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easy dutch oven bread

easy dutch oven bread

So I told you how excited I was to roast a whole chicken in my dutch oven recently, but there was another thing I was really looking forward to making….bread. A perfectly golden round loaf of crusty white bread. I saw an article on it in Food & Wine Mag and absolutely had to try it. And I’m so glad I did, because I’m absolutely obsessed with homemade bread now. It tasted almost exactly like the crusty store-bought kind and the best part is–you can customize this recipe with any ingredients you want! For my next loaves, I’m planning to roast some garlic cloves and fold them into the dough, then top with rosemary. This would also be delicious with chunks of fontina cheese and prosciutto (OMG, yes).

easy dutch oven bread
 
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An easy, basic bread baked perfectly in a dutch oven.
Author:
Recipe type: Appetizer
Cuisine: French
Serves: 6-8 servings
Ingredients
  • 4 cups all-purpose or bread flour
  • 1½ cups water
  • 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
  • Kosher salt or coarse sea salt
  • Spray oil
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Instructions
  1. Combine flour, water, yeast and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. Mix on medium speed until the dough is smooth, 10-15 minutes. Dough should be elastic and not sticky.
  2. Place ball of dough in a greased bowl and cover with a damp towel or saran wrap (I used the stand mixer bowl). Allow the dough to rise until it has doubled in size and does not spring back when you push your finger into it, about 2 to 4 hours.
  3. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead it to redistribute the yeast.
  4. Spray the bottom and sides of a large Dutch oven or other heavy ovenproof pot with oil. Put the dough in the center of the pot and place the lid on. Allow the dough to rise again for about 30 minutes.
  5. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
  6. Rub extra virgin olive oil gently over the surface of the dough with your fingers or pastry brush. Score the bread in an X shape with a sharp knife. Sprinkle the dough with salt (and/or any topping you'd like). Cover the pot and place it in the oven.
  7. After 30 minutes, remove the lid, reduce the oven temperature to 375 degrees, and continue baking until the bread is nicely browned and cooked through, about 15-20 minutes.

easy preserved lemons

Now that it’s winter, or at least cold and snowy, I’ve been going crazy making Moroccan stews, or tajines. They’re easy, fast, and OMG-level flavorful. But every time I make them, I come across an ingredient I never have on hand and always substitute: preserved lemons. What the heck are those? They’re basically lemons pickled in a brine of salt, spices and lemon juice and are considered a delicacy in North Africa. Had I known how simple they are to make, I would’ve made them ages ago and not substituted them for fresh lemons. We were snowed in this weekend for the first snow of the season so what better time to crank the oven and watch my lemons roast? I suggest using the pulp for marinades and chopping the soft rinds to add to your stews and even a roast chicken!

Also, these make great holiday gifts or stocking stuffers!

easy preserved lemons - gotham kitchen

easy preserved lemons with salt

easy preserved lemons
 
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An easy way to preserve lemons used for Moroccan stews, marinades, and more!
Author:
Recipe type: Ingredient
Cuisine: Middle Eastern
Serves: 2 16oz jars
Ingredients
  • 5 lemons
  • ¼ cup kosher salt
  • 2 bay leaves (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon coriander (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon peppercorns (optional)
  • 2 16 oz canning jars
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Slice lemons in half then cut into about 8-10½" wedges.
  2. Spread lemon wedges evenly in a glass 9x13 pan. Cover with water. At least ¾ of lemon should be covered. Sprinkle salt over lemons and roast in oven for 3 hours.
  3. Add optional spice mixture to 2 separate 16 oz canning jars. Pour lemon and water mixture into jars, divided evenly. Use your preferred canning method. I always use the boiling water bath method demonstrated here.
  4. Once cool, refrigerate for up to 6 months.

mediterranean orzo salad

Orzo is really one of the most versatile pastas. Its small, rice-like shape lends itself to so many possibilities: soups, salads, pilafs; hot or cold, it’s awesome. In the summer, I love substituting a hot starch with a cold, refreshing pasta salad. It’s also a great base for adding loads of your favorite veggies. The below version is fairly basic since I didn’t have a lot on hand, but you can beef it up by adding red onions, olives, roasted red peppers, zucchini, etc. I topped mine with grilled lemon chicken breasts to complete the meal.

mediterranean orzo salad
 
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Author:
Serves: 6 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 cucumber, diced
  • 2 roma or san marzano tomatoes, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 cup orzo
  • ¼ cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup feta
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. In a medium pot, bring water to boil. Add orzo and cook until soft, about 10 minutes. Drain and refrigerate until cool.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk vinegar, garlic, feta, salt and pepper together until well combined. Continue to whisk while adding olive oil.
  3. Dice vegetables and add to chilled pasta in a large serving bowl. Stir in dressing and serve!

 

summer vegetable barley risotto

Risotto is a staple in our house. It’s fun to make and is a great base for spotlighting your favorite vegetables, meats or cheeses.  I’ve seen a lot of recipes lately making “risotto” out of different grains like quinoa, barley, farro, etc. and I was intrigued. When I was younger my mom worked at a malting plant and would always bring home tubs of barley. We ate so much of it I eventually couldn’t eat it anymore and haven’t touched it since. I decided to give it another chance by making it “risotto” style with fresh summer squash and zucchini from my garden. The result was surprisingly flavorful and hearty.

summer vegetable barley risotto

summer vegetable barley risotto
 
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Author:
Serves: 4-6 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 cup, pearl or hull-less barley
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup zucchini, halved and sliced
  • 1 cup summer squash, halved and sliced
  • ¼ cup dry white wine or cooking sherry
  • 3 cups vegetable or chicken broth
  • ¼ cup parmesan cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. In a medium pan, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Once heated, add chopped zucchini, summer squash and salt and saute until soft. About 15 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
  2. In a separate cast iron pan, heat remaining olive oil. Add shallot and garlic cloves and cook until softened, about 3 minutes. Add barley and saute for 5 minutes, stirring often, allowing the barley to brown slightly.
  3. Add in wine or sherry and cook until alcohol evaporates . Add 2 cups of broth and bring to a boil.
  4. Cover pot and cook for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove lid and add remaining 1 cup of broth as needed. Cook an additional 20-25 minutes or until barley has softened.
  5. Once cooked, add parmesan and vegetables. Serve immediately.