Compound Butter

Lisa at Photosynthesis in Ames turned us on to compound butter on Thanksgiving. She served it with Parker House rolls…seriously, I thought it was the best part of the meal. It turns out all salts AND sugars make great compound butters! Use them on baked goods, steak, veggies, toast, you name it!

These aren’t ours, but don’t they look lovely?

These aren’t ours, but don’t they look lovely?

INGREDIENTS
1 stick of butter
2 tsp of Saltlickers
Parchment or waxed paper if you’re want a log shape
Fresh herbs if you wish

Let the butter soften at room temp then stir in the spice (and herbs). Place the butter on a sheet of parchment or waxed paper, roll into a log, and chill for at least two hours.

Leftover Mashed Potato Pancakes

How much salt you put in depends on how salty the original mashed potatoes are. Most of our blends would work well. We used 1/2 tsp Cy Salt and 1/2 tsp Alliyum, but you could easily use 1/2 tbsp of each, if your potatoes are unsalted.

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INGREDIENTS
2 c leftover mashed potatoes
1 egg
1/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp Cy Salt
1/2 tsp Alliyum
Butter, oil or shortening for frying

INSTRUCTIONS
Mix all the ingredients. Pancakes made from 1/4 of a cup of batter turn out best, we found. Heat fat in a big pan, fry both side on medium high heat. Dust with Alliyum. Reheat in a 400 degree oven for about 10 minutes.

WHAT’S THAT SAUCE?
Equal parts of our homemade horseradish and this salad, plus a big glob of mayo thrown in.


Spiced Nilla Wafer Cookies

This recipe works with Das Bigfoot, Bangla-dash or Roxy Taco. Bangla-dash wafers call for one more tsp of spice than Das Bigfoot or Roxy wafers. You can use regular-sized Nilla wafers, but we like the minis. Reduced fat Nilla wafers work great too—they’re harder and they absorb the oil and spice well. I first butter tried on these, but oil’s better!

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INGREDIENTS
1 11 oz box Nilla Wafers
1 tbsp canola oil
2 tsp Roxy Taco OR
2 tsp Roxy Taco OR
3 tsp Bangla-dash

INSTRUCTIONS
Preheat oven to 300.

Spread the wafers on a foil-covered cookie sheet. Pour the oil over them and toss with spice, 1/2 tsp at a time. Use your hands to make sure everything’s evenly distributed. Bake for 5 minutes. They will crisp when they cool.

Benedictine Alliyum Sammies

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Benedictine is a traditional crustless cream cheese cucumber sandwich served on Derby Day. They actually use green food coloring, but we used Alliyum to give this crustless white bread wonder serious pizzaz.

1/2 cucumber, peeled, seeded, grated, drained for about 1/2 hour
8 oz. cream cheese, soft
1 Tbsp. mayonnaise
8 slices white bread, crusts removed
3 red leaf lettuce leaves
1.5 tsp Alliyum or to taste

Peel and grate the cucumber into a strainer. In the bowl, combine the cream cheese, mayonnaise, and Alliyum. Spread about 1/4" of goop onto each slice, spreading just almost to the edges of the bread. Top with lettuce. Sandwichify. Cut diagonally into four triangles.

Orange caramel bacon popcorn

I invented this for a tasting at Wheatsfield. I used Roxy Taco, but you could try Das Bigfoot, Alliyum, Smoke Licker, Grilla Gorilla or GGX, Cha-cha Lima, or Coco Corazon. The orange juice brings out the zing in the spice, but you can do without it. You can also cook it in a smoker for an hour instead of the oven if you're cray-cray like me.

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20 cups unsalted corn
1 lb bacon, fried to just about crispy, drained and chopped
      (I cooked mine between paper towels in the microwave for 6 minutes)
1 cup butter
2 cups brown sugar
1⁄2 cup light corn syrup or 1⁄2 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup orange juice
1 tbsp Saltlickers seasoning: Roxy Taco, Das Bigfoot, Alliyum, Grilla Gorilla or GGX, Cha-cha Lima, or Coco Corazon
1⁄2 tsp baking soda

Preheat your oven or smoker to 250º. Melt butter over medium heat. Mix in brown sugar, corn syrup, orange juice and salt. Stir until boiling at the edges. Lower the heat slightly and let boil until the caramel is 250º. Remove from heat and add the baking soda. Stir in the bacon.

