Wednesday, December 06, 2017

Dark Chocolate 'Fondue' Ball

  • Tempered Dark Chocolate Sphere
  • Filled with Salted Almond Crumb
  • Spiced Poached Pear
  • Citrus Cake
  • Vanilla Cream
  • Chocolate Filigree
  • Warm Caramel Sauce
The idea of this dessert is to have the warm caramel sauce separate, then pour it over the chocolate balls at the table to the chocolate begins to melt, showcasing the filling and creating a chocolate sauce for the plate. 

Tuesday, December 05, 2017

Beurre Rouge

Beurre Rouge
1/4 cup red wine
1 - 1 1/2 cups salted butter, cold and cut into cubes
pepper, to taste

Bring the wine to a boil in a saucepan and reduce by half.
Reduce the heat to medium-low and gradually whisk in the butter, cube by cube, to form a thick, rice sauce. Season to taste.

This sauce recipe is a very easy and basic beurre rouge. Red wine vinegar, shallots, garlic, and peppercorns may be added along with the wine to form a reduction and the sauce may then be strained at the end. Cream can also be added as a 'cheat' to form a more stable beurre rouge. Beurre rouge is an a la minute (last minute) sauce that does not hold well for long periods of time. 

Monday, December 04, 2017

Balsamic Pearls

Pearls are a very cool, very impressive molecular gastronomy technique that is actually quite easy to do and requires little equipment. The only specialty ingredients required is agar agar powder, which is a vegan thickening agent (derived from seaweed) used as an alternative to gelatin or cornstarch or other thickeners for its versatility. It is ready available at Asian grocers and specialty food stores. 

The process here is a bit difficult to explain in words, but once you do it, you'll understand the process. The biggest tricks are to ensure the oil is as cold as possible without being solidified, and the mixture is dropped into the oil while hot (it will gel up once cool).

These pearls can be used as a mock caviar alternative, but have a sweet slightly acidic flavor that works on a variety of dishes, including desserts. 

Balsamic Pearls
canola oil
2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 Tablespoon soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon agar agar

Pour oil in a tall glass, enough to fill the glass to around twenty centimeters or eight inches. Place the oil in the freezer for a few hours, until the oil is completely cold. It can be left overnight as well but if the freezer is particularity cold the oil will freeze into a solid white block, and it needs to remain liquid for this recipe.

Bring the vinegar, soy sauce, and agar agar to a full boil. Using a syringe or a squeeze bottle, immediately drip small drops of the mixture into the cold oil. One all the mixture is used strain the pearls out of the oil and blot dry gently with paper towel. 
Balsamic Pearls on bruschetta 'mojito' with
garlic croutons, tomato foam, basil crisp

Balsamic Pearls on cheese curd plate with crispy breaded cheese curds,
herbed cheese curd crackers, roasted red pepper cheese curd aioli, and pickled shallot petals

Balsamic Pearls on beef fillet plate with roasted cherry tomatoes,
Brussels sprouts, herb pommes duchesse, carrot puree, and red wine jus

Sunday, December 03, 2017

Herbed Pommes Duchesse

Herbed Pommes Duchesse
hot mashed potatoes
egg yolks
salted butter, cubed
minced garlic
finely chopped chives
minced parsely
minced sage
ground black pepper
Stir all ingredients together until combined, taste, and adjust seasonings as needed. The hot mashed potatoes should melt the butter, but not cook the egg. The mixture is much easier to mix and pipe while still warm - but if you do not have a heat-proof piping bag, let it cool slightly so you do not burn your hand.

Scoop the mixture into a large piping bag fitted with a large star tip. Pipe rosettes of potato on a parchment lined baking sheet. You may make them as small or as large as you wish - baking time will depend on size. At the point the potatoes may be piped in advance and refrigerated until later. They are baked at 425F until the tips begin to turn golden.

