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Jill Dupleix's Crash-Hot Potatoes

Fri, 08 Oct 2010 02:25:00 +0000


So here's the thing about being married to a Norwegian. He flippin' loves potatoes. No seriously, I have never seen anyone love potatoes that much. For him, it's not a real meal without them, so I guess we eat a lot of non-meals around here. I, on the other hand, tend to kind of forget about the potato unless I find those amazing little purple ones at the store, and then I think to myself, why in the world are those potatoes purple? And keep moving. The potato, in other words, is not my go-to food.

But I've had this recipe in the back of my mind for a while. After I first saw it on the Pioneer Woman who has kind of commandeered them. But they're Jill Dupleix's idea, and her recipe. If you're in the US, you might not be all that familiar with Dupleix. She's an Australian food writer, with a monthly column in the food magazine Americans only wish we could get, called Delicious. In fact, whenever I travel internationally, or go to a book store with a large magazine selection, I always look for Delicious as a special treat. Love that magazine. And Dupleix writes a monthly column for them.


So Dupleix has written her fair share of cookbooks, but this recipe can be found easily on her website. They are amazing little potatoes. A cross between the tenderness of a baked potato and the crispiness of a french fry, but with very little fat. Actually, it's quite genius. Genius enough to even impress a Norwegian.

Adapted from Jill Dupleix's Crash Hot Potatoes

16 small, round potatoes
Drizzle of extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
fresh ground black pepper
A sprinkle of caraway seeds if you'd like (I did)
A few rosemary sprigs, broken into pieces

Preheat the oven to 450F (yea, screaming hot). Put the unpeeled potatoes into a pot of salted, boiling water and simmer them for about 15 minutes. They should be tender enough to take a fork, but not falling apart. Make sure they're not overly soft.

Drain the potatoes and spread them out on a lightly oiled baking sheet. Use a potato masher, and press down on each potato until it's flat. It should be about twice its original size.

Brush the potatoes with olive oil, sprinkle with salt, pepper and the caraway seeds, then lay the rosemary over the tops. Bake on the top shelf of the oven for 20 - 25 minutes, or until they're very crisp and golden brown. Serve right away.(image)



Lentil Chili Burgers

Sun, 03 Oct 2010 02:20:00 +0000


So let's say you made Mollie (with an "ie") Katzen's Lentil Chili, like I did the other night. But let's also say that you live in a family of two and didn't bother cutting the recipe down. You might be thinking, what in the world should I do with all of that chili? I've learned to admit to myself that things which end up in the freezer tend to stay in the freezer until out of desperation I throw them away. So freezing's out (although Katzen does say the chili freezes beautifully). Eating lentil chili for every meal for the entire rest of the week is also out because nothing is good three times a day.

What to do, what to do... Here's a hint. Remember when I complained that whenever I deal with lentils they suck up all water with which they come into contact, making it difficult for me to keep them in a soup or stew? Well if you have a similar problem, you can take your greedy little lentils which have soaked up all of their broth, and make them into pre-seasoned, already cooked burger patties. Genius. You can even include the tomato and onion chunks. Here's how you do it.

Lentil Chili Burgers
Original Recipe, or at least, original idea

2 1/2 cups leftover Lentil Chili, which has absorbed all of its liquid
3/4 cups rolled oats
3/4 cups bread crumbs, I used panko, but if you make your own, use them
Fixings for burgers, you know the drill

Give your rolled oats a wizz in the food processor to grind them. Combine the ground rolled oats, the bread crumbs and the lentils. Use your hands to form the lentil mixture into nice round patties.

Heat a pan over medium, then pour in a little olive oil to coat. Place each lentil patty in the pan and cook on each side for 1-2 minutes, depending on how hot it is. Remove and serve, maybe with a bun, tomato and lettuce, or plain with some A1 sauce. (I'm a sucker for A1 sauce.)(image)



Mollie Katzen's Lentil Chili

Fri, 01 Oct 2010 01:28:00 +0000

It's autumn officially now I believe. The last day of September, or perhaps by the time I publish this post, the first of October. Kids are back in school, I'm back in school, I might even be TA'ing for some of your older kids if they happen to go to a certain university. If I am, sorry for not giving out very many 'check pluses' on the last response paper. Best of all, my favorite TV shows are back. My beloved Bones (I love Dr Brennan so friggin much), my also-beloved Criminal Minds (I love Garcia so friggin much), even Glee (oh Sue, I love you too). Basically, if you have a compelling female character (or three! I'm looking at you CM, at least I was before I finished this last episode. What the heck?!) I probably love you. Helps me pare down tv shows pretty quickly, unfortunately. But that's how I roll. Love the leading ladies.So between watching great TV, working on my dissertation, and grading your little darlings' papers, I also have a part-time job. And in the middle of the day while at that part-time job, I get to have a lunch break. A real, honest to goodness lunch break, the way adult people do. So sometimes I get a salad, sometimes a sandwich, and often I get a bowl of lentil chili. Which made me think, 'why in the world am I buying lentil chili when I could just make it?' Enter Mollie (with an "ie") Katzen.This is her lentil chili, but I have some caveats. First: there just never seems to be enough liquid whenever I deal with lentils. Maybe mine are particularly thirsty? Or just greedy? Either way, I added far more liquid than she required, and still the chili was bordering on a lentil mash rather than a stew. I'm going to reproduce the recipe I actually made below, but in the future, these are the things I would do differently:* Cut the amount of lentils in half* Keep the liquid the same, the tomatoes the same and probably the seasonings about the same, but you'd have to adjust them to your taste.* Same amount of onion, too, since I love onion.Mollie Katzen's Lentil ChiliAdopted from Mollie Katzen's Still Life with Menu Cookbook4 cups dried lentils (any kind, really)2 cups tomato juice (can replace with just water if you want)4 - 5 cups water1 1lb can tomatoes, undrained, but broken up (which you can do with your spoon once they're in the chili)2 teaspoons ground cumin1 teaspoon paprika1/2 teaspoon dried thyme10-12 medium garlic cloves (don't worry, it's not overpowering)1 largish onion, chopped2 teaspoons saltPepper to taste6 tablespoons tomato paste1-2 tablespoons red wine vinegarCrushed red pepper, to tastePut the lentils, the tomato juice and 4 cups of water into a large pot or dutch oven. Bring the liquid to a boil, then put the lid on only slightly askew so some of the steam can escape. Lower the heat and simmer for about 30 minutes. Start chopping your vegetables.Add the tomatoes, cumin, paprika, thyme, garlic and onions. Stir until everything is combined, then return the lid to the position it was in before and simmer for another 45 minutes, and up to an hour, if that's what it takes for the lentils to become tender. Stir occasionally, scraping along the bottom of the pot to prevent sticking. If you notice the water level going down too much, add some more.Add the salt, pepper and tomato paste and stir again. Continue simmering until the lentils are very soft, maybe even 30 minutes more.Just before serving, stir in the vinegar and red pepper. Adjust the seasonings if necessary and heap into big bowls.UPDATE: Have lots of leftover chili? You could try this idea for turning your leftovers into Lentil Chili Burgers! src="http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?lt1=_blank&bc1=000000&IS2=1&bg1=FFFFFF&fc1=000000&lc1=0000FF&t=cookbook08-20&o=1&p=8&l=as1&m=amazon&f=ifr&md=10FE9736YVPPT7A0FBG2&asins=B003LAAA88" style="width: 120px; height: 240px;" marginwidth="0" marginheight="0" frameborder="0" scrolling="no">[...]



