Category Archives: @home {recipes to love}

recipe goodness :: mastering julia child’s fillet of sole meuniere #jc100

Julia Child's Sole Meuniere

Julia Child’s Sole Meuniere

Filet of Sole Meuniere was Julia’s first-ever meal in France.  She described the sole as “a morsel of perfection” and “the most exciting meal” of her life.  It was this simple preparation of sole that inspired  Julia’s 40-year love affair with food and the start of a cooking revolution in America. The dish takes less than ten minutes to prepare and since the filets go for a swim in clarified butter, there is no shortage of rich “French” flavor. Pour yourself a nice glass of chablis and take a petit voyage to France for dinner.

“There is no substitute for the taste of butter in good cooking…” — Julia Child

Sole Meuniere

Fillet of Sole Meunière

Serves 6

6 skinless, boneless sole or other thin fillets
Salt and fresh ground pepper
1/4 cup of flour or so for a plate
4 tablespoons clarified butter
3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
4-6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 lemon cut into wedges

  1. Dry the fish, remove and bones, score, trim and lay flat on wax paper.
  2. Dust the fillets with salt and pepper. Just before sauteing drop each fillet into the flour to coat each side, shaking off any excess.
  3. Set the frying pan over high heat and film with 1/16 inch of clarified butter. When the butter is very hot, but not browning, rapidly lay each fillet side by side leaving a little space between each (don’t overcrowd).
  4. Saute 1-2 minutes on both sides, turning carefully so as to not break the fillet. The fish is done when just springy. Immediately remove from the pan to a platter or plates.
  5. Sprinkle each fillet generously with parsley.
  6. Wipe the pan completely clean, set over high heat and melt with new butter until bubbling.
  7. Pour over fillets — the parsley will bubble up nicely. Season with salt, serve with lemon wedges immediately.

Bon appetit!
recipe goodness :: mastering the art of julia child’s salade nicoise
recipe goodness :: mastering julia child’s rolled french omelet
recipe goodness :: mastering the art of julia child’s chocolate mousse
Do This!: Celebrate Julia Child’s 100th Birthday 

Excerpted from The Way to Cook by Julia Child. Copyright © 1989 by Julia Child. Reprinted with permission from the publisher Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Random House, Inc.

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recipe goodness :: more minted peas please!

peas

spring peas

There is something remarkably relaxing about shelling peas. It feels like I should be sitting under a big 200-year old oak tree, sipping lemonade while the biscuits bake in the oven. Sure, they are a bit of work, but as you snap each pod releasing the perfect pea pearls into your lapped bowl with a tink tink tink, there is a feeling reaped treasure. The beauty of these bright green gems is the hard work ends there. A little steam, olive oil and salt & pepper and you have a complete dish.

Pea Shelling Sunday

Pea Shelling Sunday

Steamed Spring Peas

2 lbs of peas in their pod {look for big fat pods}
1/4 cup water
salt & pepper to taste
1 tablespoon fresh mint, chopped
olive oil for drizzling

  1. Pour a glass of lemonade or wine and pop a squat with a large bowl in your lap.
  2. Patiently shell each pod letting the peas collect in the bowl {and saving the pods for stock?}
  3. In a 7-10″ pan add peas, water, salt and pepper and cover tightly with a lid.
  4. Heat to a simmer and then remove from heat and let rest with the lid on 10-15 minutes until tender.
  5. Drain any excess water, scoop into a bowl, drizzle with olive oil and season with chopped mint, more flake salt & pepper as needed.

It’s the Simple Things:
Homemade Ricotta
How To Cook The Perfect Sunny Side-Up Egg
Spritzy Sunday Morning Citrus Cocktail 
Barcelona Balsamic Chick Pea Salad
How to Love a Radish

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recipe goodness :: egg on egg salad {introducing bottarga}

egg on egg salad sandwich

egg on egg salad sandwich

Ok this is a totally spectacular way to amp up an otherwise standard mid-week lunch. Egg salad: meet your new friend bottarga, also known as poor man’s caviar. Stop. Keep reading. This is not caviar. Bottarga is a delicacy beloved by those salty Italians, but has been finding its way more recently onto U.S. restaurant menus. Shaved over pasta, pizza and yes, even eggs, this salt-cured, sun-dried mullet roe is the perfect way to add the saltiness of the sea to a dish with very little effort. It comes pressed into a hard form that can be swiped along your microplane to finish a dish like a fine pecorino or can be slid along a mandolin for more decadent paper-thin slices that become a central addition to your plate. Lucky for us there is now an American-produced Cortez bottarga that you can get your hands on from Anna Maria Fish Company.

Egg on egg means business. With a little creamy mayo and peppery dijon to bind the this salad together, all I did was toss in a few radish leaves {no you should not throw those out when you buy radishes — they have amazing flavor!} and green scallions for color and a contrasting herby flavor. Then zested some salty bottarga over top to make this standard lunch truck sammie a true stand-out.

The goods

The egg on egg goods {bottarga lower left}

Egg on Egg Salad

Serves 1

2-3 hard boiled eggs, peeled and  roughly chopped
1/2 tablespoon mayo
1 teaspoon dijon
1/2 small scallion diced {or 2-3 chives}
4-5 radish leaves, washed and julienned
Pepper to taste
Bottarga for grating
Good crusty bread

  1. Roughly chop your eggs. I often remove one of the yolks to cut back on the dry bits.
  2. Toss everything, except the bottarga in a bowl, reserving some scallions for topping later.
  3. Add more of anything you desire, then serve in a bowl or on top of a toasted piece of bread.
  4. Sprinkle with some scallions for giggles and then grate your bottarga across the top, adding as much or as little as your salty italian desires.
  5. Sit down and be amazed by your revamped american favorite.

Other Ways to Jazz Standards:
Blueberry, Lemon & Coconut Pancakes
Herbed Buttermilk Biscuits
Cumin & Dill Dijon Egg Salad with Radish Sprouts
Creole Roasted Fresh Corn-Tomato Salsa

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recipe goodness :: honey-vanilla pound cake with red bud flowers

honey vanilla pound cake with red bud flowers

After my foraging tour with Leda Meredith, I came back with a handful of edible pink red bud flowers just asking to be made into a sweet dessert. With a little inspiration from Ina Garten’s Back to Basics, her honey vanilla pound cake sounded like the perfect vehicle for my foraged find. This is one of the best pound cakes I’ve ever had — I’ll credit the honey for that. Add this one to the rotation.

Honey Vanilla Pound Cake with Red Bud Flowers
Makes one 8-inch loaf | Slightly adapted from Barefoot Contessa’s Back to Basics

1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at cool room temperature
1 1/4 cups sugar
4 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
2 tablespoons honey
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
2 cups sifted cake flower
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 cup fresh edible flowers {optional}

  1. Allow butter to sit at room temperature for about 1 hour.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350°. Grease the bottom of an 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 x 2 1/2 inch loaf pan. Line the bottom with parchment paper, then grease and flour the pan.
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar on medium speed for 3 to 4 minutes, until light.
  4. Meanwhile, put the eggs, honey, vanilla, and lemon zest in a glass measuring cup but do not combine.
  5. With the mixer on medium-low speed, add the egg mixture, one egg at a time, scraping down the bowl and allowing each egg to become incorporated before adding the next egg.
  6. Sift together the flower, salt and baking powder. With the mixer on low speed, add it slowly to the batter until just combined.
  7. Finish mixing the batter with a rubber spatula and fold in flowers {if adding}. Pour into the prepared pan. Smooth the top.
  8. Bake for 50-60 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  9. Cool for 15 minutes, turn out onto a baking rack and cool completely.
  10. Top with fresh flowers {optional}.

Getting Wild in the Kitchen:
Violet-Radish Spring Salad with Secret Lemon-Garlic Dressing
Wild pokeweed {or Aspargus} and field garlic breakfast tart
   

Homemade Spicy Carrot Kimchi! & Apple Chutney!

