Tasty wheat bread with subtle flavors of coffee and chocolate goes well with both savory and sweet accompaniments.
While the all-purpose flour stores in our pantry are diminishing, we still have an abundance of wheat flour. The exceptional wheat bread we made earlier this year was fabulous, but it is time and labor intensive. This weekend called for a loaf with more “auto-pilot” in the directions – and more of the work being done by our trusty Zojirushi bread machine. We found a well-reviewed recipe that included wheat flour. After sampling a slice of the finished product with butter and honey, we both agreed it was a delicious addition to our bread rotation.
Infused Wheat Bread
- 1 1/4 cup water
- 1 tsp coffee extract
- 1/4 cup honey
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
- 1 1/2 tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp unsweetened Dutch processed cocoa powder
- 1 tbsp granulated sugar
- 2 tsp yeast
- Place ingredients in the bread machine pan in the order recommended by the manufacturer and select regular bread setting.
- Start machine and relax while the machine does the work!
Recipe adapted from Allrecipes.com.
Rich chocolate ice cream coupled with homemade marshmallows put this ice cream flavor in a top-two tie with Cloudberry Sorbet among our all-time favorites.
Really good chocolate ice cream can be made with really good Dutch processed cocoa. But great chocolate ice cream adds in depth of flavor with quality semi-sweet chocolate. This recipe topped the charts by not adding ordinary marshmallows, but adding extraordinary homemade marshmallows to the ingredients.
Rocky Road Ice Cream
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 3 tbsp unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
- 5 oz. semisweet chocolate chips
- 1 cup whole milk
- ¾ cup sugar
- pinch of salt
- 5 egg yolks
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup marshmallow pieces
- 1 cup chopped almonds
- Warm 1 cup of the cream with the cocoa powder in a medium saucepan, whisking to thoroughly blend the cocoa.
- Bring to almost a boil (mixture will steam) and whisk in chocolate chips, whisking until smooth.
- Remove from heat and stir in remaining cup of whipping cream. Pour mixture into bowl and set aside.
- Warm the milk, sugar, and salt in the original saucepan.
- In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks.
- Slowly pour the warm milk into the egg yolks, whisking constantly, then scrape the warmed egg yolks back into the saucepan.
- Stir the mixture constantly over medium heat with a heatproof spatula, scraping the bottom as you stir, until the mixture thickens and coats the spatula and creates a custard (and reaches 170 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer).
- Pour the custard into the chocolate mixture and stir until smooth.
- Then stir in the vanilla.
- Chill the mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator.
- Freeze it in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
- During the last 10 minutes of churning, add in almonds and marshmallow pieces.
Recipe adapted from The Brown Eyed Baker.
Both the chocolate cake batter and the frosting have an essence of coffee which adds an element of complexity. Eggs and buttermilk make this cake moist and rich.
The frosting for this decadent cake included an experimental element inspired by the fact that we’d run out of powdered sugar. Based on Internet research, I found that powdered sugar could be created by putting granulated sugar and a little cornstarch in a blender for 15 minutes. We employ an immersion blender with a nut grinder attachment for these kinds of jobs. After about seven minutes, I decided the sugar looked powdered. The flavor of the frosting was spot on, but the slight graininess proved otherwise. Next time, I’ll muscle through the whole 15 minutes – or ship up enough powdered sugar to last the whole season in the bush.
- Butter for greasing the pans
- 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pans
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 3/4 cups dutch processed cocoa powder
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1 cup buttermilk, shaken
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 3 eggs, at room temperature
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 3 tsp coffee extract
- Mocha Buttercream Frosting, recipe follows
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Line two 9-inch springform pans with parchment paper. Butter and flour pans. Set aside.
- Sift flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt into mixing bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment.
- Mix on low speed until combined.
- In a second bowl, mix together buttermilk, oil, eggs, vanilla and coffee extract.
- With mixer on low speed, slowly pour wet ingredients in with dry.
- Pour batter into two pans, evenly divided.
- Bake for 35 minutes, or until cake tester comes out clean.
- Cool cakes in pans for 30 minutes.
