Sunday, December 12, 2010

FFWD: My Go-To Beef Daube

This truly will be my Go-to Beef Daube. Not that I had another Beef Daube, or had even ever heard of a Beef Daube before this. Beef Stew, yes. Daube, no. My french is lacking. Next time, I will definitely make some mashed potatoes as an accompiment. I used a French Syrah for my wine, and also used both the carrots and the parsnips. I had never had a parsnip, and I expected them to be bitter and kind of harsh, but they were just the opposite. They were somewhat sweet, and melded well with the beef, onions, carrots and wine.

To check out the group, head over to French Fridays With Dorie. And to buy the book (which you should!) head over to amazon.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

FFWD: Potato and Leek Soup

Such great flavor, and a beautiful soup.

I made this one late in the evening. And by late, I mean 8 o'clock. I do have a one-year old people, and 9pm is about my bedtime these days.

Anyhow, I ate a big bowl - hot, chunky style, made with the milk & chicken broth, and topped with shredded gruyere as soon as the forty minute simmer time was up.

Mentally, I told myself, I'd put the leftovers in the fridge after the soup cooled just a bit.

Then, I feel asleep on the couch.

Then, I woke up, peeled the contacts out of my eyes, and crawled into bed.

Then, it was 6 am. Maaa ma... maaa ma....

I got my little love bug out of his crib, went to the kitchen to get his milk, and there was my soup. Still on the stove.

Oh, the disappoinment. I had big plans for that soup today. And high expectations of beautifully married next-day flavors. I was so mad, I dumped it. Right then.

Oh course, my plan was to take a photo that morning, in better light. Now, the only photo I could have taken was the soup in the garbage pail. Or the dirty pot. I will not subject you to either.

I can promise you, the soup was fab, though!!

Here - I'll direct you to a couple of other FFWD'ers who made the soup this week, too, with beautiful photos to boot!! If you guys mind the link, lemme know. I'll take it right down!

A pureed version from Sticky, Gooey, Creamy, Chewy:

Another pureed version from Everything But the Cake:

Yet another pureed (should I have pureed??) from A Plateful of Happiness

In a breadbowl!! Yum. From The Not So Exciting Advetures of a Dabbler.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

FFWD: Caramel- Topped Semolina Cake

Another month down, another month of 100% recipe completion at French Fridays with Dorie. My posts may not be exactly on time, but I'm glad I get them up!!

So, here is my Caramel-Topped Semolina Cake. I used small diced apples, sauteed in butter in place of the raisins, which worked beautifully with the caramel. I really enjoyed this cake. It was right up my alley dessert-wise. I'm a big fan of flans and custards, and this was that type of treat!

To check out the group, head over to French Fridays With Dorie. And to buy the book (which you should!) head over to amazon.

Pain Ordinaire

I rarely have the time to make bread. It's not the "work" part, which is usually not that labor intensive, at least not with a mixer. It's the waiting. The rising, the proofing... But, today, I am home all day, so I wanted a recipe for a simple bread that didn't require an overnight wait. This Pain Ordinaire was exactly what I was looking for. A simple recipe, a simple bread, just perfect.

Source: The Way the Cookie Crumbles, originally from Ultimate Bread, by Eric Treuille and Ursula Ferrigno

Pain Ordinaire

3½ cups (17½ ounces) unbleached flour

2 teaspoons instant yeast

1⅓ cup water, room temperature

1½ teaspoon salt

1. Stir the yeast into 1¾ cup (8¾ ounces) of the flour in the bowl of a stand mixer. Add all of the water, stirring until it forms a smooth, sticky batter (like pancake batter). Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and leave at room temperature for approximately 20 minutes, or until the mixture becomes frothy, loose, and slightly expanded.

2. Add the remaining flour and the salt to the mixture. Stir (or mix on medium-low speed with the hook attachment) for 1 minute, or until the ingredients form a ball.

3. Lightly dust the counter with flour, transfer the dough to the counter, and begin kneading (or mix on medium speed with the dough hook). Knead for about 10 minutes (6 minutes by machine), adding flour, if needed, to make a dough that is smooth, shiny, and elastic.

4. Lightly oil a large bowl and transfer the dough to the bowl, rolling it to coat with the oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Let rise until doubled in size, about 1½ to 2 hours. Press to deflate, then let rest for 10 minutes.

5. Gently pat the dough into a rough rectangle. Fold the bottom third of dough, letter style, up to the center and press to seal, creasing surface tension on the outer edge. Fold the remaining dough over the top and use the edge of your hand to seal the seam closed and to increase the surface tension all over. Press evenly with the palms of both hands and roll the dough backward and forward until it is 14 inches in length. Line a sheet pan with baking parchment. Place the loaf on the pan and lightly dust with flour. Cover loosely with plastic wrap.

6. Proof at room temperature for about 1 hour, or until the loaves have grown to about twice their original size.

7. About half an hour into the second rise, place a baking stone* on the bottom rack of the oven and preheat the oven to 500 degrees.

8. Using a very sharp knife or a serrated bread knife, cut 5 diagonal slashes, each about ¼ to ½-inch deep, across the top of the loaf. (Alternatively, cut one long slash that extends for the length of the loaf.)

9. Transfer the dough on the parchment paper to a peel or the back of a sheet pan. Transfer the dough to the baking stone. Close the oven and reduce the temperature to 450 degrees. Bake until golden brown and the temperature is at least 200 degrees** at the center.

10. Transfer the loaves to a cooling rack and cool for at least 1 hour before slicing and serving.

*If you don’t have a baking stone, simply bake the loaf on a baking sheet at 425 degrees for 45 minutes.
**If you don’t have an instant-read thermometer, tap the bottom of the hot baked loaf. It should sound hollow when the bread is done baking.