Thursday, February 26, 2009

Sweet Potato Pie

As a pregnant lady, I need folic acid. (Found in mangos, peaches, pumpkins, broccoli & sweet potatoes. According to the book What To Eat When You're Expecting. See )
And right now we have a crate of sweet potatoes sitting in our basement. And I have a sweet tooth.
This recipe is only slightly tweaked from the Better Homes & Gardens recipe.
Ingredients: Crust
1 1/4 cups flour or 1 1/8 cups flour + 1/8 cup wheat germ
1/3 cup shortening
about ¼ cup cold water
Ingredients : Filling
3 medium sweet potatoes (about 1 pound)
a scant ½ cup brown sugar
½ t ground cinnamon
¼ t ground allspice or cloves
¼ t ground nutmeg
1/8 t salt (leave out if likely to clump)
3 slightly beaten eggs
1 cup buttermilk, whey or sour cream

1. Scrub sweet potatoes thoroughly with a brush. Pat dry; prick potatoes with a fork. Bake at 450 Fahrenheit for 40 to 50 minutes or till very tender. Cool till easy to handle.
2. Meanwhile, make the crust: Put the flour in a mixing bowl. Optionally, substitute wheat germ for 1/8 cup of the flour and mix well. Cut the shortening into the flour until the pieces are pea-sized. Move a small amount of the flour mixture to one side of the bowl; moisten with 1 T water and toss with a fork. Continue this process until all the mixture is moistened and tossed; form into a ball. On a lightly floured surface, use your hands to slightly flatten the ball. Roll out into a circle about 12 inches in diameter, flouring the rolling pin as often as necessary to prevent sticking. To transfer the dough, roll it back around the rolling pin and move it gently over the pie plate. Ease the dough into the pie plate, patch as needed, trim, and crimp.
3. Line the dough in the pie plate with a double thickness of aluminum foil. Bake at 450 F for 8 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for another 4 or 5 minutes, or until set and dry (may be less time). Obviously, this baking step can be done while the potatoes are baking.
4. For filling, cut the baked potatoes in half and scoop the pulp into a large mixing bowl. Use a potato masher to mash the pulp. (You should have about 2 cups.) Stir in sugar, cinnamon, allspice or cloves, nutmeg, and salt. Add eggs. Beat lightly with a rotary beater, fork, or whisk just till combined. Gradually stir in buttermilk, whey or sour cream; mix well.
5. Spoon the filling into the partially baked pie shell. If the filling is very liquid, you may want to put the pastry shell on the oven rack first, then pour in the filling to prevent spills.
6. To prevent overbrowning, cover the edge of the pie with aluminum foil. Reduce oven temp to 375 F and bake for 1 hour or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack for 30 minutes. Chill in the fridge at least 2 hours before serving. Good with whipped cream!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Cheesy Broccoli with Curry

This is another one I could never make in our home city (no broccoli or cheese soup), but I made it tonight here in the Great North.

2 heads broccoli
1 can of cheese soup (e.g. Campbell's)
2/3 can of milk
1/2 t curry powder
dash paprika
1/4 to 1/2 cup grated cheese (optional)
wheat germ

Preheat oven 375 Fahrenheit. Cut the broccoli into florets (or use all of it if you like), put in a pan with a little water, bring to the boil, and simmer, covered, for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, grease an 8x8 glass baking dish.
When the broccoli is slightly tender, drain. Place the broccoli evenly in the bottom of the baking dish. Into the same pan you used for the broccoli, empty the canned cheese soup and the 2/3 can of milk. Or, if there is no canned cheese soup available, make a thickish white sauce with about 1 2/3 cups milk. Add the curry powder and paprika; mix thoroughly over low heat.
Pour the curry mixture over the broccoli in the baking dish. Optionally, sprinkle the cheese over the top. Then sprinkle with generous amounts of wheat germ.
Bake for about 20 minutes or until bubbly on the edges. The curry will not be a strong flavor, but will give it a certain je-ne-sais-quoi - except that you, the cook, sais.