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recipe goodness :: mastering the art of julia child’s salade nicoise #jc100

Julia Child's Salad Nicoise

Julia Child’s Salad Nicoise

This is exactly the type of recipe that you are not meant to follow to a T. A big bowl of fresh ingredient goodness is all that matters. No green beans at the market yet? Asparagus makes for a lovely substitution. Not feelin’ the canned tuna? A beautiful bright tuna filet from my friendly fishmonger Warren at American Seafood was a first class upgrade. And with green garlic in season, I opted for those sweet stalks instead of scallions. I was not really feelin’ the five-page recipe laying out the original steps for Julia’s masterpiece. Really? For a salad? So I skimmed through her instructions and general flavor combinations, made a trip to the greenmarket, did a bit of chopping and doused everything in lemon, olive oil, salt and pepper. The result was a bountiful bowl full of beauty that was both healthy and hearty and will definitely be repeated again. soon. This is the perfect summer evening meal {which a chilled glass of wine of course}.

Julia Child's Salad Nicoise

Julia Child’s Salad Nicoise

“A bountiful arrangement in a bowl or platter is so handsome to behold that I think it a cruel shame to toss everything together in a big mess.”
— Julia Child

Julia Child’s Salade Niçoise {slightly modified}

Serves 2-4 | Link to the original recipe HERE

1 head boston bibb lettuce, washed and dried
1/4 bunch fresh asparagus {or 1 pound green beans} trimmed, cut into 3-inch pieces
1/4 pint grape tomatoes, halved {or 1-2 whole tomatoes cut into wedges}
3/4-1 lb tuna filet grilled and sliced {or 8-10oz  oil packed tuna, drained and flaked)
2-4 hard boiled eggs, halved
1 can flat anchovies packed in oil, drained {optional}
1/4 cup black nicoise-type olives {optional}

Dressing:
1-2 tablespoons capers
1/4 cup minced parsley
1 lemon, juiced
1/2 as much olive oil as lemon
salt and pepper to taste

Potatoes:
4 small new potatoes sliced into circles
1 stem green garlic or scallion, finely diced
1/4 cup potato-cooking water
1 1/2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
2-3 tablespoons fresh parsley
2-3 tablespoons olive oil

  1. Rinse and dry all the vegetables. Add the lettuce to a large bowl while you prepare the rest.
  2. Add eggs to a medium pot and cover with water by 1-inch. Bring to a boil, then turn heat down to a low simmer, cover with a lid and cook for 15 minutes. Remove from heat, remove eggs and cool.
  3. Bring water back up to a boil and add sliced potatoes until just slightly tender when you pierce with a fork. Reserve 1/4 cup of the starchy water, then drain and immediately toss in a bowl with vinegar, scallion/garlic, parsley, olive oil and cooking water. Season with salt and pepper and let potatoes absorb the liquid as they cool.
  4. Bring a medium pot of water back to a boil and add the 3-inch pieces of asparagus {or green beans} to the boiling water, cover and cook 1-2 minutes until bright green, but still firm. Drain and immediately run cold water over or add to an ice bath to stop the cooking process.
  5. Mix the dressing. Pour a little over the cut tomatoes in a small bowl and set aside. Pour a little over the asparagus in a small bowl and set aside. Pour the rest over the lettuce and toss to coat.
  6. Heat your grill to high.
  7. Coat your tuna with olive oil, salt and a generous amount of coarse black pepper on both sides. Cook 3-5 minutes on each side, just until the outer edges turn white and the center is still a light pink for medium rare. Remove from heat and let rest.
  8. Assemble the salad by channeling your inner Julia, creating sections of the seasoned potatoes, tomatoes, asparagus {or green beans}, the egg halves and olives. Sprinkled the anchovies over the salad. Slice the tuna and arrange in the center of the bowl.
  9. Bon Appetit!

More Juuuuuuuulia:
recipe goodness :: mastering julia child’s rolled french omelet
recipe goodness :: mastering the art of julia child’s chocolate mousse
Do This!: Celebrate Julia Child’s 100th Birthday 

Excerpted from The Way to Cook by Julia Child. Copyright © 1989 by Julia Child. Reprinted with permission from the publisher Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Random House, Inc.

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recipe goodness :: grilled green garlic

Grilled Spring Garlic

Grilled Green Garlic

Springtime brings lots of treasures that are here for a blink of an eye and then gone from our flourishing greenmarkets. Ramps, strawberries, asparagus — just some of the items that get loaded into our resuable shopping bags as we lust over these edible signs of the outdoor dining season. One of my favorite flash finds is green garlic {also known as spring garlic or new garlic}. These long green shoots look a lot like scallions, but are the beginnings of the larger garlic bulb we have come to be more familiar with. When the farmers trim these stalks it makes way for those bulbs to continue growing throughout the season and brings us a mild sweet garlic treat as a bonus. My favorite thing to do is toss them with olive oil, salt and pepper and throw them on the high rack of the grill to slow roast for 10-15 minutes until perfectly tender. They are mild enough to be eaten on their own, but make a killer topping for crostini slathered in ricotta, grilled pizzas, a nice juicy steak or even eggs.

Grilled Green Garlic

1-2 bunches spring garlic
olive oil
salt & pepper

  1. Trim roots and dark green fiberous leaves from garlic stems and slice in half lengthwise.
  2. Toss with olive oil, salt and pepper to coat.
  3. Place on the top rack of the grill with the heat on low and roast until tender and starts to brown.
  4. Serve whole or dice into smaller pieces as a topping.

Green Goddess 
Orzo, Spinach & Feta Summer Salad
Spinach, Strawberry & Halloumi Salad
Tomato, Basil & Feta Salad
The Ultimate Summer Slaw
Grilled Thyme-Cumin Vegetable Kabobs
How to Love a Radish
Violet-Radish Spring Salad with Secret Lemon-Garlic Dressing

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recipe goodness :: italian campari orange spritzer

Campari Orange Spritzer

Campari Orange Spritzer

You can thank my friend Sarah for turning me into a Campari sympathizer from a Campari hater. I used to adamantly decline any Campari drink — the bitterness of any such cocktail made me scrunch my nose up and shake my head like I’d just taken a bite of sour lemon. Until recently.

As we were lounging rooftop, cocktail hour became an appealing pastime and Sarah was in the mood for a Tuscan highball. She begged and pleaded for me to try this concoction. I surrendered. Enter Campari Orange Spritzer, my newfound afternoon sipper of choice. The sweetness of the FRESH squeezed orange juice {buy the real stuff if you can} goes to war on the bitter Campari and turns this combo into a refresher that goes down all too easily. The best part about it is you can make it in 30 seconds flat and the only thing you really need to think ahead to buy is the fresh OJ {providing you have a bottle of Campari and a sodastream for sparkling water on hand}.

Campari Orange Spritzer

For each drink | courtesy of Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics

Highball glass {that will fit 2 1/4 cups liquid + ice}
6 ice cubes {or whatever}
1/4 cup Campari
1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1 1/2 cups sparkling water {San Pellegrino or Sodastream}
Orange slice or strawberry for garnish

  1. Place ice cubes in a highball glass.
  2. Add Campari, Orange Juice and top with Sparkling water.
  3. Garnish with a strawberry or orange slice.

Other Cocktail O’Clock Recipes:
Alton Brown’s Bourbon Mint Julep
Bottle of Baron {Refreshing “Island Cocktail” a la Tippling Bros.}

Fresh Lime-Margarita Marinated Watermelon
Kickin’ Ancho Chili Fresh Citrus Margarita
Pink Fizzy Lemonade Cocktails Beat the Heat
Smokey Margarita {a la Tippling Bros.}

Stand-Out Spanish Sangria
Summer Strawberry Chilled Chamomile Tea {non-alcoholic}
Spritzy Sunday Morning Citrus Cocktail {non-alcoholic}

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Memorial Day Recipe Round-Up

IT WOULDN’T BE A BBQ WITHOUT BOOZE 

Alton Brown’s Bourbon Mint Julep
Bottle of Baron {Refreshing “Island Cocktail” a la Tippling Bros.}

Fresh Lime-Margarita Marinated Watermelon
Kickin’ Ancho Chili Fresh Citrus Margarita
Pink Fizzy Lemonade Cocktails Beat the Heat
Smokey Margarita {a la Tippling Bros.}

Stand-Out Spanish Sangria
Summer Strawberry Chilled Chamomile Tea {non-alcoholic}
Spritzy Sunday Morning Citrus Cocktail {non-alcoholic}

SNACK’EMS {makes happy hour happier}

Avocado & Tropical Fruit Salsa {also good as an entree side}
Creole Roasted Fresh Corn-Tomato Salsa
Fresh Lime-Margarita Marinated Watermelon{double duty bites}
Inside-Out Scotch Eggs w/ Ground Lamb, Harissa Yolk & Panko Gremolata

