Mediterranean Olive & Bay Leaf Chimichurri with Fried Lemon Peels And Chilies

January 24th, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 1 cup

photo (2)

A lovely take on Chimichurri, with fried lemon peels and bay leave to intoxicate  with Mediterranean flavors.  Excellent on steak and fish.

Ingredients

2-3 tablespoons olive oil 3 cloves garlic, chopped fine 1 medium shallot, chopped fine 1 fresh red chili pepper, chopped ( deseeded and de-pithed for less heat) 3-4 fresh bay leaves 1-2 tablespoons lemon zest ( peeled and sliced to make thin strips) ¾ cup mixed olives, seeded and chopped coarsely 1 tablespoon fresh oregano leaves ½ teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon black pepper, cracked 2-3 tablespoons red wine  vinegar

Directions

Heat the olive oil in  a large cast iron pan on medium heat.  Add the garlic, shallots, chilies, bay leaves and lemon zest and sauté until the garlic and shallots begin to brown.  Turn up the heat and cook on high for a few minutes, stirring until the lemon peels start to get crisp.  Turn off the heat and add the olives and oregano.  Season with salt and pepper and add the red wine vinegar.  Let stand about 2o minutes before serving at ambient temperature.

Bay Leaf Créme Brulee

March 9th, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 6 ramekins

One of the most traditional of the French desserts a rich custard with a glass like burnt sugar topping!

Ingredients

2 cups of whole milk
2 cups of heavy cream
12 fresh bay leaves
1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped out (seeds reserved)
3 large eggs
5 large egg yolks
¾ cup of sugar
Pinch of salt
Bay leaf sugar (1 cup sugar and 4-6 bay leaves in a jar for 1 week-shaking each day)

Directions

Preheat oven to 350°F. In a large saucepan combine the milk, cream, bay leaves (crack before putting in pan to release oils), vanilla bean pod and seeds and bring to a boil. Take off heat and let steep for about 20 minutes. In the meantime beat the eggs, egg yolk and ¾ cup sugar and the pinch of salt. Remove the vanilla pod and bay leaves and whisk the cream mixture into the egg yolk until thick custard is formed. Divide the custard into 6 lightly greased ramekins. Place the ramekins in a baking dish with sides and place about 1-2 inches water in the dish. Place in the oven and bake for about 40 minutes. Remove from the water bath and place in the refrigerator to set up for at least 3 hours. For serving place a tablespoon of bay leaf sugar over the top and with a kitchen blow torch heat the sugar until it caramelizes. Allow brulée to set for a few minutes while the caramelized sugar hardens.

Bay Leaf Créme Burlée

October 7th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 6 ramekins

Ingredients

2 cups of whole milk
2 cups of heavy cream
12 fresh bay leaves
1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped out (seeds reserved)
3 large eggs
5 large egg yolks
¾ cup of sugar (plus more)
Pinch of salt
Bay leaf sugar (1 cup sugar and 4-6 bay leaves in a jar for 1 week-shaking each day)

Directions

Preheat oven to 350°F. In a large saucepan combine the milk, cream, bay leaves (crack before putting in pan to release oils), vanilla bean pod and seeds and bring to a boil. Take off heat and let steep for about 20 minutes. In the meantime beat the eggs, egg yolk and ¾ cup sugar and the pinch of salt. Remove the vanilla pod and bay leaves and whisk the cream mixture into the egg yolk until thick custard is formed. Divide the custard into 6 lightly greased ramekins. Place the ramekins in a baking dish with sides and place about 1-2 inches water in the dish. Place in the oven and bake for about 40 minutes. Remove from the water bath and place in the refrigerator to set up for at least 3 hours. For serving place a tablespoon of sugar over the top and with a kitchen blow torch heat the sugar until it caramelizes. Allow to burlée to set for a few minutes while the caramelized sugar hardens.

St. Louis Style Ribs

August 2nd, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6

This recipe is a slow poached rib recipe with the seasonings that are normally incorporated into a dry rub in the poaching liquid, creating simple and succulent ribs!

Ingredients

4 Spanish onions, chopped
12-15 cloves of garlic, chopped
2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons paprika
3 teaspoons mustard Seeds
1-2 sprigs of fresh thyme
2 fresh bay leaves
2 teaspoons peppercorns
4 pounds St Louis ribs (specially cut spare ribs)

Directions

In a large soup pan filled with water, place, onions, garlic and seasoning sand bring to just before simmer. Add the spareribs to the pan of water and slow poach for about 3 hours or until meat begins to slide of the bone. Allow ribs to cool in the poaching liquid. The seasonings in the poaching water can be altered according to taste. Grill the ribs slathering the Bourbon BBQ sauce all over them as they grill and after.

*Recipe Property of Polo Dobkins

Local New York Blackberry Jam

July 11th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 2 cups

Ingredients

2 cups fresh blackberries
1 cup sugar
3 fresh bay leaves
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon zest
½ cup red wine or water

Directions

Bring all ingredients to a boil in a small sauce pan, continue to boil a few minutes, around 3-4 and then reduce heat to a simmer and let reduce by half until desired consistency, stirring often. Discard bay leaves. Cool and store in an airtight jar in the refrigerator.

