Morel Mushroom Pilaf

Morel Mushroom Pilaf Recipe

I was reluctant to try this recipe because morel mushrooms aren’t exactly a dime a dozen. Foraging is not an option because I don’t know any mycologists and there’s always that tiny chance of Death by Shotgun if I unknowingly wander into an ex-convict’s backyard.

A Julie Sahni recipe has never steered me wrong, though, so why not?

All of the spices (cumin, cardamom, cloves, and a cinnamon stick) are left whole so the morels don’t get overwhelmed. The pilaf was very fragrant but more delicate than I expected. The first thing you taste is the morels (thank goodness) along with the natural sweetness of the onions.

View Morel Mushroom Pilaf Recipe »

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Bread Baker’s Apprentice Challenge, a Year of Blogging, and a Giveaway

Bread Baker's Apprentice Challenge

Peter Reinhart Cookbook Winner

UPDATE: We have a winner! Comment #78 belongs to Nancy. Congratulations and thanks to everyone for participating!

I started this blog a year ago. The first post was about Peter Reinhart’s French Bread from The Bread Baker’s Apprentice. 60 bread-related posts later, my hands are supple from kneading all that dough but the list of recipes to try has never been longer.

Joining The Bread Baker’s Apprentice Challenge increased the queue by 43 items. This post will be updated regularly as MY way of keeping track of MY progress .

Since this self-serving post has zero value to you, I’ve decided to give away a copy of your Peter Reinhart book of choice. The book you see above has all sorts of suspect stains and crustiness, but if you want it, I’ll gladly send it over.

On second thought, that’s the first bread book I ever owned so its sentimental value is off the charts. May I suggest picking a brand new copy from this list instead?

If you win, tell me which book you want and I’ll send it to you directly from Amazon. It’s sort of like buying you a beer but with more carbs and less buzz. If I understand Amazon’s international shipping policy correctly, they’ll send books anywhere so feel free to enter wherever you are.

Just leave a comment and say hi, tell a joke, or write about the meaning of life. All I ask is that you enter only once. I’ll randomly select one winner on May 31.

View Bread Baker's Apprentice Challenge Index »

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Anadama Bread

Anadama Bread Recipe

There are several bread-centric blog events and groups that I try to keep up with:

The newest addition to my list is the Bread Baker’s Apprentice Challenge (weekly), where participants bake through Peter Reinhart’s unofficial bible for the beginning bread nerd.

Yep, I’m officially in over my head. I do have a bit of a headstart, though.

Since we’ll bake from front to back and the recipes are alphabetical, we begin with A. A is for Anadama Bread, a New England specialty baked with cornmeal and molasses.

I used dark molasses so the crumb turned out almost as deeply browned as this 100% whole grain anadama bread I posted ages ago. Notice how much more trigger happy with the camera I was back then. There’s even an embedded YouTube video about how to shape a sandwich loaf.

View Anadama Recipe - Bread with Cornmeal and Molasses »

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Jerusalem Artichoke Soup with Morel Mushrooms

Jerusalem Artichoke Soup Recipe with Morel Mushrooms

Jerusalem artichokes have nothing to do with either the capital of Israel or globe artichokes, so what gives? Extensive research indicates that we can blame the English. Jerusalem artichokes are root tubers from a type of sunflower. The Italian word for sunflower is girasole (“to turn towards the sun”), which eventually morphed into “Jerusalem” after landing on British shores. People who want none of that confusion prefer to call these sunchokes.

The “artichoke” part is easier to explain — fully cooked sunchokes taste similar to globe artichokes. When raw or lightly cooked, it will be juicy and crunchy, almost like jicama or water chestnuts.

This recipe also highlights morel mushrooms, another springtime Ingredient of Desire. The soup is finished with a hefty dose of cream for that velvety texture and topped with fragrant sauteed morels prior to serving.

View Jerusalem Artichoke Soup Recipe with Morel Mushrooms »

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Injera – Ethiopian Sourdough Flatbread

Injera Ethiopian Sourdough Flatbread Recipe

Injera, an Ethiopian staple traditionally made with teff flour, is a spongy flatbread made with a thin sourdough batter. Served in a communal place setting, assertively spiced sauces and stews are ladled on overlapping rounds and pieces are torn off to scoop up the chunkier bits. Additional injera may also be neatly folded into quarters and served on the side.

Ethiopian food is very well-represented in Chicago. I’ve somehow developed an addiction a taste for it, much like the occasional Chinese or Indian food cravings. If you’re going to an Ethiopian restaurant, keeping in mind that you’ll share a common plate and eat with your hands, it’s good to know a few things about dining etiquette:

  • Use your right hand for eating, because it is assumed that the left hand is used for less savory personal activities.
  • Keep your fingers from getting in contact with the sauces and your mouth. You’ll never find an Ethiopian restaurant with a slogan of “Finger Lickin’ Good.”
  • If someone offers to feed you a morsel, open up and say ahh. I’m sure you can think of many worse things that someone can pop in your mouth.

View Injera Recipe - Ethiopian Sourdough Flatbread »

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