Tag Archives: Recipe

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

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under @home {recipes to love}

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

Leave a comment

Filed under @home {recipes to love}

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

Leave a comment

Filed under @home {recipes to love}

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}

5 Comments

Filed under @home {recipes to love}

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 

Leave a comment

Filed under @home {recipes to love}, Do This!

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

3 Comments

Filed under @home {recipes to love}

recipe goodness :: za’atar-pecorino toasted crostini

za'atar-pecorino crostini

za'atar-pecorino crostini

Sometimes the best things in food are created by opening your cupboards and blindly grabbing one ingredient with your right hand and another with your left. I love crostini — I think it’s the answer to any last minute appetizer need or the way to add a crunchy bite to a smooth bowl of soup or stew.

When I was experimenting with my balsamic and fish stew, I thought anyone without dentures might appreciate something with a different texture to round out their bowl. So with a few swipes of butter, a grating or two of pecorino and a sprinkle of za’atar {a spice mixture I think everyone should have in their cupboards}, this tasty little crostini came to life and proved worthy of sharing with you all. Who needs Stella D’Oro when you can make these from scratch in under 5 minutes.

Za’atar-Pecorino Crostini

1 fresh baguette
butter or olive oil for spreading
pecorino for grating
za’atar spice for sprinkling

  1. Heat oven to 450° F.
  2. Slice the baguette at a 45 degree angle, cutting as many pieces as you think will suit  your crowd {I underestimated their popularity, so ended up making a second batch — plan wisely!}
  3. Spread butter or brush olive oil on each piece to lightly coat. Using a microplane, zest pecorino on top of each crostini. Take a pinch of za’atar and sprinkle on top of the pecorino.
  4. Place all the crostini on a baking sheet and bake in the oven 5-8 minutes or until the cheese is slightly melted and the breaded is lightly toasted.
  5. Serve with soup, stew, roast chicken, fish, brisket, braised rabbit, whatever your heart desires!

Crostini Partners in Crime:
Grandma’s Italian Wedding Chicken Soup
Wild Child Broccoflower and Celery Root Soup

Homemade Gnocchi and Sauce: Channeling My Italian Grandmother
Lemon Herb Roasted Chicken
Spicy Balsamic and Fennel Fish Stew

3 Comments

Filed under @home {recipes to love}

recipe goodness :: spicy balsamic and fennel fish stew

Spicy Balsamic and Fennel Fish Stew

Spicy Balsamic and Fennel Fish Stew

When most people think of stews, they think of hours of braising meat and heavy, fill-your-belly bowls of wintry goodness. Can a stew be made quickly and with a lightness that still satisfies the desire for deep flavor complexity? The answer is yes. Enter the fish stew.

This recent creation received a table full of ooohs and aaahs and pleas for seconds, so next time you’re looking for an inspired mid-week meal, visit your local fishmonger and produce-stand and stew it up. Why is this such a praise-worthy recipe? The combination of subtle spice {which you can add to if you prefer more} with the sweet balsamic and fennel really hits on all those taste buds and takes the mild fish to a new level. Bonus: the fish only takes 3-4 minutes to cook and is added at the end, so you can easily make the base of the sauce ahead of time, leave in a covered pot, and reheat just prior to dinner, bringing a great meal together in a matter of minutes. Dare I say it’s healthy too? Nah, who really cares about that.

Spicy Balsamic and Fennel Fish Stew

Serves 8 | 40-50 minutes total time

1 carrot, diced
1 celery stalk, diced
1/2 fennel bulb, diced, frawns reserved
1 red onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup white wine
1 28 oz can diced tomatoes
3/4 can of water
1 teaspoon anchovy paste
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
salt and pepper to taste
2 lbs flounder, skin and bones removed {or other white fish}
2 cups rice {I used brown for more flavor}
Aged balsamic for drizzling
Fennel frawns for garnish

  1. Dice all your veg, setting aside the garlic to add later. Heat oil in a large stock pot or dutch oven over medium heat and add carrots, celery, fennel, red onion, cooking 10-15 minutes until tender and not brown {lower heat or add more oil if starts to brown}.
  2. Prepare your rice according to package instructions in a separate pot.
  3. After the veg cooks for 10-15 minutes, add garlic and a little more oil if pot is dry. Cook 2-3 minutes to release the garlic fragrance.
  4. Add white wine and let simmer 3-5 minutes. Turn heat to high and add the diced tomatoes and fill the can 3/4 full with water to add as well.
  5. Season with anchovy paste, cayenne, salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer for 20-30 minutes uncovered, reducing the amount of liquid by about 1/4. Once the sauce is thicker, taste and add additional seasoning as desired. Note: you can make the sauce ahead of time up until this point and reheat prior to adding the fish, making this a quick meal that can be prepared in minutes.
  6. Slice each fish filet into 2-inch wide strips. Season with salt and pepper and add to the simmering sauce. Fish will cook fairly quickly, so check a piece after 3-4 minutes to make sure it is firm and no longer translucent in the middle.
  7. Add a generous scoop of rice to the bottom of a bowl, top with fish stew, drizzle lightly with aged balsamic and top with chopped fennel frawns. Enjoy!
Home-Tested, 8.ate@eight Approved

Chock Full of Flavorful Veg

Fish Stew

Wintry Wonders:
Best Butternut Squash and Green Apple Soup
Grandma’s Italian Wedding Chicken Soup
Wild Child Broccoflower and Celery Root Soup

Braised Grass-Fed Beef Brisket and Polenta
Irish Steak & Guinness Puff Pastry Pie

Leave a comment

Filed under @home {recipes to love}

recipe goodness :: wild child broccoflower and celery root soup

Broccoflower Celery Root Soup

Broccoflower Celery Root Soup

I recently tried a soup from food52’s Genius Recipe series that promised preparation simplicity with unsuspected flavor complexity. The soup only has three main ingredients, one of which is water, with the other two being cauliflower and onion. Immediate reaction: plain peasant soup? But if you trust in Paul Bertolli {of Chez Panisse and Oliveto}, you will quickly realize the genius in this preparation creates a smooth, slightly sweet, creamy blend you would swear had a fair dose of artery-damaging cream. It does not.

