Sourdough: No longer a Mystery

I’ve never made bread, and I definitely have never made sourdough starter but that is exactly what I accomplished this past week. My husband is the bread maker in this house and he makes wonderful bread. He has even taught some friends how to make bread. So I really never had an incentive. Why take on such a task when I can just eat his beautiful creations? But then while browsing in a local bookstore I found a gorgeous magazine called Sift. The photographs were beautiful and it promised 65+ Fall Recipes, Prize-winning Breads and Baking with Cider. I was hooked and paid the $12.95 and happily took it home. However once I really started looking through it I found most of the recipes I was interested in called for sourdough starter.  Oh yeah, I should have noticed that other line on the cover, 10 Sourdough Recipes to Try Now. Sourdough starter? Where do I get that? Well the short answer is you can buy it but you still have to feed it and keep it going and you are out $9.00 plus postage so I researched making my own. Basically your biggest investment is time, and a bag of flour, so I thought ,”What can I lose?”  After consulting the internet for some recipes, I settled on the one from King Arthur Flour and dove in. And even though we live in a fairly cool house (one of the many warnings) I had success.

left: Day 1 right: Day 4

After numerous feedings of flour and water it was doing really well by Day 4. And since when you feed it you discard half of the mixture I decide to save a cup and try one of the recipes from the magazine. (A side note, by Day 6 my starter was all it could be and I refrigerated it for later recipes.) The bread I decided to try first was Nutty-Fruity Sourdough because it was a one day bread, that is, no overnight rising.

One cup sourdough starter, a real sticky blob

In a large bowl combine 1 cup sourdough starter, 1 cup lukewarm water, 3/4 cup whole wheat flour (or pumpernickel), 2.5 cups all-purpose flour, 1.5 tsp salt and 1 tsp active dry yeast. Mix until the dough comes together, adding more water or flour depending on if your mixture is too dry or too wet.

Knead by hand for 10 minutes. Halfway through the kneading add in the 1.5 cups of dry mixed fruit and 1 cup chopped nuts. I used currants, cherries, raisins, apricots and walnuts. This was pretty difficult since the dough is really firm. Next time I will mix them in during the first step. As it was I resorted to flattening out the dough, adding some of the fruit mixture and then rolling and kneading it in.

Flatten, add some fruit, knead, repeat.

I did this about 4 times till it was all incorporated. Put the dough in a greased bowl, cover and let rise about 1.5 hours. It gets puffy but doesn’t double in size.Once the first rise is complete shape the dough into a boule or a log and place on a parchment lined baking sheet. You can also divide it into two loaves. Cover with greased plastic and let rise another hour. After second rise, slash the top (dust with flour or brush with an egg wash) and bake for 45 minutes until the bread is golden brown. Note: recipe said 30-34 min. but 45 worked for me. (internal temp should be about 190° F.)

And then it came out. I was really excited and could hardly wait till it cooled so I could cut it. I am happy to say it was a success. It is a pale bread but that is what the recipe said. No sugar but the fruit lends a subtle sweetness. I think it is good just plain but Curt says toasted with butter is the way to go. So if you happen to have sourdough starter around or get ambitious to make some, this is a good first bread to try, especially if you are a beginner like me.

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Revuelto, a spring Migas of sorts

This week David Tannis, food writer for the New York Times reprised a recipe for Spanish Asparagus Revuelto from an article originally published in 2014 titled Asparagus, Spanish style.  The inter-web tells me that revuelto is Spanish for scrambled eggs.  So, Spanish asparagus and scrambled eggs.  Sounded good to me.

In reading through the recipe, it struck me that this revuelto sounds a lot like a variation on Migas, which we wrote about several years ago.  A comparison of that Migas to this Revuelto reveals a similar approach in preparation but with more vegetables, without the chickpeas and with eggs scrambled in rather than cooked separately and presented on top of the other ingredients.

I followed Mr. Tannis’ recipe but roughly cut it in half except I used 4 times the amount of pimentón that he called for and double the amount of chorizo.

The end result was very tasty but the eggs didn’t exactly scramble, rather they formed more of a sauce that coated the other ingredients.  I think the asparagus brought a lot more moisture to the dish than I had anticipated, making for the sauciness.  Yummy none the less.

