February is the shortest month, but it provided plenty of opportunity for my favorite foods. Rather than creating separate posts for each item, I offer this shortened version of the highlights during the last two weeks.
Sourdough Bread – Field Blend 1.15
The first bread-making of the new year was a variation of my recent loaves of Ken Forkish hybrid breads. I have worked with two of his recipes (Field Blend 1 and 2), and enjoyed them a lot. This one was titled version 1.15, with small changes from the previous pair in late December. Here are the principal measurements, for those of you following such details:
- Breadtopia Bread Flour – 540 gm.
- Whole wheat flour – 80 gm.
- Rye flour – 60 gm.
- Spelt – 120 gm. (always use 2X the amount of Rye, for extensibility)
- Water – 600 gm. (75% hydration)
- Levain – 360 gm.
- Kosher Salt – 21 gm.
- Dry active yeast – 1/2 tsp.
I was happy with the results.
Ventresca Tuna Salad
Lunches have frequently been Tuna Salads, featuring cans of Luças Ventresca Tuna from Portugal. This particular version had 16 ingredients, the most important of which were the tuna from Portugalia and the Radicchio di Treviso from Eataly Boston. I love the purples and crimson colors.
Some of the same characters show up in another regular favorite of mine: Octopus Salad. The octopus was from Spain, and the vinegar and the wine were Portuguese.
Spanish-Style Vegetables, Beans and Rices in Cazuela
I really like Spanish short-grain paella rice, like Calasparra. This time I cooked Minnesota wild rice, and mixed the two together, which worked nicely. An extensive mixture of vegetables from the refrigerator and beans from Rancho Gordo and my beanpot baked happily in the oven for a vegetarian dinner.
Barbara got in the act one night with one of her signature dishes — eggplant polpette, a Calabrian vegetarian version of meatballs. I actually prefer them to any sort of balls made of meat.
Soy-Based Chorizo Quesadilla for Lunch, Pulpo alla Gallega with Chioggia Beets for Supper
Trader Joe’s has a soy-based chorizo I wanted to try, so I made it as a quesadilla with sautéed red onion. Spicy and good!
Dinnertime offered another was to enjoy my octopus, this time with Chioggia beets from Vermont.
Polenta with Roasted Butternut Squash
Another simple – but richly-flavored dinner – was slow-cooked polenta topped with cubes of roasted butternut squash, sautéed eggplant with balsamic vinegar, and crispy pancetta. It was accompanied by a bottle of 2008 Primafiore wine by Giuseppe Quintarelli from the Veneto.