Category Archives: vegetables

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

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

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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Filed under events, food, savory, vegetables

Drum roll…

Ladies and gentlemen, we finally have a recipe index! It´s right above the photo header with the dripping dulce de leche. And while it´s not ordered alphabetically or anything, it does have different sections to keep things useful, so I hope you like it.

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Filed under bread, food, savory, sweet, vegetables

Back to basics

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When you are in a funk, it´s good to turn to comfort food, and to me, comfort food usually equals Mediterranean food. But I didn´t want to do the same old stuff, since I have a blog to update after all, so I turned to The Cook´s Book and started making a list of all the basic and not-so-basic recipes I want to try.

This tomato tapenade basically screamed at me. As you probably know, the typical tapenade is mainly made out of olives and capers. But this one also has sundried tomatoes, garlic, lemon and many other appetizing additions.

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One of the beauties of this recipe, besides the fact that it packs a punch in terms of flavor, is that it´s incredibly versatile. The typical use would be spread over bread, and it´s delicious like that, but I also tried it with chickpeas and it´s amazing, and it made a last minute meal of plain spaghetti almost sing. Other uses I´ve thought of is to mix it with ricotta and use it as a ravioli filling, or add it to dough for pizza or bread.

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I think you get the point by now, you need to make it! You can adjust the quantities in the recipe to suit your taste, as did I, or add some other herbs you think would work well here. Bon appetitt!

Tomato tapenade (adapted from a recipe by Paul Gayler found in The Cook´s Book)

Makes 1 cup

3 1/2 oz (100g) oiled-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained and rougly chopped (I used around 15 regular sun-dried tomatoes, not preserved in oil)

1 tsp Dijon mustard

2 1/2 tsp capers, rinsed and drained (the original called for the same amount of tablespoons, but I thought it was too much for my taste)

3 tbsp pitted green olives

2 garlic cloves, crushed

1 tsp chopped rosemary

1 tsp lemon juice

6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1. Put all the ingredients in a food processor. Using the on-off pulse button, process to a coarse purée, but not until smooth.

2. Season the tapenade with salt and pepper to taste. Serve at room temperature (but you can keep it in the fridge for at least a few days and I´m fairly sure it freezes well too.)

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Filed under food, savory, vegetables

Catching up

Lately I´ve been doing a whole lot of cooking, but falling a bit short on the writing part of the deal. And since I must be at least 6 or 7 recipes behind right now, I´m thinking my only way out of this mess is to do a recap sort of post, you know, like they do in sitcoms when they run out of ideas, but in this case, it´s all new stuff, so don´t hate me just yet.

One of the reasons why I´ve fallen behind is probably the length of the recipes I´ve been doing lately… I mean, I try to fight my lazy nature, but typing up a 3-page recipe can be too daunting a task sometimes.

rosemary garlic bread 2

But when the recipe is good enough to demand being shared, I oblige. And that would be the case with this recipe by Peter Reinhart. It´s a roasted garlic-rosemary bread with mashed potatoes in the dough… that´s a recipe for sucess right there. It´s definitely one of those bread to be devoured on its own or used to enhance most dishes. You need to invite people over to help you eat it or freeze most of it as soon once it has cooled down, otherwise, you´ll be in a whole lot of trouble… don´t say I didn´t warn you.

rosemary garlic bread

rosemary garlic bread 3

The second recipe I´ve meant to discuss sooner is Dorie Greenspan´s Allspice Crumble Muffins (since everyone seems to have the book and I´m tired after typing out the first recipe, it´s on page 16 of Baking: From my Home to Yours.) First of all, I hadn´t tried allspice before, so that was a revelation in itself, but the crumble on top of the muffin was simply perfect, a very moist crumb topped with a sturdy crust, can´t get better than that. Flavor-wise, I´ll add a bit more allspice next time to kick it up a notch.

allspice crumble muffins

Then I made Peter Reinhart Vienna´s bread, which, while very good, doesn´t justify typing out a yet another 3 page recipe (maybe with a few tweaks it will,) but this picture of Phoebe guarding the bread does justify mentioning it! (This is for those of you asking for updated pics of her… more coming up soon, I promise.)

Vienna bread

Vienna bread, security included

And the last recipe I want to share with you today is a recipe by the talented Ilva over at Lucullian Delights. It´s a recipe for Mediterranean chickpea fritters with olives and sun-dried tomatoes. I had all the ingredients in my pantry, so it took me 10 minutes overall to have this on the table, and it´s so damn good I made it again a couple of days later. The only thing I changed was that I added 1 egg because I figured it´d give it a fluffier consistency and a teaspoon of capers just because I like them. Either way you like it, do yourself a favor and make them.

Ilva´s chickpea fritters

Ilva´s chickpea fritters 2

Phew! Done!

(Recipe after the jump)

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Filed under bread, food, Phoebe, savory, sweet, vegetables