Peppers Padron at Home
Rosemary, Truffle and Parmesan Chips or Fries
Spiced Sweet Potato Hummus
Union Square Bar Roasted Rosemary Nuts

SALADS 

Orzo, Spinach & Feta Summer Salad
Spinach, Strawberry & Halloumi Salad
Tomato, Basil & Feta Salad
The Ultimate Summer Slaw

PIZZA & BREADS {d’oh! why didn’t i try this yet}

Creative Crowd-Pleasing BBQ’d Pizzas
Red Chili-Lime Cornbread Muffins
Za’atar-Pecorino Toasted Crostini

FOR THE GRILL 

Bison, a Better Burger Worth Biting Into
Sesame Ginger Lime-Poached Cod
Pistachio-Encrusted Spring Lamb w/ Pickled Red Onions & Cumin Yogurt Sauce
Whole-Grain Mustard & Rosemary Pork Chops

DESSERT {life is short, eat it first}

Alton Brown’s Bourbon Banana’s Foster w/ Bourbon Ice Cream
Banana Puddin’ Chocolate Cups
 {bottom of post}
Julia Child’s Chocolate Mousse
Violet’s Lemon Cheesecake with BBQ’d Summer Berries{bottom of post}

Creole Roasted Corn-Tomato Salsa and Chips

Creole Roasted Corn-Tomato Salsa and Chips


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recipe goodness :: introducing grilled blowfish

Marinated Blowfish

Marinated Blowfish

Flounder, Cod, Scallops — all usual suspects you would expect to see on an early summer grill. Sometimes it takes a little convincing to get out of the mainstream grill mentality, which is why I love shopping at the local greenmarket. The benefit of strolling stand to stand is that you have the opportunity to chat it up with the experts whose daily job it is to harvest and catch the very food you put on your plate. Last weekend my friendly fishmonger Warren from American Seafood convinced me that the thing to make that night was his freshly caught blowfish. Woah, aren’t those the second most poisonous vertebrates in the world? I thought Warren was my friend. In fact, the northern puffer that we catch locally is not toxic, unlike its blowfish counterparts swimming through asian waters. So fear not, this delectable catch is a catch!

With newly found finned friend in hand, I came home, tossed them in a bowl with a generous drizzle of olive oil, a squeeze of a lime and a few chopped scallions, leaving it all to marinate until dinner time. After a few minutes on the grill, we had ourselves a beautiful Spring supper that looked almost like a butterflied shrimp {they have a hard tail that stays on}, but was light and flaky like any good filet.

Grilled Blowfish

Grilled Blowfish

Grilled Blowfish

2 small blowfish per person.
Drizzle of olive oil
1 lime zested and juiced
salt and pepper to taste
Extra lime, olive oil and flaky salt for serving

  1. Toss everything in a casserole dish or bowl, coating the fish evenly and place in the fridge until ready to prepare (1-4 hours).
  2. Heat the grill to low and cook 4-5 minutes on either side, until flesh is no longer translucent and flakes easily from the bone.
  3. Drizzle with a bit of olive oil, a squeeze of lime and flaky salt.

Springtime Treats
Summer Strawberry Chilled Chamomile Tea {non-alcoholic}
Spinach, Strawberry & Halloumi Salad
Violet-Radish Spring Salad with Secret Lemon-Garlic Dressing

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recipe goodness :: mastering the art of julia child’s chocolate mousse #JC100

Julia Child's Chocolate Mousse Bowls

This is the first recipe I’m sharing from the 100 days of Julia Child celebration.

In the words of Juuuuulia:
among all the recipes for chocolate mousse, this one is the best.

With two sous chefs by my side {thank you KMR and SKW} we masterfully whipped up this mousse in record speed — one on chocolate duty, one on egg creaming duty and the other on dish duty {a lot of bowls got egg on their face with all the separating, creaming, melting, folding that takes place}. While the mousse took a bit of symphonic precision in bringing together several separate movements in perfect timing, we found this recipe to be relatively easy to master as long as you prepare and measure out your ingredients into prep bowls before beginning. The only other recommendation I would make is to test this recipe with less sugar {or bittersweet chocolate instead of semi-sweet}. I have a savory tooth in general, but the crowd concurred that this meal-ender was a little too sweet — chalk that up to the French way of cooking.

Julia Child’s Chocolate Mousse 

Makes 6 small dessert bowls {or 12 if you want to limit your sweet intake}

4 egg yolks separated, whites reserved
3/4 cups sugar {I recommend trying to cut out 1/4 cup}
1/4 cup orange liqueur

6 ounces semi-sweet baking chocolate {or try bittersweet}
4 tablespoons, room temp strong coffee
6 ounces unsalted butter
1/4 cup finely zested or chopped orange peel {optional}

4 egg whites
pinch of sugar

1/2 pint heaving whipping cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
fresh in-season berries

  1. Measure everything into prep bowls before beginning to make this multi-step process seamless {especially if you don’t have sous chefs!}
  2. Beat the egg yolks and sugar together until mixture is thick, pale yellow, and falls back upon itself forming a slowly dissolving ribbon. Beat in the orange liqueur.
  3. Then set mixing bowl over the not­ quite simmering water and continue beating for 3 to 4 minutes until the mixture is foamy and too hot for your finger.
  4. Then beat over a cold water pot for 3 to 4 minutes until the mixture is cool and again forms the ribbon. It will have the consistency of mayonnaise.
  5. Melt chocolate with coffee in a separate bowl over hot water. Remove from heat and beat in the butter a bit at a time, to make a smooth cream.
Steps 2-5: Melt and Creaming

Steps 2-5: Melt and Creaming

  1. Beat the chocolate into the egg yolks and sugar, then beat in the optionaì orange peel.
chocolate + butter

chocolate + butter

  1. Beat the egg whites and salt in a separate bowl until soft peaks are formed; sprinkle on the sugar and beat until stiff peaks are formed.
  2. Stir one fourth of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture. Fold in the rest.
  3. Turn into serving dish, dessert cups, or petits pots. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.

whip and fold

  1. When ready to serve beat whipping cream and vanilla until thick enough to hold a peak. Serve in a separate bowl. Serve with fresh seasonal berries.
Julia Child's Chocolate Mousse

Julia Child’s Chocolate Mousse

Excerpted from Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Julia Child. Copyright © 1961 by Alfred A. Knopf. Reprinted with permission from the publisher Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Random House, Inc.

Channeling My Inner Juuuuulia:
Do This!: Celebrate Julia Child’s 100th Birthday 

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recipe goodness :: know-thy-farmer scrapple omelet

Scrapple Omelet

Scrapple Omelet

Scrapple what? This is a clear case of “I know a guy.” I was hanging out at the greenmarket with Keith from Grazin’ Angus Acres last week and he pulled out this special treat to share. What is it? What do I do with it?

Locally called “everything but the oink,” scrapple is typically made of hog offal, such as the head, heart, liver, and other scraps, which are boiled with any bones attached to make a broth. Once cooked, bones and fat are discarded, the meat is reserved, and  cornmeal is boiled in the broth to make a mush. The meat, finely minced, is returned to the pot and seasonings, typically sage, thyme, savory, black pepper, and others, are added. The mush is formed into loaves and allowed to cool thoroughly until set.

Scrapple

With my know-thy-farmer treasure in hand, I marched home, pulled out a pan, cut a few 1/4-inch slices and pan fried the scrapple until it formed a lovely crust. The result? Better than bacon! It’s crispy, salty, meaty — exactly the partner you want for your eggs. If you can manage to find some scrapple from a local farmer or friendly butcher, I highly recommend giving it a try — this puts Jimmy Dean to shame.

Know-Thy-Farmer Scrapple Omelet

Individual serving

2-3 1/4-inch slices of scrapple
olive oil
2 eggs
salt and pepper to taste
chives or parsley for garnishing

  1. Cut 2-3 1/4-inch slices of scrapple and add them to a warm pan with a drizzle of olive oil. Leave whole or break up into smaller pieces, but continue to turn, getting both sides crispy.
  2. Whisk two eggs with salt and pepper and add to the pan once the scrapple is crisp.
  3. Using a rubber spatula, create small holes in the middle of the omelet to let the liquid go to the bottom to cook.
  4. Once the egg starts to firm, flip the omelet by sliding onto a plate and turning over back into the pan.
  5. Cook until both sides are cooked through and then serve with a sprinkle of maldon salt and fresh herbs.