Saturday, December 02, 2017

Beef Fillet with Pommes Duchesse and Veg

  • Seared Fillet of Beef
  • Herbed Pommes Duchesse
  • Carrot Puree
  • Roasted Brussels Sprouts
  • Glazed Cherry Tomatoes
  • Beurre Rouge
  • Balsamic Pearls

Friday, December 01, 2017

Herb Foam

Herb Foam
selected chopped herbs, I used:

Steep the herbs in the milk over low heat, avoiding boiling or heavy simmering. The herbs will begin to color the milk green and flavor it. Froth the milk using a handheld immersion blender or a milk frother until heavy bubbles are formed. Use a spoon to spoon the froth onto the plate. If froth subsides, the mixture can be reblended until bubbly again.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Sage Brown Butter Sauce

Sage Brown Butter Sauce
salted butter
fresh sage, chiffonade
minced garlic
cracked black pepper
all-purpose (plain) flour and/or heavy cream

Melt the butter slowly and gradually in a saucepan over low heat. Once butter is melted and the sage, garlic, and pepper. Continue heating until the butter turns a golden, nutty brown. The sauce may be served as is, or is may be thickened as desired. This may be done by adding a small amount of flour and whisking in. Or by adding some cream. If using cream, heat it before adding to the butter to prevent the sauce from splitting. Do not bring the sauce to a simmer or boil after adding a thickener. 

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Spicy Roasted Chickpeas

Spicy Roasted Chickpeas
2 cups canned chickpeas (or dried cooked chickpeas)
2 Tablespoons oil
1 Tablespoon (or less) salt
1 Tablespoon chili powder
1 Tablespoon smoked paprika
1 Tablespoon cayenne pepper
1 Tablespoon garlic powder

Toss all ingredients together. Place on a baking sheet and bake at 425F for about 20-30 minutes until chickpeas are crispy, shaking the pan occasionally. 

Spices can be varied as desired. These keep well and can be reheated before eating to re-crisp them. Great as a snack or an addition to salads, a topping for curries and stir-fries and more.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Butternut Squash Ravioli

Butternut Squash Ravioli
plain pasta dough
butternut squash
egg yolk or water
additional seasonings, as desired:
salt/sugar, pepper
maple syrup/honey

First, cook the butternut squash. I like to roast mine by cutting the squash in half, scooping out the seeds, wrapping in foil and baking until tender. The squash could also be steamed or boiled but this will add a little excess moisture which is not ideal. When roasting you could add some oil, butter, seasonings, sugar, honey or maple syrup; or just add all the flavorings after cooking. 
Mash/puree the cooked squash to desired consistency and allow to cool.

When ready to assemble, roll out the pasta dough in long thin sheets. Place rounded teaspoons or tablespoons of squash filling on the dough, spaced evenly apart. Quantity of filling and spacing will depend on size of ravioli. Brush egg yolk or water around the squash filling. Place another sheet of pasta dough on top. Press down around the filling to seal. Cut out the ravioli. Place on a sheet pan dusted with flour.

When ready to cook, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and simmer (a full rolling boil may cause the pasta to break) until just tender.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Ginger Butter

Ginger Butter
salted butter
ground ginger OR finely grated fresh ginger

Blend together. Very tasty on Irish soda bread, fresh biscuits, grilled salmon, sauteed vegetables, blueberry muffins, scones, and more!

I am not writing a post on the "Crescent Biscuits" as I have shared that recipe in the past, so here is a link to it:

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Maître d'Hôtel Butter

Maître d'Hôtel Butter
salted butter, softened
mined garlic
mined parsley
lemon zest
lemon juice
cracked black pepper

Whip all ingredients together until smooth. I like to put the butter in a pastry bag and pipe it into stars, but it can also just be spread into a bowl or balled with a melon baller. Alternately roll the butter into a log, wrap in plastic wrap and chill until firm. Then slice into rounds. This is a very good topping/sauce for grilled steaks and other flavorful meats. 

