Category Archives: savory

Reinhart´s Naepolitan pizza… and a work in progress

So today is Daring Bakers´posting date and I´m running a little behind. We are doing Peter Reinhart´s Naepolitan pizza recipe, as chosen by Rosa of Rosa´s Yummy Yums. Pizza is one of my favorite foods in the whole wide world, and Peter Reinhart is a master at all things bread, and he wrote a whole book about pizza, so I was really looking forward to this one.

But being a procrastinator by nature, the month just flew by. And, as a lame excuse, I have to say I was trying to make this recipe at my parents´because they have a kick-ass bread oven with baking stones on the bottom, and the sides, and my own oven is a lame gas oven I inherited from the previous owner and I haven´t bought a baking stone yet… well, needless to say, I didn´t manage to make the schedules work, so I´m stuck baking it in my lame oven.

dough resting

As I´m writing this, the dough is resting in the fridge since last night, waiting for my friends to come over tonight to enjoy the pizza party while we watch the last episode of a lame soap opera they watch and I humor them and follow along when we get together.

But being late gives me time to figure out my toppings, and assemble them beforehand, plus I figured I would take advantage of the new poll feature WordPress has added to ask your opinion on the matter.

The recipe yields six thin pizzas, so I have a lot of room to play. My first ideas are:

1. Your typical marguerita pizza: tomato sauce, mozarella, and I´ll be drizzling some pesto on top.

2. A marguerita topped with raw arugula and dried out prosciutto ham sprinkled on top.

3. A spinach pizza with roasted garlic, bechamel sauce and onions and a generous layer of cheese on top.

I´ll update with pictures and comments as things happen.

In the meantime, you can check out a thousand variations of this recipe in the Daring Bakers blogroll.

before
Before

UPDATE 1: I´ve got all my ingredients and now is on to some prep-work. First thing, I dried out the prosciutto. How, you ask? Well, I saw it on tv a while back and it´s so easy I had meant to try it ever since. Basically, you grab two porcelain or glass plates, put a paper towel on top of one plate, then arrange some slices of proscuitto over it side by side, put another paper towel and the other plate stacked on top to add some weight. Microwave it on high for one minute, then discard the paper towels and add new ones (they get soggy with the fat that cooks off), put the top plate back on and microwave again for 1 minute.

prosciutto, dried out
After

Voilá, you have proscuitto chips that you can use as they are to decorate something or chop them up as I´m planning to do and sprinkle on top of pizza or whatever your heart desires. I took some pics for you, which aren´t the best because daylight is going away fast, but at least it gives you a visual idea of what I´m talking about.

I´ll be back soon!

marguerita

UPDATE 2: Well, the pizza is mostly gone by now, and it was a success! I ended up doing 1 spinach one because I run out of spinach and I copied Tanna´s idea of adding eggs to it since I had some killer organic eggs I could use (check out how orange that yolk is), 2 arugula ones with the dried out prosciutto, and 3 marguerita with pesto, just because I run out of the other ingredients and by the 6th pizza I was a bit tired.

pizza de espinaca

rúcula

I used half all purpose and half bread flour, and added the 1/4 cup of olive oil in hopes of having the best of both worlds. And I don´t know if it was the flours, the resting time or what, but I loved working with this dough, see, I even managed to do the flipping the dough in the air action shot! haha Which also served the purpose of adding a show to the dinner party! Oh, and for those of you wondering, the final episode of the soap was craptacular, as expected.

revoleando la pizza

I have to say this recipe is definitely becoming a regular in my house. So If you want, you can check it out after the jump, with GF options included.

PS: Sorry for the crappy pictures, it was late at night and I didn´t want to take forever with the pics. I did my best “fixing” them with Picnic at Flickr, but they are still bad.

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Filed under bread, Daring bakers, food, savory, vegetables

Watch your breath!

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What happens when a dozen bakers get together to bake on a Sunday through Skype? Well, trust me, you don´t really want to know the details, but there was laughter, girth talk, small talk, linguistic queries (is it penises or penii?) lol ok, I think you get the picture.

Oh you are wondering about who was in that little group? Well, I´m not naming names, but it was Sara, Mary, John, Lisa, Chris, Helene, Kelly and Tanna. This time, Ivonne, Laura, Ben, and Stephanie couldn’t join in the fun, but I´m sure they´ll come back in for the next recipe after that description of what went on.

