Saturday, December 27, 2008

Chili Dogs


Extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 pound lean ground beef
1 medium jar ketchup, about 2 1/2 cups
1 teaspoon chili powder
2 tablespoons prepared yellow mustard
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 all-beef hot dogs (recommended: Ball Park)
4 hot dog rolls
1/2 cup grated Cheddar


Put a skillet over medium heat and drizzle in a 2-count of olive oil. When the oil gets hazy, add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring, until it is soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the ground beef, breaking it up with the back of a spoon, and cook until nicely browned, about 10 more minutes. Stir in the ketchup, chili powder, and mustard and simmer for 15 minutes until thickened. Season with salt and pepper.

While the chili is cooking, get the grill going. Place a large grill pan on 2 burners over medium-high heat or preheat an outdoor gas or charcoal barbecue and get it very hot. Take a few paper towels and fold them several times to make a thick square. Blot a small
amount of oil on the paper towel. Then carefully and quickly wipe the hot grates of the grill to make a nonstick grilling surface.

Bring a pot of water up to a simmer and parboil the dogs for about 5 minutes. Take them out of the water, pat them dry, and grill them just long enough to mark them. (That'll give them a grilled flavor too.) Brush the insides of the rolls with olive oil and lay them face down on the grill; cook until toasty. To serve, put a dog in each roll and top with the chili and some Cheddar.


Sunday, December 21, 2008

Broccoli, Parmesan and Lemon

Cook Time: 20 min
Level: Easy
Yield: 4 servings


* 3 heads broccoli (about 3 pounds)
* 3 tablespoons olive oil
* Salt and freshly ground black pepper
* 1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
* 1 lemon, juiced


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Trim about 1 inch off the ends of the broccoli stalks and cut the
broccoli lengthwise into spears. Arrange the broccoli on a nonstick
cookie sheet, drizzle with some olive oil and season with a little bit
of salt and a generous amount of freshly ground black pepper. Toss to
coat evenly. Transfer to the oven and roast for 10 minutes.

Remove the broccoli from the oven and sprinkle the cheese evenly over
the top and bake until the cheese melt and forms a crisp shell over
the broccoli, about 10 minutes. Lift the broccoli out onto a platter
with a spatula and drizzle with fresh lemon.

Cranberry-Orange Sauce

Cook Time: 20 min
Yield: 8 to 10 servings


* 2 (8-ounce) packages cranberries, fresh or frozen
* 1 orange, zest cut into strips and juiced
* 1/2 cup sugar
* 1 cinnamon stick


Put all the ingredients into a saucepan over medium heat and simmer
until the cranberries burst and the sauce thickens, about 15 to 20
minutes. Serve at room temperature or cool and refrigerate. Remove the
cinnamon stick before serving.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Bittersweet Chocolate Cloud Cake

Recipe courtesy Tish Boyle

Cook Time: 35 min
Yield: 6 to 8 servings


1 1/3 cups sugar, divided
3/4 cup freshly brewed coffee
7 ounces bittersweet chocolate (62 percent) finely chopped
2/3 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon brandy
3 large eggs, separated plus 3 egg whites
1/3 cup cake flour
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
Chocolate Glaze, recipe follows


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and position rack in the center.

Pour 1/2 -inch water into a large roasting pan and place in oven. Butter the bottom and sides of a 9-inch springform pan. Line the bottom of the pan with a round of parchment paper, cut to fit. Butter the paper. Wrap the outside of the pan tightly with a large piece of heavy-duty aluminum foil.

Put 1 cup of sugar and the coffee in a medium saucepan over a high heat. Bring to boil, stirring occasionally to dissolve sugar. Remove from the heat add the chocolate and return to low heat. Keep stirring over heat until the chocolate is completely melted and the mixture is smooth. Remove from the heat and whisk in the cocoa powder and salt until smooth. Add brandy. Whisk in the egg yolks until no trace of yolk is left. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and set aside to cool for 10 minutes. Whisk the flour into the chocolate mixture.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the 6 egg whites with the cream of tartar on medium speed until soft peaks form. Gradually add the remaining 1/3 cup sugar and beat on high until peaks are almost stiff.

Stir about 1/4 of the egg whites into chocolate mixture (no need to fold at this point). Then gently fold in the remaining whites, 1/3 at a time, until no streaks of white remain. Pour into pan and smooth top. Bake in water bath for 35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into center of cake comes out with a few moist crumbs clinging to it. Place cake on wire rack and let cool to room temperature. Remove sides of pan and carefully invert cake onto cardboard cake round or flat plate. Chill for at least 2 hours before glazing.

Remove the cake from the refrigerator and place it on a wire rack set over a baking sheet. Pour the chocolate glaze over the cake, covering it completely; spread evenly with a metal spatula. Serve the cake immediately or refrigerate. Bring the cake to room temperature before serving.

Chocolate glaze:

6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons honey

Put chocolate in a medium bowl. In a small saucepan, bring the heavy cream to a gentle boil. Whisk in the honey. Pour the hot cream mixture over the chocolate and let the mixture stand for 30 seconds to melt the chocolate. Whisk the mixture until smooth. Cover the surface of the glaze with plastic wrap and set aside at room temperature for 30 minutes, or until slightly thickened.

Yield: 6 to 8 servings

New York Cheesecake

Recipe courtesy Scott Bieber, Executive Chef at Taste

Cook Time: 1 hr 20 min
Level: Difficult
Yield: 6 to 8 servings


* 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
* 5 tablespoons sugar
* 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
* 6 tablespoons melted butter

* 24 ounces cream cheese
* 1 cup sugar
* 1 tablespoon lemon zest (recommended: Meyer lemon)
* 1 teaspoon vanilla
* 5 eggs, separated
* 1/4 cup heavy cream
* 2 tablespoons sugar

* 12 ounces creme fraiche
* 2 tablespoons sugar
* Cherry Confit, recipe follows
* Special equipment: a 9-inch non-stick Teflon coated spring form pan
* Serving suggestion: with a dessert wine (recommended: Alsatian Riesling).


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F

Mix the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, cinnamon, and butter together in a mixing bowl. Pour the mixture into the springform pan and using a mixing cup press the crumbs into the base. Using your fingers gently press crumbs into the sides of the pan. Bake for 6 minutes. Let cool.

In a food processor, cream the cream cheese and the sugar together. Add the zest and vanilla, Blend until smooth. Add 5 egg yolks and heavy cream, pulse until smooth. Pour into a large clean bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites until a soft froth forms. Add 2 tablespoons sugar slowly to the egg whites and continue to whisk until soft peaks form. Fold into cream cheese, a little bit at a time until fully integrated. Pour into the prepared springform pan. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until firm. Let cool for 1 hour and 30 minutes.

Mix the creme fraiche and sugar together and gently spread over the top of the cooled cheesecake. Bake for 5 minutes. Let cool until the topping is set or chill overnight and serve. Best served at room temperature.

Serve with Cherry Confit.

Cherry Confit:

1 pound fresh cherries, pitted
2 cups sugar
2 cups water
1 cinnamon stick
1/2 vanilla bean, split
2 sprigs thyme (tied with string)

In a medium non-corrosive saucepan place water, sugar, cinnamon, vanilla and thyme. Bring to the boil, turn down heat and simmer for 2 minutes. Add cherries and simmer for 1 hour. If more liquid is needed add water. Continue to simmer until the cherry mixture is thick and the cherries are soft. Pour into a clean container and refrigerate until ready to use.

Yield: 6 servings
Cooking time: 1 hour 20 minutes


Peach-Blueberry Pie

Cook Time: 1 hr
Level: Intermediate
Yield: 6 to 8 servings


* 1 recipe Basic Pastry Pastry, chilled 30 minutes, recipe follows
* Flour, for rolling
* 2 pounds peaches, pitted and sliced
* 1 pint blueberries
* 1/4 cup sugar
* 1/2 lemon, juiced
* 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
* 2 tablespoons butter, cut into bits
* 1 egg, beaten with a drizzle of water
* Vanilla ice cream, for serving


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Move the oven rack to the bottom
third of the oven.

Divide the dough in half and set one half aside; cover it with a towel
or plastic wrap to keep it from drying out. On a lightly floured work
surface, roll out the dough to a 10-inch round. Loosely drape the
dough round over the rolling pin and transfer to a 9-inch pie pan.
Press the dough over the bottom and sides of the pan. Trim the edges
to about 1/2-inch.

