Tomato Candy Tartlets
Tomato Candy Tartlets

Serves 4

2 pints grape tomatoes
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
Several sprigs fresh thyme
5 cloves garlic
Pinch of salt
Pinch of sugar
Fresh ground black pepper
1⁄2 sheet pre-made puff pastry, thawed
1 cup baby arugula
1⁄2 to 3⁄4 cup fresh cheese, such as homemade farmer’s cheese, queso fresco or ricotta

Preheat the oven to 300 F. Toss the grape tomatoes, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, fresh thyme, garlic, salt and sugar together and spread on a shallow baking sheet that’s been lined with parchment paper. Cut the top off of the garlic bulb, drizzle with olive oil, and wrap in foil. Roast everything for 1 hour 45 minutes, shaking the tomato pan once. When the tomato candy is finished, remove from the oven and set aside. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375 F. On a floured surface, roll out the puff pastry dough into a rectangle of approximately 8 x 16 inches. With a sharp knife or pizza cutter, cut the pastry dough into roughly equal 8 squares. Place on a baking sheet that’s been lined with parchment paper and lightly brush with olive oil. Leaving a 1⁄4 inch margin around each square, prick the surface of the dough with a fork. Bake until light brown and puffy, approximately 15 minutes. Layer each square with handful of arugula, tomato candy and fresh cheese. Serve warm or at room temperature.

July-August 2014
Tomato & Eggplant Gratin
Tomato & Eggplant Gratin

Serves 6

2 to 3 large tomatoes, sliced 1⁄8 inch thick
2 medium eggplants, peeled and sliced 1⁄8 inch thick
1 to 2 tablespoons fresh thyme
2 tablespoons fresh oregano leaves
1⁄2 cup breadcrumbs
1⁄2 cup grated Parmesan
Handful basil leaves, cut into thin strips (chiffonade)
Olive oil
Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 375 F. In an 8 x 5 inch casserole that’s been lightly drizzled with olive oil, layer the alternate layers of tomato and eggplant slices, lightly drizzling each layer with olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper. Top with the fresh thyme and oregano. Bake covered for 20 minutes. Remove the cover and bake for an additional 20 minutes. Combine the breadcrumbs and Parmesan and spread over the tomato and eggplant. Bake for an additional 10 minutes, uncovered, until brown. Just before serving, top with the basil.

July-August 2014
Baked Tomato Eggs with Blue Cheese & Bacon
Baked Tomato Eggs with Blue Cheese & Bacon

Serves 4

8 medium tomatoes
8 small eggs
4 teaspoons heavy cream, divided
1⁄3 cup blue cheese, crumbled
1 to 2 strips bacon, crumbled
Salt and pepper
Chopped parsley, for garnish

Preheat the oven to 400 F. Cut the top off of each tomato and scoop out the inside. Lightly salt each tomato and place upside down on paper towels for 30 minutes to drain. Pat the insides of each tomato dry and place, empty side up, in a casserole. (If the tomatoes are wobbly, cut a small slice off the bottom.) Bake for 10 minutes. Remove, crack the eggs and place egg in each tomato. Drizzle 1⁄2 teaspoon cream on top of each tomato and return to the oven for an additional 20 minutes, or until the whites have set and the yolk is your desired consistency. Remove from the oven, turn the heat to broil and divide the blue cheese evenly among the tomatoes. Broil until bubbly, garnish with the bacon and parsley and serve, immediately, with hot buttered toast.

July-August 2014
Fried Green Tomatoes with Creole Remoulade
Fried Green Tomatoes with Creole Remoulade

Serves 2 - 4

1 cup medium coarse cornmeal
1 tablespoon Creole seasoning
Salt and pepper
2 medium green tomatoes, cut into 1⁄4 inch slices
1 cup flour
2 eggs, beaten
Sliced green onions, for garnish

Combine the cornmeal, Creole seasoning, salt and pepper. Dredge the tomato slices in the flour, then the egg, then the cornmeal. Fry in 1 inch of canola oil that has been heated to 360 F until brown and crispy, turning once, approximately 4 minutes per side. Serve with remoulade sauce (recipe below) garnished with the green onions.

Remoulade sauce:
1 stalk celery
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons Creole seasoning
2 teaspoons sweet paprika
1⁄4 cup red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons ketchup
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons Tabasco
1⁄2 teaspoon Cayenne pepper
2 - 3 tablespoons mayonnaise

Blend all but the last 3 ingredients in an immersion blender until smooth. Add the mayonnaise and blend until smooth and emulsified. Add Tabasco and Cayenne pepper to your desired level of spiciness. Serve as a dipping sauce.

July-August 2014
Mini Asparagus & Goat Cheese Quiche Bites
Mini Asparagus & Goat Cheese Quiche Bites

Makes 24 quiche bites

15 to 20 asparagus stalks, chopped into 1⁄4 inch pieces
5 ounces chevre
3 ounces prosciutto, chopped
5 eggs, beaten
1⁄2 cup cream

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Lightly grease a 24-count mini muffin or cupcake tin (or two 12-count tins). Evenly divide the asparagus, chevre and prosciutto among the individual tins. Whisk the eggs and the cream together and fill each of the prepared tins 3⁄4 way full. Bake at 350 degrees until just set, about 15 to 20 minutes. Allow to cool for 10 minutes and remove. Eat while still warm.

Lemony Asparagus & Ricotta Pasta
Lemony Asparagus & Ricotta Pasta

Serves 4

16 ounces penne rigate
1 tablespoon butter
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 bunch (app. 30 stalks) asparagus, chopped into 1 inch pieces
2 cups peas, fresh or frozen (thawed)
Reserved pasta water (about 1⁄2 cup)
2 cups whole milk ricotta
1⁄2 cup grated Pecorino Romano
Zest of lemon
Salt and pepper
Chopped flat leaf parsley, to garnish

Cook the pasta in well-salted boiling water to al dente. Reserve 1⁄2 cup pasta water, drain and set aside. Meanwhile, in a deep skillet, warm the butter over medium heat. Sauté the garlic until fragrant and add the asparagus and peas, stirring for about 5 minutes. Add the pasta and stir to combine. Add a bit of the pasta water—about 1⁄4 cup—and the ricotta, stirring to coat thoroughly. If the pasta seems dry, add another 1⁄4 cup pasta water. Finally add the Pecorino Romano and lemon zest, salt to taste, and serve immediately. Garnish with chopped parsley and fresh cracked black pepper.

Composed Shaved Asparagus & Sea Bean Salad
Composed Shaved Asparagus & Sea Bean Salad

Serves 4

25 to 30 asparagus stalks, shaved (using a vegetable peeler)
5 pieces (about 1⁄4 cup) sea beans
1⁄2 small red onion, sliced very thin
2 hard-boiled eggs, sliced
Coarse salt
Fresh ground pepper

For the vinaigrette:
1⁄4 cup balsamic vinegar
3⁄4 cup olive oil
Pinch sugar

Divide the shaved asparagus, sea beans, onions and eggs evenly among 4 plates.  To make the vinaigrette, whisk the vinegar, olive oil, and sugar together. (You will have extra dressing.) Drizzle with the vinaigrette and top with a pinch of coarse sea salt and fresh ground pepper.

Creamy Asparagus Soup
Creamy Asparagus Soup

Serves 4 as an appetizer; 2 as a main course

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 shallot, chopped
5 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups of chopped asparagus
2 cups chicken stock (can substitute vegetable stock for a vegetarian version)
1⁄2 cup Greek yogurt
Zest of lemon
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Salt and pepper, to taste
Chopped chives or green onion, to garnish

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, sauté the shallot in the olive oil until soft. Add the garlic and asparagus; sauté for 5 minutes. Add a pinch of salt and the chicken stock. Lower the heat and simmer, covered, until the asparagus is tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Using an immersion blender, puree until smooth. Temper the Greek yogurt with a bit of the hot soup and slowly whisk the tempered yogurt into the soup. Add salt and pepper to taste and stir in the lemon juice and lemon zest just before serving. Garnish with chopped chives or green onion.

Spiked Lavender Hibiscus Lemonade
Spiked Lavender Hibiscus Lemonade

makes 8 8-ounce servings

6 cups of hibiscus tea, cooled
(1 teabag per cup of water)
1 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 cup lavender simple syrup*

*To make the simple syrup, combine 1⁄2 cup water and 1⁄2 cup sugar in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil. Turn off the heat, add 1 tablespoon lavender and allow to cool; strain. Combine the tea, lemon juice and simple syrup, stirring well. Pour over ice in a highball glass; add 2 ounces of gin for a refreshing cocktail.

Lavender & Rosemary Lamb Lollipops
Lavender & Rosemary Lamb Lollipops

serves 4 as an appetizer, 2 as a main course

1 rack of lamb rib chops, Frenched (8 chops)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon crushed garlic
1⁄2 tablespoon lavender
1⁄2 tablespoon rosemary
Salt and pepper

Cut the rack into individual chops. Generously salt and pepper both sides of each lamb chop. Combine the olive oil, garlic, lavender and rosemary. Smear the mixture over each chop. Sear the chops in a hot cast-iron skillet, about 3 minutes per side for medium rare.

Lavender Lemon Quick Bread
Lavender Lemon Quick Bread

Makes 8 - 9 1-inch slices

3 cups pastry flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon culinary lavender
1⁄2 teaspoon rosemary, chopped
2 eggs, beaten
11⁄2 cups buttermilk
1⁄2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Zest of 1 lemon

For the glaze:
5 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon buttermilk
1⁄4 teaspoon white pepper
Pinch sea salt
1⁄2 tablespoon butter

Sift together all of the dry ingredients. Add to this the egg, buttermilk, vanilla extract and lemon zest. Fold until just combined—don’t overmix. Pour into a lightly greased loaf pan and bake for 45 to 50 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow to cool for 10 minutes in the pan and then place on a rack. While still warm, pour the hot glaze over the bread.
To make the glaze, gently warm all of the ingredients in a small saucepan until incorporated.

Lavender & Cardamom Mini Buttermilk Pancakes
Lavender & Cardamom Mini Buttermilk Pancakes

serves 4 - 6

8 ounces unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 tablespoon sugar
A pinch of salt
2 eggs, beaten
11⁄4 cups buttermilk
1 teaspoon crushed lavender
1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
1⁄2 teaspoon cardamom
Oil, for cooking

Mix together the first 5 ingredients. Add the eggs and buttermilk and stir until incorporated. Fold in the lavender, pepper and cardamom. Drop by the spoonful onto a hot lightly greased nonstick skillet. Flip when bubbles start to form and cook until light brown and crispy.

Minted Mushy Peas
Minted Mushy Peas

(serves 4)

2 tablespoons butter, divided
1 tablespoon olive oil
1⁄2 cup chopped scallions, green bits included
1 small shallot, chopped
1 heaping tablespoon mint
1 pound frozen baby peas, thawed
1⁄4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
White pepper

In a medium saucepan, saute the scallions and shallot over medium heat in the olive oil and 1 tablespoon butter until soft. Add half of the mint and cook for 1 minute. Add the peas, stir, lower the heat and cook, covered, until warm through. Add the rest of the mint, the salt and white pepper and the remaining butter. Whizz to a chunky consistency with an immersion blender, and add salt and white pepper to taste.

Composed Beet, Watercress & Chevre Salad
Composed Beet, Watercress & Chevre Salad

(makes 4 salads)

2 small beets (raw), peeled and very thinly sliced
4 handfuls watercress
1⁄2 cup chevre
1⁄2 cup pistachios
Large flake sea salt, such as Maldon

For the dressing, whisk together:
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon honey

To compose the salad, divide the watercress among 4 plates. Fan equal portions of sliced beets in the center, top with the chevre and pistachios. Drizzle each salad with the vinaigrette and top with a pinch of sea salt.

Herby & Crispy Spatchcocked Chicken
Herby & Crispy Spatchcocked Chicken

(serves 4)

1 4- to 5-pound chicken, preferably free range
1 lemon, sliced
1 bulb garlic, 1⁄2 cloves peeled, 1⁄2 unpeeled
Olive oil
Kosher salt
Pepper

Herb butter, combine the following:
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
3 tablespoons fresh thyme
1 heaping teaspoon fresh sage, chopped

Do ahead: Spatchcock the chicken and leave it in the refrigerator, uncovered, overnight. This will help the skin get nice and crispy. To spatchcock, cut the spine out of the chicken using kitchen shears or a very sharp chef’s knife. Turn the chicken over and press down on the breast until the breastbone snaps and the chicken is flat.

To roast the chicken, preheat the oven to 425 F. Lay the chicken in a shallow roasting pan or cast-iron skillet on a bed of the lemon slices and the unpeeled garlic cloves. Drizzle olive oil on the chicken and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Stuff half of the herb butter under the breast and thigh skin; smear the other half over the skin. Stuff the peeled garlic cloves under the skin. Roast uncovered on a middle rack for 30-35 minutes, until the skin is brown and crispy and a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh reads 165 F.

Rosemary Roasted Carrots & Parsnips
Rosemary Roasted Carrots & Parsnips

(serves 4)

6 carrots, halved lengthwise
6 parsnips, peeled
One sprig fresh rosemary (leaves removed from stems)
1⁄2 cup blanched and peeled pearl onions (frozen is fine)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1⁄4 teaspoon kosher salt
Pepper

Preheat the oven to 425 F. Toss all of the ingredients together and lay in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for about 40 minutes, until the pearl onions are slightly charred.

Spicy Chicken Coconut Soup
Spicy Chicken Coconut Soup

serves 4 - 6

2 habanero peppers
1 white onion, diced
14 ounces fire-roasted tomatoes
1 clove garlic
2 tablespoons canola oil
5 fresh curry leaves (available at H Mart or Punjab Market)
28 ounces plum tomatoes (preferably San Marzano)
14 ounces light coconut milk
2 cups vegetable or chicken broth
Few sprigs fresh thyme
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
Salt and pepper to taste

Roast the habanero peppers over an open flame on the stove top until charred; remove seeds and stems. (If you don’t have a gas stove, roast the peppers in the broiler.) Combine with 1⁄2 of the onion, the fire-roasted tomatoes and the clove of garlic, puree with an immersion blender.

In a heavy stockpot or similar, saute the curry leaves in the canola oil over medium high heat until they sizzle. Add the remaining onions and saute until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes, coconut milk, broth and thyme. Bring to a simmer and add the spicy puree a little bit at a time, tasting until the soup is as spicy as you like. (Leftover puree is great stirred into salsa.) Add salt and pepper, bring to a boil and lower the heat to a simmer for about 10 minutes. Add the raw chicken breasts (do not rinse them) to the pot, making sure they are in a single layer and completely submerged in broth. Simmer, covered, for 20 minutes, until the breasts are opaque and have reached an internal temperature of 165 F. Remove the breasts and shred with a fork. Return the meat to the pot and simmer another 10 minutes. Before serving, add the lime juice and stir. Garnish with fresh thyme.