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And regarding the recipe, we did garlic knots. Some did the King Arthur Flour recipe, and some of us did a variation of a Bon Appetit recipe Mary came up with to try to come up with something Lis ate at a restaurant and loved. The dough is a bit sweet with 1/2 cup of sugar, but mine didn´t come out too sweet, so you can adjust that to suit your tastes. I doubled the original amount of garlic, because we are talking about garlic knots here, so they needed to pack a punch.

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I loved the brioche-like texture of the bread, not so much the amount of butter brioche-like bread needs, but oh well, you can´t win them all. But beware, if you don´t want to eat them all in a day, do what I did and cook most of them halfway (before they start to brown but they are cooked) and freeze them up to reheat them briefly in the oven later on.

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Butterhorn garlic knots (originally from Bon Appetit , later adapted by Mary, and later on, by myself)

Makes 16 big knots

1 cup whole milk
¾ cup unsalted butter cut into pieces
½ cup warm water (105 degrees)
1 tsp plus ½ cup sugar, divided (remember to reduce the sugar a bit if you don´t want them to be a bit sweet)
1 envelope dry yeast
3 large eggs, room temp
5 ¼ cups, AP flour
1 tablespoon salt
1 Tbsp melted butter

1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
7 cloves garlic, minced finely

In heavy medium sized sauce pan over low heat, heat milk and ¾ cup of butter until butter melts. Stir occasionally to prevent milk from burning on bottom of pan (I did this step in the microwave at 60% and it worked beautifully). Let cool to 120 degrees.

Combine warm water, 1 tsp sugar, and yeast in small bowl and let stand for 5 minutes (this is for flavor not to proof yeast, unless you are using active yeast in which case you are proofing and getting flavor)

In large bowl of stand mixer using the whisk attachment, beat eggs and remaining sugar at low speed until blended. Beat in milk mixture. Gradually add 2 ½ cups of the flour, ½ cup at a time until blended smooth. Replace the whisk with dough hook. Add yeast mixture, salt, and 2 cups of flour (½ cup at a time), beat at medium low speed (2 on the KA mixture). You will have very wet and loose dough that climbs the dough hook but falls back down the bowl by this time. One TBSP at a time, add enough flour to form a firm but sticky dough ball. The dough balls will pull away from the sides of the bowl and not flop back to the sides. It will feel like “fly paper” when you tough it.

Pour 1 Tbsp melted butter in large bowl (4Qt or Larger) that can be fitted with a lid or that plastic wrap clings to well. On very lightly flour covered counter and with lightly floured hands, give dough 3 – 5 quick hand kneads to form good dough ball and then put in buttered bowl, turning dough over to coat with butter. Cover bowl with lid or plastic wrap and let rise in a warm, draft free place (your hot water heater Lisa, covered with a towel) until doubled, about 1 ½ hours.

Punch down dough, fold dough over in half and then half again, and brush with melted butter. Cover bowl again and let rise again in same warm draft free place until double (about 1 hour) FYI: This is called turning the dough too, just like with puff pastry and will result in a flaky rolls)

From here follow the directions for making the knots as shown on the KA website. Just don’t tuck the ends in to get the shape you want.

Cover and let rise until double, brush with melted butter and garlic and bake in 375 F degree preheated oven for 15 -20 minutes. If you notice your oven is baking too hot, turn it down to 350 and bake a little longer. If the tops are starting to brown too much owing to all the butter, just cover with some foil but take the foil off for the last few minutes of baking so you don’t make the rolls soggy.

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Clouds, weirdos, and sunshine

I had a funny thing going on with Seattle even before I set foot in the city. Everyone I met either online or in person seem to come from there, it was as if suddenly all the interesting people had decided to move there, notwithstanding the grayness, which I decided was not a big deal… that is, until I actually experienced it myself!

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It turns out it wasn´t any sort of myth, trust me, in Seattle it rains, or drizzles, quite a bit, but that´s not the worst part, the bad part was the winter-like weather in the middle of spring, and all that gray. BUT I loved the city, I truly did, despite all I´ve just said, which means all those people who move there actually know what they are doing.

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Of course, my situation was quite special because I was staying with my dear friend Jenny and her family, so I actually got to see a bit of real life there and not just touristy stuff, which is just how I like it. Plus, I had talked to Traca of Seattle Tall Poppy online before going, and she kindly organized all sorts of fun activities for me, including breakfast with Peabody and a food lovers dinner at Kris Dew´s house with Lara of Cook and Eat, Molly of Orangette, Mohini of Mango Power Girl, food journalist Rebekah Denn, pastry chef Dana Cree, and food lovers Dan and Phil. Needless to say, we did a potluck dinner so we had quite a spread, not to mention the view, but truly, the best thing was the company, including Kris´s adorable cat, Rocky.

