Tuesday, May 27, 2014

panino amoremio

squid ink black bread
Usually it's my husband that makes the best panini in town, but I don't know if he can beat me on this one!

I say that it's the bread that makes a good panino and he says it's the filling.  I can agree with him in part, and only because he never disappoints me, but it's also true that, the bread maker, right here, always has a good homemade bread in the cupboard and this itself, contributes a great deal with his good panino making :))
squid ink black bread
You can definitely eat a panino with any filling that pleases you but if the bread is insipid, it will, all in all, ruin the panino even if filled with the tastiest of fillings. You will find yourself toasting the bread or smothering too much unnecessary flavours and still, it won't be like a panino with good fresh, possibly homemade, bread.  

If, on the other hand, you start with the right bread, you really don't need much to turn it into a great panino because the taste is already there.  Take this black squid ink bread for instance. Unlike what you would think, the squid ink won't predominate, yet it releases a delicate fish after-taste, almost unperceivable, enough to give an idea.  Enough of an idea to pair it with fish as an unquestionable, if not, a perfect combination. Only this makes my fantasy run wild and as I write, many more ideas come to my mind, I can see tuna, crabmeat, shrimp patties, caviar ... or spicy hot octopus with tomato fillets.  

Today my choice is a black squid ink panino with smoked salmon, a light spread of butter, some fresh greens and a dill pickle.

The bread recipe is here with the addition of 60gr squid ink. 

*The photos where you see my hands rolling and polling were taken by my sister.  I forced her, she had no choice, but I think she did a good job.  Don't you think so? :)))salmon panino with squid ink black bread

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

pick, bake, eat ... repeat

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"Come on E. let's go pick some rhubarb in the garden, Zia is going to make you something good", I said.

"Zia, what's dat?", he said.

"That's rhubarb, the thing I'm going to make something good with".  

"But Zia it doesn't look good".

"Are you kidding me? It's gorgeous and wait till you taste it!"

To summarize, I made a fantastic strawberry and rhubarb streusel.  HE (my nephew) DIDN'T LIKE IT! Actually, he was totally grossed out and there was no way to convince him.  This left me without words because I totally loved it and so did the others, except for my sister.  Could it be because she is the mother of my nephew?! 

Two things.

A)  I baked this streusel on the barbecue and now, this is what I'll be doing all summer.  It's an easy way to bake and so convenient.  All you need to do is turn off the direct flame under the baking dish leaving the side flames on, so that there's indirect heat going on. Then, close the barbecue lid.  You now have a barbecue oven. Dont' you love it?!  

I'll be sharing more of my barbecue baking tests (and I'll try to keep my enthusiasm contained. I'll try.) 

B) These photos were casually taken with my iphone to document the event of our rhubarb harvest.  The streusel casually ended up being baked on the barbecue since we were barbecuing anyway.  Because of this all being so "casual" and so very "me", I decided you needed to know :-)
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Rhubarb and Strawberry Streusel

160 g butter
100 g raw sugar
140 g rolled oats
150 g flour
50 g almond meal
a pinch of salt

    1 kg fresh rhubarb
    400 g fresh strawberries
    50 g raw sugar
    2 heap tbsp cornstarch
    2 tbsp lemon juice
    pinch of salt
    paste of 1 vanilla bean

    If you are using a barbecue see instructions above.
    If you are using a regular oven, preheat to 190ºC.

    In a stand mixer add butter, sugar, salt, vanilla bean paste and mix until it is creamy. Turn the machine to low and add the flour, almond meal, oats and mix until all ingredients are incorporated. Place the mixture in the fridge while you prepare the filling.
Dice the rhubarb and leave the strawberries whole, if they are small, or slice in half, if big.  In a large bowl, squeeze the juice of half a lemon, add the diced rhubarb and strawberries, add the cornstarch, sugar and salt.  Mix all the ingredients and gently spoon the filling in the baking dish.

Retrieve the streusel mixture from the frigde and crumble over the fruit.  Bake for about 30 minutes or until the streusul is golden brown and the fruit is bubbling to form a dense consistency.