AND HERE ARE THE WINNERS!

All names were written in pieces of paper, carefully folded.  The husband picked two names, the first one will get the beautifully crafted wooden board, and the second will get the cookbook, My Paris Kitchen.    Not surprisingly, my beloved managed to pick two gorgeous ladies….. he’s got a magic touch, I suppose…   ;-)

winners

 

Congrats to the winners, and please send me your address info so I can get those babies in the mail for you!

 

 

WHEAT BERRY CARAWAY BREAD

Time running out to enter the Bewitching giveaway… click HERE to join the fun!

WheatBerryCarawayBreadMom and her kids…

This bread was featured by the bloggers at Bread Baking Babes. I do not participate of this group event, but Ilva – from Lucullian Delights – does and when she blogged about this recipe, I made it on the following weekend, no time wasted.  The original recipe from Peter Reinhart called for wild rice and onions, but she decided to use barley and caraway.  I went with a modified version of her modified recipe, keeping the caraway but replacing the barley with wheat berries.  A soft crumb, permeated with just enough crunch with the wheat berries, and that great flavor given by caraway seeds.  You would almost think about rye bread as you savor this bread, since caraway is so often used in European rye concoctions. But it is definitely different.  A wonderful dough to work with, rose like a balloon…. what a great sight this is for a bread baker, whether or not she is a babe…   ;-)

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WHEAT BERRY AND CARAWAY BREAD
(adapted from Ilva’s recipe)

6 cups (765 g) bread flour
2 + 1/4 teaspoons (17 g) salt
2 tablespoons (19 g) instant yeast
1 cup (170 g) cooked wheat berries
1/4 cup (56.5 g) brown sugar
1+1/2 cups (340 g) lukewarm water
1/2 cup (113 g) lukewarm buttermilk
1 Tablespoon caraway seeds
1 egg white, for egg wash (optional)
1 tablespoon water, for egg wash (optional)

The day before baking:
Combine all of the ingredients, except the egg wash, in a mixing bowl. If using a mixer, use the paddle attachment and mix on the lowest speed for 1 minute. If mixing by hand, use a large spoon and stir for 1 minute. The dough should be sticky, coarse, and shaggy. Let the dough rest for 5 minutes. Switch to the dough hook and mix on medium-low speed, or continue mixing by hand, for 4 minutes, adjusting with flour or water as needed to keep the dough ball together. The dough should be soft, supple, and slightly sticky.

Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface. Knead the dough for 2 to 3 minutes, adding more flour as needed to prevent sticking. The dough will still be soft and slightly sticky but will hold together to form a soft, supple ball. Place the dough in a clean, lightly oiled bowl, cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap, and immediately refrigerate overnight or for up to 4 days.

On Baking Day:
Remove the dough from the refrigerator about 2 hours before you plan to bake. Shape the dough into one or more loaves, in any shape you like, free form or in a loaf pan (if using a 5 by 9 inch pan, use 1kg of dough). For sandwich loaves, proof the dough in greased loaf pans. For freestanding loaves and rolls, line a sheet pan with parchment paper or a silicone mat and proof the dough on the pan.

Mist the top of the dough with spray oil and cover loosely with plastic wrap. Let the dough rise at room temperature for 1.5 to 2 hours, until increased to about 1.5 times its original size. In loaf pans, the dough should dome at least 1 inch above the rim. If you’d like to make the rolls more shiny, whisk the egg white and water together, brush the tops of the rolls with the egg wash just before they’re ready to bake.

Heat the oven to 350°F and bake the loaves for 10 to 15 minutes, then rotate the pan. Total baking time is 45 to 55 minutes for loaves, and only 20 to 25 minutes for rolls. The bread is done when it has a rich golden color, the loaf sounds hollow when thumped on the bottom, and the internal temperature is above 185°F in the center.

Cool on a wire rack for at least 20 minutes for rolls or 1 hour for loaves before slicing.

