Thursday, August 17, 2017

Baked Apple Pudding

Steamed puddings have fallen out of fashion but try this oven-baked pudding - a light, apple-based dessert that will be enjoyed by young and old as a grand finale to a Christmas dinner. With it, you can serve a caramel sauce and a crème anglaise or just plain old-fashioned ice cream.
1/2 cup (125 mL) granulated sugar
1/4 cup (50 mL) water

1/2 cup (125 mL) butter
1/2 cup (125 mL) brown sugar
3 eggs
1/2 cup (125 mL) dried cranberries
1/2 cup (125 mL) pecans
2 tart apples, peeled and chopped
Grated zest and juice of 1 orange
1/2 cup (125 mL) apple cider
1/4 cup (50 mL) flour
1 1/2 cups (375 mL) fresh breadcrumbs
Pinch salt
1 tsp (5 mL) cinnamon


Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Butter a stainless steel or ovenproof china bowl about 6 cups (1.5 L) in size.

Combine sugar and water in heavy pot on medium heat. Heat until sugar has melted, bring to a boil and boil for 5 to 7 minutes or until caramel turns a golden color. Pour into prepared bowl, swirling to coat. Reserve.

Cream together butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs one at a time. Stir in cranberries, pecans, apples, orange zest and juice and apple cider.
In a separate bowl, combine flour, breadcrumbs, salt and cinnamon. Stir half of flour mixture into apple mixture until well blended then blend in remaining mixture.
Turn into the prepared bowl and cover with foil. Place in roasting pan. Pour hot water reaching halfway up sides of the bowl. Bake in centre of oven for 45 minutes. Remove foil and bake another 45 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean. Let cool slightly and turn out onto a serving plate. Serve warm or cold.

Serves 6

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Grilled Peaches With Coconut Cream

Grilled Peaches With Coconut Cream

1/2 cup (125 mL) full-fat coconut milk
2 tbsp (30 mL) granulated sugar
1/2 cup (125 mL) cold whipping cream
1/4 cup (50 mL) shaved or shredded unsweetened coconut
1 lime
6 medium to large peaches or nectarines
2 tbsp (30 mL) butter
1 tbsp (15 mL) granulated sugar
1 tbsp (15 mL) coconut oil (melted)

Stir coconut milk before measuring into a bowl; stir in sugar to dissolve. Cover and refrigerate until cold and thick, about 1 hour. 

Whip cream until peaks form; then whip in cold coconut milk. Cover and refrigerate until needed (cream holds nicely for several hours). 

Watching carefully, toast coconut, watching carefully, in a small frying pan over medium-low heat or under a broiler until golden; set aside.

Zest lime and squeeze juice separately; set aside.

When ready to serve, halve peaches and sprinkle with lime juice. Coat slices with oil and grill over medium heat until grill marks show and the peaches are tender but not falling apart.

Transfer to heatproof bowls and top with dollops of coconut cream; sprinkle with toasted coconut and lime zest. Serve immediately.

Serves 4

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Roasted Garlic Mushrooms

Roasted Garlic Mushrooms

Total Time: 37min
Prep: 12min
Cook: 25min
Serves: 4

1 pound(s) fresh mushroom(s), halved
1 spray(s) olive oil cooking spray
1/8 tsp table salt, or to taste
1/8 tsp black pepper, or to taste
1 clove(s), medium garlic clove(s), minced or pressed
1 Tbsp fresh thyme, minced
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar

Preheat oven to 450°F.

Arrange mushrooms in a single layer on a large jelly roll pan and coat with cooking spray; season to taste with salt and pepper. Roast mushrooms for 15 minutes and then turn mushrooms and roast for 5 to 10 minutes more, until cooked through.