All About the Incredible Edible:
Cumin & Dill Dijon Egg Salad with Radish Sprouts
Secret DiLaura Family Frittata with Sweet Italian Sausage
How To Cook The Perfect Sunny Side-Up Egg
How to Cook the Perfect 8.5 Minute Egg
How to Cook the Perfect Poached Egg {with Ramp Butter!}
Inside-Out Scotch Eggs w/ Ground Lamb, Harissa Yolk & Panko Gremolata
Southern Breakfast Egg Casserole
Wild pokeweed {or Aspargus} and field garlic breakfast tart  

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recipe goodness :: how to cook dried beans in the rancho gordo manner

Homemade Black Beans

Homemade Black Beans

I’m ashamed to admit I’ve never made dried beans before. People always speak the praises of dried beans — so much more flavor! More economical! But when a can of garbanzos or cannellinis only costs about $1.00 and the only real work required is the pull out the can opener, sometimes it’s hard to convince yourself that the old fashioned method is better when it comes to beans.

Well, I’m a convert. In keeping with my Rancho Gordo Cinco de Mayo fiesta, I decided to make a side of black beans the low and slow way. It’s no longer just about the beans — it’s about all the other things you toss in the pot and let the beans soak up in the process. The result was a depth of flavor and richness that had me convinced I put chocolate in my beans — even though I very well knew I didn’t. If you’re taking the time to make beans a featured side, and can throw a pot on the stove while you go vacuum the house, I recommend giving this method a try — use it for any type of bean your heart desires {they’re good for the ♥ after all!} Save the cans for days you’re in a time crunch.

Cooking Beans in the Rancho Gordo Manner

Serves 2-3 | Soak 4-6 hours | Cook 1-3 hours

1 cup of dried beans {black, pinto, cannellini, love Rancho Gordos!}
2 garlic cloves or spring garlic stems, finely diced
2 scallions, finely diced
2 small carrots, finely diced
2 small celery stalks, finely diced
1 cup of vegetable or chicken broth
water
salt to taste
Other optional seasonings: beer, bay leaves, rosemary {white beans love}, ham bones, smoked turkey legs, bacon.

  1. Rinse beans in cool, fresh water. Cover beans with 2 inches of water and soak 4-6 hours {or overnight before bed}
  2. In a large pot, saute finely chopped onion, celery, carrot and garlic in olive oil until soft.
  3. Add drained beans, stock and cover by at least 1 inch of water.
  4. Bring to a hard boil for five minutes and then reduce to a gentle simmer, cooking 1-3 hours until tender.
  5. Once soft, add salt and enjoy!
  6. Tip from Rancho: do not add acids {tomatoes, vinegar} or sugar until the beans are just tender, as they can toughen the beans.

More Ways to Celebrate All Things Mexican:
Ancho Chili Margarita with Fresh Lime-Orange-Grapefruit Juice
Avocado & Tropical Fruit Salsa
Creole Roasted Fresh Corn-Tomato Salsa
Extra Extra! Oaxaca Revolucion de Taco

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recipe goodness :: spritzy sunday morning citrus cocktail

Spritzy Grapefruit Juice

Spritzy Grapefruit Juice

Let’s approach this a few different ways. 1) You want to jazz up your sparkling water or cut back on buying overpriced “grown-up” soda, 2) you wish you could enjoy a grapefruit without it taking longer to carve each segment than it does to actually eat the darn fruit or 3) you’re swearing off drinking on weekend mornings, but man you wish you could still savor the refreshing bubbly cocktail {this is for you preggo ladies}.

There’s really nothing to this — and quite honestly, it’s genius and refreshing. Looking for a non-alcoholic breakfast in bed treat to serve mom on mother’s day? You can thank my lazy morning for this citrus cocktail creation.

Spritzy Sunday Morning Citrus Cocktail

1 grapefruit {I prefer red or pink}
Sodastream water {or store-bought sparkling water}

  1.  Cut grapefruit in half and remove any seeds
  2. Squeeze directly into a wide-rimmed glass or into a bowl if that is easier. Allow the pieces of grapefruit to squeeze into the glass with the juice and help a few along with your finger or spoon if needed. Those little bits make this all the more enjoyable.
  3. Top with sparkling water and enjoy! Of course, those of you who just can’t manage a spritzy cocktail without the real bubbly can replace water with your favorite cava, prosecco or champagne.

More Breakfast in Bed Mother’s Day Options:
Blueberry, Lemon & Coconut Pancakes
Herbed Buttermilk Biscuits
How to Cook the Perfect Poached Egg {with Ramp Butter!}
Olive Oil and Maple Syrup Granola

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recipe goodness :: how to love a radish {with sesame ginger lime-poached cod}

How to Love a Radish

The Radish is one of the most under-appreciated vegetables in my opinion. It’s often the last man standing on a veggie platter, the filler in the sad tasteless airplane salads or an ornament carved to serve no other purpose than to decorate a dinner plate.

But what’s not to love about a radish — it’s pink! it’s purple! it’s Chanel red! A radish has a great crunch that can add texture to any dish and has a peppery bite that makes this veg one of the more flavorful fresh ingredients that can completely change a recipe without a lot of fuss. And because it’s hearty, radishes can keep for at least a week if stored properly in an airtight container, so you use them up as time allows.

We are often at a loss of what to do with a radish, other than slice it up into a bowl of greens. Keep this recipe in your back pocket for a vibrant and quick Spring radish slaw that is not only good on its own, but can be the perfect accompaniment to a grilled steak, fish, pork chop or just about anything asking for a punch of flavor {also xoxo on tacos!}

Grilled Ginger Sesame Cod with Radish Slaw

Grilled Ginger Sesame Cod with Radish Slaw

Spring Radish Slaw {on Sesame Ginger Lime-Poached Cod}
Serves 2

6 radishes, thinly sliced
3 scallions, diced
small handful of flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1/2 lime, zested and juiced
sel gris or other coarse salt
pepper to taste

1 x 12-16oz cod filet
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon black sesame seeds
1 teaspoon regular sesame seeds
1/2 lime
olive oil for drizzling
sel gris or other coarse salt
pepper to taste

For the Slaw:

  1. Wash and thinly slice radishes, removing roots and stems. Thinly dice scallions halfway up the dark green stem, discarding the rest and the root. Roughly chop parsley and add everything to a small bowl.
  2. Add the zest and juice of half a lime, a general sprinkle of coarse salt and pepper and toss everything together with your hands, giving it a good squeeze. Set the bowl to the side or place in the fridge if you don’t plan to use it within ~30 minutes. Enjoy as a salad as is, or continue to cook your favorite grilled item and use as a fresh slaw topping.

For the Fish:

  1. Cut a large enough piece of foil to place your fish filet in the center and be able to bring the edges together to create a sealed pouch after prep.
  2. Place your filet in the center and lightly drizzle with olive oil and the juice of half a lime. Bring up the edges of foil slightly if needed to prevent juice for getting all over your counter. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. In a small bowl mix the ginger and sesame seeds and sprinkle over the fish to generously cover. Save any extra for another time.
  4. Bring the edges of the foil together and fold over creating a tight seal, which leaving enough room for air to circulate to poach the fish.
  5. Heat your grill to low and place the foil pouch either directly on the grill or on the rack above, allowing it to cook 10-15 minutes. Check when the timer is down that the fish is completely white — add additional time if needed.
  6. Top your filet with the radish slaw, sprinkle some flaky maldon salt across the top and enjoy!

Summer Grillin’ is Good:
Gourmet Grilled White Truffle Corn
Grilled Thyme-Cumin Vegetable Kabobs

Creative Crowd-Pleasing BBQ’d Pizzas
Bison, a Better Burger Worth Biting Into
Whole-Grain Mustard & Rosemary Pork Chops 

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recipe goodness :: celebrate cinco de mayo with rancho gordo’s posole rojo!

Rancho Gordo Mexican Posole

Rancho Gordo Mexican Posole

There are more ways to celebrate Cinco de Mayo than with a cold corona and a basket of tortilla chips. After working with the infamous Rancho Gordo owner, Steve Sando, to put together a special Cinco de Mayo deal for the Food52 Shop, I was intrigued by his suggestion to provide people with the makings for a very traditional mexican dish called posole. Has anyone ever seen posole on their local mexican restaurant’s menu? I didn’t think so. The best way to describe it is a cross between a tortilla soup and a mexican chili — only so much better. And if you’re not yet familiar with Rancho Gordo either, get to know this quirky and awesome purveyor of heirloom beans and other specialty products that will knock your sombrero off.

