To put it in L’s words (which I’ve come to recognize as my own) I’m we’re busy. All of us. Busy folding and matching socks, mailing a project proposal, and experimenting with spelt baguettes. And trips to the park and stir-fried broccoli and daily photographs. And...
Hearing a two year old repeat busy, busy, busy as he moves clothes from dresser drawer to bed, gives a whole new meaning to work. Work cleverly disguised as play. That's the place to get to.
Socks turn into puppets. Stories simultaneously go through edits. Sunken baguettes become breadcrumbs, and a cardboard box converts into a house to draw on. Distance shortens.
In the kitchen, L colors on the box with crayons.
Help, help. Colors and shapes, he says.
I draw a square, circle, triangle, and rectangle. He picks up a handful of broken crayons and colors the shapes white, silver, purple, and green.
He stands back to admire his work.
Niiiiccce shaaapes, he sings.
Our hostesses this month, Evelyne of Cheap Ethnic Eatz, and Valerie of a The Chocolate Bunny, chose delicious pate with freshly baked bread as their June Daring Cook’s challenge! They’ve provided us with 4 different pate recipes to choose from and are allowing us to go wild with our homemade bread choice.
I made the vegetable pate and spelt barley bread. I sampled each layer of the pate before I poured it into the mold, and the pate and baguettes are perfect hot weather traveling food.
I'll post Here's the still slightly frozen plated pate photo tomorrow once it sets. After refrigerating the pate overnight, I froze it for 30 minutes to keep it from turning into a platter of soup. The pate was still runny, so I left it in the freezer and forgot about it for a day. Then it froze solid, so I unmolded it and defrosted in the freezer overnight. We ate two slices for lunch the next day, frozen bean shards inside and all. In its more liquid state, the pate could also be served over a bowl of pasta. Rich yet not overwhelming.
Tricolor Vegetable Pâté
Recipe from Bon Appétit Oct 1993 on Epicurious
Yields one 25 by 12,5 cm (10 by 5 inch) terrine or loaf pan
Line your pan with plastic wrap, overlapping sides.
White Bean Layer
2 x 15-ounce / 900 ml cans cannellini (white kidney beans), rinsed, drained thoroughly
1 tbsp / 15 ml fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp / 15 ml olive oil
1 tbsp / 15 ml minced fresh oregano or 1 teaspoon dried
2 garlic cloves, pressed
Mash beans in large bowl. Add lemon juice, olive oil, oregano and garlic and blend until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Spread bean mixture evenly on bottom of prepared pan.
Red Pepper Layer
7-ounce / 210 ml jar roasted red bell peppers, drained, chopped
3/4 cup / 180 ml crumbled feta cheese (about 4 ounces)
Combine peppers and feta in processor and blend until smooth. Spread pepper mixture evenly over bean layer in prepared dish.
2 garlic cloves
1 cup / 240 ml fresh basil leaves
1 cup / 240 ml fresh Italian parsley leaves
1/4 cup / 60 ml toasted pine nuts
3 tbsp / 45 ml olive oil
1/2 cup / 120 ml low-fat ricotta cheese
Mince garlic in processor. Add basil, parsley and pine nuts and mince. With machine running, gradually add oil through feed tube and process until smooth. Mix in ricotta. Spread pesto evenly over red pepper layer.
Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight or as long as possible, min 8 hours. Freeze it 30 min before unmolding.
To unmold, invert pâté onto serving platter. Peel off plastic wrap from pâté. Garnish with herb sprigs and serve with sourdough bread slices.
Recipe from King Arthur Flour
yield: Three 16" baguettes
1/2 cup / 120 ml cool water
1/16 teaspoon active dry yeast
1 cup / 240 ml flour
1 tsp / 5 ml active dry yeast
1 cup to 1 1/4 cups / 240 ml to 300 ml lukewarm water*
all of the starter
3 1/2 cups / 840 ml flour
1 1/2 tsp / 7 ml salt
*Use the lesser amount in summer (or in a humid environment), the greater amount in winter (or in a dry climate), and somewhere in between the rest of the year, or if your house is climate controlled.
Make the starter by mixing the yeast with the water, then mixing in the flour to make a soft dough. Cover and let rest at room temperature for about 14 hours; overnight works well. The starter should have risen and become bubbly.
Mix active dry yeast with the water and then combine with the starter, flour, and salt. Mix and knead everything together—by hand, mixer or bread machine set on the dough cycle—till you've made a soft, somewhat smooth dough; it should be cohesive, but the surface may still be a bit rough. Knead for about 5 minutes on speed 2 of a stand mixer.
Place the dough in a lightly greased medium-size bowl, cover the bowl, and let the dough rise for 3 hours, gently deflating it and turning it over after 1 hour, and then again after 2 hours.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly greased work surface. Divide it into three equal pieces. Shape each piece into a rough, slightly flattened oval, cover with greased plastic wrap, and let them rest for 15 minutes.
Working with one piece of dough at a time, fold the dough in half lengthwise, and seal the edges with the heel of your hand. Flatten it slightly, and fold and seal again. With the seam-side down, cup your fingers and gently roll the dough into a 15" log. Place the logs seam-side down onto a lightly greased or parchment-lined sheet pan or pans.
Cover them with a cover or lightly greased plastic wrap, and allow the loaves to rise till they've become very puffy, about 1 1/2 hours. Towards the end of the rising time, preheat your oven to 450ºF (240ºC).
Using a very sharp knife held at about a 45° angle, make three 8" vertical slashes in each baguette. Spritz the baguettes heavily with warm water; this will help them develop a crackly-crisp crust.
Bake the baguettes until they're a very deep golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes. Remove them from the oven and cool on a rack. Or, for the very crispiest baguettes, turn off the oven, crack it open about 2", and allow the baguettes to cool in the oven.