Saturday, February 19, 2011


Nine o'clock rolled around today, bringing both the onset of darkness and the thought "better think about dinner before it gets too late." (sic)

I had no idea what I was going to do for dinner, and the freezer wasn't very encouraging. Then Krys brought in close to a bushel of tomatoes from the garden. We've been leaning on the tomatoes pretty hard lately, but the problem is that the majority of them have succumbed to one plague or another--starting with stinkbugs. Still, lots of tomatoes, there's an avocado on the counter...hmmm. Wait, Sue brought some fresh corn the other day; that's still in the fridge. As is half a head of cabbage that's been waiting a while. That's right, you can shred cabbage, throw it in hot oil with chili to sear and soften it, and toss in a little soy sauce. Hardly a dish, but with a fried egg...and the wholegrain no-knead bread I--funnily enough--just finished a couple of hours ago.

So in a half hour, we sat down to a tomato and avocado salad (roughly chopped fruit, finely chopped shallots, sherry vinegar, olive oil, S&P), fresh corn, seared cabbage with over-easy eggs to run all over it, and still-warm bread with Krys's butter. Don't you just love it when dinner works out like that? Sussing it out makes you feel like a cooking genius, yet it's still simple. Dinner arrives before midnight, and the result is heavenly anyway. Krys made a plum clafouti earlier in the day, and we were so replete we didn't touch it.

[Recipe Sharing Department: I've fiddled around with the No-Knead Bread that has a full-on cult surrounding it, and recently got the recipe that makes it worthwhile. If you have a largish oven-safe crockery or porcelain dish with a cover, and an oven that will go to 450°, you're golden. Try this on:

Wild Bread

350 grams (2.5 cups) white flour
100 grams (2/3 cup) rye flour
100 grams (1/2 cup+1 tbls) whole wheat flour
15 grams fresh yeast or 1 Tsp. instant dry yeast
1/4 cup ground flax
1/4 cup ground sesame
2 tsp. salt
2 cups (480 ml) water

Mix all flours and yeast, add salt & water, cover with plastic & leave
for 15 hrs., or 12 hours, or 18 hours, or however long it takes to double in bulk.

Put a kitchen towel (something that won't stick to dough: NOT terrycloth) in a basket and dust with flour. Generously dust a countertop with flour and decant the dough thereon. Fold it over a couple of times to form a "package", which then lift onto the towel, seam-side down, cover with a damp towel and let rise for an hour and a half.

20 minutes before then, put a large (several quart) ceramic or porcelain baking dish with a cover into the oven and crank it up as hot as your oven will go, up to 480°F (250°C). When the dough is ready, roll it into the pot, turn the heat down to 450° (230°C) and bake, covered, for 40 minutes. Uncover and bake another 15 min.
Take out & cool on a rack.

It makes an amazingly well-textured loaf with a crackling crust. Unbelievable that there's so little to it. Thanks, Dorit.]

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