Oct 022011
 

Challah bread is a traditional Jewish egg bread.  Most of the time it is a braided bread, but you don’t have to braid it.  There are a lot of eggs in this bread,  that provides two things.  First, a fuller richer flavor, and second a longer shelf life.  I have left this bread out for as long as a week.  When I say out, I mean uncovered.   The presence of the eggs also help giving the bread a golden brown color.

 

 

 

 

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Sep 222011
 

I find the school lunch program to be overpriced for what it is.  Often school lunches give you child too much freedom over their diet.   A child of preteen, or teen  years should not be plagued with choices they are not mature enough to make or understand.   The simple fact is that most school lunch plans allow children to eat off the standard menu.  Even though this menu has a seemingly balanced meal plan, the portions are out whack.  My children almost always cam home hungry.  But that is not the big problem.  The big problem are the choice you child has if they don’t pick a menu option.  Many, schools offer an a la carte line of foods.  This often includes choices like pizza, donuts, milkshakes, burgers, chips and ice cream.  While some of these items are OK for your body once in a while they should not  be entrees.  Further, children who really do not know any better shouldn’t be put in a position to make a choice that forms their eating habits without supervision.

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Sep 132011
 

My daughter brought this cook book home from school last year.  One of the recipes in this book was Naan bread.  This bread is so cool.  It is fast and easy to make.  It is easy to pack in lunches.  It is versatile (I will come back to that) and it tastes good.

 

When I first saw the recipe I was intrigued because you broil the bread.   Then I was like we can do this on the fire sweet.

The bread is unique, kind of a cross between fry bread and a pita.  More towards fry bread since the dough rises at different rates.

 

Here is the recipe Makes four individual loaves

3 tablespoons of lukewarm milk

2 teaspoons fresh yeast

1 and 2/3 cup white bread flour

1/2 teaspoon of salt

1 egg beaten

3 tablespoons of plain yogurt

2 tablespoons melted butter

cumin seeds

oil for greasing pans

 

  1. Using your finger mix the milk and the fresh yeast together.  Set it aside until it get a little bubbly (about 10 minutes)
  2. Sift the flour and salt together.
  3. Using a wooden spoon gradually stir the yeast mixture, egg, and yogurt together.  Once blended,gradually stir the flour into the mix.  Stir until you have a soft dough.
  4. Knead for 5 minutes on a lightly floured surface or until it is a smooth elastic dough.  If you have hot hands you will need to flour your hands.
  5. Lightly grease a bowl with oil.  Put the dough in the bowl cover and let rise until it has doubled in size.
  6. Punch down the dough.  Place dough on a lightly floured surface.  Cut the dough into 4 pieces.  Knead the seeds into each quarter (optional).
  7. Using a rolling pin, roll each quarter into a tear drop shape.  Stretch the dough if needed.
  8. Preheat the baking tray/pan under the broiler.
  9. Brush the butter on both sides of the naans. Place on the tray and broil both sides 2 to 3 minutes, or until golden brown.

 

This bread is great for the kids lunches – which I already mentioned.  It is quick (prep and cook time for a double was 20 minutes).  It is versatile.  Here are some of the ways this bread can be used

  1. for dips and salsa
  2. it is great for salad sandwiches
  3. my kids idea was tacos  – haven’t tried it yet
  4. roll the dough thinner add pastrami and cheese, fold it over and you have a makeshift calizone
  5. You can make cheap desserts with it.  Just add some  pie filling and fold the dough over
  6. You can turn it into a sweet bread just by adding some honey

 

 

 

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May 252011
 

With the 1st major cookout holiday of the year right around the corner, I took some time to mix up some burgers.  Being the chef that I strive to be, I never really do just the simple — well I do, but what fun is cooking if you don’t make it personal?  So I made three burger recipes.  The first has been a family staple for years, garlic and onion.  The second is really an experiment that uses Asian flavors.  The third is my first attempt at a chipotle burger.  Read on for the recipes… Continue reading »