Israeli Couscous “Risotto” with Roast Balsamic Brussels Sprouts
Israeli Couscous “Risotto” with Roast Balsamic Brussels Sprouts

serves 2 as a main course; 4 as a side DISH

1 pound Brussels sprouts
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1⁄4 teaspoon salt
Several grinds of fresh black pepper
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 shallot, minced
11⁄3 cups Israeli couscous
1⁄3 cup dry white wine
11⁄2 cups vegetable or chicken broth, warm
1⁄2 teaspoon lemon zest

Preheat the oven to 400 F. Cut the Brussels sprouts into quarters and toss with 2 table- spoons of the olive oil, salt and pepper. Spread evenly on a baking sheet lined with foil and roast until browned, about 20 minutes. Shake once while roasting.

Meanwhile, make the couscous. In a medium saucepan, saute the shallot in the remaining olive oil over medium heat until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the dry couscous and toast for 1 to 2 minutes. Add the wine and simmer until absorbed. Lower the heat and add the warm broth a little bit at a time, stirring in between each addition until absorbed. Continue until you’ve used all the broth and the couscous is soft.

When the sprouts are finished, toss in the balsamic vinegar and then gently fold them into the couscous. If desired, serve topped with a poached egg.

White Beans with Roast Garlic & Tomato Candy
White Beans with Roast Garlic & Tomato Candy

serves 2 as a main course; 4 as a side dish

1 pound grape tomatoes
5 sprigs thyme
5 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1⁄4 teaspoon salt
Fresh ground black pepper, to taste
Pinch sugar
1 whole garlic bulb
2 14-ounce cans white beans, such as cannellini or
Great Northern, drained

Preheat the oven to 300 F. Toss the tomatoes, thyme, 5 cloves garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper together and spread on a shallow baking sheet that’s been lined with parchment paper. Cut the top off the garlic bulb, drizzle with olive oil and wrap in foil. Roast everything for 1 hour 45 minutes, shaking the tomato pan once.

When the tomatoes are finished, in a sautoir pan cook the drained beans in 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat until warm. Squish the roasted garlic into the beans and stir to combine. Carefully fold in the tomato candy and add salt and pepper to taste. 

Ethiopian-Style Spiced Red Lentils
Ethiopian-Style Spiced Red Lentils

serves 2 as a main course; 4 as a side dish

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 shallot, minced
1 thumb fresh ginger, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 heaping tablespoon berbere spice (available at Whole Foods)
1cup split red lentils
14 ounces fire-roasted tomatoes
2 cups vegetable broth
Salt and pepper, to taste
Greek yogurt and cilantro, to garnish

In a medium saucepan, saute the shallot and ginger in the olive oil over medium heat until the shallot is soft. Add the garlic and the berbere spice, stir to combine. Add the lentils and cook for a couple of minutes. Add the tomatoes and broth, bring to a boil, lower the heat and simmer, covered, until the lentils are soft, about 25 minutes. Stir occasionally and if the lentils are drying out add more liquid. Salt and pepper to taste and serve with a dollop of Greek yogurt and garnish with cilantro.

Afghan-style Garlicky Pumpkin Tartlets
Afghan-style Garlicky Pumpkin Tartlets

Makes 6 tartlets

10 sheets phyllo dough, thawed. (1 stack of 5 sheets makes 4 round tartlets)
1⁄4 cup melted butter
3 tablespons sugar
1⁄4 teaspoon Saigon cinnamon
1⁄2 teaspoon coriander
1⁄2 teaspoon cardamom
Dusting of grated nutmeg
11⁄2 pounds sugar pumpkin
Drizzle of olive oil
1 cup Greek style yogurt
5 large cloves of garlic, minced fine
1 tablespoon fresh squeezed lemon juice
Salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat the oven to 375 F.

First, make the tartlets. Make a stack of 5 sheets of phyllo, brushing each layer with the melted butter. Cut into 4 equal pieces (rough squares) and press each one into a lightly greased tartlet pan.  Repeat to fill the remaining 2 tartlet pans. Bake for 10 minutes, until brown and crispy, and allow to cool on a rack.

Meanwhile, make your yogurt garlic sauce. Mix the yogurt, garlic, lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste. Taste for balance. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

To make the pumpkin, cut in half and remove the seeds. Combine the sugar, cinnamon, coriander and cardamom. Lightly brush the pumpkin with olive oil and half of the sugar mixture. Bake in a roasting pan in 2-3 inches of water at 375 degrees until just tender, about 25-30 minutes. Remove the flesh from the shell, and break up into chunks.

Place it in a casserole dish. Add a bit more olive oil, the rest of the sugar and a dusting of nutmeg. Place back in the oven until very tender.

To serve, fill the tartlet shells with the warm pumpkin and drizzle the cool sauce over top. (The extra yogurt is a fabulous substitute for mayo on a sandwich.)

Creamed Leek & Fingerling Potato Tart
Creamed Leek & Fingerling Potato Tart

Serves 4 - 6

4 leeks, white and light green parts, chopped
3 tablespoons butter
1⁄4 teaspoon salt
1⁄8 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1⁄3 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon fresh tarragon, chopped
18-20 baby fingerling potatoes
Olive oil
1⁄8 teaspoon kosher salt
1 sheet puff pastry, thawed
1 egg, beaten, plus 1 tablespoon water

Soak the chopped leeks in cold water for 10 minutes to clean out any grit or dirt. Pat dry. In a saucepan, saute the leeks over medium heat in the butter for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the salt, pepper, cream and tarragon, turn the heat to medium-low and cook until thick, about 15 minutes more.

Meanwhile, boil the fingerlings in well- salted boiling water until tender, about 10 minutes. When cool, cut each potato in half lengthwise. Toss in a drizzle of olive oil and 1⁄8 teaspoon salt.

Preheat the oven to 400 F.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out the puff pastry sheet to a 10-by-14-inch rectangle and transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and lightly dusted with flour. Lightly brush all over with the egg wash. Spread the creamed leeks evenly on the pastry, leaving 1⁄4-1⁄2 inch edge. Evenly space the potatoes on top, skin side down and bake for 20 minutes until the pastry is crisp and brown.

Ember Day Tart
Ember Day Tart

Serves 6 - 8

Filling:
2 medium yellow onions, chopped very fine
2 cups sharp cheddar, grated
1 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped
5 eggs
1⁄4 cup milk
1⁄4 cup half and half
Pinch saffron
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
Pinch nutmeg
Few grinds cubeb pepper

Crust:
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup AP flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1⁄2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1⁄4 cup olive oil
1⁄2 cup cold water

First, make the crust. In a large bowl, sift together the dry ingredients. Add the olive oil and use your hands to coat the flour with the oil (it should be mealy). Slowly add the water and knead the dough until it comes together. It will be sticky and shaggy at first, but if it’s too wet add more flour, and if too dry add more water. Shape the dough into a ball, apply a thin coat of olive oil, cover with plastic wrap and allow to rest in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the filling. Combine the parsley and cheese in a large bowl; set aside. Whisk the eggs, milk and half and half together. Add the saffron, salt, nutmeg and cubeb pepper. Add the liquid mixture to the cheese and parsley and gently stir to evenly combine.

Preheat the oven to 375 F.

Roll out the tart crust on a lightly floured surface and transfer to a lightly oiled 11 to 12-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Trim excess edges, and freeze for later use. Pour the filling into the crust and spread evenly with a spatula. Bake for 35-40 minutes, until the center is just set. Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes, then gently remove from pan. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Sweet & Spicy Pear Torte
Sweet & Spicy Pear Torte

3⁄4 cup sugar
1⁄2 cup butter, softened
1⁄2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1⁄2 cup almond meal flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1⁄2 teaspoon almond extract
A pinch of salt
2 eggs, beaten
2 - 3 small Bosc pears, peeled, pitted and thinly sliced

For the topping:
1 tablespoon sugar
1⁄4 teaspoon spicy Saigon cinnamon
1⁄4 teaspoon allspice
1⁄8 teaspoon ground clove

Preheat the oven to 350 F.

In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar. Slowly add in the flour until incorporated, and add all of your other ingredients except the fruit and the toppings. The batter is going to be very thick. Spread it evenly into a lightly greased 11 to 12 inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Place the pear slices on the batter in concentric circles, very slightly overlapping each slice. Sprinkle the topping over the pears and bake for 30-35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. 

Guinea Hen Leg Confit
Guinea Hen Leg Confit

Serves 5

5 Guinea hen legs (available from online sellers including D’Artagnan)
1 tablespoon each fresh sage, parsley, and thyme, ground and combined
Kosher salt
6 cups unsalted clarified butter or ghee
5- 6 fresh sage leaves
A few sprigs of fresh thyme
Olive oil, for frying

The day before you plan to confit the hen legs, pat them dry and rub the ground sage, parsley and thyme into them. Lay flat in a glass container and cover completely with salt. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

When you’re ready to confit, slowly heat the clarified butter or ghee in a Dutch oven until melted. Rinse the salt off of the hen legs and pat dry. Place the legs in the butter, making sure they are completely submerged. Cover and cook in a 250-degree oven for 3 hours.

To serve, remove the hen legs and allow to drain on a rack for 15 minutes. Fry, skin side down, over very high heat in a non- stick skillet until the skin is crispy. Finish in a 400-degree oven for 10 minutes and serve with the cranberry cherry gastrique (recipe below).

Cranberry cherry gastrique:
1⁄4 cup dark cherry balsamic vinegar
1⁄4 cup sugar
Pinch salt
1⁄2 cup dried cranberries
1 hot chile, seeds removed
1 tablespoon butter

In a small saucepan over medium heat, heat the sugar and vinegar together until the sugar melts. Add the other ingredients except the butter and lower the heat to simmer for 10 minutes. Before serving, whisk in the butter.

Wild Boar Shoulder with Port Sauce
Wild Boar Shoulder with Port Sauce

Serves 4-6

41⁄2- 5 pound wild boar shoulder (available from online sellers including D’Artagnan)
Salt and fresh ground black pepper
Olive oil
4 shallots, minced
5 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups veal stock
2 cups ruby port
1⁄3 cup berry preserves
2 stalks rosemary

Generously salt and pepper the boar; dust lightly with flour. In a Dutch oven, brown the boar over medium high heat until brown on all sides. Remove and set aside. Sauté the shallot until fragrant; add the garlic and stir. All the veal stock, ruby port, preserves and rosemary. Bring to a boil, add the boar shoulder, cover and cook in a 350-degree oven for 3 hours or until tender.

Remove the boar from the liquid and cover.  Pass the liquid through a fine mesh sieve to remove solids. Return the liquid to the Dutch oven and simmer, uncovered, for about 45 minutes until reduced by 1⁄2. Stir in 2 tablespoons of the preserves. Slice the boar and serve drizzled with the reduced liquid. This goes very well with Stilton or Gorgonzola mashed potatoes.

Roast Whole Rabbit with Pork Sage Stuffing & Mustard Sauce
Roast Whole Rabbit with Pork Sage Stuffing & Mustard Sauce

Serves 2-3

1 whole cleaned rabbit, 21⁄2 - 3 pounds (available from online sellers including D’Artagnan)

For the brine:
10 cups water
10 tablespoons kosher salt
1⁄2 lemon
1 tablespoon sugar
6 sage leaves
10 crushed peppercorns

The night before you plan to cook the rabbit, combine the brine ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Allow to cool completely and transfer to a glass bowl. Submerge the rabbit completely (giblets removed) and refrigerate overnight. Don’t skip this step, as the brining helps prevent the rabbit from drying out while cooking.

For the stuffing:
1 tablespoon butter
rabbit giblets, chopped (should be included with rabbit)
1 cup fennel, chopped
1 shallot, minced
5 sage leaves
3⁄4 pound ground pork
Dash salt and pepper

For roasting the rabbit:
Butter, softened, and olive oil
Salt and pepper
1 cup dry white wine

Make the stuffing:
Saute the giblets, fennel and shallots in the butter over medium heat. Add the pork, sage leaves and salt and pepper. Cook until no longer pink. Set aside.

To roast the rabbit: Remove the rabbit from the brine and pat dry. Slather it with butter and olive oil, and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Stuff the cavity with the stuffing and tie closed with butcher’s twine. Place in a roasting pan just big enough to hold it and pour the wine over top. Roast in a 400-degree oven for 90 minutes, basting every 15 minutes. Allow to rest 10 minutes before carving. To serve, cut up much like a chicken: remove the front and back legs at the joint and cut the saddle (the body) into rounds. Serve drizzled with mustard sauce (recipe below).

Mustard sauce:
1⁄4 cup of the rabbit pan drippings
2 heaping tablespoons coarse grain mustard
3 heaping tablespoons creme fraiche

Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan and heat over low heat until warm.

Sweet Potato, Caramelized Onion & Raclette Galette
Sweet Potato, Caramelized Onion & Raclette Galette

Serves 4

For the filling:
2 white onions, peeled and thinly sliced
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
Pinch salt
Pinch sugar
2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1⁄2 inch dice
1⁄2 tablespoon fresh sage, chopped
1 cup shredded raclette cheese

For the dough:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
1⁄2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1⁄3 cup water
2⁄3 cup olive oil

First begin caramelizing the onions, as this will take about 45 minutes. In a deep skillet over medium low heat, sauté the onions in 1 tablespoon of butter and a pinch of salt and sugar,  stirring occasionally, until a deep golden brown. Allow to cool. In another skillet, sauté the sweet potatoes in the other tablespoon of butter, along with a pinch of salt, until soft. Allow to cool.

Meanwhile, make the dough. Sift together both flours. Add salt and pepper. Gradually incorporate the water, then the olive oil. Knead gently until combined. If the dough is too wet add more flour; if it’s too dry add more olive oil. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rest for 30 minutes in the refrigerator.

When you’re ready to make the galette, preheat the oven to 375 degrees. On a sheet of parchment paper, roll out the dough to a 12-inch round approximately 1⁄8 inch thick. Trim excess dough. Layer the onions and sweet potatoes on the dough, leaving 2 inches around the edge. Top with the shredded raclette. Carefully fold up the edges of the dough, just covering the outer edge of the filling. Brush the dough with olive oil and slide the galette, still on the parchment paper, onto a baking sheet and bake for 40 to 45 minutes. Allow to sit 5 to 10 minutes before slicing into wedges.

