The Silver Palate Cookbook: The Brunch Bunch
- JoanN Nov 1, 2007 08:55 AM
November 2007 Cookbook of the Month: The Silver Palate Cookbook by Julee Rosso & Sheila Lukins.
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I have made the Big Bread sandwich probably 20 times (page 324) The first few years I made the bread as well but then found the a large round Italian loaf worked just as well (the denser the better - the one I buy is a giant doughnut which makes it easier to serve)
Other than that I follow the recipe to a T (very rare for me) - it is absolutely delicious and a great crowd pleaser at a cottage.
I am making a loaf of The Big Bread (page 326) tonight. WOW. It was HUGE even before it started rising (we're about to punch it out again)-- my sweety wondered if it will fit in the apartment once it expands to three times its original size. We're excited to see how it turns out... as we are two people, I don't think I'm going to make the entire Big Bread sandwich, but I might for some friends on Thanksgiving weekend, or maybe when we go to my mom's house for Thanksgiving Eve.
The eggplant Livia intrigues me -- no cooking the eggplant, right? You marinate it for three days?? How does that turn it? I assume it must be fantastic if you've made it TWENTY times (wow!) I'll definitely try the full-on sandwich, but I think I'll do the components a few at a time first.
I'm out of town without my cook book and wanted to make the big sandwich recipe again. All I remember is the last time I made it that the recpe said hollow out a big loaf and that I had to buy some really good cold cuts. Can you give me the rest of the recipe or tell me how to find it online?
So... the BIG bread (p. 326).
PROCESS: Definitely make this with plenty of time and patience, as it needs to rise THRICE, not twice :) Normally I would never use the word thrice, but somehow it seems fitting here. Rosso and Lukins note that first round of rising time could take up to three hours (and for me, it did take just that long) for the dough to triple in volume. Then you punch it out, and it rises *again*. Then you form the loaf, set it on the baking sheet, and it rises *again*
It was a lot of fun to make this bread. We did not have to knead for fifteen minutes (step 4), probably b/c we added the flour cup by cup in my handy KitchenAid stand mixer, stirring five seconds after adding each cup, and more after the fifth cup... so we only ended up kneading by hand about four minutes (!) I would certainly advise assembling the dough in a stand mixer if you have one -- though it will fill the bowl to the top and nearly overflow. This dough calls for more than ten cups of flour! eeek.
SIZE AND FLAVOR: We called this turkey bread (see photo) as it is literally that big. It is ENORMOUS. We had no idea what to expect for flavor, but it's just delightful. The bread is so soft, and it's a really pretty color and slightly sweet from the molasses (2 Tbsp). We enjoyed slices warm with butter, and later dunked in roasted garlic soup (epicurious recipe) and in hot garlicky artichoke dip. Mmmmm. We will be using it for sandwiche as well. I will have to freeze some or parcel it out to friends and neighbors because I don't know how two people could eat this much bread... :)
This is a keeper. On Thanksgiving Eve, I'm going to make The Big Bread Sandwich at my mom's house... what a great idea for the night before, right? I'll certainly make this loaf again, and I'm going to do the Eggplant Livia and the vinaigrette too.
This bread would be a fantastic cooking project to share with budding child or teen bakers... it is so hysterical to pull a turkey-sized loaf out of the oven, and the assembly really isn't hard. Kids would love punching it out, I think, too...
re: foxy fairy
Another tip I just remembered - if you ever do make the complete recipe using the entire loaf then it's easiest to cut the bread into two pieces and THEN slice the bread crosswise into 3 pieces (it's too hard to get even crosswise slices if the bread is in one piece).....so that just means you assemble two halves of the bread at the same time.
I think if I tried harder I could make that harder to understand!
Marinated Eggplant Livia, p. 326
We adore eggplant in my family, with my mom as the leader of The Eggplant Pack. So I decided to surprise her with this dish for the soup/sandwich dinner I made on Thanksgiving Eve. I will DEFINITELY make this again - it is fantastic to have around during the holidays, a snap to toss together, and you could spoon it on crostini even(very tangy, but I like it that way). Excellent -- it's all set to go with no kitchen work once guests are there. Plus, you just grab some cold cuts and ricotta and Ta-Da! you can serve a dazzler of a sandwich whenever anyone stops over -- even vegetarians or vegans will be delighted. I wish I had known about this when I was struggling for cool sandwich ideas as a vegetarian for nearly ten years.
I followed the instructions precisely - salting and weighting the eggplant the first night, then carefully layering it in a big bowl with the marinade spooned over it. I used two eggplants and doubled the marinade (olive oil, hot chile flakes, garlic, red wine vinegar, oregano, basil, lots of black pepper). I stirred it about three or four times a day, making sure that the marinade coated all of the eggplant. The amount was just right to cover my eggplant, which I did cut the long way as advised for optimal sandwich-filling.
SP advises letting this hang out for three days. However, on the morning after I set it to marinate, I caught my sweety munching on some in the fridge! Akkk! Apparently, Sweety peeked, and then found the smell irresistible and had to dive in. But I don't think the eggplant is really "cooked" though until the second full day - I wouldn't want to eat it until it had marinated and really softened right up for two day.
I served this with my version of The Big Bread sandwich -- see below. WOW. WOW. WOW. Eggplant lovers, make this immediately. It would be great on toast with some goat cheese or mascarpone or ricotta. Could make a cool cold pasta salad too.
