The Joy of Spam Folder Cooking

Month: December 2017

Chocolate Coated Almonds

This week my spam folder brought me Chocolate Coated Almonds.  I thought it was a repeat, because I’ve made them before but this recipe is different.  Though because I’ve made chocolate covered almonds, I decided ‘eh, let’s make chocolate covered pecans this time’.  I adore pecans, which is more than I can say for almonds.  I know almonds are good for you, but I think they’re best when drenched in chocolate.

The recipe:

Chocolate Coated Almonds.

Select nuts that are plump at the ends. Use them without blanching. Brush, to remove 
dust.  Melt "Dot" Chocolate and when cooled properly drop the nuts, one at a time, 
into the center of it; push the nuts under with the fork, then drop onto waxed 
paper or oil cloth. In removing the fork make a design on the top of each nut. 
These are easily prepared and are particularly good.

Since this recipe was ignored more than I paid attention to it, I thought I’d make my own version, available at the end of this rambling.

First, I couldn’t find “Dot” chocolate.  I couldn’t even find a reference to it.  Instead, I used Baker’s Dipping Chocolate.

Baker's Dipping Chocolate

Baker’s Dipping Chocolate

Then, I needed to toast the pecans.  I normally do this in the oven, but I decided hey, I have a microwave, that should be faster.  Using this information I threw pecans in a bowl with a little Canola oil and sea salt and zapped away.  It turns out, toasting pecans in the microwave takes only 45 seconds.  Plus, they’re REALLY tasty.  I may have eaten a few.

Toasted Pecans

Toasted Pecans

Then I melted the chocolate as instructed on the container and dipped the pecans into it.

Chocolate Covered Pecans

Chocolate Covered Pecans

I was a little bit messy.  It’s hard to be perfectly not-messy doing this, and I will never achieve that goal.  I’m just a little bit messy.  Though I do clean up!

I put the pecans in the refrigerator to let the chocolate set, then had myself a tasting.

I ate more than the freshly toasted ones.  These things are GOOD.  What I didn’t eat, Fred did.

Now the official recipe for chocolate covered pecans.

Chocolate Covered Pecans

  • 1 pound pecans
  • 1 can Baker's Dipping Chocolate
  • Sea salt (to taste)
  • Canola Oil

Place half the pecans into a bowl and drizzle with a little canola oil and sprinkle with sea salt (to taste). Microwave for 45 seconds. Repeat with the rest of the pecans.

Melt the Baker's Dipping Chocolate as instructed.

Dip the pecans into the Chocolate and place on wax paper.

Chill the pecans until the chocolate is set.

Until next time, toodles!

Cherry Dumplings

This week the spam folder’s contribution is Cherry Dumplings. Sounds good, right? Except the recipe calls for something I had never heard of. Puddling cloths, also known as dumpling cloths. This is certainly something I don’t own. In fact, I’m not even sure what it is.

Google sent me to this  which apparently is a kind of cloth used for dumplings and is also a dumpling of its own. How confusing is that? Wikipedia you could at least give me the recipe! I wonder if you use the Clootie cloth to make the Clootie? And apparently a Clootie Well is a well where you leave strips of cloth or rags for healing.  My mother would say that’s just littering, but I suppose some people believe in it.

I asked Amazon for a dumpling cloth and found a doll instead. Asking Amazon for a pudding cloth got me a t-shirt.    While both of these are cute, neither are useful for making dumplings.

Needless to say, this won’t be made. I’m not that crafty, my only scissors are the ones I use to cut wrapping paper and the occasional string and Fred’s old t-shirts into rags.  I don’t have spare cloth, unless you count those rags, and I certainly wouldn’t.

The recipe!

CHERRY DUMPLINGS

  • Wash individual pudding cloths in warm water and then rub with shortening and dust slightly with flour. Now place in a bowl
  • One cup of sugar,
  • One and one-half cups of flour,
  • One-half teaspoon of salt,
  • Three level teaspoons of baking powder,
  • One-half cup of fine bread crumbs,
  • One egg,
  • One cup of milk,
  • Two cups of stoned cherries.

Mix and then place one cooking spoon of the mixture into each prepared dumpling cloth. Tie loosely and then plunge into boiling water and cook for twenty minutes. Lift into the colander and let drain for three minutes and then serve with stewed cherries for sauce.

