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CHRISTMAS EVE DINNER IDEAS : FRESHLY BAKED FOCCACIA

What gives? We know we are a bit slow in deciding what to prepare for our Christmas eve's dinner, but we really want to see what is fresh and good in the market next week. There really isn't a point in planning ahead of ourselves and then having to buy something that isn't as beautifully fresh as it can be. OK, then again, we are cooking for 2. If you have not been following our progress, we are not so much into the Christmas feast itself, we are more in the countdown. Yes, with those accompanying fireworks at the end of the night. Simply wonderful. Are there going to be fireworks this Christmas eve or was it New Year's eve in the dam? We do not remember from last year. Anyway, we know we can trust the neighborhood kids to conjure up something of mischief.

We have asked for suggestions of our Christmas dinner and some of you suggested pheasant. Mr Washy asked for rabbit. We honestly do not know what is our main yet. Rabbit sounds a bit out of the question. We have never cooked rabbit before, perhaps only bbq it. We certainly do not want to spoil our dinner with an experiment. Something in the oven would definitely fit the occasion, filling the apartment with the aromas of the feast.

We have decided to make blinis as an appetizer. Read about them here and also how to make them. Something easy and tantalizing would be good to start the evening off. We would be serving the blinis with smoked salmon, sour cream, capers and perhaps horseradish or wasabi, and with a shot(s) of chilled vodka. Yes, we are going for that fusion this year.

MENU
  • Blinis with smoked salmon, sour cream, capers and horseradish. Accompanied by chilled vodka.
  • Freshly baked foccacia with Modena balsamico and Puglia Olive Oil (apparently from the best harvest of this year. We bought it on our Italian Roadtrip).
Some of you might be wondering why the focaccia should even be a course on its own. Well, have you ever tasted freshly baked foccaica from the comforts of your home, and to have that welcoming aroma swirling around you. Yes, there you have it. Much more, it is an occasion to open that bottle of olive oil which is voted the best of the year in Italy. Cannot be shabby, that. We tasted it before we bought it and yes, it is something quite special. You can only dip it, to drizzle it on salads or meats would really be a waste of tastes.

We got this recipe from allrecipe.com and adapted it. Here it is : 
  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon active dry yeast or 1 packet
  • 1 tablespoon mixed herbs
  • 1 pinch ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 cup water
  • Olive oil to brush
Mix the mixture together and see that the dough has pulled together.
Let it rest and cover with a damp cloth.
Place on greased baked sheet.
Bake in a preheated oven of 230C.

DIRECTIONS :

  1. Proof the yeast with the sugar in warm water of 100F. Let sit and froth.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together the flour, salt, herbs and black pepper. Mix in the vegetable oil and proved yeast.
  3. When the dough has pulled together, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead until smooth and elastic. Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl, and turn to coat with oil. Cover with a damp cloth, and let rise in a warm place for 20 minutes.
  4. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C). Punch dough down; place on greased baking sheet. Pat into a 1/2 inch thick rectangle. Brush top with olive oil. Sprinkle with sale.
  5. Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve warm.

1 comment:

Abhijit Sarkar said...

I always wondered about how to create foccaccios. But never really learned the technique, thanks to this article, Now i know the main trick about it, Thanks a lot for sharing this.

I have also attempted to write an article on food ideas, and I think that you should also come and read it.

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