So after making and happily consuming several batches of Paul’s cauliflower soup, I decided to apply his technique to other favorite wintry veg and see if the results were equally outstanding. Enter the wild child broccoflower — an offspring of the marriage between broccoli and cauliflower, it has the subtle broccoli flavor with the hearty cauliflower architecture. I decided to also throw in some celery root for it’s unique flavor that I thought would add an additional brightness to the bowl. Result? Success round two.

Bright Green Broccoflower

Bright Green Broccoflower

Wild Child Broccoflower and Celery Root Winter Soup

Adapted from Paul Bertolli’s Cauliflower Soup | Serves 8

3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1 medium yellow onion, sliced thinly
1 head broccoflower, broken into florets
1 celery root bulb, peeled and sliced thinly
Salt to taste
6 cups water, divided
Extra virgin olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper

  1. Warm the olive oil in a heavy-bottomed pan. Sweat the onion in the olive oil over low heat without letting it brown for 15 minutes.
  2. Add the broccoflower, celery root, salt to taste, and 1/2 cup water. Raise the heat slightly, cover the pot tightly and stew for 15 to 18 minutes, or until tender. Then add another 4 1/2 cups hot water, bring to a low simmer and cook an additional 20 minutes uncovered.
  3. Working in batches, purée the soup in a blender to a very smooth, creamy consistency {or use an immersion blender in the pot, being careful not to let hot soup splash onto you}. Let the soup stand for 20 minutes. In this time it will thicken slightly.
  4. Thin the soup with 1/2-1 cup hot water. Reheat the soup. Serve hot, drizzled with a thin stream of extra-virgin olive oil and freshly ground black pepper.
Steam the Broccoflower Florets and Celery Root

Steam the Broccoflower Florets and Celery Root

Brrrrrrrring on Other Warming Wintry Dishes:
Best Butternut Squash and Green Apple Soup
Grandma’s Italian Wedding Chicken Soup

Braised Grass-Fed Beef Brisket and Polenta
Irish Steak & Guinness Puff Pastry Pie 

Leave a comment

Filed under @home {recipes to love}

recipe goodness :: bursting brussels sprouts with pancetta-clementine reduction

Pan-Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta-Orange Reduction

Pan-Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta-Orange Reduction

I can’t take credit for creating this recipe {my brother is the mastermind behind this one}, but I can attest to its deliciousness. There has been a brussels sprouts revolution over that past few years — this once polarizing veg, although cute, was often the recipient of turned up noses. Perhaps because they have the reputation of being boiled to death until taking on a soggy, grey characteristic that would have anyone using their napkin as a disposal system.

But these beautifully bright green mini-cabbages can carry some outstanding flavors when prepared properly — and by properly, I don’t mean to imply this is difficult. A little pancetta or bacon goodness, some brightening citrus and a few minutes in a pan to marry all the flavors in a caramelization collision and you have yourself a healthy, colorful side that is worthy of any dinner party.

Pancetta Rendering

Pancetta Rendering

Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta-Clementine Reduction

Serves 4 | 15-20 minutes

1/3 lb pancetta, diced
2 small shallots, sliced
1.5 lbs brussels sprouts
1/2 cup fresh clementine juice + zest {can use oranges too}
Salt and pepper to taste
Pine nuts to garnish

  1.  Cut pancetta into 1/4-inch cubes and cook on low heat in a large pan to slowly render the fat, ~5-10 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, wash and halve brussels sprouts, removing any hard stem from the bottom. Remove skin from shallots and slice into rings.
  3. Once pancetta starts to firm and fat becomes slightly translucent, add the shallots and cook until tender. Then add the sprouts to the pan, raise the heat to medium and season with salt and pepper {start light on the salt as the pancetta is salty and you can always add more to taste}. Cook an additional 5-7 minutes until the sprouts start to brown on the edges and become slightly tender, stirring occasionally.
  4. Squeeze and zest clementines and add to the pan, stirring to coat. Allow to cook 3-5 minutes to reduce juice and warm through.
  5. Taste and add additional salt, pepper or juice as desired. Add to a bowl and top with pine nuts.

Complete My Dinner:
Flaky Cheese Straws, As Easy As Being Barefoot
Giada’s Sweet & Sour Pork Chops
Farro Salad with Steamed Kale and Roasted Pinenuts 

2 Comments

Filed under @home {recipes to love}

recipe goodness :: homemade ricotta and melted leeks — the easiest winning appetizer you MUST make

Homemade Ricotta

Homemade Ricotta

I don’t typically like to tell people what to do. But I’m going to tell you — and you’re going to listen to me — you must make this NOW. Sure, I get a little more experimental in the kitchen than most, but when I tell you this will have you channeling your inner Italian Grandmother with ease and will also have you wanting to make fresh ricotta everyday, I hope you believe me. The beauty of this recipe is 1) how easy it is, 2) how proud you will be that you made YOUR OWN ricotta, and 3) it will have your guests ooh-ing and aah-ing over this deceivingly perfect flavor combo — let’s face it, this is really just onions and milk we’re talking about. It happens to also be an extremely inexpensive way to create an impressive appetizer, so with the holidays around the corner let’s get curdling!

I’ve included a few other variations in case you want to serve this different ways at all your holiday line-ups {everything can be made ahead of time, so you can enjoy a cocktail instead of sweating over a hot oven}. Plus 1.5 lbs of ricotta will probably get you through 2-3 evenings, depending on the size of your crowd.