Toss the fruit with the sugar, lemon, and cornstarch. Pile the fruit
into the pie shell and dot with the butter. Roll out the reserved
dough to a 9 to 10-inch round and lay it over the fruit. Trim, and
crimp the edges. Cut 2 or 3 (2-inch) vents in the top of the pie and
brush with the egg glaze. Put the pie on a baking sheet and bake until
the crust is golden brown and the juices are bubbling up through the
vents, 50 to 60 minutes. Cover the edges with aluminum foil if they
brown too fast. Cool on a rack before serving. Serve with vanilla ice

Basic Pie Pastry:

2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling
3 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 lemon, zested and finely grated
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) cold, unsalted butter, cut into small chunks
1 egg yolk
2 tablespoons ice water, plus more if needed

Combine the flour, sugar, salt, and lemon zest in a large mixing bowl.
Add the butter and mix with a pastry blender or your fingers until the
mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add the egg yolk and ice water and
work that in with your hands. (Or do the whole thing in a food
processor, pulsing a couple of times to combine the dry ingredients,
then pulsing in the butter, and then the egg.) Check the consistency
of the dough by squeezing a small amount together between thumb and
forefingers: You want there to be just enough moisture to bind the
dough so that it holds together without being too wet or sticky. If
it's still crumbly, add a little more ice water, 1 teaspoon at a time.
When you get it to the right consistency, shape the dough into a disk
and wrap it in plastic. Put it in the refrigerator and chill for at
least 30 minutes.

Yield: enough for 1 double-crust pie or crostata
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: none
Inactive Prep Time: 30 minutes
Ease of preparation: intermediate

Truffle Tarts with Raspberries

Prep Time: 20 min
Level: Easy
Yield: 6 servings


* 1 1/2 cups fine chocolate wafer crumbs (from Oreo cookies or
chocolate wafers)
* 6 tablespoons melted butter
* 1 recipe Dark Chocolate Truffles, recipe follows, whipped but
not shaped into balls
* 6 fresh raspberries, plus extra for serving


Use a fork to mix together the chocolate wafer crumbs and butter.
Spray the cups of a 6-muffin tin with a vegetable spray. Line the cups
with strips of parchment or waxed paper, cut so that they are as wide
as the diameter of each cup and long enough to overhang the sides
(you'll need this overhang to remove the tarts). Use the bottom of a
small glass to press the crumbs over the bottom and sides of the
muffin cups, building the sides up to only about 1 1/2 inches. Place a
raspberry in the center of each crust and with a pastry bag or small
plastic bag with the corner snipped off, fill the tarts with the
truffle mixture. Smooth the tops and refrigerate until set, about 2

Dark Chocolate Truffles:

1/2 cup heavy cream
8 ounces good-quality (70 percent) bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup cocoa powder, for dusting

In a saucepan, bring the cream just to a simmer over low heat. Pour
the cream over the chocolate in a bowl and let stand about 10 minutes
to melt the chocolate. Add the vanilla and stir until smooth. Set
aside to cool for 1 hour at room temperature. Then beat the chocolate
at medium speed until it gets thick and light colored. Spread over the
bottom of a baking dish and smooth the top. Refrigerate about 2 hours,
until firm.

Pour the cocoa powder onto a deep plate or shallow bowl. Use a melon
baller or small ice cream scoop to scoop out balls of chocolate; place
them on the plate with the cocoa powder and roll between 2 forks to
completely coat with the cocoa powder. Then use the forks to carefully
transfer them to a parchment or waxed lined baking sheet.

Yield: 15 to 20 candies, depending on size
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Inactive Prep Time: 3 hours
Ease of preparation: Intermediate

Ultimate Fried Chicken

Cook Time: 30 min
Level: Easy
Yield: 4 servings


* 1 (3 to 4 pound) chicken, cut up into 10 pieces
* Kosher salt
* 3 cups all-purpose flour
* 2 tablespoons garlic powder
* 2 tablespoons onion powder
* 2 tablespoons sweet paprika
* 2 teaspoons cayenne
* Freshly ground black pepper
* 1 quart buttermilk
* 2 tablespoons hot chili sauce (recommended: Srirachi)
* Peanut oil, for frying
* 1/4 bunch fresh thyme
* 3 big sprigs fresh rosemary
* 1/4 bunch fresh sage
* 1/2 head garlic, smashed, husk still attached
* Lemon wedges, for serving


Put the chicken pieces into a large bowl. Cover the chicken with water
by 1 inch; add 1 tablespoon of salt for each quart of water used.
Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours or overnight.

In a large shallow platter, mix the flour, garlic powder, onion
powder, paprika, and cayenne until well blended; season generously
with salt and pepper. In another platter combine the buttermilk and
hot sauce with a fork and season with salt and pepper.

Drain the chicken and pat it dry. Dredge the pieces, a few at a time,
in the flour mixture,then dip them into the buttermilk; dredge them
again in the seasoned flour. Set aside and let the chicken rest while
you prepare the oil.

Put about 3 inches of oil into a large deep pot; it should not come up
more than half way. Add the thyme, rosemary, sage, and garlic to the
cool oil and heat over medium-high heat until the oil registers 350 to
365 degrees F on one of those clip-on deep-fry thermometers. The herbs
and garlic will perfume the oil with their flavor as the oil comes up
to temperature.

Once the oil has reached 350 to 365 degrees F, working in batches,
carefully add the chicken pieces 3 or 4 at a time. Fry, turning the
pieces once, until golden brown and cooked through, about 12 minutes.
Total cooking time should be about 30 minutes. When the chicken is
done, take a big skimmer and remove the chicken pieces and herbs from
the pot, shaking off as much oil as you can, and lay it on a tea towel
or brown paper bag to soak up the oil. Sprinkle all over with more
salt and a dusting of cracked black pepper. Repeat with the remaining
chicken pieces. Once all the chicken is fried, scatter the fried herbs
and garlic over the top. Serve hot, with big lemon wedges.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Chicken Parmesan

Cook Time: 40 min
Level: Intermediate
Yield: 4 servings


* 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus 3 tablespoons
* 1 medium onion, chopped
* 2 garlic cloves, minced
* 2 bay leaves
* 1/2 cup kalamata olives, pitted
* 1/2 bunch fresh basil leaves
* 2 (28-ounce) cans whole peeled tomatoes, drained and hand-crushed
* Pinch sugar
* Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
* 4 skinless, boneless, chicken breasts (about 11/2 pounds)
* 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
* 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
* 1 tablespoon water
* 1 cup dried bread crumbs
* 1 (8-ounce) ball fresh buffalo mozzarella, water drained
* Freshly grated Parmesan
* 1 pound spaghetti pasta, cooked al dente


Coat a saute pan with olive oil and place over medium heat. When the
oil gets hazy, add the onions, garlic, and bay leaves; cook and stir
for 5 minutes until fragrant and soft. Add the olives and some
hand-torn basil. Carefully add the tomatoes (nothing splashes like
tomatoes), cook and stir until the liquid is cooked down and the sauce
is thick, about 15 minutes; season with sugar, salt and pepper. Lower
the heat, cover, and keep warm.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

Get the ingredients together for the chicken so you have a little
assembly line. Put the chicken breasts side by side on a cutting board
and lay a piece of plastic wrap over them. Pound the chicken breasts
with a flat meat mallet, until they are about 1/2-inch thick. Put the
flour in a shallow platter and season with a fair amount of salt and
pepper; mix with a fork to distribute evenly. In a wide bowl, combine
the eggs and water, beat until frothy. Put the bread crumbs on a
plate, season with salt and pepper.

Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high flame in a large
oven-proof skillet. Lightly dredge both sides of the chicken cutlets
in the seasoned flour, and then dip them in the egg wash to coat
completely, letting the excess drip off, then dredge in the bread
crumbs. When the oil is nice and hot, add the cutlets and fry for 4
minutes on each side until golden and crusty, turning once.

Ladle the tomato-olive sauce over the chicken and sprinkle with
mozzarella, Parmesan, and basil. Bake the Chicken Parmesan for 15
minutes or until the cheese is bubbly. Serve hot with spaghetti.

Tagliatelle Bolognese

Yield: 4 to 6 servings


* 2 ounces dried porcini mushrooms, wiped of grit
* 1/4 pound pancetta or slab bacon, finely chopped
* 1 medium onion, finely chopped
* 2 celery stalks, finely chopped
* 2 carrots, finely chopped
* 5 garlic cloves, minced
* 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
* 2 bay leaves
* 2 sprigs rosemary
* 1 1/2 pound ground pork
* 1 1/2 pound ground beef
* 2 cups milk
* 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
* 2 cups dry red wine
* Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
* 1 pound dry tagiatelle pasta
* Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, for serving
* 1 handful fresh basil leaves
* Fresh ricotta cheese


Reconstitute the mushrooms in boiling water for 20 minutes until
tender, drain and coarsely chop.

Puree the mushrooms, pancetta, onion, celery stalks, carrots, garlic,
together in a blender.

In a heavy-bottomed pot add olive oil, bay leaves, herbs and cook
gently until fragrant, then add vegetable puree and continue to cook
for a further 5 to 10 minutes.

Raise the heat a bit and add the ground pork and beef; brown until the
meat is no longer pink, breaking up the clumps with a wooden spoon.
Add the milk and simmer until the liquid is evaporated, about 10
minutes. Carefully pour in the tomatoes, and wine and season with salt
and pepper. Bring the sauce to a boil, then lower the heat and cover.
Slowly simmer for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, stirring now and then, until the
sauce is very thick. Taste again for salt and pepper.

When you are ready to serve, bring a large pot of salted water to a
boil, add the pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until tender yet
firm (as they say in Italian "al dente"). Drain the pasta well and
toss with the Bolognese sauce.

