Gretchen Noelle at Canela & Comino is hosting an event featuring quick bread made from homegrown ingredients or having some sort of connection with your local area. As soon as I read the particulars of the event I remembered a quick bread I used to make many years ago: Cheese, Onion and Potato Bread. This is a very simple and tasty recipe which completely fits the bill except I couldn't really say that the ingredients are exactly New York specialities. However, on a recent Saturday morning stroll around the Union Square farmer's market I noticed that I could buy most of the ingredients there, from New York producers. So I decided to buy locally grown potato, thyme and spring onions, some eggs and a lovely-looking truncated pyramid of goats' cheese from a couple of upstate farms, and to make this my entry for the event.
Cheese, Onion and Potato Bread
4 oz firm goats' cheese (feta works too), cut into fairly small cubes (about 1/4")
5 spring onions, trimmed and sliced
1 red potato, grated
1 large egg
1 heaped tsp fresh thyme
2 tbsp milk
1 tsp salt
6 oz (1.5 cups) self-raising flour (or plain + 1 tbsp baking powder and 1/2 tsp salt)
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp grain mustard
Heat your oven to 375 degrees. Put the grated potato into a mixing bowl and sift the flour, salt and cayenne pepper onto it. Add the onions, thyme and 2/3 of the cheese. Mix thoroughly. Beat the egg with the milk and mustard, add it to the bowl and mix everything together thoroughly until you have a moist, rough dough. Be aware that this won't look or feel like regular dough: it will be much stickier. Fear not, this is normal. Get plenty of flour on your hands to stop sticking, then transfer the dough to a well-greased baking sheet and form into a rough round. Push the remaining cubes of cheese into the surface, evenly spaced, dust lightly with flour then bake in the centre of the oven for 40 - 45 minutes.
The result should be a small loaf with a rugged exterior and a soft, savoury interior, and it should taste wonderful. Fortunately this one did, even though it'd been something like twelve years since I last made this.