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Recipe: Meringue Cookie Bites, Three Ways
Meringues have become ubiquituously associated with the “Fat Free!” “Almost ZERO calories!” crowd of diet desserts at the grocery store, crowded into plastic tubs that cheerily advertise their low-calorie benefits. They are certainly not what we would reach for when looking for an indulgent dessert.
Feb 27, 2007
Recipe: D.I.Y. Chocolate Pudding
Chocolate Puddingmakes about 2 cups 1/2 cup sugar1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder1/4 teaspoon salt3 tablespoons cornstarch1 cup milk1 cup cream1 teaspoon vanilla extract Mx the sugar, cocoa powder, salt and cornstarch together in a small bowl. Set aside. Heat the milk and cream in a small saucepan until bubbles form around the edges. Take out a cup of the liquid and whisk rapidly into the dry ingredients, then add everything back into the pan.
Feb 26, 2007
Technique: Making Phyllo Cups
One of our favorite dessert party tricks is phyllo cups. You can buy those little phyllo cups, pre-shaped and crimped, out of the freezer at the grocery store. But you can get far more out of a regular package of phyllo, and it doesn’t take long to make cups in the size you want. Once baked these can be filled easily and creatively with all sorts of good things – raspberries and cream, chocolate mousse, whipped blue cheese with bacon crumbles.
Feb 21, 2007
Recipe: Roasted Sweet Potato Sticks with Rosemary
Sweet potatoes are chopped into thick sticks – don’t even peel them! Then they are tossed with oil and rosemary and roasted into tender little sticks of sweet potato. They don’t get crispy, like fried fries, but instead they’re tender in the middle with some crunchy edges. Rosemary is just one seasoning idea – try tossing them with thyme, chili powder, or paprika.
Feb 20, 2007
Recipe: Parmesan Chive Scones
Hot, buttery, flaky scones, fresh out of the oven and steaming when you break them apart are a breakfast classic. Whether it’s the famous Zuni Cafe Orange Currant Scones, or your mom’s raisin and cinnamon version, scones are always welcome. I wanted that buttery goodness to go with dinner the other night, but sweet scones don’t work well with supper. So I tried something new instead.
Feb 14, 2007
The Celluloid Pantry: Champagne and Casablanca (1942)
One of the most romantic movies of all time, the champagne just flows in Casablanca (1942). Rick Blaine (Humphrey Bogart, left), the cynical proprietor of a stylish nightclub in Morocco during WWII, nurses a broken heart with bourbon and brandy, but recalls happier days in an unoccupied Paris with old flame Ilsa Lund (Ingrid Bergman, right) and Mumm Cordon Rouge champagne.
Feb 13, 2007
Recipe: Pecan Cake
Rather to my surprise, this cake turned out deliciously light and soft. It has a very airy, tender texture, with a mild sweetness that reminded me vaguely of maple syrup.There is no butter – all the fat comes from eggs and buttermilk, so this is light enough to serve for breakfast with fruit and cream; and yet it’s unusual and grown up enough for an after-dinner dessert, served with dark chocolate or espresso sauce.
Feb 13, 2007
Recipe: Gravlax
While it takes some advance planningSimply rub some salt, sugar and pepper over two salmon fillets and sandwich them together with some dill in between.Some recipes also recommend a splash of spirits, such as brandy, gin or lemon vodka. Either way, put a plate on top with some weight on it and let it sit in the fridge for two to three days, basting as you go.To serve, a squeeze of lemon and some dark bread will work well; mustard sauce if you want to do a little extra work.
Feb 9, 2007
Recipe: D.I.Y. Hot Fudge Sauce
Old-Fashioned Hot Fudge Sauce makes about 1 1/2 cups 1/4 cup butter (half a stick) 4 ounces unsweetened chocolate 2/3 cup boiling water 1 1/2 cups sugar 1/4 cup corn syrup 1/2 teaspoon salt Melt the butter in a medium saucepan, then add the chocolate and melt over low heat. When the chocolate is melted, stir in the boiling water, sugar, corn syrup, and salt. Bring to a boil, stirring, then stop stirring and let it boil for six to eight minutes, or until it’s thickened and become glossy.
