Archive for the ‘savory’ Category

Leftover Stuffing

Yesterday I got an email from Saveur magazine about things to do with Thanksgiving leftovers. I had a bunch of leftover stuffing, since The Baker doesn’t eat it, so the recipe for Leftover Stuffing Frittata caught my eye. What a great idea! Something bready topped with eggs and cheese, baked until puffy and melty! I decided to try it.

I am not a strict follower of recipes, especially when I don’t have all the ingredients in the house, so mine wasn’t exactly like the one in the recipe. I put sausage in my stuffing and didn’t feel like dealing with picking and chopping the leftover turkey I have (which I prefer in sandwiches anyway), so I left that out. I used a casserole dish instead of a nonstick skillet, and I only used one kind of cheese (cheddar).

I put the stuffing in the casserole dish and pressed it down, grated cheddar cheese over the top until it was covered, and poured over it four eggs I’d beaten with salt, pepper, and dry mustard.  And then I popped it in the oven at 350 F for about half an hour. When the cheese was all melted and the egg was puffing up over the stuffing, I took it out.

I was hoping the egg would cover the stuffing and cheese, but instead it went right through everything. Apparently this is supposed to happen, and it turned out that it moistened the stuffing more and held it all together, so it worked. It would have been better with a bit more egg though. The recipe calls for eight eggs, but I used a fairly small casserole dish and four eggs. You’re supposed to wait until it cools, but I was hungry and it looked good so I dug in. And it was tasty! It held together better once it was cool, and I have leftovers to eat for breakfast today.

The leftover stuffing usually gets tossed, once the turkey and potatoes run out and there’s nothing to eat it with. So I’m happy to find a way to use it up that’s so easy.

Saveur’s website has 25 ways to use up Thanksgiving leftovers, in case you’re looking for ways to use up something besides stuffing.


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I had a saying…

when I was an English teacher. One of my monitors said after a class, “You’re really quite strict with the children, aren’t you?”

“Yep. As far as these kids are concerned, I’m Kaiser effin’ Wilhelm, and they love me for it.” As if to prove my words, at that moment, the next wave of kids came tumbling in the door, and even the kids who weren’t my students ran to me, squealing, “Teacher! Teacher Sam! Hello Teacher!”

Every time I make Kaiser rolls, I think of that.

Now if only I could get the rolls to OBEY and LOVE me as well as my former students did.

P.S. Confidential to the person searching for “pie crust recipes using butter”: you don’t want to go with just butter. You can for a quiche, but really shouldn’t for a tart or pie, since it’ll be too soft and soggy, you do need the extra bit of shortening to make a strong, flaky crust. However, if you insist, this one should do.

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All right, so technically speaking, we should use a pâte à croûstade, but Tante Julia says that the pâte brisée fine is appropriate for quiche as well. And she is The Final Word on these matters…

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Pie and Tart Crust

This morning, I was just about to make short crust for tonight’s dinner (it’ll be quiche, thank you) and remembered that a couple of people had requested what has turned out to be the Perfect Tart and Pie Crust recipe. So here it is, after the cut…

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Saffron Buns

So cute you just want to eat them in wee fistfuls.

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Magic Bread

This bread is made from a poolish pre-ferment. I mix it up the night before and it’s more than ready to go the next morning. It’s even better if I leave it more than 24 hours.

This morning I mixed together about a pound of flour, six ounces of tomato puree, an ounce of water, a teaspoon of salt, and a splash of olive oil. I let this sit for a good 20 minutes to autolyse. Autolysing is one of the most awesome techniques I’ve learned in the last few weeks; along with folding, it’s significantly improved my bread.

After the autolyse, I added the poolish, a teaspoon of instant yeast, two sprigs of rosemary (I think people use too much rosemary in their breads these days, it’s overpowering, I like to have just that hint of rosemary at the back end of the bite), and a couple of twists of the black pepper mill, and mixed it all together until it became the mostly smooth batter you saw earlier. I plop all that in my big yellow bowl and leave it to ferment for 20 minutes.

After 20ish minutes, I scrape the dough out of the bowl onto my pastry mat which is well-floured, no, more than that, no, still more.

Then I generously toss a bunch of flour on top of the dough and gently flatten it with my hands, while flattening, I am also stretching it a bit.

Then it’s on to the folding. When the dough is still really hydrated like this, it can be difficult to get a good grip on it, and it’s really difficult to do one handed. Again, I’m stretching it while I’m folding.

This is the first fold. As you can see, it’s done in thirds, like a letter.

Then the second fold crosswise to the last.

Then I flip it over and do the same thing again.

At the end of the folding (sometimes it takes a bit more during that first hour if the dough is very loosey goosey), I can pick it up with one hand.

After another 20 minutes of fermenting, it’s time for more stretching and folding.

At this point, you can see that air pockets are beginning to form and the dough is increasing in strength and elasticity.

I repeat the stretch and fold process.

Now, I could divide and separate the dough at this point, but I like to set it out for a second rise.

So this is how big it is at the start of the second rise.

And… 45ish minutes later. Nice.

Divide and conquer. These are going to be boules.

Once they’re benched and shaped, I put them on baking sheets which are liberally dusted with semolina flour or corn meal. Today I decided to be a bit fancy and did an egg wash so that I cold emboss a rosemary sprig on the top of each loaf. It’s important to use only the top soft bit of the rosemary, it’s not nice to have a stick glued to the top of the loaf, plus it won’t bend to the shape and will burn up in the oven.

About 45 minutes to an hour later, just before I put it in the oven, it’s time to score the loaves.

And 20 minutes later… we have bread.

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