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Monday, February 29, 2016

YET ANOTHER King Ranch Chicken Casserole

Active Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Serves: 8

Schnucks nonstick cooking spray
 1/2 cup chicken broth [125 ml]
1 package (9 ounces) corn tortillas [252 g]
3 cups diced or shredded roasted turkey meat or 1 Schnucks whole roasted chicken, skin removed and meat diced or shredded [672 g]
1 can (10.5 ounces) Schnucks condensed cream of chicken soup [294 ml]
1 can (10.5 ounces) Schnucks condensed cream of mushroom soup [294 ml]
1 can (10 ounces) Schnucks petite diced tomatoes with green chiles [280 g]
1 tablespoon Schnucks chili powder
1 medium onion, chopped (1 cup)
1 small green bell pepper, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
1 cup Schnucks shredded Cheddar cheese [112 g]

1.      Preheat oven to 375°F. Spray 13 x 9-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. In wide-bottomed saucepan or small skillet, heat chicken broth to boiling over high heat. Dip corn tortillas, 1 at a time, in broth to wilt slightly. Cover bottom and sides of prepared baking dish with tortillas, overlapping tortillas slightly.
2.      From chicken, remove enough meat to make 2 cups diced chicken; set aside. In large bowl, with whisk, combine undiluted soups, tomatoes with their juice and chili powder.
3.      Sprinkle chicken, onion and green pepper evenly over tortillas. Top with soup mixture, then sprinkle with cheese. Bake, uncovered, 35 to 45 minutes or until mixture bubbles around edges. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Each serving: about 250 calories, 9 g total fat (2.5 g saturated), 35 mg cholesterol, 840 mg sodium, 25 g carbohydrate, 3 g fiber, 18 g protein

Yogurt and Fresh Fruit Parfait

By The Canadian Living Test Kitchen
52 people added this to their Recipe Box
This recipe makes 4 servings

1/3 cup (67 g) granulated_sugar
2 tbsp (14 g) cornstarch
1-1/2 tsp (3.5 g) unflavoured gelatin
2 tsp (10 mL) grated lemon rind
1 cup (250 mL) 2% milk
1 cup (245 g) low-fat yogurt
1 tsp (5 mL) vanilla
2 cups (250 g) berries or sliced fruit


In small saucepan, stir together sugar, cornstarch, gelatin and lemon rind; stir in milk. Cook, stirring, over medium heat until thickened and smooth; cook stirring, for 2 minutes longer. Remove from heat.

Gradually stir in yogurt; add vanilla. Refrigerate, stirring occasionally, for about 1 hour or until completely cooled.

With electric mixer, beat for 1 minute. Spoon into 4 parfait glasses alternately with fruit, starting and ending with yogurt mixture.

Zesty Italian Casserole

By: Christy Denney from The Girl Who Ate Everything

1 lb. lean ground beef [500 g]
1/4 cup chopped onion [40 g]
1 cup spaghetti sauce [250 ml]
6 oz. (1 1/2 cups) shredded mozzarella or Monterey Jack cheese [168 g]
1/2 cup sour cream [112 g]
1 (8-oz.) can Pillsbury® Recipe Creations (or Crescent Dinner Rolls pressed together along the perforations) [224 g]
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese [30 g]
2 tablespoons butter, melted [28.4 g]

Heat oven to 375°F. In large skillet, cook ground beef and onion over medium heat for 8 to 10 minutes or until beef is thoroughly cooked, stirring frequently. *I added salt and pepper here and a 1/2 tsp. of Italian seasonings. Drain. Stir in pasta sauce; cook until thoroughly heated.Meanwhile, in medium bowl, combine mozzarella cheese and sour cream; mix well.Pour hot beef mixture into ungreased 9 1/2 or 10-inch glass deep-dish pie pan or 11×7-inch (2-quart) glass baking dish. Spoon cheese mixture over beef mixture.Unroll dough over cheese mixture. In small bowl, mix Parmesan cheese and butter. Spread evenly over dough.Bake at 375°F. for 18 to 25 minutes or until deep golden brown.

Zucchini and Tomato Gratin With Lamb Chops

This Mediterranean meal combines tender lamb chops with a pretty vegetable gratin. Using a mandoline makes it easy to rapidly slice the veggies. Serve with garlic-rubbed toasted crusty bread.

By Jennifer Bartoli and The Test Kitchen
Source: Canadian Living Magazine: November 2012
Prep time 25 minutes
Total time 40 minutes
Portion size 4 servings

1 cup (250 mL) bottled strained tomatoes, (passata)
1 tbsp (15 mL) pesto
2 medium zucchini, sliced 1/8 inch thick
1 plum tomato, sliced 1/8 inch thick
2 tbsp (30 mL) olive oil
3/4 tsp (4 mL) herbes de Provence or dried Italian herb seasoning
1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt
1/4 tsp (1 mL) pepper
1/3 cup (37 g) crumbled feta cheese
1 tbsp (15 mL) coarsely chopped fresh mint
8 lamb loin chops, (about 1-1/2 lb/ 675 g total), trimmed

Mix bottled strained tomatoes with pesto; spread in 8-cup (2 L) oval baking dish.
 Arrange zucchini and tomato in single layer over large tea towel; top with second towel and gently press to absorb excess moisture.
 In bowl, toss together zucchini, 1 tbsp of the oil, 1/2 tsp of the herbes de Provence and half each of the salt and pepper.
 Arrange zucchini and tomato in overlapping concentric circles on strained tomato mixture, adding tomato slice after every few zucchini slices. Bake in 425 F (220 C) oven until tender, 18 to 20 minutes. Sprinkle with feta; broil until feta is slightly golden, 2 to 3 minutes. Sprinkle with mint.
 Meanwhile, season lamb chops with remaining herbes de Provence, salt and pepper. In large skillet, heat remaining oil over medium-high heat; cook lamb chops until browned and centre is medium to medium-rare, 3 to 5 minutes per side. Serve with gratin.

Nutritional Information Per serving: about
cal 272  pro 23g  total fat 17g  sat. fat 6g 
carb 8g  dietary fibre 2g  sugar 5g  chol 58mg 
sodium 512mg  potassium 608mg   
% RDI:
calcium 9  iron 21  vit A 13  vit C 12 
folate 15

Zucchini Mac & Cheese

This is a recipe that was inspired by English chef, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall. It certainly fits in with the ‘tasty’ criteria for my new ebook but with the pasta it didn’t really come up to scratch from a health perspective. So rather include it in my new eCookbook, I thought I’d share it here.
enough for 2
4 zucchini, sliced finely
1-2 cloves garlic, crushed (optional)
4 tablespoons cream [56 g]
150g (5oz) short pasta
2 handful melting cheese
salad leaves, to serve

1. Preheat your oven to 180C (350F). Bring a pot of water for the pasta to boil.

2. Heat a little olive oil on a medium heat in a large frying pan. Add zucchini and cook until the zucchini are super soft and reduced. 10-15 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, boil pasta according to the packet timing. Drain.

4. Add garlic to the zucchini (if using) and cook for about 30 seconds. Remove pan from the heat and toss in the pasta, cream and half the cheese.

5. Divide the mixture between 2 x 2cup oven proof dishes. Top with remaining cheese and pop in the oven for 15-20 minutes or until everything is hot and the cheese has melted.

