Flying Flour, Splashing Spices, Roomful Aromas

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Chinese BBQ Steamed Buns

 With the temperatures Florida has been sporting lately, I reported it to hot to fire up the oven for baking. But there is more than one way to get the job done.  Having recently smoked a turkey, I used that as the filler with the proper seasonings.  I chopped the turkey with sauteed onion.  Then I added  a tablespoon of soy sauce, sesame oil and three tablespoon oyster sauce.  The house smelled divine.
Steamed Bun Filling
3 1/2 cups finely chpped turkey
1 large chopped onion, sauteed
1 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 Tbsp. sesame oil
3 Tbsp. oyster sauce
1/2 cup water mixed with 2 Tbsp. cornstarch

Now for the buns:
4 cups of flour,
a packet of yeast,
a tablespoon of sugar
1 3/4 cups warm water.

Put all ingredients into a medium bowl and stir to form ball.  This formed a firm but tender dough.  It was allowed to rest for an hour and rise.  I divided the dough into golf ball pieces.  I have a tortilla press and it came in handy for this job.  I wanted 3 inch size disks of dough.  In the middle of the dough I placed a teaspoon of the turkey mixture.  Then I pinched the edges of the dough in a pleated fashion while bringing it up like the neck of a cinched purse.  Pinched closed, I placed the formed buns in the bamboo steamer I had lined with cut banana leaves (from my yard).

The pasta pot was boiling on the burner adjacent to the gas grill on the outside deck.  I topped the pot with the bamboo steamer for fifteen minutes.  The buns were then ready to serve.  Also, the buns keep in the refrigerator for up to ten days and warm up in the microwave nicely.

There are more ways to make the daily bread than firing up the oven and heating the house in the dog days of summer!

Thursday, July 15, 2010


Tamales!  I put the jalapenos, onion, garlic,salt, and green chile sauce in the blender for a few pulses.

I chopped the smoked pork and mixed it with the sauce to use a filling for the tamales.

I blended the shortening in with the masa harina, salt and warm water to make the tamal.  This was spread on the corn husks and topped with a bit of filling.  I enlisted the Combsman to help tie the tamales and line the pasta steamer with them.  Once filled, the steamer was placed on the burner on the grill.  We were keeping this steam outside in this heat.

Meanwhile, I prepared the rice and refried black beans.  And then, "Come and get it!"  Dinner was  served.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Burger buns with a sesame top are the kicker for the turkey burgers from the grill.  These are made from the recipe for the Italian Bread recipe I shared in June. These have a nice crust, tender crumb that holds up to the juicy burger topped with tomato, onion, pickle and lettuce.  Oven roasted potatoes or baked beans make this a winner year round.  They are not only for dinner.  Split and toast 'em up to melt a bit of butter and your favorite jam or honey with hot tea or coffee for a great morning starter.  Enjoy!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Oooo-la-la, Vienna Bread with a Dutch Crust Top

Look at the crackly crust on this Vienna loaf!  Yummmmmm.  I have often purchased a loaf of Vienna bread at the grocery because it makes great toast.  Peter Rheinhart includes a recipe in his Bread Baker's Apprentice.  This is where I learned what makes a bread Vienna.  I love learning new details.  What makes this a Vienna bread is the malt and egg that goes into the dough.  The dutch Crust topping is made of rice flour, salt,  yeast and water.  The loaf bakes up tender but firm enough to slice thin for a great toast.  One of my favorites.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Too Hot to Fire Up the Oven

    Simple:   It is too hot to bake.
I am reading and researching recipes and planning what will be next.  Possibly a Persian Lime Pie with a ground pretzel crust... something cooking and soothing and minimal oven time.
     Till then we are hanging in the pool, swimming relays with the Havanese Boyz.  And the water?  Well, it is nearly as warm as the sunshine!  Refreshment comes with the evaporation once you are out of the  water!  Hey, I am not really complaining.  We don't shovel sunshine down here!