the taste space

Dill and Cheddar Beer Bread

Posted in Appetizers, Sides by Janet M on July 8, 2010

There is nothing better than fresh bread right from the oven.When the bread is warm, chewy and literally melts in your mouth. Bliss! Bread need not be difficult to make, and I have had great success with homemade bread (including numerous recipes from Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day, which was great because you could bake small loaves every few days from the same starter batch), but I had yet to make one of those cheese breads you see in the stores. The ones with the goops of melted cheese sprinkled amongst the bread.

I finally decided to try my hand at a cheese bread after being intrigued by a dill and cheddar beer bread posted at Eat Me, Delicious, and originally found at Farmgirl Susan. A beer bread? A bread without yeast? Dill and cheddar, oh my! So off I went and assembled this ridiculously easy bread and popped it in the oven.

First of all, as you could probably imagine this is not your traditional bread (no yeast!) and as such it was a dense loaf. That, coupled with the slight beer tang, is my only gripe. I was hoping for something more fluffy, but I thought the dill and cheddar flavours were delicious. The beer tang mellowed the following day, but that defeats the glorious good times of eating half a loaf of bread straight from the oven. ;)

This is my submission to this month’s No Croutons Required featuring bread. This dish would be perfect with a simple soup as this bread has such complex flavours itself.

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Syrian Eggs Scrambled with Rhubarb (Beid Ru’and)

Posted in Breakfasts, Mains (Vegetarian) by Janet M on July 6, 2010

People eat not only with their mouth, but also with their eyes.  If something looks hideous, will it taste any good?  Of course! I have faith in the power of the underdog, but I know that all our senses go into how food tastes. The perfect meal includes fresh, great-tasting ingredients cooked just slightly to let their colour and flavours shine through. This is coupled with the food perched in perfect balance, as the presentation and warm plate go a long way. And, obviously, the most important part of the meal is who you are sharing it with, with the fantastic flutter of your heart, while enjoying your quiet environment and quaint ambiance.

That is the perfect meal and I rarely go all out for the consumption of food. I try to master part 1 and 2, with fresh ingredients and cooking them nicely.  Sometimes I utterly fail in the presentation department and oftentimes I eat in front of my computer by myself (fail, yet again). This brings me to this dish, which I swear is utterly unphotogenic but tastes great.  I think scrambled eggs are hard to photograph on the best of days, but theses light and fluffy eggs are scrambled with allspice, which turns their typical golden yellow an unappealing brown. The rhubarb pierces through, though, as little red jewels. Topped with dried mint, this savoury dish is a feast for the tastebuds, but not a masterpiece for the eyes.

I am hoping the allure of soft rhubarb with the homeliness of allspice within fluffy eggs will entice you to try this lovely Jewish Syrian dish, courtesy of Aromas of Aleppo by Poopa Dweck. The photos are not likely to win me any new friends. :P  Due to its savoury nature, I thought this was great as a vegetarian main, but the scrambled eggs has me screaming breakfast and brunch. Another fabulous cookbook, Olive Trees and Honey, explains this breakfast or lunch meal is typically served alone, with toast or rice, along with Syrian white cheese and apricot jam. Enjoy!

This is the last of my savoury rhubarb recipes (my others were tofu in a zesty rhubarb sauce, a lentil and rhubarb stew with Indian spices and a raw rhubarb, cucumber and mint salad) and I was incredibly surprised at rhubarb’s versatility. I can’t wait for next year’s crop to provide me with more inspiration. This is my submission to this month’s Breakfast Club featuring eggs.

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