Homemade Ricotta 

Makes ~1 lb post-drained ricotta 

1 pint whole milk {I use Grazin’ Angus Acres}
1 cup heavy cream
3/4 cup cultured buttermilk
Maldon sea salt

Equipment:
Large 1 gallon+ pot {le creuset if you have one}
Cooking thermometer that reads to 200 degrees
Very fine cheesecloth or clean tea towel
String
Colander and large bowl

  1. Using a large 1 gallon+ stock pot {I use my le creuset} heat whole milk, cream, buttermilk and a few pinches of salt on medium heat until it comes to a light boil. Stir milk frequently to ensure bottom does not scorch.
  2. Boil milk for 2 minutes, stirring, then remove from the heat and let rest in the pot for 1 hour to let the curds form some more.
  3. Place a large colander over a large bowl in the sink. Line the colander with very fine cheese cloth or a clean white tea towel so edges hang over the edge of the colander.
  4. Slowly pour the curdled milk into the colander/cheesecloth, letting the whey pour through to the bowl below and keeping the curds in the cheesecloth. You can use the whey to soften the cheese later or simply discard.
  5. Lift the colander out of the bowl and grab the edges of the cheesecloth/towel together. Hold up and let drain for about 1 minute+ until the the ricotta reaches the consistency you desire.
  6. Note: I like to keep it a little creamy so it is easy to spread, but if it gets thicker than you desire, you can always pour a few tablespoons of milk {or the strained whey} back into the cheese to soften.
  7. When you’re ready to serve, season with maldon sea salt to taste and prepare any of the variations below or your own inspired pairing.
Appetizer Variations:

  • Serve with water crackers or garlic crostini {recipe below}
  • Top with warm melted leeks {recipe below}
  • Top with drizzled honey or your favorite chutney
  • Sprinkle with Maldon sea salt, a drizzle of good olive oil and fresh thyme, destemmed
p.s. you can also make this ricotta for Homemade Gnocchi and Sauce: Channeling My Italian Grandmother

Melted Leeks

1 bunch leeks
1 stick butter
Kosher salt

  1. Cut off and discard root end and half way up the firm green stems. Slice each leek in half lengthwise to expose inner layers. Add leek halves to a bowl of cold water to release dirt. Use your fingers to check and clean outer layers.
  2. Pat dry and place each leek half flat-side down on cutting board and cut into 1/4-inch thick half-circle slices.
  3. Melt butter in a large pan on low-medium heat {or the cleaned le creuset you just used for the ricotta} and add leeks.
  4. Slowly cook leeks in butter until tender, ~10-15 minutes. Turn heat down if they start to brown before they are soft. Add salt to taste.
  5. Serve immediately while warm with the ricotta on the side or place in an airtight container and reheat in the microwave for 20 seconds just before serving to soften butter.

Garlic-Rubbed Crostini

1 baguette
Olive Oil for brushing
1-2 garlic cloves

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Slice baguette at a 45-degree angle, creating 1/4-inch thick slices.
  3. Place slices side by side on a baking sheet. Brush each piece with olive oil and place in oven for 10-15 minutes until toasted.
  4. Remove baking sheet and while the crostini are still hot, rub a whole garlic clove with 1-2 swipes on each piece of bread.
  5. Note: can be made ahead of time on the day you plan to serve and stored in an air-tight container or bag once cooled, until ready to serve.

1. Pour whole milk, cream and buttermilk into a large pot

2. Heat to 200 degrees F, or until it starts to boil, stirring frequently

2. Turn heat off and let rest for 1 hour

3/4. Pour ricotta into cheesecloth-lined colander over a large bowl in the sink. {Bowl shown next to the colander to show whey that runs through}

5. Gather edges of cloth and tie tightly with string, hanging to let drain ~1-2 minutes

6. Voila! Homemade Ricotta

Melted Leeks

3 Comments

Filed under @home {recipes to love}

recipe goodness: millionaire’s shortbread worth a billion bucks

Millionaire's Shortbread: Perfect Bite-Sized Treat

One of my favorite places to find recipe inspiration is on food52 — a site created by two friends, Merrill Stubbs and Amanda Hesser, who wanted a place to showcase the best of home cooks. In looking for a winning holiday dessert that could easily be devoured in one bite while balancing a glass of bubbly, I came across Merrill’s recipe for Millionaire’s Shortbread. If you’re money hungry this dessert will sweeten the deal. It’s made with very few simple ingredients, can be made at least a day ahead of time and is worth its weight in gold when these little bites fly off the silver platter into your guests’ hands.

Millionaire’s Shortbread 

Serves 16-32 | Courtesy of Merrill Stubbs

Shortbread:
1½ cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
5 tablespoons sugar
1 ½ sticks unsalted butter at room temperature

For the caramel and chocolate:
1¼ cups sugar
¼ cup water
5 tablespoons heavy cream
5 tablespoons salted butter, cubed
1 tablespoon crème fraiche

½ cup heavy cream
4 oz. semisweet chocolate, chopped
Maldon, grey or smoked sea salt

