Apricot Baklava

August 11th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6

Ingredients

1 cup walnuts, chopped fine
1 cup apricots, chopped fine
½ cup sugar
2 teaspoon freshly grated cinnamon
½ teaspoon vanilla
2 cups apricot syrup (recipe follows)
1 package whole-wheat Phyllo pastry (white can be substituted)
1 stick butter, unsalted and melted

Directions

Pre-heat oven to 350°F.
In a mixing bowl, mix the filling mixture ingredients (walnuts, apricots, and sugar) until well combined and set aside. Butter a large baking sheet making sure to get the corners and sides as well. Unroll the phyllo dough and cover with a damp cloth to keep it from drying out. Place two sheets of dough on the pan and brush with melted butter thoroughly. Sprinkle a later of the nut mixture atop the sheets and repeat the layers creating a total of between 5-8 layers. With a sharp small knife, cut the pastry in diamond or square shapes carefully, making sure to get all the way to the bottom of the pan. Place in the oven and bake for about 50 minutes or until golden brown. While the baklava is baking, make the syrup by combining apricots, sugar, water, lemon juice, and cinnamon and place on the stove and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 10 minutes and add honey and vanilla and simmer another few minutes. Keep warm and spoon over baklava (when it first comes out of the oven), making sure the baklava is soaked fully.

Let baklava set for about 30 minutes before serving.

Apricot Syrup

Makes 2 cups

Ingredients

½ cup apricot puree
1 cup water
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 cinnamon sticks
½ cup honey
1 teaspoon vanilla

Directions

Combine apricot puree, sugar, water, lemon juice, and cinnamon in a medium sauce pan and place on the stove and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 10 minutes and add honey and vanilla and simmer another few minutes.

Rosemary and Plum Grilled Pork

August 10th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6

Ingredients

6 boneless pork loin chops
Salt/pepper
3 plums (black preferred), deseeded, and chopped
1 teaspoon fresh ginger, chopped superfine
2 cloves roasted garlic
½ cup red wine
½ cup water
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves

Directions

Season the pork loin chops with salt and pepper and set aside. Heat a grill to hot or pre-heat the oven to 350°F. In the meantime, combine the ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce to low and cook about 10 minutes or until semi thick. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Grill or bake the pork until desired doneness. Serve with warm not hot plum sauce over the top.

Grilled Zucchini, Portabella’s and Eggplant with Lemon Ricotta & Grilled Flatbread

August 10th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6

Ingredients

2 zucchinis, sliced long and thin using a mandolin
1 portabella mushroom, sliced thin
1 grilled Japanese eggplant, sliced round and thin
Salt & pepper
Olive oil
1 cup fresh ricotta
1 tablespoon lemon zest plus 2 teaspoon
Grilled flatbread (recipe follows)

Directions

Follow instructions for the grilled flatbread and keep warm. Place all the ingredients on a flat baking sheet and season with salt and pepper and 2 teaspoons lemon zest, making sure to get both sides. Drizzle olive oil over it, not too much and flip and do the same. Let stand while the lemon ricotta is made. In a medium bowl mix together the lemon juice, ricotta, and zest and season to taste with salt. Heat a grill and grill all vegetables until grilled and soft, or about 3-4 minutes. Place a dollop of the herbed ricotta on the flat bread and spread around, place the grilled vegetables of choice over the top and serve!

Grilled Herbed Flatbread

Makes 6 hand sized breads

Ingredients

1½ cups warm water
1 teaspoon active dry yeast
3½ cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons sea salt
Olive oil
Coarse salt
¼ cup fresh herbs of choice (rosemary being the classic version), chopped fine

Directions

In a small bowl combine warm water and yeast, whisk a bit to mix and let stand for about 10 minutes or until the yeast if frothy and dissolved. In a large bowl mix the flour and salt, add the yeast mixture and about 2 tablespoons of olive. Mix well with hands or a wooden spoon until sticky dough is made, adding more flour or water if needed. Turn the dough out onto a floured flat surface and knead until smooth and elastic or about 5-10 minutes. Grease a large mixing bowl with olive oil and place the dough (smooth and elastic) in a round ball in the bowl and cover with a towel or plastic wrap. Place in a warm area and let rise until more than doubled in size or approximately 1½ hours. Punch down dough and divide into 6 balls. Roll out each ball into hand size flat bread until golden brown with grill marks, or about 3-4 minutes per side. Take off the grill and immediately brush with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and rosemary.

Heirloom Melon and Prosciutto Wraps with Lemon Thyme Drizzle

August 10th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6-9

Ingredients

1 heirloom melon, deseeded, peeled and sliced into small wedges
18-20 slices of prosciutto
Lemon thyme drizzle (recipe follows)
Maldon salt

Directions

Wrap the prosciutto slices around the melon slices tightly and drizzle with a small amount of the lemon thyme syrup.

Lemon Thyme Drizzle

Ingredients

¼ cup water
1 cup honey
4 tablespoon fresh lemon thyme leaves

Directions

In a small sauce pan heat honey and lemon thyme leaves on simmer for about 5 minutes until warm and honey has been infused with lemon thyme.

Basil Lime Sodas & Herbal Melon Ice Cubes

August 10th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 1 soda

Ingredients

Herbal melon ice cubes
Juice of 1 lime
2 ounces basil lime syrup
Soda water
Melon ball ice cubes

Directions

Squeeze the juice of 1 lime into a large glass filled with herbal melon ice cubes. Place 2 ounces of the basil lime syrup inside and fill with soda water and stir. Add more syrup for added sweetness. Garnish with a basil leaf.

Basil Lime Syrup

Makes 1 cup

Ingredients

1 tablespoon lime zest
Juice of 3 limes
½ cup sugar
½ cup water
½ cup fresh basil leaves

Directions

Combine the lime zest, lime juice, sugar, water and basil leaves in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer and cook for about five minutes. Take off heat, cool and strain.

Herbal Melon Ice Cubes

Makes 2 cups

Ingredients

2 cups melon of choice
½ cup basil lime syrup
½ cup fresh basil leaves, chopped fine

Directions

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Pour in cube trays and freeze.

Stone Fruit Herbal Sodas

August 6th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 1 soda

Ingredients

Ice
2 ounces herbal stone fruit syrup of choice
Soda water
Stone fruit garnish of choice

Directions

Pour two ounces of the stone fruit herbal syrup on a large glass filled with ice. Fill with soda water and stir. Add more syrup for added sweetness, stir and garnish with a piece of stone fruit or an herb leaf.

Tarragon Peach Syrup

Makes 2 cups

Ingredients

3 tablespoons fresh tarragon leaves only
½ cup sugar
1 cup water
1 ripe peach, pitted and chopped

Directions

Combine the tarragon, sugar, water and peaches in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer and cook for about five minutes. Take off heat, cool and blend until smooth.

Rosemary Plum Syrup

Makes 2 cups

Ingredients

3 tablespoons rosemary leaves
½ cup sugar
1 cup water
2 ripe plums, pitted and chopped

Directions

Combine the rosemary, sugar, water and plums in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer and cook for about five minutes. Take off heat, cool and blend until smooth.

Nectarine Mint Syrup

Makes 2 cups

Ingredients

½ cup mint
½ cup sugar
1 cup water
1 ripe nectarine, pitted and chopped

Directions

Combine the mint, sugar, water and nectarine in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer and cook for about five minutes. Take off heat, cool and blend until smooth.

Nectarine Mint Syrup

August 6th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 2 cups

Ingredients

½ cup mint
½ cup sugar
1 cup water
1 ripe nectarine, pitted and chopped

Directions

Combine the mint, sugar, water and nectarine in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer and cook for about five minutes. Take off heat, cool and blend until smooth.

Rosemary Plum Syrup

August 6th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 2 cups

Ingredients

3 tablespoons rosemary leaves
½ cup sugar
1 cup water
2 ripe plums, pitted and chopped

Directions

Combine the rosemary, sugar, water and plums in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer and cook for about five minutes. Take off heat, cool and blend until smooth.

Tarragon Peach Syrup

August 6th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 2 cups

Ingredients

3 tablespoons fresh tarragon leaves only
½ cup sugar
1 cup water
1 ripe peach, pitted and chopped

Directions

Combine the tarragon, sugar, water and peaches in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer and cook for about five minutes. Take off heat, cool and blend until smooth.

