Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Shortbread Cookies

Shortbread Cookies
The classic recipe. Do not allow the dough to form a ball in the food processor because the cookies will be better if kneaded together by hand. If you do not have a food processor, make them by hand cutting the butter in by hand cutting the butter into the flour.

3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup rice flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups cold unsalted butter, cubed

Preheat oven to 275F.

Add sugar into food processor. Turn on and off twice to grind sugar finer. add flour, rice flour and salt to food processor. Add cold butter and process until combined. Do not form into a ball in the food processor.

Scrape mixture into a bowl and knead together to form the dough. Divide the dough into thirds and roll each third into circles about 1/2-inch thick.

Using a 2-inch cookie cutter, cut dough into rounds. Place on uncreased cookie sheet and prick each round with a fork.

Bake in center of oven for 25 to 35 minutes or until a creamy color. The shortbread will not be firm. It hardens as it cools.

Remove from oven and cool on cookie sheets. Keep in airtight containers for up to one month.

Makes about 40 cookies.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Oven Crisp Potatoes

Oven Crisp Potatoes


3 pounds small red or white potatoes
1/4 cup good olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon Freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons minced garlic (6 cloves
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley

Monday, September 18, 2017

Grilled Cheese, Apple And Pork Sandwich

Grilled Cheese, Apple And Pork Sandwich

1 2- to 3-lb pork shoulder
6 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black peppercorns
1 lime, juiced
1 lemon, juiced
2 oranges, juiced
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 medium onion, minced
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp oregano
3 Granny Smith apples, cored
2 baguettes
8 oz Gold cheese
12 oz Gruyère cheese
12 oz Swiss cheese
1/4 cup butter
Grainy mustard, Dijon or mayonnaise (for serving)

Combine first 11 ingredients in a zippered bag. Refrigerate for 24 hours.

Preheat oven to 360°F. Place pork and marinade in roasting pan. Roast 2 1/2 to 3 hours, basting every 30 minutes. Allow pork to cool. Slice thinly.

Slice baguette lengthwise and butter inside and out. Slice cheeses and layer on both sides of baguette. Thinly slice apples and lay on top of cheese. Lay sliced pork over the apples. Fold baguette and slice into desired number of sandwiches.

Toast or press each sandwich in a panini grill until cheese melts and meat is warmed through. To grill multiple sandwiches at once, preheat oven to 350°F (175°C).  
Wrap sandwiches in greaseproof paper and place on baking sheet. Place another baking sheet, topped with a heavy ovenproof dish, on top of sandwiches. Heat 15 to 20 minutes until cheese melts and meat is warm.

Serve sandwiches with mustard and mayonnaise on the side.

Makes approximately 4 sandwiches, about 8-inches each, with plenty of leftover pork.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Asian Pork With Sriracha Mayonnaise And Broiled Green Onions

Asian Pork With Srirachi Mayonnaise
And Broiled Green Onions
Sriracha is a tangy chili sauce made from puréed chili peppers, vinegar, sugar and garlic. It adds spiciness and depth of flavour to all it touches. It’s combined here with the mayonnaise to add spice and personality.

1 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp lime or lemon juice
1 tbsp + 2 tsp vegetable oil
½ tsp sugar
1½ lbs pork tenderloin, cut in half
8 green onions, ends trimmed
and halved lengthwise
Salt to taste
1 cup peeled, diced English cucumber
1 large plum tomato, cored and diced
¼ cup fresh cilantro, coarsely chopped
1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
¼ cup mayonnaise
2 tsp Sriracha sauce, or to taste
4 large submarine-style buns

1 In a glass baking dish, stir together sesame oil, soy sauce, lime juice, 1 tbsp vegetable oil and sugar. Add pork pieces and turn to coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours to marinate.

2 Heat oven to 375°F.

3 Cover pork with foil. Cook pork until internal temperature reads 150°F, about 40 minutes, depending on thickness. Set aside and let rest.

4 Heat broiler to high.

5 Place onions on a baking sheet and drizzle with 2 tsp vegetable oil. Season to taste with salt. Broil on the middle rack for 1½ minutes and flip over; broil the second side until onions are nicely browned and softened, about another minute. Let cool slightly and finely chop.

