Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Poached Egg Over Asparagus

Poached Eggs Over Asparagus

When poaching eggs, use the freshest organic eggs you can find because fresh whites hold their shape best. Adding vinegar to the poaching water prevents the whites from spreading, and adding salt keeps the eggs buoyant.
4 Tbs. olive oil, divided
12 3/8-inch-thick baguette slices
1 clove garlic, halved
1 ½lb. asparagus spears, preferably thick
2 Tbs. distilled or white wine vinegar
1 tsp. salt
4 large eggs
1 Tbs. snipped chives
1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Place paper-towel-lined plate next to stove.
2. Spread 2 Tbs. oil over half of baking sheet. Arrange baguette slices in single layer on top of oil, and press down to coat 1 side with oil. Flip baguette slices over on baking sheet, and toast in oven 8 to 10 minutes, or until golden. Rub each toasted slice with garlic.
3. Bring 1 inch salted water to a boil in skillet over medium heat. Add asparagus; cook 3 to 5 minutes, or until crisp-tender. Drain, and keep warm.
4. Bring 2 qt. water, vinegar, and salt to a boil in 9-inch saucepan over medium heat. Crack 1 egg, and drop it into water, holding shell as close 
to surface as possible. Rapidly repeat with remaining eggs. Bring to gentle simmer. (Small bubbles should break surface of water around edges, not bubble up from bottom of pot.) Reduce heat to maintain temperature. Poach eggs 3 minutes. Transfer to prepared plate with slotted spoon.
5. Divide asparagus among 4 plates. Top each serving with 1 poached egg. Drizzle with remaining 2 Tbs. olive oil. Season with salt and pepper (if desired), sprinkle with chives, and garnish with toasted baguette slices.   Serves 4

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Roasted Fennel with Parmesan Vinaigrette

Roasted Fennel with Parmesan Vinaigrette

Serves 4

Roasting fennel concentrates its natural sweetness. A sprinkling of Parmesan gives it a crunchy crust.

  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced (4 tsp.)
  • 1 Tbs. red wine vinegar
  • ½ tsp. Dijon mustard
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ⅛ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 medium fennel bulbs, quartered
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
1. Preheat oven to 425°F. Coat baking sheet or roasting pan with cooking spray.
2. Blend oil, garlic, vinegar, mustard, salt, and pepper in mini food processor until smooth. Toss fennel with oil mixture and Parmesan in large bowl.
3. Place fennel on prepared baking sheet, and roast 35 to 40 minutes, or until fennel quarters are tender and outer edges are golden brown.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Warm Salad With Lemon Vinagrette

Warm Salad With Lemon Vinagrette

Serves 4

The vegetables for this light supper salad are added to the pot gradually so that they finish cooking at the same time.

  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 Tbs. lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. finely grated lemon zest
  • 1 tsp. honey
  • ½ tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1 ¾ cups mushroom broth or low-sodium vegetable broth
  • ¾ cup pearl barley
  • 1 small fennel bulb, trimmed and quartered lengthwise
  • ¼ lb. green beans, trimmed (1 cup)
  • ¼ lb. baby carrots, halved lengthwise (1 cup)
  • ¼ lb. asparagus (6–7 spears), trimmed, or 1 small zucchini, cut in 3/8-inch rounds
  • ¼ lb. sugar snap peas, strings removed (1 cup)
  • 8–10 small romaine lettuce leaves, torn
  • in pieces
1. To make Dressing: Whisk together all ingredients in small bowl. Set aside.
2. To make Salad: Bring broth and barley to a boil over medium heat in small saucepan. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and cook 30 to 35 minutes, or until broth is absorbed and barley is tender. Transfer to bowl, and keep warm.
3. Bring 2 inches salted water to a boil in wide (9-inch diameter) pot over medium heat. Add fennel, and bring to a gentle simmer. (Small bubbles should break surface of water around edges, not bubble up from bottom of pot.) Reduce heat to low, and poach 3 minutes. Add green beans and carrots, and poach 
1 minute. Add asparagus and snap peas, and poach 3 minutes more. Transfer vegetables to colander with slotted spoon. Refresh under cool running water 30 seconds.

4. Arrange lettuce leaves on each of 4 salad plates. Scoop heaping 1/2 cup barley in center, and arrange warm vegetables around it. Drizzle each serving with 1 Tbs. Dressing.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Pan Roasted Vegetables With Pasta

Pan-Roasted Vegetables With Pasta
This is a recipe from Cooks Country Recipe.     After adding the mushrooms, peppers, and onion to the skillet, we covered it to create a gentle steaming effect that produces nicely browned, tender vegetables. The ruffled nooks and crannies of campanelle pasta (also called bellflower) worked great in our Pasta with Pan-Roasted Vegetables, but fusilli or penne were acceptable substitutes.  This dish has an amazing flavor.

