Sunday, January 31, 2010

I Heart Cooking Clubs : Small Savory Tarts

This week at I Heart Cooking Clubs we cooked for an happy hour party. My colleagues already posted many goodies already, and I hope not to be too late !

When looking at these tartles I was always willing to try them but lazy. Yesterday I finally made them and they were a hit !
The pastry is very very buttery and crumbly: it includes polenta and some shortening (which I ideally don't use like margarine).
For the toppings I used some tomato sauce and grated Parmigiano with cherry tomatoes and olives and for the artichoke ones I made a quiche-like batter with egg and cream and added some sauteed artichokes on top. The pastry is not enough for a crowd and once you make it maybe it would be nice to double the recipe and freeze it.


From 'How to be a Domestic Goddess'

3/4 cup flour
1/4 cup polenta
1 TBS sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter (112 gr)
scant 2 TBS vegetable shortening
3-4 TBS iced water

Combine the dry ingredients and add the butter and shortening until it resembles coarse bread crumbs, add the water and bring together and form two discs, wrap in plastic wrap and put in the fridge for about 30 minutes.
Roll out the dough one disc at a time and drape the dough in the pans, put them back in the fridge for 15 minutes (I think they could be frozen at this point).

Fill with filling of your choice.
Bake in a 400° F oven for about 20 min.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Daring Baker's Challenge: Gluten-Free Graham Crackers and Nanaimo Bars

The January 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Lauren of Celiac Teen. Lauren chose Gluten-Free Graham Wafers and Nanaimo Bars as the challenge for the month. The sources she based her recipe on are 101 Cookbooks and
This month I was very happy to bake something for Silvia my celiac dear friend.
We searched Roma and the net to find the flours needed for the challenge but there is no way to find them in Italy so I used a prepared mix to make the Crackers which were delicious for everybody.
I was very dubious about the filling for the bars because I don't like frostings and everybody was commenting on how sweet this was going to be, so after postponing the problem I decided to make a cheese cake filling and an Avocado Orange cheesecake filling ! I used semisweet chocolate for the topping because the middle layer wasn't very sweet.
I'm very happy Lauren chose this challenge and I'm sure we'll be baking the crackers very often !!


For Gluten-Free Graham Wafers
1 cup (138 g) (4.9 ounces) Sweet rice flour (also known as glutinous rice flour)
3/4 cup (100 g) (3.5 ounces) Tapioca Starch/Flour
1/2 cup (65 g) (2.3 ounces) Sorghum Flour
1 cup (200 g) (7.1 ounces) Dark Brown Sugar, Lightly packed
1 teaspoon (5 mL) Baking soda
3/4 teaspoon (4 mL ) Kosher Salt
7 tablespoons (100 g) (3 ½ ounces) Unsalted Butter (Cut into 1-inch cubes and frozen)
1/3 cup (80 mL) Honey, Mild-flavoured such as clover.
5 tablespoons (75 mL) Whole Milk
2 tablespoons (30 mL) Pure Vanilla Extract

1. In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade, combine the flours, brown sugar, baking soda, and salt. Pulse on low to incorporate. Add the butter and pulse on and off, until the mixture is the consistency of a coarse meal. If making by hand, combine aforementioned dry ingredients with a whisk, then cut in butter until you have a coarse meal. No chunks of butter should be visible.
2. In a small bowl or liquid measuring cup, whisk together the honey, milk and vanilla. Add to the flour mixture until the dough barely comes together. It will be very soft and sticky.
3. Turn the dough onto a surface well-floured with sweet rice flour and pat the dough into a rectangle about 1 inch thick. Wrap in plastic and chill until firm, about 2 hours, or overnight.
4. Divide the dough in half and return one half to the refrigerator. Sift an even layer of sweet rice flour onto the work surface and roll the dough into a long rectangle, about 1/8 inch thick. The dough will be quite sticky, so flour as necessary. Cut into 4 by 4 inch squares. Gather the scraps together and set aside. Place wafers on one or two parchment-lined baking sheets. Chill until firm, about 30 to 45 minutes. Repeat with the second batch of dough.
5. Adjust the rack to the upper and lower positions and preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (180 degrees Celsius).
6. Gather the scraps together into a ball, chill until firm, and reroll. Dust the surface with more sweet rice flour and roll out the dough to get a couple more wafers.
7. Prick the wafers with toothpick or fork, not all the way through, in two or more rows.
8. Bake for 25 minutes, until browned and slightly firm to the touch, rotating sheets halfway through to ensure even baking. Might take less, and the starting location of each sheet may determine its required time. The ones that started on the bottom browned faster.
9. When cooled completely, place enough wafers in food processor to make 1 ¼ cups (300 mL) of crumbs. Another way to do this is to place in a large ziplock bag, force all air out and smash with a rolling pin until wafers are crumbs.

