Sunday, February 10, 2013

Cooking "Outside the Box":

Cheerfully Answering the Question "What's For Dinner?"

Class by Krista Schimmelbusch

Below are the wonderful recipes from Krista's popular class.

Homemade Powdered Milk Yogurt

NotesIt is important that you NOT use instant powdered milk! The powdered milk from the distribution center is not instant and works great, but if you want to use another powdered milk, make sure that it isn't instant.

Also, I use Nancy's lowfat plain yogurt for my "starter" because it has a wide variety of good active live cultures. Your starter yogurt must contain live active cultures and if it does it will be written on the container.

The "additional powdered milk" called for in the following recipes is the portion of powdered milk called for beyond that required to reconstitute the milk for regular consumption. All recipes call for "additional powdered milk" this is a more natural way to thicken yogurt than gelatin or food starch that is often found in commercial yogurt. You can make the yogurt thicker into Greek style if you strain it in a colander lined with a thin dish towel or cheese cloth for an hour or two. The longer you strain it, the thicker it becomes. You can strain it to be as thick as cream cheese and use it as a cream cheese substitute if you want. You can use the strained liquid as a buttermilk substitute. You can sweeten with sugar, honey or agave and flavor the yogurt best after it has been strained. I like to add good vanilla bean vanilla extract. This is also good flavored with freezer jam!

The first time you make this it is recommended that you take the temperature of your milk before adding the yogurt starter to your warmed milk. You'll want to make sure that the temperature of your particular crock pot reaches the 110-115 degrees. Once you know your milk is that temperature after the 3 hour cooling off stage, you won't need to check the temperature any more. If your milk is either too hot or too cold, just adjust the time that your milk cools in the crock pot before adding the starter.
Anyone may call me if they have problems or questions.
Krista Schimmelbusch


Ingredients for nonfat yogurt: (all powdered milk)

  • 1 1/2 cup nonfat dry milk
  • 1 1/3 cup nonfat dry milk "additional powdered milk"
  • 8 cups water
  • 1/2 cup lowfat plain yogurt (with live active cultures).
Ingredients for low fat yogurt:
  • 3/4 cups nonfat dry milk
  • 4 cups water
  • 4 cups whole milk
  • An additional 1 1/3 cups powdered milk
Ingredients for whole milk yogurt:
  • 8 cups whole milk
  • An additional 11/3 cup powdered milk
An economical healthy and DELICIOUS way to rotate food storage powdered milk!
 In a blender combine all the powdered milk and the water until processed. You might need to blend it in two batches depending on the capacity of your blender. Pour the blended milk into a non reactive ceramic crock pot and turn it on low for 2 1/2 hours. Turn the crock pot off and let it sit on the counter for 3 hours until temperature cools down to between 110 and 115 degrees. Remove 1 cup of the warmed milk and add 1/2 cup lowfat yogurt that contains live active cultures to the cup of milk. Gently blend, it is best if there are still some visible lumps of yougurt in the mix. Pour the yogurt milk mixture back into the crock pot and wrap the crock pot with a thick towel. Place in an oven ( with the light on) and let it sit for 8 hours. When yogurt done, if you want a thicker Greek style yogurt you can pour it into a strainer covered with a "flour sack" dish towel over a bowl to strain and chill. For a thinner yogurt you can just refrigerate the yogurt as is. Yogurt becomes runnier the more it is stirred. I am very careful with it unless it is strained. I think if you want to sweeten or add fruit to it, it works best if you strain it good and then you can stir it without it losing it's thickness.
Nutritional Info:
Serving Size 1 serving (294.8 g) Amount Per Serving Calories 164Calories from Fat 5 % Daily Value* Total Fat 0.6g1% Saturated Fat 0.4g2% Cholesterol 9mg3% Sodium 245mg10% Total Carbohydrates 23.2g8% Sugars 23.2g Protein 16.2g Vitamin A 0% • Vitamin C 5% Calcium 57% • Iron 1%

Béchamel Sauce (White Sauce)

