Herbed Biscotti. With an H.

Holy herbacious goodness, Batman!

HerbBiscotti4Cmed
Rosemary, thyme, parsley, pignolias, shallot,  and lemon zest make these scrumptious. Good Lord, I just wrote “scrumptious”.

 

Still hunting for redemption after the Taralli failure, and started wondering about making a savoury biscotto. Did it exist?

HerbBiscotti1Cmed

Google says yes! At least, yes one time thanks to La Bella Giada and all who have copied her, which would now mean me as well.

HerbBiscotti2Cmed

Hey – there’s that darned spicy cherry tomato jam again! Forgive me. It is its swan song –  I am down to my last two jars. As yet this season I’ve not found more toms cheap enough to justify making them in to jam.  

HerbBiscotti3Cmed

These lovely crunchy-but-not-too-hard biscuits are complemented beautifully by the spicy sweetness of the jam and the salty creaminess of the Manchega añejo. 
Ingredients
2 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 c. butter
1/4 c. goat cheese
1-1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1.5 Tbs minced fresh rosemary
1.5 Tbs minced fresh thyme
1 tsp lemon zest
1 tsp minced shallot
2 Tbs sugar
2 eggs, beaten
½ c. raw pignon nuts
Instructions
Preheat the oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment.
Put everything but the eggs and the pignolias in the mixer bowl (paddle attachment) and mix until it is a fine and crumbly.
Add the eggs, mix just till cohesive.. Then do the same for the nuts.
Split the dough in half. It should be just this side of barely holding together.
Barely dust your work surface with some flour.
Take each half of the dough and gently roll it in to a log about 12” long and 2” in diameter. Repeat w/ second log.
Put them both on the lined baking tray.
Flatten the logs ever so slightly, so the are more ovoid than round.
With a lame or a sharp knife, very lightly score the down the middle down the whole length of the logs. This dough splits a little when baking, the scoring helps you control where it splits.
Bake 30 min at the 350*.
Remove from oven and cool.
Using a sharp serrated knife, cut the logs in to ½” thick slices, and place them flat on the parchment.
Bake again about 15-20 mins until they are just barely golden and nice and crunchy
Notes
Store in an airtight container in the fridge for weeks. (Ha! Right! Like they’ll last that long.)
Serve with soup, on a cheese board, with antipasto, or just plain.

serves 36
calories 68
fat 4mg
cholesterol 17mg
sodium 57mg
carbs 7g
-fiber 0g
-sugars 1g
protein 2g

Asiago Thyme Bread with Garlic Confit

Thought I’d give that four hour baguette recipe another try. Then Karen happened.

 

Ficelle3Cmed

 

 

I decided to take a break from the poolish recipe this week. And this morning when I opened the fridge, I saw this garlic confit I’d made to go with a roasted eggplant salad. Mmmmm…..that would be really good in a loaf of brea….wait! That’s it. And some herbs (with an H, people!). Thyme! Yes! Then shit got totally out of control with some shredded asiago cheese.  

The cheese baking smell was a bit strong for our typically dairy-free household. But they sho are purdee. 

Ficelle1med

I’m thinking this would be scrumptious on a cheese and salami board, with some spicy cherry tomato jam. But, honestly, it’s meatballs tonight, so…… yeah. 

Ficelle2Cmed

Because of the added olive oil, this has a softer crust than the original baguette recipe – it’s almost like a focaccia-baguette baby.  Very tasty, though.  And man, there is just NOTHING like fresh bread.  Alright – I’m off to take a loaf to the neighbors. 

Ficelle4CmedBon apétit.

 
Ingredients
3.5 c AP flour
1.5 tsp yeast
1.5 c. warm water
3 tsp. kosher flake salt.
3/4 c. grated asiago
2 tsp. dried thyme leaves
4-6 cloves of garlic cloves confit**, coarsely chopped and
¼ c. of the olive oil from the confit
Instructions
Mix in flour, yeast, water in the KitchenAide with dough hook. Cover with saran and leave for ½ hr.
Sprinkle with 3 tsp. kosher flake salt.
Knead in KitchenAide for four minutes.
Sprinkle with ¼ c grated asiago, thyme leaves, garlic cloves and ¼ c. of the olive oil from the confit
Knead one more minute.
Cover with saran, proof 45 m.
Punch down, fold. Proof 1 hr.
Shape in to 3 ficelles, put in real or parchment couche, cover and proof 1hr.
Last 15m of the hour, preheat the oven to 475*.
One top shelf, put shallow baking dish with about ½” water.
Uncover the loaves, spritz with a little water then sprinkle with the remaining ½ c. shredded asiago, slice the tops baguette-style and bake for 20 m.
Turn off oven, leave in 5m before removing.
Notes
**What’s garlic confit? Try this: http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/garlic-confit
By Karen Maginnis
Adapted from Dan Leader’s 4-Hour Baguette in Saveur

yields 3 loaves
calories 814
fat 27g
cholesterol 22mg
sodium 2750mg
carbs 115g
-fiber 5g
-sugars 1g
protein 26g

