Sunday, December 26, 2010

Beef Tenderloin with Garlic Horseradish Cream

This is the beef tenderloin that I made for Christmas dinner. The sauce and meat were outstanding. I served this with baby roasted yukon gold potatos and baby vadalia onions tossed in olive oil, sea salt and rosemary. Also, baby english peas tossed in butter with sauteed mushrooms. The sauce can be made ahead, but with solidify in the refrigerator. You must reheat this slowly or the sauce will break. I know this, because mine broke. That said, I just whisked in a bit more cream and it came back together. One other note, the cooking time below is not enough. We went another 1/2 hour before the roast was done. So, time accordingly. We also removed the roast at 125 degrees and it was perfect.

For sauce
  • 1 head garlic (1/4 pound; about 2 1/2 inches in diameter), left intact
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup drained bottled horseradish
  • 1/8 teaspoon white pepper

For tenderloin
  • 1 (3-pound) center-cut beef tenderloin roast, tied
  • 1/2 cup cracked black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons granulated beef bouillon
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 3/4 teaspoon dried oregano, crumbled
  • 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon paprika (not hot)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • Special equipment: a roasting pan with a rack; an instant-read thermometer

Make sauce:
Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 400°F.

Cut off and discard top fourth of garlic head. Drizzle exposed garlic with oil and sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt, then wrap head tightly in foil. Roast garlic until tender, about 1 1/4 hours, then open foil and cool.

While garlic roasts, simmer cream in a 1 1/2- to 2-quart heavy saucepan, stirring occasionally, until reduced to about 3/4 cup, 20 to 25 minutes, then transfer to a bowl.

Squeeze garlic into a small bowl, discarding skins, and mash together with horseradish, pepper, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt using a fork.

Stir garlic mixture into cream, then chill until ready to use.

Roast tenderloin:
Increase oven temperature to 475°F.

Pat tenderloin dry. Stir together pepper, bouillon, salt, cornstarch, oregano, garlic powder, and paprika in a small bowl. Rub oil all over tenderloin, then sprinkle with spice mixture, rubbing it into meat. Put tenderloin on rack in roasting pan and roast 10 minutes, then reduce oven temperature to 425°F and cook until thermometer inserted diagonally into center of meat registers 130°F, 20 to 25 minutes for medium-rare. Let beef stand on rack in pan 10 minutes before serving.

Cut beef into 1/4-inch-thick slices and serve with garlic horseradish cream.

Read More

Spicy Cheddar Cheese Straw Dough

  • I made these yesterday for Christmas day with drinks. The basic cheese straw dough has several variations. I simply rolled it into a log in saran wrap chilled it then sliced off the cookies. I tried it with the pecans and I think the plain is best. This dough can be frozen and then thawed in the fridge. You just slice off what you need. Very rich, very spicy and great with cocktails.


  • 1 (10-oz.) block sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces and softened
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
  • 2 tablespoons half-and-half


Pulse first 5 ingredients in a food processor at 5-second intervals until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add half-and-half, and process 10 seconds or until dough forms a ball.

Note: Dough may be wrapped in plastic wrap, sealed in a zip-top plastic freezer bag, and chilled up to 3 days.

Four-Seed Cheddar Triangles: Preheat oven to 350°. Prepare dough, and divide in half. Roll each half into a 9- to 10-inch round. Transfer rounds to parchment paper-lined baking sheets. Whisk together 1 egg white and 1 tsp. water just until foamy. Stir together 1/4 cup roasted, salted pumpkin seeds; 1/4 cup roasted sunflower kernels; 2 Tbsp. toasted sesame seeds; and 2 Tbsp. black sesame seeds. Brush rounds with egg white mixture, and sprinkle with seed mixture. Cut each round into wedges of random sizes, using a fluted pastry wheel. Separate wedges about 1 inch apart. Bake 16 to 18 minutes; cool on baking sheets on wire racks 30 minutes. Makes: 24 to 32 triangles. Hands-on Time: 20 min.; Total Time: 1 hr., 22 min., including dough.

3 More Cheese Straws:

1. Spicy Cheddar "Long" Straws: Preheat oven to 350°. Prepare dough, and turn out onto a well-floured surface; divide in half. Roll each half into a 12- x 8-inch rectangle (about 1/8 inch thick). Cut dough into 3/4-inch-wide strips using a sharp knife or fluted pastry wheel, dipping knife in flour after each cut to ensure clean cuts. Place strips on parchment paper-lined baking sheets. Bake 18 to 20 minutes or until edges are well browned; cool on baking sheets on wire racks 30 minutes. Makes: about 3 dozen. Hands-On Time: 15 min.; Total Time: 1 hr., 26 min., including dough.

2. Pecan-Cheddar Buttons: Preheat oven to 300°. Prepare dough, and shape into 1-inch balls. Whisk together 2 egg whites and 2 tsp. water. Dip balls in egg white mixture, and roll in 2 cups finely chopped pecans. Place 1 inch apart on parchment paper-lined baking sheets. Bake 1 hour; cool on baking sheets on wire racks 30 minutes. Makes: about 4 1/2 dozen. Hands-on Time: 30 min.; Total Time: 3 hr., including dough.

3. Spicy Cheddar Appetizer Cookies: Preheat oven to 350°. Prepare dough, and turn out onto a well-floured surface; divide in half. Roll each half to 1/8-inch thickness. Cut with 2 1/2- to 3 1/2-inch assorted star-shaped cutters; place 2 inches apart on parchment paper-lined baking sheets. Bake 16 to 18 minutes; cool on baking sheets on wire racks 30 minutes. Makes: 28 (3 1/2-inch) cookies or 72 (2 1/2-inch) cookies. Hands-on Time: 20 min.; Total Time: 1 hr., 38 min., including dough. Note: Position cookie cutters closely together to cut out shapes; dough will be tough if rerolled.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Papa Joe's Brussel Sprouts

Papa Joe served these last night with beef tenderloin and roasted potatoes.  They were sooo good.  Of course, there is no real recipe, but you don't need one.

Brussels sprouts, cleaned, and cut in half, enough for 5-6 servings
2-4 tbl butter
2 tbl olive oil
5 shallots, minced
pre-cooked bacon bits
1 cup chicken stock
salt and pepper to taste

Saute shallots and bacon bits in olive oil and butter; Add the brussels sprouts and saute.  Add the chicken stock and cook covered until Brussels sprouts are tender, about 10 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste.