6 In a small bowl, stir together cucumber, tomato, cilantro and vinegar.

7 In another small bowl stir together mayonnaise and Sriracha sauce.

8 To assemble the sandwich, slice the buns and generously smear mayonnaise on both sides of bread. Slice the pork and fill buns with pork slices, top with cucumber mixture and a generous amount of broiled onion.

Makes 4 sandwiches

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Honey Ginger Chicken With Fresh Plum Hoisin BBQ Sauce

1/4 cup hoisin sauce
2 T. soy sauce
2 T. honey
1 T. minced fresh ginger 

1 tsp. rice vinegar
1/2 tsp. Asian chili sauce (Sriracha)
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts or 8 boneless 

2 T. grapeseed or vegetable oil
1 to 2 large plums, quartered, pitted, and cut into      

    1/4-inch pieces
2 green onions, sliced

1. Preheat grill. Stir together hoisin, soy, honey, ginger, vinegar, garlic, and cayenne in a small saucepan. 

Trim chicken of all fat and unwanted tissue. Pound the chicken breasts to an even 1/2-inch thickness between two sheets of plastic wrap. Coat chicken with 3 tablespoons of the sauce and let stand at room temperature 30 minutes. 

Toss chicken with oil to coat and grill chicken for 4 to 5 minutes per side or until cooked through.

2. While chicken is cooking, bring remaining sauce to a simmer and cook until slightly thickened, about 2 minutes. Add plums and simmer, stirring, 3 more minutes. 

Serve chicken topped with Plum Sauce and sprinkled with green onions. 

Friday, September 15, 2017

Old Fashioned Apple Dumplings

Old Fashioned Apple Dumplings
This recipe was shared by a mennonite friend who sends a quarterly newsletter.  Rachael includes a couple of recipes and this was one of her selections.

6 med. sized baking apples
2 cups flour 
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup shortening
1/2 cup milk
2 cups brown sugar
2 cups water
1/4 cup butter
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon or nutmeg, optional

Pare and core apples, leave whole.
To make pastry sift flour, baking powder and salt together.  Cutie shortening until particles are about the size of small peas.  Sprinkle milk over mixture and press together lightly, working dough enough only to hold together.

Roll dough as for pastry and cut into 6 squares and place an apple in each.

Fill cavity in apple with cinnamon and sugar mixture.

Pat dough around apple to cover it completely.  Fasten edges securely on top of apple.

Place dumplings 1 inch apart in a greased baking dish.  Pour over them the sauce made as follows,
Combine brown sugar, water, and spices.  Cook for 5 minutes, remove from heat and add butter.

Bake at 375F. for 35 TO 40 minutes.  Baste occasionally during baking.  Serve hot with rich milk or cream.  
Recipe of Rachael Burkholder.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Swedish Seed Crackers

Swedish Seed Crackers
1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds
1/2 cup white sesame seeds
1/2 cup flax seeds
1 cup rice flour
1/4 cup olive oil
1 cup boiling water
1 teaspoon salt, more or less

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Line a 12 x 16 baking sheet with parchment paper.

Add rice flour in a bowl and add olive oil and boiling water, stir to well mixed.  Add seeds and mix thoroughly.

Press mixture into the baking sheet and salt lightly.

Bake 55 to 60 minutes or until golden brown.  When cool cut into serving pieces.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

V-8 Juice

V-8 Juice
This recipe comes from a mennonite friend who sends a quarterly newsletter.  Her latest letter describes her married daughters and daughters-in-law coming home and everyone in the kitchen canning.  At the end of day the girls all return to their home with the number of jars they think they can use.  They sure live in peace and harmony!

