Chive-dill bread

– even I can’t come up with a witty title for that! Bake it any way.

2 1/2  teaspoons yeast

1/4 cup boiling  water

1 tablespoon melted butter

1 teaspoon salt

1 Tablespoon finely chopped dill

1 cup cottage cheese

1 tablespoon sugar

1 egg

10-15 fresh chives, snipped into small bits

2 -3 cups all-purpose flour

-Now you’ve heard me say before that you must never use hot ingredients to knead into bread dough as it will kill the yeast, in general that’s correct.  But stay with me  kittens….. In the bowl of your kitchen aid mixer combine the boiling water and cottage cheese.  Stir and behold!!! You now have tepid cottage cheese.  Mix in sugar, herbs and yeast and a cup of flour. Stir thoroughly with a wooden spoon.  Set aside in a warm spot for about 20 minutes to proof the yeast-Don’t skip this step. There are a lot of ingredients to this recipe and you need to test the yeast to make sure it is strong enough to support all of them, otherwise you will have the grossest frittata in the world, instead of a lovely loaf of bread. Once all is foamy, stir in at least one other cup of flour, the salt and and up to another ½ cup of flour.   Let your dough hook take it from here and let your machine go at a moderate speed until the dough begins to clean the sides of the bowl.   Butter your bread pans (2)   hand knead your dough and  cut it into two logs and rest each one in a prepared pan.  Rise for at least an hour.  Use an egg wash and then bake your bread at 325* for about 45 minutes.  Ideally, and I do understand that we live in a fallen world, allow it to rest for at least 15 minutes and then serve forthwith slathered in butter.

 It has taken me longer to describe it than it will take you to do. The chive –dill combination can seem both Scandinavian and somehow Baltic.  See the archive for Beef Paprikash.  This bread is  also surreal as the basis of a turkey sandwich, or if royalty is visiting (or you live in Alaska) smoked salmon….

 

Sweet Tea

 

 

I’m a big fan of sun brewed tea. Put tea bags into a large glass container, fill with water and set it in the sun (on your kitchen counter is fine). Within a few hours you will have steeped yourself some lovely tea. Meanwhile make simple syrup:

Combine a cup of sugar and 1/2 cup of water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and stir until all sugar has dissolved. Set aside to cool. I tend to sweeten the whole quart, but you could pour your syrup into one of those glass pitchers made for maple syrup, and let everyone sweeten their own. You can also flavor our syrup with lemon zest or a handful of frozen raspberries. I might even suggest making huckleberry tea. But everyone knows I think huckleberries are life changingly delicious.

Killian’s fave Rhubarb Custard Pie

 

 

Pie Crust

 

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour

2 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon salt

8 tablespoons vegetable shortening (cut into cubes and chilled)

12 tablespoons unsalted butter (cut into cubes and chilled)

6 tablespoons ice water

You are hereby granted the right to use store bought pie crust, in this recipe and in perpetuity—there’s no guilt in cooking. Pick your battles.

 

Filling

 

3 eggs

3 tablespoons milk

1/4 cup unbleached white flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 3/4 cups sugar

3/4 teaspoon nutmeg

4 cups chopped rhubarb (Hazel grows her own of course- it can be sliced and frozen so you can enjoy the tart juiciness of early summer all year round). You can also buy it frozen. In either case, let it thaw first and let it slightly drain.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

 

Pulse butter, shortening and dry ingredients for the crusts in a food processor until the texture resembles coarse cornmeal. Add water until dough comes together in a ball. Divide dough into two even parts and roll out for the top & bottom crusts

Beat together eggs & milk.

Mix flour, salt, sugar and nutmeg for the filling together. Then add these dry ingredients to the egg mixture.

Mix in chopped rhubarb.

Pour filling into pie shell and cover with second pastry top.

Bake 50-60 minutes.

Serve warm with ice cream! For the wedding my Mom and Hazel made small tarts of this. This was a labor of love and made our day even more special. Bake smaller tarts about 20 minutes. They should look set and slightly puffed when they are done.

 

Wedding Smoked Salmon Salad

 

 

2 cups Alaskan smoked salmon, very thinly sliced

1 bunch mixed salad green

1 small cucumber, thinly sliced

1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar

 

Dressing

 

5 Tbl capers, finely chopped

2/3 cup olive oil

1 lemon, juice of

salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Lightly blend all the ingredients for the dressing and season with salt and pepper.

Pile up a small portion of the mixed salad leaves in the center of the plate.

Then arrange the slices of cucumber followed by sliced salmon as desired on top of the bed of lettuce.

Drizzle the dressing over. My Mom swore that she didn’t like smoked salmon. Oh, please. She loved it. She said savoring this salad was the second best thing about the day. The first was watching me wear my Nana’s gown while I became Mrs. Killian Nelson. One more layer of deliciousness on an already perfect day.

 

White Chili

 

 

 

Don’t love the name—love the dish.

 

when Hugh was missing,I made a triple sized batch.  figured you might not be feeding waves of searchers. This would be perfect for a super bowl party or a nippy Monday night when you need sustenance, but not stodge.

2 lbs chicken thighs

3 medium onions

6 cans small white beans

Chili powder, cumin

Chicken broth-carton is better than canned

Chili add ins—corn chips, grated cheese, diced jalapeno’s, sour cream

 

I described this recipe in the blog post called “Friends and Fond” for those of you who prefer a more standard ‘recipe’ presentation—here goes.

Cut the thighs into small cubes and brown them over fairly high heat. Do this in batches. Between batches, rinse the pan with a bit of chicken stock and pour the fond/broth mixture into the pot you will cook the chili in, along with the cooked thighs. Do NOT scorch the fond. After the chicken is done, sauté the onions until soft. Add onions to big pot. Add beans and spices. Pour on enough stock to get the “chili” consistency. Let it simmer for at least 15 minutes. More is fine. Stay warm and enjoy. Serve with assorted chili add ins.

Bea’s roast beef sandwiches

 

 

More a way of life then a recipe

 

Toast some onion rolls. Combine about 4 Tbl mayo with 1 tsp grated horseradish. Use this to mixture to “butter” your rolls. On each sandwich put several slices of thinly carved medium rare roast beef. You’ll want to sort of fold them so that they are in “ruffles” and don’t just lay there like a carnivorous pancake. Now, if you are going to eat immediately, add some sliced tomatoes and butter lettuce. Iceberg is all wrong for these sandwiches. Apply salt and paper. If you are taking these monstrosities to consume elsewhere, bag the veggies and assemble sandwiches when you are ready to chomp

Mâche Salad with Grapefruit and Avocado

 

 

This salad combines both the tart and fresh taste of grapefruit with the milder avocado and nutty taste of Mâche.

 

2 Tablespoon walnut oil

Sea salt and black pepper

4 ounces Mâche, rinsed

1 large ripe avocado, cut into wedges

Peeling grapefruit for this salad requires a level of commitment that no side dish should ask of you. You can peel and segment a pink grapefruit, but I highly recommend the jarred segments you can find in your produce section.

Combine grapefruit segments (very loosely drained) their juice will become the “acid” in your dressing, avocado pieces, and sea salt and pepper. Set aside while you get on with the rest of your meal. After a few minutes add the mache and drizzle with the walnut oil. (toasted walnuts are a spectacular addition to this salad)