Recipies for the Homestead

Double update today! Why? Because I wanted to post something that was a little less a record of my life and a little bit more universal. So I am going to write about the top 3 of my favorite foods we make on the homestead!

#1; Curry!

I don’t understand when people don’t know how to make curry. If you have a good spice cabinet, whipping up a curry is easier than pie. I make several types of curries but they all have the same basic form. The recipe I’d like to share is what I like to call my quick and dirty veggie curry. It’s a very quick recipe that I use when I just have a curry hankering. Sometimes I make it for lunch! Unlike block curries or other premade curries, this is a recipe that can be adjusted to serving sizes small enough for one or big enough for 50. It can also be altered to spiciness and ingredients vary widely!

  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp Curry Powder
  • 1 big clove garlic
  • 1/2 small onion
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • Cayenne Pepper
  • Black Pepper
  • Salt
  • Flour or Corn Starch
  • Water
  • 1 medium potato (about 4 inches long)
  • 1 carrot
  • Beef Bullion
  • Other veggies to taste. I use frozen green beans and brocoli. Other good veggies are peppers, squash, peas (both whole pods or frozen) cauliflower, bamboo, basil leaves, baby corn, bok choy, green onions… You can add almost anything to curry.
  • You can also add chickpeas, tofu or lentils if you like those things
  • For vegan curry substitute beef bullion for vegetable bullion and 1 tbsp tomato sauce. Butter can be exchanged with 1tbsp olive oil and 1tsp flour.
  • Serves 1-3

Start your rice. I usually count on about 2/3C dry rice per person but I love rice. To cook rice without a rice cooker but 1C rice in a pot with 2C water and boil. When it becomes very thick and soupy, turn the heat to very low, put a lid on it and let it sit for 10 minutes. The ratio for rice is almost always 1 part rice to 2 parts water. For stiffer rice add an extra 3/4tbsp of dry rice per cup.

This is pretty simple to concoct. Dice your onion and garlic. Throw your butter in a pot and start frying your onion and garlic. When it starts to brown, add your spices and bullion. Cayenne pepper is to taste as well as black pepper and salt to adjust spicy levels. A little salt goes a long way in this recipe and brings out flavor without adding spice. Make sure you DO add at least a pinch of cayenne and black pepper to the meal or it won’t taste quite right.

Add about 1/4 water and let it simmer, stirring until the bullion dissolves. Sprinkle in flour very lightly, stirring constantly. The flour will cook into dumpling-like clumps if it’s not sprinkled. I just use a fork and mash any lumps on the side. Keep adding flour until the mixture is very thick and paste-like. You have just made what goes into a curry block.

Add your hard root veggies (cut into chunks) and fill with water until they’re covered and then add about 1/2 cup more water. Stir well, then let them boil until they’re ALMOST done the way you like them. (I like mine a little crunchy!) Then add any frozen veggies, tofu, leafy veggies, etc and cook for another minute. Stir-well, serve over rice! I like mine to have a sheet of toasted seaweed underneath the curry and rice. Feeds my boyfriend and I a big dinner or 3 people a big lunch!

#2 Steak!

I love steaks as much as the next person, but I am picky about how I make them. I serve this, too, with rice but it tastes just as good if you like bread instead. I like to eat this over a sheet of toasted seaweed as well!

  • 2 steaks (I use sirloin tip roasts cut into steaks) about 1/2 inch thick, and 4-5 inches across.
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • Black pepper
  • coriander
  • Crushed Red Peppers OR paprika and cayenne
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • Veggies and a starch
  • Serves 2

So I like to make this with rice as my starch and asparagus and carrots as my veggies. I simply drop the carrots (cut into sticks) on the top of my cooking rice. I cook the asparagus in the same pan as the steaks when they’re done by just trimming the woody ends and dropping them in the pan with a bit of water. However you can use almost anything for this. I have used brocoli and green beans as veggies and mashed potatoes as a starch. No matter how you serve the sides, this asian/european fusion steak compliments almost anything.

Put a small frying pan on a hot burner and add the olive oil. Put the steaks in immediately while the pan is still cold and use them to spread the olive oil over the bottom of the pan by rubbing them on it. Sprinkle black pepper and coriander on the steak somewhat liberally and add a sprinkling of crushed red pepper or cayenne/paprika to taste. When the steaks start frying well and have a bit of brown coming up the side, flip them and season the other side the same way. Pour the soysauce over the steaks and keep them moving through the pan. When the soy sauce has almost cooked out, flip the steaks again. Brown the steaks on both sides until they are a rich chocolatey color from the soy and you can see no pink on the sides. Serve hot with starch and veggies!

#3 Pizza!

Pizza dough is so stupid easy to make. There are two ways to do it. The first is the yeast way which makes a traditional pizza dough. I just use this recipe;

http://allrecipes.com/recipe/pizza-dough-i/

But if you don’t have yeast you can use baking powder, soda and a bit of vinegar as if you were making pancakes. I also like to use an egg instead of some of the water for a little more flavor when I use a no-yeast method. I find that I like to use about 1tsp each baking soda and powder, mix it in with the dry, and then mix in 2 tbsp vinegar when I add the egg and about 1/3 cup water (or more as needed, added 1/2 tbsp at a time). Rub the crust with olive oil or butter before baking. The dough will come out flatter but still tasty.

After that it’s the sauce. To make a good tomato sauce the trick is to simmer it. Add basil, garlic, oregano, salt, sage, fennel, black pepper and onions to your sauce. Simmer for just a few minutes before spreading it on your dough.

Chop or shred cheese onto the sauce! I find that I use a standard cookie sheet for one pizza and that 1/2lb of cheese covers this. I use block cheddar and chop squares of it which I layer on my pizza.

Add toppings. Whatever you like for pizza! If you think you have nothing on-hand try something new! Pine nuts, garlic chicken, pesto sauce, brocolli…Lots of things make good toppings. My mother used to use ground lamb, caramalized red onions and feta cheese!

Bake for 20-25 minutes. Make sure this is enough time to cook any toppings through. For my no-yeast dough I use 350 degrees and 20 minutes. For the linked recipe I find 25 minutes at 375 is better.

That is about it! Goodness knows we cook lots of other things… Roast chicken, macaroni, spaghetti, soups, stir-fry, burgers, fancy salads… But these are three of my favorite foods we make! I hope you try to make some of them in your own home!

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