Thursday, March 8, 2012

Beet Marmalade

We used this yummy preserve on our hors d'oeuvres at the Wedding Crashers show last Sunday.

Beet Marmalade
  • 1 pound of red beets, peeled and diced
  • 1 pound of organic naval oranges, washed, quartered and de-seeded
  • 1/2 pound granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup lime juice
  • Additional lime juice, salt and/or sugar to taste
  • Prepare all the ingredients as listed above.
  1. Pulse the beets in a food processor until they have a fine, uniform texture.
  2. Then, do the same with the oranges (leave the rind on).
  3. Combine all the ingredients in a pot and add 1 cup of filtered water.
  4. Simmer the marmalade on low heat until the water is absorbed, the beets are tender and the zest of the orange has lost some of it's bite (about 30-40 minutes).  If the beets and oranges aren't fully cooked when the water evaporates, you can add a little extra water.
  5. When your marmalade has reached a thick consistency, taste it and add lime juice, salt and/or sugar if needed.
  6. Enjoy!  This marmalade is great on roast beef sandwiches, with lox and cream cheese, on top of deviled eggs, or with soft-ripened goat cheese....

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Holiday Eggnog Delux

Seriously, the best ever....

6 eggs, separated
3/4 cup sugar
2 TBS Betty Brooklyn vanilla bourbon (or use just 1 tsp of reg. vanilla extract)
1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
3/4 cup brandy
1/4 cup rum
3 cups whipping cream
2 cups milk
1/4 cup sugar
more freshly grated nutmeg for garnish

- Beat the egg yolk until it is thick and lemon colored.
- Gradually add 3/4 cup sugar, vanilla, and 1/4 tsp nutmeg while beating constantly.
- Fold in the brandy and rum.
- Cover and chill for 8 hours.
- Place mixture in a punch bowl and fold in the cream and milk.
- Then, Beat the egg whites until soft peaks form.  Add 1/4 cup sugar and gradually bean until stiff peaks.
- Fold whites into yolk mixture and garnish with the additional nutmeg.

- Finally, taste it, determine that it definitely needs more booze, mix it in, ruin the souffle, whatever, who cares!  It's the holidays!  Live it up!!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Apple Maple Pecan Bundt Cake

What a delicious, moist cake!  A perfect celebration of the onset of fall.  Enjoy this cake with a hot cup of mulled cider or spice tea or with a vanilla hot toddy made with my own, handmade Vanilla Bourbon!

3/4 cup brown sugar
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 eggs
3/4 cup dark maple syrup
1 TBS Betty Brooklyn Vanilla Bourbon (email me or comment on this post to get some!)
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground Indian cinnamon
1/8 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
3-5 apples - peeled, cored and shredded
1 cup pecans 
-Preheat the oven to 325F.
-Thoroughly grease and flour a 9" bundt pan.
-Beat the sugar and oil together until they are well combined.
-Then, add the eggs and beat the mixture until it becomes light and foamy.
-Stir in the maple syrup and vanilla bourbon.
-In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg.
-Fold the flour mixture into the moist ingredients gently.  Then, add the apples and nuts and fold everything together until just combined.
-Bake for about 1 hour or until a toothpick comes out clean.
-Cool completely and invert the cake onto a plate.
-To serve, dust with powdered sugar.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Delicious Oat Bread

This bread is so healthy and delicious.  Soft, fragrant and fluffy it makes yummy rolls and delicious loaves.  It also can make an incredible, healthy alternative to traditional challah.

1 TBS dry yeast
2 TBS Turbinado sugar
1 2/3 cups warm water
2 1/4 cups white bread flour
2 cups whole wheat flour
2 tsp salt
2 TBS safflower oil
2 TBS oat bran
2 eggs

-Combine the yeast sugar and water in a bowl and allow the yeast to dissolve and activate for 10 minutes.
-Mix in the white flour and rest for 10 minutes.
-Then, add the whole wheat flour and rest for another 10 minutes.
-Then, add all the additional ingredients.
-Form the dough into a ball and place in a lightly oiled bowl.
-Cover it and allow it to rise for 1 hour or until it doubles.
-Shape the dough into rolls or loaves or braid it into challah.
-Cover it again and allow it to rise for another hour or until it has doubled.
-Bake the bread at 400F or until it is golden brown on top and bottom.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

My Favorite Hamantaschen Recipe

It's that time of year again.  The time to celebrate biblical superwoman, Esther and eat up lots of evil King Haman's hats or Hamantaschen.  There is no sweeter way to celebrate women's history month!!

This is my favorite recipe for this delectable treat.  The dough is much softer and tenderer than the traditional NY deli version.  I make them just the right size to be eaten in 3 bites (one for each corner).  For the filling, use your favorite thick jam or make your own.

These also are perfect to send to your friends celebrating the Jewish tradition of Mishloach Manos or Purim gift baskets full of treats traditionally sent to friends this time of year.

