Sourdough English Muffins

I’m not taking credit for creating these Sourdough English Muffins–I found the recipe on KingArthurFlour.com. I just wanted to pass along that they are delicious and quite easy to make. I added cranberries to mine.

Usually I just do a half batch. The first time I used a 3″ biscuit cutter as recommended, but thought they were a bit small. I added some cranberries before the first rise, and that was a nice touch–similar to some that are typically available only around the holiday season.

The second time (today) I used a 3.5″ round cutter, and they came out great. I omitted the yeast this time, as I didn’t feel it was necessary because of the altitude. I fed the yeast the night before, so it was quite active, and I found that the yeast was not needed. (In higher altitudes, less yeast is necessary.) I also forgot to add the cranberries prior to the first rise as I did the first time–I added them while rolling out the dough, which worked out better. This time I was also more careful to keep the heat on my griddle on the lowest setting, and I moved them around during cooking to even out the hot spots. I also put a pan on top after turning, as the recipe suggests in the “Tips” at the bottom.

High Altitude Adjustments: Omit the yeast, but be sure to use freshly active starter.

Squash and Eggs: A Great Combination

We have lots of eggs from our ducks. I love butternut squash and onions, and grow as many of each as I can. How’m I going to use all these? Butternut S’Quiche! This is a savory butternut pie, perfect for dinner, especially in the fall when winter squash is readily available. It’s a great way to use leftover squash after cooking one that’s just too big to eat at once. 

Butternut S'Quiche

Prep Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Category: Recipes

Servings: 6-8 servings

Butternut S'Quiche

I love butternut squash and quiche. The result? Butternut S’Quiche! This is a savory butternut pie, perfect for dinner, especially in the fall when winter squash is readily available. A great way to use leftover squash after cooking one that’s just too big to eat at once. This includes caramelized onions, toasted pecans and optional diced bacon. The prep for the squash, onions, bacon and piecrust may be done a day ahead, or the morning before the planned event to make the big day and cleanup more relaxing.

Ingredients

  • 1 unbaked, 9" deep dish pie shell (homemade or purchased)
  • 1 (2-2.5 lb) butternut squash, or leftover squash to equal 2 cups pureed
  • 1 Tblsp olive oil or butter
  • 3 cups onions, sliced vertically
  • 3 Tblsp cooking sherry
  • 3 slices bacon, cooked and diced (optional)
  • 4-5 beaten eggs-from ducks or chickens (about 1 cup total)
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp poultry seasoning (salted or salt-free)
  • 6 oz white cheese, shredded: divided (farmer, jack or swiss)
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans

Instructions

    Prepare the Butternut Squash
  • Start oven to 400F.
  • Cut butternut squash in half. Remove seeds. Spray lightly or brush cut side with olive oil.
  • Place on foil-covered baking pan, cut side down.
  • Roast in oven about 60-90 minutes until squash is soft. Remove from oven and cool a few minutes.
  • Scoop the squash out of the shell and puree, by hand or in a blender. Set aside.
  • Keep in refrigerator if preparing squash the day or morning ahead.
  • While the squash bakes, prepare the piecrust, onions and bacon.
    Make the Pie Crust
  • Make pie crust according to your favorite recipe. (Or thaw, if using frozen piecrust.)
  • Line 9" deep dish pie pan with the crust. Set aside.
  • If preparing the day or morning ahead, cover well with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator.
    Caramelize the Onions
  • Heat large skillet to med-high heat. Add olive oil or butter, then add the onions. Saute until onions are limp and begin to brown.
  • Deglaze the pan with sherry and continue to cook onions at medium heat until brown and translucent but not burned. Remove from heat and set aside.
  • Refrigerate if preparing ahead of time.
    Prep the Bacon, if using
  • Fry or microwave the bacon until almost crisp. Dice. Set aside.
  • Refrigerate if preparing ahead of time.
    Prepare the Pie
  • Preheat oven to 375 F.
  • In a large bowl, beat the eggs. Add the milk, thyme, poultry seasoning and 2 cups of the pureed squash. Blend well.
  • Add the caramelized onions and the diced bacon, if using.
  • Pour half the squash/egg mixture into pie shell. Sprinkle 4 oz of the cheese onto this mixture, then top with remaining squash mixture.
  • Sprinkle top with remaining 2 oz of cheese and chopped pecans.
  • Bake at 375 F. for 60-70 minutes, until pie appears set and inserted knife comes out clean.
  • Let rest 5-10 minutes before serving.

Notes

Other favorite winter squashes may be used if desired, such as pumpkin or Lakota. This recipe works well at 9,000 feet. If cooking at a lower elevation, everything will cook more quickly.

http://www.highcountryliving.net/squash-and-eggs-a-great-combination/
kitchen500x333

HIGH COUNTRY KITCHEN

HIGH COUNTRY KITCHEN

One of the things I love to do is cook! Over the years I’ve created many of my own recipes or modified others which have become favorites at our house. I enjoy baking, too, and have a particular fondness for sourdough breads. I had a lot of fun helping to design our small-house sized kitchen, and I find it just perfect for our needs. The only thing remaining is to add a tile backsplash, which is soon to come (June 2019).

I’ve lived in high-altitude locations for roughly 30 years, and although I still experience a few flops, I think I’m getting it down. I lived at about 6,300 feet at Lake Tahoe for 24 years, then moved down to 5,200 feet, near Fort Collins, CO. Now at nearly 9,000 feet I’ve added a few more modifications to my cooking and baking.

There are many variables to everyone’s cooking experiences, in addition to elevation. How experienced are you? How many trials and errors have led to final success? Do you keep at it until you get it right? What kind of appliances are you cooking with: gas, electric, induction, convection? What is your elevation? What is your water like: hard well water, filtered water, community water? What is your local humidity like? These variables, in addition to your choice of ingredients all make a difference to the outcome. All you can really do is keep at it; try and try again until you get the result you want.

I’ll be including many of my favorite recipes here; some are old favorites and others will be new finds as well as new creations of my own. All of the recipes included here will work well at 9,000 feet. I know because I’ve done them, and have made adjustments as needed for this altitude.

One of my pet peeves is finding internet recipes with lengthy descriptions and seemingly unending photos or videos showing every detail of the process. The actual recipe is finally found minutes later, at the end of the page. Aaaarrrgghh! I find those a waste of my time and will not include a gajillion photos of each step in the process and probably never a video. You’ll find streamlined recipes that assume you have some cooking knowledge, such as how to measure, what saute or deglaze means, etc. When I feel an instruction is strange or problematic, I may then provide more detailed instructions or even a photo if I think it will be helpful.