Friday, November 24, 2017

Irish Soda Bread

There are a lot of variants on Irish soda bread and even having worked in several restaurants in Ireland I cannot tell you for certain which one is the "right" one or the "authentic" one. This version is a bit sweeter and contains only wheat as the grain. It is also quite moist.
Irish Soda Bread
2 cups whole wheat flour
2 cups all-purpose (plain) flour
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/3 cups buttermilk
1 large egg
1/4 cup oil
1/4 cup molasses

Preheat oven to 350F. Line a 9x5 inch loaf pan with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, stir together the flours, sugar, soda, and salt. Make a well in the center.
Add the remaining wet ingredients to the well and mix to combine. Scrape batter into prepared pan. Bake for an hour. Gently remove the bread from the pan and place back in the oven, upside-down, directly on the rack and bake again for approximately ten minutes or until the bread sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom.

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Mustard Aioli

Mustard Aioli
1 large egg yolk
2 teaspoons yellow mustard
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
scant cup canola oil
salt, to taste

Whisk together the yolk, mustard, and vinegar. Slowly and steadily stream in the oil, whisking constantly. The mixture will gradually thicken. You may not need all of the oil. Be careful not to add oil too quickly or to add too much oil as this will cause the aioli to split. Season with salt to taste.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Simple Onion Jam

Simple Onion Jam
1/4 cup white vinegar
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 Tablespoons honey
two large white onions, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced

Bring the vinegar, water, maple syrup, and honey to a boil. Add the onions and garlic. Simmer until onions are softened and liquid is reduced. Add a little more water as needed to keep the pan from going dry. 

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Roasted Baby Potatoes with Mustard Aioli & Onion Jam

White baby potatoes. Cut an "X" in the top of each potato. Do not cut all the way through the potato, just enough to make a small crown-like opening. You can also cut a small slice off the bottom of the potatoes if they are really round and roll too much. Drizzle the potatoes with oil, salt, and pepper and roast at 425F until tender. They can be prepared ahead of time up to this point.
Fill the centers of the potatoes with onion jam and pop back in the oven to heat through. Remove from oven and top with a dollop of mustard aioli and two thin slices of chives.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Easy Cranberry Chutney

Easy Cranberry Chutney
12 ounces (340 grams) fresh whole cranberries
juice of two oranges
approximately 1/4 - 1/2 cup granulated (white) sugar

Place all ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the cranberries have popped and softened.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Basic Puff Pastry Dough

Basic Puff Pastry Dough
2 cups all-purpose (plain) flour
1 1/4 cups cubed salted butter, frozen (divided)
1/2 cup ice water

lace the flour in a food processor. Add 1/4 cup butter and pulse 12 times.
Add the remaining 1 cup butter and pulse 5 times until butter begins to break up.
Add the water and pulse a couple times until dough seems moistened.
At this point the dough will not look like it is coming together, but don't be tempted to add more water.
Dump the mixture onto a work table and bring it together with your hands until it forms a ball.
Roll out on a lightly floured surface to a rectangle, approximately 12x15 inches.
Fold dough in thirds width-wise, the roll up from the short edge.
Flatten, wrap well, and let chill at least one hour but overnight for best results.

Allow dough to warm to room temperature before using. It will still seem quite firm but once it is begun to roll out, the butter will soften and the dough will become pliable.
Roll out to about 1/4 inch thick. Cut out as many rounds (or fluted rounds) as possible. 
Scraps can be gathered and rerolled once and cut, more than that and they will not bake evenly.
Again, it is best to chill these again before baking but it is not crucial.
Bake at 425F for about 15-20 minutes until golden and risen, depending on size.

Use for a variety of savory and even sweet dishes: vol-au-vent, tarts, pot pies, mille feuilles, croissants, etc.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Cranberry and Baked Brie Tartlets

These tartlets are the round ones with the red in the center. I made my own signature puff pastry dough, cut out small circles from the dough, and baked them. I also made my own simple cranberry chutney for the filling. Then I cut the pastries in half horizontally, filled them with some cranberry chutney, topped with brie cheese and baked them again until the cheese melted and the tarts were warm.

