Author: catherine o'donnell

post48 // ricotta and tomato tart

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hello friends and happy friday!! despite the arrival of pumpkin season and my month to ideate halloween costumes, tomato season is not yet over! and from what i hear about the weather back stateside, it sure doesn’t feel like fall there either.

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last week my french host mom brought home a bevy of bright green tomatoes after visiting a friend’s farm in bourges, a city south of paris. yes, she casually spent her day picking tomatoes, foraging for mushrooms, and drinking wine. #frenchlifestyle like wut?? anyhow, i wanted to put these tomatoes to use! in my pastry courses at le cordon bleu, we’ve been baking many tarts that have me reminiscent of my homemade pies and their ever-buttery pie crusts. i decided to try out my pie crust recipe from the states in a french kitchen and turn it into the base for a tomato tart.

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learnings:

  1. my american recipe for a double pie crust didn’t even fit (!!) in my french mixing bowl. (see all that spilled flour?) this isn’t the first time i’ve noticed how my reference point for portions is far bigger than france’s.
  2. as a twist on the recipe, i used some of my french host mom’s leftover chestnut flour that she had in the pantry! the chestnut flour gave the pie crust a nutty and slightly sweet flavor that i’d highly recommend! i’m not sure where you can find chestnut flour in the states, likely at a whole foods or specialty foods shop. but if you can’t find it, don’t fret! the recipe is superb with regular ap flour.
  3. i’ve said it before and i’ll say it again, weighing ingredients is far superior to the endless cup and spoon measurements we make back home! i learned this while working at bread furst this summer and i’m never turning back. but don’t fear, i *do* include them for you below. i know this is how a lot of home cooks bake!

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the perk of this recipe is that you can make your tart base and use the baking time to prep your toppings. instead of making a completely green, wicked-themed tart, i went to the farmer’s market and picked up a couple more tomatoes in different colors for a rainbow effect. i chose ricotta cheese as the bed for these tomatoes, drizzled with honey, extra-virgin olive oil, salt, and pepper. i used to make a bowl of ricotta just like this for meetings back at food52! throw same basil on top and voilà!

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you can see that one of my tart crusts is a bit browner than the other. i used a higher ratio of chestnut flour in the dough for this tart and that’s why it browned easier. what are your favorite alternative flours to use? i’d like to do more testing with them.

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if you’re looking to hold onto summer as long as you can, this recipe is a surefire way.

and in this week’s other stuff, i have lots of goodies!

until next week! xx


ricotta and tomato tart

makes two tarts

fixings

crust:

2½ cups ap flour // 320 grams (*i used 160 grams ap and 160 grams chestnut flour)

1 teaspoon salt // 6 grams

1 cup (2 sticks) well-chilled unsalted butter // 225 grams

1/2 cup finely grated parmesan // 64 grams

extra butter or oil to prep pan

toppings:

6 beefsteak tomatoes, in various colors

16oz ricotta cheese // 500 grams

8-10 basil leaves

lemon, honey, extra-virgin olive oil, salt, pepper for seasoning

tools

bag of rice or beans for par-bake

tin foil

tart pan (like this one) or a 9-inch pie pan

instructions

crust (adapted from Kate Lebo’s, Pie School):

  1. preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
  2. fill a spouted liquid measuring cup with about 3/4 cups of water, plop in some ice cubes, and place it in the freezer while you prep the following steps.
  3. in a large bowl, mix the flour, parmesan and salt. drop 1-tablespoon pieces of butter into the flour and toss the fat with the flour to evenly distribute it.
  4. place your palms up and curl your fingers back to scoop up the flour and fat. rub, rub, rub it between your thumb and fingers, letting it fall back into the bowl after rubbing. make sure you reach into the bottom and around the sides of the bowl to incorporate all the flour into the fat, until the mixture is slightly yellow, slightly damp. it should be chunky—mostly cherry-size pieces, the smaller bits resembling coarse cornmeal.
  5. take the water out of the freezer. pour it (slowly!) in a steady thin stream around the bowl for about 5 seconds. toss to distribute the moisture. as you add a bit more water and toss, the dough will become a bit shaggy and slightly tacky to the touch. press a small bit of the mixture together and toss it gently in the air. if it breaks apart when you catch it, add more water, toss to distribute the moisture, and test again. if the dough ball keeps its shape, it’s done.
  6. split the dough into 2 and form each ball into a thick disk using your palms and thumbs. wrap both disks in plastic wrap. refrigerate for 30 minutes to 3 days before rolling.
  7. once rested, take the crust out of the fridge and roll to fit your tart or pie pan. before transferring to the pan, make sure you’ve buttered or oiled the pan. fit to the mold.
  8. layer a sheet of tin foil on the crust. pour the beans or rice onto the tin foil to prep the crust for par-baking.
  9. bake the crust for 15 minutes at 425 degrees, then lower the heat to 375 degrees and bake for 15 more minutes.

