Here’s a recipe I’ve been searching for since having a wonderful brunch at a Japanese bakery in the Outer Richmond, Cassava. I’d ordered the “Japanese Breakfast” from the menu, and the standout dish was a sous vide poached egg.
Japanese Breakfast ( $10 )
Koshihikari plum rice, ichiban dashi miso soup, sous vide “onsen tamago” poached egg, Myer lemon kosho natto, wakame salad, simmered hijiki
Here’s a recipe we found online for Slow Poached Eggs, adapted from Chef David Chang and Peter Meehan’s Momofuku restaurant cookbook by:
Slow-poached Eggs Recipe
But none of those things kept me from trying out more recipes, and I struck pay dirt with the slow-poached egg recipe. Meehan did a splendid job conveying Chang’s fervor over the utter simplicity of the cooking process, which originated in Japan with old ladies who took to multitasking at the natural hot springs. They soaked themselves while slow-cooking eggs in 141F hot baths. The finished eggs hold a wonderful elliptical shape (in the photo above) that charms and excites all at once. The yolk is barely cooked and remains runny so that you can enjoy their unctuous essence. At Momofuku Noodle Bar, the slow-cooked eggs are added to ramen and fried too.
I slow poached all the eggs I had – 8 total – and ate them over the course of several days. I don’t usually eat that many eggs in a week but it was fun to play around with them. Then I had to eat them. Thank G.O.D. Rory was around to help.
To give you a sense of my thinking process when using a restaurant chef’s recipe, I’m providing Momofuku’s slow-poached egg recipe verbatim but with [my annotated text in brackets]:
Large eggs, as many as you like [as fresh as you can get, organic, free range, all the quality you can afford]
1. Fill your biggest, deepest pot with water and put it on the stove over the lowest possible heat. [If you have a 5,000 BTU burner for simmering, that works perfectly.]
2. Use something to keep the eggs from sitting on the bottom of the pot, where the temperature will be highest. If you’ve got a cake rack or a steamer rack, use it. If not, improvise: a doughnut or aluminum foil or a few chopsticks scattered helter skelter across the bottom of the pan will usually do the trick, but you know what you’ve got lying around. Be resourceful. [Chang and Meehan know that this is a potential obstacle for home cooks and their encouragement is great. You don’t need much to MacGyver the cooking set-up. I used a heavy-bottomed 8-quart stockpot and a collapsible steamer rack to elevate and cradle the eggs. A deep 4-quart pot would have done the trick too. Any pot that will hold eggs in 1 layer and will fit a rack of some sort; or do the foil coil. You have to keep the eggs submerged for 45 minutes. Think of the Japanese ladies in their hot springs!]
3. Use an instant-read thermometer to monitor the temperature in the pot – if it’s too hot, add cold water or an ice cube. Once the water is between 140 and 145F, add the eggs to the pot. Let them bathe for 40 to 45 minutes, checking the temperature regularly with the thermometer or by sticking your finger in the water (it should be the temperature of a very hot bath) and moderating it as needed. [On a home stove’s simmer burner, achieving the low water temperature and maintaining it is easy. I just clipped my deep-fry thermometer on to gauge the temperature and then stuck my finger into the water to double check. Set a timer. My temperature fell below 140 for about 10 minutes so I adjusted the temperature and then bathed them for longer. It’s not rocket science though vigilance is required.]
4. You can use the eggs immediately or store them in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. (If you’re planning on storing them, chill them until cold in an ice-water bath.) If you refrigerate the eggs, warm them under piping hot tap water for 1 minute before using. [I kept the eggs around for 4 days. Before using them, I returned them to room temperature by letting them sit out for about 1 hour. If I served them as warm poached eggs, I boiled a saucepan of water, then let it cool for about 15 minutes, then let the egg sit in the hot water for 1 minute.]
5. To serve the eggs, crack them one at a time into a small saucer. The thin white will not and should be firm or solid; tip the dish to pour off and discard the loosest part of the white, then slide the egg onto the dish it’s destined for. [Chang and Meehan are totally right on about this. The egg holds a mounded shape but it’s jiggly. And, there’s some white for you to pour off.]
How to use the slow-poached eggs:
- Eggs Benedict without much last-minute fuss.
- Fried eggs – use a nonstick skillet with a film of oil. Heat over medium high to smoking, slide the egg in (do the sauce thing to make it easy), then fry for 45 seconds on each side. Sprinkle with Maldon or kosher salt and black pepper. Eat as is. Or, top a salad orbowl of hot rice. Add Maggi Seasoning sauce and black pepper or homemade Sriracha sauce. Heavenly.
- Add the poached egg to an impromptu bowl of rice soup (chao/congee/jook). Use leftover cooked rice 1 part cooked rice: 4 part broth, water, or combination of. Simmer for about 30 minutes, until creamy. Add salt, scallion, and ginger. Ladle it into a bowl, slide the egg into the middle and top with black pepper.
Momofuku’s slow-poached eggs recipe is a keeper. The technique is easy to master and one that I’ll keep in my back pocket. That’s the kind of restaurant cookbook that worth adding to your bookshelf.
