Archive for the 'Recipes' Category

Sourdough Boule w/ Flax & Sunflower Seeds

A new bread for a new season. This bread is a keeper… nice crunchy crust and an airy, chewy crumb. The seeds added some nice texture too! I used the same recipe as in my previous post on rye pain au levain but shaped it differently and exchanged the rye flour for equal parts flax and sunflower seeds. I made one large boule and baked it for 52 minutes (internal temperature reached 206 degrees F).

I experienced the same problem w/ the bread bursting at the seams and distorting the shape from the excellent oven spring. Next time I’ll try making 2 smaller loaves to see if this resolves the problem.

sourdough boule with flax and sunflower seeds1

sourdough boule with flax and sunflower seeds2

Happy baking…

Bruno

Bean & Escarole Stew w/ Spiced Pastry Crisps; Pear Tart w/ Quince Glaze

A comforting dinner for a cold winter night w/ friends.

The bean stew tasted better than it looks in the photo. There was no time for food fluffing… I had party guests arriving at any minute! Kalamata rather than Castelvetrano olives were used.  I browned some ham chunks for the non-vegetarians to add to their stew if desired. The stew recipe also called for garlic rubbed rustic bread toast which I substituted w/ the spiced pastry crisps. They’re very easy to make… just roll out some pastry/pie dough, cut into slivers and sprinkle w/ harissa spice blend and freshly grated parmesan, then bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees F.

 Bartlett pears were used for the tart although after grocery shopping I learned they are not the preferred choice for baking. Supposedly they don’t hold up well when baked, but the tart turned out fine.

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pastry-dough-crisps

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pear-tart2

Navy Bean and Escarole Stew (recipe adapted from Bon Appetit)

Ingredients:

1 1/2 heads garlic

4 tablespoons olive oil

1 large onion – chopped

1 fennel bulb – chopped

1 1/4 tablespoons finely grated lemon zest

3 teaspoons finely chopped rosemary

3/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

3 bay leaves

3 cups dried navy beans soaked overnight, drained

8 oz. crumbled feta cheese

1 1/2 cups kalamata olives, pitted and halved lengthwise

1 head escarole, leaves torn into 2 inch pieces

Procedure:

1) Smash garlic cloves w/ the flat side of a chef’s knife.

2) Heat olive oil in a large dutch oven, add garlic and cook over medium heat, stirring often, until golden (approx. 5-7 min.).

3) Add onion and fennel, season lightly w/ salt, cook, stirring often, until onion is translucent and onion and fennel are browned around the edges (approx. 10-15 min.).

4) Add lemon zest, rosemary and red pepper flakes, stirring often, until rosemary is very fragrant (approx. 3-5 minutes).

5) Add bay leaves, beans, 1 teaspoon salt and 12 cups of water; bring to a simmer.

6) Partially cover pot, reduce heat to low, and gently simmer stew until beans are creamy and tender all the way through (approx. 60-80 minutes).

7) Add olives to stew, then add escarole in batches, letting it wilt slightly before adding more; simmer until escarole is tender (approx. 3-5 minutes).

8) Pluck out bay leaves, adding more salt if necessary (keeping in mind the feta is salty, so don’t over season).

9) Serve stew w/ feta and spiced pastry crisps on the side.

Yield: approx. 6 servings

Pear Tart w/ Quince Glaze (recipe adapted from About Food)

Ingredients:

Your favorite pastry dough (I made enough for 2 discs so I could make the pastry crisps for the stew)

5 pears – peeled, cored and sliced lengthwise 3/8 inch thick (I cut the slices in half so it would be easier to arrange in the tart)

1/3 cup sugar

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1/4 cup quince jelly

Procedure:

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2) Roll out 1 disc of dough so that it’s large enough to line a 10 inch tart dish. Carefully place dough into tart dish by rolling it up on rolling pin and unrolling into dish and letting it settle into corners – don’t press or stretch dough to avoid shrinkage while baking ; evenly trim excess dough from edges of dish.

3) In a bowl, add sugar and lemon juice, then add pear slices and toss so that all slices are coated w/ the lemon/sugar mixture.

4) Arrange the pear slices in concentric circles on the tart dough as neatly as possible.

5) Place tart on middle rack in oven and bake until crust is a nice golden brown (approx. 50 minutes); rotate tart in oven halfway through for even baking.

6) While tart is baking, place quince jelly and 1/8 cup water in a small pot and cook over low heat to dissolve and thicken into a syrup consistency.

7) When tart comes out of the oven, evenly brush quince glaze onto the pears.

8) Serve tart warm or at room temperature (w/ a nice snifter of Armagnac to warm you and your guests up on a cold winter night!).

Yield; 6 to 8 servings depending on how you slice it!

 

Happy New Year!!

Bruno

Persimmon Gelato w/ Lebkuchen Chunks

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A seasonal treat for a perfect ending to your holiday feast. My taste testers seemed to like it, so this recipe is a keeper!