  • 5 tablespoons butter
  • 7 tablespoons flour
  • 4 cups hot milk
  • 1 teaspoon salt and several
  • grinds of white pepper
Special Equipment Suggested:
  • A heavy-bottomed 2 1/2-quart stainless saucepan for the sauce;
  • a wooden spatula or spoon; a small saucepan for the milk;
  • a wire whisk
The white roux. Melt the butter in the 2 1/2-quart saucepan, then blend in the flour with a wooden spoon to make a smooth somewhat loose paste. Stir over moderate heat until the butter and flour foam together for 2 minutes without coloring more than a buttery yellow. Pour in the milk at once, whisking vigorously to blend tho-roughly. Then whisk rather slowly over moderately high heat, reaching all over the bottom and sides of the pan, until the sauce comes to a simmer; simmer 2 to 3 minutes, stirring with a wooden spoon. The sauce should be thick enough to coat a spoon nicely. Whisk in the salt and pepper, tasting very carefully and adding more as needed.
Ahead-of-time note: To prevent a skin from forming over the surfaceof the sauce, (1) whisk it every few minutes until it has cooled, or (2) press a sheet of plastic wrap right down onto the surface. The sauce will keep 2 to 3 days under refrigeration or may be frozen.
For a thicker or thinner sauce
Thin sauce, such as for cream soups:
1 tablespoon flour and 3/4 tablespoon butter per cup of milk.
Thick sauce, such as for cheese soufflés:
2 tablespoons flour and 1 1/2 tablespoons butter per cup of milk
For a lighter or richer sauce, use skim milk for the former, or, for a rich sauce, use half-and-half or whisk several tablespoons of butter into the finished sauce.
First aid for a lumpy sauce: Push it through a mine-meshed sieve, then whirl it in an electric blender, and finally whisk it over heat until it simmers a moment.
Source: The Way to Cook by Julia Child

Mornay Sauce (Cheese Sauce)

  • 1 recipe béchamel sauce
  • 1 cup grated cheese
Make either a white or a velouté sauce, and let it cool several minutes before whisking it grated cheese. Proportions are usually 1/4 cup of cheese per cup of sauce, and the cheese is usually Swiss, although you may use any kind you wish. Usually, too, a speck of nutmeg is included.

First aid for stringy cheese sauce: When cheese is added to a very hot sauce the sauce can become stringy – Swiss cheese is often the culprit here. To remedy, bring it to the simmer whisking in drops of lemon juice

Source: The Way to Cook by Julia Child

Master Recipe

Velouté Soup Base

For about 2 quarts
4 tablespoons butter
3/4 cup to 1 1/2 cups minced onion and/or white of leek – the amount depending on
         your other ingredients
1/4 cup flour
7 to 8 cups liquid: chicken or fish stock and/or milk or vegetable cooking liquid – of which at least 1          cup is hot 
Salt and freshly ground white pepper

Special Equipment Suggested:
A heavy-bottomed 3-quart stainless saucepan

Set the saucepan over moderately low heat, add the butter, and, when melted, stir in the onions. Cover and cook slowly 7 to 8 minutes, or until the onions are tender and translucent. Blend in the flour. Stir slowly for 3 minutes, to cook the flour without letting it color… [illustration included in cookbook] Remove from heat, and in a few seconds, when bubbling stops, pour in 1 cup of hot liquid all at once, whisking vigorously to blend smooth-ly. Whisk in 6 more cups. Bring to the simmer, stirring frequently to be sure the soup is not scorching on the bottom of the pan. The soup base should be slightly  thickened, enough to coat a spoon lightly… add dollops more liquid if too thick. Correct seasoning, and continue as your recipe directs.

Ahead-of-time note for roux-based soups and sauces: Warm flour-based soups and sauces will form a skin over their surface. The skin will not form if you stir the soup frequently until it is cool. Or fill a large kitchen spoon with stock or milk and lay the spoon just over the surface, tipping it to let the liquid float on top. Or lay a sheet of plastic wrap on top of the surface, pressing it well.


Cream of Mushroom Soup

“Use this as a general model for all velouté soups, and since the base itself is well flavored, the actual amount of other ingredients you add is not too important. For instance, the following recipe calls for 1 quart of mushrooms, but just a handful will give the mushroom impression.”