assembly (while your crust is baking!):

  1. finely chop the basil leaves. add half of the chopped leaves to the ricotta cheese and reserve the rest for decoration. add a hefty drizzle of lemon juice, extra-virgin olive oil, and honey to the ricotta. season with salt and pepper.
  2. wash and slice your tomatoes. you’re looking for a width around 1cm. i also peeled my tomatoes but it’s not mandatory!
  3. once crust comes out of the oven, let cool completely. to speed things up, you can put it into the fridge or a quick dip in the freezer for cooling. (but don’t freeze it!)
  4. once cool, spoon a thick layer of ricotta on the crust. then layer the tomatoes on top. season to finish!

 

all photography by catherine o’donnell/foodstuffs

post47 // paris market tour

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hiya friends!! bienvenue à mon tour aux marché parisien. (welcome to my paris market tour). last week our chefs at le cordon bleu took us on a three-hour walk through the saint-charles market, which happens to be right around the corner from school! this market is open on tuesdays and fridays from 7am to 2:30pm. if you come to paris you’ll find that many of the markets are open on specific days of the week, so you have to plan your market tours accordingly! thankfully chef was watching out for us and already had some cheesemongers and farmers awaiting our arrival.

*i’ll be referring to chef throughout the post! if you want a visual, here’s chef kerdranvat! he’s one of my cuisine chefs and we get along great due to our shared irish heritage. he comes from brittany in the north of france and was thrilled with all the produce from brittany on our tour!

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we began the market tour with fruits and vegetables! don’t they look so tasty? all the produce here that i’ve eaten has been exceptionally fresh and i think (along with other reasons) it’s because markets like these are so popular! at school, our ingredients come fresh from farms and at home, my host mom shops reguarly at this very market. a local food movement in the flesh! but that truly is paris. just 20 miles outside the city you’ll find real farms that make me feel like i’m in the middle of america.

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chef k was very excited to show off the mushrooms as they are in peak season this very second! you can see the regular white buttons in the photo above, along with the chanterelle mushrooms. should i go mushroom foraging this weekend??

next stop: cheese!! ohhhh the cheese. a tent we came across offered such cool variations on their cheeses like nut fillings and herb coloring. i learned that now is the best time to eat fromage de chevre (goat cheese) and this has helped me finish two packs of goat cheese this week! all for seasonality purposes, of course.

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our group befriended a cheesemonger and she had some fun showing off her crème fraîche. her cheese comes from normandy which is famous for this cream so chef k was very, very excited. when in normandy, make sure you eat crème fraîche.

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next came the butcher. these days i’ve been feeling like a butcher myself as i’ve been chopping off chicken heads, trimming veal fat, and taking out pork bones all day long! i have a very long way to go in this department so it was awesome to see a true butcher at work. what was interesting about this stand at the market was that there wasn’t a speck of food waste. every part of the meat was on display. gizzards? yes. heads? yup. tongues? oh yeah! blood? wrapped in a sausage casing — that’s what blood sausage is!

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after a nice tasting of brain cheese and blood sausage (i’m not kidding!! it was good), we moved onto oysters and fish! this tent at the market was extremely busy so we had a feeling the seafood was fresh. chef k tested the waters and cracked open an oyster. very fresh indeed!

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just before the market, our class made two recipes with fish, one being a sole fillet braised in fish stock and white wine and the other a breaded whiting fish with tartar sauce. if you’re on the lookout for some fish recipes, remind me to share these with you!

after a great walking tour, chef k treated us to an 11am cheese and meat plate, wine, and a dessert plate with espresso. i felt like a queen! c’est la vie français.

