CHEF DEZ: How to add a little pepper to your holiday side dish

Madagascar peppercorns add some zest to this easy quick bread

  • Feb. 2, 2020 1:00 a.m.

People are always amazed when I say I make fresh bread, hot out of the oven, for Christmas dinner.

“How do you find the time?” they always ask. My secret is this recipe for Peppered Cheese Bread. Although it is not a yeast bread (it is a quick bread with baking powder), it is still savory, delicious, and perfect with any holiday meal.

To make it even faster to prepare at mealtime, I prepare ahead the two parts (dry and wet) and keep them separate and covered in the refrigerator. Then at the time of baking, I prepare the pans, combine the 2 parts, and bake.

One of the great conveniences of doing this recipe to serve with a turkey, is that the oven will be preheated and empty while the turkey rests. In case you didn’t know already, large pieces of meat should rest for a period of time once out of the oven to help keep the juices inside. A turkey should rest (covered under foil) for at least 30 minutes. The resting time, and the time it takes you to get the stuffing out of the bird and do the carving, will give you more than enough opportunity to bake this bread and rest it.

Soft canned Madagascar green peppercorns are optional, but well worth it if you can find them. They’re usually reserved for sale at specialty markets.

Also, make sure you prepare your pan properly and thoroughly in step 1 otherwise you will find it difficult to get the bread out of the pan when done.

Peppered Cheese Bread – Makes one 9-inch round loaf

“A quick bread with tons of cheese and pepper flavours! For best results make sure you use old cheddar and fresh cracked black pepper.”

  • 2 cups flour (plus more for dusting)
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 ½ (one and one half) tsp salt
  • 1 ½ (one and one half) tsp freshly cracked pepper
  • 1 tbsp soft green Madagascar peppercorns, drained, optional
  • 2 cups grated old cheddar cheese
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 tbsp melted butter
  • More pepper for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare a 9-inch pie plate with baking spray and then dust it with flour.

In a large bowl combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and pepper. Toss in the green peppercorns and 1.5 cups of the grated cheese (while reserving the remaining 1/2 cup of cheese for step 5) to thoroughly coat with the flour mixture.

In a separate bowl mix together the eggs, milk, and melted butter.

Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture. Stir until just combined and spread the mixture into the prepared pie plate.

Top with the remaining 1/2 cup cheddar and more freshly cracked pepper.

Bake for approximately 30 to 35 minutes until the bread is solid and the cheese has browned slightly on top.

Let cool in the pie plate for at least 10 minutes before trying to remove it, and then let cool thoroughly on a cooling rack.

Chef Dez is a food columnist and culinary instructor based in the Fraser Valley. Visit him at www.chefdez.com.

cookingFood

Just Posted

Group continues to pull sunken, abandoned wrecks from Salish Sea

Dead Boats society inching towards 89 wrecks pulled from Capital Regional waters

People tab ‘Roaring ’20s’ as theme for Parksville sand sculpting competition

‘Topsy Turvy’ and ‘Celebrate!’ also considered for 2020 beach festival event

Port promoting tourism excursions for cruise ship passengers in Nanaimo

Port authority develops partnerships in advance of six ships arriving in 2020

Captain says nothing beats VIU volleyball program

Graduating player Andrea Cankovic has three national titles and isn’t quite done yet

Don’t be blinded by love: Saanich police warn of online dating red flags

Canadians lost about $25 million to romance scams in 2018

HIGHLIGHTS: Day one and two at the 2020 BC Winter Games

Athletes had sunny – but cold – weather to work with in Fort St. John

Zamboni driver, 42, earns NHL win over Maple Leafs

Emergency goalie called into action for Carolina Hurricanes

Governor general says multiple solutions needed for ‘complicated’ overdose issue

Julie Payette met at a fire hall with firefighters and police officers as well as politicians and health experts

Court awards Nanaimo woman $300,000 after crash exacerbates her fibromyalgia

Judgment follows 2015 motor vehicle accident on Turner Road

Landlord ordered to pay $11K after harassing B.C. mom to move days after giving birth

Germaine Valdez was pressured to move just a few days after giving birth by C-section to her child

Heart attacks strike B.C. husband and wife just over one year apart

Courtenay couple share personal stories to bring awareness to heart month

‘Nothing surprises us anymore:’ U.S. border officials find brain in package

U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents found the brain packed in a glass mason jar in a Canada Post shipment

B.C., Ottawa sign sweeping 30-year deal for northern caribou habitat

West Moberly, Saulteau co-manage new protection on two million acres

Eyes on police after Trudeau orders blockades torn down, injunctions enforced

The RCMP in B.C. have sent a letter to the traditional leaders of the Wet’suwet’en Nation

Most Read