Serves 4

Cooking the vegetables on the stovetop over medium-high heat concentrates their flavor.
  • 5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 large portobello mushroom caps, halved and cut into 1/2-inch slices
  • 2 red bell peppers, seeded and chopped
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 5 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  •   Salt and pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 pound campanelle or fusilli or penne
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1. Bring 4 quarts water to boil in large pot. Heat 3 tablespoons oil in large skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add mushrooms, peppers, onion, 3 tablespoons vinegar, 1 teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon pepper to skillet and cook covered, stirring occasionally, until vegetables begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Uncover and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are tender and browned around edges, 10 to 12 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  • 2. While vegetables are cooking, add 1 tablespoon salt and pasta to boiling water and cook until al dente. Reserve ½ cup cooking water, drain pasta, and return to pot. Add cooked vegetables, remaining oil, and remaining vinegar to pot with pasta and toss to combine, adding reserved pasta water as needed. Stir in tomatoes and basil and season with salt and pepper. Serve.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Lemon Roasted Chicken with Rainbow Carrots & Fingerling Potatoes

Lemon Roasted Chicken with
Rainbow Carrots And Fingerling Potatoes
This is another dependable recipe from Williams and Sonoma.  I have visited the store "The Sign Of The Bear" which is the original Williams and Sonoma store in Sonoma CA.  It is a wonderful opportunity to peer into the latest high quality and most innovative kitchen ware.  It was where I was first introduced to Rosle kitchen tools.  They are tools with the highest quality of German design.  My kitchen is Rosle equipped the result.
1 chicken, about 4#
fleur de sel and freshly ground pepper, to taste
6 large fresh thyme, rosemary or sage sprigs
2 bay leaves
2 garlic cloves , smashed
1/2 lemon
2 TBS. unsalted butter at room temp.
1 1/2 lbs. rainbow carrots, peeled, tops trimmed 
   to 1 inch
1 lb. fingerling potatoes, halved lengthwise
2 TBS. olive oil
1/4 cup white wine
Remove and discard fat from Chicken cavity.  Rinse chicken inside and out.; pat dry.  Lightly season cavity with salt and pepper.  Place 4 herb sprigs, 1 bay leaf, garlic and lemon inside cavity.  Tuck wings behind back  Using chicken twine, lift neck end of breast; pull twine around wings and under chicken.  Bring ends of twine up over breast; cross over leg at leg end of breast; pulling tight.  Bring ends of twine around drumsticks; tie in knot.  Let chicken stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 475 F.
Rub putside of chicken with butter, generously season with salt and freshly ground pepper.  In large bowl, stir  carrots, potatoes, oil, 2 herbs, 1 bay leaf, salt and pepper.  Transfer to base of the chicken roaster.  Pour wine into resevoir.  Pour wine into Resevoir of roaster.  Place chicken with leg end first and breast side up, onto suspension are.  Transfer to oven roast. stirring vegetables half way through, until instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh, away from the bone, registers 170 f, about 45 minutes.
 Transfer chicken to cutting board; cover loosely with foil.  Let rest 10 minutes.  Carve chicken; arrange on warmed platter with vegetables.  Serve immediately.  Serves 2 to 4.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Peanut Butter Nutella Thumbprint Cookies

                   Peanut Butter Nutella Thumbprint Cookies
Makes about 1 dozen

1 cup smooth peanut butter
1 cup sugar, plus more for coating the cookies
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon all-natural vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In the meantime, combine peanut butter, sugar, egg, baking powder, vanilla and cinnamon. Stir to combine well. 
2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Scoop batter 1 tablespoon at a time, rolling into a ball. Roll the ball of dough in sugar. Place on prepped baking sheet and press down in the middle with your thumb to make a thumbprint.
3. Bake for 7 minutes. Remove cookies from oven, but keep the oven set at 350. Your thumbprint will have puffed up, but will still be there. Using the back of the small spoon press the thumbprint back down and fill the depression with Nutella. I find that filling the well to the top is a little too much; fill it just short of the top.
4. Return cookies to the oven and continue baking for another 3 minutes. 
5. Remove cookies from oven and allow to cool on the sheet for 1-2 minutes until you are able to transfer them to a cooling rack. Finish cooling completely on the rack and serve. To store, layer cookies in between sheets of wax paper; they will keep in an airtight container for up to a week.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Brioche Bread Braided

This is a recipe from my friend in Germany.  She posted the photo on Facebook.  I asked to shre her recipe which she happily obliged.  I will convert grams to cups and post later.  Please check back  Meli says it is a type of brioche.  It looks delicious.

