Monday, June 13, 2016

Making Homemade French Galettes (Buckwheat Pancakes)

A Galette is a savoury buckwheat flour pancake that originates from the region of Brittany in France. It can be topped with egg, ham, cheese, spinach, salad, onions tomatoes, salmon, mushrooms, bacon...or whatever other toppings you might like. The most common variety has ham, emmentaler cheese, and egg.

I first tried Galettes in Copenhagen, Denmark, and loved them instantly. The buckwheat flour has a really good flavor, it gets toasted in a pan with butter, and together with the toppings it is really delicious. It is perfect to eat for lunch or brunch since it is both filling, but also light.

I decided to try to make Galettes myself, and it's actually pretty easy. I don't have a special Galette pan or tool, but they still came out pretty good. The trick is to get the pan very hot before you pour in some of the batter, and make sure the pan is buttered, and the batter coats the pan. Don't worry if the first pancake you make doesn't come out right, it can be a bit tricky in the beginning just like it is making any kind of pancake.

I got the recipe from a french blog. It is really simple, and makes 10 Galettes. If you want to try to make them yourself I have translated the recipe below.

French Galettes 
(Yields 10)
300 grams buckwheat flour
8 grams crushed sea salt
750 ml filtered water

Directions
1. Mix the flour and crushed sea salt in a large bowl, slowly add in the water, and whisk until incorporated.

2. Let stand covered for 2 hours at room temperature.

3. Heat pan on a high setting.

4. Coat pan with butter once hot.

5. Add about half a cup (more or less) of the pancake batter to the hot pan, and move around to coat.

6. Bake the Galette until crispy, about 3 - 5 minutes, then gently flip it over.

7. Add your toppings in the middle of the Galette.

8. Fold all four sides slightly. The sides you folded should have no toppings. This is just to ensure every bite has toppings in it.

9. Serve on a plate.

Note: I did not use filtered water, but that could be why mine didn't come out as crispy in spots, but they still tasted delicious. I also didn't use any special tools.

You can also serve this with a salad on the side. I bought some mixed salad leaves, and added Good Seasonings Garlic & Herb salad dressing on top. :)

Hope you enjoy this recipe!

Plain Galette cooking in a pan
Galette with ham and emmentaler cheese

Galette with ham, emmentaler cheese, scrambled egg, and a side salad.





Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Rustic Italian Bread

Yesterday I bought Manitoba flour at my local grocery store in Copenhagen, and I noticed a recipe on the back for manitoba bread. It was so simple just yeast, water, flour, and salt. I decided to try it, and was blown away by the results. This is just the kind of Italian bread recipe I have been searching for, and it's so simple. It has a crunchy crust, but it's soft in the middle, and tastes pretty amazing. Not only that but I was surprised how pretty it came out, with little effort.

If you want to see how I made a Rustic Italian bread with Manitoba flour check out my video here:


        

Rustic Italian Bread
(1 large bread or 2 small breads)
Ingredients
3 grams dry yeast (2 1/4 tsp)
2 dl warm water (.84 US cups)
240 g manitoba flour (1 - 1 1/2cups)
5 g salt (1 tsp) regular or sea salt

Directions
1. Combine the yeast and water in a tall cup, cover with plastic wrap and let stand for 5 - 10 minutes.
2. Combine the salt and flour in a large bowl.
3. Add the yeast mixture to the flour/salt mixture.
4. Stir together until a dough forms.
5. Place dough on a lightly floured surface and knead it for 10 minutes.
6. Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover and let it rise for 1 hour.
7. Place the dough on a lightly floured surface to shape.
8. Pre-heat the oven to 230C/446F.
9. Pinch the sides of the dough together to create a smooth surface on top.
10. Hand roll the dough to form a baguette or shape it into a round ball or any way you want.
11. Dust the dough in flour, and cut slits in the dough with a sharp knife (optional).
12. Bake the dough for 20 minutes at 230C/446F and an additional 8 - 10 minutes at 200C/392F.




Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Pretzel Bread Recipe

Yesterday I decided to make Pretzel Bread. I had never made this before, but I got inspired by a friend's Facebook post of his adorable son munching on some pretzel bread at a restaurant. Yep, that's all it took for me to find a recipe and try to make it myself, and I am so glad I did.

This bread is so delicious. It is firm on the outside and chewy and soft on the inside. I even decided to use two of the larger buns to make Philly Cheese steak sandwiches for dinner, and it worked out really well. The recipe is below and if you want to see a video on how I made pretzel bread check out the video I made here:

            


Pretzel Bread
(Makes 8 large buns)

Ingredients
(for the dough)
1 ½ cups warm water
1 tblsp active dry yeast (1 package) 
2 tsp sugar
4 ½ cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp sea salt or kosher salt
4 tblsp butter, melted

(for the poaching & glazing)
1/4 cup baking soda
large saucepan of water
1 egg, lightly beaten
pretzel salt or sea salt

Directions
1. Combine the water, yeast, and sugar in a cup, cover, and let sit for 5 - 10 minutes.
2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, and salt.
3. Add the yeast mixture and melted butter to the flour mixture.
4. Stir together until a dough forms, then knead on a surface for 5 - 10 minutes or until smooth.
5. Place in a greased bowl, cover, and let rise for at least 1 hour or until double.
6. Divide the dough into 8 if you are making large buns or 16 if you are making small rolls.
7. Roll each dough into a ball by pinching the bottom of the dough and turning it, then lightly coat it with flour, and place on a baking sheet lined with baking paper.
8. Cover the balls of dough with a kitchen towel, and let rise for 30 minutes.
9. Meanwhile bring a pot of water (2 quarts) to almost boiling, lower the heat to medium, and add in the baking soda. Stir it altogether.
10. Then, place a ball of dough in the pot (pinched side/bottom side down), and let it sit for 30 seconds. Then, carefully flip it over and let the other side sit for an additional 30 seconds.
11. Place the dough back on the baking sheet (bottom side/pinched side down).
12. Repeat this until all the balls of dough have been in the warm water. You can do two at a time or more if you want, depending on the size of your pot.
13. Brush the tops of the dough with a beaten egg, and then sprinkle a bit of salt on top of each bun.
14. Take a sharp knife and make a slit on the top of the dough. I put two on the larger buns and one on the smaller rolls. This just makes them look nicer, so it's optional.
15. Bake them in a pre-heated oven set to 425F/218C for 15 - 20 minutes.

That's it. Hope you like this recipe. I'm not sure how to get the bread darker in color, maybe the water needed to be a little warmer or the buns needed to be in the water for a slightly longer time, but regardless the flavor and texture of the bread buns were really good.

Subscribe to my YouTube channel for more more yummy recipes. :o)




Friday, April 29, 2016

Queso Dip (without velveeta)

One of the snacks I miss most while living abroad is Queso (cheese dip). Anytime we had a party back home there was a guarantee that cheese dip was made. We usually made it with onions sauted in butter, then added in a can of rotel tomatoes, and velveeta cheese. It was also something I loved to order from restaurants, but a restaurant never uses velveeta cheese.

In the last month Danish grocery stores finally started to carry monterey jack cheese at the stores. This cheese was unavailable here before, and guess what? It is great for making cheese dip. So I developed my own recipe with the ingredients I have access to here, and it turned out to be pretty delicious. I made a video on how I make queso dip without velveeta which you can see below.

