Thursday, 2 January 2020

Deli-Style Rye Bread with Caraway Seeds

This recipe is from the book "Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day"
by Jeff Hertzberg and Zoe Francois.  If you really enjoy this bread, pick up the book for more details and wonderful recipes to try.

This bread is called "Deli-Style Rye".

The bread dough recipes take 5 minutes to mix in a container as shown.  There is no kneading.  The bread rises two times - once just after it's made, and second rising just before baking.  The beauty of this recipe is you make the recipe (which makes 4 loaves) and you store it in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. Then you can bake a loaf when you want fresh bread every few days.

Makes four 1-pound loaves. This recipe can be doubled or halved.

Equipment needed for the best crust.
1 Pizza Peel (Wooden with a handle)
1 baking stone


3 cups of lukewarm water
1 1/2 tablespoons of granulated yeast
1 1/2 tablespoons of salt (I cut this down to 2 teaspoons)
1 1/2 tablespoons of caraway seeds, plus more for sprinkling on the top
1 cup of rye flour
5 1/2 cups of unbleached all-purpose flour
Cornmeal for pizza peel (flat wooden paddle the dough rises on)

Cornstarch wash (to brush over the top)
Using a fork, blend 1/2 teaspoon with a small amount of water to form a paste.
Add 1/2 cup of water and whisk with a fork.
Microwave or boil until the mixture appears glassy, about 30-60 seconds on high.
It will keep in the refrigerator for two weeks.


1.  Mixing and storing the dough:  Mix the yeast, salt, and caraway seeds with the water in a 5-quart bowl, or lidded (not airtight) food container.

2.  Mix the remaining dry ingredients without kneading, using a wooden spoon.  You can also use a food processor with a dough attachment (14-cup capacity), or a heavy duty stand mixer with a dough hook.

3.  Cover (not airtight) and allow to rest at room temperature until the dough rises and collapses (or flattens on the top), approximately 2 hours.

4.  The dough can be used immediately after the initial rise, though it is easier to handle when cold.  Refrigerate in a lidded (not airtight) container and use over the next 14 days.

5.  On baking day, dust the surface of the refrigerated dough with flour and cut off a 1-pound (grapefruit-size) piece.  Dust the piece with more flour and quickly shape it into a ball by stretching the surface of the dough around to the bottom on all four sides, rotating the ball a quarter-turn as you go.  Elongate the ball into an oval-shaped loaf.  Allow the dough to rest and rise on a cornmeal-covered pizza peel for 40 minutes. Use a good quantity of cornmeal to cover the peel so the dough doesn't stick when you are sliding it off onto the baking stone.

6.  Twenty minutes before baking time, preheat the oven to 450F, with the baking stone placed on the middle rack.  Place an empty broiler tray on any other shelf that won't interfere with the rising bread.

7.  Using a pastry brush, paint the top crust with the cornstarch wash and then sprinkle with additional caraway seeds. Slash with deep parallel cuts across the loaf, using a serrated bread knife.

8.  Slide the loaf from the pizza peel, directly onto the hot stone. Pour 1 cup of hot tap water into the broiler tray, and quickly close the oven door.  Bake for about 25-30 minutes, or until deeply browned and firm. Smaller or larger loaves will require adjustments in baking time.

9.  Allow to cool before slicing or eating.

Wednesday, 1 January 2020

Stir Fried Brussels sprouts with Peppers

Serves 4

One package of Brussels Sprouts - about 3-4 per person, sliced
1 red pepper
1 yellow or orange pepper
2 TBS olive oil
Salt & pepper
1/2 tsp fresh thyme
1 clove of garlic, sliced


To prepare the sprouts, cut off the root end and remove the outer leaves.
Slice each one into about 4 slices (1/4" wide).

Heat a medium saucepan.  Add the olive oil. Saute the garlic for 1 minute.
Add the peppers and sliced brussels sprouts. Add the fresh thyme.
Stir fry about 4-5 minutes till sports are lightly browned as shown.
Serve while they are still firm and bright green in color.

Salt & pepper.

Note:  Brussels Sprouts can be eaten raw in a salad. Just slice them thinly (1/8")  and add them to your favorite salad.

Vegan Chili

This is a super easy recipe which can be ready in 1/2 hour. The 'meat' used in this recipe from "Beyond Meat" a meat substitute made from soy. So you don't need to cook it a long time.


Serves 4

1 lb of Ground Meat from Beyond Meat
2 TBS olive oil
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 14 oz can of black beans, drained & rinsed
1 14 oz can of chopped tomatoes
2 cups of tomato sauce (Rao or Michael's of Brooklyn)
1/4 cup water
1 tsp of chili seasoning
salt & pepper
2 TBS chopped parsley


Heat a medium sauce pan, and add the olive oil.  Saute the onion about 6 minutes till translucent.  Add the vegan meat and saute till brown.  Add the chili seasoning and stir.

Add the chopped tomatoes, water, tomato sauce and beans.  Bring to a boil and let simmer about 10 minutes.
Add salt & pepper to taste.

Serve in a bowl or cup and garnish with chopped parsley.

Mushroom Risotto

This recipe can be made with Vegan ingredients, or regular cheese, depending on your preference.
The mushrooms can also be interchanged - either used a mix of shiitake, button, crimini, or just one variety. The mushroom broth was really great, but if you can't find it, just use a vegetable broth.