6. Serve with salad leaves on the side.

carnivore – brown some bacon or crumbled pork sausages and toss in with the pasta.

more substantial / carb lovers – serve with garlic bread.

different cheese – I use a combo of emmental, gruyere and parmesan but cheddar, mozzarella and swiss cheese are also good.

vegan / dairy-free – just toss the garlicky zucchini though the cooked pasta with a little extra olive oil. And serve with finely grated brazil nuts and a handful or mint or basil leaves on top.

healthier / more veg – replace some or all of the pasta with steamed chopped cauliflower.

different veg - the zucchini are pretty special here because they cook down and concentrate in flavour but you could use asparagus, broccoli, peas, red bell peppers (capsicum) or cauliflower.

gluten-free – use GF pasta (I did) or replace the pasta with steamed chopped cauliflower.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Pomegranate Salad

This colorful salad of red pomegranate seeds, Romaine lettuce and roasted sesame seeds, dressed with a fresh pomegranate juice and honey dressing, sets a festive tone for any holiday table.

Featured in:  Vegetarian Thanksgiving: Pomegranate Salad.
5 ratings *****

  Time Total cooking time: 15 min.
 Yield 4 servings

2 tablespoons sesame seeds
¼ cup mild tasting olive oil
2 tablespoons pomegranate juice
2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses
2 tablespoons date syrup
2 tablespoons honey [47.5 g]
 Himalayan pink salt or sea salt to taste
 Fresh ground black pepper to taste
9 oz bag romaine or butter lettuce [252 g]
½ cup pomegranate seeds

1. In a small dry skillet toast sesame seeds over medium heat until light brown in color, about 3 to 5 minutes. Pour sesame seeds out onto a paper towel to cool.
2. Whisk together olive oil, pomegranate juice, pomegranate molasses, date syrup, honey, salt and pepper. Set aside.
3. Arrange lettuce in large bowl or platter. Top with pomegranate seeds and sesame seeds, add dressing and toss. Serve immediately.

White Wine Mojito

 Yield 1 drink

I tend to prefer cocktails that follow classic recipes. But on a recent trip to southern Utah, I happily sipped a moderated mojito at Red Mountain Resort, which does not serve spirits, only beer and wine. The rum in this rendition had been swapped for sauvignon blanc. The general manager, Tracey Welsh, explained: “Our inspiration was to offer a lower alcohol content in cocktail favorites our guests love, allowing them to wake up feeling refreshed the next day, and ready to go for early morning hikes.” That’s providing you can drink just one.

Featured in:  A Moderated Mojito.
12 ratings *****

½ lime, cut crosswise
6 fresh mint leaves
1 teaspoon agave syrup
½ cup chilled sauvignon blanc [125 ml]
¼ cup chilled club soda [63 ml]

1. Take 1/2 lime (cut crosswise) and cut off 1 thin slice and reserve. Cut the rest into 2 wedges. Place in shaker and muddle with 6 fresh mint leaves and 1 teaspoon agave syrup. Add 1/2 cup chilled sauvignon blanc and some ice, and shake well. Serve in a stemmed goblet, topped with 1/4 cup chilled club soda and garnished with reserved lime slice.

Adapted from Red Mountain Resort in Utah

Whole- Grain Blueberry Buckle

Yield 1 8-inch cake, serving 9 to 12

A buckle is an old-fashioned cake that has a crumble topping and fruit that makes the batter buckle, or sink, as it bakes. Or at least that’s what all the recipes I’ve read say is supposed to happen. When I made the cake the blueberries didn’t really cause it to buckle at all, they just formed a layer on top of the cake. This is now a favorite dessert. It’s not traditional at all, as I use whole-wheat flour, and oats and quinoa flour in the topping.

Featured in:  Blueberries For All.
15 ratings ****

For the topping
20 grams 2 tablespoons rolled oats (about 20 grams3 tablespoons, approximately)
60 grams quinoa flour (1/2 cup, approximately; grind quinoa in a spice mill to make the flour)
½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
50 grams unrefined turbinado sugar (1/4 cup, approximately)
1/8 teaspoon salt (to taste)
60 grams cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (4 tablespoons/2 ounces)
For the cake
125 grams whole- wheat flour (1 cup, approximately)
65 grams unbleached all-purpose flour (1/2 cup, approximately)
5 grams baking powder (1 teaspoon, approximately)
1 gram baking soda (1/4 teaspoon, approximately)
3 grams fine sea salt (scant 1/2 teaspoon, approximately)
90 grams unsalted butter, preferably French-style such as Plugrà, at room temperature (6 tablespoons/3 ounces)
120 grams sugar, preferably organic (scant 1/2 cup, approximately)
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
2 eggs, at room temperature
130 grams buttermilk or kefir (1/2 cup)
350 grams blueberries (2 1/4 cups, approximately/ 2 boxes), divided

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9-inch square baking pan and cover bottom with parchment. Butter parchment.
2. Make the crumble topping. Place oats, quinoa flour, turbinado sugar, salt, and nutmeg in a food processor fitted with the steel blade and pulse several times to combine. Add cold butter and pulse until butter is evenly distributed in throughoutthroughout the grain mix. The mixture should have a crumbly consistency. Place in freezer while you make the ix up cake batter.
3. Sift together flours, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a bowl with electric beaters, cream butter, sugar, and lemon zest on medium speed for 3 to 5 minutes, until fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, scraping down bowl between each addition.
4. On low speed, add flour mixture in 3 batchesadditions, adding buttermilk or kefir between each addition. Scrape down bowl between each addition. Remove beaters and gently fold in half the blueberries.
5. Scrape batter into prepared pan and spread evenly. Distribute remaining blueberries over the top. Sprinkle crumble topping over the blueberries.
6. Bake 50 to 55 minutes, until golden and firm when pressed gently in the middle.

Whole Grain Granola

1 hour
 Yield About 8 cups

This recipe for a not-too-sweet, olive-oil and honey-enriched granola can be used as a template. Vary the types and amounts of puffed and rolled (also called flaked) grains, coconut and nuts to suit your taste, as long as you use eight cups altogether. And feel free to add chopped dried fruit at the end, stirring it into the granola mix while it’s still warm. If you want to add spices, stir a mix of ground cinnamon, ginger, and cardamom into the honey mixture before baking. It’s easy to make this recipe your own.

Featured in:  Ancient Grains Are New Again.
56 ratings *****

2 ½ cups puffed kamut (or use other puffed whole grains, such as barley or wheat)
2 cups rolled barley (or use rolled oats, rolled spelt, rolled triticale or rolled rye) [448 g]
1 ½ cups raw (untoasted) nuts, such as whole almonds, walnuts or pecans, or a combination [225 g]
1 cup unsweetened coconut chips or shredded coconut [70 g]
1 cup raw pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
2/3 cup honey [255 g]
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/3 cup dark brown sugar [63 g]
1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt

1. Heat oven to 300 degrees. Mix all ingredients together and spread out on two baking sheets lined with parchment paper.
2. Bake until golden brown all over, about 35 to 50 minutes. Stir the granola as it bakes at least 2 or 3 times, making sure to stir around the edges. Cool completely before storing airtight.

Whole Wheat Focaccia with Peppers and Eggplant

I first made this because I had a festival of leftovers in my refrigerator – sautéed peppers with tomato and onion, and roasted eggplant. The combination made a delicious, typically Mediterranean topping. The peppers would suffice, but it’s even better with the eggplant. You can use one type of bell pepper or a mix, and if you want some heat, add a hot one.

