Friday, May 27, 2011

French Friday with Dorie: Cardamom Rice Pilof & Carol's White Rolls

CARDAMOM RICE PILOF IS A SIDE WITH OUR DINNER
OUR FAVORITE WHITE ROLLS--RECIPE FROM CAROL YOUNG
The cardamom rice almost wasn’t.  Just for effect, I was close to adding ground cardamom spice to the rice when I decided to try one more specialty store.  I’d already driven to 6 different markets, hoping to find cardamom seeds somewhere...some of these were high end specialty markets, but no....and their “customer service” desks did not know what I was talking about, although most offered to place a special order for me.  If I’d prepared my ingredients in advance, I could have shopped the internet, but I was collecting my items last minute.  Dorie wrote about 2 different colors of seed pods, white and green...she prefers the green, but I’ve never seen any at all.

Hubby actually suggested the specialty store.  Sometimes he’s quite brilliant.  And I found them.  A lovely jar of green seed pods at a shocking price. $13.  These had better be good.  And at the price of gas these days, the actual price can add about 50 miles worth of run-around gas looking for these  pods.

GREEN CARDAMOM PODS NEED TO BE OPENED TO RETRIEVE THE SPICE THEY HOLD

THE SMALL BLACK SEEDS HAVE BEEN FREED FROM THEIR PROTECTIVE PODS
 I followed the recipe carefully as I really did not know what to expect with this one.  We are huge fried rice fans at our house, but this is a pilaf and quite unlike our usual rice dishes.  The ingredient list and “how to” were simple enough, but this cardamom pod spice, where the seeds first need to be loosed from their pods by crushing the pods with a mortar and pestle, had this unusual step.  And when the little seeds are removed from the pods they must be bruised  with the pestle, releasing maximum flavor.  Well, it sounded fussy and I’ve never tasted these seeds, so I knew I should be careful.

Actually, any chance to use my little mortar and pestle is always fun.  After crushing the pods, the little seeds, about the size and shape of mustard seeds, spilled out.

I was curious as to what these exotic seeds would additionally complement, so I tasted a couple of the seeds and was surprised by the flavor...not like the smell.  They were a bit minty.  And they were hard.  I wondered if they would remain hard or cook to a soft state with the rice.

After bruising the seeds they were added whole to the rice-onion mixture.  Then the doorbell rang and by the time I opened the door I could smell the aromatic perfume coming from the kitchen...lovely.  
DO YOU SEE THE BLACK CARDAMOM SEEDS?
My Turkey grandson, 3 years old, had come to help me cook and he was quickly designated as the official rice taster.  I figure if kids like the pilaf, anyone will like it.  And he did.

RICE MIXTURE WILL SIMMER FOR ABOUT 15 MINUTES
This rice dish does not stand alone as a meal as does our usual fried rice which includes a variety of veges and maybe meat.  Turkey and I decided to make a meal that would complement the pilaf.  It’s a beautiful day so Turkey and I decided to grill salmon.  And he just loves asparagus so that was also added to our menu.

HERE IS OUR DINNER:


TURKEY'S FAVORITE VEGETABLE

OUTDOOR GRILLED SALMON

TURKEY WORKED HARD TO MAKE OUR PIE

TURKEY'S PIE

FROM TODAY'S ASSIGNMENT:  CARDAMOM RICE PILOF

MY SLICE OF TURKEY'S PIE
I read the spice jar and learned that this spice is often used with curry dishes or sweet potatoes.  The crushed seeds can also be added to baked goods, coffee, bbq sauces, and pickle recipes.  Dorie suggests other dishes that go well with the cardamom seeds and salmon happens to be included in her list.

What I do like about this rice besides the lovely flavor is that it does not need a gravy or sauce or butter...it is flavorful and moist on its own.  The cardamom flavor is noticeable yet not overwhelming, making this rice a good accompaniment to many other foods.                 

Notes:  I cooked our pilaf using chicken stock instead of water; the recipe gives a choice.  I was pleased to note that the cardamom spice paired well with the chicken stock as I commonly use ground cardamom as I would cinnamon or other baking spices; most often in baked goods.

