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

Monday, August 29, 2011

Pork Chops Stuffed with Sundried Tomatoes and Spinach


 

 

 

 

 

 

 







Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil, plus 1 tablespoon
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 6 sun-dried tomatoes, diced
  • 1 (10-ounce) bag of frozen spinach, thawed and excess water squeezed out
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more for seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more for seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 cup (2 ounces) goat cheese
  • 1/3 cup reduced-fat cream cheese
  • 4 (4-ounce) center-cut pork chops
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 lemon, zested
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

Directions

Warm the 1 tablespoon olive oil in a medium saute pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the sun-dried tomatoes, spinach, salt, pepper, and thyme. Cook until combined, about 2 more minutes. Transfer the mixture to a medium bowl. Add the goat cheese and the cream cheese. Stir to combine and set aside.
Use a sharp knife to cut a pocket into the thickest portion of the pork chop. Stuff each pocket with 1/4 of the spinach and sun-dried tomato mixture and close the pork around the stuffing. Season the outside of the pork with salt and pepper.
In a small bowl combine the chicken broth, lemon zest, lemon juice, and mustard.
Warm the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat. When the pan is hot add the pork. Cook until golden and cooked through, about 4 minutes per side. Transfer the pork to a side dish and tent with foil to keep warm. Add the chicken broth mixture to the skillet over medium-high heat. Scrape up the brown bits from the bottom of the pan as the chicken broth simmers. Reduce the broth by half to make a light sauce, about 8 minutes. Spoon some sauce over the pork before serving.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Pork Chops with Green Olives and Lemon

Pork Chops with Green Olives and Lemon

Recipe courtesy Laura Calder














 
 
Ingredients:
  • 2 pork chops, on the bone
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Pinch sugar
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3/4 cup/175 ml white wine
  • Skin 1 preserved lemon, chopped
  • 1/2 cup/85 g green olives, with pits
  • Small handful chopped fresh rosemary or thyme 

Roasted Cherry Tomatoes
  • Branch cherry tomatoes
  • Olive oil, for drizzling
Directions:

Season the chops with salt and pepper. "Season" also with sugar, sprinkling judiciously over both sides of the chops, as if it were salt. Heat the oil in a saute pan and brown the chops on both sides. Pour over the wine, and add half the lemon and olives, along with the rosemary. Cover, and cook until tender, about 20 minutes. Uncover and test doneness. Boil down the liquid a little, if necessary, toss in the remaining olives and preserved lemon. Serve with the juices spooned over and a branch of roasted baby tomatoes on the side.

To roast a branch of cherry tomatoes: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Lay the tomatoes on a baking sheet, dribble over a little olive oil, and bake at until the skins have wrinkled and the fruit is soft, 20 minutes to half an hour.

Chef's note: Recommend using pitted olives next time.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Steak au Poivre

Steak au Poivre

Recipe courtesy Alton Brown, 2005


Ingredients

  • 4 tenderloin steaks, 6 to 8 ounces each and no more than 1 1/2 inches thick
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons whole peppercorns
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/3 cup Cognac, plus 1 teaspoon
  • 1 cup heavy cream

Directions

Remove the steaks from the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes and up to 1 hour prior to cooking. Sprinkle all sides with salt.
Coarsely crush the peppercorns with a mortar and pestle, the bottom of a cast iron skillet, or using a mallet and pie pan. Spread the peppercorns evenly onto a plate. Press the fillets, on both sides, into the pepper until it coats the surface. Set aside.
In a medium skillet over medium heat, melt the butter and olive oil. As soon as the butter and oil begin to turn golden and smoke, gently place the steaks in the pan. For medium-rare, cook for 4 minutes on each side. Once done, remove the steaks to a plate, tent with foil and set aside. Pour off the excess fat but do not wipe or scrape the pan clean.
Off of the heat, add 1/3 cup Cognac to the pan and carefully ignite the alcohol with a long match or firestick. Gently shake pan until the flames die. Return the pan to medium heat and add the cream. Bring the mixture to a boil and whisk until the sauce coats the back of a spoon, approximately 5 to 6 minutes. Add the teaspoon of Cognac and season, to taste, with salt. Add the steaks back to the pan, spoon the sauce over, and serve.

