Memorable Quotes:

"A Bearnaise sauce is simply an egg yolk, a shallot, a little tarragon vinegar and butter, but it takes years of practice for the result to be perfect." Fernand Point

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Ciabatta Bread

Bread Recipe: Perfect Ciabatta

Ciabatta Bread

  • 3 1/4 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons milk room temperature (or even slightly warmer)
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  1. Whisk together flour, yeast, salt, and sugar. Pour in the warm water and milk and beat for 5 minutes with a wooden spoon until the dough is well combined.
  2. Once the dough is combined, flour your hands and knead the dough for 5 minutes, pushing air bubbles into the dough.
  3. Oil a large bowl, and place the dough inside. Drizzle the olive oil over the top of the dough then cover with plastic wrap, and cover that with a towel, and place the bowl in a warm spot. Allow to rise for 2 hours.
  4. Preheat the oven to 400F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and sprinkle with flour. Turn the dough out onto a floured workspace and shape the dough into a long loaf, about 12" long and 4" wide. Sprinkle the top of the dough with flour (if desired. It's purely aesthetic). Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until the bread is light golden and a tap on the trust should sound hollow.
  5. Place the bread on a cooling rack and allow it to cool for 20-30 minutes before serving.
  6. Enjoy!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Shrimp Curry with Yoghurt and Peas

Shrimp Curry with Yoghurt and Peas (Cooks Illustrated)

Serves 4 to 6

Gather and prepare all of your ingredients before you begin. Garlic and ginger may be pureed by hand or in a minichop food processor. If using a minichopper, process the garlic and ginger with one to two tablespoons of water until pureed. You may substitute a scant half teaspoon of cayenne pepper for the jalapeño, adding it to the skillet with the other ground dried spices. Feel free to increase the wet (garlic, ginger, jalapeños, and onions) or dry spice quantities. Serve the curry with basmati rice.


  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil (canola oil)
  • 1 medium onion, sliced thin
  • 4 large cloves garlic, pureed
  • 1 1/2 inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and pureed
  • 1 1/2 pounds shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt, plus more to taste
  • 1/2 cup plain low-fat yogurt
  • 1 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1 jalapeño chile, stemmed and cut in half through the stem end
  • 1 cup green peas (thawed if frozen, or fresh)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves


  1. 1. Heat oil in large deep skillet or soup kettle, preferably nonstick, over medium-high heat until hot, but not smoking. Add onion to skillet; sauté until golden brown, 5 to 7 minutes.
    2. Stir in garlic, ginger, ground spices, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and yogurt; cook, stirring almost constantly, until liquid evaporates, oil separates and turns orange, and spices begin to fry, 5 to 7 minutes, depending on skillet or kettle size. Continue to cook, stirring constantly, until spices smell cooked, about 30 seconds longer.
    3. Stir in cilantro. Add 2 cups water and jalapeño and season with salt; bring to simmer. Reduce heat; cover and simmer.
    4. Stir in cilantro. Add shrimp and peas. Simmer 3 minutes longer and serve.


Six Steps to Aromatic Curry

1. Cook the whole spices in the oil until the cinnamon sticks unfurl and the cloves pop, about 5 seconds.

2. Add the onion to the oil and sauté it until it is soft and translucent, until browned, or until fully caramelized, depending on the individual curry.

3. Add the spices, salt, tomatoes or yogurt, and the chicken, meat, or fish.

4. Cook until the oil separates, then continue to cook until the oil turns orange, about 5 minutes longer.

5. Add the water and cook until the meat is almost tender, about 20 to 30 minutes for the chicken or 30 to 40 minutes for the meat.

