What kind dinner does one cook the night after a success such as my pizza? Bunnies!

Pappardelle with Rabbit Ragu

4 rabbit shoulders
sea salt and fresh ground black pepper
1/4 cup olive oil
1 anchovy
1 medium onion, diced
2 small carrots, diced
1 stalk celery, diced
3 dried peperoncino, crushed
about 9-13 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp tomato paste
about 1 cup Chianti
1 can whole tomatoes
about 1 cup chicken stock
2 bay leaves
2 tsp. dried thyme
1 tsp. dried basil
pappardelle
Parmesano Reggiano

recipe and a couple more photos )
Inspired. I cooked onions slowly until they began to brown at the edges, then added a small spoonful of brown sugar and just a tiny dash of grated nutmeg, turned up the heat, and continued cooking until they were dark and caramelized. Then I pushed all the onions to one side of the pan and melted about a tablespoon of butter in the other side. I brushed this onion-infused melted butter over a pizza crust (ready-made, but still good), then topped it with sliced apples, mascarpone and gorgonzola cheese and the caramelized onions. Gods, it may have been the best pizza I've ever had.
saansaturday: (swoon)
( Monday, 12 December 2005 23:31)
Tonight I made a pizza with sauteed red potatoes, kalamata olives, anchovies, roasted garlic, garlic oil and mozzarella. I *love* potatoes on pizza.

wanna see? )
Since I have all these vanilla beans sitting around (I bought half a kilo of them a couple of months ago) as well as raspberry liqueur that nobody really wants to drink, I came up with this variation of my fruit bread. It just came out of the oven, so I can't try it yet. I won't know what it tastes like until I get to Italy and share it with my family! Let's hope this experiment was a success. ;) It sure smells and looks like a success.

Raspberry-Vanilla Fruit Bread

about 3-4 cups mixed dried fruits--a small handful each dried cherries, apricots, figs and apples and half a handful each dried peaches and pears
about 3-4 Tbsp candied ginger
3 vanilla beans, halved, seeds scraped out
1 cup raspberry liqueur
grated zest of two small clementines
2 Tbsp unsalted butter at room temperature
5/8 cup sugar
1 egg, beaten
2/3 cup milk
2 1/4 cups unbleached white flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp sea salt
1 cup walnuts, lightly toasted (stir often in a dry pan over med-low until they smell/taste toasty)

Cut the larger fruits into smaller pieces. The pieces of fruit in the bread can be as large or as small as you like. Place all the fruits in a saucepan with the ginger, liqueur, vanilla seeds and pods and clementine zest. Bring this to a boil, then remove the pan from the heat, cover and let it steep for about 30 minutes. (You don't really have to put the vanilla pods in this mixture, as the flavors won't have much time to come out. It might be nice to use them for something else, such as making vanilla sugar).

Butter and flour a loaf pan. Preheat your oven to 180° C (350° F). Cream the butter and sugar in a mixing bowl, then beat in the egg, then the milk.

Combine the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt in a large bowl. Make a well in the center and pour in the wet mix. Fold the mixture together, being careful not to overmix. Stir in the walnuts, the macerated fruit and its liquid. Spoon or pour the batter into the loaf pan.

Bake for 1 hour or until a knife inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean. Let the bread cool in the pan for 15 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to finish cooling. Wrap the bread in plastic or foil once it's completely cooled. Wait until the next day before slicing it. In this bread's previous incarnations, we've enjoyed toasting it and spreading it with unsalted butter, cream cheese, or mascarpone.
I made this to take to Thanksgiving in Italy last year. Last night I altered the recipe a bit. This version of the bread had more fruit and more ginger than last time; I'm not exactly sure how much more. It's also a bit sweeter. With all the fruit as well as walnuts, this bread is hearty and a slice or two makes a nice breakfast. I had the first slice this morning (it tastes best if you let it sit overnight before slicing it) toasted and smothered in mascarpone, which melted some from the heat of the bread and made a gooey, creamy, fruity mess. :)



