Sunday, March 15, 2009

Mmmm Meatbuns

Back in college my roommate's mom would send her meatbuns in care packages...yummy little mennonite buns with meat baked into them. I spent time once I had a kitchen of my own working out my own perfect version of meat buns...there was (of course) cheese involved, and some spice added to the meat.
I like milk bread as the bun dough. I make a TRIPLE BATCH of the following recipe for 1 loaf of milk bread (It's a bit of work so I make a whole bunch (~5 dozen) as these freeze well):
Dissolve 2 1/4 t yeast in 3 T warm water for 5 minutes. Add:
-1 c skim milk, warmed in the microwave.
-5T melted butter
-3T sugar
-1 large egg
-1t salt

Mix well with mixer. Mix in 1 c whole wheat flour and 1 c white flour. Then add another 1 1/2-2 c flour until the dough is soft and sticky, using the dough hook on your mixer. Then knead the dough by hand for 8 minutes until it is soft and elastic. Place it in a BIG covered oiled bowl and let it double in size (~1.5 hours)

While the dough rises the first time, make the filling so it can cool.
Gouda cheese works well in these - it's not a greasy cheese. I cut a regular brick of cheese into ~0.7 cm cubes, and fry up 1 Lb of ground beef together with a few T of finely minced onion, seasoning it with garlic pepper sauce and taco seasoning...the low salt taco seasoning work well for this. Then this must cool to room temperature or the buns will have weird air pockets in them from rising strangely.

Once it's risen once, pound the dough down and divide it into 4 quarters. Each of these quarters can be flattened and cut into 16 pieces, 1 piece for every bun. Now you must make the buns by flattening the dough piece, and placing 1t of meat and 1 cube of cheese in the centre of it. Use your fingers to pull the dough around the filling and pinch it shut.

Place the buns finched side down into a greased cake pan. Continue until they are all done and cover them and let them rise about 1 hour. If you run out of meat or cheese, just improvise...

Then bake the pans of buns at 375 degrees for 15-20 minutes until they are golden brown.
Like all baked goods, these are best frozen if they aren't to be eaten within a few days. They warm up quickly in the oven or microwave for a great quick lunch or snack.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Exotic Rice

I am sure some culture somewhere is doing something very similar, but I must plead ignorance as to which one it might be. I bought fragrant jasmine rice recently to vary up my consumption (which is typically brown) and have been experimenting. Most recently I took my french press, removed the filter and filled it with cold water and added one stick of cinnamon bark,, slices ..errr, things of star anise and some cloves to it. I let that sit for two days in the fridge and cooked my rice in it. It doesn't overpower the rice but adds a very subtle flavour and aroma to it. It is also good drinking.

- Magnus