Photos on Fine Fettle Kettle are originals taken by Miriam Latour and under copyright protection.
Recipes are the creation of Miriam Latour, unless otherwise indicated.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Mimsy's Swiss Chard with Black Beans & Egg

This makes one individual serving and is around 200 calories. It's a quick, refreshing hot lunch.

Mimsy's Swiss Chard with Black Beans & Egg

3 large Swiss chard leaves, diced
2 slices of onion, diced
1/4 red bell pepper, diced
1 1/2 tsp olive oil, divided
Salt & Pepper, to taste
1/2 cup black beans, cooked
1 egg

Saute chard, onion and pepper in 1 tsp olive oil until tender. Add beans and heat through. Transfer to plate, add 1/2 tsp olive oil to pan and cook egg until soft-done. Top veggies with egg. Eat!

Dave's Ciabatta Bread and Acorn Squash Soup

Dave is getting to be more and more of an expert artisan bread maker as he works to improve his techniques and find the perfect recipes. His Ciabatta bread is absolutely divine. The texture is fabulous! Ciabatta has a rich, soft lacy center with a crisp crusts. It is never dry, and tastes wonderful dipped in infused olive oils or served with soup or used in panini sandwiches.

Dave's Ciabatta
Originally from Jason Molina with instructions by Jason "LilDice" on The Fresh Loaf.

500 g Flour
15 g salt
2 tsp yeast
450 - 490 g water


In Kitchen Aid style mixer: Mix all ingredients roughly till combined with paddle, let it rest for 10 minutes.

With the paddle (I prefer the hook to prevent the dough from crawling into the guts of the mixer), beat the living hell out of the batter, it will start out like pancake batter but in anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes it will set up and work like a very sticky dough. if it starts climbing too soon, then switch to the hook. You'll know it's done when it separates from the side of the bowl and starts to climb up your hook/paddle and just coming off the bottom of the bowl. I mean this literally about the climbing, i once didn't pay attention and it climbed up my paddle into the greasy inner workings of the mixer. It was not pretty! Anyway, it will definately pass the windowpane test.

Place into a well oiled container and let it triple! it must triple! For me this takes about 2.5 hours

Empty on to a floured counter (scrape if you must, however you gotta get the gloop out), cut into 3 or 4 peices. Spray with oil and dust with lots o' flour. Let them proof for about 45 minutes, which gives you enough time to crank that oven up to 500F.

After 45 minutes or so the loaves should be puffy and wobbly, now it's iron fist, velvet glove time. Pick up and stretch into your final ciabatta shape (~10" oblong rectangle) and flip them upside down (this redistributes the bubbles, so you get even bubbles throughout), and onto parchment or a heavily floured peel. Try to do it in one motion and be gentle, it might look like you've ruined them completely, but the oven spring is immense on these things.

Bake at 500F until they are 205F in the cnter (about 15-20 minutes), rotating 180 degrees half way through. Some people like to turn the oven down to 450F after 10 minutes, but whatever floats your boat. I usually bake in 2 batches.

Dave's tips:

"The key is to beat it and beat it to death. Also measure using grams instead of cups, because you can get the ratios better. Flour is dependent on the humidity and how long it's been sitting. A cup measurement is not a good way to measure flour.

It will be super sticky to begin with, and you beat it until it becomes shiny and elastic. The flip at the end is really tricky, so parchment paper is a life-saver. If the flip is too hard, skip it, because it's optional. A baking stone is a must for this bread.

Put water on your hands when touching the dough. It's really gooey and sticky and you don't want to add extra flour. Bread knives are helpful so you don't have to touch it with your hands at all.

Keep trying if you don't get it right the first time! It's worth it."

Dave will be trying out even more recipes for ciabatta and other breads that will hopefully end up on this blog.

Acorn Squash Soup
Recipe courtesy Guy Fieri

3 whole acorn squash (about 8 cups)
6 shallots, 1 cup diced, 3 left whole and peeled
3 Tbsp olive oil, plus 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp salt
1 Tbsp pepper, freshly cracked, plus more for seasoning
1 stick unsalted butter, divided
4 cups chicken stock, low-sodium
1/4 tsp cayenne
1/4 tsp white pepper
1 tsp sage, dry
1 tsp savory
1 cup cream
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1/3 cup grated Parmesan


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Cut the squash in half on the equator and remove the seeds with a spoon. Cut a flat spot on each end so the squash will sit flat. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and arrange the squash, cut side up. To 3 of the squash halves, add a peeled shallot and to the other 3 add 2 garlic cloves on each. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and season with 1 tablespoon each of the salt and freshly cracked pepper. Roast in the hot oven until very tender and starting to caramelize and collapse, approximately 1 hour. Remove from oven and when cool enough to handle, remove the squash from the skin. Reserve the roasted shallots and garlic with the squash. Can be done ahead.

