Monday, April 28, 2008

The Jersey Pocket

I am a cyclist and home cook. Perhaps a hack at both, but I love each nonetheless. In addition to spending time with my family, I am happiest in the kitchen cooking for others (particularly for the one I love, my wife) or out on my bike doing LT training or hill repeats.

Spring is here and for me it is bitter sweet. I am happy that I can ride sans windstopper jacket and all of the other winter layering, but am equally disappointed that I now have to change the way I cook for the cycling season. Cassoulet? Are you kidding me? Duck confit and pork sausage is out of the question for the next six months. And I can just forget about rillettes, braised short ribs, anything cured (except for gravlaks) or remotely resembling comfort food. But I am determined, as I have in the past, to get through this and satisfy my culinary curiosity through other outlets, hence this blog. And I do enjoy cooking food that is friendly to cyclists. Come on, you can't beat green lentils with sauteed leeks and salmon.

To share with others, I will frequently post recipes I enjoy. Most cycling friendly; pre and post ride and, like the following, something to take with you on your next long weekend ride that's peppered with two 3 x 6:00 tempo intervals. Although, I can see myself straying from this and offering up some delicious, artery-clogging, cholesterol-laden eats too. I welcome sharing food banter that is both cycling friendly and well, anything related to food. For example, Umami. I am fascinated by the flavoring. How can I make it germane to this blog? I digress. Onward to:

The Jersey Pocket: Oatmeal Pan Bread (adapted from Jacques Pepin). Chef Pepin is a living legend in my opinion. He has done more for American cuisine than any "celebrity" chef today, and there are some very good ones. I strongly recommend his memoir "The Apprentice." I enjoy these and you can substitute for the apples and cranberries to tailor it to your taste.

3 Tbs. canola oil
1 cup of quick oatmeal
2 tsp. double acting baking powder
1 egg
1/2 cup dried apples, roughly chopped
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1 Tbs. light brown sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup skim milk

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a bowl, mix all the ingredients together except for the oil. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in an oven proof 8 inch skillet until hot (shimmering). Pour the mixture into the skillet and spread the remaining tablespoon of oil on top. After 20 minutes flip the bread over and bake an additional 5-8 minutes to brown the other side. Slide onto a plate and let cool. Cut into wedges and wrap two in a piece of foil paper. Pop into your jersey pocket and go.