Extreme Sourdough

I’ve made several posts about our  sourdough experiments using a 13 year old starter we maintain. I also recently made a post about braised shortribs and the all important pure rendered shortrib fat that’s a byproduct of the cooking process. On a whimsy today those two things came together as I prepared to bake sourdough. First I melted the shortrib fat and brushed it on the dough, it is truly savory good stuff. Then topped the dough with thyme and whole rosemary sprigs followed by bleu cheese and then into the oven. Sourdough + beef + bleu cheese & herbs is an ethereal combination. I wish you could be here to receive a loaf of this heavenly bread, if you click on the picture to get a close-up you can almost taste it. This would make the perfect bread for a steakhouse concept.

The second picture is a Parmigiano-Reggiano sourdough with fresh herbs. The remarkable blistering on this bread is produced by a slow 24 hour fermentation that gives the bread its unique character and extraordinary crust.

'Smores Concoction

A cross between a sweet terrine of sorts, a papillote of sorts and a fondue of sorts. Maybe it's just wrong to draw comparisons to what it's "most like" because there isn't anything like it.

Hot chocolate ganache, marshmallow cream, crystallized graham crackers, strawberries.

Seasonal Denial

Although the end of summer officially occurred several weeks ago, according to the calendar, it just ended this week for me as I tore out the garden after the first hard frost set in. Last week I picked 50-60 green tomatoes ahead of the frost. That last trip to the garden also yielded jalapenos, rhubarb and sage. I didn’t pick the sage because it continues to grow in harsh conditions.

Although I thoroughly enjoy the hearty fare and cooking styles of the winter, and I’m sure I’ll become emotionally attached to it also, I will miss the spontaneity of the summer.

As I look back over our summer posts I have a few favorites that make me long for the return of this abundant season. First off, the farmers markets, Soulard farmers market, local markets and the roadside peach orchard. Next we had the first garden pictures of the summer, followed by two cooking from the garden articles, “So little is so much”, and “Home dinner – cooking from the garden”. And last but not least, the ongoing battle with vegetable consuming insects that prey on organic gardens.

The only thing that really turns me off about the winter is the uniform transformation of all the cooking magazines……there’s a big damn turkey on the front cover! Seriously, do we really need this much info about cooking a bird? It’s a perennial rerun. I just got Bon Appetit, Gourmet and Food & Wine…..turkey, turkey, turkey – Apricot glazed, shallot-dijon gravy, black truffle butter, white wine gravy………The only turkey article I care to see is Alton Brown's Turkey Derrik Blue Prints.

Hello Winter, good bye summer, I’ll see you right after the March equinox.