Parmesan Bread

October 20th, 2014

Parmesan Bread 1

Pain au Parmesan or Parmesan Bread is a recipe from Patricia Well’s The Paris Cookbook.  I picked up a copy of this book recently at an antique mall.  Even though it was written over a decade ago, the recipes are current and inviting.  I am a committed bread lover, so this recipe for Parmesan bread appealed to me immediately.  Patricia was inspired to adapt this bread recipe from the Boulangerie Onfroy in the Marais.  The bread is fine textured with a pungent Parmesan flavor.  It makes a great BLT.  I have also been enjoying it as toast with a tomato topping.

Parmesan Bread 2

But what is so wonderful about this Parmesan bread is that it easy.  It can be kneaded in a stand mixer and takes little hands on time.   Each slice of this fragrant bread brought me back to the beautiful boulangeries of Paris.

Boulangerie Onfroy

We have been in Florida celebrating our joint birthdays for the last week.  Here are a few pictures of the event.

Birthday Mimi and kids
I was so happy to have the grandkids with us.

Birthday Kristen and MichaelOur thanks to all of our friends and our wonderful family, including our Son Michael and DIL Kristen above, for a stellar celebration.  Aging can be a beautiful time of life.  Thank you Mark for the pictures that captured the event.

PARMESAN BREAD

1 teaspoon active dry yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
1 1/3 cups lukewarm water
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons fine sea salt
3 3/4 cups ( 1 pound ) bread flour, or more if needed
3 ounces freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (3/4 cup)
1 large egg beaten with 1 tablespoon cold water, for egg wash

In the bowl of a heavy-duty electric mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine the yeast, sugar, and lukewarm water, and stir to blend.  Let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes.  Then stir in the oil and the sea salt.

Add the 3 3/4 cups flour and the cheese all at once, and mix at medium speed until most of the flour has been absorbed and the dough forms a ball.  Continue to knead until the dough is soft and satiny but still firm, 4 to 5 minutes.  If necessary, add a little more flour to keep the dough from sticking.  Transfer the dough to a clean, floured work surface and knead by had for 1 minute.  The dough should be smooth and should spring back when indented with your fingertip.

Place the dough in a clean bowl, cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and let the dough rise until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.  Punch the dough down and shape it into a tight rectangle.  Place the dough in a nonstick 1-quart rectangular bread pan that has been buttered.  Cover it with a clean cloth and let it rise until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Brush the top of the dough with the egg wash.  With the tips of a pair of scissors, snip the top of the dough all over, about 15 times, to allow it to expand evenly during baking.  Place the bread pan on the bottom shelf of the oven.  Bake until firm and golden brown, and the bread sounds hollow when tapped, about 35 to 40 minutes.  Transfer the bread to a rack to cool.

Printable Recipe

 

Busy Lady Blackberry Cobbler

October 14th, 2014

Blackberry Cobbler 1

Years ago, a dear friend shared a recipe with me that she called Busy Lady Cobbler.  She made it with apples, but any fruit will do.  The beauty of the recipe is that you probably have everything you need other than the fruit in your pantry.  It is quick to mix together and is totally delicious either for dessert or for a brunch gathering.

Blackberry Cobbler 2V

I keep a bag of frozen blackberries on hand at all times lately.  So, when we had an impromptu get together recently, I was able to have this dessert in the oven and on the table in no time.  Add a dollop of whipped cream or ice cream and you will be pleased with the results.

Blackberry Cobbler 3

The proportions are easy to remember so you can pull this together anywhere, anytime.  Any two cups of fruit, whether fresh or frozen will work.  The cake-like batter rises to engulf the fruit in a sweet embrace.  I have been enjoying the leftovers as a midnight snack.  You need this in your arsenal of culinary delights.

BUSY LADY BLACKBERRY COBBLER (Adapted from the Pioneer Woman)

1/2 cup melted butter, plus more for greasing 2 quart casserole
1 cup sugar, plus more for sprinkling on top
1 cup self rising flour
1 cup milk
2 cups fresh or frozen berries (thawed) or fresh apple slices (add cinnamon to apples)
Whipped cream or ice cream for serving

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 2-quart baking dish with butter.

In a medium bowl, whisk 1 cup sugar with the flour and milk. Whisk in the melted butter.

Rinse the blackberries and pat them dry. If frozen, thaw and pat dry.  Pour the batter into the baking dish. Sprinkle the blackberries or other fruit evenly over the top of the batter. Sprinkle 1/8 cup sugar over the top. Bake until golden brown and bubbly, about 1 hour. When 10 minutes of the cooking time remains, sprinkle 1 extra tablespoons sugar over the top. Remove from oven and let cool slightly.  Cut into squares and serve with whipped cream or ice cream.

Printable Recipe

 

Pappardelle with Pine Nuts, Prosciutto and Brown Butter

October 9th, 2014

Pappardelle with Pine Nuts, Prosciutto and Brown Butter 1

 

Although pricey, pine nuts are one of my favorite nuts to add to dishes.  This nut, known as pignolo in Italy, pinhao in Portugal and Pinon in Spain is mild tasting in its raw form, but when it is toasted it takes on a very pleasant nutty taste.  Even though they are expensive, a little goes a long way.  I decided to pair the nuts with one of my favorite pastas.  Pappardelle is sometimes hard to find and the price jumps all over the place.  A one pound bag at the Fresh Market costs over $5.00.  But at Trader Joe’s you can find it for $1.99.  I have also found pappardelle at T.J. Max, believe it or not.  My favorite kind of Pappardelle is one with ridged edges.  It just looks so pretty on the plate.

