Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Guest Posting-Tamale Pie

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My first guest post over at Not Your Ordinary Recipes. Drop by and check it out!

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Black and White Wednesday #94-The Gallery

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"There is something really appealing about the simplicity of black-and-white images"
~Joseph Gordon-Levitt~

Welcome to the gallery of stunning black and white culinary images from our ever faithful aficionados of monochromatic technique. Black and White Wednesday will be taking a summer break for the month of August, but will return September 4. Those interested in hosting and/or taking part in Black and White Wednesday, I refer you to BWW rules and host line-up.


Tansuree-Ma Niche

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Saturday, July 27, 2013

Announcing Black and White Wednesday #94

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I'm happy to have the opportunity to host Black and White Wednesday #94. This long running blog event has some faithful followers, but always welcome new black and white culinary aficionados. You can read more about the rules, etc at  CindyStarBlog. Please send an email with the following information to lynnylu AT gmail Dot com-
Your blog name
Your Name
URL of your post
Attach an image (portrait/500 wide & 700 long - landscape/700 wide & 500 long - or 600 square.)
Looking forward to seeing your images!

Please do not use images or text without my permission.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Savoury Kugelhopf-We Knead to Bake #7

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Traditionally,  Kugelhopf's are sweet and baked with nuts and dried fruits, but this savory version retains the integrity of the name and the pan this brioche-like bread is baked in.  Sauteed green peppers, tomatoes and onions  are combined with diced cheddar cheese, chopped walnuts, crushed black pepper and dried thyme, then this heady  mixture is kneaded into the yeast risen dough for the final rise.

Said to have originated in the Alsace region of France, variation of Kugelhopf's are also found in other European countries close to Alsace. There are many legends on exactly when and who created the bread like cake, one I like is that it originated in Vienna when the Hapsburg army defeated the Turks at the gates of the city. To celebrate the victory, Viennese bakers created a cake make in the shape of a sultan's turban. That sounds plausible to me, but the fact is the Kugelhopf, whether sweet or savory is a beautiful bread for all occasions.

iPhone Image-Savoury Kugelhopf Diptych

For our "We Knead to Bake" group, Aparna chose this Savoury Kugelhopf, the seventh in our year of bread baking. I'd like to say I'm proficient with yeast breads, but I usually shy away from those with cooked onion. I guess it comes from not liking onion bagels, however, this bread is an exception to the rule. Next time I make it, I will use bacon as in this recipe. Try sun-dried tomatoes and toasted pine  nuts for a change. Also, I will use individual brioche molds that I use when I make brioche rolls for picnics. A proper Kugelhopf pan is on my bucket list of kitchen batterie de cuisine.
Savoury Kugelhopf


3-3-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons instant yeast
1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
75 grams butter (2.6 ounces or just shy of 3 tablespoons), room temperature
3/4 cup milk, warmed (105°-110°F)
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon oil
1/3 cup chopped green bell peppers
1/3 cup deseeded, pulp-free and chopped tomatoes
1 cup onions or scallions, finely chopped
1/2 cup diced cheddar cheese
1/3 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
1-1/2 teaspoons coarsely crushed black pepper
1 teaspoon dried thyme

Method-Food Processor

Put 3 cups flour, yeast and salt in the bowl of the processor. Pulse a few times to mix. Then add the butter, a little at a time and process until incorporated. Add the warmed milk and process until mixed together. Add the eggs, processing until mixed. This makes a soft, sticky dough. Add more flour, a little at a time and just enough until the dough pulls away from the pan. Transfer the dough to an oiled bowl, cover and let rise until doubled in volume-1-1/2 to 2-1/2 hours. The dough is a slow rise, so plan accordingly.

Meanwhile, heat 1/2 teaspoon oil in a pan. Add the chopped green pepper, the tomato, a pinch of salt and stir fry until the raw smell disappears, but the vegetables remain crisp. Remove and set aside. In the same pan, add remaining 1/2 teaspoon oil and saute the onions with a pinch of salt until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Remove to bowl with green pepper and tomatoes. Set aside

Well grease an 8-inch Kugelhopf mold or bundt pan especially around the center. Place some of the chopped walnuts in the bottom of the mold. If you are using a loaf tin or individual brioche molds,  omit the chopped walnuts for the bottom of the pan. Instead, press the walnuts on top of the dough after the second rise, just before baking.

