a day in the kitchen (sort of)

Since I have been spending extended amounts of time in the garden, I have not really had the opportunity to cook much.  Being back in Berlin for a few days motivated me to put on my apron and enjoy having a stove and oven.  I decided that rosemary bread, meatballs and pasta were a good choice for the day.  After all, I am still searching for the perfect tomato sauce (getting closer, but still not there…).  However, I was feeling a bit lazy, so I decided to see how much of the meal I could make in my food processor.  As it turns out, I was able to use it for just about everything.  I love being able to put the food processor bowl on the scale and simply add the ingredients based on weight.  Yay for dirtying fewer dishes!  The only exceptions were for the onions and garlic (I find that how they are cut with the food processor makes them far too strong).

Here are the recipes that I ended up using:

Rosemary Bread (adapted from this recipe)

3/4 cup water (warm)
3 TBSP oil (I used 2 TBSP olive oil and 1 TBSP garlic oil)
6 grams white sugar
9 grams salt
.5 gram italian seasoning
.5 gram ground pepper
1.5 gram dried rosemary
350 gram flour
12 grams fresh yeast

  1. Add all ingredients to the food processor and pulse on low for approximately 2 minutes.
  2. Remove from the dough from the processor and gently knead on a floured surface.
  3. Place the dough in a well-oiled bowl, cover and allow to rise until it has doubled in size (varies depending on temperature).
  4. When the dough has doubled in size, pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees.
  5. Punch the dough down and knead lightly.
  6. Shape into desired form (loaf, rolls, balls, etc.) and place on parchment paper or silicone baking sheet.
  7. Bake for 20 – 25 minutes until barely browned. Remove the bread and brush with olive oil and sprinkle with coarse sea salt (parmesan or parsley would probably also be good).  Return the bread to the oven until it reaches desired “browness” (approximately 3 minutes).
  8. Remove from the oven and enjoy!

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These were good not only with noodles and meatballs, but breakfast too!!

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Then it was time to make some noodles!

Basic Pasta Dough

130 gram flour
2 TBSP water (room temperature)
1 tsp olive oil
1/8 tsp baking powder
1 egg, beaten

  1. Add the ingredients to the food processor and pulse until the dough pulls together.
  2. Remove the dough and knead lightly on a floured surface.
  3. Cover the dough and allow to rest for 15 minutes.
  4. Make noodles using your desired method (rolling pin, pasta machine, etc.).

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The meat was last because it had to be purchased before it could be prepared.  It was hard to work up the motivation to go to the market, but hunger trumped laziness.

Basic Meatballs

500 grams ground meat (I used a mix of beef and pork)
1/2 cup bread crumbs (approximate)
Marjoram (~ 1 tsp)
Oregano (~ 1 tsp)
Flat-Leaf parsley (3 sprigs)
75 grams quark
1 egg
1/2 medium red onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, pressed
Oil for sautéing the Alliums
Salt, Pepper to taste

  1. Finely dice onions and press garlic.  Saute over medium – low heat until lightly softened (ca. 4 minutes)
  2. Place meat, seasoning, bread crumbs, quark, salt, pepper and egg in the food processor and pulse until well mixed – about 2 minutes.
  3. Add onions and garlic and pulse until the onions and garlic are evenly distributed.
  4. Take a small chunk of meat and fry it in pan used to saute the onions/garlic and taste to see if the seasoning needs to be adjusted.
  5. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.
  6. Roll meat into balls (ca. 15, depending on size)  and place on a lined cookie tray.
  7. Bake uncovered for approximately 20 minutes or until the meatballs are lightly browned and cooked through.

So, that was it.  It seems like a lot, but with my food processor I did not feel like I had spent the whole day slaving away in the kitchen.  I was still able to eat delicious, homemade food without getting a bunch of dishes dirty.  My kind of day in the kitchen!!

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