I'm also considering having a dinner party that will also double as a cooking class. If people are interested in this, I'll give it some serious thought.
Citrus Vinaigrette (Thanks to Caitlin for providing this recipe)
1/2 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1 teaspoon grated orange zest (collect the zest from the 2 oranges used in the salad)
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed orange juice (see the note about orange segments in the salad recipe)
1 teaspoon honey
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Combine all the ingredients for the Citrus Vinaigrette in a jar or a tight-sealing plastic container. Shake to blend.
Caitlin said she didn't put in all the salt the recipe called for or all the EVOO, she just eye balled it and tasted it. I followed the recipe exactly and I can say that when Caitlin made it, it tasted WAY better, so next time I'll follow her suggestions.
1 (10-ounce) bag of spinach (about 6 cups)
2 oranges, cut into segments *
1/2 cup sliced almonds toasted
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced.
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Combine the spinach, orange segments, almonds, red onion, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Toss with the Citrus Vinaigrette and serve.
* If you would like to see how to segment an orange, click here. Also, if you segment the oranges over a bowl and then squeeze the pulp over the bowl after all the segments are removed, you'll have the tablespoon of orange juice that the vinaigrette calls for.
Adapted from Jim Lahey at the Sullivan Street Bakery via Mark Bittman at New York Times and SmittenKitchen.com
Yields one 1 1/2 pound loaf
3 cups all-purpose or bread flour, more for dusting
1/3 teaspoon active dry yeast
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
Cornmeal or wheat bran as needed (I didn't use any so you don't need to unless you want to)
1. In a large bowl combine flour, yeast and salt. Add 1 5/8 cups water, and stir until blended; dough will be shaggy and sticky. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let dough rest at least 12 hours, preferably about 18, at warm room temperature, about 70 degrees.
2. Dough is ready when its surface is dotted with bubbles. Lightly flour a work surface and place dough on it; sprinkle it with a little more flour and fold it over on itself once or twice. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rest about 15 minutes.
3. Using just enough flour to keep dough from sticking to work surface or to your fingers, gently and quickly shape dough into a ball. Generously coat a cotton towel (not terry cloth) with flour, wheat bran or cornmeal; put dough seam side down on towel and dust with more flour, bran or cornmeal. Cover with another cotton towel and let rise for about 2 hours. When it is ready, dough will be more than double in size and will not readily spring back when poked with a finger.
4. At least a half-hour before dough is ready, heat oven to 450°. Put a 6- to 8-quart heavy covered pot (cast iron, enamel, Pyrex or ceramic) in oven as it heats. When dough is ready, carefully remove pot from oven. Slide your hand under towel and turn dough over into pot, seam side up; it may look like a mess, but that is O.K. Shake pan once or twice if dough is unevenly distributed; it will straighten out as it bakes. Cover with lid and bake 30-35 minutes, then remove lid and bake another 15 to 30 minutes, until loaf is beautifully browned. Don't skimp on these cooking times because they're very acturate and shortening of these times will result in an undercooked bread. Cool on a rack. Store wrapped in towel or in a ziplock bag , depending on how hard or soft you like your bread.
Update on Bread 4/1/2009 - This bread (as I'm sure is the case with most homemade breads) doesn't keep well after a couple of days. Today I made a sandwich and the bread had strange dry/moist texture and had an unpleasant taste. I recommend using the bread up within two days of making it.