Well hello there! I know I disappeared for over six months and that I am shameless. But it wasn’t only a disappearance from the foodieblogosphere, (yup, that’s a word) I also had to momentarily ditch my faithful kitchen. This was however, all for a good reason. I’ve been working like crazy on a new project and I just simply didn’t have the time to cook anything more elaborate than a sandwich or the occasional birthday cake. The project in question, which took me away from my whisks and bowls of sugar, is the just-launched art & design store, wolfrikdesign.com. I am so excited about it I haven’t even missed my kitchen-aid! (*gasp*) It’s all about finding unique artists & designers, curating the store, designing everything…..and so on. Please be sure to go check it out! You’ll make me very very happy. But back to the kitchen note, now things have settled a bit and I have some time (and mental space) to get my hands covered in flour and to increase my calorie count. And to debut, here are some garlic-parmesan butterflake rolls to get started. They are similar to monkey bread, but instead of chunks they’re made up of slices. These rolls are great for an italian inspired lunch, I recommend you serve them with olive oil and balsamic vinegar for dipping. The soft dough soaks it right up, mixing with the garlic and parmesan for gooey goodness in your mouth. Garlic-parmesan is no brainer, so go and get this super easy and impressive recipe going!
Recipe after the jump ->
Most bakers love bite-sized things. They’re just irresistible to make. There’s something about seeing a small army of pastries, all properly lined up on baking sheets waiting for their time in the oven. And when dressing, rolling, cutting or stuffing, there’s a strange pleasure to be found in doing the same thing for each one of the small baked goods, trying to get them as even as possible. (Or maybe I’m slightly obsessive and find this satisfying…). But who can deny the appeal of a basket filled with bite-sized treats? No one. And I’ll tell you why; if you had a basket of regular-sized croissants sitting on your breakfast table, the most you could grab in one sitting, without losing face in front of your breakfasting companions, is one lonely piece. And pushing it, you could eat half of this piece with one topping and the other with a different one. But if you have a basket full of mini-croissants… the possibilities are endless! Because no one will judge you if you spread nutella on one, take another one and smear some butter and marmalade on it, take a third one and dip it in your milk, or even if you take a fourth one to accompany a little bit of ham and cheese you had left over on your plate. That’s the beauty of bite sized. Small pastries just keep telling you to eat them because they know they’re so small that what could be the harm in just one more? And they’re absolutely right. Such is the case with these fluffy, buttery, cinnamon stuffed mini-brioches. It’s like just eating the center of a brioche-a-tete several times over. Because once you have one you will have to have a second one and quite possibly a third one. And that’s ok. No one will judge you.
Read more for the recipe!
I’m a huge Dr. House fan. I’m also a huge scone fan. And how might these two relate? (apart from Hugh Laurie being british) Well, I was watching an episode about two weeks ago in which a family went scuba diving to an old shipwreck and got infected with what appeared to be smallpox. Which was eradicated quite a bit ago. and as I was watching the show, I was also getting a few spotty-faced snapchats from a friend who’d been infected with…wait for it…..chicken pox! Which is almost eradicated even in little kids…so how she got it was also a mystery worthy of House. And so while watching the family slowly die in isolation, I thought up these scones to bring to my friend who was also in isolation (though thankfully not dying, just quite itchy) and who, like me, also finds solace in crumbly pastries which you can have for breakfast, lunch or dinner. (because scones are just awesome like that). So if you have a friend in need, or just want a snack to munch on while you watch House re-runs, go read more for the recipe. Continue reading
Those who enjoy life know that the true spirit of it is found in simple pleasures; waking up to birds and trees outside your window, having a good talk over coffee with a close friend, sunny afternoons on a terrace, silly jokes that make your stomach hurt from laughing, ceviche on hot days, feeling the sea breeze on sunset, going out for a walk after its rained, flowering bushes…you name it. It’s the simple things that keep us content and give meaning to our day to day lives. And one of those excruciatingly delicious simple pleasures is bread. I think very few people can deny it, unless you’re allergic or on a diet…bread, particularly when warm from the oven, will never fail to give you a satisfied smile, even if its just from smelling it and thinking…yuuuum, that looks delicious, and then letting your mind wander with all the possibilities of toppings or accompanying goodness that can go with it. At least I can’t deny it. And for me one of the simplest, but most enjoyable of breads, is rustic bread. There’s just something about the soft and perfect butter-absorbing interior, full of flour flavors and smells, and the crunchy crust combination. There’s no way to eat it that’s not delicious. With butter. With butter and jam. With butter and ham. With mustard. With soup. With nutella. With cheese. With sugar. With olive oil and balsamic vinegar. And the sandwich-ing possibilities are endless..there are no ingredients that can taste bad in between two slices of it right? And if you happen to have a roast turkey breast laying around (because that’s what normal people do) then your life might almost be complete. (Read more for the recipe)