Lavender Peach Soda

August 6th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 1 pitcher

Ingredients

¼ cup fresh lavender flowers
2 ripe peaches, chopped
1 cup turbinado sugar or raw unprocessed sugar
1 cup water
Ice
Water

Directions

In a medium saucepan combine the flowers, peaches, sugar and water and bring to boil. Reduce heat, and let simmer for about 5 minutes. Take off heat and continue to let steep for about 5 more minutes. Allow the mixture to cool and blend until smooth. Pour the syrup in a large pitcher filled with ice and add water!

Trofie Al Pesto

August 6th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6

Trofie is a simple rolled flour and water pasta widely seen in the Lingurian cuisine. It’s like Linguaria’s version of Gnocchi. It’s a hand rolled pasta typically served with pesto and because of the extreme labor intensity is generally served in small portions. Trofie is not widely available outside of Italy and is relatively simple to make with just time being the main component. The dish is often served with boiled potatoes and green beans and you will find very few variations to this regions dish. Never fear the beauty of this dish is that the trophies are supposed to look rustic and so don’t sweat too much if yours are not perfect, the key is long thin tubular strips with a little corkscrew shape to them, cooked always aldente!

Ingredients

3 cups flour
2 teaspoons salt
1 cup water
1 cup potatoes, boiled and chopped fine
1 cup green beans, trimmed and cut
Salt
Parmesan cheese, finely grated

Directions

Place the flour down on a flat surface and sprinkle in the salt. Make a well or a volcano shape and pour the water in the center. Using your fingers begin to mix the flour in, making sure to keep the water in the center. Mix until the dough is together, the dough should feel tacky and slightly damp. Knead the dough a few minutes until your fingers can move across it without sticking. Then clean the work surface and re-knead the dough for another 5-8 minutes until it is smooth and elastic; super smooth! Wrap the dough in plastic wrap or in a plastic bag and let stand to rest, refrigerate at least one hour and up to 24 hours.

Shaping the trofie

Get a large baking sheet line with parchment paper and sprinkle with semolina flour. Prepare a clean work surface as well and sprinkle with regular flour. Keep the dough covered in the plastic at all times when not using it. Divide the dough into about 4-6 small balls. Take each ball and roll it out using two hangs into a thick rope about 13 inch thick. Cut that rope into ¼ inch pieces. With each ¼ inch piece, roll it into a longer thinner rope. With each longer thinner rope place it down on the table and roll it into a 2-3 inch long thin strip. Using the back side of your hand and pinky finger (if your thumb is facing straight up and the back of your pinky touching the table) roll in an upside down V shape, starting with the right side roll up starting with the right side of the pasta strip and moving into the center as you roll up to the bottom part of your hand, slowly without lifting the hand, change the position of your hand to start to roll back down through the left side of the pasta strip rolling the pasta as your hand rolls down to the top of your pinky touching the pasta. Repeat this process with all the dough and until you have enough to make a batch.

Cooking the dish

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and place in green beans. Cook for one minute and then slowly add the Trofie. When the Trofie begins to float, about 3 minutes they are done, toss in the cooked potatoes and take off heat. Take out all the goods using a large slotted spoon and place in a large serving bowl. Add a little of the pasta water and spoon in some pesto. (About 1 tablespoon per 1 cup of pasta, 2 for those who like it bold). Mix together the pasta and the pesto until a smooth silky sauce is rolling around the Trofie. Serve with finely grated parmesan.

Herbal Lemony Iced Tea (Italian Style with Prosecco)

August 6th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 1 pitcher

Ingredients

1 cup basil leaves
1 cup parsley leaves
1 cup sugar
2 cups water
½ cup lemon juice
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1 lemon sliced in rings
1 bottle prosecco

Directions

In a medium sauce pan add basil, parsley, sugar and water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 8 minutes. Turn off heat cool and blend, strain. Add the lemon zest and juice and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Mix with a bottle or two of prosecco.

Lavender Lemonade

August 6th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes ½ Gallon

Ingredients

1 cup lavender lemon sugar syrup, recipe below (see note*)
1 cup lemon juice (10 to 12 big juicy lemons)
1 tablespoon fresh lavender flowers
5 cups water
2 cups sparkling water

Directions

In a one gallon pitcher combine lavender lemon sugar syrup, lemon juice, lavender flowers, water, and sparkling water, stir well. Serve over ice with lavender wand.

Lavender Sugar Syrup

Ingredients

1 cup sugar
1 cup water
2 tablespoons lemon zest
½ cup fresh lavender flowers or 2 tablespoons dried

Directions

In a medium saucepan, over medium-low heat, add sugar, water, lemon zest and lavender flowers warm through until sugar is dissolved. Take syrup off heat and let cool until ready to use.

*Note: If not using sugar syrup, you can simply pour hot water over sugar and stir until dissolved.

Silver-Dollar Walnut Cakes with Berry Compote and Lemon Ricotta

July 11th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 4

Ingredients

For the Pancake Mix

1½ cups buckwheat flour
1½ tablespoons agave nectar
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1¼ cups almond milk, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
½ cup chopped walnuts
Cooking spray

For the Berry Compote

½ pint blueberries
½ pint strawberries sliced
½ pint raspberries
1 tablespoon orange marmalade
2 tablespoons water

For the Lemon Ricotta

½ cup skim ricotta
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1 teaspoon honey
2 tablespoons basil, chopped
1 tablespoon mint, chopped

Directions

In a small sauce pan, add berries, water and marmalade. Cook over low heat for 10-15 minutes or until it thickens. Mix together ingredients for the ricotta & store in fridge till its time to serve.

Preheat griddle over medium heat. Mix dry pancake ingredients together in a large bowl. Mix together wet ingredients in a separate bowl, then add to dry. Fold together. Measure out cakes with a small ladle or ice cream scoop to a sprayed griddle. Cook each for about 3 minutes per side, and store cooked cakes in a warm oven (200°) until all are cooked.

Place cakes on plate (3 for a full serving of whole grains). Top with compote and a dollop of ricotta mixture.

Turn leftovers into a trifle by alternating cake, compote, ricotta in a tall glass container. Top with any extra compote. Cover with plastic wrap and place a small plate on top to weigh down. Place in fridge for at least 1 hour. Turn upside down over plate and remove bowl. Slice like a cake and serve.

Hand Rolled Vegan Truffles

July 11th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 12 truffles

Ingredients

½ pound pitted & chopped dates
1 teaspoon sea salt
2 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon of your favorite Liquor
½ cup cocoa powder
¼ cup cacao nibs
¼ cup finely shredded coconut

Directions

In a food processor add dates, water, liquor, and salt. Mix on high till it forms a ruff paste. Add ½ of the cocoa powder and date mix into a bowl and fold together well. Place 2 small plates on the counter one with the rest of the coco, one with coconut, the other with the nibs. Using a soup spoon, potion out date mixture. Hand roll each into a ball shape. Roll some of the truffles in cocoa powder, some in coconut, and the other in the nibs. Find your favorite combination. Place into fridge for 30 minutes to harden.

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.

Natural Cola

July 11th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes many colas

Ingredients

3-4 cloves
1 cup molasses
2 cinnamon sticks
½ cup sugar
½ cup water
Seltzer water

Directions

In a sauce pan combine cloves and molasses and simmer for about eight minutes, take off heat and cool, discard cloves. At the same time combine the cinnamon sticks, water and sugar and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 5 minutes. Take off heat and discard cinnamon sticks; cool. In a 10 ounce glass filled with ice place 4 ounces of molasses syrup and 2 ounces of cinnamon syrup, fill with seltzer and mix well!

Watermelon Lime & Mint Granita

July 7th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 3 cups

Ingredients

½ cup sugar
½ cup water
½ cup fresh mint leaves
Juice and zest of 2 limes
2 cups watermelon

Directions

In a blender place all the ingredients and blend until smooth. Pour into a low metal dish with sides and freeze. After the first hour, using a fork, scrape puree every 20-30 minutes while it freezes. This should create flaky crystals. Freeze and scrape until desired consistency. The process should take approximately 2-3 hours. The granita can be scraped at the very end as well but the consistency (flaky ice crystals) will be better if you follow the method of occasional scraping. Before serving, scrape well to get icy crystals.

Blueberry & Lemon Thyme Sorbet

July 7th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes about 5 cups

Ingredients

2 cups water
2 cups sugar
½ cups fresh lemon thyme leaves
2 cups fresh blueberries
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
½ cup heavy cream

Directions

Make simple syrup in a medium saucepan by combining the sugar and water and lemon thyme. Bring to a boil until sugar dissolves, simmer for 5 minutes, take off burner, allow cooling. Place in a blender with the blueberries, lemon zest and juice and heavy cream and blend just until the blueberries are crushed to desired consistency. Process in a ice cream maker according to instructions.