Nanaimo Bars

For Nanaimo Bars — Bottom Layer
1/2 cup (115 g) (4 ounces) Unsalted Butter
1/4 cup (50 g) (1.8 ounces) Granulated Sugar
5 tablespoons (75 mL) Unsweetened Cocoa
1 Large Egg, Beaten
1 1/4 cups (300 mL) (160 g) (5.6 ounces) Gluten Free Graham Wafer Crumbs (See previous recipe)
1/2 cup (55 g) (1.9 ounces) Almonds (Any type, Finely chopped)
1 cup (130 g) (4.5 ounces) Coconut (Shredded, sweetened or unsweetened)

For Nanaimo Bars — Middle Layer
1/2 cup (115 g) (4 ounces) Unsalted Butter
2 tablespoons and 2 teaspoons (40 mL) Heavy Cream
2 tablespoons (30 mL) Vanilla Custard Powder (Such as Bird’s. Vanilla pudding mix may be substituted.)
2 cups (254 g) (8.9 ounces) Icing Sugar

For Nanaimo Bars — Top Layer
4 ounces (115 g) Semi-sweet chocolate
2 tablespoons (28 g) (1 ounce) Unsalted Butter

1. For bottom Layer: Melt unsalted butter, sugar and cocoa in top of a double boiler. Add egg and stir to cook and thicken. Remove from heat. Stir in crumbs, nuts and coconut. Press firmly into an ungreased 8 by 8 inch pan.
2. For Middle Layer: Cream butter, cream, custard powder, and icing sugar together well. Beat until light in colour. Spread over bottom layer.
3. For Top Layer: Melt chocolate and unsalted butter over low heat. Cool. Once cool, pour over middle layer and chill.

For the cheesecake I mixed 75 gr creamcheese with 150 gr sourcream, the juice of two oranges, the zest of one orange an avocado and 1 TBS agar agar dissolved and cooked for 1 minute in the oj. (I would increase the agar agar next time) two yolks and two beaten egg-whites with 3 TBS sugar.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

TWD : Cocoa-Nana Bread

Steph of Obsessed with Baking chose Cocoa-Nana Bread this week and in spite of all the things I made to it it came out very very (VERY) good !
I must say I'm a banana keeper, I don't throw away things with pleasure (Andrea is laughing), so when it comes to overripe bananas I peel them, put them in a plastic bag and stack them in the freezer. The problem is that I have so many now I should have a banana drawer !!
And Steph came to rescue me choosing a banana bread recipe that doesn't taste like bananas !
Because, of course, my kids do not like banana bread but love chocolate !
I read in the P&Q section of many TWDers who do not like chocolate and bananas but I urge you to try this bread It's deliciously moist thanks to the bananas 'but' the flavour is great !

This is what I'm doing instead of baking, is it getting better ?

Saturday, January 23, 2010

BBD # 26 Birthday Party : Focaccia di Recco

This month we get to bake for a big party for Jamie's best than ever Birthday !!!