  1. Put a rack in the center of the oven and heat it to 350 degrees. Sift the flour and salt into a medium bowl and whisk in the sugar.
  2. Cut the butter into chunks and add it to the flour, stirring with a fork to make a soft dough. Gently pat the dough into a 9-inch square baking pan. Prick the dough all over with a fork and bake for 20 to 30 minutes, until it is golden and no longer looks at all wet. Set aside to cool while you make the caramel and chocolate topping.
  3. To make the caramel: Combine the sugar and water in a medium saucepan and set over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, swirling occasionally until the sugar has melted but without stirring. Simmer for about 10 minutes, swirling the pot every once and a while, until the sugar turns a dark amber color. Do not let it get too dark, or it will taste burnt.
  4. As soon as the sugar reaches the right color, remove it from the heat and carefully add the cream, whisking all the time (the mixture will bubble up as you do this, so use an oven mitt or a long-handled whisk). Whisk in the butter gradually and then the crème fraiche. Set aside to cool for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. When the caramel is cool enough to touch, pour it evenly over the shortbread, tipping the pan gently and tapping it on the counter to get rid of any bubbles. Put in the fridge to firm up a little.
  6. To make the chocolate: When the caramel has firmed up a bit, bring the cream to a boil in a small saucepan. Off the heat, immediately whisk in the chocolate until smooth and shiny. Let the mixture cool for about 5 minutes, and then pour over the caramel, again tilting the pan and tapping it against the counter to smooth it out. Let it sit at room temperature for about 15 minutes, until the chocolate starts to firm up a little.
  7. To finish, Sprinkle the top with coarse salt and refrigerate until firm enough to cut into squares, at least 3 hours.
  8. When ready to serve, cut into 4×4 squares or cut each square in half diagonally to double the number of servings. These bites are so rich, I prefer to serve them this way and let the party come back for more.

Other Bite-Sized Party Pleasers:
Inside-Out Scotch Eggs w/ Ground Lamb, Harissa Yolk & Panko Gremolata
Cinnamon Sugar & Dark Cocoa Almonds
Mini Wild Mushroom Shepherd’s Pie w/ Scotch!
Union Square Bar Roasted Rosemary Nuts
Flaky Cheese Straws, As Easy As Being Barefoot 

6 Comments

Filed under @home {recipes to love}

recipe goodness: aw nuts! darn good roasted rosemary nuts for the holidays

Roasted Nuts

It’s the holidays and that means we’re all running from party to party or even planning our own. We never want to show up empty handed and we’re often looking for a way to put out a great spread, without a lot of work. This recipe is your solution to both dilemmas. The recipe comes from the long-standing popular Union Square Cafe in New York City and it takes beer nuts to a new level. Hitting on every taste-bud, I guarantee the bowl will be empty faster than the mini-hot dog platter. This salty treat will also make any gifted bottle of wine extra special when you walk through any guest’s door on your party route. Gifting Tip: buy cellophane bags from a party or paper store and tie the bag with a red ribbon that you can hang around the neck of a wine bottle — easy, inexpensive and extra impressive.

Coating Goodness

Roasted Rosemary Union Square Bar Nuts

Cook time: 10 minutes

2 1/4 cups unsalted mixed nuts
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary leaves
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 teaspoon dark brown sugar
2 teaspoon sea salt
1 Tablespoon melted butter

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Spread nuts out on cookie sheet and toast for 10 minutes or until just turning golden brown.
  3. In a bowl combine all other ingredients and combine with nuts while warm.
  4. Toss thoroughly until well mixed and let cool before adding to an air tight container or gift bags.

Aw Nuts, I Need More Party Ideas!
Cinnamon Sugar & Dark Cocoa Almonds
Inside-Out Scotch Eggs w/ Ground Lamb, Harissa Yolk & Panko Gremolata
Mini Wild Mushroom Shepherd’s Pie w/ Scotch! {bottom of post} 
Autumn Manhattan {Herby Garnished Classic a la Tippling Bros.}
Fireside Sparks {Champagne Cocktail a la Tippling Bros.}
Smokey Margarita {a la Tippling Bros.}

5 Comments

Filed under @home {recipes to love}

recipe goodness :: peppers padron at home

Peppers Padron

Anytime I see these little suckers on a restaurant menu, I am almost always certain to order them. They are simple, salty little snacks that are most often found in Spanish tapas bars. They are mostly very mild, but every now and then you get a surprise spicy one which is part of the fun. After a recent trip to Barcelona I brought back a packet of seeds to see if I could grow and replicate this plate at home. The result: success. If you can’t find your own seeds or seedlings to grow in your garden, these peppers are growing in popularity and can often be found in grocery stores or local farmers’ markets.

Roasted Peppers Padron

1/2-1 lb of Padron peppers
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
Maldon salt for sprinkling

  1. Add olive oil to a hot pan, when the oil is hot and shimmering add the peppers.
  2. Cook and stir the peppers until the skin is brown and blistered about 2-3 minutes.
  3. Remove the peppers from the pan, place on a plate and sprinkle with Maldon salt to taste.

Leave a comment

Filed under @home {recipes to love}

recipe goodness :: some like it HOT pollo alla diavola

Chilling Out in the Garlic-Pepper Marinade

It’s HOT HOT HOT out!  And while some may like to hunker down in their A/C-chilled apartments or seek refuge in the comfort of a restaurant where someone else slaves over a hot stove, I like to turn up the heat by firing up the grill and making one of the best pollo alla diavola recipes I have ever had. It takes a little time and effort {which can all be done comfortably while your window unit pumps out cold air} — but by putting in the time and TLC to brine and marinate, you will get the most juicy, flavor-packed chicken you can ask for. So stock your fridge with a few cold ones, and get to work!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Pollo Alla Diavola

Recipe Courtesy of ASacasa
Serves: 2 hungry lads or 4 peckish birds

Pollo alla diavola is traditionally grilled over wood embers, but the chicken may also be grilled over a charcoal or gas fire, or broiled in an oven.