Tarragon Peach Ice Cream

July 7th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes about 3 cups

Ingredients

2 cups heavy cream
1 cup sugar
4 egg yolks, beaten
3 large ripe peaches pitted and peeled and pureed or mashed (¼ cup reserved for nectar)
1 cup tarragon peach nectar (recipe follows)
2 tablespoons fresh tarragon, chopped

Directions

In a heavy saucepan on medium heat, heat the cream until just about to boil but do not let it boil. Whisk in egg yolks and continue to whisk while heating through and cook about 5 minutes on medium low heat, making sure the egg mixture does not boil. Remove it from the heat. Mix the nectar and peach puree in with the cream mixture until well mixed, set aside in refrigerator for about an hour. Add chopped fresh tarragon and follow ice cream maker instructions.

Tarragon Peach Nectar

Makes about 1 cup

Ingredients

½ cup sugar
½ cup water
¼ cup peach puree
3 sprigs of fresh tarragon

Directions

In a saucepan, place sugar, water, peach puree and fresh tarragon sprigs and bring to a boil until the sugar is all dissolved. Let simmer for 5 more minutes to steep, take off heat, set aside for 5 more minutes, discard tarragon sprigs, stir well and set nectar aside to cool.

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.

Strawberry Basil Cream Macaroons with Sugar Fried Basil Leaves

July 5th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 1 dozen macaroons

Ingredients

For the outer shells…

¾ cup powdered sugar
¾ cup almonds, finely ground (grind in spice grinder or use almond flour)
3 egg whites (stored at room temperature for 6 hours prior)
Pinch of salt
¼ cup sugar
2 tablespoons condensed strawberry puree

For the basil cream

1 cup basil leaves
½ cup water
½ cup sugar
1½ cups butter, room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar

Directions

Pre-heat oven to 300°F. Line 2-3 baking sheets with parchment paper and take out some cookie cutters the size of the macaroons you wish to make as well as pastry piping bags and tips. Take the cookie cutters and trace a shape with a pen of the macaroons to make templates for size. In a mixing bowl combine almonds and powdered sugar. (The ratio for the powder sugar and the almond meal or flour changes the consistency, the more almond meal the more grainy and dense the more powdered sugar the lighter the density, play and mix and match according to your tastes). In a stand mixer or kitchen aid with a whisk attachment, mix the egg whites on a medium low speed until foamy. Turn the speed up and add in the sugar slowly until egg whites have a glossy meringue texture and look. Be very careful NOT TO OVERBEAT. Pour the strawberry puree in the mixer for 2-3 quick turns or until the puree is mixed in some. Take the bowl attachment off the kitchen aid or stand mixer and gently fold in the almond and powdered sugar mixture, trying not to over mix, but mixing just enough to create a lava like flowing thick meringue-ish looking batter. The batter should be heavy enough so that peaks do not form but that the heaviness pushes the meringue down. To test your batter on a plate or counter by seeing if it indeed condenses down as opposed to holding its shape. If peaks are present, give it another few turns by hand until they go away. Place the mixture in a piping bag with a plain tip. Pipe out the patters or templates you traced carefully. Let the macaroons sit for about 10-12 minutes so as the macaroons harden a little and then place them in the oven for about 10 minutes. Remove and allow to cool a few minutes and then gently remove from parchment paper before they stick, allow to cool fully before filling.

For the basil butter cream

In a medium sauce pan combine basil leaves, sugar and water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and continue to let cook on low for about 4 more minutes. Take off heat, cool and blend. Strain the mixture and discard the basil leaves. Place the mixture back on the burner and bring to a boil and cook until reduce to half and is very thick, stirring constantly for about approximately 4 minutes. Cool. In a mixing bowl or mixer whip together softened butter, powdered sugar, and basil syrup. Mix until full incorporated, soft and creamy.

For sugar fried basil leaves

In a little bit of almond oil in a small frying pan on high heat, fry basil leaves a few at a time until crisp but still green. Take of heat and place on paper towels, sprinkle with sugar while warm on both sides.

To assemble the macaroons spoon a small amount of the filling on one side (flat side) of one macaroon shell, making sure it is in the center. Place a sugar fried basil leaf on top of the filling and then place another macaroon shell on top (flat side to flat side).

Herbal Lemony Iced Tea (Italian Style with Prosecco)

July 5th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 1 pitcher

Ingredients

1 cup basil leaves
1 cup parsley leaves
1 cup sugar
2 cups water
½ cup lemon juice
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1 lemon sliced in rings
1 bottle prosecco

Directions

In a medium sauce pan add basil, parsley, sugar and water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 8 minutes. Turn off heat, cool and blend, strain. Add the lemon zest and juice and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Mix with a bottle or two of prosecco.

Iced Spicebush Tea

July 4th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 1 quart

Spicebush (Lindera benzoin) leaves don’t dry well, so we only get to enjoy this delicately flavored iced tea during the growing season.

Ingredients

6-7 fresh spicebush (Lindera benzoin) leaves
1 quart boiling water
Honey to taste

Directions

Lightly crush the leaves and place them in a heat-proof jar or container. Pour the boiling water over the spicebush leaves. Cover and let steep for 15 minutes.
Strain out the leaves. While the tea is still slightly warm, add honey to taste and stir until it is dissolved.
Refrigerate until completely chilled, about 1 hour.

Cavatelli with Seared Squid, Oven-Roasted Tomatoes, Baby Arugula and Black Olives

July 4th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

025

4-6 servings

Ingredients

For the Cavatelli

1 pound all-purpose flour, or Italian OO flour
1 pound whole-milk ricotta, drained/hung in cheesecloth overnight
4 ounces semolina
3 ounces Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, freshly grated
Water, just enough to make a firm dough

For the Sauce

10½ ounces baby arugula, long stem ends removed
8 ripe plum tomatoes, peeled and seeded
Zest of 1 lemon and 1 orange, peeled into strips (no pith)
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 spring fresh thyme
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
3½ ounces black olives, pitted and sliced

For the Calamari

1 pound calamari, fresh or frozen, tubes and tentacles cleaned and separated
2 cloves of garlic, sliced thin
Pinch pepperoncino
Zest of 1 lemon, freshly grated
1 tablespoon Italian flat leaf parsley, freshly chopped

Directions

For the cavatelli

Combine the flours in a large bowl. Add ricotta and the parmesan and mix by hand to combine.
Add the water a little at a time, just enough to form a stiff dough. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work table and knead by hand until smooth and elastic. Be careful not to add too much water, but the dough should not be tacky or sticky.Wrap the dough in plastic wrap for up to a few hours.

To shape the cavatelli: cut the dough into pieces, and then roll one piece into a rope about ½ inch in diameter. Keep the remaining pieces covered in plastic wrap until needed. Using a small knife or a bowl/bench scraper, cut the dough rope into pieces about ½ inch long.

Press the pieces with your index finger against the blade of a butter knife with a rounded tip, flattering each piece of dough until fairly thin. Pull the knife toward you, dragging the dough across the work surface so that it curls itself around the tip of the knife to form a shell shape. Place on a floured sheet tray until ready to use.

For the calamari

Cut the calamari into tubes about ½ inch thick.

In a medium sauté pan over a low flame, heat a few tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil with the sliced garlic. Add a pinch of pepperoncino. When the garlic has softened and given off all of its aroma, turn off the heat and set aside.

Heat a large cast iron skillet or grill pan over high heat. Sear the calamari tubes and tentacles in just a little oil nicely colored on both sides. Remove to the smaller pan with the garlic. Toss with the freshly grated lemon zest and parsley. Adjust seasoning.

For the Sauce

Cut the peeled and seeded tomatoes into petals. Toss them in a bowl with salt and pepper, crushed garlic, strips of lemon and orange zest and fresh thyme sprigs. Lay them in a single layer on a baking sheet. Roast them in a 325°F oven until they are soft, shrunken and slightly golden.
Clean the arugula well.

Boil the cavatelli in abundant salted water until just al dente.

In a large sauté pan over medium low flame, heat a few tablespoons of the olive oil with the roasted tomatoes and olives. Strain the pasta and toss into the sauce, adding the arugula and toss together until it is just wilted. Add a few drops of pasta water and olive oil to the pan to achieve a creamy consistency. Adjust the seasoning. Spoon into warm bowls and top with the seared calamari dividing the rings and tentacles evenly among the bowls.

