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Saturday, March 08, 2014

Two Week Recipe Round Up: Creamy Feta Salad Dressing, Chili, Yeasted Potato Doughnuts, Tunisian Ftira

Creamy Feta Salad Dressing

This is so simple to make and delicious.

1 cup yogurt
1 cup feta crumbles
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup lemon juice
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon dried dill weed (if you can get fresh, use about 1/4 cup, finely chopped)
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
salt to taste

Whisk all ingredients in a bowl or jar. Serve on salad or as a dip.

Not Texas Chili

I make no claims to this being authentic Texas chili. It is not. I am not from Texas, and neither is this. It is tasty, filling, and relatively quick to make. I have my own thoughts on the one true chili, seeing as how a stew is usually made from what someone has, so I don't think originally it was such a rigid recipe. Nevertheless, mine not only has beans, but also tomatoes, sweet peppers, and corn. We like it this way.

2 pounds ground beef
2 large onions, diced
8 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound sweet peppers, thinly sliced
5 cups cooked black beans
5 cups cooked small red beans (I use pinquitos)
2 pounds canned diced tomatoes with juices
1 pound corn kernels
1/4 cup ancho chile powder
2 tablespoons oregano
1 tablespoons cumin
2 1/2 teaspoon salt (if you're using commercially canned beans and tomatoes, you may want less)
1/2 teaspoon chipotle chile powder (more or less, depending on your taste)
water to thin chili if necessary

serve with:
sour cream
diced onions
chopped cilantro

In a heavy pot, over medium high heat, brown ground beef. If you have a lower fat beef, you may need to add oil to it. Add the onions, garlic and peppers, and cook until the onions are translucent and the peppers are soft. Add in the beans, tomatoes with their juice, corn, chile powder, oregano, cumin, salt, and chipotle powder. Bring to a simmer and cook until the flavors are melded and everything is heated. Thin with water if necessary. Taste to adjust seasonings.

We serve it with the things I listed above, and usually cornbread, too. If there is any left over, and I make double this recipe, I use it to make tamale pie, or serve over baked potatoes, depending on how much we have left. If it's only a small amount, it can be put into quesadillas, if you like. It freezes well, and is even better the next day, but still tastes darned good the first night.

Yeasted Potato Doughuts

Here is our version of yeast risen potato doughnuts. These are wonderful.

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cup plain mashed potatoes
2 eggs
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
5 teaspoons yeast
7 - 8 cups unbleached flour (either bread flour or all purpose)
oil to fry
lemon glaze (recipe following)

Either in your stand mixer, or by hand, beat the butter with the potatoes, eggs, sugar and salt until blended and smooth. Slowly mix in the milk and yeast. Add the flour, one cup at a time, until a smooth dough is made. It might be stickier than you are used to having.

Mix well, and knead well, either by machine or hand. Cover and let rise for an hour and a half. Punch down and let rise again for an hour.

After the second rising, roll out the dough, using one quarter of the dough at a time, on a well floured surface to 1/2" thickness. Using a doughnut cutter or biscuit cutter, or just a knife, cut out your doughnuts.

Heat oil at a depth of at least 2" to approximately 375 F. Fry doughnuts about a minute on each side. Drain on a rack and coat with the lemon glaze.

Lemon Glaze

6 cups powdered sugar
3/4 cup strained lemon juice
1/4 cup boiling water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Whisk all ingredients together.

Tunisian Ftira
modified from: Taste of Beirut's recipe.

3 1/2 unbleached flour (either bread flour or all purpose)
3 cups semolina flour
2 tablespoons yeast
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups water
1/4 cup olive oil
oil to fry
cinnamon sugar (I use a ratio of 1 tablespoon of cinnamon to 1 cup of sugar)

Mix first seven ingredients to combine well. Knead well, either by machine or by hand. Cover and let rise for a few hours or overnight in the refrigerator. Roll dough to 1/2" thickness and cut with a round cutter.

Heat oil at a depth of at least 2" to approximately 375 F. Fry doughnuts about one minute on each side. Drain on a rack and shake in cinnamon sugar.

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