This Week’s Guest Chef is Paul Grybowski, Restaurateur and Executive Chef (he is responsible for two of the hottest eateries in downtown St Thomas – Cafe Amici and Palm Passage Cafe). If one wanted to pin a one word specialty on Paul my guess would be “dough.” This guy is a wonder with breads, pastas, and anything else made with those seemingly innocuous ingredients of flour and water and not much else! If allowed to expand on specialties my next guess would be “Mediterranean Style.” Put them together, and following Paul’s credo of “fresh, fresh, fresh!,” and you’ve got one terrific meal. This week he’s got a good basic that can zip up any otherwise dreary meal – focaccia.
- 3 cups flour (all purpose or high gluten,i.e., bread flour)
- 1 tsp salt
- 4 packets active dry yeast
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 6-8 Tbsp water
- Your favorite herbs or garlic (optional)
Combine all dry ingredients. Add oil, then water, and mix. Knead dough until no longer sticky and feels silky to the touch. Let rise until doubled in size then form into oblong shape and sprinkle with herbs or garlic. Allow to rise a second time. Preheat oven to 425 degrees and bake for approximately 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Serve with extra virgin olive oil for dipping or drizzled over the top.
It’s so good you could make a meal of this all by itself (not overly balanced but so what – if you want balanced add a bowl of minestrone).