Serve with a good scoop of fresh ricotta cheese and garnish with some
shredded basil, grated Parmigiano and a drizzle of olive oil

Halibut and Cioppino

Cook Time: 45 min
Level: Easy
Yield: 4 servings

Halibut and Cioppino:

* 5 links chorizo
* 1 large onion
* 2 garlic cloves
* 2 ribs celery
* 1 (28-ounce) can tomatoes, drained, hand-crushed with juice
reserved (recommended: San Marzano)
* 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
* 1/4 bunch fresh thyme
* 2 bay leaves
* 2 cups dry red wine
* 4 cups low-sodium chicken stock
* Salt and pepper
* 2 fresh Dungeness crabs (2 pounds each), cut into 6 pieces
* 16 littleneck clams, scrubbed
* 16 large uncooked shrimp, peeled and deveined
* 1/4 bunch Italian parsley, chopped for garnish
* 4 (6-ounce) halibut fillets
* Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
* Extra-virgin olive oil

Sourdough Garlic Toasts:

* 2 cloves garlic, minced
* 2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
* 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
* Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
* 1 loaf sourdough bread, cut in slices but still connected


Place the chorizo, onion, garlic, celery, and tomatoes in a food
processor and process until the pieces are small and well ground up.
Heat a Dutch oven over medium heat and add the ground chorizo and
vegetables to cook until well colored and fat is rendered. Once the
ground chorizo and vegetables are cooked, add the flour, thyme and bay
leaves. Saute for a further 5 to 7 minutes (this forms the base of a
roux). Then add the red wine, reserved tomato juice, and chicken
stock. Season lightly with salt and pepper and then cover and simmer
for 30 minutes. With 10 minutes to go, turn the heat up and add the
crabs and clams to the broth and steam until open, discarding any
un-open ones. Reduce the heat and just prior to service add the shrimp
and shut off the heat so they don't get over cooked. Remove and
discard bay leaves.

While the cioppino is cooking, prepare the halibut. Season the fillets
with salt and pepper and fresh thyme. Heat a large nonstick saute pan
and add a 2-count of olive oil. Cook fillets 4 minutes on 1 side then
turn once briefly before setting on paper towels to drain.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Combine, garlic, butter, parsley, salt and pepper in a bowl and stir
to combine. Smear the inside of the bread with garlic butter and toast
on a sheet tray in the oven. Reserve any left over garlic-butter to
serve with the cioppino.

To serve, set garlic sourdough toasts in the bottom of a flat bowl.
Top with halibut then ladle over cioppino. Top with a spoonful of
reserved garlic butter. Garnish with fresh flat-leaf parsley and

Monday, December 15, 2008

Horseradish And Garlic Prime Rib

Cook Time: 2 hr
Level: Easy
Yield: 6 to 8 servings

Prime Rib:

* 1 (3-rib) prime rib beef roast, about 6 pounds
* 5 garlic cloves, smashed, plus 2 heads garlic, halved
* 1/2 cup grated fresh or prepared horseradish
* 1/2 cup sea salt
* 1/4 cup freshly ground black pepper
* 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
* 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
* 2 parsnips
* 1 red onion, halved

Wild mushrooms:

* 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
* Extra-virgin olive oil
* 2 pounds assorted mushrooms, such as cremini, oyster, shiitake,
chanterelle, or white, trimmed and sliced
* Leaves from 2 fresh thyme sprigs
* Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
* 1/2 cup Cabernet Sauvignon
* 1/4 cup reserved beef broth (drippings from roast) or low-sodium
canned broth
* 1/4 cup heavy cream
* 1 tablespoon minced fresh chives


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Lay the beef in a large roasting pan with the bone side down. (The
ribs act as a natural roasting rack.) In a small bowl mash together
the garlic, horseradish, salt, pepper, and olive oil to make a paste.
Massage the paste generously over the entire roast. Scatter the
vegetables and halved garlic around the meat and drizzle them with a
2-count of oil. Put the pan in the oven and roast the beef for about 1
1/2 to 2 hours for medium-rare (or approximately 20 minutes per
pound). Check the internal temperature of the roast in several places
with an instant-read thermometer; it should register 125 degrees F.
for medium-rare. Remove the beef to a carving board and let it rest
for 20 minutes. The internal temperature of the meat will continue to
rise by about 10 degrees. Remove the vegetables and set aside. Pour
the pan juices into a fat separator or small bowl and set aside to
allow the fat and beef juices to separate. Pour off and discard the
fat. You will use the tasty beef juices for the mushrooms.

Place a clean skillet over medium heat. Add the butter and a 2-count
drizzle of oil. When the butter starts to foam. add the mushrooms and
thyme; and season with salt and pepper. Stir everything together for a
few minutes. Add the red wine, stirring to scrape up any stuck bits;
then cook and stir to evaporate the alcohol. When the wine is almost
all gone, add the reserved beef juices. Let the liquid cook down and
then take it off the heat. Stir in the cream and chives, and season
with salt and pepper.

Crispy and Creamy New Potato Pie

Cook Time: 30 min
Level: Easy
Yield: 4 to 6 servings


* 2 pounds potatoes, washed and halved
* 1 bay leaf
* 1 tablespoon freshly grated horseradish (or prepared)
* 1 cup sour cream
* 1/4 cup chives, chopped
* Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
* 1 tablespoon olive oil


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Wash and boil potatoes in salty water with bay leaf until fork tender.
Drain potatoes and mash along with horseradish, sour cream, and
chives. Season with salt and pepper.

Put mixture into a 10-inch skillet with 1 tablespoon olive oil and
bake until golden and crispy. To serve, invert onto a plate and cut
into pieces.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Roast Loin of Pork with Baked Apples and Cider Gravy

Cook Time: 2 hr 30 min
Level: Intermediate
Yield: 8 servings


* 2 (5 pound) pork loin roasts, rib bones attached, back bone
(chine) removed
* Small bunch sage, leaves chopped
* Small bunch thyme, leaves chopped
* 1 1/2 cups extra-virgin olive oil
* Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
* 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
* 1 (12-ounce) bottle hard cider
* 1 cup chicken broth
* 1 lemon, juiced optional


* 8 Gala or Golden Delicious apples
* 1 lemon, juiced
* 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
* 1 or 2 large corn muffins crumbled (1/2 cup), reserve some for
sprinkling on apples
* 1/2 cup golden raisins
* 6 sage leaves, chopped
* 2 garlic cloves, minced
* 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
* Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
* 1 cup hard cider
* 1 tablespoon lemon juice


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Place the pork roast in a roasting pan with the ribs facing up, braced
against each other. Add sage and thyme to olive oil. Brush the pork
roasts with oil mixture and season with a generous amount of salt and
pepper. Roast the pork loin for 2 1/2 hours, until the skin is
crackled. (Put the apples in the oven along with the pork roast in the
last half hour of cooking.)

Remove the pork roast to a cutting board and let it rest for 15
minutes before carving. Pour out some of the excess fat from the
roasting pan and put it on the stove over medium-high heat. Sprinkle
the flour into the hot pan juices, stirring constantly with a wooden
spoon or whisk to prevent lumps. Cook and stir the roux until its
light brown. Add the cider and continue to stir to incorporate. Pour
in the chicken broth; boil and stir for 5 minutes until the sauce is
thick. Check for seasoning - add lemon juice if necessary. Serve the
cider gravy with the pork roast and baked apples.

To make the buttered apples: Core the apples with an apple corer,
making a good size cavity to hold the stuffing. Douse the cut sides of
the apples with some of the lemon juice to prevent them from browning
while you make the stuffing. In a mixing bowl, combine the softened
butter, muffin crumbs, raisins, sage, garlic, brown sugar, salt, and
pepper. Spoon the stuffing into the cavities of the cored apples;
stand them up, side by side, in a baking dish and sprinkle the tops
with the reserved muffin crumbs. Pour the cider around the apples and
bake for 30 to 35 minutes at 375 degrees F, until soft when pierced
with a knife. Place the warm apples in the center of a round serving
dish. Spoon the cider sauce around the apples and serve with the pork

Friday, December 12, 2008

Roasted Turkey Gravy

Cook Time: 2 hr
Level: Easy
Yield: 3 cups


* 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
* 1 large, smoked turkey wing or 2 small ones
* 1 medium onion, quartered
* 2 carrots, chopped
* 1 ribs celery, chopped
* 1 head garlic, split through the equator
* 4 stems fresh sage
* 4 sprigs fresh thyme
* 6 parsley stems
* 1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
* 6 cups chicken stock
* Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


Heat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in a large stock pot over medium-high
heat. Add the wing, onion, carrots, celery, garlic, and herbs, and
cook for 5 minutes. Place in the oven and roast for 30 minutes. Remove
from the oven and place over medium heat. Remove the wing and set
aside. Add the flour and let cook for about 1 minute. Add the stock
and simmer until it has reduced by about 1/4, about 15 minutes. Strain
the sauce and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Lemon Yogurt Berry Swirl with Homemade Granola

Recipe courtesy Mark Dissin


* 4 cups oats (NOT quick-cook or instant)
* 1 1/2 cups whole almonds, shelled, but skin still on
* 1/2 cup flax seeds
* 1/2 cup light brown sugar
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
* 1/4 cup neutral cooking oil (canola)
* 1/4 cup honey
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
* 1 1/2 cups raisins or dried cranberries
* 1 cup diced dried apricots
* 1/2 cup dried banana slices


Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.