1/2 cup butter (or pareve butter)
1 cup sugar
2 TBS milk (or coconut water)
1 egg
1 tsp almond extract
pinch salt
2 cups all purpose flour

-Cream the butter and sugar together (it is easiest to do this well using an electric mixer).
-Then, add the milk, egg, almond extract and salt.
-Then add the flour, mixing just until combined.
-If the dough is too stiff or dry add a little extra milk.
-Wrap the dough in plastic and refrigerate it for 1 hour.
-On a lightly floured counter, roll out the dough very thin (about 1/8 of an inch).
-Cut out 3 inch rings using a biscuit cutter or the rim of a glass.
-Transfer the cookies to a sheet pan and place a heaping teaspoon of filling on each one.
-Fold them into 3 corner shapes and bake them at 350F for 10-12 minutes.
-Enjoy!  I enjoy them best warm right out of the oven.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Easy Country Pate and Duck Prociutto

Living in a two person household where one of those persons is a vegan (not me) I rarely have the opportunity to dabble in the art of charcuterie for my own personal benefit.  However, I'm happy to say that many of my clients adore cured meats of all kinds and keep me busy emptying boxes of kosher salt.

I want to share these simple recipes with you that can easily be made in a home kitchen with limited time spent waiting for results.  Both are delicious and will impress your most carnivorous connoisseur.  Conveniently, neither recipe requires any special equipment!

Country Pate

1/4 cup unsalted butter
1 cup sliced shallots
3/4 cup sherry
 2 1/2 pounds ground pork
12 ounces bacon (thick slices), cut in cubes
3 garlic cloves, pressed
2 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 bunch parsley, chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons allspice, ground
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/3 cup heavy cream
1 6-ounce piece ham steak, cut into cubes
Dijon mustard
-Melt butter in a saute pan and, when it begins to foam, add the sliced shallots.  
-Sautee them on medium heat until they become transparent.
-Then, add the sherry and reduce the liquid until it is dry.
-Cool the mixture.
-In a large bowl, combine the ground pork, with the sauteed shallots, bacon, pressed garlic, salt, chopped parsley, alspice, black pepper, eggs, heavy cream and ham.  Use clean hands to lightly mix everything together until its well blended.
-Fill two loaf pans with the mixture and press it down into the pans evenly.
-Cover the pans with foil.   Place pans inside a larger baking pan and transfer to oven set to 350F. 
-Pour boiling water into baking pan to come halfway up sides of loaf pan (this is called a bain marie). -Bake pâté until a thermometer inserted through foil into center registers 155°F, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
-Remove loaf pan from baking pan and transfer to a rimmed baking sheet. Place heavy skillet or 2 to 3 heavy cans on top of the pâté to weigh it down and chill overnight. 
-To serve it, place the loaf pan with pâté in larger pan or sink of hot water for about 3 minutes. Invert pâté onto platter; discard fat from platter and wipe clean. Cut pâté crosswise into slices. 
-Eat pâté with lots of cornichons and dijon mustard.  I love it on grilled sourdough bread!

Duck Prociutto

1 Duck breast
2 cups salt
2 tsp juniper berries
4 sprigs of thyme
2 tsp lightly crushed black pepper

-Mix the salt, juniper berries, thyme and black pepper
-Nestle the duck breast with the salt all around.  If you have a pan that just fits the duck breast (like a loaf pan) use that.  If not, you can wrap the duck breast and salt in plastic wrap tightly.
-Let the duck sit in the salt for 24 hours.
-After 24 hours, rinse the salt off the duck and pat dry with a paper towel.  The duck breast should be firmer and darker.
-Wrap the duck in cheese cloth (you can also use a nylon stocking bag) and hang it by a string in a cool humid place (best if it is 50-60F with a slight draft).
-Dry the duck for about 7 days.  The duck should be stiff - not completely dry and not squishy.
-Slice thinly on the bias.
-You can make a canape with orange and fennel marmelade or serve as simple charcuterie with homemade sauerkraut, whole grain mustard and fresh bread.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

A Lesson on Artisan Bread from My Friend Doug

So, recently, I had the privilege to take a break from teaching cooking classes and take a class of my own on a subject that has always captured my interest: BREAD.  There is nothing more comforting or nurturing than a fresh loaf of bread, but a true artisan loaf leavened with 100% natural starter is something not easily tamed in the home kitchen.

For help with my quest for the perfect boule, I went to my friend Doug.  You may already know him.  He owns Luminous Kitchens, a local business that makes delicious "Bum Bars" and hand-brewed Kombucha.  Whatdayaknow, the same guy makes some really genius bread, right here in BK and right in his home kitchen.  Luckily for you, he is starting to teach private lessons, so you can learn how to make incredible bread right in your very own home.  Email him to arrange your first class.

Doug showed me a few easy steps to:

- Equip a home kitchen with basic tools for artisan bread baking
- Keep a healthy natural starter
- Mix and proof dough
- Improve a home oven to make a better, crusty loaf of bread
- Best utilize extra sourdough starter

As with all baking, formulas and recipes are always key, but as Doug has taught me, much of the nuance of bread making depends on feel.  You really have to see it done right at least once to get an idea of how artisan bread baking really works.

Here's Doug's formula for a basic country white loaf taken (and adapted) from his tome of choice, Breads from the La Brea Bakery by Nancy Silverton.

12 oz. super active white flour starter
2 pounds plus 2 oz. white bread flour
1 pound 2 oz. water (adjusted to achieve proper consistency)
4 1/2 tsp salt