Monday, July 22, 2013

Estonian Kringel

I saw this beautiful masterpiece online and thought that I had to attempt making it. I didn't have all the ingredients, but I'm up for experimenting. I cannot take credit for this recipe. I adapted it from which has a great and beautiful photo tutorial on how to braid the kringel. The directions are in Estonian and English, and I wonder if in the English version directions were left out. So I wrote my version of her directions with my alterations and insight about baking from books and working in the bakery in Chicago (Check out Cooking for Geeks: Real Science, Great Hacks, and Good Food).

300 g flour (2 cups)
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup lukewarm water (+2 tbsps water)*
1/4 cup plain yogurt
.25 oz active dry yeast
30 g melted butter (1/8 cup)
1 egg yolk
1/2 tbsp + 1/2 tbsp divided

50 g melted butter (1/4 cup) + 1 tbsp divided
5 tbsp sugar
3 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg (this was a little too much, I suggest 1/2 tsp)

Finished product. I need to work on the baking and braiding technique.
  • Mix the yeast and 1/2 tbsp sugar with the lukewarm water and let it sit a few minutes while the yeast bubbles and foams up, about 5 minutes.
  • Add the yogurt, egg yolk, and the melted butter to the yeast mixture and stir well.
  • Mix together the flour and the salt, to the wet ingredients. (I had to add about 2 tbsp extra water at this time because it wasn't picking up all of the flour)* then knead the dough for about 5 minutes. 
  • Shape it into a ball, and place the dough in a large, greased bowl. Cover and place in a warm space and let rise until doubled in size (about 1 hour).
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F**. Dust your work surface with flour, and roll the dough into a long rectangle to about the thickness of 1cm.
  • The original recipe said to "Spread the melted butter across all of the dough, then sprinkle the cinnamon and sugar mixture." Make sure to leave enough of the sugar mixture to sprinkle on top. By looking at the photos though it looks like she might have made a paste out of just softened butter, sugar and cinnamon. The next time I do it, I'd like to try to do it this way to see what happens. 
  • Roll up the dough and using a knife, cut the log in half length-wise. I started with a serrated knife because I didn't want to mash the dough, but I changed to a sharp paring knife and took long cuts into the dough.
  • Twist the two halves together, keeping the open layers exposed Check out this great photo tutorial ( After braiding it put in a round and tuck in the edges. Transfer the prepared dough to a baking tray (buttered or covered with cookie sheet).
  • Top the kringel with the remaining 1 tbsp butter and sprinkle some of the sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg mixture on top. Bake for 10 minutes then reduce the oven temperature to 350˚F for another 20 to 25 minutes, until the top is golden brown.
  • I didn't do this, but you can "Top with icing sugar mixed with water if you want, just sprinkle some sugar, or eat it like this, because it’s delicious, i’m telling you ! :)"
  • Eat warm and Enjoy!

**I did the sugar test to see if my oven ran hot or cold so this temp had to be changed for my oven since it runs about 25 degrees hot. To test your oven's temperature, heat your oven to 350˚ and put in about 1 tbsp sugar in an oven safe bowl or foil. Check the sugar in 15 minutes (even an hour) it should still be powdered. It might turn slightly brown but it's still a powder and shouldn't melt. If it does melt then it's calibrated too hot.  Next turn up you oven to 375˚ and place about 1 tbsp sugar in the oven again. In 15 minutes or so the sugar should melt. If it doesn't it's calibrated too cool.  Sugar melts at 367˚ and looks like glass. So it can give you a rough estimate of how your oven is calibrated. You can now change the oven temperature depending on your oven. An oven thermometer works as well, but I don't have one.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Potato Torta layered with Greens

I came home after work today after going to the Green Umbrella - Local Food Action Team Meeting, and got inspired to cook. So my first go to is my big black book of recipes that I've cut out of magazines or printed out, but I just didn't have the right supplies for anything. So I went online and looked for Kale recipes because I brought home a TON of Turnip Greens, kale, arugula, and lettuce. So I found this recipe from Bon Appetit - Potato Torte with Tuscan Kale and Pancetta. Alas, I didn't have hardly any of these exact ingredients, but I thought hey I'd experiment.

