Monday, February 6, 2012

Epic Fail!

Jessie is going to have to see if she can make sourdough bread... Apparently, I cannot to save my life... The starter recipe worked well, but when it came to actually making the bread, the dough didn't rise like it should have, one loaf stuck to my loaf pan, and the other that was going to be baked on my flat stone spread out to about 1/4 inch... Sigh...

I did sample some of the flat bread and it was OK flavor-wise. The edges were super crispy, so the puppies got to eat some too...

I took some more pictures, and will post them later tonight, as I am at work at the moment.

I guess we are going to buy Grandma Dora's sourdough loaf.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Oompa Y'all!

Our 6+ cu ft freezer is stocked. About half of it is venison in some way shape or form. Because of that, I cook with venison a lot. Bottom line is, I'm cheap... The more cost effective the meal made from things locally or already in the home is, the more I'm going to make it.

Ran into a personal roadblock this week in terms of motivation. Yeah, the 4 loads of laundry, 3 loads of dishes, multiple meals and breads, bathing 4 dogs, trimming dog toenails, completely detailing the truck, cleaning up the garage some more, almost finishing taxes, blah... blah... blah..., just didn't quite make me feel productive...

I did what any smart woman does. I called my Mommy! She always has the best ideas. I'm super excited for her cookbook to come out (which is why some of my recipes don't end up on here). Anyway, she did some browsing of the internet and came up with Vension Gyros. Vension Gyros? Seriously? WTH!?

Then, I thought about the pita's I found on sale for $0.50 in the deli drawer, half a freezer of Vension, Greek Yogurt I bought with a coupon for like half nothing (plus it was on sale), and butt load of herbs and spices in my cabinet that I like to use within a year.

Side note: please use your spices within a year or throw them out. I know there's nothing wrong with them but if you can't get them fresh, at least have them not old!

She did some leg work for me and sent me the following Venison marinate. Jeff got the itch to grill today so we grilled the meat after marinating it with the FoodSaver container thingy. That thing is awesome by the way.

So here is the marinade.

1 tbsp cumin
2 garlic cloves, smacked hard with a knife so it kinda smashes
2 tsp marjoram
1 tsp rosemary (can be fresh, if so, just a sprig or so)
1 tbsp oregano
few splashes of red wine vinegar
2 pinches of salt
about a half a palm full of pepper (I like pepper!)

Mix this all together and sprinkle over 2 packs or so of Venison steaks. Ours were tenderized which made them SOOO good. Splash the whole thing with a few tablespoons of olive oil. Just eyeball it. It's really hard to mess it up. I put it in the Food Saver vac seal container thingy. The plastic one. Sealed it up and threw it back in the fridge.

Let it sit overnight. This is important!

After you get done with the meat, you need to mix the Tzatziki to sit overnight too. It needs to mix.

My recipe is not traditional really but it's super tasty.

1 cucumber peeled and finely diced
around 2 cups of good greek yogurt, do not substitute for regular, it's gonna be nasty!
1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp herbes de provance
1 tsp salt, fresh and ground in a morter and pestle
1 tsp pepper, fresh and ground in a morter and pestle
1/2 tsp coriander seeds, fresh and ground in a morter and pestle
1 small garlic clove, finely minced
2 tsp lemon juice (or Nelly & Joe's Key Lime Juice. It's really good!)

Mix everything together until it's nice and creamy. Put it in the fridge overnight to let it set up.


If you're like me, get a husband involved with this one. Spending time with food together is a GREAT way to connect and mine is just as much a foodie as I am. :-)

Light the grill and get it screaming hot. When it's nice and hot, lay the happy meat on the grill and let it sizzle like a fat kid at the beach. After about a minute and a half, flip it. If it sticks, the meat hasn't caramelized enough, don't pull it, just let it sit a minute more. But DO NOT walk away. This will burn extraordinarily quick. When it's about medium, pull the steaks off and let them sit under foil for no less than 5 minutes. Otherwise it's gonna lose all the juice and end up dry like shoe leather.

Toast your pita on the grill for about 30 seconds. This makes them super tender and delicious.

Schmear the pita with tzatziki sauce nice all the way around. Dice up some fresh tomato but don't put it on yet.

Slice the steaks very thin at an angle into strips. The goal is something easy to bite through so you don't end up with meat dripping down your chin... that's for another time and completely your business.

Pile a decent handful of steak on the pita and throw a few tomatoes on the top. Onion if you really like it. Sometimes fresh cucumber isn't bad, but I don't think it's quite necessary here.

Dig in to your delicious low country culinary adventure!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Science Experiment, Day 3

When I woke up this morning, I couldn't help but peek in on my little science experiment. It had a few bubbles on the top... I took this to mean that everything was going well...

When I got home from work, I noticed that it had pretty much doubled in size and was very bubbly... Just like the description in the cookbook! Yay!
Evil sticky dough has transformed into evil smelly foam...
After "the thing" has been fed...

Had to feed it again (same proportions as before) and cover. I'll feed a few more times (about every 12 hours for the next few days) and by Saturday, it should have a sour tang to it... Right now, it just smells rank...

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Science Experiment, Day 2

So, 12-15 hours after initially making the starter, you are supposed to feed the starter with the same amount of flour and water as before. I may have undercut the time by an hour or so... I made the starter pretty late last night and I had to go to work this morning, so I don't think it was QUITE 12 hours... I didn't take pictures this morning partly because I was running late and partly because it didn't look any different than the night before, just a slightly larger ball of sticky dough...

After another 12-15 hours (this time I waited about 13.5 hours before I started messing with it), you need to transfer it to a larger clean bowl and feed it again just like the morning feeding.
From one bowl into another...

Yeah, it just makes yet another slightly larger bowl of sticky dough, although at this point, it does have a discernible odor... Kind of like when you leave bread dough out too long before baking bread... Not unpleasant or unexpected, but it does have a slightly-off scent about it... A little more pungent than regular bread dough. Hopefully this means that all is going well...
After the second feeding...

I did learn that my nice old mixing bowl won't let plastic wrap cling to its edges... I thought that maybe I couldn't reuse my already-holey plastic wrap that I used on the other bowl, so I tried a clean piece... It didn't cling either... So, rather than fight it, I'm going to overlook the instructions of "cover tightly with plastic wrap" and settle for "loosely cover with plastic wrap"... I did poke a few holes in the new sheet, just for giggles.
Loosely covered counts, right?

Now, we wait 24 hours (approx. 8:30 PM tomorrow)... It should be bubbly... If not, then we try again!