Posole’s core ingredient is hominy, which are dried maize kernels that look like corn on steroids {buy Rancho’s dried  hominy, not the canned gummy stuff you’ll find at the corner bodega}. Layer in his smokey chili powder from New Mexico, fragrant oregano so special that Thomas Keller uses it at Per Se and French Laundry, some shredded chicken and broth,  a whole lot of onions and garlic and you’re on your way to a bowl of festive bueno-ness. BUENO.

There’s no reason Cinco de Mayo can’t be celebrated any day of the week. And if you’re trying this for the first time, you might as well get your hands on Rancho’s special deal for  heirloom bean and the posole goods and get stewin’. Ole!

Hominy Hominy Hominy!

Hominy Hominy Hominy! Say it three times for luck

Oregano Indigo and New Mexican Chili Powder

Oregano Indigo and New Mexican Chili Powder

Rancho Gordo Posole Rojo

Serves 8 | 6-10 hour soak time | 5 hour cook time

1.5 cups uncooked hominy (will become ~5-6 cups)

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 medium white onions, chopped fine
8 cloves of garlic, minced
1/3 cup tomato paste {I used a whole 6oz can}
3 tablespoons Rancho Gordo Chili Powder {yum!}
1 tablespoon Rancho Gordo Oregano Indio {yum yum!}
3 1/2 cups chicken broth
4 cups cooked Rancho Gordo Posole {hominy}
1.5-2 lbs shredded poached chicken
salt and pepper
Garnishes: diced avocado, chopped cilantro, finely chopped onion, queso fresco, thinly sliced radishes, sour cream

  1. Sort and rise posole. Soak 6-10 hours in cold water {put it in a pot before bed and you’re good to go the next day}.
  2. Strain and in a large pot, add the soaked posole, 3-4 quarts of water, and a roughly chopped onion.
  3. Bring to a hard boil for about five minutes, then reduce heat to a gentle simmer for about 3-4 hours. Check around 2-3 hours to make sure enough liquid is still in the pot and add more if needed so pot is not dry. Posole will flower, like popcorn when it’s finished.
  4. Strain and set aside.
  5. Fill a pot large enough to fit chicken breasts in with water and bring to a boil. Once boiling, add chicken breasts and poach for 15-20 minutes until cooked through.
  6. Meanwhile, heat oil in 5-quart or larger pot over medium heat. Add onions and garlic and cook until soft. Add tomato paste, chili powder and oregano, stirring until all ingredients are warmed through and well-mixed.
  7. Add 4 cups water, broth and posole. Freeze any extra posole leftover after roughly measuring.
  8. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a low simmer for about 30 minutes to an hour. Shred the chicken and set aside.
  9. Once the liquid has cooked down a bit, add chicken, stir and then add salt and pepper to taste.
  10. Serve in individual bowls and garnish as desired.
Simmer 'til done

Simmer ’til done.

More Ways to Celebrate All Things Mexican:
Ancho Chili Margarita with Fresh Lime-Orange-Grapefruit Juice
Avocado & Tropical Fruit Salsa
Creole Roasted Fresh Corn-Tomato Salsa
Extra Extra! Oaxaca Revolucion de Taco

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recipe goodness :: violet-radish spring salad with secret lemon-garlic dressing

violet-radish spring salad with secret dressing

violet-radish spring salad with secret dressing

Think this is just a pretty salad? Think again — this will change your attitude about boring leafy greens. Radishes are in season. Why do we love them? They’re colorful, crunchy and add a nice peppery bite. Violets are in season. Why do we love them? They’re pretty and you can find them all over public parks, so they’re free! {steer clear of the dog zone and make sure your park doesn’t spray pesticides}. Buy your favorite greens {mine are red mustard greens pictured above, for their slight peppery flavor and pretty purple and green leaves}, toss in a few slices of radishes and edible flowers and you have a kodak-worthy plate. But I’m also going to share a secret dressing with you that will not only make this dish eye-catching, but will put Paul Newman to shame.

I recently finished the book An Everlasting Meal, by Tamar Adler. I’m pretty experimental in the kitchen, but this book changed my outlook on so many things. Adler’s witty and approachable read encourages you to think about ways to extend everything you make in the kitchen. Use leftover roasted vegetables in a tart or omelet. Use stale bread to make toasted crostini or homemade breadcrumbs. Freeze all the ends of your carrots, celery, onions, fennel to make your own stock when you have some chicken bones on hand. Pretty simple, but thinking this way makes leftovers so much more interesting when you recreate a second dish instead of just reaheating what you had yesterday.

My favorite lesson and the recipe for a secret life-changing dressing: use all the pan drippings from a roast chicken to make your next salad dressing. Last week we roasted chicken with garlic, lemon, white wine, olive oil and thyme. After cooking away for 30-40 minutes we had a pan full of the most amazing concentrated flavors — things I would want in a dressing anyway, but normally dumped down the drain. This time, I poured everything straight into a container, tossed it in the fridge and pulled it out a few days later when I was looking for something to pour over my pretty Spring salad. The result: inquiries from the entire table as to where I bought this amazing dressing. Try it next time you roast anything and have some good liquid leftovers. It will change your salad world.

Violet-Radish Spring Salad with Secret Lemon-Garlic Dressing

1-2 radishes per person, sliced
handful of violet flowers and leaves, washed and stems removed
2-3 oz of lettuce leaves of choice per person
Drizzle of your leftover roasted whatever pan-drippings
Flaky Maldon salt and pepper to taste

  1. Rinse and dry all your greens and flowers
  2. Toss the greens in leftover dressing. Sprinkle flowers on top.
  3. Add salt and pepper to taste. ‘nough said.

Spring is in the Air:
Lemon Herb Roasted Chicken {for your dressing!}
Cumin & Dill Dijon Egg Salad with Radish Sprouts

Grilled Thyme-Cumin Vegetable Kabobs
Pistachio-Encrusted Spring Lamb w/ Pickled Red Onions & Cumin Yogurt Sauce 

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recipe goodness :: wild pokeweed and field garlic breakfast tart

Wild Pokeweed and Field Garlic Breakfast Tart

Wild Pokeweed and Field Garlic Breakfast Tart

After my foraging tour with Leda Meredith through Prospect Park, I came home with a bag full of wild treasures and the conviction that I could turn these “weeds” into something mmmm-inducing. I’ve never trampled through a field before and then thought the greens below my feet would make for a tasty meal {not a common thought for a New Yorker}. But I’ve come a long way after a mere two hours with Leda — and am now emboldened to cook with ingredients found a few feet from a park bench. For those of you who don’t plan to take up foraging anytime soon, or don’t have access to a forage-friendly plot of land, I’ve included suggested recipe substitutions to these wild cousins. And let me just say, this recipe exceeded my wildest expectations — it’s a start-your-morning-right winner.

Field Garlic, Pokeweed Leaves and Shoots

Field Garlic, Pokeweed Leaves and Shoots

Wild Pokeweed and Field Garlic Breakfast Tart
Serves 6-8 | Crust recipe from Tamar Adler’s Everlasting Meal

Rustic Olive Oil Tart Crust:
2  1/2 cups of flour
1/2 cup+ cold water
1/3 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt

Tart Filling:
6 farmers’ market large eggs
6-8 pokeweed shoots, chopped {use asparagus as a substitution}
Small handful of garlic shoots, chopped {chives as a substitution}
Olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 lemon, juiced
6 oz greek yogurt or labne

