Sourdough Garlic Knots

We were having friends over for dinner, and my task was to make the garlic knots.  I chose to go with a sourdough, so that meant mixing the dough the night before. 

In the morning, using the 10 inch cast iron skillet,  I sautéed the garlic in olive oil and butter (2 tablespoons of each, on medium heat, adding the garlic after the dim shbsided) threw in some parsley, and emptied the mix into a bowl, not wiping out the skillet. 

Next I took the sourdough, patted it into a two 4×8″ rectangles and cut them into strips which were tied and rolled in the mix before placing them in the pan to rise for the rest of the afternoon.  

Baked at 450 for 20 minutes. These were crisp on the outside and soft on the inside. And really delicious. 

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This old dough…

Two weeks ago I made bread and took some of the dough for pizza. I made two pizzas but not the third. So the dough was smelling like beer and was way over-fermented. I thought I’d take a chance and use it in today’s bread.

At first, I thought I made a terrible mistake. The dough would not hold together and as I lifted it to stretch my hand went right through it. Such a large pocket of overdeveloped dough looked to be too much. 

But after the second turn (stretch and fold) it was holding together much better. And by the end of the third hour I knew it would be fine.  Or, I hoped so. 

It came out excellent. And, I avoided wasting an over-fermented dough ball. 

Non-Stick Pancake Trick. 

I love pancakes! But, like anybody else, I am sometimes frustrated by Satan, who visits my kitchen on occasion to make my pancakes stick to the griddle. While I could count myself lucky that this is all he does, I have now banished him from my kitchen with nothing more than a potato. 

Get the iron hot. This may work with stainless too. I don’t know. I use low heat and let it run while I make the batter. It preheats for close to 8 minutes or so. 

Slice a potato and rub the hot griddle. You can invoke some Latin phrase here if you are superticious or really fear that Satan is making your pancakes stick. 

That’s it. I would say repeat as necessary, but because it is so easy and because it’s too late once you learn it is necessary, I will instruct, repeat after each batch. 

Now, this might work on medium heat. It might even work without the potato. But, all I know is that it works much better than the coconut oil I usually use. And it is a lot easier. Bonus: no more smoke-filled kitchen because the oil reached the smoke point and bits of pancake stuck and burned on the grill. 

Give it a try and leave a comment when you do. Let me know if you are as amazed as I am.  

p.s., stick that potato in the fridge when you are done. You can just slice off the dirty piece and continue using next week. 

p.p.s., that is our five-year old son asking  what I am doing and saying it is a funny way to use a potato. 

 

Wheat Berry Salad

This. Is. Incredible.

Every single bite will make your mouth sing and your body and soul feel nourished.

That is a tall order for something that sounds so boring as a wheat berry salad. So, you are going to have to trust me on this and just go ahead and make it.  It is equally fantastic warm or room temperature, though I do not like it as much straight out of the fridge.

The ingredient list is very forgiving. Don’t like parsley — skip it.  Want to add corn? Go for it.

For those who do not know what wheat berries are, they are the things one grinds to make whole wheat flour, or plant to grow wheat.  They can be found in the bulk food aisle at Whole Foods, or packaged by Bob’s Red Mill and may be available at your regular supermarket.  Of course, they can also be purchased on Amazon.

Ingredients 

  • 1 1/2 cups hard wheat berries
  • 3/4 cup chopped walnut
  • 2-3 stalks celery, finely chopped
  • ½ red bell pepper chopped. 
  • 1/2 cup tart dried cherries or cranberries, chopped
  • 2 scallion, white and green parts, chopped
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped parsley leaves
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper. 

Directions

  1. In your Instant Pot: Add 4 ½ cups water to 1-1/2 cups berries. High pressure 30 minutes followed by 10 minute natural release. Drain the wheat berries.*
  2. While cooking the wheat berries, toast the walnuts in a dry skillet over medium-high heat until fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes. Then prepare the remaining ingredients.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the wheat berries, walnuts, celery, dried cherries, scallions, parsley, olive oil, apple cider vinegar, and lemon juice. Add chopped bell peppers if you like. 
  4. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper.

*No pressure cooker? Then, in a large pot combine the wheat berries and enough water to come 2 inches over the wheat berries. Bring to a boil and cook uncovered for 1 hour, or until tender, and drain.

 Nutrition Information

Assuming 6 servings (and it may make less, so multiply everything by six and then divide by however many servings you get out of it):

Calories: 345
Fat: 17.3g
Protein: 8.6g
Carbs: 43.9

Scrambling an egg in cast iron, with no oil. 

There is nothing wrong with using oil in your cooking. But, if you don’t wish to do so, it is nice to know you can do it in a decent pan. Here I use cast iron, heated under medium heat. When the on is hot, add the egg and get cooking. It takes less than a minute after adding the egg.