Feb 5, 2007
Vino: Fonseca 2000 Late Bottled Vintage Port
Name: Fonseca 2000 LBV PortRegion: Douro, PortugalPrice: $17.97 to $19.99Rich and robust with loads of sweet chocolate and cherry; a perfect wine to combat cold winter temperatures or, as is my case, an icky chest cold!Port is a fortified wine with high alcohol and a nice, sticky sweetness. The name stems from the Portuguese city, Oporto, and the wine can be a blend of 80 approved varieties within the region.
Feb 2, 2007
Recipe: Ploughman’s Lunch
Though the image it conveys, as a hearty sustenance for working in the fields, may be a bit outdated in today’s world of cubicle jockeys, there are few meals I can think of that are so delicious and yet so inherently simple. It is precisely the rustic nature of the ploughman’s lunch that makes it so appealing and romantic.The ploughman’s lunch is supposedly from a bygone era, but any attempt to pin the exact time period down lands you in the 1960s.
Feb 1, 2007
Recipe: Mini Molasses Cookies with Lemon Filling
This sandwich cookie suits that craving perfectly. Spicy molasses cookies are a classic, especially in the winter. These are soft, light, and not as greasy as some recipes. Their dark spice is brightened by a tart lemon filling that softens the sandwiches into sunny, chewy, one-bite treats.Try not to overbake these cookies. Even if you do, however, just slather on the lemon filling and put the sandwiches in a covered container in the fridge overnight.
Jan 31, 2007
Recipe: D.I.Y. Lemon Filling
When I think about doughnuts, I often think of them oozing with tart, almost transparent lemon filling. A good yeast doughnut with goopy lemon filling and a thick dusting of powdered sugar is a favorite treat, indulged on very rare occasions. That lemon filling, so exclusive in my experience to doughnuts and commercial bakery products, is actually quite easy to make at home. This lemon filling uses cornstarch and gelatin to create its thick texture, and egg yolks for body and color.
Jan 29, 2007
Recipe: Creamy Cheesy Potatoes
These potatoes are a homestyle recipe – full of dairy and fat and other very, very good things. They are comfort food at its finest, with cubed potatoes boiled till just tender and then baked with all sorts of creamy cheese until soft and bubbling. They also come together faster than you might think, and they last for days in the fridge – if you can keep them around that long!
Jan 25, 2007
Recipe: Wine-Braised Cabbage
Braising ribbons of cabbage in butter and wine steams away the sharp, sometimes bitter flavor of raw cabbage, leaving an entirely new vegetable. It’s soft, sweet and juicy – a warm, delicate vegetable for a winter’s evening. Dusted with fresh Parmesan it’s even better.
Jan 24, 2007
The Celluloid Pantry: A Tom Collins with Lime and Chinatown (1974)
Chinatown (1974) is a thirsty film. Private eye Jake “JJ” Gittes (Jack Nicholson) uncovers a water scandal in a drought-stricken 1930s Los Angeles, taking him from parched riverbeds to the lush, green lawns and ornamental fish ponds of a private estate. Evelyn Cross Mulwray (Faye Dunaway, above) is an icy-cool socialite, dressed impeccably in crisp linens and pearls. She serves tea from a silver service with sugar and lemon, and apéritifs in cut crystal glasses.
Jan 23, 2007
Recipe: D.I.Y. Cream of Chicken Condensed Soup
Here’s a recipe for cream of chicken soup, one of the more common condensed soup varieties. To make cream of anything else, just substitute the broth for another type. For cream of mushroom, cook some mushrooms down in the butter, then add the flour and some cream.
Jan 22, 2007
Recipe: Broiled Grapefruit
It is finally snowing here in New York City! And Florida grapefruit are at their peak now. This is the perfect morning to pucker up, keep warm in front of the oven, and make yourself a sunny broiled grapefruit for breakfast.