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i hope you enjoyed my virtual paris market tour! i’ve had some recipes bubbling that i’ll be cooking up for next week’s post. stay tuned!


this week’s other stuff!


all photography by catherine o’donnell/foodstuffs

post46 // london town

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hello friends!! i hope your day is going well. i am back in paris and culinary school after a long weekend spent in london. it was my first time there! and i just loved it. not to mention, i had the best tour guide around: my good friend from college, greta! before i get into the dirty details of our weekend, let’s just take a moment to look at how cool the taxis are there!!! this blue one was my fave.

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pastries at aubaine deli in covent garden

after two weeks in immersion boot camp (a.k.a. french host family and culinary school where chefs only speak french), english-speaking london was a nice brain break for 48 hours. visiting a friendly face, particularly greta’s, was also a true treat. my weekend there started with a terrific walking tour after a late brunch at dishoom. greta might as well be a professional tour guide so i’d advise you all to book her for your next visit to london.

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big ben in the flesh

from covent garden to trafalgar square to buckingham palace to westminister abbey to the palace of westminister to big ben to the river thames to the london eye, we saw. it. all. and the rain held off!

while we were at buckingham palace, greta pointed out that the queen was in because the royal standard flag was raised. i waved but i don’t think she saw me through her windows!

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buckingham palace

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queen victoria statue outside of buckingham palace

while we didn’t physically go on the london eye that afternoon, we did sit across the river from it at a bar on a boat called tattershall castle. if you can’t get on the (might i say very slow-moving) london eye, this spot is definitely your next best view. after all that walking, we went back to greta’s place to relax before a big indian dinner at tayyabs. can you tell we like indian food?!

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london eye 👀

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tayyabs spread

day two in london began with a place that i will undoubtedly be returning to for the rest of my life. before leaving her apartment, greta described this place as my “heaven on earth.”

she was right.

enter borough market, london’s famed food market situated just beside the london bridge. this place was incredible! the only thing i could relate it to was smorgasburg but it was x100000 better (sorry new york!).

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berliner pastries at a german bakery stand, borough market

greta’s german heritage led us to a small german bakery stand, filled with berliners, apple cakes, cheese cakes, and more. we actually went back to this stand twice throughout our ~6 hours spent on and off at borough market. the owner was lovely and gave me some tips on how to make her creamy and crumbly apple cake! blog post coming on a recipe there soon!

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that’s pure joy folks (while eating an apple cake)

i’ve never seen so many different types of food all in one place. the serving platters were ginormous and evidently necessary, given the expansive market space was packed to the brim.

if you do go to borough market, i’d recommend bringing a buddy along as there is just too much food that you want to try that you can’t eat all by yourself. greta and i managed to split most of our portions and therefore eat more different types of food than we could’ve if we were just alone. tag teaming borough market for the win!

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paella tastings fo free!

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greta modeling w our cheese stick

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market views

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scotch eggs! because of course

the photos catalog pretty much everything i ate at borough market. it was definitely one of those days where you loosen up the first button of your jeans.

to round out our afternoon at borough market, greta and i headed to the pubs where i reunited with some of my brother jake’s friends from college. it’s a funny thing living abroad — you end up seeing and connecting with people you haven’t seen in ages, and it’s wonderful!

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goodbye for now london! it was great getting to know you. i have a feeling i’ll be back, especially because you’re just two hours away!!

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Dishoom 5 Stable St, Kings Cross, London N1C 4AB

Covent Garden Covent Garden, London WC2E 8BE

Tattershall Castle Victoria Embankment, Whitehall, London SW1A 2HR

Tayyabs 83-89 Fieldgate St, London E1 1JU

Borough Market 8 Southwark St, London SE1 1TL


aaaand in this week’s other stuff:

  • glossier came to paris !!!! (hi melissa!)
  • this is what kitchens can do. (h/t kate)
  • don’t you just sometimes want to dress in hot pink?

again, any paris recos please send my way! i have a big weekend of exploring ahead of me and i’m taking all the advice i can get 🙂

post45 // fairground peanuts

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hi friends!! me again. happy fall! it may not *officially* be the season (that’s sept 22nd), but it already feels like autumn here in paris. i’ve been wearing coats more than expected in my first week here, and i don’t mind it one bit!

in one of my first pastry classes this week, chef made praliné. not to be confused with the new orleans style praline, praliné is a powder or paste used in many french desserts as a base, filling, or decoration. while chef demonstrated how to make praliné, i couldn’t help but notice the similarities between that process and a favorite snack of mine, candied nuts!

if you are not already on the candied nut bandwagon, i suggest you hop on. as a kid, i remember giddily awaiting my aunt laura’s packages of candied nuts that would arrive around christmas time. and if you don’t have an aunt laura that sends you candied nuts than you might know them from fairs, sporting events, malls, etc. if you’re in new york city, than you undoubtedly know the nuts4nuts stands that are oh. so. addicting.