Tarragon Apricot Bubbly & Blueberry Tarragon Bubbly

June 27th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes several bubbly drinks

Ingredients

½ cup fresh blueberries (smashed) or fresh apricots (chopped)
3 tablespoons fresh tarragon leaves
½ cup raw or unprocessed sugar
½ cup water
Cava, champagne or prosecco
Blueberries for garnish

Directions

In a medium saucepan combine the apricots or blueberries, tarragon, sugar and water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 15 minutes. Take off heat and let stand for about 3-4 minutes. Strain and set in the refrigerator to cool. In a champagne class, pour 1-2 ounces of the herbal fruit syrup and fill with bubbly.

Red Basil White Stone Fruit Sangria

June 27th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6-9

Ingredients

1 cup red basil peach syrup (recipe follows)
2 bottles white wine, sauvignon blanc or chenin blanc or white table wine
1 cup Cointreau
1 peach, sliced
1 apricot, sliced
1 plum, sliced
1 nectarine, sliced
¼ cup raspberries
2 cups soda water

Directions

Combine the red basil peach syrup, wine, and cointreau in a large pitcher and stir well. Add the fruit and let stand unrefrigerated for about 1-2 hours. Add soda water just before serving and serve either tepid or over ice, but do not refrigerate.

Red Basil Peach Syrup

Makes 1 cup

Ingredients

½ cup red basil leaves
½ cup sugar
½ cup water
1 ripe peach, chopped

Directions

Combine the basil, sugar, water and peaches in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer and cook for about five minutes. Take off heat, cool and blend until smooth.

Red Basil Peach Syrup

June 27th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 1 cup

Ingredients

½ cup red basil leaves
½ cup sugar
½ cup water
1 ripe peach, chopped

Directions

Combine the basil, sugar, water and peaches in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer and cook for about five minutes. Take off heat, cool and blend until smooth.

Jersey Peach Popsicle Bites

June 23rd, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6

Ingredients

2 cups jersey peaches, peeled, pitted and chopped
½ cup water
½ cup honey

Directions

In a medium sauce pan place the peaches, honey and water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer on low for about 2 minutes. Take off heat and allow to cool. Once cool, blend into a smooth puree. Place into popsicle molds and freeze for 6-9 hours.

Strawberry Creamsicles

June 23rd, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

053

Makes 6-9 popsicles

Ingredients

1 pint fresh strawberries, stems removed and chopped
13 cup honey
13 cup water
4 egg yolks
1 cup cream
1 cup milk
1 tablespoon orange zest
13 cup fresh orange juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

In a medium sauce pan place the strawberries, honey and water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer on low for about 10 minutes. Take off heat and allow to cool, once cool, blend into a smooth puree. Whisk together egg yolks, cream, and milk and place it in a sauce pan to heat on low medium heat whisking for about 5 minutes or until a custard-like texture begins to form, remove from heat and set aside to cool. In a bowl combine the strawberry puree, the custard mix and the orange juice, zest and vanilla until well mixed. Place into popsicle molds and freeze for 6-9 hours.

Spring Carrot Soup with Cilantro-Lime Créme Fraiche

June 23rd, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 1-2

Ingredients

1 tablespoons canola or olive oil
1 clove garlic, chopped fine
Zest of 1-2 limes (reserve half of the cream fraiche)
3 medium carrots, chopped, peels on
1 cup water
Juice of ½ a lime
Salt
Black pepper
Cilantro-Lime Créme Fraiche, to garnish (recipe follows)

Directions

In a heavy bottomed soup pot over medium heat, add oil. Cook garlic and onions for a few minutes or until the onions start to get translucent. Add the lime zest and cook, 1 minute. Add the carrots and water and bring to a gentle boil. Lower the heat, and simmer for 15 minutes or until the carrots are tender. Remove from heat and cool for a few minutes. Once soup has cooled, add lime juice, and season with salt. Puree soup with a hand blender or standing blender until smooth. If your soup is too thick, add more water. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Finish soup with a drizzle of cilantro-lime créme fraiche and garnish with cilantro leaves.

Cilantro Lime Créme Fraiche

Makes 2 tablespoons

Ingredients

2 tablespoons créme fraiche
1 tablespoon lime juice
Pinch of lime zest
½ tablespoon fresh cilantro leaves, chopped fine
Salt

Directions

Place all ingredients in a small bowl, and whisk. Set aside.

Beet Pickled & Herbed Deviled Eggs

June 12th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6

Ingredients

1 red beet, peeled and chopped
1 cup water
½ cup champagne vinegar (citrus)
2 teaspoons sea salt
6 hard boiled eggs, peeled
¼ cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon grainy mustard
1 tablespoon citrus vinegar
1 teaspoon fresh grated horseradish
½ cup (total) chopped chives, tarragon, parsley
Salt/pepper

Directions

In a small saucepan combine the red beets and the water and cook the beets until the water is a deep magenta. Take the beets out of the pan and set aside for another use. Place the beet liquid in a large zip lock bag and add the champagne vinegar and 2 teaspoons sea salt, mix well.

Place the whole hard boiled eggs gently in the zip lock bag and let stand overnight. Strain out the liquid and lay the eggs on paper towels to dry. Cut eggs in half and scoop out the yolk and plan in a small mixing bowl. Set egg whites aside. Mix yolks with the mustard, mayonnaise, citrus vinegar and fresh herbs together, mashing until the desired consistency (some prefer smooth egg yolk mixture and others semi chunky). Season the mixture with salt and pepper to taste, about a half teaspoon each. Spoon mixture onto beet pickled egg whites (they will feel firm due to the pickling process). Chill and serve. Garnish with chive sprigs.

Spicy Roasted Red Pepper Basil Calzone

June 12th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 4-6 calzones

Ingredients

1 Ger-Nis Calzone Dough Recipe
2 red bell peppers, roasted, peeled, deseeded and chopped
Olive oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped fine
1 medium red onion, chopped
1 fresh red chili pepper, chopped
1 teaspoon red chili flakes
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 cup fresh basil leaves
2 cups fresh spinach leaves
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons white wine (or water)
1 cup fresh ricotta cheese

Directions

Preheat oven to 400°F.

In a medium sauté pan heat olive oil to a medium high heat and sauté garlic, onions and fresh chili for about 3-5 minutes or until the onions begin to caramelize and get brownish tips. Add the spices, chili flakes, oregano and salt and sauté for another few seconds. Add the basil and spinach leaves and sauté about 2 minutes. Add the lemon juice and white wine and stir well keeping on a medium high heat and cook until a liquid is absorbed or cooked off. Take off heat and place in a small mixing bowl and add in the fresh ricotta cheese. Mix well.

Roll out the calzone dough into 4 to 6 circles. Place about ¼-½ cup on one side of the circle close to the center. Fold on half over the ricotta making sure that the sides of the dough are touching, forming a half circle. Start from one end and roll the side of the dough closed using a twist motion. Place the calzones on a baking sheet (greased or lined with parchment paper) in the oven for about 12-15 minutes or until golden brown.

Bananas Foster Bread Pudding with Vanilla Ice Cream and Caramel Sauce

June 12th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 10 to 12

Ingredients

9 tablespoons unsalted butter
1½ cups packed light brown sugar
¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
6 firm-ripe bananas, peeled and cut crosswise into ¾-inch thick slices
¼ cup banana liqueur
½ cup dark rum
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
3 cups heavy cream
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Pinch salt
6 cups (½-inch cubes) day-old French bread
Vanilla ice cream
Caramel Sauce, recipe follows

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter a 10 by 14-inch baking dish with 1 tablespoon of the butter and set aside. Melt the remaining 8 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add 1 cup of the brown sugar and the cinnamon and cook, stirring, until the sugar dissolves, about 2 minutes. Add the bananas and cook on both sides, turning, until the bananas start to soften and brown, about 3 minutes. Add the banana liqueur and stir to blend. Carefully add the rum and shake the pan back and forth to warm the rum and flame the pan. (Or, off the heat, carefully ignite the rum with a match and return to the heat.) Shake the pan back and forth, basting the bananas, until the flame dies. Remove from the heat and let cool.

Whisk together the eggs, remaining ½ cup brown sugar, the cream, milk, and vanilla in a large bowl. Add the cooled banana mixture and bread and stir to blend thoroughly. Pour into the prepared baking dish and bake until firm, 50 minutes to 1 hour. Cool on a wire rack for 20 minutes. To serve, scoop the pudding onto dessert plates. Top each serving with a small scoop of vanilla ice cream, drizzle with caramel sauce, and serve immediately.