Papa Joe's Spiced Pecans

When we arrived in Florida yesterday Papa Joe had made spiced pecans that were fantastic. Of course, there was no recipe, but here's what he did. 

Put pecans in an iron skillet, then drizzle with some ALAGA cane syrup; sprinkle with salt, sugar, and cayenne. Papa Joe cooked these in his convection oven, alternating between baking and toasting.  I would probably just bake them in the oven at 325 until toasty, brown.

Saturday, December 18, 2010


I really don't have a recipe for this, and you don't need one either. Chili is one of those dishes that you can make to your taste and according to what you have in your pantry.  I like to use ground beef and red beans, but you can easily substitute ground turkey and kidney beans. If you like a mild chili, leave out the Rotel and perhaps add some green pepper.
2 tbl olive oil
1 1/2 lbs ground beef
1 onion, chopped
2 fat garlic cloves, chopped
1 can Rotel (I use mild)
2 small cans or 1 large can tomato sauce
1 can beef broth
1 bay leaf
chili powder
cumin powder
coriander powder (if you don't have, just add a little more cumin)

Saute onion and garlic in olive oil with a pinch of salt. Season with some chili, cumin, coriander, and pepper.  Add the meat and cook until no longer pink.  Season again with some chili, cumin, coriander, and pepper. 
Add Rotel, beans, tomato sauce, beef broth, bay leaf.  Taste and reseason with chili, cumin, coriander, and pepper.  Cook, partially covered, on top of the stove for 1-2 hours. Stir occasionally and add a little water if it begins to stick.  For crock pot, move everything to crockpot and cook on high 1 hour and low 5 hours.
Cook on top of the

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Spiced Pecans

I made these today to take to my dad's house for Christmas. You can make these very simple with just butter and salt, or you can do what I did and add a little spice. Any way you make them, they are addictively, delicious.

Preheat oven to 250

4 cups pecan halves
1/3 cup butter
powder chipotle chile powder

Line cookie sheet with Release aluminum foil. Put the butter in a microwave-proof bowl large enough to hold the pecans. Microwave to melt butter. Add pecans and toss to coat.  Add salt, sugar, and chile powder.  Mix, taste, and reseason to taste. Put nuts on cookie sheet in one layer and put in oven. Bake for 1 hour, stirring every 20 minutes. Nuts are finished when they are a rich brown color. Let cool and place in plastic bags to store.

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Mama's Best Pecan Sandies

This is my mother's recipe for melt-in-your-mouth, Southern perfection. So simple and yet so delicious, these cookie's are buttery, nutty, and not too sweet.

3 1/2 dozen
Preheat oven to 300
1 cup butter
1/2 Cup confectioners sugar; additional conf sugar for rolling the cookies in.
2 Cups flour (White Lily if you can get it)
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup pecans, chopped fine

Cream butter and sugar.  Add flour and salt and mix gently. Add vanilla and nuts and mix gently.  Roll out into fingers or balls. (I use a 1 tbl scoop to portion them and then chill the balls before rolling.)  Bake for 10-20 minutes on parchment covered cookie sheets.  Watch the cookies carefully.  They should just barely brown.  Remove from oven, let cool a few minutes, and roll in additional confectioners’ sugar while still warm.

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Sour Cream Coffee Cake

I didn't make the Doughnut Muffins for the tailgate. I just couldn't face baking and handling so many individual items. I made this instead, and it was a hit.  I made it in the single layer version--super easy--, sliced it into individual servings, and put them in cupcake liners so people could grab a single serving. I got this recipe from
One 9-inch square or Bundt cake; 6 to 9 servings
Streusel Topping:
1/2 cup granulated or brown sugar, or 1/4 cup each
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg or cloves (optional)
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter or margarine, softened
1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts or pecans, grated coconut, golden raisins, or chocolate chips, or 1 cup any combination (optional)

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon double-acting baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter or margarine, softened
1 cup granulated or brown sugar or 1/2 cup each
4 large egg yolks, or 3 large eggs
1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream or plain yogurt
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest (optional)

Glaze (optional):
1 cup confectioners' sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla or almond extract
1 to 2 tablespoons milk or water
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (325°F if using a glass pan). Grease one 9-inch square pan,9-inch Bundt or tube pan, or 9-inch springform pan. Line with parchment or waxed paper, grease again, and dust with flour.
2. To make the streusel: Combine the sugar, flour, cinnamon, salt, and nutmeg if using. Cut in the butter to resemble coarse crumbs. If desired, stir in the nuts.
3. To make the batter: Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a large bowl, beat the butter until smooth, about 1 minute. Gradually add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Beat in the egg yolks, one at a time. Blend in the sour cream, vanilla, and zest if using. Stir in the flour mixture.
4. Spread half of the batter in the prepared pan. Sprinkle with half of the streusel. Carefully cover with the remaining batter and sprinkle with the remaining streusel.
5. Bake unitl the cake is golden and pulls away from the sides of the pan, about 50 minutes. Set on a rack and let cool in the pan for at least 15 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature. Wrap the kuchen in plastic and store at room temperature for up to 2 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
6. To make the glaze if using: Combine all the glaze ingredients, stirring until smooth and of pouring consistency. Drizzle over the cake and let stand until set.
When baking and storing a cake containing acidic ingredients such as sour cream in an aluminum pan, line the bottom with parchment paper to prevent the juices from reacting with the aluminum and creating a metallic flavor.
Single-Layer Coffee Cake:
Spread all the batter in a 13-by-9-inch pan, sprinkle with all of the topping, and bake for 30 to 35 minutes.
Fruit-Filled Coffee Cake:
After adding the middle layer of streusel, top with 1 cup peeled, cored, and thinkly sliced cooking apples, 1 cup peeled, pitted, and sliced peaches, or 1 cup pitted cherries, blueberries, blackberries, or raspberries.
Cheese Coffee Cake:
Combine 8 ounces softened cream chees, 1/4 cup sugar, 1 large egg, and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract. Spread over the top of the batter, leaving a 1-inch border on all sides. If desired, spread 1/2 cup melted blueberry, cherry, raspberry, or strawberry preserves or pie filling over the cheese mixture. Sprinkle with the streusel.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Doughnut Muffins from Kathleen Stuart

I heard about these muffins on that food show where chefs talk about the best thing they've ever eaten, and I've thought about them since.  They sound fantastic, and I'm going to make them for the tailgate tomorrow. I'll let you know how they turn out.
For the muffins:
12 oz. (24 Tbs.) unsalted butter, warmed to room temperature
1-3/4 cups sugar
4 large eggs
1 lb. 11 oz. (6 cups) all-purpose flour
1 Tbs. plus 2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1-3/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground nutmeg
1-2/3 cups milk
1/4 cup buttermilk
For dipping:
8 oz. (16 Tbs.) unsalted butter; more as needed
2 cups sugar
2 Tbs. ground cinnamon

