I used to be OCD about cooking contests. In 2008, I entered 178 recipes. In 2009, at the height of my mania, I entered 313. In 2010, I entered 147. That is about the time I started this blog. In 2011, I entered only twenty-eight.
Now I am OCD about blogging.
I guess it is a mania trade-off. Who knows, but I am still cooking.
(I have previously posted about my obsession with the best burger contest. I was sure I had a winner with every recipe like Aromatic Thai Burgers and Brat Burgers with “Dunkelized” Onions and “Poblanocado” Burgers with Jicama-Radish Salad and Lime-Chipotle Vinaigrette. Notice I never made the cook-off! )
Every new year, I try to start out with a theme.
One year it was 39 Days of Soup.
I failed at that one.
Last year, it was the Great Clean-out (regarding the pantry). It was somewhat successful.
So this year, I am going to go through my HUGE stockpile of contest winners, hopefuls, and failures. (Don’t worry, I will revisit the failures and make them perfect before I post!) Ha!
To start this theme out, which I will call my OCD Revisited Recipes, I found a Parmesan-Rosemary Focaccia Bread recipe in my archives. I wanted to use the Herbed Olives from my last post so I came up with the following:
Herbed Olive Spelt Focaccia
1 T. yeast
1 T. sugar
1 1/3 c. warm water
3 c. spelt flour
1 t. Kosher salt
1/2 t. course ground pepper
4 T. extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 T. fresh rosemary, chopped
¼ c. chopped Herbed Olives
In the bowl of a heavy stand mixer (equipped with a dough hook) dissolve yeast and sugar in water. Mix in flour, salt, pepper, and 3 T. olive oil. (I used some of the herbed olive oil from my olive mix.)
Mix dough until pliable. Add rosemary and olives; knead with the dough hook for about 5 minutes. Remove dough from mixing bowl and place in an oiled bowl. Cover with a clean dish towel and let rise until doubled (about 30-45 minutes).
After dough has risen, punch it down and place dough on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicon baking pad. Press dough out to about ½ inch thick. Prick dough with a fork.
Let rise again until doubled (about 20 minutes.) Brush with remaining 1 T. olive oil.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees and bake for 25 minutes.
As we have both eaten our weight in fudge, dipped pretzels, chocolate coated Oreos, cheese balls, brownies, and other holiday fare, I am serving this tonight with a simple green salad (from the hoop house).
This recipe was not a winner, but I think I have improved on it. In fact, I am not sure which contest it was even entered in. But, I do have my slick liner notes with the following description to wow the judges:
Great for a chicken-goat cheese pizza topping or thin sliced sandwich with sliced roma tomatoes and basil.
Wow, this all actually sounds pretty good. I wonder if there is a recipe contest currently open for breads?
Postscript: A few other things I have become competitive (and OCD) about are Secret Recipe Club and Cook the Books Club. I had been so busy that I hadn’t dropped by CTB in forever!!!!!! When I did earlier this week, I found out I had won the last round!