The (Little) Bread Sandwich, p. 327
I have been excited about trying this recipe since I received this book two years ago. What an excellent idea for a sandwich, I thought. I did modify this some -- basically made it into four individual sandwiches, and skipped the sausage/pepper layer. I was delighted with the result, and so were my fellow sandwich-eaters.
Earlier in the month (see above) I did a test run of the Big Bread - which is sweet and honey-colored due to molasses, but really outrageously large. I like a baguette for a star sandwich, so I decided to (get up at five am and) make Tyler Florence's baked baguettes -- four mini loaves. This worked out better, too, as my sister doesn't eat red meat and couldn't have the prosciutto.
I made the eggplant ahead of time, and about half an hour before serving I whipped up the Garlic Dressing, p. 211 though I did not use anchovies per family request. The vinaigrette was perfect here! I mixed the ricotta with a lot of fresh parsley and the Romano and black pepper, but I skipped the egg yolk and salt -- it was salty enough with the prosciutoo, cheeses, etc.
My assembly differed from the official SP style, as I only used two slices of bread per sandwich. I spooned the ricotta mixture on the bottom slice of baguette, then the eggplant livia (divine, see above post), then arugula with some garlic dressing, then sprinkled on some halved grape tomatoes, then prosciutto, with more of the garlic dressing on the top slice of bread. WOW. I had bought the Fontina too but thought it would be a bit much.
I served this with roasted pumpkin soup (with pepita cream) that I made based loosely on an Epicurious recipe -- I had used the hot chili flakes in both the soup and the eggplant, so they actually worked together. The sandwich is tangy and intensely delicious. No one finished more than half, because we did have the soup too, but it tasted excellent for breakfast during the cooking frenzy on Thanksgiving morning.
I didn't assemble in layers because it just seemed like too much bread and it was perfect as is -- I didn't want any more cheese, and I think the sausage/peppers would have been really heavy, at least for this bunch of chicas.
re: foxy fairy
'foxy fairy' what a wonderful job you did reporting on these recipes. I have had both cookbooks for about 17 years??? But a long time. I do love eggplant and have not tried that recipe, it looks and reads divine. We love good sandwiches, the bread looks great, (always wondered about that big bread) The big bread I think is too big for us but your loaves do look perfect! Thanks especially for the photos, it really takes the mystery out of the recipe for me. Oh and the SOUP look great as well, NICE JOB!
re: chef chicklet
;) Blushing... thanks chef chicklet and I was going to post also about the STUNNED JOY with which everyone lapped up your hot garlicky artichoke dip this weekend. Thank you so much. Everyone was saying "hmm... how come this one's not greasy?" I made a double batch - half to bring for Thanksgiving dinner with friends, half to enjoy last night for a "tapas" dinner with la familia, including your dip with ciabatta, stuffed mushrooms, crispy brussels sprouts, and (bringing it back to COTM) giant slabs of SP chocolate cake. We meant to make more eggplant etc sandwiches last night, but after so many other snacks, that was put on hold until dinner tonight.
One more picture of the sandwich, since you cheered me on with the others -- don't you want to dive right into this?!?! Let me know how it turns out when you make it :)
re: foxy fairy
I opened the picture and at the same time my husband was looking over my shoulder... You should of heard him! WHAT IS THAT!! Man that looks GOOD!
So I told him and now he wants me to make it. I was going to anyway, but I can't tell you how valuable the pictures are. If I would of described marinated eggplant and the rest, it would not of received such an enthusiastic response as your beautiful picture prompted! Thanks so much!
And also for the compliment on the dip, we never get tired of it!
Hot & Garlicky Artichoke Dip ~~~~~~~
2 cans of artichokes, drained and cut fine or 2 boxes frozen Artichoke hearts(drained)
1 8oz pkg. Cream Cheese or Mascarpone
1 cup mayonnaise
2 shallots sautéed – see above add the garlic after the shallots
5 garlic gloves cut into pieces and sautéed with the shallots to golden color
½ lemon- juice only
½ cup grated parmesan
Salt and cracked pepper to taste
Drain the artichoke hearts well and rinse, put that and all but the lemon juice and the parmesan cheese to a blender or food processor, and with short bursts mix, not pureeing but smallish pieces to make for easy spreading.
Pour into a nice baking crock or dish (one you can serve out of)
Bake at 350 degrees until bubbly.
We like to serve on fresh small sour dough rounds or toasted assorted breads.
I made this recipe and I have to admit, the results were delicious, BUT only after I added quite a bit of water to make the batter thin enough. With so many buckwheat pancake recipes out there in the world, I don't really see a reason to use a recipe that has to be adjusted, but I added about 3/4 cup water to the final batter before frying the crepes and that made them into thin pancakes, but not crepes by any stretch of the imagination. I did not use an electric mixer to combine the ingredients, I hand-whisked, but I am an aggressive whisker and I do not think that this could account for how gummy and dry the mix was.
Anyhow, the next time I make this I'm going to melt the butter down in the microwave, then mix everything as directed, and then I'm going to add a cup of seltzer, and I think that would get me the texture I am looking for. Flavorwise, though, as I said, I highly recommend the wheat and butter ratios of SP's recipe.