Sunday, February 28, 2010

Sunday afternoon double-post!

So, this school thing. I've got a paper due Wednesday, and a finance midterm the next day. What to do? Procrastinate and cook, obviously.

Today, I bring you the COMFORT FOOD DOUBLE POST (post post post post..)

For starters, breakfast. Well, not really, but it's what I ate for breakfast today.

French onion soup

You'll need:

- one onion, sliced thinly

- some red or white wine

- 4 cups of stock (veggie, chicken, beef, whatever)

- two slices of bread

- mozzarella or gruyere (only had mozz on hand today)

- one big bowl, and a good size appetite

Heat your oven up to about 425.

Put an 11x13 baking tray on the burner, and heat it up. Drop some butter and/or olive oil in, and get it nice and warm (melted and foamy, possibly browned butter). When ready, drop the onion in, and try and get it in a nice layer. Pour in the wine (about 1/2 to 1 cup), and cook it a bit on the heat. Put it in your preheated oven, and cook for about 20-30 minutes.

As usual, your apartment will smell amazing, and those 4am piano players upstairs will be jealous. While this is in the oven, get your stock nice and simmering. When it's out, deglaze the pan, and combine this whole mixture with your stock. Scrape off all the good burnt bits, thems good eating.

Simmer this for about 20 minutes, which will start to dissolve and break down the burnt goodness. When ready:

Turn your broiler on full whack, and move a rack close to it. Put your soup in a good, oven proof bowl (I have a particularly intense set myself, i recommend going for sturdy and everything-proof over fanciness). Put two slices (toast if you want) of bread on the soup, cover with grated cheese, and broil it till the cheese is GBD. Take it out (use an oven mitt, doofus), and be awe inspired, then eat it.

Next up, lunch.


some hate them, I love 'em. Also, easy.

You'll need:

- one big-ass sweet potato (mine was over a pound, I think)

- italian herbs mix (yeah, it's easy. want to fight about it?)

- kosher/sea salt

- olive oil

Preheat your oven to 450 degrees.

Take that sweet potato, and peel the hell out of it. Don't even bother washing it. Also, regular potatoes you can skip on peeling (in fact, I recommend it, for nutritional goodness), but NOT sweet potatoes.

Slice off the ends, and do half-inch discs of it. Then, take these and chop them into fries (if you need help with this, that's unfortunate for you). Toss these with olive oil and a good couple pinches of seasoning and salt.

Spread out aluminum foil over a cookie sheet (optional, but you'll hate it if you don't), and spray with some kind of cooking spray (don't cheap out on this stuff, kids. believe me. I know). Lay out the fries in a single layer and bake for 15 minutes, turn over, and bake for another 10. This is a bit laborious, but necessary so they aren't just burnt mush.

Tasty goodness. Plate 'em, and eat them with something to dip in on the side, like so:

That, as you may recognize, is the hot sauce I love dearly. After this shot was taken, I mayormaynothavecombineditwithsomemayo. Delicious. Also, don't ask about the movie on the right.


Saturday, February 27, 2010

bread! oh snap.

Holy crap, I made bread! It is wonderful, and magical, and delicious, and oddly... easy.

Well, not that easy, but easy enough.

You will need:

  • 1 pound hard bread flour

  • plus more for dusting

  • 1½ teaspoons salt

  • 2 teaspoons yeast (7 grams)

  • 13.5 ounces warm water (about 1 1/3 cup, but use your judgement)

  • cornmeal

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil

  • Optional: a few cloves of garlic, minced

Note the flour is in weight, not measurements. It's a weird baking thing, and involves me going to the bake shop and buying several bags of carefully measured one-pounds of flour. Hard bread flour, too. For Guelphers/ites, the Flour Barrel on Wyndham downtown is great.

As follows:

Whisk the flour, yeast, and salt together in a big bowl. Mentally prepare yourself.

Slowly (and i mean slow) drizzle in your water, integrating it with a fork into the mix.

Flour your hands, workspace, and cat. Drop the doughey mess onto the workspace, and knead it (fold and squish, rotate, fold and squish, rotate) for about five minutes.

(at this point, you can fold in the minced garlic. it is delicious)

Clean the bowl, put it in the bowl, cover with a clean kitchen towel, and put in your oven with the light on for an hour to rise. Put a little sticky note on the oven so someone doesn't inadvertently turn it on.

When risen (about double the size), oil up a 11 by 13 pan, and scatter some cornmeal. This will give it a nice crunch. Drop the dough in, watch it sink down, spread it out to fit as best as you can, and put little indents in with chopsticks. Not too deep, but a little bit. Let it rise again for about half an hour with the towel again. I put mine under a radiator this time. Works like a charm.

About now, you want to preheat your oven to 425. This sounds a bit early, but gets your oven (and apartment) nice and hot, but also consistently hot. Oven thermometers are... not your friend.

After rising, ever-so-gently brush it with olive oil. There are lots of air bubbles, and you don't want to disrupt them. Scatter some coarse salt (kosher or sea) over the top, and put in the oven for 25 minutes to an hour.

Take it out, and witness the glory:

oh wait, that was the 'past failure'. those things were basically rocks. try this:

Eat it hot, fresh, with lots of butter. it is all the ohnoms.

Thanks to paupered chef for saving me from bread-faildom.

Monday, February 8, 2010

super bowl food!

well, i could write a big long rant on this (and procrastinating later, i just might), but I'd rather turn your attention over to Lynda's wonderful documenting of our Super Bowl food stadium

also, my stomach hurts.