Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Wooden Utensils From Dehellerin's in Paris-BWW #143

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An image of woolens spoons bought at Dehellerin's in Paris is my contribution to Cinzia's weekly black and white Wednesday gallery of which I am hosting.  Wooden utensils was shot with an iPhone 5 using Camera+. The images were then brought back into Photoshop CS6 and a levels and curves adjust made. Back to the phone using the Photo Transfer app and made into a collage with the Diptic app. Lastly, a filter was added with the app Jazz.

I look forward to your contributions to BWW #143

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Beachside Diner-Black and White Wednesday #141

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Seat Yourself, Honey

Shot on the fly while herding two very tired children back to the condo after spending nearly all day at the beach and then out at night to the amusement park nearby. I can't remember the name of the diner, but the mannequin hostess caught my eye. Image captured with iPhone in color and converted to black and white via Silver Efex Pro on my computer.

This image is my contribution to the 141st edition of Black and White Wednesday hosted by its talented creator, Susan of The Well-Seasoned Cook. For rules and the host line-up, please visit Cinzia of CindyStar Blog who now expertly manages BWW.

Please do not use images or text without my permission. 

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Fougasse Stuffed With Roasted Red Pepper

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Fougasse Stuffed with Roasted Red Pepper

Shiny bits of glistening roasted red pepper peek through the slits of this very festive fougasse (pronounced foo-gahz), a  rustic peasant flatbread with a moist and chewy crumb. The red peppers are easily blackened using a gas or charcoal grill giving the peppers a rich and smoky flavor perfuming the entire fougasse.

Only slightly adapted from the original recipe in Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day, the dough is a pre-mixed high moisture dough, a technique developed by authors Jeff Hertzberg and Zoe Francois which helps home cooks re-create the once time consuming great European breads. This peasant bread dough makes four loaves of bread. I used one-fourth for the roasted red pepper fougasse and refrigerated the remainder for later use.

This is my contribution to We Knead to Bake #14 whose challenge this month was a stuffed savory bread. Thanks to Aparna for creating this Facebook baking group.

Roasted Red Pepper Fougasse

  • 1 pound (grapefruit size) of pre-mixed European Peasant Bread (recipe below this one)
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, or equivalent jarred roasted red pepper, drained and patted dry
  • Coarse salt, for sprinkling
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
  • Olive oil for brushing the loaf
  • Whole wheat flour for covering the pizza peel
  1. Cut the bell peppers in quarters and flatten for easier blackening. Place a grill basket on the rack of a gas grill. Preheat on high for ten minutes. When ready, using tongs, oil the grate with a folded paper towel pad dipped in olive oil, taking care not to lose the paper towel in the grates.
  2. Place the flattened peppers in the basket and grill until skin is blackened, 8-10 minutes. Remove the peppers from the grill and place in an empty bowl. Cover and let sit for 10 minutes for the skins to loosen from the steam. 
  3. Peel the peppers, discarding the blackened skins. Some of the dark skins may stick to the pepper's flesh which is okay. Cut into strips and set aside.
  4. Twenty minutes before baking the fougasse, preheat the oven to 450°F with a baking stone placed in the  middle of the oven. Place an empty broiler tray on the lower shelf.
  5. Dust the grapefruit size piece of dough with flour and shape into a ball. With a rolling pin, shape into a large flat round about 1/8 thick. Add more flour as needed since you will need to cut slits in the dough that do not close up. Place the dough on a whole wheat covered pizza peel.
  6. Cut angled slits in the dough only on one half of the round.  You may need to still add more flour so the slits stay open. Carefully, spread the holes open with your fingers.
  7. Place the roasted red pepper strips in a single layer on the unslit side of the dough round. Sprinkle with the coarse salt and dried thyme. Dampen the dough edge, fold the slitted side carefully to cover the peppers and pinch to seal. Brush the loaf with olive oil.
  8. Slide the fougasse directly onto the hot stone. Pour 1 cup hot tap water in the pan beneath and quickly close the door. Bake for about 25 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool, then slice or break into pieces to serve.
Blackened Red Peppers

Dough Preparation with Placement of Roasted Red Peppers

European Peasant Bread
  • 3 cups lukewarm water
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons active dry yeast
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons salt
  • 1/2 cup rye flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 5-1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  1. Mixing and storing the dough-Mix the yeast and salt with the water in a 5-quart bowl or lidded, but not airtight, container.
  2. Mix the remaining dry ingredients without kneading, a spoon, food processor or a heavy duty stand mixer. If using a spoon, you may need to wet your hands to incorporate the last bits of flour. 
  3. Cover and let rest at least 2 hours until the dough rises and collapses.
  4. The dough can be used immediately after initial rise, but easier to handle when cold. Refrigerate in a lidded container (not airtight) and use over the next 14 days. For the fougasse recipe above, remove a grapefruit size portion of the dough and proceed with recipe.