Caramel Sauce

Makes ¾ cup

Ingredients

¾ cup sugar
2 tablespoons water
½ teaspoon fresh lemon juice
½ cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons to ¼ cup whole milk

Directions

Combine the sugar, water, and lemon juice in a medium heavy saucepan and cook, stirring, over medium-high heat until the sugar dissolves. Let boil without stirring until the mixture becomes a deep amber color, 2 to 3 minutes, watching closely so it doesn’t burn. Carefully add the cram (it may splatter), whisk to combine, and remove from the heat. Add the milk, 2 tablespoons at a time, until the desired consistency is reached.

Remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature before serving. (The sauce will thicken as it cools.)

Recipe Courtesy of Emeril’s Delmonico, by Emeril Lagasse

Caramel Sauce

June 12th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes ¾ cup

Ingredients

¾ cup sugar
2 tablespoons water
½ teaspoon fresh lemon juice
½ cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons to ¼ cup whole milk

Directions

Combine the sugar, water, and lemon juice in a medium heavy saucepan and cook, stirring, over medium-high heat until the sugar dissolves. Let boil without stirring until the mixture becomes a deep amber color, 2 to 3 minutes, watching closely so it doesn’t burn. Carefully add the cram (it may splatter), whisk to combine, and remove from the heat. Add the milk, 2 tablespoons at a time, until the desired consistency is reached.

Remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature before serving. (The sauce will thicken as it cools.)

Recipe Courtesy of Emeril’s Delmonico, by Emeril Lagasse

Shrimp Remoulade

June 12th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 8

Ingredients

For the Old Bay Steamed Shrimp

4 tablespoons Old Bay Seasoning
1 cup vinegar
1 cup water
2 pounds shrimp, in shells

For the Remoulade Sauce

1½ cups mayonnaise
¼ cup diced celery
½ cup sliced green onions
2 tablespoons minced garlic
½ cup Creole mustard (such as Zatarain’s)
¼ cup chopped parsley
½ cup ketchup
½ tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon Louisiana hot sauce
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

For the Old Bay Steamed Shrimp

In a large pot, combine first 3 ingredients. Bring to a boil. Add shrimp, stir gently. Cover and steam until tender, about 3-5 minutes. Drain; remove shells.

For the Remoulade Sauce

In a 2-quart mixing bowl, combine all ingredients and whisk well. Once blended, cover and refrigerate, preferably overnight. A minimum of 4 hours is required for flavors to develop. When ready, remove from refrigerator and adjust seasonings.

Starting with half the Remoulade sauce, gently mix in the whole, peeled shrimp. Add more sauce if necessary – salad should not be saucy. Chill thoroughly. Serve cold, stop crisp butter lettuce or fried green tomatoes.

Recipe adapted from the Encyclopedia of Cajun & Creole Cuisine, by Chef John Folse

Guava Jam

June 12th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Ingredients

2 cups guavas, chopped fine (skins, seeds and all) (about 10 guavas)
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 pinch of salt

Directions

Place all the ingredients in a medium saucepan on low heat and cook for about 10 minutes or until all ingredients are cooked down. Turn up heat to medium and boil for another 10 minutes stirring constantly. Remove from heat and pour the mixture through a fine mesh strainer or flour sifter making sure the seeds are caught, push as much as you can through the mesh. Place the mixture in a metal bowl and place in the refrigerator to solidity; Guavas natural pectin will create a more dense and thick jam.

Empanadas de Guayaba (Guava Pie Pockets)

June 12th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 15-20 empanadas

Ingredients

4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons salt
3 tablespoons sugar
12 tablespoons butter, cold and cut into pieces
2 egg yolks
¾ cup water (ice cold)
Guava Jam (recipe follows)
Powdered sugar (optional)

Directions

In a large bowl, mix the flour, salt, and sugar. Cut in the butter using a pastry cutter until the mixture is crumbly with crumbles about the size of peas. In a separate bowl, whisk egg yolks and water. Add the liquid a little bit at a time to the flour-butter mixture; mix it up with your hands or a wooden spoon until a smooth dough forms, a few more tablespoons of ice cold water may be needed. Form the dough into a flat disc shape about the size of a small salad plate. Cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for about 2 hours.

Pre-heat oven to 400°F. Divide the dough in two and on a lightly floured surface roll out each piece of dough to a rectangular shape. Cut the dough in about 8-10 three inch squares. Place a tablespoon of the jam on the center of each square. Fold over the dough around the filling, and moisten borders with wet finger tips. Roll the edges of the border from one side of the empanada to the other in a crescent, making sure just to roll the very outer edge of the border. Place each empanada on a greased baking sheet. Poke one or two holes, using the tip of a knife, in each empanada to aerate them. Bake empanadas for about 15 minutes, take out of the oven, and brush with a little butter. Bake again for another 10 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from heat, allow to cool a few minutes and dust with powdered sugar.

Guava Jam

Ingredients

2 cups guavas, chopped fine (skins, seeds and all) (about 10 guavas)
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 pinch of salt

Directions

Place all the ingredients in a medium saucepan on low heat and cook for about 10 minutes or until all ingredients are cooked down. Turn up heat to medium and boil for another 10 minutes stirring constantly. Remove from heat and pour the mixture through a fine mesh strainer or flour sifter making sure the seeds are caught, push as much as you can through the mesh. Place the mixture in a metal bowl and place in the refrigerator to solidity; Guavas natural pectin will create a more dense and thick jam.

Semita de Piña (Pineapple Tart)

June 12th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes about 12 tarts

Semita is the most popular pastry in El Salvador and its basically a bread dough filled with jam. The most popular filling is pineapple utilizing El Salvador’s sweet pineapples!

Ingredients

1 cup milk
½ cup butter, unsalted
½ cup sugar
2 teaspoons salt
13 cup warm water
1 package active dry yeast
5 cup all purpose flour
3 eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
1½ cups pineapple preserves (recipe follows)
(egg and water for glaze)
Turbinado sugar for dusting

Directions

Preheat oven to 350°F. In a saucepan heat the butter, sugar and milk until all the sugar is dissolved, remove from heat and cool to a lukewarm temperature. In a small bowl whisk together water and yeast and set aside for about 3-4 minutes until yeast is frothy. In a large bowl combine the flour and salt and make a well in the center. Mix together the milk mixture and the yeast mixture and slowly add to the flour bowl mixing as you add forming a bread dough. Once a bread dough is formed and all the ingredients are mixed well, transfer to a floured surface and knead until the dough is smooth and elastic. Transfer to a lightly oiled metal or ceramic bowl and cover with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel and let rise in a warm spot for about 1½ hours or until doubled in size. Punch the dough down and divide into two sections and place again on a lightly floured surface and roll out the dough into a rectangle sheet the size of a baking sheet. Place the dough on a lightly greased baking sheet (save the trimmings of dough if you have). Spread the pineapple preserves all over the dough evenly leaving a border around the edges for sealing the top layer. Roll out the second section of dough and place over the top of the jam. Making sure to seal the edges (by pressing together tightly). Roll out the strips of dough into long strips and make criss-cross pattern over the tart. Take some beaten egg and water and brush the tops of the tart and sprinkle with the turbanado sugar. Poke many holes in the tart to prevent it from puffing ad let the tart rest for about 30 minutes before placing in the oven to bake. Bake for about 30-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the dough (on the side) comes out clean. Remove from the oven and let stand about 10 minutes before cutting and serving.

Pineapple Preserves

Makes 2 cups

Ingredients

1 cup pineapple, chopped small to fine
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoon lime zest
1 vanilla bean, cut and scraped (scraped parts reserved)
½ teaspoon cinnamon, freshly grated
½ teaspoon ground cloves

Directions

Place all ingredients in a medium sauce pan on low heat and cook slowly stirring often for about 20 minutes.

