Quail eggs can be quite a bit of work to peel or crack, so I purchased a set of quail egg cutters. Menacing, they remind me of cigar cutters. But they do the job. Good purchase if your frying or poaching these little huevos!
My first Lahmajoon, Armenian style, was eaten in Montreal at Chez Apo. What a simple and delicious treat. Lamacun (or lahmajoon) is something akin to a thin crust meat pizza. It's not puffy like Napoletano, and not a canoe shaped pide. It is comforting and flavorful. I mixed a batch at work for dinner, and made pide with it too.
A crate of beer suggestions From the Swiss mountains, L'Amoureuse. It's a wine grape brewed beer. It's amazing. Crossing the French border, try Brasserie Du Mont Blanc "La Rousse, a brown bottled beauty for that has a bang. Amber, full head, it's a keeper that earned a 2011 Medaille D'or.
Heading south, try Cervesa Montseny from Barcelona! Last time someone tried serving me a beer from Catalunya, it was Estrella Damm, which made me think of tasteless rice. At that time, I swore to never drink another Spanish beer again. Then I popped open this brown and black labeled mystery artisan beer, and... wow!
Without a trace of recognizable hoppiness of a lager or the bitter notes of an IPA, this is as unique as Catalunya! Some investigating into Catalonian food and you got a nice match.
A sweet nutty chestnut beer from the Ardeche, complex and maybe going into a chestnut bread? Good for fall and winter, or all year really!
Pane di Matera is a bread from Basilicata, which is located on the arch of the Italian boot. With its geographical protection, Pane di Materia makes me think of the neighboring Altamura bread from Puglia.
This exclusively semola rimacinata bread is one I had to make in my "eritica style" (heretic), because I ran out of semola and went with using Kamut! I combined two formulas and decided to go with a stiffer pre-ferment. The traditional shape was a task to learn, so I searched and found a good primer on how to make this loaf, as is.
Baker Lutz Geißler has put up a challenge worthy of the phrase, "give 10 bakers a recipe and you'll get ten different breads!" Well, I've plotzed! I tried some yeasted poolish version, which was by no means slow bread...it was huge, but taste albeit softic for my penchant for crust.
My second attempt was with backferment, which was pretty, but leaden and unedible, with a crumb dense and unevenly riddled with mouse holes!
Third bread was really hydrated, and still had a nice crumb but was impossible to shape and or get oven spring for a good loaf. I have till the 17th of April, feels like I may just may make the deadline!
Recently I was asked by a client to make Scotch egg. They have been trending in social food media for awhile, but I never had the chance to try them. My client was running a whiskey tasting and wanted some pub-grub. So I researched and tested various recipes, boiling, peeling, retesting till I hit money - which with Scotch eggs mean a runny center, crisp bread crumb, and moist sausage casing.
A Manchester-based Twitter mate then told me to try making them with pickled eggs and black pudding. Hmmm, I might. They're good eggs, Scotch eggs!
Somebody called this attempt of my latest croissants, "braveheart". Not because I made them from two different flours; finely milled durum - semola rimacinata - and wheat. Rather it's the goat butter from Trickling Springs Farm I used to layer these hybrid croissants.
The first batch was less than stellar. I did not have enough heat and it probably needed a stronger fermentation. The scent of goat is evident straight from the oven, but the flavor is close to regular cows milk butter when cooled. I'll definitely give these another go, as the croissant is crisp!
I'm still aiming to use a grano arso flour mix to use with laminated dough (particularily croissants), but Domenico isn't convinced that French croissants are the answer. That may be due to a sort of Italian chauvanism, but there's also the question of whether I'll even able to extract the flavor of grano arso within layers of fat.
Anyway, I set about making cornetti with spelt and evoo, and here I substituted grano arso. Not a bad effort this time. I should of allowed a longer proof, yet they tasted good, and hada nice crunch. The grano arso is evident in color, but its taste isn't that noticeable.
Salsa verde in Spanish. Pesto in Italian gastronomy. These green sauces do travel. Bagnet vert is one of these dishes that I was introduced to by baking friend Barbara Elisi. She recently posted this recipe on her blog.
Made with capers, parsley,olive oil, and anchovy, then served on bread. It's simple, deep and delicious. It is good with everything from boiled me to dipping vegetables. Personally, I like it on a spoon and decided to marry it with some grilled shrimp and a faux tuna Niçoise.
Sicilian cheesecake is favorite of mine back from childhood memory from a local pastry shop. Having some amazing organic ricotta from Pennsylvania Amish country I had used for calzone, I found this recipe to make a cheesecake at home. I had no baking mold, but my army cook instincts kicked in. Cast Iron pan would do and did the job!