Bread in a Pot

Slow and Easy Bread in a Pot
By Jacques Pépin, from More Fast Food My Way (2008)

Makes 1 Two-Pound Loaf

Ingredients

2¼ cups tepid water (about 90°)
1 teaspoon quick-rise yeast
1 tablespoon salt (or more to taste)
4 cups all-purpose flour (about 1 pound 5 ounces)

Combine the water, yeast and salt in a nonstick saucepan (mine is 3.2 quarts) that is about 8 inches across and 4 inches deep. Add the flour and mix thoroughly with a sturdy wooden spoon for 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until the dough is well combined. Cover with a lid and let rise at room temperature (about 70°) for 1 hour, until it bubbles and rises about 1 inch in the pot.

Even though the dough is only partially proofed, scrape the inside of the pot above the level of the dough with a rubber spatula to collect any soft pieces of dough clinging to the sides of the pot. Still using the rubber spatula, bring the edge of the dough in toward the center to deflate it. Cover and place in the refrigerator for 12–14 hours.

Preheat the oven to 425º. Uncover the pan and bake for 1 hour, covering the bread loosely with a piece of aluminum foil after 45 minutes if it is getting too brown. Remove the bread from the oven and set aside for about 5 minutes to allow the bread to shrink from the sides of the pan. Unmold and cool on a wire rack for at least 1 hour before slicing. 

Asparagus Custard

By Jacques Pépin, from Fast Food My Way (2004)

Makes 4 servings

Ingredients                                                                                             

1 pound asparagus, tough ends removed and bottom half of stalks peeled with a vegetable peeler
1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed
3 large eggs
½ cup heavy cream
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

Photo by Catherine Murray

Photo by Catherine Murray

Bring 2 cups of water to a boil in an ovenproof skillet. Add the asparagus, bring the water back to a boil, and cook over high heat, covered, for 2–3 minutes, until the asparagus is tender but still firm when pierced with the point of a sharp knife. Drain and place the asparagus on a cutting board. Set the skillet aside.

Cut off the top 3 inches of the asparagus stalks and set these tips aside for garnishing. Cut the remaining stalks into 1-inch pieces and put them in a food processor with the garlic. Process for 10 to 15 seconds, until puréed. Add the eggs, cream, most of the salt (the rest is for the tips) and pepper. Process for 10 seconds.

Heat the oven to 350º. Using about ½ tablespoon of the butter, butter four small custard cups, soufflé molds or ovenproof glass dishes, each with a capacity of about a ½ cup. Divide the asparagus mixture among the molds and arrange them in the reserved skillet with enough tepid tap water to come halfway up the sides of the cups.

Put the skillet in the oven and bake for 25–30 minutes, until the custards are set and the point of a knife inserted into the centers comes out clean. Remove the cups from the water bath and let rest for 10 minutes before unmolding.

Split the reserved asparagus tips lengthwise, put them in a skillet or an ovenproof microwavable bowl, and add the remaining dash of salt and the remaining 1½ tablespoons butter. Heat gently in the skillet on top of the stove, or in the bowl in the regular oven or microwave oven, until hot.

At serving time, unmold the custards onto four individual plates and arrange the asparagus tips on top. Serve immediately.

 

Pasta Verde & Assorted Ravioli Fillings

Introduction by Tricia Wheeler
Originally printed in edible Columbus, Fall 2011
All photos by Catherine Murray

The earliest known reference to ravioli appears in the writings of Francesco di Marco, a merchant of Venice, in the 14th century. He made his ravioli with blanched herbs, mixed with beaten egg and fresh cheese. Little did he know his technique and flavor combinations would stand the test of time! Today, almost every culture (think pierogi and wonton) has it own version of pasta filled with varying combinations of cheese, herbs, spices and meats.

I chose a pasta with spinach because I love the color and taste—but you can experiment with plain pastas and other flavors until you find your favorite. If you use a simple filling like ricotta and herbs, feel free to use your favorite tomato sauce.

Pasta Verde (Green Pasta)
Recipe compliments of the French Culinary Institute

Ingredients

1½ cups (225 grams) all-purpose flour, plus more as needed
2 eggs
¼ cup (70 grams) cooked spinach, squeezed very dry and chopped very fine
Pinch of salt
1½ teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
Semolina flour for rolling (or all-purpose flour)
Filling of your choice
Sauce and toppings of your choice

Directions

Put the flour in the bowl of a food processor, or KitchenAid mixer fitted with the dough hook, and add eggs, spinach, salt and oil.

Process/mix until the dough forms a ball and is no longer sticky when touched with clean fingers. If necessary, add in a bit more flour, a little at a time.

