Posts Tagged ‘Breakfast’

From Dish Paige:

Hello and welcome back to Saucy Little Dish! While we’ve been on summer hiatus, I started culinary school and have been very busy making my way through my International Baking and Pastry program. I figured, since I’ve already learned so many new things, I should share a few of them with everybody here.

I just finished a bread course, and one of the things we learned was that bread loves to ferment at 80 degrees Fahrenheit, in 80 percent humidity. Which, if you live in the Northeast, is exactly the temperature outside (and inside if you don’t have central air like me). I know you’re all thinking, “but it’s 80 degrees and 80 percent humidity in my apartment, why would I also turn on the oven?” Well, that’s the beauty of this formula (I call recipes for baking “formulas” now, it’s a professional thing *wink), the English Muffins are cooked on the stovetop!

Ok, so now it’s time to get super technical on you all. There are ten steps to yeast bread production. If you follow these steps, you will get bread. Great bread. Delicious bread. All formulas follow these ten steps. Follow the steps. Follow them and apply them to future bread endeavors:

1. Scaling/Measuring
2. Mixing/Kneading
3. Fermenting
4. Punching
5. Portioning
6. Rounding/Benching
7. Make-up/Shaping
8. Proofing
9. Baking
10. Cooling/Storing

Let’s go!

Milk – 9.25 fl. oz.
Active dry yeast 0.4 oz.
Pastry or cake flour – 1 lb.
Bread flour – 1 lb.
Baking powder – 0.4 oz.
Granulated sugar – 1.25 oz.
Salt – 0.25 oz.
Unsalted butter, room temperature 1.5 oz.
Water – room temperature 9.25 fl. oz.
Cornmeal – as needed for dusting

This formula uses the “sponge” method, which basically means that we are going to create a mini little starter (kinda like a sourdough) and let that get going a little bit before we mix everything together. Let’s go step by step:

Scale out all of your ingredients. Measuring by weight is the most accurate, so here you go.

Now make the sponge: Heat the milk until just scalded. Stir in the active dry yeast, then mix it with the pastry flour. Cover and let ferment about 15 minutes.

Once your sponge has fermented, mix together the rest of the flours, baking powder, sugar, salt, butter and water and add the sponge. You can use your hands or a mixer fitted with a doug hook. Mix for about 3 minutes, then begin kneading for about 7 minutes until the dough is soft and somewhat sticky.

Cover and let your dough sit for 20 minutes wherever it is 80 degrees and humid. The dough should double in size and slowly spring back when poked with your finger.

You can literally punch your dough, or if you want to be nice, fold the outsides of the dough in on itself a few times in order to equalize the temperature. Let the dough rest again, covered, for another 10 minutes.

Here, with other doughs, you would divide it into however many loaves or rolls or whatever you have, keeping the section you’re not working with covered while you work on the rest. With this dough, we’re going to roll out it out to a 1 inch thickness.

Again, with other doughs, you would now take the portioned dough, roll it into a smooth ball and then let it take a nap for about 10 mins, covered. For the English muffins, cover them and let the rolled out dough relax just for a few minutes to relax the gluten strands. Otherwise, you’re going to cut out the shapes and they will shrink on you.

Shape the portioned doughs. For the muffins, cut them into the desired size. You can use biscuit cutters, or something circular that’s close to the size you want and trace it with a paring knife. I used a coffee mug for the small ones, and the top of a Chinese soup take-out container for large, sandwich size ones. Place them on a baking sheet that has been lightly dusted with cornmeal and cover.

Let your dough take another nap, covered, until doubled in size.

Bake, or in the case of English muffins, cook on a skillet or in a pan until golden brown, about 3-7 minutes per side. The inside of your bread should be in the temperature range of 190-210 degrees.

You don’t want to put your hot breads in a plastic bag or aluminum foil because they will sweat. Use parchment to wrap them when warm. Once they are cool, use whatever you want! Just remember, bread you make at home will go bad way faster than what you buy at the store, so keep your English muffins in the refrigerator or freeze them for longer storage.

