Making Mozzarella

Making Mozzarella

We’ve been meaning to make mozzarella for awhile. We bought the rennet a few months ago and it’s been sitting in our fridge ever since. This is our first time making mozzarella so it was quite the learning experience. We wanted to make a nice Neapolitan style pizza to showcase the fresh mozza, but we had a few minor hiccups with the oven and baking surface so perhaps next time things will work out better for us. It was our intention to use a pizza stone to prepare this meal but ours broke 🙁 and when we tried to locate one to buy this morning we couldn’t find one anywhere… good thing there was a tile and flooring warehouse on our way! 12 6×6″ unglazed quarry tiles later and we had something that would work good enough as a pizza stone for only $6.00.

 

Whole Milk Avalon Dairy

Whole Milk Avalon Dairy

Whole Milk Avalon Dairy

Citric Acid

Mix Citric Acid and Bring to 95 F

Milk is Cut Five Minutes After Adding Rennet

Removing Uncooked Curd

Press Curds in Cheesecloth for 1/2 Hour

Curds Pressed in Cheesecloth

Uncooked Curds

Cutting the Curd

Cut Curds in a Bowl

Adding 180 F Water

Adding 180 F Water

Working the Curd

Making Mozza Balls

Mozzarella After a Salt Water Bath

Finished Mozzarella

Tomato Sauce

Tomato Sauce on a Pizza!

Fresh Basil

Pizza Ready to Serve

Pizza with Homemade Mozzarella on Quarry Tiles

Pizza Ready for the Oven!

Pizza Homemade Mozzarella Ready to Serve

The Pizza that Didn't Quite Make it :(

 

Mozzarella Cheese

1 gal whole milk

1/4 tablet rennet

1 1/2 tsp citric acid

sea salt

Add 1 gal milk to a saucepan and stir in the citric acid. Turn to medium heat and bring up to just 95 degrees F. While waiting for milk to come to temperature add the rennet to 1/4 cup water. Once the milk has reached 95F add rennet and water mixture. Remove from heat and allow to sit for five minutes. After five minutes your curd should have formed and will be like soft tofu consistency. Cut up curd and remove to a cheesecloth lined strainer. Fold curd up well with cheesecloth and apply some weight to drain excess whey. Allow to drain and cool to room temperature. Remove whole curd from cheesecloth at this point and cut into equal size pieces. Remove curd to a bowl and add 180-190 degree water. Allow to sit for a couple minutes and then begin stretching the mozzarella. When the cheese takes on smooth silky consistency remove from the hot water and drop in a cold salt water bath. Cold water bath should be salted like the sea. After a few minutes in the salt water remove the fresh mozzarella. Enjoy!

 

Burrito Making Day

Burrito Making Day

Today we are making burritos that can be frozen and reheated for quick and easy meals. To keep the workload down we are using store bought flour tortillas at the cost of about 40  cents each. To make the beans we started with about three cups of black-eye peas and pressure cooked them in chicken stock concentrate and tomato paste for 25 minutes. When the pressure dropped we mashed them with a potato masher, leaving some chunky bits for texture. After removing from the pressure cooker we had about five pounds of beans.

 

Beans for Burritos

 

Next up was the beef filling. Beef is expensive these days so two pounds cost ten dollars even. We seasoned the beef heavily with a mixture of salt, chile flakes, homegrown dried paprika and smoked bell pepper powder, fresh garlic, fresh onion, oregano, cumin powder, and chile powder… Our cajun/taco seasoning mix.

 

Two Pounds Ground Beef

Home Grown Dried Chillies

Home Grown Chile Powder

Finished Taco Beef Filling

 

Next up was the rice. Two cups rice cooked in some chicken stock and water. We used tomato puree, bit of onion, bell peppers, and finished with cilantro and a bit of white wine vinegar to make it more interesting. A bit of chopped mushroom fell in there apparently but that wasn’t my intention.

