Tag Archives: Sandwiches

Red hot emergency

11 Apr

What a beaute, eh? Here’s the story of how this gorgeous machine ended up in my kitchen.

Last Firday, my trustee RM100 Kenwood mixer whirred it’s last breath. This is not a reflection on Kenwood but rather on how I’ve abused the machine. You see, I’ve been making bread like nobody’s business (for Crazy Juliet) and the poor basic mixer could not cope with the work load. I was midway through making my pita dough when the poor thang started groaning and moaning and finally, it just refused to work … just like any overworked employee. I was sad at first but panic soon took over. After all, I had to make 7 pieces of pita bread and two wholemeal loaves by Sunday or I would be in serious trouble.

This classified as an emergency, for sure! I had no choice but to knead the flour by hand (unlike my business partner/colleague Marty I do not find this therapeutic) and at the end of it exhaustion pushed panic aside. It was a night when emotions ran high.

Tomorrow, I vowed, I will get myself a proper, hardier machine that could stand some heavy duty baking.

And that’s how I welcomed this red beauty — the Kenwood Patissier 4L, 400 W mixer. I got it in signal red of course and have used it to make a second batch of pita, and the two wholemeal loaves. I love it. Love, love, love it.  Now I just hope my poor battered basic mixer can be saved.

Now onto the pitas and the wholemeal loafs. The key to making a perfect pita is in getting the circular bread to puff up slightly, leaving an envelope in the centre in which you can stuff with a variety of fillings. The thing to remember is not to roll the circles too thick. Roll them 7 inches in diameter but just  allow 1/4 inch thickness.  I used 2 cups high protein flour and 1 cup whole wheat and added some sage for extra flavour : an adaptation of a basic pita recipe found on The Fresh Loaf.

The wholemeal loafs are adapted from the basic Pullman Loaf, a perfect sandwich bread. The Pattisierre was a joy to use: so silent and so efficient.

For the Pullman, you need 4 cups flour (I used 50% whole wheat and 50% high protein), 1/4 cup dry milk, 2 tsp salt, 1 tbsp instant dry yeast, 6 tbsp softened butter, 2 tbsp honey/maple syrup, 11/4 cups tepid water. Whisk the flour, milk and yeast together. Transfer to the bowl of your mixer, attach the dough hook to the mixer, add the butter to the dry flour combo and start kneading (speed 2 or low) till butter is well combined. Add the water, salt and honey and when the flour is moist, speed up the mixer to 4 (medium).  Knead for 7 mins or till a smooth but sticky dough forms. Transfer dough to a floured surface, form into a ball, flour the top and cover with cling film for 15 mins. Once rested, deflate with your finger tips and shape the dough into a rectangle (10 x 8 inches). Given the rectangle an envelope turn (90degrees) and form a 12 inch roll and then shape it once more into a loaf to fit your pullman tin. Cover and et it rise till just an inch below the rim. Bake, covered, for 3o mins and then uncovered for 15-30 mins or till brown.

Now that the bread is all done and my house is smelling like a bakery, it’s time to make myspreads: hummus, oilve tapenade and sun dried tomato pesto. There is no rest for the wicked … but I ain’t complaining. No better way to spend a rainy Sunday.

And we’re off

7 Apr

 

So we let Crazy Juliet loose yesterday and I must say,  it was a little nerve-wracking but  a whole lot of fun. You know, it’s very, very rare that I have  so  much enthusiasm on a Monday morning but yesterday,  Marty and I found that it is possible to start the week of with a bang after all. 

Who’s Juliet and why is she crazy, you ask? Well, Marty (my colleague/fellow food blogger/friend) and I decided to start a small enterprise catering sandwiches for lunch to our colleagues at work. Read more about it here.

After months of careful planning (and forcing our friends to sample our sandwiches and comment on them) we finally got our business — we are called Crazy Juliet — off the ground last week. We posted a menu online last Tuesday and invited a bunch of our colleagues to check the menu out and consider our homemade  sandwiches a possible alternative for lunch once a week.

The response was better than we expected — 23 orders for three types of sandwiches. It’s a modest number but it was a good number to start with. After all, it’s just the two of us baking the breads, making the fillings and assembling the sandwiches. Our three sandwich fillings were  Thyme Roast Chicken (pic above,left),  Grilled Eggplant with  Cottage Cheese and Curried Tempeh, Potato and Egg.

The feedback was, thankfully, positive. We received compliments but also some constructive criticism from which we’ve learnt a few lessons for next week. Yes, we already have some orders for next week!

Who would have thought that all my dreams of playing around with food and recipes like Sookie St James (of the family drama Gilmore Girls? If you haven’t watched the series, you should!) would actually come true. So if you are in the hood and want a taste of Crazy Juliet, email us at crazyjulietgrub@gmail.com

Till next time!

Egg sandwich, pepped up and ready to go

3 Mar

An egg sandwich is hardly glamorous. But in the world of sandwiches, my comfort food is the good ol’ egg sandwich. Not the type that’s smothered with mayo, but a good, juicy (yes, juicy isn’t reserved for steaks) fried egg sandwich with onions and relish of choice.

My egg sandwiches have gone through several phases of evolution. In the early years, they were simple — just fried with some onions and scallions, seasoned with pepper and salt.
Then, my grandmother acquianted me with her way of frying an egg — mixing cumin and chilli powder into a paste that’s beaten with the egg; the onions stay but not the scallions.
Over the years my fried eggs are filled (with a variety of vegetables from mushrooms to spinach to potato) and are served with a relish of some sort — home made and randomely concocted, of course.

This morning’s egg sandwich was filled with mushroom (swiss brown, sliced) and leek and covered with melted mozzarella; seasoned with red pepper flakes, black pepper, salt and some oregano; and served on a bed of lettuce laced with some pesto I made from parsley (pic above). I polka dotted the pesto covered leaves with some yellow mustard — a trendy sandwich — and included a generous slice of tomato, lightly grilled.

It’s a really simple sandwich but because of the pesto, there is some prep involved. You can of course use store bought pesto but I find them way too expensive. Plus, where’d you go to find parsley pesto?

But hey, you end up not only with a delicious egg sandwich but some pesto to use for a pasta dinner.