I was looking for something savory when I thought of focaccia di Recco. It's a very special focaccia made in the town of Recco in Liguria. Usually the paper thin dough is stuffed with a fresh cheese called crescenza (you might know Stracchino or Invernizzina) and baked in a very hot oven until wonderfully crisp. There is even a site dedicated to this focaccia...and I dared to make it !!!!
While browsing the net and you tube I came across the site of a wonderful home baker who moved to the U.S. some years ago from Liguria and loves to share what he learned from his baker's family about bread. Please visit his site: the videos are great !! (click here for the english version but there are less recipes and no focaccia di recco !!)

The dough is really simple:

Mix 200 gr. of water, 50 gr. extravirgin olive oil and 400 gr. bread flour.
Knead it by hand or with you mixer until smooth (it resembles a strudel dough).
Let it rest covered at least 2 hours.
Take 1/4 of the dough and imitate Vittorio
Divide 300 gr stracchino on top.
Cover with another layer of dough.
Tear(!!!!!) some cuts in the dough.
Drizzle some extravirgin olive oil on top and add some cream if you desire.
Bake in the hottest oven until golden.

I know it seems impossible but if I made it I'm sure you can do much better !!


Thursday, January 21, 2010

I Heart Cooking Clubs : Curry in a Hurry

As you can see even if it is Potluck week at I Heart Cooking Clubs I couldn't leave Thailand !!
This chicken was in a hurry even to photograph !!
The recipe is fantasic :Nigella makes it with frozen vegetables but I used pumpkin and cauliflower from my veggie box.
This curry is super easy and fast: if you have coconut milk, fish sauce and curry paste in your pantry you are set !
Last week I saw the basmati Mary made so I accompanied the chicken with it.
It was such a success we are lucky I got one picture of it !!


2 x 15ml tablespoons wok oil
3 x 15ml tablespoons spring onions, finely chopped
3–4 x 15ml tablespoons green Thai curry paste
1kg chicken thigh fillets, cut into strips about 4 x 2cm
1 x 400ml can coconut milk
250ml boiling water
enough chicken stock concentrate or cube for 500ml water
1 x 15ml tablespoon fish sauce (nam pla)
185g frozen peas
200g frozen soya beans
150g frozen fine beans
3 x 15ml tablespoons fresh coriander, chopped

1.Heat the wok oil in a large saucepan that owns a lid, drop in the spring onions and cook, stirring for a minute or two, then add the curry paste.
2.Add the chicken pieces and keep turning over heat for 2 minutes, before adding the coconut milk, stock (i.e. the water plus stock concentrate or cube) and fish sauce, then the frozen peas and soya beans.
3.Simmer for 10 minutes, then add the frozen fine beans to the mix and cook for another 3–5 minutes.
4.Serve with rice or noodles, sprinkling the coriander over as you do so. Put out a plate of lime wedges for people to squeeze over as they eat.

If you want to make this with fresh vegetables rather than frozen, then up the water (keeping the amount of stock concentrate the same) and indeed I would double it to 500ml. But if using frozen – which is how I make this 99% of the time, and why it is a great storecupboard standby – I find it easier to use a cappuccino cup, or similar, and measure out 1 1/2 cups of each frozen green veg rather than weigh it. The chicken comes in packets, so that just keeps everything simple and straightforward.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The Cake Slice : Red Velvet Cake

This time I finally made it ! It was kind of the last minute baking (as usual) so, while preparing our dinner I baked half recipe of this moist, perfumed and delicious cake , put it outside to cool and frosted just in time for dessert ! Now you can understand the homey look , but the cake it's very good.
I have some trouble with American frostings, in Italy we mostly use whipped cream, jam or pastry cream to fill our cakes so I always find frostings too sweet. This 'cooked milk' one was not bad but next time I'll cut the sugar and see what happens.
The Cake Slice group is cooking from this book, if you have the desire for more red, visit the other bakers, and if you want to try it here is the printable recipe !

Baking from:

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

TWD : Chocolate Oatmeal Almost Candy Bars

Lillian of Confectiona's Realm was in charge this week and she chose something I would have never tried myself : too sweet ! ...But I was wrong ! The bars are sweet of course but not too much and even Carlo liked them (too many nuts but we can arrange that !). Thanks Lillian for this new recipe !!
Please go here for the recipe and visit the blogroll to see al the variations !