            

Queso Dip (without velveeta)
Ingredients
(serving size: small/medium bowl)
4 slices American Cheese
1/2 cup Monterey jack cheese (grated)
1/2 cup whipping cream
1 jalapeno (remove seeds and stem)
1 chili pepper (remove seeds and stem) - optional: for a spicy cheese dip
1/4 small onion
thin slice of butter (about 15 - 20 grams)
1 - 2 tblsp milk - optional: to help thin out the cheese dip

Directions
1. First, melt butter in a pan, and saute chopped onions, jalapeno, and chili pepper.
2. Add whipping cream to the pan, and bring it to a boil.
3. Lower the heat, and add in the monterey jack cheese. Stir until melted.
4. Then, add in the american cheese. Stir until melted.
5. Next, add in a few splashes of milk if the cheese dip is too thick.
6. Season with salt and pepper.
7. Serve as is, or for a more creamy queso, add the cheese dip to a food chopper and blend until smooth.
8. Serve in your favorite dish.

Note: I am pretty sure you could omit the american cheese, and add an additional 1/2 cup monterey jack cheese instead making a white queso dip, but I haven't tried this. The great thing about monterey jack cheese is that it does not become grainy and stays smooth. If you want to make larger quantities then double the recipe, but be careful about doubling the peppers. You could always saute the peppers whole, remove them from the pan, and add them in a little at a time until you think it's spicy enough.

Enjoy! :)

Note: this recipe made a little more cheese dip than pictured above.




Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Roasted Salsa Recipe

One of my favorite things to eat back home in San Antonio is Salsa. If you go to any Mexican restaurant in San Antonio you get a free bowl of salsa and chips to munch on, strangely enough, even at breakfast time. Anyways, It's always so good, and always homemade. At the grocery store back home, the Salsa aisle is kind of insane. There seem to be 100 different kinds, and every jar claims to be award winning or the best, but actually it's very very difficult to find one that tastes good. I always try one and end up being disappointed. The best ones are usually the freshly made Salsas in the refrigerated section. H.E.B. makes a really good fresh salsa btw.

Well, the salsa craze hasn't quite hit Denmark, yet, and I can see why. The salsa I have had here is pretty disgusting. It usually just tastes like a bowl of chopped tomatoes or pizza sauce. That is not Salsa. If I never had Mexican food before, and had to base my opinion on the Mexican food I have tried in Denmark, I would hate it, but that is to say not a lot of places make Mexican food to begin with here, and trust me the Danes have perfected so many other kinds of food. Also Mexico is pretty far from Denmark. :o)

Yesterday I decided to try to make Roasted Salsa. Surprisingly it was so easy to make, and tastes so much like the roasted salsa I love at Salsalitos restaurant in San Antonio. I found the recipe online here and I made a video which you can see below.

           
 
Roasted Salsa
Ingredients
1 1b. Plum Tomatoes (about 7 1/2 plum tomatoes)
1 tsp. sea salt
1 medium jalapeno pepper
2 medium cloves garlic
1/2 medium onion or 3/4 small onion
2 tsp. freshly squeezed lime juice (about 1/2 a lime)
sugar (optional)
cilantro (optional)

Directions
1. Rinse and dry the tomatoes and jalapeno. Then, warm up the oven, and set an oven safe pan/dish inside the oven to warm up. I set my oven to 248F/120C.
2. Chop 1/2 a medium onion into four chunks, set aside.
3. Slice each tomato in half.
4. Remove the pan/dish from the oven, and place the tomatoes (skin side down), jalapeno, garlic cloves (skin on), and onion on the pan/dish. Sprinkle salt evenly on the tomatoes.
5. Turn on the broiler in the oven, and place the pan/dish in the oven for about 10 minutes.
6. Then, turn over all of the ingredients, and broil for another 7 - 10 minutes or until toasted.
7. Remove pan/dish from the oven and let cool for about 10 minutes.
8. Then, add the tomatoes and onion to a food chopper.
9. Next, remove the stem, and seeds from the jalapeno, and roughly chop it into a few chunks, and add it to the food chopper.
10. Finally, remove the skin from the garlic cloves, and chop off the end piece, and add the garlic to the chopper.
11. Pulse everything until well mixed, then stir in the lime juice.
12. Add more salt, if needed.

