Tag Archives: savory

Challah, Challah Bill Y’all – A Judeo-Christian culinary experience

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About a month ago, my expert challah-making friend Kate (who has a laundry list of talents I might add), taught our group of friends how to make challah! In school, Kate made challah every week with an extracurricular group to raise money for hunger relief and let me tell you, it was the highlight of my week. My roommates in our sorority house NOMMED every week on one savory and one sweet loaf – usually some herby garlic, cinnamon raisin, or the cherished pumpkin chocolate chip (life will never be the same without you).

Bringing back the college memories and teaching us a little about Jewish traditions, Kate brought the dough and we contributed the toppings. I learned that in the Jewish tradition, you always bless the bread, hence, the importance of the challah. Shoutout to our snazziest consultant travelling visitor, Chandler who contributed most of these pics. While I didn’t actually make this dough, I can show you a bit about the process and how to get to the pretty part of the challah baking process 🙂

First, we rolled the dough (that had been rising for a few hours), into tiny balls that would later be rolled out

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Then, you take two dough balls for your little challah roll and roll them into long thin flat rectangles. This is where you’re going to create a bed for all the fillings. In the pockets, you want to OVERLOAD on ingredients. This is one thing I hadn’t thought of – but apparently when you’re adding filling to these, since the dough expands so much, you always want to put more filling than looks necessary.

In this instance, we made chocolate chip-PB, chocolate cinnamon, sundried tomato garlic basil, peanut butter nutella, and I think cinnamon sugar. Delicious!

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After you put the fillings in, you want to start tucking them in. There’s a sort of braiding going on where you tuck the right bottom corner to the left side of the dough and up. Then you go the opposite way and press into the dough to seal it. Do this until the filling is completely enclosed. The one below is sundried tomato, garlic, olive oil, and basil.

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imagejpeg_1IMG_0003Once everybody’s sealed up, you want to make an X with the two pieces of dough. Then, carefully wrap the two strands around each other, seal the ends together, and spiral to make a round loaf.

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Place on a parchment paper-lined cookie sheet and bake at 350 for around 25-35 minutes – seems to be an art to this timing! Serve the savory ones with some yummy soup and have the sweet ones for dessert! Here’s to faith-sharing and food. Cheers 🙂

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Mushroom Spinach Wheat Crepes with Dill and Sherry

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I’m not sure if I’d try crepes again, BUT, I am so glad I made these, because the filling was bomb. Although this was a rich dish, I strayed away from adding cream because I wanted to really test a healthier version. The problem was, every single recipe I could find was either so creamy or it was super vegan. Always somewhere in the middle, what can you do.

So, I mushed some together and here’s what I came up with. Ingredients:

– 4-5 shitake mushrooms

– 1 lb button mushroom, sliced thinly

– 1 onion, thinly sliced

– a big ole handful of dill, chopped roughly

– 1/4 cup sherry

– 1/2 cup white wine

– 3/4 cup chicken stock

– 1-2 TBS butter

– 1/2 tsp dried thyme

– A whole bag of fresh spinach

– 1 TBS flour

– a few cloves of minced garlic

Steep the shitake mushrooms in hot water for 30 minutes. Strain and reserve liquid.

Make this recipe according to Alton Brown’s recipe, substituting white wheat for All Purpose if you have it. Set aside in the fridge while you whip up the filling.

Sautee your thinly sliced onion in butter on medium heat until the onions soften. Sprinkle with salt and pepp. Add garlic but cook only for a minute before adding mushrooms, as they can burn easily. Add sliced mushrooms and let them get a little brown and soft. Remember, mushrooms like their space so spread them out! Slice up your shitake too. Again, season with a bit of salt and pepp. Once the mushrooms are soft, add in your sherry and turn up the heat to high, cooking off the ALCH. Then add in your wine. These ingredients are based on what flavor you like, but I added a lot since I thought that without the cream it needed a big boost of flavor.

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At this point I added the dried thyme, and let everything meld together before adding in the chicken stock. In addition to the chicken stock, I added a bit of the shitake mushroom cooking liquid. I let it boil, then wilted in the spinach and returned the heat to low. Simmer for around 15 minutes, and I added flour because I thought the sauce needed some more thickener. If you’d like to add cream, that’s an option as well! At the very end, with a few minutes left, add in the dill.

Get your bad self on with the crepes. After I had the sauce all simmering and bubbly, I set up the crepes right before eating. Ugh, I don’t think I can provide any advice on how to do this, but follow Alton’s directions!! I added in some chopped dill to my crepes to give them flavor. Serve with a big ole salad and some vino! Big point here is have everything ready with the filling so you can focus entirely on making the crepes that cook really quickly. If any other bloggers/experimenters/crepe lovers out there have any recommendations to help me in the future, share your crepe recommendations below s’il vous plait!!

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