Blackberry Mole

July 7th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

About 6 servings

Ingredients

6 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 heaping tablespoons shelled, skinless peanuts
2 tablespoons whole raw almonds
2 heaping tablespoons raw pumpkin seeds (green)
2 heaping tablespoons raw pecan pieces
1 ounce Ancho chili, cleaned, stemmed, seeded (reserve seeds)
1 ounce pasilla chili, cleaned, stemmed, seeded (reserve seeds)
2 garlic cloves, peeled
3 tablespoons unhulled sesame seeds
1½” piece of canela (Mexican cinnamon)
18 teaspoon aniseed
18 teaspoon coriander seed
Pinch of dried Oregano
Pinch of ground cloves
Pinch of ground cumin
1 corn tortilla
1 recipe cooked pork (recipe follows)
5-6 cup chicken stock
2 Cups rise blackberries
3-4 tablespoons sugar
¾ teaspoon kosher salt

Directions

Have large bowl and sieve set over a small heatproof bowl.

Heat 4 tablespoons of oil in skillet over medium high heat until it shimmers and fry the following ingredients one by one. As they’ve fried use slotted spoon and transfer to large bowl and hold.

-Fry peanuts and almonds together until golden
-Fry the Pecans until lightly colored
-Fry each chili on both sides, turning with tongs just until the flesh has turned a lighter color
-Fry the onion and garlic together until light brown

Mix together 1½ Tablespoon of reserved chili seeds, sesame seeds, canela, aniseed, and coriander and fry them until lightly toasted. Stir in the oregano, cloves, and cumin, then transfer the mixture including the oil to large bowl of fried ingredients.

Using tongs, hold the tortilla directly over the burner (set to medium) turning till brown on both sides. Crumble into fried ingredients.

Working in 2 batches, transfer HALF fried ingredients mixture into a blender and pour in 2 cups of stock, blend until smooth.

Heat the remaining 2 Tablespoon of oil in pan over medium high heat. Carefully pour in blended sauce and stir. Bring to simmer and reduce heat to low.

Add blackberries, 3 tablespoons of the sugar and ¼ cup of the stock to blender and puree till smooth. Strain through medium sieve into sauce, discarding seeds.

Bring sauce to simmer and reduce, stirring frequently and adding more stock as necessary maintaining a velvety consistency that thickly coats the back of a wooden spoon. Season with sugar and salt to taste. Sauce should only taste slightly sweet.

Add the pork to the mole, cook for about 15-20 minutes. Serve, sprinkled with sesame seeds.

This mole keeps in the fridge for up to 2 days and freezer for a month.

Cooked Pork and Stock

About 8-10 servings

Ingredients

4 pounds of pork shoulder, cut into 1½ inch pieces
8 cups water
1 medium white onion
8 garlic cloves, peeled
1 bay leaf
2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon salt

Directions

Put all the ingredients in a large stock pot and bring water to a boil over high heat then reduce (low) to a simmer. Skim any foam from surface if necessary. Cook until pork is fork tender (about 2 hours). Remove pork and set aside.

Strain the stock into a wide bowl. Use the stock to make mole. You can refrigerate stock up to 2 days and freeze up to 3 months.

Summer Sausage and Herb Cassoulet

June 27th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 4-6

Ingredients

Olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, chopped fine
4 cloves garlic, chopped fine
½ tablespoon lemon zest
2 pounds cranberry beans, shelled
1 cup white wine
2 cups vegetable or chicken stock
½ cup fresh thyme leaves
¼ cup fresh parsley leaves
2 bay leaves
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 pinch of cayenne
2 tablespoons lemon juice
4 links of herbal chicken sausage, sliced 1 inch thick
1 cup bread crumbs
½ cup parmesan cheese, grated
Fresh parsley for garnish

Directions

Pre-heat oven to 400°F. In a ceramic casserole pan heat the olive oil on a medium high heat, cook the onions, garlic and lemon zest for about 3-4 minutes or until semi translucent. Add the cranberry beans, white wine and stock and stir well. Cook for about 5 minutes add the herbs, seasonings and sausage, stir well. Cook about 5-8 more minutes and take off heat. Mix together, bread crumbs and cheese and season with a little salt. Sprinkle atop the mean mixture and place in a preheated oven, uncovered for about 10 minutes or until browned on the top. Take off heat and garnish with fresh chopped parsley.

Fresh Pea Soup with Ham Hock and Croutons

May 26th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 4-6

Ingredients

1 loaf ciabatta bread
Olive oil
Salt
2 ham hocks, raw or smoked
1 large Spanish onion, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
1 leek, diced
3 cloves garlic, diced
2 cups white wine
1 bouquet garni (bay leaf, thyme, parsley, Grains of Paradise, or black pepper)
2 quarts stock, vegetable or chicken
2 cups fresh peas

Directions

Preheat oven to 400°F. Cut the ciabatta into 1″ squares. Toss with olive oil and salt onto a baking sheet and place into oven for about 10 minutes or until golden brown and crispy.

