dutch oven bread

Dutch Oven Bread

may is disappearing quickly,
much quicker and cooler than anticipated.
we’ve been traveling this season,
almost at a manic pace.

i must confess that i am
better suited for the quiet mundane of
A Set Schedule.

last week, for something to divert my attention from
work,
i began a series of confessions on
facebook,
ranging from the silly to the downright
mean.
i won’t divulge them here,
but i will share with you this one confession:
for all my desires for a happy gut,
soaking & fermenting,
sometimes i just want a quick & easy recipe
where none of that is required,
and so enters this recipe for bread.

while it does require an overnight rising,
therefore requiring some forethought,
it’s a very easy recipe
there is no kneading involved
but you will need a dutch oven.

june is shaping to be a usual summer month of berry picking and csas
it will shape in the everyday kind of way that happens only when you’re staying close to home
and i confess to reveling in the very thought of sameness.

what confessions would you like to share?
no worries, i won’t judge! 🙂

Dutch Oven Bread

dutch oven bread smothered with garlic-herb olive oil
adapted from simply so good

3 cups organic AP flour
1 3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp yeast, i use red star
1 1/2 cups warm water, i just turn the tap on to warm

dump all ingredients into a bowl and mix with a fork or, you know, a handy dandy dough whisk. it’ll be a lumpy mess, not too wet or dry. cover with plastic wrap, leave on counter, forget about it for 18-24 hours.

when ready, heat oven to 450F. when it’s reached that temp, put dutch oven or cast iron pot in oven for 30 minutes. meanwhile, generously dust counter with flour. dump out the dough onto the counter and just shape into a mound or ball. cover with kitchen towel for the 30 minutes the pot is in the oven. when ready, put the dough into the pot (be careful to not burn yourself!) (edit to add: an option is to plop the dough on parchment paper and then plop into the pot. less chance of getting in contact with the hot pot!), cover and bake for 30 minutes. then remove lid and bake for an additional 15 minutes. remove bread and allow to cool on rack.

optional:
during the first 30 minutes of baking, in a sauce pan add 1/4 cup olive oil, 1 generous tsp of dried herbs (oregano, dried thyme, or italian spices is fine) and 3 cloves of minced garlic. on med-low heat just allow the oil to warm through, infusing with the herbs and garlic. for the final 15 minutes of bake time, when you take the lid off the pot, with a pastry brush, brush the olive oil on top of the bread.

great for dipping, or if you have any leftover, make into croutons.

Portuguese Chicken Curry with Chorizo + Olives

Portuguese Chicken Curry with Chorizo + Olives

i received an email from a dear blog friend recently.
the usual words:
catching up
swooning
lamentations
a song

and she ended the note with colors:
Mint green, coral, raspberry describe my days…
how lovely

lately, my days have been burnt yellow:
bright
warm
promising

it’s been a mild spring,
some days venture below the 50s
i made this curry some weeks ago,
when summer was just a tease,
winter was still fresh
and i needed some
burnt yellow

what color would you describe your days right now?

Portuguese Chicken Curry with Chorizo + Olives

Portuguese Chicken Curry with Chorizo + Olives
loosely adapted from Tasting Table’s Chef’s Recipe, which was adapted from Abraham Conlon, Fat Rice, Chicago

1 lb package of chicken, breast or thighs, though i recommend thighs as it’s got more flavor
kosher salt/black pepper
3 TBL cornstarch
3 TBL olive oil, divided
1 large onion, halved and thinly sliced
1 1″ piece of ginger, finely minced
1 TBL curry powder
1 tsp cayenne pepper
2 cans coconut milk
handful of baby red potatoes, scrubbed cleaned. if you want, peel but i kept the skins on (be sure they’re organic)
handful or two of dried tomatoes (original recipe calls for fresh cherry tomatoes, sliced)
4 ounces chorizo, sliced
12 oil-cured kalamata olives, pitted (original recipe calls for black morroccan olives)
1 small bunch flat-leaf parsley, stems removed and leaves roughly chopped
steamed white rice, for serving

on a plate or cutting board, season chicken pieces with salt/pepper. sprinkle with cornstarch on both side, coat evenly. in a large pot or dutch oven set over med-high heat, add in a bit of oil and brown chicken. do this in batches. once you place the chicken in the oil, try not to move it until it’s ready to be flipped. transfer pieces back to plate or cutting board.

in the same pot or dutch oven, add the rest of the oil, onion + ginger, sauteeing until onion is soft and translucent. add in the curry powder and cayenne pepper, stirring often. pour in the coconut milk, add the potatoes & browned chicken pieces. bring liquid to a simmer. reduce heat to low & cover. continue to cook until chicken and potatoes are cooked through, and the sauce has thickened, 45 min – 1 hour.