Asparagus Migas

1-1/2 Tbs. olive oil
2 peeled garlic cloves, whole, plus 1 small clove, minced
1 cup day old bread (baguette or ciabatta), torn into 1/2″ pieces
Salt and pepper
2 oz. Spanish chorizo, cut into matchstick pieces
3/4 pound thin asparagus, cut into 1″ – 2″ pieces
1/2 bunch green onions, chopped
4 large eggs, beaten
1 tsp. pimentón (Spanish smoked paprika)
2 Tbs. Italian parsley, roughly chopped

Saute the whole garlic in olive oil until lightly browned, remove and discard.

Saute the bread in the oil until lightly browned and crispy.  Remove from the heat and add a pinch of salt, some pepper and 1/2 tsp of pimentón.  Remove from the saute pan and allow to cool.

Saute the chorizo a minute or two to release some of its oil, add the asparagus and saute for several minutes until the asparagus is tender but still firm.  Add the green onions and saute an additional minute.

Beat the eggs with 1/2 tsp of pimentón and a pinch of salt and some pepper to taste.  Add the eggs to the asparagus mix and cook, stirring until the eggs are just soften and creamy.

Divide the revuelto onto two plates, top with parsley and croutons.  Serve immediately.

The Basic Batard

No, not bastard; batard.

detail of bread crust

A batard is basically a loaf of bread lacking the confidence to be a baguette, that classic bread of France. The classic baguette is around 24″ long and around 2-1/2″ in diameter. The batard is shorter – around 12″ but sometimes as little as 6″.

I like baguettes/batards for several reasons. The crust to crumb ratio is pretty high so you get lots of nice crispy/chewy crust (my favorite). You don’t need to slice it because its small diameter allows for the primal pleasure of just tearing a piece off to dip into your soup. And, lastly, the baguette/batard is the prefect bread for making pain perdu, French toast.

While I have made bread for many years, I’ve avoided trying to make batards.  When I have tried in the past, they came out pasty, with poor crust and just plain boring.  The problem was not enough temperature and humidity.

But, I have solved those issues.  I haven’t done anything that most good bread cookbooks don’t tell you.  It’s just that I actually followed directions this time and it worked.

Basically this is the same dough I use for my basic bread using the well-known recipe for no-knead bread from Jim Lahey and popularized by Mark Bittman in a video in the New York Times.  The difference for batards is in the final rise and baking.

Batards rising. Note generous coating of flour to keep the dough from sticking to the towel.

Batards rising. Note generous coating of flour to keep the dough from sticking to the towel.

Prepare the dough as directed in the recipe.  After the dough has fermented over night, divide it into 2 or 3 pieces, handling it carefully so as to not deflate it.  Shape (stretch) each piece into a 12″, or so, long form and place on a floured tea towel to rise.  You can bunch up the towel along the loaf to help keep it from spreading too much.  Use a separate towel for each loaf because you will use the towel to roll the loaf onto your baking sheet.

While the loaves are rising, pre-heat the oven to 500˚ F. Put a large roasting pan on the lower rack of the over with 1″ hot water in it.

Slashed loaves on baking sheet ready for the oven.

Slashed loaves on baking sheet ready for the oven.

Roll the risen loaves onto a dry baking sheet.  Using a very sharp knife or single edged razor blade, slash each loaf (classically with 3 long diagonals) about 1/4″ deep.  Put the sheet into the hot and humid oven and bake for 25 minutes.

Finished loaves fresh from the oven.

Finished loaves fresh from the oven.

Allow the batards to cook on a wire rack and store at room temperature. Bon appétit!

The "Taster" waiting for his sample of the fresh batards.

The “Taster” waiting for his sample of the fresh batards.

The “Taster” is a small sculpture that hangs on our kitchen wall.  It was made by Andrew Lonnquist of Olander Earthworks.  We bought ours at the Saturday Market in Portland, Oregon but is also available (along with a number of other characters) at his Etsy site.

Naan for You

naanheader

Last night the Foodies gathered at Barbara and Micheal’s for one of the wonderful dinners we share every two – three months or so. Some groups like ours meet once a month but we are busy people with travel and family and god knows what sometimes, so every couple of months is a real achievement and a treat. Barbara and Michael once again outdid themselves. Most of the credit goes to Barbara since Michael had been out of town for the week leading up to dinner but his tandoori mushroom appetizer was a hit.

But this brief writing is only going to be about the naan. Dinner was sort of an Indian theme, with lamb, and some marvelous vegetable dishes but with our soup course we were served naan. Naan is a leavened oven-baked flatbread and when we saw it for the first time on the table we asked our hostess where she purchased it? Is there a great Indian grocery or restaurant in Green Bay that we don’t know about? Ha!