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with candied nuts on my mind, i set out to make my own version of the fairground favorite this weekend. to start, i used peanuts as my base. they were the cheapest nuts at the supermarket so that was an easy decision. above you can see the core ingredients for candied nuts: water, sugar, and nuts! it’s that easy. kind of.

the following images are my best attempt at photographing the progression and caramelization of the nuts. i started with just the sugar and water in a saucepan, brought that to a boil, and then added the shelled peanuts. (aside: i caught up with my mom on the phone while shelling the peanuts. multi-tasking in a foreign country for the win!)

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the mixture will start to foam a bit and that’s when the caramelization has officially begun!

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don’t forget to keep stirring! as the sugar begins to thicken, it’s even more important to keep scraping the sides of your saucepan. the sugar will first turn powdery and then start to really caramelize.

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it all happened so fast! as soon as the true burgundy caramelization began, i took the pan off the heat and mixed as fast as i could. i also added in my seasonings at this time: a fat slice of butter, a couple pinches of sea salt, and a pinch of paprika.

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once my toppings were mixed in, i took the candied nuts off the heat and dumped them onto a baking sheet with tin foil. after they cooled a bit, i was able to break the nuts off into smaller pieces for snacking!

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bon appetit! as i’m writing this, my brain feels quite sugary so i think the fairground peanuts have done their job. off to get some real food for a late dinner!


but before i go, this week’s other stuff…!

felt v french when i used this last night before going out (thanks old roomies for the gift!)

oh my poor football team. i’ll be asleep when this game is over. god speed!

my host mom made gratin daphinois this week and i couldn’t get enough of it

au revoir from paris! xx

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fairground peanuts

serves 20 small bags

fixings

two parts nuts, two parts sugar, and just shy of one part water

500g shelled peanuts

500g granulated sugar

200g water

a fat slice of butter (2-4 tablespoons)

2 teaspoons sea salt

2 teaspoons paprika

instructions

  1. bring sugar and water to a boil. once boiling, add peanuts.
  2. stir peanuts and sugar together for 30 minutes, make sure to scrape sides as the mixture begins to thicken. see pictures above for better clues!
  3. prepare baking sheet lined with tin foil or parchment paper.
  4. once carmelization has deepened, take saucepan off heat and add seasonings. once seasonings are mixed, dump mixture on the lined baking sheet. smooth out (aka don’t copy my big giant rock!)
  5. once cool, break apart pieces to bite-size. eat alone or add as toppings to cakes, ice cream, cookies, and more!

 

all photography by catherine o’donnell/foodstuffs

post 44 // paris, first look

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bonjour mes amis!!! greetings from paris. i made it! today was my first full day in this city and i am a wonderful combination of jet lagged and excited at the moment. i’m writing to you from my host family’s apartment in the 15th arrondissement, a neighborhood situated in the southern part of paris. i got lost finding the apartment yesterday with all my luggage in hand but one taxi and two mobile stores later, i found them! #immersion #frenchinprogress

for those of you wondering why the heck i am in france — i’ve just moved here! i’ll be in paris for the next year attending le cordon bleu, a culinary school here. while i get some cooking and baking skills, i’ll be living with a french family, learning the language, figuring out paris, and eventually working at a bakery or restaurant here as an extern. woot woot!!

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upon arriving yesterday, my host family greeted me with a homemade lunch of quiche lorraine, a warm baguette from the neighborhood boulangerie, and a simple green salad. it was so quintessentially french. and the good food didn’t stop there — from the milk that i poured on my cereal to the croissant that i ate at orientation this morning, everything has tasted both delicious and wholesome.

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my orientation was just a half day so that left me with the entire afternoon to do whatever i wanted. so i walked! i explored my neighborhood, the neighborhood around le cordon bleu, and beyond. the eiffel tower is just down the street from school so i headed that way first. even on a gloomy day, paris looks beautiful!

