Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Root and Stem Salad

One of the changes I have (unfortunately, very slowly) been trying to implement for our Sunday dinners is more vegetables. I have always respected vegetables, believed in vegetables and wanted to eat more vegetables. Simply stated however, I have failed.....

But as I look back there have been some delicious successes along the way and this salad is one of them. Probably because it is so simple. Simple to prepare, simple in the list of ingredients and very simple to enjoy! I found this on tasting spoons, Carolyn has a detailed eye for finding wonderful and different recipes among different cooking classes, cookbooks and publications.I often times look to her for inspiration for our Sunday dinners.

Root and Stem Salad
adapted from: tasting spoons
serves 8-10

Note:  While the original recipe calls for a small shallot, we did not use one and loved this salad. 

1 - 1 pound celery root
10 ribs of celery
1 small bunch flat leaf parsley
1 small shallot, minced
1 lemon
1/2 c olive oil
prepared horseradish - 1 to 3 teaspoons, more if desire
sea salt and fresh black pepper to taste

Peel and cut celery root into match stick sized pieces, you may also grate using the large side of a box grater. Wash, dry and thinly slice the ribs of celery on a sharp diagonal. Remove the leaves only from the parsley, you will want at to fill a 1/2 cup measure, more is fine. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl.

In a small bowl, combine the juice of 1 lemon, olive oil and prepared horseradish to taste. Start with 1 teaspoon for flavor but not too much heat, adding more for your personal preference.  Salt and pepper to taste.

Pour over vegetables, toss to mix well.

Serve and enjoy!

Recipe rating:  Oh Yes! (will make again)

As always, thanks for taking a moment to stop and say hello. We appreciate your time and your wonderful comments!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Onion Gratin, Recipe rewind because some things are too good to miss!

Recipe rewind, because in the beginning there is a blogger who has no readers. She still posts great food in hopes that the readers will come..........you can also view it here in the archives, Saturday September 4, 2010.

If you like onions, you will like this simple and delicious dish. I made this for the last Sunday Cafe and it was well received by all, even the non onion lovers. I do have to confess that I got a bit carried away with deleting the images from my camera and this is the only survivor. But it is simple to put together and, well what is done is done!

Onion Gratin
By the seat of my pants
400 degree oven

2 or 3 onions, sliced about 1/2 inch thick, you can ring out or leave in a solid slice
olive oil
dry bread crumbs (1/2-3/4 cup)
Parmesan cheese (same as above!)
salt and pepper

Cover the bottom of a large lidded pan with a thin layer of olive oil. Add onions, then season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with a layer of dry bread crumbs, then the Parmesan cheese. Bake covered for 20 minutes, then remove cover and bake an additional 20-30 minutes or until golden and bubbling.

The onions may not be completely cook, they will be crisp tender. If you want completely cooked onions, bake for 30 minutes covered BEFORE adding the dry bread crumbs and cheese.

Serves 6-8

As always, thanks for taking a minute to stop and say hello. We appreciate your time and your wonderful comments!

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Italian Potatoes and Beans

We are like many others, relearning about and enjoying real foods, rustic food if you will. My favorite style of rustic food (after our own countries specialties, of course) is Italian. They are among the best in simple ingredients, cooked well and served with pride.

Everyone is familiar with macaroni and beans, and this rendition is none the less delicious!

This small dish of leftovers was all I could get a photo of.......

Cooks notes and possible words of wisdom:  While this was originally a soup, I was in search of a side dish and the flavors as well as the rustic nature were right there.  For a delicious soup, add more water, it is that easy.

Potatoes and Beans
adapted from: Eat this it will make you feel better, by Dom DeLuise
serves 6-8

1 small onion, diced small
3 cloves of garlic, minced
2 ribs of celery, diced small
1 large carrot, peeled and diced small
1 T olive oil

6 medium potatoes, peeled -cut in half lengthwise, set 1 piece (1/2 potato) aside, dice the remainder in large dice
2 c chicken stock
1 c water - only if needed
2 cans canneli beans drained or your own homemade white creamy bean, drained well
1/2 t oregano
black pepper

for serving: Tomato Serendipity

In a large flat pan, saute the garlic and onion until wilted and fragrant.  Add celery and carrot, saute for a minute more. Add all of the potatoes and the chicken stock.

Bring to a boil, reduce heat, simmer until potatoes are tender.

Remove the large piece and mash well, return to the pot and stir into the broth. Add the beans, simmer additional 10 minutes. Stir in the oregano and fresh ground black pepper to taste.

If the pan sauce seems too thin, boil off a few minutes to thicken.

Serve with the Tomato Serendipity on the side for each to flavor as wanted.

Recipe rating:
Oh Yes! Will make again.