For about 2 1/4 quarts, serving 6
Ingredients for the preceding Velouté Soup Base, made with 1 cup of hot chicken broth and
6 or more cups of milk
1 quart fresh mushrooms, trimmed,
washed, and diced
1/4 teaspoon dried tarragon leaves
1/2 cup or more sour cream,
heavy cream, or crème fraîche,
Salt and freshly ground white pepper
Drops of fresh lemon juice, if needed

Suggested decoration:
Springs of fresh tarragon; or slivers of neatly sliced raw mushroom caps tossed in drops of lemon juice; or a fluted stewed mushroom cap for each serving

Special Equipment Suggested:
A food processor is useful for mincing the mushrooms

Finishing the soup and serving. Bring the soup base to the simmer, and fold in the mushrooms and tarragon; simmer 10 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent scorching. Stir in the optional cream, simmer a moment more, and carefully correct seasoning, adding drops of lemon juice if you think they are needed. Decorate each serving, if you wish, as suggested.

Other Cream of Vegetable Soups
"Make other vegetable soups in much the same way, either simmering the vegetables in the velouté base as for the preceding mushroom soup,or cooking them separately as for the following broccoli soup. Here the soup is puréed, and given a final decoration of broccoli buds."


Cream of Broccoli Soup

For about 2 1/2 quarts, serving 6 to 8
2 large heads of fresh broccoli  (1 1/4 to 1 1/2 pounds)
Salt and freshly ground white pepper
Ingredients for the Velouté Soup Base
1/2 cup or more sour cream, heavy cream,
or crème fraîche, optional
Drops of lemon juice, if needed
2 tablespoons butter, optional

Special Equipment Suggested:
An electric blender or a food processor – the blender does a faster and better job
of puréeing – or a vegetable mill

Preparing the broccoli. Wash the broccoli. Trim an inch or so off the woody ends of each stem, and peel the stems with a knife up to where the bud branches begin, taking off a scant 1/16 inch of the tough outer green skin. Cut off the tiny branches and bud ends of the broccoli flowerettes, and reserve. Cut the remaining stalks into 1/4-inch slices.
Preliminary cooking of the broccoli. Place the sliced broccoli in a saucepan; add 1/2 inch of water and 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Bring to the boil and boil slowly uncovered 4 to 5 minutes, adding a little more water if necessary, until the pieces are barely tender and a fine bright green. Drain through a sieve set over a bowl, and return the cooking liquid to the saucepan. Purée the steamed broccoli with a cup or so of the soup base, pouring the purée back into the remaining soup – which will now be a lovely fresh pale green. Simmer the reserve broccoli buds in the cooking liquid for 2 to 3 minutes, drain the cooking liquid into another saucepan, and boil down rapidly to less than 1 cup; pour the liquid into the soup base. Meanwhile, run cold water over the broccoli buds to set  the color, and reserve for the final decoration.

Ahead-of-time note: To preserve its green color chill the soup uncovered.

Finishing the soup. Shortly before serving, bring the soup to the simmer. Stir in the cream if you are using it. Simmer 2 to 3 minutes uncovered – always watching that it does not scorch! Taste carefully for seasoning, adding lemon juice if you think it needed. (The broccoli buds: rather than leaving them as is, you may wish to sauté them briefly in 2 table-spoons of butter.)
Serving. Pour the soup into a warmed tureen for serving at the table, or into warmed soup cups or plates. Decorate with the broccoli buds.

Costco Rotisserie Chicken Stock

1-2 Costco Rotisserie Chickens
1 large yellow onion
1 large carrot
1 celery stalk
1 bay leaf
A few black pepper corns
Optional- herbs or parsley

Pick the meat off the chickens when they have cooled enough to handle them. Place bones and skin in a large tall pot. Slice the onion into quarters and put it and the other things in a pot. Add cold water until it covers the meat by about 1 inch. Bring to a simmer over medium high heat, and then turn the heat down to maintain a gentle simmer. Don't let it boil rapidly. Just legit ever so gently bible on the stove for at least two hour or all day.( it makes the house smell wonderful!). Strain the stock by purring it through a mesh strainer or colander. Skim the fat off and liberally add salt. Use in a day or two, or freeze for later use.

