Archive for August, 2012

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tlacoyos (pupusas) (gf stuffed corn dough pockets)

August 4, 2012

on the hunt for quick masa recipes, i found these – a mexican version of salvadorean pupusas

these fried corn cakes are stuffed with whatever you like.

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tlacoyos

1 cup masa harina (corn flour; much more finely ground than cornmeal. very inexpensive.)
3/4 cup water, more if needed
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons lard, bacon fat, or oil

filling (try simple beans with just salt and a pinch of cumin and oregano, garlic, onion, cheese, veggies, meat, hot peppers, or any combination)

salt
oil
garnish (ideas? lacto-fermented condiments like giardinera or salsa, chopped onion, cilantro, mexican-style sour cream…?)

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1

In a bowl, combine the masa, water, and salt. Form into a ball so that all the flour is incorporated. Add more water if needed to make a moist dough. Set aside.

2

In a skillet, heat the lard, bacon fat, or oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, until soft, then add the garlic. Cook for an additional 3 to 4 minutes until starting to color. Add the beans/veggies/meat and raise the heat to high. Cook for a couple minutes, then mash roughly with a spatula and remove from the heat.

3

Divide the masa dough into 4 pieces and flatten them between two pieces of plastic wrap using a heavy skillet or tortilla press. Lay them on a cutting board and divide the beans and cheese among them, then carefully fold over and pinch to create a half-moon shaped pocket.

4

Heat the frying oil in a large skillet over high heat and add the pockets (cook them in two batches to avoid crowding). cook for 3 to 4 minutes per side, until golden, then drain on paper towels. Serve with the salsa and garnishes.

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Apfelwein

August 3, 2012

in case you were wondering what i’m doing today:
detoxing from last night by drinking tea and eating locally grown fruit, picking up the prize for the writing contest i won, and spending the money on a carboy, airlock, and gallons of juice.

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EdWort’s Award Winning Apfelwein Recipe (German Hard Cider) Apple Wine Recipe

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Placed 1st in the Cider & Apple Wine category at the BJCP sanctioned Alamo Cerveza fest (out of 11 entries) and took 2nd place for Best of Show for the main category of Meads & Ciders (out of 50 entries).

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5 Gallons 100% Apple Juice (no preservatives or additives)
2 pounds of dextrose (corn sugar)
1 five gram packet of Montrachet Wine Yeast

5 Gallon Carboy (I use a Better Bottle)
Carboy Cap or Stopper with Airlock
Funnel
Sanitizer

First sanitize the carboy, airlock, funnel, stopper or carboy cap.
Open one gallon bottle of apple juice and pour half of it into the carboy using the funnel.
Open one bag of Dextrose and carefully add it to the now half full bottle of apple juice. Shake well.
Repeat Steps 2 and 3, then go to step 5.
Pour in the mixture of Apple Juice and Dextrose from both bottles into the carboy.
Add all but 1 quart of remaining 3 gallons of apple juice to the carboy.
Open the packet of Montrachet Yeast and pour it into the neck of the funnel.
Use the remaining quart of juice to wash down any yeast that sticks. I am able to fit all but 3 ounces of apple juice into a 5 gallon Better Bottle. You may need to be patient to let the foam die down from all shaking and pouring.
Put your stopper or carboy cap on with an airlock and fill the airlock with cheap vodka. No bacteria will live in vodka and if you get suckback, you just boosted the abv.

There’s no need to worry about filling up a carboy so full when you use Montrachet wine yeast. There is no Kreuzen, just a thin layer of bubbles. I’m able to fit all but 4 oz. of my five gallons in the bottle. Ferment at room temperature.

It will become cloudy in a couple of days and remain so for a few weeks. In the 4th week, the yeast will begin to drop out and it will become clear. After at least 4 weeks, you can keg or bottle, but it is ok to leave it in the carboy for another month or so. Racking to a secondary is not necessary. It ferments out very dry (less than 0.999, see here)

Apfelwein really improves with age, so if you can please let it sit in a carboy for up to 3 months before bottling or kegging, then let it sit even longer.