Monday, August 22, 2011

No-Knead Bread with Olives, Rosemary and Parmesan

Almost No-Knead Bread with Olives, Rosemary, and Parmesan

Makes 1 large round loaf.



















Why this recipe works: 
For a no-knead bread recipe that would produce a loaf with a consistent shape, we strengthened the dough by lowering the hydration and giving it the bare minimum of kneading time (15 seconds). To give the bread more flavor than the standard no-knead recipe, we added acidic tang with vinegar, and a shot of yeasty flavor with mild-flavored lager. 
An enameled cast-iron Dutch oven with a tight-fitting lid yields best results, but the recipe also works in a regular cast-iron Dutch oven or heavy stockpot. (See the related information in "High-Heat Baking in a Dutch Oven" for information on converting Dutch oven handles to work safely in a hot oven.) Use a mild-flavored lager, such as Budweiser (mild non-alcoholic lager also works). The bread is best eaten the day it is baked but can be wrapped in aluminum foil and stored in a cool, dry place for up to 2 days.

Ingredients

  • 3cups unbleached all-purpose flour (15 ounces), plus additional for dusting work surface
  • 1/4teaspoon instant or rapid-rise yeast
  • 1 1/2teaspoons table salt
  • 4ounces finely grated Parmesan cheese (about 2 cups)
  • 3/4cup plus 2 tablespoons water (7 ounces), at room temperature
  • 1/2cup chopped green olives (pitted) (I use Kalamata olives)
  • 1/4cup plus 2 tablespoons mild-flavored lager (3 ounces)
  • 1tablespoon white vinegar
  • 1tablespoon minced fresh rosemary

Instructions

  1. Whisk flour, yeast, salt, Parmesan, and rosemary in large bowl. Add water, olives, beer, and vinegar. Using rubber spatula, fold mixture, scraping up dry flour from bottom of bowl until shaggy ball forms. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature for 8 to 18 hours.
  2. Lay 12- by 18-inch sheet of parchment paper inside 10-inch skillet and spray with nonstick cooking spray. Transfer dough to lightly floured work surface and knead 10 to 15 times. Shape dough into ball by pulling edges into middle. Transfer dough, seam-side down, to parchment-lined skillet and spray surface of dough with nonstick cooking spray. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature until dough has doubled in size and does not readily spring back when poked with finger, about 2 hours.
  3. About 30 minutes before baking, adjust oven rack to lowest position, place 6- to 8-quart heavy-bottomed Dutch oven (with lid) on rack, and heat oven to 500 degrees. Lightly flour top of dough and, using razor blade or sharp knife, make one 6-inch-long, 1/2-inch-deep slit along top of dough. Carefully remove pot from oven and remove lid. Pick up dough by lifting parchment overhang and lower into pot (let any excess parchment hang over pot edge). Cover pot and place in oven. Reduce oven temperature to 425 degrees and bake covered for 30 minutes. Remove lid and continue to bake until loaf is deep brown and instant-read thermometer inserted into center registers 210 degrees, 20 to 30 minutes longer. Carefully remove bread from pot; transfer to wire rack and cool to room temperature, about 2 hours.

Technique

Bread Sling
Transferring dough to a preheated Dutch oven to bake can be tricky. To avoid burnt fingers and help the dough hold its shape, we came up with a novel solution: Let the dough rise in a skillet (its shallow depth makes it better than a bowl) that's been lined with greased parchment paper, then use the paper's edges to pick up the dough and lower it into the Dutch oven. The bread remains on the parchment paper as it bakes.