Here’s a great recipe for you. Happily, this makes enough for you to have lots and lots of leftovers. (In fact, this soup will taste even better as leftovers, too, I guarantee you!)
From Epicurious, with my additions/modifications in bold:
Tuscan Bean and Swiss Chard Soup (reprinted from Gourmet, Jan 2004 edition)
- 1 lb dried white beans such as Great Northern, cannellini, or navy (2 cups), picked over and rinsed- (I used cranberry beans)
- 1/4 lb sliced pancetta, chopped (I used a whole ham hock)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 fennel bulb (sometimes called anise), stalks discarded and bulb chopped
- 1 whole celery root, cubed
- 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 4 cups “>chicken stock or low-sodium chicken broth (32 fl oz)
- 1.5 cup white wine, reduced to about .75 cup
- 4 cups water
- 1 (3- by 2-inch) piece Parmigiano-Reggiano rind
- 1 Turkish or 1/2 California bay leaf
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 lb Swiss chard (preferably red or rainbow), stems discarded and leaves halved lengthwise, then thinly sliced crosswise
- 1 teaspoon salt
Soak beans in cold water to cover by 2 inches in a bowl at room temperature at least 8 hours, or quick-soak (see cooks’ note, below). Drain in a colander.
Cook pancetta in oil in a wide 6- to 8-quart heavy pot over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until browned, about 5 minutes. Transfer pancetta with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain.
Cook onion and fennel in oil remaining in pot over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, 6 to 8 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add beans, stock, water, cheese rind, celery root, bay leaf, wine and pepper and simmer, uncovered, until beans are tender, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Discard cheese rind and bay leaf.
Stir in Swiss chard and salt and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until chard is tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Season soup with salt and pepper.
I never would have met GT. if it weren’t for the internet. And, you wouldn’t have this recipe for an amazing orange cardamom cake if I hadn’t. Thanks to the science & magic of whizzing, flying electrons a social network has emerged that links us in an entirely new way. No longer are we limited solely to meeting people through walking and talking in the physical world; now, we can meet people based solely on common interests, using carefully considered keywords, and the computer does the rest. I met GT. first online via FBook and shortly after that, in person, and he’s impressed me from the start. Not only does he know a heck of a lot about current events and policy (he’s one sharp dude, and has helped me sharpen my FBook debating skills) but also, he happens to be an accomplished gardener and can cook up a storm. As our readers know by now, that combination of talents makes him a star here at MUS•e•YUM. So when he shared photos of his homemade orange cardamom cake with his own social network, we had to grab that recipe and try it for ourselves and, here it is for you. All of you who typed in the search criteria “orange, cardamom, cake, food, recipes”. Here, you’ll find exactly what you’re looking for. And, you’ll love it, too. We’ve made the cake twice since Christmas, it’s that good!
Recipe for Orange Cardamom Cake, by G.T.
Orange Cardamom Bundt Cake
adapted from Epicurious
• 3 cups all-purpose flour
• 2 1/2 teaspoons ground cardamom
• 1 teaspoon baking powder
• 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 2 1/4 sticks unsalted butter, softened
• 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
• 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste, or vanilla extract
• 2 teaspoons orange extract
• 4 large eggs
• 1 tablespoon fresh orange juice, plus the zest from the orange you’ve squeezed
• 1 cup whole milk
Preheat oven to 350°F with rack in middle. Generously butter a 12-14 cup bundt pan and dust with flour, knocking out excess.
Whisk together flour, cardamom, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, combine the butter and granulated sugar, scraping side of bowl occasionally, until pale and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the vanilla bean paste and beat until combined well, about 1 minute.
Add the orange extract and beat until combined well, about 1 minute. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition, then add in the orange juice and orange zest until combined well.
At low speed, add flour mixture and milk alternately in batches, beginning and ending with flour mixture, mixing until just combined.
Spoon batter into pan, smoothing top. Gently rap pan on counter to eliminate air bubbles.
Bake until a wooden skewer inserted into center of cake comes out clean, about 1 hour. Cool in pan 1 hour, then invert onto a rack and cool completely, about 1 hour more.
Brush with orange juice. Make a glaze with baker’s (castor) sugar + orange juice (or grand marnier) and drizzle artfully over your cake.
PS. Make some extra batches of ONLY the dry ingredients, combined. . . you can save this mix in the freezer so that you’ve got a little ‘head start’ the next time you want to bake a cake!
I’ve tried a lot of macaroni and cheese combinations over the years but this one really stands out. Given that a basic macaroni and cheese recipe is forgiving of experimentation, feel free to change it up to suit your taste (or as is often the case, to make creative use of what’s in the fridge). Be assured though that this combination is pretty damn good!
I chose to feature Manchego cheese (Manchego is a spanish cheese from the La Mancha region) which is at once mild but not bland; it has a fully round, rich flavor which is both nutty and slightly sweet. Enhancing this balance of savory and sweetness, and lending a bit more aromatic character to it, I’ve added some vanilla to the roux. Providing a bit more kick, enough to add a slight bit of sharpness without overpowering the Manchego, I added a small portion of mature cheddar, as well as a white wine reduction which added a warm complexity to the dish.