Barbara calmly told us she had made it herself and she doesn’t even have a tandoor oven.

Making naan in a traditional tandoor oven

Making naan in a traditional tandoor oven

She got the recipe from Epicurious. It was originally from an Oct 2014 issue of Bon Appetit. The fresh naan she served us was beautiful but we were too busy eating to take pictures. Fortunately she sent home some leftovers and even the next day you can see that this naan looks really good. Barbara made a few changes which I have added in red print to the recipe. Try it, we sure will.

Barbara's next day Naan

Barbara’s next day Naan

 

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup whole milk
  • 1 1/4-ounces envelope active dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour plus more for surface and hands
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt plus more
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped (she omitted onion)
  • 1 cup whole-milk yogurt (not Greek) (all she had was Greek and it turned out fine)
  • 2 tablespoons melted ghee (clarified butter) or vegetable oil plus more (no time to make ghee so she went with straight butter)

Preparation

Heat milk in a small saucepan over medium-low heat until an instant-read thermometer registers 100°F. Transfer to a small bowl and whisk in yeast and sugar. Let stand until foamy, about 10 minutes.

Whisk 3 1/2 cups flour and 1 teaspoon salt in a large bowl to blend. Add yeast mixture, onion, yogurt, and 2 tablespoons ghee. Mix dough until blended but still shaggy.

Transfer dough to a lightly floured work surface. Knead until a smooth dough forms, adding flour as needed (dough will be sticky), about 5 minutes. Lightly grease another large bowl with ghee, place dough in bowl, and turn to coat. Cover with plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm, draft-free area until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

Punch down dough and divide into 10 pieces. Using floured hands, roll each piece into a ball on a lightly floured surface. Cover with plastic wrap; let rest 10 minutes.

Heat a large cast-iron or other heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Lightly coat with ghee. Working with 1 piece at a time, stretch dough with your hands or roll out with a rolling pin to 1/8″ thickness. Sprinkle with salt. Cook until lightly blistered, puffed, and cooked through, about 2 minutes per side. Wrap in foil to keep warm until ready to serve.

DO AHEAD: Naan dough can be made 4 hours before shaping. Cover and chill.

Bánh mì, One Really Great Sandwich

slice of bmIn the previous post one of the things I said I loved was a great sandwich. Not just a good sandwich but a great one. I make ‘good’ sandwiches, my husband makes great sandwiches and his bánh mì is one of them.

It is not a difficult sandwich to make if you have the ingredients and that is the key. Curt can pull together a great sandwich just from what he finds available in the fridge but if we are having bánh mì, then you know it is a plan.

Bánh mì is a Vietnamese term for all kinds of bread but mostly it refers to a baguette. But if you walk into a Vietnamese restaurant in America, bánh mì is a type of meat-filled sandwich on a short baguette or bánh mì bread. In Green Bay you can get a pretty good version at Pho #1 Noodle & Grill.  (their bánh mì is image #6 in their menu slide show).

Typical fillings for a bánh mì may include pan-roasted or oven-roasted seasoned pork belly, Vietnamese sausage, grilled pork, spreadable pork liver pate, grilled chicken, roast duck, soft pork meatballs in tomato sauce, fried eggs, and even tofu – in other words, whatever is at hand and that strikes your fancy. That sort of flies in the face of a plan but you’ve got to have the roll and the pate’ or liver sausage is an important flavor.  Accompanying vegetables typically include fresh cucumber slices, cilantro and pickled shredded carrots and daikon radish. Common condiments  might include spicy chili sauce, sliced chilis, mayonnaise, and cheese.

Mise en place:  bolillo, ham, liver sausage, Shriracha laced mayo, frresh pickled carrots and cabbage, cilantro and mint

Mise en place: bolillo, ham, liver sausage, Shriracha laced mayo, fresh pickled carrots and cabbage, cilantro and mint

Curt’s version starts with a baguette, or a hoagy roll, or most likely a bolillo (a short baguette-like roll common in Latino markets).  Not shown in the mise en place photo, is a little commercial sandwich dressing (he used Beano’s Original Submarine Dressing) which he squirted on the greens – you could substitute any Italian dressing or just oil and vinegar.

Bánh mì (ala Curt)

Bánh mì, ala Curt.  This is a pared down version.  A more authentic bánh mì would also include lean roast pork and thinly sliced fresh green chiles.

