Cooking Stuff

Where Stuff Is Cooked

Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day Master Recipe

From Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day101

  • 3 cup warm water
  • 1 tbl yeast
  • 1-1 1/2 tbl kosher salt*
  • 6 1/2 cups a/p flour

Mix together the water, salt and yeast. Add the flour and stir to combine, you want everything moist (it’s a wet dough) but there’s no need to knead. Cover the bowl (not airtight) and let the dough rise at room temp for 2 hours. It’s ready now, but much easier to handle if you chill it for a couple hours. Store it in the fridge for up to two weeks, use it whenever you want fresh bread. Before using it, dust the dough with flour, reach in and grab a handful (however much you want). Form it into whatever shape you desire and let it rise for 40-90 minutes, the longer the rest the larger the air holes in the finished bread. It won’t rise much while resting, it does most of it’s rising in the oven. Slash the top and bake at 450 on a preheated baking stone for ~30 minutes.

*I use ~1 tbl

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Even though I already posted about this bread dough I figured I should share the recipe since it figures so heavily in my cooking these days. The link up above the recipe is to the Artisan Bread in 5 website itself which I put there not only for legal reasons but also because their instructions really are better than mine. It’s as if they’re professionals or something. Heh. Anyway, like I said before I can’t say enough good things about this method. The only time I don’t have a batch of this dough in my fridge is when I’ve run out of flour.

So, now that I have the basic recipe to link back to expect lots more bread posts around here. I’ve been on a huge naan kick lately, I make it in an anodized aluminum pan and it’s ridiculously awesome. And for a dough without oil or kneading this stuff makes killer pizza, which past readers will know my undying love for.

So yeah, bread dough. This is the recipe I use, expect to see lots more of it.

Filed under: Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day, bread

Sunday Cats #3

Such a delicate little flower.008

 

 

Filed under: cats

How to Cut a Chicken in Half and Then Roast Half of It.

From the Vault:

This is a post from my old Blogspot location but it’s the most popular one there so I figured I’d bring it over here. Because I’m shameless. Although to be fair it’s a good one, great method and delicious end product. Enjoy.

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Ok, I really don’t know if this is the best way to go about halving a chicken, but it was the first time I had ever done it and it worked just fine, see?

But I’m getting ahead of myself. My girlfriend came home with a roaster and I got to thinking. I realized that a whole chicken was a bit much for just the two of us and even though we use all the leftovers, it’s never quite the same as it is when freshly cooked. So, why not cut it in half, freeze one and cook the other? Why not, indeed?

I had recently read this post over at Girlichef about breaking down a chicken, so I figured I would just do what she did and stop when I had two halves. I figured out a couple things while doing it, one little trick and one fact. The fact? The inside of a chicken is gross. It’s full of some kind of weird spooge and I don’t know what it is. I assume it’s a chicken fluid that… solidifies or something after it gets slaughtered. We aren’t going to talk about it anymore and I’m not going to show you any pictures of it. I’ll tell you about the trick when the post catches up to it. So, grab a chicken, some kitchen shears and lets do this thing.

First, you need to get a plastic freezer bag (unless you’re making stock soon, then don’t worry about freezing it. You are making stock with the chicken bits, right?). You need this for bits that you want to keep to make stock from. From now on it will be referred to as the stock sack. Toss the giblets and neck in there,

they are good stock stuff. Now trim the tips off the wings.

I’ve found the tips brown too quickly and turn into nasty little black lumps. You don’t have to do this, it’s a personal preference thing. Next trim off the tail bit.

This is just a big chunk of fat, for the most part, and you really don’t need it. Toss it in the stock sack. Plus it shows you just where the spine is.

That’s the trick I was talking about earlier, hope it wasn’t too anticlimactic. Now just snip next to it all along the length of the spine.

The snapping bones wig out at least one person that I’m aware of, but it didn’t bother me too much, thankfully. Heh. First one side,

then the other.

Toss the spine in the stock sack, there’s some good stuff in there. Now you’ve got this.

You want to flip it over and cut it along the breast bone. A big ass knife is the best (I’m told), but I had already dirtied up my shears so I figured I would soldier on with them.

