All content copyright Katrina Hall 2008 through 2017

Monday, December 28, 2015

waiting for snow (and chunky apples and oats)





I have no idea where the time has gone, but keeping up with three small (grand) children on their Christmas breaks might have a little something to do with it.  And the scourge of strep, which my daughter has had five times now, the children several times .  I'd forgotten how exhausting it can be to have most of the family in bed, with the covers over their heads.

One thing 9 year old Isadora wanted asap was the chunky apples and oats for breakfast, as soon as her appetite came back.   I've now made it almost every morning for someone, but mostly for me.  And I've clarified a few directions from the original recipe ages ago, so that soon Izzie can make it herself, with adult supervision.  You will have to copy and paste, but I hope soon to have a clickable print and pin button from some talented blogger person:  that is NOT me, alas.

This oatmeal is so far from instant or gloppy oatmeal they are just barely related:  I simmer it for 10 minutes, turn off the heat, cover it, and let it slowly plump up the oats and gently cook the apple chunks.  It has definition and is delicious to savor with drizzles of honey or maple syrup, then topped with cream.  If you don't have fresh apples, you can use raisins or dried cranberries, which will plump up as the oats cook. SO good.

Chunky apples and oatmeal:

Makes about 4 servings.

2 medium apples, peeled and cut into dice or chunks
2  1/2 cups water 
1  1/2 cups rolled oats ( I use Quaker oats)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons unsalted butter

In a heavy bottomed saucepan, place the apples, oats, water, cinnamon, and butter.

Bring the water to a simmer and let cook on medium low for 10 minutes, uncovered.

Remove from heat and cover.  Let sit for at least another 10 minutes, stirring gently once or twice, before serving with cream, syrup, or honey.  The oats will be delightfully chunky, not sticky.

Snow expected here tonight - up to 9 inches!  It's been comfortable weather, a little cold, a dusting of snow, so this is my very first storm in Minnesota.  Below is the street our 5th floor apartment looks down on, with the trolley/train tracks in the middle, and the little hobbit houses looking over the green where my friend Mark plays bocce in the summer - so different a view from the forests and mountains of New Hampshire I was used to.  Be well, and onward to the New Year!




Monday, December 14, 2015

winter detox soup



Colds and strep have been cycling around the family for weeks, and today when my daughter asked for a spicy green soup for her third bout with strep, I reached for all those familiar herbs and spices we use so often in winter:  fresh ginger root, garlic, thyme (but then, I put thyme in EVERYTHING), sea salt, and dill.  Sometimes a few splashes of hot sauce find their way into a soup, but not today.

We always have bags and bunches of kale and arugula, scallions and potatoes, onions and frozen stocks, but lacking a vegetarian stock, I used the seasoned vegetable base she had from Better than Bouillon, then added a little chicken stock after I ladled out her portion.

SO good!  On my second cup as I look out the window at the freezing sleet blanketing the sidewalk, happy to be warm and inside today, then a smile as I see Stuart Little at the top of the Christmas tree in his wee little canoe - and far from the reaches of two year old Noah.  



winter detox soup

2 heaping cups of russet or red potatoes, cut into chunks
1 medium onion, peeled and sliced
1 teaspoon thyme
1 large peeled garlic clove, cut in half
several sliced scallions, greens included
a small chunk (about an inch) of fresh ginger, unpeeled

Place the potatoes, onion, thyme, garlic, scallions, and ginger in a pot and cover with water.  Bring to a low boil and cook until the potatoes are soft when poked with a fork.

When potatoes are soft, remove pot from heat and add:

a large tablespoon Better than Bouillon vegetable paste or chicken base
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
kosher salt to taste- I added two little pinches
2 handfuls of arugula.  If they have stiff stems, remove them before tossing into the pot.
2 large handfuls of packaged kale - mine was already de-stemmed and torn
1 teaspoon dried dill

Cook until the greens are soft, then puree in a blender, adding more stock or water if it seems too thick.  Taste carefully before serving.  
Enjoy - and stay healthy!







Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Thanksgiving - and welcome, December!