- Finish cooling completely on wire racks.
- Place one cake, flat side up, on a cake pedestal or flat plate.
- Spread top of cake with frosting.
- Place second cake, flat side down, on first frosted cake.
- Spread remaining frosting evenly on top and sides of cake.
- 6 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 2 sticks (1/2 lb.) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 egg yolk, room temperature
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 1/4 sifted confectioner’s sugar
- 3 tsp coffee extract
- Melt chocolate chips in a double boiler. Stir until smooth. Set aside to cool.
- Cream the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, about 3 minutes.
- Add egg yolk and vanilla. Continue beating for about 3 minutes.
- Turn the mixer to low and gradually stir in confectioner’s sugar.
- Beat until smooth and creamy.
- Mix in melted chocolate.
- Add coffee extract and mix until smooth.
- Spread immediately on cooled cake.
Recipe adapted from Food Network
A large fish poached and served whole makes for a dramatic presentation and a first-class dining experience. You don’t need a fancy fish poacher to pull this off. Aluminum foil works beautifully in the galley, on the grill, over a campfire, or in the kitchen. Here are the basics.
This past winter, we’ve been dining on sheepish (inconnu) in the six-to-eight-pound class. Measuring 25 – 30 inches, these fish of the far north are just small enough to fit into our oven and serve whole. Because sheefish is bony and not easily filleted, they are well-suited to this cooking method; when served, the meat comes easily off the bones. With firm white meat in large, sweet, flakey chunks, sheefish are comparable to striped bass, European seabass, Japanese seabass (suzuki) and similar fish. Here in Alaska, foil poaching works beautifully with salmon, rockfish, char and small halibut.
Poaching and steaming recipes need not be complicated. Although we generally start with a court bouillon or dashi and add Chardonnay when we have it, equal parts of water and Chardonnay alone make a perfectly acceptable basic poaching stock. No wine on hand? A little water – enough to keep the fish bathed in steam – is sufficient. Anything else is a matter of taste. We’ve found it difficult to improve on a combination of sea salt, freshly cracked pepper, lemon, butter and bacon. Olive oil makes a good substitution for butter and bacon.
One of the beautiful things about this recipe is that the ingredients can be prepared beforehand so that they’re ready for a shore lunch or camp dinner to celebrate a special catch.
Incidentally, wakame (dried kelp) and dried bonito flakes are an ideal base for fish stock for campers and sailors. These ingredients are light, easy to store, and last indefinitely. This dashi-style stock can be enhanced with salt, soy sauce, white wine, sherry or sake.
See more of Detlef Buettner’s beautiful art at: http://home.gci.net/~lifesize.fish/salmonids.htm
Poached fish is an excellent meal to serve with freshly baked French bread or sourdough bread. We and our guests enjoyed the above sheefish served on saffron rice cooked in a clam juice broth, spooning the poaching broth onto our rice and fish.
- 1 whole fish, scaled, gutted, gilled, rinsed off and patted dry.
- aluminum foil sufficient to entirely wrap around the fish. We double wrap to prevent leaking.
- poaching/steaming liquid – approximately 1/3 cup per pound of fish. (About 2 1/2 cups for an 8-pound fish.) See below for easy poaching liquid recipe.
- 1 tbsp butter per pound of fish. (An 8-pound fish takes 1 stick of butter.)
- very thin slices of lemon to cover one side of fish
- strips of bacon to cover one side of fish. (about 5 strips for an 8-pound fish)
- lemon juice to rinse stomach cavity – approximately 2 tbsp for an 8-pound fish
- sea salt and freshly cracked pepper to rub into cavity and both sides of fish – approximately 2 – 3 tbsp sea salt for an 8-pound fish
- Place large baking sheet in oven and preheat to 450 °F.
- Arrange aluminum foil on flat surface. Thoroughly coat foil with butter where fish will be placed.
- Rub lemon juice into fish’s stomach cavity.
- Use a very sharp knife to make shallow diagonal slashes spaced about 1 inch apart from the head of the fish to the tail. Do this on both sides.
