Sunday, June 17, 2012

Flat Bread

Dr. Butler, a guest chef, came to class to teach the buttas how to make homemade flat bread and pasta.  It was such a fun class and everything we had was delicious.  These recipes are definitely keepers.

Flat bread:
1/4 cup warm water
1 Tbs plus 2 tsp yeast
1 large egg, beaten
1/2-2/3 cup water at room temperature
3 1/4 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp Kosher salt or 1 tsp fine sea salt
1 Tbs plus 1 tsp sugar
1/4 cup clarified butter (Ghee) at room temperature
olive oil
optional: delicious seasonings, such as Fleur de sel, Piment d'espelette, and Parmesan, to taste

To make the dough: Combine 1/4 cup water and yeast and let stand for 10 minutes.  Mix egg with remaining water and stir into yeast.
Combine flour, salt, and sugar in bowl of a mixer with dough hook.  Add butter and mix at low speed.  
Then add egg mixture and mix till dough comes together.  Continue in machine for 3-4 minutes on low-medium until dough is smooth.
knead by hand for a brief time and then form a ball.
Lightly oil a bowl and put the dough into it.  Slightly oil a piece of plastic wrap and place over dough.  Cover with a damp towel and allow to rise for 2 hours.

Mama B prepared the dough in advance.  This is what it should look like:
Preheat oven to 350.  Put racks at upper and lower oven positions.  
Line 2 baking sheets with parchment and oil lightly.

Flour the dough and cut ingot quarters.  Take one quarter and flatten it into a rectangle to work with; cover the rest with a damp towel.
Open rollers of a pasta machine to the widest setting (Level number 1).  Roll the dough twice through the pasta machine at the widest setting and then once at each setting up to the 8th setting (the second from thinnest).   The flat bread will get thinner as you move it through the pasta machine settings.  Here is a video demonstration:
Once finished, cut into pieces approximately 3 inches wide and 10 inches long.  
Put on parchment paper and brush with good olive oil.  Sprinkle with sea salt, black pepper, or herbs of your choice and cook for 6 minutes.  Then swap the top and bottom trays and cook for 6 more minutes.  
It may take another 1-3 minutes to get the perfect light brown color.  Let cool on cooling racks.  Store for up to a week in air tight containers.  It is so delicious!
We even tried putting herbs into the dough, here is a picture of our Rosemary Flat Bread dough:
It was a really fun night!  The buttas are practically professionals at this now.  Please stay tuned for Dr. Butler's Homemade Pasta recipe.  

Monday, May 7, 2012

Black Bass with Asparagus and Potatoes

We wanted to learn how to pan fry fish, so Mama Butta went to a local fish market and the butcher suggested Black Bass.  The fillets were thick and the skin was on so it would crisp up nicely.  We decided to serve up our bass with delicious roasted vegetables.  Here is a shot of the ingredients:

Sauteed Black Bass:

Season both sides of the fish with salt and pepper.

Lightly dredge fish in flour and shake of excess.

When pan is hot, add 2 tablespoons Canola oil followed immediately by 1 tablespoon butter.  Place fish in pan skin side down.  Cook until golden crust forms on meat.  Turn fish and cook until skin turns golden brown.  Remove to a warm plate.

Pour out the cooking fat, add 2 tablespoons butter and 1 tablespoon drained capers, fry the capers quickly.  Remove pan from the heat, add juice of 1 lemon and swirl.  Pour sauce over the fish and serve.

Roasted Asparagus and Potatoes:
Snap ends off Asparagus and cut the potatoes in half so they are all roughly the same size.  Season both with olive oil, salt, and pepper:

Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes.

Here is the finished the product:

For dessert, Meg surprised us with an amazing chocolate birthday cake for Lauren from a great new bakery, Ally & Eloise Bakeshop, on Forest Drive.

The cake tasted just as good as it looks, so if you are looking for a special treat in Columbia be sure to check out Ally & Eloise!  Stay posted for some homemade Italian recipes to come!

Monday, April 30, 2012

Crawfish Etouffe

Makes 8 servings

Seasoning Mix:
2 tsp salt
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1tsp black pepper
1 tsp dried sweet basil leaves
1/2 tsp dried thyme leaves

1/4 cup of each of the following: chopped onions, celery, and green bell peppers (this is called the trinity in Creole cooking)
7 tbs vegetable oil
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup clam juice + 1/2 cup water or chicken broth
1 stick butter
2 lbs peeled crawfish tails or medium shrimp
1 cup very finely chopped green onions
4 cups hot basic cooked rice

The buttas were extremely excited to be back together and to be cooking such a delicious meal!  Here is a shot of the ingredients and the buttas preparing:

Thoroughly combine the seasoning mix ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.  In a separate bowl, combine the onions, celery and bell peppers (The Trinity).

The first step is to make a roux, this recipe calls for a medium to dark roux vs a blond roux.  In a large heavy skillet, heat the oil over high heat until it begins to smoke, about 4 minutes.  With a long-handled metal whisk, gradually mix in the flour, stirring until smooth.

Continue cooking, whisking constantly until roux is dark red-brown.

Remove from heat and immediately stir in the vegetables and 1 tablespoon of the seasoning mix with a wooden spoon; continue stirring until cooled, about 5 minutes.

Heat stock in a separate saucepan.  Gradually add the stock to the roux and whisk until thoroughly dissolved.

Reduce heat to low and cook until flour taste is gone, about 2 minutes whisking almost constantly.  remove from heat and set aside.

In a separate saucepan, melt 1/2 stick of butter over medium heat.  

Stir in the crawfish (or shrimp), the green onions, and seasoning mix and saute about 1 minute stirring almost constantly.

Add the crawfish mixture to the stock mixture, stirring well.  Add 1/2 stick butter to enrich sauce and cook about 5 more minutes.  Serve immediately over rice, or barley for a healthier option.

Then it was time to enjoy our delicious meal and each other's company.  It was a wonderful evening and so fun to catch up.  Look forward to many great recipes to come!  Next week's menu is Black Bass with Asparagus and Roasted Potatoes, YUM!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Reunited and it tastes so good!

The buttas are finally getting back together to put some spice in the kitchen! Everyone's schedules have been crazy but we are excited to come back together tonight to cook and most importantly catch up over some glasses of wine.

Tonight we are going to make Crawfish Etoufee. As you might remember, Mama Butta is from N'awlins so we are in for a treat!

Photo of Emeril's version from the Food Network!