Monday, February 04, 2013

Superbowl Chipotle-Tomatillo Salsa and Sourdough Rye

I had no intentions of inflicting punishment on the bathroom scale after this weekend but it did happen.Besides some excellent barbecue at the Smokestack in N. KC, these two culprits aided and abetted in my caloric intake.

The salsa recipe is similar to one that has been posted on the internet as a clone of one developed by Rick Bayless for his restaurants in Chicago. It's simple in the techniques required and needs only four ingredients. Makes about 2 cups or 16 oz of salsa, sometimes more.

8 medium sized tomatillos, stemmed, washed, and cut in half
6-8 chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
3-4 unpeeled garlic cloves
2-3 large, thick slices of raw onion
1/4 C. water to moderate heat from chiles, optional

Prepare the tomatillos, garlic cloves, and onion slices. Preheat your oven broiler. Line a half sheet pan with aluminum foil and place tomatillos,skin side up. Spread onion slices across one end of the pan and find room for the garlic cloves among the slices. Slide pan into the broiler for about 10 minutes or until the skins of the tomatillos are browned. Remove the pan and let the contents cool. Remove the skins from the garlic and trim the scar end.
Place the tomatillos, roated onions, and garlic into a large food processor or blender. Add chipotles to the food processor. Use the pulse mode initially to break up the tomatillos and then puree the contents.

Divide as needed and place in refrigerator for at least four hours before serving. The salsa will taste quite hot before refrigeration. After chilling, it will have a tart, smoky flavor where the heat of the chiles won't be immediately tasted upfront. It's a really sneaky heat. Extra salsa can be frozen for at least 14 days.

Since the hosts of the Superbowl party, Rob and Sachiko, were planning on serving a barley and beef vegetable soup, I made a sourdough rye bread for the event. The loaf might be considered a Pain de Meteil in France since it was 33% rye. I added a little molasses for crumb color so that might disqualify it as being French but my intentions were more of the stomach and pleasing our hosts rather than being a purist. It turned out to be a success with a nice chewy crust and a sweet, moist crumb. I exercised my baker's prerogative and grabbed the heel before anyone noticed.

160 g at 70% hydration, fed with 75% organic AP/ 25% whole rye flour in two stages.

Main Dough
300 g bread flour
150 g whole rye flour
300 g water at 90F
2 g active dry yeast
11 g kosher salt
1 Tbs molasses
All of starter

I took a peek under the straw mulch in my garden today. There are a few short sprouts from the garlic but I don't expect terrific growth for a while until the soils warms up. The rosemary branches have all browned out but since rosemary is a perrenial plant, it should be good for the Spring as long as I keep the straw mulch in place. My sage plant doesn't look like it has suffered much at all through this mild winter. Out by the chain link fence, our poppy plant is a bright green and hasn't been bothered by weather or animals. Daffodils are coming up slowly by the driveway and moles have made an unwelcome return in the front lawn.

It feels like its time to make a large batch of my all-purpose industrial red sauce for pasta and pizza. Just the motivation I need to delve into my files for an Italian bread recipe.

Comments, humor, and questions are welcome.

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