Monday, October 23, 2006

Fae Fae loves the baguettes, Dada

I had told the monkey that we would be mixing up some sourdough this morning, and that we would bring the dough and baguette pan with us to Grandmas. "Oh yeah, Fae Fae loves the baguettes Dada!" I've been wanting to work on shaping and slashing techniques and figured I could bake 'em at mom's and leave one there since free, fresh baked bread is usually appreciated when left at other homes. When we started mixing up the ingredients the monkey requested that we have Fae Fae up on the board to supervise (I think she wanted her to help and this was my compromise.)

We went with a pretty standard ingredient list: starter, flour, water, oil and salt, and gave it the typical kneading and beating treatment. The monkey is becoming quite adept at folding over the dough and beating it down with both hands saying (loudly) "smack, smack, smack." When our supervisor approved the work, we put it in an oiled ceramic casserole dish and transported it to Grandma's house. There we let it rise, punched it down, stretched it into rectangles of a sort on a floured board, and jelly-rolled it into two baguettes, placing them onto our pan. When they had risen sufficiently, we painted melted smart balance on it and sprinkled them with poppy, sesame and fennel seeds. Just before placing in the oven (425 for 15 minutes) they were slashed with a lame, one with three, one with four slices, to narrow in on cooking differences and presentation options.

I think I prefer the four slashes, it looks a tad more professional, but the three slash method allowed for a little greater loft in the loaf near the cuts. When they came out of the oven, they both looked great, and we were all salivating and couldn't wait for them to cool a touch before cutting them. Grandma said "I'm running to the store to get some cream cheese to go with that bread and the leftover smoked trout (one of the undocumented experiments from the previous week) in the fridge." Now that, I can wait for.

We sliced into it, revealing a fluffy interior with plenty of bubbles arranged in a slight spiral. Perfect. Grandma constructed open face sandwiches and we noshed on them until stuffed. Mmmmmm. Almond smoked trout on a fresh baguette with a healthy smear of cream cheese. One word: heaven.

And yes, Fae Fae approved of the meal, even getting a crumb or two on her snout.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

a list of recent vegan experiments

OK. So I'm off to start a trip to DV in the early morning, but there has been alot of experimenting going on at my house lately that has not been documented by any pictures due to the nature of the experiments and the lack of planning. Some have been worthy of further trials, others have been tasty, but would take enough tweaking to warrant calling it another creation. So with that said, here goes with a menu of sorts.....

Wednesday September 27th - dinner with Tito, Tita and Ading
Entree: Enchiladas en mole negro, with smoked tofu, sauteed onions, mushrooms and sweet potato
Salad: Chayote, black bean, corn and tomato, tossed with a canola, cilantro and lime dressing with s&p to taste.
Soup: Veggie stock of the month, with added onion, celery, carrot and corn. Served blended and in mugs for drinking.

Thurday the 28th - H's cupboard surprise
"Grilled" tofu marinated in a house made peanut sauce
Asian cucumber salad tossed with rice vinegar and toasted sesame seeds
New Potatoes (red) boiled and served with s&p and spread
Steamed zucchini and carrots

Friday the 29th - a day of dough
Use recently created whole wheat sourdough starter with bread flour to make medium loaf and Scarborough Fair Focaccia
Use white sourdough starter to make big round dome (all bread flour) and and herbed pizza dough with all purpose, whole wheat and corn meal, with similar herbs from focaccia, topped with basil/pine nut/oil/garlic pesto, tomatoes, mushrooms, carmelized onions, thinly sliced potato leftovers, and vegan cheese

Saturday the 30th - a day of work
Bring focaccia, big round dome and medium loaf to P's place to see family and do yardwork. While there trimming back the grape arbor, we "procure" some 3+ pounds of Interlocken grapes that will become the base of yet another sourdough starter. Getting home late, we dine at Cactus Taqueria, a Rockridge institution

Sunday October 1st - a farmer's market morning with the monkey
Organic garlic, multi-colored onions, butternut squash, red leaf lettuce and honey pluots.
Conventional Brentwood corn, baby summer squash, squash blossoms, and fresh ono
Inspired by Orangette's recipe (see her blog - I use the blossoms for a sauce made with carrot, onion, celery and veggie stock plus a touch of almond milk and serve it with sprouted wheat papardelle.
Red leaf becomes salad with blossoms, carrots, tomatos, avocados, figs and grapes

Monday the 2nd - hankerin' for frijoles
Black and pinto beans, boiled and soaked, then cooked in veggie stock with carrot, onion, and small red pepper with freshly ground coriander and cumin
Wild and brown rice with sauteed mushrooms and carmelized onions cooked in veggie stock
Corn on the cob

At this point the days became experiments with sourdough. Now three different kinds live in the fridge....more later, early next week (maybe after some desert backcountry baking)