1 heaping 10 quart kettle of tomatoes
1 onion
4 carrots
1/2 sweet red pepper
3 cloves garlic OR 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
2 tablespoons salt
1/2 teaspoon lemon pepper seasoning
2 beets 
1 green pepper
3 stalks celery
1 tablespoon dried parsley
1/2 cup sugar (optional)

Cook tomatoes in a large kettle and all other vegetables in second one as they take longer to cook.  Put through a food strainer.  Fill jars with juice leaving a space at top and process in hot water bath for 30 minutes.
Recipe of Rachael Burkholder.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Winery Beef Braised With Roots

Winery Beef Braise With Roots

Buy your meat from a butcher and have it cut into 2-inch (5-cm) chunks. Prepackaged stewing beef is sometimes cut in different sizes, adversely affecting the outcome of this braise. Vary the vegetables as you prefer, but cut them all into a similar size. Buy tarragon vinegar, or make your own: bring 1 cup (250 mL) white wine vinegar to simmer, pour onto 8 sprigs or ½ cup (125 mL) fresh tarragon in a heatproof dish, let cool to room temperature, store in jar in the fridge for up to 6 months.  
Recipe of Lucy Waverman

4 lbs beef chuck, cut in 2 inch (5 cm) cubes
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 tsp chopped thyme
3 tbsp vegetable oil, divided
2 cups diced onion
2 tsp chopped garlic
1 cup red wine
4 cups beef stock
1 can tomatoes, crushed
3 tbsp tarragon vinegar
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp sriracha
1 bay leaf
1½ lbs carrots, peeled, about 5 carrots
1 lb parsnips, peeled, about 3 parsnips
¾ lb rutabaga, peeled, about ½ a rutabaga
½ small head green cabbage, core trimmed
2 tbsp chopped parsley

Preheat the oven to 300°F.

Season meat with salt, pepper and thyme. Heat 2 tbsp oil on high heat in a heavy Dutch oven. Working in batches, brown meat on all sides, about 1 minute per side. Remove and reserve.

Add remaining oil and reduce heat to medium. Add onions and cook, stirring, until softened, about 3 minutes, scraping up any bits from the bottom of the pan. Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Pour in wine and bring to the boil. Add stock, tomatoes, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, sriracha and bay leaf. Return to a boil, then return meat to pan. Cover and bake in the oven for 2 hours. 

Prepare vegetables while meat cooks. Chop carrots and parsnips on a bias into 1-inch pieces. Cut any larger pieces in half diagonally. Cut rutabaga into 1-inch slices (they will look like half-moons). Cut each half-moon into 1-inch pieces, mimicking the shape of chopped carrots and parsnips. Slice cabbage through the core into ½-inch wedges.

Remove bay leaf. Add carrots, parsnips and rutabaga. Cover and cook for 45 minutes longer, or until the vegetables are almost tender.

Stir in cabbage. Cover and cook for 30 to 45 minutes more or until all vegetables are soft and beef is fork-tender. Taste for seasoning, adding salt and pepper as needed. Scatter with parsley.

Serves 12

Monday, September 11, 2017

Chilled Tomato Curry Soup With Cashew Cream

Chilled Tomato Curry Soup
With Cashew Cream 

Cold soup is one of my favorite things about summer. This one takes advantage of gorgeous local and seasonal plum tomatoes (really the only kind worth eating at all) and pairs them with raw cashew cream for a virtuous vegan soup that will satisfy everyone.

Ingredients:2½ lbs (1.25 kg) ripe plum tomatoes (10 to 12 tomatoes), halved
2 tbsp grape-seed or sunflower oil
1 Vidalia, or other sweet onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped or grated
2 tsp. finely grated ginger
1 small fresh cayenne, or ½ bird’s-eye chili, seeded and chopped
1 tsp garam masala
1½ tsp ground turmeric
1¼ tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1½ cups water
2 to 3 tbsp lime juice
1¼ tsp salt
Freshly ground pepper to taste

½ cup (125 mL) raw cashews, soaked overnight in enough water to cover
¼ cup (60 mL) water
2 tbsp (30 mL) lime juice
¼ tsp (1 mL) salt
1 small clove garlic

Using a coarse box grater set over a large bowl, press cut side of tomatoes against holes and grate flesh; discard skins. Set aside.
Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat; fry onion until light golden, 6 to 7 minutes. Stir in garlic, ginger, cayenne or chili, and cook 1 minute longer. Add spices and stir to combine. Pour grated tomatoes, water, 2 tbsp (30 mL) lime juice over and season with salt. Boil for 30 minutes, covered. Using a blender, purée. Season with pepper to taste and add final 1 tbsp (15 mL) lime juice only if necessary. Chill overnight.

