July 26th, 2017
July 22nd, 2017
I have a very good friend with a large garden. She recently shared some of her bounty with me. The blackberries were plump and ripe, so I made this amazing tart with a rosemary flecked crust. There is something about the rosemary that marries well with berries.
I love making free form tarts. The rustic look appeals to me. These blackberries were juicy and full of flavor. When you use top notch ingredients you can’t go wrong.
Enjoy this Blackberry Tart on a summer evening with ice cream, preferably on a screened porch overlooking a lake. Fireflies and screen doors add to the ambience.
BLACKBERRY TART (I halved this recipe because I had only 1 pint of blackberries)
- 1 1/4 cup AP flour + extra for dusting
- 1 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
- 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, very finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons turbinado sugar + extra for dusting
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 16 tablespoons cold butter, cut into small cubes
- 1/4-1/2 cup ice cold water
- 1egg, for glazing the crust
- 2 pints fresh blackberries
- 1/4 cup turbinado sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 lemon (juice of)
- 3 tablespoons flour
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- In a kitchenaid mixer with the paddle attachment or a food processor, mix together the dry ingredients.
- Add the cubed butter, and mix or pulse until butter breaks down into pea sized pieces.
- With the machine running or pulsing, add the ice water until the dough JUST begins to come together.
- Turn the crust mixture out onto some plastic wrap, wrap it and flatten it into a disk shape. Refrigerate for about 10 minutes while you prepare the filling.
- Throw all the filling ingredients into a bowl, and mix well so that that the sugar and flour coat all the blackberries well.
- Remove the chilled crust from the fridge and unwrap it onto a silpat or piece of parchment paper large enough to cover your baking sheet. Dust it with flour, then roll the dough out until it is between 1/8″ and 1/4″ thick.
- Spoon the filling and its juices into the middle of the crust and spread it out leaving a 2″ border of crust. Fold the border of the crust over onto the filling, leaving the nice rustic edges.
- Brush the crust with eggwash and sprinkle the crust with sugar. Slide the tart onto the silpat or parchment onto a baking sheet.
- Bake for about 40 minutes until crust is nice and golden.
July 14th, 2017
I am part of a cookbook club sponsored by Food52 on Facebook. Each month we cook from a different cookbook and post our results on the Facebook page. This month’s book is David Leibovitz’s My Paris Kitchen. David is an American in Paris and his cooking style reflects his unique take on his adopted city. Here he combines the American’s love of barbecue with a French twist of making a caramel sauce. But forget the usual cream. David uses beer and bourbon.
The only thing difficult or scary about this recipe is when you add the beer to the caramelized sugar. The mixture seizes up with solid chunks of sugar. Do not worry about this as they dissolve in the oven as you cook the ribs. A slow braise in the oven turns the ribs into succulent browned beauties. I used country style ribs but I think David used baby back ribs.
Sorry about the blurry photo, but I really liked this booth at an antique mall that I visited recently; especially the Lake Rules sign.
But this is the sign that I bought recently. My entrance porch is much too shady for real flowers so I found these faux lavender bunches that look almost real. If only I could harness the scent.
Here is the recipe for the Caramel Pork Ribs. They are worth the effort.
CARAMEL PORK RIBS (David Lebovitz My Paris Kitchen)
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar, light or dark
- 3/4 cup beer
- 1/4 cup bourbon
- 3 tablespoons cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons ketchup
- 1 (1/2-inch/2cm) piece ginger, peeled and minced
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons harissa, Sriracha sauce, or another hot sauce
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 4 pounds pork ribs, cut into 3- or 4-rib portions
- Preheat the oven to 350 F.
- Spread the granulated sugar in an even layer over the bottom of a large pot with a cover, such as a roasting pan or a Dutch oven. Cook the sugar over medium heat until it starts to melt around the edges. When the liquefied sugar just starts to darken to a pale copper color, gently stir the sugar inward and continue to cook, stirring until the sugar is completely moistened. Continue to cook the sugar, stirring infrequently, until all of it is a deep copper-colored liquid, similar in color to dark maple syrup, and smoking (but not burnt). Turn off the heat and stir in the brown sugar, then add the beer. The mixture will seize and harden, which is normal.
- Let the mixture cool down a bit, then stir in the bourbon, cider vinegar, ketchup, ginger, soy sauce, harissa, mustard, and pepper. Put the ribs in the pot and turn on the heat until the sauce boils and bubbles up. Turn the ribs a few times in the liquid, cover, and roast in the oven for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, until the ribs are tender. During the roasting, remove the pot from the oven and turn the ribs over two or three times.
- Remove the lid from the pot and continue to roast, turning the ribs a few times, for 30 minutes more, or until the juices have thickened a bit. Remove the ribs from the oven, skim any visible fat from the surface of the liquid, and serve.
July 8th, 2017
We all love garlic bread. I have made many versions over the years. But I have to say that this recipe is the most amazing I have ever made. Brought to the internet by Bon Appetit, I couldn’t resist making it. It helps that my weight-conscious husband is on a motorcycle trip and I can eat anything that I want for dinner. Last night it was bread and wine with a very small helping of cole slaw and pork.
Usually a confit refers to the method of cooking duck or goose in their own fats. But in this case, whole cloves of garlic are cooked in butter until they are golden brown. the mixture is then mashed together with Parmesan cheese, oregano, lemon zest and red pepper flakes.