Mix oats, almonds, flax seeds, brown sugar, salt and cinnamon in a
bowl. In a saucepan warm the oil and honey. Whisk in the vanilla
extract. Pour the honey, oil, vanilla mixture over the oat mixture and
mix gently, but well. Mix with spatula and eventually your hands.
Spread out onto a sheet pan and bake for 40 minutes (stir after the
first 20). Cool and break up any clumps. Mix in dried fruit.

Yield: about 9 cups

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Lemon Yogurt and Berry Swirl:

Recipe courtesy Tyler Florence


Berry swirl:

* 3 cups mixed berries (any combination, strawberries,
blueberries, raspberries, blackberries) frozen
* 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
* 1 lemon, juiced

Lemon yogurt:

* 1 1/2 cups lowfat vanilla yoghurt
* 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
* 1 tablespoon lemon juice


Add berries, lemon juice and confectioners' sugar in a pan over medium
heat. Cook until the berries break down and mixture becomes syrupy, 10
to 12 minutes. Set aside to cool.

Combine the yogurt, zest and juice in a mixing bowl and stir. To
serve, set up glasses and layer with granola, yogurt and berries.

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Monday, December 8, 2008

Chicken Satay

Cook Time: 10 min
Level: Easy
Yield: 20 skewers


* 1 cup plain yogurt
* 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
* 1 teaspoon minced garlic
* 1 tablespoon curry powder
* 1 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into strips
* 20 wooden skewers, soaked in water 30 minutes
* Vegetable oil, for grilling
* Butter lettuce leaves
* Fresh cilantro leaves
* Peanut sauce, recipe follows


Combine the yogurt, ginger, garlic, and curry powder in a shallow
mixing bowl, stir to combine. Place the chicken strips in the yogurt
marinade and gently toss until well coated. Cover and let the chicken
marinate in the refrigerator for at up to 2 hours.

Thread the chicken pieces onto the soaked skewers working the skewer
in and out of the meat, down the middle of the piece, so that it stays
in place during grilling. Place a grill pan over medium heat and brush
it with oil to prevent the meat from sticking. Grill the chicken
satays for 3 to 5 minutes on each side, until nicely seared and cooked
through. Serve the satays on a platter lined with lettuce leaves and
cilantro; accompanied by a small bowl of peanut sauce on the side.
Peanut Sauce:

* 1 cup smooth peanut butter
* 1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
* 2 teaspoons red chili paste, such as sambal
* 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
* 2 limes, juiced
* 1/2 cup hot water
* 1/4 cup chopped peanuts, for garnish

Combine the peanut butter, soy sauce, red chili paste, brown sugar,
and lime juice in a food processor or blender. Puree to combine. While
the motor is running, drizzle in the hot water to thin out the sauce,
you may not need all of it. Pour the sauce into a nice serving bowl
and garnish with the chopped peanuts. Serve with chicken satay.

Yield: 3 cups

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Champagne Lemonade

Cook Time: 10 min
Level: Easy
Yield: 8 cocktails


* 1 cup sugar
* 3 cups water
* 1 1/2 cups fresh lemon juice
* 1 bottle Champagne or sparkling wine
* Thin lemon slices, for garnish


Put the sugar and 1 cup water into a small saucepan and bring it to a
boil. Cook for 1 minute until the sugar has dissolved, turn off the
heat, and allow the sugar syrup to cool.

In a pitcher combine the cooled sugar syrup with the lemon juice and
remaining 2 cups water and mix well. Fill a Champagne flute halfway
with the lemonade and top with Champagne. Garnish with a lemon slice.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Roasted Tomato Soup

Cook Time: 50 min
Level: Intermediate
Yield: 4 to 6 servings


* 2 1/2 pounds fresh tomatoes (mix of fresh heirlooms, cherry,
vine and plum tomatoes)
* 6 cloves garlic, peeled
* 2 small yellow onions, sliced
* Vine cherry tomatoes for garnish, optional
* 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
* Salt and freshly ground black pepper
* 1 quart chicken stock
* 2 bay leaves
* 4 tablespoons butter
* 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves, optional
* 3/4 cup heavy cream, optional


Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.

Wash, core and cut the tomatoes into halves. Spread the tomatoes,
garlic cloves and onions onto a baking tray. If using vine cherry
tomatoes for garnish, add them as well, leaving them whole and on the
vine. Drizzle with 1/2 cup of olive oil and season with salt and
pepper. Roast for 20 to 30 minutes, or until caramelized.

Remove roasted tomatoes, garlic and onion from the oven and transfer
to a large stock pot (set aside the roasted vine tomatoes for later).
Add 3/4 of the chicken stock, bay leaves, and butter. Bring to a boil,
reduce heat and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes or until liquid has
reduced by a third.

Wash and dry basil leaves, if using, and add to the pot. Use an
immersion blender to puree the soup until smooth. Return soup to low
heat, add cream and adjust consistency with remaining chicken stock,
if necessary. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black
pepper. Garnish in bowl with 3 or 4 roasted vine cherry tomatoes and a
splash of heavy cream.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Spaghetti and Meatballs

Cook Time: 1 hr
Level: Easy
Yield: 4 to 6 servings


* Extra-virgin olive oil
* 1 onion, chopped
* 2 garlic cloves, smashed
* 2 tablespoons roughly chopped fresh parsley leaves
* 1 cup milk
* 4 thick slices firm white bread, crust removed
* 1 1/2 pounds ground beef
* 1 1/2 pounds ground pork
* 1 large egg
* 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus more for serving
* Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
* 4 cups heated Pomodoro Sauce, recipe follows, or good quality
jarred tomato sauce
* 1/2 pound mozzarella cheese, cut into chunks
* Leaves from 3 sprigs fresh basil
* 1 pound spaghetti


Bring a big pot of salted water to a boil for the spaghetti. Heat 3
tablespoons oil in an ovenproof skillet over medium heat. Add the
onion, garlic, and parsley and cook until the vegetables are soft but
still translucent, about 10 minutes. Take the pan off the heat and let

Pour enough milk over the bread in a bowl to moisten and let it soak
while the onions are cooling. Combine the meats in a large bowl. Add
the egg and Parmigiano and season generously with salt and pepper. Use
your hands to squeeze the excess milk out of the bread and add that to
the bowl along with the cooled onion mixture. (Hang onto the pan -
you'll need it to cook the meatballs.) Gently combine all the
ingredients with your hands or with a spoon until just mixed together.
Don't overwork or the meatballs will be tough. Divide into 10 equal
pieces and shape them into 10 nice looking meatballs.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Heat a 3-count of oil in the frying pan over medium heat and brown the
meatballs on all sides, about 10 minutes. Put them into a baking dish
and spoon about half of the tomato sauce over. Shower with the
mozzarella and drizzle with olive oil. Put the meatballs in the oven
and bake until the meatballs are cooked through, about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook the spaghetti in the boiling water until al dente,
about 8 minutes. Drain and put it onto a large serving platter. Pour
on the rest of the sauce and mix well. Spoon the meatballs on top of
the spaghetti and garnish with basil leaves. Serve immediately along
with extra cheese.

Pomodoro Sauce:

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped

3 garlic cloves, chopped

2 (28-ounce) cans whole peeled San Marzano tomatoes, drained and
crushed by hand, liquid reserved

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, torn into pieces

Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the
onion and garlic and cook until the vegetables are soft, 4 to 5
minutes. Carefully add the tomatoes (nothing splashes like tomatoes)
and about 1/2 cup of the reserved liquid and season with salt and
pepper. Cook until the sauce is thick, about 15 minutes. Taste and
adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, stirring for a
few minutes with a wooden spoon to further break up the tomatoes.
Reduce the heat and let simmer for 20 to 25 minutes. Stir in the fresh
basil and season again.

Yield: 4 cups

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Sweet Potato Chips Dusted with Chili Powder

Cook Time: 20 min
Level: Easy
Yield: 4 servings


* 2 large sweet potatoes
* 2 teaspoons chili powder
* 1 teaspoon garlic powder
* 1/4 teaspoon cayenne powder
* 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
* 1 teaspoon kosher salt
* 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
* Vegetable oil, for deep-frying


Blue Cheese and Chive Dip, recipe follows

Peel sweet potatoes and discard skin. Using the vegetable peeler or a
mandoline make long thin chips by peeling/slicing lengthwise from top
to bottom. Place in a bowl of ice water and chill for 1 hour. Drain in
a colander and layout on paper towels and pat dry.

Combine chili powder, garlic powder, a pinch of cayenne, cumin and
salt and pepper.