  1. Mix all the ingredients for the dough together and separate into two separate balls of dough. Add a little extra cold water at a time if the dough is crumbling and not coming together.
  2. Form each half into a disc shape, wrap in plastic wrap and put in the fridge or freezer to chill while you prepare the greens, about 30-45 minutes.
  3. Rinse all your wild greens thoroughly and remove any dry ends or pieces. Roughly chop the pokeweed stalk and leaves into 1-2 inch pieces. {Note: Pokeweed is best enjoyed early Spring when the plant is a single shoot. Avoid eating with the pokeweed branches out and turns dark magenta as it will become toxic at this stage}.
  4. Finely chop the garlic shoots.
  5. Heat a generous pour of olive oil in a medium saute pan over medium heat cook all the greens until wilted and tender. Remove from the heat and squeeze with lemon, season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
  6. Roll one of the discs on a floured surface to fit the shape of your pan {save the other for another time}. I used a rectangular tart pan, but a pie dish will work too. Press the crust into all the corners of the dish you select so the bottom is completely covered in dough. I had to borrow some more dough from the second disc, so do what you gotta do to make it work for you. You can keep the remaining dough in the freezer for a future midweek tart.
  7. Pierce the dough all over with a fork, then lay a piece of foil loosely over the dough. Place pie weights, dry beans or a smaller glass baking dish on the dough to keep it from rising. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes.
  8. While the dough is baking beat all your eggs in a bowl with half of the yogurt and season with salt and pepper.
  9. Remove the par-baked tart from the oven. Remove the weights and foil and spread the greens across the dough. Pour the egg mixture over the top of the tart and dollop the remaining yogurt evenly spaced on top of all the ingredients.
  10. Bake 20 minutes or until egg is set and firm to the touch.
  11. Sprinkle with Maldon sea salt, slice, serve and thank me later!
Delightful Rustic Olive Oil Tart Crust from Tamar Adler

Delightful Rustic Olive Oil Tart Crust from Tamar Adler

The Simplest Ingredients, Make the Happiest Meals

The Simplest Ingredients, Make the Happiest Meals

Other Eggs-ellent Breakfast Winners:
Secret DiLaura Family Frittata with Sweet Italian Sausage
How To Cook The Perfect Sunny Side-Up Egg
How to Cook the Perfect 8.5 Minute Egg
How to Cook the Perfect Poached Egg {with Ramp Butter!} 

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recipe goodness :: clean-the-cupboard poached egg over red rice with cilantro and black truffle oil

Poached Egg Over Bhutanese Red Rice

Poached Egg Over Bhutanese Red Rice with Cilantro and Truffle Oil

I’ve been trying to make a conscious effort to use things in my cupboards before I stock up on more boil-water-to-cook items. I seem to have a smattering of 1/4-full bags of every size and variety of grain that are just taking up space. Not enough for a dinner party, but certainly enough for a mid-week meal. Here’s the thing, if you have one fresh herb on hand at all times and a pantry with a few key spices or oils, you can pretty much create a spectacular meal out of next to nothing and in relatively little time. The equation for success: a flavorful grain, a fresh herb, 1-2 pantry seasonings {maldon sea salt and truffle oil in this one, but this is where experimenting gets fun} and maybe top it all off with a creamy protein-rich poached egg ?

Clean-the-Cupboards Poached Egg Over Red Rice
with Cilantro and Truffle Oil

1 cup Bhutanese Red Rice {or farro, quinoa, freekeh, rice, couscous…}
1 1/2 cups of water {or whatever your chosen grain package calls for}
1 farm-fresh egg
1 tablespoon vinegar {any kind}
Maldon salt and pepper to taste
Truffle Oil for drizzling
Small handful of fresh cilantro, chopped {or any other herb you love}

  1.  Combine 1 1/2 cups of water, 1 cup red rice and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil over high heat. Cover, reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, bring another small pot of water to a boil for the poached egg. Crack your egg into a small bowl and set aside.
  3. Once rice is done, remove from heat, fluff and serve in a bowl.
  4. When water for the egg is boiling add a tablespoon of vinegar to the water and gently slide the egg into the water, stirring in a circle to help the white come together. Let the egg cook 1-2 minutes until the white is firm, but center is tender. Using a slotted spoon, remove from the boiling water and place on top of your rice.
  5. Drizzle entire dish with truffle oil, sprinkle with maldon salt and pepper and top with some roughly chopped cilantro. Thank me later.

More Easy Mid-Week Meals:
Barcelona Balsamic Chick Pea Salad
Grilled Thyme-Cumin Vegetable Kabobs
Roasted Cauliflower with Gremolata Breadcrumbs
Savory Cauliflower Fried Rice
Spicy Tomato-Meyer Lemon Stewed Chick Peas

Farro Salad with Steamed Kale and Roasted Pinenuts

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recipe goodness :: how to make mama proud & homemade fresh mozzarella

Let me start by saying this was shockingly easy and a lot of fun. It was perhaps made easier by the Roaring Brook Dairy Mozzarella Cheesemaking Kit that my brother gave me for Christmas. The kit comes with everything you need, including the gloves and thermometer, but most importantly the few specialty items required for cheesemaking {citric acid, rennet}. Now that I have stretched my homemade curd skills, these are things I plan to stock up on so I can continue to make the mozz monday, tuesday, thursday.

Homemade Fresh Mozzarella

Ingredients:
1 gallon pasteurized whole milk {not organic or ultra-pasteurized}
1.5 teaspoon citric acid
1/4 rennet tablet
1 teaspoon salt {or more to taste}
1 1/4 cup chorine-free filtered/spring water, divided

Equipment:
Thermometer
Rubber gloves
Measuring spoons
Strong slotted spoon {this is a great one}
Microwave safe mixing bowl
Colander
1-gallon stainless steal or non-aluminum pot

PREPARATION:

  1. Wash your hands and make sure all equipment is completely sterilized and clean {a run through the dishwasher is a good way to do this to eliminate an dirt or dust that may impact the curd}.
  2. Have a timer near your stove.
  3. Prepare the rennet water solution by dissolving 1/4 tablet of rennet in 1/4 cup of cold chlorine-free water {not tap water and if you buy bottled, be sure to buy spring-sourced}. Set aside. Wrap the remaining pieces of tablet and store in freezer for future use.
  4. Measure 1.5 teaspoons of citric acid into 1 cup of cold chlorine-free water. Stir to dissolve completely and set aside.

HEATING THE MILK:

  1. Pour the milk in the pot.
  2. Heat the milk over a medium-low flame {about 10 minutes}. Using the thermometer, check the temperature. At 85° F, add the citric acid. Stir with a slotted spoon or whisk slowly for 20 seconds.
  3. When milk reaches 100° F {about 5 minutes}, stir in the rennet-water solution and add to the milk. Using a slotted spoon gently stir the milk in an up and down motion for approximately 30 seconds.
Step 1-Heating the Milk

Step 1-Heating the Milk

DEVELOPING THE CURDS:

  1. Heat the milk a little more to 105° F and then turn the heat off. Cover the pot and let sit for 10 minutes. You should see signs of coagulation. The curds {the white mass} should look shiny and being to pull away from the side of the pot. The whey {liquid} should look like it has a yellow tint to it.
  2. To check if the curds are ready gently press the back of a spoon into the curds. If it leaves a dent, the curds are ready. If it does not, allow the curds to sit for another 2 minutes.

Step 2-Develop the CurdsDRAINING THE CURDS:

  1. The goal is to drain as much whey as possible from the curds while handling gently.
  2. Place the colander over a large microwaveable bowl.
  3. Using a slotted spoon, gently lift up the curds and let the whey drip back into the pot. Then place the curds in the colander.
  4. When all the curds are in the colander, gently press the curds with the palm of your hand to push out as much whey as possible. When there is almost no whey coming out of the curds place the curds in an empty microwaveable bowl.
  5. Again, using the palms of your hands, press down gently on curds and remove as much whey as possible.
  6. You can save the whey for Homemade Spicy Carrot Kimchi! & Apple Chutney!.

Step 3-Draining the CurdsCOOKING AND KNEADING THE CURDS:

  1. Microwave the curds for 1 minute.
  2. Put on a pair of rubber gloves to protect your hands from the heat. Remove the bowl of curds. Drain any whey and then gently fold the curds over to distribute the heat. Continue to drain out any whey.
  3. Microwave the curds for an additional 30 seconds. Drain and kneed the curds again. Knead the curds until it begins to look smooth, shiny and is firming up.

Step 4-Cooking and Kneading the Curds.jpg

STRETCHING THE CHEESE:

  1. Take the temperature of the cheese. It must be 135° F to stretch properly. If it isn’t hot enough, microwave for another 30 seconds until the cheese reaches temperature. Add the salt and any other herbs you want to use and begin to work into the cheese by stretching and folding, and repeat this movement.
  2. Holding the cheese up, let it fall on itself. If you prefer a softer texture, don’t stretch the cheese as much. As soon as it is smooth and shiny {looks like taffy} shape it into a ball.
  3. Form ball by pulling and tucking the edges underneath the cheese and smoothing the top and sides. If you want to eat it warm, just wrap it tightly in plastic wrap. Or, if you want to keep the shape, place each ball in a large bowl of ice water for 15 minutes.
  4. Remove from water, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate.
Step 5-Stretching the Mozz

Step 5-Stretching the Mozz

Fresh Mozz!