To make the muffins Put a rack in the middle of the oven and heat the oven to 350°F. In a stand mixer or a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, until just mixed in. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and nutmeg. Combine the milk and buttermilk. With a wooden spoon, mix a quarter of the dry ingredients into the butter mixture. Then mix in a third of the milk mixture. Continue mixing in the remaining dry and wet ingredients alternately, ending with the dry. Mix until well combined and smooth, but don't overmix. Grease and flour a standard-size muffin tin. Scoop enough batter into each tin so that the top of the batter is even with the rim of the cup, about 1/2 cup. (A #16 ice-cream scoop gives you the perfect amount.) Bake the muffins until firm to the touch, 30 to 35 min.

To finish Melt the butter for the dipping mixture. Combine the sugar and cinnamon. When the muffins are just cool enough to handle, remove them from the tin, dip them into or brush them all over with the melted butter, and then roll them in the cinnamon sugar.

Make Ahead Tips

You don't have to bake all the muffins right away; the batter will keep, covered and chilled, for up to three days in the refrigerator.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Baked Spareribs and Sauerkraut

My sister-in-law, Kate, came to visit this weekend. She is a very busy career woman who doesn't cook, so I love to spoil her when she's here.  She mentioned that her mom used to make this dish and that she loved it.  We found the recipe in her mom's Joy of Cooking, I added a few twists of my own, and we had a fantastic meal--perfect for yesterday's gray, rainy, cold weather. I served this with mashed potatoes.

If you don't have spareribs which are kind of expensive, I would use country style ribs (blade end pork chops). I added some brats because I had them in the freezer, you could omit them, add more, or add kielbasa.

Serves 6

Preheat oven to 325 or 280
2 slices bacon-optional
1 slab pork spareribs, sliced into individual ribs
3 smoked bratwurst or kielbasa. (Optional)
4 cans Silver Floss Bavarian style Sauerkraut, drained well
1 onion, sliced-optional
salt, pepper, garlic powder
1-4 tbl brown sugar

 Spray a large roasting pan with Pam. Add the sauerkraut, onion, bacon, and sugar, and mix well. Salt, pepper, and put a little garlic powder on the spare ribs. Add the spareribs and sausages to the casserole, cover, and bake 2 hours at 325 or 3 1/2-4 hours at 280. Raise heat to 325 and Uncover and bake another 30-45 minutes or until brown.

To do this in a crock pot, brown the meats first. Then, place all in the crock pot and cook on low 6 hours.

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Zucchini with Tomatoes and Pancetta (Umido di Zucchine,pomodore, e pancetta all marchigiana)

This is from the cookbook Marcella Cucina by Marcella Hazan. She recommends slicing the zucchini, salting it, and letting it steep for 3 hours to remove excess water.  I'm sure that it would improve this dish, but I usually don't have time for this. This is a delicious side dish with any grilled meats, but it is also good over pasta or with rice as a main course.

Serves 4
2-2 1/2 lbs zucchini, sliced thin
salt for steeping, if you do it
3 tbls extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 cups onion, sliced thin
4 garlic cloves, sliced thin
6 oz pancetta, cut into narrow strips
3 tbls parsley, chopped
2-2 1/2 cups fresh tomatoes, peeled and chopped with all their seeds and juice or canned tomatoes,chopped
black pepper to taste

To steep sliced zucchini, salt it liberally and set in a colander over a bowl for 3 hours. Rinse with cold water and pat dry.
In a large skillet, add the olive oil, onion, garlic, and pancetta and turn on the heat to medium high. Cook, stirring until the onion is light gold.
Add the parsley, stir, and add the zucchini. Cook, stirring, for a minute or so. Add the tomatoes, stir, and turn the heat up to high, cooking until no longer runny and the fat begins to separate from the sauce. (About 10-15 minutes)

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Sauteed Kale

I love greens of all kind, but this may be my new favorite. I think that this is very good served with a rich meat dish like the beef short ribs or osso buco.

Serves 4
1 pkg of kale, deveined and washed twice
1 onion, sliced in half and then sliced into half moons
1 garlic clove, sliced
2 tbl extra virgin olive oil
salt, to taste
sugar, 1 tsp or so
1-2 tbl red wine vinegar

First, pull the kale leaves off the big, tough stems. Then place in a big bowl and fill with water. Agitate it and then lift the kale out. Discard the water and any sand. Wash it again to be sure that it's sand-free.

Heat the olive oil in a large, deep skillet. Add the onion, a sprinkle of salt, and saute. When the onion is translucent, add the garlic.  Finally, add the kale, season with salt, and turn it to coat in the garlicky, oniony oil. You may need to add a little water at this point, depending on how much water was on the kale. Cover and lower the heat. Let it cook for 10 minutes or so, until the kale is tender. Check it every so often to make sure that you still have some water in the skillet.  When the kale is tender, uncover and season with salt, sugar, and vinegar. If there is too much water, turn up the heat and let it evaporate.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Easy Hot Bean Dip

I made this yesterday afternoon, while we watched the Auburn / LSU game. (War Eagle!) It's super easy, and very good. I didn't garnish it with green onion, but it would look prettier. If you don't have refried beans, you can start with pinto beans or black beans and puree them before adding the remaining ingredients.  You may also need to add more onion, garlic, and cumin.