Put it all together and voilà – a great sandwich. If it is a serious plan he usually gets roast pork slices and good ham from the deli which in my opinion is better than just ham.

Hey, look, it’s lunchtime by my clock and writing this post has made me hungry. I think I’ll go see what sandwich fixin’s I can find…maybe even get Curt to give me some pointers.

Closed and ready for the first bite!

Closed and ready for the first bite!

We need a dessert… Houston, we have a persimmon.

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A while ago we started watching series shows with some friends. I think it started with Justified. We had watched the first season on Netflix streaming but we don’t have DISH or Direct TV so when the 2nd season started we were out of luck for probably six months before we could view it. But then we got talking with some close friends who were also hooked on Justified and they had DISH, woo hoo! They were recording season 2 and already had about four on their DVR. They invited us over for dinner and TV. We brought dessert and we all had a great time. A couple of weeks later we went back for two more episodes but this time we brought dinner and they did dessert.

A regular get-together was born.

Rules: One, no overly crazy cleaning, except maybe the bathroom. Two, no gourmet cooking, keep it simple. We alternate dinner and desserts.  We’ve gotten through three seasons of Justified and the fourth starts this January. In between seasons we watched Longmire and started The Borgias. Since neither of us has Showtime we got The Borgias on disk from Netflix. Last night was the first episode of Season 3 and Pat and Dick were coming to our house with dinner in tow. We were on for dessert. With a persimmon sitting on the shelf just ready to burst Curt knew it was destined to become our sweet treat for the evening.

You may remember that we posted a short piece about persimmons several years ago.  If not, you can refer to it here.  Mostly, I like to eat persimmons as a fresh fruit – the Fuyu variety that is.  The Hachiya variety is a whole different matter.  If you try to eat them before they’re fully ripe you’ll be met with an astringent mouthful you won’t be able to swallow.  Hachiya need to sit and slowly ripen to the point that they’re like a squishy orange/red water balloon.  The skin turns almost translucent and the flesh is more like a soft jelly that a fruit.  That’s what we had.  I’m led to believe that some people let their Hachiya get to this stage and then cut or bite a small hole in the skin and suck the flesh out like a Slurpee, but not frozen.

persim3

A ripe Hachiya persimmon, cut in half

In casting about for some recipe to use with this beautifully ripe but somewhat intractable fruit, I came upon a reference in a bread book by James Beard that had a Persimmon Bread recipe.  It looked good and so, off I went.

Beard on Bread by James Beard, 1973

Beard on Bread by James Beard, 1973

Persimmon Bread (adapted from Beard on Bread by James Beard)

1-3/4 C. all-Purpose flour
3/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. mace, ground
a few gratings of nutmeg
1 C. sugar
1/2 C. butter, melted
2 eggs, beaten
1/3 C. bourbon
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 very large, very ripe Hachiya persimmon, cored but not peeled, pureed, about 1 C.
1 C. coarsely chopped walnuts
1/2 C. currants, plumped with 1/2 Tbs. bourbon

1 Tbs. coarse sugar (raw sugar, rock candy, or the like), broken into edible-sized pieces if necessary.

Mix the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl.  Make a depression in the center and add the melted butter, eggs, bourbon, pureed persimmon, nuts and currants.  Mix the batter well, until there are no dry bits left.  Butter and flour a 1 pound and a mini loaf pan.  Fill them about 3/4 full with the batter.  It’s pretty stiff, so use a spatula to make sure it gets into the corners.  Sprinkle with coarse sugar.

Bake for 1 hour at 350˚ or until a skewer comes out clean.  Let the loaves cool in the pans and then turn out onto a rack.  Serve with fresh butter.  Keeps wrapped for 1 to 2 weeks.

Persimmon bread adapted from James Beard

Persimmon bread adapted from James Beard

And for your viewing pleasure, we all recommend Justified, Longmire and The Borgias.

A Good Bun is Hard to Find

My hotdog lunch w/ yellow mustard, dill relish and tomato slivers.

My hotdog lunch w/ yellow mustard, dill relish and tomato slivers.

I know we promised you Chinese Food at the end of the previous post but Curt is still fussing with the pictures from our trip and hasn’t located the precise images he needs to express his food rant so I thought it was time for a great hot dog. You heard me, hot dog …a sausage, a frankfurter, encased meat. Hot dogs get a bad rap. All that talk about what is really inside the casing and what the casing is made of has frightened away people from a really enjoyable foodie experience. But more about the dog later, the really critical part is the bun.