Step-by-Step

Almost No-Knead Bread
1. MIX: Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients with a spatula.
2. REST: Leave the dough to rest for eight to 18 hours.
3. KNEAD: Knead the dough 10 to 15 times and shape it into a ball.
4. LET RISE: Allow the dough to rise for two hours in a parchment paper-lined skillet.
5. BAKE: Place the dough in a preheated Dutch oven and bake it until it's deep brown.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Mom's Strawberry Jam

Mom's Strawberry Jam















4 cups of strawberries
4 cups sugar
Juice of half a lemon
1 piece powdered alum (size of a pea)
1 tablespoon butter (reduces foaming)

Combine ingredients and bring to a hard boil that can't be stirred down. Boil for 10 minutes.















It is better to do two small batches keeping the same proportions if you have more than 5-6 cups of berries.

Put in a large container and let stand overnight. Stir occasionally.

Place in jars the next morning. Label and freeze.

Monday, August 15, 2011

FLAT BREAD

FLATBREAD


















Ingredients:
¼ cup warm water (110 to 115 degrees F)
1 large egg, lightly beaten
½ cup room-temperature water
3¼ cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
¼ cup Clarified butter at room temperature
Canola oil
Extra virgin olive oil
Maldon salt or fleur de sel
Piment d’Espelette

Directions:
Combine the warm water and yeast in a small bowl. Let stand for 10 minutes, then stir to dissolve the yeast. Mix the egg with the water and stir to combine with the yeast mixture.
Combine the flour, salt, and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook. With the mixer on low speed, add the butter, followed by the egg mixture, and mix until the dough comes together on the hook.
Transfer the dough to a lightly floured board and knead for 5 minutes, or until smooth. Fold the edges under to form a round dough. Lightly oil a large bowl with canola oil and put the dough in the bowl. Brush a piece of plastic wrap with canola oil and press it directly onto the surface of the dough. Cover the bowl with a kitchen towel and let sit in a warm place until doubled in size, about 2 hours.
Position the oven racks in the lower and upper thirds of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and brush with olive oil.
Open the rollers of a pasta machine to the widest setting and flour the rollers. Cut the dough in quarters. Work with one quarter at a time, keeping the other pieces covered so they do not dry out.  Lightly flour the piece of dough and, using the heel of your hand, press the dough down to a rectangle about ½ inch thick. Trim off one end so there is a straight edge, and roll the dough through the machine. Roll again through the widest setting. Continue to roll the dough twice through each setting, lightly flouring it as needed to keep it from sticking, until it is paper-thin; we roll ours to the second-to-last setting.
The piece of dough will be about 36 inches long. Trim the ends. Cut lengthwise in half and the cut crosswise in half to make 4 sheets about 3 inches by 15 inches. Place 3 sheets on one of the lined baking sheets, and roll out a second piece of dough. (If you don’t have three baking sheets, put the extra sheets of dough on a sheet of parchment paper until ready to bake.)
Brush the flatbreads lightly with olive oil and sprinkle with Maldon salt and if using, piment d’Espelette. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, switching the position of the pans and rotating them halfway through baking, until crisp and golden. Let the flatbreads cool on the pans on cooling racks.
Repeat with the remaining dough. Leave the breads whole or break into pieces and serve. Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

Makes 16 sheets of flatbread 15 inches by 3 inches.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

















(Recipe may be halved):
2 cups butter
4 cups flour
2 tsp. baking soda
2 cups granulated sugar
2 cups brown sugar
5 cups blended oatmeal (measure oatmeal and blend in blender to a fine powder)
24 oz. chocolate chips
1 tsp. salt
1 8 oz. Hershey bar (grated)
4 eggs
2 tsp. baking powder
3 cups chopped nuts (your choice)
2 tsp. vanilla


Cream the butter and both sugars. Add eggs and vanilla; mix together with flour, oatmeal, salt, baking powder, and soda. Add chocolate chips, Hershey bar and nuts. Roll into balls and place two inches apart on a cookie sheet..

