This was the first recipe I used the new oven (or at least the oven portion) on, and man, I cannot explain the joys of having an oven that doesn’t run constantly hot, cooks well, and also is not at risk of setting itself on fire every time it gets above 400. 

This sauce is perfect with farmer’s market blueberries, a splash of a good red wine (I used leftover Cupcake Winery Red Velvet from the Kahlua cherries), and some high quality vanilla extract. I’m gong to be making some vanilla custard to go with this, and this would also go great with ice cream, too, off the top of my head. Either way, it’s summer in a sauce. 

Roasted Red Wine Blueberry Sauce

Ingredients

  • 2 c fresh blueberries
  • a splash of red wine (my red of choice is Cupcake Winery’s Red Velvet)
  • a splash of vanilla extract
  • 2 T sugar

Combine all ingredients in a baking dish, heat oven to 400 and then roast for twenty minutes. The original recipe recommends pulling it out halfway through and giving them a stir, but it worked just fine even when I didn’t. Once your sauce is done, you might want to smash the berries a bit with the back of your spoon, but otherwise, you’re going to have an amazing smelling sauce that you can use with just about everything.

This is the first of many new recipes from one of my favorite new cookbooks, The Cheesemonger’s Kitchen. This is also the first recipe I’ve ever had to order cheese online for (no one around me sells caciocavallo). You may have to do that too, if you don’t have a good Italian store by you.  It’s similar to provolone, but made with a blend of cow and sheep’s milk, and has a sharp, salty taste to it.  Fried cheese on its own is wonderful, but the way this is made, it’s even better.

Fried Caciocavallo
Lasts five lunches as a side

Ingredients

  • .25 c extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 lb Caciocavallo cheese, sliced about .75 in thick (see pic 1)
  • red wine vinegar
  • several sprigs fresh oregano
  • black pepper

Heat your olive oil over medium heat, and add the garlic cloves to the pan, frying until golden brown on each side (about one minute per side). Discard the garlic and keep it on the side. Turn the heat up to medium high, and add the cheese. Fry for about two to three minutes a side, until the edges start to gild. Once fried on both sides, splash red wine vinegar and sprinkle on the oregano sprigs and pepper.  Cook for one minute more, and remove from heat. Repeat until you’ve fried all your cheese.

This is my second time attempting to make this, and honestly, with a bit of experience under my belt, I don’t feel like I fucked it up!  The outside is definitely a darker brown than in the pictures, for sure, but the bread inside appears to be perfectly done. Pairing this with sardines in pepper olive oil (as none of the stores I went to had sardines fresh or large enough to be done up for a proper Braavos Breakfast) probably later in the week, and if the sardines make it to the weekend, probably with some wine. 😉

Umma’s Olive Bread
Makes 3 large loaves

Ingredients

  • 6.5 c flour
  • 1.5 T active dry yeast (aka a package and a half)
  • 2.75 c lukewarm water
  • .25 c olive oil
  • 1.5 T salt
  • 1 T honey
  • 1 c pitted kalamata olives
  • 1 sprig rosemary, chopped

Take 1 c of water, .5 c of flour, and your yeast, and mix it together in a large bowl (trust me, you’re gonna need it). Let sit ten minutes, until it gets frothy, like in picture 1. Then, mix in your olive oil, honey, salt, the rest of your water, followed by your flour, a cup or two at a time. This will look like picture 2 as you do so. Mix with a wooden/plastic spoon, and if necessary, your hands, until you have a large, cohesive ball of dough.  Then, add your Kalamata olives and rosemary, and work into the dough with your hands, until you have a coherent ball of dough similar to picture 3. Cover with a towel and let sit for an hour and a half.  The difference between pic 3 and pic 4 is what your dough ball should look like after that time; you are going to have a very large ball of dough.

Once you have that dough ball, divide it into three equal pieces, and pull the edges of the piece under until you have a ball.  Take your three balls, put them on a large baking tray, and then cover again and let rise another half hour.  Pic 5 is what the balls should look like at the beginning of that half hour, and pic 6 is what they should look like at the end of it.

Once you have your risen dough balls, preheat your oven to 450 (mine was at 425) and score your bread with a serrated knife, in whatever patterns you choose.  I chose a seven pointed star to keep with the Game of Thrones theme, and then two other pretty looking patterns I found doing a quick Google. Place your bread in the oven, on two separate baking sheets if you need to, and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until the crust is a nice brown and firm to the touch.

And then, if you have them on you, enjoy with a cup of wine and sardines in pepper oil for a Braavos breakfast.  I also have some olive oil left over from marinated feta that I’ll likely be using for a dipping sauce.

venneh:

This was a quick little experiment that I did, as I had some leftover feta, and a desire to try it marinated. So, I cut it up into cubes, put in some cumin, coriander, oregano, marjoram, and crushed red pepper in the layers of cubes, and poured the olive oil over it. The result was quite tasty, especially with the roasted olives.

