Welcome to my Green Kitchen where my aim is to cook food that is chemical-free, in season and grown either by myself or purchased locally and in season…it is also to minimise waste…
Produce which has just come into its season has far more taste than produce which is forced and grown out of its natural season …I also think it is the anticipation and the taste of the first of the season’s crops…those first root vegetables…are sublime! or those first strawberries there is nothing quite like the first strawberry of the season!
April is a spring month in the northern half of the world and a fall month in the southern half…
This month’s recipe …Pull Apart Garlic Bread…
- 1 cup warm water, divided
- 1 tsp active dry yeast
- 1 tbsp of honey
- 1 and ½ cups(183 gm) of all-purpose flour
- 1 and ½ cups whole wheat flour(170 gm) (can substitute with all-purpose flour)
- 14 gm unsalted butter softened
- 1 tsp salt
Garlic Butter Topping:
- 5 tbsp butter
- 3 large cloves of garlic, finely grated or minced
- 1 tbsp fresh parsley, finely chopped
- 2 tsp Italian seasoning
In a large bowl, stir together ½ cup of warm water, yeast, and honey. Let rest 5-10 minutes until foamy.
Add in flour, butter, and salt, and mix until combined. Gradually add in the remaining ½ cup water, stirring between each addition until completely combined, and until the dough comes together into a ball. The dough will be soft but slightly sticky. If it is too sticky, you can add a little more flour.
Knead for 7-10 minutes (by hand or in a stand mixer) although I love kneading by hand until the dough is smooth and elastic. You can test the dough for readiness by pressing into the dough with your thumb. If it bounces back, then it is ready.
Cover the bowl with a dishcloth, and let the dough rest at room temperature until doubled in size, about one hour.
Approximately 15 minutes before the dough is done rising, preheat the oven to 375 F, and begin preparing the garlic butter topping.
In a small saucepan, melt butter over low heat. Once just melted, add garlic, parsley and Italian seasoning. Stir to combine and continue to cook over low heat for 2 minutes, to allow the flavours to infuse into the butter. Remove from heat.
Once the dough is ready, shape it into a long tube, 1-inch in diameter. Then, cut into small 1-inch pieces. Place the pieces into the saucepan with the garlic butter and toss to fully coat.
Transfer the coated pieces into an 8 x 4-inch loaf pan and any residue butter and bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Garnish with additional fresh parsley on top (optional).
Cooks Notes…my uncooked bread looked like it was swimming in butter however that was all absorbed in the baking process…I preferred the bread hot/warm my testers finished off the bread the next day and declared it was good both days…I didn’t like it on the second day but they are bread lovers …lol
Litter and food waste are two of my biggest bugbears…I deplore both I also have lots of friends who regularly do beach clean-ups and town cleanups and a tip I picked up was that if you are constantly seeing the same brand of litter i.e a burger or drinks company then write to the company/government body as these companies should be responsible for their litter…Just saying!-smile-
Waste…who composts their potato peelings ? or worse who just chucks them in the bin?… Potato skin crisps are a wonderful thing, especially with chilli…but the uses for potato peelings don’t stop there…Tori bless her sent me a link on what else you can do with the humble potato skin…Thank you, Tori it was much appreciated…
Blitzing dried potato skins and blitzing to make a powder with which you can thicken your soups and stews was a new one for me…The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society I had read about also but there are some other great ideas for using potato skins…Tori is the author of some beautiful children’s storybooks please check them out…Thank you again, Tori x
How is your garden growing its mango season at the moment and everywhere I look there are beautiful mangoes hanging from the trees…The Durian fruit and pineapple are also in season which makes my daughter law very happy as she loves her Durian…Durian has a bad name you either love it or hate in fact it is banned by some airlines…
King of fruits as it is known here in Thailand…
Here in Thailand, Durian is often eaten fresh with sweet sticky rice, and blocks of durian paste are sold in the markets, though much of the paste is mixed with pumpkin. Unripe durians may be cooked as a vegetable. The shops also sell Durian chips and Durian ice cream.
What did I think when I first tried it? I tentatively took the smallest piece expecting the taste to be absolutely horrid instead it is a strange combination of savoury, sweet, and creamy all at once.
I was hooked…..The smell …I think you either love or hate it…I don’t mind it although it is really cloying and invades everything so I can understand why it is banned on airlines, some hotels, and public places.
A seasonal fruit it is in great demand here…It is sold from the back of trucks along the road, in markets and in the supermarkets. It is also quite expensive due to generally having one season a year and also its popularity…if you get the chance to try it…You will not be disappointed.
It’s also used in traditional Asian medicine, as both an anti-fever treatment and an aphrodisiac.
A piece of traditional Asian folklore: is that getting intoxicated while eating Durians can lead to death. There have been some studies into an enzyme that Durian possesses which can react to alcohol quite strongly.
The pineapple season is also in full swing…Pineapples are great in smoothies and shock horror yes I am a heathen..lol…I love it on Pizza! it is also great pickled…and a beautiful addition to a duck curry…
For those of you who love foraging…if you live where Spring is here then…
Go foraging for wild garlic!
Spring is the perfect time to go foraging for this versatile and pungent plant, which can be whipped up into a number of delicious dishes. Wild Garlic leaves appear from late March and can be picked throughout Spring.
Wild garlic leaves can be picked in advance and stored in the fridge for a day or so – choose the smaller leaves for the best flavour…There is nothing which beats the flavour of wild garlic as those of you who have tried can attest it is a wonderful spring green. that makes a beautiful soup…just 4 large handfuls of wild garlic leaves with potatoes and onions you have a delicious soup…
If you haven’t foraged for wild garlic before here’s how …
Thank you for joining me today for May’s Green Kitchen I hope you have a wonderful month cooking and eating all the fresh produce that is in season…Enjoy!