Here is my recipe for the grandest of comfort foods, macaroni and cheese:
MUS•e•YUM Macaroni and Cheese
- 2 ½ c (9 ounces) dry pasta, I love Farfalle- it’s curvy enough to hold the sauce well.
- 2 ½ c whole milk
- 1 whole white onion, sliced
- 1 bay leaf
- 10 whole black peppercorns
- 4 T unsalted butter
- ¼ c all-purpose flour
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Manchego cheese, grated (about 4 cups worth)
- Mature cheddar cheese, grated (about 1 cup)
- 1 ¼ c White wine ( I had a Riesling on hand and enjoyed it in this recipe but I’d love to experiment with other wines, too )
- 1 t vanilla extract
- ½ c fresh bread crumbs
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter a 2-quart baking dish.
2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Prepare your pasta as directed until it is about half-cooked, soft and tender on the surface with a distinct bite still left in the center, say 5-ish minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water and set aside. Stir through occasionally so that it doesn’t start to stick.
3. Put the milk in a small saucepan and add half of the onion slices, bay leaf and peppercorns. Bring just to a low boil over medium heat, watching the milk closely and stirring frequently to ensure it doesn’t boil over. . . then take the pan from the heat add the vanilla. Let the mixture sit to infuse for 10 to 15 minutes while it cools off.
4. Step #3 takes a long time. So, while you’re waiting on the milk, get out a small skillet and sauté the other half of the sliced onions in some olive oil. This won’t take long, a couple of minutes, or just until they turn translucent and ‘yellowish’. Before they start to brown remove the onion from the pan and transfer to a holding dish of some kind.
5. In the same skillet, still hot from sautéing the onions, deglaze: turn the heat up, pour in the white wine, stir together with all the bits left from the onions, and simmer to reduce it down to say, ½ c.
6. When the milk has finished infusing, get the pot in which you boiled your pasta and in it, melt the butter over medium heat. Whisk in the flour and cook, whisking constantly, until it foams up (it should not brown), 1 to 2 minutes. Strain the warm milk into the pan and whisk to blend. Continue to cook the sauce, whisking often, until it thickens, about 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and gradually whisk in the cheeses until fully melted. Now, add the white wine reduction and the reserved sautéed onions. Season the sauce to taste with salt and pepper, then gently fold in the pasta until it is fully coated with the cheese sauce.
7. Pour the mixture into the prepared dish and sprinkle the bread crumbs evenly over. Set the dish on the oven rack and bake until the macaroni and cheese is bubbling hot and the top is nicely browned, about 40 minutes. Let sit for about 15 minutes before serving.
recipe save, breakfast on the day after the party: toasted baguette with olive oil, sea salt and dark chocolate, melted
All this one takes is the right mix of leftovers (baguette from last night’s dinner? any drops of champagne left?), a toaster oven, and some assembly, and…Voila.
And, if you sprinkle a little sea salt on top, you won’t be disappointed. Trust us.
Here’s an approachably unusual, versatile, easy and quite delicious recipe for your next dinner party or …just a nice work-night treat for yourself. It fills any need for stand-in potatoes but elevates them to the star of the show. Your guests will want a copy of this recipe, no doubt!
1 1/2 pounds of your favorite potatoes and celery root, cut into 1 1/2-inch chunks
6 unpeeled garlic cloves
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 cinnamon stick, broken into pieces
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper.
1. Heat oven to 325 degrees. Put all the ingredients in a 10-inch cast-iron skillet and stir until combined.
2. Transfer to the oven and roast, stirring once or twice, until potatoes are tender, about an hour and 15 minutes. Then raise the oven temperature to 450 degrees and cook until potatoes are crusty, brown and tender, about 15 minutes longer.
Serves about 4 as a side dish.
P.S. I served the cinnamon roasted potatoes and celeriac on Christmas day with the following menu:
honey baked ham
home-made macaroni and cheese (manchego cheese, white wine rue)
green beans tossed with roasted fennel, shallots and currants.
-who says eating healthy has to be boring, time-consuming, or hard?? If you’re looking for something fast and easy and healthy to prepare for a Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow, I have a great recipe for you. I found this one on Food 52 last week and made it for a potluck dinner. It was a hit! and don’t wait til Thanksgiving to prepare it. It’s easy enough to mix up the ingredients for a quick and healthy dinner any season of the year.