Featured in:  A Week Of Focaccia.
7 ratings ****

 Yield 1 large focaccia, serving 12

For the sponge
1 teaspoon / 4 grams active dry yeast
½ cup / 120 ml lukewarm water
¾ cup /90 grams unbleached all-purpose flour
For the dough
1 teaspoon / 4 grams active dry yeast
1 cup / 250 ml lukewarm water
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 ¼ cups / 155 grams unbleached all-purpose flour
2 cups / 250 grams whole wheat flour or durum flour
1 ¾ teaspoons/ 12 grams fine sea salt
For the topping
1 small Japanese eggplant, sliced about 1/3 inch thick
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
 Salt to taste
½ medium onion, chopped
1 or 2 garlic cloves (to taste), minced
2 medium size bell peppers, preferably 2 different colors (such as red and yellow, or red and green), sliced
1 jalapeño or serrano, minced (optional)
1 small tomato, grated or peeled, seeded and chopped
2 to 3 teaspoons minced fresh marjoram
 Several fresh basil leaves, slivered or torn into small pieces

1. Make the sponge. Combine yeast and water in a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer and stir to dissolve. Whisk in flour. Cover with plastic wrap and let proof in a warm place until bubbly and doubled in volume, about 45 minutes.
2. Make the dough. If using a stand mixer, whisk together yeast and the water in a small bowl and let stand until creamy, a few minutes. Add to sponge in the mixer bowl, along with olive oil. Add flours and salt and mix in with the paddle attachment for 1 to 2 minutes, until the ingredients are amalgamated. Change to the dough hook and knead on medium speed for 8 to 10 minutes. The dough should come together and slap against the sides of the bowl. It will be slightly tacky. To make the dough by hand, combine yeast and water as directed and whisk into sponge along with olive oil. Whisk in all-purpose flour. Add salt and remaining flour, one cup at a time, folding it in with a spatula or a wooden spoon. When you can scrape out the dough, add flour to the work surface, put the dough on top and knead for 8 to 10 minutes, until soft and velvety. Return to bowl (oil the bowl lightly with olive oil first).
3. Cover bowl tightly with plastic wrap and let dough rise in a warm spot until doubled, about 1 1/2 hours.
4. Shape the focaccia. Coat a 12-x 17-inch sheet pan (sides and bottom) with olive oil. Line with parchment and flip the parchment over so exposed side is oiled. Turn dough onto the baking sheet. Oil or moisten your hands and press out dough until it just about covers the bottom of the pan. Dough may be sticky. Cover with a towel and allow it to relax for 10 minutes, then continue to press it out until it reaches the edges of the pan. Cover with a damp towel and let rise in a warm spot for 45 minutes to an hour, or until the dough is full of air bubbles.
5. While the shaped focaccia is proofing, roast eggplant and prepare peppers. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a sheet pan with foil. On the foil, toss eggplant with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and salt to taste. Arrange in a single layer and place in the hot oven for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and, taking care not to burn yourself, fold foil over, then crimp the edges so eggplant steams inside the foil. Keep oven on and place a baking stone in it if using one.
6. Heat another tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat and add onion. Cook, stirring, until it begins to soften, about 3 minutes, and add garlic, peppers, and chile pepper if using. Add salt to taste and cook, stirring often, until peppers have softened, about 5 minutes. Add tomato and marjoram and cook, stirring, for another 5 to 10 minutes, until peppers are soft and tomato has cooked down. Taste and adjust seasoning. Remove from the heat.
7. With lightly oiled fingertips or with your knuckles, dimple dough, pressing down hard so you leave indentations. Spread peppers over the dough and arrange the eggplant slices here and there. Drizzle on the final tablespoon of oil. Place pan in oven on baking stone. Spray oven 3 times with water during the first 10 minutes of baking, and bake 20 to 25 minutes, until edges are crisp and the top is golden. If you wish, remove focaccia from the pan and bake directly on the stone during the last 10 minutes. Remove from oven, remove from pan at once and cool on a rack. If you want a softer focaccia, cover with a towel when you remove it from the oven. Serve warm or at room temperature. Sprinkle slivered or torn fresh basil leaves over the top before serving.

Advance preparation: The dough can be made through Step 3 and refrigerated for up to 5 days. Punch it down, oil it lightly and seal in a plastic bag. You must reshape it into a ball and let it warm up and rise again before proceeding with Step 4. Once baked, focaccia will not keep well, but once it dries out, it’s great lightly toasted in a toaster oven or on the grill.

  Nutritional information per serving
216 calories; 7 grams fat; 1 gram saturated fat; 1 gram polyunsaturated fat; 5 grams monounsaturated fat; 0 milligrams cholesterol; 33 grams carbohydrates; 4 grams dietary fiber; 283 milligrams sodium (does not include salt to taste); 6 grams protein

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Plum Tart

This tart, adapted from the pastry chef Jacquy Pfeiffer, with whom I wrote a cookbook, is a very simple way to show off the last of the season’s plums. Use the same formula for peaches, apricots and figs when those fruits are in season. The important thing to remember when making fresh fruit tarts with cut stone fruit is that you need to pack the fruit into the pastry tightly. If you don’t, the fruit will collapse in the shell as it bakes, and it will lose a lot of liquid, which could make the pastry shell soggy. Another way to prevent the shell from becoming soggy is to line it with crumbs of one kind or another — they can be cookie crumbs or breadcrumbs, crumble topping or streusel, that will absorb the juice from the fruit.

Featured in:  The Secret To Last Minute Tart: Keep Pastry Dough In The Freezer. 
16 ratings ****

  Time 1 hour
 Yield 1 9-inch tart (8 servings)

1 9-inch sweet pastry tart shell, fully baked (see recipe)
2 pounds/900 grams plums, pitted and cut in half if small Italian plums, cut into quarters if larger
1 cup/120 grams crumbled vanilla cookies, bread crumbs or crumble topping
3 tablespoons/45 grams sugar
½ teaspoon/1 gram cinnamon
¼ to ½ cup apricot jam (optional)

1. Heat oven to 375 degrees. If using smaller, halved plums, use a paring knife to cut a 3/4-inch slit through the top of each half, from the tip of the plum to just above where the pit should be. (This will allow the liquid from the plums to evaporate during baking instead of settling into the pit cavity.)
2. Place pastry shell on a sheet pan or baking sheet. Spread crumbs or crumble topping over bottom of pastry shell in an even layer. Arrange plums in tight concentric circles in pastry shell, skin-side down, beginning with rim of the pan and standing plums up slightly.
3. Mix together sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle 2 tablespoons over plums. Place in oven and bake 45 minutes, or until tips of plums have colored; plums should retain their shape. Remove from heat, on baking sheet, and allow to cool on a rack.
4. Once plums have cooled, sprinkle remaining cinnamon-sugar mixture over the fruit. Alternatively, heat jam in a small saucepan until runny and, instead of sprinkling fruit with sugar, gently brush cooled plums with jam to glaze.

Whole-Wheat English Muffins

 Yield 6 muffins

Yes, it is worth your while to make English muffins from scratch. Not only is the texture lighter and crisper, homemade muffins taste better, too — yeasty, wheaty, complex. You will need to sear these muffins on the stove top before baking. That’s what gives them their unique crunch on their bottoms. This recipe does not require muffin rings, but if you have them and would like to use them, go right ahead. Just add a few minutes onto the baking time to accommodate the muffins’ increased thickness. Then fork-split them, toast and serve with plenty of butter. After all, that’s what those crevices are made for.

