This is No-Knead Dutch Oven Bread- AKA the easiest bread you’ve ever baked in your entire life. No kidding. If you’ve been following me for any length of time you know how much I love cooking and mixing cocktails, but HATE, yes with all caps, HATE baking. It never works for me, it makes a mess, it’s complicated, it’s time consuming…… But this recipe has made me into a convert. Thanks to Girl Versus Dough I will have fresh, homemade bread whenever I want. And just think of how impressed all your guests/host will be when they find out they are using HOMEMADE bread slices to mop up that delicious HOMEMADE dip- you’ll be the hero of the party.
This recipe is from Girl Versus Dough, I have only made the slightest change by adding roasted garlic. Check out How to Roast Garlic for instructions and throw some in there. Try it with, try it without, try other tasty additions, but just promise me you will make this. Pinky promise. You won’t regret it. Also, if you throw in any other wonderful flavors please share. Thanks.
Mix all the dry ingredients, then add the warm water and mix with a wooden spoon until a wet, sticky dough forms.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set in a warm place for 8-18 hours. (It would work well to mix up in the morning before leaving for work). When it's ready it will have risen, be flat on top, and have lots of bubbles visible.
Pre-heat oven to 450 F and place a 6 qt Dutch Oven inside.
Flour hands, punch down the dough. Dump it out onto a floured square of parchment paper. Shape into a ball, dust with flour. Cover with a piece of plastic wrap and let it rest for 30 minutes while the Dutch Oven pre-heats in the oven.
Carefully lift the parchment paper and set the dough in the Dutch oven. Cover and bake for 45 minutes. Then bake an additional 10 minutes without the lid until the top is golden.
This meal is so easy, almost every part can either be made in advance or is put in a crock pot/ oven and then not touched for a few hours. And it looks and tastes fancy. I recommend you take the sirloin out of the oven just before it is done and cover in foil for 10 minutes to continue cooking while the oven tempt gets bumped up to 400F for the asparagus. Also, although the recipe for the asparagus says 15-20 minutes I always check after 12 minutes so they don’t overcook as I like my veggies on the crisp side. Serve the cake with fresh berries, you could also add in 1/2 tsp of instant coffee to really enhance the chocolate flavor, but that is optional.
The Day Before:
Make the cake (don’t sprinkle with powdered sugar until tomorrow)
Make the gravy, simply reheat it when you are ready (the flavors just get better over night)
Trim the sirloin, rub evenly with salt, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate
A Few Hours Before Dinner
Remove the sirloin from the fridge to come to room temp
Assemble the salad, leaving the dressing to be added just before serving
Start the potatoes (remember they take 4 hours, but once you get it all in the crock pot you’re practically done)
Wash and season the asparagus so it is ready to put in the oven
This one would work very well for Thanksgiving for someone who wants poultry but is intimidated by the idea of cooking and carving a full turkey or for a Friendsgiving dinner or secondary Thanksgiving party so no one gets burned out on eating the same meal over and over. It has juicy roasted chicken, potatoes, and green beans, but with a twist making it versatile enough for any occasion. My favorite part of this menu is the cake. If you make nothing else, make the cake. I have served it on many occasions and it is ALWAYS a hit. I top it with fresh whipped cream and strawberries. The best part is that it tastes even better the next day making this a fantastic make ahead option. (If you can keep your hands off of it that long).
The Day Before:
Make the cake the day before, if you are serving with homemade whipped cream go ahead and make that too and refrigerate it.
Prep the potatoes up to just before baking, layer them in the baking dish and cover.
Prep the chicken (if you are breaking down a whole chicken do this in advance, if using chicken pieces that are pre-cut then skip this step). Mix together the liquid for baking the chicken and put in the fridge.
Make the salad dressing and refrigerate
Prep your green beans, wrap in bacon. Make the glaze in a separate container and refrigerate separately.
Just Before Dinner:
Slice up the fruit for the cake, cover and set aside
1 hour before cooking take the potatoes out of the fridge and let them come to room temp.
Put the green beans on your baking sheet and brush with glaze.
Put chicken in baking dish and cover in white wine and herb mixture.
Just as I promised in my last post Hosting a Dinner Party- 3 Tips And A Download, over the next few days I am going to give you three fully planned menus that will work for pretty much any holiday. I am doing all the leg work in researching recipes that have flavors that compliment each other and are easily prepared for a dinner party scenario. I warn you, these are not traditional holiday meals- these are meant to be menus that you can keep in your arsenal for any type of dinner party any time of the year- perfect these three and you can’t go wrong. Whether in-laws are in town, your bestie just got engaged, or you got volunteered to host the holiday party any of these menus should do the trick. Who says you have to serve traditional turkey and mashed potatoes for Thanksgiving anyways? How about cheesy scalloped potatoes! And green bean casserole is great, but why not mix it up with bacon wrapped green bean bundles.
