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Traveling ‘The World’ for Cheesy Khachapuri
Apr 27th, 2010 by

Khachapuri is easy to make but takes time as the dough has to rise twice.

Khachapuri is easy to make but takes time as the dough has to rise twice.

One of the best ways to understand a people and their culture is through food, and the people at “The World” (a radio program produced by the BBC, PRI, and WGBH) understand that.

On their website I stumbled upon this recipe for a sweet bread stuffed with cheese. It was on the “Geo Quiz” page and it asked readers to guess the country on the Black Sea where khachapuri comes from.

Give up? It’s Georgia and it’s so popular there the government wants to trademark the recipe. After making it, I understand why. Its golden brown, sweet flaky crust, stuffed with a savory blend of hot cheese melts in your mouth. Served with salad or soup, it’s a very filling meal.

“The World” gave links to two recipes, one from MasterCook on the RecipeSource website and the other from Gourmet Magazine. Now usually I’d follow the Gourmet Magazine recipe as I’m a big fan of that now defunct publication, but I liked the sound of the MasterCook recipe better.

The dough fills a springform pan nicely.

The dough fills a springform pan nicely.

The traditional recipe calls for a cheese called sulguni but it’s either too difficult or impossible to get in this part of the world, so both recipes suggest alternatives. The goal is to try and get a stringy cheese that is flavorful and a bit salty. The MasterCook recipe suggests using a combination of Muenster, Jarlsberg, and White Cheddar. The Gourmet Magazine recipe suggests using a combination of Mozzarella and Havarti.

I decided to use all five cheeses and it was a hit at the RootsLiving table tonight.

Since the recipe I used called for 24 ounces of cheese, I used about 5 oz. of each cheese.

Here’s the recipe I followed: Khachapuri from MasterCook . Give it a go and don’t be afraid to experiment with your own blend of cheeses.

I might do some more experimenting with stuffings for this dough. It was great to work with. It rolled out easily, was very soft, but not delicate.

The flavor of the dough is sweet and might lend itself to an appetizer or after-dinner delicacy. I’m imagining breaking the flaky crust with a fork to get to a gooey blend of figs and goat cheese or maybe adding tomatoes for a real Georgian pizza.

The RootsLiving kitchen could be busy for awhile with this one. I’ll let you know how it turns out.

Find more recipes in the Food section.

(Note: If you’d like to print this recipe, click here or on the headline on this post and then use the print button at the bottom of the post. In other words, print from the “permalink” not from the homepage.)

Fast Food: Spinach, Red Pepper and Feta Quiche
Mar 20th, 2010 by

This quiche is good for Sunday brunch, lunch or dinner.

This quiche is good for Sunday brunch, lunch or dinner.

Here’s a quiche recipe, made from scratch, that surprisingly takes less than 45 minutes to make.

I made this the other night when I made the Irish Soda Bread. It’s in the same issue of Gourmet Magazine from March, 1994. And I served them both together. (Note: This recipe serves just 2, so I doubled it and made two quiches to serve 4)

Ingredients/Shopping List:

All-purpose flour (1/3 cup)

Unsalted butter (3 tbsp., cold)

Vegetable shortening (1 tbsp., cold)

Ice water (1 1/2 tbsp, plus more if necessary)

Red bell pepper (1/3 cup sliced)

Olive oil (1 tbsp.)

Fresh spinach leaves, washed and trimmed (2 cups packed, or about 5 ounces)

Large eggs (2)

Heavy cream or milk (1/3 cup)

Feta cheese, crumbled (1/3 cup)

What I did:

I followed the recipe here.

Find more recipes in the Food section.

(Note: If you’d like to print this recipe, click here or on the headline on this post and then use the print button at the bottom of the post. In other words, print from the “permalink” not from the homepage.)

St. Patrick’s Day — It Isn’t Over Yet
Mar 17th, 2010 by

If you follow this recipe the bread will come out darker than the one in this photo. I forgot to brush the bread with buttermilk before baking. But it still tasted pretty good.

If you follow this recipe the bread will come out darker than the one in this photo. I forgot to brush the bread with buttermilk before baking. But it still tasted pretty good.

One of the good things about a holiday falling midweek is that you can justify celebrating it on the weekend before, on the actual day, and on the following weekend.

So, if you think I’m a little late in getting this recipe out for Irish Soda Bread, then think again. True, you probably have better plans than staying home tonight and making this. But you still have time to make it and serve it this weekend, spreading the holiday good cheer to family and friends.

This recipe comes from the March 1994 edition of Gourmet Magazine. It is not on the magazine’s website (Epicurious.com) so I’m happy I saved most every issue dating back to the mid-80s. In that issue, the author, Jeanne Lemlin,  wrote that she spoke with Irish housewives and professional chefs along Ireland’s southwestern coast to find several recipes, including this one, my favorite.

It’s quick and easy to make and great to eat most anytime: at breakfast, dinner or with paper-thin slices of unsalted butter and tea in the late afternoon.

Ingredients/Shopping List:

  • All-purpose, unbleached flour (2 cups) (Note: I sifted it first, although the recipe does not call for that.)
  • 1 cup whole-wheat flour (1 cup) (See note above.)
  • Sugar (1/2 cup)
  • Baking soda (2 tsp.)
  • Salt (1 tsp.)
  • Unsalted cold butter, cut into bits (1/2 stick or 1/4 cup)
  • Raisins (1 cup)
  • Caraway seeds (2 tsp.)
  • Buttermilk (1 1/2 cups, plus a little more to brush the bread before baking.)

What I did:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

In a large bowl whisk together the flours, sugar, baking soda, and salt.

Add butter and toss to coat with flour. With fingertips rub in butter until mixture resembles coarse meal.

Add raisins and caraway seeds and toss until coated.

Add buttermilk and stir until dough is moistened evenly (do not overwork dough).

On a floured surface knead dough 1 minute, sprinkling lightly with additional flour to prevent sticking.

Shape dough into a ball and put into a buttered baking dish (1 1/2 quart round or 8 inches in diameter) or just put it on a floured (but not greased) baking sheet.

With a sharp knife cut a shallow X in top of the loaf and brush the loaf with buttermilk.

Bake in the middle of the oven for 55 or 60 minutes, or until golden brown.

Turn bread onto a rack and cook completely before slicing.

Find more recipes in the Food section.

(Note: If you’d like to print this recipe, click here or on the headline on this post and then use the print button at the bottom of the post. In other words, print from the “permalink” not from the homepage.)

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