butterscotchblastoff

Kick start your day with a good breakfast

Quick & Easy Herb Focaccia Rolls

Happy Spring! I’m actually not reeeeeeallllly ready yet to give up my turtlenecks and mittens, and you can see why.

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We are so lucky not to have had Chicago’s brutal cold earlier this year and the Midwest’s horrific flooding now, but it’s still raw, so I let some fresh herbs work their magic this morning to bring a vibrant Mediterranean warmth to my kitchen.

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The recipe is from Taste of Home What Can I Make In My… Instant Pot, Air Fryer, Waffle Iron & More, written to be made in a muffin tin. But this dough is so wet and sticky, I used the option of a glass 13×9 pan. Much, much easier! The bottom has a delicious crunch to it. A “Molto Grazie!” to Linda Schend of Kenosha, Wisconsin (whose spring, no doubt, is a whole lot rawer than ours!).

Prep: 15 mins + rising           Bake: 20 mins       Makes 1 1/2 dozen

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 pkg. (1/4 oz.) quick-rise yeast

2 Tbsp. minced fresh thyme, divided

2 Tbsp. minced fresh rosemary, divided

1 Tbsp. sugar

1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt, divided

1 1/2 cups warm water (120 to 130 degrees)

6 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided

  1. Combine flour, yeast, 1 Tbsp. thyme, 1 Tbsp. rosemary, sugar and 1 tsp. salt. Add the water and 2 Tbsp. oil; beat 1 minute (the dough will be very sticky).
  2. Divide dough among 18 greased muffin cups. Let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 30 minutes. [Or spread dough in a greased 13×9 pan and let rise.]
  3. Preheat over to 375 degrees. In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, stir together remaining seasonings and oil just until herbs are fragrant and oil is hot, about 1 1/2 minutes. Remove from heat; cool.
  4. Gently spoon cooled herb mixture over each roll [or pan]. Bake until golden brown 20-25 minutes [or 25-30 minutes for the pan].

(c) 2019 RDA Enthusiast Brands LLC

 

 

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Happy St. Patrick’s Day

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Not hard to guess what’s on the menu this morning: Irish Soda Bread from the Brooklyn Bread Lab in honor of the grit and talent of the Irish and Irish-Americans who made New York City such an energetic, productive city.

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And the end result: Light and sweet! The dough is very shaggy, so keep your hands well floured as you incorporate the raisins and shape the loaf.  I cut an X into the top to ensure it cooks through.

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup sugar

1 1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt

1 tsp. fresh orange zest

1/2 tsp. baking soda

3 tbsp. butter (chilled, cubed)

1 cup buttermilk

1 cup raisings

Sugar in the raw to garnish

Preheat over to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, add flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, orange zest, and baking soda. Add butter and pinch into flour until pea-size pieces are formed. Add buttermilk and stir with a spoon until dough begins to form. Add raisins and word dough with hands until mixture is fully combined. Grease a lined sheet tray. Form round dough ball in tray center. Flatten dough ball until it’s 1 1/2 inches thick. Sprinkle loaf with raw sugar. Bake for 40 minutes. Cool before cutting.

So I’m off to the parade and a pint at my local. I’ve had many a raucous time at St. Paddy’s Day celebrations in my past, so this one can be quiet for a change. I saw a notice for a Sober St. Pat’s party and I thought, “Hey, maybe…” and then I said, “Nah.”

I’ll be thinking about Donegal, my favorite part of the Auld Country. You can see why.

 

 

 

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Savory Puff Pastry Tart

An evening to myself can be dinner on a tray in front of Netflix or a relaxed, indulgent treat. Tonight? The treat.

I concocted a savory tart out of frozen puff pastry, goat cheese, caramelized onions, chicken, and fresh rosemary.

I lit the candles, turned on one of my favorite CDs (the soundtrack to a romantic comedy with Meg Ryan and Kevin Kline called “French Kiss”), and sat down with an advance reading copy of Ruth Reichl’s Gourmet memoir, Save Me the Plums.

I savored Reichl’s colorful and touching writing, the jaunty French music, the soft light, the flakes of pastry and smears of cheese, the leisure to sit here as long as I felt like, the quiet when the CD ended.

On a Monday night, with the rest of the work week to come, I treated myself the way I would a guest, with love and respect. Hostess and guest in one…perfect together.

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