Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Jumbo Lump Crabmeat with Pink Sauce
2 cups mayonnaise
1/2 cup ketchup
1/4 cup brandy
8 to 10 ounces mesclun greens
1 pound jumbo lump crabmeat, drained
100 toast points
Make the pink sauce by combining the mayonnaise, ketchup, and brandy in a small bowl and mixing well.
Arrange a bed of greens on a platter. Mound the crab on the greens and pour the pink sauce on the top.
Sunday, August 29, 2010
This recipe was handpicked by Emeril in one of his contests. It comes from Key Ingredient
2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup butter, room temp
2 eggs, room temp
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 package toffee bits
1 cup coarsely ground almonds
4 ounces milk chocolate
1/2 tablespoon vegetable oil
Preheat oven to 300. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, blend sugars together on medium speed, add butter to form a grainy paste. Add eggs and vanilla and beat at medium speed until light and fluffy. At low speed, slowly add the flour mixture and the toffee bits. Mix just until blended. No overmixing, OK?
Place ground nuts in a small bowl. Using hands roll balls of dough into 1 to 1 1/2 inch balls, then roll in the ground nuts. PLace in oven for about 22 minutes. Transfer cookies to a cooling rack.
Melt the chocolate along with the vegetable oil. Drizzle this over the cooled cookies. Place in fridge until chocolate is firmly shed.
Thursday, August 26, 2010
The French have a wonderful name for that time of the day which we call dusk or twilight. It's L'Heure Bleu and it is so much nicer than the English version for it really captures the essence of the hour and the color of the sky. It has always been my favorite time of the day, just like autumn is my favorite time of the year. I don't want to read too much into it for it can be a bit worrisome.
Wherever I am in the world at that hour, I always stop and look up at the sky. When my children were home and I was out and about, it was always my signal to start heading home. I distinctively remember being in London on business one December and rushing to grab a cab to head back before I realized it was only 4 p.m. and there was no one waiting for me at the hotel. True story and though I laughed at the time, that memory has always stayed with me.
There is something marvelous about being in the water at that time. The sunsets are spectacular and the colors...well, look for yourself although my pictures do not really do it justice. You might think we are all crazy swimming at that hour with our dogs, but remember, there are no sharks and nothing to come grab your legs, so what is there to worry about? the Loch Ness monster?
All photos by Lindaraxa
Sunday, August 22, 2010
This recipe calls for plum tomatoes, but if you have access to local farm stands, choose whichever tomatoes are at their best. If the tomatoes are large and juicy, you don't need to cook them on the stove before baking. However, be sure to sauté the garlic in olive oil to diminish its raw, pungent flavor.
I know you are probably sick of reading tomato recipes but I'm overflowing with them and I am digging up any recipe I can get my hands on. I'm sure there are a couple of you in the same boat out there so enjoy! Don't forget to make plenty of tomato sauce for the winter months ahead. You will be thankful to have some on hand in January!
For the pastry:
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
10 Tbs. (1 1/4 sticks) chilled unsalted butter,
cut into 1-inch pieces
2 Tbs. ice water, plus more as needed
For the filling:
1/3 cup plus 2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
8 plum tomatoes, halved lengthwise and seeded
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
8 oz. goat cheese (chèvre)
1 cup slivered fresh basil leaves
To make the pastry, in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the flat beater, combine the flour and salt and beat on low speed for 15 seconds. Add the butter and continue beating until the mixture resembles pea-size crumbs, 30 to 45 seconds. Add the water 1 Tbs. at a time and continue beating, adding more water as needed, until the dough comes together. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and press together to form a 5-inch disk. Wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 1 hour.
Position a rack in the lower third of an oven and preheat to 400°F.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to 1/8-inch thickness to fit a 13 3/4-by-4 1/4-inch tart pan. Press the dough into the pan and trim dough, leaving a 1/2-inch overhang around the rim. Fold in the excess dough and press it into the sides so they are thicker than the bottom. Refrigerate at least 10 minutes.
To make the filling, in a large nonstick sauté pan over medium heat, warm the 1/3 cup olive oil, add the garlic and fry, stirring occasionally, until fragrant, about 1 minute. With a slotted spoon, transfer the garlic to a plate and set aside. Season the tomatoes with salt and pepper and arrange them in the pan, sliced side down. Cook, without stirring, until the tomatoes are lightly golden underneath, 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a platter. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the goat cheese, garlic, 1/2 cup of the basil, salt and pepper until smooth and blended.
Brush the pastry with 1 Tbs. of the olive oil and spread the goat cheese mixture evenly over the bottom. Top with the tomatoes, sliced side up, drizzle with the remaining 1 Tbs. olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Bake until the crust is golden and crisp, about 1 hour. Transfer the tart to a wire rack and cool at least 10 minutes.