Meanwhile, make the cashew cream: combine cashews, water, lime juice, salt and garlic in a blender and process until very smooth; refrigerate until ready to serve the soup.

Divide soup between 6 chilled bowls and serve each with a swirl of the cream.

Serves 6

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Frangipane Filling

Frangipane Filling
Frangipane is a filling used in pastries,  and is a French delicacy.  I have a Pear Tart recipe with Frangipane posted on my blog from an earlier date.

1/4 cup brown butter
1/4 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla flavoring
1/2 teaspoon almond flavoring
1/4 cup almond flour
1 Tablespoon cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon salt

Melt butter and allow to become brown and nutty smelling.  Allow to cool.

Combine in food processor, brown butter, sugar, and egg.  Pulse until smooth.

Add vanilla flavoring, almond flavoring, almond flour, cornstarch, and salt.  Blend.

Ready to use or can be stored in a bowl with a tight seal for up to one week.

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Cashew Milk With Fresh Dates, Bananas, and Oats

Cashew Milk With Fresh Dates, 
Bananas, And Oats
This thick sweet drink invokes a childlike spirit.  Think: slurping sounds, liquid mustaches, and sitting cross-legged on kitchen countertop.  It provides the simple joy of a milkshake with none of the sugar and cream.

1 cup raw cashews, soaked overnight in the water
3 cups filtered or spring water, cold
2 tablespoons rolled oats
9 Medjool dates, pitted
2 frozen bananas
Scant pick of sea salt.

Drain the cashews and add them to a high-speed blender, add the water.  Blitz for a full minute or until the nuts are pureed.  Add the remaining ingredients and blend until thoroughly combined; thin with a tablespoon or two of water, if desired.

This beverage keeps for a day or two without a loss of flavor; just simply refrigerate in a sealed container and shake well before serving.

Friday, September 8, 2017

Old Fashioned Banana Cream Pie

Old Fashioned Banana Cream Pie

1 (9 inch) pie crust, baked
3 cups whole milk
3⁄4 cup white sugar
1⁄3 cup all-purpose flour
1⁄4 teaspoon salt
3 egg yolks, slightly beaten
2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 bananas

Prepare a baked 9-inch pie shell. In a large saucepan, scald the milk.
In another saucepan, combine the sugar, flour and salt; gradually stir in the scalded milk. Over medium heat, stirring constantly, cook until thickened. Cover and, stirring occasionally, cook for two minutes longer.

In a small bowl, have the 3 egg yolks, slightly beaten, ready; stir a small amount of the hot mixture into beaten yolks; when thoroughly combined, stir yolks into hot mixture. Cook for one minute longer, stirring constantly.

 Remove from heat and blend in the butter and vanilla. Let sit until lukewarm. 

When ready to pour, slice bananas and scatter in pie shell; pour warm mixture over bananas. If desired, make a meringue (you'll have 3 leftover egg whites) to top the pie, or just let the pie cool until serving.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Smoked Pork Ribs

Smoked Pork Ribs

Recipe adapted from Tom Davis’s resto-sized version for The Stockyards Smokehouse and Larder, Toronto

1 cup (250 mL) packed brown sugar
1 cup (250 mL) chilli powder
1 ½ tbsp (22 mL) sea salt
1 tbsp (15 mL) freshly ground black pepper
1 ½ tsp (7 mL) sweet paprika
1 ½ tsp (7 mL) garlic powder
1 tsp (5 mL) cayenne pepper
1 tsp (5 mL) hot pepper flakes
1 tsp (5 mL) dried oregano
½ tsp (2 mL) onion powder
½ tsp (2 mL) ground coriander
½ tsp (2 mL) ground cumin

2/3 cup (160 mL) apple juice
1/3 cup (80 mL) cider vinegar
2 tsp (10 mL) hot pepper sauce
¼ tsp (1 mL) sea salt

4 lb (2 kg) pork back ribs
4 cups (1 L) smoking chips, soaked in apple juice or water for at least 1 hour

3 cups (750 mL) ketchup
1/3 cup (80 mL) cider vinegar
3 tbsp (45 mL) Dry Rub (recipe above)
3 tbsp (45 mL) yellow mustard
2 tbsp (30 mL) molasses
2 tbsp (30 mL) honey
1 tbsp (15 mL) hot pepper sauce, or more to taste

For dry rub, combine all ingredients in a medium bowl. Spoon into an airtight container.