I know, I know, it’s one of those chickens. The ones with the “let’s over cook it” pop up dealies. I actually like them because that way I only over cook it a little, instead of a lot like I do when I try to take the temperature myself. I’m terrible at that for some reason. But once you cut through it you’re all set. Two halves.

It looks better like this.

Of course, now we need to cook it. I decided to keep it pretty simple. I put the half chicken in my ten inch, stainless steel stir fry pan.

I figured this would help hold it together and also make the juices pool underneath it, since it didn’t quite touch the bottom, and help keep it moist (it did). I minced half a shallot, a couple cloves of garlic, a couple tablespoons of fresh basil, salt, pepper and olive oil and mixed it all together.

Well, I didn’t mince the oil, salt and pepper, but you know what I mean. I stuffed all that under the skin, then just drizzled some more olive oil on the outside and sprinkled it with a bit more salt and pepper.

Then I roasted it at 375 until it was done.

Yes, I waited for the dealie to pop up. And it was fine, I swear! Only the white meat was a little dry, but the juices that pooled up in the bottom of the pan fixed that up just fine when I spooned them over it. In fact, it was fantastic. Rich chicken flavor with nice shallot, garlic and basil overtones. I’m going to be making chicken like this over and over. So, how would you cook a half a chicken?

Filed under: chicken, technique

Sandwich Shop Style Italian Sub

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  • Salami
  • Mortadella
  • Capicola
  • Provolone
  • Toppings: olive oil, vinegar, salt, pepper, hots, tomatoes, pickles, lettuce, onion, peperoncini or anything you want really

Layer everything in a sub roll, top with what you like. Eat.

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Oh man, where to begin. Well, probably with an explanation of this for those who are in the dark. In the Northeast, especially Boston and it’s surroundings, we have sub shops. I know other places have them too, but from what I’ve seen they’re a very different animal. Everyone I know who has gotten a sub outside of New England has been disappointed, to say the least. Maybe it’s just cultural, we’re used to things being a certain way so when they aren’t we don’t like it. Or maybe it’s just that you have to be from around here to make a decent sub. I don’t know, these are deep, heady questions and I’m a simple man. What I do know is that if you get an Italian and it has regular ham and/or bologna you’re legally allowed to throw a hissy fit of epic proportions. It’s true, I read it somewhere once. Fortunately I am here to guide all you non-New Englanders in the ways of subs. So let’s do this.

First, bread.

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Can’t have a sub without bread. Traditionally an Italian should be on Italian bread, but the grocery store I go to only had these enormous loaves and I didn’t want to deal with it. Besides, lots of sub shops use french bread or soft sub rolls and it’s really just as tasty. Next, hots (hot pepper relish), onions and pickles for me.

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You can put whatever you like on, of course, it’s your sandwich, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Now, provolone.

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Because it’s awesome and Italian, which is the theme we have going on here. Next, meats.

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Like I mentioned before, regular ham and bologna have no place in an Italian.

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If you want those then go nuts and make a sub with them, but it’s an American. They’re also awesome, but it’s a different sandwich.

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Salami, capicola and mortadella. I like hot capicola, myself, but you can use sweet if you’re into that. Now it’s just some lettuce (I used salad from a bag, more nutrients that way) and anything else your little heart desires.

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And that’s it, it’s time to take a bite, close your eyes and pretend you’re in a North End sub shop with someone named Gino yelling orders at a guy in the back who doesn’t speak any English. 291Pissah.

 

 

Filed under: cold cuts, sandwich

Sunday Cats #2

The real Bob seems to want to play some video games.

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However he has no thumbs.

 

Filed under: cats

Breakfast Naan… Thing.

Valentine’s Day is a bleak, bitter time for a single man. No lovely lady to buy flowers, cook a fancy meal or have to buy a card, teddy bear or whatever have you for. Hm.. maybe it’s not so bad. Heh. Anyway since it is a special day, created by greeting card companies to cash in on guilt driven impulse buys, here is a fancy pants thing to have for breakfast. You could even do it with a loved one if you so desire. Even though it’s too late for VDay breakfast. Whatever.

Looks good, huh? 123Well, it was. Oh, you want to know what it is? Alright. It started off as naan, (which I will cover in another post, it’s my new favorite bread)

106which I topped with a half sriracha, half ketchup mix.