 

Making Spanish Rice

Finished Spanish Rice for Burritos

Next up was some pulled duck legs/thighs taco style done in the pressure cooker… no pictures of the making of these but they were delicious and fall-apart tender after just twenty five minutes.

 

Pulled Duck, Taco Style

After quick-pickling some diced red onion, chopping up some cilantro stems and green peppers, and grating some cheese, my station was ready for burrito assembly!

Ready for Burrito Assembly

Assembling Burritos

Weighing Burritos

Assembling Burritos

Assembling Burritos

Beef and Bean, Bean and Cheese Burritos

Assembling Burritos

Assembling Burritos

Finished Pile of Burritos

Finished Pile of Burritos

Burrito Ready to Eat!

Yield was 20 burritos and the cost was just over $1 Canadian each. These will last us a few weeks for sure!

 

Char Siu (Chinese BBQ Pork)

Char Siu (Chinese BBQ Pork)

Our first attempt at making Chinese BBQ pork has been a long time in the making… It took us almost a year to source all the ingredients and many hours of research to come up with an approximate recipe. Not all Chinese restaurants offer BBQ pork and duck so you may have to shop around if you want to sample this amazing food!  This recipe is truly delicious but next time we will make the marinade sweeter, add more red bean curd, and intensify the smoking. Enjoy the photos!

 

Char Siu Ingredients

Wang Zhihe Fermented Bean Curd

Wang Zhihe Fermented Bean Curd

Five Spice Powder Ingredients

Char Siu Ingredients

Making Char Siu Marinade 1

Making Char Siu Marinade 2

Making Char Siu Marinade 3

Making Char Siu Marinade 4

Making Char Siu Marinade 5

Making Char Siu Marinade 6

Making Char Siu Marinade 7

Making Char Siu Marinade 8

Finished Char Siu Marinade

Pork Should Chops

Adding Char Siu Marinade to Bag

Adding Char Siu Marinade to Bag

Marinating Char Siu

Marinated Char Siu

Skewering Char Siu

Char Siu Ready for the Smoker!

Char Siu on the Smoker

Finished Char Siu

Char SIu Chopped Up

Finished Char Siu Chow Mein

 

 Char Siu Marinade (Chinese BBQ Pork)

Pork Shoulder chops cut into strips

Light Soy Sauce

Dark Soy Sauce

Hoisin Sauce

Chinese Shoahsing Rice Wine

Wangzhihe Fermented Red Bean Curd

Honey

Sesame Oil

Chinese Five Spice Powder

Ginger

Garlic

Mix Ingredients together and marinade overnight. Cook over a charcoal fire or use a smoker set to 300 degrees F. Enjoy!

 

 

BBQ Stuffed Chile Rellenos

BBQ Stuffed Chile Rellenos

This is our first year growing poblano chile peppers so I thought I’d try out a few new recipes. After looking up stuffed chile recipes of various types I decided to settle on a kind of open faced chile rellenos with pulled pork and rice. Normally chile rellenos are stuffed, battered, and deep fried, but I thought the pulled pork would bring enough fat on it’s own so I settled on just roasting the peppers over an open flame and using spanish rice. Enjoy the photos below!

 

 

Adding Tomato Paste to Rice

Mixing in the Tomato Paste

Adding Water to Rice

Making Tomato Rice

Blistering Chiles

Blistering Chiles

Blistered Chiles Ready to Sweat

Blistered and Peeled Poblano Chiles

Stuffing Poblanos with Pulled Pork

Poblanos Filled with Pulled Pork

Rice Stuffed Poblanos

Stuffing Poblanos with Rice

Dressing Poblanos up with Cheese

Stuffed Poblanos Dressed with Cheese

Stuffed Poblanos Dressed with Cheese

Finished Open Face Chile Rellenos

Finished Open Face Chile Rellenos

Finished Open Face Chile Rellenos

 

Spanish Rice (as pictured)