Meanwhile, place garlic and thyme in a large bowl. When mushrooms are done cooking, immediately place in bowl and toss to coat with garlic and thyme. Add vinegar and toss again. Yields about 1 cup per serving.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Lemon Lavender Bundt Cake

 Lemon Lavender Bundt Cake
Serves: 8
½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1½ cups flour
2 large eggs
½ cup buttermilk
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon baking soda
1¼ teaspoon dried lavender
zest of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice
1¼ teaspoon of dried lavender buds
For the Glaze
1 cup of powdered sugar
2 teaspoons buttermilk
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
Spray a 6 cup bundt pan with baking spray. Set aside.
Place room temperature butter in a mixing bowl.
Place sugar in a small bowl with lemon zest.
Mash the lemon zest and sugar with the back of a spoon until the sugar becomes wet and fragrant.
Add sugar mixture to the butter and cream until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
Add eggs one at a time, until completely incorporated.
Combine buttermilk, vanilla extract and lemon juice in a measuring cup.
In a small bowl, mix flour, baking soda and salt.
Take the lavender buds and crush them with the tips of your fingers in the palm of your hand.
Add crushed lavender to flour mixture.
With the mixer on low, alternately add the flour mixture and the buttermilk mixture, beginning and ending with the flour mixture, in 3 additions.
Pour batter into prepared 6 cup bundt pan.
Smooth the batter evenly with the back of a spatula.
Bake for 40-50 minutes.
Check for doneness with a toothpick; it should come out clean.
Remove cake from pan when it has completely cooled.
Prepare glaze and spoon over the top of the cake.

To make glaze: mix powdered sugar, buttermilk, and fresh lemon juice in a small bowl. Combine until consistency is smooth. Pour or spoon over the top of the cake.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Peach Cobbler

      For the Pastry:
      3 cups sifted all-purpose flour (345 grams)
      1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
      1 teaspoon granulated sugar
      1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces and frozen for 10 minutes
      2 tablespoons lard or vegetable shortening, frozen for 10 minutes and cut into small pieces
      1 to 2 teaspoons granulated sugar, for sprinkling on top crust, optional
      For The Filling:
      8 cups firm but ripe peeled, sliced peaches
      ¾ cup granulated sugar
      2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
      ¼ teaspoon salt
      ½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
      4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter, thinly sliced

      Make the pastry: Set aside a small bowl of ice water. On a work surface, mound flour, salt and sugar, and mix to blend. Top with frozen butter and lard or shortening, and use a pastry cutter or your fingers to mix until it resembles coarse meal; some large pieces of the fats should still be visible.

    1. Quickly form a mound and, with your finger, draw a trench down the center. Sprinkle trench with 1 tablespoon ice water and fluff flour so it absorbs the water. Repeat three times, drawing trenches and sprinkling each with 1 tablespoon ice water, so 4 tablespoons of water have been incorporated. The dough should be starting to clump in large pieces. If necessary, add water by droplets until dough begins to form a mass.
    2. Gather dough with a pastry scraper. Working quickly, use the heel of your hand to smear an egg-size piece of dough by pushing it away from you. Continue with remaining dough (about 6 smears total), then gather dough again and repeat the process. Shape into 2 flat disks, and cover each in a double-thickness of plastic wrap, pressing wrapped disks to further shape and bind them. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.
    3. Roll out one chilled disk to 1/8-inch thickness, large enough to line and slightly overhang an 8-inch-square 2-inch-deep baking dish, or other shallow 2-quart pan. Trim to leave 1/2 inch of pastry above rim, refrigerating both pan and trimmings. Roll out remaining dough to about 1/8-inch thickness, to cover top of cobbler, again trimming and refrigerating excess dough. Slide top crust onto a plate, and refrigerate.
    4. Make the filling: Heat oven to 425 degrees. In a mixing bowl, toss together peaches, sugar, flour, salt and nutmeg. Place mixture in the crust-lined baking dish, and tuck chilled trimmings into the center and sides of the filling, scattering them throughout. Top with butter slices. Moisten rim of dough with water and slide flat pastry crust on top. Press edges of dough to seal, and cut a few 1-inch slits in top crust. If desired, sprinkle with sugar.
    5. Bake for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 375 degrees, and continue to bake until crust is deep golden brown and filling begins to bubble through slits, 30 to 40 more minutes. Cool cobbler on a rack until warm. If desired, serve with lightly sweetened whipped cream or ice cream.

