Monday, January 22, 2007

sunday football = lots of knitting time

As Bears excitement reached a new level of furor here in Chicago yesterday, I knit up a storm. The second sock is coming along quite quickly indeed.

I also cast on for a new project, and I am HOOKED. It's the Forest Canopy Shoulder Shawl by Susan Pierce Lawrence. Many beautiful examples out in the blogosphere inspired me. Look here, here, here, and here, just to see a few.

The directions are crystal clear, and this whole lace knitting thing is addictive. I've already finished the third pattern repeat. Jared over at Brooklyn Tweed knits the most beautiful shawls, and what I really like about them is the body and weight of them. Plus Jared just plain rocks. He admits that one of his tricks is to sub in a heavier weight yarn than the pattern calls for. I'm following his lead on this one, and I'm using Alpaca with a Twist's DK-weight Baby Twist in a lovely light heather green instead of a sportweight yarn. It has great yardage (549 yds). I'm using size 8 Clover bamboo circs.

These pictures are from a repeat ago or so.

In the Kitchen
It's so difficult to take even halfway decent photos in my kitchen because it is super dark. Every other room has tons of windows.

Oh well... today I'm sharing a recipe for Leek and Goat Cheese Focaccia. This is hearty and delicious. I usually serve it with a good winter soup. To begin, I'm including my recipe for making focaccia dough in the breadmaker. Feel free to substitute frozen bread dough or even a Boboli crust if you're in a hurry.

Breadmaker Focaccia Dough -- 1.5 lb

Add all ingredients to bread pan in the order given.

1-1/8 C. warm water
1-1/2 T. olive oil
1-1/2 tsp. salt
3-1/3 C. all purpose flour, unbleached
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1-1/2 tsp. sugar
1-1/2 tsp. yeast

Set on "Dough-Only" feature if your Bread Machine is equipped with such a selection.
When dough cycle is done (on my machine it takes a little over an hour), remove to floured board.
Pat dough into circle about 1/2" or 3/4" thick. Place on a pizza stone dusted with cornmeal.

Dimple dough with fingertips. Brush with a little bit of olive oil, if desired, and let rise for 15-20 min.

Leek and Goat Cheese Focaccia

2 medium-large leeks
2 tsp. olive oil
1/4 C. heavy cream
freshly ground pepper
1 or 1.5 lb. focaccia dough OR frozen bread dough, thawed and at room temperature ** see note
1/2 tsp. dried thyme, if you're using frozen bread dough
flour and/or cornmeal for dusting
1-1/2 T. finely chopped walnuts
4 to 6 oz. fresh goat cheese, cut into small pieces or crumbled

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

To clean the leeks, make a vertical slit in each along its length through to the back. Rinse under cold running water, flipping through the leaves with your fingers to rid them of all sand and dirt. Thinly slice the leeks, using as much green as possible, but avoiding the extra-thick outer leaves.
Heat the 2 tsp. of olive oil in a medium-size skillet over medium heat. Add the leeks and saute until tender, about 10 minutes. Add the cream and salt and pepper to taste and cook 2 minutes more, or just until the cream thickens.

** If you're using frozen bread dough:
Place the thawed dough in a large bowl. Evenly sprinkle on the thyme, then 1 T. of olive oil. Knead until incorporated. You can let it rest after a few minutes of kneading and it will absorb some oil, then knead a bit more. Roll the dough into a 1/2 " to 3/4" thick circle, flouring your work surface as necessary. Place on cornmeal-dusted pizza stone.

**If you're using home-made focaccia dough:
You're already all set!

Both methods:
Bake dough 10 minutes. Remove from the oven, then spread the leeks all over the dough to within 1/2 inch of the edge. Sprinkle on the walnuts. Bake 10 more minutes. Remove from the oven and drop on the pieces of goat cheese. Bake 3 additional minutes, or until golden.

Let cool a few minutes before serving. Serve cut into squares.

Slightly adapted from Jeanne Lemlin's Main Course Vegetarian Pleasures.


Anonymous said...

My kitchen has a window but really sucky lighting. It is always amazing that people who don't cook, design kitchen lighting. I am just too lazy to redo my lights. I will have to give your recipe a try.

Anonymous said...

That sounds really good! I'll have to try it out.

Anonymous said...

I'm going to make some this weekend, thanks for the recipe. I love me some leeks and goat cheese.

Anonymous said...

Looks yummy! And guess what, I was cruising the Acadmics Knit ring and here you are. So, there's another clue for you!


Jodi said...


That's also a reminder that I need to fix the rings and links on my template!

Anonymous said...

I have such sucky lighting too. I've taken to doing some serious "food styling" complete with lighting & tripods to get my shots. I know, I know, I'm a dork! ;)

That sounds fantastic though! I will definitely give it a try!

Anonymous said...

Goat cheese just makes everything better. That shawl pattern looks really fun to knit and pretty.

I hope the Bears re-record the Superbowl Shuffle. I think it's about time for another rapping football team.

Adrian said...

My kitchen is kind of dark, too. Boo.

I made this last night, except I used caramelized onions because I had no leeks. Delicious! I kept smelling the dough in the bread machine. It was lovely.