In Andrew Zimmern’s words, “this is a warm hug from the inside out.” Daube de Boeuf, a classic Provencal stew, is the ultimate comfort food. This variation from Zimmern uses Belgian ale instead of the traditional red wine version. Like most braised dishes this dish is best the day after. Our experience with this bowl of hug was certainly delicious the day it was made, but outstanding the following day. Serve with crusty French bread.
Daube de Boeuf with Belgian Ale
3 pounds trimmed beef chuck, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces (Have your butcher cut and trim beef)
Freshly ground pepper
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons canola oil
3 medium onions, thinly sliced
4 garlic cloves, minced
One 12-ounce bottle Duvel or other Belgian golden ale
4 cups beef stock or low-sodium broth
3 thyme sprigs, 3 parsley sprigs and 1 bay leaf, tied in cheesecloth
10 new potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 large carrots, cut into 1/2-inch dice (or lots more)
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Season the beef with salt and pepper. In a large re-sealable plastic bag, combine the beef and flour and shake well. Remove the beef from the bag, shaking off the excess flour.
In a large cast-iron casserole, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil until shimmering. Add one-third of the beef and cook over moderately high heat until browned all over, about 5 minutes; reduce the heat if the meat browns too quickly. Transfer the meat to a plate. Repeat with the remaining oil and beef.
Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of the fat from the casserole. Add the onions, season with salt and pepper and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened and browned, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, 1 minute.
Add the beer and cook, scraping up any browned bits stuck to the bottom of the pan. Add the beef back to the casserole along with the stock and herb bundle. Bring the stew to a boil, cover and bake for about 1 1/2 hours, until the meat is very tender.
Gently stir the potatoes and carrots into the stew, cover and bake for about 25 minutes longer, until the vegetables are tender. Discard the herb bundle. Stir in the Dijon and vinegar, season the stew with salt and pepper and serve.
MAKE AHEAD: 3 days
*the next day stew, I added quinoa as it was rewarming to thicken up some of that sauce. Delicious.
***My lucky, lucky niece works for Andrew Zimmern, tests recipes and photographs his work. Thanks Madeleine for this inspiration.
When Courtney raves and receives raves about a comfort food recipe, I listen! This recipe is simply about the layering of ingredients that LOVE hanging out together. In a large roasting pan, start with chunks of a ciabatta loaf. Then add tomatoes, olives, a whole garlic bulb, fresh basil, salt, pepper and pepper flakes. Finish with placing a cut up roaster on top and bake for an hour or so. Something magical happens when all these yummy flavors melt together and THAT base of ciabatta soaks up all those juices, and well…..no words!
Roasted Chicken with Tomato and Basil and Ciabatta
Serves: The Whole Family!
1 ciabatta loaf
2 big handfuls of cherry tomatoes
1 big handful of the best olives you can afford
1 big garlic bulb
One whole cut up fryer chicken (I have the butcher cut the fryer)
Good olive oil
Salt & pepper
Red chili flakes
8 slices of pancetta
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Salt and pepper the chickenn. Drizzle a few tablespoons of olive oil in a pan and brown the skin side of chicken til crispy. (Just a few minutes…you don’t want to cook the chicken). You can omit this step and broil the chicken in the last step of the recipe.
In a large roasting pan, tear up a ciabatta loaf and layer the bottom. Along with it goes two big handfuls of cherry tomatoes, one big handful of good quality olives and one big garlic bulb broken into cloves, skin still on.
Tear up some fresh basil and sprinkle throughout.
Pour a generous amount of good olive oil, salt & pepper, and a sprinkle of red chili flakes. Toss with your hands and then reposition chicken or on top.
Roast for 30 minutes. Remove and reposition chicken and roast another 30. Take out and place 8 slices of pancetta on top of the chicken skin and roast 15 minutes more. (For all you pancetta experts, the photo shows prosciutto on top. That’s what I had on hand. You NEED to use pancetta for a smokey finish).
At this point your chicken will be cooked through. This is where you can turn the broiler on if you have not already browned the chicken. This will crisp up the chicken and pancetta.
Before serving, add a few fresh basil leaves for color.
Adapted from: A Life From Scratch
I’m very aware it’s January. New year, new starts, new body, blah, blah, blah. It’s also game month. Enjoy your kale Monday thru Saturday. Enjoy these tasty, savory, splurgy nachos while watching your favorite game or just feet up with a good book (The Past), a binge watch (Making A Murderer!) or a cozy fire!
Crispy Buffalo Cheddar Potato Nachos
Serves 4…(but really 2)
4 russet potatoes, slice in 1/4 inch rounds (I sliced them thinner)
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt, divided
salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup hot sauce (like…Franks Hot Sauce)
6 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
4 ounces gorgonzola or blue cheese, crumbled
1 avocado, sliced
Chopped cilantro and green onion, for serving
Buttermilk ranch, for serving
Preheat the oven 425 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Divide the thinly sliced potato rounds among the baking sheets. Drizzle the potatoes evenly with olive oil. Sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt and then season the potatoes to taste with salt and pepper. Place in the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes, watching closely to monitor baking. While the potatoes are baking, whisk together the butter, hot sauce and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt. When the potatoes are crisp and lightly golden, remove them from the oven and drizzle with the buffalo sauce. Add the cheddar and blue cheese. Return the pans to the oven and bake for 5 minutes or until the cheese is melted. Remove and top with fresh cilantro, green onions and sliced avocado. Serve with ranch dressing.
This stunning galette combines mushrooms, leeks, parmesan and 12 cups of spinach. TWELVE CUPS OF SPINACH. Delicious way to eat your greens!! An elegant side to a tenderloin or a simple weekend lunch.
Galette of Winter Greens
MAKE AT LEAST AN HOUR BEFORE OR UP TO TWO DAYS BEFORE, OR BUY PRE-MADE CRUST.
1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
pinch of sea salt
5 tablespoons cold unsalted butter
6-7 tablespoons ice water
12 packed cups spinach leaves
1/2 cup sliced leeks
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups fresh wild mushrooms
1 cup grated Parmesan
1/4 cup coarsely chopped Italian parsley
Place flour and salt in a large mixing bowl and stir. Cut butter into pieces and add to the mixing bowl. Using a pastry cutter or two forks, cut butter into the flour mix. Keep mixing until the butter is reduced to pea-sized bits. Drizzle 5 tablespoons of ice water into the bowl and continue to mix ingredients with pastry cutter. Even though the mixture will still be quite crumbly at this point, squeeze some dough between your fingers and see if it holds together. You will probably need to add at least another tablespoon or two of ice water to get your dough to hold together. (Don’t overwork or over-wet your dough: a nice, slightly crumbly dough with smears of butter throughout will give you a great flaky crust later.)
Place a large piece of plastic wrap and lay it on the counter next to your mixing bowl. Using your hands, gently gather the dough into a ball and place it in the center of the plastic. Wrap the ball in plastic and use the heel of your hand to flatten the dough a into a thick round. Chill the wrapped dough in the fridge for at least a hour, or up to two days.
Preheat oven to 375.
Thoroughly wash and trim spinach. If you are using baby spinach, you can keep the leaves whole. If using larger spinach leaves, chop them coarsely. Set aside.
Wash leeks, making sure to get the dirt out from between the layers. Trim off the roots and slice the whites and pale greens into thin rounds.
Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add leeks and a pinch of salt to the warm oil, cover pan and cook leeks until tender. When leeks have softened, add spinach leaves and another pinch of salt, toss them with the oil and leeks. (Add one cup of spinach at a time til wilted.) Cover and continue to cook over medium heat until spinach is tender.
