Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Peasant Bread in a bowl

I found this on Facebook and have not tried it. It looks like an easy, no fuss bread. So, I will give it a try.

The bowls: The vintage Pyrex #441 bowl is my favorite bowl to bake the peasant bread in — the perfectly round shape of the bowl creates a beautiful round loaf. It belongs to a set of four nesting bowls (also called Cinderella bowls, specifically the Pyrex #441, #442, #443, #444), which I have purchased from Ebay. I absolutely love the set in general, but I love most of all that I can bake the whole batch of peasant bread in the second largest bowl (#443) and half of the batch in the smallest bowl (#441). The set runs anywhere from $35 to $50 or higher depending on the pattern of the Pyrex. More pictures of the bowls can be found on this post

Another cheaper, very good option is the Pyrex 322. Sold here, too. 

The bread: This is a sticky, no-knead dough, so, some sort of baking vessel, such as pyrex bowls (about 1-L or 1-qt) or ramekins for mini loaves is required to bake this bread. You can use a bowl that is about 2 qt or 2 L in size to bake off the whole batch of dough (versus splitting the dough in half) but do not use this size for baking half of the dough — it is too big. 

Yeast: I buy Red Star Active Dry and SAF Instant Yeast in bulk from Amazon. I store it in my freezer, and it lasts forever. If you are using the packets of yeast (the kind that come in the 3-fold packets), just go ahead and use a whole packet — It's 2.25 teaspoons. I have made the bread with active dry, rapid rise, and instant yeast, and all varieties work. If you are interested in buying yeast in bulk, here you go: Red Star Baking Yeast and SAF instant yeast. The beauty of instant yeast is that there is no need to do the proofing step — you can add the yeast directly to the flour. I never use active-dry yeast anymore, actually. 

Several commenters have had trouble with the second rise, and this seems to be caused by the shape of the bowl they are letting the dough rise in the second time around. Two hours for the second rise is too long. If you don't have a 1-qt bowl, bake ¾ of the dough in a loaf pan and bake the rest off in muffin tins or a popover pan — I recently made 6 mini loaves in a popover pan. The second rise should take no more than 30 minutes.

Serves: 2 loaves
  • 4 cups (512 g | 1 lb. 2 oz) unbleached all-purpose flour (measure scant cups)
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 cups lukewarm water*
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons active-dry or instant yeast
  • room temperature butter, about 2 tablespoons

  • Mixing the dough:

  • • If you are using active-dry yeast: In a small mixing bowl, dissolve the sugar into the water. Sprinkle the yeast over top. There is no need to stir it up. Let it stand for about 10 to 15 minutes or until the mixture is foamy and/or bubbling just a bit — this step will ensure that the yeast is active. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together the flour and salt. When the yeast-water-sugar mixture is foamy, stir it up, and add it to the flour bowl. Mix until the flour is absorbed. 

    • If you are using instant yeast: In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, sugar, and instant yeast. Add the water. Mix until the flour is absorbed. 

  • Cover bowl with a tea towel or plastic wrap and set aside in a warm spot to rise for at least an hour. (In the winter or if you are letting the bread rise in a cool place, it might take as long as two hours to rise.) This is how to create a slightly warm spot for your bread to rise in: Turn the oven on at any temperature (350ºF or so) for one minute, then turn it off. Note: Do not allow the oven to get up to 300ºF, for example, and then heat at that setting for 1 minute — this will be too hot. Just let the oven preheat for a total of 1 minute — it likely won't get above 100ºF. The goal is to just create a slightly warm environment for the bread. 

  • Preheat the oven to 425ºF. Grease two oven-safe bowls (such as the 1-qt pyrex bowls I mentioned above) with about a tablespoon of butter each. Using two forks, punch down your dough, scraping it from the sides of the bowl, which it will be clinging to. As you scrape it down try to turn the dough up onto itself if that makes sense. You want to loosen the dough entirely from the sides of the bowl, and you want to make sure you've punched it down. Then, take your two forks and divide the dough into two equal portions — eye the center of the mass of dough, and starting from the center and working out, pull the dough apart with the two forks. Then scoop up each half and place into your prepared bowls. This part can be a little messy — the dough is very wet and will slip all over the place. Using small forks or forks with short tines makes this easier — my small salad forks work best; my dinner forks make it harder. It's best to scoop it up fast and plop it in the bowl in one fell swoop. 