Dust a work surface with semolina flour. Scrape the dough out onto the surface and knead it for approximately 5 minutes, until the texture is smooth and silky.

Divide the dough into 2 balls, sprinkle with flour and wrap in plastic.

Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Remove dough and allow it to warm up for about 10–15 minutes.

Ready a small bowl of water and pastry brush for sealing the cut-out dough.

Roll out dough by hand until very thin, or run through a pasta machine according to the directions for very thin pasta. (This is where more hands help! If you have a big group of helpers, double or triple the recipe.)

Using a 3- or 3½-inch round cutter (or a glass, or a specialty round or square ravioli cutter) cut dough into rounds (cut very closely together to maximize dough.) Cover ravioli with a moist towel and repeat with other ball of dough.

Working pretty quickly—and keeping dough covered with a moist towel—place a small spoonful of filling in middle of half of the ravioli circles. Brush edges with a little water; top each with another circle of dough. Push out all air bubbles around the filling and then press edges together to seal.

Crimp edges, using the tines of a fork or a commercial crimper, to further seal the ravioli.

If not cooking immediately, put ravioli in a single layer on a cookie sheet dusted with semolina flour. Refrigerate, covered, until ready to cook.

You can freeze extra ravioli, in a single layer, in a zip-lock freezer bag.

 

Cooking

Heat a large pot of water to boiling. Carefully place ravioli into water. The ravioli will cook in 3 to 4 minutes. Carefully remove from the water with a slotted spoon. At this point, you are ready for your favorite sauce, or try it my favorite way:

Place 5–6 ravioli in a bowl and top with your favorite cheese, a sprinkling of herbs and, my favorite, toasted pine nuts!

Some great, easy ravioli fillings:

Roasted Acorn Squash with Mascarpone

Cut Acorn squash in half. Place cut side down on a cookie sheet with sides. Add ½ inch of water around squash and roast in a 400° oven until soft, about 30 minutes. Let the squash cool for about 15 minutes, scoop squash out of skin and combine with ¼ cup mascarpone and season to taste with salt.

Collard Greens with Scallions

Clean collard greens and remove ribs. Cook in salted boiling water for 10 minutes. Drain. Heat two tablespoons olive oil and sauté scallions and collards over medium heat until done. (Use leftover bacon fat instead of olive oil, if you have some, to add more flavor.) You can also substitute any other hearty greens in place of collards. (See ‘A Home Cook’s Diary’ on page XXX for more information on local greens.)

Your Favorite Local Sausage

One of my personal favorites is Bluescreek Sausage. You’ll find them in the North Market! Mince sausage as finely as possible and sauté with a little sprinkle of cayenne pepper until done. Set aside to cool

Ravioli Tips

The dough should feel like dough but not stick to your fingers. If it is sticky, it needs more flour; if it is dry and not holding together, it needs more water.

It is important to rest the dough in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to let the gluten relax.

After resting, the dough will sometimes still feel a little sticky and will need to be sprinkled with flour.

You can use a rolling pin to roll out dough, if you do not have a pasta machine—it just takes some muscle! It can be easier to roll out smaller pieces at a time.

Ground Cherry Salsa

Recipe By Tricia Wheeler

 

1 pint of ground cherries
1 little red hot pepper minced
1 big handful of cilantro
3 – 4 limes squeezed
Generous sprinkle of salt

Cut ground cherries in half and mix with all the other ingredients. Serve with tortilla chips (Especially great with Shagbark tortilla chips!)

Green Goddess Dressing

Recipe from Chez Panisse Vegetables

Ingredients:

1 shallot
1 clove garlic
3 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
½ lemon
½ lime
2 anchovies, finely minced
½ avocado
¾ cup olive oil
½ cup cream
a ton of chopped herbs such as parsley, tarragon, cilantro, basil, and chives
Salt and Pepper

 

Directions:

1.    Peel and chop fine the shallot and garlic and macerate in the vinegar, a big squeeze of lemon, and a smaller one of lime.

2.   Add the anchovy and the flesh of the avocado. Mash together with a fork. Whisking with the fork, gradually incorporate the olive oil and cream – as if you were making a thin mayonnaise.

3.     Add the herbs. Taste and adjust the seasoning to taste with salt (1/4 teaspoon at a time), pepper, or more vinegar if necessary.

