What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? Timeless Classics: French Baguettes! Ever wonder why the daily baguette, le baguette quotidien, in France tastes so much better than in the US? For one, it is meant to be baked and eaten the same day. After that, don’t be surprised if it goes stale. No preservatives. Well, I can attest that as soon as the aromas filled the kitchen and drifted throughout the house, I had to ask myself, “Why would anyone want to wait?” The crunch of crispy crust, the melted sea salt French butter, and the hint of honey sweetness were enough to be convincing. Plus, I let the bread machine do half the work. Another bonus, the perforated French bread pan “simplifies baking baguettes worthy of a Parisian boulangerie.”* I agree.
1 cup water
2 1/2 cups bread flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon water
Using a bread machine, combine water, bread flour, sugar, sea salt, and yeast. Select Dough cycle and press Start. When the cycle is completed, transfer dough to a greased bowl. Coat all sides of dough with grease. Cover; Place bowl in a warm area for 30 minutes. Dough will rise to double its size. Punch down dough. Place onto a lightly floured surface. Roll out to a 12″x16″ rectangle. Cut dough in half to equal two 12″x8″ rectangles. Beginning at the 12” side, roll dough tightly, pounding out air bubbles. Roll gently back and forth to taper ends. Transfer loaves to a divided and perforated French bread pan. Make diagonal slashes across each loaf every 3 inches. Cover and let dough rise in a warm area for 40 minutes, or until doubled in size. Preheat oven to 375°. Mix egg yolk and water. Brush over tops of loaves. Bake 20-25 minutes until golden brown.
* I receive no recompense for mentioning the Williams-Sonoma Perforated French Bread Pan.
“Solitude is not the same
as loneliness. Solitude is a
solitary boat floating in a sea
of possible companions.”
~ Robert Fulghum
“One cannot collect all the beautiful
shells on the beach. One can collect
only a few, and they are more beautiful
if they are few.”
~ Anne Morrow Lindbergh
“Every breath we take,
every step we make,
can be filled with peace,
joy, and serenity.”
~ Thich Nhat Hanh
“I pass my time in the open air
on the beach when it is really
heavy weather or when the
boats go out fishing.”
~ Claude Monet
“I was a mermaid in my past life.
I feel it when I go into the sea.
I feel a connection there between me,
and the water, and the fish;
they speak to me…
and the shells, they ring out to me.”
~ Ella Henderson
“Words today are like the shells
and rope of seaweed
which a child brings home
glistening from the beach
and which in an hour
have lost their luster.”
~ Cyril Connolly
You probably know the Massachusetts village by an Oscar-winning film of the same name that awakened the rest of the world to this sleepy little fishing community. But Manchester-by-the-Sea has been around since 1645. Located along the north shore of Massachusetts Bay, where quaint summer cottages become the coveted home-away-from-home for a season, history is still being made. Such notables include a poet, author, actor, politician, comedian, professional golfer, radio talk show host, and more. The town has several points of interest, like Singing Beach, that adds enough allure to keep people flocking back. Unless of course, you’re one of the fortunate ones who get to live there.
What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? Simple Sensations: Kalua Pork Roast! This special blend of herbs is a tribute to warm, tropical summer nights. The term, “Kalua”, is Hawaiian for slow cooked. I have put this frozen roast in the oven and let flavors blend all day long for an exotic taste that will have your senses wondering if you’ve been transported to a private paradise. The extra meals provided are a bonus that will have others showering you with praise in the days following.
KALUA PORK ROAST
4 pound boneless pork butt roast
1 tablespoon Red Hawaiian Alaea Sea Salt*
1 teaspoon Mrs. Dash garlic and herb seasoning
2 cups apple juice
2 cups apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon liquid smoke
1 bottle beer
Set oven to 275°. Place frozen pork roast in a covered roaster, fat side up. Pour apple juice and apple cider vinegar over roast. Next apply liquid smoke. Finish by sprinkling the Alaea sea salt and Mrs. Dash herb blend over the pork. Make sure the lid is on securely. You will begin to smell the heavenly aroma as it slowly cooks. Five hours later, check the roast, as the liquid will absorb. I discovered some roasters allow the liquid to evaporate a little sooner than I expected. I have found Le Creuset to be very reliable. If the roast needs more liquid, pour a bottle of beer over it. Keep it covered and slowly cook it at least another three hours. I have let it cook for ten hours total without a problem. It is so fork-tender you will be amazed. And the drippings can be used for gravy or barbecue sauce.
*Available through Salty Wahine Gourmet Hawaiian Sea Salts. (I receive no recompense for promoting their product.)