  • Let the dough rise for about 20 to 30 minutes on the countertop near the oven (or near a warm spot) or until it has risen to just below or above (depending on what size bowl you are using) the top of the bowls. (Note: Do not do the warm-oven trick for the second rise, and do not cover your bowls for the second rise. Simply set your bowls on top of your oven, so that they are in a warm spot. Twenty minutes in this spot usually is enough for my loaves.)

  • Bake for 15 minutes. Reduce the heat to 375º and make for 15 to 17 minutes longer. Remove from the oven and turn the loaves onto cooling racks. If you've greased the bowls well, the loaves should fall right out onto the cooling racks. If the loaves look a little pale and soft when you've turned them out onto your cooling racks, place the loaves into the oven (outside of their bowls) and let them bake for about 5 minutes longer. Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes before cutting.

  • Read more: https://www.alexandracooks.com/2012/11/07/my-mothers-peasant-bread-the-best-easiest-bread-you-will-ever-make/#ixzz4Is2EhUJL

    Monday, August 29, 2016

    Mint chimichurri for lamb

    • 2 cups mint leaves
    • 1 small jalapeño, seeded and coarsely chopped
    • 1 small shallot, coarsely chopped
    • 1 garlic clove, coarsely chopped
    • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
    • Pinch of sugar
    • 1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
    • Salt
    • Process all ingredients in a food processor or blender to a not too smooth paste. Serve with lamb.

    Saturday, August 27, 2016

    Andrew zimmern's chicken wings

    These sound amazing! 

    4-6 servings

    16 chicken wings, flap segments removed and saved for stock
    1/3 cup sake
    1/3 cup soy sauce
    4 tablespoons brown sugar (If you like it sweeter, add more. You can check the flavor of the sauce at any time and I encourage you to do so.)
    3 tablespoons mirin
    3 tablespoons oyster sauce
    4 large thin slices fresh ginger
    2 cloves star anise
    1 dried hot chile
    1 cinnamon stick
    Shaved green onions, for garnish
    Sesame seeds, for garnish

    Place a 14-inch nonstick saute pan over high heat. Add the chicken and dry-sear to lightly brown the chicken. Add the sake, soy sauce, 1/3 cup water, brown sugar, mirin, oyster sauce, ginger, star anise, dried chile and cinnamon stick and bring to a simmer. Cook, covered, about 12 minutes.
    Uncover and simmer until the pan is almost dry, tossing frequently to coat the wings, 10 to 12 minutes. Skim off the fat if you like, and serve, garnishing with scallion shavings and sesame seeds. I like to emulsify the chicken fat into the sauce by turning up the heat at the last minute to boil the fat into the other liquids.

    Sunday, August 14, 2016

    Corned beef

    This was Ama B's recipe for corned beef. Part of it comes from The Heritage of Southern Cooking and the glaze is from a clipping from the old Parade Magazine. I'm going to include the instructions for corning your own brisket, but I think that Ama B just bought a corned beef brisket and proceeded.
    To serve this meat with cabbage, potatoes, and carrots. Cook the vegetables separately in salted water and serve buttered. 

    To corn meat
    1 4-5 lb brisket
    1 gallon cold water
    1 1/2 cups uniodized salt
    2 tbl light brown sugar
    2 tsp (1/2 oz) salt petre (sodium nitrate)
    8 bay leaves
    5 cloves garlic
    2 tbl coriander seed
    2 dried chile peppers
    2 tbl mustard seed
    1 tsp whole cloves
    1 tsp whol allspice
    Place the brisket in a non-aluminum pan (or in a turkey brining bag).  Add the remaining ingredients and weight down the meat with a plate so it stays submerged. Refrigerate for 2-3 weeks, turning every 2-3 days.