    Saturday, August 12, 2017

    Triple Ginger Molasses Soft Cookies

    Triple Ginger Molasses Soft Cookies
    Wet 1 tablespoon flax-meal with
    2 tablespoons warm water
    1/4 cup organic non gmo oil or applesauce
    1/4 cup ground raw sugar
    3 tablespoons Blackstrap molasses
    Dry ingredients:
    1 1/2 cups spelt flour
    1 teaspoon baking powder
    1/4 teaspoon baking soda
    1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
    1/2 teaspoon ginger powder
    1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
    2 teas[poons grated ginger
    1/4 cup-1/3 cup crystallized candied ginger
        chopped small
    Raw sugar for coating
    In a bowl, mix flax meal with 2 tablespoons of water and let set for 5 minutes.  Whisk in the oil, molasses and sugar until well combined.

    In another bowl, mix the flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda, and all of the spices.  Add the wet to dry.  Add grated and candied ginger to the mix.  Press and mix into a dough.  It will take 2 to 3 minutes to form a dough.  Use hands if needed.

    The dough will be a non-sticky, not to hard dough.  Chill the dough for 15 minutes.

    Shape into flat disks.  Press the disks into sugar and place on parchment lined sheet.

    Bake in a preheated 350 oven for 12-13 minutes.  The cookies will be slightly soft in the center to the touch.

    Let the cookies cool completely on the counter (15 to 20 minutes), they will harden as they cool.

    Store in an airtight container for a few days.

    Note:  Add a generous pinch more cinnamon and cloves and add some nutmeg, for a spicier version.

    If you don't have candied ginger or fresh ginger, add a teaspoon more of ginger powder.

    Add water by spraying some on the dough if the dough is too dry and doesn't stick together.   

    Friday, August 11, 2017

    Chocolate Guinness Cake

    Chocolate Guiness Cake
    For the Cake:
    Butter for pan
    1 cup Guinness stout
    10 tablespoons (1 stick plus 2 tablespoons) unsalted butter
    ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa
    2 cups superfine sugar
    ¾ cup sour cream
    2 large eggs
    1 tablespoon vanilla extract
    2 cups all-purpose flour
    2 ½ teaspoons baking soda
    1 ¼ cups confectioners' sugar
    8 ounces cream cheese at room temperature
    ½ cup heavy cream
    For the cake: heat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9-inch springform pan and line with parchment paper. In a large saucepan, combine Guinness and butter. Place over medium-low heat until butter melts, then remove from heat. Add cocoa and superfine sugar, and whisk to blend.

    In a small bowl, combine sour cream, eggs and vanilla; mix well. Add to Guinness mixture. Add flour and baking soda, and whisk again until smooth. Pour into buttered pan, and bake until risen and firm, 45 minutes to one hour. Place pan on a wire rack and cool completely in pan.

    For the topping: Using a food processor or by hand, mix confectioners' sugar to break up lumps. Add cream cheese and blend until smooth. Add heavy cream, and mix until smooth and spreadable.
    Remove cake from pan and place on a platter or cake stand. Ice top of cake only, so that it resembles a frothy pint of Guinness.

    Thursday, August 10, 2017

    Hard Shell Taco

    Hard Shell Taco
    2 tablespoons neutral oil, like canola, peanut or grapeseed
    1 medium-size yellow onion, peeled and diced
    4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
    2 pounds ground beef
    2 tablespoons chile powder
    1 tablespoon ground cumin
    2 teaspoons kosher salt, or to taste
    2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper, to taste
    2 teaspoons cornstarch
    2 teaspoons smoked paprika (or substitute hot or sweet paprika)
    1 teaspoon crushed red-pepper flakes, or to taste
    1 cup chicken broth or beef broth, low-sodium if store-bought
    12-18 hard taco shells
    Toppings: grated cheese, sliced jalapeños, chopped tomatoes, shredded lettuce, sour cream, guacamole, etc.