Makhluta - Lebanese Lentil and Three-Bean Soup for MLLA 27

Fri, 01 Oct 2010 01:21:00 +0000

An extraordinarily hearty, traditional recipe from Lebanon, makhluta is a classic kitchen sink of a bean soup. If you are willing to swallow your pride by opening a few cans, this deeply comforting and filling meal can be prepared with such speed that it will be nearly ready by the time you've sipped the last of your preprandial cocktail after that shell-shocked day wherever it is that you work.Of course, if you prefer the slow and satisfying ritual of soaking and simmering your dried legumes, you will not be disappointed with the relatively quick cooking method offered by Madelain Farah's recipe below, provided you remember to do your soaking the night before. And while you're at it, a good soaking the night before in a drawn bath does wonders for that shell-shocked day wherever it is that you work.Makhluta - Adapted from the Beirut Restaurants recipe with additional inspiration from a recipe in Lebanese Cuisine by Madelain Farah (on page 32 in Google preview).Serves 6 generously.Ingredients2 quarts richly flavored and moderately salted vegetable stock1 cup brown rice (use quick-cooking for faster results)1/2 cup virgin olive oil1 very large yellow onion, chopped2 tablespoons (yes, tablespoons) ground cumin2 cups cooked and drained lentils2 cups cooked and drained chickpeas2 cups cooked and drained black turtle beans2 cups cooked and drained green lima beans6 very large Swiss chard leaves, coarsely shredded (remove center ribs if very bulky)3 cups waterAdditional salt to tasteMethodIn your very largest pot, Dutch oven, or soup cauldron, heat stock to boiling. Add brown rice. Reduce heat to simmer until rice is tender (up to 45 minutes for regular brown rice; 10 minutes for quick-cooking kind).In a medium saucepan, warm olive oil over medium-low heat. Add onion and saute until translucent and golden without burning. Stir in cumin and heat a few more minutes to fragrance and flavor the onion and oil. Remove from heat and stir into stock with cooked rice. Stir in all legumes. Increase heat just to boiling, then reduce to a maintained simmer for 15 minutes.In the same saucepan which you used for the oil and onion, heat 3 cups water to boiling. Add Swiss chard leaves, continuing to boil until they are limp (about 7 minutes). Stir leaves into legume mixture. If you find the soup too thick (dependent on how fast a simmer, how absorbent the rice, and how soft/starchy the legumes), add enough of the chard water to thin to your preference. Taste and adjust for salt. While wonderful fresh, this soup does reheat well, but will thicken considerably when chilled and idle, like a dense stew. Reconstitute with more water if preferred.This is my contribution to MLLA 27, which just closed out and has been hosted by me. I expect to have the round-up and drawing results online sometime next week. Thank you very much for sharing your lovely recipes. Your hospitality is always appreciated.Divya of Dil Se is now hosting MLLA 28. Divya has just returned from abroad and is refreshed and ready to receive your wonderful recipes.Been There, Done ThatLeblebi - Tunisian Chickpea SoupVegetarian Caldo VerdeAfrican Peanut and Yam SoupOther Peoples' EatsPomegranate Lentil Soup - Apartment Therapy - The KitchnSyrian Vegetarian Red Lentil Soup - HerbivoraciousTurkish Red Lentil Soup with Sumac - ecurryAlgerian Lentil Soup - 64 Sq. Ft. KitchenSoup Chick - All Things Soup - Lydia of The Perfect PantryThe Well-Seasoned Cook [...]



Makhluta - Lebanese Lentil and Three-Bean Soup for MLLA 27

Fri, 01 Oct 2010 01:21:00 +0000

An extraordinarily hearty, traditional recipe from Lebanon, makhluta is a classic kitchen sink of a bean soup. If you are willing to swallow your pride by opening a few cans, this deeply comforting and filling meal can be prepared with such speed that it will be nearly ready by the time you've sipped the last of your preprandial cocktail after that shell-shocked day wherever it is that you work.Of course, if you prefer the slow and satisfying ritual of soaking and simmering your dried legumes, you will not be disappointed with the relatively quick cooking method offered by Madelain Farah's recipe below, provided you remember to do your soaking the night before. And while you're at it, a good soaking the night before in a drawn bath does wonders for that shell-shocked day wherever it is that you work.Makhluta - Adapted from the Beirut Restaurants recipe with additional inspiration from a recipe in Lebanese Cuisine by Madelain Farah (on page 32 in Google preview).Serves 6 generously.Ingredients2 quarts richly flavored and moderately salted vegetable stock1 cup brown rice (use quick-cooking for faster results)1/2 cup virgin olive oil1 very large yellow onion, chopped2 tablespoons (yes, tablespoons) ground cumin2 cups cooked and drained lentils2 cups cooked and drained chickpeas2 cups cooked and drained black turtle beans2 cups cooked and drained green lima beans6 very large Swiss chard leaves, coarsely shredded (remove center ribs if very bulky)3 cups waterAdditional salt to tasteMethodIn your very largest pot, Dutch oven, or soup cauldron, heat stock to boiling. Add brown rice. Reduce heat to simmer until rice is tender (up to 45 minutes for regular brown rice; 10 minutes for quick-cooking kind).In a medium saucepan, warm olive oil over medium-low heat. Add onion and saute until translucent and golden without burning. Stir in cumin and heat a few more minutes to fragrance and flavor the onion and oil. Remove from heat and stir into stock with cooked rice. Stir in all legumes. Increase heat just to boiling, then reduce to a maintained simmer for 15 minutes.In the same saucepan which you used for the oil and onion, heat 3 cups water to boiling. Add Swiss chard leaves, continuing to boil until they are limp (about 7 minutes). Stir leaves into legume mixture. If you find the soup too thick (dependent on how fast a simmer, how absorbent the rice, and how soft/starchy the legumes), add enough of the chard water to thin to your preference. Taste and adjust for salt. While wonderful fresh, this soup does reheat well, but will thicken considerably when chilled and idle, like a dense stew. Reconstitute with more water if preferred.This is my contribution to MLLA 27, which just closed out and has been hosted by me. I expect to have the round-up and drawing results online sometime next week. Thank you very much for sharing your lovely recipes. Your hospitality is always appreciated.Divya of Dil Se is now hosting MLLA 28. Divya has just returned from abroad and is refreshed and ready to receive your wonderful recipes.Been There, Done ThatLeblebi - Tunisian Chickpea SoupVegetarian Caldo VerdeAfrican Peanut and Yam SoupOther Peoples' EatsPomegranate Lentil Soup - Apartment Therapy - The KitchnSyrian Vegetarian Red Lentil Soup - HerbivoraciousTurkish Red Lentil Soup with Sumac - ecurryAlgerian Lentil Soup - 64 Sq. Ft. KitchenSoup Chick - All Things Soup - Lydia of The Perfect PantryThe Well-Seasoned Cook [...]



Hong Kong

Sun, 26 Sep 2010 14:45:00 +0000

I said a few days ago that I'd upload some photos from our trip to Hong Kong. Because I know there's nothing like people (especially people you don't really know in real life) making you sit down in a dark room to look at their vacation slides. Anyway, I put them into some collages, so here they are.









(image)



Tomatoes Stuffed with White Beans

Sat, 25 Sep 2010 13:32:00 +0000


This is such a simple, 5-minutes-and-you're-done type recipe. But I really loved it. Probably because I love anything having to do with balsamic, tomatoes and basil. It's also a really perfect lunch to pack, if you just wrap the stuffed tomatoes in, say, foil, so they don't spill everywhere. Plus, it's a good way to celebrate the last of the season. Enjoy!