Put the popcorn into a giant bowl and pour the caramel over it. Mix well. It's hard. You may feel like your arm is going to fall off. Divide the popcorn between two slightly oiled cookie sheets and cook for 45 minutes to an hour, mixing every 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and let it cool. Break the slabs into an air-tight container and refrigerate.

Go nuts with your DOUGHNUTS!

From Mark Bittman in the New York Times
PREP TIME: 2 hours
COOKING TIME: 15 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 2.25 hours

Dusted with 1.5 tbsp Iowa Nice + 1.5 tbsp Coco Corazón + 1 tbsp Roxy Taco. Sweet, salty and spicy

Dusted with 1.5 tbsp Iowa Nice + 1.5 tbsp Coco Corazón + 1 tbsp Roxy Taco. Sweet, salty and spicy

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 ¼ cups milk
  • 2 ¼ teaspoons (one package) active dry yeast
  • 2 eggs
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, melted and cooled
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 ¼ cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling out the dough
  • 2 quarts neutral oil, for frying, plus more for the bowl
  • Some good flavors to try: Iowa Nice, Cha-cha Lima, Alliyum, Das Bigfoot, Cy
  1. Heat the milk until it is warm but not hot, about 90 degrees. In a large bowl, combine it with the yeast. Stir lightly, and let sit until the mixture is foamy, about 5 minutes.
     
  2. Using an electric mixer or a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, beat the eggs, butter, sugar and salt into the yeast mixture. Add half of the flour (2 cups plus 2 tablespoons), and mix until combined, then mix in the rest of the flour until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Add more flour, about 2 tablespoons at a time, if the dough is too wet. If you’re using an electric mixer, the dough will probably become too thick to beat; when it does, transfer it to a floured surface, and gently knead it until smooth. Grease a large bowl with a little oil. Transfer the dough to the bowl, and cover. Let rise at room temperature until it doubles in size, about 1 hour.
     
  3. Turn the dough out onto a well-floured surface, and roll it to 1/2-inch thickness. Cut out the doughnuts with a doughnut cutter, concentric cookie cutters or a drinking glass and a shot glass (the larger one should be about 3 inches in diameter), flouring the cutters as you go. Reserve the doughnut holes. If you’re making filled doughnuts, don’t cut out the middle. Knead any scraps together, being careful not to overwork, and let rest for a few minutes before repeating the process.
     
  4. Put the doughnuts on two floured baking sheets so that there is plenty of room between each one. Cover with a kitchen towel, and let rise in a warm place until they are slightly puffed up and delicate, about 45 minutes. If your kitchen isn’t warm, heat the oven to 200 at the beginning of this step, then turn off the heat, put the baking sheets in the oven and leave the door ajar.
     
  5. About 15 minutes before the doughnuts are done rising, put the oil in a heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven over medium heat, and heat it to 375. Meanwhile, line cooling racks, baking sheets or plates with paper towels.
     
  6. Add the doughnuts to the oil, a few at a time. If they’re too delicate to pick up with your fingers (they may be this way only if you rose them in the oven), use a metal spatula to pick them up and slide them into the oil. It’s O.K. if they deflate a bit; they’ll puff back up as they fry. When the bottoms are deep golden, after 45 seconds to a minute, use a slotted spoon to flip; cook until they’re deep golden all over. Doughnut holes cook faster. Transfer the doughnuts to the prepared plates or racks, and sprinkle with your favorite Saltlickers spices. Serve immediately.

Strawberry Spinach Salad

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1 pint of strawberries, trimmed and cut in half
1 lb fresh spinach
1/4 cup slivered red onion
Alliyum or Whassamatterhorn
Fruit, white or champagne vinegar
1/4 c crumbled feta, goat or farmers cheese (optional)
1/2 c chopped toasted walnuts (optional)

Toss Alliyum or Whassamatterhorn on the strawberries to taste in a big bowl. Add spinach and nuts. Splash the vinegar on the greens, toss. Add feta and walnuts, and toss again. Taste for Alliyum or Whassamatterhorn and vinegar. Add more if you need them.

Christiana's Watermelon Beet Salsa

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"Who'da thunk the beet/watermelon combo would be so delicious?" Christiana asked in our email exchange.

"I would think it would be great! The family veggie stand next to us at the Downtown Des Moines Farmers' Marke gave us FOUR bunches of beets on Saturday. It was like that joke where someone breaks your back windshield and throws in an accordion," I replied.