Remove spinach and leeks from pan and set aside. When the greens have cooled, squeeze out any excess water that the spinach is holding on to.
Prep your mushrooms. Using a brush, wipe all the dirt off the mushrooms. Coarsely chop.
Heat a medium cast iron or saute pan over high heat. When the pan is hot, add the mushrooms. Cook for a few minutes and add 1 tbsp. olive oil and salt. Cook until mushrooms are tender, but not well-done. Set aside cooked mushrooms.
Take your chilled dough out of the fridge. Cover a cutting board with a big piece of parchment paper. Place your dough on the parchment. Sprinkle a bit of extra flour over the top of the dough and dust your rolling pin with flour. Roll out the dough into a nice large circle or oval. Slide the rolled-out galette dough (keeping it on the parchment) onto a baking sheet.
Leaving a couple of inches of dough around the edge of your rectangle/circle and sprinkle 3/4 cup of Parmesan over the the middle portion. Then add the spinach, leeks, and mushrooms. Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan over the top. Fold up the edges. Place the galette in your 375 degree oven.
Baking for 35-40 minutes until your galette is golden brown. You can eat it warm or let it cool to room temperature.
Mix AND bake a chocolate chip cookie all in one skillet!! This recipe had me at one skillet (and one spoon). Serve this giant baked cookie right out of the skillet with 4 scoops of ice cream and 4 spoons. Slightly under-cook for a gooey, chewy fun dessert. In the words of my kids, WHAT????!!!!!!! Indeed.
Skillet Chocolate Chip Cookie
1 stick butter
½ cups granulated sugar
½ cups light brown sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 whole egg
1-½ cup all-purpose flour
½ teaspoons baking soda
¼ teaspoons salt
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate, cut in chunks (I used a dark chocolate, salted Fannie May bar!)
Flaked salt, to finish
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Melt butter in an 8 inch cast iron skillet set over medium-low heat. (my skillet is bigger so the cookie was not as thick as I would have liked, but still great) Stir in sugars and vanilla and remove from heat. Let rest until pan is warm, but no longer very hot, about 5 minutes.
Crack an egg onto the butter and sugar mixture, and use a fork to whisk it into the mixture. Place flour, baking soda, and salt on top, and very carefully stir into the mixture until smooth and well-mixed. Stir in chocolate chunks. Sprinkle with flaked salt. Place in the oven for 15-25 minutes, (take out earlier than later for a chewy, gooey middle) or until starting to turn golden on the top and around the edges, but still soft in the center.
Serve with vanilla ice cream, and spoons!!
**you could also drizzle caramel sauce and chocolate shavings.
My computer went to computer heaven and took along many of my December posts and photos!!! Fortunately, I had this recipe on my list from last year to try. Successwith a capitolS! This bread pudding will be present on my Christmas menu to accompany beef tenderloin. Thomas Keller (Ad Hoc) once again helps the home cook elevate their game. This savory side combines braised leeks, herbs, cream and cheese. The result is a souffle-like dish that is rich and creamy. Move over mashed potatoes!
Leek Bread Pudding
2 cups 1/2-inch-thick slices leeks (white and light green parts only)
4 tablespoons (2 ounces) unsalted butter
Freshly ground black pepper
12 cups 1-inch cubes crustless Brioche or Pullman sandwich loaf
1 tablespoon finely chopped chives
1 teaspoon thyme leaves
3 large eggs
3 cups whole milk
3 cups heavy cream
Freshly grated nutmeg
1 cup shredded Comté or Emmentaler (I used Gruyere)
Preheat the oven to 350°.
Put the leek rounds in a large bowl of water and soak so that any dirt falls to the bottom of the bowl. Set a medium sauté pan over medium-high heat, lift the leeks from the water, drain, and add them to the pan. Season with salt and cook, stirring often, for about 5 minutes. As the leeks begin to soften, lower the heat to medium-low. The leeks will release liquid. Stir in the butter to emulsify, and season with pepper to taste. Cover the pan with a parchment lid, and cook, stirring every 10 minutes, until the leeks are very soft, 30 to 35 minutes. If at any point the butter breaks or looks oily, stir in about a tablespoon of water to re-emulsify the sauce. Remove and discard the parchment lid.
Meanwhile, spread the bread cubes on a baking sheet and toast in the oven for about 20 minutes, rotating the pan about halfway through, until dry and pale gold. Transfer to a large bowl. Leave the oven on.
Add the leeks to the bread and toss well, then add the chives and thyme.
Lightly whisk the eggs in another large bowl. Whisk in the milk, cream, a generous pinch of salt, pepper to taste, and a pinch of nutmeg.
Sprinkle 1/4 cup of the cheese in the bottom of a 9-by-13-inch baking pan. Spread half the leeks and croutons in the pan and sprinkle with another 1/4 cup cheese. Scatter the remaining leeks and croutons over and top with another 1/4 cup cheese. Pour in enough of the custard mixture to cover the bread and press gently on the bread so it soaks in the milk. Let soak for about 15 minutes.
Add the remaining custard, allowing some of the soaked cubes of bread to protrude. Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup cheese on top and sprinkle with salt.
Bake for 1 1/2 hours, or until the pudding feels set and the top is brown and bubbling. (After reading a number of reviews, the cooking time seems to come in around 45 minutes to an hour).Keep a close watch at the 45 minute mark.
It’s the cranberries big season, the traditional condiment for your Thanksgiving table. These nutritional powerhouses also make a great appetizers for the big day. Roasted cranberries have a sweet tartness that make a perfect companion for ricotta or goat cheese. A drizzle of honey adds a sweet note and the sprinkle of rosemary adds an earthy finish.
Roasted Cranberries, Ricotta, and Honey Crostini
4 cups (12 ounce bag) of fresh cranberries
½ cup sugar
zest and juice of a lime
½ cup water
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Wash and pick over cranberries, making sure there’s no stems, foreign material, or shriveled berries.
In a large shallow pan, mix all ingredients. Roast 15-20 minutes.
Garnish with additional fresh rosemary if desired. Serve warm, or refrigerate and serve cold. Sauce can be frozen and thawed.
slice of peasant bread
roasted cranberry sauce
ricotta or goat cheese
Toast the bread, spread ricotta over the top, spoon the cranberry sauce over the ricotta, then drizzled with honey. Finish with a tiny pinch of salt and fresh-cracked black pepper.
The Bitten Word is a highly respected food blog that scours current monthly food magazines and cooks at least one recipe from each. They are honest with their results, good or bad. So, I trust Zach and Clay when they find a winner. Every year they host a “Fakesgiving” (weeks before the actual) entertaining friends and family to showcase the year’s Thanksgiving recipes. Reading the reviews from last year’s festivities had me anxious to blog the hands-down favorite dish. The general consensus was these mashed potatoes were all that was needed for the celebration. I know, I know don’t mess with tradition!! So my suggestion is keep the old but introduce the new. This year I’m sneaking in a few dishes that deviate from the line up. These mashers are rich and creamy with a crispy Parmesan topping. They will be making it on the buffet table and will most likely to become a permanent addition.
Goat Cheese Mashed Potatoes
Serves: 6 to 8
3 pounds large Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut in 3/4-inch chunks
5 garlic cloves
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
7 to 8 ounces garlic-and-herb goat cheese, at room temperature, such as Montrachet
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups sour cream
1/2 cup half-and-half or milk
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Place the potatoes, garlic and 1 tablespoon salt in a large pot with enough water to cover the potatoes. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce to a simmer and cook for 20 to 25 minutes, until very tender.
