Originally uploaded by dumin.

I was bored so I made a quiche. I used the reserved and frozen portion of the pate brisee I had prepared for my blueberry tarts for the crust.

I cooked half a white onion in butter on the stove. I then added chopped broccoli, cherry tomatoes, and chopped green bell pepper to the pan and covered it to steam the other vegetables.

I then combined three eggs, 3/4 C of heavy cream, and 1/2 C of finely shredded cheddar and bleu cheese. I beat these together and seasoned with salt and pepper as well as a pinch of nutmeg and a pinch of cayenne.

I then salted and peppered the steaming vegetables and added a pinch of nutmeg to them as well.

I then arranged the vegetable mixture in the bottom of the unbaked pie shell and poured the egg-cream mixture over it all. Finally, I sprinkled about a T of slivered almonds on top before baking the quiche for 50 minutes in a 350F preheated oven.

I used a silicone baking dish that my mother gave me to bake this. I had never used one before and I have to admit I was wary of them. Other than the slightly gas-like smell they seem to give off while they bake, I had no real complaints. In fact, it turned out quite well.

Question: Has anyone else used any of this silicone bake ware and what was your impression?

I’m still a little sketched out by them for some reason and I always kind of feel as though I am cheating whenever I use some fancy new product that does not seem ‘traditional’ to me.

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Anonymous - At 1/24/2005 08:14:45 PM, Chefsf said…
i use a “silpat” that’s made in France. It acts like parchment paper. great for cookies, or cooking with anything that’s sticky or messy-silpats don’t stick.
you can find them at novelty cooking stores-im sure you already have your favorites!, for about 20-30 bucks a pop. I love mine. I use it when baking pies for the spill over. It washes so easily!

Anonymous - At 1/24/2005 08:14:45 PM, Chefsf said…
i use a “silpat” that’s made in France. It acts like parchment paper. great for cookies, or cooking with anything that’s sticky or messy-silpats don’t stick.
you can find them at novelty cooking stores-im sure you already have your favorites!, for about 20-30 bucks a pop. I love mine. I use it when baking pies for the spill over. It washes so easily!

Anonymous - At 1/25/2005 10:53:05 PM, Chefsf said…
I haven’t noticed the silpat giving off any foul odors or tastes. Have you ever baked with a baking stone or used cast iron? My silpat, I like to say, is seasoned. I wash it everytime after I use it(which you’re not supposed to do with cast iron or the baking stone).
If you go to a kitchen store or even better, a restruant supply store or if you read in the classified section of the newspaper and read the restruants going out of business, they have liquidating sales to get rid of the equimpment before the courts take over. You can find good deals on pots, pans, deli slicers, stuff like that(a little worn, but good otherwise), you can get the 1/2 and full jellyroll(cookie) sheet pans. The silpat was made for this size and not the home cookie sheet size because they originated from the industry, not from a homemaker.
Your quiche is beautiful! I will post your blog address on my blog, I haven’t figured out how to add links in yet.

Anonymous - At 1/25/2005 10:55:05 PM, Chefsf said…
oh, and thankyou for adding my blog to yours!


Originally uploaded by dumin.

We had a lazy Saturday (well, besides our landlord bringing a real estate agent here unannounced) which included eating, reading, drinking coffee, listening to npr, playing board games, and eventually –baking. I decided to try to make panmarino after hearing of it for the first time on Il Forno. The recipe I used can be found here.

We oddly happened to have fresh rosemary around the house and therefore I used this instead of dried.

It turned out wonderfully. I should have tucked the bottom seams in better after forming the loaf, but other than that it was a very attractive one.

Reading through the comments for this particular bread on Il Forno I learned that using a razor blade for slashing has good results for some. I found the same.

The bread came out of the oven and I proceeded to enjoy nearly the entire loaf with John and our new roommate and friend, Aviva.

I would definitely make this bread again. I am curious to see how it fares with dried rosemary. It is a highly aromatic bread which is a pleasure to bake.

Chicago experienced a miniature blizzard yesterday and shortly after we devoured the bread, John and I took Fenya (the dog) out for a long run through the snow. She was having the time of her life. It was excellent.

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Blackberry Tarts

Blackberry Tarts
Originally uploaded by dumin.

I received the Martha Stewart book that I had purchased, Pies & Tarts, on Friday and I decided to bake something out of it today.

I followed her pate brisee recipe to make the tart crust. I then took components from a few recipes to make a glaze and a cream filling.

I have made a number of pies and tarts and this crust turned out the best thus far. It was lovely, golden, and flakey.

I baked the tart shells first. I removed them from their rings, glazed them, and let them cool. I then added the cream filling, the blackberries, and finally glazed the berries.

I just finished eating mine (I am giving the other to my roommate who is here this weekend, our other roommates are out of town). This has been my most successful crust experience, which is fantastic. Other than the crust the tarts were delightful, but a little too sweet to finish. I think next time I might try to blend some lemon zest into the cream and use an orange marmalade jelly to make the glaze (I used redcurrent this time). Perhaps this will balance the flavors a bit better and cut the sweet and heavy tastes slightly.

