KnorQ's Kitchen

Serial Hobbyist

Category: Favorite Recipes

Waiter there is something in my….Whole Meal Bread

bread

 

Whole Meal Bread

I found The Hay Day Country Markey Cookbook at a college book sale marked down to $6. I liked what I saw in the first flip-through and figured I could not go wrong for the price. This is also my first cookbook purchase since I caught the cooking bug about 3-4 months ago and started this blog. For new recipes I usually stalk the internet, hitting up epicurious.com and fellow food bloggers. I only recently stumbled across the vast community of food bloggers (floggers? –no, too s&m) via Kiplog – king of food blogrolls. There are a handful of food bloggers that I check in with daily – I love to see what they are up to and I marvel at their energy and dedication. Through these food blogs I followed the Plinko-path of internet clicks eventually winding up at Is My Blog Burning? where I found out about “Waiter there is something in my….”

This food blog event is in its fourth(?) manifestation and this month’s theme is BREAD. Fun. I’ve only made bread (with yeast) once before. The first bread I ever made was only so-so but I loved the odors and ritual that comes with making yeasted bread. I sat down with my new cookbook looking for a bread made with whole-wheat flour and decided on the “Whole-Meal Bread” which calls for two types of molasses and some major kneading. It sounded dense and yummy and it was! I thought the bread turned out amazing. But maybe I was just hungry after waiting so long to take my first bite. For third party opinions I took the second loaf to work. The second loaf did not bake as long as the first because I was running late to work so it came out a little doughy – but my work mates didn’t seem to mind. Read their reviews below. Maybe they were just being nice but that loaf did not last long on the community eats table. It took me over 4 hours from beginning to end to make this bread – sheesh. I should have started earlier and rented a movie. I did not end up using two types of molasses for my bread. I didn’t want to spend the extra money for the Blackstrap molasses – I just used the standard organic unsulfured variety and the bread turned out great. Someday I would like to try it with the Blackstrap as it is said to add another layer of flavor and give the bread a deep brown color.

Whole-meal Bread

From Hay Day Country Market Cookbook by Kim Rizk

Ingredients:

1 cup milk

1 cup cold water

¼ cup safflower oil or unsalted butter

¼ cup blackstrap molasses *(see note below)

¼ cup unsulfured molasses

1 tablespoon coarse (kosher) salt

1 tablespoon active dry yeast (that equals one package plus ¾ teaspoon)

¼ cup hot water

2 cups whole-wheat flour

3 ½ to 4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

* Note on molasses: The author says that you can sub regular molasses for the blackstrap molasses but not the other way around. If you use only black strap molasses you will inhibit the action of the yeast.

Step one: Combine milk, cold water, oil and the molasses and salt in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir until melted and combined and remove from heat

Step two: In large mixing bowl stir the yeast into the hot water and let stand for about 5 minutes or until the yeast is nice and bubbly on top. Then add the contents of the saucepan to the bowl.

Step three: Gradually stir in all of the whole wheat flour and 3 ½ cups of the all-purpose flour. Add more all purpose flour if necessary.

Step four: Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until it is smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes (My note: I found that I used quite a bit of flour to keep the bread from sticking, I was throwing it down by the handfuls) Place the dough in an oiled bowl and turn the dough to coat all surfaces. Cover with a towel and set aside in a warm spot until the dough has doubled in size. This should take 2 to 2 ½ hours. (Watch movie #1)

Step five: Lightly oil two bread pans (I only have one which was a pain in the ass time-wise)

Step six: Turn the dough out of the bowl, divide it in half, and shape the halves into loafs. Place into the bread pans and cover again with a towel until it doubles in size about 2 to 2 ½ hours. (Watch movie #2)

Step seven: Preheat the oven to 350F

Step eight: Bake the loaves for about 45 minutes until they are nicely browned. (The loaf that I had time to cook all the way seemed to take only 30 minutes) You can tell the bread is done by turning it out of the pan and tapping on the bottom of the loaf. If it sounds hollow it is done. Turn the loafs out of the pan when they are done and let them cool on a rack.

Follow these steps and you’ve got bread!

Sadie -Bread Judge

Sadie says:

“Supper nummy. I even liked that it was just a little under-baked.
Because of the sweetness I can imagine it being the base for some top-notch French toast, but it would probably also make a damn fine turkey sandwich with cream cheese, lettuce, cranberry sauce and onions….yum.”

