Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Sourdough Bread

Sourdough Bread
Yield: 1 loaf or two small

INGREDIENTS – for waking up the starter
4 oz water – filtered (no chlorine in it) or bottled water, room temperature
2 oz whole wheat flour
2 oz white unbleached flour

INGREDIENTS – for the bread
1 cup warm water
3 – 4 cups flour (½ wheat, ½ white unbleached)
̴1/2 cup sourdough starter
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar

first night (thursday or friday)
1.           Wake up the starter.
    1. Scrape starter into a ceramic or glass bowl.
    2. Add 4 oz water and stir until mixed.
    3. Add the 2 oz of whole wheat and 2 oz of white and stir until flour is wet.
    4. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and sit out on counter overnight.
    5. In the morning, bubbles should be present.

second night (FRIDAY OR SATURDAY)
2.           In a large bowl, combine the water, about ½ cup of the sourdough starter and 2 cups of flour. Return the rest of the starter to storage in the refrigerator.
3.           Mix well and cover with plastic wrap in a warm place 8-12 hours (overnight).

third day (SATURDAY or sunday) – plan on six hours (30 min. prep, 1 hr. baking)
4.           Next day stir in the salt and sugar and add flour 1/2 to 1 cup (½ wheat and ½ white) at a time to make a very stiff dough.
5.           Knead till smooth.
6.           Clean out bowl. Return dough to bowl. Cover and let rise 2 to 2-1/2 hours.

7.           Punch down.
8.           Knead till smooth and form into round. Place on baking sheet covered with parchment paper. Cover lightly (use a linen cloth) and let rise till double and puffy (1 to 2 hrs).

9.           Place a small pan of water on bottom rack of oven and preheat oven to 400°F.
10.        Cut two slashes across each other on top of loaf.
11.        Bake for 5 minutes. Spray with water.

12.        Bake for 5 more minutes. Spray with water.
13.        Bake for another 30 – 50 minutes until internal temperature reaches 205 F.

14.        Allow bread to cool for at least two hours to develop the sourdough flavor fully.

  • Could use all wheat flour.
  • To make a rye, use ½ rye and ½ wheat. Also add about 2 – 3 tablespoons of cocoa powder and a handful of caraway seeds.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Rye Baguettes

 1/3 lb white flour
1/3 lb rye flour
2 Tbs cocoa powder
2 Tbs caraway see
1-1/2 tsp kosher salt

3 Tbs blackstrap molasses
2/3 cups water (100 F)

1/3 cup water (100 F)
1 package yeast

Use a rubber spatula to stir, until dissolved, yeast in the 1/3 cup water

Stir all the dry ingredients together.

Stir in the molasses and 2/3 cups water into the dry ingredients. Then stir in the dissolved yeast mixture.

Dump mixture out onto floured surface. Let rest for four minutes.

Start kneading by using a scraper to scrape and flip, scrape and flip. Let rest 2 minutes. Then knead by hand by slapping the dough down on the counter. Add flour as necessary to get a good consistency. This process should take 8 to 10 minutes.

Place in clean bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise to 7 cups. This will take hours.

Hint: mark on bowl the seven cup level.

Dump out on floured surface and pat out into about a 10 inch circle. Then fold near to far, left to right, and near to far. Place back in bowl and let rise to 7 cups again.

Dump onto floured surface and cut into two pieces. Let rest five minutes.

Form about a 6 x 8 inch rectangle. With the edge of the hand, form a trench in the middle the length of the rectangle. Fold over almost to the edge so you have about a 4 x 8 inch rectangle and use the heel of the hand to seal.

Now roll into a cylinder about 18 to 20 inches long and place in floured cloth to proof.

Let rise until puffy.

Transfer to baking vessel. Use a razor blade to cut three scars along the length of the baguette.

Using a spray bottle, spray water on baguettes until moist.

Place in lower level of 450 degree oven.

At two minutes mist the loaves with water using the spray bottle.

At four minutes mist the loaves with water using the spray bottle.

At six minutes mist the loaves with water using the spray bottle and move loaves to upper third of oven.

Bake additional 17 to 19 minutes.

Cool loaves in vertical position.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017



1 pound Italian sausage
1 pound lean ground beef
1 onion minced
4 cloves garlic, crushed
28 ounces crushed tomatoes
12 ounces tomato paste
13+ ounces tomato sauce
½ cup water
2 Tablespoons sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons dried basil
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 Tablespoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
4 Tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
Lasagna noodles (no-cook)
1 pound ricotta cheese
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 pound fresh mozzarella cheese – thinly sliced or coarsely grated
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese


Cook sausage, ground beef, onion in a Dutch oven over medium heat until well browned. Add garlic and cook for about 1 minute, then add crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, tomato sauce, water and stir. Season with sugar, basil, fennel seeds, Italian seasoning, 1 Tablespoon salt, pepper, and 2 Tablespoons parsley. Simmer, covered, for 1-1/2 hours, stirring occasionally.

Whisk egg until pale yellow. Add ricotta cheese, remaining parsley and 1/2 teaspoon salt.

Preheat oven to 375.

Spread 1-1/2 cups of meat sauce in bottom of 9 x 13 inch baking dish. Arrange noodles over meat sauce. Spread with one half of the ricotta cheese mixture. Top with a third of mozzarella cheese. Spoon 1/1.2 cups meat sauce over mozzarella, and sprinkle with ¼ cup parmesan cheese. Repeat layers (noodles, meat sauce, ricotta, mozzarella). Final layer: noodles, meat sauce, mozzarella, Parmesan.

Spray foil with cooking spray to prevent sticking and cover dish.

Can be refrigerated. If so, cover with plastic instead of foil. Then cover with sprayed foil prior to baking.