1 can refried beans

1/2 chopped onion
1 garlic clove, chopped finely
2-4 tbl chopped fresh cilantro stem
1-2 tbl chopped jalapeno (or to taste)
1/3 jar Pace Picante sauce
1/2 or more cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 tsp cumin powder (or to taste)
ground black pepper to taste
(chopped green onion and/or cilantro for garnish)

Stir all in a saucepan over low heat until cheese is melted and mixture is heated through. Garnish with green onion. Serve hot with tortilla chips or fritos.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Easy Chicken and Potato Bake

I made this tonight for dinner and thought that it was very, very good. It's really simple; the prep takes no time at all. I think that you could probably use whatever combination of herbs and spices that you like. You could certainly, for example, use lemon juice, olive oil, and oregano for a "Greek" take on things. It would also be nice to add sliced red peppers and garlic to the potatoes. I made this for 3-4 people, but by adding another potato and another chicken thigh per person you can increase the recipe.  Amounts are not too important in this recipe--it's the method.
Preheat oven to 375 Convect Roast or 400 conventional
For 3-4
4 chicken thighs
2 tbl extra virgin olive oil
2 tbl Marsala wine
2-3 tsp dry rosemary
salt & pepper
3 Idaho potatoes, peeled and sliced about 1/4 inch thick
1/2 onion sliced

In the fridge marinate chicken thighs in oil, wine, rosemary, liberal sprinklings of salt & pepper.  Let marinate at least 1/4 hour and up to all day. (If you're using any acid, like lemon juice, limit marination to 3 hours.) Line a roasting pan with Release aluminum foil and dump in potatoes and onions.  Sprinkle on a little olive oil and season with salt & pepper.   Dump in all the thighs and arrange skin side up.  Roast for about 1/2 hour or until nice and brown.  Reduce heat to 325 and roast another 15 - 30 minutes. Serve with a tossed salad for an easy meal.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Emeril's Slow Cooker Chicken Cacciatore

I had this last night at Joe and Mary Beth's new house, overlooking the river. It was rich and succulent--the perfect meal for a fall evening--without being heavy. Mary Beth used boneless, skinless chicken thighs to really lighten up the recipe. If you don't have a slow cooker, you could certainly finish it on top of the stove or in the oven on a 250.

4 servings

8 chicken thighs (2 1/2 to 3 pounds total)
1 3/4 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons Emeril's Original Essence
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups yellow onions, sliced
8 ounces button mushrooms, sliced
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons garlic, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh oregano leaves, chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh rosemary leaves, chopped
1 bay leaf
1 can whole peeled tomatoes (28 ounces), crushed, with juices
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup tomato paste
2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
Cooked pasta (optional), for serving
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese (optional), grated, for serving

Season the chicken on both sides with 1 teaspoon of the salt, the black pepper, and Essence. Dredge lightly in 1/4 cup of the flour.

Heat the olive oil in a large nonstick skillet and, when hot, cook the chicken thighs until golden on both sides, 8 to 10 minutes.

Transfer thighs to the slow cooker. To the same skillet add the onions, mushrooms and red pepper flakes, and cook until softened and lightly caramelized, 4 to 6 minutes.

Add the garlic, oregano, rosemary, bay leaf and remaining 2 tablespoons flour and cook, stirring, for 1 to 2 minutes.

Add the tomatoes, wine, tomato paste, and remaining salt, and stir to combine. Transfer to the slow cooker, cover and cook until chicken is fork-tender, 4 to 4 1/2 hours on high.

Stir in the basil and adjust seasoning if necessary. Let sit on warm for 10 minutes, then serve over cooked pasta, garnished with Parmesan cheese if desired.

Emeril's Essence
2 1/2 tablespoons paprika
2 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons garlic powder
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon cayenne
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon dried thyme
Mix all ingredients together and store in a spare spice jar.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

"Barbecued" Chicken Thighs

Not barbecued, but baked, these chicken thighs are a family favorite. My mom used to make these for us when we were kids, and  I have made them for my family for the last 35 years. I've changed the recipe since Mama made them--she made a homemade barbecue sauce. For anybody who is saying, "Oh, I like white meat, not dark.", you need to take a walk on the wild side. Thighs stay moist and delicious when roasted or grilled. They don't become dry and stringy when cooked 5 minutes too long. I like to serve this with baked beans and cole slaw, or corn on the cob.  If you don't like barbecue, you can change this marinade in many ways (lemon juice, garlic, olive oil, and rosemary, salt and pepper, for example) and cook the thighs in the same way.

The John Will's dry rub is something I keep in my cupboard all the time.  I like it in baked beans and even in cole slaw. If you don't want to make it, you could certainly use any commercially prepared dry rub that you like.

Preheat oven to 350 convect roast or 375 conventional

Serves 2-4
4 chicken thighs
1/2 cup or so Wickers basting sauce (thin, vinegar based sauce with spices)
1 tbl or so John Will's Dry Rub

Put all of the above in a plastic zip lock bag and refrigerate for a couple of hours.

Line a roasting pan with aluminum foil and spray with Pam. Dump in the chicken and marinade, and turn the chicken skin side up. Roast for 45 minutes.

1/2 Cup prepared barbecue sauce, whatever brand you like ( I used Kraft Original with Hickory Flavoring)
1/4 Wicker's basting sauce
A few shakes of John Will's Dry Rub

Meanwhile, in a saucepan heat all of the above to a simmer.  Reduce heat to very low and simmer til thick. After 45 minutes, slather some sauce on your thighs (the chicken's) and return to oven for about 10 minutes.  Place thighs on a platter and baste with some more sauce. Serve any remainder on the side.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Joy of Cooking's Fruit Galette or Crostata

I made this 2 weeks ago for dinner with friends.  I used 3 apples that I sliced fairly thin and tossed with lemon juice, 1/2 C. sugar, 1/2-1 tsp cinnamon, grating of nutmeg, and a tbl of flour. I  used my own pie pastry recipe (2 cup flour, 1 tsp salt, 2/3 cup Crisco, 4-6 tbl cold water) and not Joy's. I rolled out the pastry into a rough 11 inch circle, brushed it all with apricot jam, and dumped the apples in the middle.  Then I turned up the sides of the crust to form a rim and baked it in the oven on a flat cookie sheet. Let it cool completely before transfering it to a serving plate. I served this with vanilla ice cream.--Deeelicious!

Preheat the oven to 375°F.

Serves 8

   ½ recipe Deluxe Butter Pie or Pastry Dough, below
Position a rack in the lower third of the oven.
Roll the dough into an 11-inch round. Lift the dough onto a large baking sheet. Leaving a 1-inch border at the edges, spread evenly over the dough:
   ¼ cup raspberry or other jam
Fold over the border to form a rim. Toss together gently:
   4 medium plums, 2 medium peaches, peeled, or 2 medium nectarines, pitted and cut into 1⁄2-inch pieces ( ½ cup raspberries or blueberries)
   2 tablespoons sugar
   4 teaspoons all-purpose flour

Distribute the fruit mixture over the jam. Bake until the crust is golden brown and the fruit juices have thickened, 25 to 35 minutes. Serve warm.