((MUS•e•YUM note: I altered the recipe below by adding the following: parsnips, radishes and FENNEL, and the result was really good. With this recipe the idea of the “mix of veg” is the important thing, but the components are really up to you. Support your local farmers! Go to your nearest farmer’s market, have fun filling up your bag and experiment! ))
- 2 cups of peeled and cubed winter squash, cut into ¾” dice
- 2 cups cubed thin-skinned red, white and/or Yukon gold potatoes (preferably a combination), cut into ¾” dice
- 2 cups trimmed and halved Brusslies (Brussels sprouts)(measured after cutting)
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- Kosher salt
- 3 large shallots, coarsely chopped (about 1 1/2 cup)
- 3 medium cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 medium bay leaves (preferably fresh)
- 3-4 tablespoons sherry vinegar, or more, to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves
- 1 tablespoon coarsely chopped fresh thyme leaves
- 1 tablespoon coarsely chopped fresh marjoram leaves
- 3 tablespoons chopped parsley
- Freshly ground pepper
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Toss the squash cubes and diced potatoes in 2 teaspoons of oil. Put them on a baking sheet and sprinkle on a pinch of salt. Roast for 20 minutes, turning the cubes over and stirring briefly after the first 10 minutes. The vegetables should be fork tender and just starting to caramelize.
- Toss the Brusslies (Brussels sprouts) in 1 teaspoon of oil and a tiny pinch of salt and roast for about 15 minutes. If you like them softer and browner, cook them a bit longer.
- Heat a large skillet until fairly hot, then add the remaining tablespoon of oil and the bay leaves. Cook for about ten seconds, stirring, and then add the shallots. Cook over medium heat with a pinch of salt, stirring constantly. When the shallots are wilted and somewhat translucent, add the chopped garlic and cook for another minute or so.
- Deglaze the pan with the vinegar and, with the heat on medium, add the squash and the potatoes. Toss very gently to combine with the shallots and garlic. Cook over medium low heat for a minute or so.
- Add the herbs and toss again carefully and cook over medium low heat, stirring, for another minute.
- Add the Brusslies, and test for salt and correct, if necessary. Grind on fresh pepper to taste, and carefully toss again. Remove the bay leaves before serving.
- N.B. You can roast the potatoes and squash up to two days in advance. Cool thoroughly before storing in a tightly lidded container in the refrigerator. The Brusslies do much better and retain their beautiful color when they are cooked within a few hours, at most, of eating. You can trim and halve them, though, up to two days in advance, provided that you store them in cold water in the refrigerator. Drain them well, tossing a few times in the colander to get as much moisture off as possible, before roasting. They can be slid in the oven on a rack directly below another one. Feel free to make up the entire dish, except the Brusslies, three or four hours before the meal, and then toss the Brusslies in at the end. This dish is best served warm, but it doesn’t need to be too hot. It’s also tasty at room temperature, if that works out best for you.
I love mashed potatoes but wanted to find an alternative to them that might be a little healthier, without making a sacrifice in terms of taste. This recipe is what I came up with, and I really like it. Despite the conspicuous absence of milk or butter, your guests won’t miss the potatoes and dairy! It’s a MUS•e•YUM original.
Onion, Miso and Cauliflower Puree, with Mushrooms, by MUS•e•YUM
• one head cauliflower
• one white onion
• 1-2 tablespoons concentrated MISO paste
Cut the main stem from one head of Cauliflower
Coarsely cut, separating florets into 1-2 inch chunks
Coarsely cut up your onion
Bring a large pot of SALTED water to a rolling boil.
Add cut cauliflower florets and onion. Water should just cover your vegetables.
Boil until knife easily pierces vegetables. Probably 10-15 minutes
PRE-heat oven to 375 degrees F
Strain vegetables, but reserve half a cup of the water in a measuring cup. Add one tablespoon of miso to the hot water and dissolve.
Return vegetables to pot. Add the 1/2 cup water with miso.
Add 3 T. olive oil (you may substitute butter for 1 T. if you like)
Use a stick blender to puree until smooth
Pour in a Pyrex dish or individual serving ramekins, sprinkle paprika or parsley on top, and
bake at 375 degrees F until golden on top, about 30-40 minutes
While the cauliflower is baking, warm some olive oil in a skillet on your stove. Add a clove of garlic and after a minute, throw in as many mushrooms as you want, sliced.
Spoon mushrooms over cauliflower after it comes out of the oven and serve.
I tried another recipe posted on the blog, Matte Gray (inspired musings on lots of things, from a “gay green foodie perspective”) and, as usual, I was NOT disappointed: ITALIAN BUTTER BEANS.
For some reason I’ve always been intimidated by beans. You probably already know you have to soak them, then you have to slow cook them at a simmer, but apart from all that, it’s really not that hard. Gray lays out the recipe so perfectly I’ll reprint here in its entirety. And now that I’ve cooked beans once, I’m inspired to follow the procedure and mix it up with some other ingredients. Roasted Peppers? White wine? Sausages? Harissa? Curry? With this killer base, you can go in lots of directions.
Italian Butter Beans, as published on Matte Gray
Here’s a simple pair of recipes that packs a lot of bang for the buck, Maryland style crab cakes and a caprese salad that amounts to nothing more than good shopping (and slicing): farmer’s market heirloom tomatoes, peaches, nectarines, mozzarella and fresh basil. (Also pictured, I did a quick sauté of summer squash with olive oil, 3 cloves of garlic crushed and a little white wine.)
• fruit: Find a good assortment of colors, roughly equal parts juicy heirloom tomatoes and stone fruit (I like a mix of peaches and nectarines), all the better if the fruits are roughly the same size
• a bunch of basil
• a ball of mozzarella
Slice and plate in layers, putting a basil leaf between each slice.