Artisan Bread in Five
Feta Stuffed Flatbread
Potato Stuffed Flatbread

Please do not use images or text without my permission. 

Friday, July 25, 2014

Gibassier-A French Anise and Orange Flavored Loaf

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While vacationing in Aix-en-Provence a few years ago, I was too busy enjoying one of the best brioches of my entire life to notice if the patisserie there sold these buttery rich French breakfast breads studded with candied orange peel and flavored with orange blossom water and aniseed. The gibassier. Often called fougasse-prounced "foogass"-, a flatbread that is usually slashed to form shapes, the Gibassier appears to have originated in Lourmarin, in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region of southeastern France.

Not a difficult bread, the Gibassier needs a little more time as it involves using a starter or biga made at least 14-16 hours ahead of making the dough. This adds flavor and complexity and helps to preserve the keeping qualities of the bread. I was lucky to find the orange blossom water, but not so with the candied orange peel, the commercial variety which I do not like, so I used chopped dried apricots as suggested by Aparna, admin of We Knead to Bake, this being the 19th edition. On Aparna's blog, My Diverse Kitchen, you can see step-by-step photos of how to shape the Gibassier. Below is a watercolor version of the Gibassier-a little serendipity!

Gibbasier: A French Anise and Orange Flavored Loaf
Adapted from Baking Artisan Pastries and Breads authored by Ciril Hitz

Ingredients For Starter (Biga)
  • 1-1/2 cups bread flour
  • 1/2 cup milk, or more to make a slightly stiff, but smooth dough
  • 1/16 teaspoon instant yeast
For the Dough
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/8 cup orange blossom water, if not available, either leave it out or use 1/2 teaspoon orange extract. Another substitute might be warm orange juice instead of the 1/8 cup warm water 
  • 1/8 cup warm water (or orange juice
  • 3-1/4 cups bread flour
  • Biga (from above)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1-3/4 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter, slightly softened
  • 1-1/2 to 2 teaspoons anise seed
  • 1/2 cup chopped candied orange peel, or same amount chopped dried apricots soaked in warm orange-drain
  • 1-2 teaspoons orange zest
For Glazing and Dusting the Gibassier
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup clarified butter (ghee), you can make your own ghee by placing unsalted butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Let it boil until it turns golden. Strain out the solids. Store in a glass jar.
  • Vanilla sugar or caster sugar
  1. 14-16 hours ahead, make the biga by mixing the flour, milk and yeast together until smooth. If too stiff, add a little more milk to achieve the smooth dough. Scrape the dough into an oiled bowl and let stand at room temperature for about 14-16 hours. At the end of the time, the dough will have risen some and have a fermented look.
  2. Next day, make the dough with a food processor or a heavy duty stand mixer. I used the food processor so will go with those directions.
  3. Put the eggs, olive oil and orange blossom water in the processor bowl and mix well. Then add the warm water and mix again. Caution your water is not too hot or the eggs will curdle.
  4. Tear the biga up into chunks, add it along with the bred flour, sugar, salt, and yeast. Knead with the processor until the dough is smooth. Add the slightly softened butter in increments of three, mixing well after each addition. The dough should be soft and supple.
  5. Add the candied orange peel or apricots, aniseed and the zest. Knead until incorporated into the dough.  Shape in a round and place in a well-oiled bowl, turning to coat well. Cover loosely and allow the dough to double in volume, about 2 hours.
  6. When dough, turn the dough out on a lightly floured work surface. Divide into 12 equal rounds and let rise for about 20 minutes. To shape, flatten each round into an oval or semi-circle. Make three cuts in the semi-circle, one in the center and two on either side of the middle cut. Make sure the cuts open up into neat slits. Then using scissors, make 4 snips along the arched side of the dough, equidistant apart.
  7. Transfer the Gibassier to a parchment-lined baking sheet making sure to stretch it a little so the cuts open up well and the slits spread apart. Let the dough rise for about 30-45 minutes until puffy.
  8. Bake in a preheated oven at 350°F for about 10-15 minutes until they turn golden brown on top. Remove from the oven and brush the hot Gibassier with the clarified butter. Immediately after, press the brushed side down lightly into the caster sugar. Let cool. Serve slightly warm or a room temperature. Makes 12 large Gibassier.
This post has been submitted to YeastSpotting.