Fresh Mozz!

Get Back to Your Roots | More Scratch Projects:

CHEESE | Homemade Ricotta
BREAD | 101: How to Make Bakery Quality Bread @Home
PICKLES | Homemade Spicy Pickled Carrots
KIMCHI | Homemade Spicy Carrot Kimchi! & Apple Chutney!

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recipe goodness :: japanese soba with mushroom broth

Japanese Soba with Mushroom Broth

Japanese Soba with Mushroom Broth

I wore my Japanese Haori to a recent dinner party, so naturally that led to conversations about all things Japanese. And in my world, that really means food. As we chatted away, a friend started talking soba, seaweed and shitakes and described his mastered recipe for a steaming bowl of goodness that is true to its Japanese roots — simple, but amazing.  Who needs a Japanese noodle house when you create a dish like this at home? Once you have a few of these items stocked in your cupboard, you can easily bring the East into your kitchen any night of the week without a lot of effort. He provides instructions for both your last minute craving and for days when you have time to let it all marinate and simmer for long periods of flavor-enriching time. Note: you don’t have to go to a Japanese specialty market to get all the makings, most health-food shops will carry everything you need and I even noticed the same brand of Mirin and Soba noodles at Whole Foods.

Japanese Soba Noodles

Japanese Soba Noodles with Mushroom Broth

Recipe from Justin Carter | Makes 1-2 servings

1 sheet kombu-style seaweed
1 oz dried shitakes {or a handful of fresh shitakes or Maitakes}
6 cups of cold water {Justin called for 4, but I found I needed more}
1 leek, sliced
Mirin and soy sauce to taste
Soba noodles
Miso to cloud broth
1 Egg
Chopped scallions

  1. Soak seaweed and stems of mushrooms in water for 3-4 hours {or longer — start overnight or before you head out for work}. If you’re short on time or have a last minute craving you can soak for 30 minutes and then heat in a saucepan on low heat for 30 minutes.
  2. Remove seaweed. Add sliced caps of mushrooms and washed & sliced leeks. Simmer in a covered pot for 30 minutes-3 hours depending on how savory you want the broth and how much time you have.
  3. If you’re adding an egg, bring to a boil and drop the raw egg directly into the broth and cook until white — 1-2 minutes. If the broth isn’t deep enough {I had this problem using only 4 cups of water that simmered away and was absorbed by the mushrooms, poach the egg in a separate pot of boiling water}.
  4. Boil 1-2 servings of soba noodles according to package instructions and add to broth.
  5. Add mirin and soy sauce to taste. Add enough miso to cloud the broth. Top with chopped scallions.

More Japanese Goodness Kudesai:
NYC Ramen Wars: Ippudo vs. momofuku noodle bar
Momofuku That Pork Butt is Good!
NYC Best: Momofuku That Noodle Bar is Good Too!
Behind Bohemian
Love, Love Shabu Shabu: Fun to Say and Eat

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St. Paddy’s Day Delicious Pots of Gold

Just a few things to help you prepare for St. Paddy’s Day. Who doesn’t want to brew your own beer and then make a steak puff pastry pie with it {with cheese}? Yes please!

MAKE: Irish Steak & Guinness Puff Pastry Pie
{click for recipe}

Steak and Guinness Pie

Steak and Guinness Pie

BUY: Everyday IPA or Chocolate Maple Porter Kit 

1-gallon brew kit includes everything you need: 1 gallon glass fermenter, 3-piece chambered airlock, screw top stopper, thermometer, plastic tubing, tubing clamp, racking cane, and sanitizer

Craft Home Brew Kit and Beer Making Book

Craft Home Brew Kit and Beer Making Book

DRINK: Wilfie & Nell: Not Grandpa’s Watering Hole

Wilfie & Nell

Wilfie & Nell

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recipe goodness :: early bird foods’ olive oil and maple syrup granola

Early Bird Olive Oil and Maple Syrup Granola

Early Bird Olive Oil and Maple Syrup Granola

I discovered the recipe through food52’s genius series, a weekly column of recipes that are nothing short of genius. I was in the mood to bake something quick and easy and was drawn to this nutty savory-sweet mix. One batch makes 7-8 cups, so this treat feed you for a few weeks {unless you’re like me and can’t stop grabbing a handful}.

Adapted very slightly from Early Bird Foods’ Farmhand’s Choice Granola

Makes about 7 cups

3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 cup raw pumpkin seeds, hulled
1 cup raw sunflower seeds, hulled
1 cup unsweetened coconut chips
1 1/4 cup raw pecan halves, left whole or coarsely chopped
1/2-3/4 cup pure maple syrup {I prefer a little less sweet}
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
Coarse salt

  1. Heat oven to 300 degrees.
  2. Place oats, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, coconut, pecans, syrup, olive oil, sugar, and 1 teaspoon salt in a large bowl and mix until well combined. Spread granola mixture in an even layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Transfer to oven and bake, stirring every 10-15 minutes, until granola is toasted, about 45 minutes.
  3. Remove granola from oven and season with more salt to taste. Let cool completely before serving or storing in an airtight container for up to 1 month.

More For the Early Bird:
Blueberry, Lemon & Coconut Pancakes
Secret DiLaura Family Frittata with Sweet Italian Sausage
Herbed Buttermilk Biscuits
Royal British Cranberry-Almond Breakfast Scones

How To Cook The Perfect Sunny Side-Up Egg
How to Cook the Perfect 8.5 Minute Egg
Southern Breakfast Egg Casserole

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recipe goodness :: not your mother’s spiced sweet potato hummus

spiced sweet potato hummus

spiced sweet potato hummus

Ok, I’ve been making hummus for years. My mother has been making hummus even longer. And her mother taught her, further extending our family hummus history. When a dish is so central to your family traditions, sometimes you have tunnel vision. Must. Be. Made. This. Way. Only. And then one day you stumble upon a recipe that hits you like a ton of bricks and you think to yourself, why in the world have I never strayed out of this damn tunnel. Welcome to the family spiced sweet potato hummus.

Spiced Sweet Potato Hummus

the goods

I was reading one of my favorite lusty food blogs, Spoon Fork Bacon, and came across this recipe. I knew before trying it that it was going to be brilliant. While the makings are rooted in the same ingredients we’ve been employing for years {chick peas, lemon, garlic, tahini, salt}, this hummus is elevated by the sweet additive potato, providing color and amazing flavor, as well as several of my favorite spices that give this dish a counterbalancing earthiness to complete perfection.

spiced sweet potato hummus

Pre and Post Blend

Spiced Sweet Potato Hummus

Recipe adapted from Spoon Fork Bacon

1 sweet potato, peeled, chopped and boiled until fork tender
1 (14.5 ounce) can garbanzo beans, drained, liquid reserved
1/4-1/2 cup drained chick pea liquid
3 tablespoons tahini
1 garlic clove
1 lemon, juiced and zested {meyer lemon if in season}
1/2 tablespoon cumin
1 teaspoon paprika {smoked or sweet}
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
dash nutmeg
salt and pepper to taste
drizzle of olive oil
sprinkle of za’atar

  1. Peel, dice and boil sweet potato until fork tender.
  2. Heat chick peas in the microwave for 2 minutes. Heating will help provide a smoother texture.
  3. Place ingredients for hummus into a food processor and blend until smooth. Start with a smaller amount of the reserved chick pea liquid and add more to adjust to desired thickness. Taste and adjust seasonings to taste.
  4. Top with a small drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of za’atar.
  5. Serve with pita bread, pita chips, veggies, on a sandwich or whatever your creative heart desires.

Rooted in Tradition:
Secret DiLaura Family Frittata with Sweet Italian Sausage
Grandma’s Italian Wedding Chicken Soup
Homemade Gnocchi and Sauce: Channeling My Italian Grandmother
Violet’s Lemon Cheesecake with BBQ’d Summer Berries {bottom of post}

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Do This!: Learn Lacto-Fermentation {Kimchi! Chutney!} with Leda Meredith

Leda Meredith's Lacto Fermentation Sidetour Experience

Leda Meredith's Lacto Fermentation Sidetour Experience

2012 is the year of #scratchcooking. Getting back to the ingredients and making things that you can hold in your own two hands and be proud of. Last weekend I took my new-found pickling love to the next level with a lacto-fermentation class {not to be confused with a lactation class}. Woah. Spicy Carrot Kimchi and Apple Chutney that I would eat straight out of the jar was the end prize. The Sidetour event took place in Brooklyn and was hosted by Leda Meredith, author of The Locavore’s Handbook and food preservationist-extrodinaire.