Homemade Handkerchief Pasta with Pesto

INGREDIENTS

Pasta:
•    2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more as needed
•    1 teaspoon salt, plus more as needed
•    2 whole eggs
•    3 egg yolks

Pesto:
•    2 cups loosely packed basil leaves, rinsed and dried
•    ½ clove garlic, peeled, or more to taste
•    ½ cup extra virgin olive oil, or more as desired
•    ¼ cup pine nuts
•    ½ cup grated Parmesan, plus more for garnish
•    Pepper

PREPARATION

1. Pulse flour and salt in a food processor once or twice. Add the eggs and yolks, and turn the machine on. Process just until a ball begins to form, about 30 seconds. Add a few drops of water if the dough is dry and grainy; add a tablespoon of flour if the dough sticks to the side of the bowl. Turn the dough out of the food processor, sprinkle it with a little flour, cover it with plastic or a cloth, and let it rest for about 30 minutes. (At this point, you may refrigerate the dough, wrapped in plastic, until you’re ready to roll it out, for up to 24 hours.)

2. Meanwhile, in a food processor or blender, combine the basil with a pinch of salt, the garlic and about half the oil. Process, stopping to scrape down the sides of the container if necessary, and adding the rest of the oil gradually. Add the nuts and cheese, and pulse a few times. The pesto should be well combined but still chunky.

3. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and salt it. Divide the dough in half. Turn one half of the dough onto a lightly floured surface and roll it into a large rectangle no thicker than 1/4 inch and ideally closer to 1/8 inch, adding additional flour sparingly as necessary. Repeat with the rest of the dough.

4. Cut into squares no larger than 4 inches across. Drop the squares into the water and cook until tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Drain, reserving a little of the cooking water. Toss the handkerchiefs with the pesto, some salt and pepper, and a spoonful of cooking water, if necessary, to thin the pesto. Serve immediately, garnished with Parmesan

 

'Spring is Here' Bowl

This bowl gathers all the great ingredients that signal Spring here in Columbus, Ohio.  Chives are the first herb to make an appearance and we start to see radishes, peas and asparagus at the farmers market. This bowl is dressed with one of my favorite herb combinations, Basil, Mint and Chives made into a flavorful vinaigrette. - Tricia Wheeler

Quantity:
Makes 2 dinner sized bowls

1 cup Brown Rice, cooked
6 radishes sliced thin
8 asparagus spears
1 cup sugar snap peas
2 cups fresh baby spinach
2 hard boiled eggs

A mixture of basil, mint and chives blended with 3 tablespoons of white wine vinegar, mixed with 3 tablespoons olive oil, salt and pepper to taste.

Assemble all ingredients in a bowl, drizzle dressing, garnish with white and black sesame seeds. Enjoy! 

Strawberry, Orzo and Asparagus Salad with Basil, Mint and Orange Vinaigrette

Ingredients

3 Cups Cooked Orzo
½ cup Sliced Strawberries
1 Pound fresh asparagus, blanched and cut into ½ inch pieces

Basil, Mint and Orange Vinaigrette
1/2 cup packed fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup packed fresh mint leaves
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated orange zest
1 tablespoon fresh orange juice
2 teaspoons white-wine vinegar, or to taste
1 garlic clove, chopped
/2 cup vegetable oil

Directions

Add all vinaigrette ingredients to bowl and whisk - then slowly drizzle in vegetable oil, or combine all ingredients in a blender. Drizzle over orzo, mix well with all ingredients serve at room temperature or, chilled.

MARINATED FETA CHEESE APPETIZER

1 pound feta cheese
1 Tbs of each (adjust to taste:
Flaked dry red chili
Dried oregano
Dried parsley
Bay leaf
Dried lemon thyme
Dried basil
Fresh ground black pepper
Fennel seeds

Remove feta cheese from the pack and pat as dry as possible with kitchen towel.  Press the flavors into it.  Pack the cheese tightly into a jar and over with olive oil.  Keeps for up to two months.

Tips:  Don't use store bought herbs, instead make your own by drying leftover fresh herbs on a baking sheet.  Leave them somewhere warm: top of boiler, washing machine, or oven and they will dry within a week.  Or put them in an oven at 200 to 225 for an hour.

Uses:  One a big plate, covered in fresh basil, served with lots of other salads, as a cheese course with crusty bread and fruit.  Don't throw away the oil - use it in your dressings. 