6. Add the vegetables and cook until both the meat and vegetables are fully tender, about 15 minutes longer.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Tarragon Chicken

 This copied from The Italian Dish Food Blog

makes 6 portions
2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts
sea salt or kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper
1 Tablespoons olive oil
4 Tablespoons butter (optional), divided
8 ounces mushrooms, sliced
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup white wine
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 tablespoons tomato paste
1/4 cup chopped fresh tarragon
Prep the chicken breasts.  If they are very large, cut them in half.  You should have six pieces. Place the breasts between two sheets of wax paper and pound them with a meat pounder until they are about 1/2 inch thick.  They need to be uniform in size so they are not so thick and cook evenly.  Season each piece with salt and pepper. Dredge in the flour and set aside.
In a large fry pan, heat the olive oil and 3 tablespoons of the butter and saute the mushrooms slowly over medium heat until slightly golden and soft, about 10 minutes.  As they cook, add a couple of grindings of black pepper and stir the mushrooms periodically.  Remove the mushrooms from the pan but do not wipe out the pan.
Add another tablespoon of butter to the pan and after it has melted, add the chicken breasts.  Saute the chicken until each side is golden, just a couple of minutes each side.  Remove the chicken to a plate.  
Add the white wine to the pan.  It will sizzle.  Let it cook for a couple of minutes, stirring the bottom of the pan and releasing all the cooked "fond" - this is deglazing the pan.  Add the tomato paste and chicken broth and half of the fresh tarragon and stir until the tomato paste has completely been blended.  Return the chicken breasts and mushroom back to the pan.  Immediately turn the chicken over, so both sides get covered with the sauce. Lower the heat to low and cover the pan and cook gently for about 10 minutes.
Taste the sauce and adjust the seasoning by adding more salt if needed.  Remove the chicken breasts to a platter, pour the mushrooms and sauce over and garnish with the rest of the fresh tarragon. 

Gluten Free Cinnamon Pecan Coffee Cake

3/4 cup softened butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 cup sour cream
2 cups flour (Gluten Free or A/P)
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt

Ingredients for Topping
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1/3 cup chopped pecans
1 tsp ground cinnamon

Cream together the butter and sugar. Slowly beat in the 2 eggs. Combine flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Mix. Add 1/3 of the flour mixture to the eggs, butter and sugar. Mix until incorporated.
Add 1/3 of the sour cream and mix just till incorportated. Continue to add flour and sour cream one third at a time mixing after each addition.

Lightly butter a 9x13 inch baking pan and spoon batter into the pan. Distribute topping over the batter.

Cake can be refrigerated overnight and baked in the morning.

Cook at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Gluten-Free Brioche Rolls (Bouchon Bakery)

  • 2 teaspoons instant yeast (1 packet of rapid rise yeast)
  • 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons granulated sugar (20 grams)
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons plus 1 3/4 teaspoons water, at 75 degrees (230 grams)
  • 3 3/4 cups plus 1 tablespoon Cup4Cup (or equivalent) (535 grams)
  • 2 tablespoons plus 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt (20 grams)
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons eggs (3 large eggs) (158 grams)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons egg yolks (2 yolks) (22 grams)
  • 1/4 cup honey (80 grams)
  • 3 1/2 ounces unsalted butter, melted and cooled (100 grams)
  • Cooking spray
  • Egg wash
  • 1 teaspoon Maldon salt


Combine the yeast and sugar in a small bowl. Stir in the warm water, and set in a warm spot to proof until the yeast mixture is foaming and bubbly, about 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, combine the Cup4Cup and salt in the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Whisk together the eggs, yolks, honey, butter, and proofed yeast mixture in a medium-sized bowl.
Turn the mixer to low speed and slowly add the egg mixture. Increase the speed to medium and mix the dough for 10 minutes. (It will be very silky and not as stiff as regular bread dough.)
Scrape down the sides of the bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and set the bowl in a warm spot until the dough has about doubled in size, about 1 hour.
Using a rubber spatula, deflate the dough, turning it over a few times in the bowl. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 2 hours.
Spray a 12-cup muffin pan with cooking spray. Spoon 1/3 cup of the dough into each cup. Brush the tops of the rolls with egg wash, top with the Maldon salt, and set in a warm spot to proof uncovered until they rise (but are not doubled) and spread slightly, for about 40 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Bake the rolls until the tops are golden brown and a wooden skewer inserted in the center of a roll comes out clean, for 15-17 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Pommes Anna

