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Showing posts from January, 2015

Potato Pancake with Salmon

Now don't get carried away here and think I'm turning into Store-Bought Sally. I may be using pre-fabbed food here (potato flakes) but take a look further down the recipe list and I'm using homemade cream cheese. Besides Nigella says there's no reason to feel bad.

Potato Pancakes with Salmon (Adapted from Nigella Express)

3 eggs
1/2 c milk
2 scallions, chopped
2 T olive oil
3/4 c instant potato flakes
1/4 c flour
1/2 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
3 oz cream cheese or Creme Fraiche (Homemade but of course)
4-6 oz smoked salmon
Fresh Dill

In a bowl whisk together eggs, milk, scallions, and olive oil. Stir in potato flakes, flour, baking powder, and salt. Heat griddle and place scant tablespoon-sized dollops of batter. Cook until golden and flip. Set aside to cool.
Place a small dollop of cream cheese or creme fraiche onto each pancake. Tear off a piece of salmon and place on top. Decorate with a piece of fresh dill.
The original recipe calls for creme fraiche on the side…

Sourdough Rye Bread

Who am I to improve on James Beard's Sourdough bread recipe? Well I just used my existing sourdough starter instead of making a new one as he suggests and omitted the poppy seeds.

Sourdough Rye Bread (Adapted from Beard on Bread)

1 pkg of yeast (2 1/4t)
1/4 c water
3 T sugar
1 c sourdough starter
4 c flour
2 c rye flour
2 T butter, melted
11/2 T caraway seeds
1 egg, beaten

Dissolve sugar and yeast in warm water. Set aside for about 10 minutes. In a bowl add starter, 2 c flour, butter, and caraway seeds. Add yeast and add rye flour. Add additional flour as needed. The dough will be stiff. Knead until dough is smooth (it will be a little sticky). Place in greased bowl and cover. Let rise until doubled - about 2 hours.

Punch down and divide dough in half. Shape into rounds and place on greased (or silpat) sheet pan. Cover and let rise again about 1 hour. Slash tops and brush with beaten egg. Bake in 375 for 30 minutes or until browned and hollow sound when hit on bottom.

James sugg…

Potato Broccoli Soup

With the horrible weather predicted today and tomorrow, this might be a good soup to make to warm you up after all that shoveling.  It is a fairly quick cooking soup that you can probably make in about 45 minutes.

Potato Broccoli Soup

1 medium onion, chopped
1T olive oil
2 leeks or 6 green onions, rough chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 c white wine
3 c chicken stock
1 head broccoli, cut into florets, stem peeled & cut
4 medium potatoes
1T tarragon
2T parsley
1/2 c heavy cream

In a dutch oven or stock pot place onion, olive oil and a little salt. Cook on low heat until onions are caramelized (about 20 minutes). Meanwhile prepare remaining ingredients. Add leeks (or green onions) to pot and saute for a few minutes.  Add garlic and cook until fragrant. Add wine and cook until all of the wine has reduced. Add stock, broccoli, potatoes, and tarragon. Cover and cook about 15 minutes until potatoes and broccoli are fork tender. Add parsley and remove from heat. Puree in…

Vanilla Spice Nuts

I've had this recipe kicking around for quite some time (2010 to be exact). I thought it would make a nice little side appetizer. Of course, I had to play around with the original recipe - more on that later. Here's the recipe:

Vanilla Spice Nuts (Adapted from Cooking Light)

1 T vanilla
1 egg white
1 c almonds
1 c walnuts or pecans
1/4 c sugar
1 t salt
1 t cinnamon
3/4 t ground allspice
1/4 t cardamom
Line a baking sheet with parchment. In a bowl whisk together vanilla and the egg white until frothy. Stir in nuts. In a separate bowl mix remaining ingredients. Stir into the nuts. Toss to coat. Spread out on parchment. Bake at 325 for 15 minutes. Remove from oven. Turn oven off.  Toss nuts; breaking up any large pieces. Return to oven and let rest in oven for 10 minutes. Remove and cool.

