Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Light wheat bread

From "The Bread Baker's Apprentice" by Peter Reinhart:

The romance of free-form loaves has occupied me for several months, but today I just felt like having a sandwich loaf. This is a very reliable bread - flavorful and earthy with whole wheat, but it's lightened by using roughly two-thirds regular white bread flour. So it's not terribly dense. Parents of young children, you know that sort of heavy artisan loaf can be tough to sell to 7-year olds! This one, though, my youngest can accept without confrontation. Made a double batch.

Good Tillamook unsalted butter and great thick-cut marmalade is at the ready, just waiting for those loaves to cool!

Gillian Coldsnow

Brie en croute

Just out of the oven, with brie bubbling through the top:

This is its genesis. I used the brioche recipe from my culinary bible, Shirley Corriher's "Cookwise," but chose a mini-brie instead of the 2-pound wheel prescribed. The recipe calls for a filling of apricots, walnuts and citrus zest soaked in amaretto. I've made it several times before, and it's excellent. But this time I wanted something savory, so used her suggested variation of prosciutto, fresh sage leaves and lemon zest:

Omigod. I'll DEFINITELY be using the big 2-pound wheel of Brie next time! It was an incredible blend of so many flavors - the butter in the brioche, the creamy brie, the salty prosciutto, the zing of lemon and the incomparable aroma of fresh sage (thank goodness my plant made it thus far into the season.)

Wish I had a picture of the sliced brie. So pretty - the layers of brown and yellow bread, white cheese, pink meat and green sage with yellow flecks of lemon zest. We were starting on the cranberry vodka cocktails - and reaching for the camera was not on my mind!

Gillian Coldsnow

Thanksgiving menu

Brie stuffed with prosciutto, fresh sage and lemon en croute
Apricot ginger sausage en croute
Croissant crackers
Red gypsy pepper jelly
Homemade cranberry vodka and tonic

English Wensleydale with cranberries
Cristalino Cava Brut (Spain)

Mussels in Italian salsa verde
Antinori Campogrande Orvieto Classico 2004 (Italy)

Mango-ginger Stilton (England)
Moseland Ars Vitis Riesling Spatlese 2005 (Germany)

Cream of wild mushroom soup
Italian bread
Etorki (French Basque sheep’s-milk cheese)
Yellowtail Shiraz (Australia)

Salad of butter lettuce, Comice pears, Salmon Valley blue cheese and glazed walnuts
Hogue Late Harvest White Riesling 2004 (Columbia Valley)

Crispy duck in tangerine sauce
Laura Hartner’s Cherry wine

Roast turkey
Sausage stuffing
Oyster stuffing
Garlic-mashed Yukon Gold potatoes
Jewel Yams with bourbon
Sweet potatoes with cilantro and lime
Brussels sprouts in horseradish cream
Lemon green beans
Mama Stamberg’s cranberry relish
Orange-star anise cranberry sauce
Columbia Crest Cabernet sauvignon 2002 (Columbia Valley)

Zardetto Prosecco Brut Conegliano (Italy)

Pumpkin pie
Chocolate-Cranberry torte
French roast coffee

Just for the record, we started eating at 2 in the afternoon, and finished at about 11. If you consider the nine-hour spread, it's not so bad!