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

Rolls1
Comments:  This recipe makes A LOT of dough…  Peter recommended using only 2 ounces (around 57g) dough per small roll.  My rolls were definitely bigger than that.  Normally I do not weigh dough when shaping. For this recipe I more or less cut the dough in half, shaped one as a large ball, and divided the remaining dough in 6 pieces, eyeballing the process.   For hamburger-type sandwich, they were the perfect size.

shaped
The crumb is super soft, and since I used a reasonably small amount of caraway seeds, the flavor was not overpowering.  I love caraway, but in breads I like it to be a mild presence.  This bread was perfect with our Black Bean Burgers of a recent past…

crumb
FINAL REMARK:  Remember that this bread takes TWO days to prepare.  On the first day you will mix the dough, and place it in the fridge.  Next day you resume shaping and baking.  The fact that the dough can be kept in the fridge for a few days will make it easy to have freshly baked bread on a whim.  Or almost on a whim…

 

I thank Ilva for the inspiration, and Susan for her Yeastspotting venue so I can share this bread with other bread baking “babes’…

 

ONE YEAR AGO: Mexican Focaccia 

TWO YEARS AGOSunny Kamut Salad with Roasted Lemon Vinaigrette

THREE YEARS AGO: Pane de Casa & Crostini

FOUR YEARS AGO: Down-home Dig-in Chili

FIVE YEARS AGO:  Cinnamon Rolls

 

CELEBRATE WEDNESDAY WITH A SPIRAL KICK

When I planned this dinner, I did not think it would turn out so delicious, and definitely not something that could go into my files of “Celebrate Wednesday“.  A simple grilled chicken served with a humble zucchini salad?   What could be so special about that?   Hard to pinpoint a particular reason, but I feel this meal was a gastronomic jackpot: the whole combination of flavors is perfect.  Refreshing, light, and satisfying.  You can change the salad around in lots of ways, as long as you add the dressing a few minutes before serving.  That will make sure the zucchini will get the right texture, losing some of its raw bite.  Fresh mint, shaved celery, shaved fennel, those are some of the ingredients that come to mind as add-ons. The chicken marinade will go with pretty much any protein. Including tofu, if you are so inclined…  ;-)

MisoChickenZucchini

GRILLED MISO CHICKEN
(adapted from Happy Food Happy Home blog)

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 tablespoons Greek yogurt
2 teaspoons miso paste
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 teaspoons honey
juice of 1 lime (2-3 tablespoons)
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/2 tsp black pepper
pinch of salt

Whisk together the marinade ingredients in a small bowl.

Place the chicken in a large ziplock bag and add the marinade. Toss everything around in the bag to coat all the chicken pieces. Marinade for at least 30 minutes and up to two hours.

Grill the chicken using the 7-6-5 method:  seven minutes on the first side, flip the pieces over, grill for 6 more minutes. Turn the grill off without opening the lid, and let the chicken stay inside for 5 minutes. Remove from the grill, let the meat rest for 5 to 10 minutes slightly tented with aluminum foil, slice and serve.

to print the Grilled Miso Chicken recipe, click here

sliced

SPIRALIZED ZUCCHINI AND CUCUMBER SALAD
(from the Bewitching Kitchen, inspired by Skinny Kitchen)

2 zucchini, ends trimmed, cut on a spiral cutter
1/2 English cucumber, end trimmed, cut on a spiral cutter
juice and zest of 1 lemon
1 Tablespoon olive oil or to taste
1 avocado, cut in pieces
handful of grape or cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
fresh cilantro
salt and pepper to taste

Use a spiralizer or a mandolin fitted with a julienne blade and cut the zucchini into very thin, spaghetti-like strands. Do the same for the cucumber, but place it over paper towels to drain excess liquid. To make it easier to serve,  trim the strands cutting with scissors or a sharp knife, so that they are about 8 inches long. Place both veggies in a large serving bowl.  Reserve.

In a small bowl, make a quick emulsion whisking the olive oil and lemon juice, a touch of salt and pepper.  When it’s all emulsified, add the lemon zest.

Drizzle the dressing all over the strands of zucchini, and toss to coat.  Allow it to sit at room temperature for 5 to 10 minutes.  Add the avocado pieces, the tomatoes, toss gently to combine.  Sprinkle cilantro, adjust seasoning, and serve.

ENJOY!

to print the salad recipe, click here

Comments:  First, my apologies for being unable to give immediate credit to the grilled chicken marinade.  I found it in the internet, thought I had bookmarked it, but instead I did a cut and paste of the ingredients and sent to myself by email.  (Palm hits the forehead!)  Since I clear my bookmark history every week, no luck tracking it down. (Head shake in disbelief…) Hopefully a lesson was learned. However, thanks to one of my dear readers, I could retrieve the source, and correct my mistake.  It came from Happy Food Happy Home. Cute name for a blog… ;-) Thank you, Nan, for finding the source for me.