If refrigerated, bake covered for 35 minutes then remove foil and bake for 25 more minutes.

If not refrigerated, bake covered for 25 minutes then remove foil and bake for 25 more minutes.

Once out of oven, let rest for 15 minutes before cutting and serving.

Monday, January 2, 2017



2-1/2 cups strong brewed coffee, room temperature
5 Tablespoons Kahlua
2 Tablespoons instant coffee
4 Tablespoons Kahlua
6 egg yolks
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 pound mascarpone cheese
1-1/4 cups heavy cream
1-1/2 packages of ladyfinger cookies
Cocoa powder
Chocolate bar

Stir coffee, the 5 Tablespoons of Kahlua instant coffee together in a baking dish.

Using stand mixer with whisk, whip egg yolks on low speed until combined. Then add sugar and salt and whip on medium-high speed until pale yellow, about 2 minutes, scraping down bowl once or twice. Add the other 4 Tablespoons of Kahlua and whip on medium speed for about 30 seconds to combine. Add mascarpone and whip on medium speed until no lumps remain, about a minute. Scrape into large mixing bowl.
In the now empty mixing bowl (or use a second one) whip cream on medium-low speed until foamy, about 1 minute. Then gradually increase speed to high and whip until stiff peaks form.

Using rubber spatula, fold 0ne-third of whipped cream into mascarpone mixture and then gently fold in remaining whipped cream until no white streaks remain. Set aside.

One at a time, quickly roll one ladyfinger at a time into coffee mixture and transfer to glass or ceramic baking dish. Do not submerge! Got to be quick! Want one layer of ladyfingers. May have to break or trim ladyfingers as needed.

Spread half of mascarpone mixture over ladyfingers.

Place about 2 Tablespoons of cocoa powder in a sieve and dust cocoa over mascarpone.

Repeat for another layer.

Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 6 hours or up to 24 hours.

Garnish with grated chocolate.

Caesar Salad Dressing

1 can of anchovies, packed in oil
2 garlic cloves
4 egg yolks
3 Tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1-1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
4 Tablespoons olive oil
1 cup vegetable oil
6 Tablespoons finely grated Parmesan

Whisk the egg yolks to break them up. Continue whisking until lemony color.

Chop the anchovies and garlic together with a pinch of kosher salt. Use side of knife to mash into paste and then whisk into the egg yolks along with the lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce and mustard.

While whisking the mixture, gradually add the olive oil, drop by drop. Then, slowly whisk in the vegetable oil until dressing is thick and glossy. Whisk in the Parmesan. Season with salt, ground pepper and more lemon juice, if needed.


Thursday, September 15, 2016


1/4 cup table salt
1 cup small-diced carrots
1 cup tiny cauliflower florets
4 to 8 serrano peppers, sliced (depending on heat level desired)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 stalk celery, diced small
1 red bell pepper, diced small
2 cups canola oil
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Combine 2 cups water and the salt in a glass or non-reactive bowl. Mix until the salt is dissolved. 

Add the carrots, cauliflower, serranos, garlic, celery and bell pepper to the salt water and stir to combine. 

Cover and refrigerate overnight. 

Day 2, drain and rinse the vegetables.  

In a clean bowl, mix together the oil with the oregano and pepper.  

Add the vegetables and mix to combine.  

Allow to marinate at least overnight, up to two days. 

After 2 days at the most in the bowl, place in air-tight mason jars and keep in the fridge for at least 2 to 3 weeks.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Spatchcocked Chicken with Mushrooms and Kale

Great thing to do when mushrooms are in season!
About a four pound chicken
Couple of lemons, sliced ½-inch thick, reserve the zest from one of them
Fresh Rosemary
Fresh Thyme
Truffle oil, if you have it
Cayenne peer
About 3 cups shiitake mushrooms, stems removed, cut in half
About 5 cups of assorted wood mushrooms (Royal Trumpet, Maitake, Hedgehog, etc.)
About 4 garlic cloves, diced
1 Fresno chile, seeds removed and thinly sliced into rings
About 2 cups lacinato kale, stems removed and roughly chopped
So, here are the ingredients. A Fresno pepper is like a jalapeno, however, it is red and not as hot.
Here's the great wood mushrooms that are in season around here.
Here's some of the ingredients.
Preheat oven to 475 F.
Line a baking sheet with foil.
Using kitchen shears, cut out the backbone of the chicken. Then, clean it well.
Here's the chicken with the backbone removed. That is the backbone laying perpendicular to the rest of the bird at the bottom.
Place chicken with skin side up on a board. Tuck the wing tips under the wings. Use the palm of your hand, press firmly on the breasts to break the breastbone to flatten the chicken.
Here's the shears ready to cut!
Here is everything prepped and ready.
Place the lemon slices in the center of the foil-lined pan to form a platform for the chicken. (Note – if someone can’t eat fruit, place a small rack there instead and skip the lemons.) Place the fresh herbs on the lemons.
Place the chicken on top.

Rub the chicken with oil Truffle oil if you have it) and season with salt. Sprinkle with cayenne. Option – sprinkle with porcini mushroom powder, if you can find dried porcini mushrooms. If you do this, use plain oil instead of truffle oil. Rub the oil and seasoning into the skin.
In a large bowl, mix together all the mushrooms, the lemon zest (skip the zest if someone can’t handle fruit), garlic and Fresno chile. Drizzle some oil on it and sprinkle on some salt and mix well. Spread the mushroom mixture around the chicken. Place in oven.
Cook until chicken is at 175 F, about 35 – 40 minutes. Then, toss the kale with some oil and salt and scatter the kale over the mushrooms and continue to cook for 5 more minutes.
Take chicken out of oven, place chicken on board, cover with foil and let it rest for five minutes. Then carve and serve.