Saturday, October 04, 2008

New Sourdough


I've been getting into baking bread from scratch, including growing my own yeast. Fresh, all natural sourdough bread is one of the simplest, yet most wonderful things that can come out of a kitchen. All bread that is made from wild yeast is considered sourdough, but he flavor is not necessarily sour. The sourness comes from extended proofing the dough in the refrigerator, also called retarding.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Nik's Modified King Arthur Whole Wheat Bread

  • 2 cups whole wheat King Arthur flour
  • 1 cup King Arthur bread flour
  • 1/4 cup nonfat dry milk
  • 4 tbs butter
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 tbs vital wheat gluten
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp instant yeast
  • 1 1/4 cups water

add all liquid to bread machine, then dry ingredients, then yeast. set machine to
1.5 lb whole wheat, and let 'er rip.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Chicken and Rice for a Big Group

On Tuesday nights, I feed the homeless and less fortunate in our city at a place called 15 Place. I created a recipe that's simple, uses ONLY fresh ingredients, is healthy, can be made by volunteers, and most of all, is delicious. I buy all the ingredients at the local SuperMega Shopper's club on Sunday afternoon, and cook on Tuesday afternoon, after work. It only takes 1 & 1/2 hours start to finish to make enough to feed about 60-70 people, with seconds for as many that want them. The recipe:

  • 4 Chickens, whole fryers
  • 5 lbs onions
  • 5 lbs carrots
  • 3 bunches of celery
  • 12 cups of rice (parboiled works best)
  • 1 tub chicken base (for extra chickeny goodness)
  • salt, pepper, and garlic powder to taste
The key to the recipe is there's never any waiting around if you do it in the order I list it in. This means you are very productive and can do this after work for a local soup kitchen in your area!

In a BIIIG pot with a basket liner (60 qts) , on an outdoor gas burner, start 5 gallons of water boiling very vigorously. Unwrap the chickens, rinse, and cut slits into the breasts, all the way to the bone. This ensures they get cooked thoroughly. Add the chickens to the pot. Set a timer for 30 minutes, and start it as soon as the water starts to boil. Clean carrots and celery by using a kitchen veggie brush; don't bother peeling! Slice/chop all veggies and set aside. This can be done by a team of about 3-4 people, 1 scrubbing, and 3 cutting. By this time, the chickens should be nearing done. Once the timer goes off, pull the basket up from the water allow to drain, then remove the chickens and lay them out to cool. Set the basket aside, you dont need it anymore. Add all the veggies to the pot, along with the chicken base, and return to a vigorous boil for 15 minutes. Start pulling the chicken. Get the bones as clean as you can get it, try not to waste anything. Chop all the big pieces, and as soon as the timer goes off again, add all the chicken to the pot, along with the rice. Return to a boil. Boil until the liquid starts to thicken with rice starch, then cut the fire WAAAY back, or else you will burn the bottom of the pot. Cook until the rice starts to get tender, then cut the fire. Add salt, pepper, and garlic powder to taste, and then use small sauce pots or other big dippers to move the chicken and rice into an ice chest to keep hot. The rice will continue to cook, and absorb water for another 15 minutes. This gives you time to transport it to the soup kitchen, or public park, or wherever you serve it. I serve it in a foam bowl with a yeast roll from the SuperMega Club. The price ends up being < $.75 per person, which is a super deal on such a fresh, delicious meal. It's a real comfort food for those whe are in need of comfort.

Feel free to share this recipe with anyone interested in helping out a brother or sister in need.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Apple - MacBook Pro

Working at a startup is a blast. One thing I made everyone promise is to be open minded about the technology I adopt. Once I got buy-in from everyone on this, I bought Apple MacBook Pros. Now this may not seem like a big deal, but the startup I'm at is a DOD (Department of Defense) contractor. These guys have only ever seen a Windows machine. There was resistance, but everyone went along. After unboxing and walking through the setup, everyone is in love with their MacBooks. The next thing I did was create a Google Apps For Your Domain account for our company. Our entire business runs on Google Apps. We DID cave and buy Office for Mac for a few guys, cause they just couldn't live without a few things that they missed in Office, but by and large we are running things off of Google Apps, and I HIGHLY recommend it for people starting up a company with little or no overhead budget.