COMIDA CASERA

LA MAGIA DEL PAN

Cinco ingredientes sencillos—harina de trigo, levadura, sal, azucar, y agua. Con manos fuertes, un poco de paciencia, y algo de calor, su vida se llena de una aroma mágico y maravilloso. A continuación, unas recetas para hacer cantidades pequeñas de pan para deleitarse, hechos a mano–una barra o panecillos suficientes para una familia chica. Es una manera perfecta para revivir una tradición de los antepasados en una tarde de pereza y lluvia.

Experiment con la técnica y el tiempo de amasar, la cantidad de harina, y la manera de formar la masa hasta obtener el resultado deseado. Si quiere hacer cantidades mayores, puede doblar o triplicar las cantidades.

PAN BÁSICO:

Mezcla 1 cda (O 1 PAQUETE) DE LEVADURA SECA con 1 cdta AGUA TIBIA y 1 cda AZUCAR. Deje reposar de 10-15 minutos hasta que se formen burbujas en el superficie. Agrega 1 cdta DE SAL y aproximadamente 2 T DE HARINA, suficiente para hacer una masa pegajosa. Amasa hasta que esté lisa y flexible. Cubre y deja reposar hasta doblarse, aproximadamente 1 hora. Desinfle con el puno, amasa ligeramente, y haga la forma deseada–barra, bolillos, panccillos. Cubre y deja reposar de nuevo hasta doblarse, aproximadamente 30 minutos. Horneé 30 minutos a 175 grados C, hasta que se dore.

PAN BLANCO TRADICIONAL:

Agregue 1 cda ACEITE or 1 cda MANTEQUILLA SUAVE y 1 cda AZUCAR antes de agregar la harina.

PANECILLOS:

Agregue 2 cda MANTEQUILLA SUAVE y 2 cda AZUCAR a los ingredientes de Pan Basico.

PAN CON HIERBAS ITALIANAS:

Agregue 1 cda ACEITE DE OLIVA y 1/3 cdta cada una de albahaca seca, oregano seco, polvo de ajo y sal de ajo, mas 2 cdas QUESO ROMANO RALLADO

HOME COOKING

THE MAGIC OF BREAD

Five simple ingredients—flour, yeast, salt, sugar, and water. With strong hands, a little patience, and some heat, your life is full of a wonderful, magical aroma for awhile. Here are a few basic recipes for small quantities of yeasty delights made from scratch and by hand–one loaf or enough rolls for a small family. It’s a perfect way to revive an ancient tradition on a lazy, rainy afternoon.

Experiment with kneading time and technique, amount of flour, and shaping until it turns out like you want it. If you want a bigger batch, you can double or triple the amounts.

BASIC BREAD:

Mix 1 T (OR 1 PACKAGE) DRY YEAST with 1 c LUKEWARM WATER and 1 T SUGAR. Let it set for 10-15 minutes until bubbles form all over the surface. Add 1 t salt and approximately 2 c flour, enough to make a sticky dough. Knead until smooth and elastic. Cover and let rise in a warm place until double in size, about 1 hour. Punch down and shape into loaf, baguette or rolls. Cover and let rise again until double, about 30 minutes. Bake at 350 degrees F until golden brown, about 30 minutes.

TRADITIONAL WHITE BREAD:

Add 1 T OIL or 1 T SOFTENED BUTTER and 1 T SUGAR before adding the flour.

ROLLS:

Add 2 T SOFTENED BUTTER and 2 T SUGAR to Basic Bread recipe.

ITALIAN HERB BREAD:

Add 1 T OLIVE OIL and 1/3 t each of DRIED BASIL, DRIED OREGANO, GARLIC POWDER, and GARLIC SALT, plus 2 T GRATED ROMANO CHEESE.

COOKOFF CHAMPION CHILI

This chili recipe is adapted from traditional birria, popular in the state of Jalisco and the city of Guadalajara. Birria is usually made with goat meat, but I used ground beef in this one. This chili won first prize in a chili cook-off at Bells High School in Bells, Texas, where I taught Spanish for ten years.

  1. (REMOVE seeds and stems from the chiles and chop them coarsely.)
  2. SAUTÉ 1 GARLIC CLOVE, 1/4 MEDIUM SLICED ONION, 50 g (1.76 oz) PASILLA* CHILE, 25 g (0.88 oz) ANCHO* CHILE in 1 1/2 T OIL
  3. ADD 1 c WATER, 2 cubes MAGGI TOMATO BOUILLION, and 1 1/2 t CUMIN
  4. BRING mixture to a boil, then cool and process in blender
  5. STRAIN and return the strained mixture to heat
  6. ADD 1/4 c WATER and 1 cube MAGGI TOMATO BOUILLION
  7. STIR IN 3 1/2 lbs GROUND BEEF
  8. COOK over medium heat until the meat is done
  9. SERVE with LIME JUICE, OREGANO, and CHOPPED ONION on top.

*Chiles have different names, depending on whether they are fresh or dried. On the left, the fresh version. On the right, what it’s called after it’s dried. If you are cooking outside of Mexico, this guide will help if the names are different. You can see what they look like.

Biscuits and Pancakes

You don’t need to spend money on packaged biscuit and pancake mixes. This homemade mix is easy and works just as well as the store-bought product. If you don’t have powdered milk, you can leave it out of the mix and add milk instead of water when you make the biscuits or pancakes.


The Mix

Whisk together 2 c FLOUR, 1 T BAKING POWDER, 1/2 t SALT, and 1/2 c POWDERED MILK. Store in a closed container in a cool dry place.


Biscuits

Add 1/3 c OIL to 2 c MIX and enough WATER to make a soft dough. Knead gently for about 10 strokes. Use extra flour to avoid sticking. Form into balls and flatten to biscuit shape. Bake at 400º F for 10-12 minutes.


Pancakes

Mix together 2 c MIX, 1/3 c OIL, 1 EGG, and enough WATER to make a runny batter. Heat the skillet or griddle until a drop of water bounces off. Pour enough batter to make the size pancake you want. When it is dry around the edges and has bubbles all over the top, flip it over and finish cooking.

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