I always see persimmons in the grocery stores this time of year and have wanted to try making a gelato flavored w/ them. I used the Fuyu variety. If you decide to try this recipe, make sure you select ripe persimmons, otherwise they will be astringent.

Lebkuchen are a German holiday cookie that originated in Nuremberg over 600 years ago. They’re soft gingerbread w/ additional nuts and spices. I found the ones I used in this recipe at Trader Joe’s. You could easily substitute the Lebkuchen w/ ordinary soft gingerbread, or leave them out if you’re not a fan of the gingerbread flavor. Personally, I love gingerbread, not only because of the flavor, but also because it brings back fond childhood memories of Christmastime!

Persimmon Gelato w/ Lebkuchen Chunks

Ingredients:

4 Fuyu persimmons (peeled and pureed in food processor)

1 cup sugar

6 egg yolks

1 quart half & half

3/4 cup sugar iced Lebkuchen (cut into 1/2 inch chunks)

Procedure:

1) In a metal bowl, whisk egg yolks and sugar until mixture becomes smooth and pale yellow.

2) Place half & half in a heavy pot and heat until scalded.

3) Very slowly whisk half & half into egg/sugar mixture so as not to curdle the mixture.

4) Place bowl w/ mixture over a pot of simmering water, stirring continuously w/ a heat resistant spatula until mixture coats the back of a metal spoon (do not let mixture exceed 170 degrees F to prevent curdling), then quickly place bowl in an ice bath to stop the cooking process and promote rapid cooling.

5) In a food processor puree the persimmons, then pulse in some of  the gelato mixture to thin. Stir puree into the remaining gelato mixture, blending well, and chill in fridge for at least 4 hours or overnight. 

6) Churn mixture in ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions, adding the Lebkuchen chunks when mixture starts to freeze.

7) Pour gelato into a 2 quart plastic container, stir to evenly distribute the Lebkuchen chunks, then place a piece of parchment paper cut to size on the surface of gelato (this will reduce air exposure and prevent ice crystals from forming on the surface of the gelato). Seal container and freeze until firm.

Yield: Approx. 1 1/2 quarts 

Happy and delicious Holidays!!

Bruno

 

Garlicky Fermented Serrano/Jalapeno Hot Sauce

My garden produced so many hot peppers this year I had to think of new ways to use them all! In addition to making several batches of pepper jam, I decided to give this recipe a try. I fermented the peppers and garlic for 7 days before straining and pureeing. The flavor of the sauce is nice, however next time I will save some of the puree I strained out to thicken the sauce a bit more.

fermented-hot-sauce1 Day 1

fermented-hot-sauce2 Day 7

fermented-hot-sauce3 Finished product

Garlicky Fermented Serrano/Jalapeno Hot Sauce (recipe from Feast Magazine)

Ingredients:

4 cups serrano and jalapeno peppers – remove stems and halve lengthwise

10 cloves garlic – remove skins and smash slightly

1 tablespoon salt

2 cups water

Procedure:

1) Fill a 32 ounce jar w/ peppers and garlic

2) In a large bowl, dissolve salt in water. Pour just enough brine into jar to cover peppers and garlic.

3) Place fermentation weights over top of mixture to weigh it down.

4) Cover jar w/ a piece of cloth and secure w/ a rubber band. Allow mixture to ferment for 7 to 10 days. (the brine will become cloudy; this is a normal part of the process)

5) Once fermentation is complete, drain peppers and garlic, reserving brine.

6) In a food processor, puree peppers and garlic until a smooth paste forms. Add 1 tablespoon of brine at a time until hot sauce reaches desired consistency.

7) Run puree through a fine mesh strainer and store in a 12 ounce glass jar or bottle in refrigerator.

Yield: Approx, 12 ounces

Spice up your life!!

Bruno

Asian Basil Gelato w/ Roasted Hazelnuts

asian basil gelato with roasted hazelnuts1

Here’s a good recipe if you still have basil growing in your yard and don’t know what to do w/ it. You could surprise your friends at whatever Thanksgiving gathering you attend this year by bringing something unusual! In this recipe I used Asian basil to add a more pungent flavor, but any basil will work. I also tried a new technique of letting the basil steep in the gelato base in the fridge for 2 days before churning. This punched up the flavor and color.

Basil Gelato w/ Roasted Hazelnuts

Ingredients:

1 cup Asian basil leaves (packed)

6 egg yolks

1 cup sugar

1 quart half & half

1/2 cup roasted hazelnuts (coarsely chopped)

Procedure:

1) In a metal bowl, whisk egg yolks and sugar until mixture becomes smooth and pale yellow.

2) Place half & half in a heavy pot and heat until scalded.

3) Very slowly whisk warm half & half into egg/sugar mixture so as not to curdle the mixture.

4) Place bowl w/ mixture over a pot of simmering water, stirring continuously w/ a heat resistant spatula until mixture coats the back of a metal spoon (do not let mixture exceed 170 degrees F to prevent curdling), then quickly place bowl in an ice bath to stop the cooking process and promote rapid cooling.

