Claire-Dee Lim

Writer, Content Marketing

Category: Recipe (page 1 of 2)

Ode to Joy: Carb Up!

Before my husband and I embarked on a low-carb/Paleo/intermittent fasting lifestyle, I used to bake. A lot. I’d get fixated on a particular recipe and make every attempt to master it. When Jim Lahey’s No-Knead Bread revolution came along, with the promise of baking a delicious, highly fermented, rustic-style bread boule, I had to go for it. I then tweaked and tweaked the recipe, incorporating some of Cook’s Illustrated adjustments. No surprise— after making loaf after loaf, our waistlines got thicker and thicker!

For the past five years, bread has not been a part of our menu. So for this holiday and new year’s feasting, I decided to bust out the old recipe as a treat. Oh man, did it taste good! I’ll take a hank of this bread with butter over a Christmas cookie any day.

Alas, 2018 has begun and we’re back to low-carbing it (and feeling much better for it). But there’s always next holiday season …

Recipe after the pix.

No-Knead Bread (with tweaks from Cook’s Illustrated)
(makes 1 large round loaf)

3 cups flour
1-1/2 tsp up to (1 tablespoon) salt
1 tsp yeast
1-1/2 cups water

An enameled cast-iron Dutch oven with a tight-fitting lid yields best results, but the recipe also works in a regular cast-iron Dutch oven or heavy stockpot that can withstand 500 degrees.

1.    Stir flour, yeast and salt in large bowl. Using rubber spatula, fold mixture, scraping up dry flour from bottom of bowl until shaggy ball forms. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature for 8 to 18 hours.

2.    Lay a 12- by 18-inch sheet of parchment paper inside a 10-inch skillet and spray with nonstick cooking spray. Transfer dough to lightly floured work surface and knead 10 to 15 times. Shape dough into ball by pulling edges into middle. Transfer dough, seam-side down, to parchment-lined skillet and brush surface of dough with olive oil. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature until dough has doubled in size and does not readily spring back when poked with finger, about 2-4 hours. (Longer time yields bigger, chewy holes. I’ve let the 2nd rise go for 8 hours.)

3.    About 30 minutes before baking, adjust oven rack to middle position, place a 6- to 8-quart heavy-bottomed Dutch oven (with lid) on rack, and heat oven to 500 degrees. Lightly flour top of dough and, using sharp knife, make one 6-inch long, ½-inch-deep slit along top of dough. Carefully remove pot from oven and remove lid. Pick up dough by lifting parchment overhang and lower into pot (let any excess parchment hang over pot edge). Cover pot and place in oven. Reduce oven temperature to 425 degrees and bake covered for 30 minutes. Remove lid and continue to bake until loaf is deep brown and an instant-read thermometer inserted into center registers 210 degrees — 20 to 30 minutes longer. Carefully remove bread from pot; transfer to wire rack and cool at room temperature, about 2 hours, before slicing.

Slather with butter and devour!

 

 

 

The Way to a Man’s Heart

I’m often asked how I learned to cook. This sweet story about my mother, written by my father Paulino, will give you some insights.

 

The Way to a Man’s Heart

by Paulino Lim, Jr.

She was the teenage cook of the family, my best friend’s sister. The household consisted of a mother, brother and maid, and the father sailing the oceans of the world as a merchant marine.

I’d listen to tales of shopping in an open market for fresh vegetables, fish and meat. One incident sticks in my mind. She was haggling over the price of a milk fish (bangus) with the fishmonger, who wore rings and bracelets as she trimmed and scaled fish on the table. Rather than give in to the teenage girl’s price offer, that she might have thought insulting, the woman threw the fish into a bucket of discards.

She’d bring home a live chicken. The maid slaughtered it, cutting a vent in the neck and collecting the blood in a dish with vinegar. The fledgling chef cut the chicken for four recipes: soup, stew, adobo, and dinuguan, a delicacy cooked in coconut milk mixed with the chicken’s blood (dugo in Filipino).

That was over half-a-century ago in Manila, fifty-seven years to be exact. The chef and I began dating, and we got married shortly after her senior year at the Philippine Women’s University with a liberal arts degree. I’d started to teach with a master’s degree in education, major in English, from the University of Santo Tomas.

Our life took a turn when UCLA approved my application for a PhD program in English. We came to California with the first James Bond film. My wife had the discreet pleasure, years later, in seeing Sean Connery in a crowd at Wimbledon and touching the back of his jacket. I did meet a James Bond villain Christopher Lee at the B. Dalton bookstore in Westwood, and he kindly autographed my copy of One Hundred Years of Solitude.

My wife worked while I was at graduate school for four years. Her parents paid for the rental of an apartment off of Pico Blvd. Every morning she’d take the bus to downtown L.A., dropping off our daughter at a nursery school run by nuns. I’d take the bus going to Santa Monica, and transfer to another bus to go to the UCLA campus in Westwood.

My wife’s cooking repertory expanded from watching her aunt, who often invited us over on weekends, prepare American dishes. On weekdays her aunt cooked for the late Hubert Eaton in Beverly Hills, founder of Forest Lawn. We still have the Jewish Cookbook copyright 1941, that she gave us. Our cupboard has colored salts, white kosher, pink Himalayan, and black volcanic. She thinks the Peruvian salt is the best. It adds so much flavor.

My wife still cuts up chickens she buys at the supermarket, and stores the pieces in four freezer bags. The bones definitely go into soups. Two delectable recipes for the chicken breast stand out: chicken piccata, and baked with garlic and butter pushed into the meat with an injector.

For the dark meat, my wife would ask me, “How do you want this done: Southern fried chicken, Thai with lime juice and Sriracha, or Filipino adobo?” For dessert her piece de resistance is leche flan. Guests we invite for Thanksgiving Day dinner rave about her turkey. She splits the breast from the neck down, removes all the bones and the giblets, and stuffs the inside with her dressing of wild rice, pork, and sautéed vegetables. Then she sews the turkey back into its original shape and roasts it. Before serving the guests, she plunges a knife into the turkey to show that what they are about to eat is entirely boneless.

Is there truth to the proverb that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach?

 

 

Thinking About 5 Things: From Fidgeting to Bones

1. Sully

For someone who once had a fear of flying—take-off and turbulence equaled my own personal hell of anxiety and panic—I love airplane movies! Last weekend I saw Sully and it didn’t disappoint in the terror department. Cool effects, gripping, heroic, and the extra bonus of a cartoony portrayal of the NTSB “bad guys.” Very cathartic to see Sully save the day.

Side note: I overcame my 20-year fear of flying with the help of a hypnosis recording. This summer I took 8 flights with no issues. One time I even fell asleep during take-off. Now that’s a first!

2. Fidget

The goal for this Kickstarter started at $15,000 and, at the time of this posting, it’s well over $4 M! For a plastic cube you can play with at your desk. No joke. Check out the link and watch the money pour in.

 

fidget-cube-a-vinyl-desk-toy-by-matthew-and-mark-mclachlan-kickstarter

3. Bone broth

In our continual efforts to achieve good health, we’re consuming bone broth, from grass-fed, grass finished bones. My husband lets it simmer on the stove for two-days, creating a broth rich in minerals and collagen. Our hair and nails are growing like crazy and my skin’s looking healthier too. I can only imagine the positive effects on my innards.

broth-1

Double, double toil and trouble; Fire burn, and cauldron bubble.

 

4. Apple Plug

Not yet ready to upgrade to the iPhone 7? Consider this …

apple-plug

 

5. Graffiti

A strange place to find this political statement.

trump-toilet-1

 

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