Drain the potatoes and garlic and process them together through a food mill fitted with the coarsest blade set on top of a bowl. OR use a hand mixer OR a stand mixer using paddles, be careful not to over mix to avoid the potatoes to become gummy. While the potatoes are still hot, stir in the goat cheese, butter, sour cream, half-and-half, 4 teaspoons salt and 2 teaspoons pepper until smooth.
Pour the mixture into a 9-by-12-by-2-inch oval baking dish, smoothing the top. Sprinkle the Parmesan on top and bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until lightly browned. Serve hot.
Make it ahead: Assemble the dish, including the Parmesan, and refrigerate for up to 3 days. Bake before serving.
***Next time around I will use 4-6 oz. of goat chesse. And you can always add more Parmesan!! SALT and Pepper to taste. (I know my audience, Mom is not a fan of too much goat cheese).
One of the Stephanie Izard’s most popular and long running dishes at “Girl And The Goat” is roasted cauliflower with crunch butter and pickled peppers. She combines caramelized cauliflower with a topping that includes butter, garlic, Parmesan and panko bread crumbs. She pickles peppers and then tosses them with toasted pine nuts and mint. The recipe may seem steppy…it’s not. While you are soaking the peppers, mash together the ingredients to make the butter. The cauliflower sautes and caramelizes within 10 minutes. Then toss in the remaining ingredients to create this unforgettable side dish. I’m adding this to my Thanksgiving line-up along with Crusted Butternut Squash.
Roasted CauliflowerServes: 4 people2 tbsp. canola oil1 head cauliflower, quartered, outer leaves and core removed and cut into 1/4″ slices2 tsp salt3 tbsp. “crunch butter,” room temp (recipe below)1/4 c mint, torn into pieces + 1 tbsp set aside1/4 c pine nuts, toasted + 1 tbsp. set aside1/2 c Parmesan, grated + 1 tbsp. set aside1/3 c pickled peppers (recipe below) (Or buy pickled peppers)
First make pickled peppers.
Then make crunch butter.Heat oil in a large skillet. add cauliflower and cook over high heat until caramelized and soft, 6 minutes. Season with salt and cook an additional 2-3 minutes. Add crunch butter. when melted toss in mint, peppers, pine nuts, and Parmesan. cook an additional 2 minutes. Plate in a bowl and sprinkle with additional mint, pine nuts, and Parmesan.Crunch Butteryield: 1.5 cups (you only use a couple tablespoons!! 1/2 the recipe and freeze the remainder)5 oz butter, room temp2 garlic cloves, minced2 tbsp Parmesan cheese, grated6 tbsp Panko bread crumbsIn a bowl, mash the butter until softened with a fork (or potato masher). add the remaining ingredients and mix until fully incorporated.Freeze the remaining for the next time you make this.Pickled peppersyield: 1 qt. (you might want to half this recipe as you only use 1/3 cup)I added a few baby orange peppers for seasonal color…..think red for Christmas.3 ea. banana peppers, seeds removed, sliced into thin rings on a mandolin3 ea. Hungarian peppers, seeds removed, sliced into thin rings on a mandolin2 c champagne vinegar4 tbsp salt3/4 c sugarIn a pot, bring vinegar, salt, and sugar to a boil. While still hot, pour the pickling liquid over the peppers.Let cool to room temperature, keeping the peppers submerged in the liquid.When cool, cover and refrigerate.Adapted from: Stephanie Izard, Girl And The Goat
Dorie Greenspan, the renowned cookbook author, calls this her “back pocket recipe,” meaning it can be made without a trip to the store. This trademark apple cake needs few ingredients and just a couple of steps to produce a rustic dish which is more apple than cake. Just mix in a bowl, scrape into a springform pan and bake. The result is a custardy delicious dessert or coffee companion. Go!
Makes one 8-inch cake
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch of salt
4 large apples (if you can, choose 4 different kinds)
2 large eggs
3/4 cup sugar
**3 tablespoon dark rum or bourbon
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
8 tablespoons (1 stick/4 ounces) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
**For a less boozy version and 1 tablespoon Rum and 2 Tablespoons of whole milk.
Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees . Line the bottom and sides of an 8-inch cake pan with parchment paper.
Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together in small bowl. Peel the apples, cut them in half and remove the cores. Cut the apples into 1 or 2 inch chunks.
In a medium bowl, beat the eggs with a whisk until they’re foamy. Pour in the sugar and whisk for a minute or so to blend. Whisk in the rum and vanilla. Whisk in half the flour and when it is incorporated, add half the melted butter, followed by the rest of the flour and the remaining butter, mixing gently after each addition so that you have a smooth batter. Switch to a rubber spatula and fold in the apples, turning the fruit so that it’s coated with batter. Scrape the mix into the pan and even the top.
Slide the pan into the oven and bake for 50 to 60 minutes, or until the top of the cake is golden brown and a knife inserted deep into the center comes out clean; the cake may pull away from the sides of the pan. Transfer to a cooling rack and let rest for 5 to 10 minutes.
Carefully pull the parchment paper – and the cake – out of the pan and let cool on the rack until it is just slightly warm or at room temperature, then transfer to a cake plate. The cake can be served warm or at room temperature.
Serve with Creme Fraiche or vanilla ice cream.
The cake will keep for about 2 days at room temperature.
Adapted from: Dorie Greenspan: Around My French Table
My last post, Crunchy Butternut Squash from Yotan Ottolenghi, was a hit. So… I’m back in his cookbook because I love the way he combines simple ingredients to create dishes that are memorable and delicious. For this seasonal stunner start with store-bought puff pastry, add a layer of sour cream, then top with sweet potatoes and goat cheese crumbles. After these come out of the oven brush them with a gremolata of olive oil, garlic and parsley. The result …..a gorgeous savory tart. Ideal for a Fall appetizer or a light lunch paired with greens.
Sweet Potato Galettes
Makes 6 galettes
3 sweet potatoes (I only needed 2)
9 oz puff pastry
1 egg, lightly beaten
6 1/2 tablespoons sour cream
3 1/2 tablespoons aged goat cheese
2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds
1 medium-hot chile, finely chopped, (I sprinkled crushed red pepper)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 teaspoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
Coarse sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Bake the sweet potatoes in their skins for 35 to 45 minutes, until they soften up but are still slightly raw in the center. Leave until cool enough to handle, then peel and cut into slices 1/8 inch thick.
While the sweet potatoes are in the oven, roll out the puff pastry to about 1/16 inch thick on a lightly floured work surface. Cut out four 2 3/4 by 5 1/2-inch rectangles and prick them all over with a fork. Line a small baking sheet with parchment paper.
Place the pastry rectangles on it, well spaced apart, and leave to rest in the fridge for at least half an hour.
Remove the pastry from the fridge and brush lightly with the beaten egg. Using an icing spatula, spread a thin layer of sour cream on the pastries, leaving a 1/4-inch border all round. Arrange the potato slices on the pastry, slightly overlapping, keeping the border clear. Season with salt and pepper, crumble the goat cheese on top, and sprinkle with the pumpkin seeds and chile. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the pastry is cooked through. Cook until the pastry is golden brown arounf the edges and underneath.
While the galettes are cooking, stir together the olive oil, garlic, parsley, and a pinch of salt. As soon as the pastries come out of the oven, brush them with this mixture. Serve warm or at room temperature.
You can keep the pastry in one sheet, layer the potatoes, bake and slice (like a flatbread)
Choose potatoes that are similar in diameter.