    Place a large skillet over medium-high heat, and add the oil. When it begins to shimmer, add the onion, and cook until softened and starting to brown, approximately 5 to 7 minutes.

    Add the garlic, and cook for a minute or so to soften, and then the ground beef. Cook until the beef is starting to brown, stirring and chopping with a spoon to break up the meat, approximately 5 to 7 minutes. Pour off excess fat, leaving only a tablespoon or two in the pan.

    Heat oven to 325. Add the chile powder, cumin, salt, pepper, cornstarch, paprika and red-pepper flakes, and stir to combine. Add the broth, stir, bring to a simmer and cook uncovered until the sauce has thickened slightly, approximately 4 to 5 minutes.

    As sauce cooks, place taco shells on a sheet pan, and toast in oven until they are crisp and smell nutty. Serve a few tablespoons of meat in each taco, along with whatever toppings you like.

    Wednesday, August 9, 2017

    Carmel Pear Shortcakes With Whipped Cream And Butterscotch Sauce

     BUTTERSCOTCH SAUCE                        
    Serves 8.
    1 1/2 cups flour
     3 T. sugar
    1 T. plus 1/4 tsp. baking powder
    1/4 tsp. baking soda
    1/4 tsp. salt
    5 T. unsalted butter, cut into
        small cubes
    About 1 cup buttermilk

    Shortcake Topping:
    1/4 cup whole milk or cream
    1/4 cup sugar

    Pears and Whipped Cream:
    3 T. unsalted butter
    1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise and
        seeds scraped out
    6 Anjou or Red Bartlett pears, peeled,
        cored and cut into 1 inch cubes
    1 cup sugar, divided use
    2 cups cold heavy whipping cream
    1 tsp. vanilla

    Butterscotch Sauce:               
    3/4 cup light brown sugar
    1/2 cup light corn syrup
    2 T. unsalted butter
    Pinch salt
    1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
    1 tsp. vanilla
    1. For shortcakes, preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Whisk flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl.  Cut butter into mixture with a pastry cutter or your fingertips until butter is still visible but very small.  Gently stir in 1/2 cup of the buttermilk.  Keep stirring in more buttermilk until a soft dough is formed.

    2. Turn dough out onto a floured work surface and pat to a 1 1/4 inch thickness.  Cut out 8 (1 1/2 inch) circles with a metal cutter.  Place shortcakes on a parchment-lined baking sheet and brush tops with milk or cream and sprinkle with sugar.  Bake for 12 to 15 minutes; remove to a rack to cool

    3. For pears, melt butter in a large sauté pan over medium high heat.  Add the vanilla bean and seeds and pear cubes; cook until pears begin to brown, 8 to 10 minutes.  Stir in 2/3 cup sugar and continue to cook, stirring occasionally until apples are soft and caramelized. Whip cream with 1/3 cup sugar and vanilla; refrigerate. 

    4. For Butterscotch Sauce, combine brown sugar, corn syrup, butter and salt in a medium saucepan.  Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly.  Boil 1 minute; remove from heat and stir in cream and vanilla.

    5.    Split shortcakes and place bottoms on serving plates.  Divide pears among shortcakes and drizzle with Butterscotch Sauce; top with whipped cream and then the shortcake top.  Drizzle more Butterscotch Sauce on the plate as desired.