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during my walk, i found a great bakery called boulangerie le moulin de la vierge (translated: the mill of the virgin lol). i wasn’t familiar with it as i still have yet to sift through my list of bakery recommendations — that will be this weekend!  — but it was a true french boulangerie and a great place to stop if you find yourself in paris. they have locations in both the 7th arrondissement where i was today, as well as across the seine river in the 1st arrondissement. i tried their croissant and it rivaled what i had at le cordon bleu this morning. buttery, flaky, just as it should be!

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the boulangerie also offered fresh jams. i’ll have to pick one up the next time i stop by!

the rest of the afternoon was spent feeling camera happy. evidence below 👇

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i’d say it’s a photogenic city.

 

last night my host mom, martine, whipped up some tasty crêpes. i watched her and helped a bit, realizing as she went through the motions that sarah dadson’s crêpe recipe, which i shared on foodstuffs a month back, is almost a clone. bravo to sarah! i’m including her recipe below so that you can make them yourself!


and in this week’s other stuff…

i haven’t taken this denim jacket off since i bought it two weeks ago

my cousin greg and his new bride victoria (aka my new cuz!) stepped out to this song on their wedding night and everything was perfect

questions from me to you: what are your favorite things to do and see in paris? and eat? please comment so that i can do all the things!

goodnight! (bonne nuit!)


french crêpes

makes 12 crêpes

fixings

4 eggs

4 cups milk

2 cups flour (all-purpose is fine)

1 tablespoon vegetable oil (+ more for coating the pan)

1 teaspoon salt

sour cream

toppings: parmesan, mozzarella, eggs, nutella, powdered sugar, maple syrup, etc.

special tools

a medium-sized fry pan

instructions

  1. mix the milk, flour, eggs, and salt together to form your batter. heat the fry pan over medium-high heat. prepare any toppings such as slicing or shaving the cheeses.
  2. pour a large spoonful of batter into the pan and move it around so that the entire pan is coated in a thin layer. let warm until the bottom side turns lightly brown. turn and repeat. take the crêpe off the burner and let it rest on a nearby plate. repeat until you’ve baked off all the crêpe batter.
  3. you can eat your crêpes now as is with sweet toppings but if you are looking for a more savory crêpe, keep your fry pan warm and add a crêpe back to it.
  4. top crêpe with a thin layer of sour cream. add your egg immediately to the center of the crêpe. as the egg begins to cook, add other toppings around it. cover pan until the egg cooks off and other toppings have melted.
  5. fold the crêpe in an envelope manner, as i described above. visually divide the crêpe into three, fold the bottom third up and fix it together by folding the top third down. you can use a little sour cream to seal.
  6. serve immediately and enjoy!

post 43 // bread furst

hellooOoo! i hope you are still reeling from the total eclipse of the solar system that took place yesterday — i know i still am! i didn’t have any of those glasses but then a kind lady on the street handed hers to me and i was so happy she did. it was very cool! and it cheered me up from what was a sad sunday this past week: my last day working at Bread Furst bakery in washington, d.c. (cue: sad face emoji galore ☹️😣😖😫😭.)

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instead of writing about a recipe this week, i’ve decided to share a bit about my experience working at Bread Furst this summer. after hearing some a+ advice from kristen, a colleague of mine from food52, i decided to look for some real kitchen experience earlier this year. knowing that i was moving home for the summer, i thought about Bread Furst as a place to work — it was less than a mile from my family’s home and the bakery’s owner, Mark Furstenburg, was nominated for a James Beard Award for “Outstanding Baker.” Between my initial interview and stage (kitchen speak for a shadow), Mark and Bread Furst won the James Beard Award. for those of you unfamiliar with the awards, they’re recognized as the “oscars” of the food world.

i was ecstatic for them! and even more happy that ben, the head baker, offered me a full-time summer gig there! i started working at the beginning of june in the bread department. throughout the summer, many people asked if i was baking cakes and croissants. i actually wasn’t! instead i baked bread all day — and loved it.