remove lid, throw in the dried tomatoes, chorizo and olives. cook until warmed through. garnish with chopped parsley, serve with steamed white rice.

homemade thin mint cookies

thin mints

i was never a girl scout. that’s not to say i didn’t want to be. but my grandparents didn’t know what it was, i barely knew what it was and it seemed like an expense that could not be spared.

when i was younger, and living with my grandparents they had a small patch in front of our apartment building, right under the living room window and where the sunshine hit late in the afternoon, that they grew fresh herbs. sometimes i would follow gpa out to water this tiny garden, squatting down on my haunches and watching the droplets meet the earth and soak into the ground.

one day it occurred to me to ask what these leafy greens were called, the leaves of which always graced our dinner table, garnishing various dishes. imagine my surprise when i was told it was actually mint.

in my experience with mint, it came in a chewing gum stick, in the form of double mint gum. i snagged a piece of this herb and tasted it. it tasted nothing like gum. i was sorely disappointed.

i have since grown to like the actual mint, though i do not have a small garden of it to tend to now.

chocolate + mint is a flavor combo that dw loves. he doesn’t like chocolate with fruit (i still shake my head over it) but give him the option of chocolate + mint and anything else, he will always choose the former. for his birthday last year i made him cake, this year, i baked him cookies. twice. i think the first batch was a bust.

second time i muscled my way through it, because i hate roll-out cookies, they suck. but for dw i would endure far more discomfort. the cookies tasted nothing like the leaves, or the gum, but were everything that girl scout thin mint cookies are and more: perfect out of the freezer, but without that chemical aftertaste. plus, he loved them.

Thin Mint Cookies

once again, because he is not lactose intolerant, i kept close to the original recipe.

what’s your favorite kind of cookie?

asparagus + scrambled egg salad

asparagus

if you knew me from years ago, then you would know me as a girl who lacked patience.
there is a certain part of me that finds enjoyment in the instant gratification:
i don’t do guessing games, just tell me already damnit
or
during a fro-yo date digging into my treat before dw has even sat down just so that i can relish being first,
manners be damned.

if you really knew me though, you would know that i am also the girl who is decidedly un-impatient.
i sat in the rental car, in the rain,
last week waiting for my friends to run the Nashville half marathon,
— a race i was supposed to run in but because of the torrential fallout from the sky i decided to skip,
and instead, waited for 3+ hours for them
to run, celebrate and then sit in traffic in search of warm beverages.
in my 15+ years of dating i have been at the cusp of running away,
had soap opera-esque relationships
and
in all those times i somehow always stood my ground
and waited.
because you see, i had a conviction that i had to be patient,
that despite my advancing age {it’s all relative},
despite all my counterparts having hit the relationship milestones already,
i knew,
i just knew that with a little bit of patience,
i would get there eventually.
i was 33 when i met dw.
thank gawd i had enough patience to wait for him to enter into my life.

asparagus + scrambled egg salad

for the last two years when spring comes around,
i keep a careful eye in the produce section of our local market
for asparagus.
you see, while you and i might be reveling in the newly blooming trees,
while the tulips are fighting their way to the light,
dw is looking to satiate his feening for one of his most favoritest veggies.
it’s a fleeting season for asparagus,
the natural cycle for it is once a year,
and brief.

sure, we can get it year round now,
it being imported wherever in the world is experiencing Spring.
but there is something sweet in the waiting,
in being patient.

tell me: what’s your favorite thing about spring?

asparagus + scrambled egg salad

asparagus + scrambled egg salad tartine
this was inspired by the recent aforementioned jaunt to nashville where we brunched at marché. i followed gordon ramsay’s method of scrambling eggs.

half a bundle of asparagus, cleaned and ends trimmed
4 eggs
1 tsp chopped chives
1 TBL margarine
a dash of So Delicious coconut creamer
2 slices of bread (we like ezekiel)
homemade vinaigrette (i made a very simple concoction of pickled mustard seeds, diced red onions, olive oil)
salt + pepper to taste

for the asparagus, roast them up in the oven at 450F, seasoned with olive oil & salt/pepper, for about 5 minutes. dw likes it with crunch, i like it a little on the soft side.

meanwhile, toast the bread and scramble your eggs to your preference. i could write it out for you but i think the video explains it far better than i could. when ready to plate, add in about 2 TBL of the vinaigrette to the eggs, mix it gently and then scoop onto toast. top with the roasted asparagus and serve with a side of baby arugula.

asparagus + scrambled egg salad