As always, thanks for taking a moment to stop and say hello. We appreciate your time and your wonderful comments!

this post shared with:
hearth and soul @ premeditated leftovers

Friday, February 15, 2013

Tomato Serendipity

Yesterday we had a lovely family dinner. 
The occasion? 
Yes it was Valentine's Day, but no, that is not it. 

You see we chose that day, the day of love and caring to stand together again, before our children and repeat those same vows of commitment, love and dedication to marriage and this time include our children and grandchildren while creating a wonderful family memory. 

We prepared a lovely meal, and everyone including us, had a great time. One dish in particular that was a surprising hit was a rustic Italian pot of potatoes and beans. Delicious! This was topped with a savory sprinkle of dried tomatoes and cheese, which we call Tomato Serendipity, lets make some, shall we?

Tomato Serendipity
cafe created
makes about 1 1/2 c

Cooks notes and possible words of wisdom:  This blend is delicious! You can use this stuff just about anywhere tomato and/or Parmesan cheese are invited, Sprinkled over soups, pastas, vegetables both hot and cold (salad yes!). And don't forget sandwiches.....

1 c packed dried (not packed in oil) tomato pieces (use the julienne cut style for this recipe)
1/2 c dried Parmesan cheese or a Parm and Romano blend (yes the kind in the green can.....)

Buzz in your processor until all pieces are approximately the size of the cheese. Put in a serving dish, add a sprinkling spoon and enjoy!

Recipe rating:  Oh Yes! (will make again)

Tomorrow I will share the potato and bean dish, trust me, you will want to make it.........

This beautiful celebration cake was made by my lovely daughter Jessica.

As always, thanks for taking a moment to stop and say hello. We appreciate your time and your wonderful comments!

this post shared with:
hearth and soul @ premeditated leftovers

Monday, February 11, 2013

Green Olive Spelt Yeast Bread

I figured out fairly quickly that while making your own bread is wonderful, being tired and having to make it after a long day at the paying job, is not so wonderful. Yet we need bread, fresh bread, every morning for the two sandwiches that go into my husband's lunch.

And let's not forget weekends. There is toast with eggs, maybe a sandwich at lunch or bread and butter along side a bowl of soup. Yep, definitely we need a constant supply of bread. Enter cold storage dough.

Every known cookbook author has a knead-less, cold storage bread book. And I have most of them. But until now, not a pressing need for cold storage dough. Enter the husband, a first class bread eater! The man is total joy to cook and bake for.

But back to that tired after work and don't want to be tied to the task of bread making because I want to spend some time with the first class bread eater. This set of circumstances leads us to cold storage dough. Having one or even two kinds of dough in the fridge will add variety and leave my evenings free enjoy the evening meal and share our day with the other. Cold storage dough can rise for baking, while we enjoy our evening together.

Opps! This is a very "wet" dough, and I will reduce some of the fluid in future batches.

Most cold storage dough recipes are pretty much the same, mix it up, store in the fridge, remove a portion, let rise, then bake. Lets make some, shall we?

Green Olive Spelt Bread
adapted from:  Healthy Bread in 5 Minutes
makes enough dough for 4 loaves

Cooks Warning and possible words of Wisdom:  Our kitchen is interested in delicious and healthy food. Although I love looking at beautiful food, you will find that my chosen baking method is simplified and will produce an attractive loaf of bread, but most likely not artisan in beauty.

4 c spelt flour
2 c flour
2 packages yeast
1 T sea salt
1/4 c wheat gluten
2 T sugar
1 T lecithin

2 c lukewarm water
2 c whole milk yogurt - (next time I would reduce to 1 1/2 c)
1 c pitted green olives, chopped - (next time, I will use more olives!)

Dough Glaze

Whisk together all dry ingredients in a large (5qt) bowl or covered container.  Separately, whisk together the water and yogurt until smooth, stir in olives. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, making sure to incorporate all dry ingredients and not leave behind pockets of flour. Cover and let rest 2 hours.

After the 2 hour rest/rise time the dough is ready to store or bake. To store, cover securely and place in the fridge.When ready to bake a loaf of bread..........

Prepare the dough and the oven.

Remove a portion of the dough, approximately the size of a grapefruit. Shape. Stored doughs for the most part are wetter than a standard yeast dough. Quite sticky actually. To shape a loaf of bread, toss the portion of dough that will be baked (approximately 1/4 of original dough mass) on a pastry cloth sprinkled with flour. Take the outside corner and of the dough and bring it up and into the center of the ball. Turn and repeat until all four corner areas have been pulled into the center, turn over and you will have a ball shaped loaf.