Six months and it hits its stride. Eight months and it’ll blow your mind.

If you want to bottle and carbonate, ¾ cup of corn sugar will work fine. Use as you would carbonate a batch of beer.

DO YOURSELF A FAVOR AND START ANOTHER BATCH 2 WEEKS AFTER YOU START THIS ONE.
YOU WILL THANK ME LATER!

GENERAL QUESTIONS

How does it taste?
It ferments quite dry. Some people have tried different yeasts in order to achieve a sweeter taste. It may take you a few glasses to get a feel for the flavor. It is very reminiscent of a sort of apfelwein produced locally in Germany. There really is no comparable product in the United States. It’s drier and less sweet than commercial hard ciders. It gets better with age and at 6+ months, the apple flavor really comes out.

How do you sweeten it?
Many folks back sweeten it with Wine Conditioner. Wine Conditioner is a blend of sucrose and sorbic acid. The addition of 2-4 oz. per gallon adds sweetness and prevents renewed fermentation. It can be purchased as any LHBS that caters to wine makers. Others will use Splenda or lactose (other non-fermentable sugars). Germans who prefer it sweet (or Suß as they say) will add a splash of Sprite or 7up to a glass. This is the easiest method as you don’t have to make a whole “sweet” batch that way.

What is the difference between Apfelwein and hard cider?
EdWort says, “Most ciders are a bit sweeter. Ciders and Apfelwein are about 6% abv, but I like the little boost I give it with 2 pounds of Dextrose. It adds no body or flavor and still tastes like Possmann’s Apfelwein, only it will kick your butt much quicker.”

Is this like Apfelmost / Apfel Korn?
No. Apfel Korn is a german liqeur made from wheat spirits. Apfelmost is spontaneously fermented with fresh-pressed apples or apple juice. It is probably similar, but the results may vary as a result of the spontaneous fermentation. Either way, Apfelmost is most certainly has a lower alcohol content since the initial gravity is not increased by the use of concentrate or corn sugar.

What’s the difference between apple juice and cider?
Cider is made by pressing apples. Juice is then filtered to remove all of the stuff that makes it cloudy.

Can I use apple cider instead?
Sure! You can use whatever you want. However, there is not enough information in this thread to give you any better details as to how it will turn out. I recommend starting a new thread or ask more experienced cider-makers.

What kind of Apple Juice should I use?
Ideally, you want to use 100% natural apple juice with no preservatives. The only acceptable preservative is ascorbic acid, which is a source of vitamin C and does not affect fermentation. Pasteurized juice is preferred, since it will have less bacteria.

How much will this recipe cost me?
5 gallons of Apfelwein can be made for between 20 and 25 dollars.

What else can you do with this recipe?
Makes a great Grog in the winter time. Take a quart in a sauce pan, add some rum, turbinado sugar, and float a cinnamon stick in it and simmer for a while. Serve hot in mugs. It’ll warm you right up.

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brew diary:

8/21

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eggless crunchy dark chocolate cookies

August 3, 2012

apparently, i haven’t posted these scottish ‘biscuits’ until now. they were a go-to cookie recipe for a long time when i lived with vegans. i’ve made these cookies for many a vegan, and the typical response is, “give me the recipe”.

people swear there are walnuts in this recipe. there are no nuts at all. the secret?

RAW STEEL-CUT OATS.

i know it sounds weird, but the nutty crunch in the finished cookies is awesome. you will probably find yourself adding steel-cut oats to all kinds of baked goods once you try this.

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eggless crunchy dark chocolate cookies

3/4 cup all purpose flour (a pinch of powdered coconut is great in there, too)
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature (works well vegan, too; use something with a buttery flavor.)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons steel-cut oats
1/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips

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don’t overbeat. chill a few mins before baking. grease cookie sheet. ~ tablespoon-sized dough balls; press the tops down. 350. bake until tops crack – check em at 9 mins.

