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General Moroccan Ground-Meat Mix

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2 cup milk, whole
  • 3 garlic clove
  • 1 onion, small, coarsely chopped
  • 1 large egg
  • ~ salt, Coarse
  • ~ pepper, freshly ground
  • 1-1/4 lb ground chuck, 80 percent to 85 percent lean
  • 1-1/4 lb ground pork, 80 percent to 85 percent lean

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Pulse bread in a food processor until medium-coarse crumbs form (you should have 3 cup breadcrumb).  It might be easier to do this is batches.
  2. Transfer to a bowl.
  3. Stir in milk.
  4. Let stand for 10 min.
  5. Puree garlic and onion until smooth.
  6. Pulse in egg, 2-1/2 tsp salt, and 3/4 tsp pepper to combine.
  7. Mix garlic mixture into breadcrumb mixture.
  8. Add beef and pork combined but do not over-mix.
  9. Divide mixture into 2 portions.

Notes:  Meat mixture can be frozen for up to 1 month.  Thaw in refrigerator overnight, then proceed with recipes.  Meat mixture can be refrigerated for up to 1 day.  Often used to make meat pies.

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Pâte Brisée / All Butter Pie Crust for Pies and Tarts

INGREDIENTS

  • 1-1/4 cup flour, all-purpose, plus extra for rolling
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp (savory crust), or, 1-1/2 tsp sugar (sweet crust for fruit)
  • 8 (if pre-baking crust) to 10 (regular crust) tbsp chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-in cube
  • 3 to 4 tbsp ice-cold water, very cold, without the ice

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Place the flour, salt, and sugar into a food processor.
  2. Pulse until well combined.
  3. Add half of the butter cubes.
  4. Pulse 8 times.
  5. Add the other half of the butter cubes.
  6. Pulse 6 more times.  You should have a mixture that resembles a coarse meal, with many butter pieces the size of peas.
  7. Add two tbsp of ice-cold water to the food processor bowl.
  8. Pulse several times.
  9. Add more ice water, slowly, a teaspoon at a time, pulsing several times after each addition, until the mixture just barely begins to clump together.
  10. Try to keep the water to a minimum.  Too much water will toughen the crust.
  11. Remove the crumbly mixture from the food processor and place on a very clean, smooth surface.
  12. Press the heel of your palm into the crumbly mixture, pressing down and shmooshing the mixture into the table top if you want an extra flaky crust.  This is a French technique, called “fraisage”.
  13. Do this a few times, maybe 4 to 6 times.  It will help your crust be extra flaky.
  14. Use your hands to press the crumbly dough together.
  15. Shape into a disk.
  16. Work the dough only enough to just bring the dough together.  Do not over-knead the dough or the crust will end up not as flaky as you want.
  17. Remove the disk from the refrigerator when you are ready to roll out the dough.
  18. Let it sit for 10 to 15 min to take enough of a chill off of it so that it becomes easier to roll out.
  19. Warm the edges with your hands while the dough disk is still wrapped in plastic.
  20. Massage any cracks in the dough to close them if there are any.
  21. Place the dough disk on a lightly floured, clean flat surface.
  22. Sprinkle some flour on top of the disk.
  23. Use your rolling-pin to press down on the center a few times if the dough is a bit stiff.  No need to be gentle at this point. You’re trying to shock the chilled butter in the dough to loosen up a bit.
  24. Roll out the dough to a 12 inch circle, to a thickness of about 1/8-in thick.
  25. Check if the dough is sticking to the surface below as you roll out the dough.
  26. Add a few sprinkles of flour if necessary to keep the dough from sticking.
  27. Continue on with the recipe you are using the dough for.

Notes:  Pâte brisée (pronounced paht bree-ZAY) is a standard all-butter pastry dough used for making sweet and savory pies and tarts.  It may sound fancy but it’s still good to know.  The ingredients are pretty normal, just the technique is slightly different and the ingredients will vary slightly depending on the type of crust you are making.  If you are blind baking the crust, use 8 tbsp of butter.  The flour to fat ratio will help the crust keep its form when you pre-bake it.  Use 10 tbsp of butter if you are not pre-baking the crust.  The fat to flour ratio will give you a flaky crust, and it will be easier to roll out.