Jan 19, 2007
Recipe: Steamed Pork Dumplings
They do take a bit of work, although that can be cut down by using pre-made dumpling wraps. But it’s a relaxing sort of work – chopping, mixing, and wrapping. They smell wonderful, too; the aroma of ginger, scallions and sesame filled my kitchen and I could hardly wait for them to be done! Step-by-step pictures below… This was my first time making this sort of dumpling, as you can probably tell from my awkward wrapping.
Jan 18, 2007
Recipe: Chewy Chocolate Coconut Cookies
This is an unusual kind of recipe. It is really like making a roux – a flour and butter mixture used to thicken sauces. The dough is a thick paste that gets piped out and baked. This turns out a tiny morsel of a cookie with a deep sweetness from the coconut, a crispy top and a chewy middle.Depending on humidity these may need to bake a little longer; test by taking a cookie out and letting it cool for a moment.Chewy Chocolate Coconut Cookiesmakes about 3 dozen 6 oz.
Jan 17, 2007
The Celluloid Pantry: 7 & 7s and Mean Streets (1973)
The Canadian distiller, The Seagram Company Ltd, has a long and storied history with the American underworld. Back in the days of Prohibition, it became a major bootleg whiskey supplier to its dry southern neighbor. (Canadian Prohibition ended in the early 1920s, but the U.S. had to wait until 1933 before liquor could be legally manufactured and sold.
Jan 16, 2007
Recipe: Sweet and Spicy Squash
Acorn squash is tremendously good for you, and when roasted it has a velvety, luxurious texture that lends itself to both spicy and sweet flavors. Fortunately, there are two halves to a squash, so I dust one with curry powder for a spicy dinner and the other with small mounds of brown sugar for a sweet dessert.I am giving measurements here, but obviously this is the most flexible sort of recipe. Adjust to your taste.
Jan 16, 2007
Recipe: Havarti, Parsley and Garlic Cheese Ball
I couldn’t resist – here’s one more cheese ball recipe for your winter entertaining. This one is lighter and fresher, with a sharp garlic taste and soft chunks of Havarti blended into cream cheese. The taste of the cheese is a little milder, a little more subdued, so the bright flavors of garlic and parsley can lead out. I roll it in toasted pine nuts and serve with whole grain crackers.
Jan 12, 2007
Recipe: Ma Po Tofu
I am not a big tofu eater. In fact, I’ve tried to like it and cook it on many occasions, but other than the odd bowl of miso soup, I tend to avoid those blocks of soy protein. But recently some friends and I ordered Chinese food from a good place, and I tasted a fiery dish with silky, delicate chunks of tofu utterly infused with the flavor of pork, ginger, and peppercorns. I was hooked – what was this?
Jan 11, 2007
Recipe: Quick Onion Soup
Fortunately, onion soup is one of the easiest little dishes to prepare. And you don’t need very many things at all. Onion soup grew out of the constraints of poor people making do with what they had, and yet its simple preparation rewards with rich taste far beyond the sum of its parts. All you really need is an onion, some butter and broth, some wine if you have it – or water if you don’t – and salt and pepper.
Jan 9, 2007
Recipe: D.I.Y. Graham Crackers
Graham crackers are a staple of childhood snacks – dunked in milk, or sandwiched with leftover fudge frosting. Graham crackers were an early health food popularized by 19th reformers. Since then, however, boxed crackers have abandoned whole wheat for mostly refined flours and sugars. But graham crackers don’t have to come out of a box; they can easily be made at home, and the warm, wheaty flavor of these crackers is immensely rewarding.
Jan 8, 2007
Recipe: Oatmeal Raisin Cookies with Chocolate Chips
I love the idea of Christmas cookies but I have to admit I find many of them, cut out in different shapes, slathered with colored icing, well they can taste a bit cloying. Sure, they’re pretty, but I tend to prefer good old-fashioned oatmeal cookies. Of course I do dress them up a little for the holidays, studding the dough with raisins, chocolate chips and walnuts. The edges get nice and crisp, while the middle stays soft and chewy.