For mopping sauce, combine all ingredients in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring until salt dissolves. Remove from heat and let cool completely. Pour into a spray bottle.

For ribs, remove membrane from underside of ribs by loosening a corner with a sharp paring knife. Grasp the membrane with paper towels and pull gently but firmly to peel it off.

Rub ribs all over with enough of the dry rub to coat them. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 24 hours.

Just before grilling, drain half of wood chips, leaving remaining chips in liquid. Wrap drained chips in a double layer of foil, making a flat package and sealing edges well. Poke holes in top of package with a skewer. Put package under cooking grate directly over one burner of barbecue. Put a foil pan of water directly over other burner. (Alternatively, follow barbecue manual’s instructions for using wood chips.)

Use foil to seal any openings in your grill to help keep the smoke inside, but leave a small opening, if possible, near where you’ll put the ribs.

Preheat barbecue to high. After about 20 minutes, when chips are smoking, leave burner under chips on high and turn off remaining burner(s). Arrange ribs on unlit part of grill over pan of water. Close lid and adjust temperature of lit burner to maintain a temperature of about 225º to 250ºF (110º to 120ºC). Close lid and grill, without lifting lid, for 1 hour.

After 1 hour, drain remaining wood chips, wrap as before and place alongside first package directly over lit burner. Spray ribs with mopping sauce.

Repeat spraying process every hour, turning and rearranging ribs each time, until meat is very tender and starts to shrink from ends of bones, 4 to 4 ½ hours.

For barbecue sauce, combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer, uncovered and stirring occasionally, for flavours to blend, about 30 minutes. (Sauce will be runny.)

Serve ribs with barbecue sauce.
Serves 4 to 6

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Mushroom Risotto With Peas

Mushroom Risotto With Peas

Total:1 hr 10 min
Prep:10 min Cook:1 hr
Yield:6 servings
8 cups canned low-salt chicken broth
1/2-ounce dried porcini mushrooms
1/4 cup unsalted butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups finely chopped onions
10 ounces white mushrooms, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 cups Arborio rice or short-grain white rice
2/3 cup dry white wine
3/4 cup frozen peas, thawed
2/3 cup grated Parmesan
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, optional

Bring the broth to a simmer in a heavy medium saucepan. Add the porcini mushrooms. Set aside until the mushrooms are tender, about 5 minutes. Keep the broth warm over very low heat.

Melt the butter in a heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add olive oil. Add the onions and saute until tender, about 8 minutes. Add the white mushrooms and garlic. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the porcini mushrooms to a cutting board. Finely chop the mushrooms and add to the saucepan. Saute until the mushrooms are tender and the juices evaporate, about 5 minutes. Stir in the rice and let it toast for a few minutes. Add the wine; cook until the liquid is absorbed, stirring often, about 2 minutes. 

Add 1 cup of hot broth; simmer over medium-low heat until the liquid is absorbed, stirring often, about 3 minutes. Continue to cook until the rice is just tender and the mixture is creamy, adding more broth by cupfuls and stirring often, about 28 minutes (the rice will absorb 6 to 8 cups of broth). Stir in the peas. Mix in the Parmesan. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Monday, September 4, 2017

Mango And Strawberry Spinach Salad With Balsamic Candied Pecans

Mango And Strawberry Spinach Salad 
With Balsamic Candied Pecans
Serves 6.
Balsamic Dressing: 
3 T. balsamic vinegar
2 T. fresh orange juice
Dash hot pepper sauce
3 T. sugar
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 T. minced green onions
Salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup golden brown sugar
1 T. olive oil
1 T. balsamic vinegar
1 cup lightly toasted pecan halves
2-6 oz. bag baby spinach
1 mango, peeled and cubed
1 cup sliced ripe strawberries

1. For dressing, whisk vinegar, orange juice, hot pepper sauce and sugar in a small bowl.  Slowly whisk in the olive oil and then stir in the green onions.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Cover and refrigerate 30 minutes or up to 24 hours.