Grissini e Taralli: A Tale of Failure

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The recipes for this post were quite the roller coaster. Failure is good. Builds character. Keeps you humble. Makes you learn.

Saw a lovely post on Pinterest about this little Italian cracker from Puglia that is served with wine, the taralli. Sort of like a pretzel, but round, and with fennel seeds inside.  That was my cooking project for the week.  I was seeing a beautiful antipasto platter, some friends over for wine. Yeah. It was gonna be awesome.  Did the usual, researched a bunch of recipes, compared the techniques and ingredients ratios, yatta yatta.  Made a special trip to get some cheap white wine (an essential ingredient), and we were ready to rock and roll.  Saturday morning came, and I was happily makin’ my taralli dough. Rolling out the little snakes, looping ‘em.  It was like play time with play dough. Boiled ‘em. Baked em. … Burned ‘em.  Oy. And those little fuckers were like rocks, even the not-so-burned ones.

 baking fail

I go back to my research. Decide to search for a YouTube tutorial. See what I did wrong  (they needed to be much, much fatter. And not burned.) Start over. Boil ‘em. Bake ‘em. Hmm…..they sure look pretty.
Rocks. Every one. Now of course himself comes home and pronounces them delicious, and says that I can’t enjoy them because of my chicklet teeth. (It’s how we show our love, people.) But I’m annoyed – the video lady could break one in one hand, and it takes me effort to snap my little rocks in two with both hands.  Alas….gorran crackers.

Those little discs look so innocent, don't they?
Those little discs look so innocent, don’t they?

 

On the top of the roller coaster of a cooking morning, however, is a great little grissini recipe that actually worked. And was fun, again in a playdough-snakes kind of way.  I went so easy on the rosemary, however, you can barely taste it. And, I didn’t like the slight sweetness. So, next time, more rosemary, less sugar, and add garlic.  Or maybe do smoked Spanish paprika and garlic and thyme.

Grissini1Cmed

I’m still heartily annoyed to be bested by a fucking cracker. But the thrill is gone, and I don’t know if I want to invest more time to see if I can get some lovely light crunchy wine crackers.

It was good plan, at any rate.  Here’s the grissini link again – give it a try!  They would make an awesome project with kids for a spaghetti dinner. 

Poolish what? Bread. Again.

Now, remember I warned you I was obsessed with finding a good recipe.  I have. This blog is amazing.

 BouleSlicedC

 It’s a pain to read through the first time, but the recipe is actually pretty easy.  I am discovering that the secret to the kind of bread I like is something called a “pre-ferment”, and I’ve been playing with the poolish kind. 

Boules

If you have a kitchen aide, this is really easy.  You just need to be home on a Saturday til about midday.  

You just read the recipe, right? Now, of course I cheat. Because Karen.  I make the poolish in the bowl of the Kitchen Aide Friday afternoon when I get home from work, and cover it with wax paper and a bread towel.  When I wake up Saturday, I pop it on the mixer with the bread hook and follow the steps.  Except, when she says to pull and fold the dough, I give it a spin for thirty seconds in the bowl, and just toss the bread towel over the mixer between times.  Why? Because it’s much neater, and I don’t have to either a) leave my counter crusted in flour for four hours, or b) clean the damn thing off every 45 minutes for four hours. 

BouleSlices 

This recipe makes a nice loaf that has a firm, moist inside and nice crust. I throw the bread towel over the loaves as soon as they come out of the oven so the crust isn’t too too hard.  Give John Frum’s blog a read – he has an amazing amount of knowledge. 

If you try it out, share your experience!

 

So about that Four Hour Baguette….

I’ve been seeing this puppy hopping about on Pinterest. Four hour baguette! The pictures looked so credible – surely it must be true! So easy! So fast!

How can you resist bread, hot from the oven?
How can you resist bread, hot from the oven?