Dec 19, 2006
Recipe: D.I.Y. Fruity Gumdrops
These are not difficult at all. Fruit juice is boiled with pectin and a sugar syrup is stirred in. Then it firms up overnight into a solid yet sticky bar that can be cut into individual pieces, which are rolled in sugar to give them that charming gumdrop exterior.Again, these are really sweet, so be sure to use juice that has no added sugar at all.
Dec 18, 2006
Recipe: Acorn Squash and Roasted Garlic Strudel
For example, last weekend I needed a vegetarian dish to round out a meal. I had some garlic that needed to be used up, so I roasted it and mashed it to a paste with roasted acorn squash. With a little ricotta this made a delicious filling inside the crisp, flaky strudel. There was the sweet, pungent taste of garlic, and the earthy flavors of squash and sage, with a little crunch from toasted pinenuts.
Dec 14, 2006
Recipe: D.I.Y. Divinity
In fact, it never fails to amaze me that this recipe was invented by someone who did not have an electric mixer. How did they do it? How would they even think to whip egg whites this long? I wouldn’t even do this with a hand mixer – a stand mixer is what makes divinity easy.The almonds are highly recommended; this candy is so teeth-achingly sweet that it’s nice to cut it with some salt and smokiness.
Dec 11, 2006
Recipe: Roasted Mahi Mahi with Fennel, Olives and Oranges
Dense, meaty Mahi Mahi lends itself well to roasting. It has a relatively high fat content that plays well with salty olives and tart citrus.This recipe is a good one for a weeknight dinner party, or any time you want something healthy, elegant, great tasting and fast. This method will get dinner on the table in about 30 minutes. Just add rice or couscous and a salad and you’re all set.Mahi Mahi is a large tropical fish that is readily available all winter.
Dec 8, 2006
Recipe: Spicy Sweet Potato & Carrot Soup
This soup has an earthy sweetness and a comfortable heat that builds as you make your way through the bowl. It’s a basic recipe that can be adapted using any vegetable that takes well to puréeing. Try squash, potatoes or celery root. For the spice you can use regular cayenne, but if you have chipotle powder, its smokiness really adds to the soup. Garnish with whatever you like or nothing at all, but yogurt cools the heat and adds a nice tang.
Dec 6, 2006
Recipe: Crushed White Bean Spread with White Truffle Oil
I love making various dips and spreads to keep on hand for whenever I want a snack. Humus is simple to whip up but lately I’ve been into beans. This spread, which comes from famed chef Alfred Portale of the Gotham Bar and Grill, is a unique take on a classic white bean dip. The white truffle oil really elevates the humble beans to a whole new level.
Dec 6, 2006
Recipe: Chicken Thighs with Balsamic Vinegar
Chicken Thighs with Balsamic Vinegarserves two1 pound skinless chicken thighsSalt and pepperGreek or Italian dressing (for marinade, optional) White wine1/2 teaspoon ground gingerBalsamic vinegarFresh grated Parmesan cheesePat the thighs dry and rub in some salt and pepper. If you have time, marinate the thighs overnight in some Greek or Italian dressing, or in a little balsamic vinegar mixed with olive oil.Preheat the oven to 425º. Place the thighs in a deep baking dish.
Dec 5, 2006
Recipe: D.I.Y. Buckeyes
These freeze well. I, regrettably, prefer them straight from the freezer. They are also the first of several Christmas candies, suitable for food gifts or the holiday buffet table, that we’ll look at in the next several weeks.Chocolate and Peanut Butter Buckeyesmakes about 13 dozen 2 lbs. powdered sugar3 cups peanut butter (smooth and not the all-natural kind)1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks)1 1/2 lb. chocolate chips, semi-sweet (24 oz.
Dec 4, 2006
In Season West Coast: Cauliflower
Like so many vegetables, cauliflower is one of those that is available year round but few realize that there is indeed a season for it. Cauliflower season runs from October through April but it’s at its best starting in December. Look for compact, dense heads without any discolorization. To store, place in a plastic bag and put in the refrigerator, where it should keep for about a week.