5) Once cool, pour into a food processor, add basil and pulse until basil is finely chopped.

6) Pour back into bowl, cover (I use a shower cap that fits snuggly over the top) and place in fridge for 2 days.

7) Churn mixture in ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions, adding the hazelnuts when mixture begins to thicken.

8) Pour gelato into a 2 quart plastic container and quickly stir to evenly distribute the hazelnuts and basil.

9) Place a piece of parchment paper cut to size on the surface of gelato (this will reduce air exposure and prevent ice crystals from forming on the surface of the gelato), seal container and freeze until firm.

Yield: Approx. 1 1/2 quarts 

I hope you enjoy this recipe!

Bruno

Pepper Jam

Pepper Jam1

If you’re looking for something different to do w/ all those peppers growing in your garden, here’s a quick and easy recipe. I love the sweet and spicy flavors of this jam! Want it more sweet than spicy… just use less spicy peppers, add some bell peppers or just omit the hot pepper seeds/ribs. This jam will wake up your palate in the morning!

Pepper Jam (recipe adapted from popsugar.com)

Ingredients:

Mix of jalapeno and fresno peppers (stems, seeds and ribs removed, leaving seeds/stems of only 3 or 4 jalapenos) – enough for 2 cups when minced

3/4 cup of apple cider vinegar

1 1/4 cups of sugar

1 tablespoon fruit pectin

Procedure:

1) Finely mince peppers in a food processor

2) Place a small plate in the freezer

3) In a large heavy-bottomed pot combine minced peppers, cider vinegar and sugar. Bring to a rolling boil over medium high heat and boil for 10 minutes, stirring often.

4) Add fruit pectin, stirring constantly for 1 minute. Remove pot from heat.

5) Remove plate from freezer and dab a small amount of jam on it. Return plate to freezer for 1 minute. If the jam has jelled and does not slide down the plate when tilted it’s done. If the jam slides down, continue to cook mixture for another minute and try the freezer test again. If the jam is the desired consistency it’s ready.

6) Let cool a bit, then ladle into a jar.

Yield: 10 ounces

 

Pick a peck of peppers!

Bruno

Rye Pain au Levain Revisited

Same recipe and procedure as in my last post. Only this time I made 2 small loaves, 35 minute total bake time and rotated the loaves front to back after 20 minutes. Same great results… this recipe is a keeper!

Happy Baking!

Bruno

Rye Pain au Levain Batard

This is a very delicious bread… crisp crust, airy crumb and nice sour rye flavor! The only deviations I made from the recipe was making one big batard instead of 2 small ones. Also I did not have the steamer used, so after sliding the dough into the oven onto my pizza stone I poured a cup of water into a metal container placed on the bottom of the oven. Next time I’ll try making 2 small loaves to see if this is the optimal method. The recipe came from Bread Cetera. Click here for the recipe.

 

Coming soon to a garden near me… Spring and veggie season!

Bruno

Garlic Rosemary Knots

Garlic Rosemary Knots   (recipe adapted from Bon Appetit)

Ingredients:

3 tablespoons butter (melted)

2/3 pizza dough recipe (click here for recipe)

3 tablespoons garlic (minced)

1 1/2 tablespoons fresh rosemary (finely chopped)

Procedure:

1) Make pizza dough (add butter, garlic and rosemary into bowl prior to mixing in flour)

2) Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface into a 12 inch square then cut lengthwise into 8 ribbons. Roll each ribbon to round out the edges then tie each one into a knot. Place them on a parchment paper lined sheet pan, loosely cover w/ plastic wrap and let rise for about an hour until slightly puffed. 

3) Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Bake knots until cooked through and golden (approx. 20 – 25 minutes).

4) Remove from oven and let cool or serve warm – your preference.

Yield: 8 knots

 

Savor the goodness!

Bruno

Bannetons and Bread

I bought myself some new kitchen toys to help w/ my bread baking experiments. I did a lot of shopping around at various kitchen stores in St. Louis but couldn’t find a banneton for an affordable price – most places were charging around $40 for a single round one. I found a store online that sold me four bannetons of various shapes and sizes for just over $40 (the price included tax, shipping and an $8 wholesale charge for purchases under $50). I love my new toys!

I used the smallest round banneton a couple of days ago while I attempted to resolve the problem I’ve been experiencing w/ a bread recipe. I didn’t resolve the problem of the bread bursting open at a slash point and altering the shape, but I like the way the boule looks when using a banneton despite it being malformed! On attempt #6 of this recipe I extended the final proof to 4 hours and baked the bread at 460 degrees F for 36 minutes. I’m going to put this recipe on the shelf until Spring and warmer ambient kitchen temperatures in hopes to finally get the results I’m seeking. Until then I’ll experiment w/ new recipes using my new toys…

Happy Baking!

Bruno