The mixture is spread on a sliced baguette and broiled. Be very watchful of the bread because it can burn easily. Not sure what I will do with the leftovers, but I will worry about that later. I thoroughly enjoyed my indulgence. My, oh my. This was good.
GARLIC CONFIT TOAST
head garlic, cloves peeled
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 cup grated Parmesan
2 teaspoons chopped oregano
1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
Cook garlic in butter in a small covered saucepan over medium-low heat until golden brown and very soft, 15−20 minutes. Transfer to a medium bowl; let cool.
Add Parmesan, oregano, lemon zest, and red pepper flakes to garlic and mash to a paste; season with kosher salt.
Heat broiler. Slice baguette in half lengthwise, then crosswise. Broil, cut side down, on a foil-lined baking sheet until golden brown, about 2 minutes (watch carefully). Let cool slightly, then spread cut side with garlic paste. Broil until cheese is golden and bubbling, about 2 minutes. (Mine took only 1 1/2 minutes) Slice.
June 27th, 2017
I hope everyone had a bountiful 4th of July celebration. We had our usual large family get together at the lake with lots of food and wine and fireworks. Before getting to this wonderful chicken recipe I would like to share some of the highlights of our fun.
Of course there was lots of food. Here is a typical meal prepared by many hands including our son and daughter-in-law.
Our annual wine tasting is always a hit. The wine is supplied by one of the other Davids in our family. This year he chose Malbecs for the red wine blind tasting. Known for their plump dark fruit and smoky flavor, Malbecs offer a good alternative to the more expensive Cabernet Sauvignons. The 4 top place winners were 2013 Burgess Cellars (Napa Valley), 2013 Rewen Estate (Argentina), 2013 Eighty-Four (Napa Valley) and 2014 La Bete Noire (France).
On another rainy afternoon, our blind white wine tasting involved Albariño wines. Most Albariño wines come from the Atlantic Coast of Spain. Eric Asimov describes them as consistently pleasant, refreshing and resolutely dry with a citrus flavor. Our top four were a 2016 Senorio de Sobral (Spain), 2015 Pazo Senorans (Spain), 2016 Eighty-Four (Napa Valley) and a 2015 Valminor (Spain). The Valminor is a great value at $10.77 a bottle.
Of course the kids had their own juice and soda tasting. There was no consistent winner but one total loser. That would be guava juice.
But most of the fun was in the water. We love this special holiday.
But back to this wonderful creamy pesto chicken recipe. My basil is thriving and Kristen brought me some from her garden. I used the huge bunch she brought me to make pesto. This was what we had for dinner last night after everyone had gone home. We needed something light and this recipe from the blog Diethood was perfect. You can find the recipe here.
A good side dish is always welcome on a dinner table. Sometimes it as simple as sautéed green beans. But I am trying to incorporate unusual combinations in our diet. Everyone loves corn, but how many people love swiss chard? In an effort to include it, I made this corn gratin that has all of the friendly flavors of corn with the brightness of healthy chard and nutrient rich red peppers.
We decided to have this with our Chicken instead of potatoes. A salad rounded out the meal. Three days to go on the diet marathon. David is looking forward to enjoying the 4th of July with family without restrictions. View some of our previous family get togethers.
Needless to say, he will not be sticking to a diet. We always have a blind wine tasting that involves many wine choices. (By the way, the plastic bottles on the right are for the kids juice tasting). So many funny pictures.
I don’t think any of the adults had this reaction to the fine wines that we were tasting. Maybe this year we should give the kids better choices.
But this was a very good choice for dinner tonight. Hope you give it a try. Would look pretty on your holiday table.
Happy 4th of July. Will see you next week. Enjoy!
CHARD AND SWEET CORN GRATIN ( The New York Times )
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 generous bunch (3/4 to 1 pound) Swiss or rainbow chard, stemmed and washed
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
- 2 large garlic cloves, minced
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
- Black pepper
- 3 eggs
- ½ cup milk
- 2 to 3 ounces Gruyère, grated (1/2 to 3/4 cup), to taste
- Kernels from 2 cooked ears sweet corn (1 1/2 to 2 cups)
- 1 ounce Parmesan, grated (1/4 cup)
- Heat oven to 375 degrees. Oil a 2-quart baking dish or gratin.
- Blanch chard: Bring a large pot of water to a boil while you stem and wash the chard leaves. When the water comes to a boil, salt generously and add chard leaves. (Set aside stems for another use, or discard.) Blanch 1 to 2 minutes, until tender but still bright. Transfer to a bowl of cold water, then drain thoroughly and squeeze out excess water; chop medium-fine.
- Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a medium skillet and add red pepper . Cook, stirring, until pepper is soft. Add garlic and cook 30 seconds to a minute, then stir in rosemary, thyme and chopped blanched chard. Season with salt and pepper and stir over medium heat until chard is nicely coated with oil, about 1 minute. Remove from heat.
- In a large bowl, beat together eggs, milk and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Stir in chard mixture and Gruyère. Stir in corn and mix well. Scrape into prepared baking dish. Sprinkle Parmesan over top and drizzle with remaining olive oil.
- Bake 35 to 40 minutes, until nicely browned on the top and sides. Allow to sit for at least 10 minutes before serving.