My first Thanksgiving in Minnesota was a joyously delicious one : I used Ina's recipe for her make-ahead turkey (don't ask why, because it was completely spontaneous) - it was perfectly cooked, tender, and moist , though my daughter missed the traditional stuffed turkey.  My daughter made those beautiful apple flowers, which I would love to learn how to make, AND a cranberry pie.  Mashed potatoes, and I'm quite sure we had salad and a green vegetable, but I've forgotten.   Almost as soon as we had cleaned up after Thanksgiving, we woke up to five inches of beautiful fluffy snow - the first snow I've seen out here.  I hope your Thanksgiving was delicious and warming, with friends and family, or thoughts of family.  And now - onto getting supplies to make these reindeer cookies with the grandchildren- and looking for a few sleds and a hill to race down!  Happy December 1st!









Monday, November 23, 2015

Chopped kale salad with cranberries, breadcrumbs, and clementine juice




Busy, busy!  Several windy days in Minneapolis which found me curled up with several Brian Jacques books discovered while unpacking the last few boxes, though I did make that glorious Tuscan Tomato soup on an especially chilly day.

With Thanksgiving coming up, I tinkered with that kale salad recipe I made in July today - making it with dried cranberries, no garlic or parmesan, and freshly squeezed clementine juice, but keeping the toasted breadcrumbs and olive oil.  It's such a pretty, unmessy side, and a nice addition to the table.  Instead of mincing it by hand, I used the Cusinart for chopping very, very carefully - just a few pulses.  The kale needs to be completely dry, if it isn't you may end up with kale pesto:)


 Chopped kale salad with cranberries, breadcrumbs, and clementine juice


1 large bunch dinosaur kale, very dry
4 tablespoons freshly squeezed clementine or orange juice
  (you can also substitute lemon juice - just use a little less)
3 slices bread, toasted, cooled, then pulsed in a Cusinart to make bread crumbs (you can use gluten-free bread for this if needed)
2 cups dried cranberries
1-2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 cup olive oil

Tear the kale leaves off the stems.
Working in batches ( I did three batches), add the kale to a very dry food processor, keeping it loose and not packed down, and pulse three times until kale is finally chopped.  Remove to a bowl and continue in batches until all the kale is shopped.

Using the same food processor bowl to pulse the bread until it makes medium-fine crumbs.

Pour the olive oil into a large frying pan, heat, then add the breadcrumbs.  With heat on medium, stir the crumbs until toasted, then scrape into the bowl with the kale.  Toss gently, then add the cranberries , salt, and lemon or clementine juice, and toss again.
Taste and correct seasonings before serving.

Looking back at my posts, they all seem to be about kale, don't they?  I do love kale, and the kale around here is fabulous, whether big or small leafed, or dinosaur kale - it's all fresh and delicious.  I did make TWO carrot cakes for Anni's birthday, two days apart because the first went so quickly - (ahem, I might have had something to do with that:)

A Happy, wonderful Thanksgiving to you all!

















Monday, November 9, 2015

my secret indulgence (sweet pastry cream)





A sunny, beautiful day again after a few very chilly mornings and finally, a freeze.  The household has been battling revolving strep for the last week or so;  today Anni, my daughter in law, has it for the second time, my daughter just succumbed, and Isadora is miserably sick.  The boys were sick last week with it - I hope lots of fresh air and keeping my bedroom door shut will keep me healthy and strep-free.

In between illnesses, they all went on a hike on Saturday, while I stayed home to cry over my computer and try to figure out how to fix the iPhoto problem - as in, finding a way to download my pictures from the camera into the second iPhoto page my daughter set up for me.  Total flop.  I went for a walk, came home, and whisked together my favorite sweet dessert - creme patissiere, straight.  No tart shell, no chocolate, no strawberries, just warm sweet pastry cream in my new little Weck pot, with my tiny spoon from Paris. 

Heavenly.

And this morning I figured out how to find the new pictures, wonder of wonders!  




creme patissiere (sweet pastry cream)


You will need a heavy-bottomed pot to make this, and a wooden spoon and a whisk.

