Sunday, July 06, 2014


We adore Roasted Red Pepper Fougasse, but alas, no peppers on hand, so today we’ll bake two versions of fougasse -- onion rosemary flat bread and another topped with za'tar.
First the dough.  You can use any yeast or pizza dough you prefer. I’m a fan of the Master Dough recipe in Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day and made a version of their olive oil dough, subbing whole wheat for some of the AP flour and using a tad more olive oil.

Onion and Rosemary Fougasse
Ingredients for basic dough
2 ½ c lukewarm water
1 ½ T yeast (or two packets)
1 T sugar
1 ½ T salt
4 T olive oil
4 c AP flour
2 ½ c whole wheat flour

  1. Stir the yeast and sugar in the water and let it bloom for about 10 minutes.
  2. Add the olive oil to the wet mix.
  3. Combine salt and flours, then mix with wet ingredients.
  4.  Mix until well combined. Some folks prefer no-knead method. I love my standup mixer. Using the dough hook, the ingredients combine to make a non-sticky dough after about 5 minutes. Works for me.
  5. Cover and set aside for about 2 hours for the first rise.
  6. Now you’re ready to form the fougasse. Don’t forget to pre-heat the oven to 425.
  7.  Quick aside: Because you’ll have enough dough to make several fougasse, I suggest holding off adding the secondary components until you are ready to bake.
  8. For the onion rosemary bread, I lightly browned ½ medium red onion in a tad of olive oil and drained it well on paper towels. Then I chopped about 2 T of rosemary fresh from the garden.
  9. Divide the dough into 5. Take one of those and knead the half of the onion and rosemary into the dough, roll out to about ½" thin, then cut slits in the traditional design. Fougasse looks like a leaf. Like this or this or this. This short video demystifies the process. 
  10. I topped the second batch with za’tar.. Brush the top of the dough lightly with olive oil, then sprinkle the herbs and maldon salt.
  11. If you’re famished, you can actually throw this in the oven now. But letting the dough sit for 20-30 minutes yields a slightly lightly bread. Remember to brush the top with olive oil before popping it in the oven.
  12. If you use a baking stone, you know the drill. Sprinkle it lightly with cornmeal, then slide on the bread. Otherwise, a baking sheet with parchment paper works well.
  13. Bake until golden, about 20-25 minutes.
  14. Then mangia. Fougasse is best eaten fresh from the oven!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Ginger Shrimp & Pork Wonton Rolls

This is a non-traditional, very fast recipe for when we crave shrimp wontons. With ginger. Lots of ginger. Serve them with a sweet chili sauce; my go-to brand is Mae Ploy (I've never made it from scratch as we don't eat it very often), which you can find at most Asian food stores but can also purchase online. This recipe serves 4-6.

Ginger Shrimp & Pork Wonton Rolls

2 lb shrimp
1 lb lean ground pork
1/2 head small cabbage
1/2 small red onion
1-3 inches of fresh ginger
2 T mirin or sherry
1 T soy sauce
2 T hoisin sauce (optional)
1 T sesame oil
2 t cornstarch
1 lb egg roll wraps
vegetable oil for frying

  1. Briefly pulse the shrimp in the food processor or chop by hand.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, add the shrimp to the pork.
  3. Shred the onion and cabbage in the food processor or chop by hand.
  4. Mince or grate ginger on a microplane -- to taste. We like a lot.
  5. Add all the other ingredients to the bowl and mix by hand until well combined.
  6. Put a heaping tablespoon of the shrimp mix in the middle of a wonton wrapper and fold it. There should be directions on the back of the egg roll package if you don't know how and of course, there are plenty of suggestions on the internets.
  7. Heat your skillet to medium. When the oil sizzles, add the rolls, folded side down, and brown them slowly, so the meats cook thoroughly and the wrappers are golden brown on all sides.
  8. Drain on paper towels. Eat while warm.
You can use the smaller wrappers if  you prefer smaller portions or wish for these to be an appetizer rather than a main course.

Sunday, June 01, 2014

Lemon Gluten-free Madeleines

With friends and family members going gluten-free, I'm determined to learn to bake gluten-free goodies. I went a little crazy when Costco had an aisle of GF flours and got one of everything. Then I googled gluten-free recipes and felt like I'd just opened Pandora's box.  I had no xanthum gum, no sweet rice flour, way too much garbanzo flour and a boatload of coconut flour -- but no plan.

So I'm starting with madeleines. This recipe is simple and makes a small batch (about a dozen) -- perfect for a trial recipe.

First I made a gluten-free flour mix with the flours I had on hand, based on Jeanne’s Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour Mix. (You can use All Purpose GF flour if you prefer.) You'll only need about 3/4 c. for the madeleines; store the extra flour in an airtight container.
  • 170g brown rice flour
  • 205g white rice flour
  • 120g tapioca flour
  • 120g sweet sorghum flour
  • 25g cornstarch
  • 2 t. xanthum gum
Then I (mostly) followed the directions that I found here, which was inspired by this recipe.

Gluten-free Madeleines
105g gluten-free flour mix
1/2 t. baking powder
70g unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
2 large eggs
1/2 t. lemon juice
100g granulated sugar
2 t. vanilla
Zest of 1 lemon

  1. Beat eggs and sugar for a few minutes. [Love my standing mixer.]
  2. While that's happening, nuke the butter on low until it's melted.
  3. Add vanilla & lemon juice to the butter, and dump the liquid into the mixer.
  4. In a separate bowl, mix the baking powder with the flour and lemon zest.
  5. Fold in the liquid until well blended and chill the dough for 30 minutes.
  6. Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees.
  7. Prepare the madeleine tray, fill, and bake until the cakes are golden, about 12 minutes.
  8. Let the madeleines cool a few minutes before popping them out of the molds.