The salad.  Of course, the spiralizer makes it super fun and interesting, but taste should come first, and in this category we also have a winner. However, depending on how watery your cucumber might be, you could run into problems.  One way around it would be spiralizing only the zucchini and adding the cucumber in small pieces together with the avocado & tomatoes. You can salt them very lightly and wait for a few minutes until the salt draws most of the excessive liquid out.  A brief rinse, a brief encounter with paper towels, and voilà: perfect cucumber!   This is harder to do with the strands, so keep this in mind if you try this salad.

The husband verdict: you can make this recipe ANYTIME. It is awesome!  

When you witness a man who loves pasta, rice, and potatoes giving such a compliment to zucchini, you know you got something special going…  As special as offering two recipes in a single post (wink, wink). Almost as special as a Wednesday evening rescued from the boring middle of the week…
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ONE YEAR AGO: Carrot Flan with Greens and Lemon Vinaigrette

TWO YEARS AGO: Granola Bars

THREE YEARS AGO:  Awesome Broccolini

FOUR YEARS AGO:  A Twist on Pesto

FIVE YEARS AGO: Ciabatta: Judging a bread by its holes

 

 

 

SECRET RECIPE CLUB: QUINOA FRIED RICE

Did you miss my Bewitching party? Click here to enter the giveaway… 

The month of June brought with it a ton of activities. School is out, so a lot more work in the lab, my blog turned 5 years old, and the World Cup of Indescribable Ordeal is on.  I used to root for one country only, but now two teams make me shout expletives at referees and goal keepers, as well as scream instructions to the players, fuming like a mad woman because they simply  do not listen. But, let’s leave soccer behind and concentrate on things that don’t have the potential to induce a fatal coronary.  Like Reveal Day of  The Secret Recipe Club, always a pleasure, always something I look forward to. This month I got one of the most entertaining food blogs ever!  Starting with its name, 84th and 3rd. Here’s what JJ, an American living in Sydney has to say about it:

84th & 3rd is an ordinary corner, not particularly remarkable, in the most remarkable city in the world. But it was only meters from that corner that a seed was planted, a dream of doing something that she loves and being able to share it with others. 84thand3rd.com is that something.

She divulges just enough to perk my curiosity, and make me want to be there right now. In fact, Australia is one place I long to visit, and hope that one day our adventures will take us there. When I got my assignment, I thought about taking a quick look at the site, but instead I literally had to drag myself away from the computer, because I could not stop reading. Just to give you a small taste of her writing style, here’s a paragraph from one of her posts, in which she talks about her partner…

.… When I met RJ he used to eat at least 4 slices of white bread a day. Not necessarily as part of a meal mind you, but just because. Toast for breakfast, toast before dinner [no matter what or when dinner was], bread with dinner. Sliced, white, from a plastic bag, every time. It appalled me just a bit – as did putting ketchup/tomato sauce on beef stew but we’ll save that one for later… *waves at RJ* hi mate, yes, I’m talking about you again –

 Isn’t she a hoot?  She also describes herself as someone who “Practices yoga to stay calm[ish], runs to stay sane[ish], and does both to eat cake”… I must say I detect some similarities here, although I would substitute bread for cake.  ;-) So, after spending a lot of time amusing myself with her stories and recipes, I assembled a list of possibilities for this month’s assignment.  Here they are:  Mushroom-quinoa meatballs with Rustic Pasta Sauce, Strawberry Cucumber Coconut-water Slushy,  Rocket Parsley Pepita Pesto,  Spiced Pear & Red Wine Chocolate Cake, Roasted Tomatillo Salsa Verde, and this chocolate tarte that I swear I am making before the month of July is over. Yeah, public commitment, you guys and girls better be ready for it… But now it’s time to reveal the recipe that crossed the finish line of this month’s culinary marathon…

Quinoa Fried Rice
QUINOA FRIED RICE
(slightly modified from 84th & 3rd)

2 cups quinoa, cooked and cooled (I used red quinoa)
a little olive oil
4 slices ginger, sliced into thin strips
1 small Serrano chili, finely diced
1 bunch of cilantro leaves, minced
1/2 yellow bell pepper, diced
large handful green beans, cut into small lengths
2 medium zucchini, diced
3 scallions ,white and light green part only, thinly sliced
1 Tbsp soy sauce
2 tsp sesame oil

Add a small splash of olive oil to the hot pan. Fry ginger and garlic for 30 sec stirring constantly, add chili and cilantro and fry for a further 30 sec.