Note: I used a grill pan in the oven, but you could use an oven safe frying pan or a baking dish. Alternatively you could try to toast the vegetables on the stove top on a high heat, although I haven't tried that.

The original recipe calls for cilantro and sugar. I did not add this to my recipe, and it tasted great, but you can add that if you wish.

Hope you enjoy this recipe! :o)




Thursday, April 21, 2016

How to Make Quesadillas

Quesadillas are so easy to make. You can make them with just cheese, refried beans and cheese, fajitas and cheese or taco meat and cheese. I am surprised how in Europe so many places make quesadillas kind of weird, with whole chunks of boiled chicken breasts or corn mixed in. So I figured there might be some people out there who don't know how to make Quesadillas. If you want to learn how I make them, check out my video below.


           

Quesadilla Recipe
Ingredients
meat (beef fajitas, chicken fajitas, or taco meat) - optional
refried beans - optional
tortillas
butter - optional
cheese (cheddar, monterey jack, mozzarella, quesadilla...or a good melting cheese)

Directions
1. Butter one side of each tortilla (takes two tortillas to make one quesadilla).
2. Place cheese on top of the butter side of one tortilla.
3. Spread refried beans, or beef fajitas, or chicken fajitas, or taco meat on top of the cheese.
4. Sprinkle more cheese on top of the filling.
5. Place the tortilla with butter on top of the filling, butter side down.
6. Toast in a pan on a medium/low heat for about 3-4 minutes on each side.
7. Cut the quesadilla into 4 to 8 slices, like a pizza.
8. Serve with guacamole or chips and salsa, if you want.

That's it. It is way easier than it is described, and you can also just make a cheese quesadilla. The meat is optional, and the cheese types are just suggestions.You can also mix a white cheese and a cheddar cheese together. Hope you enjoy it!



Sunday, April 17, 2016

Best Soft and Light Homemade Dinner Rolls

I love homemade bread, but it's rare I find a recipe I love. Today, I found a really good recipe. I got the recipe from a home cook who shared her mother's bread recipe online. I will definitely be making this recipe again. The dinner rolls were light, soft, and really yummy. I think this recipe would be great as sandwich loaf bread too. I filmed how I made them, and you can see the video below.

             

If you want to make this recipe here it is!

Homemade Dinner Rolls
(Yields 16 Large/Medium Rolls or 2 loaves of bread)
Ingredients
1 tblsp yeast
1 tblsp sugar
1/2 cup warm water

5 cups flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tblsp salt

1 1/2 cups warm water
1/4 cup oil

1 tblsp butter (for brushing)

Directions
1. Mix yeast, sugar, and warm water together in a tall glass, cover, and set aside.
2. In a large bowl, mix flour, salt, and additional sugar together.
3. Then, add the yeast mixture, additional warm water, and oil to the flour.
4. Stir together until a dough forms.
5. On a lightly floured board, knead the dough for at least 5 minutes, or until it comes together. I had to use an additional cup of flour when kneading. 
6. Place the dough in an oiled bowl, and cover and let rise for 1 hour.
7. After it has risen, shape the dough into rolls, and place them on a baking sheet lined with baking paper.
8. Brush the tops of the rolls with melted butter.
9. Cover with plastic wrap, and a tea towel, and let rise for 30 minutes.
10. Pre-heat the oven to 375F/190 C.
11. Bake the rolls for 30 minutes or until golden.

Note: The original recipe is a lot larger. I scaled it down in half, which made 16 large/medium dinner rolls. So the recipe written above is half the original recipe. If you want smaller rolls you can divide the dough into 32 pieces to make 32 small rolls. You could also make two loaves of bread with this recipe, although I haven't tried that yet. Also, I changed a few steps in the recipe, such as brushing the rolls with butter before you bake them, and not after. I hope you enjoy it.