Creole Oyster & Andouille Spaghetti
Creole Oyster & Andouille Spaghetti

Serves 4

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 small green bell pepper, small dice
2 ribs celery, small dice
1 small onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons Creole seasoning (recipe below)
2 links (6 ounces) Andouille sausage, cubed
26 ounces canned diced tomato
1 pound spaghetti
1 pint (approximately 2 dozen) shucked ostyers
3 tablespoons minced fresh flat leaf parsley

In a sautoir, saute pepper, celery and onion in the olive oil over medium heat for 5 minutes. Add the garlic and stir. Add the Creole seasoning and cook for another minute. Add the sausage and cook until browned. Add the tomatoes and lower the heat, cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, cook the spaghetti in well-salted boiling water to al dente. Add the oysters to the sauce and cook for 5 minutes; add the pasta and stir gently to cover with the sauce. Taste the sauce and add salt as needed; add the parsley and serve immediately.

Creole seasoning:
2 tablespoons powdered garlic
1 to 2 tablespoons fresh ground
black pepper
½  to 1 tablespoon Cayenne pepper,
depending on your heat tolerance
1 tablespoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon dried basil
3 tablespoons sweet paprika
1½ tablespoons powdered onion
1 teaspoon white pepper
A few pinches of salt

Combine and mix thoroughly. Store in a lidded glass jar.

September-October 2013
Herbsaint Oyster Stew
Herbsaint Oyster Stew

Serves 4

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
5 slices bacon, chopped
1 large shallot, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
3½ tablespoons all-purpose flour
½  cup Herbsaint
3 cups whole milk
1 pint (about 2 dozen) shucked oysters in their liquor, drained, with 1 cup of liquor reserved
1½ tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon, plus extra for garnish
Pinch white pepper

In a saucepan, sauté the bacon in the butter over medium heat until crispy. Add the shallots and cook until translucent. Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Add the flour, turn up the heat to medium-high, and stir until the roux is light brown, about 5 minutes. Pour in the Herbsaint and simmer for 2 minutes. Turn down the heat to medium and slowly whisk in the milk and the reserved oyster liquor. Bring to a simmer until thickened, but do not allow to boil.

Add the oysters and tarragon; simmer gently for 2 to 3 minutes. Divide among 4 bowls and garnish with tarragon and oyster crackers.

September-October 2013
The BOLT Sandwich
The BOLT Sandwich

Makes 2 sandwiches

4 slices of white country bread, toasted or grilled
4 tablespoons mayonnaise, mixed with1 tablespoon Creole seasoning
4 slices bacon, cooked until crispy and drained
2 large slices of tomato
Butter lettuce
16 shucked oysters in their liquor
2 cups cornmeal
½ teaspoon salt
Fresh ground black pepper
High smoke point canola oil for frying

Prep the sandwiches before frying the oysters. On the bread, layer the Creole mayonnaise, lettuce, tomato and bacon. In a cast-iron skillet, heat enough canola oil to deep fry the oysters (about 2 inches) to 375 degrees. Meanwhile, drain but do not rinse the oysters. Add the salt and pepper to the cornmeal, and dredge the oysters in it. Fry, in batches if necessary, for 2 to 3 minutes, until golden brown. Remove to drain on paper towels, divide between the sandwiches and serve immediately.

September-October 2013
Broiled Garlicky Oysters
Broiled Garlicky Oysters

Serves 4

1 dozen freshly shucked oysters on the half shell
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 stick unsalted butter
1 tablespoon fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon flat leaf parsley, minced, plus extra for garnish
1 cup Pecorino Romano cheese, grated
1loaf thick, crusty bread (optional)
Uncooked rice (to stabilize oysters)

Combine the garlic and butter and melt in a small saucepan over low heat. Add the lemon juice and parsley; stir to combine. Nestle the oysters in a shallow casserole that’s been filled with rice (to keep them from tipping over while broiling). Spoon the butter mixture into each oyster and top with approximately a tablespoon of the cheese. Broil at 550 degrees for 5 minutes, or until the cheese is brown and bubbly. Garnish with parsley and serve immediately. Use crusty bread to mop up the garlic sauce.

September-October 2013
Sweet Potato and Leek Tortilla
Sweet Potato and Leek Tortilla

4 cups leeks, chopped, white and light green parts only
olive oil
5 cups sweet potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
5 eggs, beaten
salt and pepper, to taste

In a deep skillet, saute the leeks in 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat until soft. Remove and set aside to cool. Lightly salt the sweet potatoes and saute in the same skillet until soft. When cool, gently fold the leeks and sweet potatoes into the beaten eggs. Add ¼  teaspoon salt to the egg, potato and leek mixture. Heat a non-stick 9-inch skillet over high heat until very hot. Add a drizzle of olive oil; if it smokes, remove from the heat until it stops smoking. Pour in the egg mixture and turn the heat down to medium. Cook for 5 minutes, or until the eggs have almost set. Place a plate over the pan and quickly flip the tortilla onto the plate. Slide the tortilla, cooked side up, back into the pan and cook for an additional 3 to 4 minutes. Serve at room temperature, either in wedges or cut into squares and placed on slices of baguette.

Berry Sangria
Berry Sangria

2 bottles red Spanish wine, such as Rioja or Tempranillo
3 cups blueberry-pomegranate juice
2 tablespoons Mathilde cassis liqueur
1-2 tablespoons sugar (to desired sweetness)
1 cup cognac
5 shakes Dale DeGroff’s pimento bitters
1 pint mixed blueberries, blackberries, raspberries

Combine all ingredients in a pitcher and stir to combine, reserving some berries for garnish. Refrigerate for 3 to 4 hours and serve over ice.

Boozy Blueberry Compote, Foie Gras Mousse and Caramelized Onion Pinchos
Boozy Blueberry Compote, Foie Gras Mousse and Caramelized Onion Pinchos

Boozy Blueberry Compote
11⁄2 cups blueberries, fresh or frozen
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons Cognac
1 tablespoon water
1⁄2 teaspoon lemon zest
a few grinds of fresh black pepper

Combine all ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Turn down heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until excess liquid evaporates and compote thickens. Allow to cool. Makes enough compote for 6 to 8 pinchos.

For the caramelized onions, saute 3 to 4 thinly sliced white onions, a pinch of salt and a pinch of sugar in just enough olive oil to coat the onions in a sautoir over medium-low heat. Stir occasionally until the onions turn golden brown. Be patient—this can take an hour or more. The extra onions will last in the fridge for up to a week. Use them in omelets, pizzas or salads.
To assemble the pinchos, on a ½-inch slice of baguette layer the onions, then a slice of foie gras mousse (or vegetable paté) and finally a dollop of the compote.

Heirloom Tomato Gazpacho
Heirloom Tomato Gazpacho

3 pounds heirloom tomatoes, peeled and cored
3 small cloves garlic
1⁄2 small yellow onion
1 teaspoon sherry vinegar
5-inch piece of baguette, soaked in water and then squeezed dry
1⁄2 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
pinch of white pepper

For the garnish:
hard boiled egg, chopped
crispy bacon or Serrano ham, crumbled

Combine all of the ingredients except the olive oil (and egg and bacon or ham garnish) and blend, slowly drizzling in the olive oil, with an immersion blender until smooth. Add salt to taste, but keep in mind that the bacon garnish will add saltiness to the soup. Chill for 1 to 2 hours. Garnish with hard boiled egg and bacon or ham. Makes 21⁄2 cups.

Scallion & Pea Pancakes with Tamari Sesame Dipping Sauce
Scallion & Pea Pancakes with Tamari Sesame Dipping Sauce

Makes eight 4- to 5-inch pancakes
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup water
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup scallions, chopped (green parts only)
1 cup fresh or frozen peas, blanched
1 generous pinch Korean hot pepper
1 generous pinch white pepper

For the dipping sauce
3 tablespoons tamari
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
Drizzle of chili sesame oil
Sprinkling of toasted sesame seeds

Combine the ingredients for the dipping sauce and set aside. To make the pancakes, combine the flour, water, egg and salt and whisk until no lumps remain. Fold in the peas and scallions. Heat a nonstick skillet over medium high heat, and brush lightly with oil. Drop ladlefuls of batter onto the hot skillet—you want each pancake to be about 5 inches in diameter and 1 centimeter thick. Cook on each side until brown and crispy, about 4 to 5 minutes per side. Serve immediately.

Pea, Radish & Mint Salad with Tarragon Aioli
Pea, Radish & Mint Salad  with Tarragon Aioli

Serves 6 as a side; 4 as a main
For the salad
1 pound fresh or frozen peas, blanched
6 to 7 radishes, sliced paper thin
1 cup pea shoots
2 handfuls shredded fresh mint
1⁄2 lemon, zested
Salt and pepper, to taste

For the dressing
1 clove garlic, finely minced
1⁄3 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh tarragon, chopped
Salt, to taste

To make the dressing, whisk together the garlic, mayo, lemon juice and olive oil. Fold in the tarragon, add salt to taste and refrigerate for 1 hour. When ready to serve, toss with the salad ingredients and add salt and pepper to taste.

Pea, Yogurt & Tarragon Soup
Pea, Yogurt & Tarragon Soup

Serves 4
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
1 pound fresh or frozen peas
4 cups vegetable or chicken broth
1 cup Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons fresh tarragon, chopped
1/2 lemon, zested
Salt and white pepper, to taste

For garnish
crème fraîche
chive
pea shoots

In a stockpot, sauté the onion in the olive oil over medium heat until translucent. Add the peas and broth and simmer until tender. Purée with an immersion blender until smooth.  Add a bit of the hot broth to the yogurt to temper it, then add to pot. Add the tarragon, lemon zest, salt and white pepper and simmer for an additional 5 to 10 minutes. Serve garnished with crème fraîche, chives and pea shoots.

Arugula & Pea Pesto
Arugula & Pea Pesto

Makes 1½ cups
1⁄3 cup chopped Vidalia onion
1⁄2 cup slivered toasted almonds
1 cup fresh or frozen peas, blanched
2 cups baby arugula
1 large clove garlic
1⁄4 teaspoon salt
2⁄3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1⁄2 lemon, zested

Combine all of the ingredients in a food processor and process until almost smooth. Serve on a baguette, with grilled chicken, or tossed with penne rigate pasta.

1⁄2 cup carrot juice, fresh or bottled (unsweetened)
2 ounces vodka
1 ounce Stirrings blood orange bitters
1⁄4 teaspoon fresh ginger, minced very fine
Slice of hot pepper, such as habanero
Slice kiwi, to garnish

Fill a highball glass 3⁄4 full with ice. Add the carrot juice, vodka, bitters, ginger and hot pepper to an ice-filled martini shaker and shake vigorously. (The hot pepper will infuse a subtle heat.) Strain into the glass and garnish with the kiwi.

Salmon, Dill and Goat Cheese Strata
Salmon, Dill and Goat Cheese Strata

1 1⁄2 cups half-and-half
1⁄2 cup heavy cream
6 eggs, beaten
1 pound poached wild salmon filet, flaked and cooled
1 loaf pumpernickel or dark bread, cut into 1-inch slices
2 teaspoons capers
2 handfuls green onions, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill, plus extra for garnish
12 ounces goat cheese
Salt and pepper, to taste

Assemble the night before: Beat together the half-and-half, cream and eggs. Set aside. Butter an 81⁄2-by-14-inch casserole. Line the bottom with half of the bread, drizzle 1⁄4 of the cream mixture over the bread. Layer half of the salmon, capers, onions, goat cheese and dill. Cover with a layer of the remaining bread slices and top with the other half of the ingredients. Pour the remaining cream mixture over everything. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. Remove from the refrigerator 30 minutes before cooking and then bake in a preheated 350- degree oven for 70 minutes. Allow to sit for 10 minutes before slicing. Garnish with dill. Serves 8 to 10.

(Chilaquiles in red sauce with chicken)

For the sauce: (makes 4 cups)
5 dried guajillo chiles
2 dried costeño chiles
(chiles available at Mexican groceries)
2 canned chipotle chiles in adobo
141⁄2 ounces canned diced tomatoes
141⁄2 ounces chicken stock
In a cast-iron skillet over high heat, toast the dried chiles until fragrant, turning several times. Turn off the heat and cover with water; cover and let soak for 30 minutes. Remove the seeds and stems and puree with the chipotle chiles, tomatoes and chicken stock. Add salt to taste.

For the chilaquiles:
8 stale corn tortillas (blue, white or yellow) cut into quarters
Canola oil, for frying
2 cups shredded chicken, white or dark meat
1⁄4 teaspoon dried epazote (available at Mexican groceries)
1⁄4 teaspoon oregano, preferably Mexican
2 cups of red sauce, from above
Salt and pepper to taste

To garnish:
Fresh cilantro
Lime wedges
Queso fresco or mild feta cheese, crumbled
Jalapeno, sliced into thin coins
Optional (but recommended): A fried egg per serving

Fry the tortilla quarters in batches in a cast-iron skillet in 1 inch of canola oil heated to 350 degrees until crispy. Remove to drain on paper towels. In a deep saucepan or sautoir, heat 2 cups of the red sauce over medium heat until simmering. Add the tortillas, chicken and seasonings and stir gently until heated through. Top with the garnishes and, if desired, a sunny side up fried egg and serve immediately. Serves 2 to 4.

11⁄2 cups all purpose flour, sifted
11⁄4 cups cake flour, sifted
1⁄2 cup granulated sugar
3⁄4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cardamom
1⁄2 cup cold butter, cubed
1 cup roasted hazelnuts, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon culinary lavender (available online)
2 eggs, beaten
2 teaspoons vanilla
1⁄2 cup buttermilk

For the topping:
2 tablespoons half-and-half
1 tablespoon sugar and 1⁄2 teaspoon cardamom, mixed

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, salt, baking powder and cardamom. Work the butter in with a pastry cutter or by hand. Fold in the hazelnuts and lavender. In another bowl, combine the eggs,  vanilla and buttermilk. Gently add the liquid to the dry ingredients, and mix until the dough just holds together—you don’t want to over-mix or the scones will be tough. Scoop the dough onto a parchment paper-lined cookie sheet and divide in half. Form each half into a 6-inch circle. Using a very sharp knife, cut each circle into 6 equal triangles. Brush each scone with half-and-half and sprinkle with the sugar/cardamom mixture. Refrigerate for 30 minutes and then bake at 425 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes, until lightly browned. Serve warm with butter and lemon curd. Makes 1 dozen scones.