Pappardelle with Pine Nuts 2V

 

I have been experimenting with lots of pasta dishes lately because we have tentative plans for a trip to Italy next year.  It is always fun to set the stage, so to speak. I love this simple combination.  You can’t get more Italian than pappardelle, prosciutto and pine nuts.  The brown butter and lemons just bring it all together in a palate pleasing way.  Oh, the alliteration!

Pappardelle with Pine Nuts 3

 

This is a very easy dish to pull together.  You can have it on the table in no time.

Lake Lure with Chimney Rock

 

Earlier in the week, the temperatures in Lake Lure got down to the low 40′s overnight.  The lake looked like this in the morning.  The lake temperature and the air temperature created a smoke-like effect on the surface of the lake.  I never tire of our view and the wonders of nature.

PAPPARDELLE WITH PINE NUTS, PROSCIUTTO AND BROWN BUTTER (Adapted from Gourmet)

3/4 pound pappardelle pasta
1 sticke (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
2 to 3 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto, torn into small pieces
1 cup finely chopped fresh parsley leaves
1/3 cup pine nuts, toasted lightly
thin lemon wedges as an accompaniment

Cook the pappardelle according to package directions in a pot of salted boiling water.  While the pasta is cooking, in a skillet heat the butter over moderately high heat, swirling it, until it is golden brown, remove the skillet from the heat, and stir in the lemon juice, the prosciutto, the parsley and the pine nuts.  In a bowl toss the pappardelle with the butter sauce and salt and pepper to taste and serve it with the lemon wedges.  Serves 6 as a first course and 3 to 4 as an entree.

Printable Recipe

They Say It’s Your Birthday

October 4th, 2014

Birthday 1

 

I have been kind of dreading this milestone birthday.  But so far it has been a good day.  I received the gift that I wanted first thing this morning.  I have received phone calls and facebook wishes.  David made me breakfast and he will be making a cedar planked salmon in our fireplace tonight for dinner.  It turned cold over night.  The winds have been howling and our roof was pummeled with acorns dropping from the trees, keeping me awake most of the night.

Birthday 2

 

I have been wanting a panini press for a long time.  We have so much company that I thought it would be nice to have one that will make up to four sandwiches at a time.  When I saw the size of the box, I thought, “Oh no, where am I going to store this monster?”

Birthday 3

 

But it turned out not to be as large as I expected and it is a beauty.  I have enough room to store it.

Birthday 4

 

I have a lot to learn about paninis, so if any of you have suggestions or great recipes I would really appreciate your comments.  My first attempt was delicious, but needed more ingredients.  I used this recipe that I have posted before, but used smoked turkey instead of ham.  I always picture a panini with lots of ingredients and am looking forward to experimenting.

We will be having our big birthday celebration in a couple of weeks in Florida.  David’s birthday is in 20 days so it will be a joint endeavor.  Many friends and family will join us for dinner, music and dancing.  Our friends with the Malt Shoppe Memories will be performing.  I’m just anxious for David to turn 70 also so that I don’t have to be the only oldest person that I know.  Please tell me that 70 is the new 50!  Thank you for all of your wishes.  It mean so much to me.

Chicken and Orzo Soup

September 27th, 2014

Chicken and orzo Soup 3

 

You can gather, from my previous post, that we have been eating well lately. . . . almost too well.   That is why, that on occasion, I have to step away from those dishes redolent with fat, calories and sugar.  It is my cleanse so to speak.  I was reading one of my DIL’s Nutrition Newsletters recently and it was recommended that people in my age group (he-hem) should strive for 11 servings of fruits and vegetables a day.  Eleven, really?  That is 3 servings per meal, plus 2 snacks.  I am not sure that I can reach that goal, but it has made me think more seriously about the choices that I make.

Chicken and Orzo Soup 2V

 

One of the soups that makes me feel virtuous, is this recipe from Cooking Light.  It is full of vegies like carrots, celery, onions and spinach.  It is easy to prepare, especially when you use a rotisserie chicken and it is tasty and good for you.  The orzo pasta adds just the right amount of noodle feel to the mix.  What more could you want for an easy fix to the “I’ve overdone it blues”?  To your health.  Enjoy.
CHICKEN AND ORZO SOUP

  • 1 (32-ounce) container fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth, divided
  • 1/2 cup uncooked orzo
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 2/3 cup coarsely chopped carrots
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped celery
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 3/4 pound skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2-inch cubes ( Or meat from a rotisserie chicken) 
  • 1 1/4 cups water
  • 3 fresh parsley sprigs
  • 1 fresh thyme sprig
  • 4 cups fresh baby spinach
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper

Preparation

  1. 1. Bring 1 3/4 cups broth to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add orzo; cook 10 minutes or until done.
  2. 2. While orzo cooks, heat a large saucepan over medium heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add carrot, celery, onion, and chicken; cook 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Stir in remaining 2 1/4 cups broth, 1 1/4 cups water, parsley, and thyme; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer 10 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Discard herb sprigs. Add orzo, spinach, juice, salt, and pepper; simmer 1 minute.

Printable Recipe

© Penny Klett, Lake Lure Cottage Kitchen. All rights reserved.

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