David and I celebrated our third anniversary yesterday. We didn't make a big deal out of it, other than going to the Crow's Nest, probably the best restaurant in Anchorage, for dinner. And here we pause for a slight rant: why would a top-quality restaurant oversalt its food? I like salt as much as the next person, and it definitely has its place in seasoning and finishing food, but oversalting a high-quality pepper steak AND its side of wild mushrooms is insane.
And now we return to our previously scheduled programming.
This is also the 100th post on this blog. If I were more organized today, I'd have a giveaway or something special planned. Watch for that in the next post.
Tomorrow at sundown, Passover starts. Since I haven't been home much this week, I still need to quarantine any products with chametz (breads, crackers, rice, beans, cereal, etc.)--anything with leavening or that puffs when it cooks.
Passover seders are typically held the first and second nights, but due to some guests' scheduling quirks, we are holding ours on Sunday evening. One of our guests is vegan and five are vegetarian. It should be a fascinating menu--stay tuned on that too.
In the interest of clearing out some of the chametz before Passover, I give you this onion focaccia. Made with some of the time-saving shortcuts I talked about here, this takes less than fifteen minutes of active time and may have been the best focaccia yet.
It's just the right amount of onion-y, and the onions soften and mellow during baking, making it the perfect accompaniment to pasta or a roasted meat.
Adapted from the CIA's Italian Cooking at Home
1 cup 2 percent milk
1 tsp. sugar
1 envelope active dry yeast or 2 1/4 tsp. jarred active dry yeast
4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for shaping bread
3/4 cup warm water
5 tbsp. good-quality olive oil, plus more for oiling the pan
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 small yellow onion (not a sweet onion), cut into thin rings
1 1/2 tsp. coarse flaked sea salt
Warm the milk on the stove or in the microwave to 100 degrees. Cool the warmed milk for a minute, then add the yeast and stir to dissolve. Set aside for about fifteen minutes; it should begin to foam.
In a stand mixer using the dough hook attachment, combine the flour, two tablespoons of olive oil, the yeast mixture, the water and the kosher salt. Mix on medium until the dough is smooth and elastic, about five minutes.
Warm your oven to 180 degrees. While it is warming, take the mixer bowl off the mixer, dust the top of the dough with all-purpose flour and seal tightly with plastic wrap. Turn off the oven and place the bowl in it. Let the dough rise until it is about doubled, about half an hour.