Friday, October 30, 2015

Naan bread

My favorite component of a meal at an Indian restaurant: the bread. Alas, this must not be surprising, given that I'm a devoted panivore. Naan bread is fluffy and soft, with a delicious coating.

1/2 cup ice water
1/3 cup whole milk yogurt
3 tbsp and 1 tsp vegetable oil
1 large egg yolk
2 cups flour
1.25 tsp sugar
0.5 tsp dry yeast
1.25 tsp salt
1.5 tbsp butter

In a measuring cup combine the yogurt, water, oil and egg yolk. Mix well.

In a food processor with the blade on mix the flour, sugar and yeast. With the processor running slowly pour in the yogurt mixture and process until the dough is just mixed. Allow to sit for 10 minutes.

Add the salt and process for about a minute until a silky dough forms.

Transfer onto the table and knead for a minute. Place into a lightly greased bowl and cover. Refrigerate overnight.

The next day remove dough onto a floured work surface. Cut into four pieces and Shape each into a ball. Allow to sit covered with plastic wrap for 15-20 minutes.

Roll the balls one-by-one into 9-inch disks. Poke entire surface 20-times with a fork. Sprinkle with flour to avoid sticking.

Heat a tsp of oil in a cast iron skillet with a lid on medium heat until the oil is shimmering. Wipe out the oil.

Spray the top of the dough with water and place into skillet moist-side-down. Mist top with water and cover (with lid or aluminum foil, if you don't have one). Cook for 2 minutes until brown spots appear, flip and cover, finish cooking the second side as well. Brush tops with melted butter. Serve warm.

Fresh salsa

This was an utterly delicious dish I had to make repeatedly this summer. The roasted poblanos are a great addition, but it's also delicious with just finely diced jalapenos. Also absolutely delicious served with breakfast egg sandwiches.

2 large, ripe tomatoes
3-4 jalapenos
3 poblanos
1 lime
2/3 cup cilantro
1 medium red onion
0.5 tsp cumin

Cut the poblanos in half, remove seeds and lay on a baking sheet skin-side-up. Broil until charred. Add to a sealed container and allow to steam. When cool, remove skins.

Mince the poblanos, onion, tomatoes, jalapeno. Add to a bowl. 

Add the finely minced cilantro and salt to season. Squeeze on the juice of a fresh lime.

Mix well. Serve with tortilla chips. Or a spoon.

Homemade hot dog buns

I always found the store-bough hot dog buns flimsy and overly sweet. This recipe prepares a hearty, but airy and fluffy savory hot dog bun.

1 tbsp dry yeast
1.5 cup warm water
1 tsp sugar
3.5 cups flour
1 tsp salt

Dissolve the sugar in 0.5 cup warm water. Sprinkle the yeast on top. Set aside for 15 minutes, until the top gets frothy.

Add the remaining warm water, the flour and the salt. Knead until smooth and elastic. A rather sticky dough will form, you may add a little more flour if necessary.

Allow to rise for 30 minutes in a warm oven (set to preheat for one minute, then shut it off).

Deflate the dough and cut it into 8 pieces and roll into logs. Place onto a baking sheet and allow to rise in the warm oven again for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and preheat it to 400F.

Bake the rolls until a very light brown. Cool on cookie racks.

Sunday, October 11, 2015


A version of a traditional Spanish salad, extremely flavorful and refreshing on hot summer days. Sadly but unsurprisingly, I found out in the US that the quality hugely depends on the ingredients. Southern Spain grows amazingly flavorful peppers and onions, and their tomatoes are delicious as well. It is difficult to reproduce outside of the region.

1 can sardines or 4 oz crab sticks
1 lemon
sea salt
3-4 jalapenos (or local Spanish green peppers)
1 red onion
2-3 large, sweet tomatoes
2 tbsp Spanish extra virgin olive oil

Slice the peppers into 1/8-inch wide slices, then cut into 1-inch pieces. Dice the onions similarly. Toss with 0.5 tsp salt and the olive oil. Allow to sit at room temperature for 15 minutes.

Dice the tomatoes and mix into the pepper and onion mix. Squeeze on the juice of the lemon and add more salt as necessary. Cut in the sardines or crab sticks in bite-size pieces. Sprinkle with smoked Spanish paprika. Season with more salt, as necessary. Serve with crusty bread and olive oil for dipping.