 

 

This was some delicious white bread. But, francophile with a respectable amount of Parisian experience that I am, I simply cannot call this a baguette.  A baguette is more than a shape – it’s a specific weight, and crust, and texture.  And you can’t achieve those things in four hours, which I knew on the inside when I decided to try the recipe.  But hope springing eternal and all that crap.

mmmmmm
mmmmmm

Bread snobbery aside, this is a really good bread.  We enjoyed it with some chorizo lentil soup. Then gave lots to the neighbors so it wasn’t in the house.

Try it. Keep the dough a little stickier than your comfort level, though.  

Yes, we ate that entire loaf. Go ahead, judge me.
Yes, we ate that entire loaf. Go ahead, judge me.

Find the recipe here. 

And, of course, this opens the door to Karen’s Quest for the Perfect Home Baguette…… just don’t tell Bill.

Shallot Thyme Asiago Scones

So, I really wanted to make these last week.

You see, two weeks ago I made some asiago and ham scones with pear honey for the office. Only the scones were *way* too sweet. I needed a remix, a scone redemption if you will. And I had this gorgeous thyme in the fridge….

Cheese Onion Herbes
Fresh thyme, slivers of shallot, and cubed asiago…

 

Flour, leavening, and butter - waiting for some buttermilk and egg yolk
Flour, leavening, and butter – waiting for some buttermilk and egg yolk

 

Asiago Scones
Straight from the oven, cooling down….
Asiago Scones
(Extreme close-up!)  Look at that shiny, cheesy, buttery goodness just waiting to be munched!

 

Well, shall we make some??
Well, shall we make some??

 

Shallot Thyme Asiago Scones
Yields 16
Delicious, cheesy savoury scone.
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
25 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
25 min
215 calories
23 g
38 g
10 g
7 g
6 g
73 g
403 g
1 g
0 g
4 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
73g
Yields
16
Amount Per Serving
Calories 215
Calories from Fat 92
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 10g
16%
Saturated Fat 6g
32%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 3g
Cholesterol 38mg
13%
Sodium 403mg
17%
Total Carbohydrates 23g
8%
Dietary Fiber 1g
3%
Sugars 1g
Protein 7g
Vitamin A
7%
Vitamin C
1%
Calcium
18%
Iron
3%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
The dry
  1. 3 1/2 c. AP flour
  2. 1 1/2 tsp. salt
  3. 4 tsp. baking powder
  4. 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  5. 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  6. 2/3 c. cold unsalted butter, cubed
The wet
  1. 1 1/2 c. buttermilk
  2. 1 egg yolk
  3. 2 tsp. fresh thyme leaves
  4. 2 Tbsp. minced shallot
The rest
  1. 1/4 c. asiago, shredded fine
  2. 1/2 c. cubed asiago cheese
  3. 1 egg white, beaten
  4. Shallot rings and thyme sprigs, for garnish
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 450.
  2. Line a large baking sheet with parchment or a silpat.
  3. In a small mixing bowl, mix together the buttermilk, egg yolk, minced shallot and thyme. Set aside.
  4. In a large (3 qt.) mixing bowl or your food processor, combine the dry ingredients.
  5. Cut in the butter with a pastry cutter, or with ten or so pulses. It should almost be crumbly, but still have some pea-sized butter bits.
  6. Drop the cubed cheese on top of the dry mixture.
  7. Dust your counter with some flour.
  8. Barely mix the wet in to the dry, and flour your hands to gently get the dough on to the floured counter and knead it a couple of times to combine.
  9. With a board knife (or just a chef's knife), divide the dough in half. Take each half and gently form a ball that you pat down to about 1" thick and 7" diameter.
  10. Slice the round in to 8 wedges, and gently lift them with the board knife on to the lined baking sheet.
  11. Repeat with the second half of the dough.
  12. Use a pastry brush to gently brush the tops of the scones with the beaten egg white.
  13. Sprinkle the shredded cheese even on top of them, and if desired garnish with the shallot rings and thyme sprigs.
  14. Bake 12-15 minutes in your preheated oven.
Notes
  1. These would be amazing with poached eggs and grilled ham.
  2. We had them with pear honey, and it was every so tasty.
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calories
215
fat
10g
protein
7g
carbs
23g
more
Bucket of Yum http://bucketofyum.com/

Socca: One More Thing off the Cooking Bucket List

Socca. I’ve always wanted to try it. 

So I finally did. 

The maiden voyage results...
The maiden voyage results…

 

 

This will be a quickie post – not a lot to it.  Got the recipe at Marmiton [link removed 6/1/24 – it is getting me spaminated]. Used a cast iron skillet in a 500* convection oven.

