Friday, November 23, 2007

Not "Turkey Surprise" Again

You thought it was going to be some clever little “provençal” twist on what to do with turkey leftovers, huh? Surprise! Although I did have a lovely Thanksgiving dinner with friends old and new...American, British and French. We had all of the traditional trimmings for the beautiful turkey that was the star of the table, but I’ll leave it to them (and you) to figure out what to do with the leftovers. Mine will be going into a sandwich (mmmmmm!) In fact, this post is to celebrate another event: Bodhi’s first birthday!

There was to be no romp in the park nor play date with his sister, Biscuit, as rain continued to pound our soggy little corner of France for the third day in a row. Not a lot of complaining is being heard from anyone that I know as we really need this drenching, but it did make for a bit of a quiet birthday celebration this first go-round. No party hats, striped horns, Pin-The-Tail-On-The-Cat, barking contests, obstacle course or leather chew party favors...none of the stuff that might have otherwise been a part of a sun-filled dog birthday party chez La Fourchette. No, aside from a new red collar and the addition of some shredded carrots to his breakfast (he loves carrots), all he received was a stash of homemade dog biscuits. Tasty even for his dog “muther”, he seems even more eager than usual to respond to commands...okay...honestly, he is more eager than usual to respond to some commands...we’re still working on the others...but he’s only 1...or is that 7?!...he’s cute, give him a break!

I’ll spare you the details of his precious antics, his clown-like personality and his remarkable intelligence and simply cut to the chase: those dog biscuits.

These little packages went out to all of his friends: Ginger, Oscar, and Biscuit to name a few...but there are plenty more for when we get back to the park and meet up with Schubert, Maeve and Amarosa when the sun comes out again.

Healthy and tasty, not exactly salty, not exactly sweet...they have a graham cracker-like texture but a bit more dense. Frankly, I thought they were very tasty and I’m walking on two legs! (Well, most of the time!) There is a little fresh “zing” that results from the parsley-mint blend that is surprisingly good. I would never think of pulling a few of his salmon biscuits out of the box to stave off some sort of craving...nor would I think of offering them to guests as an nibble accompanying aperitifs. But that’s a different story...pour quoi pas?! (Why not?)

Got a pup? Give these a try!

Got a small dinner party coming up and looking for something that will be tasty and interesting without spoiling dinner? Again I say: Pour quoi pas?!

I won’t tell if you won’t!

Bon Appétit!

Bodhi’s Birthday Biscuits

Inspired by some recipe or other that I gleaned from some obscure place when looking for recipes for home-cooking for your dog...before my vet told me that trying to feed my dog daily with homemade cuisine would make me a slave to him.(She probably should have said “more of a slave to him”.) So I skipped the daily cuisine thing...and go figure, I became a slave anyway...but I think it’s working for both of us!

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups whole-wheat flour
1 1/4 cups cornmeal
1 1/4 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1/2 cup toasted wheat germ
1/2 cup packed raw sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) cold unsalted butter, cut into tablespoon pieces
1 cup plus 1 tablespoon water
1/2 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
1/2 cup fresh mint leaves, finely chopped
1 large egg

Special equipment: a dog-biscuit cookie cutter, available here. (And they ship internationally!)

In a food processor, pulse flours, cornmeal, oats, wheat germ, brown sugar, baking powder, and salt until combined. Add butter and pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal with pea-size butter lumps. Add 1 cup water and pulse until a coarse, dense dough forms.

Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead in parsley and mint until well distributed. Cut the dough into half. Form each half into a balls and flatten each into a 6-inch disk.

Put oven racks in upper and lower thirds of oven and preheat oven to 350°F. Grease 2 large baking sheets.

Roll out 1 disk of dough into a round (1/3 inch thick) on a well-floured surface with a well-floured rolling pin. (If dough becomes too soft to roll out, wrap in plastic and chill until firm.) Cut out as many biscuits as possible and arrange about 1/4 inch apart on 1 baking sheet.

Gather scraps and reroll, then cut out more biscuits. Repeat with remaining dough, using other baking sheet.

Whisk together egg and 1 tablespoon water. Brush biscuits with egg wash and bake, switching position of sheets halfway through, until tops are golden brown, about 35 minutes total. Turn off oven and dry biscuits in oven overnight.

Note: Layered between sheets of wax paper or parchment, biscuits will keep in an airtight container at room temperature 1 month...unless you happen to need a quick “cracker” for guests one night.

Makes about 5 dozen biscuits.


Shauna said...

You are certainly devoted.

That's one lucky dog!

la fourchette said...

Shauna, I think Bodhi and I are both counting our blessings for this pairing!

(I enjoy your site...felicitations on the book! And I imagine you still qualify as a "newlywed"! Felicitations encore un fois!)

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