  • Puff pastry circles
  • cranberry orange chutney
  • sliced of double cream brie cheese

Friday, November 17, 2017

Fall Dinner Party

I recently catered a six course dinner party; for which I devised the menu, composed the dishes, and did all of the cooking and plating myself. In the following days I will share the dishes and recipes. The menu, featuring a fall theme, is as follows:

Cranberry & Baked Brie Tartlets
Roasted Baby Potatoes with Mustard Aioli & Onion Jam
Crescent Biscuits, Maitre d’Hôtel Butter
Irish Soda Bread, Ginger Butter
Butternut Squash Ravioli, Spiced Roasted Chickpeas, Sage Brown Butter Sauce, Herb Foam
Seared Fillet of Beef cooked to your preference, Pommes Duchesse, Carrot Puree, Brussels Sprouts, Roasted Cherry Tomatoes, Beurre Rouge, Balsamic Pearls
Dark Chocolate ‘Fondue’, Caramel, Spiced Poached Pear, Citrus Cake, Salted Almond Crumb, Vanilla Cream
White Chocolate Pistachio Ganache, Blueberry Madeleine Cakes, Chocolate Espresso Brownie

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Dijon Beef Jus

Dijon Beef Jus
roast drippings
red wine
dijon mustard

Strain the roast drippings into a saucepan and add the wine and stock. Bring to a boil. Make a cornstarch slurry with the cornstarch and water and whisk in. Boil until thickened. Season to taste with salt and pepper, then add the dijon. Do not boil after adding the dijon.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Roasted Spaghetti Squash

Roasted Spaghetti Squash
spaghetti squash
minced garlic
chopped parsley

Cut spaghetti squash in half and wrap in foil. Place cut side down on a baking sheet and roast at 425F until just tender. Use a spoon to scoop out the seeds and discard, then use a form to pull the flesh into strands. Toss the strands with the remaining ingredients. 

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Caramelized Onion and Old Cheddar Mashed Potatoes

Caramelized Onion and Old Cheddar Mashed Potatoes
large white onions, thinly sliced
cracked black pepper
butter, melted
grated old cheddar cheese

Heat a little oil in a large, wide pan over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring often, until onions are caramelized. Season with salt and pepper.
Meanwhile, boil the potatoes until tender, drain, and mash. Stir in the onions along with some melted butter and cream. Stir in the cheese, then additional salt and pepper to taste.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Roast Beef

  • Roasted hip of beef
  • Caramelized onion and old cheddar mashed potatoes
  • Wilted spinach
  • Roasted cherry tomatoes
  • Spaghetti squash
  • Dijon sauce
  • Watermelon radish

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Lemon Herb Aioli

Lemon Herb Slaw

1 cup mayonnaise
zest of two lemons
juice of three lemons
2 Tablespoons grainy mustard
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 cup chopped dill
1/4 cup chopped cilantro

Whisk together.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Quick Pickled Radish

Quick Pickled Radish
3 parts water
3 parts apple cider vinegar
2 parts granulated (white) sugar
1 part kosher salt
pickling spices, as desired
shaved radish slices

Bring all ingredients except radish to a boil. Add the radish, ensure they are submerged and leave to cool.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Roasted Sweet Corn and Cherry Tomato Salad

Roasted Sweet Corn and Cherry Tomato Salad
fresh sweet corn, husked and on the cob
halved cherry tomatoes (red, orange, yellow)
olive oil
balsamic vinegar
lime juice
lime zest

Place the corn on a baking sheet and drizzle with oil, salt, and pepper. Roast at 450F, turning every so often, until corn is cooked and beginning to color.
Meanwhile, do the same with the cherry tomatoes, drizzling with balsamic vinegar as well, roasting until tomatoes are blistering and beginning to soften. 
Remove the corn from the cobs using a sharp knife and toss together in a bowl with lemon juice and zest. Taste and add any additional oil, salt, or pepper as needed.

