Brioche

What is brioche you ask? It is a rich, firm, and buttery bread. It is good for toasting, sandwiches, and just about everything else! The kneading of the dough takes a lot of work so you might need someone to help you (I asked my mom to help). It takes along time to make so I suggest starting in the early morning. I got this recipe from The Silver Palate Cookbook by Julee Rosso & Sheila Lukins.

  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/2 pound (2 sticks) sweet butter
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 packages active dry yeast
  • 4 teaspoons salt
  • 3 eggs, at room temperature
  • 8 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  1. Combine milk, butter, and sugar in a medium-size saucepan and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and pour into a large mixing bowl. Cool to lukewarm (105 to 115 degrees F).
  2. Stir in the yeast and let stand for 10 minutes. Stir in the salt. Beat the eggs thoroughly in a small bowl and add to the milk mixture. Stir in 7 cups of the flour, 1 cup at a time, until you achieve a sticky dough. Flour a work surface and turn the dough out onto it. Wash and dry the bowl.
  3. Sprinkle additional flour over the dough and begin to knead, adding more flour as necessary until you achieve a smooth, elastic dough, about 10 minutes. This should take about ten minutes. Form into a ball.
  4. Pour 2 to 3 tablespoons vegetable oil into the bowl. Turn the ball of dough in the oil to coat well. Set dough aside, covered with a towel, to rise until tripled in bulk, about 2 hours.
  5.  Punch the dough down, turn onto a lightly floured surface, and knead for about 2 minutes. Return dough to bowl, cover, and let rise again until doubled, another 1 to 2 hours.
  6. Preheat oven to 375 F.
  7. Dough is now ready to be formed. If you are baking it in loaf pans, use 2 pans 9 x 5 x 3 inches, lightly buttered. For traditional brioche, use muffin tins or imported brioche molds, available in varying sizes from cookware shops. Let formed dough rise until nearly doubled
  8. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes (slightly less for small brioches) or until golden brown. Cool before removing from the pan.

I give the brioche 5 out of 5 chefs

Advertisements

Cafe Florie

Cafe Florie was in the New York Times Magazine. It is located in downtown Savannah, GA. The good news must have gotten out because there was a family from Sarasota, Florida that made the long trip to eat there. It is very small (so get there early to get a table) with a feeling like home. Cafe Florie serves “healthy southern soul food”. This restaurant has lots of  homemade food such as bread, lemonade, tea, fries (Johnny Fries), and almost everything else. I had the Roast Chicken Sandwich with an avocado sauce and a side of fries. The chicken is tender and well flavored, and the fries are a little bit crunchy and a little soft so they are perfect, they are also well seasoned.

By the way, I suggest that you share a sandwich because the portions are so big. Or, you can be like me and take the leftovers home for the next day’s lunch.

Roast Chicken Sandwich                       Banana Nutella Crepe                           Tuna Melt Sandwich

I give the Roast Chicken Sandwich: 5 out of 5 chefs

Café Florie on Urbanspoon

Hummus

Don’t mistake hummus for humus, the dirt. One is great for flowers and one is much better tasting. This Greek dip is not only good tasting, but it is also good for you. Hummus is mostly made of chickpeas (did you know that people have been eating chickpeas for more than 7,500 years?) It is really high in protein. I got this recipe from Food Network.com. It was a little dry and chunky so I added some olive oil and blended the mixture an extra 30 seconds. I suggest serving it with Stacy’s Pita Chips (multigrain).

  • 2 (15-ounce) cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, or more as needed, plus more for garnish
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 2 tablespoons roughly chopped fresh parsley leaves, plus more for garnish
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon dark Asian sesame oil
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 12 to 15 grinds black pepper
  • 1/4 cup water
  • Paprika, for garnish
  1. In a blender combine all the ingredients except the parsley and paprika to be used for garnish. Blend on low-speed until smooth. You’ll have to stop the blender often to push down the ingredients. If the mixture is too dry and you’re having trouble blending it, add a few more tablespoons of olive oil to help things along.Scrape the hummus onto a plate.
  2. Sprinkle the paprika over the top, drizzle lightly with olive oil, scatter some parsley on top, and serve. You can make the hummus up to a couple of hours before you serve it. Cover the top with plastic wrap and leave it at room temperature.