Steak Cottage Pie with Parsnip and Potato Mash
Steak Cottage Pie with Parsnip and Potato Mash

3 tablespoons butter, divided
2 pounds grass-fed beef chuck, cubed
1 tablespoon Montreal steak seasoning or chophouse seasoning
1⁄2 cup plus 1 heaping tablespoon all-purpose flour, divided
fresh ground black pepper
11⁄2 cups carrot, diced
1 onion, chopped
5 garlic cloves, minced
1⁄2 cup Cabernet Sauvignon or other full-bodied red wine
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
4 to 5 sage leaves, chopped
Beef broth, to cover (about 1 - 11⁄2 cups)
Salt, to taste
1 cup frozen peas

For the mash:
2 pounds Russet potatoes, peeled and roughly chopped
1⁄2 pound parsnips, peeled, roughly chopped, and rough core removed
6 tablespoons butter, plus extra for topping
1⁄3 cup heavy cream
1⁄4 to 1⁄2 teaspoon salt (to taste)

Combine the flour, steak seasoning and several grinds of black pepper in a bag and shake to cover the steak cubes. Set aside. In a deep-sided skillet, sauté the carrots and onion in the butter over medium-high heat until softened. Add the garlic, cook for another 1 - 2 minutes. Remove and set aside. Fry the meat (in batches) until browned, adding more butter if necessary. Remove and set aside. Deglaze the pan with the wine, making sure to scrape up all of the crispy bits. Simmer until reduced by a little more than half. Add 11⁄2 tablespoons of butter. When melted and bubbling, add 1 heaping tablespoon of flour, lower the heat to medium and stir constantly for 5 minutes. Add the tomato paste and stir to combine. Return the vegetables and meat to the pan, along with the herbs and beef broth. Add a pinch of salt, some more black pepper and simmer on the stovetop until thickened.

Add the peas and stir to distribute. Transfer to a 21⁄2 quart round covered casserole or four 6-inch ramekins or oven safe handled soup bowls. Bake, covered, at 350 until the meat is tender, about 90 minutes to 2 hours. Taste and adjust for seasoning (salt, pepper).

Meanwhile, make the mashed parsnips and potatoes. Boil the potatoes and parsnips in well-salted water until tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Drain and mash with a potato masher. (Don’t use an immersion blender or the potatoes will get gummy.) Add the butter, cream and salt to taste.

Transfer to a plastic freezer bag, and cut a small hole in the corner of the bag. Pipe the potatoes over the beef stew and dot with a bit more butter. Return to the oven and broil until the mash begins to brown. To serve, garnish with chopped parsley. Serves 6 to 8.

Triple Pumpkin Curry
Triple Pumpkin Curry

2 tablespoons canola oil or ghee
1 teaspoon mustard seed
5 fresh curry leaves (available at Indian groceries and HMart)
1⁄4 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1-inch-square fresh ginger, minced
¼  to 1⁄2 teaspoon hot pepper flakes, to taste
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1⁄2 teaspoon ground coriander
1 heaping tablespoon Madras curry powder
1⁄2 tablespoon garam masala
1⁄4 teaspoon salt
1 3- to 4-pound baking pumpkin, seeds, pulp and skin removed, cut into 1-inch cubes (may substitute a butternut squash)
1 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained (aka garbanzo beans)
1 28-ounce can whole or diced fire-roasted tomatoes
2-3 hot peppers such as Thai bird’s eye chili or Serrano, slivered (optional)

For the garnish:
Drizzle of pumpkin seed oil
Toasted pumpkin seeds
Chopped green onions
Chopped cilantro

In a deep skillet over medium heat, fry the mustard seeds in the oil or ghee until they pop. Add the curry leaves and fennel seeds and stir for another 1 to 2 minutes. Add the onion and cook until translucent. Add the garlic, ginger, hot pepper, cumin, coriander, Madras curry powder, garam masala and salt. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes, being careful not to burn the garlic. Add the pumpkin and chickpeas and stir to completely cover in spices. Add the fire-roasted tomatoes and a healthy pinch of salt. (If the tomatoes are whole, break apart.) If the skillet seems too dry at this point, add a bit of water. Add the hot peppers, if using, and turn the heat to medium-low and cover. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the pumpkin is tender, about 45 minutes to an hour. Adjust the salt to taste, and serve with hot jasmine or basmati rice. Serves 6 to 8.

Chicken Tagine with Preserved Lemon and Olives
Chicken Tagine with Preserved Lemon and Olives

1 whole chicken, skin on, cut into 8 pieces, or equivalent
1⁄4 cup olive oil
1⁄8 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg
1⁄8 teaspoon ground cubeb pepper (may substitute black pepper)
1⁄2 teaspoon Cayenne pepper
1⁄4 teaspoon ground ginger
1⁄4 teaspoon cinnamon
1⁄2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1⁄2 teaspoon ground coriander
1⁄4 teaspoon allspice
1⁄8 teaspoon ground clove
1 teaspoon saffron threads, soaked in a tablespoon of warm water
3 tablespoons chopped flat leaf parsley
5 cloves minced garlic
1 thumb fresh ginger, minced
11⁄2 preserved lemons, chopped, seeds removed (available at the Whole Foods olive bar and at specialty shops such as Sur La Table)
1 medium white onion, diced
18-24 pitted green olives (not canned)
1 bunch each flat leaf parsley and cilantro

In a glass bowl large enough to hold all of the chicken,  mix together a marinade of the olive oil, nutmeg, cubeb pepper, Cayenne, ground ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, coriander, allspice, clove, saffron, chopped parsley, garlic, fresh ginger and preserved lemons. Completely cover the chicken in this mixture and refrigerate for at least an hour.  (No salt is necessary, as the preserved lemons and olives provide plenty of salty tang to this dish.)

Place a drizzle of olive oil in the bottom of the tagine or Dutch oven and place the chicken, along with all of the marinade, in the cooking vessel. Next layer the onions, then the olives and finally the parsley and cilantro. Add 1/4 cup water and cover. Cook over medium-low heat until you hear the liquid in the pot begin to simmer. Turn the heat as low as you can while still maintaining a gentle simmer. Cook, covered (don’t peek!) for 90 minutes. Remove the cover, stir, replace the cover and continue to cook for another 20 to 30 minutes. The chicken should be falling-off-of-the-bone tender. Remove the parsley and cilantro bunches, and serve with couscous or flatbread to mop up all of the pungent, lemon-y sauce. Serves 6.

Note: If you have an electric stove, you will need to use a charger for your tagine, as the clay pot should not be placed directly on an electric burner.

Icelandic-Style Shrimp and Lobster Soup
Icelandic-Style Shrimp and Lobster Soup

For the stock:
1 tablespoon butter
3 to 4 lobster tail shells
Shrimp shells from 1 pound large (16/20 count) shrimp
1⁄4 cup dry sherry
1⁄2 cup white wine
Bouquet garni: 5 each sprigs thyme and parsley, 1 bay leaf and 5 whole peppercorns
1 large shallot, peeled
1 leek, roughly chopped
2 large carrots, roughly chopped
2 stalks celery, roughly chopped
pinch white pepper
pinch salt
6 to 7 cups water

In a stockpot over medium-high heat, sauté the shrimp and lobster shells until pink. Add the sherry and white wine, and simmer until reduced, about 5 minutes. Add the rest of the ingredients and enough water to cover, about 6 to 7 cups. Simmer (do not boil) uncovered, for an hour, or until reduced to about 4 cups of liquid. Strain through a fine mesh cloth. Discard solids.

For the soup:
2 tablespoons butter
1 shallot, minced
1/3 cup dry sherry
1 heaping tablespoon tomato paste (preferably San Marzano)
3 canned plum tomatoes and their juice
4 cups shrimp and lobster stock
3 sprigs of thyme
1⁄2 teaspoon sweet paprika
1⁄2 cup heavy cream
3 to 4 lobster tails, chopped
1 pound shelled large shrimp, chopped
White pepper and salt, to taste
Chili oil, for garnish (optional)

In a large saucepan over medium heat, sauté the shallot in butter until translucent. Add the sherry and simmer until reduced by half. Add the tomato paste, tomatoes, stock and thyme. Simmer gently, covered for 20 minutes. Remove the thyme and puree with an immersion blender. Pass soup through a fine mesh cloth or sieve. Return to low heat and temper the cream with some of the hot soup, and slowly add to the soup. Adjust seasonings (white pepper, salt) to taste. Add the lobster and shrimp to the gently simmering soup. Simmer for 3 minutes, turn off the heat and cover for 2 to 3 minutes more. Serve immediately, garnished with a drizzle of chili oil, if desired. Serve with a crusty baguette or pumpernickel bread and butter. Serves 6 as a starter, 4 as a main course.

Sriracha Crab Salad in Mini Phyllo Cups
Sriracha Crab Salad in Mini Phyllo Cups

The phyllo cups can be made ahead and stored in an airtight container for 2 to 3 days. Thaw the phyllo overnight in the refrigerator and bring to room temperature for
2 hours before working with it.

Phyllo Cups
Makes 20 cups

4 sheets of 13-by-18-inch pre-made sheets of phyllo dough
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
Special equipment: Mini muffin tin and pastry brush

Carefully place 1 sheet of dough on a flat, dry work surface. Gently brush melted butter over the entire surface with a pastry brush. Lay the second sheet on top and repeat until you have a stack of 4 sheets. Using a pizza wheel, cut roughly 20 even squares. Press each square into a nonstick mini muffin cup and bake at 375 degrees for 10 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove and allow to cool on a rack.

Sriracha Crab Salad
Fills approximately 25 phyllo cups (or 20, with enough left over for a salad the next day)

juice from 1/2 lemon (about 2 tablespoons)
1 heaping teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/3 cup good quality mayonnaise
1 1/2 teaspoons Sriracha
1 heaping tablespoon minced shallot
1/4 cup chopped green onion, plus extra for garnish
1/2 each sweet red and orange pepper, seeds removed, cut into a small dice
1/4 teaspoon sweet paprika
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
1 pound lump Maryland crabmeat

Whisk together the lemon juice and Dijon, stir in the mayonnaise and Sriracha. Add the rest of the ingredients except the crab and stir. Gently fold in the crabmeat and stir until just combined.
Fill the phyllo cups with crab and garnish with chopped green onion.

Blue Cheese-Stuffed Bison Meatballs
Blue Cheese-Stuffed Bison Meatballs

Makes approximately 2 dozen meatballs

1 pound Gunpowder Bison, ground
1 cup fresh breadcrumbs that have been soaked in milk and squeezed to remove excess liquid
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup minced white onion
1 garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup minced parsley
1 tablespoon fresh minced rosemary
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 pound Maytag blue cheese

In a mixing bowl, combine all of the ingredients except the blue cheese. Do not over-mix or the meatballs will be tough. Scoop up heaping teaspoonfuls of the mixture and form into balls about the size of a ping-pong ball. If the meat begins to stick, rub a few drops of olive oil into your hands. Make a depression in the center of each ball with your thumb and fill with a pea-sized piece of blue cheese. Seal the meat securely around the cheese and place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake in a 425-degree oven for 15 to 20 minutes. When the meatballs have browned, cut one open to test for doneness. The cheese should be melted and there should be no pink in the meatball.

Italian 75
Italian 75

1 ounce grappa
1/2 ounce rosemary simple syrup (recipe follows)
1/2 ounce fresh squeezed lemon juice
2 to 3 dashes Fee Brothers grapefruit bitters
Pink Prosecco
raspberries, to garnish

In an ice-filled cocktail shaker, combine everything except the Prosecco and the raspberries. Shake vigorously. Pour into a champagne glass and top with pink Prosecco. Garnish with fresh raspberries.

Rosemary Simple Syrup
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
2 sprigs fresh rosemary

In a saucepan, bring the sugar and water to a boil until all of the sugar dissolves. Turn off the heat, add the rosemary sprigs, cover and steep for 10 to 15 minutes. Strain and cool.

Crispy Curly Carrot and Beet Chips with Chive Yogurt Dip
Crispy Curly Carrot and Beet Chips  with Chive Yogurt Dip

Chive Yogurt Dip
1½ cups plain Greek yogurt
½  teaspoon olive oil
2 teaspoons salt
1 heaping tablespoon organic dried onion flakes
3 tablespoons chopped chives, plus extra for garnish

Combine all ingredients, taste and adjust salt if necessary. Chill, covered, for up to 3 days.

Beet and Carrot Chips
When calculating how many beets and carrots you will need to feed your guests, figure that each carrot yields 15 to 20 small chips, while an average beet yields 30 to 35.
The beets bake at a lower temperature than the carrots, so make them first. Once completely cool, chips may be stored in an airtight container to maintain crispiness.

4 to 5 red beets, peeled
1 bunch of carrots, peeled
olive oil, to coat
salt and pepper

Using a mandoline (or a very steady hand), cut the beets into 1/8 inch thick chips. Toss in a bowl with enough olive oil to cover. Place on cookie sheets lined with parchment paper, being careful not to let the slices touch. Sprinkle lightly with kosher salt and ground black pepper. Bake in a 250-degree oven until crispy, about 1 hour and 45 minutes; turn them over at the 1-hour mark and check frequently to make sure they don’t burn. Cool completely on racks and store in an airtight container.

When you’re ready to cook the carrot chips, turn the oven up to 325 degrees. Using a vegetable peeler, cut thin vertical slices from each carrot. Pat them dry, and then toss with olive oil. Lay flat on parchment paper-lined cookie sheets, not letting them touch one another. (You can use foil, but parchment results in a curlier chip.) Lightly sprinkle with salt and pepper and bake until crispy, 30 to 35 minutes, turning after 15 minutes. Cool on racks and store in an airtight container.

Orancini

(from Mama Mary’s Cook Book)

Mary Ann Pastore learned to cook many things from Mike Pastore’s late grandmother, Mary Pastore, including these Italian rice balls, which they made every year for Christmas Eve. Although the rice balls involve several steps, they come together easily. The recipe calls for coating the balls in cracker meal, but Mary Ann says cornmeal or panko crumbs will work just fine.

¾ pound ground veal
5-6 eggs
½ pound Italian cheese (grated Parmesan or Romano or a combination of both)
½ pound breadcrumbs
¼ pound butter
½ cup olive oil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1 pound long grain rice
4 cups cracker meal (or cornmeal or panko)
Salt and pepper to taste
Oil for deep frying

Mix the following well: veal, 1 egg, 2 tablespoons cheese, salt and pepper to taste, breadcrumbs and parsley. Let it cook with olive oil in frying pan for 20 minutes, breaking it up as it cooks. Put on the side and allow to cool a little.

Cook rice according to directions. Add salt and pepper to taste, 3 eggs, butter, the rest of the cheese and stir well until it is thick. Spread on a platter and let cool.
 
Break 1 or 2 eggs into a shallow dish and beat lightly. Put cracker meal (or cornmeal or panko crumbs) in another shallow dish. Set aside.

To form rice balls, take 2 tablespoons of rice mixture and flatten out in the palm of the hand. Put 1 tablespoon of the ground meat on top of the rice mixture; then take more rice and flatten it, placing on top of the meat and with both hands form a ball of the mixture. Roll ball in beaten egg and then cracker meal (Mary Pastore sometimes double-dipped the rice balls, Mary Ann says). Put rice balls on a wax paper-lined cookie sheet until ready to fry.