Deluxe butter pie or pastry dough (pâte brisée)
One 9- or 10-inch double crust
This dough refrigerates well after baking and reheats to perfection.
Sift together:
   2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
   2 teaspoons sugar
   1 teaspoon salt

   1 cup (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter
   ¼ cup chilled vegetable shortening

Cut half the shortening into the flour mixture until it has the consistency of cornmeal. Cut in the remaining half until it is pea-sized. Sprinkle the dough with:
   6 tablespoons ice water
Blend the water gently into the dough until it just holds together; you may lift the ingredients with a fork, allowing the moisture to spread. If necessary to hold the ingredients together, add:
   1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon ice water
Divide the dough in half, shape each into a disk, and wrap in plastic wrap.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


I am so fortunate to have friends who are not only wonderful cooks, but generous as well.  Friday afternoon I stopped by the grocery and bought lamb chops to grill. I felt like having company so I bought as many as Butler and Bailey had.  When I got home, I called my friend, Connie, who offered to bring potatoes.  Then I called my friend Kathleen who said that she had made an almond torte that day that she would bring for dessert.  Et voila! a fabulous, easy dinner party with friends.  Kathleen's torte was fantastic! It was an elegant and delicious end to our meal.  She also has generously shared the recipe.

Preheat oven to 350
Line a 9" iron skillet with Release aluminum foil and spray with Pam. Let foil extend over sides.

Mix together with an electric mixer:
¾ cup butter (do not substitute)
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

Beat in two eggs, one at a time.

Add 2 teaspoons almond extract

Then mix in a pinch of salt and 1 and ½ cups flour.
Mix well.  Batter will be slightly stiff.

Pour into the iron skillet that has been lined with aluminum foil and sprayed with Pam.

Sprinkle sliced almonds (not slivered) on top or make any design you wish on top and
   then sprinkle about 1 and ½ tablespoons sugar evenly over the top.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes (until golden brown).

Let cool completely in pan.  Lift carefully by foil out of pan, peel off foil and place on serving plate.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Orzo and Rice Pilaf with Vegetables

This is Ellen's recipe from  She added the Parmesan cheese to it, and her guests loved it.  She served it with veal chops, but I'm sure that it would be delicious with any simple grilled meat as well.

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2/3 cup orzo (rice-shaped pasta)
1 medium onion, finely chopped (1 cup)
2 carrots, cut into 1/4-inch dice (3/4 cup)
2 celery ribs, cut into 1/4-inch dice (2/3 cup)
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cup long-grain white rice
1 3/4 cups chicken broth or vegetable broth (14 fl oz)
1 cup water
1 small zucchini or yellow squash, cut into 1/4-inch dice (1 1/4 cups)
1/2 cup grated parmigiano reggiano 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted

Heat oil and butter in a deep 12-inch heavy skillet over moderately high heat until foam subsides, then sauté orzo, stirring constantly, until golden brown, about 1 minute. Add onion, carrots, celery, garlic, salt, and pepper and sauté, stirring occasionally, until onion is lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add rice and sauté, stirring, until coated with oil and butter. Add broth and water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cook, covered, until liquid is absorbed, 13 to 15 minutes. Remove from heat and quickly stir in zucchini, then let stand, covered, 5 minutes. (Zucchini will steam.) Stir in parsley and serve sprinkled with almonds.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Apple, Peach, or Plum Cake Cockaigne from Joy of Cooking

I made this today with 3 ripe, juicy pears and it was delicious. I added cinnamon and nutmeg to the cake batter and brown sugar in the topping. Delicious! This recipe is so quick to make, and it is wonderful for breakfast or dessert, especially with some ice cream.

I have made a few comments and changes. If you want the recipe straight from the horse's mouth follow this link: Joy of Cooking's Plum Cake

Line a 9x9x2 1/2 inch pan with Release aluminum foil and spray with some Baker's Ease.
Preheat oven to 425
In a bowl, mix together with a fork:
1 cup all-purpose flour (White Lily)
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt
2 tbl sugar

2-3 tbl cold butter, cubed
Cut the butter in with your finger tips or 2 knives until it looks like cornmeal.

Beat well in a measuring cup:
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla

Enough milk to make 1/2 cup. (If your fruit is very juicy, reduce the liquid by 1 tbl or more.)

Combine to make a stiff dough and pat or spread it into your greased pan. (It doesn't matter what it looks like you're going to cover it with fruit.  Just get it more or less evenly spread.)

Top with:
4 cups sliced apples, peaches, or plums

Sprinkle with a mixture of:
1 cup white or brown sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
3 tbls melted butter.

Bake 25 minutes

Sauteed Veal Chops with Sage and White Wine from Marcella Hazan's Classic Italian Cookbook

 I got beautiful veal chops from Butler and Baileys the other night and fixed these for dinner. They were melt-in-your-mouth delicious! Fast and easy to do, although they are a budget buster. My chops were at least 3 inches thick, so they took about 20 minutes to cook on medium.  I just kept touching the middle of the chop to test for doneness.

For 4 persons
3 tbl vegetable oil
4 veal loin chops, cut 3/4 inch thick.
3/4 cup flour, seasoned with salt and pepper on a pie plate
12 dried sage leaves
1/3 cup dry white wine
2 tbl butter

Put your platter in the oven on warm.
Heat the oil in a heavy skillet over medium high heat.
Pat the chops dry and flour them on both sides, patting off excess flour.
Add the chops and the sage to the hot oil. Cook for 8-10 minutes altogether, turning the chops 2 or 3 times so that they cook evenly.  (Veal should be medium when done.) When cooked, remove to the warm platter.
Spoon out most of the cooking oil.  Add the wine and raise the heat to high, scraping up any brown bits and boiling until the sauce has thickened somewhat. Turn the heat to low and add the butter.  Return the chops to the pan coating them with the sauce, and return all to the platter and serve.

Tomato and Cream Sauce for Pasta from Marcella Hazan's Classic Italian Cookbook

If I could only have one Italian cookbook, this would be it! Marcella Hazan's recipes are deceptively simple and outrageously delicious. I served this simple sauce over small bowties (farfalle), but Marcella recommends serving it over Tortellini or Green Gnocchi. We ate this with the veal chops with sage and white wine and spinach as a vegetable; however, it is certainly rich enough to be a main course sauce. This might be the recipe to use those incredibly expensive San Marzano tomatoes. Let me know if you can tell the difference.

