Friday, April 27, 2012

Pomme de Terre MaCaire - The best way to eat potatoes



A couple weeks back, I discovered my new favorite way to eat potatoes. It combines all the best aspects of a baked potato, but it looks much nicer for a fancy dinner party. It's also a great dinner side dish because it can be made up to a day ahead of time. I hate making potatoes because they always take so long from start to finish. Why make potatoes (which take an hour) when rice takes half an hour and couscous takes 5 minutes?

These potatoes have a creamy aspect but don't have the mushy texture of mashed potatoes. They're savory and very flavorful, while still having a crunchy exterior. I love them, and they go perfectly with steak or pork chops.

Pomme de Terre MaCaire (serves 4)
Ingredients

  • 4 large russet potatoes
  • equal parts sour cream and shredded cheddar cheese (should be about 1 large tablespoon of sour cream)
  • scallions
  • 3 strips crispy bacon, crumbled
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Bake potatoes until done (about 1 hour)
  2. Let potatoes cool and scoop the insides out of the skins. It should be chunky, but break up any particularly large pieces
  3. Mix potato with scallions, bacon, sour cream and cheddar cheese. You only need a large tablespoon of sour cream. Potatoes should be very stiff and hold their shape. They should not be like mashed potatoes in texture.
  4. Pat potatoes into ring molds to hold their shape. Refrigerate until ready to serve
  5. Before serving, pan fry potatoes in unsalted butter until crispy on the outside. Finish in the oven until heated in the center.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Cheeseboard Recipe Book - Wolverines




This is yet another recipe from the Cheeseboard Recipe Book. I loved getting these small rolls, dubbed Wolverines, whenever I would go to cheeseboard. It was their normal suburban bread studded with fruit and nuts to give it a fantastic sweetness. If you're looking for the regular read recipe, you can find it here.


Sourdough - Suburban Bread

Ingredients
  • 22.5 oz bread flour
  • 3.25 oz whole wheat flour
  • 2 Tbsp wheat bran
  • 2 cups cool water
  • 1 Tbsp and ½ tsp salt
  • 1 cup (5 oz) sourdough starter
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup broken pecan pieces
  • 1/4 cup dried apricots (I used dried oranges this time)

Directions
  1. Sift together flours and bran. Add water  and stir until moistened and combined.
  2. Let dough rest 10 minutes. Add salt and sourdough starter
  3. Knead for 15 minutes by hand or in stand mixer until bread pulls aways from the sides and is tacky but still springy and passes the window pain test.
  4. Flatten dough into a 1 inch thick round and fill with fruit. Knead until fruit is evenly distributed.
  5. Place in oiled bowl and let rise in warm place for 5 hours or until doubled in size.
  6. Divide dough into 12 pieces. Let rest for 10 minutes before shaping into rounds. Let rest 4 hours until increased in size by 1.5
  7. 45 minutes before baking, preheat oven with cast iron skillet in the bottom to 450 degrees.
  8. Just before baking bread mist the loaves with water. Pour 1 cup cold water in pan and quickly up bread in oven. Bake for 5 minutes and add another cup of water to pan
  9. Bake 15 more minutes and rotate pan
  10. Bake another 25 minutes for a total baking time of 45 minutes. Let cool before serving.

This post has been submitted to Yeastspotting



Saturday, April 7, 2012

Chicken Salad Sandwiches: aka the best lunches are made with leftovers!


Dinner last night was a simple at home affair. We had roast chicken, asparagus and mushroom risotto. Nothing fancy or too complicated: just good old fashioned home cooking. However, home cooking for two has its drawbacks. There's always so much food left over, that you constantly have to think of ways to transform it.

I spent my entire Saturday morning working, so our late afternoon lunch for two people was something simple. I've never been a fan of mayonaise based salads, but I love a good chicken salad sandwich above tuna and egg. It's perfect on a spring day, especially right around tea time.

Chicken Salad Sandwiches (for 2)

Ingredients

  • 4 slices bread of choice
  • 2 leaves romain lettuce
  • about 1 cup leftover chicken, pulled
  • 1 celery rib, diced
  • 3 sprigs tarragon, minced (about 2 tsp)
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries 
  • 1/4 cup toasted walnuts, broken into small pieces
  • 1 Tbsp stone ground mustard
  • 1 large spoon full of mayonaise 
  • 1 Tbsp minced chives
  • salt and pepper to taste
I hope I don't need to include directions on how to make a sandwich. Mix all ingredients together, then place between 2 slices of bread. Add some lettuce in the middle.

I didn't actually measure any of my ingredients today. These are all guesses. All measurements should be adjusted according to taste, but they're good guidelines to start. Enjoy!

This post has been submitted to Yeastspotting, you know, because it involves bread.
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