Sunday, April 10, 2011

0 Here's What's Cooking, Er, I Mean, Baking.... :)

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Breadmaking is SO much fun! As you can see from the previous post, the olive bread I made turned out really well. And so now, I want to take on even greater breadmaking challenges, and also try my hand at making some new types and combinations that I've never done before. So, don't be surprised if you see a few more artesanal breads here over the course of an unspecified period of time. ;)

I particular enjoy making stuffed breads, and so, am planning to post a few more. Of course, this doesn't mean that I'll be making and posting them all tomorrow. ;) All in due time. After all, this penguin's gotta do other stuff besides just baking bread (and cooking!) all day long. ;)

Got lots of exciting recipe ideas now taking shape. In fact, the ideas are just bursting out of my head, so I'm just going with it. :)

As many of you already know, all of the recipes you see here are original recipes that I create from the top of my head. While others might sometimes inspire my creations, (particularly if these individuals make direct recipe requests :) ), I rely on my own brain to actually dream up the recipe details, which are typically created in my own little brainstorming bubble. Obviously, the overall concepts for certain classic dishes (like colcannon or spaghetti puttanesca) didn't start with me, but I wrote all of the recipes myself, and have added my own unique healthy gourmet twists to them, either in terms of the ingredients added &/or their preparation. However, many of the recipes I've posted here are, indeed, completely unique and original, and, as far as I know, I was the first one to create the concepts behind these dishes . :) And of course, when it comes to titling original dishes, I try to do the same. I might've even coined a new completely new word or two in the process. ;)

In other words, the bottom line is this: I don't ever copy from the works of others.

Not sure if some of the below recipe ideas have already been done before by others, because I haven't checked any outside resources yet, but the ideas for them did at least start in my own brain without any outside assistance. :)

So, here are some of these ideas:

(1) "Insalata Caprese" bread:  Stuffed with fresh buffalo mozzarella, fresh basil leaves or perhaps pesto, & sun-dried tomatoes.

(2) "Caponata" ciabatta: Stuffed with balsamic oven-roasted red onions, garlic, eggplant, artichoke, roasted red pepper, sun-dried tomatoes, capers, fontina or perhaps haloumi cheese, & fresh herbs like thyme, parsley, & oregano.

(3) Gorgonzola-pistachio bread: Probably will add a bit of cracked black pepper to this bread as well, but am going to keep it simple, because Gorgonzola is a particularly bold flavor, and doesn't need any other equally dominant flavors conflicting with it. The bread and nuts should be enough to hopefully counterbalance some of its power. :)

(4) Pesto-olive bread: Black or green olives, or perhaps a combination of both? Not sure yet. (All of these recipe ideas are still works in progress, more or less.)

(5) Pain au chocolat blanc with dried California apricots and Mission figs: I think the tangy flavor of the California apricots, which are much softer and tarter than the Turkish kind, will go quite nicely with the sweeter flavors of the white chocolate and the figs. Plus, white chocolate has a bit of salt in it, so that'll bring out all of these flavors even more. :) OK, I realize that this one doesn't really fall into the "healthy gourmet" category, so I'm not sure where I'd post that one yet. Perhaps it'll be posted on the Cook. Eat. Drink. Blog. Run. blog instead? ;)

(6) Black olive tapenade bread stuffed with goat cheese: Tastes good on bruschetta, so why not stuff these ingredients into a bread? :)

Some of these vegetable-based breads are like a sandwich in a sandwich bread. :) Plus, if you grill them, you'll have instant panini. ;)

OK, that's it for now. Will keep you posted, quite literally (LOL!), as more developments emerge.
-C

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