    Tuesday, August 8, 2017

    Chicken In A Pot With Preserved Lemon And Garlic

    Chicken In A Pot With

    Preserved Lemon And Garlic
    ½ salt-preserved lemon, rinsed well (see note)
    ¼ cup sugar
    ⅓ cup olive oil
    16 small peeled potatoes (white or sweet) or 2 large 

       peeled potatoes cut into 16 pieces
    16 small onions or shallots, peeled and trimmed
    8 carrots, peeled and quartered
    4 stalks celery, trimmed and quartered
    4 heads garlic, cloves separated but not peeled
    Salt and freshly ground pepper
    3 sprigs fresh thyme
    3 sprigs Italian parsley
    2 sprigs rosemary
    1 chicken, whole or cut up
    1 cup chicken broth
    ½ cup white wine

    Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Remove zest from preserved lemon and cut zest into small squares; save pulp for another use. Bring 1 cup water and the sugar to a boil, drop in zest and cook 1 minute; drain and set aside.

    Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add vegetables and garlic, season with salt and pepper and sauté until brown on all sides. (If necessary, do this in 2 batches.) Spoon vegetables into a 4 1/2- to 5-quart lidded Dutch oven and stir in herbs and lemon zest.

    Return skillet to heat, add another tablespoon of oil and brown chicken on all sides, seasoning it with salt and pepper as it cooks. Tuck chicken into casserole, surrounding it with vegetables. Mix together the broth, wine and remaining olive oil and pour it over chicken and vegetables.

    Mix flour with enough hot water (about 3/4 cup) to make a malleable dough. On a floured surface, work dough into a sausage; place dough on rim of casserole. Press lid onto dough to seal casserole. 

    Bake 55 minutes. To break seal, work the point of a screwdriver between pot and lid. If chicken is whole, quarter it. Chicken may be served in the pot or arranged with vegetables on a serving platter.

    Recipe of Dorie Greenspan.

    Monday, August 7, 2017


    Gougères are good straight from the oven and at room temperature. I like them both ways, but I think you can appreciate them best when they're still warm. Serve with kir, white wine, or Champagne.

    Ingredients (makes about 36 gougères)
    1⁄2 cup whole milk
    1⁄2 cup water
    8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
    1⁄2 teaspoon salt1 cup all-purpose flour
    5 large eggs, at room temperature
    11⁄2 cups coarsely grated cheese, such as Gruyère or cheddar (about 6 ounces; see above)
    Position the racks to divide the oven into thirds and preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with silicone baking mats or parchment paper.
    Bring the milk, water, butter, and salt to a rapid boil in a heavy-bottomed medium saucepan over high heat. Add the flour all at once, lower the heat to medium-low, and immediately start stirring energetically with a wooden spoon or heavy whisk. 
    The dough will come together and a light crust will form on the bottom of the pan. Keep stirring -- with vigor -- for another minute or two to dry the dough. The dough should now be very smooth.
    Turn the dough into the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or into a bowl that you can use for mixing with a hand mixer or a wooden spoon and elbow grease. Let the dough sit for a minute, then add the eggs one by one and beat, beat, beat until the dough is thick and shiny. Make sure that each egg is completely incorporated before you add the next, and don't be concerned if the dough separates -- by the time the last egg goes in, the dough will come together again. Beat in the grated cheese. Once the dough is made, it should be spooned out immediately.
    Using about 1 tablespoon of dough for each gougère, drop the dough from a spoon onto the lined baking sheets, leaving about 2 inches of puff space between the mounds.
    Slide the baking sheets into the oven and immediately turn the oven temperature down to 375 degrees F. Bake for 12 minutes, then rotate the pans from front to back and top to bottom. Continue baking until the gougères are golden, firm, and, yes, puffed, another 12 to 15 minutes or so. Serve warm, or transfer the pans to racks to cool.

    The best way to store gougères is to shape the dough, freeze the mounds on a baking sheet, and then, when they're solid, lift them off the sheet and pack them airtight in plastic bags. Bake them straight from the freezer -- no need to defrost -- just give them a minute or two more in the oven. Leftover puffs can be kept at room temperature overnight and reheated in a 350-degree-F oven, or they can be frozen and reheated before serving.