In a 1 gallon stock pot, add 1 tablespoon of canola oil. Bring to a medium-high heat and sear the ham hocks until golden brown. If the ham hocks are smoked, you can just go to the next step and add the hocks later. Add to the stock pot the onion and sweat for about a minute. Then add in the celery and sweat for another minute. Now add in your leeks and garlic and sweat again for another minute or two. Try to do this without getting any color on the vegetables. Deglaze the bottom of the pan with the white wine and reduce heat to a medium flame. Reduce wine for about 3 minutes. If using smoked ham hocks, add them now as well as the bouquet garni and stock. Bring stock to a simmer and let cook for about 45-60 minutes. Add in the fresh peas during the last 5-10 minutes of cooking or until soft and remove ham hock. Using an immersion blender, purée soup until smooth. Season with salt and pepper and serve with croutons. Use extra parsley for garnish.

Rustic Artichoke Soup

May 25th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6

Ingredients

3 tablespoons olive oil
2 leeks (white and light green parts only), chopped small
1 onion, chopped small
3 cloves garlic, chopped fine
Hearts of 6 large artichokes, cut in quarters
3 medium size white potatoes (Yukon gold), peeled and chopped
8 cups vegetable stock
1 fresh bay leaf
3 sprigs of fresh thyme, plus 1 tablespoon chopped for garnish
10 fresh parsley stems, plus 1 tablespoon chopped for garnish
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
Salt

Directions

In a large soup pot over medium heat, add olive oil. Cook leeks and onions until soft and translucent, about 7 minutes. Add garlic and cook 1 minute more. Add artichoke hearts, potatoes, and stock. Place bay leaf, thyme and parsley stems in cheesecloth, tie and add to pot. Season with salt and pepper. Increase heat to a simmer and cook for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until ingredients are cooked through and flavors have melted together. Remove herbs in cheese cloth. Puree soup with immersion blender or food processor. Heat soup, and add butter. Taste for salt and serve.

Spring Vegetable Salad

May 17th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 4

Ingredients

2 pounds beets
1 fresh bay leaf
4 spears asparagus, cut into 1-inch spears
1 orange, segmented, juices reserved
1 small red onion, half moons
1 pound thick-cut bacon, cut into ¼ inch lardon (optional)
8 ounces baby arugula
½ teaspoon spring garlic, minced
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 sprigs thyme

Directions

In a stock pot, place beets, bay leaf and one sprig thyme. Cover with water by at least 1 inch. Bring to a simmer and cook until tender and the beets can slide easily off a knife. Once finished, cool just enough to touch and peel skins off. Cut into ½ inch cubes.

Fill a sauté pan with water, about halfway, bring water up to a simmer, season with a pinch of salt and add the asparagus. Blanch for about one minute, until tender, but with a little “snap” left in the center. Remove asparagus and place into an ice bath (shock).

To make the vinaigrette, take a small bowl, add garlic, reserved orange juice, extra virgin olive oil and 1 sprig of thyme (leaves only). Season to taste and whisk together.

In a medium salad bowl, toss together beets, onions, and asparagus with some of the vinaigrette. Add in baby arugula and the orange segments. Toss together gently, season to taste with salt and pepper and serve.

If using bacon, you can do this step instead of blanching. Bring a sauté pan up to a medium heat and add the bacon. Render bacon until crispy. Remove bacon and reserve. Using only some of the bacon fat left in the pan, add the asparagus and roast until tender.

Recipe Property of Brendan McDermott

Whole Roasted Striped Bass with Lemon & Herbs

May 17th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 4

Ingredients

3 pound striped bass, with head, scaled and gutted
4 tablespoons olive oil
½ fresh thyme, chopped
2 fresh bay leaves
1 lemon or orange, sliced and cut in half
Salt and pepper

Directions

Place sheet pan in oven and preheat to 500°F.

Score the skin of the fish with 2 big X’s on each side of the fish. Rub down both sides of the fish with half of the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Stuff the fish with thyme, bay leaf and citrus slices. Once oven has reached its desired temperature, add the other 2 tablespoons of olive oil onto the sheet pan. Place fish on pan and roast for 18-20 minutes or until done. The meat of the fish should easily flake away from the bone with a fork.

Note: If you have a cast iron griddle; heat that on the stove and place that onto the sheet pan in the heated oven. Add the olive oil and fish onto the griddle for an evenly roasted fish.

Recipe Property of Brendan McDermott

Rustic Artichoke Soup

April 25th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6

INGREDIENTS

3 tablespoons olive oil
2 leeks (white and light green parts only), chopped small
1 onion, chopped small
3 cloves garlic, chopped fine
Hearts of 6 large artichokes cut in quarters
3 medium size white potatoes (Yukon gold), peeled and chopped
8 cups vegetable stock
1 fresh bay leaf
3 sprigs of fresh thyme, plus 1 tablespoon chopped for garnish
10 fresh parsley stems, plus 1 tablespoon chopped for garnish
3 tablespoon unsalted butter
Salt

DIRECTIONS

In a large soup pot over medium heat, add olive oil. Cook leeks and onions until soft and translucent, about 7 minutes. Add garlic and cook 1 minute more. Add artichoke hearts, potatoes, and stock. Place bay leaf, thyme and parsley stems in cheesecloth, tie and add to pot. Season with salt and pepper. Increase heat to a simmer and cook for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until ingredients are cooked through and flavors have melted together. Remove herbs in cheese cloth. Puree soup with immersion blender or food processor. Heat soup, and add butter. Taste for salt and serve.