Heat oil in a deep fryer or deep skillet. Deep fry the balls 1 at a time, placing them in the pan with a spoon. Do not stir, however. When bottom half is brown, turn carefully and brown other half. Place on a cookie sheet lined with paper towels to drain off excess shortening. Serve hot with tomato sauce.

Whoopie Pies

(Adapted from Gourmet magazine)
A childhood combination of chocolate and marshmallow. What could be better?

For cakes
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup Dutch-process cocoa powder
1 tablespoon instant espresso powder
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup well-shaken buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 large egg

For filling
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar
2 cups marshmallow cream such as Marshmallow Fluff
1 teaspoon vanilla

To make cakes: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Whisk together flour, cocoa, espresso, baking soda and salt in a bowl until combined. Stir together buttermilk and vanilla in a small bowl.

Beat together butter and brown sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium-high speed until pale and fluffy. Add egg to mixture, beating until combined well. Reduce speed to low and alternately mix in flour mixture and buttermilk in batches, beginning and ending with flour, scraping down side of bowl occasionally, and mixing until smooth.
 
Spoon 2 tablespoons of batter about 2 inches apart onto 2 buttered large baking sheets. Bake in upper and lower thirds of oven, switching position of sheets halfway through baking, until tops are puffed and cakes spring back when touched, 11 to 13 minutes. Make sure cakes are baked through.Transfer with a metal spatula to a rack to cool completely.

To make filling: Beat together butter, confectioners’ sugar, marshmallow and vanilla in a bowl with electric mixer at medium speed until smooth, about 3 minutes.

To assemble whoopie pies: Spread a rounded tablespoon filling on flat sides of half of cakes and top with remaining cakes. Makes 10 to 12 whoopie pies.

MARCH/APRIL 2012
Spinach and Watercress Soup
Spinach and Watercress Soup

1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 medium onion, diced
1 leek, halved lengthwise, rinsed and sliced thin
5 cloves of garlic, minced
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon lemon juice
3 cups unsalted chicken stock
1 bunch watercress, washed and dried
1 10-ounce bag of spinach, washed and dried

Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, leek, garlic, kosher salt and pepper and cook until the onions are soft and translucent, about 10 minutes. Add the lemon juice, cook for 1 minute, and then add the chicken stock. At this point, you can turn off the heat until you are ready to eat. Just before serving, bring the stock to a boil, add the watercress and spinach, stir for 1 minute to slightly wilt the leaves, and then purée the soup in a blender until smooth. Serve immediately. Serves 4.

JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2012
Carrot and Ginger Soup
Carrot and Ginger Soup

1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 medium onion, diced
5 large carrots (about 1¼ pounds), peeled and sliced into ½-inch rounds
1 small Yukon gold potato, diced into ½-inch cubes
1 square inch peeled ginger
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon pepper
4 cups unsalted chicken stock
1 sprig thyme
¼ cup heavy cream

Melt the butter in a medium saucepan on medium heat. Add the onion, carrots, potato, ginger, kosher salt and pepper and cook until the onions are soft and translucent, about 10 minutes. Add the chicken stock and the sprig of thyme, bring the stock to a simmer, and simmer gently until the carrots are tender, about 15 to 20 minutes. Purée the mixture in a blender until smooth. Return the soup to a pot and stir in the heavy cream. Reheat and serve at your leisure. This soup gets better as it sits. Serves 4.

JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2012
Beet Borscht
Beet Borscht

4 beets, peeled
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 medium onion, roughly diced
5 garlic cloves
3 cups unsalted chicken stock
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup very thinly sliced strips of red cabbage
1 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon sugar
½ cup sour cream, plus extra for garnish
Fresh dill, minced, for garnish

Dice 1 of the beets into ½-inch cubes. Shred the remaining 3 beets, either by hand with a box grater or in a food processor using the shredding blade. Set the shredded beets aside in a medium bowl. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan on medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, the diced beet, chicken stock and kosher salt and bring to a simmer. Turn the heat to low and simmer gently for 30 to 40 minutes. Purée this liquid base in a food processor and return it to the saucepan. Add the shredded beets, cabbage and pepper and bring the soup to a simmer on medium-low heat until the shredded beets are tender, about 20 minutes. Just before serving, stir in the sugar and the sour cream. Serve hot with a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkling of fresh dill. Serves 4.

JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2012
Corn Chowder
Corn Chowder

8 slices bacon, cut into ½-inch pieces
1 medium onion, diced
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup diced fennel bulb
8 scallions, sliced thin, whites and greens separated
3 small red potatoes, diced into ½-inch cubes
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
2 cups unsalted chicken stock
2 tablespoons minced fresh thyme
2 cups diced bell pepper (red or orange)
2 cups frozen sweet yellow corn
1 cup heavy cream

Toss the bacon into a medium saucepan over medium heat. Cook it down until the fat renders and the bacon starts to crisp, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the onions, garlic, fennel, scallion whites, potatoes, kosher salt and pepper. Stirring occasionally, cook in the rendered bacon fat until the onions are soft and translucent, about 10 minutes. Add the sherry vinegar, cook for 1 minute, and then add the chicken stock and the thyme. Bring the stock to a simmer and simmer gently until the potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes. Ten minutes before serving, add the bell pepper, corn and heavy cream. Simmer for 10 minutes, add the thinly sliced green scallion tops, and serve immediately. Serves 4.

JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2012
Marzipan

¼ cup light Karo (corn) syrup
8 ounces almond paste
1 cup marshmallow crème
1-pound box confectioners’ sugar, plus more as needed

Place all ingredients in a heavy duty standing mixer, and mix until well combined forming a soft dough. Remove dough from mixer and knead by hand until smooth, adding more sugar if dough is too sticky. Dough should hold its shape and be easy to handle. Divide dough into small portions and form into fruit and vegetable shapes. Paint marzipan with appropriate food coloring. When dry, wrap each piece in plastic wrap. Yields approximately 1 pound of candy.

Raspberry Jam
Raspberry Jam

24 ounces frozen, unsweetened red raspberries
4 cups sugar
4-5 8-ounce canning jars

Before you start, run the jam jars through the dishwasher to sterilize them. Alternatively, put the jars in a 350-degree oven for 8 minutes, and submerge the lids in boiling water for 2 minutes. Once sterilized, set the jars aside. Also, set a plate in your freezer to cool. You’ll need a cold plate for testing the jam later.

Put the raspberries in a large pot or Dutch oven, and turn the heat on medium. After a minute or 2, they’ll start to juice. Add the sugar, and stir until it completely dissolves, about 5 minutes. When it dissolves, you can stop stirring and let the mixture come to a boil (don’t let it boil until the sugar is completely dissolved). Boil for 8 minutes, stirring occasionally and skimming any scum off the top, as needed. Then turn the heat to low and spoon a dollop of jam onto your cold plate from the freezer. Put the plate back in the freezer and let it cool down for a minute or so. Test the jam by pressing your finger through it. If it wrinkles like jam, it’s ready. If it’s still runny, turn the heat back up to medium and let the mixture boil for another 2 to 3 minutes. Once your jam passes the “wrinkle test,” pour it immediately in the sterilized jars, screw on the lids and allow to cool. The jam will keep for several months in a refrigerator.

Chocolate Bark
Chocolate Bark

½ to 1 pound block of Valrhona or Callebaut chocolate, 60 to 70 percent cacao
Any of the following combinations of toppings:
Maldon sea salt
Black pepper
Instant espresso coffee
Chopped walnuts
Chopped almonds
Chopped peanuts
Sunflower seeds
Currants
Raisins
Cracked candy cane

Roughly chop the chocolate block into large chunks, and put them into the top of a double boiler or a large Pyrex bowl. If you’re not using a double boiler, place the bowl in a small to medium saucepan, so that the bowl can rest on the sides of the pan without touching the bottom. Put about an inch of water in the saucepan, making sure the water doesn’t come up high enough to touch the bottom of the Pyrex bowl. Put the entire assembly on low heat, and allow the water to come to a boil. Turn off the heat, and let the chocolate sit, steaming over the warm water bath, for a full 5 minutes and stir. If it’s not smoothly melted, turn the heat on low for another minute or 2. You want to melt the chocolate gently.

When you have smooth melted chocolate, pour it out onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Spread the melted chocolate with a spatula until it is about 1/4- to 1/2-inch thick. Allow it to set for 10 minutes before adding various toppings of your choice. Allow it to set completely, up to 4 hours, before cracking the bark into shards and boxing it up. Store at room temperature.

Garlic Confit
Garlic Confit

6 heads garlic, peeled
2 cups canola oil (or just enough to cover the cloves in a small saucepan)
1 16-ounce jar with cap

The only work this recipe requires is peeling a whole truckload of garlic. To get a head start on the peeling process, put the unpeeled cloves in a metal bowl, cover the bowl with a plate, or another similar shaped bowl, and shake it vigorously. The skins will loosen or fall off. Once you get all your cloves peeled, toss them in a small saucepan and pour in the canola oil until it just covers the cloves. Put the saucepan on the absolute lowest heat your stovetop can muster (consider using a heat diffuser mat), and let it cook for 1 1/2 hours. A few champagne-like bubbles are inevitable, but avoid the rough boil. You want the garlic cloves to soften (while maintaining their shape), but not brown. Test the softness of the cloves with a spoon. When your cloves are soft, turn off the heat and allow the oil to cool. Spoon the garlic into individual jars and cover it with the garlic oil. The garlic will last in the refrigerator for months.

Preserved Lemon
Preserved Lemon

7 lemons, plus 5 to 7 extra for juicing
4 tablespoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons thyme, picked off the stem but not chopped
2 16-ounce canning jars

Wash 7 lemons and then slice crosswise into ¼-inch rounds. Mix the salt and sugar together and toss in the lemon slices to coat. Stack them snuggly in a clean jar or small airtight container. Every 4 or 5 slices, sprinkle in some thyme, and then continue stacking and packing. Fill the jar to the brim with lemon slices, and then pour on the extra lemon juice to fill in any cracks. You want the lemon juice to come right up to the top of the jar, submerging the slices. Screw the lid on tightly.

Keep the jars stored in your fridge for 3 weeks before opening, shaking for a few seconds every 4 days. After 3 weeks, remove the slices as you need them, remembering to rinse the salt off the lemon before using. Preserved lemon will keep in the fridge for months.

Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Bosc Pears
Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Bosc Pears

1 pork tenderloin (between 16 and 20 ounces),
  trimmed of any fat
3 teaspoons salt
1 ½ teaspoons black pepper
1 tablespoon chopped rosemary
2 large carrots, peeled and sliced into ½-inch discs
2 Bosc pears, sliced lengthwise into eighths, seeds removed
1 celeriac (celery root) knob, peeled and cut into 8 wedges
1 small onion, peeled and quartered
4 garlic cloves, peeled
1 tablespoon olive oil

Sprinkle the tenderloin evenly with 1½ teaspoons of salt, 1 teaspoon of black pepper and the chopped rosemary, and set aside. Put the carrot slices in a baking pan (I use a 13-by-9-inch Pyrex dish), and bake in a 350-degree oven. After 10 minutes, remove the carrots and toss them with the pear, celeriac, onion, garlic, the remaining 1½ teaspoons of salt, the remaining ½ teaspoon of pepper and the olive oil. Using the same baking dish in which you precooked the carrots, place the tenderloin in the center lengthwise and distribute the vegetables on either side. Bake in the 350-degree oven for 50 minutes to 1 hour. Remove the tenderloin and allow it to rest on a plate covered with tin foil for 15 minutes. While the tenderloin rests, put the vegetables back in the 350-degree oven to roast for the final 15 minutes. Slice the meat and serve with the roasted vegetables. Serves 4. 

Roasted Seckel Pear Salad
Roasted Seckel Pear Salad

4 Seckel pears
1 teaspoon of salt
Black pepper
2 cups of baby arugula
2 cups of watercress
½ bulb of fennel, very thinly sliced
8 teaspoons of blue cheese
Maldon salt or sea salt for sprinkling

For the dressing:
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 ½ teaspoons sherry vinegar
¾ teaspoon salt

Slice pears in half lengthwise, leaving the stem attached. (I think the stem is charming!) Using a melon baller, take out the seed/core area neatly, keeping the half pear shape intact. Place them on a baking sheet cut side up, and sprinkle each half with ⅛ teaspoon of salt. Grind on some black pepper and bake in a 350-degree oven for 10 minutes. While the pears bake, mix the arugula and watercress together, along with the shaved fennel. After 10 minutes, remove the pears and spoon a teaspoon of blue cheese into the holes the melon baller created. Put the pears back into the oven for another 5 to 10 minutes, until the cheese melts. While the cheese melts, whisk together the olive oil, sherry vinegar and salt, and toss the greens with the dressing. Serve the roasted pears atop a small bed of the dressed greens. Finish with a light sprinkle of Maldon salt. Serves 4. 

Pear and Bourbon Cocktail
Pear and Bourbon Cocktail

1 Bartlett pear, halved and cored with a melon baller
6 ounces of bourbon (I know this seems like a lot but it’s for four people!)
6 ounces of warm water
¼ cup honey
mint
ice

Chop the cored pear into a few slices and toss into a blender. Add the bourbon and puree. In a separate container, mix the warm water with the honey and stir until it fully dissolves. Throw both the bourbon/pear mixture and the warm water/honey mixture into the fridge for at least an hour or all day. The longer it hangs out, the more its flavor develops. When you’re ready to serve, combine the bourbon mixture with the honey mixture, and pour into 4 glasses. Add plenty of ice (she’s a mighty strong cocktail!) and fresh mint leaves. Serves 4.

My Sauerkraut

I began making sauerkraut around 17 years ago after finding a recipe in an old Gourmet magazine. That recipe called for apple, white wine and bacon, and isn’t so different from the way I make sauerkraut today, only now I also add chicken broth (a la Julia Child’s suggestion) and make sure my wine is a decent quality dry Riesling. These additions give the sauerkraut a distinctly Alsa-tian, rather than Polish or German, flavor. I make a huge pot of sauerkraut and sausage every year for a neighborhood Christmas party. To my friends and neighbors, here is the recipe you’ve been asking for.

4 pounds sauerkraut (2 2-pound bags)
½ pound bacon, cut into small pieces
1 large onion, sliced thinly
1 clove garlic, chopped
4 tablespoons butter

Combine the following in a piece of cheesecloth and tie tightly:
1 bay leaf
several sprigs of parsley
several sprigs of fresh thyme or ½ teaspoon dried thyme
6 peppercorns
8 juniper berries

approximately ½ bottle dry Riesling
approximately 2 cups chicken broth

Drain and rinse sauerkraut to desired “sourness” (I like mine tart, and rinse minimally). Let drain.

In a large pot over medium heat, melt butter. Add bacon and cook until fat is rendered and edges start to brown. Add onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened. Add drained sauerkraut and stir until coated with fat. Bury cheesecloth packet of herbs and spices in the sauerkraut. Add wine and chicken broth in equal parts, enough to just cover the surface of the sauerkraut. Bring to a simmer, then reduce heat to low and partially cover pot. Cook slowly on stovetop for 1 ½ to 2 hours, adding more chicken broth or wine if sauerkraut begins to dry out.

If you plan on serving sausages or chops with your sauerkraut, nestle them in the sauerkraut 20 minutes or so before you plan on serving them. Smoked meats can be added directly into the sauerkraut. Uncooked meat should be browned first and may take longer to cook. Makes 10 servings. 

Pear Cobbler
Pear Cobbler

3 Bartlett pears, cut lengthwise into eighths, seeds removed
¾ teaspoon of salt
¼ cup maple syrup
5 tablespoons of salted butter, softened
¼ cup dark brown sugar
1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
Vanilla ice cream

Toss pear slices in a bowl with ½ teaspoon of salt and the maple syrup. Dump the mixture into a pie dish. Using the same bowl, mix together the butter, dark brown sugar, oats and the remaining ¼ teaspoon of salt.  I use my hands to grind the sugar and oats together with the butter, creating a thick, rough paste. Crumble this on top of the pears in the pie dish, and bake in a 350-degree oven for 20 minutes. Reduce the heat to 300 degrees and bake for 40 minutes more. Easy, right? Serve hot with vanilla ice cream. Serves 4.

Tomato Marmalade

I’m a sucker for savory jams, which were once part of regional food cultures, like the Amish, but fell out of favor for a while. They seem to be making a comeback in farmers markets and indie food circles, and this recipe, from a 1978 USDA publication, “How to Make Jellies, Jams, and Preserves at Home,” is pretty easy.  I love tomato marmalade on toast, but it could easily be used in place of chutney, as a condiment for meat or pork or with a really good cheddar in a grilled cheese.

3 quarts ripe tomatoes (about 5 ½ pounds)
3 oranges
2 lemons
4 sticks cinnamon
1 tablespoon whole cloves
6 cups sugar
1 teaspoon salt

Plunge tomatoes into boiling water for several seconds to loosen their skin; then peel. Cut peeled tomatoes into small pieces. Drain. Slice oranges and lemons very thin and then quarter those slices. Tie cinnamon and cloves in a cheesecloth bag.

Place tomatoes in a large pot. Add sugar and salt; stir until dissolved. Add oranges, lemons and spice bag. Boil rapidly, stirring constantly until thick and clear (about 50 minutes). Remove from heat; skim.

Fill and seal jars. Process 5 minutes in boiling water bath. Yields 9 half-pint jars. 

SEPTEMBER-OCTOBER 2011
Parma Ham Wrapped Honeydew Melon with Burrata Mozzarella
Parma Ham Wrapped Honeydew Melon with Burrata Mozzarella

1/2 honeydew melon peeled and cut into wedges      
1/4 pound Parma ham (same as prosciutto but from the Parma region of Italy and considered the best prosciutto)
1 ball of Burrata mozzarella cut in half (Burrata is softer than traditional mozzarella and made with added cream)
2 tablespoons fruity extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly cracked pepper
Italian bread

Wrap wedges of melon with 1 strip of Parma ham—repeat until ham is used up. Slice cheese in half and drizzle with olive oil, cracked pepper and kosher salt. Warm bread loaf in a 350-degree oven then slice and serve immediately.

1 ripe cantaloupe peeled, deseeded and cut into cubes            
6 to 8 ounces of 20-year-old Taylor Fladgate Tawny
  Port or equivalent

Crunchy Topping
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup rolled oats
2/3 cup pecan pieces
1 cup dark brown sugar
1/3 cup unsalted butter, cold and cut into small cubes
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine topping ingredients in a food processor and pulse until coarse crumbles or pebbles. Spread out evenly on a silicon cooking mat or tinfoil-lined baking tray that has been sprayed with cooking oil. Bake until dark brown but not burnt, about 15 to 25 minutes. Let cool and break into chunks. Place room temperature melon in glasses and top with an ounce of port. Sprinkle each glass with crunchy topping and serve. Serves 4 to 6.

JULY-AUGUST 2011
Pickled Watermelon and Rind with Coriander
Pickled Watermelon and Rind with Coriander

3 cups rice wine vinegar
3 cups white sugar  
1/4 ripe seedless watermelon cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes including the rind (separate rind and flesh)                             
1/4 cup picked coriander leaves

Bring sugar and vinegar to a boil in a stainless steel pot and add watermelon rind. Reduce to a simmer and cook rind until soft and somewhat translucent, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool. Add watermelon flesh and toss gently to coat. Refrigerate until cold and serve garnished with coriander leaves. Serves 4 to 6.

JULY-AUGUST 2011
Whole Milk Ricotta Cheese

4 teaspoons citric acid
8 ounces water
4 gallons whole milk
8 teaspoons salt

Dissolve the citric acid in the water.

Heat the milk, citric acid solution and salt to 185 degrees (this will take a while), stirring often to prevent scorching. Skim away the scum as it rises to the surface.

Once the milk mixture reaches 185 degrees, turn off the heat and allow the milk to set for 10 minutes.

Pour the curd into a damp, cheesecloth-lined colander. Set over a bowl and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 3 hours so the curd can drain.

Serve immediately or transfer to a covered storage container and refrigerate for up to 1 week. Makes 1 pound of ricotta.

* Mozzarella curds are available for sale at Isabella’s, isabellasbrickoven.net. Citric acid can be purchased at Whole Foods.

JULY-AUGUST 2011
Melon Balls with Lychee Syrup and Basil
Melon Balls with Lychee Syrup and Basil

1/2 ripe honeydew melon (chilled)               
1/2 ripe cantaloupe (chilled)
1/3 ripe watermelon (chilled) 
4 cans of lychees in syrup (preferably cold)
1 or 2 sprigs of basil

Using a baller, scoop perfectly round balls out of the 3 melons. Plan on 3 balls per melon per person or approximately 9 melon balls per bowl. Blend the contents of 4 lychee cans in a blender and pour into a fine strainer and let stand over a bowl. Divide the melon balls in chilled bowls and pour about 6 ounces of lychee juice over them. Garnish with the tiniest leaves of basil picked from the sprigs. Serves 4 to 6.

JULY-AUGUST 2011
Apricot and Almond Tart

I share my husband’s love of apricots and, like him, enjoy them any number of ways— in jam, dried and cooked with pork, tossed with couscous, or as the focus of this easy tart, adapted from Patricia Wells.

Crust
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1⁄2 cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon almond extract
1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
1 1⁄4 cups, plus 1 tablespoon flour
2 tablespoons unblanched almonds, finely ground

Filling
1⁄2 cup heavy cream
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1⁄2 teaspoon almond extract
1⁄2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon flour
1 1⁄2 pounds fresh apricots, halved and pitted
Confectioners’ sugar for dusting

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease the bottom and sides of a 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom, and set pan aside.

In a large bowl, combine the butter and sugar and stir with a wooden spoon to blend. Add the extracts, salt and flour, and stir to form a soft cookie-like dough. Transfer the dough to the bottom of the pan and press gently across the bottom and up the sides of the pan to cover. The dough will be thin. Place the pan in the center of the oven and bake until the dough is slightly puffy and set, 12 to 15 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle pre-baked pastry with almonds to prevent the dough from getting soggy.

Prepare the filling: In a medium bowl, combine the cream, the egg, the extracts and the honey. Whisk to blend, then whisk in the flour.

Starting just inside the edge of the pan, arrange the apricot halves, cut-side up and slightly overlapping, in concentric circles on the pastry. Pour the filling over the fruit, place in the center of the oven and bake for 50 to 60 minutes or until the filling is firm and the pastry is golden brown. Remove pan to a rack to cool and sprinkle tart with confectioners’ sugar before serving. Serves 8.

Smoked Pork Butt
Smoked Pork Butt

Getting Started
Setting up a makeshift home smoker is a lot easier than you may think. Simply take two disposable aluminum roasting pans and place the open ends facing one another.
 
Cut a hole in the center of the top pan the size of a silver dollar to let the smoke escape, and voila, you’ve just created a smoker.
 
The technique is simple, too: Place wood chips on the bottom of your smoker, then a roasting rack to keep the meat off its bottom. Lay your choice of meat on the rack and then cover with the roasting pan lid with the hole. You can seal the edges if you want with aluminum foil. Place the pan on the burner of your gas stove. (You can also use your outdoor grill for this step.) The wood chips will ignite and begin to smoke. (Make sure you have some form of ventilation fan that takes smoke directly out of doors.) Turn off the flame and the chips will continue to smolder, smoking the meat, for a prescribed amount of time, at which point you’ll move your smoker into your oven until the meat reaches the desired temperature. 
 
Also, it’s almost impossible to cook barbecue properly without a digital probe thermometer. Your other option would be to constantly disturb the meat while cooking, which is not a great idea since barbecue likes constant temperatures. A remote thermometer with a probe attached to a long wire is best, since the wire can run outside the oven and read the temperature without opening the oven door.


Making a brine
Before smoking, all meats should be soaked in a brine which shortens the cooking time and increases the tenderness and moisture in the meat. Most brines are made of salt, water, sugar and some sort of acid, a fruit juice or vinegar. You also can add aromatics— different herbs and garlic— the sky’s the limit. Start by placing the meat in a non-corrosive container and entirely cover with plain water. Remove the meat and measure the remaining water to determine the amount of brine you’ll need to make.

Here’s a simple brine recipe to get you started:
1 quart cool water
1/2 cup kosher Salt
1/2 cup sugar

Mix in your non-reactive container until dissolved. Make 1 quart of brine for each pound of meat. Keep the brine and the meat refrigerated until ready to use.


PORK BUTT
Whole pork butts with the bone in are best. Without the blade bone they tend to dry out when cooked. Brine the meat, submerged, for 24 hours or inject the meat with brine using a syringe. A pork butt will take about 2 cups of injection. Wrap it up in plastic wrap and let sit for at least 2 hours. Remove and using a rub specifically for pork, generously rub down the meat and place on the rack in your makeshift smoker. Use hickory or try other woods and smoke on your stove for at least 1 hour— that would be 4 good handfuls of wood chips. Transfer the butt to a 225-degree oven and let cook for 9 to 12 hours or until the meat reaches an internal temperature of 200 degrees. Remove meat and let rest for a half-hour.

MARCH/APRIL 2011
Anga’s Chrusciki

Adele writes: “This is not a ‘hurry up’ recipe, but well worth the work. Two pairs of hands make the time fly.”

Mix together very well with a wooden spoon:
4 egg yolks beaten
3 tablespoons sour cream
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 tablespoon whiskey
½ teaspoon vanilla

Gradually add enough all purpose flour until dough leaves the sides of the bowl (approximately 1 ¼ cups).
 
Divide dough into 3 portions on a floured surface. Roll each portion into a very thin rectangle. Cut the rectangle into long strips about 1 ¼” wide. Cut the long strips on the diagonal into lengths of 5 to 6 inches. Make a slit through the center of each strip, and pull end of the strip through the center slot.
 
Fry chrusciki in deep fat (lard is best, but Crisco is OK, too— MZ) turning once until lightly brown on each side. (This happens quickly.) Remove chrusciki as they brown and place on brown paper or paper towels to drain. Sprinkle with confectioners sugar. Makes approximately 3 dozen cookies.

MARCH/APRIL 2011
Smoked Brisket
Smoked Brisket

Getting Started
Setting up a makeshift home smoker is a lot easier than you may think. Simply take two disposable aluminum roasting pans and place the open ends facing one another.
 
Cut a hole in the center of the top pan the size of a silver dollar to let the smoke escape, and voila, you’ve just created a smoker.
 
The technique is simple, too: Place wood chips on the bottom of your smoker, then a roasting rack to keep the meat off its bottom. Lay your choice of meat on the rack and then cover with the roasting pan lid with the hole. You can seal the edges if you want with aluminum foil. Place the pan on the burner of your gas stove. (You can also use your outdoor grill for this step.) The wood chips will ignite and begin to smoke. (Make sure you have some form of ventilation fan that takes smoke directly out of doors.) Turn off the flame and the chips will continue to smolder, smoking the meat, for a prescribed amount of time, at which point you’ll move your smoker into your oven until the meat reaches the desired temperature. 
 
Also, it’s almost impossible to cook barbecue properly without a digital probe thermometer. Your other option would be to constantly disturb the meat while cooking, which is not a great idea since barbecue likes constant temperatures. A remote thermometer with a probe attached to a long wire is best, since the wire can run outside the oven and read the temperature without opening the oven door.


Making a brine
Before smoking, all meats should be soaked in a brine which shortens the cooking time and increases the tenderness and moisture in the meat. Most brines are made of salt, water, sugar and some sort of acid, a fruit juice or vinegar. You also can add aromatics— different herbs and garlic— the sky’s the limit. Start by placing the meat in a non-corrosive container and entirely cover with plain water. Remove the meat and measure the remaining water to determine the amount of brine you’ll need to make.

Here’s a simple brine recipe to get you started:
1 quart cool water
1/2 cup kosher Salt
1/2 cup sugar

Mix in your non-reactive container until dissolved. Make 1 quart of brine for each pound of meat. Keep the brine and the meat refrigerated until ready to use.


BRISKET
Brine a whole brisket for 48 hours or inject meat with at least 2 cups of brine with a syringe. I like to rub brisket with Dijon mustard and then generously apply a rub designed for brisket before placing the meat on a rack. Smoke using mesquite chips for at least 1 hour, which should take 4 good handfuls. Move to oven and finish at 225 degrees until an internal temperature reads 190 degrees (about 10 to 14 hours). Remove meat and let rest for a half-hour

MARCH/APRIL 2011
Smoked Ribs
Smoked Ribs

Getting Started
Setting up a makeshift home smoker is a lot easier than you may think. Simply take two disposable aluminum roasting pans and place the open ends facing one another.
 
Cut a hole in the center of the top pan the size of a silver dollar to let the smoke escape, and voila, you’ve just created a smoker.
 
The technique is simple, too: Place wood chips on the bottom of your smoker, then a roasting rack to keep the meat off its bottom. Lay your choice of meat on the rack and then cover with the roasting pan lid with the hole. You can seal the edges if you want with aluminum foil. Place the pan on the burner of your gas stove. (You can also use your outdoor grill for this step.) The wood chips will ignite and begin to smoke. (Make sure you have some form of ventilation fan that takes smoke directly out of doors.) Turn off the flame and the chips will continue to smolder, smoking the meat, for a prescribed amount of time, at which point you’ll move your smoker into your oven until the meat reaches the desired temperature. 
 