Miso and potatoes aren’t necessarily a combination I would think of off the top of my head, but honestly, the way this smelled coming together has made me a believer.  

A few notes. I used white miso as the recipe does not specify which kind of miso to use, but you could probably go red as well.  What I typically tend to do with my miso is purchase tubs of it (my brand of choice is Maruman, in the 26 oz tubs) and store it in my fridge until I need it.  I also got a variety of roasting potatoes from the farmer’s market, as we’re still in winter mode out here, and don’t have new potatoes available at a reasonable price just yet.  I also doubled the sauce portion of the recipe, as I got a bit closer to a pound and a half than the pound and a quarter the original recipe recommends, and I honestly like the miso glaze coverage more like this.

Spicy Miso-Glazed Potatoes
Lasts 4 lunches as a side

Ingredients

  • 1.25 lbs new potatoes (I got 1.5 lbs of a roasting mix at the farmer’s market)
  • 4 T miso (I used white, red would probably work as well, as well as a mix of both)
  • 2 T sake
  • 2 T water
  • 1 T brown sugar
  • .5 t Asian chili paste of choice (I used sambal oelek, original also recommends Doubanjiang)
  • 1 garlic clove grated (or if you’re feeling lazy like I was, a few dashes of garlic powder)
  • 2 T butter

Take a pot of water, add 2 T salt and your potatoes, and bring it to a boil before reducing it to a simmer, and then cook until fork tender (appx 15 minutes).  While your potatoes cook, whisk together your miso, sake, water, brown sugar, chili paste, and grated garlic, until you have a smooth sauce resembling picture four.  Once your potatoes are done, drain them and let them dry, until the skins become papery (mine sat an hour while OUaT was on, and they were papery by the time it was done).

Melt your butter in a skillet over medium high heat and fry your potatoes, until they’re lightly browned on each side.  Then add your miso sauce and coat the potatoes in the sauce, until they’re all covered (see pic 5), and continue to fry, until there is no longer liquid in the pan and the sauce on the potatoes starts to caramelize (see final pic for what they should look like at the end of the frying process).

These can be enjoyed hot or cold; either way, dig in and enjoy!

Tomato. Bacon. Chutney. Really, there’s no combination of these three words that doesn’t result in deliciousness, and the chutney that’s been simmering on my stovetop ever since I finished my marathon of all of House of Cards just proves it.  (Yes, I watched all of House of Cards, starting Friday night.  ALL OF IT.)

Made a few alterations to the original recipe, most notably, more detailed instructions, because really, you shouldn’t have to wing it and hope it turns out okay because of vagueness in the original directions.

Tomato Bacon Chutney

Ingredients

  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 large leek, chopped
  • 12 large cloves garlic, diced
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1/3 c honey
  • 1 28 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, diced
  • 1 t smoked paprika
  • 1 sprig rosemary
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • .5 lb thick bacon (as always, go farmer’s market if at all possible)
  • 2 T rice vinegar

Heat your olive oil over medium-highish heat, and take your diced leeks, garlic, and onion, and sautee until tender, about five minutes.  Add your honey and stir until fully combined, and then add your rosemary, paprika, tomatoes, and jalapeno. Bring to a simmer, and then reduce to medium/medium-low heat, and simmer for an hour.

While your chutney simmers, take your half pound of bacon, lay it out on a baking sheet with foil, and heat your oven to 325 (mine was at 300).  Put your bacon in the oven, and cook for about 20 to 25 minutes (25 minutes got me the second picture).  Once done, remove the bacon from the oven, let it cool, and then dice it and set it aside.

Once your chutney has simmered for an hour, season with salt and pepper, and stir in your rice vinegar. Then, remove the rosemary sprig and stir in your diced bacon, and enjoy the sexy, sexy goodness.

Not really sure what to call these – the original calls them BBQ potatoes, but they’re not barbecued, they’re oven baked, and calling them broth-baked butter garlic potatoes just seems unnecessarily long, however accurate. So, simple oven potatoes these are.  😛  Threw them in after watching the 50th yesterday, and they were quick, simple, and delicious.  This recipe is going to be vague, too, as I didn’t really measure anything out, but this is one of those recipes where that’ll work well.

Simple Oven Potatoes

Ingredients

  • 1.5 lbs potatoes, peeled (I went with reds)
  • garlic powder
  • chicken stock
  • butter
  • salt and pepper

Get a 9 inch cake pan, and pour your chicken stock into it, enough that it’s about a third of the way full.  Sprinkle however much garlic powder you want on top of it, and let it sit.  Preheat your oven to 350 (mine was at 325 bc it runs hot). 

Meanwhile, peel your potatoes, and fit them into the pan so that they fit pretty snugly together (see pic 2). Sprinkle salt and pepper on top of them, and then add some little slices of butter on top of each potato (see pic 3).  

Throw the potatoes in the oven for about 40 minutes, until they’re fork-tender.  You can let it run for longer if you want a crispier bottom like in the original recipe, but these were pretty tender and tasted fantastic after 40 minutes.