Monday, August 27, 2012

chard & onion panade

This is sort of like savory bread pudding, and I'm confused about why the original recipe made the directions sound very very complicated, when it's really like "cook stuff and layer it in a pot and bake it for a long time."

8 medium thinly sliced yellow onions
Up to 1/2 cup mild-tasting olive oil
6 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
2 pounds Swiss chard (thick ribs removed), cut into 1-inch-wide ribbons
10 ounces day-old chewy peasant-style bread cut into rough 1-inch cubes
Up to 4 cups chicken stock
6 ounces cheddar, coarsely grated [the recipe calls for Gruyère]

1. In a large saucepan or skillet, heat some oil and lightly brown the onions, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and stir in the garlic and a few pinches of salt. Stew, stirring occasionally, until the onions are a pale amber color and tender but not mushy, another 20 minutes or so. If at any point the onions look as if they may dry out, cover them to trap some of the moisture in the pan. Taste for salt.

2. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees (or as low as 250 degrees, if it suits your schedule to stretch the cooking time from about 1 hour 45 minutes to 2 hours 45 minutes; the slower the bake, the more unctuous and mellow the results).

3. Wilt the chard, with a little oil and whatever water is clinging to the leaves, for about 5 minutes.

4. Drizzle the bread with a little oil, a generous 1/4 cup of the stock and a few pinches of salt, to taste.

5. Choose a flameproof, 3-quart souffle dish or enameled cast-iron Dutch oven. [I used the same cast-iron pot I used for the onions and chard. Pick something bigger than you need so you don't need to worry about it overflowing.] Assemble the panade in layers: onions, chard, bread, cheese. Aim for 2 to 3 layers of each component, then make sure the top layer displays a little of everything. Irregularity in the layers makes the final product more interesting and lovely. Drizzle with any remaining olive oil.

6. Pour 2-4 cups of the chicken stock around the edges of the dish. For a more pudding-like dish, use more stock. [I used about three cups of stock, until it rose around the edges of the pot, and it was a very pleasant mushy texture, like French onion soup made more solid.]

7. Set panade over low heat and bring to a simmer, for about 30 minutes, until everything is a relatively even temperature and the stock is bubbling around the sides.

8. Cover with foil and bake until the panade is piping hot and bubbly. This usually takes about 1 1/2 hours.

9. Uncover panade, raise temperature to 375 degrees, and leave until golden brown on top, 10 to 20 minutes

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

summer stew

It has been approximately 47 million billion years since I cooked anything, but this is the first recipe we made in our new (temporary, sigh) kitchen. Simple and delicious. Yay for fresh corn.

Also, I am in love with "Dinner: A Love Story." Best blog (and now book) ever. We altered this based on what we had on hand, but I think it was pretty true to the original.

1 package spicy Italian chicken sausages [recipe calls for chorizo]
olive oil
2 formerly frozen chicken breasts, thawed
1 medium onion, chopped
red pepper flakes (optional)
5 ears of corn, cut off the cob [if someone has a good, neat, easy way to do this, let me know. i made a giant mess.]
2 cups grape tomatoes [recipe has you halve them; we just threw them in the pot]
basil, chopped
chicken broth

In a Dutch oven or large pot, brown sausage in olive oil over medium heat until crispy. Remove.

Raise heat to medium-high and brown chicken (in batches if necessary) on both sides until mostly cooked through. Remove. Turn down heat to medium-low, add onion, salt, pepper, pepper flakes, and a little more oil if necessary. Stir until slightly wilted. Add corn and tomatoes and stir until vegetables release their juices.

Nestle chicken and sausage back in the vegetables, cover and simmer another 5-10 minutes until chicken is cooked through. [Here's where we added the extra broth, which the recipe didn't call for -- there just wasn't enough liquid to keep cooking anything or qualify as "stew," probably because we hadn't cut the tomatoes.]

Serve with basil and crusty bread in bowls, or separate into individual components for the kid who doesn’t like things “mixed” and serve on a plate.

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Rye Pizza Crust

I just scrolled back through my Facebook status updates because I foolishly posted this adaptation there instead of here, where it belongs. I'm hoping to decrease the rise time. I'll let you know how it goes.
If you have four minutes, I recommend (again) watching Bittman make his potato pizza. I find him hilarious. "No need to measure...glug, glug, glug, glug...That's it. You're in pizzaland. There's no better place to be."

I used Mark Bittman's basic pizza dough recipe from How to Cook Everything, but subbed 1C of rye flour. I only used the 1 t of yeast called for in the recipe, and the rye flour made it pretty dense so I coaxed and cajoled it through a daylong rise. It turned out to be a really nice texture though and I made the one ball into 3 smallish pizzas and baked each at 500 for about 8-10 min each. Fed the four of us.

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour (I subbed 1 C rye flour)
  • 1 teaspoon rapid-rise yeast (I'm going to guess that another 1/2 to 1 tsp will help the rise) 
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus an extra teaspoon

  • Bake at 450-500 for 6-10 minutes. Watch the baby.