Tomatoes Stuffed with White Beans
Original recipe

4 large tomatoes
Small handful of chopped parsley
Small handful of chopped basil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon capers (I keep mine unrinsed, but you can rinse if you want)
1 large clove garlic (it's going to stay raw, so don't go overboard)
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 15 oz can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

Slice the tops off each of the tomatoes and use a spoon (I use a grapefruit spoon) to dig out the core and seeds. If the core isn't too tough, chop it up and put it, along with the rest of the tomato guts, in a medium bowl. Set the tomato 'shells' aside.

Add the rest of the ingredients to the bowl and toss until everything is coated. Spoon the filling into the tomato shells. There is will extra filling, which you can serve on the side.(image)



Disappearing Act – White Chocolate Peppermint Truffle Cups

Wed, 22 Sep 2010 03:36:00 +0000

Harlequin, 1888–1890, Paul Cézannevia Wikipedia Creative Commons License Now you see him, now you don't. That is the way it is within the short stories of Agatha Christie's The Mysterious Mr. Quin.*Mr. Quin, Mr. Harley Quin, is a character of a particularly elusive nature, fashioned after one the most famous buffoons of the equally famous Italian theater popularized in the 16th century, La Commedia dell'Arte. Known for its improvisational slapstick and motley stock characters, this entertainment style was also all the rage in England, where the clown, Arlecchino, evolved into Harlequin, something of a romantic hero, fancied by Christie as "....a figure invisible except when he chose, not quite human, yet concerned with the affairs of human beings and particularly of lovers. He is also the advocate for the dead." Mr. Quin, however a shadowy figure, is a subconscious catalyst of sorts for the true protagonist of the stories, the rather nondescript Mr. Satterthwaite, a man of advanced middle age whose own life lacks color and excitement. It is through Mr. Quin's vaporizing manifestations into and out of quasi-human flesh, which are sometimes seen by others, that provoke Mr. Satterthwaite into an agent who is critical to the resolution of crises in the circles of the very upper classes of English society where he feels himself most keenly as a humble observer.In the story The World's End, Mr. Satterthwaite accompanies a feckless and supercilious duchess from the Riviera to Corsica, unbeknownst to him that he will engage in a drama which spares the life of a young, bitter artist betrothed to a jewel thief. As a picnic expedition to the very edges of a cliff reveals the flibbertigibbet nature of a fickle actress with a weakness for peppermint cremes, so it is also revealed that a secret compartment hides a glittering truth as magical as Mr. Quin's ghostly appearances and departures.Christie cites The World's End as one of the scant favorites in this scant collection of stories. It is one of my favorites, too, for at the cliff's edge is the sea, where "....The road stopped....this was the end, the back of beyond, the beginning of nowhere. Behind them the white ribbon of road, in front of them – nothing...."But as Mr. Satterthwaite says, “ It's an extraordinary place. One feels that anything might happen here...."~~~~~~White Chocolate Peppermint Truffle Cups - From the About.com: Candy recipeThe only deviation I have made is replacing the semi-sweet chocolate with white chocolate. I have used a high-quality, cocoa butter-based white chocolate rather than white chocolate melts which contain milk powder and fat, such as palm kernel oil. These treats are very, very delicate and benefit from spending time in the freezer - do consider that they are the very soft centers of the typical truffles you enjoy with crusts of dipped chocolate or powdered sugars. Tiny, demi-tasse spoons would be charming tools for enjoying every last dollop of decadence.This post was written for Simona of Briciole and Lisa of Champaign Taste, who created and host Novel Food, the quarterly food-blogging event dedicated to celebrating what is eaten and imbibed among the pages of the literature we love to indulge in.I am also sending this off to Aparna of My Diverse Kitchen, hosting Sugar High Fridays - Bite Size Desserts. Sugar High Fridays was created by Jennifer of The Domestic Goddess and is still enjoying popularity after several years.~~~~(* This link is purely for descriptive purposes. I do not have any business relationship with Amazon.)The Well-Seasoned Cook [...]



Disappearing Act – White Chocolate Peppermint Truffle Cups

Wed, 22 Sep 2010 03:36:00 +0000

Harlequin, 1888–1890, Paul Cézannevia Wikipedia Creative Commons License Now you see him, now you don't. That is the way it is within the short stories of Agatha Christie's The Mysterious Mr. Quin.*Mr. Quin, Mr. Harley Quin, is a character of a particularly elusive nature, fashioned after one the most famous buffoons of the equally famous Italian theater popularized in the 16th century, La Commedia dell'Arte. Known for its improvisational slapstick and motley stock characters, this entertainment style was also all the rage in England, where the clown, Arlecchino, evolved into Harlequin, something of a romantic hero, fancied by Christie as "....a figure invisible except when he chose, not quite human, yet concerned with the affairs of human beings and particularly of lovers. He is also the advocate for the dead." Mr. Quin, however a shadowy figure, is a subconscious catalyst of sorts for the true protagonist of the stories, the rather nondescript Mr. Satterthwaite, a man of advanced middle age whose own life lacks color and excitement. It is through Mr. Quin's vaporizing manifestations into and out of quasi-human flesh, which are sometimes seen by others, that provoke Mr. Satterthwaite into an agent who is critical to the resolution of crises in the circles of the very upper classes of English society where he feels himself most keenly as a humble observer.In the story The World's End, Mr. Satterthwaite accompanies a feckless and supercilious duchess from the Riviera to Corsica, unbeknownst to him that he will engage in a drama which spares the life of a young, bitter artist betrothed to a jewel thief. As a picnic expedition to the very edges of a cliff reveals the flibbertigibbet nature of a fickle actress with a weakness for peppermint cremes, so it is also revealed that a secret compartment hides a glittering truth as magical as Mr. Quin's ghostly appearances and departures.Christie cites The World's End as one of the scant favorites in this scant collection of stories. It is one of my favorites, too, for at the cliff's edge is the sea, where "....The road stopped....this was the end, the back of beyond, the beginning of nowhere. Behind them the white ribbon of road, in front of them – nothing...."But as Mr. Satterthwaite says, “ It's an extraordinary place. One feels that anything might happen here...."~~~~~~White Chocolate Peppermint Truffle Cups - From the About.com: Candy recipeThe only deviation I have made is replacing the semi-sweet chocolate with white chocolate. I have used a high-quality, cocoa butter-based white chocolate rather than white chocolate melts which contain milk powder and fat, such as palm kernel oil. These treats are very, very delicate and benefit from spending time in the freezer - do consider that they are the very soft centers of the typical truffles you enjoy with crusts of dipped chocolate or powdered sugars. Tiny, demi-tasse spoons would be charming tools for enjoying every last dollop of decadence.This post was written for Simona of Briciole and Lisa of Champaign Taste, who created and host Novel Food, the quarterly food-blogging event dedicated to celebrating what is eaten and imbibed among the pages of the literature we love to indulge in.I am also sending this off to Aparna of My Diverse Kitchen, hosting Sugar High Fridays - Bite Size Desserts. Sugar High Fridays was created by Jennifer of The Domestic Goddess and is still enjoying popularity after several years.~~~~(* This link is purely for descriptive purposes. I do not have any business relationship with Amazon.)The Well-Seasoned Cook [...]