Mama Leone's Chicken Soup (made with homemade chicken stock)

Note: This is an example of a Velouté soup

Servings: 12
Chicken Stock:
  • 1-2 Costco Rotisserie Chickens (depending on how much stock you want to have)
  • carrot, celery, onion, bay leaf
  • pepper corns
  • Salt to taste
Soup Ingredients:
  • 2 T veg oil
  • 3 T butter
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 3 stalks celery, diced
  • 1 T minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp tarragon
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 2 tsp Hungarian sweet paprika
  • 2 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 T flour
  • 8 cups chicken broth
  • 14.5-oz can diced tomatoes w/juice
  • 3/4 cup cream
  • 2 cups thinly sliced spinach
 Optional Additions:
  • Chopped Marinated Artichoke hearts
  • Mushrooms
  • A squeeze of fresh lemon
Pull the chicken meat off the bones and reserve 3 cups meat for soup. Place bones and skin in a stock pot along with the stock ingredients. Cover with water and gently simmer for at least 2 hours on very low heat. When the bones have released their flavor and stock is rich, strain. Skim the fat off of the broth. Don't forget to salt the stock to taste.
Heat oil and butter and saute onions and celery until onions are translucent, 6-7 minutes. Add garlic, tarragon, oregano, paprika, salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, 3-4 min.
Add flour and stir until well-combined. Sauté for 2 minutes. Don't let it brown. Slowly whisk in broth and bring to a boil. Add tomatoes. Reduce heat and simmer about 20 minutes, or until veggies are cooked. Just before serving, add reserved chicken, cream and fresh spinach. Bring up to a simmer and serve. (Don't boil after adding the cream). For a lighter version, you can skip the cream and it is delicious too!
Source: Krista's Version of Mama Leone's Soup

Chicken Pot Pie

Note: this is made using a velouté sauce

  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 cup chopped carrots
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 cup cubes potatoes
  •  1/2 cup flour
  •  2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup half and half or milk
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 4 cups chopped rotisserie chicken
  •  1 pie crust (homemade or pre made)

Heat butter in a heavy sauce pan. Sauté all the vegetables for 10 minutes. Stir in the flour and cook flour for at least 2 minutes. Then stir in the broth and stir until thick. Add the cream or milk and stir until thickened. Add the peas, salt, pepper and chicken. Pour into a 2 quart shallow casserole dish and top with the pie crust. You can brush the crust with a little milk or egg wash (a beaten egg with 1 tbs water whisked together). Prick the top of the crust with a sharp knife and sprickle lightly with salt and pepper. Bake 400° oven for 30 minutes.

Source: My Collection

No Knead Bread

Servings: one 1 pound loaf
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon instant yeast
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water
  • Covered pot (five-quart or larger cast iron, Pyrex, ceramic, enamel...something that can go into a 450F oven.)

1. Mix dough: The night before or the morning of depending on when you want it to be ready. Combine all ingredients in a big bowl with a wooden spoon until the dough just comes together. It will be a shaggy, doughy mess. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit 12-20 hours on countertop.

2. 2 hours before baking: The dough will now be wet, sticky and bubbly. With wet hands, gently shape the dough into a ball being careful not to lose too many of the bubbles. Place a large sheet of parchment paper or a dish towel on the counter. GENEROUSLY sprinkle the towel or paper with flour so that it will release from the towel when ready to bake. Place dough seam side down on the floured surface. Lift parchment paper or towel up with dough and place into a large bowl. Cover bowl with a towel. Let it nap for 2 hours. When you've got about a half hour left, slip your covered pot into the oven and preheat to 450F.

3. Bake: Your dough should have doubled in size. Remove pot from oven. Grab the ends of the parchment paper or towel and lift entire wobbly dough blob out of bowl and gently turn the bread over and place it into the pot (seam side up). Cover. Bake 30 minutes. Uncover, bake another 15-20 minutes or until the crust is beautifully golden and middle of loaf is 210F. Remove and let cool on wired rack. If not eating right away, you can re-crisp crust in 350F oven for 10 minutes. Best way to eat it? Smear a warm slice with some good butter (Kerrygold and Lurpac are both found in your grocery stores, usually on top shelf)

Notes: Mark Bittman of NY Times who got it from Sullivan Street Bakery. When the recipe first came out, it was the blogging community who took the bread to new heights, especially Rose Levy Beranbaum, author of The Bread Bible. 

Mom's Dijon Vinaigrette


  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 t. salt
  • 1/8 t. black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • (Optional) Fresh herbs, I really like fresh tarragon

Mix the vinegar, mustard, salt and pepper until the salt is dissolved. Then slowly whisk in the olive oil in a thin stream to emulsify.