Here’s one appetizer that will leave your palate intrigued and happy. Pickled Garlicky Green Bean Salad. Perfect for summer and super easy to make. I served it at my Azerbaijani supper club recently and it was a hit.
To make it, green beans are first cooked, then tossed with garlic and fresh herbs, drizzled with vinegar, and left aside for some time to soak up all the good flavors.
This dish is made with Romano beans, which are broader than the more common French green beans (haricots verts). They’re also fleshier and have flat pods with beans inside that are loaded with distinct flavor. Choose fresh and tender beans for the best results. If Romano beans are not available to you, use French green beans.
Pecorino Toscano is made from milk produced in Tuscany, Lazio and Umbria. As with all cheeses, it gets harder and drier as it ages. In the US it used to be much easier to the find the aged versions than the really fresh soft ones. The fresher version is particularly mild and creamy. The aged version is buttery, sometimes nutty with a peppery finish It’s just a great table cheese, perfect for an antipasto platter. Even aged it tends to be much milder than the Pecorinos from Lazio and Sardinia.
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These perfect buttermilk sourdough pancakes are mixed up the night before and ready to be cooked in the morning for a lazy weekend breakfast. They are very easy to make once you have your sourdough starter going and I believe they are the most delicious pancakes you’ll ever taste.
Even if you aren’t interested in baking sourdough bread from scratch, these pancakes and the sourdough biscuits that I shared last week are more than enough reason to keep a sourdough starter in the refrigerator.
Whether you get some from a friend, buy it online, or make your own (it’s really not that hard!), maintaining a sourdough starter is easy. And once you have a jar of starter bubbling away on the counter or tucked away in the refrigerator, you can use it to start making these delicious pancakes that everyone will love. In my experience, even people who don’t normally care much about pancakes will rave about these!
Making the batter is simple. The night before, stir together flour, buttermilk, and sourdough starter. Cover the bowl and let it sit out at cool room temperature overnight. By the way, if you don’t have buttermilk, regular milk works just fine in this recipe.
The next morning, the batter will be nice and bubbly and ready for the rest of the ingredients.
Stir in an egg that has been beaten with salt and baking soda. I mix the soda and salt into the egg just to help everything get distributed into the thick batter a little easier.
Stir it all together until the egg is completely mixed in.
Next, stir in the melted butter. I add the butter separately so that the melted butter doesn’t doesn’t harden from being mixed with the cold egg.
That’s it! Your pancake batter is ready to go.
I cook my pancakes on a cast iron griddle that came with my stove. Because it’s cast iron and takes a while to heat, I turn it on before the final mixing of the batter. Then when I’m ready to cook, I brush it lightly with either butter or oil using a silicone pastry brush. This time I used coconut oil.
Sometimes I make big pancakes, sometimes I make small ones. It just depends on my mood and who I’m feeding. These were for my husband, so they are on the large side.
This is a pretty thick batter so the pancakes will cook up thick and fluffy. Because of that, you want to make sure your griddle isn’t too hot or the pancakes will burn before they are cooked through. You’ll know it’s time to flip them when edges of the pancakes are starting to look dry.
It may take a little trial and error to get the griddle to the perfect temperature, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll be rewarded with perfect, golden, fluffy sourdough pancakes.
Don’t forget the butter and maple syrup!
This pancake recipe is adapted from the recipe that came with the original sourdough starter I purchased from King Arthur Flour about 10 years ago.
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Over the years, I have posted more than 350 cookie recipes on Baking Bites. Based on that number alone, you can probably guess that I am a big cookie fan. I imagine that I must like cookies about as much as Dorie Greenspan, author of many wonderful cookbooks including Dorie’s Cookies, her most recent volume.
The book is substantial, clocking in at around 500 pages. Every cookie recipe is accompanied by a photo that shows the finished product in all its glory. Not all cookie books are as jam-packed with colorful photos and I find that it really makes a difference in how much I want to try the various recipes, as there are times when cookie recipes can be difficult to tell apart just from the list of ingredients. Seeing the array of cookies as you flip the pages will make you realize how different all these treats are, and tempt you to pick out a few and start baking right away.
The book is divided into chapters, following in introduction that covers cookie techniques, ingredients and baking equipment, and it covers everything from everyday drop cookies and elaborate holiday cookies to brownies and biscotti. There is something for everyone and every baking mood. Every recipe is clearly written, with detailed instructions that carefully walk you through the process of making the cookies from start to finish. Many of the recipes have suggestions for variations, as well as for storing the cookies to keep them fresh until they’ve all been eaten. The Vanilla Macadamia Nut Snacklettes that I posted last week are a variation on one of the cookies in this book. It’s a volume well worth picking up and adding to your collection and it makes a fantastic gift for any and every cookie-lover.
When I see a recipe repeatedly I sometimes feel compelled to give it a try. Salted Tahini Chocolate Chip Cookies from Danielle Oron’s Modern Israeli Cooking is one of those recipes. It was published in the New York Times a little over a year ago, then Food52 got in on the act and reprinted it as well.
Note: If you have a scale, I implore you to use it instead of measuring cups especially for the sugar and flour. It makes a big difference.
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