Pasteles de Tres Leches con Mango (Three Milk & Mango Cake)

June 12th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6-9

Ingredients

1½ cup all purpose flour
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon, freshly grated
1 teaspoon nutmeg, freshly grated
½ cup butter, soft
1 cup sugar
6 eggs
1 vanilla bean, cut and scraped (insides reserved)
2 cups mango, ripe and chopped small
½ cup vanilla brown sugar syrup (¼ cup water, ¼ cup brown sugar, 1 vanilla bean scraped and cut)
1 can (15 ounces) unsweetened coconut milk
1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
1 cup heavy cream

Directions

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease 9-12 four ounce ramekins. In a medium mixing bowl mix together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg, set aside. In another larger bowl cream together the butter, sugar and eggs until fluffy. Mix in the scraped parts of the vanilla bean and mix until incorporated well. Slowly combine and mix the dry mix into the wet mix a little at a time until all is incorporated and a creamy batter is created. Pour the batter evenly between the ramekins. Bake the ramekins for about 20 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Allow the cakes to cool. In a mixing bowl combine the mango, the brown sugar syrup, the coconut milk, the condensed milk and mix well. Carefully take the cake out of the ramekins and place down on a large baking tray or Pyrex baking dish with raised sides. Make sure the little cakes do not touch each other. Poke holes in the cakes using a wooden skewer (about 10 holes per cake), making sure the hole goes to the bottom. Pour your mango batter over the cakes and place in the refrigerator to soak up the sauce for about an hour.

Flan de Leche (Caramel Custard)

June 12th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6-8

Ingredients

1 cup sugar
¼ cup water
4 eggs, beaten
1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
1 cup of whole milk
1 fresh vanilla bean, cut open and scraped out
½ cup sugar

Directions

Preheat oven to 375°F. Grease 6-8 ramekins.

In a medium saucepan combine the sugar and water and bring to a moderately high heat until all sugar dissolves. Continuing to boil the sugar without stirring, allowing it to begin to turn a light honey brown, approximately 10 minutes. Remove from heat and place a spoonful or more of sugar on the bottom of each greased ramekin, swirling it and coating the bottom of the ramekin. Place the ramekins on a baking sheet with a rimmed edge. In the meantime in a large bowl combine the eggs, condensed milk, scraped vanilla and the sugar and mix until smooth. Pour the batter evenly between the ramekins. Pour a bit of water in the pan that the ramekins are placed in. Place in the pre heated oven and bake for about 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Chill the flans well before removing from the ramekins. Run a knife around the edges and loosen the sides and invert onto a serving plate. Garnish with more caramel or fresh fruit.

Raspados de Frutas Tropical (Tropical Fruit Snow Cones)

June 12th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes quite a few snow cones

Most of us don’t have ice scrapers in our kitchen for snow cones so this raspado recipe is modified to utilize the tools we all typically have in our kitchen while still being able to enjoy the authentic taste of a snow cone!

Ingredients

For a mango raspado

2 mangoes, ripe, peeled, deseeded and cubed
1 cup water
½ cup sugar or honey
Juice of 2 limes
Zest of one lime

For a pineapple raspado

3 cups fresh pineapple
1 cup water
½ cup sugar or honey

For a coconut lime raspado

1 cup coconut milk
1 cup shaved raw coconut
1 cup water
Juice of 2 limes
Zest of 2 limes
½ cup sugar

Directions

In a blender blend up all ingredients until smooth. Pour into a low metal dish with sides and place in the freezer to freeze, scraping with a fork every few minutes in order to get a ice consistency. Once frozen serve by scraping up with a fork and placing in a bowl.

Beet Pickled & Herbed Deviled Eggs

May 25th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6

Ingredients

1 red beet, peeled and chopped
1 cup water
½ cup champagne vinegar (citrus)
2 teaspoons sea salt
6 hard boiled eggs, peeled
¼ cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon grainy mustard
1 tablespoon citrus vinegar
1 teaspoon fresh grated horseradish
½ cup (total) chopped chives, tarragon, parsley
Salt/pepper

Directions

In a small saucepan combine the red beets and the water and cook the beets until the water is a deep magenta. Take the beets out of the pan and set aside for another use. Place the beet liquid in a large zip lock bag and add the champagne vinegar and 2 teaspoons sea salt, mix well.
Place the whole hard boiled eggs gently in the zip lock bag and let stand overnight. Strain out the liquid and lay the eggs on paper towels to dry. Cut eggs in half and scoop out the yolk and plan in a small mixing bowl. Set egg whites aside. Mix yolks with the mustard, mayonnaise, citrus vinegar and fresh herbs together, mashing until the desired consistency (some prefer smooth egg yolk mixture and others semi chunky). Season the mixture with salt and pepper to taste, about a half teaspoon each. Spoon mixture onto beet pickled egg whites (they will feel firm due to the pickling process). Chill and serve. Garnish with chive sprigs.

Lentil Salad with Creamy Yogurt Dressing

May 24th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 4 to 6

Ingredients

For the salad

6 cups water
113 cups French lentils, sorted
2 teaspoons sea salt
2 medium carrots, peeled and finely diced (to the size of the lentils)
1 stalk celery, finely diced (to the size of the lentils)
½ medium red bell pepper, finely diced (to the size of the lentils)
½ medium yellow bell pepper, finely diced (to the size of the lentils)
2 tablespoons fresh dill, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh chives, snipped
2 tablespoons fresh tarragon, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped

For the dressing

1 cup yogurt
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 teaspoon white wine vinegar
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons sea salt, or to taste
½ teaspoon freshly milled black pepper, or to taste

Directions

To prepare the salad, in a medium saucepan, bring the water to a boil. Add the lentils and cook at a boil for 10 minutes. Add the salt and boil for 10 to 15 minutes longer or until the lentils are cooked through but are still firm enough to hold their shape. Drain them in a sieve and rinse under cold running water until cool. Drain thoroughly and pour into a serving bowl.

Add the chopped vegetables and herbs and stir to combine.

In a bowl, combine all of the dressing ingredients and whisk until smooth. Pour the dressing over the salad and mix well. Let the salad to rest for 10 to 15 minutes. Adjust seasonings to taste.

Adapted from The Modern Vegetarian Table by Peter Berley

Greek Style Baklava

May 24th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6-8

Ingredients

For the filling

1 cup walnuts, chopped fine
½ cup sugar
2 teaspoon freshly grated cinnamon
½ teaspoon vanilla

For the pastry

1 package phyllo pastry
1 stick butter, unsalted and melted

For the syrup

1 cup sugar
1 cup water
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 cinnamon sticks
½ cup tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon vanilla

Directions

Pre-heat oven to 350°F.

In a mixing bowl, mix the filling mixture ingredients until well combined and set aside. Butter a large baking sheet making sure to get the corners and sides as well. Unroll the phyllo dough and cover with a damp cloth to keep it from drying out. Place two sheets of dough on the pan and brush with melted butter thoroughly. Sprinkle a layer of the nut mixture atop the sheets and repeat the layers creating a total of between 5-8 layers. With a sharp small knife, cut the pastry in diamond or square shapes carefully, making sure to get all the way to the bottom of the pan. Place in the oven and bake for about 50 minutes or until golden brown. While the baklava is baking, make the syrup by combining sugar, water, lemon juice, and cinnamon and place on the stove and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 10 minutes and add honey and vanilla and simmer another few minutes. Keep warm and spoon oven baklava (when it first comes out of the oven), making sure the baklava is soaked fully.
Let baklava set for about 30 minutes before serving.

Herbal Ouzo Lemonade

May 24th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes one pitcher of lemonade

Ingredients

½ cup fresh tarragon leaves, 1 tablespoon reserved
½ cup fresh mint leaves, 1 tablespoon reserved
½ cup fresh thai basil leaves, 1 tablespoon reserved
13 cup water
13 cup sugar
1 cup fresh lemon juice
1 cup simple syrup
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1½ cups ouzo
Ice

Directions

In a medium sauce pan place the fresh herbs (leave the reserved herbs aside), water and sugar, stir and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and let simmer, stirring occasionally for about 5 minutes. Allow to cool and blend in a blender. Strain through a fine mesh strainer and reserve syrup for later. In the mean time, in a blender, place 1 cup syrup, 1½ cups ouzo, 1 cup lemon juice, one tablespoon lemon zest, and 3 tablespoons of the reserved herbs and fill with ice. Blend until smooth and slushy. Place in a glass and drizzle the herbal syrup over the top, garnish with a fresh herb leaf of choice!

Coconut Chutney with Mango-Lime Granita

May 23rd, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 1½ cups

Ingredients

1 cup coconut, freshly grated
Zest of one lime
Juice of one lime
2 curry leaves
1 thai chili
2 tablespoons brown sugar

Directions

In a small sauce pan add all ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, stirring constantly until thick and creamy. Cool. Serve over Lime Granita.

