Confession: I’ve been holding on on you. I have some exciting news.
Has anyone heard of Skillshare? It’s sort of an online classroom where you can learn to do things. Lots of different types of things. Some classes are taught by professionals. Some are taught by ordinary people. Like me.
That’s right. I’m teaching a class. A cooking class! Well, a baking class. About a month ago the folks at Skillshare asked me to teach the art of baking bread, and so I did! I actually love teaching people how to cook because I like to show them that it’s not hard. Really, you can do it! You’ve heard me say that time and again. If I can do it, you can do it.
Also, my quick decision to say yes also probably signals an indication that I just really like telling people what to do. But we won’t talk about this.
So if you’ve ever wanted to see just how truly awkward I can be in person, take my class! (I’m kidding about the awkwardness. I think. Hope…) Or, if you just want to learn how to make bread, take my class. Or, if you’re my friend, take my class. But I’ll still be your friend if you don’t. In any event, we’ll be making a lot of things that you’ve already seen: brown bread, beer bread, pumpkin bread and the pao de quiejo and if you haven’t yet tried them, you’ll see just how easy everything I make is. And learn a new one- a rustic white hearth bread. And you’ll get to see my kitchen, in case you were wondering.
Teaching the class was fun, embarrassing and awkward, and the (un)happy side effect of it is that I literally had 8 loaves and 9 muffins leftover in my house at the end of it all. Remember how I live alone? Yeah. While I love bread, it’s a lot for one person to eat. Even me, bread’s #1 fan (shared with Biscuit).
I gave a lot of the bread away, but I still had a lot left, so I figured I needed to come up with a fun way to eat it. Bread pudding is always at the forefront of my mind when it comes to extra bread, but I actually wanted something savory. I’ll investigate the source of this preference for savory over sweet at another time, but I decided on this amazing Spanish style panzanella, inspired both from Biscuit’s summer version and a breakfast version from my Huckleberry cookbook. The breakdown is this:
Chicken chorizo, for flavor.
Caramelized onions because they’re pretty and sweet and we love them.
Broiled tomatoes, for juice.
Apples and Swiss chard, so we can pretend this is really a salad.
Manchego. Shaved, not grated, for maximum coating.
Smoked paprika. Obviously.
I thought about topping this with a Romanesco sauce but opted for the broiled tomatoes instead. I also assumed I’d be adding wine to this to wet the croutons a bit but turns out, the tomatoes and chard did that just splendidly and I didn’t need it. Sad face. It’s okay, more to drink.
More brilliance would be adding a runny egg to this. Which would make this the best brunch dish eva.
- 5 slices of thick-cut Italian bread
- 1-2 TB salted butter
- 3 links smoked chicken chorizo, cut at an angle
- 1 TB olive oil
- 1 medium red onion, sliced (about 1 cup sliced)
- 2 medium sized Granny Smith or other tart apple, cored and diced
- 1 pint grape tomatoes
- 1/2 head of swiss chard, washed and coarsely chopped
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/4 cup flat leaf parsley, to serve
- Manchebo cheese, as much as you like, to garnish
- Preheat the oven to 450F. Butter both sides (YES, both sides) of the bread and pop directly onto the rack until deliciously golden on both sides, cool so you don’t burn your fingers, and cut into 1” cubes.
- Preheat the broiler. Place the grape tomatoes on a foil-lined baking sheet, lightly coated in olive oil and salt and pepper, and broil until they are juice and pop easily by pressing on them with a wooden spoon, about 15 minutes.
- In the meantime, to a large saucepan, add the oil and the sausage and cook until the sausage is browned on both sides. Remove from the pan and set aside.
- To the pan, add the onion and apples and paprika, and cook until the onions are caramelized a bit and the apples are soft. To this mixture, add the chard and cook until the chard has wilted a bit, about 3 minutes. You can cover the pan to help this along.
- Once the chard has wilted, add the bread cubes, sausage and tomatoes to the pan, and give it a good toss to combine well. Season with more salt and pepper if you think it needs it. Add the parsley and top with cheese, if desired.
- Crack an egg on top. You'll be happy about it.
Written last night when productivity was at an astounding high.