- Rub salt and pepper mixture onto both sides of fish and into cavity.
- Place fish onto buttered foil.
- Rub butter into fish’s cavity. Rub remaining butter on top side of fish.
- Arrange lemon slices on top side of fish.
- Arrange bacon slices atop fish.
- Pour poaching liquid along the sides of fish, taking care not to rinse the off the top of the fish.
- Close foil around fish and place on baking sheet (or on grill, etc.) Cook until a few dorsal fin rays can be easily pulled from fish. Total time will be approximately 5 – 6 minutes per pound. An 8-pound fish will cook for 40 minutes.
- Note: We like to remove the bacon when the fish is finished cooking, crisp it up in a pan, and return the bacon to the top of the fish prior to serving. The bacon drippings can be drizzled atop the fish as well.
Poaching Liquid Recipe:
- 3 cups water
- 5 inch square of wakame (dried kelp – available in Asian grocers.)
- 5 grams (0.17 ounces) dried bonito flakes
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt (or 1/2 teaspoon soy sauce)
- 1 tbsp miso paste (optional)
- Optional: replace 1/2 cup water with white wine or sake
- Place water in pan and heat over high heat. Add wakame and salt, stir occasionally and continue heating but do not boil.
- When Wakame is soft, add bonito flakes. Cook briefly in steaming water and stir gently. Do not boil.
- Pour mixture through wire strainer into pan or bowl.
- If desired, return strained soup to low heat and stir in miso paste till dissolved.
If you believe that farmed salmon are part of a solution, to anything, we hope you’ll watch Salmon Confidential. If you believe farmed salmon are a healthy food choice, we hope you’ll watch this video.
The setting is British Columbia, Canada. The protagonists are wild salmon, river keepers, and scientists. The film is a fast-paced hour that will leave anyone who watches it and who cares about the food they eat, about our planet’s wild places, and about government transparency and its proper role in mega-farming of all descriptions with serious questions.
“…and the kid looks at you and says, how could there have been thousands of salmon here, you’re just an old man exaggerating. And then I have to correct him, not thousands, tens of thousands.” Russell Chatham in Rivers of a Lost Coast talking about one small west coast river
Sea ice fascinates us. Our village can be seen in the upper left of this photo. At the time of the photo, north winds had blown much of the ice away from the land. The “sticky ice,” the ice which clings to the shore, can usually be relied on to be safe to walk on. Even this sticky ice is subject to the whim of Mother Nature’s strong winds and current.
Piles of ice form along pressure points of the frozen surface of the sea. There are many histories of boats navigating too late in the season and becoming stranded or crushed between these pressure points.
Recently, wind from the south has closed this lead – the open water to the right. The view from our village today is solid ice as far as the eye can see. The villagers are readying their seal skin boats to go whaling. Soon the bowhead migration will begin. When the north wind blows open a lead, the whaling crews of Tikigaq will patrol the open water in hopes of catching animals that are in their Spring migrations. These whales make up a critical part of the subsistence catch in this Inupiat village.
I’ve recently been reading the book The Firecracker Boys. This true story is about a crazy post WWII idea some engineers and scientists had for using a nuclear bomb to blast a harbor between the peak in the center of this photo and the ridge on the left. This is about 25 miles east of Point Hope. The proposed H-bomb was to be 163 times the strength of the bomb that was dropped on Hiroshima. Scientists and engineers promised to sculpt the land based on human requirements. It was part marketing (using bombs for good) and part wild scientific experimentation. It’s a shocking and crazy true story!
Nose pressed to glass, I peered out from the bush plane window as we lifted straight up, like a helicopter, in the 40 m.p.h. north wind. It seemed scary on the ground. With gusts well above 40 m.p.h., the plane arrived, landed on the airstrip and never turned into the usual parking area. I fought my way toward the plane, slipping along the airstrip as if being pushed down by a strong arm. Once in the plane, I felt calm and safe with skilled bush pilots at the controls.
From the air, the village looks like a patchwork quilt as rooftops peak above a blanket of snow. If the snow and ice were sand, Point Hope could be any beachfront real estate in the world!