It was….fine.  And, btw, that cheese wedge is that new vegan brie-compatible,White Alder. It, too, was…fine. Had it not cost the week’s coffee money (since it is only available at Whole Paycheck), I might have been more impressed.  But, to be able to have a cheese-like substance in our house is a good thing.

 

Good for a quickie afternoon snack.
Good for a quickie afternoon snack.
Socca Niçoise
Serves 4
Essentially a chickpea flour pancake.
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Prep Time
2 min
Cook Time
10 min
Prep Time
2 min
Cook Time
10 min
149 calories
13 g
0 g
8 g
5 g
1 g
50 g
310 g
2 g
0 g
6 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
50g
Servings
4
Amount Per Serving
Calories 149
Calories from Fat 73
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 8g
13%
Saturated Fat 1g
5%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 5g
Cholesterol 0mg
0%
Sodium 310mg
13%
Total Carbohydrates 13g
4%
Dietary Fiber 2g
10%
Sugars 2g
Protein 5g
Vitamin A
0%
Vitamin C
0%
Calcium
1%
Iron
6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 1 c. chickpea flour
  2. 1/3 ice water
  3. 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  4. 2 Tbsp olive oil
Instructions
  1. Put a cast iron skillet in the oven, and preheat it to 500*. Put all the ingredients in a bowl and whisk til smooth - should be the consistency of crepe batter. Add more ice water as needed.
  2. Once the oven's hot, take out the skillet, brush some olive oil to make a thin coat. Pour in half the batter and smooth it out - it should not exceed 1/8" thick.
  3. Bake about 7 minutes - you'll know when it's done. The edges will pick up and the top will be dull and perhaps golden. Pop that bad boy out of the skillet, oil it again and put in the second half of the batter.
  4. Eat immediately, cut in to squares and liberally sprinkled with fresh ground black pepper.
Adapted from Marmiton online recipes
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calories
149
fat
8g
protein
5g
carbs
13g
more
Adapted from Marmiton online recipes
Bucket of Yum http://bucketofyum.com/

 

 

A Note on the Hoarding of Brown Bananas; or, It May Be Time to Make Banana Bread

Rich, dense and buttery; chock full of tasty bananaloids.
Rich, dense and buttery; chock full of tasty bananaloids.

I have a deep dark secret. I cannot throw away a banana. When they go brown in our house, in to the freezer they go.  Then, one day I open the freezer and it’s like they were banana tribbles.  When the hell did all those naners get in there?! Oh, wait. Right. So….time to make some banana bread it is.

Betty Crocker has this amazing BB recipe that I’ve barely tweeked. It’s really yummy, dense and moist and full of bananaloids. It comes together lickity quickity.

8" loaf pan from Chicago Metallic
My precious!

 

Having good, solid tools for cooking makes the process easier and more fun. In that vein, I am always on the lookout for serious quality bakeware.  Home Goods is a great place, especially around the holidays.  I love my Chicago Metallic pans – they are serious shit. Heavy. Nonstick. Steel. I reduce my temp by 15* to the recipe because of their dark finish, but they are awesome. 

Sprinkled with sugar. They get so sparkly! 

Ready for the oven
Ready for the oven

 And now, the whole house smells great. Waiting for these babies to cool and slice seems like it will take forever.

Drizzled with a little melted butter.
Drizzled with a little melted butter.

 

Have a slice.
Have a slice.

 Alrighty  – two beautiful loaves. One for us, one for the neighbors (you remember the neighbors, the ones who bring us all the goodies from M-O-M? Yeah, gotta take care of each other.)