Mango-Lime Granita

Serves 6

Ingredients

2 large ripe mangoes, chopped
Zest of one lime
Juice of 4 limes
½ cup light brown sugar
½ cup water

Directions

In blender, blend all ingredients until smooth. Pour into a shallow metal pan and freeze, making sure to scrape with a fork while freezing to result in an icy freeze.

Mango-Lime Granita

May 23rd, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6

Ingredients

2 large ripe mangoes, chopped
Zest of one lime
Juice of 4 limes
½ cup light brown sugar
½ cup water

Directions

In blender, blend all ingredients until smooth. Pour into a shallow metal pan and freeze, making sure to scrape with a fork while freezing to result in an icy freeze.

Thai Poached Chili-Lemongrass-Ginger Mint Shrimp with Fresh Sweet Chili Sauce

May 23rd, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6

Ingredients

3 cups water
1 tablespoon ginger, sliced thin
1 tablespoon lemon grass, sliced thin
3 sprigs of fresh mint
1 thai red chili, sliced
2 limes (1 sliced, 1 wedged)
1 pound medium sized shrimp
Sweet Chili Sauce

Directions

In a medium sauce pan add the water, lime, ginger, lemon grass, mint and red chili and bring to a boil. Reduce to a low boil and add shrimp. Poach shrimp for a few minutes until bright pink and semi firm. Place in an ice bath to flash cool. Serve with sweet chili sauce and lime wedges.

Herbal Spring Rolls

May 23rd, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 12 rolls

Ingredients

12 rice paper wrappers
1 head boston lettuce leaves, white parts removed
2 medium carrots, cut into 1-inch matchsticks
1 red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch matchsticks
½ cup scallions, chopped fine
½ cup semi ripe mango, cut into 1-inch matchsticks
½ cup fresh mint leaves
½ cup fresh cilantro leaves
¼ cup fresh thai basil leaves
Peanuts (optional)
Sweet chili sauce (recipe follows)

Directions

In a large bowl of warm water, dip the rice paper wrappers for about 7-10 seconds. Take out and shake off excess water and lay flat on a kitchen towel. Place one wrapper down and arrange lettuce leaves on top, place a few of the carrots, bell peppers, scallions and mangoes atop and then add a few fresh herbs. Wrap the roll up like a present but rolling. Serve garnished with peanuts and sweet chili sauce.

Sweet Chili Sauce

Makes 1 cup

Ingredients

½ rice wine vinegar
¼ cup roasted red pepper puree
2 teaspoons garlic, chopped superfine
1 teaspoon fresh ginger, chopped superfine
1 teaspoon red chili paste
1 tablespoon lime juice
4 tablespoons hot water
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
Salt

Directions

In a mixing bowl whisk together all ingredients until smooth. Season with salt to taste.

Sweet Chili Sauce

May 23rd, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 1 cup

Ingredients

¼ cup rice wine vinegar
1 cup roasted red pepper puree
2 teaspoons garlic, chopped superfine
1 teaspoon fresh ginger, chopped superfine
2 tablespoons red chili paste
1 tablespoon lime juice
4 tablespoons hot water
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
Salt

Directions

In a mixing bowl whisk together all ingredients until smooth. Season with salt to taste.

Horracha de Arroz con Mango (Mango Rice Milk)

May 6th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 12 drinks

Ingredients

2 cups rice
6 cups water
1 cup mango puree
¾ cup sugar
2 teaspoons freshly grated cinnamon
1 fresh vanilla bean

Directions

Soak the rice overnight in the six cups of water. In batches in a blender blend the rice and water mixture until smooth about 2-3 minutes. With a fine mesh strainer, strain the mixture into a large pitcher. Repeat process until all rice mixture is blended and strained. To the pitcher of strained rice milk add the mango puree, sugar, freshly grated cinnamon and the seeds of the inside of the vanilla bean. Mix well and serve over ice.

Pickled Green Beans

May 5th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Ingredients

½ pound green beans, trimmed
½ cup water
¾ cup white vinegar
1 tablespoon horseradish
1 medium tomato, crushed
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon lemon zest

Directions

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook green beans until tender or about 3-4 minutes. Place in an ice bath until completely chilled. Drain and set aside. In a bowl whisk together water, vinegar, horseradish, tomato, salt and lemon zest. Add the green beans and place in an airtight container. Refrigerate for about 3 days before serving. Can be kept in the refrigerator for 1-2 months.

The Beet Bloody Mary

May 5th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 1 pitcher of bloody mary mix

Ingredients

5 red beets, washed and scrubbed
3 carrots, washed and scrubbed
1 large bunch parsley
2 cups water
1½ tablespoons fresh horseradish, grated
1 teaspoon celery seeds
1 tablespoon lime zest
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon citrus champagne vinegar
Juice of 2 lemons
Juice of 2 limes
1 tablespoon salt
Smoky Salt
Vodka

Directions

Using a juicer, juice the beets, carrots and parsley. In a large pitcher, combine all ingredients and stir well. In a tall, smoky salt-rimmed glass filled with ice, pour 2-4 ounces of vodka and fill with bloody mary mix. Garnish with a lime or lemon wedge and pickled green bean, asparagus, or celery stick.

Cinnamon Basil Syrup

May 5th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 1 cup syrup

Ingredients

½ cup to 2 cups sugar
½ cup to 2 cups water
½ cup fresh cinnamon basil leaves

Directions

Place water, sugar and cinnamon basil leaves in a medium saucepan over high heat. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer for a few more minutes. Take off heat and allow to cool. Strain out basil leaves. Bottle and refrigerate.

Sweet Pea Puree

May 4th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

For babies 4-6 months

INGREDIENTS

1 cup fresh organic sweet peas
Filtered water

DIRECTIONS

Steam or boil the peas in the filtered water for about 6-8 minutes or until soft. Mash the peas well using a few tablespoons of the filtered pea water. Push the mashed peas through a fine mesh strainer or food mill until they are smooth and creamy. Serve mixed with cereal.

Apéritif de Lillet Cannelle Basilic

April 6th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

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Makes 1 cocktail


Ingredients


1 ounce cucumber infused gin
2 ounces lillet blanc
½ ounce blood orange juice
½ ounce cinnamon basil syrup
Garnish with cucumbers marinated in cinnamon basil and lillet blanc
Cinnamon basil leaves for garnish



Directions


In a shaker filled with ice, combine gin, lillet, blood orange juice and cinamon basil syrup. Shake well and strain into a lowball glass filled with ice or a martini-style glass. Garnish with a lillet-soaked cucumber and cinnamon basil leaf.


Cinnamon Basil Syrup

Makes 1 cup syrup


Ingredients


½ cup to 2 cups sugar
½ cup to 2 cups water
½ cup fresh cinnamon basil leaves


Directions


Place water, sugar and cinnamon basil leaves in a medium saucepan over high heat. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer for a few more minutes. Take off heat and allow to cool. Strain out basil leaves. Bottle and refrigerate.

Grapefruit Tarragon Soda

February 24th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 8

INGREDIENTS

½ cup water
1 cup sugar
2 fresh tarragon sprigs
2 cups fresh grapefruit juice
Ice
Soda water

DIRECTIONS

In a small saucepan over medium heat, add water, sugar, and tarragon, and warm until sugar is dissolved and syrup is infused with tarragon. Strain syrup and cool. Once chilled, add tarragon syrup to grapefruit juice.

To serve, fill a glass with ice and add 3 to 4 ounces of grapefruit tarragon juice and top with soda water. Stir, and serve.

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.

Salsa Rojo (Red Sauce)

February 23rd, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes approximately 1½ cups

INGREDIENTS

1 tablespoons olive oil
2 medium dried red chilies, seeded and chopped (stems included)
½ a medium yellow onion, chopped
½ a poblano pepper, seeded and chopped
1 medium tomato, chopped
½ tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro leaves
1 clove garlic, chopped
½ teaspoon cumin
¼ teaspoon cumin seeds
¼ teaspoon smoky chili powder
1 teaspoon salt
½ cup water (or chicken broth)

DIRECTIONS

In a medium sauté pan, heat oil over medium heat. Sauté chilies, onions, and poblanos until tender, 5 to 7 minutes. Add tomatoes, tomato paste, cilantro, garlic, spices, salt and water, and bring to a boil. Let simmer for about 15-20 minutes. Let cool and process in blender.

