Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Monday, September 13, 2010
Tonight - using the left overs I made some Asian Pork Buns. They turned out really well. I chopped up some of the left over shoulder, cooked down the pan drippings from the smoking process, added a little soy sauce and used that for the filling. I thought about using regular barbecue sauce and making them like pulled pork inside - but the smoke flavor was so good I hated to cover it up with barbecue sauce. The dough is a fairly simple to make -
- 10 Tbsp milk
- 4 Tbsp butter
- 1 large egg beaten (for dough)
- 2 tsp yeast
- 2 Tbsp warm water
- 2 1/2 Tbsp sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 1/2 cups flour
- 1 egg beaten (for egg wash)
Warm milk and butter together in a microwave safe bowl just until butter melts. In a medium sized bowl, put the 2 Tbsp water and the yeast and allow the yeast to soften. Whisk the egg in a bowl and add the warm milk and butter to the egg. Add the mixture to the yeast. In a sifter combine flour, sugar and salt and sift into the liquid mixture.
Stir until the dough comes together, then turn out on a lightly floured board and knead. You may need to sprinkle with a light dusting of flour to keep it from sticking - but use as little flour as possible. knead about 5 minutes and then put dough in a oiled bowl (turn to coat the dough lightly with oil), cover with plastic wrap and let rise for about an hour in a warm place.
When the dough has risen and the filling is ready punch it down and divide it in half. Roll each half into a 12 inch log and cut each into 4-6 even pieces. roll the pieces into balls and press them flat and spread them out to about 4 inches across. The dough should be thicker in the middle than around the edges. Place 2-3 Tbsp of the filling in the center and pull the edges up together over the dough into a purse shape and pinch all of the seams together. Put filled bun seam side down on a parchment or silpat lined baking sheet. Continue until all the buns are done. Cover with a kitchen towel and let rise for 30 minutes. In the last 10 minutes of rising preheat the oven to 350. Before putting the buns in the oven - brush the tops with egg wash. Baking time depends a little on the size of the buns you make - generally 15-20 minutes is all it takes for the buns to become deep golden brown on top and sound slightly hollow when tapped. Remove from the oven and let cool on a wire rack for a few minutes before serving.
I have had similar buns with a sweet red bean filling - I am hoping to find a good recipe for those and try them next. The great thing about the little buns is that you can freeze them for up to a month or refrigerate them for a week - simply rewarm in a 350 degree oven for 8-10 minutes and they are ready to pop in a lunch box - no mess and nothing can fall out of the nice neat little package. I am going to experiment with some other fillings too - maybe Teriyaki chicken or ground pork with cabbage and ginger (like pot sticker filling) - I think you could even make lovely ones with grilled veggies inside.
The yard clean up was a bit of a chore but once everything dried out I was able to get everything put back in order. In the process of pruning one of the Butterfly bushes in my front yard I ran across this lovely garden spider and I had to take her picture and bring the kids out to see her.
We also had a birthday party for my daughter over the weekend. She asked for a pond theme cake with a frog and lilly pads. I struggled a bit with the frog, but in the end I think it turned out pretty well and my daughter and her friends loved it! A few of the mom's suggested I go into the cake business - but I honestly have no idea how to charge for a cake and I'm not sure my figures are good enough, but it is something I am going to think about. Maybe I can do a few more and then hang up my shingle - kids theme cakes - get 'em here!
Thursday, September 2, 2010
She was wedged into one of the concrete blocks that is the foundation of the coop! I don't know how she got in there but this morning I heard a kind of muffled peep sound coming from the ground under the edge of the coop and when I went into the coop I saw a tiny fluff of white feathers sticking out of the block. I managed to get her out and she seems ok - just hungry and thirsty! I am soooo relieved!