Neither Poverty Nor Riches

Give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient for me.

A Personal Recipe Archive

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Mom's Pizza

Recipe Name: Mom's Pizza

Notes: Classic and delicious.

Servings: 1 pizza

  • 4 cups sifted flour
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon yeast
  • 1 1/3 cup warm water.
Directions: Combine the water and yeast. Add olive oil, salt and flour. Knead 10 minutes. Let rise 2 hours, covered by a damp cloth. Spread on a pizza pan that is greased and sprinkled lightly with corn meal. Prick with a fork. Add sauce, cheese, and toppings. Bake at 400 degrees for 25 minutes.

French Bread

Recipe Name: French Bread

Notes: Another favorite.

Servings: 1 loaf

  • 1 Tbs. yeast
  • 1 1/3 cup lukewarm water
  • 4 cups flour
  • 1 Tbs. sugar
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 2 Tbs. water
  • 1 egg white
  • Boiling water for oven
Directions: Grease a cookie sheet and sprinkle it with cornmeal. Dissolve the yeast in water. Add sugar, salt and flour. Knead until not sticky (about 4 or 5 minutes). Let the dough rise until double (about 1/2 hour). Punch the dough down and roll into a long loaf. Make diagonal slashes in the top of the loaf with a knife. Place on the prepared cookie sheet and let rise again until double (another 1/2 hour or so). Make egg white glaze by combining 2 Tbs. water and one egg white. Brush risen bread with egg white glaze and bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes or until golden brown. Take out and brush again with glaze. Bake about 5 minutes longer.

Bread Sticks

Recipe Name: Bread Sticks

Notes: An old favorite.

Servings: 8

  • 1 1/2 cups warm water
  • 1 Tbs. honey
  • 1 Tbs. yeast
  • 1 Tbs. malted milk powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 4-4 1/2 cups flour (3 3/4 cups may suffice...)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • parmesan cheese, coarse salt, poppy seeds, or sesame seeds
Directions: Pour 1 1/2 cups water in a bowl. Add 1 tablespoon honey and 1 tablespoon yeast. To this mixture add 1 tablespoon malted milk powder and 1 teaspoon salt. Blend in flour with a wooden spoon to form a ball. Divide into 8 equal pieces and roll each until it is 10 to 12 inches in length. Place breadsticks on a greesed baking sheet and brush with beaten egg. Sprinkle with parmesan, poppy seeds, etc. Let breadsticks rise for 10 to 15 minutes (though if you don't have time this is not totally necessary). Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes.

Curried Cabbage

Recipe Name: Curried Cabbage

Notes: This is an unusual one, but I was craving curry and had a whole head of cabbage that I needed to eat...

Servings: About 5

  • 1 head of cabbage, shredded
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1 cup peas
  • 3 Tbs. vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. mustard seeds
  • 1/2 tsp. ginger
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp. coriander
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric
  • 1 tsp. garam masala
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 Tbs. butter
  • 1 Tbs. lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp. sugar
Directions: Heat the vegetable oil in a large pan over a medium flame. Add the onion, red pepper, ginger, mustard, salt, cumin, bay leaf, coriander and turmeric. Turn the heat down to low and stir the spices for about one minute. Add the cabbage, cover the pan and cook over medium-low heat until the cabbage wilts - about 15 minutes. Next add the peas and water and cook for 20 more minutes. Finally, add the butter, garam masala, lemon juice, and sugar and simmer for an additional 10 to 15 minutes. Serve over rice.


Recipe Name: Plain and Red Pepper Hummus

Notes: I like this hummus better than most store-bought versions that I've tried. It calls for tahini, which can be found in the ethnic aisle of most supermarkets (there is often some middle eastern food near the asian foods).

  • 2 cans garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained and rinsed
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 2/3 cup tahini
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 red pepper, roasted
Directions: Roast the red pepper by cutting it in half vertically, coring and seeding it, and placing it under the broiler, skin side up, until the skin turns black. Peel the roasted pepper's skin off, chop it into small pieces, and set it aside momentarily. Crush the garlic and pine nuts and mix them with the lemon juice and tahini in a medium bowl. Put this mixture in a food processor or use a hand blender to add the garbanzo beans a little at a time. Blend the mixture until it makes a thick paste. Sprinkle the salt and paprika in and mix thoroughly. Add the water and the olive oil, adjusting the amounts of each to obtain the correct consistency. Divide the hummus into two batches, and blend the roasted red pepper into one half of the mixture. The result is one container of plain hummus and one of red pepper hummus. They are best served fresh and at room temperature, but can be refrigerated for about ten days.