1 cup milk
1 teaspoon good vanilla, or a scraped vanilla bean
1/4 cup sugar

3 large egg yolks
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon flour
1 tablespoon unsalted butter


Heat the milk in the saucepan on medium heat, adding the vanilla and the sugar and stirring constantly.  When sugar has dissolved, remove the pan from heat and set aside.

In a bowl or mixer bowl, place egg yolks and sugar and whip until the mixture is thick and a pale, pale yellow, then add the flour and whip a little longer.

Add half the hot milk mixture to the egg yolk mixture, whisk or stir quickly, then pour the mixture back into the saucepan, whisking all the while, and set the pan back on the heat. The mixture will become thick very quickly - make sure you continue to whisk or stir.  When it's thickened, take the pan off the heat and stir in the butter and eat immediately:)

This recipe can be doubled with no problems.







Friday, November 6, 2015

friday serendipity




Another week, another glitch in my posting format - once again iPhoto is not working, which may be the internet provider -  or gremlins cavorting around Blogger.  Many apologies and hopes it gets worked out.

In the meantime:

Today re-reading the book I gave to Isadora in 2012 about Julia Child, full of charming drawings and stories that make me chuckle all over again:  It's called Bon Appetit:  the delicious life of Julia Child by Jessie Hartland, and it is grand and funny, and perfect for pretty much anyone on your Christmas list.  You can find it here.

Half the time I can't remember who I'm following anywhere, so it was a delightful surprise to start reading a blog called Dash and Bella, a vibrant, tumbling food/life/children blog with gorgeous pictures and a rollicking writing style.

And it being November, I'm fired up to start making all my favorite foods, from turkey to cranberries - you can find some drool-worthy recipes right here from Damn Delicious.

And cranberries from my home state of Massachusetts are showing up in the Minneapolis stores, leading to a flurry of baking these muffins.

I had a version of this butternut pasta dish a few weeks ago:  SO good, warming and filling and utterly delicious.




Have a wonderful weekend - and hope my glitches get fixed soonest!




Katrina






Tuesday, October 27, 2015

wilted kale with garlic and kidney beans

How can it be October 27th already?  Autumn in Minneapolis is mild - most days I wear a vest as I walk around the neighborhoods, and the trees are very slowly turning color.  There have been a few chilly mornings, but no frost or bitter winds - quite a change from New Hampshire, when I would be rushing out to cover my herbs and flowers with a sheet on cold nights. 

And leaves might be falling, but in Minneapolis people keep their green lawns leaf free and tidy, while giant trucks vacuum up the side streets.  Pumpkins by the front doors, and still- blooming flowers make for a very pretty walk to the stores.









Since I'm home, I've been making more meals for the family:  hasty lunch box meals for the three grandchildren (2, 5, and 9) and healthy supper menus.  Izzie follows a mostly gluten-free diet, Frankie is picky, and Noah, the baby, tastes everything.  He's the one that chooses stinky French cheeses at the Co-op:)   When I made this kale last night, he ate some, then promptly finished off the rest on the platter.  I love it because it cooks so quickly but still retains its kale flavor, unlike spinach.  I added a handful or two of cooked kidney beans, because they pair so well together in my Portuguese kale soup.  


wilted kale with garlic and kidney beans


4 cups kale, torn from stems
1/2 cup water (more if needed)
1 peeled garlic clove
3/4 cup canned kidney beans, drained
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
a sprinkle of hot pepper flakes or hot sauce

Place the water in the pot, then add the rest of the ingredients.  Cover and cook on high heat just until wilted, stirring constantly.

Drain if needed, sprinkle with kosher salt,  and serve at once.



Tuesday, October 6, 2015

beet salad with oregano and lemon




Early this morning I found the bag of beets that came in the CSA box - deep, rich ruby red skins that reminded me of how good beet soup can be -I wanted to make a velvety smooth, deeply colored soup.  I tended to the simmering beets while packing the school lunches , drained then, cooled them and began to rub off the soft skins.  What a surprise!  Not red at all, but the pale colors of a sunrise!  