The sour cream is a little slippery to spread on the egg wash, so I dabbed it on.
Tis the season for delicious sides bursting with Fall flavors! This vibrant recipe highlights sweet butternut squash drizzled with olive oil and tossed with bread crumbs, herbs, garlic and earthy Parmesan cheese. The quick, easy recipe is the genius of London’s Ottolenghi….he never disappoints with his perfect combinations of ingredients.
Crusted Butternut Squash
1 butternut squash (about 2 lbs.) (Original recipe called for pumpkin)
2 tsp. olive oil
1/2 tsp. fresh ground nutmeg
1/3 cup fresh breadcrumbs
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 minced garlic clove
1 tbsp. finely chopped parsley
1/4 cup fresh thyme leaves
A handful of pine nuts
Salt and Pepper
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Peel the squash with a vegetable peeler. Slice it in half length wise and discard the seeds. Cut into 1/4” slices.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, place the squash on sheet and drizzle with olive oil and the nutmeg. Toss to coat. All should have a thin coat of oil, amount may vary based on size of the squash. Spread them out in a single layer (for a crunchy crust) on the baking tray (you may need to use 2 trays).
In a food processor pulse together the breadcrumbs (make sure the crumbs don’t get too fine), Parmesan, garlic, both herbs, a few pinches of salt and a lot of fresh black pepper.
Sprinkle the topping on the squash. Bake for about 25-30 minutes until the tops are browned and the squash is cooked.
Apples on apples on apples…..this is a tasty way to take advantage of Fall’s greatest fruit. It’s an eggy creation that is a cross between a pancake and a crepe. This easy, delicious dish with its crisp golden brown edges and popover texture offers a weekend breakfast better than your local waffle house.
Apple Dutch Baby
Apple Cider Syrup
1tablespoonlight brown sugar
3large eggs, room temperature
¾cupwhole milk, room temperature
1teaspoonground cinnamon, divided
4tablespoonsunsalted butter, divided
1large Pink Lady apple, peeled, sliced ¼” thick (I used honey crisp)
1tablespoonlight brown sugar
Powdered sugar for dusting
Apple Cider Syrup
*This syrup had a great flavor but did not thicken up as I would have liked. Maple syrup would work well also.
Bring cider, butter, brown sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon to a boil over medium-high heat in a large saucepan. Reduce heat and boil gently, whisking occasionally, until thick and syrupy, 30–45 minutes.
Syrup can be made 1 week ahead. Let cool; cover and chill. Bring to room temperature before using.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Whisk eggs, milk, flour, vanilla, salt, and 1/2 tsp. cinnamon in a medium bowl until smooth.
Melt 2 Tbsp. butter in a 10” skillet, preferably cast iron, over medium heat. Add apple and sprinkle with brown sugar and remaining ½ tsp. cinnamon. Cook, tossing often, until apple is coated and softened, about 4 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
Wipe out skillet and heat in oven until very hot, 8–10 minutes. Carefully add remaining 2 Tbsp. butter to skillet, tilting to coat bottom and sides. Add apple to center of skillet; pour batter over. Bake until pancake is puffed and golden brown around the edges and center is set but still custardy, 12–15 minutes. This is the aha moment! Share this first look out of the oven…the pancake quickly deflats.
Serve with a dusting of powdered sugar and drizzle with apple cider syrup.
This healthy autumn dish highlights apples, fennel and sweet potatoes roasted until perfectly caramelized. Pan frying the pork chops creates a base for a sweet and savory sauce…..the result, a colorful and flavorful meal that will have you cheering the season.
Cider Dijon Pork Chops with Roasted Vegetables an Apples
4 boneless pork loin chops (each about 7 ounces and 1 inch thick)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup apple cider or apple juice
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 2 pieces
Vegetables and Apples
1 pound red-skinned sweet potatoes (yams), peeled and cut lengthwise in half, then cut crosswise into 2-inch pieces
2 Pink Lady or Fuji apples, cored and cut lengthwise into eighths
1 large fennel bulb, trimmed and cut lengthwise into eighths
2 sprigs of fresh rosemary, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 tablespoons olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Remove the pork from the refrigerator and let stand at room temperature while the oven preheats. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place a large rimmed baking sheet in the oven and heat until very hot.
To cook the vegetables and apples: In a large bowl, toss the sweet potatoes, apples, fennel, and rosemary with the olive oil to coat. Season with salt and pepper. Carefully remove the baking sheet from the oven and spread the
vegetables and apples on it. Roast, turning the ingredients over halfway through, for about 30-35 minutes, or until the potatoes are nicely browned
Meanwhile, cook the pork: Season the pork with salt and pepper. Heat a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil, then add the chops to the skillet and cook for about 5 minutes per side, or until golden brown and barely pink when pierced in the center with the tip of a small sharp knife. Transfer to a platter (reserving the oil in the skillet) and let stand for 5 minutes.
Pour off all but 1 teaspoon of the oil from the skillet, leaving the brown bits in the pan. Return the pan to medium-low heat, add the apple cider, and bring to a simmer, scraping up the brown bits with a wooden spoon. Whisk in the mustard and simmer for about 2 minutes to reduce the liquid slightly. Remove from the heat and whisk in the butter to lightly thicken the sauce. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Divide the sweet potato mixture among four dinner plates. Place a pork chop alongside the vegetables on each plate. Drizzle with the pan sauce and serve.
The store-bought rotisserie chicken seems to be a weekly staple for most families. I love the convenience of the ready-made bird however, they just don’t come close to the flavor of roasting your own.
Many roasters are cooked at a high heat, slathered with butter and come out of the oven quickly. This recipe takes only 10 minutes to prepare and 3 hours in the oven. A simple herb rub of fennel, hot pepper flakes, marjoram, thyme, salt and olive oil is all it takes. The bird is then stuffed with a head of garlic and lemon. Surround it with potatoes (I used sweet and Yukon).
What’s better than your home filled with the aroma of those earthy smells? Perfect for a cool and lazy Sunday afternoon. This was such an amazing roasted chicken I made 3! One for us and one for each of the kids.
Herbed Rotisserie Chicken
2 teaspoons fennel seeds
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh marjoram; plus 4 sprigs, divided
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh thyme; plus 4 sprigs, divided
1 tablespoon kosher salt, plus more
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more
6 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 3½–4 pound chicken
1 lemon, quartered
1 head of garlic, halved crosswise
2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, scrubbed, halved, or quartered if large
Preheat oven to 300°. Coarsely grind fennel seeds and red pepper flakes in a spice mill or with a mortar and pestle. Combine spice mixture, chopped marjoram, chopped thyme, 1 Tbsp. salt, ½ tsp. pepper, and 3 Tbsp. oil in a small bowl. Rub chicken inside and out with spice mixture. Stuff chicken with lemon, garlic, 2 marjoram sprigs, and 2 thyme sprigs. Tie legs together with kitchen twine.
Toss potatoes with remaining 3 Tbsp. oil on a rimmed baking sheet; season with salt and pepper. Push potatoes to edges of baking sheet and scatter remaining 2 marjoram and 2 thyme sprigs in center; place chicken on herbs. Roast, turning potatoes and basting chicken every hour, until skin is browned, meat is extremely tender, and potatoes are golden brown and very soft, about 3 hours. Let chicken rest at least 10 minutes before carving.
We still have corn at the farmer’s market!! What a year. What a salad. Smokey charred scallions, roasted corn, crispy pancetta, earthy mushrooms, nutty Gruyere, refreshing greens and a bright dressing all combine for the perfect autumnal salad. Thanks Maureen for the inspiration!!