Dec 1, 2006
Recipe: Broiled Sardines with Gremolata
Even though I was a picky child, I loved sardines when I was small. My mother would give them to me atop saltine crackers, skin, bones and all, and I’d devour them. The first time I tried fresh ones in a restaurant, I was blown away. Since I learned to clean them, I buy them whenever I see them in the market.
Nov 29, 2006
Recipe: Garlic Confit Vinaigrette
Thomas Keller writes in his cookbook Bouchon that at his restaurant garlic confit is used in so many preparations that they consider it to be a pantry staple. Indeed if you’ve ever had it, it’s tempting to figure out a way to use it in virtually everything. Much like roasted garlic, as garlic confit cooks, submerged in a green pool of olive oil, it softens, turns golden brown and the flavor mellows to the point of an almost smokey sweetness.
Nov 29, 2006
Recipe: Slow-Cooked Pork Roast with White Wine and Sage
Here’s the thing about slow cooking – you can put meat into a slow cooker with almost nothing else and it will still turn out succulently moist. A little extra work may yield some extra complexity, a darkening in the flavor, but you can skip that and still have a great roast. Either of the two methods offered in this recipe will give you a delicious pork roast with almost zero work, which is just what I like the week after Thanksgiving.
Nov 28, 2006
Recipe: D.I.Y. Candied Lemon Peel
5-6 organic lemons, about 1 1/2 pounds1 teaspoon salt 1 1/2 cup cold water2 cups sugar Superfine sugar (optional) Peel the lemons with vegetable peeler, taking off long, thin strips. Fill a medium sauce pan 3/4 full with water and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Add the lemon peels and bring to a boil. Simmer for 10 minutes, then drain. Repeat, using the other 1/2 teaspoon of salt. This is softening the lemon peels and taking away the residual bitterness of the white pith.
Nov 27, 2006
Brown Bag Lunch Recipe: Better Than Hellman’s Mayonnaise
Mayonnaise is a main part of many lunches: tuna salad, salad dressings, turkey sandwiches and more. British food writer Elizabeth David called mayonnaise “the beautiful shining golden ointment.” While I’ve made mayonnaise a few times, I’ll admit that for a potato salad or a smear on a sandwich, I’ve relied on Hellmann’s mayonnaise, known as Best Foods in the West.
Nov 16, 2006
Recipe: Salmon and Caper Fishcakes
It’s highly likely that in the next several weeks you might find yourself with an abundance of leftovers.Certain leftovers obviously work really well as, say, a sandwich. But what about mashed potatoes? Sure you could microwave them and serve them alongside the sandwich, but why not use them as the base of a whole new dish with flavors that are the complete opposite of Thanksgiving? After all that heavy food, wouldn’t it be nice to have a nice light meal?
Nov 15, 2006
The Celluloid Pantry: “Pixie Remover” and My Man Godfrey (1936)
[Beginning next week, The Celluloid Pantry will take a short hiatus while Nora spends the month as a writer-in-residence at the Ucross Foundation. We’ll return December 12.] “You must never be rough with them. You must always send them away quietly.
Nov 14, 2006
Recipe: Stir-Fried Green Beans
This quick recipe keeps them slightly crisp, playing off the sweetness with tart tomato and the salty, loosely Chinese flavors of soy sauce and five-spice seasoning. These would make a good Thanksgiving vegetable, too – a breather of green crispness between the starch and tryptophan.Stir-Fried Green Beansserves 6 as a side 1 pound string beans2 Roma tomatoesLight vegetable oil or sesame oil2 teaspoons five-spice powderSoy sauce Clean the beans and snap the ends off.
Nov 14, 2006
Recipe: Modern Ambrosia
The word ambrosia conjures up heavenly images of cloud-like deliciousness and swoony sweetness, which is why it always seems like something fun to make and eat, but the truth is, old-fashioned ambrosia can be more monstrosity than food of the gods, containing canned Mandarin oranges, canned pineapple, artificially colored Jell-O, mini marshmallows and sometimes even Cool Whip. Traditional holidays like Thanksgiving are a good time to update old-fashioned recipes.