Drizzle with olive oil and follow with a scattering of sea salt and a few grinds of black pepper. Take a photo of your work!
Maryland Style Crab Cakes
- 16 ounces crabmeat (Costco has a great packaged option in the refrigerated case with a long shelf life, so you can have some on hand in a pinch!)
- 2 eggs
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
- 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 3 teaspoons mustard
- 3 teaspoons melted butter
- 1 teaspoon parsley flakes
- 1 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning
- 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
-In a medium mixing bowl, combine all ingredients except the crab meat.
(I mix the liquid ones first, the dry ingredients second, and combine.)
-After mixing ingredients, add crab meat and fold together with a spatula, trying not to break up the crab meat chunks very much.
-Form into desired size cakes, I get 6-8 from this recipe.
You can make these up to two hours before your guests arrive, refrigerated, and pop in the oven right before you plan to eat. I find the best result is to bake them in a muffin tin, but you also can bake them in a pyrex dish (they’ll be less golden on the outside), or pan fry (they’ll be greasy).
Muffin Tin: Preheat oven to 450°F. Generously coat a nonstick muffin pan with cooking spray (spray enhances flavor). Bake until crispy and cooked through, 20 to 25 minutes.
Pan Fry: pan fry on each side over medium heat until golden brown (about 5-7 minutes each side) Serve with desired sauce, I mix together a little mayo, ketchup, old bay, and vinegar, but that’s just a personal thing.
Serve with lemon wedges, sprinkling of paprika, and an assortment of sauces…get creative!
Despite how gloomy and grey it looks outside lately, it’s summer time in San Francisco and with summer comes certain associations for me, memories of summers-past growing up in Pennsylvania! Thunderstorms. Fireflies. Picnics and Family. . . And with those memories of home, thoughts of certain foods are always linked. I may not be able to recreate a thunderstorm here, or wait for fireflies to appear at dusk, or hang out with my sister and parents but when I need to bring a little bit of Pennsylvania to my life here in California, when I need to connect with my roots just a little bit, food is a great way to do it. From assembling certain ingredients, to the physical act of making a dish, to the ritual presentation and eating of it, good feelings are always evoked when you reconnect with your past through food.
One such dish that instantly recalls memories of home for me (mostly because Pennsylvania is one of the only places you’ll ever find this dish) is the pickled red beet egg, or ‘purple eggs’ as they’re casually called. Yes, purple eggs are impossible to find here in California, let me tell you and when you describe them to anyone they’ll sort of look at you as if you must be joking. I mean, you MUST be. And yet, if you travel to South Central Pennsylvania, I can assure you they’re so common that you will find them in the deli section of any grocery store, or at any picnic, social or covered dish. I mean, they’re as common as whoopie pies. “But what’s a whoopie pie. . . ?” Sigh, I’ll have to write another blog post about those, too.
Pennsylvania Dutch Red Beet Eggs, aka “Purple Eggs”
(recipe taken from Lancaster County, Pennsylvania Vacations website: http://lancastercountyvacations.com/pennsylvania-dutch-red-beet-eggs/)
“Basic Red Beet Egg Recipe
There are plenty of red beet egg recipes coming out of Lancaster, each with its own special twist. Here is the basic idea behind red beet eggs. The basic ingredients to the red beet egg recipe are:
Mix your beets with 2 cups of vinegar, 1 cup of water, and 1 cup of sugar. Heat this mixture until the sugar dissolves. Pour over a dozen peeled hard-boiled eggs. Store the eggs and mixture in a glass jar and refrigerate. Some people prefer to use the juice from canned beets while others prefer to boil fresh beets. If you decide to use fresh beets- cook them until tender, skin them, and then heat again with the vinegar and sugar.
Spicing Up a Red Beet Egg Recipe
For those wanting to get creative there are infinite possibilities when it comes to red beet eggs. Here are a few ingredients to consider:
Part of the fun with red beet eggs is experimenting with your recipe to see what flavors you like best. Remember though that a little spice goes a long way, so a quarter-teaspoon of cinnamon or a half-teaspoon of mustard seed should do the trick.
Red Beet Eggs are a tasty treat that will last for weeks. They are also a colorful addition to your meal. Many people find that red beet eggs are a great way to use painted Easter eggs once Easter is over. However, they are delicious all year round.”
Postscript: Surfing the blogosphere earlier today I came across a recipe on Mamarazzi that brought back loads more memories for me: Jell-O cake. Jell-O cake, in all its flavor incarnations (and there are many) was a staple celebration dessert in our house growing up and the whole family absolutely loved it. Check out the linked recipe above and best of all, it’s written so as to be a lower calorie version of the classic. Cheers to that!
POSTpostscript: Growing up, my family always made red beet eggs with canned beets. I love the recipe above because it is one of the few out there that asks you to boil real, live beets. I promise you that using fresh beets makes for a big improvement over the canned, so don’t be daunted!
ah, behold the celery root! Sort of an ugly thing, I’d never heard of celery root until last year, when I came across a recipe on Food52 which garnered some high praise.