Now I had to be a wise ass and thought that 1 egg white looked a little skimpy. I happened to have an extra egg white on hand so I mixed that in. It was way too much egg white. In the end I had …

Almond & Jam Tarts

These are quite impressive looking but very easy to make - especially if you buy ground almonds. The really nice part is that you just press the dough into the tart pans. The only rolling is for the cut outs.

Almond & Jam Tarts (Adapted from Bon Appetit)
Makes 2 tarts

7 oz (approx 2 cups) Ground Almonds or Hazelnuts*
4 1/2 c flour
2 1/4 t kosher salt
1 1/2 t baking powder
2 t nutmeg
1 1/2 c sugar
3 sticks butter
6 T heavy cream
3 egg yolks
1 t almond extract
1 Earl Grey tea bag
1 1/2 c apricot jam**
1 1/2 c plum jam**
2 t orange zest
1 egg
1/4 c raw sugar

Mix almonds, flour, salt, baking powder and nutmeg in a bowl. Set aside. Cream butter and sugar together. Add egg yolks, cream, and almond extract. Mix well. Gradually add flour/almond mixture and mix until combined. Divide dough into 3 equal parts, flatten 1 into disk and chill for at least 1 hour. Press the remaining two doughs into tart pans cover and chill.

Pour 1/4 boiling water over tea bag and let steep 15 minutes. Sti…

Clementines & Chocolate

This recipe is so easy, I wouldn't even consider it a recipe. It does, however, look like you spent hours working on this and is quite impressive. It has the right balance of salt and sweet. Chocolate and orange are always a nice combination.

Clementines & Chocolate (Adapted from Health)

2 oz bittersweet chocolate
2 T salted pistachio nuts, chopped finely
4 clementines, peeling and sectioned

Melt chocolate either in a double boiler or microwave. Dip clementine sections halfway into the chocolate and place on silapt (or parchment paper). Sprinkle chocolate edge with pistachios. Chill for 1/2 hour to set chocolate.

I preferred to put the chocolate on alternating edges so that you could line them up in opposite directions for serving. I highly recommend using a silpat for making these as they did not stick at all. Although I guess you can put them directly on the plate but it does get a little messy with the pistachios.

Rosemary Flat Breads

This is such an easy recipe and they are so tasty with cheese or are just delicious on their own. They also work well with a cheese spread. They come together so quickly. They are easily adaptable and can be made with other herbs besides Rosemary.

Rosemary Flatbreads (Adapted from Smitten Kitchen)

1 3/4 c flour
1 T chopped Rosemary (opt more for garnish)
1 t baking powder
3/4 t salt
1/2 c water
1/3 c olive oil
Kosher Salt

Stir together flour, rosemary, baking powder, and salt in a bowl with a wooden spoon. Pour water and olive oil into a well in the center and mix until the dough comes together. Divide dough into three pieces and cover with plastic wrap.

Roll one piece of dough onto parchment paper. No need to make it perfectly round. Dough should be very thin.
Top with optional additional herbs and sprinkle with Kosher salt. Bake on preheated baking stone or baking sheet at 450 for 8-10 minutes. Watch it carefully - it can go from brown to REALLY brown very quickly. Remove from oven…

2014 in Review (Part 2)

So we left off in June. Let's see what the rest of 2014 brought:

So what was going on in July?There was basic Vinaigrette, Strawberry Whipped Cream Cake, and Smokey Corn on the cob.

There was Chocolate Creme de Menthe cakethat happened by accident, Whipped Cream Pound Cake, and Chocolate Mud Cake. But don't think that August was only about cakes there was also homemade Mozzarella 

This month there was homemade pasta, and garden tomato and cream pasta, and it wasn't just about carbs, there was zucchini quiche too.

There was toasted pepitas, homemade creme fraiche, and how can we forget the whole sauerkraut episode, but the banana chocolate cake cheered us up - didn't it?as did the vacuum sealer.

