Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Mediterranean Bread Salad

Prepared February 11, 2012. This recipe is the 200th contribution to DrDaddyCooks.
2 c seasoned flat bread, or leftover veggie pizza, cubed
1/4 c feta, crumbled
2 T extra virgin olive oil
1/4 c ripe Greek olives, sliced
1 T capers, chopped
pinch of crushed red pepper
1 T lemon juice
1/2 t anchovy paste
Mix the oil, capers, lemon juice, and anchovy paste in a bowl. Toss the bread cubes in the dressing. Gently mix in the feta cheese and olives. Serve as part of a mezze platter, or as a topping on bean or lentil soup. Store cold.

Pears Poached in Wine Syrup

Poached Pears in Wine Syrup
Developed and recorded February 15, 2012.
1 firm red pear, cored, peeled, cut into 12 wedges
2 T sugar
1/4 c water
2 T dry sherry
1/4 c red table wine
1/4 t ground cinnamon
a few grinds of black pepper and a pinch of salt
Bring the syrup ingredients in a small skillet to a slow boil, and add the pears. Simmer the pears for 15 minutes, turning occasionally. Let cool on stove top 10 minutes to let the syrup thicken. Serves two.

A Sound Knife Set for a Serious Cook

Which knives and cutlery accessories should a good cook of Western foods have at hand? 
• First, the material. Stainless steel. Not ceramic or high carbon steel. Those have their value, but this is the basics.
• Second, how many? If only one knife, an 8-inch chef's knife. Next, a paring knife. Third, a bread knife. Fourth, a boning knife, and finally a carving knife for roasts and other large objects. Other favorites: grapefruit knife, Japanese sushi knife (special gift to DrDaddy from his sons), hefty cleaver, microplane, serrated peeler.
• Third, what else? A good knife sharpener is essential. Preferred is the PriorityChef Knife Sharpener, about $15. An alternative is the excellent hand-held Accusharp 001, about $10. Cutting boards (maple or teak, and a polyethylene board for dishwasher cleanup, and a steel or ceramic hone round out the system. To prevent injuries, store knifes  on a wall-mounted magnetic carrier for ready access and edge protection.
• Which knives? Victorinox (the Swiss Army knife people) offer great quality at a modest price. Buy from Amazon or other value-oriented, reputable, online vendor. Here's what to get:

  • Victorinox 40520 8-Inch Chef's Knife
  • Victorinox 47508 3-1/4-Inch Paring Knife
  • Victorinox 47547 10-1/4-Inch Wavy Bread Knife
  • Victorinox 47513 6-inch Flex Boning Knife
  • PriorityChef or AccuSharp 001 Knife Sharpener
  • Victorinox 12-Inch Granton Edge Slicing Knife