Heat vegetable oil in a large pot to 375 degrees F. Fry the potatoes
in single layer batches for 2 to 3 minutes until golden brown. Lift
chips out with slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Season with
the spice mixture and serve immediately. Serve as an appetizer with
Blue Cheese and Chives dip.

Blue Cheese and Chive Dip:

* 1 cup sour cream
* 1 cup mayonnaise, store-bought
* 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
* 1 cup crumbled blue cheese
* 1 1/2 tablespoons honey
* 1/2 bunch finely chopped chives, plus extra for garnish
* Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Combine sour cream, mayonnaise, lemon juice, blue cheese, honey and
chives in a medium bowl. Season with salt and pepper and garnish with
chives. Serve with spicy and sweet potato chips.

Buttermilk Biscuits

Cook Time: 25 min
Level: Intermediate
Yield: about 8 to 9 biscuits


* 4 cups all-purpose flour
* 1 tablespoon salt
* 1 tablespoon baking powder
* 2 teaspoons baking soda
* 1 cup vegetable shortening, cold, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
* 1 1/2 to 2 cups buttermilk, plus additional for brushing


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Sift together the flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Cut in
the shortening using a pastry blender or your hands or a stand mixer
fixed with a dough hook until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
Make a well in the center and add 1 cup buttermilk. Using your hands,
quickly fold the dry ingredients into the buttermilk until a sticky
dough forms. You may need to add more buttermilk.

Turn the dough out onto a floured surface. Gently fold the dough over
itself 3 or 4 times to create layers. Press the dough out to 1
1/2-inches thick and cut with a floured 3-inch biscuit cutter. Lay the
biscuits on an ungreased cookie sheet and brush the tops with
buttermilk. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until risen and golden brown.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Crisp Chicken Wings with Chili-Lime Butter

Cook Time: 25 min
Level: Easy
Yield: 4 to 6 servings


* 4 pounds chicken wings
* Extra-virgin olive oil
* Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
* 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
* 1 big, fat rounded tablespoon Thai red curry paste
* 1/4 cup honey
* 1/4 cup soy sauce
* 1 lime, halved
* Chopped cilantro leaves, for garnish


Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Rinse the wings under cool water and pat dry. Put them in a bowl,
drizzle with olive oil and season well with salt and pepper. Toss to
coat with the seasoning. Then spread the wings out on a baking sheet
and roast about 25 minutes until the skin gets crisp and brown, and
the meat is tender.

While you wait, throw the butter, red curry paste honey and soy sauce
into a blender. Season with salt and puree. Scrape into a big bowl.
When the wings come out of the oven put add to the bowl with the curry
butter. Squeeze the juice of the lime over the wings. Give it a toss
and you're done. Garnish with cilantro.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Oven Roasted Turkey with Sage Butter

Cook Time: 3 hr
Level: Easy
Yield: 10-12 servings


* 1 (12 to 14) pound fresh turkey
* Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
* Caramelized Onion and Cornbread Stuffing, recipe follows
* Extra-virgin olive oil
* Sage Butter, recipe follows


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and remove the top rack of the oven.

Rinse the bird thoroughly inside and out with cold water, and pat dry
with paper towels. Sprinkle the cavity and skin liberally with salt
and pepper. Stuff the cavity with stuffing and, if required, truss the
legs. Cover the turkey with olive oil and season well with salt and
pepper. Push the sage butter under the skin of the turkey, being
careful not to puncture the skin.

Put the turkey on a rack in a large roasting pan, and into the oven.
Continue cooking until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the
meaty part of the thigh registers 170 degrees F. The thigh juices will
run clear when pricked with a knife, about 3 hours total (15 minutes
per pound). If the legs or breast brown too quickly during roasting,
cover them with foil.

Sage Butter:

2 sticks butter, softened

1/4 cup chopped sage

Salt and pepper

Combine all ingredients.

Caramelized Onion and Cornbread Stuffing:

2 tablespoons butter

2 onions, chopped

6 large cornmeal muffins, cubed

Handful fresh sage leaves, chopped

1 egg

1/4 cup heavy cream

1/4 cup chicken stock

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Melt the butter in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the onions
and cook, stirring, for about 10 minutes, or until soft and
caramelized. Add sage and scrape into a large mixing bowl. Add the
cornbread pieces, season well with salt and pepper, and give it a good
toss until it's well combined. In a separate bowl, whisk together the
egg, cream, and stock, and pour that over the cornbread. Stir the
stuffing together and stuff the cavity of the turkey. You could also
spoon it into a buttered baking dish and put it in the oven along with
the turkey. Bake until hot and crusty on top, about 30 minutes.

Yield: 6 to 8 servings

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Ease of preparation: easy

Monday, December 1, 2008

Tyler's 1000 Layer Quesadillas

Cook Time: 20 min
Yield: 8 quesadillas, 4 servings


* 1 pork tenderloin
* Salt
* Freshly ground black pepper
* 3 tablespoons brown sugar
* 2 teaspoons chili powder
* 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
* 1 tablespoon dried oregano
* 1 tablespoon onion powder
* 1 lime, juiced
* 2 tablespoons canola oil
* 1 large red onion, cut into 1/2-inch thick slices
* 4 ears corn, husked
* 12 10-inch corn tortillas
* 2 cups crumbled blue cheese
* 1/4 cup sliced pickled jalapenos
* 4 tablespoons canola oil
* Sour cream, to garnish
* Salsa, for garnish
* Guacamole, for garnish
* Cilantro sprigs, for garnish


Preheat a grill or grill pan. Season the pork loin with salt and
pepper. In a small bowl combine the brown sugar, chili powder, garlic,
oregano, onion powder, lime juice and canola oil and mix to form a
paste. Rub the paste all over the pork. Cover and refrigerate for 2
hours. Place the onion and the corn on the grill and grill until
tender and slightly charred. Remove and set aside. With a knife,
remove the kernels from the corn. Remove the pork from the
refrigerator and place on the grill. Grill to medium, about 4 minutes
per side. Remove from the grill and slice into thin slices. Wrap the
tortillas in a damp paper towel or clean cloth and place in the
microwave for 20 seconds to soften. Place 4 corn tortillas on a flat
surface. Place 1/8th of the cheese on each tortilla and top with 1/8th
of the pork, onions, corn, and jalapenos. Top with another tortilla
and another 1/8th of the cheese, pork, onions, corn, and jalapenos.
Top with another tortillas and press down firmly with your hands on
each stack. Brush the tops of each stack with some of the canola oil
and place on a baking sheet. Place in the oven and cook for 10
minutes, or until the cheese melts and the tortillas are golden brown.
Remove from the oven and garnish with sour cream, salsa, guacamole,
and cilantro.

Mango Strawberry Snow Cones

Prep Time: 10 min
Level: Easy
Yield: 4 servings


* 2 mangoes, peeled and chopped
* 1 pint strawberries, hulled and sliced
* 1 lime juiced, plus wedges for garnish
* 8 cups ice
* Mint leaves, for garnish


Put the mangoes and strawberries into a blender or food processor.
Squeeze in the lime juice and puree.

Crush ice in a food processor or blender until it is very fine, like
snow. Pile the crushed ice into dessert dishes; pour the fruit puree
over until you can't see any more white. Garnish with lime wedges and
mint; serve immediately.

Friday, November 28, 2008

The Ultimate Pizza

Cook Time: 20 min
Level: Intermediate
Yield: 6 servings


* 1 ounce fresh baker's yeast
* 1 cup warm water (110 to 115 degrees F)
* 1 tablespoon maple syrup
* 3 cups flour (recommended 00)
* 1 tablespoon sea salt
* 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil


* Extra-virgin olive oil
* 1 white onion, cut into thin strips
* 2 sprigs rosemary
* Salt and freshly ground black pepper
* 1/2 lemon, juiced
* 12 ounces Robiola cheese
* 6 ounces pancetta, thinly sliced
* 1 white truffle
* Special equipment: Pizza stone and pizza paddle


Preheat oven to 500 degrees F and place the pizza stone on the bottom rack.

Crumble the yeast in a small bowl then add 1/4 cup of warm water and
the syrup. Stir together and leave for 5 minutes to dissolve.

Put the flour and salt in a mixer fitted with a dough hook and give it
a quick spin to mix. Pour in the yeast mixture, the remaining warm
water and the olive oil at the same time, see Cook's note*.

Spin on low until the flour and water come together and the dough
pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Put the ball of dough in a
large bowl and drizzle a few drops of olive oil on top to keep it from
forming a skin as it proofs. Cover with a towel and leave in warm
place for 30 minutes to let the dough proof. When the dough has
proofed it will double in size and look spongy.

For the topping: Caramelize the onions in a frying pan over low heat
with a little olive oil and one of rosemary sprigs. When the onions
are golden season with sea salt and black pepper and a few drops of
lemon juice to bring out the flavor.

When the dough has proofed, roll it out onto to a floured surface and
punch the air out with your hands, then start shaping it into a circle
When it's stretched out, dust a pizza paddle with flour and place the
dough on it.

Cover with a generous splash of olive oil and scatter with pieces of
Robiola. Shingle the pancetta slices around and add the caramelized
onions, and the stripped needles of the remaining rosemary sprig.
Drizzle with olive oil. Add salt and black pepper.