For 6 servings
1 stick (1/4 lb) butter
3 tbls finely chopped yellow onion
3 tbls finely chopped carrot
3 tbls finely chopped celery
2 1/2 cups canned Italian tomatoes with their juice
2 tsp salt or to taste
1/4 tsp sugar
1/2 cup heavy cream

Put all the ingredients except the cream into a sauce pan and cook for 1 hour at a bare simmer, stirring occasionally.
Puree with your stick blender (or regular blender or food mill) You can refrigerate or freeze the sauce at this point.  Pour back into the pan, bring up to the simmer, add the cream, and cook for 1 minute more, stirring.
Taste and add salt if needed.

Monday, September 06, 2010

Prosciutto Wrapped Pork Chops

4 boneless pork loin chops (5 to 6 ounces each)
Coarse salt and ground pepper
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
4 slices prosciutto (about 2 ounces total)
2 teaspoons olive oil
Lemon wedges, for serving (optional)

Season pork chops with salt and pepper. Sprinkle thyme leaves over each, pressing, to help them adhere to the meat. Wrap 1 prosciutto slice around middle of each chop, like a belt; press ends to seal
In a large nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium-high. Cook chops until golden brown and cooked through, 4 to 5 minutes per side. (Cook in two batches, if necessary, to avoid crowding.) Serve chops with lemon wedges, if desired.

I made a pan sauce for these chops, I put a little flour in the pan drippings, made a quick roux. Then I deglazed with some Grand Marnier, added some chicken stock and thyme. Really delicious.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Stuffed Shells

I made this last night for dinner. I used some leftover marinara sauce that I had frozen. If you're in a hurry, use a good jarred marinara sauce and add some fresh garlic, basil, and extra virgin olive oil to it. If you don't have prosciutto or pancetta, you can use any well flavored ham. Don't be afraid to adjust the filling to your liking. If you don't have ham, leave it out. In fact, you could use the manicotti filling if you want an entirely vegetarian filling.

To serve 3-4:
1-2 tbl extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup prosciutto or pancetta, diced fine
1 garlic glove, chopped fine
1/4 purple onion, chopped fine
1/2-1 Cup frozen chopped spinach, partially defrosted 1/2 container ricotta
1/2 cup parmesean, grated (Use good parmigiano reggiano)
1/4 Cup fresh basil, chopped
1/2 tsp salt
ground black pepper
1 egg

Saute pancetta or prosciutto in olive oil until light brown.  Add onion and garlic. Add spinach and saute until all the water has cooked away and the mixture begins to stick slightly.  Cool slightly and mix in the remaining ingredients except the egg. Taste. Correct seasonings--it should be highly flavored. Mix in egg.

Marinara sauce
3 tbl extra virgin olive oil
1/2 onion, chopped fine
3 garlic cloves, chopped fine
2 cans chopped tomatoes, pureed
1/2 can tomato paste
salt, pepper
2 tsp dried basil
2 tbl fresh basil, chopped (optional)

Saute onion & garlic w/ a sprinkle of salt in oil until onion is translucent. Add tomatoes, salt, pepper, and dried basil. Let cook until thick. Add fresh basil. Taste & add more salt and pepper if necessary.

Preheat oven to 350

1/2 pck shells, cooked and drained
1/2 cup parmesean, grated

Fill each shell and place in a greased baking dish. Top with marinara sauce & more parmesean. Bake, covered for 30 minutes, remove top & bake 15 minutes more. Let stand 10 minutes before serving

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Scallopini Bolognese

I saw this on Lidia's Italy the other day and thought it sounded delicious. I didn't get a recipe, but if it came out half as good as Lidia's I'm happy. I made it the other night, and I thought that the taste was phenomenal! My only (slight) problem was that the veal wasn't as tender as I would have liked. Next time I will pound it thinner. I served this with a delicious pasta in tomato cream sauce and spinach.  It was an extraordinary, company worthy meal. Please be sure to use good prosciutto and REAL Parmigiano Reggiano. They are the stars of this dish, and if they are inferior, it will not be good.

I made this again last night, and this time I pounded the veal a little. That made all the difference in the final dish. The veal was very tender.  I also omitted the egg wash and simply floured the veal. I thought that it was just as good and much simpler to prepare. I also prepared this and  held it about an hour before baking it in the oven--still delicious.

Serves 2-3

1/2 Pound veal scallopini
1/2 pound prosciutto, sliced thin, (but not paper thin)
 parmigiano reggiano-enough to shave over the entire casserole
1/3 cup Marsala
1/3 cup dry white wine
1/3 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 egg
3-4 tbl butter
2-4 tbl cooking oil

salt & black pepper

Put flour, seasoned with a pinch of salt & pepper into a pan (I use a pie plate).
Beat egg in another pie plate.
Pat veal dry with paper towels. Dredge veal in flour, egg, and flour again. Place on a plate until all are done.
In a large non-stick skillet heat 3 tbl of butter with 1 tbl cooking oil over moderately high heat.
Brown veal in batches in butter and oil. Removing it to an oven-proof dish as soon as it is brown. Add more butter and oil if you need to.
Add slices of prosciutto to pan and saute for a minute.
Deglaze with marsala, white wine and chicken stock.  Cook down until it begins to thicken
Pour sauce and prosciutto over veal.
Top with parmigiano reggiano shavings (You can use a vegetable peeler for this.
Bake uncovered at 400 for 10 minutes or until the cheese is melted and everything is bubbling.

Monday, July 26, 2010


I made these this morning for Patrick, and I realized that I've never posted the recipe. I'm afraid that I have no precise measurements, but pancakes are very forgiving, so don't be worried.  Also, I'm not a big advocate of electric appliances, but I love to use an electric griddle for pancakes.  It provides a large surface and regulates the heat perfectly.  If you don't have one, just use your largest skillet (preferably nonstick).

For 3-4 people

1 cup flour (I like White Lily)
1/4 tsp salt
1 heaping teaspoon baking powder (I use a real teaspoon for this, not a measuring spoon)
1 tbl (more or less) butter, melted
1 egg, beaten slightly
3/4-1 cup milk (If you want to use buttermilk, you can add 1/4 tsp baking soda)

Crisco or vegetable oil for frying

Put your plates in a warm oven.

With a fork, mix the flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda, if you're using it, in a mixing bowl.  Melt the butter in the microwave.  Warm the milk to room temperature in the microwave.  Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients and add the egg, butter, and 3/4 cup of milk. Mix with a fork.  If it seems too dry, add
the remaining 1/4 cup of milk. DO NOT overbeat. It should look lumpy!

