Thursday, April 24, 2008

Guns and Roses

In Paris, my parents are faithful frequenters of a certain bakery, called, most unfrenchly, Bread and Roses. When I made this grainy loaf for them a few weeks ago, mom exclaimed, "this is as good as Guns and Roses!" (For some reason, ten or so years ago when it opened, our family, being only peripherally acquainted with the late 20th century rock scene and not a little confused about many things, took to calling it Guns and Roses -- with an "and," fittingly, not with an " 'N".)

Unlike certain punk, heavy metal, and classic rock fusion, trying this at home is bound to make your neighbors happy. Jacob and I both agreed that it made our place smell like a "real bakery," so, roll up your sleeves and open the windows.

I'm going to post in real time, as I bake. Check in if you like!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

"salad is the new soup"

Salads are in order this week as we've just returned from a WWOL (tm) week end with the original WWOL-ers, where we ate enough to sustain the average human being for weeks. Really. This was just one dinner:

Eggplant Soup with Parmesan Whipped Cream and Rustic Parmesan Bread
Chicken, Red Pepper and Pineapple Kebabs
Grilled Salmon, Asparagus and Brown Rice
Michael's Perfect (and copious!) Salad
Lemon Olive Oil cake with Pistachios and Creme Fraiche

Paired with local New Glarus Fat Squirrel and Spotted Cow, it was quite a feast.

(photo by K.M.)

Barley Soup with Parsley and Walnuts

I'm new to barley (except in the form of, ahem, soup), and was pleased to discover it had pasta-like qualities under tooth. It's a pretty hearty meal, actually, not really the best recovery-from-overeating meal, but healthful and fresh.

We modified this from Food & Wine and had a nice dish of it last night. Next time I'll have my resident grill-master light a fire under some asparagus to top it off. It would be absolutely excellent with some jumbo shrimp like the ones my dad did up in Provence a couple of years ago.

Boil a pot of water & preheat your oven to 350

Salt your boiling pot, and add,
1 & 1/2 cups of Pearl Barley

Pop in the oven til fragrant (10 min),
1 cup walnuts (I used halves & pieces from tjs)

Whisk together in your salad bowl,
Juice of 1 juicy lemon (2 1/2-3 tbsp)
1/3 c olive oil
1 lg clove of garlic, minced.
1 tsp of finely grated lemon zest
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Add barley and walnuts to dish and mix, along with:
1 cup of tender fresh parsley leaves
feta, crumbled, to taste (we used about a half cup)

This was fantastic with the faintest drizzle of honey.

Another salad/pasta dish that had us swooning last week was Smitten Kitchen's recent Cauliflower dish (adapted from Chez Panisse Vegetables).

(Dad has a way with goats too.)