Slide the pizza onto the stone in the oven (be careful the stone is
500 degrees F) and bake for 15 minutes. Shave white truffles over it.
Eat immediately.

The Ultimate Caramel Apple Pie

Cook Time: 50 min
Level: Intermediate
Yield: 4 to 6 servings


* 3 cups all-purpose flour
* Pinch salt
* 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cold, cut in chunks
* 2 eggs separated, (yolks for the pastry, whites for the glaze)
* 3 tablespoons ice water, plus more if needed

Caramel Apples:

* 1 cup sugar, plus 1/4 cup for the top
* 3 tablespoons water
* 1/4 cup heavy cream
* 1/2 cup red wine
* 1/2 vanilla bean, split and scraped
* 1 lemon, halved
* 8 apples (recommended: Granny Smith and Gala)
* 1 tablespoon flour
* 1 cinnamon stick, freshly grated
* 1/4 cup unsalted butter


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

To make the pastry, combine the flour and salt together in a large
bowl. Cut in the chunks of cold butter with a pastry blender, a little
at a time, until the dough resembles cornmeal. Add the 2 egg yolks and
the ice water, and blend for a second just to pull the dough together
and moisten. Be careful not to overwork the dough. Form the dough into
a ball, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap, and let it rest in the
refrigerator for 1 hour.

While the dough is resting, prepare the filling.

To make the caramel sauce: place the sugar and water in a small pot
and cook, stirring constantly, over medium-low heat until the sugar
has melted and caramelized, about 10 minutes. Remove the pot from the
burner and add the cream and wine slowly. It may bubble and spit, so
be careful. When the sauce has calmed down, return it to the flame,
add the vanilla bean and heat it slowly, until the wine and caramel
are smooth and continue to slowly cook until reduced by half. Remove
from the heat and cool until thickened.

Fill a large bowl with cold water and squeeze in the lemon juice. Peel
the apples with a paring knife, cut them in half, and remove the core
with a melon baller. Put the apple halves in the lemon-water (this
will keep them from going brown). Toss the apples with the flour and

Take the dough out of the refrigerator, unwrap the plastic, and cut
the ball in half. Rewrap and return 1 of the balls to the
refrigerator, until ready for the top crust. Let the dough rest on the
counter for 15 minutes so it will be pliable enough to roll out. Using
a rolling pin, roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface into a
12-inch circle. Carefully roll the dough up onto the pin and lay it
inside a 10-inch glass pie pan. Press the dough into the pan so it
fits tightly.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Slice a couple of the apples at a time using a mandolin or a very
sharp knife. The apples need to be thinly sliced so that as the pie
bakes, they collapse on top of each other with no air pockets. This
makes a dense, meaty apple pie. Cover the bottom of the pastry with a
layer of apples, shingling the slices so there are no gaps. Ladle
about 2 ounces of the cooled red wine caramel sauce evenly over the
apple slices. Repeat the layers, until the pie is slightly overfilled
and domed on the top; the apples will shrink down as the pie cooks.
Top the apples with pieces of the butter.

Now, roll out the other ball of dough just as you did the first. Brush
the bottom lip of the pie pastry with a little beaten egg white to
form a seal. Place the pastry circle on top of the pie, and using some
kitchen scissors, trim off the overhanging excess from around the pie.
Crimp the edges of dough together with your fingers to make a tight
seal. Cut slits in the top of the pie so steam can escape while
baking. Place the pie on a sheet tray and tent it with a piece of
aluminum foil, so the crust does not cook faster than the apples.

Bake the caramel apple pie for 25 minutes on the middle rack. In a
small bowl, combine the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar with the freshly
grated cinnamon. Remove the foil from the pie and brush the top with
the remaining egg white. Sprinkle evenly with the cinnamon sugar and
return to the oven. Continue to bake for another 25 minutes, until the
pie is golden and bubbling. Let the apple pie rest at room temperature
for at least 1 hour to allow the fruit pectin to gel and set;
otherwise the pie will fall apart when you cut into it.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Lemon Curd Trifle with Fresh Berries

Cook Time: 10 min
Level: Intermediate
Yield: 6 servings


* 6 large egg yolks
* 1 cup sugar
* 4 lemons, zested and juiced
* 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut in chunks
* 1 pint fresh strawberries, stemmed and halved lengthwise
* 1 pint fresh blueberries
* 1 pint fresh blackberries
* 2 cups sweetened whipped cream
* 1 prepared lemon pound cake, sliced
* 1/4 cup Lemoncello or Grand Marnier liqueur (optional)
* Fresh mint leaves, for garnish


To make the lemon curd: Bring a pot of water to a simmer over
medium-low heat. Combine the egg yolks, sugar, lemon juice, and zest
in a metal or glass heat-resistant bowl and whisk until smooth. Set
the bowl over the simmering water, without letting the bottom touch,
and continue to whisk. Keep working-out that arm and whisk it
vigorously for a good 10 minutes, until the curd has doubled in volume
and is very thick and yellow. Don't let it boil. Remove the bowl from
heat and whisk in the butter, a couple of chunks at a time, until
melted. Refrigerate until the custard is cold and firm.

To build the trifle: put the berries in a mixing bowl and toss them
together so they are evenly distributed. Fold the whipped cream into
the chilled lemon curd to lighten it up into a mousse. Line a glass
trifle bowl with pieces of pound cake to fit. Drizzle or brush the
cake with the Lemoncello, spoon a layer of the lemon curd over the
cake, and then a layer of mixed berries. Repeat the layers until the
ingredients are used up, the last layer looks best if it's the
berries. Chill before serving. Garnish with fresh mint.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Scalloped Potato Gratin

Cook Time: 50 min
Level: Easy
Yield: 4 to 6 servings


* 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
* 1 sprig fresh thyme
* 2 garlic cloves, chopped
* 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
* Butter
* 2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/8-inch thick slices
* Salt and freshly ground black pepper
* 1/2 cup grated Parmesan, plus more for broiling


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

In a saucepan, heat up the cream with a sprig of thyme, chopped garlic
and nutmeg.

While cream is heating up, butter a casserole dish. Place a layer of
potato in an overlapping pattern and season with salt and pepper.
Remove cream from heat, then pour a little over the potatoes. Top with
some grated Parmesan. Make 2 more layers. Bake, uncovered, for 45
minutes. Sprinkle some more Parmesan and broil until cheese browns,
about 5 minutes.


Mojito Slushy

Cook Time: 5 min
Level: Easy
Yield: 4 servings


* 1 cup sugar
* 1 cup water
* 1/2 cup fresh lime juice, about 4 to 6 limes
* 1/4 cup fresh mint leaves, firmly packed
* 2 limes, zested
* 1/2 cup light rum
* 8 cups crushed ice
* Mint sprigs and lime wedges, for garnish


In a saucepan over medium heat, add the sugar and water. Cook for
about 5 minutes, stirring often, until the sugar is dissolved and the
syrup is clear. Set aside to cool.

Put the sugar syrup, lime juice, mint leaves, lime zest, and rum into
a blender and blend until smooth. Add the ice and blend until slushy.
Spoon into glasses; garnish with a sprig of mint and a lime slice.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

French Onion Soup

Cook Time: 55 min
Level: Easy
Yield: 4 to 6 servings


* 1/2 cup unsalted butter
* 4 onions, sliced
* 2 garlic cloves, chopped
* 2 bay leaves
* 2 fresh thyme sprigs
* Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
* 1 cup red wine, about 1/2 bottle
* 3 heaping tablespoons all-purpose flour
* 2 quarts beef broth
* 1 baguette, sliced
* 1/2 pound grated Gruyere


Melt the stick of butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onions, garlic, bay leaves, thyme, and salt and pepper and cook until the onions are very soft and caramelized, about 25 minutes. Add the wine, bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer until the wine has evaporated and the onions are dry, about 5 minutes. Discard the bay leaves and thyme sprigs. Dust the onions with the flour and give them a stir. Turn the heat down to medium low so the flour doesn't burn, and cook for 10 minutes to cook out the raw flour taste. Now add the beef broth, bring the soup back to a simmer, and cook for 10 minutes. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper.

When you're ready to eat, preheat the broiler. Arrange the baguette slices on a baking sheet in a single layer. Sprinkle the slices with the Gruyere and broil until bubbly and golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes.

Ladle the soup in bowls and float several of the Gruyere croutons on top.

Alternative method: Ladle the soup into bowls, top each with 2 slices of bread and top with cheese. Put the bowls into the oven to toast the bread and melt the cheese.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Chicken Noodle Soup

Yield: 6 to 8 servings

For the soup:

* Extra-virgin olive oil
* 3 cloves garlic, smashed
* 2 large carrots, chopped
* 1 medium onion, chopped
* 2 ribs celery, sliced
* 1 bay leaf
* 4 fresh thyme sprigs
* 3 quarts low-sodium chicken broth
* 5 parsley stems, plus 1/4 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley, for garnish
* 4 black peppercorns
* Kosher salt
* Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, for garnish

For the meatballs:

* 1 medium onion, diced
* Olive oil
* 6 links organic chicken-apple sausage meat
* 1 egg
* 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
* 1 handful fresh parsley leaves
* 1/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
* 2 pounds frozen cheese tortellini, store bought
* Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


Set a large stock pot over medium heat. Add olive oil, half the garlic, carrot, onion, celery, bay leaf, and thyme and gently saute until fragrant, about 5 to 7 minutes. Pour in chicken broth, add parsley stems, black peppercorns and salt, to taste. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to simmer while you work on meatballs and tortellini.