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before i get to the actual bread, i wanted to share the team of bread bakers that i worked alongside. they were what made 6am call times not only bearable, but truly fun. and if you think 6am was early, my call time was actually the latest of anyone in bread baking. yup.

ben: the head bread baker, recipe wizard, and true talent of Bread Furst. he took me in with my zero bread experience and turned me into a bread baker. he’s called bane sometimes because of the mask he wears. (if you’d worked around flour as much as him you’d probably be in a mask too.)

miguel: el maestro = the teacher. miguel has been working with mark, the owner, for over 20 years. and it shows! he is a magnificent teacher and we got along just great. not only did he teach me how to work as a bread baker, but he helped make my spanish the best its ever been. diez estrellas por miguel!

haley: the youngest, most efficient person i’ve ever met. i loved working with haley because the day would just fly by. she turned 21 while i was working there and i was so lucky to see her in action. haley, you better start your own shop one day !!!

maximino: the energizer, and cleanest person on the staff. max is wicked fast at everything he does and he’s always a great person to help get things done when the clock is ticking. another person i spoke spanish with all day!

nefta (a.k.a. neftali): the songbird of the bakery. if you ever hear anyone singing in Bread Furst, it’s likely nefta. in another life, nefta would be an actor or singer, some type of performer. he was a true joy to be around and yes, another person i spoke spanish with all day! also, he worked the oven and made magic out of our bread dough.

max r: my fellow bread newbie and washingtonian, “osito.” max and i worked most of our shifts together and he is one of the cheeriest people i know. don’t let his dark mustache scare you!!

ashley: my quasi-trainee! i was able to show her the Bread Furst ropes during her first and my final weeks at the bakery. i only wish we had more time together!

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+justin: the overnight warrior! he may not have made the team photo but justin is a big part of the bread baking team. he works through the night to make sure all the bread is ready to go for our deliveries and customers in the mornings. and he always has a smile on his face 🙂

so, now that you’ve got some visuals on who is behind the baguettes and miche and chocolate babka and english muffins and bagels, here’s a bit more on what it was like to make bread all day.

physical.
you can’t really work in this kitchen unless you can lift a 50lb bag of flour. i got into the best shape of my life this summer, merely by being on my feet and using my body all day. my muscles grew and so did my appetite. good thing there was always a quick bread snack close by!
rewarding.
every day i was making something. starting something and finishing something. there’s something really satisfying in completing a product each day (or many in the case of Bread Furst).
tiring.
it can’t go without saying that this summer has been an exhausting one! working weekends and early mornings is something to get used to. i think i got used to it like last week lol.

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a typical day for me would start with writing the recipe quantities for the day on our little whiteboard. as you can imagine, the bread quantities for weekends were always more than say a monday or tuesday. once the quantity was decided, we’d start weighing out the ingredients for the different bread recipes. this was one thing that was different from all the home cooking i’d done. all measurements at Bread Furst were done by weight. i have to say it is much more efficient than all the tiny spoons and cup measurements i’d used before.

into the mixer, one after another, the different flour buckets would go. once done mixing, we’d pull the dough out of the mixer, put it back into a bucket, and let it rest for some time. depending on what recipe it was, some doughs would sit longer than others before their first or second fold. once folded and rested again, we’d cut the dough and pre-shape it. back to resting the dough went again until it was ready for its final shape.

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once the dough had rested in its final shape, whether that be in a bread basket or on a couche (used for our baguettes and palladin), whoever was on the oven would start baking the bread.

and while he or she was baking the bread, everyone else started to clean!

that was the usual rundown of my day in the bakery. the routine of it all became quite satisfying and it became a great place for me to practice my shaping and mixing of bread every day.

to end, i wanted to share some shots from the summer. enjoy!!!

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fun times shaping challah with miguel. nefta posing as usual.

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lunch after my first day of work at Bread Furst! their ham and cheese on baguette is awesome.

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eating bread i made for the first time!!

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pizza day !! (every tuesday and thursday at Bread Furst if you’re wondering.)

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snacktime! (hiding from the big windows where customers look at us every day.)

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this is me with a croissant in my lap. i spent a lot of the summer eating breakfast on the go in my car before my shift started.

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my last day at Bread Furst: breakfast made by Justin on brioche with eggs, cheese, and bacon.

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i’m a big fan of their carrot cake. just had some last night actually.

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chocolate babka was definitely a fan favorite of the breads i brought home.

