Make Something New Every Day

This blog is inspired by all those who love to cook, whether experienced or not, and who continue to experiment with new ideas & ingredients, and best of all, share their passion with others.

The first entries are recipes prepared by the students of Lionel Wilson College Preparatory Academy in Oakland, CA. Fifteen students with varying cooking experience participated in my weekly workshop (via Tutorpedia), and successfully prepared various meals, snacks, and baked goods as part of an after-school program.

Along with the recipes from that class, I will continue to add new seasonal items, spanning every genre of the culinary world, as well as a helpful list of links to recipes, instructional videos, and places to shop and volunteer in your area.

Feel free to ask me questions and share your recipes and ideas as well. I look forward to cooking with you.

November 26, 2016

Crackly-Crusted No-Knead Bread

7-Day Rest
The hardest part about making this bread is waiting 2 hours for it to cool before cutting into it. More on that later. Let's start with the basics. This is one of the easier breads to make. Just stir together flour, salt, yeast & warm water. Let it rise at room temp for 2 hours, then leave it in the fridge for a week. Take it out, shape into a ball, let it sit for about an hour, then bake. It costs about 75 cents to make, and tastes like a $5 loaf from a nice bakery, only better, because it's fresh & you made it!

Rather than reinvent the wheel, here's the King Arthur Flour recipe. The blog is full of tips and variations. My blog chronicles my various attempts - all good - the longer rests yielding tastier loaves. The link is for the larger recipe. For 1 loaf, see below. The ingredients and general preparation are very simple. Best results come from the nuances you'll pick up each time you make it. 

15.8 ounces of unbleached all-purpose flour (If you measure flour by sprinkling it into your measuring cup, then gently sweeping off the excess, use 7 1/2 cups. If you measure flour by dipping your cup into the canister, then sweeping off the excess, use 6 1/2 cups.)
2 1/4t yeast (one package of instant or active dry yeast)
2t kosher salt
1.5C warm water

Stir together in a large bowl or food-safe plastic bucket. Cover, and let rise for 2 hours at room temp, then put it in the fridge for a week. If you're in a rush, see the links for variations on time (I tried 6 hours, 3, 5, and 7 days - 7 being the tastiest). But IMO, if you're going to bake your own bread, take the time to do it right. 

When you're ready to bake, take the dough out of the fridge and dump it our on a floured work surface. Shape it into a ball - doesn't have to be perfect - dust with more flour, and let it rest for about an hour. 

After 30 minutes, heat your oven to 450' F. If you're using a pizza stone or dutch oven, heat them in the oven for the full 30 minutes. If you're using a sheet pan, grease it or line it with parchment, and place the dough on it to rise. 

If you're NOT using a dutch oven: Place a shallow metal pan (brownie pan or broiling pan) on the bottom rack of the oven (under your pizza stone). Have 1C hot water ready. 

Just before baking, slash 2-3 cuts into the dough with a sharp knife or razor. This will help it expand and rise as it bakes, and will give you a beautiful crust. 

If using a dutch oven, carefully drop the dough into your heated dutch oven and bake it covered for 20 minutes, then remove the lid for the last 10. 

If using a pizza stone, slide the dough onto your pizza stone. Pour the hot water into the pan below, and close the oven quickly. 

If using a baking sheet, place the sheet on the top rack, and pour the hot water into the pan below, and close the oven quickly. 

Bake for 25-35 minutes at 450' until the crust is deep golden brown and a thermometer reads 205'. 

Cool on a rack for at least 2 hours. If you cut into a loaf before it cools, the texture will turn heavy and gummy. If you have to, leave the house so you aren't tempted. 

Store the loaf in a paper bag inside a plastic bag at room temperature. Make amazing toast, BLT's, grilled cheese, and more! 
Weighing Flour for Accuracy
After 2-hour Proof at Room Temp
Dumped out on a Floured Board

Shaped into a Ball & Dusted with Four

Slice in "Vents" Just Before Baking

Heat Your Oven for At Least 30 minutes
You'll Pour 1C of Hot Water into that Pan
to Help the Bread Rise in the Oven

Use a Thermometer to Make Sure it's Done
205' F
These Thermometers are Super Cheap & 
You Can Find Them at Most Grocery or Drugstores
(this was my 3-day rest. not as tasty as the 5 or 7-day)

The 5-Day Rest. Getting better...

Now, Who Can Argue with That?

Gluten-free blog TK...на Здоровья!

November 5, 2016

Mango Salsa

This salsa is delicious on its own, scooped up with tortilla chips or other veggies, and makes a great accompaniment to salmon, fish tacos, grilled chicken...the list goes on. 

All the Things 
1 can black beans, rinsed & drained
1 waxed cucumber, peeled, seeded & diced
1 red bell pepper, seeded & diced
1 mango, peeled & diced
1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
1 shallot, minced
cilantro, minced
lime juice (about 1/2 a lime)
rice vinegar

Stir it up, and season to taste. Makes a lot, so plan your meals around it for a few days, or share with friends!

Seeding a cucumber. I'll add the guts to my juicer later.