Monday, January 18, 2010

BBA Slow and Steady :Italian Bread

Here I come with another misplaced entry Italian Bread ! Wow this is something I'm saying too much but it is Peter Reinhart fault : his recipes are great !! I wouldn't know what bread he refers to saying this bread is Italian; it reminded me of two breads I used to like as a child ( the funny thing is that they are called Corean and Indian 'pane coreano e pane indiano' !) because they are softer thanks to the fats added.
Please visit the BBA site for more informations on the group and the Slow and Steady group ( Kayte, Nancy, Cathy, Audrey, Jessica, Melissa, Wendy, Di, Karen, Natalia, Sarah, Margaret, Tracey, and Leslie) if you enjoy our pace !

Sunday, January 17, 2010

I Heart Cooking Clubs : Thai Yellow Pumpkin and Seafood Curry

This week we are dreaming about Exotic Destinations and I headed est up to Thailand after the Satays and found this delicious soup.
I made it at the last moment (I'm cooking mostly in the evenings which you can guess from the photos !) as it is fast as weel as full of flavour ! Please visit I Heart Cooking Clubs for more exotic food.



400ml tin coconut milk
1–2 tablespoons yellow (or red) Thai curry paste
350ml fish stock (I use boiling water and a slug of Benedicta Touch of Taste Concentrated Fish Bouillon; cubes would do)
3 tablespoons fish sauce
2 tablespoons palm sugar or caster sugar
3 lemongrass stalks, each cut into three and bruised with the flat of a knife
3 lime leaves, de-stalked and cut into strips
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1kg pumpkin (or butternut squash), peeled and cut into large-bite-sized chunks
500g salmon fillet, preferably organic, skinned and cut into large, bite-sized chunks
500g peeled raw prawns
pak choi or any other green vegetables of your choice
juice of 1/2–1 lime, to taste
coriander, to serve


1.Skim the thick creamy top off the tin of coconut milk and put it, over medium heat, into a large saucepan or casserole with the curry paste. Let it sizzle and, using a fork, whisk or wooden spoon, beat milk and paste together until combined. Still beating gently, add the rest of the coconut milk, fish stock, fish sauce, sugar, lemongrass, lime leaves and turmeric. Bring to a boil and then add the pumpkin. Cook on a fast simmer until the pumpkin is tender, about 15 minutes, although different sorts of pumpkins can vary enormously in the time they take to cook; some squash take as little as 5 minutes.
2.You can cook the curry up till this part in advance, maybe leaving the pumpkin with a tiny bit of bite to it (it will soften and cook as the pan cools). Either way, when you’re about 5 minutes away from wanting to eat, get ready to cook the seafood.
3.So, to the robustly simmering pan, add the salmon and prawns (if you’re using the prawns from frozen they’ll need to go in before the salmon). When the salmon and prawns have cooked through, which shouldn’t take more than 3–4 minutes, stir in any green veg you’re using – sliced, chopped or shredded as suits – and tamp down with a wooden spoon. When the pak choi’s wilted, squeeze in the juice of half a lime, stir and taste and add the juice of the remaining half if you feel it needs it. Take the pan off the heat or decant the curry into a large bowl, and sprinkle over the coriander; the point is that the coriander goes in just before serving. Serve with more chopped coriander for people to add to their own bowls as they eat, and some plain Thai or basmati rice.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Daring Cook's Challenge : Pork Satay

The January 2010 DC challenge was hosted by Cuppy of Cuppyliciousand she chose a delicious Thai-inspired recipe for Pork Satay from the book 1000 Recipes by Martha Day.

I really enjoy being part of the Daring Cooks especially when we get challenges we have never dared to try or even eat before.
In Rome there are only two Thai restaurants and we are lucky to have one at walking distance. Whatever we order we always get satays even if the owners of the restaurant (I thing they are from Malaysia) being Muslims do not serve pork, so it is chicken satay.
Therefore I was very happy Cuppy chose this recipe that we really have enjoied a lot ! Thank you Cuppy !