Sherried Fruit Bread (variation)

about 3-4 cups mixed dried fruits--I used a mixture of mangoes, apricots, prunes, apples, peaches, pears, cranberries, currants and raisins
about 4 or 5 Tbsp candied ginger
a little more than 2/3 cup good sherry
grated zest of one orange
2 Tbsp unsalted butter at room temp.
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg, beaten
a little more than 3/4 cup milk
2 1/4 cups unbleached white flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 heaping tsp ground allspice
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
a little fresh ground black pepper
1 tsp sea salt
1 cup walnuts, or a bit more, lightly toasted (stir often in a dry pan over med-low until they smell/taste toasty)

Cut the larger fruits into smaller pieces. The pieces of fruit in the bread can be as large or as small as you like. Place all the fruits in a saucepan with the ginger, sherry and orange zest. Bring this to a boil, then remove the pan from the heat, cover and let it steep for about 30 minutes.

Butter and flour a loaf pan. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F. Cream the butter and sugar in a mixing bowl, then add the egg, then the milk.

Combine the flour, baking powder, spices and salt in a large bowl. Make a well in the center and pour in the wet mix. Fold the mixture together, being careful not to overmix. Stir in the walnuts, the macerated fruit and its liquid. Spoon or pour the batter into the loaf pan.

Bake for 1 hour or until a knife inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean. Let the bread cool in the pan for 15 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to finish cooling. Wrap the bread in plastic or foil once it's completely cooled. It tastes better if you let it sit for a day before slicing. It is especially good toasted and spread with butter or cream cheese.



four photos behind the cut )

Braised Meatballs in Red Wine

The sauce for these meatballs is so simple and elegant. It is important to use the best ingredients--a good red wine you like to drink, a nice tomato paste (I use some fabulous organic tomato paste) and tasty beef broth or stock, preferably homemade. Resist any temptation you might have to add herbs or garlic to the sauce--you don't want to mess with this subtle simplicity. It makes for a nice contrast with the meatballs flavored with summer savory, parsley, parmesan, onion and pepper. :) I would also advise against adding garlic to this recipe--get your garlic kick with the spinach mashed potatoes....I'm telling you, this recipe as I made it last night is just too good to fuck with.


about 170 grams of a day-old baguette (depending on the size of the baguette, about 1/3 to 1/2 a loaf), crust left on, cut into slices
1 cup whole milk
1/2 kilo mixed ground beef and pork
2 eggs
about 1/2 to 1 cup grated parmesano reggiano
1 medium onion, minced
1/2 cup minced fresh Italian parsley
2 tsp salt
1 tsp fresh ground black pepper
1-2 Tbsp minced fresh summer savory

All purpose flour

2 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil
2 cups dry red wine
1/4 cup tomato paste
2 cups beef broth

Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F). Put the bread and milk in a bowl and push the bread down to submerge it. Let it stand for 10 minutes to absorb the milk. Then squeeze most of the milk out of the slices and place them in a large bowl. Discard the milk. To the soggy bread add the ground meat, eggs, parmesan, onion, parsley, salt, pepper and savory. Mix well with your hands. Form mixture into meatballs. Place the meatballs in a baking dish and bake for 30 minutes. Let cool enough to handle.

Dust meatballs with flour; shake off excess. Melt the butter and oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Working in batches, add the meatballs and sauté until brown on all sides. Return all the meatballs to skillet. Whisk wine and tomato paste together in a small bowl to blend. Add the wine mixture to meatballs and bring it to boil. Continue boiling, stirring frequently, until the wine thickens slightly, about 5 minutes. Add broth, reduce heat to medium and simmer, stirring frequently, until flavors blend and the gravy thickens, about 15 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve the meatballs and their sauce with the spinach mashed potatoes.