Add bell pepper and beans, toss or stir for a couple of minutes. Add zucchini and green onions and toss for a couple of minutes more.

Push veggies to edges to make a hole in the center. Drizzle in 2 tsp sesame oil, wait for it to heat up and dump in quinoa. Stir in center of pan for 30 seconds then toss with veggies to mix everything together.

Drizzle in tamari and toss to combine. Serve with extra scallions, and cilantro.

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

Ingredients
Comments: This was absolutely delicious!  As you can read on her original post, this is the type of recipe you can use to clean up your fridge of all those veggies that wave at you when you open it, begging for attention. It is also a perfect use for leftover quinoa, although I cooked some earlier in the day just to have this side dish as our dinner. Asparagus would work great, but really any veggie could work, even chunks of roasted butternut squash, or eggplant.   Just keep the soy, the sesame oil at the end, and don’t leave out the fresh ginger.

Zucchini-side
I close this post with another excerpt from JJ, which expresses exactly how I feel about blogging.

“Blogging is an interesting beast. It is a person sitting in front of a computer expressing things in pictures and words, terribly solitary from the outside peering in… or so you’d think. But when you look a bit closer you realise that many of those people sitting at their computers have formed little communities. Sometimes online, sometimes in person, generally with people they never would have met otherwise, and it really doesn’t matter how the community works or where it came from but simply that it is there.”
(JJ, from 84th & 3rd)

That’s it, folks.  Could not have said it better!  JJ, it was great to receive your blog as my assignment this  month, I will be following you from now on, looking forward to your adventures! As usual, if you want to check what my fellow secret bloggers cooked up this month, poke the frog below. She is cute and loves attention…

ONE YEAR AGO: Carrot Flan with Greens and Lemon Vinaigrette
TWO YEARS AGO: The Secret Recipe Club: Granola Bars
THREE YEARS AGO:  Awesome Broccolini
FOUR YEARS AGO:  A Twist on Pesto
FIVE YEARS AGO: Ciabatta: Judging a bread by its holes

SALMON SOUS-VIDE WITH MISO-MAPLE GLAZE

I am very picky about salmon, for my taste it should not be cooked even slightly past medium-rare. Our default method is grilling, and all credit should go to Phil for hitting it perfectly every single time.  I don’t even try to grill it myself, when it’s my turn to cook dinner and I happen to be craving a nice piece of salmon, I bat my eyelashes in his direction, and he cooks it for me…. Now let’s consider the sous-vide approach: you can choose the temperature that takes the fish to that exact point you love the most, seal a bag, press a few buttons, and call it a day. No need to bat eyelashes! HA!

Due to the popularity of seafood in sous-vide cooking, one can easily spend hours comparing methods, recipes, and finishing techniques. A gazillion recipes out there.  I did quite a bit of research on the subject before settling on this recipe.  It rewarded us with a perfectly cooked filet, topped with a salty-sweet glaze of miso and soy.   Of course, if you don’t have a sous-vide you can still cook it using other methods, roasting in the oven, grilling,  then spread the glaze and run the meat under the broiler to give it that healthy glow and intensify the flavors.

SalmonSousVide1

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SALMON SOUS-VIDE WITH MISO-MAPLE GLAZE
(slightly modified from Cooking Madly)
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450g (1 pound) fresh salmon
500g (2 cups) water
25g (3 tablespoons) salt
20g (1/4 cup) sugar
70g (1/4 cup) white miso
60g (1/4 cup) maple syrup
14g (1 tablespoon) red wine vinegar
1g (1/2 teaspoon) smoked paprika
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Whisk together water, salt, and sugar until dissolved. Prepare salmon by removing skin (optional) and pin bones and cover with brine. Refrigerate for 2 hours.
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While salmon is brining, whisk together miso, maple syrup, red wine vinegar, and smoked paprika in a small bowl.
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Discard brine and thoroughly rinse salmon. Place in a vacuum seal pouch with ½ of the miso sauce and seal. Cook sous-vide for 20 minutes at 122°F. Start broiler preheating at the same time.
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When salmon is cooked, open bag and discard liquid. Place salmon on a baking sheet, brush a small amount of sauce over the top, and broil until the top starts to brown.
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Finish with remaining sauce and serve.
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ENJOY!
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to print the recipe, click here
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ingredients