Pork Satay with Peanut Sauce

Satay Marinade

1/2 small onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 T ginger root, chopped (optional) (2 cm cubed)
2 T lemon juice (1 oz or 30 mls)
1 T soy sauce (0.5 oz or 15 mls)
1 tsp ground coriander (5 mls)
1 tsp ground cumin (5 mls)
1/2 tsp ground turmeric (2-2.5 mls)
2 T vegetable oil (or peanut or olive oil) (30 mls)
1 pound of pork (loin or shoulder cuts) (16 oz or 450g)

Feeling the need to make it more Thai? Try adding a dragon chili, an extra tablespoon of ginger root, and 1 tablespoon (0.5 oz or 15 mls) of fish sauce. (I keep some premature (still green) dragon chili peppers in the freezer for just such an occasion.)

1a. Cheater alert: If you have a food processor or blender, dump in everything except the pork and blend until smooth. Lacking a food processor, I prefer to chop my onions, garlic and ginger really fine then mix it all together in a medium to large bowl.
2a. Cut pork into 1 inch strips.
3a. Cover pork with marinade. You can place the pork into a bowl, cover/seal and chill, or place the whole lot of it into a ziplock bag, seal and chill.

Chill Chart

PorkBeef/LambChickenVegetablesTofu (no oil)
4-8 hrs
Up to 24 hrs
6-8 hrs
Up to 24 hrs
1-4 hours
Up to 12 hrs
20 min – 2 hrs
Up to 4 hrs
20 min – 4 hrs
Up to 12 hrs

Faster (cheaper!) marinade:

2 T vegetable oil (or peanut or olive oil) (1 oz or 30 mls)
2 T lemon juice (1 oz or 30 mls)
1 T soy sauce (0.5 oz or 15 mls)
1 tsp ginger powder (5 mls)
1 tsp garlic powder (5 mls)
1 tsp cayenne pepper (5 mls)

1b. Mix well.
2b. Cut pork into 1 inch thick strips (2-2.5 cm thick), any length.
3b. Cover pork with marinade. You can place the pork into a bowl, cover/seal and chill, or place the whole lot of it into a ziplock bag, seal and chill.

Cooking Directions (continued):

4. If using wooden or bamboo skewers, soak your skewers in warm water for at least 20 minutes before preparing skewers.
5. Gently and slowly slide meat strips onto skewers. Discard leftover marinade.*
6. Broil or grill at 290°C/550° F (or pan fry on medium-high) for 8-10 minutes or until the edges just start to char. Flip and cook another 8-10 minutes.

* If you’re grilling or broiling, you could definitely brush once with extra marinade when you flip the skewers.

Peanut Sauce

3/4 cup coconut milk (6 oz or 180 mls)
4 Tbsp peanut butter (2 oz or 60 mls)
1 Tbsp lemon juice (0.5 oz or 15 mls)
1 Tbsp soy sauce (0.5 oz or 15 mls)
1 tsp brown sugar (5 mls)
1/2 tsp ground cumin (2.5 mls)
1/2 tsp ground coriander (2.5 mls)
1-2 dried red chilies, chopped (keep the seeds for heat)

1. Mix dry ingredients in a small bowl. Add soy sauce and lemon, mix well.
2. Over low heat, combine coconut milk, peanut butter and your soy-lemon-seasoning mix. Mix well, stir often.
3. All you’re doing is melting the peanut butter, so make your peanut sauce after you’ve made everything else in your meal, or make ahead of time and reheat.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

TWD : Mrs. Vogel's Scherben

This week is was Tanna who choose the recipe and it's something I guess you can find with different names in every corner of the world. In Italy we eat them during Carnival along with other fried sweets. In every town they have a different name (and shape sometimes) in Roma they are called frappe and I can't tell you enough how well they were welcomed ! My husband kept saying:' This is the last one !'. Until they were gone.
The recipe is very simple (and luckily doesn't yield a big number of scherben or frappe !) , I didn't add all the liquid it called for and substituted it with sweet wine, and used my pasta rolling machine to make the dough extra thin.
I'd like to thank Tanna for this fun and delicious choice !!
Please visit her for the recipe and the blogroll for more versions (even sin-less oven ones !)