Very Chocolate Cake

Recipe Name: Very Chocolate Cake

Notes: I made this cake for my boss's birthday back in Boston and it turned out overwhelmingly rich, but awesome.

Servings: 12


For Cake
  • 8 ounces dark chocolate or semisweet chocolate
  • 2/3 cup butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • a shallow 1/2 cup cake flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 4 tablespoons of cocoa powder (unsweetened)
For Icing/Garnish
  • 3/4 cup whipping cream
  • 9 oz. dark or semisweet chocolate
  • strawberries
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Line a cake pan by greasing the pan, then lining it with parchment paper or wax paper, then grease the interior paper surface. This step is a pain, but it is worth it to have perfect cakes with no sticking and no burning. Chop the 8 oz. of bakers chocolate for the cake into small pieces and melt it with the butter in a double boiler or in a pan halfway submerged in a pot of water. Beat the eggs with the sugar. Mix the vanilla extract, flour, cocoa powder and baking powder into the eggs and sugar. Carefully fold the melted chocolate/butter mixture into the main bowl, followed by the sour cream. Once the cake batter is thoroughly mixed, pour it into the cake pan and bake at 325 degrees for 55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean. Let the cake cool entirely, and then cut it in half horizontally with a very sharp knife.

While the cake is cooling, make the icing by heating the whipping cream in a sauce pan. Take the cream off of the heat, add the 9 oz. of chocolate (chopped into small pieces), and stir until the chocolate is evenly mixed in and the mixture is smooth. Put a tablespoon of the icing into the refrigerator to cool for 10 minutes - if this sample is too thick, add an additional tablespoon or two of cream to the icing. If it is too thin, add more chocolate. Do not refrigerate the icing before icing the cake as it should be the right consistency at room temperature, but quite thick when refrigerated. Ice the cake, stacking the two layers. Immediately before serving, garnish with fanned strawberries and chocolate curls. This cake is best served at room temperature.

Hannah's Pesto

Recipe Name: Hannah's Pesto

Notes: Pesto may very well be my favorite foodstuff. I've tried a number of recipes and what I've figured out is this: the thing that matters most for pesto is the quality of the ingredients - fresh, aromatic basil leaves, nice parmigiano-reggiano, and really fresh garlic. The other thing I've decided is that recipes that call for a measured amount of salt are very very bad - balancing the taste of the pesto is best done by adjusting the proportions of basil, pine nuts, and cheese - salt and pepper can be used to fine tune the final product, but adding 1/2 teaspoon of salt will just make your pesto too salty to taste the more subtle flavors.

Servings: Depends on what you intend to use the pesto for... Makes about 1 to 1.5 cups of pesto

  • 3 or 4 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts
  • 3 cups of loosely packed fresh basil leaves
  • 1/3 cup coarsely grated parmigiano-reggiano
  • 3 tablespoons to 1/3 cup olive oil (depending on what you intend to use the pesto for and how thick you like it - I personally use the olive oil sparingly)
  • black pepper (and salt, if you like) to taste
I begin by crushing the garlic and pine nuts in a garlic twist. If you are using a food processor or hand blender this isn't really necessary. Put the garlic, pine nuts, and cheese in a small bowl or food processor. Using a hand blender or food processor, pulse to turn these ingredients into a paste-like substance. Add the basil leaves a few at a time and continue pulsing the blender or food processor until the basil is chopped and the mixture is uniformly bright green. Continue until all of the basil leaves have been added. To turn this thick pesto base into a sauce, add olive oil, beginning with 3 tablespoons and adding 1 tablespoon at a time until you reach the consistency you prefer. Take a taste of the pesto once the oil is well mixed in, and add black pepper and salt to taste. Mix thoroughly and you're done. I keep pesto in a small tupperware container in the fridge for about a week. Pesto also freezes well, so you can make some while fresh basil is plentiful and freeze it for later use.

Notes from Hannah

Hi everyone.

Sorry I have been so bad at updating recipes. I've been spending more time cooking and reading and doing work and less time on the computer lately. I've got a bunch of good new recipes to post: my pesto recipe, homemade hummus, curried cabbage, a more traditional vegetable lasagna, and a better homemade burrito. I was also hoping to put up some of the dutch oven/outdoor cooking recipes and old family favorites that I have on paper or in my email - just to have everything in one place... In other news, I got sick of getting my clothes dirty when I cook (I am moderately messy in the kitchen, I guess) so I made myself a little retro-ish apron. It's a little silly, but it does the job... Anyway, look for new recipes soon.