French Bread Sauce

INGREDIENTS

  • 10 oz milk, semi-skimmed
  • 5 fl oz cream, double heavy
  • 1 onion, peeled and studded with 6 cloves
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1-1/4 cup bread crumbs, fresh
  • 1 oz butter

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Gather the ingredients.
  2. Place the milk, cream, onion, and bay leaf into a large saucepan.
  3. Bring to the boil taking care the mixture does not boil over.
  4. Turn the heat off.
  5. Let the pan to stand for about 10 min to cool and for the flavors to gently infuse.
  6. Remove the onion from the pan and keep to one side.
  7. Add the bread crumbs to the pan.
  8. Stir with a wooden spoon until the mixture thickens and becomes smoother. You do not want the sauce to be completely smooth, it should still have the texture of the bread.
  9. Add the butter to the pan.
  10. Stir.
  11. Season with salt and black pepper to taste and serve.

Notes: A traditional Bread sauce is one of the oldest British sauces and dates back to medieval times.  If not using straightaway, then cover the sauce with plastic wrap until required or leave to one side to cool, then freeze.  Shave the light brown crust from the outside of the French stick with a bread knife and discard it. Cut the bread-y center into cubes, about 1-in across to make the bread crumbs.  The onion is too delicious to discard.  Always remove the cloves before proceeding.  Chop the onion into thin strips and add to the gravy to help impart flavor.  Or the onion can be chopped into quarters and served alongside the roast.  It will even freeze well.  Try it with all poultry throughout the year and watch with delight at the discovery of the nutmeg-gy and clove scented sauce with your Sunday roast.

 

Honey Pecan Topping

INGREDIENTS

  • 1⁄2 cup butter, softened
  • 1⁄2 cup honey
  • 1⁄3 cup chopped pecans, toasted

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Combine the butter and honey in a small bowl.
  2. Stir until smooth.
  3. Add nuts.
  4. Stir well.

Notes:  Great on top of French Toast.

Bechamel Sauce

INGREDIENTS

  • 5 tbsp butter, unsalted
  • 1⁄2 cup flour, all-purpose
  • 4 cup milk, whole, warm
  • 1⁄2 tsp salt, to taste
  • 1 pinch ground white pepper, freshly ground to taste
  • 1 pinch nutmeg, freshly grated, to taste

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Melt the butter over medium heat in a 2 quart saucepan.
  2. Add the flour.
  3. Whisk about 2 min until smooth.
  4. Gradually add the warm milk, whisking constantly to prevent any lumps from forming.
  5. Simmer about 10 min over medium heat, whisking constantly, until the sauce is thick, smooth, and creamy.  Do not allow the bechamel sauce to boil.
  6. Remove from the heat and stir in salt and a pinch each of white pepper and nutmeg.
  7. Season the sauce with more salt, pepper and nutmeg to taste.
  8. The sauce can be made up to 3 days ahead.
  9. Cool.
  10. Cover and refrigerate.

Notes:  A basic sauce made by stirring milk into a butter-flour mixture called roux, which determines the thickness.

Maple Pop Tart Glaze

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp heavy cream
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ~ granulated sugar, optional

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Make the glaze by mixing all the ingredients while the tarts are baking.
  2. Microwave 15 to 20 sec since it’ll be super thick.  Microwave right when the tarts are coming out of the oven, because you don’t want the glaze to harden in the bowl.
  3. If it gets too hard, microwave for 5 sec.

Notes:  Top the tarts with a light layer of glaze on the hot pop tart.  Sprinkled a little sugar on top for decoration if desired.

Orange Pop Tart Glaze

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 tbsp melted butter
  • 1 tbsp orange juice concentrate
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar (more or less, until desired consistency is achieved)

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Mix all ingredients together.
  2. Spoon it over the top.

Notes:  Perfect glaze for a cranberry pop tart.