Spinach Mashed Potatoes

some potatoes
some milk
5 or so cloves garlic, crushed
some butter
salt and pepper to taste
some frozen spinach

Boil the potatoes in salted water until they are tender. Meanwhile heat milk, crushed garlic, salt, pepper and butter over medium-low in a small saucepan. Keep this at a bare simmer. When the potatoes are nearly done toss the spinach into the saucepan and stir until heated through (or use a big saucepan and use fresh spinach). Drain and mash the potatoes, then mash in the spinach mixture. Serve alongside the meatballs in red wine.

a photo of the leftovers I had for lunch today--I was in too much of a rush to get out of the house to take a photo last night. )
saansaturday: (botticon)
( Monday, 15 August 2005 14:59)
I've just obtained some beautiful organic vanilla beans...it should be fun trying to think of things to do with this many vanilla beans! Currently they're scenting half the house, along with the tomato bread scent lingering from last night's baking.

Yes, I know, it is obvious that I should make vanilla ice cream.

2 pretty pictures )
Edit: I'd like to include some notes about the making of this bread. I am a bit amused at my own nonchalant attitude about making up a yeast bread recipe for the first time. But that's just my attitude toward cooking in general. I like to make up my own recipes, not follow others--so I figure I understand the basics of yeast bread now, so why not make up a recipe for tomato bread, based on the recipe that I'm using for Italian bread (a recipe which is modified from a cookbook recipe)?

I figured I could use smashed roasted tomatoes rather than water and that it would be a good idea to add more salt than usual, as well as some sugar, to help highlight the flavor of the tomatoes. When it comes to flour, well, I used all the flour in my house. Thank goodness, I had just enough. That's the real reason why I used some whole wheat flour--I didn't have enough white. I didn't really realize how much liquid all those tomatoes would yield--I ended up with about twice as much bread as I usually do.

Deliciously sweet, tart, sensual tomatoes, filled with the energies of summer...I bought them at Viktualienmarkt. I loved how their different-colored skins and bits of pulp confettied the bread. :) When we ate the bread and roasted tomatoes (yes that's what we had for dinner!) last night V kept saying "fuck yum." And the whole roasted tomatoes were so divine with some of their balsamicy/olive oily/tomatoey juices spooned over the top and eaten whole--a sensual mouth experience on the level of raw oysters and sushi in the realm of pure sensual pleasure.

This bread was my entry for this week's Vegan Cook-Off. So we'll see how that turns out...

Ingredients:
an assortment of vine-ripened tomatoes--I used four orange plum tomatoes, four small red tomatoes and four small yellow tomatoes
13 small tomatoes, still on the vine
1 handful fresh basil leaves
sea salt and fresh ground black pepper
peperoncino oil (peperoncino steeped in extra virgin olive oil) or crushed red pepper
extra virgin olive oil
1-2 heads garlic
aged balsamic vinegar

Bread:
roasted tomato liquid (see below)
2 Tbsp unrefined sugar
4 Tbsp dry yeast
extra virgin olive oil
4 tsp salt, or to taste
1-2 cups whole-wheat flour
about 6 cups unbleached white flour

This makes four small loaves of bread.

Preheat your oven to 150 C (300 F). Prick each of the tomatoes which have been washed and removed from the vine with a knife. Toss them into an oven-safe pan or roasting tray . Toss in the basil, season with salt and pepper, and drizzle some peperoncino oil and olive oil over the top. Stir with your hands to mix everything up.

Gently wash the tomatoes which are still on the vine, being careful not to break them off the vine. Place them in another roasting pan. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

Chop off the top of the heads of garlic, place on foil, drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and wrap tightly in the foil.

Place the tomatoes and the garlic in the oven together. Roast for one hour. Drizzle the tomatoes on the vine with aged balsamic vinegar and return to the oven for another half hour.

Mash the roast (off the vine) tomatoes, mashing in the cloves of roast garlic as well. Pour the tomato mush (there should be a bit more than 2 cups tomato mush; you can add water if you don't have enough) into a bowl, stir in 2 Tbsp sugar, and let cool to lukewarm.