The Comfort of Corn - Toumorokoshi no kurīmusūpu - Japanese Corn Cream Soup for NCR

Tue, 21 Sep 2010 21:18:00 +0000

We Americans all know the sensual, sloppy summer ritual of running our teeth repeatedly across an ear of corn, dripping salt-gritty butter down the corners of our mouths to our chins, barely giving ourselves time to breath as we savage the cob to a ragged, sad mess. Our smiles are now ragged, sad messes, too, but it's all for a good cause: the naturally sweet, carb-y comfort of fine local produce. Who would have thought that a world away, the Japanese would be peeling open cans of kernels for a ritual comfort all their own?Corn cream soup, as it is known to the Japanese, is a miracle of ease that stirs very happy memories of childhoods fussed over by nurturing mothers. Though not terribly different from a corn chowder, it does have a distinctive hint of Asian flavor, chiefly from the addition of green onion rather than our use of celery. Though our summer is officially over, and the harvest of fresh corn will soon wane and yield to apples, pumpkins, and turnips, it's a comfort to know that comfort is only a can away. Toumorokoshi no kurīmusūpu (Japanese Corn Cream Soup) - Adapted from a Tess's Japanese Kitchen recipeServes 2Ingredients2 tablespoons butter1 small yellow onion, sliced1 cup well-seasoned and salted vegetable broth1 cup half and half, light cream, or whole milk1 ½ cups canned or fresh sweet corn kernels 2 green onion blades, chopped, green part only4-6 deep-fried lotus root slices (optional garnish)Additional salt to tasteMethodIn large saucepan, melt the butter over medium-low heat. Add onion and cook until translucent and golden. Do not brown. Add broth and your dairy choice. Increase heat to a simmer. Add corn kernels. Heat through. Carefully pour hot liquid into blender. Purée briefly. The soup will have a light texture, but will not be velvety. Pour directly from blender container into serving bowls. Garnish with green onion and optional lotus root slices. Serve immediately with salt shaker on side.This corn-centric recipe is for Lisa of Lisa's Kitchen and Jacqueline of Tinned Tomatoes, hostesses of the popular monthly event No Croutons Required.  Lisa will soon have the round-up online.  Do stop over for a peek and a taste of what's on the table. I'll be back with another recipe post later tonight.  See you then!The Well-Seasoned Cook [...]



The Comfort of Corn - Toumorokoshi no kurīmusūpu - Japanese Corn Cream Soup for NCR

Tue, 21 Sep 2010 21:18:00 +0000

We Americans all know the sensual, sloppy summer ritual of running our teeth repeatedly across an ear of corn, dripping salt-gritty butter down the corners of our mouths to our chins, barely giving ourselves time to breath as we savage the cob to a ragged, sad mess. Our smiles are now ragged, sad messes, too, but it's all for a good cause: the naturally sweet, carb-y comfort of fine local produce. Who would have thought that a world away, the Japanese would be peeling open cans of kernels for a ritual comfort all their own?Corn cream soup, as it is known to the Japanese, is a miracle of ease that stirs very happy memories of childhoods fussed over by nurturing mothers. Though not terribly different from a corn chowder, it does have a distinctive hint of Asian flavor, chiefly from the addition of green onion rather than our use of celery. Though our summer is officially over, and the harvest of fresh corn will soon wane and yield to apples, pumpkins, and turnips, it's a comfort to know that comfort is only a can away. Toumorokoshi no kurīmusūpu (Japanese Corn Cream Soup) - Adapted from a Tess's Japanese Kitchen recipeServes 2Ingredients2 tablespoons butter1 small yellow onion, sliced1 cup well-seasoned and salted vegetable broth1 cup half and half, light cream, or whole milk1 ½ cups canned or fresh sweet corn kernels 2 green onion blades, chopped, green part only4-6 deep-fried lotus root slices (optional garnish)Additional salt to tasteMethodIn large saucepan, melt the butter over medium-low heat. Add onion and cook until translucent and golden. Do not brown. Add broth and your dairy choice. Increase heat to a simmer. Add corn kernels. Heat through. Carefully pour hot liquid into blender. Purée briefly. The soup will have a light texture, but will not be velvety. Pour directly from blender container into serving bowls. Garnish with green onion and optional lotus root slices. Serve immediately with salt shaker on side.This corn-centric recipe is for Lisa of Lisa's Kitchen and Jacqueline of Tinned Tomatoes, hostesses of the popular monthly event No Croutons Required.  Lisa will soon have the round-up online.  Do stop over for a peek and a taste of what's on the table. I'll be back with another recipe post later tonight.  See you then!The Well-Seasoned Cook [...]



Pecan Sandies-like

Mon, 20 Sep 2010 13:36:00 +0000

There are a few store-bought cookie types I'll always associated with home. Two actually, that my dad always ate. The first is the Oreo, but that's easy to guess. The second is the Pecan Sandie. I have to admit he didn't usually have much competition from us kids for the pecan-studded cookies. We were more interested in things frosted. Preferably with elves. We left the nut cookies mostly to him.But when my parents came to visit the other week, I thought I'd try my hand at a homemade version of my dad's old favorite. I have to admit that I haven't actually eaten a Pecan Sandie in years. So I can't tell you if these are close, because that wasn't really the point anyway. But they have Pecans, and they are 'sandy' since they're shortbread cookies. Regardless of how close they are, or not, they're still great little nuggets, and I love that Art Smith's recipe makes a pretty modest number of cookies. You'll get about one log out of this to refrigerate and slice, or freeze for later. He says the dough is easily doubled if you make them and find you just can't live without more.Pecan Sandies-likeAdopted from Art Smith's Back to the Table1 cup all purpose flourPinch of ground cinnamonPinch of salt1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature1/4 cup sugar1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract1/2 cup coarsely chopped pecansFirst toast your pecans. You can just dry toast them by heating up a small skillet on the stove over medium heat and throwing them in. Let them roast, shaking them around a bit, until they're fragrant. Be careful not to burn, this will only take 5-7 minutes, but keep an eye on them the entire time. Set aside.Whisk together the flour, cinnamon and salt. Set aside. Cream the butter and sugar together, along with the vanilla, in a large bowl with an electric mixer. You want the butter and sugar to become light and fluffy, which will take around 3 minutes. Stir in the flour mixture, then fold in the pecans until you have a stiff, moldable dough.Lightly flour a clean work surface and form the dough into a 9" log. Wrap the log tightly and refrigerate until well chilled and firm. You want it to be firm enough to cut it into slices with a knife. You can also freeze the dough at this point if you want to save it.After about 2 hours of chill time, preheat the oven to 350 F and put a wrack into the center of the oven.Unwrap the dough, and slice it into 3/8" thick slices. Place the slices about 1" apart on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake for about 20 minutes, until the cookies start to brown around the edges. Allow the cookies to cool for about 5 minutes on the sheet, then transfer them to a cooling wrack to cool completely.UPDATE: I thought the taste of these cookies really improved by the next day. Also, be careful not to over-toast your pecans, since they'll be baked again in the batter. src="http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?lt1=_blank&bc1=000000&IS2=1&bg1=FFFFFF&fc1=000000&lc1=0000FF&t=cookbook08-20&o=1&p=8&l=as1&m=amazon&f=ifr&md=10FE9736YVPPT7A0FBG2&asins=0786868546" style="width: 120px; height: 240px;" marginwidth="0" marginheight="0" frameborder="0" scrolling="no">[...]