We were thankful that the sauerkraut finally turned out well, and that there were Parker House Rolls, we were especially thankful for the new kid on the block, as well as the Chocolate Crinkle Cookies and that everything turned out well for Th…

2014 in Review (Part 1)

Apparently it is mandatory that you do a year in review if you have a blog - pardon my ignorance (I don't want my blog license revoked). So I'm a little late in posting but here goes...the highlights of 2014:

January - quitting my job but not blogging yet

I guess since this was the initial post I have to mention this one but really Aunt Sassy makes a mean cake. I make this recipe quite often Homemade Orecchetti

What to pick? What to pick? March looked like a pretty good month.
There were Brownies - how could you go wrong?
Then there was Chocolate Banana Bread with the option of not going chocolate.
There was my Friend the Pressure Cooker
And how could I leave out My Not Dry Irish Soda Bread?

This was a rather prolific month - I think because it was Easter and I did a lot of different recipes for brunch. I introduced Bertha, made cream cheese, got my Polish on by making Pierogies, made unhealthy French Toast, then got healthy with Spinach Pie and made a super…

Spaetzle Sie Deutsch?

Christmas brought a bounty of things: family, friends, significant others, food, drink, food gifts, and food gadgetry. I received a Spaetzle Maker from the eldest's significant other (Gee what country is he from?). Of course, I could not pronounce it correctly - you know that NY accent is very difficult to change! I was very anxious to give it a try (the spaetzle thing not changing the accent thing - that will never happen-it's too ingrained). There was a bounty (is this the word of the day or something? - scream real loud*) of recipes out there. I tried this one because it said they were light and that was what I was in the mood for.

Spaetzle (Adapted from Smitten Kitchen)

7 eggs
1/4 c milk
2 c flour

Beat the eggs and then add milk. Whisk in the flour. Let sit for at least an hour in the refrigerator.  It will look very liquidy.

Remove from refrigerator. Boil water and add salt. Place a colander or Spaetzle maker over water. 
Slowly push about 1/3 of the batter through holes…

Cheddar Gourgeres

I've made this type of thing before with blue cheese and I think I've made them with Gruyere but this time around I found this cheddar cheese recipe and had to give it a try with a twist.

Cheddar Gourgeres (Adapted from Food & Wine)

1 stick butter
1 c water
1 c flour
1/2 t salt (kosher)
1 t smokey paprika
4 eggs
1 c cheddar cheese (white), grated

Combine butter and water in a small saucepan. Remove from heat when butter is melted. Whisk in flour, salt, and paprika. Whisk until smooth. Let cool slightly.

Add to a mixer. Add 1 egg at a time and make sure that you mix each egg well.  (It is at this point that you think this will not work. The dough will almost look curdled but have no fear it comes together).

Reserve 2 T of cheese and stir remainder into the dough. Using a 1T scoop, scoop out the dough onto a sheet pan lined with a silpat or parchment paper. Sprinkle remaining cheese on the top of the puffs.

Bake at 425 for 15 minutes; then rotate pans. Bake another 15 minut…

Sous Vide Chicken Breasts

I decided my first experiment with the Sous Vide would be chicken breasts. If things went dramatically wrong, it was not a huge time investment - a little over an hour and it was not an expensive cut of meat. I have to say it came out superb. They were moist and all they needed was a few seconds in the frying pan at the end. Thank goodness I have that vacuum sealer. It really came in handy. You can also use regular zipper bags but I do think the vacuum sealer is easier to use.

Since I had 4 boneless chicken breasts, I decided to do a comparison test. I pounded two thin and sealed them up; the other two I didn't thin. I think the pounded ones came out better.  Although they both sort of puffed up a bit.

Here's my first Sous Vide attempt:

Honey Mustard Chicken (adapted from ANOVA)

2 Chicken Breasts
1 T dijon
1 T spicy brown mustard
1 T olive oil
2 T honey
2 T Kressi Vinegar or white vinegar

Mix the mustards, oil, honey, vinegar, salt, and pepper together in a small b…