Herb Vinegar Marinade

  • ½ cup white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon dried sage
  • 1 tablespoon dried rosemary
  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil (add later)

Chicken and Brine

  • 4 medium garlic cloves
  • 3 bay leaves, crumbled
  • 3 to 3 ½-pound chicken
  • 1 cup kosher salt
  • 4 quarts cold water (16 cups)

Garlic-Pepper Oil

  • 4 medium garlic cloves, minced (about 4 teaspoons)
  • 4 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 teaspoons piment d’ Espelette or Aleppo pepper, or 4 teaspoons red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ cup olive oil
Directions:
  1. In a small jar, combine the white wine vinegar with the dried oregano, sage and rosemary. Cover and let stand at room temperature for 2 days {Standing optional, but can be made ahead and chilled for 2 weeks.}
  2. Using kitchen shears, remove the wing tips and the backbones from the chickens. Set the chickens on a large rimmed baking sheet, skin side up, and press down firmly on the breastbones to flatten them so that the legs face the breasts. Score each breast, drumstick, thigh and wing halfway to the bone in two places per part.
  3. Combine garlic heads, bay leaves, and salt in quart-size zipper-lock bag; press out air and seal bag. Using rubber mallet or meat pounder, pound mixture until garlic cloves are crushed; transfer mixture to large container or stockpot and stir in 4 quarts cold water until salt is dissolved. Immerse chicken in brine for about 2 hours.
  4. Take out the chickens and allow to dry. Strain the herb-infused vinegar into a small bowl and stir in the olive oil. Drizzle all but 2 tablespoons of the vinegar-oil mixture over both sides of the chickens and rub the mixture into the meat. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  5. Heat garlic, black pepper, pepper flakes, and oil in small saucepan over medium heat until garlic is fragrant and sizzling and mixture registers about 200 degrees on instant-read thermometer. Rub the seasoning all over the chickens. Let the seasoned chickens stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.
  6. Oven Option: Preheat the oven to 425°.: Roast the chickens in the upper third of the oven, skin side up, basting both chickens with the remaining vinegar-oil mixture half way through, until the chicken is just cooked, and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh registers 165°, about 45 minutes. Preheat the broiler. Pour the pan juices into a small saucepan. Broil the chickens about 4 inches from the heat, rotating the pan, until browned and crisp, about 3 minutes. Carve the chickens. Reheat the pan juices and serve with the chicken.
  7. Grill Option: Cook skin side up, basting and flipping half-way through, but be careful not to catch the grill on fire with the oils, which could overcook the outside of the chicken before the inside is done. Cook approximately 20 minutes on the BBQ or until internal temp is 165°.

2 Comments

Filed under @home {recipes to love}

recipe goodness :: the ultimate summer slaw

The ultimate slaw

The ultimate slaw

Creamy cole slaw {you know, the kind you see at delis} is a dish that sneaks its way into one too many BBQs. It’s soggy. It’s flat. It’s so easy to improve on. The thing about cabbage is you can feed A LOT of people with one shredded head and very cheaply too. So if you get a little creative, you can actually create a spectacular side on a budget. I love using red cabbage — it’s purple for pete’s sake and you can’t get much cooler than that! I also love using thinly sliced radishes for a peppery bite and running a few carrots through the food processor sideways so you get thin rectangles and not just shredded carrots. So much color, so many textures and a mix of crunchy, vibrant, flavorful goodness. Two important notes: 1) I highly recommend making this with a food processor — it comes together in a matter of minutes with all the chopping that needs to be done; and 2) make this 24 hours in advance if you can — it softens the cabbage a bit and really lets the flavors come together. Plus it’s one less thing you have to worry about on party day.

The Ultimate Summer Slaw

1 cup mayo
3 tablespoons white vinegar
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
2 tablespoons milk
2-3 jalapenos or red chilies
1 head of red cabbage, chopped thinly
1 bunch of radishes, sliced
2 carrots, quartered then sliced lengthwise
Salt and pepper to taste

  1. Combine all ingredients except cabbage, radishes and carrots in a food processor or blender and blend until smooth. Set aside.
  2. Shred cabbage in food processor by cutting the head into quarters and feeding through the tube using the shredding attachment. Add to a very large bowl.
  3. Wash radishes and remove tops and roots. Feed through food processor tube using the slicing attachment to get 1/8-inch thick slices. Add to the cabbage in the bowl.
  4. Peel and remove tops of carrots. Depending on length of carrots, cut the length into thirds or quarters so you get 2 inch long pieces. Feed through the food processor tube horizontally with the slicing attachment so you get 2-inch long rectangular slices. Add to the cabbage and radishes.
  5. Pour mixture from step 1 over the top and mix thoroughly. Salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Add to large zip lock bags or cover the bowl and let chill out in the fridge for 24 hours if you can to really get a great mix of flavors.

3 Comments

Filed under 8.ate@eight, @home {recipes to love}

recipe goodness :: strawberry chamomile tea

Strawberry Chamomile Tea

Strawberry Chamomile Tea

It’s strawberry season! And when life gives you strawberries, make strawberry chamomile tea, of course! We gave this tea to all our freshocracy customers for mother’s day and I fell in love. The main ingredient is Berried Treasures Farm’s tristar strawberries that were frozen to preserve through the winter. After boiling them in cheesecloth with some chamomile you get this spectacularly red and sweet all natural drink that tastes just like summer. It’s the perfect thing to give your kids or enjoy yourself on a scorching day. And while it makes for a perfectly delightful refresher on its own, top it off with some seltzer, champagne or even tequila to jazz up your glass. Go to Ikea, buy some inexpensive bottles with rubber stoppers and show off your new concoction. This also makes a fantastic party or *just because* gift to share with friends.