TURKEY IS ENJOYING HIS DINNER!


OUR FAVORITE WHITE DINNER ROLL RECIPE:

Soft , Melt-In-Your-Mouth, White Crescent Dinner Rolls
My friend, Carol Young, honestly makes the world’s best dinner rolls.

A few months ago I visited Carol with perfect timing...just as she had made four pans of rolls that had almost risen enough to bake...and being the true friend she is, she parted with a pan which I took home, baked in my oven, and then shared with my daughter, Stephy-Wephy who had company visiting for the weekend.  The rolls instantly disappeared, except for one, which Steph hoarded for herself.  Unfortunately, or fortunately, the roll was forgotten and not discovered until almost a week later.

If  this roll were one of my homemade rolls, after a week it would have been hard-as-a-rock or inedible for a number of reasons, but not Carol’s.  It was still soft and delicious.  Unbelievable.  Steph had to know how this roll was made.  Our family recipe is so good fresh from the oven, however, the next day, our rolls really are day-old-rolls; no longer eaten with enthusiasm.  When I asked Carol what makes her rolls so exceptional, she mentioned that it might be the 6 eggs called for in her recipe.  I’m sure eggs fresh from her own backyard chickens do make a difference, however, we were sure there was something more.

Carol was kind enough to give us the recipe and Steph made the rolls that week as part of a special dinner.  Her results, however, did not produce the same exceptional rolls that Carol had made.  They were flat (because the dough is kept so soft), and not fluffy melt-in-your-mouth as Carol’s were.  We make lots of bread at our house, but this recipe baffled us.

This morning Carol agreed to give us private tutoring on how to make her delicious melt-in-your-mouth rolls.   Steph, with guidance from Carol, did the work, and I watched and took careful notes.

Carol advises starting the roll making process by doing 3 things:
1.    Scald 2 Cups milk using medium high heat
2.    Grow the yeast (3 T. Dry Yeast and 1 T. Sugar in 1 C. Warm Water) for 10 minutes
3.    Crack the 6 eggs into the mixer bowl and beat for a minute

Then add 1 C. High Gluten Bread Flour to the eggs and beat again.  (Gives adequate ingredient volume tp bring down the temperature of the mixture when the warm milk is added.)
Next, add the yeast and mix.

Remove the hot milk from the heat and add 1 C. Butter, stirring  until melted.  Add 2 t. Salt and 1 C Sugar to the milk mixture and stir until dissolved.  Let stand until just warm so that the hot milk does not kill the yeast or cook the eggs when added to the egg mixture.

Combine the milk mixture to the mixer bowl with the egg mixture.  Add 4 more cups high gluten flour.

Mix this combination for 1 minute, or until well combined.  Then keeping this very soft dough in the mixer bowl,  let it rest, or become a sponge, for about 20 minutes.  (Our family recipe does not call for this “sponge” step for dinner rolls.)  Making the sponge decreases the amount of flour needed for the dough by at least ½ cup.

When the dough has grown into a airy sponge, mix in enough additional flour that the dough comes away from the sides of the bowl during additional mixing.  The dough will be soft and sticky.  The total amount of flour will be about 9 ½ cups.  Machine knead for 7-8 minutes, developing the gluten .  Add just enough flour as needed to keep the dough mixing and coming away from the bowl sides yet keeping the dough sticky.

DOUGH BALL RISING
After the dough has risen until doubled, divide into fourths.  Place the four quite soft dough balls on a greased counter to rise again, for about 20 minutes.  Spray plastic wrap with oil (such as Pam) and use it to cover the dough balls.

GENTLY ROLLED OUT AND CUT OUT  INTO "PIZZA SLICES", STEPH IS AGAIN GENTLY ROLLING EACH SLICE INTO A CRESCENT ROLL SHAPE
TUCK THE TAILS UNDER THE ROLLS FOR PRETTIER BAKING
Then, on a greased or lightly floured surface, gently roll or pat out each dough ball making a 12"to 14" circle which will be about ½" thick.  Slather, by hand, softened butter to cover the dough circle.  Then, with a pizza cutter, cut 12 pizza-style slices from each round to make large dinner rolls, or cut 16 slices if making party size rolls.  (4 X 12 = 48 dinner rolls.  4 X 16 =64 party size rolls).

