Chef Walter’s Flavors + Knowledge: Focaccia With Burrata Cheese
Wednesday, March 22, 2017
Burrata, meaning "buttery" in Italian is a fresh cheese made from a mix of mozzarella and cream. The outside thin shell is a pasta filata curd made of buffalo and/or cow's milk mozzarella while the insides contain a soft, doughy, stringy, mixture of curd and fresh cream. The cheese originated in the Apulia region of Italy known for sheep farming and agriculture. It is sold traditionally in asphodel leaves with a polyethylene plastic bag over it. The green color of asphodel leaves is an indicator of the freshness of the cheese. When you cut open a Burrata, it oozes with buttery and creamy panna containing scraps of mozzarella. The cream has a rich flavor and has to be eaten immediately since it is a fresh cheese. Burrata is usually served fresh at room temperature and beyond 48 hours, it is considered past its prime. The taste of Burrata goes well with salads, crusty bread, and prosciutto, fresh tomatoes with olive oil and with spaghetti. In this recipe I have shaped the focaccia round but it can be made of any shapes with rectangular the most popular.
1 pound fresh burrata cheese
Sprigs of fresh herbs, such as chives and marjoram optional amount
Sprigs of micro herbs, such as beetroot shoots and cress optional amount
2 teaspoons fruity extra virgin olive oil
For the focaccia
1 pound strong plain flour, plus extra for dusting
2 teaspoons fast-acting yeast
2 teaspoons sea salt, plus extra for topping and serving
1tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
1tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for oiling
1 cup warmed water plus extra if needed
Make the focaccia. Sift flour into an electric food mixer bowl with a dough hook attachment, stir in yeast, salt and herbs. Make a well in the middle and slowly work in 4tbsp of the oil and enough water to form soft dough. Knead for 5 minutes. Transfer dough to an oiled bowl, cover with a tea towel and leave to rise in a warm place for 1 hour until doubled in size. Knock back the dough on a floured surface and roll out to a rectangle 1cm thick. Transfer to an oiled baking sheet, cover loosely with oiled cling film and leave to rise for a further 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 200C/400F/ Gas 6. Press thumbprints into the bread surface, drizzle over the remaining oil and leave to rise for 30 minutes. Bake dough for about 25 minutes until golden and the base sounds hollow when tapped. Cool on wire rack.
Place burrata on a platter break it open to allow the creamy centre to ooze. Adjust the flavors to taste. Add the herbs and micro herbs and drizzle over the olive oil. Thinly slice focaccia and serve with the burrata.
History of Focaccia Bread
This flat bread topped with olive oil, spices and other products is an early prototype of modern pizza. The basic recipe is thought by some to have originated with the Etruscans or Ancient Greeks.
Focaccia, known and loved in Italy and abroad, is yeasted flat bread which belongs essentially to the northern shores of the Mediterranean and has its origin in classical antiquity. Early versions were cooked on the hearth of a hot fire, or on a heated tile or earthenware disk, like the related flatbreads. Bakers often puncture the bread with a knife to relieve bubbling on the surface of the bread. Also common is the practice of dotting the bread. This creates multiple wells in the bread by using a finger or the handle of a utensil to poke the unbaked dough. As a way to preserve moisture in the bread, olive oil is then spread over the dough, by hand or with a brush prior to rising and baking.
Many regions of Italy have an inventive range of flavorings they add to their focaccia. For many centuries it has had an association with Christmas Eve and Epiphany.
Related Slideshow: 15 Things You Must Eat or Drink in Central MA This Summer - No Excuses
Frozen Yogurt and summert ime almost go hand in hand and the place to go is Wooberry.
WooBerry is locally owned and is the home to 19 delicious flavors of frozen yogurt. This place is the epitome of everything that is right in this world - delicious and low in calories.
WooBerry is one of the few actual places on this list where you can't go wrong with anything you get. Don't forget about the literally millions of toppings to choose from (not literally).
Nothing like following up donuts with some fresh lobster. But that's what we're doing.
The freshest seafood in arguably the best restuarant in the city, the Sole's lobster is the best lobster you can find in Worcester County. Maybe even in the whole state of Massachusetts.
Splurge for the New England Lobster Bake. You can't go wrong.
The Ivory Tusk
Served on toasted Italian bread, the Ivory Tusk is Flying Rhino's most famous sandwich. It's chicken cheese steak loaded with caramelized onions and American cheese.
Be ready to bring an appetite because the Tusk is filling...in a good way.
While your eating, be sure to grab a spot outside and enjoy the summer weather.
It's everyone's (our) dream come true - a bar filled with cupcakes and desserts and of course, there is never a bad time for any of that, even during the summer.
Everything at Sweet is made from scratch, including it's award-winning cupcakes.
Indulge yourself - it is well worth the trip.
Calamari Fritti e Ostriche
Calamari, a summer tradition, especially here in New England.
Cafe Expresso Trattoria's calamari fritti e ostrich is lightly breaded calamari and panko battered oysters served with bruschetta.
Combine that with the outdoor seating and you have it made.
So its Sushi that you want?
The highly acclaimed Baba Restaurant & Sushi Bar has been winning awards for more than seven years making it the place to go to fill your sushi craving.
If eating great Sushi isn’t enough to bring you in, maybe you’ll be interested in the weekly Sushi making classes.
Looking for some fish to chow down on? Oxhead Tavern is your place. Be sure to sit out on the deck while you do so. The view of Cedar Lake is unbeatable.
This historic Oxhead Tavern is a casual family restaurant and bar that serves everything from traditional Massachusetts scrod to thick steaks. The Oxhead Tavern serves lunch and dinner.
- Chef Walter’s Flavors + Knowledge: Thanksgiving Herb-Roasted Turkey
- Chef Walter’s Flavors + Knowledge: Black Beans & Chorizo Soup
- Chef Walter’s Flavors + Knowledge: Speck & Polenta Wraps
- Chef Walter’s Flavors + Knowledge: Farmer’s Pasta
- Chef Walter’s Flavors + Knowledge: Rabbit Pate’ With Crostini
- Chef Walter’s Flavors + Knowledge: Pan-Seared Maple Venison
- Chef Walter’s Flavors + Knowledge: Chocolate Hazelnut Napoleon
- Chef Walter’s Flavors + Knowledge: Basque Piperade
- Chef Walter’s Flavors + Knowledge: Cauliflowers With Golden Raisins
- Chef Walter’s Flavors + Knowledge: Dandelion Salad & Anchovies
- Chef Walter’s Flavors + Knowledge: Rustic Country Bread
- Chef Walter’s Flavors + Knowledge: All About Panettone
- Chef Walter’s Flavors + Knowledge: Vigilia Stuffed Calamari
- Chef Walter’s Flavors + Knowledge: Escarole Tart
- Chef Walter’s Flavors + Knowledge: Barley Minestrone
- Chef Walter’s Flavors + Knowledge: Barley Minestrone
- Chef Walter’s Flavors + Knowledge: Gattò of Potatoes
- Chef Walter’s Flavors + Knowledge: Linzer Tart
- Chef Walter’s Flavors + Knowledge: Baked Pappardelle With Boar Ragu
- Chef Walter’s Flavors + Knowledge: Persimmons Bread Pudding
- Chef Walter’s Flavors + Knowledge: Frittata in Pastry Crust
- Chef Walter’s Flavors + Knowledge: Brussels Sprout Soup
- Chef Walter’s Flavors + Knowledge: Sole Stuffed Salmon
- Chef Walter’s Flavors & Knowledge: Swiss Chard & Chutney Strudel
- Chef Walter’s Flavors & Knowledge: Risotto with White Truffles