Arm yourself with a spatula, ladle or large spoon, a wad of paper towels, and a plate to put all this mess on.
Put the can of Crisco by the side and heat your skillet or griddle. I usually start by setting my griddle to 350 and then adjust up or down from there. Get some Crisco on that wad of paper towels and run it all over your griddle. Now, to test if your griddle is hot enough, throw a few drops of water on it.  They should dance over the griddle.  If they just sit there, it's not hot enough. If they vaporize, it's too hot. When your griddle is ready, ladle out  dollops of batter onto the griddle, making sure to keep them pretty far apart--you want room to turn them.  When the edges begin to set, and the bubbles start to break, it's time to turn.  The whole process will only take a couple of minutes. Place on a heated plate.  Repeat. You can keep unused batter in the fridge for a couple of days.

The boys like these with maple syrup, but I love them with strawberry preserves.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Sticky 5 Spice Short Ribs from "Ask Aida"

I saw this yesterday on TV, and it sounds really delicious and easy. This calls for beef short ribs, but I bet it would also be good with baby back ribs for a party. I definitely will try this when I get my kitchen back. This would be good served with fried or plain rice and an Asian flavored coleslaw.
  • 1 1/2 cups dry sherry or Shaoxing wine
  • 1/2 cup oyster sauce
  • 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 1/2 pounds short ribs, English cut
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons five-spice powder
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 6 medium garlic cloves, smashed
  • 1-inch piece ginger, sliced
  • 1 small serrano or Thai bird chile, or jalapeno pepper, halved

Heat the oven to 350 degrees F and arrange a rack in the middle.
Mix together sherry, oyster sauce, and brown sugar until evenly combined; set aside. Pat ribs dry with a paper towel and season well with salt and five-spice powder.
Place a 3-quart Dutch oven or other heavy-bottomed, shallow pot with a tight-fitting lid over medium heat and add oil. When oil starts to smoke, add ribs and sear until well browned, about 2 minutes per side.
Remove ribs to a plate and set aside. Discard all but 1 tablespoon drippings, return pan to stove, and add garlic, ginger, and chile and cook just until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in reserved sherry mixture and bring to a simmer.
Return ribs to pan and bring to a simmer. Cover and transfer to oven to cook, turning occasionally, until meat is knife tender, about 1 1/2 hours. Increase oven to 400 degrees F and cook, covered, until ribs are sticky, about 30 more minutes.

Blueberry Crunch (Based on Joy of Cooking's Cherry Crunch)

You've probably noticed the dearth of postings lately, and that's because my kitchen is completely torn up. I have no counter tops, no kitchen sink, no cook top, and no built-in microwave. Thank goodness, I still have one oven, the dishwasher, and a small microwave. We are remodeling, and my current kitchen is the laundry room. I'm not cooking very much, but the other day, I realized that I had two containers of blueberries that were going to go bad if I didn't do something with them. Turning to Joy of Cooking for an easy recipe, I found one for Cherry Crunch that uses canned cherries. It sounded easy, so I adapted it to the fresh blueberries. It's fantastic! Serve it warm with vanilla ice cream, and you have a company-worthy dessert.

One 9-inch square
Spray a 9-inch square pan with Pam. Preheat oven to 350°F.
Using your microwave, melt in a large bowl:
  1⁄2 cup unsalted butter
Mix with:
  1 to 1 1⁄2 cups packed brown sugar
  1 cup all-purpose flour
  1 cup quick-cooking or Old Fashioned Quaker Oats oatmeal
  1⁄4 teaspoon baking powder
  1⁄4 teaspoon salt
  1⁄4 teaspoon baking soda

Put half of this mixture into the baking pan. Scatter over it:
  2 cups fresh blueberries
Sprinkle them with
  juice of 1/2 a lemon.
Cover the fruit with the other half of the pastry mixture. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until brown.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Grilled Pork Chops with Asian Pomegranate Sauce-inspired by Wolfgang Puck

This recipe was inspired by Wolfgang Puck's recipe for double cut pork chops marinated in pomegranate. I'm sure that it's delicious, but I simplified the recipe for an everyday meal, and Jim and Patrick loved it. I served the chops with fried rice and some fresh green beans.
Tip: I freeze washed and dried whole chile peppers so that I have them whenever I need them. I just pull them out of the freezer bag and proceed as if they were fresh. You can also freeze a whole "hand" of ginger and then simply chop off what you need for a recipe.
Serves 4
  • 8 1 boneless pork chops, 1 1/2 inches thick
  • Pomegranate Marinade, recipe follows
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
Pomegranate Marinade
  • 1 tbl OUNCE_USVolumecanola or other vegetable oil
  • 2 fresh red chilies (I used cayenne)
  • 2 ounces OUNCE_USVolumegarlic chopped
  • 2 ounces OUNCE_USVolumeginger sliced
  • 1/2 bunch green onions, chopped
  • 1 cups CUP_USVolumepomegranate juice
  • 1/4 0.5  cup CUP_USVolumerice wine vinegar
  • 11/2 tsp TABLESPOON_USVolumefresh ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup OUNCE_USVolumebrown sugar
  • 1 tbl dry TABLESPOON_USVolumecoriander, toasted
  • 1/8 cup OUNCE_USVolumesoy sauce   
  • Big handful fresh coriander, chopped stems (Reserve the chopped leaves for garnish)
Chop garlic, ginger, chiles, green onions, and add all other ingredients. Place chops in a plastic bag and add marinade. Allow to marinate at least 2 hours and up to overnight.  Allow chops to come to room temperature before grilling. Preheat your grill and spray with Pam for Grilling.  Remove the pork chops from the marinade and grill over high heat for about 4 minutes per side. Meanwhile, place the marinade in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Mix 1 1/2 tsp cornstarch with 2 tbl soy sauce.  Lower the heat and add the cornstarch slurry.  Bring back to the boil, stirring.  Allow to simmer while pork chops are grilling. Arrange chops on a platter, pour sauce over and garnish with a generous amount of chopped coriander.

    Friday, July 16, 2010

    Spaghetti Cacio e Pepe

    Patrick made this last night for an easy, family dinner. I thought that it was excellent. Since it is so simple, you must be sure to have great ingredients--really good, imported pecorino and good pasta--try DeCecco brand.
    The authentic cacio e pepe does not call for milk or cream, just olive oil, grated pecorino, and pepper.  Patrick made this with whole milk and without olive oil. This gives a very creamy result. I love it either way!

    You can serve this, naturally, as the pasta course in an Italian meal followed by a meat or fish course, or this could be the main course accompanied by a salad or vegetable for a simpler meal.