Guatamalan Red Chili Pork Chuchitos (Tamales)

April 23rd, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 20 tamales

INGREDIENTS

For the red chili pork

2 cups water
1 medium tomato, chopped medium
1 red chile, torn into pieces
1 medium yellow onion, chopped medium
3 cloves garlic, chopped fine
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon cumin seeds, toasted
1 pound pork butt
1 teaspoon salt
1 fresh bay leaf
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped

For the tamale dough

2 cups masa harina
1 teaspoon lime zest
2 cups pork stock, reserved from poached pork
½ cup lard
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt

Corn husk wrappers
Hot sauce

DIRECTIONS

For the red chili pork

Place water, tomatoes, chile, onions, garlic, spices, pork butt, salt and bay leaf in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 1 hour or until pork is falling apart and soft. Take off heat and cool. Discard the bay leaf. Shred the pork by pulling apart the fibers using a fork or your fingers. Place shredded meat into a medium sized bowl and add fresh herbs and combine. Set aside.

For the tamale dough

In a large mixing bowl combine masa harina and lime zest with 2 cups of the reserved cooking liquid from pork and mix well. Meanwhile, in the bowl of a kitchen aid mixer or with an electric hand held mixer, mix the lard until fluffy, about five minutes. Add the lard to the masa harina mixture, a little at a time, until fully incorporated. Add the baking powder and the salt and mix well. The dough is ready (well mixed) when a small piece floats in a glass of cold water.

For the wrappers

For corn husk wrappers, place the corn husks in boiling, water for 1-2 minutes, take out and cool slightly before handling. In the corn husk, place about ½ cup of the masa mixture topped with shredded pork and herb mixture. Fold over the corn husk like you are folding a present and tie the package with a corn husk tie or kitchen twine.

Place the wrapped tamales in a steamer and cover the top of the tamales with a kitchen towel (to prevent drips and tamales from getting soggy). Steam tamales on medium heat for about 30-45 minutes or until soft and cooked through. Serve with hot sauce.

Spicy & Sultry Herbal Bubble Bath

April 20th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Ingredients

4 fresh bay leaves
1 cup powdered milk
¼ cup almond oil
½ cup bubble bath

Directions

Prepare a piece of cheesecloth by cutting it into a 12 X 12 inch square and set aside. Crumble up all herbs, releasing all the oils. Lay the cheese cloth out flat, and pile the ingredients into the center. Tie the pouch with the kitchen twine, and toss it into your bath!

Rampatini

April 19th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes one cocktail

Ingredients

2 ounces gin
1 ounce dry vermouth
½ ounce pickled ramp juice
Ice
Pickled ramps (recipe follows)

Directions

Shaken: In a shaker combine the gin, vermouth, and ramp juice and ice, shake vigorously. Strain into a martini glass and garnish with pickled ramp

Stirred: In a large glass filled with ice combine the gin, vermouth, and ramp juice and stir gently. Strain into a martini glass and garnish with a pickled ramp.

Pickled Ramps

Makes 1 pound of pickled ramps

Ingredients

1 cup white vinegar
1 cup dry white wine
½ tablespoon Dijon mustard
½ cup sugar
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon of each of the following: mustard seeds, coriander, peppercorns, fennel seeds
½ teaspoon chili flakes
1 bay leaf
1 sprig of thyme
¼ cup fresh parsley leaves
1 pound ramps, cleaned and trimmed (white/reddish parts only-with a hint of green tops)

Directions

In large mixing bowl whisk together vinegar, wine, salt, mustard, sugar, and spices. Add the fresh herbs. Blanch the ramps in boiling salted water for one minute. Place in an ice bath and cool and drain and then place in the brine. Store in a jar or a plastic container refrigerated for 3-5 days.

White Bean, Onion and Rosemary Soup

February 23rd, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 8

INGREDIENTS

½ pound (about 1½ cups) cannellini beans, soaked overnight and drained
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 large yellow onions, sliced thin
2 cloves garlic, chopped fine
3 sprigs of fresh thyme
1 sprig of fresh rosemary
2 fresh bay leaves
4 cups vegetable broth or water
Salt
Pepper
Extra-virgin olive oil

DIRECTIONS

In a large heavy bottomed soup pot, over medium low heat, add olive oil. Sauté onions until translucent, about 10 to 15 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 3 minutes. Add the drained white beans, thyme, rosemary, bay leaves and vegetable broth. Cover, bring to a boil, and simmer for 40 to 45 minutes, until the beans are very soft. Remove the thyme, rosemary and bay leaves. Pass the soup through a food mill or use an immersion blender to puree. Return the soup to the pot to reheat and add salt and pepper, to taste. Serve immediately drizzled with extra-virgin olive oil.

Brandade

February 3rd, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 4

INGREDIENTS

1 pound flaky white fish (haddock, line-caught swordfish, bluefish, scrod, or croaker are the most preferable)
Salt and pepper
½ pound waxy white potatoes, peeled and diced
8 cups milk
6 cloves garlic, smashed and chopped
2 fresh bay leaves
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
Black pepper
1 cup chopped fresh parsley
Baguette, for serving

DIRECTIONS

Season fish heavily with salt. Place on parchment lined trays and refrigerate overnight.