Corn And Pancetta Salad
6 large ears of corn
4 ounces pancetta, cut into 1/4 inch dice
1/2 cup olive oil
12 ounces cremini mushrooms, halved or quartered
Salt and pepper
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest plus 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
4 ounces frisee. white and green parts only (4 cups) ( Randy doesn’t like frisee, so we added in mixed greens)
2 tablespoons snipped chives
Shaved Gruyere cheese, for serving
In a pot of salted boiling water, cook the corn until crisp-tender, 5 minutes. Let cool, then cut the kernels off the cobs.
Meanwhile, in a large cast-iron skillet, cook the scallions over high heat until charred on the bottom, about 3 minutes. Cut into 2-inch lengths.
In the same skillet, cook the pancetta over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until browned, about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a paper towel–lined plate to drain. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon of fat from the skillet.
Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in the skillet. Add the mushrooms and season with salt and pepper. Cook over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until browned, 5 to 7 minutes.
In a large bowl, whisk the lemon zest and juice with the honey, vinegar and remaining 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Season the dressing with salt and pepper. Add the corn, scallions, pancetta, mushrooms, frisée and chives and toss to coat; season with salt and pepper. Top the salad with shaved Gruyère and serve.
Every Wednesday, Food 52 prints a recipe they claim “Genius”. Columnist Kristen Miglore explains:
”There are good recipes, and great ones — and then there are genius recipes. Genius recipes surprise us and make us rethink cooking tropes. They’re handed down by luminaries of the food world and become their legacy. They get us talking and change the way we cook. And, once we’ve folded them into our repertoires, they make us feel pretty genius”
You all probably have your go-to tomato sauce. Although never complex, mine changes with what’s on hand. But this “Genius” recipe calls for 3 ingredients. THREE. Tomatoes (fresh or canned), 1 onion and 5 tablespoons of butter. Butter? 5 tablespoons? I KNOW…..don’t substitute. (Really, those 500 calories divided between 4-6 people just don’t add up to THAT much!) These three simple ingredients create a thick, rich, full flavored sauce. (To be honest, for Randy and myself, I will use about 1/2 cup or more of my very best olive oil instead of butter)
This recipe comes from Marcella Hazan, who has been credited with making simple, good Italian food since 1973. Hazan recommends scoring, blanching and skinning the tomatoes in preparation for cooking. Steppy for sure!!! So when I came across this creative and quick technique for skinning a tomato, I thought…now that is GENIUS!!!
Tomato Sauce with Onion and Butter
Serves 6 (sauce for 1 pound of pasta)
2 pounds fresh, ripe tomatoes, prepared as described below, or 2 cups canned imported Italian tomatoes, cut up, with their juice
5 tablespoons butter
1 medium onion, peeled and cut in half
Salt to taste
Put either the prepared fresh tomatoes or the canned in a saucepan, add the butter, onion, and salt, and cook uncovered at a very slow, but steady simmer for about 45 minutes, or until it is thickened to your liking and the fat floats free from the tomato. Stir. Taste and correct for salt.
Before tossing with pasta, you may remove the onion (as Hazan recommended) and save for another use, but many opt to leave it in. Serve with freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese. If desired, garnish with fresh basil.
Making Fresh Tomatoes Ready for SauceOr review the video above!!Fresh, ripe plum tomatoes (or other varieties, if they are equally ripe and truly fruity, not watery)The blanching method: Plunge the tomatoes in boiling water for a minute or less. Drain them and, as soon as they are cool enough to handle, skin them, and cut them into coarse piecesThe freezing method (from David Tanis, via The Kitchn): Freeze tomatoes on a baking sheet until hard. Thaw again, either on the counter or under running water. Skin them and cut them into coarse pieces.The food mill method: Wash the tomatoes in cold water, cut them lengthwise in half, and put them in a covered saucepan. Turn on the heat to medium and cook for 10 minutes. Set a food mill fitted with the disk with the largest holes over a bowl. Transfer the tomatoes with any of their juices to the mill and puree.Adapted from: Food and Wine
Not everyone gets excited about zucchini. But when “goat girl” showed up with a bag of these end-of-summer veggies along with tons o’ tomatoes, my search for a great dish began. This original Julia Childs recipe is quick and easy and is featured on many fantastic food blogs. You will find most ingredients in your pantry and the end result will surprise you!
Zucchini, Rice and Cheese Gratin
2 1/2 pounds zucchini
2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 cup plain, uncooked white rice
1 medium onion, minced (about 1 cup)
5 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 large cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons flour
Milk or chicken broth, as needed
2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
Salt and pepper
Wash zucchini and trim ends. Halve lengthwise, and if seeds are (very) large, scoop them out. Coarsely grate (so quick and easy in a processor, with the grating attachment) and place in a colander set over a bowl. Toss with kosher salt. Let drain for approximately 20 minutes.
Save drained liquid. If it’s very salty, rinse and drain it again (not saving liquid this time). Squeeze all of the zucchini in handfuls, gently, collecting any juices in the bowl of drained liquid. Blot dry on paper towels.
At this point the recipe calls for cooking the rice (al dente, 5 minutes). Skip this step…..the rice cooks in the liquid with zucchini while baking in the oven!
In a large frying pan, cook the onions slowly in 3 tablespoons oil for 8 to 10 minutes until tender and translucent. Raise heat slightly and stir several minutes until very lightly browned. Stir in the grated and dried zucchini and garlic; season with salt and pepper. Toss and turn for 5 to 6 minutes until the zucchini is almost tender. Sprinkle in the flour, stir over moderate heat for 2 minutes, and remove from heat.
Measure the drained liquid from the zucchini. If you have less than 2 1/2 cups, add milk to bring the level up to it. (I used low sodium chicken broth…but only need 1/2 cup)
Stir the liquid into zucchini mixture, return pan to stove over medium-high heat and bring to a simmer, stirring. Remove from heat again, stir in the rice and all but 2 tablespoons cheese. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed.
Sprinkle with reserved cheese and remaining olive oil.
Heat oven to 425 degrees. Bake until bubbling and browned on top, about 25 to 30 minutes. (Cover with foil the last 5 minutes if it browns to quickly.) The rice should absorb all the liquid. Serve immediately.
Adapted from: Julia Childs (Mastering the Art Of French Cooking)/ Smitten Kitchen/Food 52/ Sprouted Kitchen
With corn still the star of the season, I tried a few corn cake recipes this week and the winner is……………this one (with a a big nod to WSJ)!! It’s healthy, savory, spicy and has a great texture that holds up well to toppings. A great appetizer or the perfect side to grilled chicken, flank steak or really anything you’re planning for this unofficial last weekend of summer.
Corn Fritters with Cilantro Lime Sauce
Serves 4 (makes about 16)
½ cup quick-cooking polenta or grits, or fine-ground cornmeal
2 cups corn kernels, cut from 2-3 ears of corn (I used 3)
1 small shallot, diced fine (about 3 tablespoons)
1 small jalapeño, seeds and membrane removed, diced fine (about 2 tablespoons)
½ teaspoon cumin
¾ teaspoon salt, plus extra for seasoning
¼ teaspoon black pepper, plus extra for seasoning
¾ cup plain non fat Greek yogurt
1 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra for frying
¼ cup chopped cilantro (or more or less to taste)
1/2 cup greek yogurt
Juice from 1/2 lime (about 1/2 tablespoon)
I added a avocado to the sauce…..yum
**Batter can be made ahead and chilled.
In a large bowl mix polenta with corn, shallots, jalapeño, cumin, salt and pepper. Add yogurt, 1 tablespoons olive oil, 3 eggs. Mix well with fork. Let rest 5 minutes.