Featured in:  Three Recipes To Savor To The Last Crumb. 
73 ratings *****

2 teaspoons/7 grams active dry yeast (1 packet)
4 tablespoons/60 grams unsalted butter
½ cup/125 milliliters plain yogurt
½ cup/125 milliliters warm whole milk
½ tablespoon/7 milliliters honey
1 teaspoon/5 grams fine sea salt
1 cup/140 grams whole-wheat flour
1 cup/130 grams all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon/4 grams baking soda
 Cornmeal, preferably coarse, as needed

1. In a small bowl combine yeast and 1/3 cup warm water (80 milliliters) and let rest until yeast has dissolved, about 5 minutes.
2. Melt 2 tablespoons butter and put it in a large bowl. Whisk in yogurt, milk, honey, salt and the yeast mixture.
3. Add flours and baking soda to bowl and beat thoroughly with a spoon or rubber spatula until well combined. Cover bowl and let rest in a warm spot for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, or until dough has doubled.
4. Heat oven 350 degrees. Lightly dust a small baking sheet with cornmeal.
5. Place a large skillet over medium heat and melt 1 tablespoon butter. Using a large ice cream scoop or 1/2 cup measuring cup, drop batter into skillet to form round muffins about 4 inches in diameter, mounding the batter in the center. (You may need to coax the dough a little with your fingers, so be careful of the hot pan, and don’t worry if they’re not perfectly circular.) Repeat until you have 3 muffins, leaving the rest of the batter for a second batch. Reduce heat to low. Cover skillet with lid or baking sheet and cook 3 to 5 minutes, until bottoms are golden brown.
(Be careful not to let them burn.)
6. Uncover skillet and flip muffins using a spatula. Cover again and cook 2 to 4 minutes or until the other sides are golden brown. Place muffins on prepared baking sheet. Repeat using remaining batter and another tablespoon of butter.
7. Bake muffins for 6 to 9 minutes, or until puffed and cooked through. Split the muffins with a fork and toast before eating.

Wild Arugula Celery and Apple Salad With Anchovy Dressing

The dressing in this salad is inspired by a much more robust dressing in Jennifer McLagan’s wonderful new cookbook, “Bitter.” I have reduced the anchovies significantly, not because I don’t adore anchovies, but to reduce the sodium levels, which would be too high if an entire can were used. The salad presents a delicious play of bitter, pungent, sweet and salty flavors.

Featured in:  The Pleasure Of Bitter Greens.
9 ratings ***** 

  Time 20 minutes
 Yield Serves 4

For the dressing
3 anchovy fillets
5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 large garlic clove, green germ removed, minced
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice or sherry vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
 Freshly ground pepper
For the salad
4 cups arugula, preferably feathery wild arugula, stemmed [112 g]
2 cups thinly sliced celery, from the inner stalks of the bunch [224 g]
2 tablespoons chopped celery leaves
1 tart apple, such as a Pink Lady or Granny Smith, thinly sliced and tossed with 2 teaspoons lemon juice

1. Make dressing. Rinse anchovies briefly and chop. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over low heat in a small skillet and add anchovies and garlic. Stir until garlic is fragrant and just beginning to color and anchovies have broken down into smaller bits. Transfer to a mortar and pestle. Use the pestle to grind mixture into a paste. Add lemon juice or vinegar to the still-hot pan and stir to deglaze bottom of pan, then transfer to mortar and pestle. Add mustard. Work together, then slowly add olive oil, one tablespoon at a time, working each tablespoon into anchovy mixture before adding the next. Season to taste with freshly ground pepper.
2. In a salad bowl, toss together arugula, celery and celery leaves, and apple slices. Add dressing, toss until coated, and serve.

198 calories; 17 grams fat; 2 grams saturated fat; 3 grams polyunsaturated fat; 12 grams monounsaturated fat; 3 milligrams cholesterol; 10 grams carbohydrates; 2 grams dietary fiber; 182 milligrams sodium (does not include salt to taste); 2 grams protein

Wild Arugula and Beet Salad With Orange Walnuts and Tarragon

This is a salad filled with contrasting sweet and peppery flavors. Pungent wild arugula contrasts beautifully with sweet beets, anisy tarragon and juicy oranges. If you can find purslane, it makes a great addition to the salad, with its earthy flavor and almost juicy, delicate crunch. You can use a mix of colors for the beets. I roasted golden and red beets together, and the red beets bled into the outside layer of the golden beets, making their color striking in the salad.

Featured in:  Beauty In The Beets. 
21 ratings *****

  Time 10 minutes
 Yield Serves 4

3 cups wild arugula [84 g]
½ cup chopped purslane, if available (substitute more arugula if not)
3 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon
3 to 4 tablespoons chopped walnuts
2 large or 4 small or medium beets, any color or a mix, roasted peeled and cut in wedges
1 navel orange, peeled, pith removed, and sections cut from between membranes
For the dressing
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
 Salt to taste
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
1 small garlic clove, puréed or put through a press
1 tablespoon walnut oil
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
 Freshly ground pepper (optional)

1. Combine the salad ingredients in a large bowl.
2. Whisk together balsamic vinegar, salt, sherry vinegar, garlic, walnut oil and olive oil. Toss with salad. Season if desired with freshly ground pepper.

Advance preparation: The beets will keep for 3 or 4 days in the refrigerator.

Yogurt-Marinated Leg of Lamb With Cardamom and Orange

Yield 6 to 8 servings

This wet-roasted leg of lamb doesn’t contain a ton of liquid — this is about roasting, not braising, and if you add enough liquid to a cut of meat, you’re not roasting any more. Instead, the lamb is moistened with a yogurt-based marinade laced with fresh mint, orange zest and cardamom. The yogurt keeps the surface of the lamb from drying out and — if you let the lamb sit for a while after you’ve smeared it with the marinade (and you should) — it permeates the meat a bit with the flavors of the marinade. This needs no accompaniment, but if you’re in the mood for some heat, a dab of harissa wouldn’t be out of place.

Featured in:  Celebrity Roast.
15 ratings *****

1 5-to-7-pound leg of lamb, preferably at room temperature, shank removed if necessary [2.5 - 2.5 kg]
½ cup whole-milk yogurt [125 ml]
¼ cup chopped fresh mint, plus more for garnish
2 tablespoons orange zest
2 teaspoons ground cardamom
1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper

1. Heat the oven to 425º. Remove as much of the surface fat as is practical from the lamb. Mix together the yogurt, mint, orange zest, cardamom, salt and pepper; rub the meat all over with the yogurt mixture. If you have time, let the lamb sit for an hour or more (refrigerate if it will be much longer).
2. Put the lamb on a rack in a roasting pan. (You might line the pan first with aluminum foil to make cleanup easier.) Roast for 30 minutes, then check; if the lamb threatens to burn, turn the heat down to 350º; otherwise leave it at 425º.
3. After about 1 hour (total) of roasting, check the internal temperature of the lamb with an instant-read thermometer. Continue to check every 10 minutes; when it reaches 130 for medium rare (125 for very rare) in its thickest part (check it in several places), it’s done. Total cooking time will be less than 1 1/2 hours. Let it rest for a few minutes before carving. Serve garnished with more chopped mint.

Friday, February 26, 2016

Nectarine Tart

 Time 1 hour 30 minutes
 Yield 8 servings

A beautiful dessert made from any great summer fruit — figs, nectarines, apricots, plums — that, yes, takes a little time. The reward is in the wow factor you get from the result — and in the flavors it provides. Brushing the pastry with a slick of good preserves before you add the fruit will create a thick syrup on the bottom that helps keep the pastry from becoming soggy. Then cut the fruit into quarters or eighths, depending on their size, then crowd the wedges so that they stand at attention in tight concentric circles on a pastry shell. Dust the whole thing with sugar and baste the top with melted butter. Cook and cool the finished tart, then serve with crème fraîche, whipped cream, or a few scoops of your favorite ice cream.