Place potatoes in pot of cold water (enough to cover by 1 inch). Bring to a boil, and then reduce to a simmer.

In a separate pot, combine milk, garlic, bay leaves and bring to a simmer.
Reduce heat to just below a simmer. Add fish to pot and cook until fish is cooked through.

Remove fish and let cool. Discard bay leaves. Reserve garlic and milk. Flake fish with fingers and set aside.

When potatoes are cooked, strain and discard water. Pass potatoes through a food mill or ricer into a mixing bowl. Using a spatula, fold in milk (just enough to loosen potatoes). Fold in the fish and olive oil. Mix together until fully incorporated. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Fold in chopped parsley. Place mix into shallow baking dish and bake at 425ËšF for 12 minutes. Serve with bread.

Roasted Pork Loin with Onion Cherry Sage Sauce

February 2nd, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 8

INGREDIENTS

For the pork loin

1 tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
2 fresh bay leaves, veins stems removed
2 teaspoon juniper berries
2 tablespoons orange zest
1 tablespoon coarse salt
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 3-pound pork loin
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon hazelnut oil or olive oil
½ cup chicken broth

For the cherry onion sauce

1 tablespoon butter
1 medium red onion, sliced
1 tablespoon sugar in the raw or light brown sugar
2 tablespoons fresh sage, chopped fine
½ cup dried cherries
2 tablespoon high quality balsamic vinegar
2 cups full-bodied, spicy red wine, Cabarnet Franc or Syrah
¼ cup chicken broth (optional)
Salt/pepper

DIRECTIONS

For the pork loin

Preheat oven to 375°F.

In a spice grinder, combine rosemary, thyme, bay leaves, juniper berries, orange zest, salt, and pepper. Grind to a medium grind, a little thicker than fine black pepper but not as coarse as cracked. Rub all over pork loin. In a large cast iron heavy bottom skillet over high heat, add butter and oil. Sear pork loin on all sides. Remove from pan, and place in a roasting pan, pouring ½ cup chicken broth on the bottom of the pan. Roast for about 30 minutes or until the center registers about 145-150°F.

In the meantime, place the cast iron pan that you used for the pork on medium high heat, add butter. Cook onions, making sure to stir constantly, until caramelized or about 15 minutes. Add the sugar, sage, dried cherries, vinegar, and wine, stirring and scraping all the bits sticking to the bottom of the pan. Add the broth, and season with salt and pepper. Let boil until mixture reduce by about half, about 5 to 6 minutes. Take off heat.

Serve pork loin with the cherry onion sage sauce on top.

Velvety Chesnut Soup with Grape Honey

February 2nd, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 8

INGREDIENTS

For the soup

1 cup whole chestnuts, roasted and peeled
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon pumpkin oil
1 small shallot, chopped fine
½ of a sweet yellow onion, chopped fine
¼ cup celery, chopped fine
1 medium parsnip, peeled and chopped fine
Salt
1 bouquet garni of fresh herbs in a cheesecloth sack: parsley, thyme, rosemary (a few springs of each)
2 fresh bay leaves
½ cup sweet Madeira
4 cups of sweet onion broth (see recipe)
½ cup heavy cream
Black pepper

For the grape honey

1 cup frozen concord grapes or fresh black grapes, chopped
¼ cup water
½ cup honey
Pinch of cinnamon
Pinch of fresh nutmeg
1 teaspoon ginger, freshly grated
1 teaspoon cardamom
½ tablespoons black pepper, freshly cracked

DIRECTIONS

For the sweet onion broth

In a large soup pan, add a bunch of red onions skins, shallot skins, carrot pieces, parsnip pieces, and 4½ cups of water. Add 2 tablespoons salt, ½ cup honey, and 1 tablespoon black pepper. Bring to a boil, and simmer for about 20 minutes. Strain, and set aside.

For the soup

In a large heavy bottom soup pan, over medium high heat, add butter and pumpkin oil. Cook shallots and onions, until translucent, about 3-4 minutes. Add the celery and parsnips, and cook for another 3 to 4 minutes. Add bouquet garni, bay leaves, and Madeira. Add the 4 cups of sweet onion broth, and simmer for about 20 minutes. Remove bouquet garni and bay leaves and blend with hand held immersion blender until smooth.

For the grape honey

Place all ingredients in a medium sauce pan, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer about 4 to 5 minutes. Take off heat. Cool. Place in blender, and blend until smooth. Strain using a fine mesh strainer.

To serve soup, place in bowl, and swirl in grape honey.

Curried Black-Eyed Peas

January 18th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 4 to 6

INGREDIENTS

¼ cup canola oil
4 whole cloves
¼ teaspoon black peppercorns
6 green cardamom pods
1-inch piece cinnamon stick
3 whole dried red chiles
½ teaspoon cumin seeds
2 bay leaves
1½-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and minced
1 large red onion, finely chopped
2 teaspoons salt, or to taste
2 garlic cloves, mashed in a mortar and pestle with 18 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon turmeric
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 medium tomatoes, quartered and pureed in a food processor or blender
¼ cup plain yogurt
½ teaspoon garam masala
3 (15½-ounce) cans black-eyed peas, drained and rinsed
1 cup water

DIRECTIONS

Combine the oil with the cloves, peppercorns, cardamom, cinnamon, chiles, cumin seeds, and bay leaves in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring, until the cinnamon unfurls, 1 to 2 minutes.