Ok, plan B it will be.  Gently diced and drizzled with a light citrus dressing, a sprinkle of oregano leaves from a pot on the windowsill, perfect for an early lunch.


Beet salad with lemon juice dressing

About two handfuls of beets - I had some very small and some medium ones.
2 tablespoons good olive oil
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
salt to taste
freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon tiny oregano leaves, or slivered large leaves
2 small handfuls arugula

Simmer the beets in a saucepan of water until tender, then drain and cool until they are easy to handle.
Rub off the skins very gently, then dice into 1 inch pieces.  I had just under 2 cups of diced beets - just enough for two.
Whisk the olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper, and most of the oregano in a small bowl.
Arrange the arugula leaves on two plates, then spoon on the beets.  
Top with the dressing and a few more oregano leaves

Serves 2.


Very early this morning I was sitting in the courtyard here, when I sensed some movement in the hosta plantings - a tiny little brown bunny sat and stared right back at me, then calmly hopped away.   Rabbits are a terrible pest here, which is why I see so much hosta - it's about the only thing rabbits will not eat!





Wednesday, September 30, 2015

roasted delicata squash with quinoa and cranberries

Our last farm share was a bonanza, with three delicata squashes, one of our favorite squashes lately.  One night I simply washed two of them, sliced them into 1 1/2 inch rounds (seeds and all), brushed them with melted butter, and roasted for 45 minutes.  Leaving the seeds intact lends a slightly richer flavor, but it was tedious to scrape away all the seeds after serving, especially for the children present.  They had no problem eating the soft peel, with a certain delight, though.

For lunch today I settled on a whole squash, split and deseeded, roasted again for 45 minutes, and filled with a quinoa and dried cranberry filling, then drizzled with a light citrus sauce, topped with fresh sage leaves. Really, really lovely  and light, and a pleasure to still see green plants here in Minneapolis, which has not yet had a frost.


Delicata squash with quinoa and dried cranberries





Preheat oven to 375F.

one medium Delicata squash, split lengthwise and deseeded
1 tablespoon melted unsalted butter 

Arrange the squash halves on a baking sheet, drizzle with butter, then roast for 45 minutes.

While the squash is roasting, make the quinoa:

Place in a heavy bottomed sauce pan:

1/2 cup white quinoa
1 1/2 cups water or chicken stock
2 pinches kosher salt
1 pinch dried thyme leaves
a few grindings of black pepper

1 cup dried cranberries (stirred in after cooking)

Bring the quinoa to a simmer and cook for about 45 minutes, stirring every now and then.  I kept the pot covered for a half an hour, then uncovered it.  If there is still a lot of liquid, simmer until it is absorbed.  Remove pot from heat and add the cranberries.

Orange juice and olive oil dressing:

4 tablespoons olive oil
4 tablespoons fresh orange juice

Slice off the ends of the squash (only if you want to, and I did), cut each squash in half, and place on 4 plates.  Drizzle with orange dressing , top with whole or slivered sage leaves, and serve. 

Wasn't that easy?






Tuesday, September 22, 2015

chilled radish soup





As I was scrubbing the garden dirt off the radishes this morning, I suddenly remembered a soup in one of Lee Bailey's cookbooks (which did not move to Minnesota with me) - a light lunch or supper soup.  I made it once years ago, but thought it was very bland, I think in part because you simmered the fresh radishes until soft, along with potatoes.  This morning I thought, why not skip the cooking?  Perfect!  The peppery zing of the radishes was intact so this recipe will be a keeper during fresh radish season - and such a pretty pink!

Fresh Radish Soup

1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 tablespoons chopped white onions
3/4 cup sliced white potatoes
water to just cover the potatoes for boiling
1 cup hot chicken stock
1 1/2 cups washed and sliced radishes
kosher salt to taste

Cook the onions until soft in the butter and set aside.
Simmer the potatoes until soft and drain.
Place the hot bouillon in a blender, add the potatoes and onions and blend until 
smooth, then add the radishes and blend again. It will be a very pretty pink.  Taste and add a little kosher salt if you think it needs it.  

