Baguettes

Good bread is an ingredient in most dishes, here is my version of the French Baguette.

 

Ingredients for 3 Baguettes

450 gram of 00 flour or all-purpose flour

3 ½ dl warm water

1 ½ Teaspoon of dry yeast or a packet of yeast

1 Teaspoon of Sugar

2 Teaspoon of Salt

 

Steps

  • Mix the sugar, water and yeast in a small bowl and set aside, you’ll see it start react after about 5 minutes.


  • Pour flour, salt and yeast into your Artisan, and mix it on low speed for a good 6 to 7 minutes or until you have a smooth and somewhat wet and sticky looking dough.
  • Oil a large bowl with some olive oil and place the dough in the bowl, cover with plastic wrap and place it somewhere warm to rise for about an hour or until doubled in size.


  • Now we are ready for the somewhat messy part J, we need to pour the dough onto a really well floured surface, and knead, while turning flour into the dough. We don’t want a heavy dough, but we want it to pull it together into a ball.


  • Place the ball into an oiled bowl once more, cover and let it rise for another hour or until doubled in size.
  • Dump dough on a floured surface and cut into 3 equal pieces, roll each piece into a 12 inch rope and place them on a three piece baguette pan.


  • Cover with a towel and let them rise until doubled, about an hour.
  • Preheat the oven to 250c degrees, place a cast iron skillet on the bottom rack in the oven.
  • Place the baguettes in the upper part of the oven, quickly add boiling water to the pan and shut the oven door immediately, while it’s the steaming effect we are looking for.


  • Let them bake for about 30 minutes or until crispy and brown.


  • Allow them to cool a bit before serving.

Mayonnaise

I am not even going to argue that this is health, but its breadwinner in so many dishes… So here it goes. My favourite Mayonnaise is inspired by SpisemedPrice.

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 egg yolk
  • 3 decilitre Canola Oil.
  • 1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoon white wine vinegar
  • The juice of ½ lemon
  • Salt, Price says more than you think. My experience is that it easily goes too salty, which might be fine for dips for fried potatoes, but not suits food like Patatas Aioli
  • Freshly ground pepper

Method :

Price mention that temperature and speed is everything, its true, but I like to stress amount of oil added at a time is more important. Make sure your ingredients are roughly the same temperature. I dislike manual work, so when whisking, I tend to go for my kitchen aid, and not like price recommends “whisk by hand”. Mix all the ingredients together, except the oil. Then add a few drops of oil while your kitchen aid whisks constantly. When the oil combines with the eggs, then add a teaspoon of oil more, wait again until the oil and eggs combine. Repeat this procedure until you got a bigger portion, then start adding a bit more oil at a time. Stop when you got the thickness you find delicious.

The Mayonnaise can be flavoured in endless ways, my favourite is garlic, lime or chili. But don’t be shy, try any other herb to find your own favourites.

Patatas Aioli

Cooking awesome Spanish food doesn’t necessarily mean high expenses in form of exotic ingredients, the potato is much overlooked. My last post entries focused on pasta, and the family is grown tired with it, so in the next few posts I am going to focus my food ventures on potatoes, It allows for cooking while keeping an eye on the budget, without sacrificing flavor or variety

First dish is “Patatas Aioli” which is fried potatoes in a garlic mayonnaise. I am not going to explain how to make mayonnaise in this blog. You can use factory made mayonnaise instead, but it is a poor solution.

This recipe is for 2-3 people, make plenty, I promise you, these potatoes disappeared almost instantaneously, they’re that good.