Serves 4 

2- 3  TBS olive oil 
1 1/2 Cups Carnaroli or Arborio Rice 
32 oz Mushroom or Vegetable Broth 
1/4 cup of chopped onions or shallots
1 - 8oz package of Cremini mushrooms, or mixed mushrooms 
3/4 cups of parmesan cheese, or vegan parmesan cheese 
salt & pepper 
1/4 cup chopped parsley 
1 TBS chopped chives 

In a small saucepan, heat the mushroom or vegetable broth and simmer to keep warm. 

Heat a medium saucepan on medium high.  Add the olive oil, and sauce the onion till translucent (about 3 minutes).  Add the rice and continue to saute. Ladle the broth into the rice and stir. Once it has been incorporated into the risotto, add more - one ladle at a time. Stir occasionally. 

Meanwhile, heat a medium pan to medium high and add 1 tbs olive oil.  Sauce the mushrooms, with salt & pepper until they are done, and browned. Keep aside to add to the risotto later. 

Once the risotto is 'al dente' - about 20 minutes, add the last ladle of broth. At this point, add the cooked mushrooms and stir till the broth is absorbed, but not too dry.  
Remove the risotto from the stove and add the parmesan or vegan cheese.  Stir till combined. 
Top with freshly grated parmesan or vegan cheese as well. Top with chopped chives and parsley. 
Serve immediately. 

Elise's Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Elise makes these potatoes and they'll be a little different every time depending on how you like them. You can vary the garlic, cheese (or vegan cheese) to your liking.


Serves 4

4 large white potatoes, peeled and cut into quarters
salt & pepper
2-3 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
1/4 cup of milk or cream (omit for vegan)
2 tablespoons of sour cream (or vegan cream cheese - like Kite Hill brand)
1/4 cup grated orange cheddar cheese (or vegan grated cheese)
2 TBS butter (omit for Vegan)
1 TBS chopped green onions or chives


Peel and garlic cloves and mince them.  Set aside.

Peel potatoes and cut them into 2" pieces. Add to a pot of cold water.  Bring to a boil and cook on Medium - Low till done. (about 20 minutes).  Test with a fork to make sure they are just cooked (not too hard, but not falling apart).  Drain.

Add the butter, garlic, sour cream or milk, and cheese. Cover to let the cheese melt, about 2 minutes. Mash with a potato masher till smooth. Taste and add salt and pepper, or more garlic as needed.
Sprinkle with the chives or green onions and serve.

Sunday, 28 July 2019

Rosemary - Lemon Nuts

Rosemary - Lemon Nuts
This recipe is from our good friend Kathy from Saint Paul, MN.  They make a nice hostess gift at Christmas packaged in cellophane bags with a ribbon.  They are delicious!


1 pound (450-500g) unsalted mixed nuts (walnuts, pecans, and cashews)
2 Tbsp maple syrup
2 Tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
½ tsp cumin
1 Tbsp white sesame seeds
Zest of 1 lemon (use a micro plane to zest the lemon)
1 to 2 tsp kosher salt (depending on how salty you like them)


1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
    Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Mix the nuts in a large bowl.
3. Combine the chopped rosemary, cumin, sesame seeds, lemon zest and kosher salt in a small bowl and mix until fully combined.
4. Add the maple syrup to the nut mix and toss until nuts are fully coated.
5. Once the nuts are fully covered with maple syrup, add the rosemary mixture on teaspoon at a time, mixing each time, to ensure that it is evenly distributed.
6. Pour the nut mixture onto the prepared baking sheet.
 One recipe will fit on a cookie sheet with sides.
7. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes; stirring every six minutes. Cool.
8. Store in an airtight container for up to one week. Or, refrigerate to store for a longer period.

Sunday, 7 July 2019

Orzo Salad with Chicken or Shrimp

Orzo Salad with Roasted Chicken
This salad recipe is from my friend Annie.  You can use a cooked chicken, purchased from the grocery store, or 2 barbecued chicken breasts.  For a variation you can substitute grilled shrimp.
This salad can also be vegetarian or used as a side salad (without the chicken/shrimp) for a lamb or beef dinner. For a vegan salad, use tofu instead of feta and substitute cauliflower or jack fruit for the chicken.

Serves 4 (can be doubled) for 8


8 oz of orzo (uncooked)
3 cups of chicken broth or vegetable broth
1 cup of red & yellow grape tomatoes, halved
3 1/2 oz of feta cheese (1/2 package) cut into 1/2-inch cubes
(about 3/4 cup)
1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped
1/2 cup green onions, chopped
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
1 cup chopped fresh spinach, stems removed
2 roasted red peppers, skin removed, chopped *
2 cups of cooked chicken or shrimp

1/8 cup red wine vinegar
1 TBS fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp honey
1/4 cup olive oil


To make the dressing, whisk the vinegar, lemon juice and honey in a small bowl.  Gradually whisk in the oil.  Season with salt & pepper.  The dressing can be made 2 days ahead.  Cover & chill.

Bring the broth to a boil in a large heavy saucepan.  Stir in the orzo, reduce the heat to medium. Cover partially and boil 9-11 minutes, stirring occasionally until tender, but still firm. Drain.  Transfer to a large wide bowl, tossing frequently until cool.

Mix in the tomatoes, feta, basil, spinach, red peppers and green onions.  Add the vinaigrette and toss to coat.  Season with salt & pepper. (Can be made 2 hours ahead.)   Top with the chicken or shrimp.  Let stand a room temperature to serve.  Sprinkle with pine nuts before serving.

* You can use roasted red peppers from a jar.