This is the deliciousness that ensued. If I can get my husband to eat turnip greens and spaghetti squash, and ask for seconds and thirds, then it must be pretty good.


  • 1-2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil,  plus more for drizzling (from our honeymoon in Italy)
  • 1/4 - 1/2 cup Kettle potato chips (it called for bread crumbs, but we didn't have that, and to be honest I don't like potato chips, but Les does. So we have them and it worked really well in this recipe.)
  • 2 ounces bacon (from GHF), cut into 1/4-inch pieces
  • 1/2 onion + 1 shallot, thinly sliced (from Madison's - Findlay Market)
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/2 pound baby turnip greens (it said to cut center ribs and stems removed, but that just seems wasteful especially since baby turnip green stems are not really hard), leaves cut crosswise into 1/2-inch strips (about 6 cups from GHF)
  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced (from our garden)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 2 pounds red potatoes, cut into 2-inch chunks
  • 1/2 large spaghetti squash  
  • 1 cup + 2 tablespoons grated cheddar cheese
  • Freshly ground black pepper


  • Preheat oven to 350˚F. Cut open the spaghetti squash and scoop out the seeds. place squash cut side down in a pan with sides and cover the bottom with water.  Bake for about 45 minutes or until the stringy squash easily breaks apart. Scoop out all of stringy flesh and set aside.
  • Meanwhile, brush a 9-inch-diameter springform pan or an 8x8x2-inch glass baking dish with 1 tablespoon oil. Crunch up the potato chips and the coat bottom.
  • Place diced potatoes in a large pot and add water to cover by 1-inch. Add a generous pinch of salt and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover with lid slightly ajar, and gently simmer until tender, about 20 minutes. Drain potatoes, reserving 1/2 cup cooking water. 
  • Cook bacon in a large skillet over medium to low heat. Cook until bacon begins to brown, about 5 minutes. If you cook it on too high of heat then it will shrivel up. Add onion and cook, stirring a few times, until onion is softened, about 3 minutes. 
  • Add turnip greens to onions and bacon stirring to wilt. Stir in garlic and red pepper flakes; season with salt and add 1/2 cup of the reserved potato water. Cook until the greens are tender. Stir in nutmeg.
  • Drain potatoes and put into a large bowl. Stir in 1 tablespoon oil, 1/2 of the squash (you can probably add more, but I wanted to keep some for a different meal) and cheddar cheese; season with salt and pepper.
  • Spoon 1/2 of potatoes into prepared dish, smoothing to cover bottom and 1-inch up sides of dish. Spread turnip green mixture over potatoes. Spoon remaining potatoes over and smooth top. (This can be assembled 1 day ahead. Cover tightly and chill.) 
  • Preheat oven to 350°. Sprinkle remaining 2 tablespoons cheddar cheese on top and drizzle with oil. Bake, uncovered, until torta is heated through and top is golden, about 1 hour. Let sit for 10 minutes before serving. Cut into squares or wedges and serve warm or at room temperature.
If you want to see the recipe that I seriously adapted - 

CashewFest Continuing

So now that we made this delicious Curried Mushroom Cashew Pâté, what do we do with it?  Make some pizza of course.

This time I used Jim Lahey's No-Knead Pizza dough recipe from  My Bread: The Revolutionary No-Work, No-Knead Method. Yum! I think, however, I like my trusty traditional pizza dough recipe from Peter Reinhart's Bread Baker's Apprentice a little better, but Jim Lahey's  is easier to do.

It's all about the toppings though. I don't typically make my pizzas with red sauce. It seems to distract from all the other fabulous tastes. Since we had so many cashews we decided to use them as a topping for our pizza also.