Grilled Tomato Crostini

Thu, 16 Sep 2010 12:27:00 +0000


Forgive me. I'm going to bombard you with tomato recipes. Mostly because I love them, and because we have to take advantage while we can. This is actually a recipe I meant to share last month, after I returned from a visit with my sister in Chicago. She's the one with access to a grill. Oh, and a willing boyfriend who will pretty much throw anything on there that we ask him to. He's very amenable like that.

So this is a crostini, but it's grilled. The bread is grilled, the tomatoes are grilled. Grilled tomato crostini. I don't know, dudes, there's not much more to say about it right now. It's really, really good in that very simple way. Because how can grilled tomatoes be anything but delicious really. That's not even a question, you see. So have at it.

Grilled Tomato Crostini
Adopted from Food and Wine

3/4 inch-thick slices of good ciabatta bread or the like
1 clove garlic, cut in half
Olive Oil for drizzling
Salt and Pepper to taste
Handful of small basil leaves
1 pound, about 4 medium, tomatoes, quartered
1/2 pint grape of cherry tomatoes
1/2 pint small mixed heirloom tomatoes, can be halved (or you can just use 1 pint of one type)

Preheat your grill for the tomatoes. Cut out four sheets of foil large enough to accommodate 1/4 of the tomatoes each. Spread them out on a work surface and mound the tomatoes in the center of each. Drizzle them with a bit of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Fold the foil over to form tight packets.

Set the packets on the grill and cover it. They should grill over moderately high heat for about 18 minutes, or until they have softened and some of them begin to burst. Remove from the grill and, using scissors, cup open the packets and set aside.

Grill the bread until a bit charred, about 1 minute on each side. Transfer the bread to plates and rub each one with the garlic halves. Mound the tomatoes and their juices over the bread and drizzle with a bit more olive oil. Season with salt, and garnish with basil. Serve.(image)



Tomato and Watermelon Salad

Mon, 13 Sep 2010 15:19:00 +0000


So would you believe that last week I ran off to Hong Kong and didn't even tell you? It's true, I did. And although I'm pretty sure Hong Kong is the single hottest place on the planet, it's also pretty amazing. I'm working on getting some photos developed, and then I'll give you a smattering. Although because of said heat, I have to admit that I didn't have much of an appetite, so food wasn't exactly the focus.


And as a result I was craving fruits and vegetables when I finally got home after a fifteen hour plane flight that wasn't really that bad (thanks to 8 straight hours of Dexter). I think we're kind of at the end of when this salad will be worth making. You need watermelon, for one thing, and delicious, delicious tomatoes for another. In New York, I'm told by the woman at the farmers market, you've got about another two weeks to really capitalize on the tomatoes. Which I plan to do with perhaps another go at this seriously wonderful salad, and a repeat performance from my favorite peperonata. (Have you made that one yet? This is your reminder to do it.)

So you know when you're little and you learn that the tomato is, in fact, a fruit? This salad proves it, because although a somewhat unlikely combination, it turns out that at the height of its sweetness, the tomato goes perfectly with the watermelon. A little olive oil and balsamic thrown in with a toss of mint and a handful of pistachios, and that's pretty much the game. It takes, like, 5 minutes after the fruits are chopped. And it is de-licious.

Tomato and Watermelon Salad
Adopted from Prevention Magazine, randomly

Half a good-sized watermelon, cut up into chunks
2 very good sized heirloom tomatoes (those suckers can be huge) or maybe three or four normal sized tomatoes
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
Salt and Pepper to taste
Small handful of mint, chopped
Handful of pistachios, roughly chopped

Toss everything together in a bowl. This salad keeps pretty well, but if you're not going to finish it off in one sitting, set aside the mint and pistachios and add them as you serve the salad, or they'll get soggy. And no one likes a soggy pistachio.(image)



Announcing - My Legume Love Affair 27

Fri, 03 Sep 2010 13:46:00 +0000

Hello, everyone! It's my great pleasure to announce that MLLA 27 is being hosted here by me on The Well-Seasoned Cook. I'd like to follow the traditional of thanking the creator for allowing me the opportunity of hosting this long-running and popular event, but that would be just plain silly, so I will thank you instead. Without your great recipes, generosity, and work (yes, blogging is work, no matter how much fun), MLLA would not be enjoying the great success that it has since I launched the event back in February 2008.So, with gratitude for, and in honor of, all the fine cooks who enjoy MLLA, I am tweaking the monthly prizes/random drawing structure to make your time here just a little more appetizing:* NEW: Pick-Your-Own Prize - Choose any food-related book from Amazon U.S. with a value of up to 15USD (not including shipping). I will order the book and ship it worldwide at my expense. (F.T.C. Notice: I do not receive any compensation from Amazon.) * Hurst Bean Prize - The winner's choice of six (6) Hurst Bean products, suitable for all diets. Hurst Bean sponsors this prize. Due to shipping restrictions, this prize will only be awarded to a U.S. resident. (F.T.C. Notice: I do not receive any routine compensation from Hurst Bean, although I did recently request two products of nominal value which are not available in my local markets. This has been the sole exception.)* Drawing Structure - As has been the procedure in the past, in the event that the winner of the overall pool is a U.S. resident, that winner will be awarded both the book and Hurst Bean prizes. NEW: In the event that an international winner is drawn, a second drawing will be conducted from the pool of U.S. participants to ensure that every month the Hurst Bean prize will be awarded. The international winner will receive the book, and the U.S. winner will receive the Hurst Bean prize. To participate, please:* Post a recipe featuring legumes between now and September 30, linking it to this announcement. Send your post to thewellseasonedcook AT yahoo DOT com with MLLA in the subject line.* Your choice of recipes is very broad. As much as legumes are most commonly known as fresh or dried beans, peas, lentils and pulses, they are also the sometimes edible pods that contain these seeds. Add to the list alfalfa, fenugreek, peanuts, carob, tamarind, and other members of the Fabaceae or Leguminosae family, as well as derivatives such tofu, and bean flours and noodles, and you'll have a hard time focusing on just one. All courses and cuisines (vegetarian/vegan/non-vegetarian) are welcome, as long as legumes are the dominant ingredient. (Please note: In France, vegetables of all sorts are known as légumes. They are not included in this event.)* Multiple recipes are permitted (although only one submission will be counted towards the random drawing/s).* Recipes submitted to other events are also permitted.* Recipes from archives can be accepted ONLY if updated and reposted as current.* Recipes from those who are not bloggers are welcome. Please send me your name, location, recipe, and optional photo. I will ensure you are included in the drawing/s and round-up.* Location of each participant is necessary so that I will know who qualifies to win the Hurst Bean prize, shipped to U.S. residents only. If you don't want your location published in the round-up, please indicate this in your email so that I can maintain your privacy.* Use of logo is optional.* Photo is preferred, but not essential, with a width or length dimension of 400 pixels.* I will post the round-up and winner/s announcement during first week of October.* My family and personal friends are not eligible to win any prize.[...]



