Saturday, July 28, 2012

Chocolate Syrup

You can make chocolate milk with this or top ice cream or desserts!

2 Cups sugar
1 cup cocoa powder (unsweetened)
1 cup water
2 tsp. vanilla

Place the sugar and cocoa in a deep saucepan (I use a ten cup pot) as it will bubble up as you cook it.
Add the water and whisk to blend well. Heat to boiling, stirring constantly.
When it begins to boil and bubble up, lower the heat slightly and whisk constantly for just two minutes (too long, and the syrup will granulate).
Remove from heat and blend in vanilla.

Allow to cool before pouring into container, or use a mason jar. Stored in the fridge, it keeps for weeks.

Parisian Chicken Stew

Parisian Chicken Stew

If it's possible to have light comfort food, this is it. From my sister, Susan.

1 small chicken, cut-up (a fryer or spent layer is fine)
1/4 cup flour
1 Tbsp. thyme
Salt and pepper to taste
3 Tbsp. oil
2 c. chicken broth OR 2 cups water + 2 bouillion cubes
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
2 Tbsp. tomato paste
2-3 garlic cloves
1 c. chopped onions
2 c. chopped carrots
1 c. peas
2 c. diced potatoes, red or white, scrubbed, skins on (this is a good way to use up those little potatoes no one wants to peel)

Wash and dry the chicken pieces, removing as much skin as desired. Mix the flour, thyme, salt and pepper and dredge the chicken pieces in it.

Heat oil in a skillet and brown the chicken pieces all over. Remove the chicken pieces from the pan and add the remaining flour mixture. Whisk in the broth, wine, tomato paste, broth and garlic, scraping the bottom of the pan.

Return the chicken to the pot with potatoes and simmer 20 minutes.

Add the carrots, peas, and onions, and simmer 15 minutes or until the carrots are tender and chicken is cooked through.

Serve with fresh bread or rolls.

African Chocolate Pudding

I started with the Joy of Cooking recipe for vanilla pudding, edited to use local ingredients, and made it chocolate because I like that better. If you want vanilla pudding, just leave out the cocoa. (I'm going to try coconut next, using coconut milk instead of coffee.)

First, heat up the double boiler* while you assemble the ingredients.

1 1/3 cups full cream powdered milk
1 cup sugar
6 Tbsp. Cocoa powder (unsweetened)
3 cups boiling water
4 Tbsp. cornstarch (corn flour)
1 cup cold water or coffee
2 eggs, well-beaten
1 tsp. vanilla

Place the first three ingredients in the top of the double boiler.
Stir in 3 cups boiling water. Use a whisk to blend well.
In a separate bowl, blend the coffe with the cornstarch till smooth.
Add to the hot mixture, stirring till smooth.
Cook 10 minutes, stirring constantly, till slightly thickened.
Cover and cook 10 more minutes.
Add about a cup of the hot mixture to the eggs and blend.
Add back to the double boiler and cook 2 minutes, whisking constantly.
Remove from heat and add vanilla and blend.

You can put these in individual custard cups or a 1 1/2 quart bowl, cover and refrigerate.

*I don't have a double boiler, either. I have a steel bowl that fits perfectly into the rim of a steel pot, and use that, no problem.