Remove the tart from the pan and cut the tart crosswise into slices about 3 inches wide. Garnish with the remaining 1/2 cup basil and serve immediately.
Serves 4 to 6.
Thursday, August 19, 2010
Thinking that we needed a break from tomatoes, I'm sharing this turnover recipe from Fine Cooking magazine.
The raspberries this summer are plump and juicy, better than I've seen them in the past. I've been having them with my cereal in the morning and adding them to peaches for dessert. Although the crust used in this recipe is not the easiest to work with, it is so delicious it is well worth the extra trouble. Just try not to handle it too much and stick in the fridge for a few minutes if needed.You can also substitute blueberries, so take your pick.
The only change is the oven temperature which has been reduced from 400 to 350 degrees. The higher temperature seems to burn the edges before the rest is fully baked. At 350 degrees the turnovers cook nice and evenly.
1 recipe Buttery Shortbread Pastry Dough
4 tsp. granulated sugar; more as needed
1 Tbs. all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
2 cups (8 to 10 oz.) fresh red raspberries, rinsed and air-dried or patted dry with paper towels
1 to 2 Tbs. milk
Divide the pastry in half. Pat each half into roughly a square shape about 1 inch thick, wrap each in plastic, and chill for 20 minutes.
Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment. On a lightly floured surface, using a floured rolling pin, roll out one square of the pastry into a 9x14-inch rectangle. If the dough is too sticky, dust it too with a little flour. Cut the dough into six rounds, each about 4 inches in diameter. Remove the excess dough from around the rounds and discard or save for another use. Run a metal spatula under each round to separate it from the counter.
In a large bowl, stir the 4 tsp. sugar and the flour, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Add the raspberries and gently toss to coat. Taste and add more sugar if the fruit seems tart.
Put a heaping tablespoon of raspberries (three to six berries, depending on size) in a single layer on one half of each dough round. Press gently to flatten the berries a bit. Dampen the pastry edges with a little water and carefully fold the other side of the dough over the berries to make a half moon. Press the edges of the dough together with your fingers or the tines of a fork. If any small cracks formed in the dough, pinch them together as best you can with damp fingers. Use a spatula to transfer the turnovers to the baking sheet.
Repeat this process with the remaining half of the pastry dough and the rest of the berries. When all the turnovers are assembled, refrigerate for at least 15 min. and up to 4 hours. Meanwhile, position a rack in the middle of the oven and heat the oven to 350°F. (original recipe calls for 400 degrees for 20-25 mins. but I found this browned the crust too fast and didn't cook inside)
When ready to bake, brush the tops of the turnovers (but not the edges or they will get too brown) with the milk and sprinkle with sugar. Bake until golden brown, about 30 mins. Transfer to a rack to cool. Serve warm or at room temperature.
photo: Scott Phillips
Adapted from Fine Cooking Magazine
Buttery Shortbread Pastry Dough
by Janie Hibler
This versatile dough can be used for everything from tarts to pie crust to turnovers. The dough is quite soft, but all the butter in the recipe makes it forgiving and easy to work with. When baked, the crust is very tender—almost like a shortbread cookie.
Yields enough dough for 1 single pie crust, 8 mini tarts, or 12 turnovers.
9 oz. (2 cups) bleached all purpose flour
7 oz. (14 Tbs.) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 Tbs. granulated sugar
1 Tbs. chilled heavy cream
2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
1 tsp. table salt
In a food processor, combine the flour, butter, egg, sugar, cream, lemon juice, and salt and pulse until the dough starts gathering together in big clumps, as shown below. Turn the dough out onto a counter and gather it together. Shape the dough as directed in the recipe you’re making.
Recipe adapted from Fine Cooking Magazine
Monday, August 16, 2010
Baking eggs in individual ramekins along with a little butter and cream is a classic French dish. Sometimes vegetables, such as the tomatoes here, are a bed for the eggs. Cooked spinach, chard or kale, or sautéed mushrooms or leeks would make delicious substitutions. For another variation, incorporate chopped ham into the vegetables.
2 tsp. unsalted butter, plus more for ramekins
2 or 3 tomatoes, chopped
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. freshly ground pepper
4 tsp. heavy cream
4 tsp. grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (optional)
Preheat an oven to 350°F. Generously butter four 1/2-cup ramekins.
In a bowl, stir together the tomatoes, basil, parsley, 1/2 tsp. of the salt and 1/2 tsp. of the pepper. Divide evenly among the prepared ramekins. Cut the 2 tsp. butter into small pieces and divide among the ramekins, sprinkling the pieces evenly over the tomato mixture. Break an egg into each ramekin. Season with the remaining 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/2 tsp. pepper, dividing evenly. Drizzle each egg with 1 tsp. of the cream. Arrange the ramekins on a rimmed baking sheet.