    Sunday, August 6, 2017

    Green Lentil Salad

    Green Lentil Salad

    Serves: 6-8
    4 cups cooked and cooled green lentils* (you could also use canned lentils)
    1 large carrot, finely diced
    2 lebanese cucumbers, finely diced
    ½ cup toasted unsalted sunflower seeds
    ¼ cup finely chopped parsley
    ¼ medium red onion, finely chopped
    2 cloves garlic, minced
    2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
    the juice of ½ lemon
    ½ tsp salt (I use Himalayan salt)
    ½ tsp ground black pepper

    Add all the ingredients to a large bowl and toss gently to combine.

    Serve immediately or place in the fridge for about an hour to allow flavors to meld.

    This salad will keep for up to a week in the refrigerator.

    Note: You will need 2 cups of dry lentils to get 4 cups cooked

    Saturday, August 5, 2017

    Chicken Salad With Bacon And Tomatoes

    Chicken Salad with 
    Bacon and Tomatoes

    Serves 4 to 6
    Kosher salt and pepper
    4 (6- to 8-ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed
    4 slices bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
    1 shallot, minced
    2 garlic cloves, minced
    3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra as needed
    2 teaspoons cider vinegar
    2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
    Pinch cayenne pepper
    12 ounces cherry tomatoes, quartered
    2 celery ribs, minced
    ¼ cup chopped fresh basil

    To ensure that the chicken cooks through, use breasts that weigh no more than 8 ounces and pound them until they are 1 inch thick. Make sure to start with cold water in step 1.

    1. Dissolve 1/4 cup salt in 6 cups cold water in Dutch oven. Cover chicken with plastic wrap and pound to even 1-inch thickness.
    2. Submerge chicken in water. Heat pot over medium heat until water registers 170 degrees. Turn off heat, cover and let sit until chicken registers 165 degrees, 15 to 17 minutes. Transfer chicken to paper towel–lined baking sheet. Refrigerate until chicken is cool, about 30 minutes.
    3. Cook bacon in 12-inch skillet over medium heat until crisp, 8 to 10 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer bacon to paper towel–lined plate; set aside. (You should have about 3 tablespoons fat in skillet; if not, add extra oil as needed to equal 3 tablespoons.)
    4. Add shallot to fat left in skillet and cook over medium heat until softened, about 2 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Transfer mixture to large bowl and let cool slightly. Whisk in oil, vinegar, mustard, cayenne and 1/4 teaspoon salt until combined.
    5. Pat chicken dry with paper towels and cut into 1/2-inch pieces. Add chicken, tomatoes, celery, basil and crisp bacon to dressing and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve. (Salad can be refrigerated for up to 2 days. Let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before serving.)

    Friday, August 4, 2017

    Spiced Butternut Squash Cake With Brown Butter Carmel Sauce

    Spiced Butternut Squash Cake 
    Brown Butter Caramel Sauce


    Spiced Butternut Squash Cake:
    2 cups peeled and diced butternut squash
    3/4 cup granulated sugar
    1/4 cup maple sugar
    1/2 cup softened unsalted butter
    3 tablespoons mayonnaise
    3 tablespoons molasses
    2 large organic eggs
    1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    1 teaspoon ground ginger
    1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
    1/2 teaspoon curry powder
    1/2 teaspoon baking powder
    1 1/2 cups sifted cake flour
    Brown Butter Caramel:
    4 ounces chilled unsalted butter, cubed 
    1 cup granulated sugar
    1/2 cup heavy cream
    Pinch sea salt
    Optional (for garnish):
    Blackberry jelly
    Ice cream


