Friday, March 11, 2011

"European Peasant Bread" (or bread with a mix of your favorite whole grains)

This was round 2 of the Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day baking, and allowed me to use up some miscellaneous non-all-purpose flours in the pantry.
It, like the basic boule recipe, is delicious and versatile -- I made a basic loaf, a few pain d'epi's, and a couple loaves of cinnamon raisin bread just from this batch.

3 cups lukewarm water
1 1/2 tablespoons granulated yeast (2 packets)
1 1/2 tablespoons Kosher salt
1/2 cup rye flour*
1/2 cup whole wheat flour*
5 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour*

*I actually used 4 cups all-purpose flour+1 cup whole wheat flour + 1 1/2 cups spelt flour -- If you like whole grain foods, then you can get away with adding more and increasing the whole grain-to-AP-ratio. I think it is most important to just make sure it all adds up to ~6 1/2 cups of flour.

Cornmeal for the pizza peel


Mix the yeast, salt and water in a 5-quart bowl. Add the flours and mix without kneading using a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook attachment, a 14-cup food processor with dough attachment, or a spoon/wet hands combo.

Lightly cover the dough and rest it at room temperature until the dough rises and collapses, about 2 hours. Refrigerate the dough and use over the next 14 days -- you can use the dough immediately (as I did) but evidently it’s easier to work with when cold.

When ready to bake, dust the surface of the dough with flour and cut off a 1-pound piece. Dust with more flour and shape it into a ball by stretching the outer layers to the bottom, rotating the dough until smooth on all sides. If you have taken it from the refrigerator, rest the dough on a cornmeal covered pizza peel for 40 minutes (I don’t have a pizza peel so I used a cutting board). If not, it can rest for the 20min the oven is pre-heating.

Set a baking or pizza stone in the center of the oven and preheat it to 450°F 20 minutes before baking. Also, place an empty broiler tray on a different oven rack.

Sprinkle the dough with flour and use a serrated knife to cut slits or “scallops” across the top. Slide the dough onto the baking stone and pour 1 cup of hot water into the broiler tray. Bake until the crust is browned and firm, about 35 minutes (if your loaves are smaller, start checking around 15min!)

Triple Mustard Salmon

This recipe is from my latest issue of Food and Wine and it is definitely a new favorite. I wasn't sure how it would turn out (too mustard-y? too bland?) but it is a perfect balance of flavors, and has an amazing crisp texture on the outside and soft warm wonderful fresh salmon goodness on the inside. I had to make a few tweaks from the orginal recipe (I think there may have been some errors with theirs...), and they are incorporated below.
This is also super fast and easy -- will definitely be doing this one again and again.

3 tablespoons toasted wheat germ
1 tablespoon yellow mustard seeds, crushed
2 6-8 ounce skinless salmon fillets
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 1/2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 1/2 teaspoons dry mustard
1 tablespoon canola oil (or a healthy dose of Pam)


1. In a shallow dish, combine the wheat germ and mustard seeds. Season the salmon fillets with salt and pepper. In a bowl, blend the Dijon mustard with the dry mustard and spread it over each side of the fillets. Dip the fillets in the wheat germ mixture one side at a time until thickly coated.
2. In a nonstick skillet, heat the oil until shimmering. Add the fillets, crust side down, and cook over moderately high heat until browned and crisp, 3 minutes. Turn the fillets and cook over moderate heat until barely cooked in the center, 3 minutes longer. Transfer the salmon to plates and serve crust side up.

Savory Cornbread Muffins With Jalapeños and Corn

Another quick recipe from Recipes for Health. These muffins have an appealingly coarse grain texture and a nice robust flavor from the corn and buttermilk.
Unfortunately, most of the actual flavor depends on the spice/taste of the jalapenos you put it in it, which is hard to judge at the store. So you might want to (carefully) taste your jalapeno before adding it -- if it is really mild, add more than the 2 Tbsp, but if it is insanely spicy, maybe a bit less.

1 cup yellow cornmeal, preferably organic stone-ground
1 cup whole-wheat flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh sage or 1 teaspoon rubbed sage
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1/4 cup canola oil
1 tablespoon honey
1 cup corn kernels
2 tablespoons minced jalapeños
1/2 cup grated Cheddar or Monterey Jack (optional)

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees with the rack positioned in the upper third. Oil or butter muffin tins.

2. Place the cornmeal in a bowl, and sift in the flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Stir in the sage. In a separate bowl, beat together the eggs, buttermilk, oil and honey. Whisk or stir the cornmeal mixture into the liquid mixture. Do not beat; a few lumps are fine, but make sure there is no flour at the bottom of the bowl. Fold in the corn kernels, minced jalapeño and optional cheese.

3. Spoon into muffin cups, filling them to just below the top (about 4/5 full). Place in the oven, and bake 20 to 25 minutes until lightly browned and well risen.

Yield: Twelve muffins, depending on the size of your muffin tins.

Advance preparation: These keep for a couple of days out of the refrigerator, for a few more days in the refrigerator, and for a few months in the freezer.

Nutritional information per muffin (based on 12-muffin yield; does not include optional cheese): 161 calories; 1 gram saturated fat; 2 grams polyunsaturated fat; 3 grams monounsaturated fat; 32 milligrams cholesterol; 23 grams carbohydrates; 2 grams dietary fiber; 362 milligrams sodium; 5 grams protein

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Vegan Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Butternut Squash and Apple With Candied Walnuts

I adapted this from The Temporary Vegetarian column in the NYT.
Next time around I would put all of the cut produce in a much larger baking area so that they could all slightly char and crisp without getting mushy from surrounding veggies.
Aside from that minor texture issues in a couple of spots, I thought the taste of this was wonderful. (Oh and if you're hungry (read: pigs like us) and thinking this will serve two people as a main might want to double it -- we definitely wanted a bit more.)