Makes 6 quarts {if you don’t want to stock up, cut in half}

Courtesy of Chef Rick Jakobson 

2 lbs. frozen tristar strawberries
8 chamomile tea bags
6 quarts cold water
6.5-8 oz honey
2-3 lemons
generous pinch of kosher salt

  1. Wrap frozen strawberries and chamomile tea bags in cheesecloth and tie tightly to ensure no strawberries can get loose.
  2. Place cheesecloth in a large stockpot and cover with water. Add 6.5 oz honey.
  3. Bring to a boil and let simmer until strawberries release their flavor. Once water begins to boil, use a wooden spoon to squeeze the cheesecloth against the side of the pot to release the juice of the strawberries.
  4. Turn off stove and let steep for ~10 minutes. Squeeze cheesecloth one last time to release all the juice and remove from the pot.
  5. Add juice of 2 lemons and a generous pinch of kosher salt. Stir and taste. Add more honey or lemon as desired.
  6. Let cool and pour into bottles or pitchers.
  • Variation 1: Serve with a sprig of mint, topped off with a little seltzer
  • Variation 2: Serve with champagne {one part strawberry chamomile, 2 parts champagne}
  • Variation 3: Mix with white tequila and fresh of lime {2:1:1 tequila:strawberry tea:lime}

1 Comment

Filed under 8.ate@eight, @home {recipes to love}, {Drink Me}

recipe goodness :: celebrate with stand-out spanish sangria

Sangria "Fruit Punch"

I made this recipe for an 8.ate@eight dinner party and the pitcher was emptied before I could get the ice cubes out of the tray.  Ok thirsty party people, I guess we don’t need ice. I take that to be a sign of an outstanding concoction.  And since Memorial Day is this weekend {one of my favorite holidays since it signifies the start of BBQ season} I wanted to share this stand-out sangria recipe — very easy to throw together and nice to have something done ahead of time for a party! This is one of the best sangria recipes I’ve made, if I do say so myself.

Spanish Sangria!

1/2 cup brandy
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/3 cup frozen lemonade concentrate
1/3 cup orange juice
1 (750 milliliter) bottle dry red wine
1/2 cup triple sec
1 lemon, sliced into rounds
1 orange, sliced into rounds
1 lime, sliced into rounds
1/4 cup white sugar (optional)
8 maraschino cherries
2 cups carbonated water (optional)

In a large pitcher or bowl, mix together the brandy, lemon juice, lemonade concentrate, orange juice, red wine, triple sec, and sugar. Float slices of lemon, orange and lime, and maraschino cherries in the mixture. Refrigerate overnight for best flavor. For a fizzy sangria, add club soda just before serving. Ole!

And something to go with that glass of good grouse:
Avocado & Tropical Fruit Salsa {also good as an entree side}
Creole Roasted Fresh Corn-Tomato Salsa
Fresh Lime-Margarita Marinated Watermelon{double duty bites}

2 Comments

Filed under 8.ate@eight, @home {recipes to love}

recipe goodness :: how to cook the perfect poached egg with melted ramp butter

Perfect Poached Egg with Melted Ramp Butter

They don’t call them Spring chickens for nothin’. The grass is newly growing and our little pecking friends are spreading their wings, enjoying the fresh Spring forage. This is the season when truly free range eggs can especially be savored. And seeing as how they are my favorite food, I thought I would dress them up with another Spring favorite — ramps {looks like a spring onion, smells like garlic — a match made in heaven!} After poaching the eggs, one little dollop of the intensely flavorful ramp butter will make a dish so good, it  should be illegal. So swing by your local greenmarket, pick up the goods and make yourself {or your mother} a spectacular Spring brunch. More Mother’s Day Breakfast Inspir-egg-tion below!

Poached Egg with Melted Ramp Butter
Serves 2 

2 free range farm-fresh eggs
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 tablespoon ramp butter {recipe below}
Salt and pepper to taste

Ramp Butter
Makes 1 lb

1lb unsalted butter
3.6 ounces ramps
zest of 2 lemons
1 teaspoon Maldon salt

  1. Blend ramp butter ingredients together in a food processor and add to an air-tight container to keep in the fridge.
  2. Bring a small sauce pot of water to a boil.
  3. Add vinegar.
  4. Crack your eggs into separate small bowls.
  5. Turn the boiling water down to a low simmer. Swirl the water into a whirlpool and pour the egg into the pot, one at a time, but close in timing.
  6. Cook for 3-4 minutes until white is firm and then remove with a slotted spoon into a serving bowl.
  7. Add 1/2 tablespoon of ramp butter to the top of each warm egg, allowing it to melt and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.

2 Comments

Filed under @home {recipes to love}

Cinco de Mayo: A Day to Celebrate Mexican Pride {and Drink}

The Fixins' for Fresh Lime Margaritas

Contrary to popular belief, Cinco de Mayo is not the celebration of Mexican independence, but rather a day to celebrate Mexican pride and heritage. What better way than with a mariachi band and margarita. If you’re going all out and planning to have a party on your rooftop, then this is a recipe you definitely want to impress your guests with. Good grapefruit is still available at the store and, in my opinion, is a necessary component to a ‘rita rockin’ the citrus blend. Please oh please don’t buy the pre-made mix. If you’re going to make our Mexican compadres proud, get out your juicer and put a little squeeze into your spirits. Don’t be afraid, this is not that spicy, but the chili adds a depth to the drink that cuts through all that citrus and makes it truly tasty. By the way, did you know margarita means daisy in spanish? Doesn’t that just sound like a delightful name for a killer cocktail?

Ancho Chili Margarita with Fresh Lime-Orange-Grapefruit Juice

Recipe:
2 0z tequila
2 oz mixed juice {lime, orange, grapefruit, agave}
ice
kosher salt and lime slice for rim

What you Need {See below for proportions}:
1 Bottle Tequila Blanco {I find the white tequila is smoother}
1 Dried Ancho Chili
Raw Agave
Limes
Oranges
Grapefruits

Fresh Squeezed Lime, Orange, Grapefruit

People experiment with the proportions of tequila to lime juice all the time, so it’s just a matter of personal taste.  Since my recipe uses fresh squeezed juice and a little raw agave for sweetness, you don’t need to add any triple sec or cointreau. And because of the fresh juice, I like to make this one with a 1:1 proportion of tequila to fruit juice. Here’s what you can expect to get from all that squeezing {approximately}.

