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

 

Prosciutto Breakfast Rolls

August 21st, 2014

Prosciutto Breakfast Rolls 1

 

Do you occasionally buy convenience items like refrigerated crescent roll dough?  There are many things you can do with it besides rolling the triangles into crescent rolls.  I do like this take on a different way to handle crescent roll dough.  Instead of separating the dough into triangles stop at the rectangles, pat the seams closed and you have the perfect size for a slice of prepackaged prosciutto.  It fits like a glove.  Then all you have to do is roll it up and slice the log into two pieces.

Prosciutto Breakfast Rolls 2V

 

Viola!  An easy roll up for breakfast.  To guild the lily,  brush a mixture of grainy mustard and honey on the rolls before you bake them.  This made a great change from our usual Canadian bacon and English muffin breakfast.  Although homemade is best, an occasional easy option is nice to have on hand.

PROSCIUTTO BREAKFAST ROLLS ( Katie Brown )

Nonstick vegetable oil spray
2 (8-ounce) packages refrigerated crescent-roll dough
8 thin slices prosciutto

2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons country-style or grainy Dijon mustard

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Spray heavy large baking sheet with nonstick spray.  Open 1 package of rolls.  Unroll crescent dough and separate into 4 rectangles ( do not separate dough into triangles; press perforations together).  Top each dough rectangle with 1 slice prosciutto.  Starting at 1 long side, roll up dough rectangles jellyroll style.  Cut each crosswise in half.  Transfer to prepared baking sheet, seam side down.  Repeat with second package of crescent rolls. (Can be made 1 day ahead.  Cover and refrigerate.)

Whisk honey and mustard in small bowl to blend.  Brush tops of rolls with honey mixture.  Bake until golden brown, about 12 minutes.  Cool slightly.

Printable recipe

 

Souffleed Omelet with Canadian Bacon and Gruyere Cheese

May 28th, 2014

Souffleed Omelet 1

This is an easy breakfast dish and very impressive when it comes out of the oven.  Photographing it is another story as it deflates rather quickly.  But, when cut into and served, it is creamy and luscious.  I love the texture of the eggs and the bits of ham and herbs.

Souffleed Omelet 2V

I have so much basil this year that I am putting it in everything.  It holds its own with eggs.  But you could use other herbs.  This souffle is one of those dishes that is easily adaptable.  Substitute sausage or cooked vegetables for the Canadian bacon, parsley or tarragon for the basil, or cheddar cheese for the Gruyere topping.  It doesn’t matter.  The magic still happens and it comes out of the oven puffy and golden.  I liked this so much that I made it two Sundays in a row.

Souffleed Omelet 4

This time I used a combination of fresh tarragon and basil.  David wants to try it with sausage and cheddar next time.  But I am also thinking about that leftover zucchini and corn.  I am sure all of you could come up with some wonderful combinations.  This is a keeper.

SOUFFLEED OMELET WITH CANADIAN BACON AND GRUYERE CHEESE  (Adapted from Gourmet)

6 ounces sliced Canadian bacon, cut into bite-size pieces
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup heavy cream or 1/2 and 1/2
3 tablespoons flour
8 large eggs, beaten lightly
1/3 cup minced fresh basil
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 ounces freshly grated Gruyere cheese

In a flameproof 1 1/2 quart baking dish cook the bacon in the butter over moderately low heat for 5 minutes, or until it is golden, stir the mixture to coat the sides of the dish with the butter, and remove it from the heat.  In a bowl whisk together the cream the flour, the eggs, the basil and the salt and pour the mixture into the dish.  Sprinkle the mixture with the Gruyere cheese and bake it in a preheated 450 degree oven for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the omelet is puffed and golden.  Serves 4 to 6.

Printable recipe

Zucchini Flans and a Giveaway

May 8th, 2014

Zucchini Flans 1

I have been following the blog Manger for a while now and am thrilled that the author Mimi Thorisson is coming out with a new book this Fall.  Manger is the French word for “To Eat”.  Mimi lives in the Medoc region of France with her husband and growing family.  Her blog is beautiful both in her prose and the photography.  Her husband is a professional photographer and is responsible for the ethereal images.

 

A Kitchen in France 2
To celebrate the publication of her new book  A Kitchen in France, I will give one lucky winner a copy of the book.  Since it will not be published until this Fall,  you will have to wait to receive your copy.  Mimi’s food is as unique as she is with an emphasis on seasonal ingredients.  I have tried several of her recipes and have been very happy with the results.

zucchini flans 2V

These Zucchini Flans are very easy to make and a good use for the ubiquitous summer zucchini that will be in our markets soon.  They make a lovely light breakfast or side dish for any of your summer meals.  I changed the recipe a bit by using basil instead of mint.  They are very adaptive and gluten free since they use cornstarch instead of flour.