109And some cheese. Then a whole bunch of ham hash that I had browned up previously. 111

Then an egg, because it’s breakfast.114Tossed it under the broiler until the egg was cooked, even if the rude bastard did break it’s own yolk. Then I just sliced it like pizza and ate it. So yeah, make this stuff it’s wicked good. Great way to use leftovers too.

Filed under: bread, breakfast, eggs, ham, potato

Stuff I Love: Sriracha

Holy crap, words can’t describe my love for sriracha.

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I got my first bottle not too long ago and I’m pretty sure I’ve put it in/on/around everything I’ve eaten since then.

For those not in the know, sriracha is a Thai hot chili sauce. It has a powerful fresh chili flavor and goes great in everything. I’ve particularly liked it mixed with mayonnaise and put on sandwiches, mixed in ketchup for fries and on eggs, falafel, ham hash, in stew, in a marinade for beef, in egg salad… that’s all I can think of off the top of my head. But there’s more. I’d love to hear what other people do with this stuff. Hint, hint. Heh.

Filed under: sauce, Stuff I Love

Sunday Cats #1

I told The Real Bob that since the blog moved we’re starting Sunday Cats over and he should get up and do something cute.misc 035

He was not impressed. So I made him get up. Then he stole my pants.

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Well, there you go new readers, that’s The Real Bob.

Filed under: cats

Storm Rations: Naan, Falafel and Asian Meatballs

Well, I’m pretty much trapped for several days. At least I’m not going out until the snow stops falling and the trees stop moving. Conveniently I’ve been making a lot of stuff I can keep in the freezer lately as part of moving the blog and getting pictures for new posts. I also have the next few posts scheduled and don’t feel like playing with that, so here are some teaser pics.

This is a roll I made with the bread dough I talked about a couple posts ago.

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Lots of sesame seeds on it to match the raspberry/sesame marinated onions. Yeah, those are a thing now. Also in there are some asian flavored turkey balls with a sweet and sour glaze. The meatballs were previously frozen by me, more on that later.

This is fresh, homemade naan (also with that bread dough I mentioned before) with homemade falafel, also from the freezer.

falafel naanAgain, the freezer falafel is another post. The sauce on it is Greek yogurt, diced onion, oregano, dry lemon zest and sriracha, chilled for a couple hours. And I have more falafel and meatballs in the freezer so if the gas in my apartment stays on I’m good for days.

Filed under: bread

Freezer Stuff: Ham and Red Potato Hash

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equal parts ham steak and potatoes, cut into 4-5″ chunks

onion, 1/4 part of ham AND potatoes

black pepper to taste.

Put everything in a food processor and pulse until it’s the consistency you want, this may take a few batches. Mix everything together in a large bowl, cover the bowl and refrigerate it for several hours. Pour off any water that comes out, preheat oil/fat in a frying pan on medium heat. Spread thin layer of hash, let it brown then mix or flip it. Brown the other side. Keep mixing and flipping until the potatoes are cooked and everything is nicely browned. Serve with eggs and sriracha ketchup.

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Alright, this is the first post in my Freezer Stuff category, so let me sum up. The deal with it is that recipes in this category freeze well enough to suit me. It may not always thaw out perfect, but if it’s not good I’ll let you know. Fortunately this ham hash worked out great. This wasn’t actually planned as a freezer dish, but I kind of didn’t know that I was making so much. Here’s the ingredients, except for black pepper.202Yep, potato, onion, ham and black pepper. Four ingredients and you don’t even need more salt, the ham has plenty. Although some bell pepper in there wouldn’t hurt.206I did everything in shifts in my food processor and then just mixed it all together in a bowl. 208There was more than I had anticipated.

211So I browned up some for dinner that night, with some scrambled eggs.

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Then I put serving sized portions of the uncooked hash on aluminum foil, flattened them out, wrapped them up and froze them. Didn’t get a pic of the packaging pre-freeze, but here is one that I pulled out to make something awesome with this morning. 089Like I said, what I made was awesome and it involved sriracha ketchup, but I’ll post about it next week. Because I’m cruel. Heh.

Filed under: breakfast, eggs, Freezer Food, ham, pork, potato

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Unless otherwise noted I have not been paid, given freebies or in any other way bribed by any company, website, store, individual or nonprofit organization for a review or any kind of mention. I am however open to it.

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