Set large nonstick frying pan over medium heat for 1-2 minutes. Pour in 1 teaspoon olive oil (or enough to just coat the bottom of the pan). Once hot, spoon 2 tablespoons of batter per cake into pan. Spread with the back your spoon to even out the batter. Season with a pinch of salt. Cook cakes 2-3 minutes, or until golden. Flip and cook 1 minute, or until golden.
Mix Greek yogurt, lime juice, and cilantro together with a fork. Top fritter with a teaspoon of sauce.
From: Alexandria’s kitchen (adapted from The Wall Street Journal)
Working with my local farmstand for this one. Corn and tomatoes are in abundance and here’s a way to make fast use of these summer jewels. Really, there is no recipe needed for this flatbread…or at least I didn’t use one. Ingredients and amounts are flexible and you might use naan bread instead of rolling out pizza dough. Just enjoy these last few weeks of your summer garden.
1 pkg of pizza dough
Garlic Salt and Pepper
1 package of shredded mozzarella (enough to cover the dough)
1 (maybe 2) ears of corn, cooked and charred
2 farmstand tomatoes, sliced
Basil leaves, sliced thin
Preheat oven (or fire up the grill) to 425 degrees. Roll out pizza dough, drizzle olive oil and bake (or grill) til crispy. Sprinkle minced garlic, salt and pepper. Top with shredded mozzarella, sliced tomatoes, sliced corn, and shredded basil. Cook for 10-15 minutes until cheese is golden brown.
For our meatless Monday, I took a look at the weekend leftovers and turned these farmstand veggies into a simple salad brimming with bright flavors. The grilled corn steals the show in this protein packed entree. Grilling the corn turns this summer staple smokey. Add creamy avocado, grilled poblanos, sweet cherry tomatoes and earthy quinoa for a perfect summer entree. Top with fresh lime and cilantro dressing.
Grilled Corn And Black Bean Salad With Cilantro Lime Dressing
1 cup dry blacks beans (or 1 can of Black Beans, drained and rinsed)
2 corn cobs, grilled
1 tsp butter
2 poblano peppers, grilled
1 cup dry quinoa
2 cups of vegetable stock
1 avocado, chopped
1 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
Greens ( I used spinach and baby kale)
1 cup cilantro, chopped
1 cup plain Greek yogurt or creme fraiche
1/2 cup olive oil
1 lime, squeezed
1 tsp honey
salt to taste
1 tsp Tabasco Green Pepper sauce or any hot sauce
queso fresco (optional)
salt and pepper
Soak the beans overnight in cold water, or in very warm water for 2 hours. Rinse the beans, and then bring them to a boil in a medium saucepan. Once the beans have begun to boil, reduce the heat to medium and boil for 1 hour. Drain and set to the side. If you want to save time, use canned black beans. Rinse and set to the side. Shuck the corn, rub with butter, and then wrap in tin foil. Wash the poblano peppers. Turn the barbecue/grill to high. Place the corn on the grill and close the lid. Cook for 15 – 20 minutes. Remove a piece of corn and lift back the tin foil to check for black grill marks. If the corn looks cooked turn and cook the other side for 10 minutes.
A few minutes before you are ready to remove the corn, place the peppers directly on the grill. Grill until black, rotating every few minutes. Remove the corn and the peppers from the grill. Place the peppers into a plastic bag and seal. Once they have cooled, remove the skins, the center stem and the seeds. Chop the pepper and set to the side. Let the corn cool in the tin foil.
Rinse the quinoa a few times, thoroughly removing any of the bitter flavor. Place the quinoa and 2 cups of stock (or water) into a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Cover with a lid and reduce the heat and simmer until all of the water has evaporated. Fluff with a fork.
While the quinoa is cooking, prepare the dressing by pureeing the chopped cilantro into a food processor with the yogurt, olive oil, lime juice, honey, salt, and Tabasco. Taste and adjust seasonings as necessary. Remove the corn from the tin foil, and slice off the kernels.
In a large bowl, combine the black beans, corn, poblano peppers, quinoa, avocado and tomatoes and toss. Either add the dressing to the bowl, or plate and then drizzle the dressing on top. Add queso fresco, chopped cilantro, hot sauce, and lime juice as a garnish.
It’s prime season for summer squash and when the harvest shows up you need to get going!! Zucchini bread, zucchini ribbons, or crispy chips are just a few ways to enjoy these seasonal veggies. This healthy, savory snack is the perfect vehicle for all that yummy Parmesan cheese. Serve with marinara or enjoy these crunchy coins on their own. The recipe works well, but for my next batch I will grate the cheese a bit finer for better overall coverage.
Zucchini Parmesan Crisps
*Makes about 30 crisps
Olive oil or cooking spray
2 medium zucchini (about 1 pound total)
1 to 2 egg whites
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup plain, dry breadcrumbs, such as panko
A couple pinches sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Heat oven to 450 degrees. Coat two baking sheets lightly with cooking spray or thinly with olive oil.
Slice zucchini into slightly-less-than 1/4-inch thick rounds.
In a small bowl, lightly beat first egg white with 1 teaspoon water to loosen it. Combine cheese, crumbs, salt and pepper in a separate bowl. Dip each zucchini coin in egg white, letting excess run off before gently dipping them in Parmesan mixture.
Arrange in single layer on baking sheets. If additional egg white is needed, prepare it the same way, with 1 teaspoon of water. If additional crumb mixture is needed, make a few spoonfuls at a time, matching the volume of crumbs and cheese.
Bake zucchini rounds until browned and crisp, about 25 to 30 minutes, flipping each over halfway through. Keep an eye on these, as they can brown up quickly! Take them out when golden brown and let them cool.
Keep at room temperature until needed. Crisps are best on the first day.
* I used 1/2 of a large zucchini which made 24. I used all the cheese mixture and had some egg remaining.
Hold the Vodka! That’s all that’s missing in this tasty twist of a Bloody Mary. Sweet, farm fresh tomatoes combined with all those yummy components of the cocktail make a delicious side for your summer BBQ. I paired this salad with a grilled flank steak and roasted potatoes for a quick weeknight meal. I have seen versions of this side using additional ingredients you typically garnish a Bloody with…string green beans, pickled shrimp… be creative!
Bloody Mary Salad
2 pints small tomatoes, cut in half
1 clove of garlic, minced
pinch of salt
3/4 cup red wine vinegar, divided
1/2 small red onion, sliced into thin half moons
2 tsp sugar
2 ribs of celery, small dice (about 1/2 cup) and leaves from the inner heart, finely sliced for the top of salad
1 tbsp celery salt
a few dashes of Worcestershire or more to taste
1 tbsp horseradish to taste
ground black pepper to taste
3-4 sprigs of parsley, finely sliced
Combine the tomatoes, minced garlic, salt and 1/4 cup of the red wine vinegar in a bowl and set aside for 30 minutes.
Combine the remaining red wine vinegar and sugar in a small bowl, making sure the sugar is dissolved. Add the red onions, checking that they are submerged in the vinegar. Allow them to get soft.
Once tomatoes have sat long enough, drain liquid from the bowl into a small sauce pan. reduce liquid over medium heat until there’s about 2 tbsp left and set aside.
Remove onions from vinegar and rinse, saving some leftover pickling solution in case the salad seems to dry.