For the meatballs:

Caramelize the diced onion in a saute pan with a little olive oil over medium heat. Add the sausage, egg, onion, thyme, parsley, and cheese to the bowl of a food processor and pulse until they all come together. Season with salt and pepper. Heat a skillet with a few tablespoons of olive oil until just smoking. Use a small ice cream scoop to drop meatballs onto skillet. Cook, turning, until golden brown.

Drop tortellini straight from freezer into soup. Cook until they float. Once meatballs are browned, add to pot of chicken broth. Bring to a simmer and cook for 2 or 3 minutes. Give soup a final seasoning and serve in shallow bowls with a small shower of Parmesan, olive oil, and parsley.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Mozzarella Grilled Cheese

Yield: 2 sandwiches


* 4 slices thick-cut sourdough bread
* 1 ball (1 pound) fresh mozzarella, cut into 1/4-inch slices
* 2 plum tomatoes, cut into thick slices
* 1 cup fresh basil pesto, recipe follows
* Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
* Extra-virgin olive oil

Basil pesto:

* 1/2 cup pine nuts
* 2 cups fresh basil leaves
* 1 cup fresh Italian parsley leaves
* 1/2 cup Parmesan or Romano
* 2 garlic cloves
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

To make pesto:


Toast pine nuts in a skillet over medium heat until fragrant, about 5 minutes. Combine pesto ingredients in a food processor and pulse until well combined but still rough-textured. If you have a panini press, turn it on to warm up; otherwise, set a cast iron skillet over medium heat. Assemble sandwich by smearing insides of bread slices with pesto. Arrange a layer of sliced tomato and season with a few turns of fresh pepper. Layer the mozzarella slices over the top and then place another piece of bread on top to make the sandwich. Drizzle olive oil over skillet's surface and place sandwiches on the hot skillet or panini press. If using a skillet, place another heavy skillet over the top to form a "press". Turn after 2 to 3 minutes and replace weight. The sandwich is ready when golden brown and mozzarella has melted around the edges.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Chicken Pot Pie

Cook Time: 1 hr 20 min
Level: Easy
Yield: 4 servings

Chicken Broth:

* 1 whole chicken, 3 pounds
* 1 gallon cool water
* 2 carrots, cut in 2-inch pieces
* 2 celery stalks, cut in 2-inch pieces
* 1 onion, halved
* 1 head garlic, halved horizontally
* 2 turnips, halved
* 4 fresh thyme sprigs
* 2 fresh rosemary sprigs
* 1 bay leaf

Pot Pie:

* 1/4 pound (1 stick) unsalted butter
* 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
* Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
* 3 carrots, cut in 1/2-inch circles
* 1 bag frozen or fresh pearl onions, see note
* 1 box frozen or fresh peas, see note
* Leaves from 4 fresh parsley sprigs
* 2 frozen puff pastry sheets, thawed
* 1 egg mixed with 3 tablespoons water
* 1/4 cup shredded Parmigiano-Reggiano


Put the chicken in a large stockpot and cover with 1 gallon of cool water. Add the vegetables and herbs and bring the pot up to a boil over medium-high heat. Skim well; then simmer, uncovered, for 45 minutes, skimming frequently as the oil rises to the surface. What we're doing here is not only cooking the chicken but also creating the base sauce for the pot pie. Remove the chicken to a platter to cool. Continue to cook down the chicken broth for another 15 minutes to condense the flavor; you should have about 8 cups when you're finished. Using a colander, strain the chicken broth into another pot and discard the solids. When the chicken is cool enough to handle, shred the meat and discard the skin and bones.

Wipe out the stockpot and put it back on the stovetop over medium heat. Melt the butter and then whisk in the flour to form a paste. This is a roux, which will act as a thickener. Now, gradually pour in 8 cups of the chicken broth, whisking the entire time to prevent lumps. Whisk and simmer for 10 minutes to cook out the starchy taste of the flour and thicken the broth; it should look like cream of chicken soup. Season with salt and pepper. Fold in the shredded chicken, carrots, pearl onions, peas, and parsley. Stir to combine and turn off the heat.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lay the thawed puff pastry sheets on a lightly floured, cool surface. Invert individual crocks on the pastry sheet and, using a sharp knife, cut circles around the outside of the bowls, slightly larger than the bowl itself. Fill the crocks 3/4 of the way with the chicken mixture, making sure each serving has a nice amount of chicken, vegetables, and broth. Carefully cap each crock with a pastry circle, pressing the dough around the rim to form a seal. Lightly beat the egg with 3 tablespoons of water to make an egg wash and brush some on the pastry. Sprinkle the pastry with the Parmigiano. Set the crocks on a cookie sheet and transfer to the oven. Bake for 20 minutes, until puffed and golden.

Notes: If using fresh pearl onions, blanch for 2 minutes in salted boiling water; then pinch the skins off -- if using frozen, run under cool water for 2 minutes to thaw.

If using fresh peas, blanch for 2 minutes in salted boiling water--if using frozen, run under cool water for 2 minutes to thaw.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The Ultimate Barbecued Ribs

Cook Time: 1 hr 30 min
Level: Easy
Yield: 4 to 6 servings


* 2 slabs baby back ribs (about 3 pounds)
* Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
* Extra-virgin olive oil
* 2 bacon slices
* 4 sprigs fresh thyme
* 1/2 onion
* 3 smashed garlic cloves
* 2 cups ketchup
* 1 cup peach preserves
* 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard or 1 tablespoon dry mustard
* 2 tablespoons brown sugar
* 1/4 cup molasses
* 2 tablespoons red or white wine vinegar
* 1 teaspoon ground cumin
* 1 teaspoon ground paprika


Special equipment: Kitchen twine

Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F. Put the ribs on a baking sheet, season with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil. Stick them in the oven, and let the ribs bake, low and slow for 1 1/2 hours.

Meanwhile, make the sauce. Wrap the bacon around the middle of the thyme sprigs and tie with kitchen twine so you have a nice bundle. Heat a 2-count of oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the thyme bundle and cook slowly for 3 to 4 minutes to render the bacon fat and give the sauce a nice smoky taste. Add the onion and garlic and cook slowly, without coloring, for 5 minutes. Add all of the rest of the sauce ingredients, give the sauce a stir, and turn the heat down to low. Cook slowly for 20 minutes to meld the flavors. Put some sauce in a separate bowl for basting, reserving the remaining sauce for serving.

Baste the ribs with the sauce and let them continue cooking, basting twice more, for 30 more minutes. When the ribs are cooked, take them out of the oven. You can let them hang out like this until you're ready to eat.

When ready to eat, preheat the broiler for 5 minutes and broil the ribs, basting with the sauce. They should become crisp and charred, about 5 minutes on each side. Pick the onion and garlic out of the sauce and serve with ribs.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Chicken Enchiladas with Roasted Tomatillo Chile Salsa

Cook Time: 45 min
Level: Easy

Roasted Tomatillo Chile Salsa:

* 1 pound tomatillos, husked
* 1 white onion, peeled, sliced, quartered or whole
* 4 garlic cloves
* 2 jalapenos
* 2 teaspoons ground cumin
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 1/2 cup chopped cilantro leaves
* 1/2 lime, juiced


* Extra-virgin olive oil
* 1/2 medium onion, diced
* 3 garlic cloves, chopped
* 1 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
* 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
* 2 cups chicken stock, storebought
* Chopped cilantro leaves
* 1 deli roasted chicken (about 3 pounds), boned, meat shredded
* Salt
* Freshly ground black pepper
* 10 large flour tortillas
* 1/2 pound Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
* 2 cups sour cream
* Chopped tomatoes and cilantro leaves, for garnish
* Spicy Black Beans, recipe follows
* Yellow Rice, recipe follows
* Guacamole, optional

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

For the salsa:

On a baking tray, roast tomatillos, onion, garlic and jalapenos for 12 to 15 minutes. Transfer the roasted vegetables and any juices on the bottom of the tray to a food processor. Add the cumin, salt, cilantro, and lime juice and pulse mixture until well combined but still chunky.


Meanwhile heat a 2 count of olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until soft and caramelized - this should take 5 to 7 minutes. Add the garlic and cumin then cook for a further minute. Sprinkle on the flour and stir to ensure the flour doesn't burn then gradually add the chicken stock to make a veloute. Continue stirring over a low simmer until the flour cooks and the liquid thickens. Turn off the heat, add half of the roasted tomatillo chile salsa, some additional fresh chopped cilantro and fold in the shredded chicken meat. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper.