Monday, January 11, 2010

BBA Slow and Steady : French Bread

I know it may seem that I don't know my alphabeth and posted kaiser rolls before french bread, but my first french bread was so awful I had to wait a few days to try it again !!
I used Pate Fermentèe and a little yeast and I'm afraid I overfproofed it a bit or I'm very bad in slashing or both.
The bread was fabulous anyway and I really want to make it another tons of time so I'll get to know its secrets !

The wonderful Nancy recently posted the Slow and Steady roundup for the Cranberry Walnut Celebration Bread ... we are moving on !
To check all the bakers of the big group go here !

Sunday, January 10, 2010

I Heart Cooking Clubs : Lemon-Syrup Loaf Cake

The theme for this week's gathering is Resolutions which scares me because I'm not good in resolutions so I keep it small and hope to partecipate as much as I can to ' I Heart Cooking Clubs' !
I really love lemons and this is a quick cake to make even in a busy afternoon .
Recipe from 'How to be A Domestic Goddess'
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup plus 1 Tbs sugar
2 Large eggs
zest of one lemon
1 cup plus 1 Tbs self raising flour
pinch of salt
4 Tbs milk

9x5 inch loaf pan (I used a silicon round one)

For the syrup
juice of 1 and 1/2 half lemons (about 4 Tbs)
1/2 cup confectioner's sugar

Preheat the oven to 350°
Cream butter and sugar then add eggs and zest. Add flour and salt and milk. Spoon in the prepared pan and bake for about 45 minutes.
While the cake is baking prepare the syrup boiling juice and sugar until the sugar dissolves.
As soon as the cake comes out of the oven prick ir and pour the syrup all over. (I would have loved more syrup !) .

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

BBA Slow and Steady: Kaiser Rolls

After Focaccia here come the Rolls ! I really suggest you to try them because they were gone in minutes !! Very very delicious !!
As you can clearly see I don't own a kaiser roll cutter and actually had never needed one, so I tried to imitate the artistry of the baker here but I'm very far away from him !!

I used my starter for them substituting it for the Pate Fermentée and used sesame and poppy seeds on them.
Please visit the BBA site for more news.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

TWD : A very Tatiny Birthday !!!!

It all started two years ago with Laurie wondering if anyone would bake with her the whole book 'Baking from My Home to Yours' by Dorie Greenspan and now we are 308 bakers !!
To celebrate we could choose between Tarte Tatin and Cocoa-Buttermilk Birthday Cake.ù
I really felt tatiny on New Year's Eve ( maybe wishing for a total flip-over?) so I made the apple tarte as in Dorie's recipe and a savoury shallott's one from an italian cookbook ('Fare Festa' Michela e Paola Brengola).

In the apple one I used a sweet crust while for the savoury tarte I used a store bought puff pastry.
You can find this week's recipes on Laurie's blog I'll give you the similar recipe for the shallots tarte .


1 Kg of big shallots (mine weren't so big but I added some fresh cipolline)
90 gr brown sugar
90 gr butter
Puff Pastry

Melt butter and sugar in an oven proof pan and arrange as neatly as you can the quartered shallots on top. Let the sugar melt and become caramel color on a very slow flame (around 20 minutes) and let cool. Cut a disc out of your pastry slightly larger than your pan and put on top of the shallots tucking the hanging in (?). Bake in a 200° C oven for around 20 25 minutes. Reverse the tarte on a serving dish while the sugar is still warm.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Sweet and Simple Bakes: Cranberry, Pecan and White Chocolate Cookies

And here you go with the Sweet and Simple bakes recipe. We are spoiled and the recipe is a hit as usual !!
My following batch coloured a bit more (I got there just in time !) but I really enjoied the toasted flavour ! My only change was substituting almonds for pecans.
, Pecan and White Chocolate Cookies

Makes 30

150g plain flour
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
75g rolled oats (not instant)
125g soft butter
75g dark brown sugar
100g caster sugar (superfine)
1 egg (large)
1 tsp vanilla extract
75g dried cranberries (or dried fruit of choice)
50g pecans, roughly chopped
150g white chocolate chips (or chocolate of choice)

Preheat the oven to 180oC/ 350°F/gas mark 4.

