Sunday, June 14, 2009

Armenian "Barbary" Bread

Armenian "Barbary" Bread

This lovely flatbread comes from Nick Malgieri's The Modern Baker. This book incorporates shortcuts into the recipes, for the "modern" baker who may not have time for a bread recipe that requires 3 rises and 12 hours. The book jacket states that the aim was for most of the recipes to have under an hour of prep time. If you're someone who loves baking but has trouble fitting it into your schedule, this is a cookbook you may want to take a look at. Breads, cakes, sweet and savory pies, quick breads... there's a very nice selection here.

Armenian "Barbary" Bread

This came together very easily. A 4-to-1 mix of all-purpose flour and whole wheat flour, plus a couple of teaspoons of salt make up the dry ingredients. Another bowl gets the yeast and warm water, along with a couple of tablespoons of olive oil. Slowly add the flour mixture into the yeast mixture, give a quick knead, and set aside to rise for 1-2 hours. Divide the dough in 2, shape into long ovals, let it rise for another hour, and then bake for 20 minutes.

The finished bread has a wonderful flavor from the whole wheat flour and the olive oil. The whole wheat flavor isn't overpowering, but adds a nice subtle heartiness to it. We had this with beef stew, and the bread stood up to it nicely.

Armenian "Barbary" Bread


Recipe: Armenian "Barbary" Bread from The Modern Baker by Nick Malgieri

Space needed: Moderate
A couple of bowls and enough counter space to be able to work the dough for a few minutes. The shaped loaves rise on the baking sheets for an hour, so you also need room to stash the sheet during the rising time. I was able to fit both of my loaves on one baking sheet, so I needed less room for that.

Cost: Under $5
$3.15 as written for two loaves. The two loaves should serve 7-8 people, so one serving runs about $0.40 to $0.45. The yeast price I have here is for the 3-pack of envelopes; bulk yeast is less expensive, but only worthwhile if you do a lot of baking.

Recipe amounts: AP Flour - $1.00; Whole wheat flour - $0.25; Yeast - $1.25; Olive oil - $0.65

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Turkey Meatball and Farfalle Soup

Lunch on Tuesday:
Turkey Meatball Soup

I adapted this from the Chicken Meatball and Orzo Soup from the April 2009 issue of Food & Wine. It was in a feature called "5 (Almost) Instant Soups", and they weren't kidding. From start to finish, this took me 20 minutes. It's light and fresh, a perfect soup for early summer.

Turkey Meatball Soup

This didn't look like something that would reheat particularly well, so I decided to just make enough for lunch. I used one link of sweet turkey sausage and made 3/4" meatballs from it. I browned the meatballs in a bit of olive oil in my saucepan I was using, then added 1 can of low-sodium chicken broth (no removing the meatballs and then adding them back in). Once it came to a boil, I added 1/2 cup of mini-farfalle pasta. Any small pasta would work for this: shells, orzo, even spaghetti broken into smaller pieces. I set the timer for 2 minutes less than the pasta cooking time, and when it went off, added a handful of chopped spinach. It cooked for another couple of minutes to let the spinach wilt, and then, DONE!

A nice light lunch in no time!


Recipe: Chicken Meatball and Orzo Soup from Food & Wine, April 2009

Space needed: Minimal
A plate for the meatballs. For my single-serving version, I just formed the meatballs and dropped them directly in the pan; no plate needed.

Cost: Under $5 ($4.10/serving)
$16.35 for the full recipe as written, but almost half of that is the chicken sausage. Maybe chicken sausage is cheaper elsewhere in the country, but the packs I looked at here were pricey. I subbed in less-expensive turkey sausage and, had I made the full 4 serving recipe, would have saved $3.50 overall. I also used store brand low-sodium chicken broth instead of brand name, which also saved me some money.

Recipe amounts: Chicken sausage - $7.50; Chicken broth - $4.50; Orzo - $0.75; Garlic - $0.10; Spinach: $3.50