Pommes Anna (final plating)

2 pounds Russet  potatoes (about 2 large)
6 tablespoons Clarified Butter (recipe follows)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


Preheat the oven to 450

Peel the potatoes. Using a mandoline or sharp knife, cut the potatoes crosswise into 1/16-inch slices. Place the slices in a bowl of cold water for a minute to remove some of the starch, then drain and dry the slices on paper towels.

Put 2 tablespoons of the clarified butter in an 8-inch ovenproof nonstick skillet (I use a seasoned 8 inch cast iron skillet). Place a slice of potato in the center of the pan. Lay more potato slices around the edge of the pan, overlapping them by half, until you have completely circled the pan. Depending on the size of the potatoes, continue with another overlapping circle of potatoes inside the first. When the entire bottom of the pan is covered, sprinkle a little salt and pepper over the potatoes and repeat the process to form a second layer.  Make another two layers of potatoes, seasoning the first layer with salt and pepper. Make two more layers and season with salt and pepper.

Note: you can continue layering until you use all your potatoes.

Pour the remaining 1/4 cup clarified butter over the potatoes and place the skillet over medium-low heat. Once the butter begins to bubble, cool for 3 to 4 minutes, shaking the pan occasionally to be sure that the potatoes are not sticking. Use a spoon or heat proof spatula to gently shape the top and sides of the potato cake. Transfer the pan to the oven and bake for 30 minutes or until the potatoes are well browned and crisp. Carefully drain excess clarified butter from your skillet using a spatula to hold the potato cake in the pan while pouring out excess butter. Invert the potato cake onto a board or serving platter.  Pommes Anna can be prepared 2-3 hours in advance of service. Place in a 450 degree oven for 10 minutes to reheat.

Pommes Anna after 30 minutes at 450 degrees.

Clarified Butter
Melt a stick of butter in a small saucepan. Do not stir. Once it is completely melted, use a spoon to carefully scrape off the top, frothy and white layer. What remains is clarified butter, which can be used to cook at very high temperatures without sticking or burning. Clarified butter can be prepared and stored refrigerated for long periods of time.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Cinnamon Roll Pancakes

Cinnamon Roll Pancakes

I don't normally add comments on recipes but I am making an exception for this recipe. First, if you have your own recipe for a pancake batter there is absolutely no reason to change to the recipe provided here.

Please don't be intimidated by the number of components or steps. Neither the cinnamon filling or glaze take more than a few minutes to put together. These pancakes are over the top delicious. Will definitely make these again. The challenge will be NOT making them too frequently.

Ingredients for Pancake Batter:
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 tablespoon sugar
1 1/4 cup butter milk
1 egg
2 tablespoons canola oil

Ingredients for Cinnamon Filling
1/4 cup butter melted
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons of brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Ingredients for Cream Cheese Glaze:
1/4 cup butter
2 oz. cream cheese
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Make the cinnamon filling by combining melted butter, brown sugar and cinnamon. Place into a disposable piping bag.

Make the batter by combining the dry ingredients then mixing to combine. Add the egg, buttermilk and canola oil. Mix until combined leaving just a few lumps. Do not over mix.

Make the cream cheese glaze by melting the butter and cream cheese then mixing in powdered sugar and vanilla. Add a bit of milk if needed if too thick.

Heat a griddle to 325 degrees. Add the pancakes and allow to cook until batter bubbles. Pipe on a spiral of cinnamon filling starting from the center of the pancake. Try to avoid having the cinnamon filling on the outside edge of the pancake. Flip the pancakes and complete cooking on the second side. Drizzle glaze over the pancake prior to service.