Add the ginger, and cook 1 minute. Add the onion and salt, and cook, stirring, until the onion turns a uniform golden brown color, about 15 minutes. Keep a measuring cup of water by the stove. As the onion begins to stick to the bottom of the pan and burn, add water, about 1 teaspoon at a time, and scrape the pan with a wooden spoon to pull up the browned bits, keeping the onion and spices from burning. Do this as often as necessary (5 or 6 times) until the onion is well browned.

When the onion is cooked, add the garlic, and cook, stirring, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the coriander, ground cumin, and turmeric, and cook until the raw smell of the spices disappears, about 30 seconds. Add the cayenne, and then immediately the pureed tomato. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer uncovered until a film of oil pools on the surface of the sauce, about 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a measuring cup or bowl, whisk or stir the yogurt until smooth. Stir about 2 tablespoons of the hot sauce in the yogurt to temper it. When the tomato sauce has cooked 5 minutes, stir in the tempered yogurt, the garam masala, black-eyed peas, and water. Turn the heat to medium, and heat until a bubble or two just breaks the surface, 5 to 7 minutes. (Do not allow yogurt in sauce to boil, or it will curdle.) Taste for salt, and serve hot.

© Recipe Property of Suvir Saran

Garam Masala

January 14th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes about ¾ cup

INGREDIENTS

1 tablespoon dried miniature rosebuds (optional)
A 1-inch piece cinnamon stick, broken into pieces
2 bay leaves
¼ cup cumin seeds
13 cup coriander seeds
1 tablespoon green cardamom pods
1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
2 tablespoon whole cloves
1 dried red chile
¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
18 teaspoon ground mace

DIRECTIONS

If the roses have stems, break them off and discard. Heat the roses with the cinnamon, bay leaves, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, cardamom pods, whole peppercorns, cloves and chile in a medium skillet over medium-high heat, stirring often, until the cumin becomes brown, 2½ to 3 minutes. Transfer to a spice grinder or coffee mill, add the nutmeg and mace, and grind until powder fine. Store in an airtight container for up to 4 months.

© Recipe Property of Suvir Saran

Rice Pilaf with “Standing Spices”

January 14th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6 to 8

INGREDIENTS

2 cups basmati rice
4½ cups cold water
2 medium red onions
¼ cup canola oil, plus about 1 cup for deep-frying
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
8 green cardamom pods
A 2½-to-3-inch piece cinnamon stick, broken in half
¼ teaspoon whole cloves
¼ teaspoon black peppercorns
¼ teaspoon coriander seeds
3 bay leaves
3 whole dried red chiles
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon salt

DIRECTIONS

Combine the rice and water in a bowl and soak for 20 minutes. Drain the rice and reserve the water separately.

Mince 1 onion and reserve.

For the fried-onion garnish, thinly slice the second onion. Heat the 1 cup oil in a small (about 6-inch) heavy bottomed saucepan over medium heat to 360°F. The oil should come about ½ inch up the side of the pan. If necessary, add more oil. (To gauge the temperature of the oil without using a thermometer, drop a piece of bread about 1-inch square into the hot oil over medium heat, turning often, when the oil reaches 360°F, the bread should begin to brown almost immediately and turn golden brown all over – like a crouton – in about 30 seconds.) Add the sliced onion and deep-fry, stirring often, until the onion turns dark brown, 15 to 20 minutes. Drain on paper towels and then let stand until cool and crisp. Set aside. Discard the oil.

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Combine the ¼ cup oil, the cumin, the cardamom, cinnamon stick, cloves, peppercorns, coriander, bay leaves, and chiles in a large ovenproof casserole over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring until the cinnamon unfurls, 1 to 2 minutes.

Add the reserved minced onion and cook, stirring, until wilted, about 5 minutes. If the caramelized sugars from the onion begin to collect on the bottom of the pan, add water, about a tablespoon at a time, and stir, scraping the bottom of the pan to pick up the browned bits.

Add the garlic, and cook, stirring, 30 seconds. Add the drained rice and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add the reserved soaking water and salt, and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally to keep the rice from sticking to the bottom of the pan. Then turn the heat down and simmer vigorously, covered, until the water is entirely absorbed and the rice cooked through, about 10 minutes.

Put the casserole in the oven and bake 10 minutes. Then remove from the oven and let rest 5 minutes. Sprinkle with the fried onions and serve hot.

© Recipe Property of Suvir Saran

Roasted Tomato Basil Soup

January 2nd, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Make 4 to 6 servings

INGREDIENTS

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
2½ pounds plum tomatoes, cored, quarter and deseeded
2 yellow onions, peeled and quartered
5 cloves garlic, peeled
½ cup fresh basil, stems and leaves (chop leaves and reserve)
2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves, chopped
Salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 cups vegetable (onion based) broth
2 fresh bay leaves (optional)
3 tablespoons butter (optional)

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 450°F.