Thursday, November 09, 2017

Crab Cakes Take Two

  • Crab cakes
  • Roasted sweet corn and cherry tomato salad
  • Pickled watermelon radish
  • Lemon herb aioli
  • Microgreens

Wednesday, November 08, 2017

Best Easiest Vegan Chocolate Mousse

Best Easiest Vegan Chocolate Mousse
1 cup aquafaba
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 cup granulated (white) sugar
300 grams vegan dark chocolate

Beat the aquafaba, salt, and lemon juice together either in a stand mixer or in a bowl with a handheld mixer. I highly recommend a stand mixer if you have one; as you will be able to multitask a the same time. If not wear some earplugs and be prepared to mix for awhile. This beating process can take up to fifteen minutes, especially with larger batches, though I find it starts to get quite thick around five.

Beat until it forms the equivalent of soft peaks of egg whites, then gradually beat in the sugar until stiff peaks form.

Meanwhile, while whipping mixture, melt the chocolate until smooth and allow it to cool slightly. Gently fold the cooled chocolate into the stiff whipped mixture. Mousse is now ready to eat However, the mousse will actually set more and thicken after being chilled in the fridge (individual ramekins or parfait glasses work great for this). The mousse will actually keep quite well for a few days.

Tuesday, November 07, 2017

Vegan Chocolate Mousse

  • Vegan dark chocolate mousse
  • Vegan dark chocolate sauce
  • Vegan meringue
  • Fresh fruit garnish
Vegan chocolate mousse and meringue are so easy to make, and you'd be surprised at their secret ingredient! Also shocking is the richness of the mousse and how well it holds up But you have to try it to believe it!

Monday, November 06, 2017

Garlic Dill Toasts

Garlic Dill Toasts
day old baguette, thinly sliced on the diagonal
salted butter
minced garlic
fresh dill springs
cracked black pepper

If you plan ahead, soften the butter then blend with the garlic, dill and pepper and spread on the baguette.
If not, just melt the butter, stir in garlic, dill and pepper and brush on the baguette.
Then toast in the oven until crisp.

Sunday, November 05, 2017

Tomato Herb Broth

Tomato Herb Broth
fresh tomatoes, peeled
water or vegetable broth
minced garlic
tarragon, chopped
dill weed
smoked paprika
cayenne pepper
salt and pepper, to taste
butter, to serve
reduced cream, to serve

Cook the tomatoes until tender and falling apart. Blend until mostly smooth. Add water or broth to thin out consistency and blend. Strain mixture. Season with herbs and spices.
To serve, bring required amount of broth to a boil and add in ingredients (blanched yellow beans and baby carrots, cherry tomatoes, cod pieces). Finish with a little reduced cream and a dab of butter.

The tomato broth should be slightly over seasoned, because adding the cream will mellow it out. The cream is optional but adds richness. 

For this recipe I used small (plum or roma sized) fresh local orange tomatoes. They peeled easily and did not need to be blanched in order to peel them.

Saturday, November 04, 2017

Tomato Based Hodgepodge

  • Homemade garden tomato and herb broth
  • Reduced cream
  • East coast cod fish pieces
  • Fresh local cherry tomatoes, baby carrots, yellow beans, celery
  • Garlic dill toasts

Friday, November 03, 2017

Whiskey Green Peppercorn Sauce

Whiskey Green Peppercorn Sauce
minced shallots
minced garlic
green peppercorns, drained
Irish whiskey
salt and pepper

Melt the butter in a sauce pan. Add the shallots, garlic, and peppercorns and saute without coloring until softened. Pour in whiskey and cook until almost dry. 
Meanwhile, reduce the cream in a separate saucepan. Add the cream to the reduction and bring to a boil.
Season to taste with salt and pepper, and adjust flavor with a little additional butter and/or whiskey as needed.
If sauce is not thick enough, it can be thickened with some more really reduced cream or a cornstarch slurry.

Thursday, November 02, 2017

Roasted Baby Carrots

This hardly requires a recipe, but when you have really nice, fresh, local baby carrots they don't need much adornment. I trim the ends of the baby carrots, then halve them lengthwise. Toss in a little oil, coarse kosher salt, ground nutmeg, and ground white pepper. Then simply roast until tender and caramelized!

