Thursday, December 9, 2010

with hearts full of thanks and mouths full of food

We celebrated Thanksgiving a couple of Saturdays ago...  Why a Saturday, you ask?  Well because living in Canada is not conducive to celebrating American holidays.  So since we didn't get any time off during the week to cook up a storm , Saturday was dubbed our substitute turkey day.

I played head chef, mom was my sous chef/turkey cooker and dad my dishwasher.  The rest of the gang were good sports and played guinea pigs for the day.  To my delight (and surprise), they seemed to actually like it.  Not just thank you helpings, but stuffed to the gill helpings!!! (still not over it, can you tell?) 

I was super excited to cook such a big meal for such a big group (7 people is huge when you're used to cooking for 2!). So excited, that I actually put together a formal menu (yup, I'm that dorky ...and I never actually ended up using it, but was fun to make regardless). 

I was really eager to share the kind of food that I eat - wholesome food that starts with real ingredients, that's put together from scratch, that uses unprocessed ingredients and that tastes great.  My siblings insist that I eat all I ever eat is "cardboard and grass" and that "Angy food" is bland and lacking in flavour -- I just wanted to prove to them that you can eat well and love it. 

It was a bit stressful at times, but a great experience overall.  To be honest, I'm already looking forward to my next opportunity to cook for a group.  In the meantime, I thought I'd share some of the recipes from our Thanksgiving meal, starting with the Focaccia bread.   I got this recipe from Home Ec class back in Grade 9 and hadn't looked at it since - the original recipe calls for all purpose flour, but I subbed in white whole wheat and it turned out great.  So without further ado...

Whole Wheat Focaccia Bread

2 1/2 cup White Whole Wheat Flour
1 tbsp Quick Rise Yeast
1 tsp Sea Salt
1 tsp Thyme
1 tsp Savoury
1 1/2 tsp Oregano
1 1/2 tsp Basil
3 tbsp Olive Oil
(I used extra virgin)
1/2 tsp Sugar
1 cup Warm Water
Olive Oil, Coarse Salt & extra herbs for topping

Combine 1 1/2 cups of the flour with yeast, sugar, salt and herbs.  Combine warm water and oil in a separate bowl, then pour into flour mixture.  Gradually add the rest of the flour until a soft dough is formed. 

Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for a minute or two.  Divide dough into two halves and coat each half with oil, then gently press them into ovals.  Cover dough and let rise 10-15 minutes in a warm place.  Use this time to preheat your oven to 450* F. 

Brush your "loaves" with olive oil and sprinkle course salt and extra herbs on top (as much or as little as you like). 

Bake in top 1/3 of the oven for 15 - 17 minutes (if it doesn't brown in that time frame, broil the top for 1 minute).  Serve with olive oil & balsamic vinegar - or alongside soup! 

No comments:

Post a Comment

Blogging tips