Nov
11
    
Posted (Lori) in News

I was looking for new recipes and realized I haven’t used two of my very favorites this year. Bothof  these are perfectanytime, but I usually make them on Thanksgiving Day and we snack on them as we work on the big meal.

BAGNA CAUDA

The name means “hot bath” and the only challenging part of this incredibly flavorful recipe is keeping it warm. I sometimes serve it right off the stovetop; it’s a great snack for the cooks or for guests who hang around the kitchen. For later in the meal, I put a small oven-safe bowl on a tiny hotplate that’s used to keep coffee cups warm.

1 tbs butter

1/4 cup olive oil

4-5 cloves garlic, finely minced or crushed

2-3 anchovy filets, mashed or more to tate

splash of cream (optional)

vegetables and/or bread for dipping

Put the butter and oil in a very small saucepan over low heat. When the butter is melted add the garlic and let it cook, stirring occasionally and watching to make sure it doesn’t burn.It should simmer, but not come to a full boil It will be very fragrant and in about 5 minutes the garlic will be soft. Add the anchovies and keep stirring until they all but disappear. If you wish, add a bit a cream and stir again to combine. Serve hot, with crudités such as asparagus, celery sticks, carrots, turnips, and cauliflower, or bread (usually, people ignore the vegetables and go for the bread).

FOCACCIA

This is one of those Eureka recipes. Simple, fast, versatile, delicious. There’s no salt in the dough, which is why it rises so quickly. It’s finished in about an hour, start to ready-to-eat with only about 15 minutes of active prep time.

It’s fine plain—but toppings turn it into a delicious full meal. Try it with ratatouille; braised greens; anchovies and cheese; olives and capers; carmelized onions. The topping should be warm or hot when spread; After spreading the topping, you can put it back into a warm oven for a few minutes.  I sometimes split the focaccia horizontally and use it for sandwiches, such as egg salad with thinly sliced radish or broiled zucchini, eggplant, pepper, and onion. Focaccia is fine cold and day-old—but not as amazing as it is straight from the oven.

I found this recipe of Allrecipes, just sitting there among all the other recipes that are not as fantastic.

1 tsp white sugar

1 pkg (.25 ounce, 2 ¼ tsp) active dry yeast

1/3 cup warm water

2 cups flour

2 tbs. olive oil

1/2 tsp coarse salt

1. In a small bowl, dissolve sugar and yeast in warm water. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.

2. In a large bowl, combine the yeast mixture with flour; stir well to combine. Stir in additional water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until all of the flour is absorbed. When the dough has pulled together, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead briefly for about 1 minute.

3. Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 30 minutes.

4. Preheat oven to 475 degrees F (245 degrees C).

5. Deflate the dough and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface; knead briefly. Pat or roll the dough into a sheet and place on a lightly greased baking sheet. Brush the dough with oil and sprinkle with salt.

6. Bake focaccia in preheated oven for 10 to 20 minutes, depending on desired crispness. If you like it moist and fluffy, then you’ll have to wait just about 10 minutes. If you like it crunchier and darker in the outside, you may have to wait 20 minutes.

BRUSSELS STALKS

i forgot to add Edith Harnick’s technique for rescuing a bit of food from something that most people just throw away. i’m not recommending  it—it’s a lot of trouble for very little food—but here it is, in memory of Edith.

After you’ve snapped all the brussels sprouts off the stalk, cut the tough top and bottom off the stalk and peel the tough outer layer with a sharp peeler or knife. Throw the stalks into a pot of boiling water—cut them in half if they don’t fit—and boil them for about a half hour. then cut them vertically. There’s a soft, pulpy core inside that can be scooped out. It tastes like mashed potatoes mixed with cabbage.



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