Blended with potato, bay infused cream and a sour green apple, you’ll have a dish that knocks mashed potatoes out of the water. Complex, aromatic and gorgeous, there are notes of sweetness and the slightest suggestion of lemon, though none is called for in the recipe. The texture is silky smooth.
Try it. Here’s the link to Food52.com and the recipe by Sonali:
Autumn Celeriac (Celery Root) Puree
- 1 medium celeriac (about 1.25 lbs), cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1 small Idaho potato (about 6 oz), cut into 1-inch pieces
- Kosher salt
- 1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored, and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 bay leaf
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Place the celeriac and potatoes in a large pot of salted, cold water. Bring to a boil. Boil for 10 minutes then add the apple. Continue to cook until all are tender, another 10-12 minutes.
- While vegetables are cooking, heat the cream, butter, and bay leaf in a small saucepan over medium heat.
- Drain the cooked vegetables and apple and return them to the hot, dry pot. Stir them over low heat for 2 minutes until they are dry. Pass ingredients through a food mill into a large bowl. Gently stir in the hot cream and butter mixture until smooth (remove the bay leaf). Alternatively, you can puree the vegetables and apple together with the cream and butter mixture in a food processor. Season puree with salt and black pepper to taste. Serve warm.
While perusing one of my favorite home cooking websites, Food52, I found a great recipe for an appetizer. Great for a party, it’s both light and healthy and quite attractive, plated. All you need to do is combine couscous with sauteed summer squash and zucchini and spoon the mixture into little cucumber cups. Sprinkle some scallions on top as a finishing touch. The original recipe by Socalsustenance is here, on Food 52.*
- 1/2 cup couscous, prepared
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup summer squash, diced
- 2 large cucumbers
- 1 tablespoon fresh scallions, chopped
- Prepare couscous as instructed, and chill in refrigerator.
- In a small saute pan, heat olive oil over medium heat.
- Saute diced squash and garlic in olive oil for 4-5 minutes, until garlic is fragrant.
- Add squash mixture to chilled prepared couscous, and season with salt and pepper.
- Return couscous mixture to refrigerator to chill for 20-25 minutes.
- Slice washed cucumbers into 3/4″ inch rounds
- Scoop out seeded center area through 2/3 of the thickness of a slice
- Heap rounded teaspoons of chilled couscous mixture atop the cucumber rounds.
- Garnish with chopped scallions, chill and serve.
*Note: I did alter the recipe to add a little heat, as I thought the mixture was a bit bland without it. A dash of crushed red pepper flakes should accomplish this, or some (very thinly) sliced chile depending on how much heat your guests can handle. I also added some fresh mint, and I think that complements the ingredients of the recipe quite well!
Saturday was a cooking day (check out the dessert, chocolate mousse!), and an excuse to try another recipe from Matte Gray, one of my very favorite food and lifestyle blogs. After the smashing success of Willie’s Crisp, I thought I’d try another berry-related recipe to capitalize on the availability of great specimens still found at the farmer’s market. This recipe is quick and good: which really amounts to shopping for a hand-full of quality ingredients (blackberry, cheese, arugula, thyme) and tossing them together. There’s not a lot of stuff competing for attention here so the tartness of the berry comes through, with the thyme adding the note of complexity. The salad is simple to prepare and the dressing (paired with the thyme) is a keeper; you’ll want to roll this one out in lots of other salad iterations.
You can find the recipe for the arugula, blackberry and gorgonzola salad here.
This weekend I turned to CooksIllustrated.com, the home of the America’s Test Kitchen recipe archive, for a great chocolate mousse. True to fashion, they delivered. The Test Kitchen tries any given recipe multiple ways with scientific precision to determine the best recipe for a given dish. While the website is wonderful, the joy of watching their television programs (look for them on your local public television station) is listening to their explanations of the process- what worked, what didn’t work and scientifically speaking, why. In the case of the chocolate mousse, the addition of two tablespoons of strong coffee enhances and deepens the flavor of the chocolate, without overpowering it. In fact, you’d probably never guess it was in there.
While L. manned the grill I had the opportunity to try two recipes I’ve had bookmarked for awhile, Tad’s Roasted Potatoes, by Amanda of Food52.com, and Sautéed Green Beans with Garlic and Herbs, by Cook’s Illustrated Magazine.
Both proved to be solid spins on traditional dishes, packed with flavor and easy to prepare, better than any preparation of either dish that I’ve ever had. Be sure to check out the links above if you want to prepare them yourself.*
*NOTE: I modified the Green Beans recipe by using white wine rather than water. This was good but you might find it strong. . . use a combination of white wine and water that sounds reasonable to you. Alternatively, you might try substituting chicken stock instead of plain water. Second, I added raw almonds together with the raw green beens, and I heartily recommend you do the same!