In a medium bowl, combine tomatoes, onions celery, celery salt, horseradish, Worcestershire, black pepper and tomato/red wine vinegar reduction. Arrange the salad onto a serving plate and garnish with finely sliced celery leaves and parsley. (I added additional Worcestershire, horseradish and a splash of tobasco)
Another idea for all those beans coming out of your garden and local farmers markets. A quick and tasty 10 minute side to pair with your summer mains. Charring the beans brings out a smokey, nutty flavor and it’s the only way I prepare these seasonal veggies. Add lime and cilantro for a fresh finish.
Charred Green Beans
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
1/4 cup packed fresh cilantro leaves, plus more for garnishing
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 lb fresh green beans, trimmed
Make vinaigrette. Combine the 2 tablespoons of olive oil, lime juice, cilantro, salt and pepper in a blender or a small food processor bowl. Pulse ingredients together until cilantro is finely chopped. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, toss the trimmed green beans lightly with olive oil (about 1 tablespoon) and season lightly with salt.
Heat a large grill pan over very high heat. The pan should be scalding hot. Place a third of the green beans directly on the hot pan, spread them out evenly. (Warning…this will smoke up your kitchen.) The second time I made these I used a grill pan on the grill. Grill beans for about 4-5 minutes, tossing every few minutes, until they are charred and soften just a bit. You still want some crunch. Repeat with remaining beans.
Cool beans for about 5 minutes and toss with vinaigrette. Garnish with fresh cilantro leaves and finishing salt. Dish can be served hot, room temp or right from the fridge.
When I served this side along with BBQ ribs, I called it cornbread and Randy quickly responded, “this is not cornbread.” Huh? I looked at the recipe again and he was right, it is corn pudding. While that made sense to him, I’m really “not a connoisseur of the cornbread” so I didn’t have a strong opinion one way or another. Randy on the other hand does….and it passed Randy Lynn’s southern cooking test. This dish is creamy with a nice texture from the corn kernels and the basil adds the delicious flavor of summer. The jalapenos add just the right amount of bite. I enjoyed the sweet and spicy peppers throughout the week. Try them on deviled eggs or burgers.
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
4 cups fresh or frozen corn
1 cup cornmeal
1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper
1- 1 1/2 cups milk
1/4 cup bourbon (optional, see below)
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup honey
1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, grated
1/2 cup granulated sugar
4 tablespoons honey
1 cup apple cider vinegar
pinch of salt
6 jalapeños, sliced
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9×13 inch baking dish.
In a mixing bowl, beat together the cream cheese, corn, cornmeal, salt and pepper until combined. Stir in 1 cup milk, the bourbon, melted butter, eggs and honey. (I was a little disappointed that the bourbon was not noticeable, so I will omit next time, and have a glass on the side!). If your batter seems thick add milk to make it pourable, but no more than 1/2 cup. Stir in the cheddar cheese.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 45 to 50 minutes or until lightly golden and no longer soft in the center. Allow to sit 10 minutes before serving. Serve warm with the candied Jalapeños.
Add the sugar, honey, apple cider vinegar and a pinch of salt to a small sauce pan. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring often to dissolve the sugar. Add the jalapeños and cook 1 minute longer, remove from the heat. Allow the mixture to cool and then store in a glass jar for up to 1 week in the fridge.
A refreshing summer pasta salad was the hit of the last shower I attended. It had colorful highlights of asparagus and yellow peppers, but the real star was that dressing……sweet and tangy. (I added an alternative dressing with less sugar, however the first dressing is my fave!) The finishing touches included shaved Parmesan, toasted pine nuts and sliced green onions. Perfect for your summer picnics. Thanks for the recipe Marlene!
1 lb fresh asparagus spear, trimmed & ct into 1 inch pieces
1 large yellow sweet pepper, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
2 tablespoons olive oil
1⁄2 cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese
1⁄2 cup sliced green onion
1⁄4 cup pine nuts, toasted
3 teaspoons lemon zest
6 tablespoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/4 cup sugar (you can add up to 1/2 cup)
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cloves garlic, minced
**Adjust flavors to taste
**Dress slowly, just to cover. (You may have extra)
Alternate Dressing (less sugar)
1 1⁄2 teaspoons finely shredded lemon peel
1⁄3 cup lemon juice
3⁄4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon Dijon style mustard
1 teaspoon sugar
1⁄4 teaspoon salt
1 garlic clove, minced
Cook tortellini according to package directions. Add asparagus and sweet pepper the last 2 minutes of cooking. Drain. Rinse tortellini & vegetables with cold water. Drain again. Mix with 2 Tablespoons olive oil. Refrigerate 2-24 hours.
For dressing, in a screw-top jar combine lemon peel, lemon juice, oil, mustard, sugar, salt and garlic. Cover. Shake well.
In a large bowl place tortellini & vegetables. Add dressing and toss to coat.
Just before serving stir in cheese, green onions and pine nuts.
Where has this baby been my whole life??? I had my first Dutch Baby a few weeks ago in wine country at a beautiful B&B where host Felisa introduced me to this tasty dish. This “pancake” pulls together quickly using a few basic ingredients that you can whisk in a bowl or mix in a blender. You then bake the mixture in a preheated oven-proof pan and within 20 minutes it will turn golden brown, puff up and then collapse creating a custard-like filling. The end result is impressive and delicious. A Traditional Dutch Baby is served with a squeeze of lemon juice and a dusting of confectioners sugar. Adding fresh berries is a nice accompaniment but with June being cherry season, I’ve decided to follow Smitten Kitchen’s lead and make a Dutch Baby with cherries and sliced toasted almonds.
Cherry and Almond Dutch Baby
3 large egg
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon almond extract (more or less to taste)
Pinch of salt
4 tablespoons butter
2 cups pitted sweet cherries
**1/2 cup sliced almonds, well-toasted
Heat oven to 425 degrees. Whisk egg, sugar, flour, milk, extract and salt together until the batter is blended but lumpy; you can also do this in a blender. In a 12-inch ovenproof frying pan (cast iron if you have one), melt the butter. Add cherries and cook until warmed, about 2 minutes. Pour in batter and transfer to heated oven. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until golden brown.
Remove pancake from oven and quickly sprinkle with toasted almonds, dust with powdered sugar and squeeze lemon juice over. Serve. Also great with REAL maple syrup.
Because this oven pancake does lose its puff after baked, it’s best to bake directly before serving. It won’t deflate entirely, but its appearance will be most dramatic just out of the oven.
** Spread almonds on a tray, bake them for 8 to 10 minutes at 350 degrees, tossing them around a few times for even color, take them out when they golden brown.
This salad…..amazing and amazingly simple, is a must for your busy summer schedule. Picnics, concerts, ballgames….and “Ijust don’t feel like cooking dinnertonight” dinners. A light and refreshing salad that has sweetness from the grapes, crunch from the celery, and a slight hint of anise from the tarragon. Cooking the chicken and adding a little pan juice will enhance the flavor. When you are really pressed for time, pick up a rotisserie chicken.
Tarragon Chicken Salad
4 split chicken breasts, bone-in, skin-on
Freshly ground black pepper
4-5 ribs celery, sliced into 1/4-inch slices
30-40 green seedless grapes, sliced in half
4-5 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon
Juice of 1 lemon
1/3 cup good mayonnaise (Greek yogurt works for those who don’t use mayo)
Toasted slivered almonds to garnish
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place chicken breasts, skin side up, on a rimmed baking sheet. Rub chicken with a few tablespoons olive oil and season with generous amounts of salt and pepper. Roast for 35-40 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Set aside until cool.
