Saturday, January 29, 2011

A Day Spent with Food Magazines

I subscribe to so many food magazines it's embarassing.  I still miss my beloved Gourmet magazine and received Bon Appetit in it's place when it folded.  I, generally, am unhappy with Bon Appetit, not finding much that I want to cook from the pages and finding the food essays to be lacking - until this month when I opened the latest magazine.

On it's pages I read a fantastic article about hunting Wild Boar on the Big Island of Hawaii and I found a recipe for Brown Butter Brownies.  I read the recipe and decided that this recipe had to be made today so off to the kitchen I went.  Turned on some music, measured my ingredients out (mise en place) and started to melt the butter to it's nutty brown goodness.  Start to finish I think this recipe took me 15 minutes total of prep time (and I might be being generous here) before I popped them into a preheated oven.  I did have to add about 15 minutes onto the total baking time but the end result is a pan of fabulous, life changing brownies.

Not wanting to get into trouble for posting a recipe without permission I will point you towards the latest copy of Bon Appetit - a picture of the brownies is on the front cover.  You will not be disappointed.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Sunday Dinner

Roasted Chicken tonight - easy and true comfort food on a bitterly cold Sunday evening.  

Sun is shining but it is not warming anything up.  Ocean is a beautiful color.  I am reading cookbooks in a rocking chair by the window, listening to music.  Recipes options for the coming week - Mushroom Barley Soup, baking some bread, Classic Beef Stroganoff.  I also am thinking of trying a Mushroom Moussaka out of the original Moosewood Cookbook - just looks like a good comforting dish on a cold night.  

I love days spent cooking and reading - good days. 

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Tarte Flambee - Easy Recipe

You will need:

Olive Oil
Active Dry Yeast
Dried Thyme (Fresh is great if you can get it - adjust the amount)
Fromage Blanc 
Salt, Pepper, Sugar/Honey

You have options with this recipe - either use a pre-made pizza dough (I like the one WFM makes) or make your own:

1 c warm water (110*)
1 T Olive Oil
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp sugar or honey
3 c bread flour (all purpose can be used if all you have)
2 tsp active yeast

Sprinkle yeast over water with sugar and let stand for 5 minutes.  Add flour and salt to bowl of mixer (or old school in big bowl), add yeast to it and mix until combined.  Use the dough hook when doing this and once a ball is formed let it run for about 5 minutes to made the dough elastic.  Take out onto lightly floured board, knead into a ball that is springy and elastic.  Place in oiled bowl and cover with kitchen towel.  Let rise for about an hour (or do a slow rise in the refrigerator for 24 hours - if you do this you must let it sit at room temp for an hour after removing from refrigerator), punch down and knead again.  Roll out as thin as possible and place on oiled baking sheet.  Let stand for 30 minutes. 

Tarte Flambee Topping

2 c sliced onions - I like to use sweet onions.
1-2 T Olive Oil
1 T butter

Cook onions over very low heat until carmelized.  Stir often.  This can take up to an hour. 

Add to the onions:
1 tsp or more to taste dried thyme, crushed in palm of hand
Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper

Spread on top of the dough:

1 c Fromage Blanc (more or less to taste)

Top with onions

Take 1-2 slices of high quality bacon, snip into small pieces and place on top. 

Bake in a preheated 500* oven (on a pizza stone if you have one) for approximately 10 minutes - check it often so it doesn't burn and to make sure it cooks completely.  Slice and enjoy with a nice glass of wine. 

Saturday Afternoon

A cold winter Saturday - full house of food following a major shop at WFM.  I am spending the day reading cookbooks and planning my recipes to try this week.  I am going to make a cake this afternoon - a ridiculously easy cake with pineapple and topped with a coconut pecan frosting.  Dinner tonight will be a nice NY Strip Steak cooked in cast iron and topped with sauteed mushrooms, a big baked potato with sour cream along side.  

It is forecast to be very cold the next few days and I am thinking that I will be making a big pot of soup soon.  Beef barley is the current top contender - a long slow simmering pot and I am planning to make some bread to go along side the soup.  

I love having cooking days ahead.