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

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.