still feeling under the weather, exhausted and coughing. i've felt like this for a month, with varying degrees of intensity. sure it's nice to call out sick and have a four day weekend. but really, it gets kind of old and boring and completely a waste of time. by now i would happily trade in all my sick days for the quarter if i could just feel better.
but since today was better than yesterday, i dragged myself out of bed and took a short walk around in the sun. i also was in the mood for a simple dinner of creamy soup. ginger carrot was on my mind as a spicy balm to my scratchy throat.
of course you can't have soup without some bread! i really enjoy baking bread. i love the smell of the yeasty beasties (that lovely phrase came from somewhere else, but i have forgotten ... if it's yours, i'm sorry!) i love the feel of the dough, the kneading and the folding. i love the oxymoron of forced patience. of course mine isn't quite up to the best of the city's bakeries (i'm personally partial to here and here, ahem, even if that last one isn't *technically* a city bakery at least it's still new york). but nothing beats that taste and smell fresh out of the oven in your own kitchen.
i didn't want to be laboring under something difficult or timely, so i found a quick little recipe for rolls. after i tried one of these light, fluffy, buttery dreams of a carb, ginger carrot didn't seem to fit the bill anymore. mr. mimi suggested something a little more homey and classic. and it hit the spot perfectly!
no-knead dinner rolls: makes 18
from martha's everyday food magazine (dec 2007, p. 93)
(i halved this recipe and put into a 9x9 pan and it was fine)
2 cups warm water (105-115F)
2 packages (1/4 oz each) active dry yeast
1/4 cup sugar
4 tb butter, melted, plus more for pan and brushing
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/2 tsp salt
6 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for shaping
1. pour warm water into large bowl, sprinkle with yeast and let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes.
2. add sugar, butter, eggs, and salt and whisk to combine. add flour, mix until incorporated and sticky dough forms. brush top of dough with butter. cover with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled, about 1 hour.
3. turn dough onto well floured work surface. roll dough into thick log. cut into 18 equal pieces (cut in half, and then each half in thirds, and another thirds, etc).
4. brush 9x13 pan with butter. flatten each piece of dough then fold edges toward center, pressing to secure, until smooth ball forms. place each roll in pan, smooth side up (three rows of six). cover loosely with plastic wrap and rise until doubled, about 40 minutes.
5. preheat oven to 400F. brush rolls with butter. bake until golden, about 35-40 minutes. serve warm!
winter tomato soup: serves 4
1 shallot, diced
1 large garlic clove, sliced
2 leeks, cleaned and sliced, white parts only
1 carrot, peeled and diced
1 tb white wine vinegar
1 can chopped tomatoes (if this was summer, you'd be using "real" ones)
1 tsp paprika
salt + pepper
1/2 cup heavy cream
chopped chives for garnish
1 tb + 1 tsp butter
1. heat olive oil and about 1 tsp butter. lightly sautée shallots, garlic, and leeks until translucent. add vinegar, reduce. add carrots and tomatoes, season with paprika and salt and pepper. simmer until carrots are soft, about 1 hour (because the tomatoes will thicken, add water if soup looks too thick).
2. add cream and then purée with a burre mixer (or use a regular blender) until silky smooth. bring back up to a simmer and if you're feeling decadent add a monté au beurre (about a 1 tb butter) and mix in until incorporated.
3. serve and garnish with a drizzle of cream and chives.