Announcing - My Legume Love Affair 27

Fri, 03 Sep 2010 13:46:00 +0000

Hello, everyone! It's my great pleasure to announce that MLLA 27 is being hosted here by me on The Well-Seasoned Cook. I'd like to follow the traditional of thanking the creator for allowing me the opportunity of hosting this long-running and popular event, but that would be just plain silly, so I will thank you instead. Without your great recipes, generosity, and work (yes, blogging is work, no matter how much fun), MLLA would not be enjoying the great success that it has since I launched the event back in February 2008.So, with gratitude for, and in honor of, all the fine cooks who enjoy MLLA, I am tweaking the monthly prizes/random drawing structure to make your time here just a little more appetizing:* NEW: Pick-Your-Own Prize - Choose any food-related book from Amazon U.S. with a value of up to 15USD (not including shipping). I will order the book and ship it worldwide at my expense. (F.T.C. Notice: I do not receive any compensation from Amazon.) * Hurst Bean Prize - The winner's choice of six (6) Hurst Bean products, suitable for all diets. Hurst Bean sponsors this prize. Due to shipping restrictions, this prize will only be awarded to a U.S. resident. (F.T.C. Notice: I do not receive any routine compensation from Hurst Bean, although I did recently request two products of nominal value which are not available in my local markets. This has been the sole exception.)* Drawing Structure - As has been the procedure in the past, in the event that the winner of the overall pool is a U.S. resident, that winner will be awarded both the book and Hurst Bean prizes. NEW: In the event that an international winner is drawn, a second drawing will be conducted from the pool of U.S. participants to ensure that every month the Hurst Bean prize will be awarded. The international winner will receive the book, and the U.S. winner will receive the Hurst Bean prize. To participate, please:* Post a recipe featuring legumes between now and September 30, linking it to this announcement. Send your post to thewellseasonedcook AT yahoo DOT com with MLLA in the subject line.* Your choice of recipes is very broad. As much as legumes are most commonly known as fresh or dried beans, peas, lentils and pulses, they are also the sometimes edible pods that contain these seeds. Add to the list alfalfa, fenugreek, peanuts, carob, tamarind, and other members of the Fabaceae or Leguminosae family, as well as derivatives such tofu, and bean flours and noodles, and you'll have a hard time focusing on just one. All courses and cuisines (vegetarian/vegan/non-vegetarian) are welcome, as long as legumes are the dominant ingredient. (Please note: In France, vegetables of all sorts are known as légumes. They are not included in this event.)* Multiple recipes are permitted (although only one submission will be counted towards the random drawing/s).* Recipes submitted to other events are also permitted.* Recipes from archives can be accepted ONLY if updated and reposted as current.* Recipes from those who are not bloggers are welcome. Please send me your name, location, recipe, and optional photo. I will ensure you are included in the drawing/s and round-up.* Location of each participant is necessary so that I will know who qualifies to win the Hurst Bean prize, shipped to U.S. residents only. If you don't want your location published in the round-up, please indicate this in your email so that I can maintain your privacy.* Use of logo is optional.* Photo is preferred, but not essential, with a width or length dimension of 400 pixels.* I will post the round-up and winner/s announcement during first week of October.* My family and personal friends are not[...]



Grilled Trout with Lemon-Caper Mayonnaise

Fri, 03 Sep 2010 02:27:00 +0000


I'll admit that I always get Labor Day and Memorial Day mixed up. As the eternal student, I know they both book-end summer and that one of them (Labor Day, it turns out) signals the return to classes. The one last party weekend before the serious business of life resumes. Normally I wouldn't have a suggestion in the world for your Labor Day BBQ because I don't have a grill. And I don't know many people with grills. And when I am around grills, I'm usually not in charge of them.

But a few weeks ago I made an impromptu visit to Chicago to bother my sister. I made her do all kinds of things with me, like an architectural tour on the river. And grocery shopping. And then cooking at her boyfriend's house. And I managed to do not very much of the cooking, because in the case of her boyfriend, making dinner almost always means grilling it. So he made this fish, although my sister and I chose the recipe. He did a spectacular job, actually, and just as Food & Wine promised, smearing a thin layer of this lemon and caper flavored mayonnaise on the fish before grilling really did keep it nice and moist.

Grilled Trout with Lemon-Caper Mayonnaise
Adopted from this recipe from Food & Wine

3 scallions, sliced thinly
2 tablespoons capers, unrinsed
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
3/4 cup mayonnaise
Salt and pepper to taste
Four 10 ounce boneless rainbow trouts, head and pin bones removed

In a food processor pulse together the first six ingredients until the scallions are finely chopped and incorporated into the mayonnaise. Season the mixture with salt and pepper.

Fire up the grill, or preheat a grill pan and spread about 1/2 tablespoon of the mayonnaise mixture on each side of each of the trouts. Season again with salt and pepper.

Grill the fish over high heat, turning once, until cooked through. This should take about six minutes. Serve the fish with the rest of the mayonnaise for more spreading.(image)



Paglia e Fieno - Straw and Hay Pasta with Peas & Porcini for MLLA 26 & PPN 179

Wed, 01 Sep 2010 22:25:00 +0000

  Vacation mode.  I'm sure you know that delicious mood I am talking about. Though one has returned to the regularly scheduled program of life, there are a few transitional days between the limp relaxation of being away from it all and the rigors of reacquaintance with the adrenaline rush.  You are protected by a cocoon of your own making. Nothing bothers you.  Not even the mangled mess of fettuccine seizing up on the platter before you, wrecking your plans to post an otherwise pretty darned good meal by its due date.  The world is a beautiful place.  Rather than shake your fist at the heavens and mutter enough blue words to make you blue in the face, you shrug and try it all over again.  And you give thanks - thanks to Simona, hostess of MLLA 26, for the tutelage to avoid another mess. This time, my meal is a mermaid's nest of relaxed and lovely noodles, obviously, in their vacation mode, too. Straw and Hay Pasta – My own vegetarian recipe using porcini to replace the traditional pancettaServes 4-6 Ingredients 1 large yellow onion, finely chopped2 large garlic cloves, minced or pressed1 tablespoon butter1 tablespoon olive oil2 cups half and half or light cream4 dried bay leaves½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper ¾ cup dried porcini pieces, reconstituted for ½ hour in 2 cups boiling water. (Reserve flavorful broth for other use.)1 tablespoon olive oil2 teaspoons coarsely ground sea salt12 ounces dried spinach fettuccine12 ounces dried semolina fettuccine 2 generous cups fresh or frozen green peas, cooked in a small container of water in the microwave for 3 minutes and reserved in its cooking water to keep warm.1 cup grated Parmesan, plus extra at tableMethodFill a very large pot, Dutch oven, or soup cauldron with enough water to boil the pasta. In order to prevent the pasta sticking to itself, it is critical that your vessel be large enough to accommodate the pasta with ample water to completely submerge it. It is better to use two vessels rather than cramp the pasta. Bring water to boil over high heat. As water is heating, prepare the cream sauce. In a large skillet over medium-low heat, cook the onion and garlic in butter and olive oil until translucent and golden. Do not let the vegetables burn. Stir in half and half or light cream, then add bay leaves and ground black pepper. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes. Slice porcini into slivers. Heat olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat until oil thins (5 seconds). Add porcini and stir fry until glistening and frizzled. Remove from heat and toss porcini with sea salt. Follow cooking time instructions on pasta packaging. Add fettuccine to boiling water. Increase heat slightly to return water to boil; maintain boil throughout cooking time. Pasta will begin to soften about 1 minute from commencing. Gently and frequently agitate pasta with a long-handled fork or chopstick to prevent sticking. Vigilant attention to the boil and agitation will ensure a good texture. Promptly remove from heat and carefully tip pasta into a colander to drain, allowing a little water to remain on it.Working quickly, empty drained pasta into very large bowl. Pour cream sauce on top of pasta. Discard bay leaves. Toss gently to cover pasta with sauce. Transfer to serving platter or divide into individual bowls. Drain the peas. Top with Parmesan, fried porcini, and peas. Serve immediately with additional Parmesan on the side. --This recipe is for Simona of Briciole, hosting MLLA 26.  Simona will have the round-up (in two parts) on line very soon.  Please stop [...]