Thank you for the few sweet comments I have received. I appreciate the encouragement!

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Anonymous - At 1/15/2005 10:34:04 PM, Chefsf said…
If you really feel like splurging with buying a book, you might like to invest in The Professional Pastry Chef by Bo Friberg. It is a really good book, it may look a little intimidating, but it is really good. He also has a website(chefbo.com). It’s $65 US book price, but I got it off of amazon.com for a little bit less. Your tarts look really good! Keep it up. Today I made honey wheat rolls from Bo Friberg’s book. They were awesome. If you want the recipe, let me know. Post a comment at chefsera.blogspot.com


Originally uploaded by dumin.

I made baguettes tonight. I tripled the recipe and made two loaves while reserving one third to refridgerate. I used the baguette recipe (with some minor modificiations) from Ultimate Bread by Eric Treuille & Ursula Ferrigno.

They turned out well. I put a pan of water under the bread pan in the oven to provide moisture and I also threw a 1/2 oz. of water onto the bottom of the oven 4x during the last five minutes. They turned out to have a nice, crisp, golden crust and a light and wonderfully textured interior.

Unfortunately the loaves did not look as beautiful as some others I have seen, but I will work on the cosmetic quality.

I served the breads with three variations of brie which obviously went perfectly with warm bread.

Overall, it was successful (I had made baguettes before with little success) though there is clearly room for substantial improvement

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Anonymous - At 1/9/2005 11:48:05 PM, Chefsf said…
Your bread looks soooo good! Good job on doing something like this. I jsut got done making some bread and I’m pretty darn proud of it too. Check out my blog on my experience through culinary school. You might like it. chefsera.blogspot.com
i love your blog, thankyou


Originally uploaded by dumin.

Last night my boyfriend made a delicious Indian dinner and I decided to make naan to accompany it. I used the naan recipe from Bread by Christine Ingram & Jennie Shapter.

I grew impatient while waiting for the groceries to arrive so I tried a first batch with some modifications. Namely, olive oil in place of vegetable oil and vanilla yogurt in place of plain yogurt. As one can imagine these were not nearly as good as the final product, but it was nice to practice and to start baking once the drive hit.

When the true ingredients arrived I was feeling confident. They turned out well and ended up puffing and browning nicely. They were perhaps a little chewier than I would have liked.

I used quick-rise yeast (again, I get impatient) which, while I don’t know for sure, I have the feeling that some serious bakers would look down on that. I will try to cut down on my not constant, but often use of it.

The naan only needs to rise 45 min, so it was a pretty easy thing to bake in conjuction with a dinner menu.

After rolling the dough into tear-drop shapes, I set each side of the dough briefly in a plate of olive oil and sprinkled one side with sesame seeds and fresh chopped garlic. I then baked them on inverted cookie sheets which had been heated in a 500°F oven for ten minutes. They baked about 4 minutes.

I reserved a portion of the dough (I had quadrupled the recipe) and made the rest in the morning (with cheddar and veggie bacon). The dough kept well in the refridgerator. I kneaded it a few times and let it come to room temperature before rolling out and baking. The texture may have actually improved with the wait.

Here is the full recipe:
Here is the naan recipe that I used:
2 cups unbleached white bread flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 oz fresh yeast ( I tripled the recipe and used one packet quick-rise yeast)
4 tbsp lukewarm milk ( I used to 2%)
1 tbsp vegetable oil
2 tbsp natural yogurt
1 egg
2-3 tbsp melted ghee or butter for brusing (I used olive oil with chopped garlic)
This recipe makes 3 naan as is (hence, why I tripled it)
1. sift flour, salt together in one bowl.
2. cream yeast (or sprinkle if you are using dried) with the milk and let sit until active (about 15 min.).
3. combine the yeast mixture, oil, yogurt, and egg with the flour/salt mixture. it should form a soft dough.
4. turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead 10 min. dough should become smooth and elastic.
5. place dough in a lightly oiled bowl and cover ( I used lightly oiled saran wrap to do this. It traps heat nicely) to rise 45 min.
6. preheat over to 450F and place inverted baking sheets in the oven at this time to heat with the oven.
7. turn out the dough to the floured work surface and knock back. Divide into 3 equal pieces (or 3x how many times you doubled the recipe) and form into balls.
8. cover all but one to reserve (or at this point you can reserve in the refridgerator for later use. they kept well for the 24 hours I reserved the dough. they will continue to rise actively, so be sure to place them in a lightly oiled bowl with oiled film).
9. roll out the ball into a teardrop shape about 10in long, 5in wide and 1/4in thick.
10. place each naan ( I did two at a time) on the baking sheets for 3-4 minutes. remove when puffed and slighly browned. (I flipped a few of them and it didn’t seem to damage the end result).
11. while baking the rest keep the naan warm. I kept mine in the microwave. The heat from each additional naan kept the others warm in the confined space.

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Anonymous - At 1/22/2005 05:19:12 PM, Chefsf said…
could you give me the recipe for your naan. It looks beautifull!