    Preheat oven to 360°F. 
    Steam the butternut squash in a steamer set over a pot of boiling water until tender, about 12 minutes. Remove from the steamer and mash. Measure out 1 cup of the mash. 
    In a large bowl, whisk together the sugars and butter until light and airy. Add 1 cup butternut squash mash, mayonnaise, and molasses and mix. Slowly whisk in each egg until well incorporated. Add the spices and the baking powder. Slowly add the flour and mix until smooth. Spoon the batter into a greased 9-inch cake pan. Bake for approximately 1 hour, or until golden brown and the center springs back to the touch. 
    Make the brown butter caramel: heat a thick-bottomed pan on medium heat. Add the cubed butter and whisk to let butter cook. Allow the butter to foam and slowly start to brown. Specks will appear.
    Remove the brown butter from heat and set aside. In another saucepan, slowly cook the sugar until it’s slightly thick and golden. Add the brown butter and whisk. Add the cream and stir continuously for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and add the sea salt. (Note: the caramel will thicken as it cools.) Serve warm.

    Thursday, August 3, 2017

    Clam Pasta


    1 medium fennel bulb, trimmed and sliced
    3 cloves garlic, 2 unpeeled and 1 peeled
    Kosher salt
    About 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus additional high-quality olive oil for finishing
    4 ounces pancetta (or unsmoked bacon), cut into thin lengths
    2 medium shallots, peeled and sliced
    Generous pinch chile flakes
    12 ounces rigatoni
    5 quahogs, shucked and chopped, or 4 dozen little neck clams steamed open, shucked, then chopped
    1 1/2 tablespoons butter
    1 small bunch flat leaf parsley; pick the leaves from half and chop the rest
    About 2 teaspoons minced lemon rind
    About 3/4 cup toasted homemade breadcrumbs
    Freshly ground black pepper


    Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the fennel, 2 unpeeled garlic cloves, and salt. Blanch the fennel and garlic until the fennel is tender, about 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove the fennel and garlic from the water. Peel the garlic and purée it in a food processor with the fennel, adding a little water to smooth the purée. Reserve.
    Sliver half the remaining clove of garlic and mince the rest and set it aside. Heat a large skillet over high heat. Add a skim of oil (about 1 tablespoon) and then add the pancetta, shallots, and chile flakes. Give the pan a swirl, then turn the heat down to medium. Cook, stirring frequently, until the pancetta is rendered and browned, about 5 minutes. Add the slivered garlic, turn the heat down and cook, stirring it frequently, until the garlic is toasted, about 1 minute.
    Add the pasta to the boiling water. Stir a couple of times to keep the rigatoni from clumping. When the pasta is three-fourths done, about 7 minutes, finish the sauce. Add the fennel purée, the butter, and 1 tablespoon of olive oil. If you are using raw clams, add them now so they have a few minutes to cook. Season the sauce with salt, then raise the heat to high and cook until the purée is bubbling and reduces slightly, about 2 minutes. Add pasta water as necessary to keep the clam sauce loose; you want it moist enough to coat the pasta—a ragù.
    Cook the rigatoni until it is al dente (usually 10 to 12 minutes). If you are using steamed, chopped clams add them now. Using a slotted spoon, lift the pasta out of the water and into the sauce. Stir or toss to combine, adding more pasta water if necessary to loosen the sauce enough to coat the rigatoni. Add the parsley leaves and toss again. Combine the chopped garlic and lemon rind and add the mixture to the sauce. Taste for seasoning and adjust with salt.
    Spoon the rigatoni onto warm plates. Top each portion with breadcrumbs, season with pepper, drizzle with nice olive oil, and serve.

    Wednesday, August 2, 2017

    Basic Vegan Pesto

    Basic Vegan Pesto
    Makes about a ¾ cup of pesto.