    To cook the corned beef
    1 bay leaf
    3-4 whole allspice
    1 clove garlic, unpeeled 
    Drain the meat and rinse well in cool water. Place in a deep roasting pan. Add the remaining ingredients and enough cold water to cover. Place in a cold oven, set temp to 325 and simmer 31/2-4 hours.  Allow meat to cool in broth. Reserve 3/4 cup cooking liquid to reheat and glaze.

    To reheat and Glaze 
    Preheat oven to 350
    1/2 cup bitter orange marmalade
    Place meat in a shallow roasting, sprinkle with salt and pepper and spread with marmalade. Pour reserved cooking liquid into pan and bake 25 minutes basting occasionally. Serve with mustard sauce.

    Mustard sauce (1 1/2 cups)
    6 tbl dry mustard
    1 1/2 cups water
    4 1/2 tbl flour
    3/4 cup sugar
    1 cup plus 1 tbl cider vinegar 
    6 tbl butter
    1 1/2 tsp salt
    In a non-aluminum saucepan, combine mustard and water and allow to stand a few minutes to lose its sting. Mix together flour and sugar. Add the vinegar and the flour mixture to the mustard and stir well. Simmer over low heat 15-20 minutes.

    Friday, August 05, 2016


    Los codzitos son una botana típica del sureste de México. Son taquitos fritos cubiertos de salsa y queso.

    1 kg de tortillas de maíz (frescas)
    1 kg de manteca de cerdo, o 1 litro de aceite vegetal

    1 kg de jitomates
    2 dientes de aho
    1/2 de una cebolla morada tamaño mediano
    2 chiles habaneros ( o 1 chile x'catik y 1 habanero)
    250 gr de queso de Chiapas o Sopero (rayado) 
    Sal al gusto

    Preparación de la salsa:
    Los jitomates se hierven por 5 minutos o hasta que el pellejito se les despegue, se pelan. Los ajos, la cebolla, y los chiles se asan, se pelan los ajos, y a los chiles se les quitan las semillas. Se licuan los jitomates pelados, ajos y chiles (al gusto) hasta que este el licuado bien finito. El licuado se frie con un poco de manteca (o aceite) hasta que tome un color anaranjado. Se baja a fuego lento y se continua cociendo hasta que espese. Una vez espeso, se agrega la sal.

    Preparación de los codzitos:

    Para formar un codzito, se toma una tortilla, se le pone una pisca de sal, se enrolla (como una flauta) y se amarra con hilo de algodón (ver foto). Se repite el proceso hasta que se acaben las tortillas.

    En un sartén hondo, se calienta la manteca (o aceite) y cuando este bien caliente se agregan unos codzitos. Cuando ya este fritos, se sacan del sartén y se colocan en una coladera cubierta con servilletas de papel. Se agregan mas codzitos y se repite el proceso hasta que todos los codzitos esten fritos.

    Se ponen unos codzitos en un platon, se cubren con la salsa bien caliente y se espolvorean con el queso rayado.

    1 kilo corn tortillas
    1 kilo pork lard or 1 liter of vegetable oil

    1 kilo plum tomatoes
    2 garlic cloves
    1/2 medium red onion
    2 chiles habaneros (or to taste) (for a milder flavor, substitute a banana pepper)
    250 grams queso fresco, shredded (you could substitute feta)

    Plunge the tomatoes into boiling water and peel. Roast the garlic, onion, and chiles in a dry iron skillet until blistered. Peel the garlic and deseed the chiles. Puree tomatoes, garlic,onion, and add chiles to taste. Cook puree in some of the lard until it becomes orange colored and thickens. Add salt to taste.

    Salt a tortilla, roll it up and secure with twine (or toothpick). Repeat with all the tortillas.
    In a deep skillet, heat the lard and fry the codzitos a few at a time til brown. Set them aside to drain.

    To serve
    Place 2-3 codzitos on a plate. Top with hot sauce and shredded cheese.