Posts Tagged ‘bread’

Savoury Hand Pies

IMG_5065

In Ghana, as with many other countries, savoury hand pies are generally called meat pies.
Our ‘meat pie’, similar to the Jamaican beef patty is a popular snack found everywhere in Ghana – from fancy restaurants, on the side of dusty country roads to busy bus stations and chaotic markets; often times showcased in distinct glass boxes.

The ones you get from the street vendors are undoubtedly the most delicious; the crust crumbly, and the spicy savoury filling can be anything… from corned beef to stewed tomatoes and onions, it’s incredibly wonderful with Fan ice cream or a bottle of cold soft drink.
In the years that I’ve been away, none of the Ghanaian-style ‘meat pies’ I’ve had have come close to what I remember.

IMG_5022 IMG_5080
IMG_5013 Making Hand Pies
IMG_5028 IMG_5058

I’ve come to settle for this other type of savoury hand pie; quickly made with yeasted (pizza/bread) dough and a fast tasty tomatoey sauce for the filling. They bare a slight similarity to calzones and any combination or variety of fillings work – but I always come back to this quick simple sauce.

I make them quite often because they’re so versatile; these hand pies can be eaten hot or at room temperature, they travel well, and freeze well.
The dough and filling can be made ahead of time which cuts the prep work down dramatically, I’ve tried a variety and combination of fillings – leftovers… sautéd vegetables, Ghanaian-style spinach stew and homemade pizza sauce have all become delicious fillers for these little pies.

The dough is from an old and trusted recipe; also freezes well… just remember to bring it to room temperature before use.
I used all-purpose flour for the pies in this picture, but I personally prefer whole-wheat flour because it adds depth and a nutty flavour to the pies.

To make this particular pie wholly plant-based (vegetarian/vegan) omit the sardines and add crushed chickpeas, lentils or some legume of your choice.

IMG_5088 IMG_5084

Grab one of these pies and a cold drink… find the quietest spot in your home and sit, contemplate and let your mind wander and take you places. Enjoy!

IMG_5039 IMG_5049
IMG_5085

Sweet Buttery Beet Rolls

IMG_9498

Being a romantic at heart, I secretly like Valentine’s Day.

I love the concept and romance of the day, though I can do without the commercialization, the fuss and the pressure to live up to some concocted ideal of the perfect love.

I like that there’s a day purposefully set aside to show love and affection, because life sometimes does get in the way of the good stuff.

In a perfect world, everyday would feel like Valentine’s, to be celebrated however we want – peonies on Saturday mornings, week-long dates, a year of Sundays with breakfast in bed, or a love story with its own soundtrack…

Or sharing the joy of life’s humble pleasures, like making something uniquely different, something delicious, decadent and possibly red…

I used Valentine’s Day as an excuse to make these sweet buttery beet rolls, it’s perfect – with its stunningly distinct red colour, buttery sweet and subtle flavour.

IMG_9729 IMG_9542
IMG_9512 IMG_9535

IMG_9484

Pain aux Céréales

 
IMG_6286

For the few weeks I was on vacation last year, I had a morning routine – I’d bolt out of bed in the morning hoping I wasn’t too late, rush to the little boulangerie around the corner and buy a small loaf of pain aux céréales for breakfast.
It wasn’t the closest boulangerie and I’m sure theirs wasn’t the best pain aux céréales in Paris, but I loved the little shop because the woman was kind and engaging, and I got to practice my very limited French on her.
I also loved the novelty of the boulangerie being across the street from a Vanessa Bruno store, it felt very ‘Paris’.

Still, the bread was very good, grainy and crusty on the outside; soft, pillowy with holes and perfectly seeded on the inside.
I’d have it with tea, sliced thick and slathered generously with butter and jam, or with my favourite discovery, speculoos butter.

IMG_6221 IMG_6253
IMG_6284 IMG_6276

Ask any Parisian and they’ll probably say Eric Kayser makes the best pain aux céréales in the city; David Leibovitz called it ‘perhaps the best bread in the world’. I’ll definitely be testing that on my next visit.

In the mean time I’m making my own seeded breads at home…
I must warn you, my version of pain aux céréales isn’t authentic, not that I can say what is authentic.

I use my bread machine and my trusted bread recipe and throw in some seeds – two tablespoons each of flax, quinoa, millet and sunflower seeds.
Try this recipe here for a close to authentic version, although I do love how my loaves turn out – grainy and tasty, the nuttiness from the seeds is subtle and just perfect.

And for breakfast on Saturday mornings… I’m transported back to that little apartment where everything tastes better and extraordinary, even the simplest meal of bread and tea.

IMG_6145

IMG_6299

Mango Nut Bread

 
IMG_8757

These last few days, I’ve been miserable – my immune system seems to be winning the battle against the pollen.
I just wish I could send it a message to quit it already with this unnecessary warring since my allergy medicine can’t seem to get the job done.
And as if that wasn’t bad enough, I’ve been sick – real sick… I spent this weekend with a cold – is that even possible, can I get a cold and seasonal allergies concurrently?
So I spent this weekend in this weird wired space where life is unhurried and my mind wanders.

IMG_8728
IMG_8719 IMG_8726

My dreams were of a long winding dirt road that leads to a small house on a mound, and beyond are the mango groves; under the bluest skies with billowy clouds that hang so low you can almost touch them.
I slept all day Saturday and had nourishing lentil soup from one of my favourite downtown restaurant.
My dreams again that night were of mangoes, sweet, sticky, pulpy, smooth and rich.

So while I recuperate and gather my strength, I’d like to leave you with this mango nut bread – because something had to come of these dreams.
If you’re lucky enough to get real mangoes, use them (about two of them), and perhaps toast the coconut flakes for few minutes before you use them in the batter – it makes all the difference.

Maybe it’s the delirium, but this is a wonderfully vibrant bread – and I love it dearly.

IMG_8763
IMG_8730 IMG_8732


IMG_8739

IMG_8766

Olive & Rosemary Focaccia

 
IMG_7741

One of my favourite restaurants in the city closed its doors for good a year and the half ago.
It was a charming unpretentious trattoria nestled among other fine restaurants and bars on Yaletown’s Hamilton Street.
The menu was mainly from the Emilia – Romagna region of Italy and I went mostly for the gnocchi and tiramisu
I guess I went a little for the service too; the space was welcoming, and the staff personal and attentive.
The owner remembered my name the second time I dined there, and that’s how I knew I’d keep going back.

IMG_7724

Dinner usually started with a moist and dense fresh-out-of-the-oven-warm bread, I could never get enough of that delicious bread.
I asked the owner once for the recipe (I do this quite a bit at restaurants) he laughed and said he’d have something even spectacular for next time and that’s the recipe he’d want me to have.
He kept his word, the next time I was at the restaurant I had the specially made olive and rosemary focaccia – flavourful, moist, herbaceous and oh so scrumptious! It’s all I wanted to eat for the rest of my life.

IMG_7685 IMG_7688
IMG_7698 IMG_7719

I never did get that recipe, and incidentally stopped eating out as much when I decided to take my vegetarianism a step further by going dairy-free
I didn’t visit that restaurant for almost two years and then one day when I really wanted to go I learnt that the restaurant had closed months before.
I can’t think of focaccia and not think about that wonderful little restaurant that is no more, and when I found this particular olive and rosemary focaccia, I couldn’t wait to get to the kitchen to try it.

This bread turned out wonderful, honestly, I don’t really remember the exact taste of the focaccia I had years ago, but I know this is pretty close…

IMG_7731

IMG_7743


Related Posts Widget for Blogs by LinkWithin