Measure out the flour, baking powder, salt and rolled oats into a bowl.

Put the butter and sugars into another bowl and beat together until creamy — this is obviously easier with an electric mixer of some kind, but you just need to put some muscle into otherwise — then beat in the egg and vanilla.

Beat in the flour, baking powder, salt and oat mixture and then fold in the cranberries, chopped pecans and chocolate chips.Roll tablespoonfuls of dough into a ball with your hands, and then place them on a lined or greased baking sheet and squish the dough balls down with a fork. You may need two baking sheets or be prepared to make these in two batches.

Cook for 12 to 15 minutes; when ready, the cookies will be tinged a pale gold, but be too soft to lift immediately off the tray, so leave the tray on a cool surface and let them harden for about 5 minutes. Remove with a spatula to cool fully on a wire rack.

Recipes to Rival: Olive Straws

This month Lori selected three appetizers to choose from (or make all three) and I chose these nice straws also because of their look !
If you use store-bought puff pastry they come together in a breeze (allow some fridge time before cutting them, while heating the oven), and your guest will love them (Andrea brought me the last one in the kitchen !).

Visit R2R blogroll for more appetizers.


The demonstration can be found here.
And this is the recipe.

* All-purpose flour, for work surface
* 13 ounces Puff Pastry
* 15 large green pimento stuffed olives, about 1 1/4 inches long
* 1 medium egg yolk
* 1 tablespoon milk

1. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out puff pastry to a 12 1/2-by-6-inch rectangle, about 1/8-inch thick. Using a large sharp knife, cut the rectangle into a 5 1/2-by-6-inch rectangle and a 7-by-6-inch rectangle. Place both rectangles on a baking sheet and transfer to refrigerator; let chill 20 minutes.
2. Place the 5 1/2-by-6-inch rectangle on a baking sheet. Place 5 olives, end-to-end, in a straight line along the short side of the rectangle, leaving about a 5/8-inch border. Repeat process two more times to make three lines of olives.
3. In a small bowl, whisk together egg yolk and milk. Brush egg mixture on all exposed spaces between olives. Cover with the 7-by-6-inch rectangle of puff pastry, pressing the whole surface of the dough between the olives firmly with your fingertips. Transfer to refrigerator; let chill 20 minutes.
4. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Using a very sharp knife, trim edges of dough; cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-wide straws. Lay flat-side down on a baking sheet. Transfer to oven and bake until pastry is golden and crisp, 5 to 6 minutes. Transfer straws to a wire rack to cool slightly. Serve warm

Friday, January 1, 2010

BBA Slow and Steady :Focaccia

Hi , and happy new year everybody ! I've read in many blogs about commitments for the new year but I'm not so good in keeping them so I almost repeat the same ones over and over and the first one is: not to procrastinate ! This is the last time (???) , at least I hope, I'm so late baking with the Bread Baker's Apprentice's group . We are baking the whole book by Peter Reinhart in alphabetical order and now it was Focaccia's turn, being born in Roma I would call what I ended up with : Pizza Bianca.
Pizza Bianca (obviously as a pose to Pizza Rossa) is a wonderful creation of the romans bakers and most of us brought it to school for midday snack (no peanut butter and jelly around here). In most bakeries you can ask to halve it and fill it : mortadella is the top choice !
Well you might have understood I was glad of the results I got, and the recipe was not hard at all ! You must start the evening before but that's it ! I made it with sourdough but I want to try it even with yeast next time.