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

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) (306 g)
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.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Chocolate-Covered Grape Truffles

1 1/2 pounds cold firm seedless grapes (white or red)
6 ounces of a good quality chocolate (60% to 70%)
3 Tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder (I use a container with a built in sifter)

Wash and dry the grapes then make sure the grapes are well chilled before proceeding.

  • Melt the chocolate in the top of a double boiler or in a microwave.
  • Add the grapes to a bowl that is large enough to allow stirring the grapes to coat with chocolate.
  • Place the chilled grapes into the bowl and pour the melted chocolate over the grapes and quickly stir to coat the grapes with the chocolate.
  • Using a sifter or shaker with a screen add the cocoa powder to the grapes until they are very well dusted with cocoa powder.
  • Place grapes on a parchment or silpat lined baking sheet and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Linguini with Roasted Peppers, Kalamata Olives and PIne Nuts


4 Red and Yellow Peppers
2-3 ounces Parmigiano Reggiano cheese (cut in chunks)
2 cloves of garlic, peeled
three finger pinch of Sea Salt and course pepper
1/2 tsp Red Pepper flakes
1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil
Handful of fresh basil
1/2 cup kalamata olives pitted
1/4 cup pine nuts
12 ounces of linguini or other pasta


Preheat boiler. Place peppers on a foil lined baking sheet  and broil turning to blacken and char all sides. Place peppers in a bag to steam for at least 10 minutes.

Remove skin from peppers. Slice off tops and remove seeds. set aside until ready to make sauce.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil.

Place cheese into a food processor and grind. Place the peppers, garlic, seasoning, pepper flakes, olive oil and olives in the processor and pulse until slightly chunky. Place in a large serving bowl that will hold your cooked pasta.

Boil pasta until al dente and remove pasta with tongs to the serving bowl.  Add about 1/8 cup of the hot pasta water to the sauce and pasta and toss well. Add a bit more of the pasta water to the pasta if it seems dry.

Toss with the pine nuts and serve with additional cheese.

Note: I used grated cheese so I included with the other ingredients in the processor and did not process separately. Also this is a recipe that can be modified based on ingredients on hand. You could add pancetta or bacon for a little more flavor.

Adapted from the food blog "The Italian Dish"

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Mexican Rice

  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1/2 medium white onion diced
  • 1 1/2 cups rice
  • 3 cloves finely chopped garlic
  • 2 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup plain tomato sauce (I used El Pato Salsa De Chili tomato sauce)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 4 tablespoons chopped parsley (optional)
In a medium sauce pan, heat oil over medium heat. Add the oinion. Saute for 1-2 minutes until softenend. Add dry rice and cook with the onions for about 5 minutes or until rice become a golden brown color. Add the garlic to the rice and saute for one more minute.

Add in the broth and tomato sauce and cumin and parsley if using. Bring to a boil then cover the rice and reduce the heat to low and allow to cook for 20 minutes.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Cinnamon Jumbles

1/4 cup crisco
1/4 cup butter (softened)
1 cup sugar
1 egg
3/4 cup butter milk
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
Cinnamon sugar ( 1/4 cup sugar and 1 tsp cinnamon)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

Using a mixer, cream the Crisco, butter and sugar. Add the egg and mix on low for about 60 seconds. Measure the 3/4 cup of buttermilk and add vanilla to the buttermilk then set aside. Measure the 2 cups of flour into a bowl and then add the baking soda and salt. Mix gently then sift through a flour sifter or a strainer to remove any lumps.

To make the batter add 1/3 of the dry ingredients to the mixing bowl and mix until incorporated, then add 1/3 of the buttermilk/vanilla and mix just until incorporated. Repeat until dry and wet ingredients are incorporated.

Remove the mixing blade from the batter and place the bowl with the batter in a refrigerator for about 20 minutes. When the batter is cold place rounded teaspoons of batter about 2 inches apart on lightly greased baking sheet.

Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar and add a raisin prior to baking.