Featured in:  Simplicity Is The Mother Of Confection.
66 ratings *****

1 ½ cups flour, plus more for rolling [200 g]
½ teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons sugar [60 g]
11 tablespoons cold unsalted butter [156 g]
1 egg yolk, beaten
2 1/2-3 pounds fruit like peaches, nectarines, figs, apricots, plums [1.25 kg - 1.5 kg]
6 tablespoons red currant jelly, or other preserves, depending on fruit [113 g]
1 cup crème fraîche, for serving [250 ml]

1. Blend flour, salt and 2 tablespoons sugar in a bowl or food processor. Dice 8 tablespoons of the butter. Use a pastry blender or two knives to blend flour mixture and butter, or pulse them together in a food processor to make a crumbly mixture. Beat the egg yolk with 3 tablespoons cold water. Dribble it over the flour mixture, then stir or pulse slowly until the mixture starts clumping together. A bit more water may be necessary. Gather dough in a loose ball and form into a disk on a lightly floured surface.
2. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Roll out dough and line a 10-inch loose-bottom tart pan. Line pastry with a sheet of foil and spread pastry weights or dry beans on top. Bake 12 minutes. Meanwhile, melt the remaining butter, cooking it on low until it turns a light nut brown. Pit fruit (except figs) and cut in eighths or, if fruit is small, fourths. After 12 minutes, remove foil and weights from pastry. Return pastry to oven and continue baking until it is lightly browned, another 8 to 10 minutes. Remove pastry from oven and increase temperature to 400 degrees.
3. Brush pastry with preserves. Arrange fruit in tight concentric circles, starting by placing it around the perimeter, skin side down, against the vertical sides of the pastry and standing it up as much as possible. Brush with melted butter. Dust with remaining sugar. Bake about 35 to 40 minutes, until edges have browned but fruit has not collapsed. Cool before serving with crème fraîche.

Pink Gin

 Yield 1 drink
It’s gin. It’s pink. It’s an elegant drink due for a revival.

Featured in:  Make Mine Cool And Easy.
16 ratings ****

3 dashes Angostura bitters
2 ounces London Dry-style gin [56 ml]
 Splash of soda water (optional)

1. Add Angostura bitters to a chilled old-fashioned glass and swirl to coat glass; pour off excess. Add gin and, if you like, ice and a splash of soda water.

Salt and Pepper Lassi with Mint

 Yield 2 servings

This savory lassi variation includes salt and mint leaves, which are traditional, and black pepper and lime zest, which are not. It’s the kind of thing to serve with juicy ripe melon and prosciutto for a light hot weather lunch, or to offer as a nonalcoholic alternative at a cocktail party. Sheeps’ milk yogurt lends a lovely earthiness to the mix but plain cows’ milk yogurt is a perfectly fine alternative. Feel free to adjust the salt and sugar levels to suit your taste. You want this on the savory side, but a little more sweetness works nicely with the pepper and mint.

Featured in:  Yogurt Drinks, Not Too Smooth. 

12 ounces (1 1/2 cups) sheep’s milk yogurt [336 ml]
¼ cup coarsely chopped mint leaves
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
 Zest of 1 small lime
 Pinch of brown sugar

1. Combine all ingredients in a blender. Add 2 tablespoons water. Blend until smooth. Serve over ice.

Sea Scallop Carpaccio

For an elegant, easy first course, all you need are large ultra-fresh sea scallops. Ask your fishmonger for dry-packed day-boat or diver scallops. The carpaccio takes only a few minutes to assemble.

Featured in:  A ‘Cold Supper’ That Goes Beyond Leftovers. 
 Yield 6 appetizer servings
9 ratings *****

1 large shallot, peeled and sliced thin crosswise
 Flaky sea salt (such as Maldon) or kosher salt
¼ cup red wine vinegar [63 ml]
¾ pound large sea scallops [375 g]
8 ounces small cherry tomatoes, halved [22 4 g]
 Pinch of red pepper flakes (peperoncino)
1 tablespoon capers, rinsed
 Handful of basil leaves
1 large lime, halved
 Fruity extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling

1. Put sliced shallots in a small bowl and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Add vinegar and mix gently, keeping shallots submerged. Leave at room temperature for 30 minutes. (May be made 1 or 2 days in advance and refrigerated.) Remaining vinegar may be reserved for another use, such as salad dressing.
2. With a sharp knife, slice each scallop crosswise into very thin slices. Distribute slices among six chilled plates, laying them flat in a circular pattern. Arrange halved cherry tomatoes over each plate. Sprinkle scallop and tomatoes with salt, a little peperoncino, a few capers and some pickled shallot.
3. Garnish with torn or sliced basil leaves and some small basil leaves. Give each plate a squeeze of lime juice and a generous drizzle of olive oil. Serve immediately.

Yukon Cornelius

 Yield 1 drink

The bartender Natasha David likes to create beer cocktails because she doesn’t like beer and wants to “make it taste better.” With this drink, she did so by combining it with a sprawling and unlikely array of flavors: herbal aquavit, sweet peach liqueur, spicy ginger syrup and smoky mezcal. The flavorful result is bright, fruity and unexpected.

Featured in:  Keep Your Head On Lazy, Hazy Days.
 Sasha Maslov for The New York Times

¾ ounce aquavit, preferably Krogstad [20 ml]
¾ ounce mezcal, preferably Del Maguey Vida [20 ml]
½ ounce peach liqueur, preferably Giffard [14 ml]
½ ounce ginger syrup (see note) [14 ml]
½ ounce fresh lemon juice, plus lemon wheel for garnish [14 ml]
2 ounces Modelo Especial beer [56 ml]
 Candied ginger, for garnish

1. In a cocktail shaker three-quarters filled with ice, combine all ingredients except the beer, lemon wheel and ginger. Shake until chilled, about 30 seconds. Strain into 10-ounce highball glass half-filled with ice. Top with beer. Stir briefly with bar spoon to integrate ingredients. Garnish with lemon wheel and piece of candied ginger.
To make ginger syrup, combine 1 cup chopped ginger with 1 1/2 cups water in a pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and let sit, covered, for 2 hours. Strain off ginger, making sure to press all the juice out of the ginger. Warm 1 cup sugar and 1/2 cup ginger solution in a saucepan over low heat until dissolved. Let cool. (There will be extra syrup; refrigerate if not using immediately.)

  Adapted from Natasha David, Mayahuel, New York

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Mint Julep

 Yield 1 cocktail
8 ratings *****

12 to 15 fresh mint leaves, plus one sprig for garnish
1 ounce peach syrup, like Monin [28 ml]
2 ½ ounces bourbon [70 ml]
 Superfine sugar.

1. Place mint and 1/4 ounce peach syrup in julep cup or 8- to 10-ounce old-fashioned glass and gently crush leaves with a wooden muddler, working them up sides of glass.
2. Loosely pack glass with finely crushed ice, then add bourbon. Drizzle remaining peach syrup on top and garnish with mint sprig lightly dusted with sugar.

Featured in:  And Now, A Sip Of History: The Mint Julep, Personified. 
Adapted from Chris McMillian, Library Lounge, Ritz-Carlton Hotel, New Orleans

Mixed Bean Salad With Pickled Ginger

Nostalgia aside, classic three-bean salads are not much to write home about. They are traditionally composed of red kidney beans, garbanzo beans and sad soft green beans, all from cans, and heavy on vinegar and sugar. That’s fine for camping or during a power outage. Here’s a better bean salad that takes advantage of fresh beans — and fresh shelling beans — in season. Lightly dressed with a Japanese-inspired vinaigrette and sparked with pickled ginger, it’s a most delicious departure from the ordinary. You don’t have to make your own pickled ginger, but it’s an easy, fun project.