To win a copy of the cookbook, you have two chances.  Leave a comment on this post for one chance.  Follow my new Lake Lure Cottage Kitchen Facebook page for another chance.  Let me know in a separate comment if you are following me on Facebook.

ZUCCHINI FLANS

2 large zucchini, sliced in half-rounds
5 eggs
4 tbsp cornstarch (maïzana in France)
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
A handful of chopped basil
1/2 cup grated cheese (Emmental or Gruyère)
2 shallots, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, sliced finely
½ tsp nutmeg
Salt & black pepper

Preheat oven 180°C/ 350 F
Slice zucchini thinly in half rounds. Slice shallots and garlic finely. In a large frying pan, heat 2 tbsp of olive oil and fry shallots, garlic and zucchini for a few minutes, until slightly golden.
In a large bowl, whisk eggs and cornstarch, then add grated cheese, nutmeg, salt & pepper. Combine zucchini/shallots/garlic, lemon juice and sliced basil – stir gently.
Pour mixture into a muffin pan. Bake in oven for 20 minutes, until slightly golden on top.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Southern Biscuits

May 5th, 2014

Southern Biscuits 3

So much of what  Southern cooking is about is how its women were able to provide filling and nutritious meals for their families.  When I think about the Southern table I think about the history of putting food by; women sitting on their porches shelling butter beans, the steaming pots of water waiting on the stove for those ball jars full of strawberry jam ready to be sterilized and the rendered lard waiting to be mixed with flour and buttermilk for the morning biscuits.  And if there were leftover biscuits, they would be used as a topping for that old stewing hen.

Southern Biscuits 2V

We have come a long way from the times when putting food by was a necessity for survival, but making biscuits is still a primal instinct to me.  There is nothing like rising early in the morning, lighting the oven and mixing the simple ingredients for biscuits. I love the put-put sound of my knife as it slashes through the butter and shortening cubes in the flour.  I make a floury mess in the kitchen as I pat the dough onto a board and cut the biscuits into shape.  Traces of flour cover the refrigerator door handle as I reach for the buttermilk and my clothing is dusted in flour.  After the biscuits are in the oven, David enters the kitchen, takes one look around and says “You must be making biscuits”.

Southern Biscuits Pan 2

My biscuit making skills are still a work in progress.  A recipe that I have been using lately comes from Alton Brown.  He uses regular flour and a combination of butter and shortening and buttermilk in his biscuits.  It is a good basic recipe. Watching the Food Network a while back, I saw Sunny Anderson talk about her Grandmother’s biscuits.  Her Grandmother shared her recipe with her, but the recipe never came out the same for Sunny.  So watching her Grandmother carefully one day she noticed that her Grandmother’s flour looked different.than they flour that she used.  Her Grandmother’s flour had little yellow flakes in it.  She neglected to tell her that she used Atkinson Flour with Butterflakes.  Sunny shared her recipe here.  I also found a new flour that I used in my biscuits this time.

Southern Biscuit Pan 1

King Arthur has a Pastry Flour Blend that duplicates many of the Southern flours used by previous generations of southern cooks.  It is softer and produces lighter biscuits and scones.  It is also great for flaky pie crusts.  It is not recommended for yeast risen baked goods.  I found it easier to handle and loved the results in my biscuits.  I have yet to use it in pie crust, but am anxious to try it.

Southern Biscuits 4

My biscuits were light and tender and went well with my freezer strawberry jam.  But I just may try the Atkinson flour blend to compare the results.  I would be interested to know if any of you have a favorite biscuit recipe.

SOUTHERN BISCUITS (Alton Brown)

2 cups flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons shortening
1 cup buttermilk, chilled

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Using your fingertips, rub butter and shortening into dry ingredients until mixture looks like crumbs. (The faster the better, you don’t want the fats to melt.) Make a well in the center and pour in the chilled buttermilk. Stir just until the dough comes together. The dough will be very sticky.

Turn dough onto floured surface, dust top with flour and gently fold dough over on itself 5 or 6 times. Press into a 1-inch thick round. Cut out biscuits with a 2-inch cutter, being sure to push straight down through the dough. Place biscuits on baking sheet so that they just touch. Reform scrap dough, working it as little as possible and continue cutting. (Biscuits from the second pass will not be quite as light as those from the first, but hey, that’s life.)

Bake until biscuits are tall and light gold on top, 15 to 20 minutes.

Printable Recipe

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