Bake for 10 minutes at 375 degrees. Makes 112 cookies.. Have Fun!!!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Spicy Chicken Tagine with Apricots, Rosemary and Ginger

Spicy Chicken Tagine with Apricots, Rosemary and Ginger















Ingredients:
2 Tablespoons olive oil with a pat of butter
1 onion, finely chopped
3 sprigs rosemary, 1 finely chopped the other two cut in half
1 ½ inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
2 red chilies, seeded and finely chopped
1-2 cinnamon sticks
8 chicken thighs
¾ cup dried apricots
2 tablespoons of clear honey
1 14 ounce can plum tomatoes with their juice
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Small bunch of fresh green or purple basil leaves

Directions:
Heat the oil and butter in a tagine or heavy based casserole dish. Stir in the onion, chopped rosemary, ginger and chilies and sauté until the onion begins to soften. Stir in the halved rosemary sprigs and the cinnamon sticks. Add the chicken thighs and brown them on both sides. Toss in the apricots with the honey, and then stir in the plum tomatoes with their juice. (Add a little water if necessary, to ensure there is enough liquid to cover the base of the tagine and submerge the apricots.) Bring the liquid to a boil, and then reduce the heat. Cover with a lid and cook gently for 35-40 minutes.

Season to taste with salt and pepper. Shred the larger basil leaves and leave the small ones intact. Sprinkle them over the chicken and serve the dish immediately.

Note: You can substitute chicken breast for thigh but adjust cooking times accordingly especially if the chicken breasts are large.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Easy Bearnaise Sauce

Easy Bearnaise Sauce













Directions:

  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon minced shallot
  • aggressive pinch of salt
  • pepper (optional)
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 6 ounces salted butter
  • 2 tablespoons minced tarragon (or more to taste)
  1. Combine the lemon juice, shallot, salt, and pepper in a 2-cup Pyrex measuring cup or other container with a narrow base.  Let it sit for a few minutes.
  2. Add the egg yolks and give it a buzz with the hand blender (if you’re blade doesn’t reach the yolk, use the whisk attachment).
  3. Melt the butter in a one-cup measuring cup with a spout or some other container that will allow you to pour the butter in a stream. Make sure it’s piping hot.
  4. With the hand blender running, pour the butter into the egg yolks, pumping the blender up and down (or side to side if using whisk) as you do so.  Add half the tarragon and continue to blend.  Stop and fold in the remaining tarragon.
Makes about 1 cup

Monday, August 1, 2011

Lasagna (Lorraine Harvey's)


















 Ingredients:
6 Tablespoons olive oil
1 pound hamburger
1 6 once can tomato paste
1 29 ounce can tomato puree
1 package spaghetti sauce mix
1 8 ounce package of cream cheese plus a little milk
2 packages of mozzarella cheese (shredded)
1/2 box of lasagna
Parmesan Romano cheese

Directions:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Brown the meat in sauce pan in olive oil. When the meat has been cooked add the tomato puree, the tomato paste and the spaghetti sauce mix. Simmer for one hour.

Place the cream cheese in a bowl and add a tablespoon of milk. Beat with a mixer or whisk until creamy. You may need to add a bit more milk if the cream cheese is too stiff.

Assembly:
In a 9x17 baking dish create the following layers:


  • layer of tomato sauce
  • layer of lasagna
  • layer of mozzarella
  • layer of sauce
  • layer of whipped cream cheese
  • layer of lasagna
  • layer of mozzarella
  • little bit of sauce for the top
  • sprinkle Parmesan over the top
Bake 30 - 40 minutes at 325 degrees.

Green Garlic Soup (Blue Ribbon Artisan Pizza)

















Green Garlic Soup

Yield: 4 servings
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 bunches green garlic—whites only, cleaned and chopped
2 leeks—whites only, cleaned and chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 Yukon Gold potato, peeled and chopped
1/2 cup cream
2 quarts water
Salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano
2 tablespoons chives, chopped
Chili oil

Melt the butter in a soup pot. Add the garlic, leeks and onion and cook until they are very soft. Add the potato, cream and water. Season with salt and pepper and simmer until the potatoes are tender. Transfer the mixture to a blender and purée until smooth. Pass the mixture through a strainer. To serve, place the soup in bowls and garnish with Parmigiano-Reggiano, chives and chili oil.