Last night I tried out a new recipe to complement an old one. Squash and zucchini are abundant at the farmers markets these days so I wanted to capitalize on that, and afford myself the chance to experiment in the kitchen. I went to my favorite ‘go-to’ website and found, as I always do, a fantastic way to prepare my veggies- Zucchini and Summer Squash with Chili, Mint and Toasted Almonds. Food52 never fails to deliver! Rounding out the meal I thought the brightness of this dish would shine especially well next to a savory favorite of mine, deviled salmon cakes. Last, to add some sweetness to the plate, I sautéed red onion with balsamic and sugar. The trifecta works; the colors and textures present as beautifully as they taste, and you’ll delight in the wonderful complexity of the flavors on your plate!
The recipe for the zucchini and squash dish is copied below for your convenience. Enjoy!*
Zucchini and Summer Squash, with Almonds, Chile and Mint,
by Merrill at Food52
SERVES 4 AS A SIDE DISH
1/4 cup sliced almonds
2 medium zucchini
2 medium yellow squash
1/2 very small red bird chili, seeds removed and finely sliced, or pinch red pepper flakes
2 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons sherry vinegar
3 tablespoons roughly chopped fresh mint
Toast the almonds in a pan over medium heat until golden, watching carefully, about 5 minutes. Set aside to cool.
Trim the zucchini and yellow squash and cut each one in half lengthwise, and then in half again, so you have four long quarters. Slice each quarter into 1-inch chunks. Put about 2 tablespoons of olive oil into a wide sauté pan with high sides and set over medium-high heat. When the pan starts to smoke, add the zucchini and squash and a large pinch of salt, and turn the heat up to high. Sauté the squash, tossing frequently, until it’s well-caramelized but still has a bite, about 3 minutes.
Lower the heat to medium and add the chili to the pan. Cook for another minute, tossing occasionally. Sprinkle the sugar and vinegar over the squash and toss to combine. Cook for another minute or so. Turn off the heat and stir in the mint. Taste for seasoning, adding more salt if necessary, and then fold in the almonds. Serve immediately.
A variation: cool the cooked squash and serve at room temperature, shaving some ricotta salata or parmesan over the top.
*Leftovers, if you have any left: The squash and zucchini taste great cold with a sprinkling of parmesan, as suggested in the recipe by Merrill. With that, I heated the salmon cake in the microwave and drizzled on top a dressing of miso/mustard and mayo, and put a poached egg on top, making a sort of benedict. This presentation tastes every bit as good as the first iteration, while still being different enough not to feel like ‘reheated leftovers’. . . yay!
One of my favorite ways to use up leftovers and clear out the fridge is to bake up a frittata, and the joy of it is it’s a dish that truly is greater than the sum of its parts. Of course every week yours will taste a little different, but the approach is easy enough to replicate. Preheat your oven to 400F and start raiding your fridge. I simply mix whatever I have on hand with about a cup of whisked eggs and pour it all into a 10 inch skillet (an oven-proof skillet, mind you.) As is often the case with just about anything, the frittata will be better when it includes some kind of cheese. I find that veggies with a low moisture content are best. Excess water sort of ruins the process so you should consider first roasting your peppers, and tomatoes especially, to dry them out before adding them to your whisked eggs. With everything roasted and chopped, next brown some chopped onions and crushed garlic right in the skillet, to create a flavor-full base for your egg mixture. Once the onions have browned, pour your egg and leftover mix on top; let the mixture cook somewhere around medium, undisturbed until you see some browning where the eggs contact the pan. This shouldn’t take long at all… At this point, put the whole (OVENPROOF) pan right in your preheated oven. After about ten minutes or so, your frittata should be ready. . .oven times vary so use your eyes to determine when it’s done. Don’t forget to use your oven mitt when you grab that handle to get the skillet out of the oven.
Our friend Murrey always throws a great dinner party and this past Sunday was no exception. Her entree was an amazing wild mushroom cake, served with red pepper coulis and avocado pesto.
Murrey graciously gave us a few mushroom cakes to bring home. Pictured here is the scramble I made from those cakes to which I added 4 eggs, several strips of roasted red pepper, 1 tsp crushed garlic, a little grated romano cheese and a handful of fresh basil from the garden. I paired that with a simple salad of mixed greens & shaved carrot, dressed with Bariani olive oil and a splash of balsamic vinegar.
Leftovers ain’t so bad if I do say so myself!
ahhh, the crisp. As you’ll discover, perhaps the best part about this deeply satisfying dessert is the contrast in textures, a sweet layer of molten, fruity love hidden just below a dense, caramelized, buttery surface- a surface that truly does remain gloriously. . . “crisp”.
I have L. to thank for this sharing this recipe. Not only only does my new pal L. know a heluva lot about succulents, he knows a heluva lot about food and cooking. He can write damn well, too. Check out his site here. After reading his loving descriptions of food and where to shop for it (he can tell you not merely which farmer’s market you should visit, but even which vendor will have the best example of any kind of produce), I was inspired to tackle some of his recipes. The crisp is the first one I’ve made and I have to say, I hit the ball out of the park with it. My guests were cooing in delight and so was I!
You can’t go wrong with this recipe. In all cases L. gives you a lot of useful information that you wouldn’t normally find in a recipe, such as how to modify the amount of sugar depending on the variety and relative ripeness of the cherry. Or the practical instructions on how to work with the butter and crisp topping without it pulling off with the fork. And, he describes his enjoyment of the food and why he loves it- in short, why he’s sharing it with you.
