Since the no-knead bread-off at the Brooklyn Kitchen last week, I haven’t been able to stop making bread. Thoughts of forging a foccacia from the technique, or elegant dinner rolls have been clouding my mind as well. At least one of those urges had been released the other night, when I tried to make a French baguette from the recipe. Knowing well enough that the bread needs to cook inside a dutch oven, or other large, covered vessel able to withstand a 450-degree oven, I went ahead and let my dough rise in an oblong, tube-like shape, eyeballing the length of the 7-quart dutch oven it would need to cook inside. My estimation proved much too hopeful; when it came to dropping the dough into the pot it had no room but to curl into a snakelike C shape. So perhaps this is a new pastry born from the dutch oven no-knead bread recipe: C bread. This one had a bit of rosemary blended in the dough and a sprinkle of kosher salt on its crust.
A simple blend of red beans with garlic, lemon juice and a few spices made for a refreshing and bright hummus-like spread. I had tried a black bean version a while ago that someone else had prepared, and decided to give red kidney beans a go at it, with slightly different flavors. With plenty of fresh-tasting tang and a hint of spice, one could play with the ingredients to their heart’s delight until an individual version is perfected.
While the appetizer may not have been very French, I pulled out Mastering the Art of French Cooking and tried its porc roti, or roast pork loin, with one of the sauce variations Moutarde a la Normande to make for friends this weekend. Served alongside mushroom risotto and green beans, it was a simple meal in appearance, though I’m thankful that after marinading, braising, basting, and saucing the roast, a flavorful main course resulted. Phew.
Red Bean Hummus
(makes about 1 1/2 cups)
1 15 oz can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 clove garlic
1-2 Tb lemon juice (to taste)
1/4 tsp salt (or to taste)
1/4 tsp smoked paprika
1/8 tsp cumin
1/8 tsp black pepper
1 1/2 tsp apricot preserves
1 Tb olive oil
1 Tb grated parmesan or cojita cheese (optional)
Blend ingredients in a food processor until well combined. Chill first or serve immediately with chips, pita or any crusty bread.
(for 6-8 appetizer-size servings)
1 15 oz can red kidney beans: $0.79
1 clove garlic: $0.05
juice of half a lemon (at 3/$1): $0.17
1 1/2 tsp apricot preserves (at $2.99/jar): $0.10
Salt, pepper, cumin, smoked paprika, olive oil: $0.18
1 Tb optional grated cojita cheese: $0.25
Three brownie points — I’m going to be snacking on this for a while. Unlike most chickpea hummus, tahini isn’t used in this version so the only fat involved is the olive oil and optional tablespoon of grated cheese. This can be a pungent, garlicky dip and I would keep a close eye the salt content, tasting before adding.