Also, it’s almost impossible to cook barbecue properly without a digital probe thermometer. Your other option would be to constantly disturb the meat while cooking, which is not a great idea since barbecue likes constant temperatures. A remote thermometer with a probe attached to a long wire is best, since the wire can run outside the oven and read the temperature without opening the oven door.


Making a brine
Before smoking, all meats should be soaked in a brine which shortens the cooking time and increases the tenderness and moisture in the meat. Most brines are made of salt, water, sugar and some sort of acid, a fruit juice or vinegar. You also can add aromatics— different herbs and garlic— the sky’s the limit. Start by placing the meat in a non-corrosive container and entirely cover with plain water. Remove the meat and measure the remaining water to determine the amount of brine you’ll need to make.

Here’s a simple brine recipe to get you started:
1 quart cool water
1/2 cup kosher Salt
1/2 cup sugar

Mix in your non-reactive container until dissolved. Make 1 quart of brine for each pound of meat. Keep the brine and the meat refrigerated until ready to use.


RIBS
Buy whole spare ribs and remove the lining that covers the bone side of the ribs. I use a paper towel to help pull the membrane off in 1 piece. Brine ribs for at least 2 hours. Cover meat with your choice of rubs and place on rack, bone side down. Use hickory chips as a starting point and smoke ribs for 30 minutes (2 handfuls of wood chips). Move smoker to a 225-degree oven and cook for 4 to 6 hours or until a thermometer reaches 190 degrees. Remove from oven and let the meat rest for 15 minutes. Serve with sauce, if desired.

MARCH/APRIL 2011
Smoked Chicken
Smoked Chicken

Getting Started
Setting up a makeshift home smoker is a lot easier than you may think. Simply take two disposable aluminum roasting pans and place the open ends facing one another.
 
Cut a hole in the center of the top pan the size of a silver dollar to let the smoke escape, and voila, you’ve just created a smoker.
 
The technique is simple, too: Place wood chips on the bottom of your smoker, then a roasting rack to keep the meat off its bottom. Lay your choice of meat on the rack and then cover with the roasting pan lid with the hole. You can seal the edges if you want with aluminum foil. Place the pan on the burner of your gas stove. (You can also use your outdoor grill for this step.) The wood chips will ignite and begin to smoke. (Make sure you have some form of ventilation fan that takes smoke directly out of doors.) Turn off the flame and the chips will continue to smolder, smoking the meat, for a prescribed amount of time, at which point you’ll move your smoker into your oven until the meat reaches the desired temperature. 
 
Also, it’s almost impossible to cook barbecue properly without a digital probe thermometer. Your other option would be to constantly disturb the meat while cooking, which is not a great idea since barbecue likes constant temperatures. A remote thermometer with a probe attached to a long wire is best, since the wire can run outside the oven and read the temperature without opening the oven door.


Making a brine
Before smoking, all meats should be soaked in a brine which shortens the cooking time and increases the tenderness and moisture in the meat. Most brines are made of salt, water, sugar and some sort of acid, a fruit juice or vinegar. You also can add aromatics— different herbs and garlic— the sky’s the limit. Start by placing the meat in a non-corrosive container and entirely cover with plain water. Remove the meat and measure the remaining water to determine the amount of brine you’ll need to make.

Here’s a simple brine recipe to get you started:
1 quart cool water
1/2 cup kosher Salt
1/2 cup sugar

Mix in your non-reactive container until dissolved. Make 1 quart of brine for each pound of meat. Keep the brine and the meat refrigerated until ready to use.


CHICKEN
You can use whole chickens, half chickens— whatever you’d like, but for competitions, chicken thighs are favored since they don’t dry out as easily. Brine the chicken for at least 2 hours. Next, rub the chicken down inside and out. I use apple wood chips to smoke the chicken, but you can try others like hickory, pecan and cherry. Smoke chicken for 15 to 20 minutes— that equates to a handful of chips. Do not over-smoke! Next, transfer to a 250-degree oven for approximately 1 1/2 hours or until your thermometer reads 175-180 degrees. Remove and let rest for 15 minutes. Glaze the chicken with your favorite sauce and serve.

MARCH/APRIL 2011
Honey Whole Wheat Bread

1 cup milk
¾ cup butter
½ cup honey
2 teaspoons salt
¾ cup warm water (105 to 115 degrees)
2 packages active dry yeast
3 eggs, slightly beaten
4 ½ cups unsifted all purpose flour
1 ½ cups whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon soft butter

In a small saucepan, heat milk until bubbles form around edge of pan; remove from heat. Add ¾ cup butter, honey and salt, stirring until butter has melted. Let cool to lukewarm or tepid.

Sprinkle yeast over warm water in large bowl; stir until yeast is dissolved. Stir in milk mixture and the eggs. Combine all purpose and whole wheat flours. Add two-thirds of flour mixture to yeast mixture; then, with electric mixture at low speed, beat until blended. Then beat at medium speed until smooth— about 2 minutes. With wooden spoon, gradually beat in remaining flour mixture. Mix with hand, squeezing dough between fingers 20 to 30 times to develop gluten.

Cover the bowl with waxed paper and a clean tea towel. Let rise in warm place, free from drafts, until batter is above rim of bowl, 1 hour. Punch down dough, and beat it with a spoon until smooth, about 30 seconds. Lightly grease 2 loaf pans. Divide dough evenly into 2 pans. Cover, and let rise until double in bulk, 40 to 50 minutes. Dough should rise slightly above rims of baking pans.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Bake 30 to 40 minutes or until bread is browned and sounds hollow when rapped with a knuckle. Remove to wire rack. Rub 1 teaspoon softened butter over top. Makes 2 loaves.

JANUARY-FEBRUARY 2011
Pizza with Caramelized Onion, Gorgonzola, Pear and Walnut Salad
Pizza with Caramelized Onion, Gorgonzola, Pear and Walnut Salad

2 pizza rounds of pizza dough
2 cups onion jam or caramelized onion (recipe follows)
Red wine vinaigrette, as needed (recipe follows)
7 ounces Italian gorgonzola, fully matured, roughly chopped
2 Bosc pears, cored and cut into thin wedges
1 red onion, thinly sliced into rings
2 ounces baby arugula (about half a bunch)
1/2 cup whole walnuts, roasted

Prepare pizza dough, onion jam and red wine vinaigrette as recipes direct. Preheat oven to 500 degrees. Thinly spread 1 cup of onion jam over each pizza base and bake for 10 minutes. Top onion jam with gorgonzola and bake a further 5 to 8 minutes. Remove from oven.

In mixing bowl, combine pears, red onion, arugula and walnuts with enough of the vinaigrette to moisten. Top each pizza with a portion of the salad.

Onion Jam
10 red onions, peeled
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Halve onions and remove ends. Place flat on a board and cut into thin semicircles. Heat oil and butter in a wide, shallow heavy-based pan over moderate heat. Add the onions and allow to sweat for 10 minutes.

Add vinegar and cook for 15 to 20 minutes or until onions are dark in color and jam-like in consistency. Season with salt and black pepper. Cool, then store in a covered container in the refrigerator. Makes 2 cups.

Red Wine Vinaigrette
2 cloves garlic
crushed juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1 1/3 cups extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Combine garlic, lemon juice and vinegar in a bowl. Whisk in olive oil, then season with salt and pepper to taste.

JANUARY-FEBRUARY 2011
Buffalo Mozzarella with Caponata and Garlic Bruschetta
Buffalo Mozzarella with Caponata and Garlic Bruschetta

12 slices ciabatta
Garlic confit
Extra-virgin olive oil, as needed
caponata (recipe follows)
1 pound buffalo mozzarella, sliced thin
Freshly ground black pepper

For the garlic bruschetta, toast ciabatta and spread liberally with garlic confit (1 bulb of peeled garlic cooked slowly until soft in a cup of extra-virgin olive oil).

Place a generous spoonful of caponata at room temperature on 1 side of each plate. Place several slices of mozzarella on top of garlic bruschetta. Drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil and finish with a grinding of black pepper. Serves 6.

Caponata
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 large eggplant, peeled and diced
1 large red onion, peeled and diced
2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
2 sticks celery, diced
1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and diced
4 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons sugar
1 14-ounce can peeled roma tomatoes, chopped, with juice
1/3 cup chopped, pitted green and/or black olives
1 tablespoon salted capers, rinsed well
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley, shredded

Heat olive oil in a wide, heavy-based saucepan and sauté eggplant until golden. Remove eggplant from pan. Add onion and sauté until golden. Add garlic and cook 2 minutes more, adding a little additional oil if required. Add celery and peppers and cook for 5 minutes.

Deglaze pan with vinegar, then add sugar and tomatoes with their liquid; stir well. Cook uncovered until mixture is fairly dry. Return eggplant to the pan with the olives and capers, mix well and season with salt and pepper. Cook a further 5 minutes, then remove from heat and stir through parsley. Serve either warm or cold.

JANUARY-FEBRUARY 2011
Asparagus and Fontina Tortellini with Vegetable Essence and Truffle Oil Essence
Asparagus and Fontina Tortellini with Vegetable Essence and Truffle Oil Essence

1 leek, diced
1 carrot, peeled and diced
1 onion, diced
1 celery rib, diced
1 tomato, seeded and diced
2 cloves garlic
2 sprigs thyme
1 teaspoon white peppercorns
4 1/2 cups water

Filling
1 bunch asparagus (about 1/2 pound)
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
1/4 pound fontina cheese, grated
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Pasta
1 pound pasta dough (you can use prepared dough)
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon white truffle oil

Combine leek, carrot, onion, celery, tomato and garlic. Place in a saucepan with thyme, peppercorns and water. Bring to a boil and simmer for an hour. Strain and return to the heat. Reduce until only a little over a cup is left to create an essence.

Prepare asparagus by lightly peeling and removing the tough part of the stem. Cut into 3/4-inch sections and cook in lightly salted boiling water until tender, about 3 minutes. Remove and cool in ice water. Put asparagus tips aside as a garnish.

For the filling, place the remaining asparagus in a food processor and pulse a few times to create a not-too-fine mince. Mix in a bowl with the ricotta and fontina; season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

For freshly made pasta, place pasta machine on the counter. Lightly dust the counter with flour before starting, to avoid the dough sticking. Work the dough through the rollers starting on the thickest setting and gradually reducing the settings until you achieve thin sheets, about as thick as heavy paper. Lay out the sheets, and use a ring cutter to cut circles of approximately 2 1/2 inches in diameter. Spoon a dab of asparagus mixture in the center of each circle. Brush the outside of the circles with a little beaten egg and fold to create half-moon shapes. Pull the tails around to make the tortellini and seal with a bit of beaten egg.

Cook the tortellini in salted, gently simmering water until they float to the top. Heat up the vegetable essence and ladle into wide bowls to a depth of about a quarter-inch. With a slotted spoon, place tortellini in the essence and drizzle with white truffle oil. Serves 4.

JANUARY-FEBRUARY 2011
Goat Cheese with Quince Jam, Arugula and Toasted Sourdough
Goat Cheese with Quince Jam, Arugula and Toasted Sourdough

Balsamic dressing (recipe follows)
1 bunch baby arugula (about 5 ounces)
12 slices sourdough bread, thickly sliced
Extra-virgin olive oil, as needed
10 ounces mature goat cheese
6 tablespoons quince jam
Freshly ground black pepper

Prepare balsamic dressing and set aside. Place arugula in a large bowl and toss lightly with some of the dressing. Drizzle sourdough with olive oil and grill until golden. Place a wedge of goat cheese on each plate with the salad alongside. (Goat cheese comes in plain or rolled in edible ash or herbs— any can work well here.) Add a spoonful of quince jam on the side of each plate and a slice of sourdough, then grind black pepper over the cheese.

Balsamic Dressing
1/4 cup best quality balsamic vinegar
1 clove garlic, crushed
Pinch of sugar
Salt and freshly ground pepper
3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Place vinegar, garlic, sugar and pepper in a bowl and gradually whisk in the olive oil until well-blended.

JANUARY-FEBRUARY 2011
Linnell Bowen’s Mother’s Crab Cakes
Linnell Bowen’s Mother’s Crab Cakes

1 pound lump or backfin crab meat, picked over for shells
1 egg
3 heaping tablespoons Hellman’s mayonnaise
2 tablespoons Old Bay seasoning
1⁄4 cup or less of milk
1 sleeve crushed Keebler’s Club Crackers or Saltines
 
Prepare this recipe the day before and refrigerate overnight. Beat together egg, mayonnaise, Old Bay and half of the milk. Mix crab, crackers and egg mixture carefully to keep crab lumps as large as possible. Do not over mix. Add more liquid as needed to shape into large, round balls or small ones for crab balls. Deep-fry at high temperature until browned. Serve immediately.

Carrot and Ginger Ravioli with Yellow Curry and Thai Basil
Carrot and Ginger Ravioli with Yellow Curry and Thai Basil

3 peeled carrots, roughly chopped
1 1-inch knob of ginger, peeled and chopped
1 shallot, peeled and chopped
2 ounces unsalted butter
2 cups chicken stock
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons yellow curry powder
2 cups coconut milk
1 tablespoon sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
24 sheets round wonton wrappers
6-8 leaves Thai basil or cinnamon basil
Kosher salt

In a medium saucepan, sweat carrots, ginger and shallots in butter. Season with salt and pepper. Add chicken stock and simmer until carrots are completely soft. Continue to cook carrots until the liquid is almost gone. Purée contents in a food processor until smooth and adjust seasoning. In another sauce pot, add oil and heat over a medium flame. Add curry powder and cook for 1 minute to release aroma, then add coconut milk and sugar. Simmer for 5 minutes and adjust taste with salt. To make the ravioli, dip your finger in the beaten eggs and wet the wonton wrapper. Place a spoon of filling in the center of the wonton wrapper and place a new wonton wrapper over it and very gently seal the edges around the filling. Repeat 11 more times laying each ravioli carefully on a plastic-covered tray. Bring a large pot to boil, salt the water, and reduce to simmer. Add the ravioli to the pot and cook for 2 minutes. Carefully remove the ravioli with a slotted spoon and tap on an absorbent paper towel before sliding into warm shallow bowls or plates. Ladle the curry sauce over the ravioli and garnish with finely sliced Thai basil and serve. Serves 4.

Dave Harp’s Montauk Bluefish Dip

4   cups water
1   cup white wine
¼ cup lemon juice
salt and pepper
¼ cup parsley, chopped
1 large fillet of bluefish (or rockfish)
1 shallot, minced
1 stalk celery, minced
10 chives, minced
3 sun-dried tomatoes, minced
1 teaspoon capers, minced
1 tablespoon horseradish
1⁄2 to 3⁄4 cup mayo

Poach fish in water, white wine, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and parsley. Bring liquid to boil and simmer.  Do not cover. Cook about 10 minutes. Let cool and remove dark area of fish. Flake fish, add remaining ingredients, and mix all with fork. Season with salt and pepper. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Musician’s Tart

While I don’t make candy, I have made caramel as part of other recipes. This tart, taken from an almost 20-year-old issue of Bon Appétit magazine that featured the food of Spain, is one of my favorite desserts ever. Yes, it’s time-consuming, and yes, the caramel is the hardest part, but it’s well worth the effort. My sister likes me to make it for Christmas, and often I do.

