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recipe me

photo from bigBang studio  – wish i had a photo of my own……

So, about two years ago I stumbled across bigBANG studio.  Subsequently, I have revisited almost every day hoping for a new post.  Lily Stockman ~ the founder/writer/artist/slang enthusiast/wanderer/experimental cook/avid litterateur/abandon farm house luster…….is well, just, all of those things.  The peeks she allows us into her life make me dream about what it might be like to walk a day in her fantastic shoes.  Her stories make me feel like I know her, with obviously never shooting for a conversation (I’m too nervous!).  I’d be starstruck I think…..Anyway, if I could dream about what I would love to be doing in my fantasy life, a lot of adventures I have read about on her blog would be in there somewhere.  Gah, enough of the gushing…..onto the BREAD!

This, Stockman claims, is No-Knead bread…..I might beg to differ with this, but I grew up with my mother’s painstaking perfection involving bread – meaning perfect kneading folds, with a calculated dusting of flour….etc.  This bread is more my styyyyle.  It’s a recipe you can memorize and only need a few ingredients and BAM – you have bread.  The first time I made this bread, it was “winter” (in southern california) and my apartment has no insulation (drafty) and no heater (i’m scared of the repercussions of turning it on – carbon monoxide poisoning, fire, you know the usual).  What are the two things a great bread needs besides choice ingredients?  A draft free, warm environment.  All I can say is that, even in my cold and drafty abode, I made pretty bomb bread.  Anyway here is a version of Lily’s bread (def read the post that accompanies the recipe).

MAPPED’s of the No-Knead Bread

(please keep in mind i have never actually used this recipe exactly, i’m always missing a little of something.  so, i end up just adding a little of something else, like rosemary or olives, or honey, or strawberries….you know)

3 – 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon instant yeast (i’ve used the other kind on accident and it worked fine, just took a lot longer to rise, but whatev)

1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

1 2/3 cups water

and a little extra flour so that dough doesn’t stick to all the things you don’t want it to stick to.

1 tablespoon olive oil

1.  so here we go.  mix all ingredients except olive oil in a large bowl (just not aluminum or plastic – these have never really worked for me).  dough should be “shaggy” – word according to Lily.  cover with plastic wrap and then a dishtowel.  let stand overnight or 12 hours.  i always put my bowl of dough in the microwave because it’s the least drafty location of my house, but my mom always used to put her dough in the oven.

2.  after 12 hours the top of the dough will be dotted with bubbles.  dust your kneading surface (i’d choose one that wasn’t wood or with grout…..that stuff really sucks to scrape dough off of).  scrape dough out of bowl onto your surface.  coat your little hands with flour and begin to knead (here’s a snazzy video about how to knead bread – please just put it on mute – you’ll thank me later).  but don’t get to aggressive – this is NO-knead bread remember.  you really just need to fold it over a few time so it comes together and isn’t so “shaggy”.  once you’ve accomplished this just let it sit on your kneading surface lightly covered with a kitchen towel.  let sit for about 15 mins.

3.  at this point you will notice that the bread has increased in size slightly (woo hoo!).  dust your surface again with a little bit of flour and knead for juuuust a bit again until it stays into a nice ball.  take out a new heavy bowl and coat it with a little bit of olive oil.  place ball of dough in bowl, cover with plastic wrap and kitchen towel and put that puppy back in the microwave to sit peacefully for another two hours.

4.  meanwhile preheat your oven to 450 degrees.  also place a pyrex pan in the oven while it heats up.  (all i had was a square pyrex pan but Lily has other recommendations, so whatever floats your boat i guess).

5.  after you’ve waited those two hours, take the pyrex pan out of the oven….CAREFULLY.  then take your huuuuuge ball of dough out of the microwave and roll it straight into the pyrex pan.  it should sizzle – it’s making a crunchy crunchy crust (oh yes).  shake the pan around so the dough is as even as possible.  bake for about 45 minutes.  when you think the sucker is done, tap on the top a couple of times – if it sounds hollow, yous a done!  cool on a rack or you know, whatever you got.

 

cut that puppy up and savor ever last morsel.

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soup

photo by cannelle et vanille

this soup has fed and nourished me for weeks, not sequentially, but weeks here and there.  the first round i followed the recipe.  it was amazing.  i felt rejuvenated and new.  this particular post was nominated for a James Beard Award.  this soup isn’t just good….it’s James Beard good.  i topped it with shrimp, sea salt and sriracha and it was really James Beard good.

and then, i decided to go paleo……potatoes were out.  but, i craved this soup.  cauliflower came to the rescue and provided an even more incredible texture.  one that i was not expecting to improve this James Beard good soup.  i left out the coconut milk and replaced the seasoning with cumin and cayenne pepper.  a truly winning combination, at least for my taste.  and still James Beard good.  (wish I had photos, but not the case)

my version of this cannelle et vanille James Beard good soup:

1 large onion, roughly chopped

2 cloves garlic, smashed

1 bulb fennel, thickly sliced

1/2 head cauliflower, roughly chopped

1 of those box things of chicken stock

2 handfuls baby spinach

2 tablespoons coconut oil

2 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

salt & pepper to taste

1/2 lime to squeeze to finish

1.  heat coconut oil in large heavy pot.  through in onions, garlic, and fennel.  sweat, without browning until vegetables are soft.

2.  add cumin and cayenne pepper.  coat vegetables.

3.  add cauliflower, coat with spices, cook until slightly tender.

4.  the bottom of your pot should have brown bits at this point, enter chicken stock.  scrape bits from bottom of the pan.

5.  let boil covered until cauliflower is cooked through and falling apart.

6.  add spinach, turn off heat.  cook until wilted.

7. blend!

8.  serve with shredded chicken or shrimp.  both equally delicious.  then squeeze a generous amount of lime juice on top, with a small sprinkle of coarse sea salt.  enjoy.

one / two

Just stumbled across this website (amazing).  At first I was a little discouraged seeing as it was only in pounds, turns out it’s NOT.  A lot of great fall and “southern california winter” items.  So, most likely after drinking a few Bloody Marys on a Sunday morning, you can lay around warm and cozy the rest of the day in your Joules Striped Sweater, beware not to fall asleep.  Day drinking can sneak up on ya.

Bloody Mary – RAP style

feel free to botch the measurements, I’m not even sure of what they actually are, but it always turns out perfect.

2 oz vodka

3 dashes Worcestershire sauce

5 dashes Tabasco

2 shakes celery salt

1/4 – 1/2 tsp prepared horseradish (not creamed, eh.)

1/4 lime, squeezed

salt and pepper to taste

tomato juice

ice

spicy pickled green beans (awesome)