Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Olive and cheese bread

A tasty snack or an entire meal topped with roasted tomatoes and peppers. Also freezes amazingly with a little pre-chilling and a piece of foil separating the pieces.

1 French bread
0.5 cup Kalamata olives
0.5 cup green olives
2 tbsp chopped onion
4 tbsp butter
0.25 cup mayo
2 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese

Slice the French loaf parallel to the table.

Chop the olives and the onions. Mix with the room temperature butter and mayo. Mix in the shredded cheese.

Spread mixture onto bread pieces. Bake in a preheated 325F oven for 25-30 minutes, until top is bubbly and golden brown.

Hungarian lentil stew

In Hungary we make a set of thick vegetable stews with a white-sauce base, for most of them. Some are even lightly sweetened. Children notoriously hate these dishes, yet as a kid lentil stew was one of my favorites. The mild lemony taste, with the horseradish and garlic make a perfect, tasty, hearty stew. My favorite version was actually prepared in my elementary school's kitchen and topped with shredded ham.

2 cups of lentils
1 lemon
2 bay leaves
2 tbsp flour
1 clove garlic
1 small onion
0.5 tsp paprika
2 tbsp oil
2 tbsp horseradish

Wash the lentils. Soak them overnight with enough water to cover them half an inch deep. The next day cook the lentils in the same liquid with one lemon cut in half, bay leaves and garlic cloves.

Chop the onion and sautee on two tbsp of olive oil. Add the flour and cook until lightly browned. Add the paprika and cook for another 30 seconds.

Mix the cooked lentils with the roux. Bring to a simmer and season with salt.

Turn off the heat and add the grated horseradish. Remove the bay leaves and garlic cloves. Serve with bread.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Hungarian "pigs in a blanket"

Recently I purchased the most amazing, spicy, tangy Dijon mustard. My favorite mustard carrier is a hot dog, a nice, local, beef version of course. To make it a little more interesting, I encased every hot dog in a soft, potato crust. It looked appetizing and tasted amazing. The rolls also froze well.

500g flour
150mL buttermilk
3 tbsp oil
3 potatoes
50mL water
3 tsp yeast
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
sesame seeds
12 hot dogs
4 oz grated cheddar cheese

Boil the peeled potatoes in salty water and press through ricer and mix with the flour and salt.

Bloom the yeast with the sugar in the water. Add the buttermilk, oil and the flour-potato mixture. Knead into a smooth dough. Add more flour as necessary to yield a soft but not overly sticky dough.

Allow to double in size in a warm place covered with foil. Cut the dough into 12 pieces and fill with hot dogs and cheese. Seal and place onto baking shape lined with parchment paper, sealed-side down.

Brush tops with egg, sprinkle with sesame seeds. Allow to rise 30 minutes. 

Bake at 350F until golden brown, about 30 minutes. Cool on a cookie rack and freeze or serve.