Megan butters her bread

Megan says:

“It was delicious. Quite rich and almost sweet, it’s a great breakfast bread alone or with butter. The bread was a bit underdone, but as I love bread with a bit of doughiness left, it was great. “

 

Read the rest of this entry »

I did it. I made the best chicken ever!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

While cruising Epicurious for the easiest recipe involving chicken with a four-fork rating I stumbled upon “My favorite Simple Roast Chicken” a recipe by Thomas Keller. It turns out Thomas is a big shot chef at French Laundry and even has his own Wiki entry. This recipe definitely has the Epicurious seal of approval with over 156 reviews stating 96% would make the chicken again – but what sold me was that the recipe has 6 ingredients including salt, pepper and chicken and the remaining three ingredients are optional – plus making it requires only one pan. SOLD, sign me up – baby we eat’n chicken tonight (and this aint no popeyes). I went to Trader Joes (Eerily, always populated with good looking people) and sprung for the $11 4.45lb Organic chicken. Bee-gok! The injected, hovelled and hormone-laden chickies go for about half the price. Free Range, Organic – my chicken ran in open meadows, ate sprouted grains and TASTED DAMN GOOD coming out of my oven. I was shocked, and let me tell you why.
I am new to this cooking thing so I expect recipes to be complicated. As thebrowns2 noted on epicurious, “The hardest part of making this was looking up info on how to truss a bird.” I had to google this as well, Oh, I get it – you tie its legs together. After that Thomas instructs us to dry the bird off with some paper towels and get the oven nice and hot at 450 degrees. Sprinkle that bird with some salt and pepper and pop it in the oven. Then, nada. None of that basting stuff I’d seen relatives do at thanksgiving. Keller has this whole “keep the chicken dry” approach – I don’t know the workings behind the theory but he has discovered that non-basted chicken = juicy, juicy chickies. You take it out an hour later and you have SOME OF THE BEST CHICKEN I HAVE EVER HAD. Fans of this recipe have left some helpful comments on Epicurious – I guess a handful of them experience super-smoky kitchens. One remedy proposed was to line the bottom of the pan with potatoes which I did because, well, I like potatoes. The POTATOES TURNED OUT BOMB as well (that means good). Cause not only is the chicken juicy but its juice is tasty and potatoes seem to soak up juice quite well. My parting words for this blog entry are that this chicken was really really really good. And I feel very accomplished for cooking something so yum. Yum. This is my third delicious dish – I’m on a roll.
Ps. I don’t have pictures ‘cause when I took it out of the oven I was too excited to eat it. But I am making it again so I’ll add photos soon

One 2- to 3-pound farm-raised chicken
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons minced thyme (optional)

Unsalted butter
Dijon mustard

Preheat over to 450F. Rinse the chicken with water and dry it off inside and out with paper towels. Sprinkle about a tablespoon of salt all over the chicken and pepper to taste. Show the chicken whose its daddy by trussing it with twine. Cut some potatoes and line the bottom of the pan if you wish. Place chicken in roasting pan and put it in oven for 50-60 min. Take the bird out and let it rest on a plate for 15 minutes. Now you can throw some thyme in the juice and baste it if you want. Thomas throws the mustard and butter in there as a dip or spread.

Coctel de Camarones Y Frijoles de Cerveza con Tostada

Coctal de camerones ingred

Que Rico!
Back in 1997 I drove from S.Cal to San Francisco to visit Allison Penner and Liz Wiens who took me to Puerto Allegre. I loved the place, mainly because we scored pitchers of margaritas while still underage. I’ve been going back to Puerto Allegre ever since. Margaritas, mariachi and dark booths are still the main appeal of Puerto Allegre. The margaritas are strong enough to make you love the food. Not that the food is all that bad. It is a step up from taqueria food and can really hit the spot with saucey enchiladas, crispy corn chips, fresh salsa, grilled beef fajitas on warm and oh-so-soft flour tortillas. Since 1997 the restaurant, and the neighborhood in general has become a bit of hotspot and people on Yelp complain about hipsters. On Friday and Saturday nights the wait can be up to an hour. If you are willing to wait (more for the experience, I’d say) there is one dish that stands out on the menu: The Albondigas Soup and one that shines: The coctel de camarones.

Now that I have relocated to a place with poop for Mexican food – I’ve been craving my favorite dish from Puerto Allegre: coctel de camarones. This dish is more like a ceviche than the ‘shrimp cocktail’ ubiquitous at casino buffets and golf course country clubs. Prawns, cilantro and avocado soak in a tomato-based sauce that is vinegary, citrusy and sweet. Compared to much of the menu, the coctel de camarones is light and fresh. Puerto Allegre serves is in a large margarita glass with saltines and sells it for $10 a pop.