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one of my best friends bridget and i outside the bakery on my birthday. brownie points to bridge for bringing me rosé! which reminds me…

thank you to everyone who came to visit me at the bakery!!!! whether you came purposefully and waved your hand off or just saw me through the windows and said hello, i loved seeing you. thank you.

if you haven’t made it to Bread Furst yet, i hope this post made you want to go! the bread, the lunch service (yes, they have savory food too), and the pastry items are all really fantastic. don’t forget a baguette on your way out!

Bread Furst, http://www.breadfurst.com/

4434 Connecticut Avenue NW Washington, DC 20008

Mon-Fri, 7AM-7PM; Sat, 8AM-6PM; Sun, 8AM-5PM

post 42 // avocado shrimp rolls

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why hello there and happy day to you!! thanks for tuning in. seafood lovers rejoice because this week’s post is an ever-easy recipe to keep your summer feeling summery, by way of shrimp and avocado.

in the past week, i think i’ve eaten a year’s worth of seafood. my family and friends celebrated my brother rob’s big 3-0, which called for a crab feast (as good maryland birthdays do). said crab feast turned into crab cakes one day later and a bevy of shrimp cocktail turned into this very recipe.

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the thirtieth birthday party? well that was fun. we ate crab and shrimp, danced, and watched a tremendous storm from a peninsula on the chesapeake bay. it was scary and fun all at the same time! my brother jake and i gifted rob an original painting of us three made by my friend stewy. see below for a better look at his work!

okay, back to these shrimpies. i wanted an easy recipe to make with a whole batch of cooked shrimp and it seemed fitting to slide them into potato rolls with some mayonnaise. but what else? i looked up recipes for shrimp rolls and the following fillings kept popping up: tarragon, chives, celery, bibb lettuce. these green additions gave me some ideas for the type of roll i wanted: something herby and full of veggies. i ran rogue with mine though, bringing avocado, a favorite sandwich filling of mine, to the forefront of these rolls. along with dill and lemon for flavor and scallions for a bit of crunch, the shrimp and avocado mix quickly grew to be a tangy, herby, and addictive spread.

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but not without a properly buttered bun! make sure you butter your rolls and toast them up. i can’t repeat this enough. not to mention, add a dash of salt and pepper to the base of the roll. you can toast your rolls on the grill, in the toaster, or as i did, on the broil setting in the oven. just be sure to keep an eye on them if they’re oven bound.

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as you can see, i don’t go light on the mayo. you can adjust the measurements for your liking but the mayonnaise does lend to a rich and creamy roll. for this reason, make sure your avocados aren’t *too* mushy when you’re picking them.

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what is necessary for your shrimp, crab, or lobster roll platter? potato chips!! a quick grocery store run led to these kettle cooked chips with black pepper and salt by cape cod. they were definitely a good decision.

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so if you’re trying to savor the summer — literally — these rolls are for you. buttery, creamy, filled with fresh veggies and shrimp, they’re the perfect august meal for you, you and your honey, or you and a whole batch of friends.

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and in other stuff!

stewy, my friend from college, made this incredible painting for my brother. check out his work on his instagram and site!! #wildcats

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hip hip hooray! my friend abby from high school made my bagel recipe!! feeling v proud and happy right now. #eagles

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i have two weeks left in dc!! any restaurant recommendations for me? comment below!


shrimp avocado rolls

serves 4

fixings

18 large shrimp, peeled and deveined

potato rolls (i used martin’s long rolls)

2 medium avocados, cut into cubes

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1 teaspoon lemon juice

1/4 teaspoon old bay seasoning

1/4 teaspoon lemon-pepper seasoning

1/4 teaspoon paprika

4 sprigs dill, chopped

bunch of scallions, chopped

salt and pepper to taste

butter for buns

instructions

  1. take your peeled and deveined shrimp and cook them if they’re not already cooked. you can do so by boiling them in a pot of salted water for 2-5 minutes. drain and rinse with cool water. once cool, cut the shrimp into bite size pieces.
  2. put the mayonnaise, lemon juice, paprika, old bay, and lemon-pepper seasonings in a medium sized bowl. whisk to incorporate.
  3. fold in the avocados, scallions, dill and lastly, the chopped shrimp. add salt and pepper to taste.
  4. heat potato rolls as described above. once heated, lightly butter your rolls and add salt and pepper.
  5. load on your avocado and shrimp filling. eat!

 

photography by catherine o’donnell/foodstuffs