Featured in:  Beyond Potluck: A Bean Salad Worth The Shucking.
29 ratings ****

 Time 1 hour 30 minutes
 Yield 6 to 8 servings

For the vinaigrette:
 Juice of 2 limes (about 4 tablespoons)
2 tablespoons white miso
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons rice wine vinegar
1 teaspoon brown sugar
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
¼ cup mild vegetable oil, such as safflower or peanut [63 ml]
 Salt and pepper, to taste
For the salad:
1 ½ cups raw fresh shelling beans, such as cranberry beans, butter beans or black-eyed peas, from about 2 pounds beans in the pod (may substitute frozen edamame or baby lima beans)
2 pounds small green beans, yellow wax beans and Romano beans, or a single type, topped and tailed
4 scallions, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons julienned pickled ginger (see note)
2 teaspoons toasted black sesame seeds, for garnish

Make the vinaigrette:
1. In a small bowl, put lime juice, miso, mustard, rice wine vinegar and brown sugar. Whisk together, dissolving ingredients, until mixture is creamy, a minute or so. Add soy sauce, sesame oil and vegetable oil and whisk again. Taste, adding salt and pepper as desired.
2. Put the shell beans and a good pinch of salt in a small saucepan with just enough water to cover. Simmer gently for 20 to 30 minutes, until tender. Let cool in cooking liquid. (If using frozen beans, just drop in salted boiling water for 1 minute, then drain.)
3. Fill a large saucepan 3/4 full with well-salted water and bring to a boil. Add green beans, yellow wax beans and Romano beans and simmer for 2 to 3 minutes, until firm-tender. Drain and spread out on a towel to cool. (If the different kinds of beans vary greatly in size, cook in separate batches.)
Assemble the salad:
1. Assemble the salad: Put green bean mixture in a large shallow salad bowl. Drain shell beans and add to bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Dress lightly with half the vinaigrette and toss gently. Leave for 10 minutes and taste for seasoning. Add more vinaigrette as necessary, but only enough to coat. (Any remaining vinaigrette makes a nice dressing for a green salad). Scatter scallions and pickled ginger strips over salad. Sprinkle with back sesame seeds.

To make your own pickled ginger, use a 2- to 3-inch chunk of peeled ginger, preferably thin-skinned young ginger. Slice it paper-thin, lengthwise, with a sharp knife or mandolin and put it in a small jar. Add 2 teaspoons sugar, 1 teaspoon salt and 3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar. Stir to combine ingredients, making sure ginger is submerged. In about an hour, ginger will be ready to use (and perhaps faintly pink); it will keep indefinitely in the refrigerator.

Mollie Katzen-Inspired Potato and Broccoli Burgers

 Time About 50 minutes
 Yield 9 patties

The famed vegetarian cookbook author Mollie Katzen has a whole chapter devoted to burgers and savory pancakes in her beautiful new cookbook, “The Heart of the Plate.” Before I’d looked carefully at the chapter I’d bought a bunch of broccoli with the idea that specks of broccoli would be beautiful in a burger. Mollie, with her delicious Walnut-Coated Broccoli-Speckled Mashed Potato Cakes, was way ahead of me on that idea. I loved her idea of coating the burgers with ground walnuts and barely cooking the finely chopped broccoli before incorporating it into the mix. I’ve made a variation on Mollie’s burgers, using red potatoes and sticking with the Indian seasonings I’ve been using in other burgers this week.

Featured in:  Summer Burgers, Hold The Meat.
9 ratings ****

2 cups finely minced broccoli florets (about 6 1/2 ounces, or 2 good-size crowns; see note)
 Salt to taste
1 ½ pounds red potatoes, scrubbed and quartered [750 g]
½ cup chopped cilantro
2 teaspoons toasted cumin seeds, lightly crushed in a mortar and pestle
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon nigella seeds
1 teaspoon garam masala
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
¼ cup ricotta
1 cup ground walnuts (about 3 ounces; pulse in a food processor until they resemble coarse bread crumbs, being careful not to grind to a paste; you will probably have some left over) [112 g]
¼ cup grape seed oil [63 ml]

1. Bring a medium pot of water to a boil and salt generously. Place broccoli in a strainer and dip into the boiling water for 1 minute, then remove. Rinse with cold water and shake out excess, then drain on paper towels.
2. Steam potatoes over 1 inch of boiling water until tender, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and mash with a fork. The skins will break up in the mash. Stir in broccoli and remaining ingredients except the ground walnuts and oil. Season generously with salt, combine well, taste and adjust seasonings.
3. Place ground walnuts in a wide bowl. Scoop out about 1/3 cup of burger mixture and form into a ball (you can moisten your hands to prevent sticking). Roll in the walnuts, then gently flatten into a patty. Place on a plate or sheet pan and continue to shape all of the patties. Refrigerate for 1 hour or longer.
4. When you’re ready to cook, place a rack over a sheet pan. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a 12-inch, heavy nonstick frying pan over high heat. Swirl pan to coat with the hot oil. Lower heat to medium. Place 4 to 5 patties in the pan (do not crowd), and cook until well browned on one side, about 4 minutes. Turn and brown for about 4 more minutes. Remove to the rack. Heat remaining oil in the pan and cook remaining patties. Keep patties warm in a low oven until ready to serve. Serve with a salad and your choice of toppings, such as the usual (ketchup, mustard, relish), or yogurt raita, garlic yogurt, or chutney.

Note: For finely minced florets, cut very thin slices across the florets with a chef’s knife.
Advance preparation: You can form the patties and keep them frigerated for up to 2 days, or cook them all the way through and keep them refrigerated for 2 or 3 days. Reheat on a baking sheet in a low oven for 10 to 15 minutes. The patties freeze well. Thaw completely before reheating.

Monkfish With Caper Butter

 Time 15 minutes
 Yield 6 servings

Featured in:  A Well Behaved Bistro Classic For Chardonnay.
22 ratings *****

12 monkfish medallions, 1/2-inch thick (about 2 pounds) [1 kg]
½ cup all-purpose flour [65 g]
1 teaspoon dry mustard
 Salt and ground black pepper
6 tablespoons unsalted butter [85 g]
1 tablespoon finely minced shallots
2 tablespoons drained capers
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon minced tarragon leaves
 Lemon wedges, for serving

1. Remove any gray membrane from the fish. Mix flour and mustard together and season with salt and pepper. Dip the fish slices in seasoned flour on one side only and arrange on a plate, floured side up.
2. Melt the butter in a small skillet. Add the shallots and cook on medium until both the butter and shallots have browned and acquired a nutty aroma. Do not allow them to blacken. Remove from heat, stir in capers, season with salt and pepper and set aside.
3. Warm 6 dinner plates or a platter. Heat olive oil in a large skillet, preferably cast iron. When very hot, add the fish medallions, floured side down, and sauté until they turn golden, no more than a minute or so. Transfer them, cooked side up, to the plates or platter.
4. Briefly warm the caper sauce. Add the lemon juice and tarragon and spoon a little of the sauce over each medallion. Garnish with lemon wedges and serve.

Pineapple-Basil Smoothie

 Time 2 minutes
 Yield 1 generous serving

I’m not sure that I would order this just based on the name. But believe me, you’ll be pleased by this herbal concoction. Pineapple has so much sweetness and flavor on its own, and it marries well with the peppery, anisy basil. Very little else is required (no banana in this smoothie). I like to use kefir, but yogurt will work too. Pistachios and chia seeds bulk up the drink nicely, and the pistachios contribute to the pale green color.