My experience with hot dog buns is that soft, squishy Wonder Bread type of bun that comes in a package of eight while the hotdogs come in packages of ten. To make everything come out even you really have to buy 5 packs of buns and 4 packs of dogs. But you’ll get really tired of eating hotdogs long before you use them up. Sure you can freeze everything but by the time I am in the mood for a hotdog they have all experienced major freezer burn. And frankly those soft buns just don’t freeze well. The other problem with finding the perfect bun is size. They are either way too short or if you decide to go with a brat bun, way too thick and big. Both are just too much bread and not very good bread at that.

A couple of months ago while picking up our favorite ciabatta bread made by “New French Bakery Take N’ Bake”, Curt noticed that they also made nice sized breadsticks.  Breadsticks that just might work as  hot dog buns. New French Bakery bread is especially good for store-bought because once you get it home you pop it in a 375 degree oven for 3-5 minutes. It comes out with a nice crust and tastes like fresh-baked. The breadsticks are 6.5 – 7 inches long. Longer than a regular bun but also narrower.

New French Bakery products

New French Bakery products

New French Bakery breadstick,

New French Bakery breadstick, 7″ long

We had found the perfect bun. A nice crust, flavorful, and just the right size for a Nueske’s Big Dog, extra long hot dog. No not Oscar Meyer, then you might have to worry about what might be inside, but a Nueske’s, pork/beef wiener in natural casing, Applewood smoked . A really good hot dog, fried up with just a light char.

Nueske's hot dog

Nueske’s hot dog, at least 7″ long

Now for the condiments. Curt made a spicy relish by using a Mixed Pickle Relish. It was the closet he could find to a mango pickle. His relish had one part mixed pickle to one part minced fresh tomato. The other item was thin slices of tomato.

Spicy relish and thin tomato slivers

Spicy relish and thin tomato slivers

But I’m not a spicy relish person. My condiments of choice, Mustard Girl: Sweet n’ Fancy Yellow and a great home-canned dill relish, a gift from a friend. I added some of those tomato slivers. Perfect.

mustard

Mustard and Relish

But no matter what condiments you prefer if you add a natural weiner to one of these breadstick “buns”, you’ll have an ideal hot dog lunch.  A nice break from Chinese food. The only problem: 6 breadsticks…….10 hot dogs! Oh well.

Bread Making 101

Curt has been making our bread for the last several years. This started when Curt saw a New York Times article by Mark Bittman about Jim Lahey’s “no knead” technique.  The article included a recipe and a video which outlined this incredibly easy technique for making top shelf bread.  So he watched the video, read the article and checked out Mr. Lahey’s book, My Bread and baked a few loaves and, aside from a few minor miss-steps, he was making pretty good bread; once he learned the technique he never looked back.

The Goal

The Goal

Michael, big bread fan and a member of our foodie group, wanted to bake bread as well. A new Breadsmith just opened in his neighborhood and at $4-$5 a loaf, he’s been spending a fortune. He tried following a printed recipe without much luck. So Curt said he would teach him in a hands on class in our kitchen. After a few false starts we finally got together last Thursday.

Curt turned the kitchen into a classroom. Various types of pots were featured, ingredients gathered. One batch of dough was started the night before, another batch was started at 5:30am and Michael would mix the third batch while he was here. That way he would get the full range of the mixing, the rising and the baking procedure but not have to arrive at dawn or stay the night. The finale would be the eating of freshly baked bread along with a hardy cioppino style soup. Here are a few shots from the “class”.  I neglected to get all of the steps because Barbara (Michael’s wife) and I left the guys to their devises while we drank wine and talked about knitting and books and travel.

Cast iron pots for bread

Cast iron pots of different sizes for bread

Measuring.

Measuring.

Mixing.

Mixing.

After first rise.

After first rise.

Done.

Done.

Michael pointing at his creation.

Michael pointing at his creation.

I think Michael was energized and more confident at the end of class.  He left with his notes, supply lists and an ‘A’ on his report card. If you would like to know more about this easy technique for bread but can’t make it to our next class, you can read the original NYTimes article, check out the recipe or watch this video.  Truly, this is so easy that anyone can do it.  So, do it! Better yet, get your husband to do it.