Paglia e Fieno - Straw and Hay Pasta with Peas & Porcini for MLLA 26 & PPN 179

Wed, 01 Sep 2010 22:25:00 +0000

  Vacation mode.  I'm sure you know that delicious mood I am talking about. Though one has returned to the regularly scheduled program of life, there are a few transitional days between the limp relaxation of being away from it all and the rigors of reacquaintance with the adrenaline rush.  You are protected by a cocoon of your own making. Nothing bothers you.  Not even the mangled mess of fettuccine seizing up on the platter before you, wrecking your plans to post an otherwise pretty darned good meal by its due date.  The world is a beautiful place.  Rather than shake your fist at the heavens and mutter enough blue words to make you blue in the face, you shrug and try it all over again.  And you give thanks - thanks to Simona, hostess of MLLA 26, for the tutelage to avoid another mess. This time, my meal is a mermaid's nest of relaxed and lovely noodles, obviously, in their vacation mode, too. Straw and Hay Pasta – My own vegetarian recipe using porcini to replace the traditional pancettaServes 4-6 Ingredients 1 large yellow onion, finely chopped2 large garlic cloves, minced or pressed1 tablespoon butter1 tablespoon olive oil2 cups half and half or light cream4 dried bay leaves½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper ¾ cup dried porcini pieces, reconstituted for ½ hour in 2 cups boiling water. (Reserve flavorful broth for other use.)1 tablespoon olive oil2 teaspoons coarsely ground sea salt12 ounces dried spinach fettuccine12 ounces dried semolina fettuccine 2 generous cups fresh or frozen green peas, cooked in a small container of water in the microwave for 3 minutes and reserved in its cooking water to keep warm.1 cup grated Parmesan, plus extra at tableMethodFill a very large pot, Dutch oven, or soup cauldron with enough water to boil the pasta. In order to prevent the pasta sticking to itself, it is critical that your vessel be large enough to accommodate the pasta with ample water to completely submerge it. It is better to use two vessels rather than cramp the pasta. Bring water to boil over high heat. As water is heating, prepare the cream sauce. In a large skillet over medium-low heat, cook the onion and garlic in butter and olive oil until translucent and golden. Do not let the vegetables burn. Stir in half and half or light cream, then add bay leaves and ground black pepper. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes. Slice porcini into slivers. Heat olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat until oil thins (5 seconds). Add porcini and stir fry until glistening and frizzled. Remove from heat and toss porcini with sea salt. Follow cooking time instructions on pasta packaging. Add fettuccine to boiling water. Increase heat slightly to return water to boil; maintain boil throughout cooking time. Pasta will begin to soften about 1 minute from commencing. Gently and frequently agitate pasta with a long-handled fork or chopstick to prevent sticking. Vigilant attention to the boil and agitation will ensure a good texture. Promptly remove from heat and carefully tip pasta into a colander to drain, allowing a little water to remain on it.Working quickly, empty drained pasta into very large bowl. Pour cream sauce on top of pasta. Discard bay leaves. Toss gently to cover pasta with sauce. Transfer to serving platter or divide into individual bowls. Drain the peas. Top with Parmesan, fried porcini, and peas. Serve immediately with additional Parmesan on the side. --This recipe is for Simona of Briciole, hosting MLLA 26.  Simona will have the round-up (in two parts) on line ve[...]



Mark Bittman's Tomato Cobbler

Fri, 27 Aug 2010 02:13:00 +0000

So you know when it's snowing outside (you remember winter, don't you? I feel like it's already right around the corner, but I'm a pessimist like that), and freezing, and maybe it's freezing in your apartment, too? So freezing, in fact, that if you're me, you're wearing your kind-of-ugly red looks-like-a-down-sleeping-bag winter coat inside your apartment just to keep from dieing. That really happened last year, during the winter. But I'm hoping that the genius make-shift insulation that R made out of a box that once contained corn pops and another for dog biscuits will keep the place warm when we get there again this year.Anyway. On this particular day I'm rambling about, I came across Mark Bittman's recipe for Tomato Cobbler. And in the middle of the winter, when all that's available are watery, tasteless grocery store tomatoes, just the thought of August weather and August produce was enough to make me cry frozen tears. But on that day, I promised myself that once August rolled around, I would have Tomato Cobbler, and it would be made in shorts or a sun dress with tomatoes from a farmers market. Readers? Objective achieved.My cousin and I made this dish the other weekend during a kind of spur-of-the-moment family gathering at my Nana's house in Connecticut. We bought the tomatoes at a road-side farm stand that we found driving back from a rediculous trail run in one of Connecticut's national parks. You could call it the perfect summer day.A few notes. First, as is his practice in the 'How to Cook Everything' series, Bittman gives a few variations for the recipe. We took him up on his suggestion of tossing in a couple of ears worth of fresh corn kernels with the tomatoes. But we didn't add a cup of grated cheddar to the topping, and both my cousin and I agree that we wish that we had. Maybe you should give it a try instead.Tomato Cobbler Adopted from Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything Vegetarian8 to 10 medium tomatoes (red and yellow if you're lucky enough to find them at the farmers market), cored and cut into wedges1 tablespoon cornstarchSalt and pepper to taste1 cup all-purpose flour1 cup cornmeal1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder1/4 teaspoon baking soda4 tablespoons butter, cut into large chunks and very cold1 egg, beaten3/4 cup buttermilkKernels from a couple of ears of corn1 cup grated cheddar cheese (optional, because I didn't try it, but wish I had)Grease a 9" pyrex or other comparable baking dish. Oven preheated to 375 F.Put the tomato wedges and corn kernels into the baking dish and toss them with the cornstarch and the salt and pepper. Set aside.In the bowl of a food processor, but the flour, cornmeal, baking powder and baking soda, as well as a teaspoon of salt, and pulse to combine. And the butter and give it a few more pulses until it looks like coarse sand. Add the egg, buttermilk and grated cheese, if you're using it, and pulse once more, until the mixture comes together like a dough ball. You might need to add a bit more flour if it's too wet, or a bit more buttermilk if it's too dry.Make sure the tomatoes are spread fairly evenly on the bottom of the baking dish, and then drop the batter by spoonfools on top. You want to make sure that there are some cracks between the dough so that steam can escape from the tomatoes as it cooks.Bake for 45 to 50 minutes until the cobbler is golden brown and bubbling underneath. It's best to serve this at room temperature, so making it a bit ahead is a good idea. src="http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?lt1=_blank&bc1=000000&IS2=1&bg1=F[...]



