Tuesday, September 2, 2014

The 3-week Plan: Day 1

I spent a big chunk of Saturday night watching baker Paul Hollywood making one bread after another (6 episodes in one sitting). Bread is my big biggest weakness in life, even more than cookies (which is a kind of bread anyway) and I was quite inspired to break out of my rut.

I was starting fresh with a new 3-week planning period anyhow, and due to some unforeseen dinner parties and restaurant visits, I was shuffling dishes around a bit. I decided to do a chicken sallad type thing on Monday, with freshly baked rosemary bread and tapenade.

I made the bread the day before, using cold water, kneeding it well and shaping it in a kind of bun cake, storing it in the fridge over night. Hollywood apparently always use cold water for all his breads and let them rise for hours, and his method made me remember having done one of these cold water recipes before, so I kind of winged it. The next morning, I just took the buns out, heated the oven and popped them in for forty minutes. It came out a very nice-looking loaf.

I had also made tapenade the day before (with the Bosch blender, which is a gorgeous little helper, much better than mum-in-law´s Braun, which tends to splash the food onto the walls) from a tin of black olives that I found in the pantry, capers, garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, ground black pepper, and anchovy. There should have been fresh basil in it, but I forgot.

The recipe I (kind of) followed called for "sardeller" and at first I couldn´t find it in the store, so I picked up a small jar of anchovy. Then I did find "sardeller", only to find, when I got home, that they are made with sulphites. The anchovy had √§ttika (which I can find no other translation for than vinegar, but it´s not made from wine, it´s a mixture of acetum and water) in it, so I decided to go with that. Now I find that the translation of "sardeller" is anchovy, and I am rather confused as to what the difference really is. Wikipedia seems to think it´s pretty much the same, except "sardeller" is pickled with oil and salt, and anchovy with vinegar. Hm, that´s not entirely corresponding with what it says on the tin. Oh well. I used anchovy and saved my "sardeller" for some future buffet party where I can avoid eating it myself. After I had made the tapenade I realized that capers has white wine vinegar in them as well. It is very annoying, and I hope there isn´t enough to trigger my sensitivity...

So, this evening I tossed the chicken with onions, peppers and a couple of cold potatoes in a frying pan (added the forgotten basil leaves before serving and I think they were better used that way), put lettuce and tomatoes on half our plates, and served the bread with tapenade. Yum!


  1. I don't make my own bread except when I make cornbread, but I think I'm going to find good ideas reading the way you work through your meal planning. Thx!

    1. Cornbread! I haven´t had that in 30 years! Memories come flooding back... Do you have any special recipe or trick to share?

    2. My recipe isn't the traditional Southern style, which uses more sugar & always uses white flour. But here it is:

      Preheat oven to 400F

      Mix together:
      1 cup cornmeal
      1 cup flour (may use part or all whole wheat)
      4 teaspoon baking powder
      1/2 teaspoon salt
      2 Tablespoon brown sugar
      1/2 cup dry milk powder (optional)

      Make a well and add:
      2 beaten eggs
      1 cup milk
      1/4 cup oil

      Stir just until smooth.
      Pour into greased pan (9"x9") or use a muffin tin.
      Bake 25 minutes.

      from the More With Less Cookbook

      I used to use an iron skillet, but now I use the muffin tin.

    3. Brilliant! Thank you! I will make that ASAP.

      What is the Memphis way of eating cornbread? What do you eat with it?

    4. I like it with white beans (Great Northern beans) or black-eyed peas. People also eat it with vegetable soup or beef stew, or fried catfish, or country ham ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Country_ham ). Mother used to make cornbread in an iron cornstick pan ( http://www.lodgemfg.com/seasoned-cast-iron/cornstick-pan-5-stick-L527C3 ).

    5. All that sounds good. The country ham is something I will keep in mind if we ever get to the States again. We have Parma ham, Serrano ham, and Schwarzwald ham, which seems similar in some respects. But I will go for beans to begin with, we eat that far too seldom.