Comments:
  At first I was a bit skeptical that brining would be necessary, since the main reason for it is retaining moisture. In my mind, that would not be a concern when cooking sous-vide. But in fact there is a rationale behind it.  Have you noticed that sometimes a white liquid forms on the surface of salmon as it cooks?  That is albumin,  a protein that sometimes gets pushed out during cooking. Some methods are more prone to this sipping of albumin, poaching being one of them.  There is nothing bad as far as taste is concerned, but if you want to avoid that, brining works best.
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Obviously, in the name of proper scientific conduct, I should have cooked two pieces of fish - one brined, one not – to compare the effect of brining on overall texture and taste. But sometimes it feels nice to leave the scientific approach at work, and not take cooking too seriously.  That’s what I did…   ;-)
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composite
This marinade is spectacular, and I have also used it on pork tenderloin. I love how just a few simple ingredients can perform magic: miso is like nothing else, vinegar cuts the sweetness, smoked paprika heats things up, and maple makes my heart sing.  At the risk of repeating myself, if you do not have a sous-vide gadget, simply cook your salmon the way you like it, and use this marinade to brush the surface at the end of cooking. It caramelizes beautifully…  It might just make your heart sing too…  ;-)
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ONE YEAR AGO: Avocado “Hummus”.
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TWO YEARS AGO: Moving is not for sissies!
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THREE YEARS AGO:
 Awesome Broccolini
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FOUR YEARS AGO
Pizza! Pizza!
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FIVE YEARS AGO: 
 From Backyard to Kitchen

THE BEWITCHING KITCHEN TURNS FIVE!

IT’S GIVEAWAY TIME!
UPDATE: time’s up, comments shutdown for this post

It’s been five years and 688 posts. I enjoyed blogging from the beginning, and then it got better as the years passed. Now I’m more relaxed about it, I suppose. Looking back,  I went through a few phases that are maybe not obvious to you. For instance, in the second year I became slightly obsessed with getting special serving dishes, plates and small bowls “for the blog.”   I also flirted with the idea of a fancy camera and photography classes, until I realized that’s not what my blog should be about. I assembled all the extra stuff, donated it, and felt great.  Our life has little to do with perfectly set tables and carefully placed food props.  “…not that there’s anything wrong with that!”   ;-)

The Bewitching Kitchen revolves around our desire to eat well while working jobs that demand our full attention, even beyond the daily 9-to-5.  So, most stuff I post reflects the need for simple dishes that are reasonably quick to prepare, but flavorful and fun to eat.  I have neither goals nor expectations for the blog, except to keep it going as long as I enjoy it.  If this site can motivate busy people to cook, eat well, and  - I bet you knew this was coming – exercise often, so much the better!

Five years went by so quickly.  This blogging milestone demanded that I face my own cooking demons. I baked a cake!  What’s even more amazing  is that it involved creaming TWO types of sugar with butter.  Can you imagine that? It will take me a while to recover …

Apple Spice Cake1

APPLE SPICE BUNDT CAKE WITH RUM GLAZE
(slightly modified from Alton Brown, Best Thing I Ever Made)

for the cake:
12 ounces unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus extra for the pan
15 1/2 ounces all-purpose flour, plus extra for the pan
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground grains of paradise
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/8 teaspoon ground star anise
8 ounces granulated sugar
7 ounces light brown sugar
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 Granny Smith apples, about 8 ounces each, 1/4-inch dice
3 ounces walnuts, chopped
1 1/2 ounces crystallized ginger, finely chopped

 for the glaze:
6 ounces powdered sugar
4 teaspoons dark rum
Turbinado sugar, for sprinkling

Heat the oven to 325 degrees F. Lightly butter a Bundt pan and dust with flour, tapping out the excess.

Whisk the flour, baking soda, salt and spices together in a large bowl.