Place on a prepared cookie sheet or parchment. Let rise 90 minutes (for refrigerated dough). 30 minutes before baking, place a broiler pan on the rack below (this will hold boiling water, to set the crust) and a baking stone on the rack that will hold the bread. Set oven to 450 degrees and preheat for that final rising time.

To bake:

Slash the dough with a serrated blade knife approximately 1/4 inch deep. If desire, brush with dough glaze, see recipe below. Place the cookie sheet directly on the hot stone, pour 1/2 c HOT tap water into the broiler tray and quickly close the door.  Bake 20-25 minutes, carefully slide the bread off the cookie sheet onto the hot stone to finish baking and develop a crust on the bottom, baking addition 10-15 minutes or until done.

Remember, more or less dough than 1/4 of the recipe will require to adjust baking time. 

Remove from stone and place on rack to cool completely.

Dough Glaze

1 c water
dash salt
1 T and 1 t corn starch

Combine in a medium saucepan, bring to a boil and boil until thickened and clear. Store covered in the refrigerator until needed to brush on dough before baking. This insures a beautiful and shiny crust.

Recipe rating:  It's Ok. (tasty but not special)

As always, thanks for taking a moment to stop and say hello. We appreciate your time and your wonderful comments!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Simple Roasted Pepper Salad - Two Ways

We love peppers, and we love grilling. It is no coincidence that we also love roasted peppers. When they hit the market in the winter and the price is fair, we roast up a batch of peppers. Frequently they are best, when dressed in a simple fashion.

Roasted Peppers dressed in lemon, olive oil and green olives
Cafe Created
serves 2 or 3

3 peppers roasted, peeled and cut into strips
1 - 2 T lemon juice
2-3 T olive oil
4-6 green olives, cut in half and sliced thin
Salt and Pepper to taste

Layer peppers in a flat dish. Add slices olives. Drizzle with the lemon juice and olive oil. Season with Salt and Pepper.

Serve at room temperature.

For this presentation, increase peppers to 5, olives to 12-15, double the dressing, tossing half with diced Mozzarella cheese. Serves 6-8

Recipe rating:  Oh Yes! (will make again)

As always thanks for taking a moment to stop and say hello. We appreciate your time and your wonderful comments!

this post shared with:
hearth and soul @ premeditated leftovers

Friday, February 8, 2013

Whole wheat and Honey Sandwich loaf

This was not the bread I was going to write up, praise and post about today. But kitchen life has moments that one does not have control over, and when that happens, redirect, focus, use your resources and move forward......

I love bread. Love it! I have so many cookbooks about bread, I could write nothing but a bread themed blog. Years ago I baked all of our bread. We were a farm style white bread family at that time. And still I make that type of loaf today, especially at the holidays. You cannot beat cinnamon toast on rich egg bread, not to mention french toast or a bread pudding when the end of the loaf is in sight.

Always through the years I had a strong desire to use whole grains as the primary flour in bread making. But whole wheat flour in a bag, on the shelf, in the grocery store tasted bitter to me. This alone was a big factor in not baking from whole grains. But I never gave up on the desire to use whole grains, and I am so glad I did not.

The flour grinder was worth the investment. Also through the years I have purchased and played with just about every piece of kitchen equipment and gadget. But until now, never a grain mill. Why did I wait so long? Yes price was an issue, a good mill can cost hundreds of dollars, and my concern in the early years was that the investment would not pan out........

I am so happy I was wrong. Bread baking is a joint effort in this home. We enjoy the entire process and partner in the kitchen to get it done. Good times and great food. And now let me present this easy Whole Wheat and Honey Sandwich loaf, and next time I will use a longer loaf pan. These sandwiches would not fit in a standard sandwich bag.....

Whole Wheat and Honey Sandwich loaf
adapted from:  Noble Pig
makes 2 loaves

61/2 - 7 c whole wheat flour - divided (we use spelt flour)
2 1/2 c lukewarm water
2 T or 2 packages yeast

1/3 c oil
1/3 c honey
1 T salt
juice of 1/2 medium sized lemon

In a large mixer bowl, add 4 c of the flour, water and yeast. Mix until smooth.

Add oil, honey, salt and lemon juice.

Add 2 1/2 c more flour and mix until smooth, adding the final 1/2 c flour if dough seems too wet. Knead for 10 minutes.

Prepare 2 large loaf pans, divide dough (it is sticky) equally. Let rise 30-45 minutes or until doubled.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, bake 30 minutes or until done in your oven.

Loaves should should sound hollow when tapped with a knuckle.


Recipe rating:  Oh Yes! (will make again)

As always, thanks for taking a moment to stop and say hello. We appreciate your time and your wonderful comments!

this post is shared with:
foodie friday @ rattlebridge farms
gallery of favorites @ premeditated leftovers