Monday, April 15, 2013

nywff part 2....swiss chard ragu with white beans and tiny shell pasta

i learned to make this fantastic vegetarian dish at the new york wine and food festival, courtesy of chef mark ladner.  if i had seen this recipe in a cookbook  i honestly never would have tried it....i have had a tiny bit of chard on a lovely plate in a restaurant but never as the main attraction of a meal.  chard is so wonderful for you and is available now...so give this recipe a try...it is so hearty and yummy...i have made it at least 6 or 7 times .....it is seriously delicious!!! chef ladner served this with home made orchiette pasta. which we also had to try and make... needless to say i am still a novice with the orchiette.....homemade orchiette is an art and unfortunately i am not an artist....i had a hard time finding boxed orchiette locally and have substituted mini shells.
rustic ragu
recipe after the jump

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

cinnamon rolls from america's test kitchen

easy cinnamon rolls
saturday morning...getting ready to bake some scones and the little one requests cinnamon rolls :)  how can you say no?  of course you can't....you go to the fridge, the freezer, the pantry and dig around....what do you have that you can make into cinnamon rolls...no frozen puff pastry....have to go full blown...find that good america's test kitchen recipe...it has been years since i made these...but they really are easy and very delicious.  at first glance it might look long and complicated but it is pretty easy just go step by step.  the recipe warns these are best warm but hold reasonably well for 2 hours...well i did also make scones...so the 3 of us could not eat all of them for breakfast....karen had one before supper and there were two for breakfast the next day and they were still good! i made just a few modifications to the recipe...i used mascarpone cheese instead of cream cheese and added lemon zest and raisins...i love the crunchy puffed raisins in cinnamon rolls.
recipe after the jump

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

apricot, cranberry, almond scones with lemon glaze

scones....i love them....i am not sure tilly ever had a scone .....they were not in our family food repertoire....i don't think i ever tried one until i tasted one of karen's at breakfast one day...(karen is irish and scones are definitely in her repertoire) ..i traveled to Ireland with karen maybe 15 years ago and ordered scones there...WOW...do they do scones!!!!!   have you ever had a scone at one of the large national coffee shop chains in the US?  they are disappointing  to say the least....they aren't buttery or rich and they are tooooo sweet...i stopped bothering.  (they do have wonderful scones at balthazar in new york city!!! ) ina garten makes lovely scones but somehow they did not say EASY to me...until one day i saw tyler florence make these  ......... seriously i did not believe my eves.....how could they be that easy...i had envisioned rolling and cutting dough with biscuit cutters and lots of other complicated steps....these are ridiculously easy.....the basic recipe is tyler florence's that i have made countless times with fresh blueberries and they are wonderful...  combing through my new cookbook stack (thanks santa), i got some inspiration from  deb perelman's smitten kitchen cook book ....she specifically mentions experimenting with scones......so i took a tried and true recipe and messed with it....i used what i had...these were awesome!
i ate one before i took this picture!
recipe after the jump

Sunday, November 25, 2012

death by chocolate pumpkin chocolate cheesecake



death by chocolate pumpkin cheesecake for thanksgiving dessert

This is from the Death by Chocolate cook book by Marcel Desaulneire.  He used to have a TV show...years ago....  My extended family moved to Williamsburg, Virginia about 15 years ago.  When I visited we always stopped for an awesome meal at Marcel's restaurant the Trellis. (sadly closed a few years ago) It was there that I bought the autographed copy of the cookbook.  Whenever I need something special that will wow the audience I pull something out of this book.   This is a double decker chocolate and pumpkin cheesecake. You make each cheesecake separately…the chocolate one is made in a spring form pan and it has the crust.  The pumpkin cheesecake…is baked in a regular cake pan without a crust then you put it on top.....and yes it is all topped off with chocolate ganache....wonderfully delicious and covers all cracked cheesecake issues....add the extra cookie crumbs on the sides to guild the lily...this is decadent and special...there are a lot of steps....none of them hard.

 recipe after the jump

Monday, October 15, 2012

nywff part 1 no knead bread and pizza dough from jim lahey

saturday morning i got up at 5 am....jumped in the car and headed to new york city to meet 3 friends and spend a wonderful day cooking and eating at the new york wine and food festival.  this year they held master classes for the first time....and...we managed to get tickets to a bread and pasta master class with jim lahey and mark ladner... it was held at the international culinary center on broadway.  i have seen the no knead bread recipe before....mark bittman wrote it up in the ny times...brit sent it to me last year....but every time i looked at it i thought...it can not possibly work.....it has to stick to the pot...it can not come out like bakery bread...well i saw jim lahey in person explain the fermentation process...he recommended to touch the dough as little as possible...i watched wide eyed as the dough slid out of the bowl like the sci fi movie the blob...and i can tell you it works like a charm....all it takes is time. 

ok, so i got up late on sunday morning...went to williams & sonoma bought a pizza stone and a peel...i stocked up on flour and set to work on the plan.  i found jim's pizza dough recipe in a recent bon appetit magazine on line and compared it back to the bread recipe.....same ingredients..so....i am thinking make a big batch of the pizza dough...split it after raising...because really, hubby and i can not eat 6 pizzas!  so here we go! recipe after the jump

Sunday, September 23, 2012

braised glazed pork shoulder and fresh corn salad from 2 mark's

mark vetri's roast pork photo from bon appetit september 2012

mark bittman's tomato basil corn salad


summer is almost gone.....usually i am packing for a  two week vacation  this time of year, but this year we went in july instead.  being in new england in september is a great opportunity to take advantage of all that is ripe off the vine....tomatoes, corn....a fun time to try new recipes.  mark bittman's what to eat right now column last week titled "shuck and awe" inspired me to do something different with my favorite vegetable....not that steaming and serving with butter and kosher salt isn't fantastic ...it totally is..but.... well why not combine it with other flavors?  the tomato and basil salad with corn is a wonderful dish.  i have made it twice in 7 days! beyond wonderful.  this is a new favorite!  for saturday late lunch i decided to try mark vetri's (september bon appetit) slow roasted glazed pork shoulder.  it is definitely a weekend project because it requires some time...not so much work at all ....just time. (and surprisingly few ingredients.....  this recipe is so delicious.....aromatic....so comforting!  i can not think of enough adjectives....( and really i don't get italian from this flavor at all....just wonderfully subtle roasted pork and the cider vinegar glaze with brown sugar is the perfect note!  prepared to be licking your sticky fingers!  actually bailey had a rough day at home smelling the fantastic aroma of the pork roasting for 5 hours while we sat on the beach! go to the link for the salad...i steamed my corn first but mr. bittman went for raw....
recipe after the jump

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

eating around the gas lamps in San Diego

woo hoo look what they have in cali!


recently i traveled with my husband to san diego...he for work...me using airline miles...to work from the hotel room and try and have a little fun in the evening.  the weather never got out of the 60's...so much for relaxing by the pool on the weekend....only thing left to do when we both finished a long day of working was to poke around and find something decent to eat.....we stayed in the gas lamp district so plenty of tourist traps to pick from...but also some lovely, friendly people and really good food choices too.....(many of the friendly people i met were transplants from florida that were also freezing in the 60 degree weather......)

Dinner at the Merk Bistro the hostess was so friendly and genuine she talked us into eating there...and the food was so yummy we came back the next nite!
pictures and reviews after the jump