8 limes=8 ounces
4 juice oranges=8 ounces
1 grapefruit=7 ounces

Figure out how many total drinks you plan on making. You need 2 oz of tequila and 2 oz of juice for every drink, so multiply that to know how much you need in total of both. Here’s an example to figure out how much of everything you need to make 3 drinks for 4 people. Adjust to fit your crew!

  1. 2 hours before you plan to serve the margaritas, add one dried ancho chili to the bottle of tequila. Note: the longer this soaks, the less spicy it will get as the pepper actually breaks down in the tequila. If you don’t plan on using an entire bottle, you may want to pour the tequila over the pepper in a separate container and watch it turn a cool red hue!
  2. Juice all of your limes, oranges and grapefruits into a separate container. Add 1 tsp of agave for every 8oz of total fresh fruit juice.  Mix thoroughly and chill. Keep a few lime halves to run across the top of your glasses later to make the salt stick.
  3. Ready to drink? Run a leftover lime half around the rim of a chilled glass. Pour some kosher salt on a plate and dip the rim in the salt if desired. Fill the glass with ice.
  4. You can either use a cocktail shaker or just mix equal parts tequila and fresh fruit juice in a pitcher and pour over ice in each glass.
  5. Stir, sip, enjoy, repeat.

What’s A Cinco de Mayo Party Without Salsa?!:
Avocado & Tropical Fruit Salsa
Creole Roasted Fresh Corn-Tomato Salsa

1 Comment

Filed under @home {recipes to love}, Do This!

recipe goodness :: royal british breakfast scones

Best British Breakfast Scone

I know you’re playing hooky from work tomorrow to watch the Royal wedding, so you might as well whip up a mean batch of English scones to enjoy while you’re glued to the telly. This recipe is modified from Richard Bertinet, a French baker living in Britain, so you know it must be good! It’s sweet and flaky with little surprises of nutty, chewy bites hidden inside — all you need is a little devon cream and a spot of tea to make this a tip top morning.

Best British Breakfast Scones
Quantity: 12-15 | Prep: 20 minutes | Resting: 15 minutes | Baking: 20 minutes

150g salted butter
600g plain flour
150g fine sugar
40g baking powder
140g dried cranberries (can substitute raisins)
140g sliced almonds
190g heavy whipping cream (approx 190ml)
190g milk (190ml)
2 eggs, beaten with a pinch of salt for an egg wash

  1. Preheat the oven to 425º F
  2. Rub the butter into the flour in a mixing bowl.  Add the sugar and baking powder.  Add the sultanas and mix until they are evenly distributed
  3. Add the cream and milk and mix with your scraper until all the ingredients are bound together.  Lightly dust your work surface with flour and turn the dough out onto it.  Press down, then fold it in half, then press down again, fold again the opposite way, and then repeat, until you have a rough square.  Flour the top and bottom of the dough, cover with a tea towel (linen is best but use cotton if not) and rest in a cool place for 15 minutes
  4. Lightly flour the work surface and then roll the dough out to a thickness of 2.5-3 cm.  Brush off any excess flour.  With a sharp knife, cut out the scones in squares (about 6 cmx6cm)
  5. Lay on a baking tray, making sure that the scones are not too close together.  Roll out any scraps of dough and cut some more scones until you have used all of the dough.
  6. Glaze the scones with the egg wash.  Wait 2 minutes and then glaze again.  Turn down the heat of the oven to 400ºF and bake the scones for around 20 minutes until they are well risen, and the top and underside is golden brown.

3 Comments

Filed under @home {recipes to love}

recipe goodness :: southern breakfast casserole

Southern Hospitality Casserole

It’s Masters week in Augusta! My dad and I were lucky enough to attend on Monday thanks to our Atlanta-based friends who scored some tickets for us — I do believe my dad will die a happy man now. I hear these are the hardest tickets in sports to come by, so recognizing ya’ll won’t be attending, I thought the next best thing was to bring the South into your home.

Southern hospitality is unlike anything I have experienced in other areas of the country {then again, it’s not hard to be impressed when you live in New York}. My dear friend Ann wanted to make sure we had a “meal that would stick to our ribs” and get us through a full day of hitting the links, so she rose with the roosters and baked this amazing egg casserole for us. The great thing about this recipe is that it should be prepared the day before, so you can do all the dirty work ahead of time and just throw it into your oven in the morning. The result: a delicious and easy Southern hospitality-breakfast that  will impress your guests.

Southern Breakfast Casserole
350º | Bake 1 Hour | Prep Night Before

10 slices white bread
1 lb ground sweet sausage
2 cups sharp shredded cheese
2 cups mild shredded cheese
3/4 teaspoon dry mustard
3 cups milk
6 eggs
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon white pepper

  1. Remove crust from the bread and cut into squares.
  2. Saute sausage and drain well on paper towel.
  3. Arrange half of the bread squares in the bottom of a lightly greased 9×13 casserole dish.
  4. Top with sharp cheese, then sausage, remaining bread squares, and then mild cheese.
  5. Dissolve mustard in a little of the milk. Beat eggs and add the milk, mustard, salt and pepper.
  6. Pour mixture over all the layers.
  7. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
  8. Bake uncovered in a 350º oven for 1 hour or until firm and browned.

If you really want to get creative, I bet this would be darn good with rosemary-sourdough bread or mixed with a little spicy sausage! Or for you vegetarians out there, some hearty mixed mushrooms would be amazing. Enjoy ya’ll!

