September 3, 2011
The quick and dirty version of a Saturday dinner:
Because I made a veal stock today (with lovely bones from Bluescreek Farm Meats), it meant that there was quite a bit of tasty meat left on the bones after the stock was all said and done. It was dropped into the quick tomato sauce, that I seem to make quite a bit here in the summer. (It’s just now about time for the last of those tasty orbs. Get them fresh while you still can.) This was poured over some homemade tagliatelle.
Served alongside for sopping up all the extra tomato-y goodness was a bit of rosemary focaccia: (1 1/4 c all purpose flour, 1 large sprig fresh rosemary finely chopped, 3/4 t salt, 1 package dried yeast, 1/2 c water all dumped into a bread machine for kneading, then allowed to rise in a covered and very generously olive-oiled bowl for about an hour an a half; punched down on a baking tray and allowed to rise once again for about 30 minutes and then drizzled with more olive oil and torn rosemary, salt and grated parm; baked at 400F for about 25 minutes). A simpler, no knead version is here.
Playlist included Misery, by New Jersey’s Big Troubles. How is it that My Bloody Valentine is now retro? Are we that old? Le sigh.
August 17, 2011
I have, admittedly, had trouble baking bread. After a couple of missed attempts, I now tend towards simple recipes that are somewhat fail proof.
I am grateful to Dave, my new friend who is quite the talented baker (and thinker, improver and eater) for offering me a lesson. So this past Saturday morning, he opened his kitchen (and his home, quite frankly, because Cherub tagged along and she explores just about everywhere) and gave me a course in bread baking 101 (he also fed me and Cherub lunch, natch, lucky us!).
I choose to tackle brioche. Because I mean, come on. Butter, eggs. In bread? It’s heaven. It makes the most fabulous toast. Not to mention French toast.
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March 16, 2011
It’s a marvelous, make ahead kind of a lunch.
Poach a bit of salmon the night before, bring along a slice of leftover pint bread, a tiny cup of homemade crème fraîche and add a few thin slices of onion, some fresh dill if you have it, a caper or two if you want. It is perhaps one of the healthiest things you could take for lunch, plus it’s simple, and tastes luxurious.
PK tip: this assembles in moments. Pack the salmon along with the dill and onion, but pack separately the crème fraîche and the bread. Yet another thought: wouldn’t this also make fabulous little quick appetizers?
Your cube mates will be jealous.
March 16, 2011
I am woefully unskilled as a bread baker. I’ve just not managed a beautiful, yeasty bread that is photo-worthy.
I love the Irish for giving me an alternative that is so easy, Cherub does most of the measuring. All you need is a pint glass, a bowl and a sheet pan. Really.
Pint Glass Bread, makes one loaf, Inspired by The Country Cooking of Ireland
1 pint glass of all purpose flour
1 pint glass of whole wheat flour (mine was stone ground from Flying J Farm)
Salt to cover the bottom of a pint glass
Soda to cover the bottom of a pint glass
Butter to cover the bottom of a pint glass
Buttermilk to fill 3/4 of a pint glass
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl combine well the flours, salt and soda. Add in the butter and rub between your fingers to create small pebbles. Add buttermilk and mix with your hands until it becomes a soft ball of dough. Pat out into a large round two inches thick. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 45 to 60 minutes or until the loaf sounds hollow when knocked on the bottom.
Serve with copious amounts of homemade Snowville Creamery butter while it’s still warm.
Playlist included Falling Slowly by The Swell Season.
Little dough-coated hands proudly display their work.
October 11, 2010
I’ve been in an Italian mood lately. One of the things that’s been encouraging this is a cookbook I hadn’t pulled down in a while: Flavors of Tuscany, by Nancy Harmon Jenkins. There is a real difference in Italian cooking and Italian-American cooking. There is an ease to these Italian recipes: many can be served hot or room temperature, which is tremendously helpful if you’re budgeting your time.
Last night, I made a pappa al pomodoro with Roma tomatoes from Wishwell Farm and the leftover ciabatta from Omega in North Market. I also used carrots and a celeriac that I picked up on Friday at the Pearl Alley Farmers Market. All this local produce simply prepared made for a lovely meal. The soup is a thick one, almost like a porridge. We served it fairly warm, but I can see making this mid-summer and placing it in a cool pantry before serving it.
Pappa al Pomodoro, inspired from Flavors of Tuscany
2 pounds fresh tomatoes, cut in chunks
1 medium yellow onion, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 medium carrot, coarsely chopped
1 small celeriac, peeled and coarsely chopped
4 or 5 sprigs parsley
Salt and pepper
1/4 cup olive oil
2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
1/2 pound slightly stale ciabatta, or other country bread, in small slices
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