But the one thing that sucks with meetings where you meet that many people is the feeling of not being able to talk deeply with anyone at all, especially since, believe it or not, I can get quite shy in such situations. But, anyways, Jenny and I brought a tasty, yet dead simple dish, to the meeting: Martha Stewart´s chana masala, but more on that at the end of the post.

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I have to say that one of the things I loved the most about Seattle is its wonderfully crazy irreverent attitude, as can be evidenced by people you meet walking down the street, or in bizarre monuments like a troll eating a car in Fremont, or a tiny replica of the statue of liberty, among many, and I mean many, other things.

Like smart “political” toys:

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Or fake macarons made of soap:

soap macarons

So, trying to sum up all of my experiences in Seattle after being back in Buenos Aires for over a month now, I think it´d come down to people and nature, because the place is truly gorgeous and has the peculiar advantage of remaining close to nature while being a big city, and I´ve always enjoyed hanging out with weirdos like myself, and Seattle gives me plenty to choose from.

Which means that I have no idea when I´ll be back, but I´ll be back, so save a few days of sun for me, will ya?

chana masala

Chana masala (from Martha Stewart´s site)

Serves 4

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
2 small onions, finely diced (1 1/2 cups)
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cans of chickpeas (about 4 cups)
1 1/2 cups crushed canned tomatoes
1 teaspoon garam masala
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1/4 cup freshly chopped cilantro

1. Heat oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add cumin seeds, and cook until they begin to pop, about 30 seconds. Add onions, and cook until they begin to brown. Add garlic, and cook 1 minute more.

2. Add tomatoes, chickpeas, jalapeno, garam masala, and salt. Reduce heat to low, and simmer 10 minutes. Stir in cilantro, and serve.

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Filed under food, rambling, savory, travel, vegetables

Having your cake, and eating it too

So the birthday parties were a blast, but did leave this birthday girl a bit exhausted (I guess I am getting old!). Luckily, my gym gave me a free massage for my bday, so I´m all better now, and ready for a quick recap of the menus.

On Friday, I made a simple meal that didn´t need knives and forks, because, well, I really don´t have that many forks! So it was time for homemade burgers (with store-bought buns because making the buns would have added another layer of stress, and another layer of dirt to my overworked, tiny kitchen). As a “starter”, I served these arugula-sundried tomato-prosciutto-cheese bread rolls I discovered last year… which, incidentally, if you haven´t made them, you really, really should, trust me on this one.

tomato-arugula rolls 2

And for dessert/birthday cake, I went with something that had no way of going wrong: Dorie´s Caramel-Peanut Topped Brownie Cake. It was marvelous, as is to be expected, but I think next time, I´m gonna underbake the cake even more because it came out a bit drier than brownie-style cakes are meant to be even though I baked it for 30 minutes instead of the 40-45 indicated in the recipe. Other than that, the cake is a keeper, especially the caramel sauce (which produces about half a cup of extra sauce and Dorie instructs to reheat later on with some more cream and drizzle on ice cream… I haven´t tried that yet, but I see that working and I also envision that sauce over homemade flan, that would be just sigh-inducing deliciousness.)

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I´ll tell you about Saturday´s menu next time, but in the meantime, I´d like to recommend another recipe I made for my birthday (this time for the pre-bday party on Thursday night): David Levovitz Black bottom cupcakes. The combination is very interesting and easy to whip up. Though next time I´m gonna try making my spoonfuls of unsweetened cocoa a bit skimpier because I´ve discovered there is such thing as too much chocolate sometimes.

black bottom cupcakes

black bottom cupcakes

birthday party number 1

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Filed under bread, food, rambling, savory, sweet

Starting off the year with leftovers

If there´s one thing the holidays leave behind, besides enlarged bodies and resolutions no one is going to stick to, is leftovers.

And unless you freeze them, you end up getting tired of eating the same old thing for days. Which is why I try to at least use the same old thing to create something else.

salmon braid

This year´s leftovers included a huge piece of grilled pink salmon. And the sad thing is, I don´t even enjoy salmon much (long story short, I don´t like fish that tastes too fishy, I know, I know, but I can´t help it… luckily that doesn´t include shrimp, squids and all sorts of tasty seafood.) So this was originally a recycling effort aimed at my parents and brothers.