In a large roasting pan combine olive oil, tomatoes, onions, garlic, basil stems, and thyme leaves and season with salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for 30 minutes, or until soft and caramelized. Discard basil stems.

Once out of the oven, transfer to a large heavy bottomed soup pot and place on the stove over medium heat. Add 2 cups of vegetable broth and bay leaves (if using), increase heat and bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Taste for seasoning and add more salt if necessary. Remove bay leaves and discard. Using an immersion blender, add butter (if using) and reserved basil leaves and blend soup until smooth. Add more vegetable broth if too thick. Serve immediately.

Curried Yellow Lentils and Sweet Potato Soup (Yellow Lentils)

January 2nd, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6

INGREDIENTS

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, chopped fine
1 (1-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated
1½ teaspoons garam masala
1½ teaspoons curry powder
1 pound sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into ½-inch cubes
4 cups vegetable broth
1 cup yellow lentils
1 fresh bay leaf
1 teaspoon salt, more to taste
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
Juice of ½ lime

DIRECTIONS

In large saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and sauté until translucent, 5 to 7 minutes. Add garlic, ginger, garam masala, and curry powder. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add sweet potatoes and cook with spices, 5 minutes. Add vegetable broth, lentils and bay leaf. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium, partially cover, and simmer for until lentils are tender about 30 to 45 minutes.

Just before serving, add cilantro and lime juice. Serve immediately.

Classic Italian Lentil Soup (Brown Lentils)

January 2nd, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6

INGREDIENTS

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 Spanish onion, chopped small
2 small carrots, peeled and chopped small
2 celery, chopped small
2 tablespoons thyme
1 (15 ounce) can whole plum tomatoes
4 cups vegetable (onion based) broth
2 teaspoons salt
1 cup brown Italian lentils
2 fresh bay leaves
Parmigiano Reggiano cheese rind
Grated Parmigiano Reggiano, for garnish

DIRECTIONS

In a heavy bottomed Dutch oven, over medium heat, add olive oil. Add onions and cook until translucent, 7 minutes. Add carrots, celery and thyme and cook, stirring occasionally, 5 to 7 minutes more. Reduce heat to medium low and add tomatoes, cook until flavor becomes concentrated, stirring to makes sure tomatoes and vegetable don’t burn, 15 minutes. Next, add vegetable broth, salt, lentils, bay leaves and Parmigiano Reggiano rind. Increase heat to medium high and bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer and cook until lentils are tender. Remove cheese rind and serve garnished with more cheese.

Rosemary Potato Latkes with Rosemary Apple Chutney

November 29th, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 20 medium latkes

This is a semi-traditional potato latke recipe with a modern version of applesauce to go with it.

INGREDIENTS

For Latkes

5-6 medium potatoes, washed, peeled, and grated
1 medium yellow onion, grated
2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, chopped fine
2 eggs, beaten
½ cup whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
Vegetable oil

For Rosemary Apple Chutney

3 medium Fuji or pink lady apples (or other hard and tart apples), chopped in small cubes
1½ cups apple cider
1 cup brown sugar
3 tablespoons fresh rosemary, chopped fine
1 teaspoon fresh ginger, peeled and chopped fine
Juice of 1 medium lemon
2 fresh bay leaves
1 teaspoon salt

PREPARATION

In a large mixing bowl, combine grated potatoes, onion, rosemary, eggs, flour, salt, and pepper, and mix well. Heat a large bottom skillet on high heat, making sure there is enough oil to cover the bottom generously. Form 2-inch pancakes, drop into pan, and brown on both sides until deep golden brown, about 2 to 3 minutes on each side. Take off heat, and place on paper towels so excess oil can be drained.

Place all ingredients for rosemary apple chutney in a heavy bottom medium sauce pan, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and let simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally for 20 to 30 minutes or until chutney is at desired consistency and apples are soft. Tale off heat, and discard bay leaves. Serve over hot latkes.

Apple Cider Gravy with Ginger Apple Bits

November 19th, 2010 § 1 comment § permalink

Makes 2 cups of gravy

INGREDIENTS

1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon canola oil
2 medium shallots, chopped fine
3 cloves garlic, chopped fine
1 cup tart apples, chopped fine
1½ tablespoons fresh ginger, chopped super fine
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped fine
1 tablespoon fresh marjoram, chopped fine
½ tablespoon fresh sage, chopped fine
1 teaspoon nutmeg, freshly grated
1 cinnamon stick
2 fresh bay leaves
1 cup apple cider
½ cup chicken broth
2 tablespoons apple brandy or Lairds applejack (optional)
½ cup heavy whipping cream

PREPARATION

Preheat oven to 400ËšF.

In a medium sauté pan, heat butter and oil over medium high heat. Sauté shallots and garlic and cook, 5 minutes. Next, add apples and ginger, cook 3 minutes longer. Remove 2 tablespoons of the mixture and place on a lined baking sheet and place in the oven and cook until until crispy, 7 to 10 minutes. Once cooked, remove from oven and set aside.

