November 30, 2010

Spent Grain Bread

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Love bread? (Heck yeah!) Love a really hearty bread? (You know it!)

Love beer? (Are you kidding me!) Homebrew? (I've dabbled.)

Want to use those spent grains instead of just throwing them out? I mean you could feed them to livestock or grow mushrooms or even make a kind of spent grain granola. But forget that! Let's make the best damn homemade bread ever with it!

Homemade bread. Is there anything more wholesome? Is there anything that gives you such a feeling of accomplishment? And it feeds you for days!

One of the most important things is to make sure you have enough yeast and that it's still alive. And let the dough rise and double completely - even if it takes 4 hours. This will make for a lighter, airier bread. Enjoy!

Spent Grain Bread

Yield: 1 loaf
  • 3 cups spent grain, wet
  • 1/5 cup warm water
  • 1 tablespoon yeast
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 3-5 cups flour (as needed)
  • dash salt
Cooking Directions
  1. Proof yeast in mixture of water and sugar (make a starter) for 45 minutes to one hour.
  2. Put spent grain in large mixer bowl and add salt. Mix in starter, and start adding flour one cup at a time to start.
  3. Keep adding flour until the dough is smooth and no longer sticky (very important).
  4. Place dough in a large bowl, cover with a clean towel, and let rise until doubled. Then punch down dough.
  5. Form into a round or oblong loaf and place on cookie sheet with a thin layer of corn meal under the loaf.
  6. Allow loaf to double in size, bake in 375 F oven 30 to 40 minutes until browned and the loaf sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom.
  7. Let cool before cutting.
  8. Another option is to separate the dough into two loaves after it is smooth and no longer sticky. It can be baked in bread pans more easily this way.

November 25, 2010

Golden Fluffy Cornbread

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Happy Thanksgiving! It's that time of year again. Time when holidays start overlapping with each and people seem to get hungrier and hungrier as Turkey Day approaches. So to ease some of that hunger, my girlfriend made a wonderfully golden and fluffy cornbread for you all.

It's the perfect amount of fluff and grit, moist and light, and sweet enough that it doesn't need anything but those who like honey with their cornbread can still add a bit. I highly recommend featuring this dish along with your Black Turkey, green bean casserole, garlic smashed potatoes, and roasted butternut squash. Top it off with some Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies too. Enjoy!

Golden Fluffy Cornbread

Yield: Serves 14-20
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
Cooking Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Spray or lightly grease a scone pan or muffin pan. A 9 inch round cake pan can also be used.
  2. In a large bowl, combine flour, cornmeal, sugar, salt and baking powder. Stir in egg, milk and vegetable oil until well combined. Pour batter into prepared pan.
  3. Bake in preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean.

November 19, 2010

Easy Spinach and Egg Pizza

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I really like making pizzas. I can be as creative as I want to be, and that's kind of liberating in a way. I mean you can dream up so many different types of pizzas, healthy pizzas at that, which you'd never find in any restaurant. It's fantastic.

This one here is a completely sauceless pizza. Take some dough, lay on the spinach, add some zucchini and squash, roasted garlic and green onion, sauteed onion, a crumble of ricotta, some scrambled egg, and presto! Divine. Enjoy!

November 16, 2010

Pesce Spada alla Siciliana (Sicilian Swordfish)

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Swordfish can be expensive at a restaurant, right? At least it always is when I see it. So when I saw swordfish steaks on sale for $3.49/lb, I was all over them. I think I bought 6!

Trancia di Pesce Spada, otherwise known as Sicilian Swordfish, is so amazing. I guess it was developed by Sicilian fishermen after a good haul of swordfish. And thank goodness they did because this fish is moist. The olive oil really helps with that, and the oregano and garlic blend really well into it.

We served this with a side of Buitoni Wild Mushroom Agnolotti (awesome, I'll post on this later) and some pan-roasted corn, fresh off the cob.

What I'll do with the other two is probably some sort of miso marinade like the Miso Black Cod. Won't be as light, but damned if it won't be tasty nonetheless.

How do you like to make your swordfish?

November 10, 2010

World's Best Lasagna?

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The world's best lasagna, you say? Perhaps you're having trouble imagining a lasagna better than your grandma's. Well let me assure you, this lasagna is better!

I mean as far as traditional lasagnas go. I'm sure fancy veggie ones or ones that incorporate a whole slew of non-traditional fancinesses are fantastic. BUT this is the world's best traditional lasagna!

The secret is in the sauce. It takes the longest time to prepare, and a lot of love and simmering and seasoning goes into it, so it has to be good. It doesn't hurt when there are top-notch sausages and beef involved too. Plus the delicate mozzarella. Mmm yeah. If you don't believe me, try it yourself. Fair enough? Enjoy!

November 04, 2010

Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies

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Wow! These cookies are good. So good. Smack yourself across the face good.

Love pumpkin? Love oats? Love cookies? Who doesn't, right? Then you will go bat-crazy over these.

They're the perfect size for enjoying any time. Small enough to feel like you haven't overindulged yet their small stature keeps calling you back for more.

They're the best cookies I've ever made, and possibly the best thing I've ever baked. Perfection in every bite. If you have a go at them, tell me what you thought and if you made any changes. Enjoy!