    Serves 3-4

    1 lb spaghetti
    1/2 lb grated pecorino
    1 cup whole milk or 1/2&1/2
    lots of freshly ground black pepper

    While the pasta is cooking in copious amounts of salted water, heat the milk in a saucepan. Turn off the heat and add the grated pecorino to melt. Toss with the drained, cooked pasta.  Add plenty of freshly ground black pepper, salt to taste.

    To make this without milk. Drain the pasta, but reserve some of the cooking water.  Toss the pasta with 1/4  cup of extra virgin olive oil and the cheese.  Add some of the cooking water a little bit at a time, stirring the pasta until you achieve a creamy amalgam of deliciousness.  Add salt and lots of black pepper.

    Sunday, July 11, 2010

    Meyer Lemon and Spanish Almond Semifreddo from Michael Chiarello

    I saw this today on Easy Entertaining with Michael Chiarello and thought it sounded wonderful for summer. I'm definitely going to try it soon.

    Serves: 12-15
    8 egg yolks
    1 1/4 cups sugar
    1 1/4 lb toasted Spanish almonds
    4 1/2 cups heavy cream
    Zest of 2 Meyer lemons (or 3 lemons)


    In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment cream together the egg yolks and sugar until smooth.  Pour the Meyer lemon zest into mixer and mix lightly.  Meanwhile, grind the almonds in the food processor or multi food chopper. Pour the almonds into the egg and sugar mixture and mix lightly.
    In a separate bowl, either using the mixer or by hand, whip the cream to stiff peaks. When the cream is fully whipped, pour 1/3 of the cream into the egg yolk/sugar mixture and stir in vigorously. Then take the remaining 2/3 of the cream and gently fold into the yolk/sugar/nut mixture.

    Spoon the mixture into individual forms or ramekins and allow to freeze for at least 6-8 hours.

    Saturday, July 10, 2010

    Caramelized Fig Tart

    This recipe is from Bobby Flays book From my Kitchen to Your Table. I have modified it to make it really simple for summer. Rather than making the pastry from scratch, I use the Pillsbury roll out pastry. While homemade is better, you put butter and sugar on the figs and you can't tell the difference. (Well sort of). Ken loves this recipe and he is not a big dessert fan. I bet Papa Joe will adore it. I plan to make it for him soon, while the figs are still in.

    1 Pillsbury Roll out pastry
    2 pints of fresh figs - (I use Turkey Figs)
    1/2 cup confectioners sugar
    1/4 cup granulated sugar
    1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    6 tablespoons butter- melted

    Slice the figs 1/4 inch thick. Mix the sugars and cinnamon together.
    Set rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 400 degrees F. Line a cookie sheet with Release Aluminum Foil and place the unrolled pastry on the foil.
    Using the largest figs, form a ring 1/4 inch from the inner edge of the pastry. Form another ring inside the first. Using the smallest silices, make a final ring in the center of the tart. Bottom line, make circles with the figs, overlapping until filled to the center.

    Paint the figs with butter, sprinkle 1/3 cup of the sugar over the figs. (you can sprinkle with a strainer if you wish, but too much trouble, the sugar will melt into the figs in the oven.)
    Wrap the outer edge of the pastry up around the outside figs and then put into the oven for 10 min. After 10 min, brush with more butter and sprinkle remaining sugar. Place back in the over for another 10 minutes or until the bottom is lightly browned. Don't overbake or the fig topping will run.

    Every time I have made the the topping runs and it makes no difference. That is why you want the release foil. That way, you don't end up with a sticky mess.

    Macedonia di Frutta - Macerated Fruits

    Everything sounds sooo much better in Italian, doesn't it? Macedonia di Frutta makes me think of Italy in the late spring, drinking prosecco, eating fantastic food in a lovely piazza.  Macerated fruits does not sound nearly as interesting, but  "a rose by any other still as delicious. You can make this with any combination of fruits that are in season.  Last night, I made it with cantelope, peaches, bananas, and a small cheat--canned pineapple. It was wonderful and refreshing. You can serve it plain or, gilding the lily, over ice cream or sorbet. It's a wonderful way to use up small amounts of fruit.  The important fruits to have are oranges and lemons. After that, it's up to you.

    The basis for this recipe came from Marcella Hazan's The Classic Italian Cookbook.

    For 8 or more
    1  Cup freshly squeezed orange juice

    Grated peel of 1 lemon
    2-3 tbl freshly squeezed lemon juice
    1/2 cup white wine (If you don't have it, increase the OJ to 1 1/2 cups)
    2 apples
    2 pears
    2 bananas
    1 1/2 lbs of assorted other fruits
    6 tbl - 1/2 cup sugar, to taste
    1/2 cup maraschino liqueur (or use the juice from maraschino cherries or Grenadine liqueur)

    Peel, seed, slice/chop all the fruits into bite-size pieces.  As you prepare the fruit, add it to the orange and lemon juices so that it won't turn brown. Mix all together. Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours or even overnight.  Mix well before serving.

    Friday, June 25, 2010

    Tyler Florence's Grilled Leg of Lamb

    I made this saturday night for some friends. I didn't make the mache and mint salad. I added a big hit of fresh rosemary to the marinade for the lamb. I made Greek potato salad to go with it, and Connie made a squash casserole that was delicious. It would also be good with orzo with tomato sauce  and a big Greek salad.


    • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for grilling
    • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
    • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
    • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano
    • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
    • 1 lemon, juiced
    • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
    • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
    • 1 (3 1/2-pound) boneless leg of lamb, butterflied but not tied
    • 2 cups mache or mixed baby greens
    • 1/2 bunch mint, leaves only
    • 1/4 cup sliced scallions

    To make the vinaigrette:


    To a blender, add: the oil, vinegar, garlic, oregano, thyme, lemon juice, and Dijon mustard, season with salt and pepper, to taste. Blend until thoroughly combined. Pat the lamb dry and put it on a shallow platter. Season all over with salt and pepper. Pour half of the vinaigrette over the lamb, turning the meat to get it well coated. Marinate in the refrigerator for 2 hours. Remove the marinated meat from the refrigerator about 30 minutes before grilling.
    Heat the grill (or large cast iron skillet) and oil it lightly. Remove the lamb from the marinade and grill for about 15 to 20 minutes per side for medium-rare. (Adjust the time accordingly for other degrees of doneness.) Transfer to a cutting board and let rest for 10 minutes.
    Toss the mache (or mixed baby greens), mint leaves, and scallions in a bowl and dress the salad with about 3 tablespoons of the reserved vinaigrette. Season with salt and pepper. Slice the lamb into thick slices and serve with greens.