Once the dough has risen, deflate it and remove to a silicone mat. Work in the cheese, stir-fried onions, bell pepper, tomato, the remaining walnuts, black pepper and dried thyme. The best way to do this is to flatten the dough and spread the ingredients all over the surface, then knead it in. The dough will be a bit sticky, but refrain from using more flour.

Roll the dough into a longish log, long enough to fit the mold comfortably. Lift the log of dough and place in the mold in a circular fashion. Pinch the two ends together the close the circle. Cover and let rise for an hour or so, until it reaches the edges of the mold.

Bake in a pre-heated 400° F (200C) oven for 35-40 minutes until the top is golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped.

Let rest 5 minutes before removing to a rack to cool. Serves about 10.

Black and White Bundt -iPhone image
Post processed with Topaz BW2 Software

The above image is my contribution to BWW #93 hosted by Satsuki of Satsukien Cuisine. As most of you know, BWW was created by Susan of The Well-Seasoned Cook and is now managed by Cinzia from CindyStar Blog. Yours truly will be hosting BWW #94. Look out for the forthcoming announcement.
Please do not use images or text without my permission. 

Friday, July 12, 2013


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Barmbrack (Irish-bairín breac), a sweet yeast bread  speckled with raisins and currants was created by the Irish to celebrate the Celtic holiday Samhain, a festival celebrating the end of the harvest season and the beginning of winter. The festival is usually held between October 31-November 1 which makes Barnbrack is a popular bread for Halloween festivities. Traditionally, inserted in the risen dough is a foil-wrapped coin in which the lucky recipient can look forward to a prosperous year. Sometimes, a rag and a ring are included along with the coin-the rag not a good sign for one's financial future, but the ring a sign of romance or happiness. My barmbrack rose beautifully and baked to a golden brown. Toasted and slathered with butter, it is destined to be a staple in my kitchen. Since I have made this bread, I have come across recipes with many variations. For example, substitute strong black tea for the water, add candied orange or lemon peel or add a variety of spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg and mace.


Ingredients-Large Loaf (1-1/2 pounds)

2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
3 cups bread flour
3 tablespoons powdered milk
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/3 cup sugar
3 tablespoons grated orange or lemon zest
3 tablespoons butter
1 1/4 cups water
1-1/2 cups golden raisins, or 3/4 golden raisins and 3/4 cup currants
1 coin, wrapped in foil (optional)


Add all the ingredients except the raisins and/or currants and coin in the order suggested by your bread machine manual. Process on the dough cycle. At the beeper or just after the end of the first kneading, add the raisins/currants. Continue on the dough cycle. 

Meanwhile, lightly grease an 8-inch-2 inch deep cake pan. When cycle has completed, remove dough to a lightly floured surface, punch down and flatten into an 8-inch  disc. Place disc in prepared pan. If using the coin, grease a square if foil-wrap around the coin and insert in the middle of the dough-about an inch deep. Cover with lightly greased plastic wrap. Let rise until doubled in size, 30-60 minutes. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Bake barmbrack 35-45 minutes or until golden brown and sounds hollow when thumped. Makes 1 large barmbrack. 

Dublin, Ireland
A few years ago while visiting English friends, the four of us flew from Bournemouth to Dublin for a 3 day weekend. Riding the hop on hop off bus, we were able to see nearly the entire city, the highlight being the Guinness Storehouse, an incredible brewery with a rich history. In 1759, Arthur Guinness signs a 9,000 year lease on a four acre disused brewery at St. James Gate, Dublin. It costs him £100 with an annual rent of £45 which included precious water rights. Guinness used to be the largest brewery in the world, but now is the largest brewer of stout in the world. At the end of this very informative tour, a tall glass of dark and lovely Guinness stout was enjoyed at the Gravity Bar offering a panoramic view of Dublin. That short trip to Dublin has been my only experience visiting Ireland, but over at The Dreaming Seed,  Roberta visually takes us on our ninth journey of abbecedario-culinario-della-comunita (European Community Culinary ABC) visiting Ireland and preparing a tantalizing Irish Stew.

Thanks to Roberta  for a lovely tour of Ireland and to aiuolik of Trattoria MuVarA for offering us a culinary journey through the countries of the European Union.

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