2.For pecans, line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Stir sugar, oil and vinegar in a heavy medium saucepan over medium heat until sugar melts and syrup bubbles, about 3 minutes.  Mix in pecans. Stir until nuts are warmed through and syrup coats nuts evenly, about 3 minutes.  Turn nuts out onto parchment and using a fork, separate nuts and cool completely.  (They keep 2 days.)

3. Place spinach in a salad bowl and top with mango cubes and strawberries.  Pour on half the dressing and gently toss to combine, adding more dressing just to  coat.  Divide salad among plates and sprinkle with a few candied pecans.

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Paleo Strawberry Cheesecake

Paleo Cheesecake
2 cups raw cashews
4 cups water, soaked overnight

In food processor, place,
1 cup almonds with
12 dates
Process till ground fine.  Spread in pan with removable sides

Place in food processor:
Raw cashews, drained
5 tablespoons lemon juice
1/3 cup honey
1/2 cup coconut oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
Process until well mixed and smooth.  

Add 2 cups fruit and blend in.   Spread over crust.  Freeze for 2 hours.

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Chicken Breast With Fresh Corn, Shallots, And Parsley

Chicken Breast With Fresh 
Corn, Shallots, And Parsley

4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
Salt to taste
Freshly ground pepper to taste
2 large ears of corn
2 tablespoons butter
¼ cup finely chopped shallots
½ cup dry white wine
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
⅔ cup heavy cream
¼ cup coarsely chopped fresh chervil or parsley

Sprinkle chicken breasts on both sides with salt and pepper.

Cut the kernels from the ears of corn. There should be about 1 cup. Set aside.

Heat butter in a skillet large enough to hold the breasts in one layer. Add the chicken, cook 3 minutes and turn. Cover and cook 5 minutes longer.

Transfer chicken pieces to a hot serving dish. To the skillet add shallots and cook briefly. Add wine and bring to the boil. Add the corn and stir in mustard.
Add cream and stir to blend. Bring to the boil and add the chervil or parsley. Pour and scrape the sauce over the chicken pieces and serve.

Friday, September 1, 2017

Nut And Seed Butter

Nut and Seed Butter

Yield:  3 cups
2 cups raw almonds, toasted
1 cup toasted unsalted sunflower seeds
1/4 cup macadamia oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup walnuts
1/4 chia seeds
2 tablespoons flaxseed meal

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Place 2 cups almonds in a single layer on a baking sheet.  Place the almonds in the oven and toast them for 15 minutes, moving them around a few times.

Allow the almonds to cool until they can be safely handled with bare hands, then transfer them to the bowl of you food processor, then add the sunflower seeds and the macadamia nuts, as well as the macadamia oil and salt.

Process for a total of 10 to 15 minutes, stopping to scrape the sides from time to time, until the butter becomes very smooth and creamy and fairly runny in consistency. 

Add the pumpkin seeds and walnuts and process until the nuts are reduced to tiny pieces.

Add the chis seeds and flax seed meal and resume processing until just incorporated.

Transfer to clean air tight glass jar and keep in a cool dry place for up to a few months.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Lebanese Baked Eggplant

Lebanese Baked Eggplant
a recipe from
2 medium-sized globe eggplant
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
1⁄2 cup pine nuts
1 pound ground beef or lamb
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1⁄4 teaspoon pepper
1 28 oz. can tomato sauce
1 cup shredded fresh mozzarella cheese (optional)

Cut eggplant in half crosswise, then cut lengthwise in 1⁄2 inch slices. Brush both sides of eggplant slices lightly with olive oil. Arrange on a baking sheet and broil eggplant in batches until deep mahogany brown, turning once to brown both sides.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a small frying pan, melt 1 tablespoon of butter. Add the pine nuts and cook until golden brown, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and set aside.