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answers to your questions about lacto-fermentation!

August 1, 2012

if you used google to get here, i can see your search queries.
creepy, right?
but i don’t want to rant.
i’ll just say that one benefit to a total and complete end to all privacy is…

i can help total strangers with their fermentation issues!

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Q:
someone found my page by googling:
“can you ferment mint”

A:
yes!
fresh mint – whole sprigs of any herb, actually – do ferment. use the open-crock method and they can last all through the winter. find a plate or rock that fits well in your vessel to eliminate problems with floating.

prepared lacto-fermented mint condiments are also delicious. here’s a lacto-fermented mint chutney recipe.

dried mint is a good flavor in lacto-ferments, but i’ve found that adding dried herbs can make them spoil more quickly because they tend to leave floaty bits at the surface. not recommended. but it’s your call!

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Q:
someone found my page by googling:
“fermented lime juice”

A:
ferment juice the way you would other juices – as a wine. make sure to use or make an airlock to prevent making fermented lime vinegar – unless that’s your goal. if so, just squeeze limes into a jar and leave it out for a day (covered in cheesecloth or a tshirt to prevent bugs) in the summer heat! don’t use bottled lime juice; it has preservatives that prevent what you’re trying to encourage. i’ve never done this. i have used fresh lime juice as a brine in lacto-ferments a TON, and it’s incredible with indian lime pickle or hot pepper pickle.

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Q:
someone found my page by googling:
“lacto-fermented ravioli”

A:
what?

haha.

i guess you could ferment some flour for a few days and make a sourdough pasta. then you could fill it with lacto-fermented ingredients.

also, whoever googled “lacto-fermented ravioli” please be my friend.

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Q:
“lacto-fermented pancakes”

A:
definitely!
dosai are ground rice and lentils fermented for a day. the flavor is unique and really delicious.

if finely textured pancakes are more your thing, you can’t go wrong with crepes or american-style sourdough pancakes.

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Q:
“lactoferment tomatos sweet pepper botulism”

A:
if you’re worried about botulism, use sandy’s open-crock fermentation method. guides exist – like the master sandy katz‘s elegant write-up, and my quick version.

he outlines an “open-crock” method of fermentation that eliminates the problem of anarobic bacteria (the kind that live in closed containers – ie. botulism). basically, that means you can’t get botulism with the open-crock method. and it’s easy!

as for tomatoes and peppers, i think any jarred food from minced garlic to pre-packaged tomato sauce is at risk for botulism. but think of how often you eat jarred food without a problem!

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Q:
“why lime juice pickle fermented”

A:
because it tastes delicious, it’s good for you, and it preserves.

why NOT lime juice pickle fermented?

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Q:
“is lime juice good for a slow fermentation”

A:
the refrigerator – or a root cellar – is your best bet for a slow fermentation.

but yes, in my experience lime-juice fermented lime pickles are very slow to ferment. my year-old pickles are intoxicating.

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Q:
“if ferment is too close to top”

A:
eat a few bites off the top!

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Q:
“nasty fermented german potatoes”

A:
it’s only appropriate that someone would find me by googling this. believe it or not, i have a recipe for fermented potatoes. i have never tried it, so if you do, please comment and let me know.

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got a question i didn’t answer?

leave a comment, or try the trusty folks at the wild fermentation forum! (edit 2014: the wild fermentation fb group is surprisingly active and supportive these days.)

or just continue using google!

(there are alternative search engines out there that don’t track your search terms!)

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gujarati dal dhokali

August 1, 2012

250 grams tuver daal (lentils)
200 grams wheat flour
3 green chilies
3 tbsp green chili paste
50 grams peanut
25 grams cashewnut
1 tbsp turmeric
1 tbsp black mustard seeds
3-4 cloves
small piece of cinnamon stick
2 tomatoes
1 T Tamarind water from soaked fresh tamarind (or water down tamarind paste)
100 grams brown sugar
1 T Garam masala
1 tsp Ajama (ajwain)
4-5 tbsp. oil
2 T Red chili powder
asafetida and salt to taste
1/2 cup cilantro leaves
3-4 T ghee

Preparation:

mix flour, salt, turmeric, ajama, red chili powder. Mix well. Add oil and knead the flour to roti-like consistency.