Combine the butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer and, using the paddle attachment, beat on medium until the mixture is pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes.

Whisk together the eggs and vanilla and slowly add, with the mixer on low-speed, to the butter and sugar. Add the flour one-third at a time and beat on low just until combined after each addition. Stir in the apples, pecans and ginger.

Transfer the batter to the prepared bundt pan; the batter is thick and will almost fill the pan. Bake for 75 minutes, rotating the pan after 30 minutes. The cake is done when it pulls away from the sides of the pan, springs back when pressed and the internal temperature reaches 205 degrees F.

Cool the cake in the pan on a rack for 30 minutes. Invert and remove the cake from the pan. Cool completely on the rack before glazing.

Combine the powdered sugar, rum and 1 tablespoon water in a small mixing bowl and whisk until smooth. Pour the glaze onto the bundt cake and sprinkle with turbinado sugar. Let the glaze set for at least 30 minutes before serving.

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

 

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Comments: This cake was part of the show “Best Thing I Ever Made” on FoodTV Network a few years ago. Ever since I watched that episode and listened to Alton Brown describe his rationale behind the recipe, I wanted to make it. First, I love a cake that goes in the direction of speculoos with all those delicious spices. And this cake had two things that appealed even more to me: the inclusion of grains of paradise, and the omission of cinnamon.  Grains of paradise (shown on the top left of the composite photo) have a very unique flavor, so I was quite intrigued by their use in this cake. And cinnamon is so common when apple cakes are concerned, that NOT having it immediately called my attention.  In fact, Alton made a specific point of not adding cinnamon to the batter, to avoid taking his masterpiece in the direction of apple pie.  Brilliant move!

The whole thing works beautifully together, just as he promised:  chunks of apple permeate the cake, a tender crunch of walnuts (he used pecans, by the way), and the assertive crunch of crystallized ginger.  The delicate shell of the icing with rum (barely noticeable) is perked up by the sprinkle of turbinado sugar, not to be omitted…   For my taste, this cake is close to perfection.  I did not have that many issues to bake it, which is a bit unusual. Ok, later I had to wash some dried up cake batter from my right eyebrow, but that’s nothing compared to what cake baking has done to me in the past. Still, below you see a photo of the state of our kitchen midway through this labor of love.  Trust me, I never make this mess, only when I’m working on a cake. It is absolutely pathetic.  Please notice the place I chose for resting the bowl with all the flour.  Why would I pick the most unstable place ever? Let’s not waste time trying to understand it. It is cake. And it is me. Capisci?

kitchen,jpg

And now…  GIVEAWAY TIME!   I am so thrilled to celebrate my 5th year in the blogosphere that I am offering two gifts. First, a wooden board beautifully crafted by Michael (link to his site), who has been featured on IMK in the recent past.  He was actually quite busy with some trips but managed to make time in his schedule to have this board ready for my giveaway. Thank you, Michael!

board

The second gift, is a copy of the latest cookbook by David Lebovitz,  My Paris Kitchen…. If you are familiar with his style, you’ll know this book is a must-have.  Paris is obviously a place very dear to my heart, it’s where Phil and I met, and where we spent a sabbatical year together later. Visiting often is not possible, but cooking French food is one way to keep the memories alive.  This book is a virtual passport to the city we love.  To enter the giveaway, just leave a comment on this post.

pariskitchen

Everyone is welcome to enter, I will draw two names on July 1st, 2014 an announce the winners right then. Entries will close on June 30rd at midnight.  Good luck, and a big thank you for all who make the interactions in comments, private emails, and Facebook so much fun!  I invite you all to join me in the journey of my 6th Bewitching year! There will be bread, sous-vide, and pies. There will be macarons, dog tales, and when the mood strikes, pull-ups, push-ups, and sit-ups.   Maybe this will be the year I get to finally conquer the crane pose that I’ve been working on for as long as I’ve been blogging….

It’s the road that matters, not the destination. I firmly believe that.   ;-)

sunsetwalk1

ONE YEAR AGO: The Bewitching Kitchen turns Four!

TWO YEARS AGO: The Bewitching Kitchen Turns Three!

THREE YEARS AGO:  The Bewitching Kitchen turns Two!

FOUR YEARS AGO:  Bewitching Birthday!

FIVE YEARS AGO: Welcome to my blog!

