Pita

Pita, a traditional Middle-Eastern and Greek flatbread, is an amazingly useful bread.  It takes little time and hardly any kneading, and it can be used a multitude of ways: with curries, hummus, gyros, paninis, sandwiches, etc. The flavor and texture of homemade pita totally eclipses that of the flavorless stuff you can buy at the grocery store–this pita is the sort of thing you will want to eat plain! 

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups warm water (stick it in the microwave for ten seconds)
  • 2 teaspoons yeast
  • 3 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for brushing

Dissolve the yeast in the warm water. Set aside until bubbly. In a large bowl mix the salt and flour with a fork. When the yeast mixture is bubbling, add to the flour mix and add oil. Mix with a fork and then begin to knead by hand until it comes together in a large ball. Cover with damp cloth and allow to rise for 30-45 minutes.

Separate the dough into 6-10 smaller balls. Place a pan over the stove on low heat. On a floured surface, roll out the balls of dough until they are at least six inches in diameter. Place on pan, flipping when they begin to puff up and brushing with oil. Enjoy!

  
   

  

Sautéed Mushrooms

Words could never express how much I love mushrooms.  They are perfection, nature at its very best (that is, once they are cooked.  I am not at all fond of most raw vegetables, but saute anything –or roast it in olive oil–and it is absolutely delicious).

Mushrooms go especially well with sausage, cream-based sauces and stews.  We tend to make them as a side with boeuf bourguignon or with my personal favorite dish, gnocchi in cream-red wine-shallot sauce with Andoui sausage (goodness, just writing that makes me hungry).

Anyway, the mushrooms themselves are the height of simplicity.  You just follow the steps that you take with any vegetable: heat some oil in a pan over low heat (or, if you want a super-rich flavor, use butter).  Wash and chop up the mushrooms, then place them in the oil, making sure that they are spread fairly evenly.  After a few minutes, add salt and pepper and stir some.  Again, allow them too cook, stirring every couple minutes.  They will cook fairly quickly; when you think they are done, taste to see if more salt/pepper is necessary.  Enjoy!

Five-Minute Chocolate Chip Cookies

I know what you’re going to say: I make too many different kinds of chocolate chip cookies.  But every time I see a new recipe, it…calls to me.  Chocolate chip cookies are my favorite, my passion, my one true love.

Well, maybe they’re not quite that.  But I do love them.  And this recipe is so easy!  You don’t even need a mixer–the butter is melted, so you can mix it all with a spatula.  And unlike so many chocolate chip cookie recipes, these turn out big and thick and soft.  Enjoy!


Ingredients

  • 1 stick butter
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Melt the butter in the microwave or on the stove, then mix with both sugars.  Add the vanilla and egg, then stir in the flour, baking soda and salt. Mix in the chocolate chips.

Roll the dough into twelve lumpy balls and bake 9 to 11 minutes.  Make sure not to over-bake; they should look a little under-done when you take them out.