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, November 28, 2011

Cranberry Squares (Bon Appetit February 1995)

1 1/2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
3/4 cup unsalted, melted and cooled slightly
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 cups of fresh or frozen cranberries (about 8 ounces)
1/2 cup chopped pecans or almonds (about 2 1/4 ounces)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9-inch square baking pan. Using an electric mixer beat sugar and eggs in a large bowl until slightly thickened, about 2 minutes. Beat in the melted butter and almond extract. Add flour and stir until well blended. Stir in cranberries and pecans.

Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 1 hour. Transfer to rack and cool completely.

(Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover tightly and let stand at room temperature)

Monday, November 14, 2011

Puff Pastry Pinwheels Filled with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Pesto Recipe courtesy Michael Chiarello


  • 1 (8-ounce) jar oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 tablespoon good quality balsamic vinegar
  • Finely ground sea salt, preferably gray salt
  • Finely ground black pepper
  • 1 (17.3-ounce) box puff pastry (recommended: Pepperidge Farm)
  • 1/3 cup pesto, store bought
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Drain the sun-dried tomatoes in a sieve over a small skillet, letting the oil collect in the skillet. Roughly chop the tomatoes and reserve them in a small bowl. Heat the oil in the skillet over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and cook until golden brown, about 30 seconds, stirring occasionally. Add the thyme and let it crackle in the oil for about 10 seconds. Add the balsamic vinegar and season, to taste, with salt and pepper. Pour the warm oil over the reserved tomatoes. Stir to combine the ingredients well.
Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Place 1 sheet of puff pasty on each baking sheet. Cut each sheet of puff pastry into 9 individual squares, each about 3 by 3 inches. For each square, use a paring knife to cut from each corner toward the center, stopping 1-inch from the center. You will have a 1-inch circle in the center of each square, and all of the corners will be cut in half. Spoon about 1 teaspoon of pesto in the center of each square and spread it into a 1-inch circle. For each square, lift one half of a corner and fold it toward the center of the square, gently pushing the point into the pesto. Continuing around the square, fold 3 more corner halves toward the center of the square, and gently press all 4 tips together to form a pinwheel shape. Draining away most of the oil, place about 1 teaspoon of the tomatoes where the tips meet. Brush the dough with the beaten egg. Bake at 350 degrees F until the dough is golden brown, about 20 minutes. Serve warm.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

BLT Steakhouse Gruyere Popovers

BLT’s Popovers
Yields: 12 to 14 popovers 

4 cups milk (warmed)
8 Large Eggs
4 cups flour
1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
2 1/4 cup grated gruyer cheese

1. Place the popover pan in the oven. Heat the oven and pan to   350F.
2. Gently warm the milk over low heat and set aside.
3. Whisk eggs until frothy and slowly whisk in the milk (so as not to cook the eggs). Set the mixture aside.
4. Sift the flour with the salt. Slowly add this mixture and gently combine until mostly smooth.
5. Once combined, remove the popover pan from the oven and spray with non-stick vegetable spray. While the batter is slight warm or room temperature, fill each popover cup about 3/4 full.
6. Top each popover with approximately 2 1/2 Tbsp. of grated gruyere. 
7. Bake at 350F for 50 minutes, rotating pan half a turn after 15 minutes of baking. 
8. Remove from the oven, immediately remove popovers from the pan and serve immediately.
About 20 minutes into baking

Monday, November 7, 2011

Cajun Chicken Alfredo

Recipe curtesy of Guy Fieri (


  • 4 (5-ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 cup blackening spice (recommended: Paul Prudhomme's Chicken)
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1 cup roughly chopped marinated sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 3 cups heavy cream
  • 3/4 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound cooked fettuccine
  • 1/2 cup sliced scallions


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Dredge the chicken breasts in the blackening spice and place in a cast iron skillet over very high heat. Blacken both sides of the chicken and place in the oven for 10 minutes, or until internal temperature of chicken reaches 165 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer. Slice in strips on the bias and set aside.
In a saute pan over medium heat, add 2 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil. Add garlic and lightly caramelize. Then add the sun-dried tomatoes and the chicken slices. Deglaze the pan with the white wine. Add the heavy cream, increase the heat to a simmer, and reduce the cream sauce by half.
When the cream sauce is to desired consistency, stir in 1/2 cup Parmesan, salt, pepper, and pasta.
Nest the pasta on large rimmed plates, pour sauce over pasta, and garnish with scallions and the remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan.

Blackening Spice Rub:

  • 1 tablespoon granulated garlic
  • 1 tablespoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1/2 tablespoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons granulated onion
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
Combine the garlic, black pepper, salt cumin, onion, cayenne pepper, Italian seasoning, paprika and chili powder in a small bowl. Store in an airtight container.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Cafe Misto Tomato Bisque

1 zucchini (medium sized, chopped small)
1 squash (medium sized, chopped small)
1 carrot (medium sized, chopped small)
1/2 onion (medium sized, chopped small)
1 Tablespoon of chopped garlic
2 Tablespoons of olive oil
1/2 teaspoon of dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
salt and pepper to taste
8 cups diced tomatoes and their juice
4 cups tomato puree
8 ounces heavy cream

Saute all of the vegetables until tender. Add the tomatoes, herbs and seasoning and cook for 25 minutes. Blend to a thick  sauce like consistency.

Add the heavy cream and stir consistently for 10 minutes over a low flame.

Top with croutons, pesto sauce and freshly grated parmesan cheese