How to Bake Artisan Bread $0.68 per Loaf!

How to Bake Artisan Bread @ $0.68 per Loaf

How to Bake Artisan Bread $0.68 per Loaf!

Sixty-eight cents. Yep, that is what it costs to bake a beautiful, crusty loaf of artisan style bread.  Flour, yeast, and salt. These three ingredients plus water yields a masterpiece that would cost upwards of $6 at a decent bakery.

Not surprisingly, the global pandemic has spurred an interest in bread baking. Since people have extra time at home, don’t care to run out to the supermarket often, and are happy to save over $5 with every loaf…why not bake it yourself?

And not least of all, baking one’s own bread brings a sense of satisfaction, pride, and joy which is probably the best reason to bake at this challenging time.

How to Bake Artisan Bread

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Adaptable Stuffed Cabbage for These Unusual Times

Stuffed Cabbage Recipe

Stuffed Cabbage with Mexican Crema and Walnuts
Jasmine Rice, Beef, Castelvetrano Olives, Herbs, Lemon

When I saw this recipe from Bon Appétit, I thought… I have a head of cabbage, I can make my own version without having to go to the dreaded grocery store. The result was a mighty tasty and quite striking Stuffed Cabbage made with everything on hand.

Give it a try! Use the recipe as a blueprint to incorporate what you have available. It’s actually quite fun to make the substitutions.

You’ll definitely need a cabbage, any kind will do. And long grain rice, fresh herbs, some kind of sour cream or yogurt, some nuts, an egg or two. And there you go!

The recipe is flexible; add meat or not, onion is nice but not mandatory. I like savory olives but you may like sweet raisins. Lemon is good for tart notes, but no lemon? No problem, Bon Appétit uses sumac in their recipe. No dill? Use parsley. Butter is great but olive oil would work just fine.

The recipe is easy, I did use quite a few pots and pans however. But hey, there’s plenty of time for doing dishes…

Adaptable Stuffed Cabbage Recipe

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Chicken Soup with a Big Comforting Matzo Ball

Chicken Soup with a Big Comforting Matzo Ball

Chicken Soup with a Big Comforting Matzo Ball

If this were a normal Passover, I would be in Chicago right now with 15 lbs. of brisket in the oven, a huge pot of chicken soup on the stovetop, plus some 100 matzo balls in production, prepping for a  fabulous multi-course meal for my family and friends as I have done for the past two decades.

Since, unfortunately, this is not a normal Passover. I am in Las Vegas, not Chicago. And I’m not cooking a multi-course meal for thirty-five, I’m cooking for one. Just a nice bowl of my chicken soup with a big comforting matzo ball.

Happily, in spite of the global pandemic, we’ll still be holding our Seder and holding tight to tradition. We will all Zoom in on the internet at sundown on Wednesday to retell the Passover story of how we were slaves in Egypt before God led us to freedom with signs and wonders. Each year at Passover we go on a journey in our hearts from slavery to freedom and from sadness to joy. This year is no different in that respect.

Big Matzo Ball Recipe and Matzo Ball Secrets

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Short Rib Kreplach and Nana’s Meat Soup

Short Rib Kreplach and Nana's Meat Soup

Celebrating Hanukkah, The Festival of Lights
with
Short Rib Kreplach and Nana’s Meat Soup

Back in 2008 I had asked my Mother about recipes from the past. She said that my Nana (my paternal grandmother) made excellent soups. I remembered her chicken soup which I still make to this day, and her delicious borscht. Mom said that she always liked Nana’s meat soup. Meat Soup, I asked? Mom said that it was just like chicken soup but with meat. She still had the recipe.

These are the ingredients my Mother had listed on the old recipe index card from notes she took while watching her mother-in-law make meat soup: short ribs, carrots, onions, parsnips, celery stalks, parsley root, dried large lima beans, and egg noodles.

In honor of Hanukkah and in remembrance of my dear mother Joyce (1933- 2013) and dear grandmother Fanny (1894-1972), I’m making Nana’s Meat Soup and adding those comforting Jewish dumplings known as kreplach, filled with tasty shredded short ribs of beef.

Short Rib Kreplach and Nana's Meat Soup

Short Rib Kreplach and Nana’s Meat Soup

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Quinoa Salad with Pineapple Vinaigrette

Quinoa Salad with Pineapple Vinaigrette

Quinoa Salad with Pineapple, Blueberries, Toasted Almonds
Spinach, Arugula, Red Onion
Pineapple Vinaigrette

Here is a harmonious salad that I developed for my friends at Great Giant Pineapple, one of the top three global producers of premium pineapples. It is perfectly balanced, with a variety of flavors, textures, and colors. And it’s simply delightful for summertime al fresco dining…

We will be sampling this salad along with other pineapple products at the IDDBA Convention on June 2, 3, and 4 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida. IDDBA is the largest industry-only show for dairy, deli, bakery, and food services industries. Please visit us at Booth 3444 where I’ll be preparing this Quinoa Salad plus a fabulous Goat Cheese Flatbread with Pineapple Salsa and Fresh Herbs.

Quinoa Salad Recipe

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My Beautiful Matzoh Ball Soup

Beautiful Matzoh Ball Soup

My Beautiful Matzoh Ball Soup with Herbs and Flowers

Among the many Seder rituals, out of innocence the youngest child who is able asks The Four Questions. The first Question posed, “Why is this night different from all other nights? On all other nights we eat leavened bread or matzoh but tonight we eat only matzoh. Why?”

And to all the children at Seders around the world, the first Question is answered, “This night is different because we eat the unleavened bread called matzoh in remembrance of our ancestors’ haste to escape from Egypt’s bondage as there was no time to let the dough rise.”

Among the many Passover dishes, Matzoh Ball Soup is a perennial favorite.

Beautiful Matzoh Ball Soup

Since 2007, I have shared many a matzoh ball here on Taste With The Eyes. But this year, because winter had been especially rainy, cold, and snowy from LA, to Las Vegas, to Chicago…I am giving an extra nod to rebirth and springtime by adding more green herbs and pretty edible flowers to the soup.

Everyone had the same reaction to this bowl of soup. “That’s beautiful!” they said, so here I present the 2019 version called My Beautiful Matzoh Ball Soup.

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Red Lentil Risotto with Chorizo

Red Lentil Risotto with Chorizo

Red Lentil Risotto with Chorizo

My friends at Explore Cuisine have just released a new product, Red Lentil Risoni, an orzo made exclusively of red lentil flour. It is produced in Italy, and has 13 grams of protein and 3 grams of fiber per 2 oz. serving, it’s organic and gluten-free too.

I am excited to be joining them again this year, at Natural Products Expo West in Anaheim, California on March 7, 8, and 9 to help debut this terrific product. Please stop by Booth #4906 to sample this uber-tasty risotto in a rotation with Edamame Spaghetti with Pesto, Green Lentil Lasagne, Brown Rice Noodle Pad Thai, Black Bean Black Sesame Fettuccine, Edamame Ramen and more. Most of the dishes will be vegan or vegetarian, all are gluten-free.

For this dish, the classic risotto cooking method is applied to the rice-shaped lentils. The result is a creamy high-protein lentil dish masquerading as rice, flavored with spicy pork sausage (handmade by my San Pedro butcher). Just add a green salad for a wholly satisfying meal.

Red Lentil Risotto with Chorizo Recipe

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