I poked around at a few coctel de camarones recipes but none seemed to capture the ingredients that were in Puerto Allegre’s. In the end I just threw together what seemed right and it turned out fabulous! Although lacking some of the richness of the Puerto Allegre version – this version really was very tasty. My test bunny, D, was impressed. I got the “This is REALLY good, babe” and the “this one is going in the cookbook”. That’s, like, four stars ‘n shit.

To go along with the meal I cooked up some beer beans (grab your gasX now) and threw them on store-bought tostadas. The beans were amazing. There is a black bean dish I make from scratch called “mamalitas” which is one of my favorite foods ever but takes a lot of time and prep – these beans were almost as good as my mamalitas and they were a cinch. What would have been an amazing addition is Queso Fresco – If you make these beans with the tostada or tortillas I strongly suggest crumbling on this salty-dry cheese on top. Queso Fresco is available at Mexican markets. Overall a super-yummy and fun meal.

Coctel de Camarones, Frijoles de Cerveza con Tostada. Served with Tapatío and Sour Cream.

Sidenote: I love Tapatío. Especially on Cheese Pizza. Mr. Jose-Luis Saavedra began making Tapatio back in 1971. This year Tapatío is celebrating their 35th year producing yummy hotsauce as a successful, family owned business. Read their history here. Hopefully they don’t sellout to some soulless food processing corporation. Go Tapatio!! I love you, you make pizza and avocados super yum-yum. I even like you on sheets of fried pork fat. They are selling Tapatío birthday mugs – I want one.
Coctal dinner

Coctel de Camarones

1 pound unpeeled shrimp (not the tiny ones that look like baby fingers, get the prawns, but not the big honk’n prawns that look like fat man’s fingers)

1/2 cup fresh lime juice
1 cup ketchup
2 tablespoons Tapatio
1 tablespoon of olive oil
½ tablespoon of sugar
1 tablespoon of vinegar
½ of a jalapeño or more, seeded and diced small

1/2 medium white onion, diced
2 Cloves of garlic, pressed or chopped
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro or more to taste
1 cup diced peeled cucumber

2 tomatoes
1 small ripe avocado, peeled, pitted and cubed
Salt
Several lime slices for garnish
Tostadas or tortilla chips, store-bought or homemade or saltine crackers for serving
Prep:

  1. Cooking the Shrimp. Bring salted water to a boil and add 2 tablespoons of lime juice. Add the shrimp. Allow the water to return to a boil then immediately drain the water out of the pot. Keep the shrimp in the pot and cover with a lid (set slightly askew to allow air circulation) and allow the shrimp to steam cook for 10 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile combine the ketchup, lime, tapatio, olive oil, sugar, vinegar and tapatio in a small bowl. Make adjustments as you see fit.
  3. Chop onion, garlic, cilantro, cucumber, tomato and avocado and place in a large bowl.
  4. After the shrimp has cooled, peel and devein. Keep the shrimp whole or chop in half and add to the veggies in the large bowl then cover with the ketchup sauce. Stir ingredients together and allow flavors to mingle in the fridge for 1 hour to 1 day.
  5. Serve with tostadas, chips or saltine crackers.

Beer Beans

Ingredients:
2 cans or bottles of beer
1 jalapeño, seeded and chopped
½ cup chopped cilantro
2-4 14oz cans of black beans
1 yellow onion, diced
2 T of Olive oil

Prep:
Add olive oil to pot on medium-high heat and sauté onion, cilantro and jalapeño for 2-4 minutes. Add cans of beans, half drained, half with juices. Add one beer. Allow mixture to come to boil then reduce heat to simmer. Cook for 1 to 1 and ½ hours keeping your eye on the beans and adding beer when the moisture cooks off.

Cost:
Coctel de Camarones
$6.00 Shrimp (1lb frozen, uncooked, deveined shrimp from Trader Joes)
$2.00 Limes
$3.00 Tostadas
$3.00 Tomatoes
$1.50 Cilantro
$1.00 Onion
$0.50 Jalapeño
$2.00 Avocado
$1.80 Cucumber
Total: $20.80
Whoa, I am surprised. This is way more than I thought it would be. It is enough to feed 4 people as a featured side dish or appetizer, maybe even 6 people as an appetizer. Plus, I had some left over Avo, Jalapeño, Cucumber, Tostadas, etc.

Beer Beans
$2.40 3 cans of organic black beans
$3.00 Beer (22oz)
$ .30 Onion
$ .30 Jalapeño
Total: $6.00

Woo-hoo! Yummy bargain. That’s how it should be with beans. Because the beans were so good and because I burnt some, we ended up not having any left over. But typically I’d say you can easily feed 3 with 3 cans of beans and have some for lunch the next day.


Coctal de Camerones