Rhubarb Shrub Cocktail

By Tricia Wheeler

Ingredients (for about 2 cups):
2lb rhubarb, chopped 1/4 inch thick
1 c white wine vinegar
1 c granulated sugar
white rum (optional)
club soda (optional)
sprig of mint for garnish 

Photo by © Carole Topalian

Photo by © Carole Topalian

Directions:

  1. Combine the rhubarb, white wine vinegar, and granulated sugar in a saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring as the rhubarb begins to break down.
  2. When the mixture comes to a boil, reduce heat to low and cook until the rhubarb is completely broken down into strands, about 10 minutes stirring occasionally. 
  3. Remove from heat and pour into a colander or fine mesh strainer lined with a layer of cheesecloth. Allow the mixture to strain until it stops dripping, about 30 minutes. You can stir the mixture gently once or twice to help it strain, but do not press it through the cheesecloth. Discard the solids.
  4. Pour the resulting syrup into a jar and let cool to room temperature. Store in the refrigerator.
  5. Add optional white rum and a dash of club soda. Serve over ice

Note: You can also add strawberries or raspberries to the first step. Also great without alcohol, served over ice with sparkling soda. 

Pavlova

Serves 4

Ingredients:

4 large egg whites
1 cup of sugar
1 teaspoon cream of tartar

 

Directions:

Preheat oven to 175°F. Place the egg whites in the mixing bowl. Start the mixer at low speed to break up the whites and incorporate air. If using cream of tarter, add it to the whites when they are frothy. Increase the speed to medium. Add the sugar only when the whites have come to soft peak stage, more volume is achieved this way. Pour the sugar steadily, but not rapidly. Beat the mixture until it has reached the desired consistency. Sear the meringue – beat at high speed for a few seconds at the end of mixing time. This will stabilize it. Pipe into circles – or make a big circle on parchment paper. Bake on low for an hour – or until dry. Let rest in the oven overnight. These keep well in a closed container up to a week. Top with fresh sliced strawberries, and whipped cream right before service. Best with local fruit!

Vol-au-Vent

Serves 10

Preheat oven to 350°F

Ingredients:

2 roasting chickens
3 tablespoons olive oil
10 carrots, chopped into 1 inch pieces
4 cups mushrooms cut into quarters
1 cup "petite" frozen peas
4 cups chicken stock
1 cup white wine
1 cup heavy whipping cream
6 tablespoons butter, divided
4 tablespoons flour
Bunch of Fresh Thyme
Sea Salt & freshly ground pepper
Frozen Puff Pastry - made into individual shells and set aside

 

Procedure:

1. Rub chickens with 2 tablespoons olive oil, season, and roast until internal temp of 165°F; cool

2. Remove chicken from bones, cut into bite size pieces, set aside.

3. Using chicken juices and bones, add water to cover and make stock

4. In a sauté pan, lightly caramelize carrots in 1 tablespoon olive oil

5. In a separate hot pan, cook flour and 4 tablespoons butter (roux), cook until blended and hazelnut color

6. Add half of stock and mushrooms to roux, cook gently for 10 minutes, add ½ cup wine and reduce for additional 10 minutes

7. Add carrots, salt and pepper, and 2 tablespoons chopped thyme

8. Add cream, additional wine, and balance of stock reduce, cook until thick an sauce will coat the back of a spoon, taste and adjust seasoning

9. Add chicken and frozen peas at end of cooking, and finish with 2 tablespoons butter

 

For Service:

1. Warm pastry shells

2. Fill shell just before serving, and replace pastry lid

Mixed Green Salad with Black Berries, Parmesan, Toasted Pumpkin Seeds, Edible Flowers and a Honey Pomegranate Balsamic Dressing

Ingredients:

Mixed Greens, washed and dried
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Blackberries
Raw Pepitas, toasted in olive oil and sprinkled with sea salt
Edible flowers
Honey
Pomegranate juice or vinegar
Safflower Oil
Salt and pepper to taste

 

Directions:

Whisk together honey and pomegranate vinegar, (if you don't have pomegranate vinegar – mix pomegranate juice with balsamic vinegar), drizzle in safflower oil and season with salt and pepper. Top salad greens with blackberries, toasted seeds, and fresh grated Parmesan. Drizzle on dressing and top salad with edible flowers.

Brussels Sprout Parmesan Hash

By Tricia Wheeler

Serves 6

Ingredients:

1 pound fresh tender Brussels sprouts, cleaned and quartered
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
3 sprigs of mint, chopped
¼ cup toasted pine nuts
1 teaspoon sugar
3 tablespoons good olive oil
Salt & freshly ground pepper

 

Directions:

Heat olive oil in a heavy skillet (cast iron preferred). Add Brussels sprouts and sauté until they have slight color and caramelization, about 5-10 minutes. In a separate pan over medium low heat, toast pine nuts until they start to get light brown, set aside. Pour Brussels sprouts into a serving bowl and toss with Parmesan, mint, pine nuts, sugar and salt and pepper. Taste and adjust seasoning.