We spent two hours learning the difference between several food preservation techniques and rules to live by to safely avoid the dreaded botulism {good news, botulism can’t happen when you ferment so keep reading}. Leda showed us a quick hot water bath pickle to distinguish between that jarring method and the lacto-fermentation approach which was going to be our main focus. I’ll skip over the details of the pickle since I covered it in my Happy Girl Pickle Post {read more here}. Jumping to fermentation, just know one thing: this is a quick and easy project that can be done in under 30 minutes, so don’t be scared off by big long words or the idea that jarring is a day-long commitment. Get involved!

Learn to Make Kimchi with Leda {here}

Leda Meredith Makes Hot Water Bath Pickled Carrots

Leda Meredith Makes Hot Water Bath Pickled Carrots

Lacto-Fermentation defined: the biological process by which bacteria converts starches to lactic acid.

Why Lacto-Fermentation is GOOD, not scary: loaded with probiotics that help with digestion and have anti-inflammatory properties. May even fight cancer — hooray!

Stage one of lacto-fermentation: vegetables are submerged in a brine that is salty enough to kill off harmful bacteria. The Lactobacillus good guys survive this stage and begin stage two.

Stage two of lacto-fermentation: the Lactobacillus organisms begin converting lactose and other sugars present in the food into lactic acid. This creates an acidic environment that safely preserves the vegetables – and gives lacto-fermented foods their classic tangy flavor.

Key Fermentation Tips to Live By:

  • Botulism CAN’T happen with fermentation. phew!
  • Fermented foods don’t need to be canned via hot water bath or pressure canning, so can easily be made with an empty mayo jar, salt, vegetables and water. No fancy sealing jars. No sterilization. No equipment needed. But they do need to be stored in the fridge.
  • More specifically, fermented foods should not be canned in a hot water bath, as the heat will kill off all bacteria needed for the lacto-fermentation process.
  • The salt brine is the safety factor in fermentation. As long as you maintain the proper ratio of 1 pint H2O to 2 teaspoons salt, you can play around with any seasonings and veg to let your creativity safely run wild.
  • Adding a splash of whey {from strained yogurt or cheese} will help jumpstart the fermentation process {finally, something to do with all the whey from my homemade ricotta!}
  • Must use filtered water. Chlorine and flouride found in our tap water could kill the bacteria {brita is fine, bottled water may not be since many brands are just bottled tap water}.
  • Must fill the jar all the way to the top with veg and brine so everything is 100% submerged {unlike hot water bath pickling where air space is needed}.
  • Product keeps forever, but flavors will continue to develop to the point of being too pungent and mushy. Peak flavor: 3 months.
Fermented Apple Chutney and Spicy Carrot Kimchi

Fermented Apple Chutney and Spicy Carrot Kimchi

Spicy Carrot Kimchi

Prep Time: 15 minutes | Unrefrigerated Fermentation Time: 48 hours
Minimum Wait Until Eat: 1 week | Peak: 2-3 months

Yield: 1 quart or 1 liter

3 cups filtered water {brita or spring bottled}

1 1/2 tablespoons kosher or other non-iodized salt
1/2 teaspoon nam pla (fish sauce) OR soy sauce
3/4 pound carrots, peeled
1/4 pound daikon radish, peeled
1 scallion, white parts and some of the green, chopped
1 – 2 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger root
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or more to taste

  1. Dissolve the salt in the filtered water. It’s important to use filtered water because the chlorine and other chemicals in most municipal tap water can interfere with the fermentation process.
  2. Stir in the fish or soy sauce.
  3. Finely julienne the carrots and daikon radish into matchstick sized pieces. A mandoline or thin slicing blade of a food processor will make this step easier.
  4. In a large bowl, toss the carrots, daikon radish, grated ginger, chopped scallion, garlic and red pepper flakes. Pack them into a clean quart or liter glass jar.
  5. Pour the brine over the other ingredients. Press gently on the vegetables and spices to release any air bubbles. The brine should completely cover the other ingredients. If the food floats out of the brine, weight it with a smaller glass jar filled with water. If the vegetables are staying immersed in the brine, just cover the jar they are in loosely with a lid.
  6. Place the jar of kimchi on a small plate to catch the overflow that may happen as it starts to ferment. Leave it at room temperature for 24 – 48 hours until you start to see bubbles and it smells slightly sour when you remove the lid.
  7. Once you see and smell signs that the kimchi is actively fermenting, transfer the jar to the door of your refrigerator. This is the warmest part of your refrigerator but still cooler than room temperature – perfect for your kimchi to keep slowly fermenting.
  8. If you plan to store it for longer than a month, move it to a cooler part of your refrigerator (one of the central shelves rather than the inside of the refrigerator door).

Spicy Apple Chutney

Prep Time: 10 minutes | Unrefrigerated Fermentation Time : 48 hours
Minimum Wait Until Eat: 2 weeks | Peak: 2 months 

Yield: 1 quart

1/2 cup filtered water {brita or spring bottled}

2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons whey* (see note below)
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
3 cups cored and finely chopped apples
1/2 cup raisins
2 tsp. kosher or other non-iodized salt
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. slightly crushed coriander seeds
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes (or more, if you like your chutney spicy)
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1/2 tsp. caraway seeds

  1. Combine the water, vinegar, honey and whey. Mix the combined liquids with the other ingredients and pack firmly into a quart-size glass jar, leaving at least an inch of head space. The liquid should come up to the top of the fruit. If it doesn’t, add a little filtered water.
  2. Cover and leave at room temperature for 2 days. You should see some bubbles on top by then, which is a sign of active fermentation.
  3. Refrigerate and leave for another week before eating. Will keep in the refrigerator for 2 months. Delicious as a side, on top of meat {pork chop!}, with cheese or on its own!
  4. *The whey in this recipe is already alive with healthy, probiotic bacteria and jumpstarts the fermentation process. To make whey drain plain whole yogurt or homemade ricotta through cloth or paper filters over a bowl. The liquid that separates out is whey.

Scratch Projects {Get Back to your Roots}:
CHEESE | Homemade Ricotta
BREAD | 101: How to Make Bakery Quality Bread @Home
PICKLES | Homemade Spicy Pickled Carrots 

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recipe goodness :: spicy tomato-meyer lemon stewed chick peas

spicy tomato-meyer lemon stewed chick peas

spicy tomato-meyer lemon stewed chick peas

More from the book of “sometimes the best dishes come together when it’s 7pm, your stomach is talking to you, and you don’t have much to choose from in the fridge.” What I love about cooking with protein-rich chick peas is that you can always have them on hand in your cupboard, so when you’re in a pinch you can easily throw together a quick and filling dish. And because they have a great neutral flavor, chick peas can be canvases for any sort of creative seasoning you want to stew them in. After adding a little bit of this and a little bit of that, I think we have a winner worthy of sharing. It’s a little spicy {but you can adjust that to taste}, a little creamy {from the marriage of olive oil, butter and chick pea starch} and it’s brightened by a kiss of citrus. Simple flavors, uber delicious — and it only takes 5 minutes. Keep this one in mind for a crowd-pleasing side or a self-pleasing bowl of mid-week goodness.

Spicy Tomato-Meyer Lemon Stewed Chick Peas

Serves 1 as a main, 2 as a side

1 can chick peas, drained
1 teaspoon tomato paste
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 meyer lemon, juiced
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped

  1. Drain chick peas and add to a small saucepan with all the ingredients, except the parsley.
  2. Heat pot to low-medium and simmer lightly for 5 minutes, until liquid cooks down slightly and chick peas are warmed through.
  3. Pour into a bowl, top with maldon sea salt and chopped parsley.

Serve with: za’atar-pecorino toasted crostini

More Chicks to Fall in Love With…
B
arcelona Balsamic Chick Pea Salad
Lemon Herb Roasted Chicken
Some Like it HOT Pollo alla Diavola
Roasted Dijon Chicken Salad w/ Dried Cranberries & Sunflower Seeds

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