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Pane Sicilliano

The first day is the building of pate fermentee. To minimize browsing boredom, I'll spare you those pics. This is the final dough, built with pate fermentee, bread flour and durum flour.   Here's the unfermented dough.     2 1/2 hours later it has more than doubled in size. You can see the 2 "blow holes" starting to develop. The dough is borderline slack.   The shaping happens in 3 steps: batard, baguette, "S". Once the baguette is shaped, you coil the ends in opposite directions until you run out of dough.   The sesame seeds are optional, but I had them... read more

Pita on Parade

Variations on or theme, or... ...Pita on Parade. Both of these start with the same dough.     These get shaped after the dough is fully fermented, and then proof for an hour.     They get topped with a mix of olive oil and za'atar, a funky middle eastern spice/herb mix.   Kinda like pita pizza.   This is the same dough, but is shaped right after it's mixed, before fermentation.   Look kinda like bagels to me.   A few sesame seeds and then the ferment for 1 1/2 hours.   Then they get rolled flat and proof for about an hour.   They bake... read more

Bagel On Board!

Really, I mean it! This method is part of my continuing adventures with Maggie Glezer  ​ . How could she offer a book on Jewish bread without a bagel recipe? She couldn't and wouldn't!   Everyone knows you can only get real bagels in New York. I can get them on almost any corner. So why would I make them?     Because I can! This blob is the beginning of greatness.     A little kneading and the dough comes together.   Unlike the last time, I did the strand thing this time. Tapered ends mean that the bagels are more uniform when you shape... read more

Split Pea Soup

  • by PeteModerator

  The cold weather is slowly descending upon Wisconsin. While there have been a few days, so far, where we have seen snow in the air, I imagine that it won’t be long before that becomes a regular occurrence. Unlike so many others, I don’t mind the winter, and except for the long drive to work, I rather look forward to the season. I don’t understand people, here in Wisconsin, that spend so much of their time griping about winter. I just want to look at them and say, “You live in Wisconsin, what do you expect? If you hate winter so much then move south!” I guess it’s... read more

Super Bowl Munchies

  • by PeteModerator

  I have a confession to make. I’m not much of a sports fan. Sure I love to go catch an occasional Major League Baseball game, and I can, occasionally, be found spending a Sunday afternoon watching football, but that it about it. I can’t spout off each players statistics. Heck, I usually don’t keep up with who is even playing for what team. When asked my opinion I usually just BS my way through and hope I don’t say anything too stupid. It’s not that I don’t like sports, I’ve just got better things to do with my time than sit around watching them, and have way too much... read more

Italian Beef Sandwiches-Chicago Style

  • by PeteModerator

  Sometimes, I’m not so smart. This is sometimes true even when I haven’t been drinking. Take this post, for example. I was planning on posting this recipe last night, but in my excitement I made up my sandwich and ate it before I remembered to shoot a picture of it. Luckily I had plenty of beef leftover so tonight I “forced” myself to eat another one, just so I could take a picture of it to share with you, my readers.   Okay, so it really wasn’t much of a sacrifice since I absolutely love Italian beef sandwiches. While you can find them in most major cities... read more


  • by PeteModerator

  I’ve been on a bit of a Latin kick recently and the other other day I decided to try my hand at making Pupusas. Pupusas are a snack popular in El Salvador and Honduras, that can best be described as a stuffed tortilla, though that description doesn’t quite do the dish justice. Traditionally, the pupusas are stuffed with either cheese or chicharron, or a combination of the 2, though it can be filled with many different things. I chose to fill my pupusas with cheese and shredded pork that I had braised in beer and salsa.   Making pupusas is easy, perfecting them is... read more

Slow Cooker Carnitas

  • by PeteModerator

  It’s been awhile since I spoke of my love of the slow cooker, AKA Crock Pot. In my early days as a chef, I used to look down on these gadgets, associating them with bad casseroles and 1970’s cooking. I quickly changed my tune though when I started playing with them and realized what great vessels they were for slowly braising all sorts of meats and dishes. It allows me to start a dish in the morning, before work, making for a quick but tasty dinner soon after I get home.   While you do most of the cooking, for this dish, in the slow cooker, it does need to be... read more

Chinese Bao-Breathing Life into Leftovers

  • by PeteModerator

  My wife will tell you that I’m not a big fan of leftovers. It’s true, while I don’t hate leftovers, I am usually not a fan of eating something 2 or 3 days in a row. I will agree that certain things are definitely better the second or third day. Soups, stews, and most braised dishes fall squarely into this category. And who can resist a meatloaf sandwich the day after? Or a roast turkey sandwich the day after Thanksgiving? But these are the exceptions. To really get excited about leftovers, I have to come up with a whole new way to disguise and serve them.   Not... read more

Cowboy Candy-Sweet Pickled Jalapenos

  • by PeteModerator

  The other week, at one of the local farmer’s markets I got a really good deal on some red and green jalapenos. I was excited as one of the things I wanted to can this year was a couple of jars of Cowboy Candy-sweet pickled jalapeno slices. These spicy-sweet treats have become quite popular over the last couple of years and as a fan of spicy foods I’ve enjoyed my fair share, but had yet to make my own. The Internet if full of recipes for Cowboy Candy, most of which seem to be people sharing the same recipe over and over. I took the basic recipe I found and revamped... read more

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