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From Dish Gwen:

The other night my cupboards were looking pretty bare, and cereal for dinner wasn’t really appealing to me, so I had to get a little creative. Using a can of black beans, some corn meal, eggs and a handful of salad greens I was able to pull together a rather fancy little dish that hit the spot and was healthy to boot. I think I’ll probably make it again.

– 1 can black beans
– 2 cups corn meal (or dry polenta)
– ½ cup shredded parmesan or pecorino Romano cheese
– 2 eggs
– a handful of salad greens
– 4 radishes
– 2 scallions
– olive oil
– apple cider vinegar
– salt
– pepper

Stew up the beans with some salt and pepper to taste and keep them on warm on the back burner. In a sauce pan, boil 6 cups of salted water, then sprinkle in the polenta while whisking – make sure to whisk thoroughly because otherwise you’ll get lumps. Once the polenta is mixed in, turn the heat down to medium-low and use a spoon and stir until the it thickens. Check the polenta by tasting to see if it’s softened (if it’s grainy and tough you need to add more water and keep stirring until it softens up – this can take about ½ hour).

Grease a square brownie pan or small cookie sheet with butter, then pour out the polenta into it and smooth it over with a rubber spatula to create a flat cake. Cool the polenta in the fridge for an hour so that it firms up, then sprinkle parmesan or Romano cheese evenly across the top and put the pan in the broiler on high to melt and brown the cheese. Once it looks nice and brown take it out and let it rest for a couple of minutes. Slice the cake of polenta into 3 or 4 inch wide squares. (instead of broiling you can also fry polenta cakes! Try it!)

Dice up the radishes and scallions and toss them in a large bowl with the salad greens and a table spoon of olive oil and apple cider vinegar, plus a dash of salt and pepper. Fry two eggs and plate them on top of the dish, with the beans on the bottom, then the polenta cake, then the egg, then the salad mix on top (the plating of this dish is what takes it from random to gourmet). Sprinkle a little salt and pepper on top and serve!

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From Dish Danielle:

I’ve just returned from my very first trip to Mexico. I had the perfect guide, Dish Amelia, who’s been across the border before and knows Oaxaca City like the back of her hand. I am not exaggerating when I tell you that we did an excellent job eating our way through the OAX. SLD style….

The trip provided each sense with its own degree of intoxication: The brightly colored buildings and the incredible flora of southern Mexico; the hypnotizing sounds of bustling markets; vendors waving flags and enticing you with their sing-song-y pitches; the dizzying aromas wafting out of kitchen windows; Mexican chocolates, fresh tortillas, grilled meats over massive barbecues; the textures of traditional woven garments…
All of the flavors of Oaxaca are woven into their food and drink: bright yet earthy, hearty but not heavy. Dreaming of mezcal to mouth watering mole, I’m already dying to go back.

With that being said, I’ve had a killer hankering for a particular breakfast that Amelia & I ordered nearly every morning (and kicked ourselves when we didn’t…), Huevos Divorciados, behold:

For salsas:
1 lb plum tomatoes, rinsed
1 lb tomatillos, husks discarded & rinsed
3 small jalapenos
1 poblano, roasted, skinned and deseeded
1/2 a large white onion
4-5 garlic cloves
Handful fresh cilantro, rinsed
Water as needed.

For 8 tortillas:
1c masa harina (I actually picked up ‘instant’ which meant I didn’t need to wait for the dough to ‘set.’)
2/3 c water, plus a little more if needed

For desayuno:
2 eggs per person being served.

Start by roasting the tomatoes, tomatillos, jalapenos and onion on a comal or dry cast iron skillet until blackened on all sides, (15mins or so). Core roasted tomatoes. De-stem/de-seed jalapenos.

Make red salsa: Puree tomatoes, 1½ jalapeños, 2 garlic cloves, ½ the onion, and salt in food processor, (add water to thin salsa if desired). Set aside.

