Thursday, August 26, 2010

Grilled fennel sandwich

Had an extra bulb of fennel handy...I really like fennel, it's such a great food. Mild licorice flavor, slightly sweet and nicely crunchy raw, even sweeter (but no more licoricey) when roasted, but with a mellowed flavor, akin to caramelized onion.

Grilled Fennel Sandwich

1 fennel bulb, cleaned and tops removed (save tops for fennel oil)
1 tbsp olive oil
Fresh spinach, washed and dried
Green onion, sliced thin
Roasted red pepper
2 tbsp harissa
1 tsp fennel oil (recipe follows)
1 tbsp mayonnaise
Baguette or other crusty bread

Slice fennel, cutting along the widest aspect, including the core
Brush with olive oil, salt and pepper
Grill for 3 minutes per side on hot grill
Remove, and drizzle with fennel oil
Grill bread slices for 2-3 minutes per side
Assemble sandwich: mayo, harissa, fennel, roasted red pepper, spinach, salt and pepper.

Fennel oil

Fronds from 1 fennel bulb, washed and rough chopped
1 cup chopped fresh parsley
3/4 cup vegetable oil

Blanch fronds and parsley in boiling water for 10 seconds. Submerge in ice bath.
Add to blender. Pulse to chop further.
Add oil and puree until smooth.
Pour solids and oil into glass or plastic container.
Use or cover and refrigerate for up to 7 days.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Floyd Poolish #6

Looks pretty good. Spongy as usual. A lot more whole wheat in this one

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Thursday, August 12, 2010


I read this in an review of a Mark Peel book:

"A good cut of beef demands to be grilled but if you must pan fry - please! use half extra virgin olive oil and butter such as for Steak Au Poivre or just rub the pan with a little fat cut from the steak, sprinkle the pan with a thin layer of salt, place the pan over high heat until the salt starts to brown but not smoking, add the steak and cook for about 10 minutes per 1-1/2 inch of thickness, turn the meat and cook for 10 minutes on the other side. Rare steak but not bloody."

I'll have to try the cast iron + salt technique, sounds interesting!

Monday, August 09, 2010

Floyds #5

20% wheat, 1.5 hour shaped rise on counter (no fridge time). I'm happy with the softness chew and spring. Another nice soft loaf courtesy of poolish.

I use parchment to hold wet doughs, kinda like a couche.

Parchment comes off after 5 min on the stone.

Nice browning and some nice li'l crust blisters.

Very soft chewy crumb. The en pice doesn't do justice to the fluffiness of the crumb. Nice thin crust too although not as thin and leathery as earlier versions.

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Thursday, August 05, 2010

Donuts 1 and 2

Made a bunch of donuts yesterday and today.

First ones were ok. I know now what Wayne Schmitt was saying about careful handling. They deflated as I tried to carefully place then in the oil. Surfac got a little wrinkly too, not good. Still tasty despite old-tastin butter in the glaze.

Turned out a bit chewier and not as fluffy as expected. Probably because of bread flour and hydration level. Good browning though and cooked thru, about 365-370 with 30 sec per side.

Today's were better. Leftover dough more than double after 24 hrs in the fridge. Cut into strips, I let them rise about 1.25 hour, on strips of foil as Wayne suggested. Then dropped in oil with foil, stripping it off carefully during the cooking.

Much better result! Fluffier and lighter than #1. However at 370 for 1 minute total, it didn't cook the logs thru, still a tiny bit of raw dough in the middle. Probably needs 355-360 for 1.5 minutes. Glaze was much better: powdered sugar, just a touch of milk and a touch of vanilla. Did firm up nice after it dried.

For the future I'm thinkin higher hydration, gentler handling, longer rise, cooler but longer fry?

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Tuesday, August 03, 2010

donuts - go nuts

So doing a bunch of doughnut research, compiling a few recipes.

Here's what I learned so far:

  1. Original Krispy Kreme recipe had potatoes in it! See "Making Dough" By Kirk Kazanjian; which suggests that cooked potatoes, instant potatoes and/or potato starch would be ingredients to consider adding to the ultimate doughnut
  2. Many doughnut makers use pre-made mixes. One example of a mix is Spudos (50lbs for $50). In Spudos case, they don't include the yeast, but probably use powdered egg, powdered milk, potato powder and/or starch, sugar, salt, and flavorings.
Anyway, gonna give some a try, will letcha know how it goes.

Monday, August 02, 2010

mushroom risotto

So I've been requested by my old boss to make some risotto for a party that she's hosting for the people in her department. Nice of her to invite me, I enjoyed working for her.

Truffled Mushroom Risotto
Serves 10-12 as a side dish

1 box chicken stock
2 cups water
1 stick butter
1 onion, minced
2 cups arborio rice
1 cup dry white wine
1 lb cremini mushrooms, trimmed and cut into wedges
1/2 oz dried porcini mushrooms, carefully rinsed and minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme
2 oz Parmesan cheese, grated
1 tsp Truffle oil
Kosher salt
Fresh parsley, chopped

  1. In small pot, bring broth and water to boil
  2. In large pot over high heat, melt 2 tbsp butter and some salt. Cook until browned, about 8-10 minutes. Add garlic and thyme, cook 15 seconds, remove from pot and set aside.
  3. In the large pot, now melt butter 1/2 stick of butter. Add onion and dried porcinis, cook for 5-7 minutes.
  4. Stir rice into pot, cook about 3 minutes.
  5. Add wine and cook for 2 minutes
  6. Start adding broth + stirring, one ladle at a time, and cooking for about 17 minutes over high heat.
  7. Remove from heat. Stir in cremini mushrooms, Parmesan, and truffle oil. Adjust salt.
  8. Sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve immediately.