1.5 cups of watermelon, cut into 1/2" cubes
1 shucked corncob’s worth of kernels
½ a small zucchini, cut into ½" cubes
1 green onion
1 jalapeno, deseeded and minced
1/4 cup leftover cold chopped beets, optional
Juice of half a lime
Coarse ground black pepper
1 tsp. Alliyum, Cha-cha Lima or Roxy Taco

Combine all into a bowl and enjoy with Luke's Organic multigrain chips, or, as a side dish/salad.

Deviled Eggs 2.0

The Deviled Eggs 2.0 class at Wheatsfield Cooperative was a blast! Thanks, egg lovers, for coming out—though my demo eggs (13 minutes steamed versus 13 minutes boiled) did not cut the mustard (HA!), And thank you infinity, Susan Jasper, for making it happen! You're the hostess with the mostess! Here are my notes and recipes from class, plus a few bonus recipes thrown in.

Basic Hard-boiled Eggs
The Best Hard Boiled Eggs are Steamed!

Get a pot of water boiling in a double boiler. 
Steam eggs for 13 minutes. 
Plunge in an ice bath for at least 15 minutes but no more than 45. 
Peel and use.

Deviled Egg Basics
Egg yolks are a neutral fat, and they suck up flavor like a black hole sucks up light. Salt alone won't cut it. Tangy flavors—like mustard, vinegar and pickles—climb over the fat and give the egg taste. Onions, herbs, and spices are good, too, but they don't make the taste pop. The more fat you add, the more tang you need.
The basic rules are:

2 tbsp+ different fat (mayo, sour cream, yogurt, cream cheese, oil, avocados, etc.)
1/2 tsp Tang (mustard, vinegar, pickles, capers, miso, etc.)
Optional: salt, crunch (onions, nuts, bread crumbs), chopped fresh herbs
Whip the fillings in food processor for maximum creaminess

Alliyum Roasted Mushroom Eggs
Sprinkle with Alliyum and fresh chopped parsley.
Alliyum creates almost a sweet/salty taste atop these very rich, umami eggs. The leftover filling makes a great spread on toast, a filling for ravioli, or a layer on a veggie lasagna, etc.

Filling: 6 eggs yolks
1/2 lb lb fresh (preferably wild) mushrooms tossed in olive oil, spinkled with salt and pepper and roasted at 300 for 1 hr.
3 oz cream cheese
2 tsp red vinegar
2 tsp dijon mustard
2 tsp horseradish if you want heat

Roxy Eggs (healthy fats)
Yogurt is a fat with built-in tang. 
Together with the avocado, this egg is deceptively rich, but actually light on bad fat
Sprinkle with Roxy Taco and chopped cilantro

Filling: 6 eggs yolks
2 tbsp plain yogurt
1 avocado
1 tsp Roxy Taco
1 scallion, the white part chopped fine
Squeeze of 1/2 lime

Cy Eggs (Hearty and hummusy)
These hearty Mediterranean style eggs could double as a main picnic dish. 
The leftover filling makes a great side salad. 
Sprinkle with Cy Salt and chopped red onion

Filling: 6 eggs yolks
4 tbsp hummus
1/2 cup tabouli
1 tsp mustard
1/2 tsp curry powder
Squeeze of 1 lemon

Spicy GGX Pimento Eggs
4 TBS of mayo or sour cream would substitute nicely here, but the cream cheese gives it heft. The pimentos are sweet and turn the filling bright orange. Sprinkle with GGX and chopped chives.

Filling: 6 eggs yolks
3 oz cream cheese
1.5 tsp mustard
2 tbsp pimentos
1 tsp pickle juice if you've got it for maximum wow
1 tsp GGX

Bean Burgers

  • 1/4 sunflower seeds
  • 2 cups (about 1 can) any kind of beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 c minced onion
  • 2 Tbsp ketchup
  • 1 Tbsp wheat germ or rolled oats
  • 1 Tsp Roxy Taco (goes great with black beans or black eyed peas) or Cy Salt (goes great with pink or white beans) or Alliyum (goes great with white beans)
  • I also like to throw a chopped chipotle in adobo sauce into the black bean burgers.
  • Chopped roasted mushrooms (roasted without oil) are great in all of them, too.  

Mush everything up—in a food processor or by hand. Form six 1.5" high patties and place on a lightly spray-oiled baking sheet. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes, let cool, reform the patties and bake for another 10 minutes. Serve in a whole wheat pita.

Adapted from Eat to Live.