Monthly Archives: March 2021

Not so wild today….

summary: using commercial yeast (!) for the first time in ages; celebrating spring; we ♥ the Cheese Boutique; Clark’s bread; chicken livers are ideal for making pâté; where are those green peppercorns??

[T]his molasses-fennel bread is the very first kind of yeast bread I ever made.
 
– me, blog from OUR kitchen | Molasses Fennel Rye Bread from Memory Lane (BBB September 2012)

Clark's by the Bay: Bread Recipe

Yesterday, when we were out on our bikes on a gloriously sunny day with the temperature {gasp} above freezing at last, we celebrated by riding to the Cheese Boutique. While we were choosing large blocks of German Butter Cheese, Aged English Cheddar, and from the “any block of cheese from this shelf is $13, or three for $30” fridge, we saw various kinds of pâtés in the expensive part of the next fridge.

Really expensive!

We suddenly realized that we had neglected to have one of our favourite dishes this past Christmas season: Chicken Liver Pâté with green pepper corns (from one of the Silver Palate Cookbooks – I NEVER remember if it’s the red or the white one) on Clark’s bread.

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Green Tea and Orange Bread is Wild (BBB March 2021)

go directly to the recipe

BBB: Let's Keep Baking summary: recipe for wild green tea and marmalade bread based on a recipe in “The Larousse Book of Bread” by Éric Kayser; still staying at home… of course we are; miraculously on time; making substitutions, as usual; information about Bread Baking Babes;

Around the late nineties, the French rediscovered bread — not just any old bread […] It’s a short journey from the quest for good bread to making it yourself […] “People today are seeking authenticity in all kinds of things, ” [Éric Kayser] explains. “And what could be better than bread, when it is made honestly, with no trickery or artifice, to convey this feeling of authenticity?” -foreword, “The Larousse Book of Bread” by Éric Kayser, p.9

Bread Baking Babes (BBB): Green Tea and Orange Loaf

just out of the oven

March came in like a snow lion this year. I was almost (“almost” being the key word) glad we were still in a strict “stay at home” order. …we’re still in a “stay at home” order, but now it’s not quite as strict. We can now enter hardware stores, masked of course. But after more than a year of this, it’s old and boring news. Let’s move on, shall we?

Amazingly, the snow that blanketed Toronto at the beginning of March disappeared a few days later and it really did seem that spring had arrived. There are even the points of crocus and day lily leaves peeking up through the bleakness!

Cleverly, Cathy (Bread Experience) decided we should celebrate spring and at the same time, St. Patrick’s Day tomorrow, with bread made with candied orange peel and green tea.

Powdered green tea. Matcha.

That HAS to be good for us, doesn’t it? (continue reading )

Taking Comfort with Chocolate and Caramel

summary: Π Day; chocolate caramel tart; yet more praise for back issues of SAVEUR; going a little stir-crazy;

And a back issue of SAVEUR magazine comes through again!

chocolate caramel pie

Today is Pi Day!! And because we’re still in the “Grey Zone, we decided we needed major comfort. It is now exactly one year from the day of my first (of too many) “cancelled due to pandemic” dress rehearsal and concert….

From the days when SAVEUR Magazine was still an exciting magazine to read:

      The front of Marlow & Sons consists of an assemblage of display cases and shelves stocked with fresh baked goods, artisanal soda pop and potato chips, and culinary curios. Baguettes poke out from a chipped enameled-metal bin labeled BREAD. A chalkboard advertising the day’s specials hangs next to a pegboard holding antique knives. Separated from the shop by a wood-paneled doorway, the dining room is a sort of cross between a cabin in Alaska and a Parisian bistro. Wall sconces cast a soft yellow light over wood benches and mismatched tables and chairs, and oysters on the half shell glisten on ice behind a bar at one end of the room.
      Many of the customers huddle over plates of house-made charcuterie and pâté, cheese, and olives, but every time I visit, which is often, I direct my attention to the specials board. The last time I was there, it listed a flat irons steak with herb butter; crostini of black-eyed pea purée, marinated radicchio, and golden raisins; black bass over clams, chickpeas, escarole, and chorizo; and a chocolate caramel tart sprinkled with seas salt. It is honestly curated homemade fare, and always delicious.
 
-Todd Coleman, SAVEUR Magazine No.119, “Restaurants that Matter: No9 Marlow & Sons”, April 2009, p.84

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Oh boy! We have another new toy!

summary: taking inspiration from TV; passatelli?! …how NOT to use up old bread; you lose some – you win some; a potato ricer isn’t just for potatoes; how much do they want for gadgets to make a ‘cucina povera’ dish??; best palak ever!; colour zones explained – sort of; that’s right: still staying at home;

Since the province decreed on Boxing Day that we must stay at home, except to get groceries, take physically distanced exercise, and go to medical appointments, we have been reading a lot and watching TV a lot. And, because eating is our life, we have been eating a lot too. (I think I found the weight that one of our friends lost last summer….)

new toy: ricer

We have another new toy! Here’s why we suddenly needed it:

     Monteveglio is a tiny village on top of a mountain roughly 12 miles west of Bologna […] There are two main attractions: the pieve, or rural church […], and our main destination, a small restaurant/hotel called Trattoria del Borgo. […]
     I walk the cobblestone streets, trying to see past the facades that obscure private, shaded back gardens but can catch only glimpses through half-open wooden gates, one or two ancient bicycles just beyond the entrance. The view of the valley is stunning and uniquely Italian. These lands have been cultivated for thousands of years, and nothing looks wild or out of place. The light is ebbing with a big-screen glow, and it is time for my cooking lesson. […]
     [C]ucina povera […] combines a style of cooking that is authentic, local and from the land. Other common culinary terms are cucina espressa and cucina immediata — which also describe passatelli, the quick homemade pasta dish we are about to make: a mixture of breadcrumbs, eggs and grated cheese, passed through a potato ricer-like passatelli maker into boiling water and served with chicken broth. […]
     [Trattoria del Borgo’s owner, Paolo] Parmeggiani has three bowls prepared, one filled with breadcrumbs, one with eggs, and the other with finely grated Parmesan. (Parmigiano-Reggiano is made in Emilia-Romagna and finds its way into almost every dish.) I ask about the recipe and learn that one uses six handfuls each of breadcrumbs and cheese, plus eggs as binder. […] [I] learn that one uses six handfuls each of breadcrumbs and cheese, plus eggs as binder.
     He combines the mixture by hand, which takes no more than two minutes, until he has a soft dough, which he places into a metal passatelli maker. He extrudes the dough over boiling water, cutting it into short lengths with a knife, and cooks it for just a few minutes, sim- ilar to spaetzle. […]
     Passatelli is served in a bowl with chicken broth and, if you are in Emilia-Romagna in the fall, copious shavings of modestly priced white truffles (which, at the outset of the season, are a slightly disappointing mix of potato and truffle). It is one of the best dishes of my life and also the fastest.
     That’s it. Cucina espressa, as well as povera — one more reminder that the best food in the world is both simple and local.
 
– Christopher Kimball, Milk Street | Cucina Povera: A Cooking Lesson in Monteveglio

While toasted bread crumbs are fabulous, we’re always looking for new ways to use up heels of bread. This sounded wonderful!

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