Remember that time when you ate risotto for lunch and dinner and next day lunch? No? You’ve never done such a piggy-like thing before? Hmm. Weird. Maybe that’s because you haven’t made risotto with a nice and old, freshly grated Parmesan cheese, jamon serrano, tons of butter, and avocado. This kind is the second best risotto I’ve ever tried (it was here), the first one being a Black risotto with calamari, which you can enjoy right here in Mexico City, but which I’m not adventurous enough to try and make myself yet. (How do you go about using squid ink? Where do you even buy it?) For this recipe though, I did feel bold enough to try it with a recipe I made up myself, using good ingredients as the secret for good results. I chose jamon serrano, which one could say is the spanish version of prosciutto, but which tastes quite different. And then I did something (if you’re squeamish/vegan/a health nut , I would suggest you stop reading) quite naughty; I toasted the rice in those white slices of fat. I know. I’m terrible. But you can really justify it to other people once you present them with a hot bowl and a spoon. They won’t be complaining once they the get tiny bits of golden, delicious, cheese covered goodness. Read more for the recipe!
Yesterday I came home and popped into my laptop Rossini’s Barbieri di Seviglia (I know, I’m getting stranger by the day) and then set on to search for a classic french onion soup, which I did not have to do for long since Smitten Kitchen, as usual, had the answer for me quite soon. So I grabbed 4 big, shiny, smooth onions and set them on the chopping board. I grabbed the knife, I sliced once, I sliced twice. And then I stopped. What on earth was I thinking???? I’d completely forgotten that onions, or any of their cousins (red onions, shallots, garlic, spring onions, chives, you name it!) will have me in tears within seconds. And I’m not talking about watery eyes or a runaway tear. I’m talking grab-the-tissues-now stuff. I don’t know why so much, but it’s always been that way. I’ve tried super ultra sharp knives. I’ve tried cold onions straight from the fridge. There’s nothing that can help it. In fact, I remembered as I held the onion with great hatred in my hand and cried in between bouts of Figaro Figaro Figaro coming from my computer, when I worked in cooking school and I had to prepare for recipes which included onions, I would always trade with the other assistants for anything else. I’d much prefer to remove the scales from your smelly fish! So why would I subject myself willingly to all that slicing of the stinky critter?? The reason, of course, is that there is nothing quite like french onion soup. Even if I had to eat it with puffy eyes and a red nose. Deb uses Julia Child’s recipe, which she kindly provides with friendly measures. The only thing I changed was the bread, which I changed for American pumpernickel since I didn’t have any other, but it was actually an incredibly good twist. The caraway seeds such a pleasant surprise in the hot, caramelized goodness of the onions.
Recipe here: French Onion Soup at Smitten Kitchen
I confess that I’ve been saving this post because I couldn’t come up with words good enough to describe these biscuits. As I’ve said before, (and have shown in the shameless invasion of cookie recipes in this blog) I absolutely adore cookies, in any form. And while there’s no such thing as the perfect cookie, because the perfect choice depends on the moment, weather, accompanying beverage, and previous meal, these ones are pretty close to being the perfect teatime bite. (Also could be the perfect coffetime bite, but people never say 5 o’clock coffee, for some reason). I love having something to accompany my tea, and I always childishly try to eat it in as small bites as I can, to see if I can make it last until I see the bottom of my cup. These, for sure, will NOT last until the bottom of your cup. They don’t melt in your mouth; they crumble, ever so thin and light. Buttery-sweet-flakey. The vanilla ones are perfect for tea, and the chocolate ones for coffee. But be careful and serve only a bit, or you’ll find yourself having a whole meal comprised solely of these biscuits. To add to their wonderfulness, they keep very well as long as they’re placed in an airtight container, preferably with a sign on the tin that reads “don’t grab anymore, you’ve already had 10!”) .
They’re a variation on the recipe for the traditional french sablés below, of which I baked about a ton for a special order. These are also delicious, but quite heavier and best served with a glass of cold milk.