That’s foodie love.
>> UPDATE 13 July 2010
-my second crisp also turned out well! This time I used half sour cherries and the other half, equal parts blueberries, strawberries and tayberries. (If you, like me, had never heard of a tayberry, my friend L. at Matte Gray tells me “they’re a cross developed by the Scottish Crop Research Institute in about 1970. They crossed an unnamed tetraploid raspberry hybrid of theirs with an American “Aurora” blackberry, and the result was a berry so fine they named it after the River Tay.”
This recipe is inspired by another concoction I’ve been playing with for the last few weeks, asparagus soup (which is an amazing thing in its own right, and in season right now). Looking in the fridge the morning after making the soup, I had the idea to whisk the leftover drops with egg whites, to create a more colorful (and flavorful) take on “sunny side up”. I mixed approximately one part soup to two parts egg whites. Salt and pepper. Once this mixture is poured into the hot skillet, simply drop the reserved yolks on top, sizzle for a few minutes and voila!
This recipe is simple and delicious. And, not only are you giving second life to your leftovers but you get a whole new flavor experience, too. What’s not to love with a recipe like that?
This was a week FULL of my favorite things, lots of good food, drink, satisfying work and great times with friends.No less than 5 pals with birthdays this week! Shouts to Ri and P (so sorry my foot ailments prevented me from doing yoga (((( Shouts to Ra, C and A, too for their special days! I’m lucky to know such great people!
The garden continues to take shape now that the hole has been dug in the center, soon to become a tiny patio for garden table and chairs. It’s such a dramatic shift from how it’s looked for the last four years and the change is exciting! In keeping with my ‘found object’ theme, my neighbor and I are scouring the internet for used items we can ‘recycle’. Right on cue, the universe delivered a huge pile of discarded bricks down the street, just on time for me to pile in the scooter and bring home. (That took a few trips!)
I managed to do a little makeover to my art portfolio website, as well. I updated the header on the landing page, as well as the photos on the contact page. But it wasn’t merely my home page that that received some house cleaning. My apartment got a spring cleaning, too, in anticipation of visitors Sunday night. . .
The weekend was crazy busy because all the of the above had to be done in time for Sunday evening’s film club meeting. For those that don’t know, my parter and I are members of a local film club. It’s like a book club in that we see a chosen movie every month, and gather at someone’s home to discuss it. We’ve been doing this for over 5 years and the meetings are as much about reconnecting with friends and catching up as they are about the movie itself. Thank goodness everyone is fun, smart and best of all, talented in the kitchen! (The host prepares a main dish and the rest of the members round out the menu, potluck style. And the discussion is always equal to the food!)
Last night was our turn to host. The movie was Roman Polanski’s The Ghost Writer, starring Ewan McGregor and Pierce Brosnan. The group was split on this film, the point of contention being Polanski’s liberal use of particular film conventions. Some felt this as pat and cliché, and it ruined the film for them. Others thought it was an homage to a particular style of film making, reminiscent of Hitchcock. I fell in the latter camp but was happy for the disagreement; I find the club is most fun when there’s a difference of opinion! As for the food, I prepared artichoke ravioli and tossed it with broccolini, black olives, sun-dried tomatoes, lemon zest, red pepper flakes and garlic infused olive oil. Easy, pretty and delicious! I also made a pitcher of rosemary lemonade. As easy as it is to make, it always elicits lots of positive comments. I love recipes like that!
After we cleaned up, I had some freelance cartoon work to do on a super-fun short-term sketching assignment that recently came my way… and I’m very thankful for that! I’m getting great feedback so far on my work, and hope this client becomes a more regular one Here’s the recipe for that rosemary lemonade, by the way:
Fresh Lemons or one cup packaged lemon juice, in a pinch.
Sweetener - Dissolve in warm water ten spoons total of a mixture of the following such as Cane Sugar (5 spoons) / Agave Nectar (4
spoons) / Honey (1 spoon)
Rosemary – freshly cut, smashed and bruised. I wrap in paper towel and hammer with a mallet, or base of a jam jar.
Infuse whole bruised stems in the
Mix to your taste, tart or sweet, with lemons. Juice all the lemons then add the
already-mixed-sweetener a little at a time to taste. Dilute with water.
Let the juice sit for a few hours to allow the rosemary to infuse.
I’m reminded of one of the big reasons I love food so much. It’s the catalyst for bringing friends and family together, and the stage upon which so many lovely memories are made. I believe one of the highest ways we can show one other our appreciation, and affection, is by feeding them. And, breaking bread is always a great reason for a party!
Last night my partner and I joined two dear friends for dinner. As always, it was a fun excuse to try out a new recipe, and this time it was lemon posset, as found on Food52.com, by mrslarkin! This dessert was very easy to make and quite delicious, at once intensely lemony, silky and sweet. I’d been (quite generously) gifted with a heaping bag of Meyer Lemons the day before so, G-d forbid those go to waste;-)
Lemon Posset (via Food52.com)