Featured in:  Drink Your Greens.
15 ratings *****

¼ cup, tightly packed, basil leaves
¼ ripe pineapple, peeled, cored and cut into chunks (about 6 ounces) [168 g]
¾ cup plain kefir or yogurt
1 teaspoon honey
1 heaped tablespoon pistachios
½ teaspoon chia seeds
2 or 3 ice cubes

1. Place all of the ingredients in a blender and blend at high speed for 1 minute, or until smooth. Serve.

Nutritional information per serving (using low-fat kefir)
254 calories; 5 grams fat; 1 gram saturated fat; 2 grams polyunsaturated fat; 2 grams monounsaturated fat; 4 milligrams cholesterol; 45 grams carbohydrates; 4 grams dietary fiber; 145 milligrams sodium; 11 grams protein 

Nutritional information per serving (using full-fat kefir)
273 calories; 10 grams fat; 4 grams saturated fat; 3 grams polyunsaturated fat; 3 grams monounsaturated fat; 5 milligrams cholesterol; 40 grams carbohydrates; 4 grams dietary fiber; 84 milligrams sodium; 10 grams protein

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Long-Simmered Eggplant Stuffed with Farro or Spelt

This is a riff on imam bayildi, the long-cooking eggplant dish bathed in tomatoes and onions that is one of the great achievements of Turkish cuisine. I added cooked farro to the tomato-onion mix, making this more like a stuffed eggplant dish. The active cooking time is minimal, but the smothered eggplant must simmer for about 1 1/2 hours to achieve the intense, syrupy sauce and deep, rich flavor that make this dish such a wonder. Make it a day ahead for best results, and serve at room temperature on a hot night.

Featured in:  Just Add Farro.
15 ratings ***** 

 Yield Serves 6
1 ½ pounds eggplant (2 to 3 medium or 6 small eggplants), cut in half lengthwise [750 g]
¼ cup olive oil [63 ml]
1 large or 2 medium onions, sliced very thin
 Salt to taste
6 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 ½ pounds (3 large or 6 medium) tomatoes, grated or peeled and chopped [750 g]
¼ cup finely chopped fresh parsley [7 g]
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh dill
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil
 Freshly ground pepper to taste
1 cup cooked farro or spelt
¼ cup water [63 ml]
2 ½ teaspoons sugar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
 Additional minced parsley for garnish

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil or parchment and brush with olive oil. Slit eggplants down the middle, being careful not to cut through the skin. Place on baking sheet and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, depending on the size, until outer skin begins to shrivel. Remove from oven and transfer, cut side down, to a colander set in the sink. Allow to drain for 15 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil over medium heat in a large, lidded skillet and add onions. Cook, stirring often, until very tender, about 8 minutes, and add a generous pinch of
salt and the garlic. Cook, stirring, for 30 seconds to a minute, until fragrant. Add tomatoes, herbs, salt to taste, 1 teaspoon of the sugar and the cooked farro or spelt. Transfer to a bowl. Taste and adjust salt.
3. Turn eggplants over and place in the pan, cut side up. Season with salt. Gently pull apart at the slit and fill with the onion, tomato and farro mix. Spoon any mix that couldn’t fit inside the eggplant over the top. Mix remaining olive oil, remaining sugar, water and lemon juice. Drizzle over and around the eggplants. Cover the pan and place over low heat. Cook gently for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, basting from time to time with the liquid in the pan, and adding water to the pan if it becomes too dry (this shouldn’t happen; in my experience, the eggplant releases water as it simmers). By the end of cooking, the eggplants should have collapsed significantly and the liquid in the pan should be syrupy or even slightly caramelized. Spoon this over the eggplant. Allow to cool in pan, sprinkle with parsley and serve at room temperature.

194 calories; 9 grams fat; 1 gram saturated fat; 1 gram polyunsaturated fat; 7 grams monounsaturated fat; 0 milligrams cholesterol; 25 grams carbohydrates; 6 grams dietary fiber; 18 milligrams sodium (does not include salt to taste); 4 grams protein

Magret With Rhubarb and Blood Oranges

Magret is fattened duck breast. I like to serve it on a round plate, with the slices fanned out and the thick, chutney-like sauce piled in the center. The rhubarb plays off rosy meat and the orange contributes more acid.

Featured in:  An Acidic Wine Calls For Duck And Rhubarb.

2 duck breasts (magrets), each about 1 pound [1 kg]
 Salt and ground black pepper
½ pound rhubarb, leaves removed, cut in 1/2-inch pieces [250 g]
1 ½ tablespoons sugar [19 g]
1 cup finely chopped red onion
 Zest and segments from 2 blood oranges
1 cup dry red wine [250 ml]
1 tablespoon red miso

1. Heat oven to 175 degrees. With a sharp knife, score the skin side of the duck breasts in a crisscross pattern but do not cut into the flesh. Season with salt and pepper. Heat an ovenproof skillet, preferably cast iron, to very hot. Place duck breasts in pan, skin side down, and sear until browned, about 2 minutes. Remove. Reserve 1 tablespoon of fat and discard rest. Return duck to pan, skin side up, and place in oven for 1 1/2 hours.
2. Place reserved duck fat in a 10-inch skillet on medium-high heat. Add rhubarb, sprinkle with half the sugar and cook a couple of minutes, until the pieces start to brown but are still somewhat crisp. Remove to a dish. Reduce heat to medium-low. Add onion and sauté slowly until very tender. Stir in orange zest and wine. Simmer until wine is reduced by half. Stir in remaining sugar and the miso. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
3. When duck has finished cooking, remove it to a cutting board, slice it thin on the bias and arrange the slices on a platter. Briefly reheat wine sauce and fold in the rhubarb and orange segments. Check seasonings and spoon sauce alongside duck.

Mark Bittman's Mushroom Stock

Here’s the problem with homemade stock: It’s so good that it doesn’t last long. What’s needed is something you can produce more or less on the spot.
Although water is a suitable proxy in small quantities, when it comes to making the bubbling, chest-warming soups that we rely on in winter, water needs some help. Fortunately, there are almost certainly flavorful ingredients sitting in your fridge or pantry that can transform water into a good stock in a matter of minutes.
This recipe is meant to be fast, so by ‘‘simmer,’’ I mean as little as five minutes and no more than 15. You can season these stocks at the end with salt and pepper to taste, or wait until you’re ready to turn them into full-fledged soups.

Featured in:  Simple Stocks For Soup On The Fly.
  Time 15 minutes
 Yield About 6 cups of stock

1 pound button mushrooms, trimmed [500 g]
3 dried porcini
 Some onion, carrot or celery (optional)

1. Toss a pound of trimmed button mushrooms and a few dried porcini into 6 cups water. It need not be more complicated than this, but adding some onion, carrot or celery makes it even better.
2. Bring to a boil, and simmer.
3. Strain the mushrooms out if you like, but make sure to use them for something.

Mini Peppers Stuffed With Tuna and Olive Rillettes

A Provençal-inspired tuna and olive spread with bold flavors. These Provençal-inspired tuna rillettes are a modified version of a tuna tapenade that I posted a few years ago on Recipes for Health. I am using the rillettes as a filling for mini-peppers here, but they are also welcome in a sandwich, on crackers or croutons, or as a filling for other vegetables (cherry tomatoes come to mind). I used a mini-chop to finely chop the olives, garlic and capers, but as in all of this week’s fish rillettes recipes, I urge you to use a fork for the tuna. You don’t want this to be a purée.

Featured in:  Smoked Sardines Rillettes.
10 ratings ***** 

  Time 30 minutes
 Yield Serves 6

1 pound mini bell peppers (usually 2 bags) [500 g]
2 ounces / about 1/3 cup imported black olives, pitted [56 g]
1 plump garlic clove, peeled, green shoot removed
1 tablespoon capers, rinsed
1 can olive oil-packed tuna, drained
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons Greek yogurt
2 to 3 teaspoons fresh lemon juice (more to taste)
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
1 teaspoon thyme leaves, chopped

1. Heat oven to 425 degrees. Line a sheet pan with foil. Place peppers on baking sheet and roast very small peppers (less than 2 inches long) for 8 to 10 minutes, larger peppers for 15 minutes, turning them over halfway through. They should be soft but only charred in a few spots. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
2. Meanwhile, in a mini-chop or in a mortar and pestle, pulse or grind olives, garlic and capers to a paste.
3. In a bowl, mash tuna with a fork and work in olive mixture, mustard, olive oil, yogurt, lemon juice, rosemary and thyme.
4. When peppers have cooled, slice off ends just below shoulders. Carefully remove any seeds and membranes. The peppers should be intact, but sometimes they split down one side. Cut large peppers in half lengthwise. Spoon tuna rillettes into peppers and arrange on a plate or platter. Serve at once, or chill until 30 minutes before serving. Bring to room temperature before serving so that the rillettes are soft.