I’d like to try making dumpling sometimes, but without the cloths. Or cobbler. I love me some good cobbler. Maybe the spam folder will be nice and bring me cobbler soon.
Until next time, toodles!

Keema with Peas

This week, the spam folder left off the name of the recipe and I had to go ask Mr. Google what it was.  It’s called Keema with Peas.  That’s something I’d never heard of, but I think it’s an Indian dish.   It has lamb in it, and I knew without asking Fred wouldn’t touch it.  He’ll eat beef, chicken, fish, duck, and deer, but he’ll only eat deer if he’s the one that went hunting.  Lamb he won’t touch.  I think his Mom convinced him that eating lamb was bad for him and what mother says, goes.

Anyway, the recipe!

Keema with Peas

  • 500.0g pack lean minced lamb
  • 1 onion , chopped
  • 2 carrots , diced
  • 2.0 tbsp garam masala
  • 200.0ml hot stock (lamb, beef or chicken)
  • 200.0g frozen peas
  • 800.0g potatoes , diced
  • 1.0 tsp turmeric
  • small bunch coriander , roughly chopped
  • juice half lemon , plus wedges to serve

Meanwhile, cook potatoes in a large pan of salted water until just tender, about 8 mins. Drain well, return to the pan and gently stir in turmeric and coriander - try not to break up the potatoes too much.

Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Transfer the mince to a baking dish and top with the turmeric potatoes. Squeeze over the lemon juice, then bake for 30-35 mins until potatoes are golden. Serve immediately with extra lemon wedges on the side.

This recipe is a weird combination of metric and not, so I double checked where I found the name.  It came from BBC Good Food, which makes sense I guess.    Then I went looking to find out what Garam Masala is.  I think it’s really neat how the recipe varies across regions, kind of like Ras el Hanout.  I like using that in a few recipes, it adds an interesting tang to it, but it isn’t so SPICY that it makes Fred notice.  (Hi dear, if you’re reading this, you do like this spice.)

Until next time, toodles!

English Bath Buns

This week my spam folder brought me something weird.  Well, not weird, but it’s called English Bath Buns.  The good news is that the recipe has nothing to do with bath water, which was Fred’s first question.  I swear, that man.  Has to go straight to the oddness, sometimes I think he’s still thirteen mentally.  Or at least has fits of being a teenager.

English Bath Buns

  • Melt four ounces of butter and then place in a mixing bowl and add
  • One-half cup of sugar,
  • One cup of scalding milk, cooled to 80 degrees.
  • Then add Two well-beaten eggs,
  • One teaspoon of salt,
  • One-half yeast cake.

Stir to thoroughly mix and then add four cups of flour and work to a smooth elastic dough. Grease the mixing bowl well [pg 19] and then put in the dough. Press down well and then turn over. Cover and set to rise for four hours, then turn on a moulding board and knead for two minutes. Cut into pieces for biscuits. Roll between the hands into round balls and then cover and let set on the moulding board for ten minutes. Now press flat with the hands and let rise on a well-greased baking sheet. Let rise for thirty minutes, then brush with a mixture of

Four tablespoonfuls of syrup,

Two tablespoonfuls of water.

Bake in a hot oven for fifteen minutes.

English Bath Bun dough

English Bath Bun dough

That’s what it looked like in my KitchenAid mixer when I put everything in.  Have I mentioned how much I love my KitchenAid recently?  It’s truly an awesome device.

English Bath Bun Dough (Before Rising)

That’s what it looked like before I let it rise for four hours.  The last time I made a recipe that required four hours for the dough to rise, nothing happened.  It turned out awful, so I didn’t have high hopes this time.  But on with the experiment!

English Bath Buns (After Rising)

Well, so, that’s bread dough all right.  I followed the recipe and made little balls of dough.

 

Balls of English Bath Bun Dough

They aren’t pretty, but I wasn’t going for perfection.  I wasn’t sure what kind of syrup this recipe wanted, so I went with melting butter instead.  I melted a quarter-cup of butter, brushed it on, and baked the dough at 450°.  And this is what I got:

 

English Bath Buns

English Bath Buns

Yes, they look a bit goofy, but ohmygoodness, they are SO good.  They rival the Virginia Shortcake in terms of awesomeness.  The Virginia Shortcake only wins that competition because this recipe takes 4 hours for the dough to rise.

Until next time, toodles!

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