  • 1 Pound small Potatoes I prefer red, but white potatoes will do.
  • Some Olive Oil, salt and Ground Black Pepper
  • 4 Cloves of Garlic very finely chopped
  • 4 tablespoons of homemade Mayonnaise, “buy” mayonnaise might do, but it’s fake and not as good J
  • Lemon Juice and Dijon Mustard

Clean the uncooked the potatoes and Cut in half or quarters and pour them into a bowl. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil, the 1 teaspoon of salt and ½ a teaspoon of pepper and mix it well. Preheat the oven to 220c, put your potatoes in a single layer on a piece of wax paper. Let the potatoes fry in the oven for 40 minutes, remember to flip them twice. When they are all nice golden brown you are ready for next step. Take the potatoes out of the oven and allow them to cool. Now for the dressing, in a bowl mix ½ teaspoon of salt, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, the finely chopped garlic, 4 tablespoons of homemade mayonnaise, 1 tablespoon of lemon juice and another tablespoon of Dijon mustard. Mix and pour over the cooled potatoes.

I like to dress the up with some freshly torn Parmigiano-Reggiano before serving.

Béchamel Sauce

I’ve always had this love hate towards Béchamel, because it so time consuming, if mostly end up with buying, what they claim to be béchamel, in the local store. Though it might work it’s not the same thing as the real thing. Do take the 25 min it takes to prepare the source from the butter up J

It’s not a hard source to make, but you have to be at it all the time or it surely will burn for you.

Ingredients

  • 5 tablespoons of salted butter
  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • 4 cups milk
  • 2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg (pref. if you can get it with shell, while its flavours is much better preserved)

Directions

As this source easily stick and burns I prefer making it in a non-slick saucepan, gently heat the butter until melted. Add the flour and stir until smooth. You don’t have to use some kind of fancy flour, just use an all-purpose flour. To do the stir, I prefer using wooden spoon because it is less hard on me pans. Do continue another 7 min until the source turns golden in colour.


At the same time heat the milk in a separate pan, make sure do not start boiling. Then gently, little by little add the milk to the source, while whisking continuously until the source is very smooth. Now bring the source to a gently boil for another 10 minutes remember to continue stirring. It’s now almost finished and you can remove the source from the heat. Season with salt, a bit of pepper and nutmeg. From this point you are safe J set the source aside until you need to use it in your lasagne or pasta dish.

Ling Fish Soup

.. Not being a big fan of fish without its original flavour, I seldom put the fish meat into the soup, I much prefer adding it just before serving. This blog is not going to focus on how to make the fish stock. There is plenty recipes for that, or cheat as I do buy the stock as your local fish pusher

Vegetables in the recipe to make the most of what you have on hand as this soup is extremely versatile, I prefer using Parsnip, Red cabbage, Leek, Onions, Tomatoes, Carrot, chopped into 1cm cubes and fried in a Dutch oven. And make simmer until the vegetables flavours is released into the water. Then reduce flavour with salt and pepper.

Remove the vegetables add the fish stock, reduce it and flavour with lime, salt and pepper again. Now add cream, Cognac, Parmesan.

When the soup is almost ready prepare the fish, I prefer to use the Ling, while it has a nice texture and flavour to it. Season it with salt and pepper and bake it in a preheated oven for 15 min at 160c.

I usually like adding squid and fresh finely leek rings to as a final decoration, just before serving

Homemade Pasta

 

Why buy your pasta when you can make your own in 5 min. There is a lot of foolishness around the net with people making pasta by hand do disregard them, they envy us people in the 2100 century. Another point of debate is salt, some put salt in the dough, others just boil the pasta in salty water, ask your inner self if you really care.

 

Lets start, if you want to make food for around 4 people, you will need around 200g of pasta.

Here is the recipe

200g flour (use the cheapest), 2eggs, ¼ teaspoon of salt, ½ teaspoon of olive olie.

Put everything into the mixer, but put the flour into the bowl before the eggs.

Blend it until it starts to collect in chunks. Form the dough into 2 flat buns and we are ready for next step.

If the dough is sticky, do sprinkle them with flour, actually this is very important in every step to come, if sticky… sprinkle with flour.

Now adjust your pasta machine to the biggest interval between the rollers, run your dough through it 6 times, every time fold it, remember to flour if sticky. The result should be a fairly flat dough, silk alike.

Now turn the rollers in a notch, and run the dough though twice. Do now not fold the dough at this step. Repeat this step until you are at the thinnest option on your pasta machine.

Sprinkle your pasta with flour and you are done.

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