Nothing like a stifling humidity to make working in the kitchen so much more appealing…
But that’s exactly what I did tonight – I cooked and baked again and again, as if to make up for the slacking I’ve done in that regard over the past week. The through line for all of it was the first batch of fresh herbs “harvested” from my little garden – almost all of which I grew from seed this year. Cilantro, basil, chives, parsley and rosemary. Otherwise known as awesomesauce.
I made pan seared mahi mahi with oven roasted vegetables left over from a teacher appreciation event we had at work this week.
Before the fish went into the cast iron skillet, I added some vegetable oil, the herbs and some thinly sliced green onions. It smelled awesome. There are more process photos here.
I also made a small fritatta with still more of those leftover vegetables, the herbs of course and the last four CSA eggs.
It had a great texture due entirely to the eggs, and a nice fresh flavor due mostly to the herbs.
But of course the crowning glory was the bread I made after Avi went to bed. The bread referenced in the title of this post. The bread I may possibly get in the habit of making on a regular basis, it’s that good.
Around ten o’clock or so I decided to stop drinking beer and start baking with it. I had a sense that I could make a beer-based quick bread, and in fact any simple search will give you hundreds of recipe variations consisting of three basic ingredients: beer, flour and sugar.
I wanted something savory and hearty, though, so I decided to make things up as I went along, making sure I had a version of each of the three ingredients represented in whatever I came up with.
Savory Beer Bread
2 cups bread flour
2 cups oats
16 ounces Victory HopDevil IPA
5 tablespoons light agave nectar
2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, chives and basil, very finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
Mix the flour, oats, baking soda and baking powder together. Add half of the beer and the agave nectar. Add the rest of the beer and the herbs. Stir until mixed, then pour into a bread pan. (And does every quick bread look like throw up or just the quick breads I make?)
I always use Pyrex because that’s what I have. My cooking times and temperatures are based on that, and I have no idea how to convert to tin or aluminum or titanium or adamantium or whatever else you might be using. Sorry. Anyway, bake at 350 for 55 minutes.
It’s ever so slightly undercooked, but in a good way that really sets off the rich texture and will allow the bread to retain said texture as it cools. It’s also savory without being salty, which I appreciate. The HopDevil has a very strong contribution to the overall flavor and bite of this bread; I’m interested to play around with other beers to see how the sharpness varies.
Nutritional content for beer bread, 1/20th of recipe, approximate: 96 calories, .7 grams fat, 46.2mg sodium, 18.3 grams carbohydrates, 2.4 grams fiber, 3.3 grams sugar, 2.7 grams protein.