In a medium sauté pan, melt butter over medium low heat. Add chopped onion and cook over medium heat until translucent, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about a minute. Add the ground beef, breaking up the meat with a spoon. Season with salt, cinnamon, and pepper. Cook until meat is medium-well done, continuing to break up the meat into small pieces with a spoon.

Butter or spray a 9x13x2-inch baking or similar sized gratin dish with oil. Spread about 1⁄2 cup of tomato sauce in bottom of dish. Place eggplant slices over the sauce, covering as much surface area of the bottom of the dish as possible. Spoon 1⁄2 of the meat evenly over the eggplant and pour half of the remaining tomato sauce over the meat. Sprinkle with half of the pine nuts. Repeat, layering eggplant, meat, pine nuts, and tomato sauce. Finish with a layer of eggplant and cover with more tomato sauce. 

Note that this can be done in two layers of eggplant if you prefer (or if you don't have enough eggplant for three layers of it) by making a layer of eggplant and nuts, then meat, then eggplant and nuts on top.
Pour enough water along the sides of the dish to fill the gratin almost to the top (about 1/2-inch from the top). This is an important step or your sauce will be too thick.

Cover tightly with foil and bake for 1 1⁄2 hours. Remove foil and sprinkle with mozzarella cheese, if using. Bake for about 1⁄2 hour longer, uncovered, until cheese is bubbling and golden.

Remove from oven and serve immediately with rice, Lebanese pita bread, and a crisp Romaine salad. 

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Sardinian-Style Paella

Sardinian-Style Paella

Large pinch of saffron threads
6 1/2 cups warm water
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
3 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 pound fregola (2 1/4 cups)
1/2 pound chorizo, thinly sliced
1 cup canned diced tomatoes, drained
1 cup dry white wine
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 pounds large shrimp, shelled and deveined
2 pounds red snapper, cod or monkfish, cut into 2-inch pieces
1 pound mussels, scrubbed and debearded
1 pound cockles, scrubbed
2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley

How to Make It
Step 1
In a small bowl, crumble the saffron in 1/2 cup of the warm water and let stand for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a very large, deep sauté pan. Add the onion and garlic and cook over high heat, stirring, until lightly browned, 2 minutes. Add the fregola and chorizo and cook, stirring, until the chorizo releases some of its fat and starts to brown, about 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes, white wine, saffron and its soaking liquid and the remaining 6 cups of warm water to the sauté pan and bring to a boil. Stir in 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper, cover and cook over low heat until the fregola is very chewy and soupy, about 10 minutes.

Step 2
Season the shrimp and red snapper with salt and pepper and add them to the pan along with the mussels and cockles, nestling them into the fregola. Bring to a boil. Cover the pan and cook over low heat until the fregola is al dente, the fish is just cooked through and the mussels and cockles have opened, about 12 minutes longer.
Serves 6 to 8

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Farro Salad With Fried Cauliflower with Prosciutto

Farro Salad With Cauliflower and Prosciutto
! pound of Farro, washed and rinsed
2 carrots peeled and halved lengthwise
1 small onion, halved
1 celery rib, halved crosswise
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 bay leaf
Canola oil, for frying
2 large heads of cauliflower (2 1/2 pounds each), cut into 1-inch florets
1/2 pound prosciutto, sliced 1/4 inch thick and cut into 1/4-inch dice
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
5 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
2 teaspoons chopped marjoram
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

In a large saucepan, combine the farro, carrots, onion, celery, garlic and bay leaf. Add enough cold water to cover the farro by 1 inch and bring to a simmer over high heat. Reduce the heat to moderate and cook until the farro is tender but chewy, 15 minutes; drain. Spread the farro on a rimmed baking sheet to cool. Discard the carrots, onion, celery, garlic and bay leaf.

Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, heat 1 inch of canola oil over moderately high heat until a deep-fry thermometer registers 350°. Fry the cauliflower in batches until golden, 5 minutes per batch; drain.

In a bowl, mix the farro, cauliflower, prosciutto, olive oil, lemon juice and herbs. Season with salt and pepper and serve.

Serve With Green salad.

Suggested Pairing
Pair with a cherry-inflected Salice Salentino.