I give this hummus: 4out of 5 chefs

Oven-Barbecued Beef Brisket

I got this recipe from the Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook. The meat was very sweet and tender, but it was a little dry so you should make sure to use the barbecue sauce. I suggest serving it with peas and mashed potatoes. Delicious!

  • 1 3 – 3 1/2 pound fresh beef brisket
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion (1 medium)
  • 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar or white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon instant beef bouillon granules
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1  1/2 cups bottled barbecue sauce
  1. Trim fat from meat. Place meat in a 13x9x2-inch baking pan. In a small bowl stir together water, onion, Worcestershire sauce, vinegar, chili powder, bouillon granules, cayenne pepper, and garlic. Pour over meat. Cover with foil. Bake in a 325 degree F oven about 3 hours or until tender, turning once. Remove meat; discard juices. Thinly slice meat across the grain. Place on a serving platter. Serve with barbecue sauce.

I give the oven-barbecued beef brisket: 4 out of 5 chefs

Chiriya’s Thai Cuisine

Chiriya’s Thai Cuisine has Thai and Hawaiian food. I had the satay chicken with a peanut sauce. It was very good, the chicken was tender and well flavored, and the peanut sauce was sweet and tasted a lot like peanut butter. The service is very good and the chef/owner, Chiriya, came out just to meet me!!!!!!

This is Chiriya and me.

This is what my mom got, Chiriya’s Special Noodles.

I give the satay chicken with peanut sauce: 5 out of 5 chefs

Chiriya's Thai Cuisine on Urbanspoon

Dumplings and Sushi

These recipes are from Food Network.com. The sauce was sweet and the dumplings were savory. I suggest serving these with sushi. My sister made the sushi and I made the dumplings.

Get your family to help fold the dumplings and the folding will go a lot faster. It will be fun!!!!!

Click here for the dumpling recipe.

For the Sushi Rice:

  • 2 cups sushi or short grain rice
  • 2 cups water, plus extra for rinsing rice
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  1. Place the rice into a mixing bowl and cover with cool water. Swirl the rice in the water, pour off and repeat 2 to 3 times or until the water is clear.
  2. Place the rice and 2 cups of water into a medium saucepan and place over high heat. Bring to a boil, uncovered. Once it begins to boil, reduce the heat to the lowest setting and cover. Cook for 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and let stand, covered, for 10 minutes.
  3. Combine the rice vinegar, sugar and salt in a small bowl and heat in the microwave on high for 30 to 45 seconds. Transfer the rice into a large wooden or glass mixing bowl and add the vinegar mixture. Fold thoroughly to combine and coat each grain of rice with the mixture. Allow to cool to room temperature before using to make sushi.

For the Sushi:

  • sushi rice (above)
  • 1 medium avocado, peeled, pitted, and sliced into 1/4-inch thick pieces
  • 1/4 stick of cream cheese
  • 4 sheets nori
  • 1/2 batch sushi rice, recipe follows
  • 1/3 cup sesame seeds, toasted
  • 1 small cucumber, peeled, seeded, and cut into matchstick-size pieces
  • 4 crab sticks, torn into pieces
  • Pickled ginger, for serving (optional)
  • Wasabi, for serving (optional)
  • Soy sauce, for serving (optional)

Cover a bamboo rolling mat with plastic wrap. Cut nori sheets in half crosswise. Lay 1 sheet of nori, shiny side down, on the plastic covered mat. Wet your fingers with water and spread about 1/2 cup of the rice evenly onto the nori. Sprinkle the rice with sesame seeds. Place 1/4 of the cucumber, avocado, cream cheese, and crab sticks in the center of the sheet. Grab the edge of the mat closest to you, keeping the fillings in place with your fingers, and roll it into a tight cylinder, using the mat to shape the cylinder. Pull away the mat and set aside. Cover with a damp cloth. Repeat until all of the rice has been used. Cut each roll into 6 pieces. Serve with pickled ginger, wasabi and soy sauce.

I give the dumplings and the sushi: 5 out of 5 chefs