Make green salsa: Purée tomatillos, 1½ jalapeños, poblano, 2 garlic cloves, rest of onion, salt, cilantro, and 1/2 cup water in food processor, (add a bit more water if desired).

Make tortillas: Combine masa harina and water in medium bowl. Mix with hands until a soft malleable dough forms that keeps its shape. Add tiny amounts of masa/water as needed if too wet/dry. Form into 8 small balls. Keep dough covered with damp towel. Use tortilla press to flatten into perfect discs! Fire up your comal/dry cast iron to cook these bad boys. Gently place tortilla on hot surface. Cook for about 1min on each side—you’ll see it firming up and your nose will tell you when it’s time to pull one off!

Once your tortillas are finished place them snuggly in a tea towel to keep warm. Now fry your eggs to your own liking and lay 1 fried egg atop 1 tortilla, and serve 2 of these per plate.

Spoon liberal amounts of green salsa on one egg and red salsa on the other. I complimented the eggs with my own rendition of a black bean puree we had on the side of this breakfast in Oaxaca, (I simply stewed the beans with a few cloves of garlic, a hunk of onion and some freshly ground Oaxacan allspice that I picked up down there). Feel free to make any accompaniment to your Saucy Little Dish, and enjoy.


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Ed’s note: SLD is very proud to announce that two of Dish Amelia’s SLD recipes have been published in the Edible Brooklyn Cookbook! Take a moment to look back at Wanna Get Lucky? Eat Black-Eyed Peas & Collard Greens and OMG Appletinis!. Congratulations, Amelia!

From Dish Amelia:

The past few weeks have been filled with special food. All food you make at home can be special in its own way of course, but holidays can include some additional dishes that are more prestigious due to their complexity, valuable ingredients, or timely significance. For Christmas I made a ham. That week I also made Gypsy Stew, and then for new years day I made Black-Eyed Peas. (There was also salad, cake, cookies, mashed potatoes, pierogies, borscht, and more cake, and more cookies.) So there’s been a lot of food in the fridge, and eating has been more of a game of how to reassemble the current pieces into an equally nutritious and interesting meal as the ones before, until everything is accounted for and put to use. And man, the ham has really gone far! So instead of one recipe, or the several mentioned, here is how they met for breakfast.

These Huevos Rancheros use the ingredients listed, placed on a plate in this order:

Tortilla (some decent storebought wheat ones) (heated for a few seconds on a pan or zapped)
Potato (1 large one, grated, squeezed and forgotten periodically in a cast iron pan until crispy)
BEP’s (with ham and green chile)
Red chile sauce
Fried egg (C’mon now)

The Black Eyed Peas this year featured frozen and canned ones, and chopped green chile left over from the Gyspy Stew, and cooked with the Christmas ham (which included whole grain mustard, maple syrup, and Riesling). This makes so much sense I can’t believe I never thought of it before. The ham was the smallest one they had, a real nice fancy 3.25 lb Hudson Valley smoked one. I based my ham on this recipe from Bon Appetit. Also, I loved discovering that I could slice superthin curls from my now frozen ham and then dice it into tiny geometric pieces that would not have been possible at room temp. The ham was wonderful with pan juice gravy on Christmas, as ham sandwiches all week, giving smoky backbone to the BEPs and to a soup — which I’ve yet to make.

And speaking of that, here’s to the future! I wish you health, happiness, love and luck in 2012!

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From Dish Paige!:

Tis the season for partying, and let me tell you, I’ve been doing my best to keep up! Between birthdays, bachelorette parties, weddings and holiday celebrations, my calendar is full! This is also an excuse for me to come down to my beloved city and spend lots of quality time with my besties. With Saucy Little (one-time) Guest Dish Carla, we decided to make a little weekday brunch to share with some of our ladies. She was responsible for a delicious frittata, and I made some biscuits.

6 tablespoons butter, cut into cubes plus 2 tablespoons butter (for later)
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon chopped rosemary
3/4 cup cheddar
3/4 cup buttermilk


Preheat the oven to 450.

Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl. Add in the butter and with a pastry cutter or fork, cut the butter into the flour mixture until they butter is the size of a pea. Add in the rosemary and cheddar and mix well to incorporate. Make a well in the dry ingredients, pour in the buttermilk and mix until just combined. Form biscuits about 2 inches in diameter and place on a lined baking sheet.

Melt the reserved 2 tablespoons of butter and generously brush over the biscuits. Place in the oven and bake for 12 – 15 minutes, until the biscuits are golden brown. Serve with other yummy brunch food!!!!!

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From Dish Amelia:

About a month ago a good friend of mine went on an adventure to the southern Mexican state
of Oaxaca. To my shock and awe she sneakily brought back an obscene amount of fabulous things, such as cinnamon. This kind of cinnamon smells and tastes different than the store-bought variety. It is a bit milder, and the sticks are papery and light. When you grind them they instantly disintegrate. She brought um…a lot, so it’s being put to good use everywhichway…Woo-hoo!

Adapted from Gourmet.

Yields 30 biscuits.

4 1/2 cups AP flour, plus a bit more
5 T sugar
4 1/2 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. salt
3/4 tsp. baking soda
2 T ground Mexican cinnamon (about 5 or 6 broken sticks)
1 1/2 stick butter (cut in 1/2 in. cubes, very cold)
2 1/4 cups shaken buttermilk
cream for brushing on tops

Preheat oven to 425. Cut cold butter and place in a bowl in the freezer to extra-chill the pieces. Sift all dry ingredients together through a tamis and whisk a few times. Put butter and dry ingredients in a food processor and pulse several times to incorporate the butter somewhat evenly. Pour in half of the buttermilk and pulse once or twice. Pour in the rest of the buttermilk and pulse again. Sprinkle sticky dough with flour so it is less sticky and turn out onto a floured surface. Roll once or twice with a floured roller so you have a slab about three-quarters-of-an-inch thick. Cut into two inch pieces with a floured cutter, or knife.

Reroll scraps. Do this in a fast, careless way, acting as if you don’t care about the dough, so you do not pay too much attention and overwork it. Place biscuits on a sheet tray with parchment and and bake for 12-15 minutes until pale golden at the edges.

Biscuits will be fluffy and aromatic when you split them open and you will want to sleep there.

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From Dish Gwen:

To be honest I’m not a big smoothie person. I’ve always kind of associated them with people who wear bike shorts and wake up early on the weekend to go for a 5 mile run. I’m not one of those people, so I thought smoothies weren’t for me. But then I spent the weekend at a friend’s house in DC about a year ago and everything changed.

My friend – let’s call her Kate (because that’s really her name) – blew my mind halfway through making our breakfast smoothie when she pulled out a jar of peanut butter and scooped a generous portion of the gooey stuff into a blender filled with yogurt and raspberries. I thought she was nuts and that this was going to be a rather nasty breakfast, but I was wrong. Dead wrong.

It was delicious! Adding peanut butter (or any nut butter) to your smoothie brings creaminess and rich texture, and even a little saltiness which I really enjoy. When I returned to NYC from my trip to Kate’s house I immediately purchased a blender and started adding almond butter and frozen berries to my regular shopping list. I’ll make myself a smoothie for breakfast at least a few times a week and it’s a great way to start the day. Plus it’s quick and easy to make (the key is to rinse out the blender immediately so you’re not scrubbing crusty dried yogurt out of it later on when you get home from work).

No bike shorts required.

1/2 cup fresh cranberries (can be substituted for any berries — fresh or frozen)
1 cup plain yogurt
½ cup milk
1-2 tablespoons maple syrup (the real stuff!)
2 tablespoons almond butter
1 ripe banana

This is the hard part: put them all in the blender, and push “go”. I have a “smoothie” button on my blender but I’m pretty sure any of the buttons on the machine would do the trick. Just make sure you blend it long enough to chop the cranberries finely.

Pour and drink! And check your teeth before you leave the house – you’ve likely got some berry bits stuck in there.

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