Crust
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons sugar
Pinch of salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 egg yolk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 teaspoons whipping cream

Fruit filling
1 cup (scant) dried pears, cored, coarsely chopped (4 ounces)
1 cup (scant) pitted dates, halved
1/3 cup pear nectar
1/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar

Nut topping
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter
6 tablespoons firmly packed dark brown sugar
3 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/2 cup pine nuts (about 2 ounces)
1/2 cup toasted whole almonds (about 2 ounces)
1/2 cup dry roasted cashew nuts (about 2 ounces)
1 1/2 tablespoons whipping cream

For crust: Mix first 3 ingredients in processor. Add butter and cut in using on/off pulses until mixture resembles coarse meal. Blend in yolk and vanilla using on/off pulses. Blend in enough cream by teaspoonfuls to form dough that begins to clump together. Gather dough into ball; flatten into disk. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Roll out dough between sheets of waxed paper to 12 inches round. Transfer dough to 9-inch-diameter tart pan with removable bottom. Trim edges. Freeze crust 15 minutes. Line with foil. Fill with dried beans or pie weights. Bake until sides are set, about 10 minutes. Remove foil and beans; bake crust until golden, about 20 minutes more. Cool completely on rack.
 
For fruit filling: Combine all ingredients in heavy medium saucepan and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer 1 minute. Purée mixture in processor to thick paste. Cool completely.
 
For nut topping: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Simmer first 3 ingredients in heavy large saucepan over low heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Increase heat and bring to boil. Boil vigorously 1 minute. Remove from heat. Add nuts and cream.
 
To assemble: Spread fruit filling in crust; smooth top. Set tart on cookie sheet. Spoon nut topping over. Bake until filling bubbles, about 20 minutes. Transfer tart to rack and cool 10 minutes. Using oven mitts, loosen tart pan sides but do not remove. Cool tart completely in pan. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and let stand at room temperature.) Remove pan sides. Cut tart into wedges. Makes 8 servings.

Parsnip and Leek Tart with Wild Mushrooms
Parsnip and Leek Tart with Wild Mushrooms

4 to 6 pieces of puff pastry, cut 2 ½-by-4 inches or whatever shape you want (puff pastry is available in the freezer section of grocery store)                 
1 egg, beaten lightly
4 ounces unsalted butter
1 cup white part of leek, washed and sliced 1/8 inch thick    
2 cups peeled medium diced parsnips
1 cup whipping cream
1 cup wild mushrooms (I like oyster mushrooms)
Kosher salt and freshly cracked pepper    

Place cut pastry shapes on a parchment-covered cookie sheet. Using a paring knife, cut 3/4 of the way into the pastry (but not through it) leaving a 1/4 inch border all the way around like a picture frame. Brush the pastry with egg wash and bake in a 400-degree oven until golden brown, about 10 to 14 minutes. Remove center portion of pastry so you now have a tart shell with sides and hollow center. In a medium sauce pot, sauté the leek and parsnip in 2 ounces of butter. Season with salt and pepper. Add cream and reduce until thick and parsnip is soft. Spoon this mixture into tart shells. In another sauté pan, add 2 ounces of butter and sauté mushrooms over high heat until soft—season with salt and pepper. Top leek and parsnips with mushrooms and serve warm. Serves 4 to 6.

Margaret Julia Howard’s Old-Fashioned Gingerbread
Margaret Julia Howard’s Old-Fashioned Gingerbread

2¼ cups sifted flour
1¼ teaspoons ginger
1¼ teaspoons cinnamon
1⁄2 teaspoon nutmeg
½ teaspoon cloves
½ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 eggs
¾ cup brown sugar, dark or light, sieved
¾ cup molasses
¾ cup shortening, melted (Howard uses Crisco)
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 cup boiling water

Line the bottom of a 9-by-9-by-2-inch baking pan (or two small loaf pans) with waxed paper. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a large bowl, sift flour with spices and baking powder. In a separate large bowl, beat eggs, sugar, and molasses with melted shortening until creamy. In a small bowl, mix baking soda in hot water and stir to dissolve. Pour baking soda and water mixture alternately with flour and spice mixture into shortening mixture. Beat until smooth. Pour into lined pan and bake for 35 minutes, until cake tests done with a toothpick. Remove from oven and allow cake to cool in pan for 5 minutes. Turn cake out onto a rack to cool.

Luc Fouquet’s ‘Famous’ Chocolate Mousse
Luc Fouquet’s ‘Famous’ Chocolate Mousse

6 organic eggs
7 ounces dark chocolate (52 percent minimum)
Salt

Let eggs come to room temperature. Melt chocolate in a double boiler or in a microwave with a touch of water. Separate eggs, and beat the whites
with a pinch of salt until fluffy. When chocolate has melted, beat it quickly with yolks and a pinch of salt until the mixture gets thick. Little by little, fold whites into the chocolate mixture. Refrigerate the mousse for at least an hour. Serve cold.

Celeriac and Chestnut Soup with Smoked Bacon Chantilly
Celeriac and Chestnut Soup with Smoked Bacon Chantilly

2 thick slices smoked bacon, chopped
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 cup peeled roasted chestnuts, roughly chopped            
2 cups peeled celeriac, roughly chopped
1 stalk celery, roughly chopped
1 yellow onion peeled and finely sliced
1 white part of leek washed and finely sliced
2 ounces unsalted butter
1/2 cup peeled and sliced Yukon Gold potato
3 cups chicken stock
Kosher salt and freshly cracked pepper
Garnish options: chopped parsley, additional chopped chestnuts or crispy bacon crumbles

In a small pot, gently heat chopped bacon in cream for 10 minutes. Strain out bacon and return cream to cool in refrigerator. Next, in a medium sauce pot, sweat the chestnuts, celeriac, celery, onion and leek in butter until translucent; season with salt and pepper. Add the potatoes and stock, season to taste and cook until all the vegetables are soft, about 15 minutes. Purée soup in a blender and pass through a strainer into a clean medium pot. Check seasoning and adjust if necessary. Whip cooled cream to stiff peaks. Heat soup and pour into warm bowls. Top with spoonful of whipped cream, garnish as desired and serve. Serves 4 to 6.

Renee Brooks Catacalos Greek-style Moussaka

4 tablespoons butter or margarine
¾ pound ground lamb or beef
2 medium onions, chopped
2 tablespoons parsley, chopped
1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes
¼ cup red wine
1 teaspoon coarse salt
fresh ground pepper to taste
1 medium eggplant
olive oil, butter or nonstick spray for frying
6 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons flour
2 cups milk, warmed
2 eggs, beaten
½ cup grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
¼ teaspoon nutmeg

Heat a large skillet to high, add the butter or margarine, and brown the ground beef or lamb with the chopped onions. Add the parsley, tomatoes, wine, salt, and pepper, lower heat, and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes.

Peel the eggplant and slice lengthwise into 12 to 16 ½-inch slices. Heat another skillet over medium-high heat and add just enough olive oil or butter, or a combination of both, to cover the bottom. Place as many eggplant slices in the pan as will fit without crowding. Fry both sides until golden. Repeat with all the slices, adding oil/butter before each batch. Drain on paper towels.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a deep, 8-inch-square casserole with nonstick spray. Place a layer of eggplant slices on the bottom and sprinkle with salt. Spread half the meat filling on top and add another layer of eggplant with a sprinkling of salt. Cover with the remaining meat filling, and finish with a final layer of eggplant. Set aside while making the cheese soufflé topping.

In a heavy saucepan, melt the 6 tablespoons of butter. Whisk in the flour until smooth. Slowly pour in the warm milk, whisking to blend. Continue cooking and whisking over medium heat until the mixture thickens, 5 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Whisk in the beaten eggs, then add the cheese and nutmeg. Pour over the casserole, covering the surface, but be careful not to overfill.

Bake 35 to 45 minutes, until the topping has puffed up and browned. Remove and let stand at least 30 minutes before serving. It is excellent made a day ahead and reheated.

Lisa Hillman’s Lemon Cheesecake

Crust
1 package chocolate cookie wafers (thin package)
6 tablespoons melted butter
2 teaspoons sugar

Cheesecake
3 8-ounce packages (1½ pounds)  cream cheese, softened
3⁄4   cup sugar
3 eggs
1⁄4 cup lemon juice
2 teaspoons grated lemon rind
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups sour cream
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

Lemon glaze
1⁄2 cup sugar
11⁄2 tablespoon cornstarch
1⁄4 teaspoon salt
3⁄4 cup water
1⁄3 cup lemon juice
1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
Lemon slices to decorate

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine crust ingredients thoroughly and press onto bottom and sides of a buttered 9-by-3-inch springform pan. Bake 5 minutes. Let cool.

Beat cream cheese until soft. Add sugar, blending thoroughly. Add eggs one at a time, beating well to blend each. Mix in lemon juice, rind, and vanilla. Blend well. Turn into springform pan. Bake 35 minutes.

While cake is baking, blend sour cream, sugar, and vanilla. Remove cake from oven. Gently spread sour cream mixture over top. Return to oven and bake 12 minutes. Cool on rack 30 minutes.

To make lemon glaze, in heavy 1-quart saucepan, mix sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Combine water, lemon juice, and egg yolk and add to sugar mixture. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly until the mixture comes to a slow boil and is thickened. Add butter and lemon rind. Allow to cool slightly but spread on cheesecake before glaze sets. Chill cake several hours or overnight before removing sides of pan. Garnish with slices of lemon.

Max Onder’s Turkish Grape Leaves (Yaprak Sarma)
Max Onder’s Turkish Grape Leaves (Yaprak Sarma)

3 tablespoons olive oil
2 large onions, chopped
8 ounces uncooked white rice
3 ounces pine nuts, toasted
3 ounces currants
6 ounces fresh dill, chopped
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
4 8-ounce jars Orlando brand
grape leaves

Heat oil in a large skillet and sauté the onions until golden and caramelized. Add the rest of the ingredients except the grape leaves and cook for 5 to 10 minutes or until ingredients are softened and melded.

Remove leaves from jar and unroll. Place one to two tablespoons of filling at the stem end of the leaf and roll into a tight cigar. Place rolls in a pot that can hold all the leaves and add water to cover. Place a plate in the pot to weigh down the leaves in the water. Cook over low heat for two hours. Let leaves cool overnight. Remove from pot and enjoy.

Risotto with Roasted Beets and Goat Cheese
Risotto with Roasted Beets and Goat Cheese

2 beets roasted in a 350-degree oven until fork-tender (about an hour)     
2 ounces unsalted butter  
1 ½ cups risotto rice
4 shallots, finely diced
1 quart chicken stock    
4-6 ounces warm goat cheese
Extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt
Freshly cracked black pepper

Peel the beets and cut into medium dice and set aside. Melt the butter over medium heat in a heavy-bottom pot. Add the rice and toast by constantly stirring until the rice becomes clear— about 5 minutes. Add shallots and cook until fragrant and transparent. Season the rice and shallots with salt and pepper. Heat the chicken stock in a separate pot—this speeds up the cooking process. Add 1 cup of heated stock to the rice and stir until absorbed. Repeat this process until the rice is cooked but has some tooth (al dente) and is creamy like oatmeal. Add the beets and stir to warm and combine. Spoon the risotto into warm bowls and top with goat cheese. Drizzle a quality extra-virgin olive oil over the goat cheese and finish with freshly cracked pepper. Serves 4 to 6.

Joanne Rich’s Chocolate Bread Pudding

1¾ cups whipping cream
1⁄3 cup, plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  ¼ cup milk
3⁄4 cup semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips, plus ¼ cup additional
chocolate chips
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
About 4 cups chocolate cake, cut into 1-inch cubes

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Bring cream, 1⁄3 cup sugar, and milk to a simmer in a heavy medium saucepan, stirring until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat, add ¾ cup chocolate chips, and whisk until melted and smooth.

Whisk egg and vanilla in a large bowl to blend. Gradually whisk egg mixture into hot chocolate mixture. Cool for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Lightly butter a 1½-quart oval baking dish. Sprinkle cake cubes in dish, then pour custard over, following with the additional chocolate chips. Sprinkle ­
2 tablespoons sugar (or less) over the pudding. Bake until it thickens and center is just set, about 50 minutes. Let cool.

Dawn Costigan’s Oven-Candied Summer Tomatoes

2 to 2 ½ pounds medium-sized, ripe tomatoes
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Core tomatoes. Cut small tomatoes into halves. Cut larger tomatoes into wedges. Place tomatoes ½-inch apart, cut side up, on one or two metal baking pans. Pour oil over tomatoes. Sprinkle with salt, bake for 30 minutes, then lower heat to 350 degrees, and bake another 30 minutes. Turn heat to 300 degrees and bake another 30 minutes, or until edges are slightly darkened. If edges are not yet colored, turn heat down to 250 degrees and bake another 10 to 15 minutes. Remove tomatoes from oven and cool 20 minutes. Transfer to a shallow glass dish and pour their oil over them. Let mellow, at room temperature, 4 to 6 hours.

Layer tomatoes in a storage container, oil included, and refrigerate. To serve, drain oil from tomatoes and bring to room temperature. Or freeze tomatoes in oil in sealed plastic containers up to 3 months.

Lesly Sajak’s Antipasti
Lesly Sajak’s Antipasti

1 head of iceberg lettuce, washed and broken apart
1 red onion, sliced thin
3⁄4 pounds tomatoes (your choice)
1⁄2 can pepperoncini (drained)
1⁄2 can artichoke hearts (drained)
1⁄2 can pitted black olives (drained)
1⁄2 jar green olives
1⁄2 can pickled beets (drained)
1 small can anchovies (drained)
1 can tuna in oil (drained)
1 small jar roasted red peppers
1⁄2 can chickpeas
1 small package pepperoni
4 ounces sliced Italian salami
4 ounces sliced provolone cheese
2 carrots, sliced
2 hard-boiled eggs, sliced
1 bottle Italian dressing

Make a bed of lettuce leaves on the platter. Loosely roll up the sliced meats and cheese and arrange on the lettuce. Garnish with olives, pepperoncini, artichoke hearts, beets, chickpeas, roasted peppers, tomatoes, onions, anchovies, tuna, carrots, and hard-boiled eggs.

Cover with waxed paper and place in refrigerator until ready to serve. Add Italian dressing before serving. Can be served as an appetizer or main dish.




RECIPES

ANDREW'S KITCHEN

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