Serve room temperature or chilled a bit, with some bread and butter sandwiches.

Delicious!

Sunday we went to a wonderful open house at the Holz Farm - a farm that was worked from the 1860's until 1993 - it is now protected in a sea of houses and condominiums nearby, and open to the public for special events - this was one of them.  Geared to children, there were farm animals to pet, ponies to ride.  A virtual cow (really!) to teach the kids how to milk a cow.  A country band, and an accordion group kept the children whirling and hopping.  In the kitchen they were making butter in a jar, and the old farm trucks and shucking machines were proudly displayed in a field, along with pumpkins and corn shucks.  They even had an old washboard and tub for the kids to try out, doing laundry.  I wandered around, falling in love with the old truck and the charming milk house next to the barn - and grateful that this wonderful old farm has been saved.

                                                       









Thursday, September 17, 2015

little peach and nectarine galettes with thyme


My wits have not quite settled down living in this new city, so coming up with a new recipe post has been evading me lately.  Today I fell instantly in love with a photograph from My Blue and White Kitchen, walked to the store for peaches and nectarines (I still am holding tightly onto peach season) and had a very happy few hours mixing and baking - and enjoying the fruits of my labor.

As I do with any new recipe, I followed her recipe exactly, except for a tablespoon or so of stripped fresh thyme leaves and a pinch of nutmeg in the dough.  Why?  Because thyme is my favorite herb ever, and I had a glass of sprigs beside the flour tin;  and nutmeg is almost always in my desserts, again, because I love it.

I still think I didn't roll the dough thin enough, but my taste-tester disagreed with me - she and her husband loved the fat, amazingly flaky dough, and the cooked fruits, so there you are - I leave it up to you.

You can find the recipe here - and I'm sure you'll love it as much as I did - it's a keeper!







Thursday, September 10, 2015

the wonderful veggie salad!







We had several very warm days last week, not as humid as New England, but muggy enough to curl up with a book in air conditioned splendor inside.  That kind of weather keeps me far away from the oven, even with air conditioning - all I can think about are fresh fruits and salads.  So when the memory of my Veggie Salad popped up in my thoughts, I sliced, diced, and chopped willingly , ending up with a very large bowl to tuck in the fridge.

You can use up all those summer vegetables that are so fresh right now:  green cabbage, spinach, scallions, parsley, and juicy tomatoes, which is definitely a bonus.   Fill a bowl and it's lunch.  Add a heaping tablespoon to your hamburger bun and top with a hot grilled burger.  Layer over a smoked turkey sandwich, or serve as a side to fresh fish or lobster. I love the versatility of this salad for just about any meal - even breakfast.  I often add cottage cheese to the vegetable mixture, which adds a little more heft to the salad, especially if that's all you're having.

In the past, I've used the shredding cone for my KitchenAid mixer, but a part has gone missing, so I sliced everything by hand.  I wasn't able to slice it as thinly as I prefer, but it was delicious as always - I love the oregano dressing, so I made twice as much.


Veggie Salad


2 cups shredded or thinly sliced fresh green cabbage
2 cups de-stemmed thinly sliced large-leaf spinach
1-2 cups chopped tomatoes or halved cherry tomatoes
6 scallions, sliced (both tops and bottoms)
4 tablespoons minced Italian parsley
1 cup cottage cheese (optional)

Place in a large bowl.


The dressing:
(you can easily double this if you like a lot of dressing)

3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
3 tablespoons good olive oil
1-2 teaspoons dried oregano 
kosher salt to taste
freshly ground pepper to taste

Toss the salad well before serving.  This keeps well in the fridge in a covered container.

                                        ********************






One of my neighbors offered me some somewhat wild pears from a tree she has tucked in the corner of her yard - so many pears some of the branches have broken.  Not a clue what to make when they're ripe - right now they are very hard.  Ideas?

Happy After-Labor-Day!  