Please do not use images or text without my permission. 

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Black and White Wednesday #139-The Gallery

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Welcome to the gallery for Black and White Wednesday #139, a lovely collection of monochromatic culinary images from a very talented group of photographers and food bloggers. Enjoy! Next week, Aparna-Stories of the Mahe Coast will be hosting #140 whereupon Black and White Wednesday will go on summer break and resume on September 3, 2014. Thanks to everyone who contributed to this edition. I'm always thrilled to see your photos!

Barro Negra-Shri V
An Idyllic Restaurant Terrace-Rosa
Hot Momos-Aparna
Cesto D'aglio/Basket of Garlic-Simona

Please do not use images or text without my permission. 

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

A Fresh Chunky Basil Tomato Sauce and Announcing Black and White Wednesday #139

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This chunky slightly piquant tomato sauce is perfect served over a sturdy pasta such as a small penne or rotini. The sauce is redolent with fresh basil and enhanced with a bold red wine reminiscent of  tomato sauces enjoyed while visiting Italy. Not only can the sauce be served over pasta, but makes a delicious and quick sauce for pizza.

Although we are not first-time gardeners, this is the first year we have planted one in coastal Georgia. We are learning from our mistakes, but also enjoying the fruits of our labor. Our tomatoes have done well, especially the Cherokee Purple, its deep purple-red hue brilliant on a simple tomato sandwich. This recipe does not specify a variety of tomato, so I have used a mixture in this sauce.

Chunky Basil Tomato Sauce
Recipe Adapted From Complete Book of Small-Batch Preserving

  • 8 cups, coarsely chopped peeled tomatoes, about 4 lbs/2kg
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 2/3 cup red wine
  • 1/3 cup red wine vinegar
  • 3/4 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 small can (6 oz/156mL) tomato paste
  1. Combine all ingredients in a very large stainless steel or enamel saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered , for about 40 minutes or until sauce reaches desired consistency, stirring frequently. To freeze, cool sauce completely and package in freezer containers. Freeze, using within 6 months. 
  2. This sauce can also be canned. Directions for preparing jars, etc can be found on Ball Fresh Preserving. Process the tomatoes 35 minutes for pint (500mL) jars and 40 minutes for quart (1L).

Cherokee Purple Tomato
The above image is my contribution to Black and White Wednesday #138 hosted by yours truly. Rules for participation can be found here.  Looking forward to your contributions to this event! I will be accepting images up to 12 noon, New York time, on Wednesday, July 23. The roundup will be posted shortly thereafter. The image was converted to black and white using Adobe Camera Raw. 

Please do not use images or text without my permission. 

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

The Demise of the Shrimp Boat "Dammit"-Black and White Wednesday #137

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For the longest time, the shrimp boat "Dammit" along with Po Boy Too was moored in the Vernon River near the mouth of the Burnside River as one turns left on the ICW to head out to Wassau Island.  The shrimp boats were quite productive in their day, but the price of diesel fuel and the rising costs of maintaining the boats led to their demise.  The owners of these books basically abandoned them and they were left to eventually either fall apart and sink, break their moorings and randomly float with the tide until they were washed up ashore or hit a dock or purposely moved to avoid being a navigation hazard.

The Shrimp Boat "Dammit" in Better Days
 "Dammit" Vernon River-Savannah
The once proud "Dammit" Sinks During Move
Derelict Dammit
"Dammit" Vernon River

The black and white image of the shrimp boat"Dammit" is my contribution to Black and White Wednesday #137 hosted by its founder, Susan and is now managed by Cinzia

Please do not use images or text without my permission. 
Gadget by The Blog Doctor.