Nov 10, 2006
Recipe: Malaysian Beef Curry
Malaysian, Thai, and other South Asian curries each have their own distinctions, but they also have many things in common, with the edges blending in and out between spices and techniques. This rich, fragrant beef and potato curry is flavored with a Malaysian spice mix, onions slowly cooked with techniques learned from South Indian cuisine, then simmered with Thai coconut milk in the perfect American instrument for a long, slow braise: the CrockPot.
Nov 9, 2006
Recipe: Whole Steamed Rockfish
This is what I decided to do with the live rockfish that I bought at Manila Oriental Market. I stuffed it with aromatics and steamed it whole. It’s surprisingly easy to cook a whole fish this way and it’s a very healthy preparation containing no added fat.If you don’t have a steamer, you can bake this fish. I’d splash a little cooking wine over it and give it 15-20 minutes in a 350° F oven.
Nov 8, 2006
Recipe: Puréed Parsnips
With Thanksgiving coming up soon, I’m sure a lot of us are on the search for interesting recipes for side dishes to accompany our birds.A mash of some sort is a natural to partner for a thick slice of roasted turkey.
Nov 8, 2006
Inspiration: Senate Bean Soup
There are lots of important races for Senate across the country today. At this point, there’s not much we can do other than get out there and vote. Whenever I feel helpless, it’s always good to get into the kitchen and make a big pot of something. What better something for today than Senate Bean Soup? It’s been a daily fixture on the menu of the US Senate Restaurant in Washington since the early 1900s.
Nov 7, 2006
Recipe: Mini Chocolate Ice Cream Sodas
A little bit of sparkle, a little bit of chocolate, stirred up in a tiny cut glass cup. That’s the recipe for my Mini Chocolate Ice Cream Sodas.If you don’t spring for champagne for your next party, here’s another way to end the night with some delicious tiny bubbles. I first served these at my holiday party last year and, as my guests quickly discovered, these aren’t your run of the mill float.
Nov 6, 2006
Recipe: D.I.Y. Almond Meal
Almond flour and almond meal, its coarser counterpart, are made just from almonds skinned and ground fine to be used in cakes, macarons, or meringues. It is time-consuming to make almond meal at home, but since whole almonds can be had for a fraction of the cost of almond flour, sometimes this is worth it. These instructions include a step for blanching and skinning almonds, which is useful for more purposes than almond meal.
Nov 6, 2006
Recipe: Winter Salad with Persimmons and Spiced Pecans
Persimmons are all over the markets here in the Bay Area and they’re a common backyard fruit. Their relatively short season hits just as fall begins, making them one of autumn’s local icons.If you visit the countryside north of San Francisco on an overcast fall day, you may notice the leafless, spindly trees laden with fiery orbs set off against a slate sky. Grant provided an excellent overview of both types here.Persimmons even taste like fall.
Nov 3, 2006
Recipe: Bacon-Sage Meatballs with Buttermilk Gravy
Making meatballs can be time-consuming, which is why I like to make a double batch of these and freeze half. Roll the meatballs then freeze on a cookie sheet until hard. Put the frozen meatballs in plastic bags and freeze for up to two months, and let them defrost in the refrigerator before cooking.
Nov 2, 2006
Tip: Roasting Broccoli
Everything’s better roasted. Ok that’s a sweeping statement, but I almost always default to roasting when it comes to vegetables. It concentrates their flavors, caramelizes their sugars and produces interesting textural contrasts. Basically, it enhances everything that is already great about vegetables.Broccoli has been an exception up until recently. It’s really quite lovely blanched then sautéed, but I felt like cooking it differently the other night.
Oct 31, 2006
Recipe: Prosciutto Roasted Figs
I love hors d’oeuvres but most recipes for them are a bit too involved for the home cook. They require an unrealistic amount of preparation and have to be served right away and the ones that don’t are just a little bit dull. This recipe comes from Tyler Florence. The combination of warm figs, melted blue cheese, salty, velvety prosciutto and sweet honey are guaranteed to wow your guests.
