Sunday, December 31, 2006

No Knead Bread

I have a no knead bread recipe where you bake the bread in a coffee can. I enjoy making it, but the bread is a little on the heavier, spongier side for bread. Sam at Becks and Posh just posted her favs for 2006, and this recipe for bread was one of them. I found this terrific five minute New York Times video that has the author of the above recipe, Jim Lahey (owner of Sullivan Street Bakery in Manhatten's Hell's Kitchen) showing how to prepare this very recipe. The video segment is hosted by Mark Bittman, who is huge with foodies. Update (1/4/07): Here are the "fine tune" tips Bittman wrote to help with the recipe.

Saturday, December 2, 2006


Tried the goulash. Kids don't like goulash. I think it's the complex flavors. Little kids don't really care for a lot of flavors. That's why they like Kraft Macaroni over really good homemade Macaroni and Cheese made with three different cheeses and nutmeg and eggs and evaporated milk. Baby did like the spaetzle plain and dry. Tae just liked the carrots. Jax didn't much care for any of it; although he did eat some spaetzle. I may try to modify goulash so it is simple so the boys might like it.

The spaetzle- I love making spaetzle. I whisked together 4 extra large eggs and 1 1/2 cups milk. Then I added 4 cups of flour and 2 tsp of salt and mixed it all together with a wooden spoon. I spread several scoops of the thick "batter" on a cutting board. Then I used this to scrape small sections of batter into boiling water (you'll dip the edge of the scraper in the boiling water, and the noodle will fall right off). After all the spaetzle floated to the top, I used a mesh scoop to fish out all the spaetzle and put it in ice water. There was enough batter to make five batches. My guess is that just as crepes are best really, really thin, spaetzle pros probably pride themselves on really thin spaetzle. That Graham Kerr Bash n Chop made it easy.

So thumbs up on the spaetzle- thumbs down on the goulash.

The picture above is my rendition of goulash next to a glass of "the Little Penguin" shiraz which is a pretty darn good cheap Australian red wine. I liked it better than the Llano Estacado cabernet we got. I think the next time I try making goulash I won't use balsamic vinegar and I'll tone down the spices. BTW "the Little Penguin" wines would make good Christmas gifts. The cork has little penguin "footprints" on it. Too cute!


I was readling my bloglines and got inspired by this post to make goulash. When researching goulash, I found it is a very different dish for different people. When Puddleglum makes his mother's goulash, it is really a baked pasta dish with shells, tomato paste, ground beef, and cheese, and it is flavored with Lowrey's. My guess is that it was Puddleglum's mom's fall back dish when there wasn't much to make, and she just called it "goulash". When I think of goulash, this picture to the left is what I imagine.

Elise from Simply Recipes had fluffy dumplings with her goulash, but I decided to make Spaetzle instead. Click this link to see one way to make spaetzle, and click this next link to see a video of two German guys making spaetzle. The show in the video below also shows how to braise veal and lamb as well as how to make spaetzle, and I am going to use some of the techniques on the video to make my goulash. It's a 28 minute video, but you can move the arrow to fast forward to get to the good parts. I hope the goulash turns out, and I hope the boys like it.

This video is kind of funny because at certain parts there is some tension between the two hosts, and it's easy to think in SNL mode and come up with some funny things the younger guy is thinking. If this video were an SNL skit, then they would wind up in an insult match toward the end that results in a brawl.