Friday, September 4, 2015

rigatoni with crunchy breadcrumbs, garlic, and cherry tomatoes







I do love this season of ripe tomatoes of every color and shape, but realize I prefer them as accents, rather than a thick tomato-y sauce.  A few thick pieces of perfect tomatoes on bread with Hellmann's mayonnaise and fresh pepper sums up summer to me.   

Looking at the bounty on the kitchen counter and wondering what to make for dinner, I suddenly remembered that kale salad I made a while ago, especially those crunchy breadcrumbs tossed with garlic and kale.  I ate quite a few spoonfuls of those breadcrumbs each time I made the salad.  So why not go whole hog?  

I increased the recipe for breadcrumbs, tossed in more garlic, and sauteed until they were dark golden brown, then layered them with rigatoni and blistered cherry tomatoes, cooked until they were just bursting, then topped with more crunchy crumbs and a shower of dried basil, simply because it's more assertive and I was out of homemade pesto.  A quick squeeze of lemon juice and it was perfect.  I did experiment with a few slivers of parmesan, but it didn't seem to belong in this dish, perhaps because of the breadcrumbs?



Rigatoni with crunchy breadcrumbs, garlic, and cherry tomatoes
Serves two

For the crumbs:
3 slices whole grain bread, toasted, cooled, and crumbed in a food processor 
2 garlic cloves, pressed or minced
1/3 cup olive oil (I use California)
1 pinch kosher salt

Heat the oil and garlic cloves in a skillet, then add the breadcrumbs.  Stir constantly with a spoon until the crumbs are golden brown.  Sprinkle with salt, then scrape into a bowl to cool.

For the tomatoes:

1 pint cherry tomatoes (about 2 cups)
1 tablespoon unsalted butter

Melt butter in skillet, then add the tomatoes and cook on medium heat until very soft. Set aside to cool.

For the pasta:

1/2 box good rigatoni pasta (8 ounces), cooked in salted water


Optional:  1 or 2 tablespoons pesto (for the bottom of the bowls)
                 2 tablespoons sliced scallions (for garnish)
                 2 wedges fresh lemon 

Assemble:  
Set out two or medium pasta bowls.
Drizzle bottoms of bowls with a little pesto or basil oil (optional) .
Place half the pasta in the two bowls, and sprinkle with half the breadcrumbs.
Divide the tomatoes between the bowls and add the scallions.
Top with the rest of the breadcrumbs.
Sprinkle with dried basil and freshly cracked pepper and a squeeze of lemon juice and serve at room temperature.  Fabulous!







I walk by my neighbor's house at the end of the lane, inspecting the tiny pears and rosy crabapples, every morning , and admiring the huge showy flowers, white, and bright pink , next to the sidewalk. Do you know what they are?  I keep forgetting to ask her.  

Happy beautiful September!





Thursday, August 27, 2015

roasted chicken with rosemary: transition






You would think by now I would be settling in here after two months, but my head stubbornly refuses to re-set my compass :  I wake up not quite sure where I am in my long life of places:  for a few seconds I am 10, sharing a bedroom with my little sister in Pascagoula, Mississippi - and next I'm looking down at one of my babies, who are now parents themselves. I hear my father's voice halloooing as he meets my car on the island:  this morning I heard a ship's bell clanging in the fog on a tiny harbor in Maine we stayed at for a few days long ago - it was the light rail just outside my window, here in Minnesota.  I know where I am physically, but the years and places tumble gently in my waking up bubble.  I think to pick some mint and thyme from the herb border beside the front door, then remember I'm on the fifth floor in a midwestern city, with no garden (yet), with a houseful of family.  

For someone who's been solitary for a long, long time, it's a transition that is taking a little too long for my patience.  But yesterday, I finally made the famous roasted -chicken- with- rosemary and thyme with 9 year old Izzie by my side, watching - and tomorrow, a birthday cake for my dearest firstborn - and let's hope it kickstarts the creative (and culinary) juices flowing.  And guess what I found just down the street yesterday morning?  A little garden center crowded with plants and herbs:  a two foot rosemary plant that now sits on the window sill, minus a few branches for this chicken.


Roasted Chicken with rosemary and thyme

Preheat oven to 350F.