Oct 31, 2006
The Celluloid Pantry: Chocolate “Mouse” and Rosemary’s Baby (1968)
“No, no – you’ll have to give me the recipe.” In Rosemary’s Baby (1968), an ambitious actor (John Cassavetes) and his childlike bride (Mia Farrow) move into a creepy New York apartment complex (the Dakota), and soon make the acquaintance of the strange old couple who are their neighbors. The wife in the pair, Minnie (played with mischievous banality by Ruth Gordon) is the kind of woman who invites herself in and peers into all the kitchen cupboards.
Oct 31, 2006
Recipe: Lime Gelatin Salad
Go green for Halloween. This green Jell-O salad has been a holiday tradition — and just a bit of a laugh — for as long as I can remember. My mom was served this “salad” as a special treat in the 1950’s, and she made it for my brothers and me in the 1980’s.While we usually have it for Christmas, the Atomic Age recipe seems to be a better fit Halloween. This sweet treat is somewhat slimey and the combination of convenience ingredients might scare some.
Oct 30, 2006
Recipe: Spiced Celery Root Soup with Bacon and Honey
I love the strong, savory herbaceousness of celery. Celery root is a wonderful vegetable in its own right. It’s great for roasting, gratins, or in soup. The bold flavor of the root can more than hold its own with the toasted spices in this soup. The bacon provides salty contrast and the honey mellows and ties it all together. Looking for an elegant starter soup for a holiday dinner that’s a little out of the ordinary? This might be it.
Oct 27, 2006
Recipe: Honey Pumpkin Crème Brûlée
After some experiments and variations, the final recipe gave a rich yet light custard, not too sweet and flavored brightly with spices and honey.The texture is lighter and creamier than a traditional pumpkin pie filling, and the spices exchange heavy cinnamon for the citrus and herb notes of coriander. The top is covered with a crackly burnt sugar crust that balances the earthy pumpkin with a slightly bitter caramel flavor.
Oct 26, 2006
Recipe: Ridiculously Quick Pasta al Pomodoro
But sometimes when I just want some dinner after a long day, I do need to be reminded of the basics. For this you need only a handful of ingredients: a big tomato, half an onion or a few shallots, garlic, olive oil, some fresh basil, sage, or rosemary. Some red wine really helps, but don’t knock yourself out. Swirl over some tortellini from Trader Joe’s, pour the rest of the wine into a glass and you have yourself a very nice dish of pasta – all in about 10 minutes flat.
Oct 24, 2006
Recipe: Sweet Potato Bread Pudding with Caramel Pecan Sauce
Here’s a fall flavored weekend dessert that can be assembled ahead of time and baked just before serving. It’s great for company as a finale to a homey fall meal. The earthy flavor of the sweet potatoes really comes through, pairing well with the spices and the caramely, nutty sauce. I made a batch and gave some to two sets of friends who heated it up in the microwave later. Everyone raved.
Oct 20, 2006
Recipe: Red Cabbage and White Bean Salad
The Fall Colors Contest is still blazing onward, so here’s a vivid dish to stand up to all those orange walls. The depth of color in this red cabbage startled me! The purple is so deep and true, it looks like it’s been dyed. This is an easy and very healthy salad, with the tang of capers and vinegar and the vigorous crunch of fresh cabbage. Some soft white beans round it out into a satisfying dish that will brighten your kitchen and your dinner table.
Oct 17, 2006
Recipe: Graham Cracker Crust
Dessert can be demanding. So much whipping, melting, baking and waiting. I’ve picked up some tips for putting together a decent “company dinner” on the double, but I can’t get the last course right . . . and I have this frustrating feeling that it’s the end of the night that everyone remembers.I’m learning that some home cooks have a stable of desserts that rely on pantry ingredients that don’t demand too much ambtion or make a mess at the last minute.
Oct 16, 2006
Recipe: Quinoa and Mushroom Stuffed Zucchini
Quinoa (keen-WAH) is one of those exotic supergrains that everyone knows is good for you, but no one knows how to use. I speak for myself, anyway.This dish showed me that quinoa is an easy, delicious menu addition, with a full, nutty flavor and seeds that pop roundly under the tongue. It soaks up flavor and makes a wonderfully satisfying filling for the zucchini boats.
