March 2013

spelt quick bread

Posted on March 20, 2013

This recipe is dedicated to my mother. This bread precisely is her type of bread. She’s never been a fan of fluffy white breads, at least not in my memory. As kids we’d plead for a sandwich loaf that didn’t look like a bird feeder. But, since we cannot help but turn into our parents, my recent love affair with seedy loaves probably shouldn’t come as a surprise.

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This bread is dense and nutty. Two slices of it and you’ll feel full until noon. I’ve been tweaking the recipe for a few weeks and now it comes close to a few really great spelt breads that you can find around San Francisco that kicked off my recent obsession.

This is a quick bread, which means you just mix and bake. With no waiting for dough to rise and loaves to proof, you can have a hot loaf of bread in about an hour and a half.

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Spelt Quick Bread
4 cups spelt flour
1/2 cup sesame seeds
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon molasses
3 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 egg
2 – 2 1/4 cups milk
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
butter for greasing the pans

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Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour two 9 x 5 loaf pans. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, sesame seeds, baking soda and salt. In another medium bowl, whisk together the molasses, honey, brown sugar, egg and milk. Combine the wet and dry ingredients in the larger bowl, stirring to combine. Spoon half of the batter into each loaf pan. Top generously with sesame seeds.

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Place both loaf pans side by side with some room between in the middle rack of the oven. Cover both with a baking sheet. This will help get a nice even brown crust on the top that doesn’t split open. Bake 40 minutes – 1 hour, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

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We love this bread topped with goat cheese for lunch or dinner. It is also lovely for breakfast broiled with butter and cinnamon sugar.

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-Emily

consider the oyster

Posted on March 13, 2013

We’re fortunate enough to live very close to very delicious oysters. We’re also lucky enough to have friends to whom eating upwards of 25 oysters a person seems like the perfect way to spend an afternoon. If it’s a Saturday in San Francisco, it is easy (and surprisingly affordable) to secure a few bushels of oysters for your enjoyment at the Alemany Farmer’s Market from Point Reyes Oyster Company.

Throw your bushels of oysters in a cooler, pour a few bags of ice on top, and get ready to shuck. Though oysters are divine on their own, you’ll probably want some fixin’s to go with them. We’d recommend lemon wedges, mango shallot mignonette, hot sauce, and maybe some bread and cheese. Don’t forget a healthy supply of beer, wine and whisky. Pertinent recipes to follow.

The best way to shuck an oyster (and minimize the amount of shell shrapnel you ingest) is to insert the tip of the oyster knife in the hinge of the oyster, apply firm pressure downwards at a 45 degree angle until the knife goes into the oyster and the oyster releases. The two halves of its shell will loosen and you can more easily run your knife around the edges to free the oyster from the shell. Detach the oyster foot from the shell, apply your condiments and enjoy!

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Mango Shallot Mignonette
1/2 cup Ponzu marinade
5 tablespoons shallots, minced
1/4 cup mango, finely diced ripe
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated
salt and pepper to taste

Combine ingredients and dilute with a little water if necessary. Refrigerate 1 – 2 hours, or overnight to allow the flavors to combine.

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Friendly Fire Hot Sauce
For those who can’t handle the heat.
10 poblano peppers
4 carrots
1 large yellow onion
3/4 head of garlic
3 roma tomatoes
450 ml white balsamic vinegar (find it at Trader Joe’s)
1 teaspoon paprika
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
pinch of nutmeg
pinch of cumin

Preheat an oven to 425 degrees. Roast peppers, onion and garlic until brown and slightly charred, about 40 minutes.  Transfer peppers, onion and garlic to a saucepan. Add tomatoes, vinegar, lime and seasonings. Bring to a boil for a few minutes. Cool and blend.

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Satan’s Sister Hot Sauce
For those who like it hot.
23 habanero peppers
23 serrano peppers
1 passilla bajo pepper
1 large yellow onion
3 roma tomatoes
1/2 lime
250 ml white balsamic vinegar (Trader Joe’s has it)
200 ml balsamic vinegar
1 tsp paprika
pinch of nutmeg
pinch of cumin
pinch of turmeric
salt, to taste

Preheat an oven to 425 degrees. Roast peppers, onion and garlic until brown and slightly charred, about 40 minutes.  Transfer peppers, onion and garlic to a saucepan. Add tomatoes, vinegar, lime and seasonings. Bring to a boil for a few minutes. Cool and blend.

Special thanks to our friends Sonny and Russell for sharing their recipes in this post.

-Emily