Hello friends, have a great time watching Super Bowl this Sunday night!
I am very excited, getting ready to prepare snacks, dips and Cheese Fondue I am planning to make. My kids are already upset that they have to get up early on Monday morning and have to go to school!:D
We are not partial to any particular team but we fully intend to enjoy the game. May the best team win!! GO Patriots and Giants!!:)
I baked a beautiful Rum Raisin bread last week, loved the rich flavor with plump Rum flavored raisins. You will not smell the Rum at all in the bread after it's baked. If you don't have Rum on hand, you can use Sherry, Cognac, or even Orange juice instead of Rum to soak Raisins but it won't be Rum Raisin bread anymore!:D
I specially liked the warm French toast made with these slices and served with crunchy, slightly spicy Rösti for Sunday brunch. You can serve just plain slices with any flavored cream cheese for breakfast as well. Do try if you can.
Rum Raisin Bread:
This recipe comes from a book called "Beard of Bread" by James Beard, a great chef and food writer, most popularly recognized as the father of American cuisine. He is the founder of his namesake annual award foundation for the best cookbooks,chefs and writings, "The James Beard award". I am grateful to him for giving us this recipe!:)
To make the Rum-Raisin bread, you need:
1 1/2 cups dark Raisins soaked in enough Rum for an hr.
1 cup Milk,heated until warm,
3 tbsp sugar,
2 tsp salt,
6 tbsp Butter
2 Packages of Active Yeast.(14gm or 1/2 oz),
1 cup warm water (110F-115F).
To mix and knead:
1/2 cup granulated sugar,
1/2 cup softened Butter,
6 cups of plain flour (you may not need to add all 6 cups and also you can mix 4 cups plain and 2 cups wheat flour), sifted.
one large loaf pan approximately 9 1/2" to 4 1/2" or bigger, buttered or sprayed with oil.
To bake the bread:
1. Soak the raisins first for a hr. After an hour,drain all the Rum, add 1 tbsp flour to the raisins and keep aside.
2. Heat the milk until warm and pour it in the big bowl or KitchenAid bowl and mix in all the other yeast mix ingredients along with warm water.Mix well.
3. Stir in 3 cups of flour and mix well to a smooth batter with the paddle hook or with a spatula.
4. Now keep adding rest of the flour and mixing either by hand or mixer until you get a soft kneadable dough.You may need all 6 cups or little less, use your judgment.
5. Change into dough hook ,knead for 6 mins or by hand for 10 mins. When elastic and soft, brush some oil or butter on the dough, cover, let it rise in a warm place until double for 1-2 hrs.
6. Punch down the dough, add 1/2 cup sugar, 1/2 cup soft butter and the floured raisins, knead well again with dough hook or by hand.
7. Put it the buttered loaf pan, tap the pan few times on the counter top to make the dough sink in, let it rise for 30 mins or until 60% raised.
Preheat the oven 400F.
8. Bake the bread for 40 to 50 mins or it's golden and sound hollow when tapped on the bread. If top is becoming too brown before it cooks inside int he 20 mins of baking, cover the top of the bread with foil.
9. Cool on a rack. Store in a plastic bag in the fridge and slice when needed.
Cinnamon French Toast with Rum-Raisin bread:
I made a few Cinnamon French toast with thick slices of Rum Raisin bread for our Sunday breakfast and served with wedges of Rösti. YUM!! Believe me, they taste way better than those we get in restaurants which we pay so much money for!!
To make 6 slices of French toast: 1. Beat 2 eggs, 2 tbsp cream or milk, 1 tbsp sugar,1/2 tsp Vanilla essence, 1 tsp Cinnamon powder well in a wide plate.
2. Cut 3 1" thick slices bread in to half each and place into the egg mix, leave for 1 minute and flip them to soak the other side. With a spoon, brush the sides of the bread with egg mixture.
3. Heat a wide non-stick pan, brush some butter on the bottom and add the slice and cook both sides until golden.
4. Serve hot sprinkled with powdered sugar and pancake syrup on top.You will love it.
Rösti goes to DhivyaK from "Culinary Bazaar" for her "Potato Fe(a)st" event, celebrating the "International year of the Potato". Thanks for hosting your first ever event DK, enjoy!:)
WIKI says "Rösti(Raw-stee) means "crisp and golden" and is a potato dish from Switzerland. It was originally a common breakfast eaten by farmers in the canton of Bern, but today is eaten all over Switzerland. Many Swiss people consider Rösti a national dish."
It is similar to Southern Hash brown made with the similar ingredients but with cubed potatoes, veggies and sauteed unlike Rosti which roasted whole without stirring at all in the pan.
This is how I made my jazzed up Rösti:
You can add any vegs, herbs and spices you like to the potatoes or just potatoes, salt and pepper, your choice. Experiment with different cheeses too, enjoy.
1. Peel 3 large Russet or any floury potatoes and grate them with large holes.Add 1 tsp Lemon juice.
2. Mix in 1 tbsp soft butter or olive oil, salt, pepper, (few chill flakes, 1/4 tsp Cumin seeds pd, optional,not traditional) 1/2 tsp Oregano or Thyme, or spices you have, mix well.
3. Heat a non-stick pan on medium heat add spray some oil. Pour in all the potato mix, press down with a spatula to flatten it, cover and let it cook for 2-3 mins. DO NOT stir it. When you think the bottom is golden and crisp, give it a shake to loosen the bottom. Drizzle some olive oil on top.
4. Since you can not flip the whole thing like dosa, take a big flat plate, gently slide the whole Rosti on to the plate with uncooked part facing up, then place the pan on top of the plate and flip the plate on the pan so the uncooked top of Rosti goes on the bottom of the pan. You got all that?;D
5. Press again gently with spatula and let it cook until golden. Just before taking it out, sprinkle some cheese like Cheddar or Gruyère on top, let ot melt and sprinkle 1 tsp of fresh or dry Chives on top. Cut into wedges and serve right away.
Thanks to all of you who recommended books and few movies in my last post. I have ordered "My life in France" by Julia child and will be renting few of those movies you recommended too!:)
Here are the two books I read since my last post:
1. "My grandmother's Chinese Kitchen" by Eileen Yin-Fei Lo, who describes her grandmother's great influence on her life and cooking when she was growing up in China. She says her grandmother got upset with her because the author refused to bind her foot when she was young to make them look pretty, while her grandmother herself couldn't walk, had to be carried around since her feet had completely deformed and painful as a result of binding since she was a child!!
2. "Monsoon Dairies" by Shoba Narayan, a wonderful book by a great writer. Her description of "Tamil mamis" and her paati's milkman who gave "English" names for each of his 3 milking cows, who also has 3 wives with the same "English" names too, kept me in stitches for days! :D
Incidentally Shoba Narayan is also a James Beard award winner, not for this book but for her other writing and she speaks on NPR "All things considered" as well!)
I watched all three of "The Godfather" movies at last. I had watched the first one long time ago but hadn't watched the sequels until last week, thoroughly enjoyed them all!:)
Now the breaking news!:D
I traded in my Toyota Highlander to brand new fully loaded (with seat warmers, which we don't really need in NC!:D) Nissan Rogue! Just had it delivered all the way from Japan, built specially with my choice of black leather seats with red stitches. I am loving my little Rogue! I still have that "Cauvery" L plate too!
Have fun on Sunday night!:)
February 01, 2008
Hello friends, have a great time watching Super Bowl this Sunday night!