I have chosen these recipes from many other wonderful bloggers out there, if you love them, show the creators some love for me. Here’s the first menu. Click each image to open the recipe in a new tab.
How to prep:
The day before
Prep the pork tenderloin up to just before actually cooking it, put it in the baking dish you will use, cover with foil
Make the candied walnuts (if you don’t plan to buy them)
Cut the carrots, toss in
Make the Parsley garlic butter (don’t add them to the carrots yet, you will do this after reheating them)
Cut the potatoes, toss them in the olive oil and salt and pepper and put them in a baggy
Make your salad dressing
Just before guests arrive
Put all salad ingredients together except the dressing
Put the carrots in the oven
Dump the potatoes onto a sheet pan to roast and continue to make as directed
Roast the pork tenderloin.
Why this is a good menu: All the baked/roasted items are at 400/425F. You won’t need to work in batches or worry about one item getting cold while you cook another at a different temp. I would start the oven at 400F for the first 30 minutes, at which point you will toss the potatoes in Parmesan and put them back in the oven, remove the carrots and toss with the garlic parsley butter and check on the tenderloin. Then bump the temp up to 425 to finish the potatoes for another 10 min or so. In that last ten minutes go ahead and toss your salad, plate you carrots and your tenderloin and gather the guests. Easy peasy.
I didn’t get any good photos but because I mentioned it on my favorites and because it is such a simple recipe I decided to share anyways. Please use the miso butter on other things, it is so easy. Try smearing it on salmon before roasting, baste corn or tofu with it before grilling, swirl into mashed potatoes or whipped sweet potato. It’s seriously delicious. Trust me. I like to use shiro miso, a mild white variety, although called “white” it is actually a very light beige color . If you need help choosing between the many varieties you might see in your local asian grocery store, there is a great guide about all the different types HERE.
1 medium butternut squash
3-4 TBS of miso butter
To make the miso butter: Melt 1 stick of butter in a saucepan over low heat, then mix in 1/2 c miso stirring until combined. Remove from heat and stir occasionally as the mixture cools to ensure it is combined thoroughly. refrigerate. I am not sure how long this will keep in the fridge, but in an airtight container it should be equally as long as the shelf life marked on your miso. I generally use mine up very quickly.
Preheat oven to 400F
Pierce the skin of a medium butternut squash 8-10 times, microwave on high for 3 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes before removing ends and peeling. Remove the seeds and slice into cubes.
Toss the cubes in miso butter (more or less depending on size of squash).
Transfer to a baking dish and bake for 25-30 minutes until butternut squash can be easily pierced with a fork.
“Fries before guys.” I should probably have a T-Shirt or something with that saying on it. Seriously though, fries are one of my biggest weaknesses. Given the option of a double chocolate brownie sundae with a side of salted caramel cheesecake or garlic fries for dessert…. you know I’d be shoveling those fries into my mouth without a second thought about the chocolate.
I came across a recipe from With Food and Love for Loaded Spring Fries with Green Goddess Tahini last week. I immediately saved it for the dressing recipe although I was a little unsure about it’s use on fries. It seemed like an odd combo, but it was one I couldn’t get out of my head. So I made it, with my own variations of course. I do this thing where I can never actually follow a recipe to a T (or even close to it). That’s probably why I never bake, when I do it doesn’t come out that great (does it really have to be exactly a teaspoon? I can’t just eyeball it? I mean I don’t really want to have to wash that extra bowl….). For this reason starting a blog where I share recipes has been a bit of a challenge. I actually have to measure stuff. And then write it down. And then if it doesn’t turn out perfect I have to do it again! Thank God for husbands who help with dishes.
Anyways, back to fries. I made just a few changes to the recipe based on what I have on hand and my taste. I have a hard time making anything without garlic so garlic was the first addition. I also added a little miso paste- this is the key. I use Miso paste like many people use soy sauce, or balsamic. It adds an whole new dimension of flavor to many types of dishes. Try adding in soups, sauces, dressing, risotto, thin it with a little water and toss your veggies in it. And it’s really good for you too. If you don’t have any, just add a little more salt (but next time, go get some miso). These fries reminded me of animal fries, fries on the bottom covered by cheese and sauce. Except, animal fries leave you with a deep feeling of guilt and remorse in your gut- literally. These fries are nearly guilt free- you can actually feel good about eating them, and the more dressing you sop up the better.
Scrub (or peel) your potatoes and slice them into your preferred fry size slices. Cover in water and let them soak for about an hour. If you have an olive oil mister, which I highly recommend and you can order here, then spread the fries on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and give them a good spray. If you don’t have one then drizzle with olive oil and toss them around to lightly coat before spreading them on the pan. Bake for 20 minutes, flip then bake for another 20 minutes, or longer, until they are golden and crispy. Dump on loads of the sauce and a handful of sprouts or micro greens and go to town (occasionally eating a spoonful of green deliciousness in between fries).