* 1 1/2 cups brussels sprouts, trimmed, halved
* 2 cups butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1-inch asymmetrical chunks
* 2 cups (about 1 large) Honeycrisp, Cortland, or Granny Smith apple, cored and cut into 1-inch asymmetrical chunks
* 1 shallot, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch slices
* 2 tablespoons olive oil (or Pam if you want to omit some fat/calories)
* 5 fresh sage leaves
* Salt and freshly ground pepper
* 1/2 tablespoon maple syrup
Candied walnuts
Craisens/dried cranberries


1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large, shallow, baking dish, toss the brussels sprouts, butternut squash, apple and shallot with olive oil and sage leaves. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Bake without stirring until vegetables and apple are wrinkled, slightly brown, and the edges of the squash are beginning to crisp, 45 minutes to 1 hour.
2. Remove vegetables from oven, drizzle with maple syrup and sprinkle with 2 to 3 tablespoons of halved or roughly crumbled walnut pieces and 2 to 3 tablespoons of craisens. Return to oven for about 5 minutes, then serve.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

"Slow"-Baked White Beans With Kale

This came from Recipes for Health originally, but I tweaked a few things to add a little more spice to it as well as to make cooking time a little faster because I got a late start on it. Ideally you'd do all the prep early and let the oven do most of the work, but with the right adjustments, either way works!


1 bunch kale, stemmed and washed in two changes of water (I actually used 1/2 bag of frozen kale + ~2 cups of fresh baby spinach)

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (I omitted and used Pam and water and a splash of white wine, but the oil would help the veggies soften best probably)

1 medium onion, chopped

1 carrot, chopped

4 garlic cloves, minced

1 2/3 cups white beans (3/4 pound) or dried lima beans, picked over and soaked for at least four hours and drained (I used 2 cans of cannelini beans)

1 6-ounce can tomato paste, dissolved in 1 cup water (I used 1 1/4 cup marinara sauce)

1 teaspoon herbes de Provence

1 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)

Salt and a generous amount of freshly ground pepper

1/2 cup bread crumbs


1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. If you are using fresh kale, you may want to blanch it first to extract some of the bitterness.

2. Heat a greased/oiled pan over medium heat; add the onion and carrots. Cook, stirring often, until the onion is tender, about five minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, 30 seconds to a minute. Add the dissolved tomato paste, and bring to a simmer. Stir in the kale/spinach and let all veggies soften, adding more liquid (water, wine, or tomato sauce) as needed/desired.

3. Add the drained beans, red pepper flakes, herbes de Provence and salt and pepper. Transfer to a large (greased) ovenproof casserole and place in the oven. Bake until the beans are tender and creamy (original recipe was for 3 hours and for if you are using dried beans -- I only cooked this for about 20-30min). Taste and adjust salt

4. Mix together a bit of olive oil and the bread crumbs. Sprinkle the bread crumbs over the beans, and continue to bake another 10min until the bread crumbs are lightly browned. Remove from the heat and serve; or allow to cool slightly and serve.

Yield: Serves six (or two, if you're Scott and I. There were no leftovers.)

(Oh and a poached egg on top is delicious :) )

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Shaved Brussels Sprout Salad with Red Onion, Lemon and Pecorino

I found this recipe on Food52 after having something just like it at Pizzeria Da Lupo.
It is really tasty in a tangy but not bitter sort of way, and pretty easy if you have a food processor to slice the Brussels sprouts.

* 1/2 small red onion
* Juice of 1 lemon (~3-4 Tbsp)
* 1 teaspoon honey
* 1 teaspoon whole grain mustard
* Salt and freshly ground black pepper
* 1 tablespoon olive oil
* 3 cups Brussels sprouts (use larger sprouts if possible)
* 1/2 cup finely grated pecorino romano

1. Soak the onion slices in a small bowl of cold water for 15 to 20 minutes while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
2. In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, honey, mustard and a pinch of salt and pepper. Whisk in the olive oil until the dressing is emulsified. Set aside.
3. Trim all of the Brussels sprouts, cutting off any bruised outer leaves and slicing off a good portion of the hard root end. Using a mandoline (or a food processor!), shave the sprouts one at a time. When you're done, use your fingers to gently separate the leaves so that the shredded sprouts resemble a very fine slaw.
4. Put the sprouts in a serving bowl and toss gently with the onions (which you've now drained) and the dressing. Fold in the pecorino, taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Chicken Paprikash

This was based on a NYT "What we're reading" posting, so I won't blame the NYT that it wasn't as good as I thought it might be. The only reason I bother writing it up then, is that I am sure with a few minor tweaks next time, it could be good. Changes that I will make next time are included below, and all reflect an effort to spike the flavor in a few ways -- there was nothing bad about the just seemed a bit bland. Thus, enter more salt, pepper, garlic, and some red pepper.

3 pounds skinless chicken breasts

Salt and pepper(a lot)

2 onions , chopped fine

2 red bell peppers , stemmed, seeded, and sliced thin

3 garlic cloves , minced

2 tablespoons tomato paste

1/4 cup high-quality (could be smoked, sweet, whatever you like) paprika

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (optional, and to taste...if you want a little heat)

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 cup low-sodium chicken broth

3/4 cup fat free greek yogurt (optional; only if you want a creamy sauce)

1. Pat chicken dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. Place in slowcooker.

2. Pile in onions and peppers, stir in garlic, tomato paste, paprika, pepper, broth, and flour and cook 4 hours on high, 6 hours on low.

3. Turn off heat, stir in yogurt (or sour cream) until incorporated and season with salt and pepper. Serve.