My quest for simple meals (no more than seven ingredients) took on a whole new dimension recently. My college son Jacob will be living in a New York apartment this fall instead of traditional dorms, and needs to know how to cook. I’m sure he would eat something, but it would probably be hot dogs from the street vendors. And root beer. And Skittles. My goal is to teach him a few kitchen basics in the hopes that he will eat healthier and cheaper. He made everything that follows, except for the peasant bread, which I made.
Salmon, Green Beans, and Peasant Bread
There are a lot of recipes out there for Peasant Bread, but they are all quite involved and I just don’t have that kind of time. Here’s what I do, and there are never any leftovers so I guess it works. Two hours before dinner, mix four cups of flour, two teaspoons of salt, a package of yeast, and two cups of water. Put the dough, covered with a damp cloth, in a warm place.
One hour before dinner, preheat the oven to 425 and generously butter two baking dishes. Fold the dough over into itself with two forks, then put half in each baking dish.
Here’s my best tip: after you put the dough in the bowls, turn the dough over so there’s butter on both sides. Yum! Let the dough rise about 20 minutes in the buttery bowls. Bake for 15 minutes, then turn the heat down to 375 and bake for 15 more minutes. Let the loaves stand a few minutes before you cut them.
While the loaves are cooling, make the salmon and green beans.
Slather the salmon with butter, bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes. Poke it after 15 minutes and take it out when it’s just past sushi. Squirt it with lemon.
While the salmon is cooking, boil water. Blanch the green beans for one minute. Run cold water over the green beans. (You can also get the beans in that magic bag that you can microwave in, and do that instead of boiling. Then get back on my plan here.) Saute the beans in butter. Salt.
We threw in sauteed mushrooms. Put olive oil in your pan, throw in the mushrooms (we like portabello), add salt and sugar, probably more oil. It’s quick, so don’t overcook them.
There you have it! Bread, salmon, beans, mushrooms. I can make this is a hostel while traveling, sharing a kitchen with Moondoggie and Starr, and Jacob can make it in his apartment. Maybe Moondoggie and Starr will drop by Jacob’s apartment for dinner next time they’re in New York.