Bake for 8-10 minutes at 400 degrees.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Chile Relleno and Enchilada Sauce

Enchilada Sauce:

7 California chilies
2 tomatoes
2-4 cups of water
2 garlic cloves
1 TBS canola oil
½ TBS flour

Add water to a medium sauce pan and then add the chiles and tomatoes. Bring to a boil. Just before boiling add the garlic. Once boiling turn the heat off and cover the sauce pan and let sit for an hour or two.

Add salt and oregano to blender then add the chiles, tomato, garlic and water to the blender. Blend well.

Add oil to a large sauce pan (Used large oval dutch oven) and heat over medium heat. Add flour to oil to form a roux. Cook flour for a minute stirring constantly. Add the blended chili mixture to the dutch oven but pass through a strainer to remove seeds and skin. Cook over medium heat until a low boil and allow to thicken. 

Add the rellenos to the boiling sauce and cook for about one minute. Remove the relleno with a slotted spoon and place in glass baking dish. Pour enchilada sauce over the relleno.

Heat in a 350 degree oven for 20 minutes or until heated.

8 Passilo peppers
3 eggs

Heat peppers over an open flame to completely char the exterior. Place in a plastic bag for an hour or so to loosen the skins. Remove the skins and create a lengthwise slit along the pepper and fill with cheese.

Separate the egg whites and yolks. Whip the egg whites until they have thickened and then fold the egg yolks carefully into the whites.

Roll each cheese stuffed pepper into flour and then into the egg wash and place into a sauté pan with hot oil. Fry the pepper to set and cook egg wash on exterior of the pepper.  Remove pepper to a sheet pan. Repeat until all peppers have been cooked.

Add the peppers to the slightly boiling enchilada sauce and allow to cook for about 1 minute. As mentioned in the sauce recipe, the peppers are not placed in the glass-cooking pan and covered with sauce. Re-warm as indicated above.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Green Smoothie - Number 1

This is my first green smoothie and is a recreation of the ingredients I tasted at a neighbor's

1 handful of baby spinach
1 handful of baby kale
1 whole lemon (quartered)
2 apples (I used small gala apples)
2 cucumbers
1 celery stalk
1/2 cup parsley
1/2 cup frozen mango (purchased)  --note I didn't measure just added to blender
1/2 cup frozen pineapple (purchased) ---not measured
~ 2 cups cold water
Ice cubes (handful or two)

 The ingredients are now placed in order of entry into the blender (VitaMix). You should add liquid ingredients, then frozen fruit, then cucumbers, apples and celery and finaly the greens.

Start blender on slow to begin incorporation and blending of ingredients then blend on high until smooth or desired consistency.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Oven Barbeque Baby Back Ribs

These BBQ ribs are easy to prepare and are fall off the bone delicious .


    • 4 lbs pork ribs
    • 3/4 cup light brown sugar
    • 1 teaspoon hickory smoke salt
    • 1 tablespoon paprika
    • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper (optional)
    • 2 cups of your favorite barbecue sauce ( mine is Kinder)


  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees f.
  2. Peel off tough membrane that covers the bony side of the ribs.
  3. Mix together the sugar and spices to make the rub. (I often use "Butt Rub")
  4. Apply rub to ribs on all sides.
  5. Lay ribs on two layers of foil, shiny side out and meaty side down.
  6. Lay two layers of foil on top of ribs and roll and crimp edges tightly, edges facing up to seal.
  7. Place on baking sheet and bake for 2-2 1/2 hours or until meat is starting to shrink away from the ends of the bone.
  8. Remove from oven.
  9. Heat broiler
  10. Cut ribs into serving sized portions of 2 or 3 ribs.
  11. Arrange on broiler pan, bony side up.
  12. Brush on sauce.
  13. Broil for 1 or 2 minutes until sauce is cooked on and bubbly.
  14. Turn ribs over.
  15. Repeat on other side.
  16. Alternately, you can grill the ribs on your grill to cook on the sauce.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

BBQ Pulled Pork on Big Green Egg

Barbecued Pulled Pork on the Big Green Egg
(Recipe adapted from several you tube videos)


  • 2 Boneless Pork Shoulder 13-16 pounds total (Purchased from Costco)
  • 1 16 Ounce Bottle of Cajun Injectable Marinade - Honey Bacon BBQ
  • Syringe to inject marinade
  • Yellow Mustard (French's)
  • Dry Rub (Butt Rub)


Open the package containing the pork shoulders and rinse well under cold running water. Pat dry with paper towels and place on a baking pan.