The Unsung Hero Sings

We post a lot of good food and great dishes here at Another Stir of the Spoon. Some of those recipes have many steps and once the cook is fired up and in the zone a lot of pots, pans, bowls, measuring cups, spoons, knives and spatulas get called into service.  There are also five burners on our stove and we have at least three areas for prep, not counting two under-counter cutting boards that double as work space. All these get pretty messy too. But behind every Eggplant Parmigiana, every Turkey Pot Pie, every New Franken Sunset, every loaf of freshly baked bread is the unsung hero who cleans up.

Aftermath of Bread

Aftermath of Bread

And nine times out of ten that is me. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining. If you’re going to cook you’re going to make dishes and since Curt does 90% of the cooking, I feel it is only fair that I do 90% of the clean-up. We do have a dishwasher that does its share but there are always wooden utensils, good knives, and many pots and pans that either will not fit or just wouldn’t fare well in the heat and abrasiveness of a washer. And don’t forget those 50 prep areas, okay it just feels like fifty. That’s where I come in, with my two hands, dish soap, a scrubber and a dish cloth.

pans

So the next time Curt posts a picture of a marvelous loaf of bread or a fabulous entree…

breadremember the person who gets everything clean and ready for the next culinary adventure, namely, ME!

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It’s a theme – Beans & Greens: Migas

Many cultures have traditional dishes, usually of peasant origin, that combine beans, legumes or pulses with sturdy greens to create a basic all in one meal.  Most are quick to put together and inexpensive because there’s no big piece of meat to cook and if you use canned beans you can often assemble them in less than 30 minutes.  This begins a series of Beans & Greens cookery starting with Migas.

There’s no hiding the peasant roots of Migas – humble, cheap and filling.

Migas

Migas means “crumbs” in Spanish. It’s a dish of Spanish and Portuguese origin that is mainly bread and, depending on where you are, additions of beans, chorizo, leafy greens, and maybe eggs.  Mark Bittman refers to it as bread hash – start with left-over bread and stretch it with what you have on hand or what is local.  I first made Migas from Bittman’s recipe in his Kitchen Express cookbook – basically bread, beans and greens.  There’s no hiding the peasant roots of the dish in that version, humble, cheap and filling.

But I find Bittman’s version to be on the dry side and needing something.  So I’ve evolved a version that’s still cheap and filling but with the addition of a little Spanish chorizo, a little tomato, some green seedless grapes and a fried egg on top that gives the dish added dimension.  I should note that my version isn’t too much of a leap – among the many variations found in Spain, all those additions can be found although not all at the same time.  I should also mention that there is a New-World version, a Tex-Mex dish made from crispy tortilla strips cooked in scrambled eggs that can include tomatoes, onions, Mexican chorizo, re-fried beans and cheese that obviously echos it’s Old World origins.   The Tex-Mex version is said to be an excellent hang-over breakfast.  The Spanish/Portuguese versions are also, often, eaten for breakfast – no hangover required.  We eat it for dinner although I could easily get around it for breakfast.

Migas

2 large slices of country style bread, crusts removed, cut into 3/4″ cubes
1 can garbanzo beans (chickpeas), 16 oz., drained and rinsed
1 oz. Spanish chorizo, cut into 1/8″ matchsticks
1 bunch (about 8 oz) Swiss Chard leaves or other sturdy green cut into shreds
1/2 C. tomatoes, any kind, chopped
1/2 C. Green seedless grapes, cut into halves or quarter (if large)
1/2 Tbs Pimentón (Spanish sweet smoked paprika)
3/4 tsp ground cumin
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 eggs (optional)
Olive oil

In a large skillet or wok, saute the bread cubes over medium heat in 1 Tbs. of olive oil, stirring frequently, until golden and lightly crispy.  Add pimentón, cumin, salt and pepper.  Remove to a plate to cool, reserve.

In the same pan, saute the garbanzo beans over medium heat in 2 Tbs. olive oil, stirring from time to time, until the garbanzos take on a nutty color and are a little crispy/chewy on the outside.  Add the chorizo and saute for an additional minute.  Add the tomatoes and grapes and saute for a minute more.  Add the Swiss Chard and continue to cook until the chard is wilted, adding  a tablespoon or two of water to help steam the greens.  Return the bread cubes to the pan, mix, remove from heat and set aside while you cook the eggs.

Fry the eggs in a little olive oil until done to your taste – we like ours with a runny yolk.  Alternatively, you could poach the eggs.

Mound the bread/garbanzo mixture in a soup-plate and top with an egg.

Serves 2 for dinner or 4 as a first course.