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  • Ciabatta Pizza


    I am not feeling all that well today, and I have a lab night scheduled this evening, so food needs to be fast and tasty. Looks like it is time for a bad wolf cheat.

    I’m thinking pizza, but I’m not ordering in, and I am defiantly not prepping dough, so perhaps french bread pizza, but with a nice crisp texture, and a wide body for adding toppings. I’m think ciabatta here, almost a focaccia, but not quite.

    Ciabatta, (literally slipper bread) is an Italian white bread made from wheat flour and yeast. Ciabatta is somewhat elongated, broad and flat and is baked in many variations.

    Ciabatta bread was introduced to the United Kingdom in 1985 by Marks & Spencer, then brought to America in 1987 by Orlando Bakery, a Cleveland firm. They brought over 3 bakers from Italy to develop the product and the mass production process. They successfully introduced a fresh bread, then later, a frozen version. It was quickly copied throughout the United States.

    The more open-crumbed form, which is usual in the United States, is made from a very wet dough, often requiring machine-kneading, and a biga or sourdough starter.

    Pizza is an oven-baked, flat, round bread typically topped with a tomato sauce, cheese and various toppings. Pizza was originally invented in Naples, Italy, and the dish has since become popular in many parts of the world.[1] An establishment that makes and sells pizzas is called a “pizzeria”. Many varieties of pizza exist worldwide, along with several dish variants based upon pizza. In 2009, upon Italy’s request, Neapolitan pizza was safeguarded in the European Union as a Traditional Specialty Guaranteed dish.

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  • 16 Bean Soup

    Today is another working day in the lab. Correcting all the mistakes I made yesterday, and making fresh ones for tomorrow. So food will need to the hearty, hot, and plentiful. I’m thinking beans, but maybe not my usual beans, a mix say 16 beans. Soaked overnight, and slow cooked with bacon, andui sausage, and the trinity of onion, celery and green pepper.

    This is a good, simple, healthy meal for a winters day. It’s delicious and full of protein and fiber and low on cholesterol…you can’t loose. And it’s cheap, a good thing considering the current economy.

    This can be made vegetarian, in fact vegan, but I really will need real meat protein, so I’ll also go with chicken stock as a liquid.

    Wikipedia says:

    Soup is a food that is made by combining ingredients such as meat and vegetables with stock, juice, water or another liquid. Hot soups are additionally characterized by boiling solid ingredients in liquids in a pot until the flavors are extracted, forming a broth. Traditionally, soups are classified into two main groups: clear soups and thick soups. The established French classifications of clear soups are bouillon and consommé. Thick soups are classified depending upon the type of thickening agent used: purées are vegetable soups thickened with starch; bisques are made from puréed shellfish or vegetables thickened with cream; cream soups may be thickened with béchamel sauce; and veloutés are thickened with eggs, butter and cream. Other ingredients commonly used to thicken soups and broths include rice, flour and grains.

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  • Cacciatore alla Pollo

    I’ve not posted for the week as I have been eyebrow deep in projects, the VMWare lab, and dealing with other crises. Winter storm Q has made things just nasty, cool, wet, windy, not the type of weather I want to go out into, besides I have lot to do. This sounds like Cacciatore…

    Cacciatore means “hunter” in Italian. In cuisine, “alla cacciatora” refers to a meal prepared “hunter-style” with tomatoes, onions, mushrooms, herbs, often bell pepper, and sometimes wine. Usually made with braised chicken (pollo alla cacciatora) or rabbit, In southern Italy, cacciatore often includes red wine while northern Italian chefs might use white wine.

    A basic cacciatore begins with a couple of tablespoons of olive oil heated in a large frying pan. Chicken parts, dusted with salt and pepper, are seared in the oil for three to four minutes on each side. The chicken is removed from the pan, and most of the fat poured off. The remaining fat is used to fry the onions, mushrooms, peppers or other vegetables for several minutes. A small can of peeled tomatoes (drained of liquid and coarsely chopped) is added to the pan along with some oregano and a half cup of dry red wine. The seared chicken parts are returned to the pan which is then covered. The dish is done after about an hour at a very low simmer.

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  • Valentine’s Day Special – Chocolate Soup

    So thinking of all the things I WISH to be doing, and all the things I will be doing, I think, I should think about what to prepare for Madam Bad Wolf, once I escape all the things I must do.. But enough thinking, it leads to drinking…

    Dinner is a given, but after dinner, perhaps a very thick, very rich chocolate drink, just made for dipping small cookies into, or perhaps fresh strawberries, or bananas. To describe chocolate soup, it’s somewhere between rich hot chocolate, (the richest and most sinfully good) and chocolate mousse, (smooth, stiff, and irresistibly rich).

    This is not a fondue, but really more like a very thick hot chocolate. Thick enough you can eat it with a spoon. Topped with freshly whipped cream it is a dream.. Hmmmm, Chocolate and whipped cream, how much fun can you have with that…… (especially this whipped cream)

    But wait, where is the BadWolf Howl and the Rogue Chef twist… Perhaps I will use some very good spicy chocolate I was gifted, or maybe I’ll use a orange flavored chocolate, and nothing like this is complete without a hint of good bourbon…

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  • Hamantaschen.

    Thank you to ilisa for such a wonderful graphic

    It is close to the holiday of Purim, and one thing I do so love is the cookies, and one of the things I do miss about my good friends. Aka Hamantaschen.

    Wikipedia Says:

    A hamantash is a pastry in Jewish cuisine recognizable for its three-cornered shape. The shape is achieved by folding in the sides of a circular piece of dough, with a filling placed in the center. It is traditionally eaten during the Jewish holiday of Purim. While occasionally seen other times of year in secular contexts, this is not traditional. Hamantashen are made with many different fillings, including poppy seed (the oldest and most traditional variety), prunes, nut, date, apricot, apple, fruit preserves, cherry, chocolate, dulce de leche, halva, or even caramel or cheese. Their formation varies from hard pastry to soft doughy casings.

    The name hamantash , is commonly known as a reference to Haman, the villain of Purim, as described in the Book of Esther. The pastries are supposed to symbolize the defeated enemy of the Jewish people, and thus resemble the “ears of Haman”.

    “Naked Archaeologist” documentarian Simcha Jacobovici has shown the resemblance of hamantaschen to dice from the ancient Babylonian Royal Game of Ur, thus suggesting that the pastries are meant to symbolize the pyramidal shape of the dice cast by Haman in determining the day of destruction for the Jews.

    Another possible source of the name is a folk etymology: the original Yiddish word מאָן־טאַשן (montashn) or German word mohntaschen, both meaning poppyseed-filled pouches, was transformed to Hamantaschen, likely by association with Haman.

    In Israel, they are called Oznei Haman, Hebrew for “Haman’s ears” in reference to their defeated enemy’s ears.

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  • Chinese New year – Hot and Sour Soup


    So Blizzard Nemo is gone, but left it’s droppings everywhere. It’s cold enough to want a coat and warm enough to sweat while shoveling. Sniffles are starting so it’s time for chicken soup, but not just “chicken soup”. “CHICKEN SOUP”, with zing, taste and a bite you back attitude…. And just in time for Chinese New Year …

    An Asian classic and a raging favorite around the wolf’s lair. Specially made for cold weather, the power of a good chicken stock, and the bite of fresh ginger, and a touch of chili make a fearsome opponent for the achy-bakey feeling and dripping noses. The prefect starter for an Asian styled dinner, or with the addition of cooked chicken, and fried wonton skin strips can be the whole meal.

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