You basically make a yeasted dough with beer, put a mixture of the salmon, capers, olives and cheese in the middle, make a few cuts and braid it… my braid wasn´t particularly OCD, since it´s not in my nature, but it still looks quite pretty.

salmon braid

And the big surprise was that I actually liked it! It must be the bread. I find that bread makes everything better, and a bit of cheese never hurts either. I tried it warm and it was delectable, but it was even better out of the fridge the next day.

So even if you don´t like fishy fish like me, you might be surprised with this recipe. You could even use some tuna instead, minced meat, leftovers from a stew wouldn´t be bad either.

salmon braid

I can see myself making this particular dough over and over again with different fillings because it took only 1 hour and a half from start to finish (55 minutes for the 2 proofings and 35 minutes in the oven.) The dough recipe is from my favorite bread book and the filling is a personal creation, which means you are free to let your imagination, and the leftovers in your fridge, get to work.

salmon braid

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You say potato…

Oh yeah, here we go again, it´s Daring Bakers time… you are thinking butter and sugar by the pound, right? But no, no, no, never assume we are going to do the same old thing.

This time, we are using no sugar and just a spoonful of butter, which as you know, in Daring Baker terms, is pretty much non existent. Not only that, we are going savory!

potato bread

My hips, for one, are releasing a big sigh of relief… but they might have celebrating too soon, because it´s not as if we are doing salads or anything, we are doing bread, potato bread to be more specific, which happens to be a vegetable, so I think it´s all good (stop laughing, don´t argue with my logic!).

potato bread

Anyways, on to the recipe. Our amazing hostess, Tanna, chose a wonderfully flexible potato bread recipe and gave us tons of room to be creative, including toppings and flavorings, and the choice of using from 6-16 ounces of mashed potatoes depending on our bread-baking experience. I used around 14 ounces and boy was it sticky, especially after I added chopped onions to the dough, but nothing some flour and patient kneading can´t fix.

potato bread

And the end result was definitely worth it: very moist bread with a nice crumb, which was good plain as a sandwich bread or for breakfast, and awesome as a blank canvas to go crazy with toppings and flavorings.

My choices: 1 loaf plain topped with sesame and sunflower seeds, and 2 loaves with chopped onions (chopped a bit earlier and squeezed), parmesan cheese and chopped basil inside and topped with a nice layer of parmesan cheese.

That´s breakfast for you

And that´s another great thing about the recipe, you get tons and tons of bread you can use as a focaccia, dinner rolls or whatever you want, so you can slice your leftovers and freeze them like I did, so the kneading definitely pays off since in my world, nothing beats homemade bread… and with summer approaching, that´s going to get hard, even for bread junkies like myself.

Potato bread

But before putting on your cutest apron and getting up to your elbows in wet dough, check out the amazing creations of my fellow Daring Bakers (I know, we are a tiny group!), and check out the recipe at Tanna´s blog.

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Filed under bread, Daring bakers, events, food, savory, vegetables

Forestry

Tarts are definitely one of my favorite dishes. They are just so versatile! And they marry two of my biggest food loves: doughs and veggies, oh and cheese, so that makes 3.

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So when I heard this moth´s Waiter, there´s something in my… was going to be about topless tarts, I was good to go, since it gave me the perfect excuse to try a brioche-like tart dough I had seen on tv and use up some broccoli I had in the fridge.

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Now, this dough is just awesome, but it has quite a bit of butter for a savory tart dough, so it´s something for a special occasion, like movie nights with the girls (a weekly get together with some of my friends I was hosting last week, the link is the blog Sole put together with the movies we see, reviews and such.) It´s way easier to disregard a bit of butter when you are chitchatting! I also made an addicting peach cake with cardamom, but more on that later.

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As for this tart, I loved it, all of it, the tender yet crunchy dough and the broccoli-rosemary-cheese filling I invented. Plus, it looked adorable, kinda like a little forest.

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So I hope you give it a try, either to the whole thing or to one of the components. And check out the roundup of Waiter… next week to get tons of ideas of what to do with a bit of dough and some filling.

I hope everyone has a fabulous weekend! (but check back soon because I´ll be posting something tomorrow and we have the Daring Bakers challenge on Monday).

 

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