Get out the Marinade and the syringe to inject the marinade.

 Inject about 8 ounces of marinade in each pork butt. I usually insert the needle fairly deep into the meat and inject the marinade while moving the needle up. This allows the marinade to penetrate from top to bottom.
 Let the pork butts rest with the injected marinade for about an hour in the refrigerator. Meanwhile get your yellow mustard and dry rub ingredients ready for use.
 Coat the top and sides of the pork butt with yellow mustard. This will allow the dry rub to adhere better to the meat.
 Liberally apply dry rub to the top and sides of the pork butt.
 Flip both butts over and apply mustard then dry rub to the other side. Note: I finish with the pork butts so that the fat cap is facing up. I also smoke the butts with the fat cap up so that the fat drips down and over the meat.
 I get my Big Green Egg set up with a full load of lump charcoal and use the BBQ Guru to maintain a constant temperature. I set the BBQ Guru so that the internal temperature of the EGG is 220 degrees and put a meat probe into one of the butts. I then set the BBQ Guru so that I will get notification when the meat reaches a temperature of about 193 degrees.

I smoke with large chunks of apple wood that has been soaked in water. The EGG is set for indirect heat and I use an aluminum tray between the plate setter and the grill to catch drippings.
Between 18 and 22 hours of smoking later your pork butt will reach a temperature of 193. When you open the EGG to remove the meat you will see that the butts have developed a nice bark that is very tasty. NOTE: Do not open your EGG to look at the meat while smoking. This is all about low and slow cooking.
 So you may wonder what to do with the meat from 16 pounds of Pulled Pork. Well I use a FoodSaver to vacuum pack and seal individual 12 ounce portions that is just about perfect for 2 people for pulled pork sandwiches.
Place these packages in the freezer. When ready to eat just place a sealed bag into simmering water for 10 minutes or until hot. Slice open the bag and the meat will be very tender and juicy and smell like it just came from the EGG. Add a small amount of chicken or beef broth if the meat seems dry OR you can also add some BBQ sauce.

Beside pulled pork sandwiches, this meat can also be used for tacos, burritos, mixed into soups. 

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Frijoles Negros (Black Beans)

From “Memories of a Cuban Kitchen” by Mary Urrutia Randelman

1 pound dried black beans rinsed in cold water, picked over, and soaked overnight in cold water to cover by 1 ½ inches. (Remove any beans that float to the top)
1 bay leaf
1 medium-sized green bell pepper, seeded and cut into quarters

For the Sofrito:
2/3-cup pure Spanish olive oil
3 to 4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 medium-size green bell pepper seeded and finely chopped
2 to 3 teaspoons ground cumin
2 Tablespoons cider vinegar
1 teaspoon finely chopped seeded aji cacbucba (Rocatillo pepper, or green chile)
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

1.     The next day after soaking the beans, check that the water is still covering the beans by 1 ½ to 2 inches, and add more water if needed. Pour into a large saucepan, add the bay leaf and green pepper, bring to a boil over high heat, reduce the heat to low, and cook uncovered, until the beans are tender and they have almost cracked open, about 2 hours. Check the beans while they are cooking and if they need more liquid, add some hot water.
2.     To prepare the sofrito, in a skillet heat the oil over low heat until it is fragrant, then add the garlic, onion, and bell pepper and cook, stirring, until the onion is transparent, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the cumin, vinegar, and Rocatillo pepper and mix well.
3.     Add the Sofrito to the beans, mi well and cook over low heat, covered, until the beans crack open, 30 to 40 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve.
Makes 8 servings

Note: Recommend Black Beans are by "Faraon"