Advance preparation: The tuna rillettes will keep for 5 days in the refrigerator. You can roast the peppers a few days ahead and keep in the refrigerator.

Pineapple and Millet Smoothie

I played around with this smoothie, toying with adding this ingredient (banana) or that (coconut); but in the end what I love about it is the pure flavor of pineapple, softened by the grain that also thickens and bulks up the drink.

Featured in:  What Else Can We Add To A Smoothie?. 
Time: 5-10 minutes
6 ratings *****

 Yield 1 generous serving

¼ cup, tightly packed, cooked millet [30 g]
1 ½ cups fresh sweet pineapple (7 ounces) [200 g]
½ cup fresh orange juice [125 ml]
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon agave nectar
1 tablespoon soaked cashews or almonds (optional) (.5 ounce)
2 ice cubes

1. Place all of the ingredients in the jar of a blender and blend at high speed until smooth. Serve right away.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Japanese Beef and Rice Soup

When the chef Marco Canora was told to cut back on coffee, soda, wine and beer for health reasons, he found himself sipping cups of broth from the stockpots at his restaurant, Hearth, instead. Soon he had designed an entire system of healthful eating (and drinking) around the stuff. This soup, wintry but light, is a satisfying example. At Brodo, a takeout window that he opened in 2013, a to-go cup of broth can be customized in as many ways as an espresso at Starbucks — with ginger juice, mushroom tea and other aromatics and add-ons. This is easy to pull off at home, too.

Featured in:  Bones, Broth, Bliss .
14 ratings *****

  Time 10 minutes
 Yield About 8 cups

7 cups beef bone broth (see recipe) [3.5 L]
10 to 12 ounces shredded cooked beef short ribs (from making broth, or use 1 pound shredded braised beef) [280 - 336 g]
1 teaspoon finely grated fresh ginger
3 ½ ounces fresh shiitake mushrooms, stems discarded, caps thinly sliced (about 1 1/2 cups) [100 g]
1 cup cooked brown rice [160 g]
½ cup nori crinkles (or slice up toasted nori sheets into 1/2-inch squares)
2 tablespoons tamari
 Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 bunch scallions, white and pale green parts only, thinly sliced (about 1/2 cup)

1. Bring broth to a boil over high heat. Stir in meat, ginger, shiitakes, rice, nori, tamari and lemon juice; cook 2 minutes. Stir in scallions. Ladle into bowls and serve.

Jardin Fresca

 Yield 1 drink

As advertised, there’s quite a bit of the garden in this drink: elderflowers from the St. Germain; artichoke, rhubarb and other flavors from the Cynar; as well jalapeño, celery and cucumber. The celery bitters hit your nose and taste buds first, while the pepper-infused tequila leaves you with a pleasant, lasting kick. The cocktail is easy to drink, but never dull.

Featured in:  Keep Your Head On Lazy, Hazy Days.

1 ounce jalapeño-infused blanco tequila (see notes) [28 g]
½ ounce Cynar [14 g]
½ ounce St. Germain [14 ml]
½ ounce fresh lemon juice [14 ml]
½ ounce simple syrup (see notes) [14 ml]
2 cucumber slices
1 dash celery bitters
4 ounces Victoria beer

1. In a cocktail shaker three-quarters filled with ice, combine all ingredients except the salt and beer. Shake until chilled, about 30 seconds. Moisten the rim of a 12-ounce highball or pilsner glass with salt, and fill with 2 sizable ice cubes. Strain contents of mixing glass into salted glass. Top with beer. Stir briefly with a bar spoon to integrate ingredients.
To make jalapeño-infused tequila, combine 1 pint blanco tequila with only the white membranes and seeds of 1 jalapeño pepper, and let sit for 10 to 20 minutes, or until it is mildly hot. Strain liquid and store in a glass container.
To make simple syrup, warm 1 cup sugar in 1 cup water in a saucepan over low heat until dissolved. Cool to room temperature before using. (There will be extra syrup; refrigerate if not using immediately.)

  Adapted from Philip Ward, Mayahuel, New York

Jelly Doughnuts

Where doughnut shops tend to rely on fluorescent red, sickly sweet jelly, you are free to use jelly (or jam, or marmalade, or whatever you like) that actually tastes good. The only specialty tool you’ll need is a pastry bag. But you can also poke a funnel into the side of the doughnut and spoon the jelly into the center of the pastry.

Featured in:  Time To Make The Doughnuts.
11 ratings *****

 Yield About 1 dozen

1 ¼ cups milk [313 ml]
2 ¼ teaspoons (one package) active dry yeast
2 eggs
8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, melted and cooled [114 g]
¼ cup granulated sugar [50 g]
1 teaspoon salt
4 ¼ cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling out the dough [553 g]
2 quarts neutral oil, for frying, plus more for the bowl. [2 L]

1. Heat the milk until it is warm but not hot, about 90 degrees. In a large bowl, combine it with the yeast. Stir lightly, and let sit until the mixture is foamy, about 5 minutes.
2. Using an electric mixer or a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, beat the eggs, butter, sugar and salt into the yeast mixture. Add half of the flour (2 cups plus 2 tablespoons), and mix until combined, then mix in the rest of the flour until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Add more flour, about 2 tablespoons at a time, if the dough is too wet. If you’re using an electric mixer, the dough will probably become too thick to beat; when it does, transfer it to a floured surface, and gently knead it until smooth. Grease a large bowl with a little oil. Transfer the dough to the bowl, and cover. Let rise at room temperature until it doubles in size, about 1 hour.
3. Turn the dough out onto a well-floured surface, and roll it to 1/2-inch thickness. Cut out the doughnuts with a doughnut cutter, concentric cookie cutters or a drinking glass and a shot glass (the larger one should be about 3 inches in diameter), flouring the cutters as you go. Reserve the doughnut holes. If you’re making filled doughnuts, don’t cut out the middle. Knead any scraps together, being careful not to overwork, and let rest for a few minutes before repeating the process.
4. Put the doughnuts on two floured baking sheets so that there is plenty of room between each one. Cover with a kitchen towel, and let rise in a warm place until they are slightly puffed up and delicate, about 45 minutes. If your kitchen isn’t warm, heat the oven to 200 at the beginning of this step, then turn off the heat, put the baking sheets in the oven and leave the door ajar.
5. About 15 minutes before the doughnuts are done rising, put the oil in a heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven over medium heat, and heat it to 375. Meanwhile, line cooling racks, baking sheets or plates with paper towels.
6. Carefully add the doughnuts to the oil, a few at a time. If they’re too delicate to pick up with your fingers (they may be this way only if you rose them in the oven), use a metal spatula to pick them up and slide them into the oil. It’s O.K. if they deflate a bit; they’ll puff back up as they fry. When the bottoms are deep golden, after 45 seconds to a minute, use a slotted spoon to flip; cook until they’re deep golden all over. Doughnut holes cook faster. Transfer the doughnuts to the prepared plates or racks, and repeat with the rest of the dough, adjusting the heat as needed to keep the oil at 375. Glaze or fill as follows, and serve as soon as possible.
7. When the doughnuts are cool enough to handle but still warm, roll them around in a shallow bowl of granulated sugar to coat. Fill with your favorite jelly.