Monday, May 25, 2009

Warm Corn Salad in Brown Butter Vinaigrette

2 ears corn, cut off cob
1 red bell - small dice
1 jalapeno - seeded, brunoise
4T butter
juice of three limes
1/2 small red onion - small dice
1/4 c finely chopped parsley
2T minced chives

Preferably the night before, but if not, then do at least 4 hours before you are serving the salad, make the pickled onions by putting the lemon juice and chopped onion in a jar in the fridge.

Brown the 4T of butter in a sauté pan over medium heat. Stop the browning by pouring the lime juice from the pickled onions into the butter. Quickly add the corn and sauté over med/low heat for around 1 minute. Add the peppers and continue for another minute. Finish with the pickled onion, parsley, and chives. S&P to taste.

Beet and Merlot Soup

Yield: 6 servings

6 med/large cooked, peeled, and chopped beets)
8 shallots, chopped
1 c merlot
1 sprig fresh thyme
3T butter
1 qt vegetable stock
1/2 c heavy cream
12 1"x1" pieces gruyere cheese
12 sourdough croutons
6 t greek yogurt, thinned with about 2 t milk

Caramelize shallots in butter. Add red wine and reduce by ½. Add beets and thyme sprig, and broth, partially cover pot, and simmer slowly for about 30 minutes, or until beets are very soft. Puree soup in a blender. Add cream and bring soup back to a simmer. Season with salt,pepper, and a touch of lemon juice if more acid is needed. (If an even smoother texture is desired, strain it through a medium-mesh strainer.)

Take your sourdough croutons and melt the gruyere on top (oven, toaster oven, microwave: your choice)

To serve, ladle soup into 6 bowls, top with a spoonful of the yogurt and two gruyere-topped croutons.

Note on the croutons: I made mine by slicing a thin Grace Bakery sourdough loaf very thin, brushing with melted butter, and toasting in the oven until light brown and crisp. These are bread slices, not the cubed kind you put in salad.

Butternut Squash au Gratin

Butternut Squash au gratin:

4 butternut squash, peeled, necks only (save the butts for soup), sliced on your mandolin 1/8" thick

6 shallots, sliced, carmelized

1 bu fresh sage, chiffonade

1 1/2 c parmesan

1 pint (you heard me) whipping cream (OK you wuss, you can sub 1/2 and 1/2)

shitloads of salt and pepper

1 c fresh breadcrumbs

1/2 c walnuts

4 T butter, melted


Heat oven to 400 F

Layer in this order: squash (overlapping), shallots, parmesan, sage, salt and pepper, drizzled cream. Repeat until you're out of ingredients. Top with foil and bake for about 1 1/2 hours or until squash is soft.

While squash is in the oven, add crumbs, walnuts, and melted butter to your food processer. Pulse until texture is consistent.

When squash is soft, remove from oven, remove foil and spread crumb topping over the top of the squash. Return to the oven for about 7 minutes or until topping is crispy and toasty brown.

This is my recollection of what I did. Hope I didn't forget anything. It was pretty awesome.

Beans and Greens Soup

This soup was unexpectedly good, especially considering I did not think about what I was doing when I made it and was on the phone leading a meeting.

1T olive oil
2 shallots, cut in half rings and caramelized in olive oil
3 large mushrooms, cut in ½" cubes, sautéed and slightly browned
2c veggie stock
¾ can cannelli (white) beans
3T minced Italian parsley
1c curly kale, cut in strips

Sautee shallots and mushrooms in olive oil until brown and squishy and caramelized
Add veggie stock and cannelli beans
Bring to an almost boil (just very hot)
Add parsley and kale, season and serve right away.

It made enough for me (but I ate a lot) and took 7 minutes.

Fred Soup

1/4 small head cauliflower (rough chopped)
1 med parsnip (peeled, chopped)
1/2 russet potato (peeled, chopped)
12 roasted pearl onions (peeled)
2 cloves roasted garlic
1 leek (white part only, washed, chopped)
1 c roasted celery root
3 1/2 c veggie stock
2 star anise stars
1T fennel seeds
1 t anise seeds
4 T slightly "off" chardonnay
1 T olive oil

Tie spices in cheese cloth (or put in a cute mesh metal tea strainer)
In 3 qt pot, saute leek, parsnip, and potato in olive oil
Add stock, roasted veggies, and spice bundle
Simmer until veggies squish under gentle pressure and potatoes fall apart (~25 min)
Remove spice bundle and puree soup in batches, seasoning with wine (or lemon juice - it's for acidity), salt, and pepper as needed.
Serve immediately

This would go well with a crouton or two...

Campanelli with saffron-infused carrot broth, scallops, and truffle oil

I adapted a recipe from the Dean and Delucca Food and Wine cook book for this dish.

This paired well with both a Viognier and a dry Sauvignon Blanc.

4 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
1 carrot, small dice
1 sm zucchini, small dice
12 scallops (vegan option: oyster mushrooms)
3 c carrot juice
2 T olive oil
healthy pinch cayenne
1/4 t cinnamon
healthy pinch saffron
a few gindings of nutmeg
4 c small pasta (such as campanelli)
1/2 c slivered almonds, toasted
parsley, minced
4 t white truffle oil
Put a pot of salted water on to boil (for the pasta).

Put a medium sauce pan over medium heat with 1T olive oil. Add sliced garlic and saute until golden. Add carrots and toss until coated in oil and a little soft, around one minute (don't let the garlic burn). Add carrot juice, nutmeg, cinnamon, and cayenne. Simmer; don't let the carrot juice boil.

Put around 1/4 c of the warm carrot juice mixture into a teacup and add the saffron to it to steep.

Add the zucchini to the carrot juice and continue to simmer.

In another pan, heat the other 1T olive oil.

Add the pasta to the boiling water.

While the pasta is boiling, season and sear the scallops (or oyster mushrooms). Set them aside on a warm plate.

Add the saffron to the carrot juice sauce and fix seasoning.

Drain the pasta and scoop one cup of pasta into each dish. Scoop around 3/4 c of the carrot sauce over the pasta, making sure to get equal amounts of veggies into each dish. Sprinkle each dish with 1/4 of the almonds. Pile three seared scallops (mushrooms) in the middle of the dish and sprinkle with parsley. Right before serving, drizzle ~1t of white truffle oil over each plate.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Oatmeal Almond Cherry White Chocolate Cookies

4 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp kosher salt
2 cups butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups firmly packed brown sugar
4 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla
2 bags (12 oz each)white chocolate chips
1 cup slivered almonds, toasted
3 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup dried cherries (unsweetened), cut into raisin-size pieces

Preheat oven to 375 F

Wisk flour, baking soda, and salt into a bowl and set aside.

In the bowl of a standing mixer, blend sugars and butter until fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, then vanilla. Mix until smooth. Add the flour in three batches, mixing until incorporated, but being careful not to overmix.

Remove bowl from standing mixer and stir in chocolate chips, almonds, cherries, and oats by hand.

Bake 8-9 minutes and cool on a rack.

If you prefer cookies with a more "bready" texture, leave the dough in the fridge overnight before baking.