JELLY ROLL SIZE PANS WITH LIDS ARE A PERFECT, UNDISTURBED PLACE FOR THESE ROLLS TO RISE
Beginning with the wide end, roll each slice very gently into crescent  shapes.  Keep the roll loose so that the inside can have space to also rise really well and be airy.  Place rolls on a greased baking sheet, tucking their skinny tails down under the bottom of each roll...keeps those thin ends from lifting up during the baking process.  (Cookie sheets with lids work great)  Let rise for more than an hour...on a cooler day 2 hours is best.  (This step is unusual as we rise our family roll recipe for 20-30 minutes before baking, just until double.  If our rolls rise for this amount of time, they will actually deflate while baking or have extra large air pockets which are not desirable.)

THESE LIGHT AND AIRY ROLLS ARE OVEN READY
After the rolls have risen to a fluffy, airy state, preheat the oven to350^.  Bake these rolls for only 8 minutes on the bottom oven rack, or until just brown.  (Turn pans around ½ way through the baking process.) (This is a shorter baking time than our usual recipe)   Upon removing from the oven, brush rolls with soft butter.

INSIDE THE OVEN, THE ROLLS RISE EVEN MORE
If storing these rolls is desired, pre-bake the rolls only 5 minutes, then cool and freeze on the baking sheets.  Individually frozen rolls can then be  transferred to plastic bags.  Re-heat in 350^ oven on baking sheets  about 2-3 minutes, or just until warmed through.

PERFECTION!
WHITE ROLLS
CAROL YOUNG

Ingredient List:

2 C.      Scalded Milk
1 C.     Sugar
1 C.      Butter
2 t.        Salt
1 C.      Warm Water
3 T.       Dry Yeast
1 T.       Sugar
6           Eggs, Beaten
10 C.    High Protein (bread) Flour        (Note: 9 ½ actually used when we made this dough)


11 comments:

  1. Keep those beautiful grandkids coming!
    And thanks for sharing the roll recipe. I love homemade dinner rolls. My favorite is a King Arthur recipe - but they are not quite so fresh the next day. I will have to try this at some point.
    The whole meal looks great!

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  2. Oh, my! Forget about the rice, I want one of those rolls! Seriously, Kris, your plated meal is gorgeous! Have a lovely weekend!

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  3. Everything is making my mouth water, especially the dinner rolls! I'm glad you like the rice pilaf. I wish I did, but the cardamom was just a little too much for me although I do like it in baked goods. You are so lucky to have such a good kitchen helper!

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  4. Rice? What rice? Kris, those soft rolls are seriously amazing! Thanks for sharing the recipe, and more importantly, the technique. I hope to make these in the future, and see if any even last for a whole week! (I doubt it, though).

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  5. Although your rice turned out well, I'm drooling over the rest of your meal!!! Especially the pie and the rolls. I'm going to make those rolls soon before the warm weather is here!

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  6. I'll take the rolls first and consider dinner later. they look incredible.
    Thanks for sharing the recipe. Seriously, everything looks wonderful.
    Tricia made her rice earlier in the week due to her schedule and
    convinced me it was good. Hubby and I agree, we enjoyed ours with
    baked halibut. Lovely photos too.

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  7. I am with Nana on this one (maybe I can get her to make me a batch :) While I feel like we have been on the "no carb left behind tour" lately....this is one recipe that deserves to be tried. Thanks so much for sharing it, though I wish I had that whole dinner !!!

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  8. Kris, forget the pilaf - I want one of those gorgeous rolls and a piece of pie!

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  9. Your dinner looks wonderful. I think you have the best kitchen assistant too - he's great!

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  10. I am sure every single person who's read this post got hypnotized by those rolls. The look amazing! Thanks for sharing the recipe.

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  11. I was going to tell you how cute the little scoops of rice are on the plate. But, like everyone else, I got completely sidetracked by those rolls.

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