Waffles

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 3/4 cup milk
6 Tbsp oil
2 eggs

Mix in large bowl until well blended. Let stand 5 minutes.

Even a non-stick waffle iron needs an occasional spray of oil

Shortbread Pumpkin Bars

Last week was Pi day, so for my math teacher daughter I made a pumpkin pie.  With the leftover pumpkin, I tried this recipe that I clipped this recipe from The Trenton Times last fall.  It was very good but the baking times, or perhaps my oven, were a bit short.

Preheat oven to 400F

Cream:
1/2 cup butter
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/4 tsp vanilla
Stir in:
1 cup four

Press dough into bottom of 13×9-inch greased baking pan. Bake 5 (10) minutes.
Remove from oven. Reduce temperate to 350F

In a small bowl, stir to combine:
1/3 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt

In a medium bowl (or mixer bowl from crust), combine:
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 tsp vanilla

Stir in flour mixture and
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Spread over partially baked crust.

Combine:
1 cup flour
1/3 cup granulated sugar
Cut in, until coarse crumbs:
1/4 cup butter

Sprinkle over pumpkin layer

Bake 30 minutes. (I needed to bake these closer to 45 minutes)

Cool. Cut into bars. Yields 2 dozen 1 1/2-inch squares

Biscuits & Sausage Gravy

Basic Southern style biscuits.  A young girl of about 18 gave me these directions for biscuits and gravy when we were on vacation in West Virginia many years ago.

Biscuits
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
5 Tbsp. solid shortening (Crisco)
1 cup buttermilk

Preheat oven to 425F.

Sift flour. Add baking powder, salt and baking soda.
Cut in shortening until coarse crumbs form.
Add buttermilk. Toss with a fork until dough forms.
Place dough on a lightly floured surface, gather into a disc shape, and knead lightly. Touching it as little as possible will produce flakier biscuits.
Pat dough to 3/4-inch thick. Cut out biscuits with a cutter or drinking glass dipped in flour.
Place on ungreased baking sheet, 2 inches apart. Bake 12-15 minutes.

Sausage Gravy
Fry 1 pound of breakfast sausage, in crumble or patties (your preference).
Remove the meat and save 1/4 cup of the drippings in skillet.

Add 1/4 cup flour and stir over medium-heat until thick solid-colored liquid forms. Cook long enough that the mixture does not taste like flour.

Add 2 cups milk. Simmer several minutes until thickened. Add sausage crumbles for a chunky gravy.

Paneer

I have easy access to Indo-Pak grocery stores in my area, but Paneer is easy to make. Sometimes it just seems easier to make it than run to the store. (I really hate to shop.)

2 quarts milk or 1 quart half-and-half
2-3 Tbsp. lemon juice (white vinegar makes an acceptable substitution)

Bring milk to a boil in a large, heavy-bottomed pot. Stir in the lemon juice. Continue to cook and stir until curds rise to the top and a clear liquid remains.

Remove from heat and let stand 5 minutes.

Strain through a fine mesh sieve, lined with 3 layers of cheesecloth. The whey can be kept and used for the liquid in rice or soup.

Gather up the cloth and form a bundle and hang it on a faucet of over a bowl. Twist and squeeze out the excess liquid, allow to drain up to 30 minutes. I find it is better to not let the cheese get too cold or it doesn’t compress as well in the next step.

On a cutting board, shape the pouch into a patty about 1/2-inch thick. Place a heavy water-filled pot on the cheese to compress it. Leave it stand about 2 hours.

Remove from the cheesecloth and use immediately or wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate. The cheese may be frozen up to a month.

Irish Soda Bread

This is a basic recipe.

3 Tbsp. butter, softened
2 1/2 cups flour
2 Tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/3 cup raisins
3/4 cup buttermilk

Combine flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Cut butter into flour mixture. Stir in raisins and enough buttermilk to make a soft dough.

Turn out onto floured surface and knead for a minute until smooth. Shape into a round loaf, about 6-7 inches in diameter. Cut an “X” about a quarter of the way through. Brush top with a little buttermilk.

Bake 375F, 35-45 minutes. Brush with butter if desired.

Souvlakia

Adapted from The Frugal Gourmet Jeff Smith. New York: Ballantine Books, 1984.

In Jeff Smith’s cookbook he calls this Pork Souvlakia, but in his spirit I use chicken and even tofu as well. This isn’t exactly authentic but it is delicious. I have never made this with only tofu but a combination of tofu and chicken. Tonight, I am using bone-in chicken legs and will broil the meat instead of grilling it.

For the marinade combine:
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
1/2 Tbsp. soy sauce
1/2 tsp. oregano
salt & pepper to taste

Cut the following into cubes, about 1-inch:
1 pound boneless pork or chicken
1 yellow onion, peeled
1 green bell pepper

Marinate the meat and vegetables about 2 hours, refrigerated.

Skewer meat and vegetables, alternating. Grill or broil until done, about 15 minutes. This also works just fine in a grill basket.

Serve with Cucumber Tzatziki.