Change the temperature of the oven to 350 degrees F and begin assembling the dish. Take a large baking dish and smear the bottom with some of the reserved tomatillo salsa. Now take the flour tortillas and briefly flash them over the stove-top flame (or put them briefly under the broiler if using an electric stove). Using a shallow bowl, coat each tortilla lightly with the reserved salsa mix. Put a scoop of the shredded chicken-enchilada mix on top of the tortilla followed by a sprinkle of the shredded cheese. Fold the tortilla over the filling and roll like a cigar to enclose it. Using a spatula place the tortillas in the baking dish and continue to do the same with all the tortillas. Finally pour over some more of the salsa and top with the remaining shredded cheese. Bake uncovered for about 30 minutes until bubbly and cracked on top. Garnish, cilantro and tomato.

Serve hot with Spicy Black Beans and Yellow Rice, the remaining tomatillo salsa, sour cream and fresh guacamole, if desired.

Spicy Black Beans:

* 2 cups (about 1 pound) dried black beans, picked over, soaked overnight
* 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
* 1/2 medium onion, diced
* 1 jalapeno pepper, chopped
* 2 cloves garlic, chopped
* 1 bay leaf
* Kosher salt
* freshly ground black pepper

In a large pot, soak beans overnight covered in water by 2 inches. Drain and set aside.

In the same pot, heat the olive oil. Add the onion, jalapeno pepper, garlic, and bay leaf and cook until the vegetables begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the beans and cover with water by about 1-inch. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, or until the beans are tender. Remove the bay leaf and discard. Taste the beans and season with salt and pepper.

Yellow Rice:

* 2 cups long-grain rice
* 4 cups water
* 2 cloves garlic, smashed
* 1 tablespoon turmeric
* 1 teaspoon kosher salt
* 1 bay leaf

Put all the ingredients into a heavy-bottomed pot, stir well, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover, and cook over low heat until the rice has absorbed the water, about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and let sit, covered, for 5 minutes. Discard the garlic and bay leaf, fluff with a fork, and serve.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Arborio Rice Pudding

Cook Time: 30 min
Level: Easy
Yield: 6 to 8 servings


* 2 quarts milk
* 2 tablespoons butter
* 1 cups sugar
* 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, plus more for dusting
* 1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped
* 1 cup Arborio rice
* 1 1/2 cups water
* 1 orange, zested, 1 teaspoon plus more for garnish
* Pinch kosher salt


Take a large saucepan and add milk, butter, sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla bean and seeds. Cook the rice in boiling water until al dente. Once the water has evaporated fold in milk mixture. Reduce heat to medium and cook for 10 minutes stirring regularly until rice is tender. Add the orange zest and pinch of salt. Stir well and remove from heat. The consistency should be more liquid than regular risotto. Finish with a light dust of cinnamon.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Pot Roast with Vegetables

Cook Time: 3 hr
Level: Easy
Yield: 8 servings


* 1 (3 to 4 pound) piece beef chuck roast, trimmed of excess fat
* Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
* 3 tablespoons olive oil
* 1 can crushed tomatoes
* 1 cup water
* 2 yellow onion, halved
* 2 garlic cloves, chopped
* 1 bunch baby carrots
* 2 celery stalks, sliced
* 1 cup button mushrooms, stems removed and sliced in half
* 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
* 4 sprigs fresh thyme
* 2 bay leaves


Season all sides of the beef with a fair amount of salt and pepper. In
a large Dutch oven or other heavy pot that has a tight cover; heat 2
tablespoons of the oil over moderately high heat. Brown the meat on
all sides, taking the time to get a nice crust on the outside. Pour in
the tomatoes and the water. Scatter the vegetables and herbs around
the pot roast, season with salt and pepper; and drizzle with the
remaining tablespoon of oil. Cover the pot and reduce the heat to low.
Braise for about 3 hours, basting every 30 minutes with the pan
juices, until the beef is fork tender.

Slice the pot roast and arrange on platter surrounded by the
vegetables. Serve with the pot juices.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Hunter's Minestrone

Cook Time: 40 min
Level: Easy
Yield: 6 servings


* 2 quarts chicken stock
* 1 head garlic, halved
* 1/2 pound small rigatoni
* Extra-virgin olive oil
* 8 fresh sage leaves
* 1 sprig fresh rosemary
* 1 sprig fresh thyme
* 3/4 pound loose sweet Italian pork sausage
* 2 medium carrots, roughly chopped
* 2 celery ribs, roughly chopped
* 1 onion, roughly chopped
* 1 (28-ounce) can crushed plum tomatoes
* 1 bay leaf
* 2 (28-ounce) cans cannelloni beans, drained and rinsed
* 1/2 bunch fresh parsley leaves, finely minced
* Coarsely ground black pepper
* 12 slices baguette
* 1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano


Combine the stock and halved garlic head in a big saucepan and simmer
for about 15 minutes to give the stock a nice, garlicky taste; strain
out the garlic. Keep warm.

Bring a pot of salted water to boil for the rigatoni.

Pour 1/4 cup olive oil in a large saucepan. Add the sage, rosemary and
thyme and warm the oil over medium heat to infuse it with the flavor
of the herbs, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the sausage and cook, breaking up
the sausage with the side of a big spoon until well browned. Chop the
carrots, celery, and onion in a food processor. Add to the saucepan
and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, until the vegetables are softened but not

To the pan with the sausage stir in the crushed tomatoes, bay leaf,
cannelloni beans, and chicken stock. Bring to a simmer and cook for 15
minutes stirring occasionally.

Cook the rigatoni in the boiling water for 6 minutes; it should be
slightly underdone. Drain and stir into the simmering soup. Add the
parsley, and salt and coarsely ground black pepper, to taste. Discard
the bay leaf and herb sprigs.

To serve, preheat the broiler. Put the baguette slices in a single
layer on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with the Parmigiano and broil until
the cheese is bubbly and golden brown, about 3 minutes. Ladle the soup
into bowls and float a couple of the baguette slices on top.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Grilled Cheese

Cook Time: 10 min
Level: Easy
Yield: 4 servings


* 8 slices country-style white bread, sliced 1/2-inch thick
* 12 ounces farmhouse Cheddar, sliced
* 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
* 12 slices bacon, cooked to desired doneness
* 1 green apple, thinly sliced
* Dijon mustard


Heat griddle or large skillet over medium-low heat. Alternatively you
can use your panini press if you have one.

Assemble sandwich: Generously spread Dijon on 4 slices of bread. Top
with slices of Cheddar, 3 pieces of bacon, apple slices and additional
Cheddar. Place the remaining bread on top and spread with butter.
Place on skillet buttered-side down and butter the remaining side.
Cook until cheese is slightly melted and bread is browned. Flip the
sandwich and continue to cook until cheese is thoroughly melted and
sandwich is golden brown.

Ricotta Pancakes with Roasted Golden Delicious Apples and Roasted Prosciutto

Cook Time: 45 min
Level: Easy
Yield: 4 servings

For the topping:

* 12 slices prosciutto
* Salt and freshly ground black pepper, optional
* 4 Golden Delicious apples
* 1/2 stick butter, melted
* 1/4 cup maple syrup

For the pancakes:

* 2 cups ricotta
* 4 large eggs, separated
* 1 cup buttermilk
* 1 tablespoon lemon juice
* 1 teaspoon lemon zest
* 1 cup all-purpose flour
* 3 tablespoons sugar
* 1 teaspoon baking powder
* Pinch salt
* Butter, for cooking
* Confectioners' sugar, for dusting, optional
* 1 cup maple syrup, warmed on stove-top

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

On 1 tray lay the slices of prosciutto out in a single flat layer.
Season with some salt and freshly ground black pepper, if desired, and
pop into the oven. Roast the prosciutto until crispy, about 10 to 15

Cut each apple into thirds, remove the cheeks and discard the core.
Slice each piece into 4 and toss with butter and maple syrup in a
large bowl. Transfer to a roasting pan and place in the oven. Roast
the apples until they are fork-tender and slightly caramelized on the
top, about 30 to 45 minutes depending on ripeness of the fruit.

For the pancakes:

Combine the ricotta, egg yolks, buttermilk, lemon juice, and lemon
zest in a large mixing bowl. Sift the dry ingredients: flour, sugar,
baking powder, and salt together into the ricotta mixture and stir
until fully combined. In a separate bowl whisk the egg whites until
stiff peaks form and then gently fold into the batter.

Heat a large nonstick pan over medium heat and add a little butter.
Cook 2 to 3 pancakes at a time using a 6-ounce ladle or measuring cup
to pour the batter into the pan. The trick to perfect round pancakes
to carefully pour all the batter in the same spot and let it roll out
to a complete circle. Cook the pancakes on 1 side until they set. When
small bubbles appear on the uncooked surface, flip the pancakes and
cook until golden on both sides, about 6 minutes. Keep the pancakes on
a plate set at the back of the stove under a dry towel to keep warm
while you make the rest.

To serve, lay the pancakes on a plate and dust with confectioners'
sugar. Serve with roasted apples, crispy prosciutto strips and warm
maple syrup.