kinds of muffins.  On the Riggin, to save time in the morning, I make a huge batch of dry ingredients and then measure out what I’ll need for that morning’s muffins.  Each day is a different muffin with dried or fresh fruit, different toppings, and/or spices.  It’s excerpted from the Red Book, At Home, At Sea: Recipes from a Maine Windjammer.

2 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon table salt
1/3 cup canola oil
2 large eggs OR 1/2 cup carbonated water OR 2 teaspoons baking soda and 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2/3 cup whole milk
1 1/3 cups fresh (or frozen) Maine blueberries

Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 12-cup muffin pan or line with paper liners. Sift the dry ingredients into a medium-sized bowl. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the oil, eggs, and milk. Stir until just combined. Gently fold in the blueberries. Fill the muffin cups two-thirds full. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean and the muffins spring back when lightly pressed. Remove the muffins from the pan to cool on a wire rack.

Makes 12 muffins

Variations
Pumpkin, Honey, and Walnut
Reduce the milk to 1/3 cup, add 2 tablespoons honey, and 1 cup pumpkin puree with the other liquid ingredients. Stir in 3/4 cup chopped walnuts instead of the blueberries.

Other Variations
Replace the blueberries with dried cranberries or apricots; raisins; or chocolate chips.
Sprinkle the tops of the muffins with granulated or coarse-grain sugar.
Sprinkle the tops of the muffins with streusel.

Cooking with Annie: Episode 6 – Roasted Tomato, Pepper, and Onion Omelette

Yesterday I spent the day outside in the light and warmth – listening to the birds and breathing fresh air.  While I was in the garden, walking wheelbarrow after wheelbarrow of wood chips from the large pile out in the front yard to the walkways in and around the garden out back, I found myself repeating a mantra to myself.  As there is so much that is not within my control right now, my mind moved to all of the things of which I am in charge and do control.

I am in charge of the food I choose to eat.  I am responsible for how I move my body each day.  I can choose to be outside no matter what the weather.  I am the one who chooses what I buy or don’t buy.  I am the one who is in charge of how I treat my family, the kindnesses I offer others, the way I greet my fellow humans.  I can choose to wait before I speak.  I choose grace.  I choose intention.  I choose surrender.

The word surrender has a connection to the phrase, “I quit”.  But that’s not what I mean.  I surrender to the things I cannot change.  I surrender to peace – in my mind and in my space.  I surrender to something greater than myself.

And I felt better.  And continued to walk the heavy wheelbarrow of wood chips to the garden – creating new pathways and adding a layer of freshness to the already worn paths.  And I felt better.

Annie
safe, calm, kind

Cooking with Annie: Episode 5 – Baking Powder Biscuits

This is a recipe my grandma passed on to me through my mom. The original recipe, written on a weathered and wore 3 x 5 index card, in my mom’s handwriting from a time when my grandmother gave it to her verbally. My grandmother used shortening, and maybe even lard. Currently, shortening is out and butter is in, but to honor the history of the recipe, I’ve left shortening as an ingredient. It is a one to one replacement to substitute butter.

The best way to eat these is fresh from the oven, still warm with a pat of butter.  Hands down.  They are just as delicious with strawberry jam as they are with a beef stew.  The day after, they loose their texture a bit.  I still remember my grandmother eating the day old biscuits (because nothing went to waste in her kitchen) with peanut butter and a squirt of French’s mustard.  It sounds a little crazy, and feel free to knock it once you’ve tried it, I loved the combination as a kid too.  While I haven’t had them like this in some time, I do feel it’s time for me to revive the snack if only to honor my Grandma occationally.

Baking Powder Biscuits
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1/4 cup unsalted butter (or shortening like my Grandma used to do)
3/4 cup whole milk

Preheat oven to 450°F. Measure the flour, baking powder, and salt into a sifter set in a medium bowl. This is an important step because you want to add air to the mixture so the biscuits are as fluffy as possible. Use a pastry cutter to cut the shortening into the mixture until it resembles a coarse meal. Stir in any additional dry ingredients here (page xx). Add milk and any additional wet ingredients, stirring until a soft dough forms. It is important to not overmix; you’ll hard tack instead of fluffy biscuits. Turn out onto a floured board and knead 10 times, then STOP!  Roll or pat out the dough until it is 1/2-inch thick. Cut with a floured 2-inch biscuit cutter. Transfer the biscuits to an ungreased baking sheet. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until golden brown.

Makes 12 biscuits

Variations
Lemon and Herb Biscuits
To the basic recipe add:
1 tablespoon lemon zest; about 1 lemon
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
3 tablespoons of fresh herbs such as chives, chive blossoms, lemon thyme, thyme, rosemary, and/or lavender

Parmesan and Black Pepper Biscuits
To the basic recipe add:
several grinds fresh black pepper
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 ounces grated Parmesan cheese; about 1 cup lightly packed
1 large egg
a little extra milk if needed

Roquefort and Walnut Biscuits
To the basic recipe add:
4 ounces crumbled Roquefort cheese; about 1 cup
1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts or pecans
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
pinch of paprika
1 large egg yolk
2 tablespoons heavy cream

Jack and Jalapeno Biscuits:
To the basic recipe add:
2 ounces grated Monterey Jack cheese; about 1 cup
1 tablespoon seeded and minced jalapeno pepper

Poppy Seed and Orange:
To the basic recipe add:
2 tablespoons poppy seeds
2 tablespoons orange zest; about 1 orange

Annie
#weatheringthestorm #hanginginthere

Cooking with Annie: Episode 4 – Using up Leftovers = Potato Soup

Since we are all cooking at home more, there’s got to be some leftovers happening in those kitchens of yours.  Before they get shoved to the back of the fridge, become a science experiment, and then head to the compost pile, what if we talked about how you can turn those little bits of this and that into another meal?

Now, more than ever, being creative with what we have on hand makes good sense.  Maybe you lost your job and you need to be really frugal about what’s happening in your household right now.  Or maybe you’ve got more people or fewer people in your house than normal (more if your kids or parents are with you, less if you are social distancing by yourself).  Perhaps you are only going to the grocery store once every two weeks.  Probably more than one of these is true for you.  No matter how the corona shutdown is affecting you, the practice of using up leftovers is a good one to bring back or begin for the first time.

How to actually accomplish using up leftovers without having the same meal again and again, is a little bit of an art, but also there are some basic guidelines.  In this episode I talk about a couple of basic steps for making soup.

  1. Pick three things in your refrigerator that you think will go together in a soup and cut them up into soup-sized pieces.
  2. Dice and sauté about 1 cup of onions unless you have leftover onions in the fridge and then use up those first.
  3. When the onions are soft, add the cut up leftovers.
  4. Add about 4 cups of water or broth to the pot and bring to a simmer.
  5. Check for salt and pepper and either serve as a chunky, rustic soup or puree in a blender for a more elegant result.
  6. Add any garnishes that will go – think leftover fresh herbs, stale bread for croutons, a few minced nuts, or some kind of dairy like grated cheese or creme fraiche.

In our family, even BC (before covid-19), we would do this once every week or every other week.  When the girls were little and taking lunch to school, we’d heat up some broth and add leftover noodles and veggies with perhaps a little chicken and this would be their lunch soup.

In any event, this is just one of many ways to use up leftovers and over the next several weeks I’ll be sharing more.  Hope you find it helpful!

Annie
#staysafe #becalm #bekind