Pickled Red Onions

February 22nd, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 2 cups

INGREDIENTS

1 large red onion, cut in half and sliced thin
1 jalapeño, sliced in half, deseeded and sliced thin
½ cup lime juice
Zest of one lime
¼ cup citrus champagne vinegar or white vinegar
½ cup water
½ cup sugar in the raw
3 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
1 teaspoon coriander seeds

DIRECTIONS

In a medium sauce pan filled with boiling water, blanch the red onions and jalapeño for 1 minute and set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together, lime juice, water, vinegar, sugar, salt, peppercorns and coriander. Once the sugar has dissolved add the onions and jalapeño, transfer to a glass jar and let stand for at least 6 hours. Store the pickled red onions for up to 3 weeks in the refrigerator.

Cactus Fruit (Prickly Pear) Lime Tequila Coolers

February 22nd, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 1 cocktail

INGREDIENTS

1½ ounce tequila blanca
1½ ounce Grand Marnier
1 ounce cactus fruit syrup (recipe follows)
1 ounce agave syrup
1 ounce lime syrup (recipe follows)

DIRECTIONS

Add all ingredients into a strainer filled with ice, shake vigorously. Strain through fine mesh strainer.
Serve over ice garnish with a lime wedge.

Cactus Fruit Syrup

Makes approximately 2 cups

INGREDIENTS

1-2 cactus fruit, peeled and chopped
1 cup water
1 cup sugar

DIRECTIONS

In a small saucepan over medium heat add cactus fruit, water and sugar. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and let simmer gently for about 5 minutes. Cool, blend and strain.

Lime Syrup

INGREDIENTS

1 cup lime juice
1 cup sugar-in-the-raw
2 tablespoons lime zest

DIRECTIONS

In a medium saucepan, over medium-low heat, add lime juice, sugar-in-the-raw and lime zest and warm through until sugar is dissolved. Take syrup off heat and let cool until ready to use.

Herb crusted Chicken with Caramelized Onion Jam on Ciabatta

January 2nd, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 4 to 6

INGREDIENTS

For herb crusted chicken

1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped fine
2 tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped fine
Zest of 1 lemon
1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast
Salt
Freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons canola oil
2 cups arugula leaves, for sandwich
Ciabatta, recipe follows

For caramelized onion jam

2 tablespoons canola oil
4 sweet onions, sliced thin
3 tablespoons sugar
¼ cup sherry vinegar
¼ cup water
Salt

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 350°F. In a small bowl, combine herbs and lemon zest. Season chicken breast with salt and pepper and coat in herb mixture. In a large sauté pan, add oil over medium high heat. Add chicken and sea on one side, flip breast and then place in the oven for 5 to 7 minutes (depending on thickness of breast) or until cooked through. Once out of oven, let rest 10 minutes and then slice on breasts on the bias.

Meanwhile, in a large sauté pan, add oil over medium low heat. Add onions and cook very slowly, 10 minutes. Add sugar, vinegar and water and season with salt. Cook until onions are deep golden brown and sauce is reduced to a syrupy sauce, 15 to 20 minutes more.

To assemble sandwich, spread onion jam on ciabatta loaf, top with arugula leaves and sliced chicken breast. Cut into individual sandwiches and serve.

For ciabatta

Makes 2 loaves

INGREDIENTS

For sponge

½ teaspoon active dry yeast
2 tablespoons warm water (105°-115°F)
13 cup room-temperature water
1 cup bread flour

For bread

½ teaspoon active dry yeast
2 tablespoons warm milk (105°-115°F)
23 cups room-temperature water
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups bread flour
1½ teaspoons salt

DIRECTIONS

Make sponge

In a small bowl stir together yeast and warm water and let stand 5 minutes, or until creamy. In a bowl, stir together yeast mixture, room-temperature water, and flour and stir 4 minutes. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let sponge stand at cool room temperature at least 12 hours and up to 1 day.

Make bread

In a small bowl, stir together yeast and milk and let stand 5 minutes, or until creamy. In a bowl of a blender, blend together milk mixture, sponge, water, oil, and flour and combine with wooden spoon. Add salt and mix. Turn out dough from bowl on floured surface and knead until soft, about 10 minutes. Place dough into an oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let dough rise at room temperature until doubled in bulk, about 1½ hours. (Dough will be sticky and full of air bubbles.)

Have ready a rimless baking sheet and 2 well-floured 12-by-6-inch sheets parchment paper. Turn dough out onto a well-floured work surface and cut in half. Transfer each half to a parchment sheet and form into an irregular oval about 9 inches long. Dimple loaves with floured fingers and dust tops with flour. Cover loaves with a dampened kitchen towel. Let loaves rise at room temperature until almost doubled in bulk, 1½ to 2 hours.

At least 45 minutes before baking ciabatta, put a baking stone or 4 to 6 unglazed “quarry” tiles (see note, above) arranged close together on oven rack in lowest position in oven and preheat oven to 425°F. Transfer 1 loaf on its parchment to baking sheet with a long side of loaf parallel to far edge of baking sheet. Line up for edge of baking sheet with far edge of stone or tiles, and tilt baking sheet to slide loaf with parchment onto back half of stone or tiles. Transfer remaining loaf to front half of stone or tiles in a similar manner. Bake ciabatta loaves 20 minutes, or until pale golden. With a large spatula transfer loaves to a rack to cool.

Masa Fresca

December 6th, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 2 pounds of Masa – enough to make at least 24 small tortillas

INGREDIENTS

1 pound dried corn
Water
1 teaspoon cal (mineral lime)

PREPARATION

Rinse the corn, and put it into a pot with enough water to cover the kernels by at least 1-inch. Add the cal, and bring the water up to a slow simmer oven a medium-low flame. Simmer the corn until it is soft enough to easily bite through but not mushy. Allow the corn to cool to room temperature in its own cooking liquid.

Grind the corn in a grain mill using a coarse setting. Add a little bit of the cooking liquid in order to get the dough to the right consistency.

The ground corn may need to be passed through the mill a second time on a finer setting with a little bit more cooking liquid in order to make the dough workable.

Knead the dough by hand until it is smooth and able to stick together in one large mass.

©Recipe Property of Jacques Gautier, Palo Santo

Pestinos Y Mermalada De Naranja (Fritters with Orange Marmelade)

November 3rd, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

Recipe adapted from the Cuisines of Spain by Teresa Barrenchea

Makes 25 fritters and 2 cups of marmalade

INGREDIENTS

2 tablespoons salted butter
6 tablespoons sweet white dessert wine
13 cup fresh orange juice (2 to 3 oranges)
1 teaspoon grated orange zest
1 teaspoon freshly ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
Pinch of salt
2 cups all purpose flour, plus extra
¾ cup olive oil, plus extra for frying
Zest of 1 orange cut into long thin strips
1 teaspoon black sesame seeds
½ teaspoon anise seeds
Marmalade, recipe follows

PREPARATION

In a medium saucepan, melt the butter, take off heat add the wine, orange juice, zest, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt, stir well with a wooden spoon.
Heat a large pan with olive oil about an inch deep until just about smoking hot, 350°F-375°F.
Place the flour in a large mixing bowl and add the liquid mixture mix up quickly and vigorously until dough forms. On a lightly floured work surface knead dough briefly until soft and flexible. Shape into a ball and let rest for one hour.
On a lightly floured work surface roll the dough out very thin about ½-¼ inch rolling the dough to about the size of 20-inch square. Cut the dough into 4-inch squares, you will have 25 4-inch squares. Working from the corner of each square, roll up the square on the diagonal, creating a cylinder with a ½-inch hollow center, rub the corners together with a damp finger to get them to stick. Sprinkle with black sesame seeds and anise seeds before frying.
Working in batches, fry fritters turning as needed about 2-3 minutes until golden brown.

ORANGE MARMALADE

INGREDIENTS

2 oranges
1 tablespoon lemon zest
2 cups water
2 cups sugar
1 vanilla bean, split open
1 cinnamon stick
1 star anise
½ cup of honey
¼ cup heavy cream

PREPARATION

Slice the oranges (use a mandolin if needed) discard any seeds, cut the slices into little pieces and place a medium thick bottomed sauce pan, add the lemon zest, water and sugar and stir well, bring to a boil, add the vanilla bean, cinnamon stick and star anise, bring to a boil then reduce heat, reduce to low cook for about 1 hour on low or until all the fruit is broken apart. Discard the cinnamon stick, star anise and vanilla bean. Set aside to cool.
In a medium saucepan add 1 cup of the marmalade and ½ cup of honey, heat until just before boiling, take off heat add heavy cream and served drizzled over fritters.

Pestinos Y Mermalada De Naranja (Fritters with Orange Marmelade)

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