Bake until the egg whites are opaque and the yolks have firm edges and are soft in the center, about 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and sprinkle each serving with 1 tsp. of the cheese. Serve immediately. Serves 4.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Essentials of Breakfast and Brunch, by Georgeanne Brennan (Oxmoor House, 2007).
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
I don't know about you, but in this heat, even the thought of alcohol makes me perspire. I like to break the end of the work portion of my day with a cocktail and my drink of choice is vodka on the rocks with a twist, year round. Yet, the last couple of weeks not even a mojito seems to strike my fancy. Alcohol, no matter how you take it, warms you up, as in warm and fuzzy feeling! I think it's time to make a radical switch into something lighter and this spritzer is going to be my choice, at least until we get under 90 degrees!.
Although Campari is not too popular in this country, it is quite the thing in the South of Europe. A more simple way to enjoy it is with soda and lots of ice. That's good enough for me!
1/4 cup Campari
1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1 1/2 cups sparkling water (recommended: San Pelligrino)
Orange slice, halved
Place the ice cubes in a highball glass. Add the Campari, orange juice, and sparkling water. Add a slice of fresh orange and serve ice cold.
Monday, August 9, 2010
I don't want to leave you in the lurch, especially at the height of tomato season. I will post some recipes from other sources, such as the one below, that I have tried and made changes or left alone. Needless to say, I'm not taking pictures. But that is the spirit of this blog, unlike Lindaraxa's Garden. Here I mainly post recipes from other sources and most of the time include their photo.
This pie is simply delicious and great for a summer lunch. I have taken it on the boat with us but it is really best enjoyed at home. Tart tends to lose a bit of freshness, no matter how well you wrap it. If you want to take this recipe up a notch, you can caramelize the onions while prepping the other ingredients. If you do that, double the amount of onion. I don't think it really needs it, at least not the first time. I did rub a little dijon mustard on the crust, an idea from another recipe I have.
From Simply Recipes
1 9-inch pie shell
1/2 yellow or red onion, chopped
3-4 tomatoes, cut in half horizontally, squeezed to remove excess juice, roughly chopped, to yield approximately 3 cups chopped tomatoes
1/4 cup sliced basil (about 8 leaves)*
2 cups grated cheese (combination of sharp cheddar and Monterey Jack, or Gruyere or Mozarella)
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon (or more to taste) of Frank's Hot Sauce (or Tabasco)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
*To slice basil, chiffonade them by stacking the leaves on top of each other, roll them up like a cigar, starting at one end slice the "cigar" crosswise in thin slices.
1 Preheat oven to 350°F. Place pie shell in oven and cook for 8-10 minutes or longer until lightly golden. If you are starting with a frozen crust, you'll need to cook it a little longer. If you are using a homemade crust, freeze the crust first, then line the crust with aluminum foil and pre-bake it for 20 minutes, then remove the foil and bake an additional 10 minutes.
2 Squeeze as much moisture as you can out of the chopped tomatoes, using either paper towels, a clean dish towel, or a potato ricer.
3 Sprinkle the bottom of the pre-cooked pie shell with chopped onion. Spread the chopped tomatoes over the onions. Sprinkle the sliced basil over the tomatoes.
4 In a medium bowl, mix together the grated cheese, mayonnaise, Tabasco, a sprinkling of salt and freshly ground black pepper. The mixture should be the consistency of a gooey snow ball. Spread the cheese mixture over the tomatoes.
5 Place in oven and bake until browned and bubbly, anywhere from 25 to 45 minutes.
Photo Credit Simply Recipes
Saturday, August 7, 2010
Yep, but not me...my daughter in law! Which means I will be busy enjoying my new grandson who is coming next Sunday, August 15. What that means, darling subscribers, is that I will be posting sporadically, if at all, during the month of August. Come on over to Lindaraxa's Garden for the time being where things will be slow but where I will be posting at least once a week.
I apologize to my new subscribers but I sincerely don't think, at this time, I can maintain the two blogs. I'll let you know when I'm back in the Fall. Promise! In the meantime, if we go on any fun excursions, I will sure share them with you.
Monday, August 2, 2010
I couldn't believe how easy these were to make and how great they tasted. Just be careful your grill is not too hot or they will burn. If you are cooking them with a steak, I would wait until they are off the grill and resting before I put them on. They only take 10 minutes!
1 pound potatoes, preferably fingerling, cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch-thick slices (I used baby new red potatoes)
2 cups white vinegar
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt, plus more for sprinkling
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
Bring potatoes and vinegar to a boil in a medium saucepan (vinegar should cover potatoes). Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer potatoes until just fork tender, about 5 minutes. Let potatoes cool in vinegar for 30 minutes. Drain well, and gently toss with oil, salt, and pepper.
Preheat grill to medium-high. Grill potatoes in a single layer until browned on both sides and cooked through, about 5 minutes per side. Sprinkle with salt before serving.
Yield: 4 servings
Recipe from Martha Stewart Living, June 2009