Monthly Archive for June, 2007

Les Baguettes w/ Chives

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Zorra over at Kochtopf invited me to participate in breadbakingday, which is on July 1st. The requirements are to bake some bread w/ herbs in it, preferably fresh herbs from your garden.

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I’ve been wanting to try my hand at making a type of bread that I haven’t made before (or made years ago). I decided to make baguettes because I love their crunchy and chewy textures. To meet the requirement of fresh herbs I cut the fresh chives in my yard that were just sitting there doing nothing. I love the flavor of chives and figured they would add a nice zing to the bread!

This recipe is adapted from the California Culinary Academy’s baguette recipe. It’s simple, but is time consuming, so start the day before you plan on serving the bread.

Ingredients:

1  1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast

1/4 cup very warm water

4 cups bread flour

2  1/4 teaspoons salt

1  1/4 cups cool water

1/4 cup  fresh chives (finely chopped)

Corn meal for dusting sheet pan

Procedure:

1) In a large bowl dissolve the yeast in the warm water and let stand for 3 minutes

2) Add  the flour, salt, chives and cool water to the bowl, mix together w/ your hand, then remove mixture from bowl and knead for 8 minutes

3) Put dough back into the bowl, cover w/ plastic wrap and bulk ferment at room temperature for 90 minutes

4) Weigh dough into 3 equal portions then shape into tight balls, cover w/ plastic wrap and let bench rest for 1 hour

5) Shape into 14 inch baguettes by rolling from the center out using the palms of your hands

6) Place baguettes on a parchment paper lined sheet pan that is lightly dusted w/ corn meal

7) Cover w/ plastic wrap and place in refrigerator overnight

8) Let stand at room temperature for 1 hour prior to baking

9) Preheat oven to 425 degrees F

10) Dock baguettes w/ a very sharp knife or razor  – hold knife at a 30 degree angle and make 3 or 4 diagonal cuts

11) Place a pan of hot water at the bottom of the oven

12) Place baguettes in oven on middle rack and bake for 25 minutes – – quickly pour 1/2 cup of water onto the bottom sides of the oven right after placing baguettes in

13) After 1 minute quickly pour in another 1/2 cup of water – repeat once again 2 minutes later (the steam helps promote the “oven spring” and crust gloss)

14) Remove baguettes from oven and let cool

15) Share the bread w/ your friends!

**  yields 3 baguettes

I was happy w/ the end product except for many of my cuts not opening up on the baguettes while they baked. Next time I will experiment w/ the angle and depth of the cuts as I’m docking the bread.

Happy Bread Baking Day!!

Bruno

Chicken Satay w/ Coconut Curry Sauce

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I love the combination of curry and coconut milk. I also love this time of year because outdoor grilling is back in season and grilling imparts such a great flavor to whatever is cooking! A friend recently had a late afternoon pot luck party. I wanted to make something simple, unusual, flavorful, could be served hot or at room temperature, and was grilled. Satay popped into my mind. They cover all  of the above criteria, plus they’re fun to eat!! Here’s the recipe:

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon lemon grass (minced)

1 can coconut milk (14 ounces)

1 tablespoon garlic (minced)

1 tablespoon fresh ginger (minced)

1 teaspoon lime zest   (grated w/ microplane)

juice from 1 lime

1 teaspoon green curry paste

salt and pepper to taste

2  1/2 pounds boneless/skinless chicken breasts

24 bamboo skewers (10 inch size)

charcoal for grill

Procedure:

1) Soak skewers for 1 hour

2) For marinade, place first 8 ingredients in a 13″ x 8″ pyrex dish, heat on stove briefly to meld flavors and dissolve curry paste, then let cool

3) Slice chicken lengthwise into 1/4 inch wide pieces

4) Thread chicken onto skewers and place in marinade, cover and refrigerate for 2 hours

6) Remove chicken skewers from marinade and reserve marinade for sauce

7) Prepare grill

8) On stove, heat marinade  over medium heat for 5 minutes

9) Grill chicken skewers for approx. 2 minutes on each side

10) EAT (my favorite part)

** yields 24 skewers and approx. 1 cup of sauce

This dish is quick and easy to prepare once all the prep work is done. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did! 

A votre sante’….

Bruno