    1 cup basil leaves (or other aromatic herb)
    ¼ cup nuts (walnuts, pine nuts, almonds...)
    1 medium mild garlic clove
    ½ to ¾ cup extra virgin olive oil
    A large pinch of salt, or 1 scant tbsp Gomasio

    EXTRA: 1 tbsp add-ins like hemp, sunflower or pumpkin seeds, or nutritional yeast
    EXTRA: ½ cup umami-rich ingredients to customize your pesto: chopped olives, chopped dried tomatoes, chopped dried and rehydrated mushrooms.
    1. Add the salt and garlic first, and mash them together. Add the herbs and gently tear the leaves, slowly at first, then more vigorously until a cream forms with the garlic.
    2. Add the nuts and pound them well, then add any add-ins you might be using. Mash well.
    3. Start adding your olive oil as you keep pounding. Grind all the ingredients with a circular motion as you add the olive oil. Adjust salt and oil as preferred.
    4. The mortar and pestle method works best for traditional herb pestos, with no umami ingredients added.
    1. If making tomato, olive or other pestos with bulky ingredients, you might be better off using a food processor in any case. Just add all the ingredients but only half of the oil to the food processor and blend well, then slowly add the rest of the olive oil to achieve the desired thickness.
    2. Pesto will last a few days in the fridge, stored it in an airtight container. It is best used within 3 days for maximum flavor.

    Tuesday, August 1, 2017

    City Chicken

    Crockpot City Chicken 
    City Chicken on skewers

    1 cup cornflakes, 
    1/2 cup bread crumbs, 
    2-3 tablespoons flour, 
    vegetable oil, 
    1 egg, 

    1 chicken bouillon cube, 
    1 cup water, 
    2 teaspoons poultry seasoning, 
    1 teaspoon paprika, 
    1 teaspoon seasoned salt, 
    1/2 teaspoon black pepper, 
    1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
    Crush the cornflakes to a fine consistency. Put them in a plastic bag with the bread crumbs and flour. Add all the dry seasonings except the pepper flakes.

    Put the water, bouillon cube and pepper flakes into a crock pot.

    Coat the bottom of a non-stick frying pan with vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Beat the egg lightly. Rinse the city chicken skewers. Dip chicken into the egg mixture. Then drop into the plastic bag and shake to coat. Brown the city chicken sticks on all sides (it only takes a minute or two on each side to produce a golden brown coating).

    Put the browned meat into the crockpot and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours or high for 4 to 5 hours.

    Monday, July 31, 2017

    Rhubarb or Blueberry Muffins

    Rhubarb or Blueberry Muffins

    9 oz. (2 cups) all-purpose flour
    3/4 cup granulated sugar
    2-1/2 tsp. baking powder
    1 tsp. ground cinnamon
    1/2 tsp. baking soda
    1/2 tsp. kosher salt
    1 cup sour cream
    4 oz. (8 Tbs.) unsalted butter,
    melted and cooled slightly
    2 large eggs
    1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
    1-1/2 cups 1/4-inch-diced rhubarb (7-1/4 oz.) or 

    For the topping:
    3 Tbs. granulated sugar
    1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

    Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 400°F. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper or foil baking cups.

    Make the muffin batter: In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt and whisk to blend.

    In a medium bowl, whisk together the sour cream, melted butter, eggs, and vanilla until smooth. Lightly stir the sour cream mixture into the dry ingredients with a spatula until the batter just comes together; do not overmix. Gently stir in the diced rhubarb. The batter will be thick.

    Divide the batter among the muffin cups, using the back of a spoon or a small spatula to settle the batter into the cups. The batter should mound a bit higher than the tops of the cups.

    Make the topping: In a small bowl, combine the sugar and cinnamon and mix well. Sprinkle a generous 1/2 tsp. of the cinnamon-sugar mixture over each muffin.

    Bake the muffins until they’re golden brown, spring back most of the way when gently pressed, and a pick inserted in the center comes out clean, 18 to 22 minutes. Transfer to a rack and let the muffins cool in the pan for 5 to 10 minutes. Carefully lift the muffins out of the pan—if necessary, loosen them with the tip of a paring knife—and let them cool somewhat. Serve warm.
    Make Ahead Tips
    The muffins will keep for one day; just reheat them in a 350°F oven for 3 to 4 minutes to refresh them.