The dough:
500 gr of flour
20 gr of yeast
80 gr of sugar
1/4 litre of milk
2 eggs
80 gr of melted butter
1/2 spoon of salt
Put all the flour in a bowl and make a little hole on top. Put yeast in it and a little sugar and some spoons of milk. Stirr a little and cover with flour. Let rest for 15 minutes.
Put the rest of the ingredients in and mix together with hands. "Hit" (knead) the dough as well until soft and simmering. Let rest for 30 minutes.
When the dough has doubled in size, form as you like. I made a braid. Stir milk and an egg and brush on the dough. Then put it in the oven and bake for about 45 minutes. Temperatur: 200 Celsius.
I hope it's understandable what I wrote...You can use my facebook picture if you like.
Love, Meli

Friday, March 15, 2013

White Bean and Kale Soup

White Bean and Kale Soup
This is a recipe from my magazine Vegetarian Cooking which is a great source for low fat nutritious food.
  • 1 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 small onion, halved and thinly sliced (1 cup)
  • 3 cups chopped kale
  • 1 small garnet yam, peeled and diced (1 cup)
  • 1 Tbs. smoked sweet paprika, plus more for garnish
  • 1 Tbs. curry powder
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 2 15.5-oz. cans great Northern beans, drained and rinsed, divided
  • 2 Tbs. red wine vinegar
1. Heat oil in saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, and cook 8 minutes, or until lightly caramelized, stirring often.
2. Add kale, and cook 4 to 5 minutes, or until wilted. Stir in yam, paprika, curry powder, and bay leaf; cook 1 minute more, or until fragrant.
3. Add broth, and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low, and cook 30 minutes, or until kale and yam are tender. Purée 1 cup beans with 3/4 cup water in blender or food processor. Add purée and remaining beans to soup. Simmer 10 minutes, then stir in vinegar. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle each serving with paprika.  Serves 6

Monday, March 11, 2013

Split Pea, Fennel, and Spinach Soup

split pea fennel and spinach soup

This vibrant soup makes great use of leftover fennel stalks.
  • 2 cups chopped fennel (1 bulb or 
5 fennel stalks, fronds removed)
  • 1 large onion, chopped (2 cups)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced (1 Tbs.)
  • 1 cup dry white wine, divided
  • 15 oz. dried green split peas
  • 1 tsp. fennel seeds, divided
  • ½ tsp. dried thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 5 oz. baby spinach leaves
1. Heat saucepan coated with cooking spray over medium heat. Add fennel and onion, and sauté 8 minutes. Stir in garlic, and cook 30 seconds. Add 1/2 cup wine, and simmer 2 minutes. Add split peas, 1/2 tsp. fennel seeds, thyme, bay leaf, and 7 cups water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer 50 minutes, stirring occasionally.
2. Add remaining 1/2 cup wine, and cook, uncovered, 10 minutes, or until split peas are tender. Stir in spinach, and cook 2 minutes, or until spinach is wilted.
3. Remove bay leaf, and purée soup with immersion blender until smooth. Season with salt and pepper, if desired. Toast remaining 1/2 tsp. fennel seeds in small skillet 2 minutes, or until fragrant. Serve soup garnished with toasted fennel seeds.  Serves 8

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Multi Grain Bread

Multi Grain Bread
Published March 1, 2006 American Test Kitchen. 
Makes two 9 by 5-inch loaves. 

Don't confuse 7-grain hot cereal mix with boxed, cold breakfast cereals that may also be labeled "7-grain." Our favorite brands of 7-grain mix are Bob's Red Mill and Arrowhead Mills. Leftover bread can be wrapped in a double layer of plastic wrap and stored at room temperature for 3 days; wrap with an additional layer of aluminum foil and the bread can be frozen for up to one month.
6 1/4 ounces 7-grain hot cereal mix , 1 1/4 cups, (see note above)
20 ounces boiling water (2 1/2 cups)
15 ounces unbleached all-purpose flour (3 cups), plus extra for dusting work surface
7 1/2ounces whole-wheat flour (1 1/2 cups)
4 tablespoons honey
4 tablespoons unsalted butter , melted and cooled slightly
2 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
1 tablespoon table salt
3/4 cup pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds, (unsalted)
1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats or quick oats

1. Place cereal mix in bowl of standing mixer and pour boiling water over it; let stand, stirring occasionally, until mixture cools to 100 degrees and resembles thick porridge, about 1 hour. Whisk flours in medium bowl.

