Here's what you do when you find the challah that your mother brought to celebrate on Friday night but that you forgot to set out because you hid it from thieving dogs.
Make French toast.
It seems particularly appropriate that the Medieval reference in France to stale soaked bread fried up in fat is “pain perdu” or “lost bread”.
It's really a no recipe recipe but I shall list the ingredients anyway.
1/2 – ish loaf of challah or stale bread of choice sliced 3/4 inch thick
1 cup milk
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla paste or vanilla
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Juice from 1/2 clementine
Pinch of salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
Whisk everything but the bread. Soak bread slices, both sides. Melt butter in the skillet. Fry bread both sides. Serve with jam, syrup, honey or Nutella!
Good for breakfast, lunch or dinner – B
Another big game this weekend so as requested: The buckeyes recipe! For the un-initiated, they are creamy, sweet, stern clogging, peanut buttery deliciousness. Also no cooking, no baking, no frying. Just blending and shaping (and dipping in chocolate ;-).
I find all the recipes are basically the same. I reduced this one (click here) by a third and still had leftovers from an 18 person celebration.
Eat – B
My dad stopped by for dinner. When he left all the green beans were gone, and EVERYONE ate them (the roasted potatoes too, but that's not exactly a hard sell). Here's the recipe. Feel free to sub another Asian supermarket selection. We've rarely met one we didn't like (if it's spicy, add with care).
1 pound-ish green beans, ends trimmed
2-ish teaspoons hoisin sauce
Couple big pinches garlic powder
Tablespoon-ish sesame seeds
In large skillet add 2 teaspoons oil over medium heat. Add green beans, stirring for a couple of minutes. Add hoisin sauce & garlic powder, stir it up. Add maybe 2 tablespoons water to steam beans. Put a lid on it for 2-3 minutes. Remove lid and raise heat if necessary to get rid of excess liquid. Add sesame seeds and finish cooking beans to taste.
The whole thing takes less time to make than explain.
Eat – B
Btw chopped fresh ginger is a great add in, fresh garlic too – unless you're lazy
All the food groups: Nutella, ciabatta, banana & berries. See? Not so hard.
Eat – B
Back to the potluck pasta of the other night. We needed a dessert. I let my guy pick the dessert…with guidance.
Spinning through recipes over Sunday toast I offered up a choice. German Apple cake, apple pandowdy or apple cranberry oat crumble cake. I personally was sold by the high proportion of crust to filling. He probably just heard most of the same ingredients he eats in his daily granola.
Either way, I will get to the first two recipes without question. That's because “Rustic Fruit Desserts” has never let me down. And it never will. It's like a baking bible for seasonal fruit. But click here for the third recipe, the apple cranberry oat cobbler.
Set this one aside for Thanksgiving! The topping calls for melted butter, making it super simple to assemble and/or make ahead to keep in fridge or freezer. Put it in the oven when you take the turkey out. It will save you the trouble of making pie.
Eat, a la mode if you wish – B
You know what's better than Sunday night dinner? Sunday night potluck with friends and family! It spreads the work and increases the company. (Also I now have leftover open wine – good for a weekday glass or two!)
Speaking of friends, I met Andrew Carmellini when he visited my radio show. Nicest guy and a very talented chef. I enjoy his restaurants in New York, Locanda Verde and Lafayette among them. But if you can't get to NYC, he shares the same spirit in “Urban Italian”.
Here I share his lamb ragu. (Click here for the recipe). It's NOT an all day cooking affair, but you do need to set aside a couple of hours to be at home. Serve day of, or make ahead!
Eat – B
For my baby boy – not the dogs who I call baby boy, but the real one. He loves chili and so do I. Plus it's just spicy stew so it takes little effort from me. This one is based on a recipe from the mom of my oldest friend. She's from Brazil although I don't think that's why she adds a bottle of beer. I think she just likes beer.
1 lb ground beef or small cubes of beef
1 can or jar of beans, your choice, rinsed. I used cannelini.
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tablespoons tomato paste
Bottle of lager
2 tablespoons red chili powder
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon cornmeal
1/2 tablespoon coriander
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
Salt & pepper
Veg or olive oil
Drizzle oil in tall sided pot (stock or otherwise) over medium heat. Brown beef (5-10 minutes). Remove beef. Soften onion & garlic with several pinches of salt. Add tomato paste, cook a minute or two. Add beef, beans, beer & spices. Bring to a boil – simmer at least 45 minutes to an hour. Longer is better.
Good with rice, tortillas, sour cream & avocado. Really good on pasta my Cincinnati friends minus the cinnamon.
Eat – B