Manhattan Clam Chowder

Wed, 25 Aug 2010 01:23:00 +0000

So the other weekend, R and I took the train from Manhattan out to New England to visit my Nana, aunts, uncles and cousins. And on the first day, my aunt J served this Manhattan Clam Chowder...in New England. Of course, the difference between a Manhattan Clam Chowder and a New England Clam Chowder has nothing to do with where they're served. The Manhattan version is served in a broth with tomatoes, while the New England version is a cream-based soup. I've always preferred the Manhattan type (as I tend to do in most matters), but this version was seriously great. Seriously. As R sopped the last drop from his bowl with a piece of bread, he looked up and said 'You must get this recipe.' That does not happen very often.So of course I complied. My family is always amenable to giving out recipes, they're generous like that. In fact, you might remember those homemade twix bars from a while back. Well my aunt-to-be included them in an Easter basket that she put together for R and I last year, and told them they were my Aunt J's recipe (same aunt you can thank for this chowder). Of course, I had given the recipe to J in the first place! And I love that about my family, always recipes away and passing food around. None of this 'secret family recipe' business for us.So anyway, this is some good stuff. I like the idea of reproducing recipes the way they were given to me. My mom has her style, Aunt J has hers, and I like to keep them intact. Neither one of them writes out a list of ingredients at the top, so I'll bold them in the body of the recipe for easy shopping list making.Aunt J's Manhattan Clam ChowderBrown 1/4 lb chopped bacon in a 5 quart saucepan over medium high heat for 2 minutes. Remove the bacon and drain on paper towels. In the drippings, saute 1/2 small onion, chopped, and 2 small ribs of celery, also chopped, along with 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme for 4 minutes. Add 2 x 14 oz can of chopped tomatoes with jalapeno peppers, two 8 oz bottles of clam juice, 2-3 medium potatoes chopped to bite-size pieces with the skin on, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Simmer, covered, for 10 minutes. Stir in 2 x 10g cans of whole baby clams (you can chop some of them) with their juice and a 7 ounce can of corn kernels, drained, as well as the reserved bacon. Heat it through, and serve[...]



My Nana's Blueberry Buckle

Tue, 17 Aug 2010 00:47:00 +0000

We all have recipes that remind us of childhood. This one reminds me of both childhood and summer. Weeks spent at my grandparents' house in Connecticut, playing in the pool, cuddling the dog, chasing the cousins around the yard. Actually, in my case, I remember a fair amount of corralling the cousins, all of them younger than I. Two weeks of having five little siblings to boss around.And my Nana had blueberry bushes growing out by the pool. We used to pick them for her, and only the promise of cakes like this one could get us to actually bring any of them inside before eating them all ourselves. Back in Colorado we'd read Blueberries for Sal, about a little girl's blueberry-picking adventures in Maine, and remember the satisfaction of eating fruit plucked straight off the bush.Nana often had a sheet of blueberry buckle waiting for us by the time we rolled out of bed and made it out onto the covered porch for breakfast. The recipe comes from a small spiral-bound cookbook, shaped like a basket of strawberries. Just the kind of down-home collection such a recipe should be from. As far as old-fashioned American desserts, the buckle is pretty straight forward. It's just a single layer of cake with fruit, usually blueberries, tossed over it and topped with crumbs of butter, flour and sugar. And it makes for wonderful childhood memories.Nana's Blueberry BuckleAdapted from A Very Berry Cookbook by Judith Bosley 2 cups flour 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder 1/4 teaspoon salt 1/2 cup butter 1/2 cup sugar 1 egg 1/2 cup milk Topping: 2 cups fresh blueberries 1/2 cup flour 1/4 cup butter 1/2 cup sugar 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon Combine the first three ingredients. Cream the butter and sugar, then add the egg. Next, add the dry ingredients alternately with the milk. Spread the batter in a greased 13x9 inch pan. Sprinkle with the berries, and set aside. In another bowl, combine the remaining topping ingredients. Kneed them with your fingers until the mixture is a crumbly texture, and sprinkle over the berries. Bake at 350F for 35-45 minutes. src="http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?lt1=_blank&bc1=000000&IS2=1&bg1=FFFFFF&fc1=000000&lc1=0000FF&t=cookbook08-20&o=1&p=8&l=as1&m=amazon&f=ifr&md=10FE9736YVPPT7A0FBG2&asins=0930809106" style="width: 120px; height: 240px;" marginwidth="0" marginheight="0" frameborder="0" scrolling="no">[...]



Classic Lemon Bars

Thu, 12 Aug 2010 01:13:00 +0000

The other day I literally gave myself a blister beating and whisking a lemon cream that was supposed to come to a certain temperature and never did. This one is not such a fussy cream. It's the 30 minute version, easy, no special techniques, pretty fool proof. And just what I needed after a string of kitchen failures that never even made it onto the blog.The crust is kind of a shortbread that is simply spun around in the food processor and then pressed into the pan. Really, nothing could be simpler. The filling, too, is straightforward and can be whipped up quickly while the crust partially bakes. The only planning ahead is for refrigeration. Completely non-active.I brought them to Prospect Park for a friend's birthday BBQ. And they survived the hour subway ride from the Upper, Upper East Side, and then a 40 minute trek through the park when we discovered that the one train which ran even somewhat conveniently from our side of the island to Brooklyn let us off near the exact opposite corner of the park from where we were supposed to be. But there's something about New York that makes these escapades doable, where I probably wouldn't dream of driving an hour and then walking more than half of that for a picnic in any other place.Classic Lemon BarsAdapted to add more lemon flavor from The Gourmet CookbookCrust2 cup all-purpose flour1/2 cup granulated sugar1/2 teaspoon salt12 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into chunksFilling3 large eggs1/2 cup granulated sugar2 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon all-purpose flour2 tablespoons heavy cream2 teaspoons grated lemon zest, from about 2 lemons1/2 cup fresh lemon juice, from about 2 lemons1/8 teaspoon saltPowdered Sugar for garnishPreheat the oven to 350F, with a rack in the middle. You'll use a 9 inch square pan, but you can leave it ungreased.For the crust: In a food processor, pulse together all of the ingredients except the butter to combine. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture looks like course meal. Pour the dough into your pan and press it onto the bottom. Bake for about 20 minutes, until the crust is just barely golden brown.In the meantime, make the filling: Whisk together all of the ingredients for the filling until combined. Be sure there are no lumps of flour left in the mixture.When the crust has been partly baked, remove it from the oven and pour the filling into the still-warm crust. Return to the oven until the filling is set, about 16 minutes. Transfer the whole pan to a rack to cool. Cover and refrigerate until cold. This will take at least 4 hours, so you may as well give yourself overnight.To serve, cut the bars and sprinkle with powdered sugar. src="http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?lt1=_blank&bc1=000000&IS2=1&bg1=FFFFFF&fc1=000000&lc1=0000FF&t=cookbook08-20&o=1&p=8&l=as1&m=amazon&f=ifr&md=10FE9736YVPPT7A0FBG2&asins=061880692X" style="width: 120px; height: 240px;" marginwidth="0" marginheight="0" frameborder="0" scrolling="no">[...]



Summer Holiday

Wed, 11 Aug 2010 15:47:00 +0000


I'm in mid air at the moment, enjoying a blogging break encouraged as much by summer-swelter meltdown as mandated by on-line burnout. My presence for the next few weeks will be limited to catching up on visiting and commenting on your sites, malingering on Flickr, and the occasional chirp on Twitter. Behind the scenes, I am restoring my blogroll, and improving my About page to include FAQs and policies, New Year's resolutions which I've always held a commitment to fulfill rather than break.

I wish you all a very happy, healthy, and heat-resistant August. See you at the end of the month!(image)



Summer Holiday

Wed, 11 Aug 2010 15:47:00 +0000


I'm in mid air at the moment, enjoying a blogging break encouraged as much by summer-swelter meltdown as mandated by on-line burnout. My presence for the next few weeks will be limited to catching up on visiting and commenting on your sites, malingering on Flickr, and the occasional chirp on Twitter. Behind the scenes, I am restoring my blogroll, and improving my About page to include FAQs and policies, New Year's resolutions which I've always held a commitment to fulfill rather than break.

I wish you all a very happy, healthy, and heat-resistant August. See you at the end of the month!(image)