Wednesday, November 01, 2017

Horseradish and Sour Cream Mashed Potatoes

Horseradish and Sour Cream Mashed Potatoes
boiled potatoes, drained
prepared horseradish
sour cream
salted butter, melted
sour cream
salt, to taste
black pepper, to taste

Mash all ingredients together. Amounts depend on your personal preference, how nice your potatoes are, and how much potato you have. You should be able to just detect the horseradish, it should not be overpowering. You should also get a hint of sour cream. The texture should be creamy and a little buttery with just the right seasoning.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Maple Balsamic Glazed Purple Radish

Maple Balsamic Glazed Purple Radish
purple radish, quartered or wedged
one part maple syrup
one part balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper, to taste

Toss the radish in some oil and arrange in a baking pan. 
Place the syrup and vinegar in a saucepan and boil until reduced and thick.
Pour over radishes, then season with salt and pepper.
Roast until tender.

Monday, October 30, 2017

Sauteed Patty Pan Squash

Sauteed Patty Pan Squash
patty pan squash, halved or quartered
salted butter
vegetable stock
fresh thyme

Melt the butter in a pan over medium heat. Add the squash and sautee until they just begin to cover Pour in some vegetable stock, cover, and allow to simmer for a few minutes until squash are tender. Season to taste with thyme, salt, pepper, and nutmeg. 

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Rosemary and Thyme Buttered Roast Beef

Rosemary and Thyme Buttered Roast Beef
1 large hip of beef roast
2 pounds unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup fresh rosemary
1/4 cup fresh thyme leaves
1/4 cup minced garlic
1 Tablespoon cracked black pepper

Blend the butter with the rosemary, thyme, garlic, and pepper. 
Rub the roast all over with the compound butter mixture, allowing the butter to coat the entire surface of the roast.
Cover the roast and slow roast, basting occasionally with the pan drippings.
The compound butter mixture melts and enrobes the beef with flavor as it roasts. The result is a moist, tender, flavorful roast and plenty of rich, tasty pan drippings than will make an excellent gravy.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Roast Hip Of Beef

  • Roast hip of beef, rubbed in rosemary thyme butter
  • Horseradish and sour cream mashed potatoes
  • Sauteed patty pan squash
  • Roasted baby carrots
  • Maple balsamic glazed purple radish
  • Whiskey green peppercorn sauce

Friday, October 27, 2017

Lightly Spiced Whipped Cream

Lightly Spiced Whipped Cream
cream, whipped to stiff peaks
icing sugar
ground cinnamon
ground ginger
ground nutmeg
drop vanilla or almond extract, optional

Fold all ingredients into the whipped cream. If you only have granulated or brown sugar on hand, it can work, but it must be incorporated as soon as the cream is at soft peaks so that the final mixture will not be grainy. Really good accompaniment to apple or pumpkin pie or a cheesecake or sticky toffee pudding.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Quick Dinner Break

  • Basmati rice
  • Salsa
  • Chickpeas
  • Spice mix: chili powder, cayenne pepper, smoked paprika, curry powder, cumin, garlic powder, black pepper
  • oil
  • 1/2 avocado
  • salt and pepper, to taste
Heat the rice and mix in the salsa.
Toss the chickpeas in the oil and the spice mix and roast in an oven until beginning to crisp. Add to rice. Add avocado. Season to taste.

This quick meal is the perfect balance of spicy and salty, protein, fat, starch, and vegetables. It satisfies without over filling.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Caprese Salad

  • Five slices red roma tomatoes
  • Ten slices fresh bocconcini cheese
  • Three leaves green basil
  • Three leaves purple basil
  • Red, orange, and yellow cherry tomato halves
  • Arugula dressed in balsamic and olive oil vinaigrette
  • Microgreens
  • Balsamic reduction

Monday, October 23, 2017

Easy Butter Pastry

Easy Butter Pastry
1 1/2 cups all-purpose (plain) flour
1 Tablespoon granulated (white) sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup ice water

Mix together the flour, sugar, and salt. Blend in the butter until the mixture begins to clump together. Add the water and blend to form a dough. Gently knead into a ball.
At this point the dough can be wrapped and chilled to be used later, or used immediately.
You can use a rolling pin on this dough, but it's really not necessary. It's an easy dough that can just be pressed into the pan.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Apple Tart Filling

The secret to making this filling look impressive, rather than a brownish-mushy mess like a typical apple pie filling, is to cut the apples into long, thin slices and not too add too much liquid. 