In a large Dutch oven, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and 2 tablespoons of the butter over medium-high heat and when the butter is starting to foam, add the raw diced shallots and saute until they are starting to caramelize, about 5 to 6 minutes. Deglaze with 1/2 cup of the chicken stock and stir to remove any fond. Reduce the heat to medium-low and add in the reserved squash, roasted shallots and garlic and then the remaining chicken stock. Stir to combine, then puree with a stick blender. The mixture will be very thick. Add in the cayenne, white pepper and the herbs. Stir in the cream and Worcestershire sauce and heat slowly over medium-low heat. When the mixture comes to a slow simmer, mix again with the stick blender and stir in 1/4 cup of the Parmesan and turn heat to low. Serve with a fresh crack of black pepper, a nice drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil and a light sprinkle of remaining Parmesan. Ladle into soup bowls and serve.

Banana Nut Oatmeal Whole Wheat Muffins

I came up with this recipe for muffins while in Vegas this last week, and they are so healthy and yummy that I've made them three times in one week.

Banana Nut Oatmeal Whole Wheat Muffins
Makes 18 largish muffins 250 calories each
Or 24 regular muffins less than 200 calories each

1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1 cup milk
1 cup plain yogurt
2 eggs
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
2 cups rolled oats
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
4 bananas, smashed
1/2 cup pecans

Pre-heat oven to 400ºF. Mix sugar and butter together, add milk, yogurt and eggs. Mix until smooth. Mix together salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, oats, flour, and baking powder in separate bowl. Combine with wet mixture. Stir in mashed bananas and pecans. Fill muffin tins nearly full and bake for about 18 minutes or until done.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Mini Oatmeal Muffins With Fresh Cranberries

These are healthy, low-fat, whole-grain muffins with nippy, bitter little cranberries. Yum! I think I might start a series of mini muffins because my clients are always hungry when they come in for therapy, and I've been thinking of serving them mini muffins and coffee/tea/cocoa.

Mini Oatmeal Muffins With Fresh Cranberries
Makes 36 mini muffins
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/2 cups old fashioned rolled oats
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup applesauce
2/3 cup milk
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tbsp canola oil
1 egg
1 cup fresh cranberries (slice the bigger ones in half)

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Mix dry ingredients in a bowl. In a separate bowl, mix together applesauce, milk, sugar, oil and egg. Add dry ingredients and stir until wet. Add cranberries. Distribute in greased mini muffin tin, then bake for 12 minutes or until done. Don't over bake. Remove instantly from tin and cool on rack.

Baked Eli Rice (Naked)

"Eli Rice" is the name we gave to rice frittata when my son, Eli, was young.... because at the time he was picky and it was something he actually liked. Rice frittata is a great way to use leftover rice, and this version is baked in a pie plate rather than in a skillet on the stove top. The slice in the photo is totally naked. This can be made so much more interesting and pretty with added veggies and/or meat. Get creative!

Baked Eli Rice
2 cups cooked rice
10 eggs, beaten
Salt & Pepper (to taste)
Your favorite herbs and spices (to taste)
Chopped, steamed veggies (such as onion, pepper, tomato, spinach, squash, etc.)
Chopped, cooked meat/poultry/protein (such as ham, beef, pork, bacon, chicken, etc.)
1 cup grated cheese (your favorite)

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Mix rice, eggs, seasoning and veggies. Pour into greased pie plate. Top with cheese. Bake until well-set (about 1 hour).

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Mimsy's Oxtails

Why throw away the good parts? Oxtail is rich and delicious and so coveted that what used to be scrap meat is now highly priced and sometimes hard to find. Oxtail is wonderful in stews and soups and makes beautiful stock, but it's also great rubbed with spices and baked in the oven on a broiling pan, like ribs.

Mimsy's Oxtails
2 oxtails, sliced at the joints
soy sauce
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

Place oxtail on a a broiling pan which has been filled 1/4 full with water. Sprinkle oxtail slices with soy sauce. Create a dry rub with spices and sprinkle over oxtail. Cover with aluminum foil and cook at 350ºF for about 3 hours or until tender. Remove foil and brown for 10 minutes. Serve with hot buttered rice and veggies.

Idea: Boil the leftover oxtail in the drippings from the broiling pan and additional water as needed. Throw in some onions, carrots, mushrooms, etc. for stew.