Meanwhile, add the fresh herbs, nutmeg, cinnamon stick, bay leaf, apple cider, chicken broth and apple brandy to the rest of the sauté mixture, combine and cook, 30 minutes or until liquid is reduced by a quarter. Remove pan from heat and add heavy whipping cream and add cooked crispy apple bits.

Late Summer Garden Chicken and Herbed Dumplings

October 13th, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6

Prep Time: 35 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Wine Pair: White & Red

INGREDIENTS

Olive oil
3 tablespoons butter
4 cloves, garlic, chopped fine
1 medium red onion, chopped small
3 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 2 inch strips, lightly dusted with whole wheat flour
1 bunch green onions, sliced
3 stalks of celery, chopped small
2 medium carrots, chopped small
1 medium turnip, cubed small
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon cracked pepper
â…“ cup white wine (use the wine you choose for the wine pairing)
3 cups low sodium chicken stock
1 cup of the following herbs destemmed and chopped: parsley, thyme, marjoram, chives
2 fresh bay leaves (if not, substitute dry)
½ cup heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
½ teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup fresh spinach
Herb Dumplings*

PREPARATION

In a large heavy bottom stew skillet, heat olive oil and butter over medium heat. Sauté garlic and onions for a few minute until translucent. Add chicken and green onions and sauté until chicken is browned or about 3 minutes. Add celery, carrots, turnips and salt and pepper. Deglaze pan with white wine and add chicken stock and herbs, including bay leaves. Bring to a boil and then turn to low and cook for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. (Meanwhile, put together dumplings, see recipe that follows). Add the cream, nutmeg, cayenne and spinach. Drop spoon full’s of dumpling dough over the top of the soup and let cook on a low heat for about 10 minutes, uncovered and not stirring, until dumplings are cooked through.

Dumplings

INGREDIENTS

1 cup flour
1½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons butter, cold and cubed very small
½ cup cold milk
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
1 tablespoon fresh chives, chopped fine
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped fine
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper

PREPARATION

In a mixing bowl combine dry ingredients and stir well. Add butter and using fingers make a crumbly mixture. Add milk, cayenne and herbs and mix well, adding more flour if needed in order to make a slightly sticky but manageable dough.

Herbed Beef Barley Stew

October 8th, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6-8

INGREDIENTS

Olive oil, for sautéing
2 tablespoons butter
2 medium yellow onions, chopped medium
3-4 cloves garlic, chopped fine
1 pound beef stew meat, cut into 2 inch cubes and pre-seasoned with salt & pepper
½ cup fresh thyme, chopped
¼ cup fresh rosemary, chopped
½ cup fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped
1 cup fresh dill, chopped
3 large carrots, cut into 1 inch chunks
4 celery stalks, chopped
1 cup brown mushrooms, chopped
3 fresh bay leaves
1 cup white wine
2 cups beef stock
1 pound beef shank bones
½ cup pearled barley
Salt
Pepper

PREPARATION

In heavy stew pan over medium-high heat, add olive oil and butter. Sauté onions and garlic for about 3-4 minutes or until soft and semi translucent. Add cubed stew meat and sauté until browned. Add ⅓ of each of the herbs and stir, next add the carrots and celery, sauté for another few minutes and then add mushrooms and sauté a few more minutes while all liquid is absorbed by the mushrooms. Drop in the bay leaves. Add wine and stir well while loosening all the bits that stuck to the bottom of the pan and add another ⅓ of all the herbs. Add beef stock and beef shanks. Simmer on low heat for about 30 minutes, stirring a few times. Add pearled barley and simmer for another 20-30 minutes or until barley is tender and to desired consistency. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle in remaining herbs and take off heat, let stand for about 10 minutes before serving.

Classic Herbed Roast Chicken

October 5th, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

INGREDIENTS

1 (5-pound) chicken
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 small handfuls of fresh herbs (rosemary, thyme, parsley, marjoram), finely chopped
¼ cup olive oil
1 lemon, halved
4 fresh bay leaves
2 sprigs of fresh rosemary

PREPARATION

Preheat oven and a roasting tray to 400°F. Wash chicken inside and out; pat it as dry with paper towels. Rub the cavity with salt. Carefully grab the skin at the tip of the chicken breast and pull up gently. With your other hand, gently separate the skin from the breast meat. Sprinkle a little salt in the gaps and push in as much of the chopped herbs as you can. Drizzle in a little olive oil. Stuff the chicken with lemon, bay leaf and rosemary and whatever may be left of the fresh herbs. Pull the skin of the chicken breast forward so that none of the actual flesh is exposed, tuck the wings under, and truss with kitchen twine.  Rub a little olive oil into the skin of the chicken and season generously with salt and pepper. Remove the hot tray from the oven and add a little oil. Put the chicken on one side, breast side down, on the tray and put back in the oven. Allow to cook for 5 minutes, and then turn it over on to the other side, breast side down. Cook for another 5 minutes and then place the chicken on its back. Cook for 1 hour. The chicken is done when the juices run clear (not pink) when a knife tip is inserted into both the chicken breast and thigh, about 165-170°F for the breast and 180-185°F for the thigh. Let the chicken rest for 10 minutes before serving.

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