Sprinkle the yeast over the top of the tomatoes and let stand a few minutes to dissolve. Add a few lugs of olive oil and 4 tsp salt. Stir in the whole wheat flour. Begin adding the white flour, a cup at a time, until you've added about five cups. Continue adding flour bit by bit just until a dough forms. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead until it becomes smooth, about 15 minutes. Put the dough in a large oiled bowl, turning once to coat with oil. Cover and let rise until doubled.

When the tomatoes on the vine come out of the oven, gently remove them with their juices to a deep plate or bowl to cool.

Punch the dough down and shape into four loaves. Let the loaves rise again on a baking sheet which has been lightly oiled and sprinkled with cornmeal. Heat your oven to 190 C (375 F). After about 30 minutes, put the loaves in the oven. Bake for about 20-30 minutes, or until a loaf sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom.

Serve slices of the bread with the vine-ripened tomatoes and their pan-juices. Place a tomato on each slice of bread, smash and spread. You can also tear pieces of the bread to dip in the juices. Yum! :)

three photos )
saansaturday: (skirt)
( Saturday, 6 August 2005 22:51)
I made focaccia again today, continuing with my tradition of never using the same recipe twice. This time the focaccia had the mouthfeel of a chewy baguette...not exactly right...but it was good anyway. I used the deliciously-erotic Kalamata olives V obtained from Greece for me. :)

recipe and photos )
saansaturday: (Default)
( Thursday, 14 April 2005 11:32)
I made up the shape on the spot--it's a spiral of two long strands of dough, which are also twisted around each other. I followed the recipe I've been using for Italian Bread (I finally decided that 2 tsp. salt was the right amount) but added 1 Tbsp. honey. The texture was much softer this time. V said he liked it better than regular Italian Bread. many photos of my bread )
V took a couple of photos while I was making dinner last night. The camera ran out of batteries and we didn't have any others charged, so there's no photos with the sexy red peppers from the Nuoc Cham dotting the surface . . . you can see my hands )
GranitaI'm so excited about the method of peeling ginger I just learned! Use a spoon to scrape the skin off--it comes off quite easily this way and you waste much less than you would if you peeled with a knife.

Coconut Buttermilk Ginger Granita

adapted from Didi Emmons' Vegetarian Planet

1 can (400 g) coconut milk
8 thick slices fresh, peeled ginger
2/3 cup sugar
1 liter buttermilk
2 ripe mangoes, or other fruit
lime to garnish (optional)
mint to garnish (optional)

Heat the coconut milk with the ginger in a large saucepan until very hot but not boiling. Take the pan off the heat, cover, and let steep for at least 15 minutes. Add the sugar and bring the mixture to a boil, stirring until the sugar is dissolved.

Take the mixture off the heat and add the buttermilk. Pour through a strainer into a wide casserole dish or other container. Freeze the granita for about 2 hours, or until it is nearly frozen, then fluff it with a fork. Return it to the freezer for another hour.

Cut the mangoes or other fruit into whatever size pieces you like. Arrange the fruit, granita and garnishes in shallow bowls or wine glasses, and serve. (8 servings)
saansaturday: (Default)
( Wednesday, 2 March 2005 12:49)
I got fabulous help from [livejournal.com profile] misia yesterday and discovered that my sponge was indeed still good--it just needed a little waking up. After the difficulties with the sponge the rest of the process was simple, pretty much the same process as with any yeast bread. I've got a sage plant in my window that grows like a weed; I used most of its leaves in the bread yesterday and it already has grown at least half of them back today.

This focaccia is much closer to what I want than the previous one but still not quite there. The texture was right, the flavor magnificent, but I thought it wasn't oily enough. Also the bottom of the bread was too soft--I'm not sure why it ended up soft this time when it was crispy last time. Last night I topped large slices with thinly sliced zucchini and mushrooms and fresh buffalo mozzarella and put them under the broiler for a sort of focaccia white pizza. Yum!

not a great photo )
.

Profile

saansaturday: (Default)
Saan Saturday

Syndicate

RSS Atom

Most Popular Tags

Powered by Dreamwidth Studios

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags