Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Germany and riffing on Bittman

I went to Frankfurt a couple weekend ago for a lovely, nontraditional wedding. I ate more sausages than a reasonable flexitarian should. Oh, so many potatoes, cheese, tradition Grüne Soss, delicious-crusty-brown German bread. I can't believe how much I ate. Amazing. All totally worth it. It was a wonderful trip, even if my German is sheiße. I did manage to take photos of some of the local Hessian delicacies.

Apfelwein, local apple wine, comes in a traditional blue and white ceramic pitcher
(Adorable German lady is not included)

You mix it with seltzer water (Mineralwasser mit Kohlensauer- literally with Carbon-sour)

Handkäse mit Musik (special stinky Hessian fresh cheese. Served with "music"- oil, vinegar and raw onions.
As the groom said, one makes the music after you eat it)

But now I'm back, and I was so busy with teaching and then the blokey visiting (and we did alot of eating out), that I haven't had a moment to cook. But today I got my huge bags full of CSA veggies, rolled my sleeves up and went to work.
But not without inspiration. I stumbled across this Bitten Blog post (Mark Bittman's food blog). It was linked onto a recent blog entry. Bittman talks about this amazing lentil salad he had in France- so amazing that the rest of meal is less satisfying. There's no recipe, just a method, and the key ingredients are lentils, mustard, and bacon. So on the way home, I picked up organic, sulfite free bacon and harder lentils (still Goya brand, but not flat ones). I got a typically ridiculous cornucopia of veggies today, including a few gorgeous green, yellow and red baby tomatoes and heirloom-looking peppers. And an incredibly fragrant stem of rosemary (which Blokey calls "pine needles). I had my work cut out for me.
I did keep the original intent of Bittman's method, but I didn't cook everything together (because the beans were soaking before I got ready to cook).

Bittman inspired lentil salad and Rosemary flat bread
(served me for dinner and plenty leftover for lunch)
Cooked lentils (about 2 cups)
3 strips of bacon
5 baby tomatoes (2 medium sized ones)
3 Tbs of finely minced onions
2 small bell peppers- red or yellow- chopped
1/2 bunch of parsley, finely chopped
dijon style mustard (not sweet)
salt and vinegar as desired
Also possible: grated carrots, sliced celery, cucumbers, chopped arugula

about 3/4 cups each of white and whole grain flours
1/2 package of active dry yeast
warm water
olive oil
sea salt
fresh rosemary spring, chopped
finely diced romano cheese for sprinkling

For flatbread
1. Mix the yeast with warm water (about 3/4 c.) in a small bowl. Let sit.
2. When it gets kinda bubbly, add the liquid to the flour. Mix it all up.
3. Add about 1/4 c. of olive oil. Knead about 5 minutes. Add white flour if its too sticky. Add more than half of the rosemary
4. Let sit while you start the lentil salad.
5. Preheat oven to about 375-400
6. After about an hour (it won't rise much), divide into two balls. Then flatten them down to between 1/2" to 1/4" of thickness, and sprinkle remaining rosemary on top. Add sea salt and grated romano cheese as desired.
7. Bake for about 15-25 minutes until the cheese browns (or not. Mostly it should start to smell like bread).

for salad:
1. Cook the bacon. Don't throw out the grease.
2. Dice into smaller pieces. Add the bacon pieces to the lentils, and then add the grease. Mix.
3. Add all the greens and veggies.
4. Add a generous amont of dijon. Mix it all up. Add salt and vinegar to taste (I didn't, but it may have made it better).

1 comment:

ikke ikke said...

glad you had a good time -- and glad you are cooking! lets go on vacation together soon so i can laugh at your jokes and watch numerous men inappropriately hit on you.