Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Prepping, Bread, and Oil

We got back from Libertycon on July 3, and racked out. When we got 'round to unloading the car and cleaning the house, it was Independence Day, and all the stores were closed... and I had 6 hungry people to feed dinner, despite a rather empty fridge!

This is the kind of thing I prep for. The end of the world as we know it may or may not come once a lifetime, but extra mouths at dinner, not wanting to go to the store due to blizzard, volcanic ashfall, wildfire burning upwind, heavy rains, or just don't want to is a lot more common.The only downside to having no fresh veggies in the fridge was that I had to bake and cook, so I served a hot meal with no cool salad.

Appetizer: Greek psomi bread with dipping oil
Entre: Chicken chili on rice (Yay slow cooker and rice cooker!)
Side: Green beans with sauteed bacon, onion, and garlic
Dessert: Ice cream with sangiovese chocolate sauce

I was going to do a casserole, but the bread took long enough that I switched to beans, which can be microwaved and mixed with the sauteed part of the dish to be ready on time.

Psomi is really easy to make if you have a bread machine to do the kneading for you:

1 cup water (warm is best for dissolving the honey. No hotter than body temp, though.)
2 Tbsp honey (Killer Bees Honey. Amazing stuff!)
1.5 tsp quick yeast
3 cups flour
1 tsp salt

Use dough cycle. When it's finished, I cheated and formed the loaf into a mock braid directly on the silicon baking sheet, no extra floury surface needed, and slapping saran wrap over the top for the rise time. I also sacrificed crustiness on the loaf by oiling my hands to make it easy, which left the surface of the loaf lightly oiled, and then baking it at 325 for 30 minutes instead of 400 with sprayed water for extra steam for 15 minutes.

When it came out, I let it sit for two minutes, then dumped it onto an appetizer platter, with steam rising from where it broke in half while being shaken off the baking sheet. The mock-braid parts rose high and free, nicely browned and crispy, and were promptly broken off and eaten by happy hungry family.

Dipping oil:

1-2 tsp Tuscany Dipping Seasoning from Amarillo Grape & Olive
(Or use this recipe's spice mix, or make your own mix)
A few torn fresh basil leaves
1 teaspoon capers
1-2 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil (use the good stuff.)

In bowl, mix the spices and balsamic vinegar. Microwave for 10-15 seconds, set aside.
In pan, saute capers & garlic in olive oil until capers have bloomed. Toss in basil until just wilted, then pour/scrape everything into the bowl with the balsamic & spices. Serves 2; triple for a hungry crowd who's going to attack the fresh loaf.

(I cheated last night; I was out of capers, so I just added a little extra fresh basil from the garden to the spice mix before microwaving, and wilted it just fine like that. It was low-garlic, but no one complained, especially not with the good olive oil and 25-year balsamic.)

Despite being an emergency meal thrown together from stores, I got no complaints.

1 comment:

  1. Hell no we weren't going to complain! :-) It was GOOD! And that bread was almost dessert in itself!