Remove skin and bones, and discard. Reserve a couple of tablespoons of pan drippings. Chop chicken into bite-sized pieces and place in medium bowl. Add reserved pan juices, celery, grapes, tarragon, lemon juice and mayo and stir to combine. Add salt and lots of freshly ground black pepper to taste.
Well, there is a first for everything ….and this was that!! Success. Cooking salmon on cedar planks creates a fragrant, smokey flavor that helps lock in the moisture AND prevents the fish from sticking to the grill. A glaze of maple syrup with ginger, garlic, soy and lemon juice adds a hint of sweetness and a nice kick. For best presentation keep the salmon on the plank when serving. I like the idea of individual planks. You can buy a set from Costco however, my sister, Lisa, who enjoys this salmon once a week, has planks cut at Home Depot and $aves! Oh, and the mustard mashers…to die for! It’s the perfect combination with the salmon.
Cedar Planked Salmon With Maple Glaze and Mustard Potatoes
Makes 6 servings
Untreated cedar planks, soaked in water for 1 to 2 hours
In a small heavy saucepan simmer maple syrup, ginger root, 3 tablespoons lemon juice, soy sauce, garlic, and salt and pepper until reduced by about half, and let cool. (Maple glaze may be made 2 days ahead and chilled, covered. Bring maple glaze to room temperature before proceeding.)
Put salmon, skin side down, on scallion greens and brush with half the glaze. Season salmon with salt and pepper.
Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of lemon juice to the remaining sauce and warm up and use as a finishing sauce. Keep warm.
Heat grill to (about 400 degrees). Place your plank with the seasoned salmon on the grill. Cook with the lid closed (to keep in all that flavorful smoke) until the fish is done to your liking. If your salmon fillet is an inch thick, this process should take about 20-25 minutes. Adjust for thickness of the fish.
Cut salmon into pieces. On each plank arrange salmon and scallion greens on a bed of mashed potatoes. Drizzle salmon with warm sauce.
6 tablespoons butter, room temperature (I used 3 T)
2/3 cup whole milk (I used skim)
3 tablespoons Grainy Dijon mustard
Cook potatoes in large pot of boiling salted water until very tender, about 25 minutes. Drain well. Return potatoes to pot. Add butter and mash potatoes until almost smooth. Mix in 2/3 cup milk (adjust for desired consistency) and Dijon mustard. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Do I let the best kept secret out of the bag? Well here it is….a stunning B&B sitting on top of the Denner vineyard in Paso Robles. The region was once known for Cabs and Zins, but in the past decade Rhone varietals have been taking over the area. Located right in the middle of Cali between San Francisco and Los Angeles, this wine country has become our favorite destination for a three day escape. With over 250 vineyards, we have 16 down and so many to go!! Our new home away home is the Comus House in the middle of the Denner Vineyard. Listing this home as a bed and breakfast takes the category to a new level. Ron Denner designed and built this house 15 years ago for himself and 3 years ago decided to open his home to guests. His long time employee Felisa and her husband Ron have the ideal job as the innkeepers. This dream team is the perfect couple to welcome guests and serve (cook) amazing multi-course breakfasts and evening appetizers. And of course they serve Denner wines. I wanted to highlight a few of Ron and Felisa’s dishes…. as this is NOT your mothers B&B!
Blueberry Galette with Lemon Curd
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
24 Tbs. (3 sticks) plus 3 Tbs. unsalted butter, cut into cubes
3/4 cup ice water
Combine flour, sugar, zest, and salt in a large bowl, whisk to combine. Add the cold butter cubes, and using your fingers, rub the butter into the flour mixture making pea sized chunks. Add the cold water, and very gently mix until a mixture is formed.
Place the mixture on a lightly floured counter. Bring together gently, fold over a few times to incorporate all of the butter and flour. Shape into a ball, place in a large bowl, cover, and place in fridge for 15 minutes. While the dough is resting, work on the filling.
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
3 cups fresh blueberries
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg, lightly beaten
coarse sugar, for sprinkling
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a small bowl, stir together the sugar and cornstarch to get rid of any lumps. In a large bowl, toss the berries, sugar and cornstarch mixture, lemon juice, cinnamon, and salt. Roll out the dough.
Mound the blueberries into the middle of the dough, leaving an inch or two around the edges. Fold the edges over the filling, just enough to keep the berries from sliding out, overlapping and pinching where needed.
Brush the pastry with egg and sprinkle with the course sugar. Bake until golden, about 20-25 minutes. If the dough is browning too quickly, cover loosely with foil. Cool for a few minutes and serve with lemon curd.
3/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon grated lemon rind
2 large eggs
2/3 cup fresh lemon juice (about 3 large lemons)
2 tablespoons butter
Combine the first 3 ingredients in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring with a whisk. Cook until sugar dissolves and mixture is light in color (about 3 minutes). Stir in lemon juice and butter; cook for 5 minutes or until mixture thinly coats the back of a spoon, stirring constantly with a whisk. Cool. Cover and chill (the mixture will thicken as it cools).
Note: Lemon Curd can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. You can easily double the recipe and freeze half of it in a heavy-duty zip-top plastic bag. Thaw in the refrigerator, and use within 1 week of thawing.
Felisa’s additional breakfast dishes included A Dutch baby served with cinnamon syrup (to be made and blogged in a future post). And a lovely first course of watermelon, tomato, buffalomozzarella stacks topped with balsamic glaze and mint.
Felisa’s Asparagus Blue Cheese Souffle’s
5 tablespoons flour
1 cup whole milk
4 ounces creamy blue cheese, cut in small pieces
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened and cubed, plus extra for buttering the souffle dishes
1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more for egg whites
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 egg yolks
4 egg whites
1 1/2 pounds thin asparagus spears, with tough ends cut off and discarded
Arrange a rack in center of oven and preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Butter generously the insides of eight 1/2 -cup oven-proof souffle dishes, ramekins or custard cups. Cut circles of parchment paper to fit the bottoms, and place circles in the bottoms of the dishes. Butter the parchment papers.
Put flour in medium saucepan and very gradually whisk in the milk, a little at a time, until you have a smooth paste. When all the milk has been added, set the saucepan over medium heat and stir continuously for a minute or longer until the mixture is smooth and quite thick.
Remove the saucepan from heat and whisk in the cheese, butter, salt and pepper. Mix well. Whisk in egg yolks.
In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat egg whites with a pinch of salt until frothy. Raise speed to high and beat until whites hold stiff peaks but are not dry. Fold egg whites into cheese mixture in three equal additions.
Divide mixture evenly among prepared souffle dishes and place them in a large baking pan. Carefully pour in enough boiling water to reach halfway up the sides of the souffle dishes.
Bake souffles at 375 degrees oven in water bath until puffed and golden, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from oven and cool in the pan 5 minutes. Run a knife around inside edges of each souffle dish and then, carefully unmold (if desired) a souffle and place it, right side up, in a buttered baking dish. Repeat with remaining souffles. (Souffles can be prepared a day ahead. Cool, cover and refrigerate. Bring to room temperature before reheating.)
To reheat: Arrange rack at center position of oven and preheat oven to 375 degrees. Bake souffles, uncovered, until heated through, 8 to 10 minutes or longer. They will rise again slightly. While souffles are heating, cook asparagus in a large pot of boiling water to cover, until tender, 3 to 4 minutes for very thin asparagus spears; a minute or two longer for larger ones. Drain well, salt to taste, then cover with foil to keep warm until souffles are done.
Not only were the dishes delish, Ron had an impromptu arts and crafts session!!