1 1/2 cups long grain rice

1 shallot, diced

2 garlic cloves, smashed

1 small can tomato paste

1 tsp Sweet n Savory Chipotle Powder

1 tblsp butter

1 cup chicken stock concentrate

2 cups water

1 tsp salt

Melt butter in a large pan over medium heat and add rice. Toast rice for a couple minutes to add some flavor it will be done when it’s too hot to handle with your fingers. Add most of the tomato paste and stir until evenly mixed. Add chicken stock and reduce. While chicken stock is reducing put two cups of water to boil in a kettle. Add boiling water to the rice slowly as needed and stir frequently as if you are making a risotto until rice has reached finished texture. Add diced shallot and check final seasoning. Serve with a vinegar based hot sauce or if you’re like me – fresh hot chiles. Enjoy!

Pulled Chicken Gyros

Pulled Chicken Gyros

This dish features simple ingredients but when they all come together it’s magic. As such, there are countless regional variations; In Canada there are donairs,  in Greece there are gyros, in Pakistan there is Shawarma, and in the UK there are doner kebabs.  Popular variations in North America are Greek style (pictured below) and Hawaiian, which typically feature pineapple and sweet and sour sauce on top of the standard lettuce, onion, tomato, and creamy sauce. We cheated and used store bought pitas this time but the five other components we made from scratch. If I could have changed one thing about this dish I would have browned up the pulled chicken a bit in a cast iron before adding the sauce so it would have been crispier in the pita but other than that this was late-night culinary perfection! Enjoy the photos and recipes below!

 

Fresh Vine-Ripened Romas from our Greenhouse

Cutting up the Tomato for Salsa

Making the Tomato Salsa

Fresh Cilantro

Fresh Tomato Salsa

Browning the Chicken

The Secret Braising Ingredient - Concentrated Chicken Stock

Adding Concentrated Chicken Soup Stock

The Browned Chicken

The Seasoned Chicken Ready for Pressure Cooking

30 minutes in the Pressure Cooker

Finished Chicken

Pulled Chicken

Reduced and Finished Gravy

The Gravy

Finished Seasoned Pulled Chicken

Romaine Lettuce

Start with Lettuce

Dressing up the Gyros with Pickled Onions

Dressing up the Gyros with Tzatziki

Adding Fresh Tomato Salsa

Letting the Ingredients Fall in

Pulled Chicken Gyro

Tzatziki Sauce

Spicing it up a bit

Morgyn's Finished Gyro

Adding Chicken to Gyro

Finished Gyro

 

 Pita Breads

 

~3 cups flour

1 1/4 cup warm water

2tsp salt

1 pkg yeast

2 tblsp oil

 

Mix one cup flour, oil, salt, and the warm water together in a stand mixer along with the package of yeast. Allow yeast to bloom/form a sponge if necessary. Turn on your mixer and add flour until the dough just pulls away from the inside of the bowl. Knead for three to five minutes. Cover and allow dough to rise until it doubles in size. Remove from bowl to a floured surface and divide into eight equal pieces. Roll each into a ball and set on a covered baking tray to rise again for another 20 minutes or so. Preheat a cast iron skillet to medium heat while you roll out the dough balls to about 1/2″ height. Cook each pita bread until slightly brown on each side before flipping. If done correctly, your pitas will start to rise shortly after you flip them over so they will be hollow in the middle. Allow to cool before stuffing. Enjoy!

 Pita Breads on the Rise

 

Tzatziki Sauce

375 mL 3% yogurt, or use Greek style yogurt if you want it thicker

1/2 small lemon, juiced

4 large garlic cloves, minced (add more if you like garlic!)

1/3 English cucumber, shredded

1 tsp finely chopped dill

1/2 tsp salt to taste

1/2 tsp ajinomoto

Put all ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Allow flavors to mingle for at least twenty minutes.

Enjoy!

 

Tzatziki Sauce