Cashew Pear Pizza
  • Bosc Pears - from Madison's at Findlay Market
  • Fontina Cheese - from Silverglades at Findlay Market
  • Blue Cheese - from Silverglades at Findlay Market
  • Rosemary - from our garden
  • Olive Oil - from our Honeymoon to Italy
  • Arugula - from Gorman Heritage Farm (GHF)
  • Cashews - from Rachel Maher (thanks!)
Bacon Mushroom Pâté Pizza
  • Curried Mushroom Cashew Pâté
  • Bacon - from GHF
  • Caramelized onions - from Madison's at Findlay Market
  • Sauteed baby sweet peppers - from Madison's at Findlay Market
  • Fontina Cheese - From Silverglades at Findlay Market

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Curried Mushroom Cashew Pâté

One of my friends gave me a huge amount of cashews two days ago, and we've been trying to come up with great ways to use them besides just eating them. So we came across this recipe gem from Bon Appetit. I will have to say it's not the most attractive thing, but what pâté is? Ok to be honest I hate pâte, but this has no liver thankfully. So it's tastes delicious! I was thinking a slight drizzle of truffle oil on top would make it even better!


Curried Mushroom Cashew Pâté

February 2003


  • 5 tablespoons butter
  • 1 1/4 pounds fresh shiitake mushrooms, stemmed, or crimini mushrooms, very coarsely chopped (we used 1/2 lb shiitake and 3/4 lb crimini)
  • 1/2 cup chopped shallots (about 2 large)
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons curry powder (we used Madras curry from Colonel De at Findlay Market)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 cup roasted salted cashews (ours were salted)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped mixed fresh herbs (such as parsley, chives, and basil) (We used thyme and tarragon)
  • Fresh parsley or basil sprigs (optional) (we didn't use)
  • 1 French-bread baguette, cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices, toasted (We used crackers and homemade whole wheat bread.)


  • Melt butter in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms, shallots, garlic, curry, and cumin and cook until mixture begins to brown and all liquid evaporates, stirring frequently, about 12 minutes. Cool.
  • Using on/off turns, finely chop cashews in processor. Add oil and blend to coarse paste. Add mushroom mixture and chopped herbs; blend in using on/off turns until mushrooms are coarsely chopped. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Spoon mushroom pâté into bowl. Cover and chill 4 hours. DO AHEAD Can be made 3 days ahead; keep chilled.
  • Garnish pâté with herb sprigs, if desired. Serve with toasts. (We garnished with Fontina cheese and a touch of curry powder.)

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Sunday, February 24, 2013

Quinoa Flour Crepes

Oh how I love crepes! They are so easy and you can fill them with anything! I mean literally anything!

As long as you know the ratio for crepes you can substitute pretty much any liquid or type of flour.

The ratio is:
1/2 part flour
1 part liquid
1 part egg

For the liquid, be creative. Think juices, stocks, milk, water, etc.  For the flour, be inspiring. Think quinoa flour, buckwheat flour, garam flour, whole wheat flour, etc.

This particular crepe has the following:
  • 10 oz milk from Snowville Creamery
  • 5 eggs from Gorman Heritage Farm (GHF) (1 large egg = about 2 oz)
  • 5 oz quinoa flour (Thanks Megan Divelbiss for giving me some to try!)
  • salt and sugar are optional - I didn't use either

After whisking all the ingredients together until there are no lumps. Set in the refrigerator for 1 hour. This allows the flour to completely absorb all the liquid.

Then heat a pan on medium heat - cast iron or non-stick are the easiest to use. melt about 1/2 teaspoon butter to coat the bottom of the pan to keep the batter from sticking. Pour about 1/4 cup of the batter (that will depend on the size pan you use) into the center of the pan then rotate the pan to lightly coat the bottom of the pan. The crepe should be very thin! Cook for about 30 seconds - 1 minutes. Flip the crepe and cook another 30 seconds. You can make a lot of crepes at a time and then refrigerate them.  I love doing this on the weekend then reheat them and fill them with different ingredients throughout the week.

The one pictured is filled with:
  • arugula from GHF
  • bacon from GHF
  • caramelized onions in balsamic vinegar and rosemary
  • oven baked grapes
  • White cheddar (if I was going to do this again - I would use goat cheese, but I didn't have it at the time)

Another day I filled it with:
  • hard-boiled egg from GHF
  • bacon from GHF
  • creamy homemade mustard dip
  • arugula from GHF
  • white cheddar

Another day I filled it with:
  • Oven baked butternut squash thinly sliced with rosemary (both from my garden) and olive oil
  • arugula from GHF
  • bacon from GHF
  • Boursin Cheese

The options are limitless!

What are your suggestions for crepe fillings?