A Yankee’s Breakfast:
Blueberry, Lemon & Coconut Pancakes
Secret DiLaura Family Frittata with Sweet Italian Sausage
Herbed Buttermilk Biscuits
How To Cook The Perfect Sunny Side-Up Egg
How to Cook the Perfect 8.5 Minute Egg

3 Comments

Filed under @home {recipes to love}

This Week’s food52 Wildcard Winner: Grandma DiLaura’s Ricotta Gnocchi

Grandma's Ricotta Gnocchi

Photo: Sarah Shatz

My Grandma’s Ricotta Gnocchi just won this week’s food52 wildcard prize for the best ricotta recipe. If you haven’t made it yet, it’s time to buy some fresh, creamy ricotta and give this recipe a whirl.

Homemade Gnocchi: Channeling My Italian Grandmother with Food52

Pair that with a lovely homemade loaf of bread {it’s easy, I swear!}

Breadmaking 101: How to Make Bakery Quality Bread @Home

Looking for other inspiring home-cooked meals? There are endless amazing recipes to choose from on food52. If you’re feeling really adventurous you can whip up your best recipe with horseradish this week and see if you might just take home a prize and some bragging rights. I feel an evening of killer bloody marys coming on…

4 Comments

Filed under 8.ate@eight, @home {recipes to love}, Do This!

recipe goodness :: irish steak & guinness puff pastry pie

Steak and Guinness Pie

I love this pie. It’s a hearty marriage of delicious veg, slow-cooked tender brisket and buttery, flaky pastry, resulting in a rich, soul-warming pie plate of goodness. And frankly, any thing with Guinness is good and good for ya. So if you’re looking for a little inspiration to channel your inner-Irish for St. Patrick’s day ♣, look no further, your luck has led you to this perfect pie.

Steak, Guinness and Cheese Pie with Puff Pastry 

Recipe Adapted from Jamie Oliver

Serves 4-6 | 3.5 hours | 375ºF

1 large vidalia or sweet onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 medium carrots, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
1/2 fennel bulb, chopped
6 cremini mushrooms, quartered
2 tablespoons butter
2 pounds stewing beef, cut into cubes
2 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves removed
2 sprigs fresh rosemary, leaves removed and chopped
salt and pepper
1 pint Guinness
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup Gouda or other favorite melting cheese, shredded
1 pound store-bought Dufour puff pastry dough
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup frozen or fresh peas

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. In a large dutch oven on the stove, heat olive oil on low heat. Add the onions until they become translucent and lightly caramelized.
  2. Turn the heat to high and add the rest of the vegetables (except peas) with the butter. Cook for two minutes until fragrant, then add the beef, herbs, salt and pepper. Sear beef for 3-4 minutes, then pour in the Guinness, flour and add just enough water to cover. Bring to a simmer, cover the pan with a lid and place in the preheated over for 1.5 hours.
  3. Give the stew a stir and let cook for another hour, until tender and thick. If stew is still liquidy after an hour, continue cooking until reduced.
  4. Remove from heat, stir in half the cheese, taste and season as needed. Let cool slightly.
    Cut 1/3 of the pastry from the block. Using a floured surface, roll both pieces out evenly with a floured rolling pin to the thickness of a silver dollar.
  5. Butter a pie dish, then line with the larger sheet, leaving the edges hanging over the side. Pour the stew into your lined dish, add the peas, then sprinkle over the remaining cheese. Brush the edges of the pastry with a little beaten egg.
  6. Cut the other rolled piece of pastry to fit the top of the pie dish and crisscross lightly with a sharp knife, being careful not to cut all the way through. Place it over the top of the pie and fold the overhanging pastry onto the pastry top, rolling to make the edges.
  7. Brush the top with beaten egg, then bake the pie on the lowest oven rack for 45 minutes, until pastry is cooked and golden.

Mmmm Guinness Pie

More St. Pat’s Inspiration:
Wilfie & Nell: Not Your Grandpa’s Watering Hole
Water of Life Whisky Wednesday With The Macallan

6 Comments

Filed under @home {recipes to love}

recipe goodness :: barcelona favorite recreated | balsamic chick pea salad

balsamic chick pea salad

I had this dish at an amazing little tapas bar called Pinotxo in Barcelona’s Mercat de La Boqueria. I went for breakfast, so I didn’t expect to be served such a savory, delightful combination of flavors at 9am, but delightful it was! After conversing with my minimal spanish and a lot of hand gestures, the sweet and lively owner, dished up a warm combination of flavors — chick peas, brightened by the parsley with a great balsamic tanginess that just put this simple, but amazing dish over the top. You certainly can eat this breakfast, but it will also make for a great side salad or protein rich entree.

Barcelona Balsamic Chick Pea Salad

Serves 4-6

2 oz ground beef
2 cans unsalted chick peas, drained
2 scallions diced
1/4 cup parsley, finely chopped
Black pepper to taste
Olive oil for drizzling
Balsamic for drizzling
Fleur de sel to taste

In a large pan break up ground beef to very tiny pieces and brown just until not pink. Add scallions to pan for 1 minute to release fragrance and soften slightly. Add drained chick peas to pan and add black pepper to taste. Stir to combine and remove from heat, transferring to a serving bowl. Drizzle with good olive oil and lightly drizzle some good balsamic. Sprinkle generously with fleur de sel and enjoy! Serve warm or at room temperature.

The Original Inspirational Dish:

Amazing Chick Pea Breakfast from Pinotxo

More from Barcelona:
Barcelona Digested: Mercat de La Boqueria
Barcelona Digested: Chocolate Central
Barcelona Digested: Hang with the Locals – Cava and Cafe Catalonian Style

1 Comment

Filed under @home {recipes to love}