 

PUMPKIN-CHIPOTLE & KALE PIZZA

For the past 8 years I’ve been using the same recipe for our pizza dough, one that I blogged about in the very early days of the Bewitching Kitchen.  But every once in a while, I get tempted by a recipe described as “the best you’ll ever taste“, “a crust that will change your life“, or some other irresistible statement. Case in point: a recipe from Roberta’s, a restaurant in Brooklyn, NYC.  According to the description in the New York Times,  “it provides a delicate, extraordinarily flavorful dough that will last in the refrigerator for up to a week”.  Lots of rave reviews online by many people who tried it.  So, I got the required flour (Italian type 00) to be combined with regular all-purpose, and went to work.  I chose a very unusual topping for this experiment, combining kale and pumpkin, after reading this post by Joanne from Eats Well with Others, one of the food blogs I follow very closely.  She cooks strictly vegetarian dishes, but trust me, with her cooking no one would miss the meat. For her version, she used burrata, but I had to settle for mozzarella. No major harm done, it turned out delicious!

PumpkinKalePizza2

ROBERTA’S PIZZA DOUGH
(published by The New York Times)

** I doubled this recipe and made three pizzas **

153 grams 00 flour (1 cup + 1 tablespoon)
153 grams all-purpose flour (1 cup + 1 tablespoon + 2 teaspoons)
8 grams fine sea salt (1 teaspoon)
2 grams active dry yeast (3/4 teaspoon)
4 grams extra-virgin olive oil (1 teaspoon)

In a large mixing bowl, combine flours and salt.

In a small mixing bowl, stir together 200g lukewarm water (about 1 cup), the yeast and the olive oil, then pour this mixture into the flour.  Knead with your hands a few minutes until well combined, then let the dough rest for 15 minutes.

Knead the dough by hand for 3 minutes. Cut into two equal pieces and shape each into a ball. Place on a floured surface,  cover with a cloth slightly moist with water, and let rise for 3 to 4 hours at room temperature. You can also refrigerate it for 8 to 24 hours (or even several days).  If you work from cold dough, let it sit at room temperature for 45 minutes before shaping it.

Place each dough on a floured board and use your fingers to stretch it.  Top and bake on a very hot oven.

to print the dough recipe, click here
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Dough


PUMPKIN-CHIPOTLE & KALE PIZZA
(slightly adapted from Eats Well with Others)

1 (15 oz) canned pumpkin puree
28 oz fire-roasted diced tomatoes
2 tsp chipotle chili powder
salt and black pepper, to taste
8 oz mozzarella cheese
1 bunch lacinato kale, destemmed and coarsely chopped
1/4 cup Parmigiano cheese

Heat oven to 500 (or higher). Alternatively, you can use your grill covering the rack with quarry tiles.

In a food processor, process together the pumpkin, fire-roasted tomatoes, chipotle chili powder, and salt and black pepper until pureed. Set aside.

Steam the kale in the microwave until wilted.

Spread enough pumpkin tomato sauce over the dough so that it covers it. You will have plenty of sauce leftover, use it for pasta or new fun experiments with pizza toppings. Sprinkle the kale over the sauce. Top with slices of the mozzarella and a sprinkling of parmesan cheese. Bake for 10 minutes or until done to your liking.

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

composite

Comments: As far as dough goes, I think my default recipe still wins…  This was a nice enough recipe, good texture and crunch, but after making Fine Cooking version countless times, I am so used to it I don’t even have to look at the recipe. Plus, all the variations I make incorporating a little spelt flour here, a little whole wheat there, never disappointed me.  Still, it was fun to try something different.

As to the kale and pumpkin topping: winner!  Incorporating pumpkin in the tomato sauce mellows the natural acidity of the tomato, and of course the chipotle flavor doesn’t hurt either…  Great pizza, too bad we did not find burrata, but any nice melting cheese will work, of course.

We also combined the kale in one pizza with players such as crumbled chorizo & sautéed mushrooms. Super tasty too.  Pizza dinners are always fun and make any evening feel special. Plus, what’s better than leftover pizza next day?

ChorizoKale

 Joanne, thanks for the constant inspiration, whenever I am in the mood for some spectacular take on a vegetarian meal, I know which blog to turn to…  And your macarons have not left my mind, I am still gathering my strength to attempt those…  ;-)

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