Apple Tart Filling
6 medium cooking apples (I've had success with MacIntosh, Cortland, Paula Red, etc)
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
juice of one lemon

Peel the apples, quarter them, and remove the core and seeds. Then slice them thinly. Place in a bowl and toss with the sugar, cinnamon, and lemon juice.
That's it!

The mist time-consuming is just slicing the apples. Thinner apples create more layers, cook more quickly, and looks more impressive. 

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Apple Tart

THIS is your new favorite apple pie recipe. Well, technically it is a tart because it only had a bottom crust and no top crust. But you don't need a top crust. It's just extra fuss and we all know the best part of a pie is the filling anyway. This tart recipe is fairly quick and easy, no-fuss, and looks pretty impressive. Oh, and did I mention it tastes really darn good? 
  • Apple cinnamon tart
  • All butter pastry crust
  • Brown bread ice cream
  • Spiced whipped cream
  • Maple sauce

Friday, October 20, 2017

Crescent Roll Biscuits

Crescent Roll Biscuits
4 cups all-purpose (plain) flour
8 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup cold butter or hard margarine, cut into cubes
2 cups milk
2 egg yolks
1 Tablespoon milk

Stir together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Cut in the butter until crumbly. Stir in the milk to form a soft dough and knead briefly until it just comes together. Divide dough into four pieces.
Roll each piece into a thin circle on a lightly floured surface. Cut each circle into eight triangles.
Starting from the wide edge, roll each triangle toward its point. Arrange crescents on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper.
Beat together the egg yolks and milk and brush over the tops of the crescents. Bake at 425F for about 20 minutes until golden.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Tarragon White Wine Cream Sauce

Tarragon White Wine Cream Sauce
white wine
dry tarragon

Place a small amount of white wine in a saucepan along with some shallots and garlic Reduce until almost all liquid is gone. Add in some tarragon. Add some cream and reduce until thick. Add some butter, salt, and pepper. 
This sauce can be made in  one large batch or in individual small batches - it is just as easy either way.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Hake En Papillote

Hake En Papillote
tomatillos, thinly sliced
hake fillets
lemon juice
lime slices
chopped cilantro
chopped dill
basil chiffonade
halved cherry tomatoes

Start by preparing large rounds of parchment paper that will form the "en papillote" package. Half moons and heart shapes work well too. An easier way is to use foil, but it won't puff up during baking, which is the indicator of when the food is cooked. You can also serve foods en papillote directly out of the parchment, but not so much directly out of foil.
Set up and assembly line. Either plan to do one at a time and line up all the ingredients or spread out and do several at a time, placing only one ingredient at a time in each package.

Place a few slices of tomatillo on the bottom, then the hake on top. Sprinkle hake with salt and pepper. Drizzle with lemon juice. Top with a lime slice. Sprinkle with some of each herb. Place tomatoes around the hake. Then seal the package up tightly.

Bake in a hot oven until the package puffs up and fish is cooked through. Then you can serve directly out of the package or transfer contents to a plate.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Roasted Patty Pan Squash

Roasted Patty Pan Squash
patty pan squash, cut into bite-sized pieces

This hardly qualifies as a recipe and hardly needs an explanation but here it is.
Toss the squash in oil, salt, and pepper, arrange on a baking sheet and roast in a hot oven until tender.

Pattypan squash are a type of summer squash, kind of similar to a yellow zucchini but looks more like those little gourds you get around Halloween/Thanksgiving time. They are small, round, and yellow with scalloped edges and sometimes called "spaceships" or "flying saucers".