Oct 12, 2006
Recipe: Sweet Potato Rosti
I’m always looking for interesting side dishes. It’s sort of old-fashioned but I quite like a meal comprised of a protein, a green vegetable of some sort of a starch. I discovered this recipe in Donna Hay’s book, New Food Fast.The nice thing about this dish is that it cooks pretty quickly and is completely hands off. The sweet potato ends up tender in the middle and crisp at the edge. I like to use it as a base for chicken breasts or pork chops. It’s also quite versatile.
Oct 11, 2006
Recipe: Herbed Corn for Columbus Day
Columbus may have come searching for gold, but what he found was a wealth of new foods. Before Europeans arrived in the New World they had never tasted peppers, chocolate, tomatoes or the culinary gold of maize – staple of the Native American diet. Imagine Indian curries without peppers, pasta without tomatoes, or Paris without chocolate!This recipe is adapted from one that Gourmet ran last summer, with a tangy lime butter sauce over lightly cooked corn and herbs.
Oct 9, 2006
Recipe: Grape, Celery & Blue Cheese Salad w/ Toasted Walnuts
The grapes have been so abundant and varied in the markets here that it’s tempting to buy more than can be reasonably eaten as a snack.Here’s an easy recipe that bridges summer and fall, using grapes as its main ingredient and celery as a companion for a twist on the classic Waldorf. Fennel, endive or arugula also pair nicely with the grapes if you happen to have any of those on hand. Any of these will make a tasty substitute for the celery.
Oct 6, 2006
Recipe: Easy Braised Collard Greens with Bacon
Collard greens with bacon are just so good that I couldn’t resist the heavy bundles of fresh collards piled high at the produce stand this week. And even though we just gave you a recipe for rappini I had to share this too. Collards are related to the cabbage, along with kale, turnip greens and mustard greens – all of which can be substituted for one another in a braised recipe like this.
Oct 3, 2006
D.I.Y. Recipe: Plum Cinnamon Jam
Jam looks intimidating – boiling and canning and sterilizing and botulism all rolled into one specter of potential food poisoning. But while canning itself is much easier than it looks, you don’t need to mess with that for just one or two quick jars of jam. An hour or two will give you a jar of jam that can be frozen for up to six months or refrigerated for a month with that taste of summer fruit locked inside.
Oct 2, 2006
Recipe: Joan’s No Fail Bundt Cake
It’s the Jewish New Year so it’s time to celebrate and reflect. This weekend, since I didn’t have time to make my traditional, from scratch honey cake, I opted for a no-fail bundt cake recipe. I recently learned that the bundt pan was created by Nordic Ware here in the United States after a couple of ladies from the Minneapolis chapter of the Hadassah society asked Nordicware founders, Dave and Dotty, to make a pan similar to the ones their grandmothers used in back in Germany.
Sep 25, 2006
Recipe: Curried Zucchini Soup
Too Much Zucchini? Here’s some inspiration for the weekend. If you’ve got a garden or a neighbor with a garden, chances are you’ve got a crisper full of zucchini right about now.This soup is a bit unusual in that the zucchini is pureed rather than chunky. This recipe comes to The Kitchen courtesy of chef Susan Beach. Her calendar of recipes for seasonal soups and salads just got a nice write up in The San Jose Mercury News and, of all places, in The Missoulian.
Sep 22, 2006
Recipe: Sesame Broccoli Rabe
Much spinach was dumped this week by consumers, grocery stores and restaurants. E. coli is not something to mess with. I usually don’t pay much attention to health warnings, but in this case I felt it was worth finding some alternatives to satisfy my craving for leafy greens. Try this one and you may not go back to spinach! Broccoli rabe, or rapini, is a relation of the turnip, not broccoli. It’s a spicy green with a strong mustard flavor and a strangely perfumed bitterness.
Sep 21, 2006