Wash tuver dal and pressure cook it for three whistles. (or partially cook it over the stove)

Cool and remove the dal. Heat oil and ghee in a pot, then put cloves and cinnamon and then add mustard leaves. When they crackle add curry leaves, green chilies and a pinch of asafetida. Pour over dal.

Mix tamarind water, brown sugar, cashew nuts, groundnut, garam masala, and chili powder and mix well.


Add tomato, turmeric, salt and 2 cups of water. Boil the dal. roll out big rotis and cut them into pieces and add these pieces in boiling dal.

• Boil for 10 minutes and remove. Serve the dal dhokli warm. Sprinkle cilantro leaves.

or prepare kachori of green peas or of any other vegetable or coconut and add in boiling curry.

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from here

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recipe 2

For The Dhoklis
1 cup whole wheat flour (gehun ka atta)
1 1/2 tbsp besan (bengal gram flour)
1/2 tsp turmeric powder (haldi)
1/2 tsp chilli powder
1/4 tsp asafoetida (hing)
1 tbsp oil
1/4 tsp carom seeds (ajwain)
salt to taste

For The Dal
1 cup toovar (arhar) dal
2 tbsp ghee
1 tbsp oil
1/4 tsp mustard seeds ( rai / sarson)
1/4 tsp cumin seeds (jeera)
1/4 tsp fenugreek (methi) seeds
5 curry leaves (kadi patta)
2 cloves (laung / lavang)
2 sticks cinnamon (dalchini)
1 bayleaf (tejpatta)
2 round red chillies (boriya mirch)
1/4 tsp asafoetida (hing)
5 kokum , soaked
5 tbsp jaggery (gur)
1/2 tsp turmeric powder (haldi)
1/2 tbsp lemon juice
2 green chillies slit green chillies
1/2 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp grated ginger (adrak)
2 tbsp boiled peanuts
salt to taste

For The Garnish
4 tbsp finely chopped coriander (dhania)

Method
For the dhoklis

Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and knead into a firm dough using enough water.
Divide the dough into 5 equal portions and roll out each portion into thin chapatis [approx. 200 mm. (8”)].
Heat a non-stick tava (griddle) and gently cook each chapati till light brown spots appear on both the sides.
Cool and cut each chapati into diamond or square shapes and keep aside.

For the dal

Clean, wash and drain the dal.
Combine the dal and 1½ cups of water in a pressure cooker and pressure cook for 3 whistles.
Allow the steam to escape before opening the lid. Remove and blend it till smooth using a hand blender and keep aside.
Heat the ghee and oil in a deep kadhai, add the mustard seeds, cumin seeds, fenugreek seeds, curry leaves, cloves, cinnamon, bayleaf, round red chillies and asafoetida, mix well and sauté on a medium flame for 1 minute.
Add the dal, 3½ cups of water, kokum, jaggery, turmeric powder, lemon juice, green chillies, chilli powder, ginger, peanuts and salt and mix well.
Bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes while stirring once in between. Keep aside.

How to proceed

Just before serving, boil the dal, slowly add the dhokli pieces one by one, and mix gently.
Simmer for 5 to 7 minutes, while stirring occasionally.
Serve hot garnished with coriander.

Handy tips:

Add the dhoklis one by one into the dal, otherwise they could coagulate to form one big lump.
Add more water if the dal thickens while simmering.

from here

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morrocan tangerine and olive salad

August 1, 2012

4 large tangerines
1/2 cup halved pitted Kalamata olives or other brine-cured black olives

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 head of butter lettuce, torn into 1 1/2-inch pieces
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh parsley

whisk the stuff in chunk one, pour it over the stuff in chunk two, and pour that over the stuff in chunk three

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found