Banana Nut Bread
Serves 24
Beautiful, moist and buttery with good banana flavor
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
1 hr
172 calories
24 g
26 g
7 g
3 g
3 g
55 g
75 g
11 g
0 g
4 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
55g
Servings
24
Amount Per Serving
Calories 172
Calories from Fat 64
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 7g
11%
Saturated Fat 3g
15%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 3g
Cholesterol 26mg
9%
Sodium 75mg
3%
Total Carbohydrates 24g
8%
Dietary Fiber 1g
5%
Sugars 11g
Protein 3g
Vitamin A
3%
Vitamin C
2%
Calcium
2%
Iron
3%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
The wet
  1. 1 1/8 c sugar (plus some to sprinkle on top)
  2. ½ c butter, melted
  3. 2 eggs, room temp.
  4. 1 ½ - 2 c. puréed overripe bananas (about four med)
  5. ½ c buttermilk
  6. 1 tsp. vanilla
The dry
  1. 2 tsp bkg pdr
  2. ½ tsp salt
  3. 2 ½ c flour
  4. ¼ tsp bkg soda
  5. 1 c chopped nuts (plus more for garnish)
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 350*.
  2. Grease two loaf pan bottoms & corners, and line bottom with parchment.
  3. Mix together the wet in the mixer.
  4. Sift together the dry and add to the wet, barely mixing. Lumps ok.
  5. Put in the pan(s), sprinkle with nuts and sugar, bake 350* for an hour.
  6. Cool ten minutes, slice a spatula or butter knife along the edges and depan them to finish cooling. (Hello, parchment, I love you.)
  7. Enjoy. This is definitely a Maginnis favorite.
Notes
  1. This will only work if your bananas are seriously overripe. Like, black or almost. But *not* if they're at the "my, that smells like banana rum" stage.
  2. Makes two loaf pans 8"x4 1/2" or one 9"x5"
  3. Betty uses 1 1/4c sugar, but I take some out because of the extra banana and the sugar on top.
  4. I've tried half brown half white, but my loaves burned. Will need to experiment/research more for that.
Adapted from Betty Crocker
beta
calories
172
fat
7g
protein
3g
carbs
24g
more
Adapted from Betty Crocker
Bucket of Yum http://bucketofyum.com/

The Quest for the Perfect Cranberry Scone, Episode 2

Cranberry Clementine Scones
Cranberry Clementine Scones

CCS6 CCS8

3/8/2015 – Well, this sucks. This post was hacked and deleted, and I don’t have a back up. Stupid hack fucks.  At least we still have pictures, and honestly this is the same scone base I always use, just with two Tbsp clementine zest and 1/2c. chopped fresh or frozen cranberries added and skip the lemon and pistachio, and the glaze is made with the juice from those clementines. 

 

Herbed Crackers

Oh, holy shit ya’ll. I just tried this fantastic cracker recipe from the Oh Dear Bakery blog.  Instead of the Italian seasoning, I used a littled dried minced garlic and TJ’s 21 Seasoning Salute, and added some coarse black pepper on top with the salt.  These are fast. And addictive. Make at your own risk.  I could not stop eating them as I was shooting. Bill said they’re yummy.  Well, I’m off to make a whipped cream cheese with lemon zest, dill and shallots to schmear on these fuckers. And to taunt Bill, obviously.
Make these. They’re awesome.

HerbCrackSQmed

They put the crack in cracker.
CrackerCloseUpMED

Herbed Crackers
Serves 6
Crunchy herby bits of addictive goodness that are mix to eat in half an hour.
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
20 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
20 min
241 calories
29 g
0 g
12 g
4 g
2 g
70 g
323 g
0 g
0 g
10 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
70g
Servings
6
Amount Per Serving
Calories 241
Calories from Fat 109
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 12g
19%
Saturated Fat 2g
9%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 9g
Cholesterol 0mg
0%
Sodium 323mg
13%
Total Carbohydrates 29g
10%
Dietary Fiber 1g
4%
Sugars 0g
Protein 4g
Vitamin A
0%
Vitamin C
0%
Calcium
4%
Iron
3%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 1 3/4 cups AP flour
  2. 1 Tbsp TJ’s 21 Season Salute
  3. ½ tsp. Dried minced garlic
  4. 1 tsp baking powder
  5. 3/4 tsp salt
  6. 1/2 cup water
  7. 1/3 cup olive oil plus about a tablespoon for sprinkling on top
  8. Sea salt and coarse ground black pepper to sprinkle on top
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 450*. Throw everything except the sprinkles in the kitchen aid with the paddle. Mix 30 seconds, or until dough forms. Divide in to two balls. Take a sheet of parchment the size your cookie sheet, and roll that dough to about 1/8" keeping it as rectangular as possible. Repeat with the second ball. Drizzle on the last Tbsp of olive oil, sprinkle with the sea salt and the course ground pepper. With a pizza wheel, gently slice each lengthwise to get 6-8 strips. Then take a fork and lightly score the strips about every 1/2" or so.
  2. Bake 10-ish minutes - they should be golden brown and smell done. When they're cool, break the strips in to cracker-sized chunks.
beta
calories
241
fat
12g
protein
4g
carbs
29g
more
Adapted from Oh Dear Bakery Blog
Bucket of Yum http://bucketofyum.com/