2. Once grain mixture has cooled, add honey, melted butter, and yeast and stir to combine. Attach bowl to standing mixer fitted with dough hook. With mixer running on low speed, add flours, 1/2 cup at a time, and knead until dough forms ball, 1 1/2 to 2 minutes; cover bowl with plastic and let dough rest 20 minutes. Add salt and knead on medium-low speed until dough clears sides of bowl, 3 to 4 minutes (if it does not clear sides, add 2 to 3 tablespoons additional 
all-purpose flour and continue mixing); continue to knead dough for 5 more minutes. Add seeds and knead for another 15 seconds. Transfer dough to floured work surface and knead by hand until seeds are dispersed evenly and dough forms smooth, taut ball. Place dough into greased container with 4-quart capacity; cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise until doubled, 45 to 60 minutes.
3. Adjust oven rack to middle position; heat oven to 375 degrees. Spray two 9 by 5-inch loaf pans with nonstick cooking spray. Transfer dough to lightly floured work surface and pat into 12 by 9-inch rectangle; cut dough in half crosswise with knife or bench scraper. Follow illustrations 1 through 3 below to shape loaves and coat with oats; cover lightly with plastic wrap and let rise until almost doubled in size, 30 to 40 minutes. (Dough should barely spring back when poked with knuckle.) Bake until internal temperature registers 200 degrees on instant-read thermometer, 35 to 40 minutes. Remove loaves from pans and cool on wire rack before slicing, about 3 hours.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Glazed Salmon

Glazed Salmon

Published January 1, 2011.  From Cook's Illustrated.
 Why this recipe works: Teriyaki-inspired glaze complemented the fatty salmon and stuck to the fish thanks to a little cornstarch, which we sprinkled, along with brown sugar and salt, onto the exterior of the glazed salmon.

Serves 4

Use center-cut salmon fillets of similar thickness so that they cook at the same rate. The best way to ensure uniformity is to buy a 1 1/2- to 2-pound whole center-cut fillet and cut it into 4 pieces. Prepare the glaze before you cook the salmon. If your nonstick skillet isn't ovensafe, sear the salmon as directed in step 2, then transfer it to a rimmed baking sheet, glaze it, and bake the salmon as directed in step 3.


  • 1 teaspoon light brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 4 center-cut skin-on salmon fillets, 6 to 8 ounces each (see note)
  • Ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 1 recipe glaze (see related)


  1. 1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 300 degrees. Combine brown sugar, salt, and cornstarch in small bowl. Pat salmon dry with paper towels and season with pepper. Sprinkle brown sugar mixture evenly over top of flesh side of salmon, rubbing to distribute.
  2. 2. Heat oil in 12-inch ovensafe nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until just smoking. Place salmon, flesh side down, in skillet and cook until well browned, about 1 minute. Using tongs, carefully flip salmon and cook on skin side for 1 minute.
  3. 3. Remove skillet from heat and spoon glaze evenly over salmon fillets. Transfer skillet to oven and cook until center of thickest part of fillets registers 125 degrees on instant-read thermometer and is still translucent when cut into with paring knife, 7 to 10 minutes. Transfer fillets to platter or individual plates and serve.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Crepe Recipe

Our oldest daughter Mary who is known for her Nutella Crepes shared these recipes.
Recipe 1:  This recipe produces: from 10 to a dozen crêpes sucrees with a diameter of 6 inches or 16+ crepes with a diameter between 4-5 inches.
Three egg yolks
3/4 cups of cold water
3/4 cups of cold milk
One cup of flour (wheat or all-purpose flour)
1 tablespoon (tblsp) of sugar (preferably granulated)
3 tablespoons (tblsps) of liqueur (foe. Cointreau), Brandy or Rum
5 tablespoons of butter (melted)

Recipe 2: This recipe produces: between 16-24 thin crepes sucrees with a diameter of 6 inches.
Three well-sized eggs
1 ½ cups of milk
1 cup and 1 tablespoon of all-purpose flour (or wheat flour)
2 tblsps of sugar
1/2 tblsps of pure vanilla extract
3 tblsps of melted butter (may be replaced by oil)

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Easiest Way To Skin Hazelnuts

Easiest Way To Skin Hazelnuts
The most common way to remove skins of hazelnuts is to toast them and then rubbing in a towel.  It can still leave some skin stubbornly hanging on.  Here's a better approach.  Boil 1 cup of untoasted hazelnuts in 2 cups water with 3 Tablespoons baking soda for 3 minutes.  Transfer the nuts to a bowl of ice water with a slotted spoon, drain, and slip the skins off with a towel.
The hot alkaline water quickly breaks down the pectin, the primary component in the skins, allowing them to peel off not only more easily but also completely.  Place nuts to dry in an oven with a very low setting, shaking the pan frequently to rotate the nuts.