1 good sized chicken to serve 6 people
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided into 2 portions
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 of a lemon
1 teaspoon whole thyme leaves
several springs of fresh rosemary
freshly cracked pepper

Wipe out the inside of the chicken with a paper towel.  Squeeze the lemon over the outside of the chicken, then place the lemon inside the cavity of the chicken.   Add 1 tablespoon of the butter inside the cavity as well.  Add several sprigs of rosemary inside the chicken, then rub the outside of the chicken with the remaining butter.  Sprinkle the chicken with the thyme and kosher salt and fresh pepper.

Place chicken in preheated oven and roast for 1 and a half hours, or until chicken is golden and the chicken legs move easily when wiggled.  Remove the chicken to cool for 15 minutes, then tip the chicken and collect some of those wonderful juices to drizzle over the chicken before slicing.( P.S.:  Save the bones and trimmings and juices for an over-the-moon roasted chicken stock!)

I served this with wilted spinach and kale, and boiled quartered new potatoes with lots of butter and pepper - what a wonderful supper!  And dessert was those wonderful tiny clementines found at Trader Joe's (from Chile) - juicy, easy to peel, and the perfect size for 2 year old Noah, though I go through three at a sitting, they are so good!

Happy almost September!










Monday, August 17, 2015

fresh rosemary and red onion focaccia









Where has the summer gone?  I'm sure that's being echoed by every parent and grandparent at this moment, as they realize school starts next week.  I am still deep in boxes, rummaging through eight boxes to find one small ice cream scoop (never found) or the portrait of my Grandmother Helen (still not found), or my mandoline (found half of it), my tray of silver knives, forks, and spoons are found, at last, though!

So, that has been my summer: packing, unpacking, playing with the children, walks, swims, museum going, and a fine visit to the Irish Fair here, mainly so Izzie could finally see the young step dancers performing - which she loved!  

Too busy and hectic to bake much, though I did finish this focaccia my daughter started.  She made the dough the night before, and I finished it the next afternoon.  She found it on Bon Appetit, and I must say it was delicious.  The dough is rolled very, very, thin, proofed, assembled, and baked.  It comes out crunchy and toasty and was a hit with all three children - and me.  I was very sad to see the platter empty, but will make again:  the CSA share box always has fresh red onions to remind me.


rosemary and red onion focaccia

4 tablespoons olive oil, divided , plus more
1 3/4ths cups King Arthur all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt plus more
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon active dry yeast
3/4 cup water plus more if needed
1/2-3/4ths cup very thinly sliced red onion
2 tablespoons finely chopped rosemary leaves
2-3 tablespoons chopped oregano and basil leaves
fresh pepper 

Lightly oil a bowl, set aside.  Combine the flour, salt, sugar, yeast, and 3/4th a cup of water in mixer bowl fitted with a dough hook.  Mix on low for 5 minutes.  Scrape down sides and bottom of bowl, increase speed to medium and mix for 6 minutes.  Form dough into a ball and transfer to a lightly floured work surface.  Knead by hand, adding a tablespoon of flour at a time as necessary to prevent sticking.  Place in bowl, let stand for an hour at room temperature, then place dough in plastic bag and chill in the fridge overnight.

The next day, oil a large rimmed baking sheet with oil.  Stretch and pull dough on sheet into a rectangle slightly smaller than the sheet.  Brush or drizzle 2 tablespoons oil on dough.  
Cover with plastic wrap loosely and let rest for an hour at room temperature.

Preheat oven to 500F.
Remove plastic wrap and dimple dough with fingertips.
Scatter the onions and herbs evenly over the dough, then sprinkle on salt and freshly cracked pepper.

Bake until golden - about 20 minutes in my oven.  Let cool before slicing and serving.
Recipe slightly modified from the original Bon Appetit recipe.



Let me know if you come up with some other toppings - I would love to know !  Thinking artichokes, sardines, feta, tomatoes - oh, the possibilities!

The wonderful David Leibovitz visited my hometown on Cape Cod, in Massachusetts - you can see it here.  It is beautiful!

Have a wonderful week, dear friends.