Friday, January 20, 2012

Wheat Meat

In Pam Crockett's Wheat Cookin' Made Easy on page 245 she has a recipe for Wheat Meat.  I love it.  Some others tolerate it.  Here are the ingredients and how I made it.

2 cups wheat berries
1 cup raw sunflower seeds
1/2 medium onion
4 teaspoons poultry seasoning
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Oil for cooking

In Pam's book she calls for Bernard Jensen protein seasoning which she says can be found in a health food store. I did not have that so I used the above seasonings.  I need to fiddle with them a bit more...maybe add something with a bit of bite, but certainly more garlic.  More onion, too.

Put the wheat berries (I used white wheat) into a large pot and put more than twice as much water in.  Bring to a boil and cook until tender.  This takes quite a while.
Cooked white wheat berries.  Be SURE to refrigerate any leftovers as the do "go by" relatively quickly (within a few days) if left out, or in my case, transferred from one house to another without refrigerating upon arrival.

When wheat berries are fully cooked and soft,  drain in a colander then then put half of them into your food processor with half the sunflower seeds, onion, and seasonings.  Process until a nice finely chopped consistency.  I was going to say "pasty goo-like consistency" but you might be put off by that designation.  Empty into a good sized bowl and process the remaining half of the ingredients then mix all together and shape into balls which you will then flatten and put into hot oil in a (cast iron is what I used) frying pan, and let cook until they are nicely browned on the bottom the turn over and brown other side.

Burgers:about 3 1/2 inches across and a little more than 1/2 inch thick
If there is more mixture leftover after you have made the number of burgers you wanted,  put a little more vegetable oil in your frying pan and crumble the mixture in and let cook, stirring occasionally, until the crumbles are nice and brown.  They really will work in many recipes as a hamburger alternative.

Crumbles ready for taco seasonings and tortillas!

The burgers go well with vidalia onion sauce.  They are also great with mayonnaise and dill pickle chips on a whole wheat bun.

To read The Adventure of the Wheat Meat with the Grandchildren, go here.

The Heart-center Doughnuts

To make the heart-centered doughnuts:
Mix 1/4 cup warm water with 2 1/2 teaspoons dry yeast and a pinch of sugar.  Let sit about 10 minutes.  In the meantime, mix 1/2 cup warm milk, 2 1/2 teaspoons sugar, 3/4 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, 2 1/2 teaspoons vegetable oil, and one egg at room temperature.  When well stirred and the proofed yeast mixture then add 1 cup all-purpose flour and stir well.  Add up to 1 1/2 cups more flour until the dough is soft and not sticky.  Knead for 5-10 minutes then cover and let rise 40 minutes.  Divide into 6 or more parts and roll out about 1/2 inch thick, or more, depending on your choice of doughnut size.  Cut into the doughnut shape of your choice and fry in 375-degree oil until nicely browned on the first side then flip them to cook on the other side.  When cooked, put on paper towels to drain a moment then put 1/4 granulated sugar (or confectioner's sugar if you like a mess) into a bag and toss the doughnuts in the sugar.  If you are very lucky, you will have one, or possibly, two left for Dad when he comes home from work.  The kids really like these.

Ingredient list for a quick check to see if you have what you need:
1/4 cup warm water
2 1/2 teaspoons dry yeast
pinch sugar
1/2 cup warm milk
2 1/2 teaspoons sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla--I consider this optional
2 1/2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1 egg at room temperature
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, more for the roll-out board

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Mini Dutch Babies

 This morning I got a late start for breakfast, but still managed to get these made. I rather liked the one I ate while it was warm.  Eldon had already eaten breakfast and didn't want any more food.  Caleb was happy to take one but then said he didn't like it because he had just had a banana.  Leah made some comment which was unintelligible to me.  Despite this very lukewarm reception, I know that I will make them again...particularly on days when I am making Eggs Goldenrod at home and have run out of bread. (Yes, that does happen...)

These were put into the oven before the oven had completely heated up to 425 degrees so they are just shells.  Normally they would be nicely puffed up and then drop, sort of like popovers.  They still tasted good with just a sprinkling of granulated sugar...confectioner's sugar being too messy.

This recipe is similar to one I found on The Prepared Pantry's website (Rigby, Idaho--and lovely people to deal with) where they have many suggestions for variations, plus Dutch Baby mixes. I have used those in the past and found them excellent but this works very well, too.

Mini Dutch Babies

1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup flour
1 egg
1/4 teaspoon salt

To make in an extra large muffin tin with six muffin wells (or the KAF hamburger bun pan).

Put one pat/less than one Tablespoon butter in each well of the tin.  Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees, and while pre-heating, put the pan in the oven to melt the butter.  Remove pan when butter is melted.  When oven has completed pre-heating, scoop about 1/4 cup of batter into each well of the tin and place in oven for 10-12 or more minutes, until lightly browned and (potentially) puffed up.  Remove from oven and sprinkle with sugar if you have sweetness-loving family members.  Mini Dutch babies can also be filled with berries, whipped cream, sweetened yogurt, etc, or you can go the other way and go savory...putting eggs goldenrod filling in the cases, or creamed turkey, or any other thing that you like to serve. I bet it would also be good with beef stroganoff or meatballs in sauce.  The sky is the limit...or maybe just your imagination is the limiting factor.