Friday June 18, 2010
Ahhhhh...it's friday and thoughts of the weekend are beginning to seep into my psyche. Will there be enough hours to finally weed and plant my vegetable garden, get in some much needed exercise and plan a father's day celebration for Jim with his three kids. My Dad, however, will get all my love and well wishes delivered to him through the airwaves and, of course, the phone!! His gift from me was the trip to Shelburne Farms, VT for the cheesemaking extravaganza we attended last weekend.
So what will I be concocting? Well, it's garlic scape and strawberry season so it would be fitting have both items on the menu. As for the main course, I am thinking barbecue ribs....I'll be attempting something out of Jason Day and Aaron Chronister's book, BBQ Makes Everything Taste Better .
Here's a great recipe that I tore out of the New York Times a couple of years ago for
White Bean and Garlic Scape Dip:
3-4 garlic scapes (but I use twice as many!!)
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 can cannelini beans, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup olive oil
ground pepper to taste
I like adding a few drops of tabasco!!
Add sliced scapes, salt, pepper and lemon juice in a food processor and process until finely chopped, then add cannelini beans and process to a rough puree. With motor running drizzle in the olive oil. (The recipe calls for some water but I leave it out. It suggests 2-3 Tbsp to make the mixture the consistency of a dip. I like more of a spread!)
And, for the strawberries - how about some ice cream. You'll need and ice cream maker. (I have a cuisinart and don't forget to put the ice cream bowl in the freezer for 12 hours or so.)
Strawberry Ice Cream:
1-2 pints of strawberries, stemmed and sliced
3 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 cup sugar - I use organic
1 cup whole milk
2 cups heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
Combine strawberries, 1/3 cup sugar and lemon juice and let "macerate
" for 2 hours. Mix milk and 2/3 cup sugar with a hand blender until dissolved and add with the vanilla and heavy cream and liquid from macerated strawberries into the ice cream freezer bowl and turn on ice cream maker and churn for 25 minutes. Then add strawberries for 5 more minutes, place in freezer-safe container and let set up in freezer for an hour or so or eat immediately for a soft-serve consistency.
Friday June 11, 2010
How are you today?
Well, not quite. More like chevre and cheddar!
This weekend I am attending a cheese making workshop at Shelburne Farm in Vermont. http://www.shelburnefarms.org/index.htm
This morning we were carted to the sheep, cow and market barns by 2 draft horses named Hercules and Jaguar. Our tour guide is Marshall Webb - who grew up on this amazing 1400 acre farm. Our cheesemaker is Nat Bacon (too bad it's not Nat Cheese..haha). Later, I"ll share some video and more photos so you can get a taste of the cheese making process. Happy Friday, everyone!
Friday June 04, 2010
Heirloom Meals is catering the Close Encounters with Music patron's reception at the Taggart House in Stockbridge this Saturday and all hands are on deck to help out in the Boulderwood kitchen! In the interest of keeping everyone's imaginations and taste buds happy, we want to share with you our menu for the evening along with some photographs of the Murko gals in action. Carole's mother, Jo, has come up for the weekend to act as our saporous ship's ballast among this sea of cookbooks, recipes, appliances and spatters. Thank you, Jo!
It is our second year hosting the event so some of the recipes are requested repeats and others are delicious newcomers that we hope the guests will enjoy but also inspire our readers to consider as summer hors d'oeuvres for their own gettogethers.
THE Menu (You'll notice that we LOVE our sauces but even though we LOVE Seinfeld too, please no double-dippin'!)
Passsed Hors d'Oeuvres:
Chicken Satay with peanut dipping sauce
Grilled Salmon Skewers with garlic soy dipping sauce
Phyllo Triangles with roasted red peppers and goat cheese
Dilled Gravlax with Mustard Sauce on Pumpernickel
Miniature Asparagus Risotto Cakes
Camembert Walnut Pastries
Miniature Oriental Chicken Salad Tartlets
Skewered Ravioli filled with Mushrooms with lemon dipping sauce
Stationary Hors d'Oeuvres:
Crudite with Tarragon-chive dipping sauce
Asparagus with Wasabi dipping sauce
Endives with Smoked Salmon Mousse
Wedges of assorted Vegetable Frittatas
Mini Orange Muffins with Smoked Turkey
Lahvash Pizza with caramelized onions and goat cheese
Assorted nuts (sweet and savory)
The No-Party-Is-Complete-Without-It Cheese Board with slices of apples and grapes
Crackers and Breads
Lemon cake and assorted cookies and brownies
Dulce De Leche Cheesecakes
If you are curious about any of the recipes let us know and we can send them your way!
We would like to think that Uni the guinea hen pecks at the door for a chance to taste some goodies but it's more like our ankles!
Saturday May 15, 2010
A few weeks ago I had Tony Simotes share his culinary history with me on my radio show. Shortly therafter we found out that Tony has throat cancer (with a very good prognosis). He is undergoing treatment and I asked if I could make them (he and his wife, Lucy) some food and he asked me if I could try and make his Mom's avgolemono soup.
So this soup's for Tony!!!
1 whole organic chicken
Enough water to completely cover the chicken
3-4 stalks celery, cut into quarters
Juice of 3 lemons
2 cups of cooked rice
salt and pepper to taste
Clean and place chicken in soup pot and cover with water. Add celery and onion. Heat over medium heat to a boil and then simmer for about an hour until chicken is cooked. While chicken is cooking, occasionally skim off the scum.
Once the chicken is cooked, remove from water and let cool. Meanwhile, separate your egg whites from yolks. Whip the egg whites until soft peaks form and then blend in the egg yolks and juice of 3 lemons. Then add about a cup of the warm chicken broth to the egg and lemon mixture to acclimate and then add to chicken broth along with the rice and the chicken which you have taken off the bones and chopped into bite-sized pieces. Add salt and pepper to taste and Enjoy!!
GET WELL SOON TONY!! xxoo
Sunday January 31, 2010
When Matt Finnerty, my step son, found jars of Nutella in the pantry he immediately asked me if I knew how to make crepes. And I answered with a sly smile, "But of course!!"
"Well, okay," he said, "so let's make them." Such exuberance cannot be resisted. And I love the fact that a 14-year old has developed a taste for crepes with Nutella spread on them. He had them when he was in France with his Mom and 2 sisters and hadn't seen Nutella since then. Just the very sight of Nutella brought his memories of a big fat french guy making large fluffy crepes with Nutella. He said they were, "the best!!" Matt wanted to get right down to making them ASAP. What I had to explain is that crepe batter must be made ahead - it needs to sit for a few hours so the flavors meld and the flour hydrates.
We made the batter on Saturday afternoon. We made the crepes on Sunday after a vigorous snow shoe outing - so we earned them!!
Crepe recipes are actually quite easy. Flour, water, melted butter, milk, sugar...
Here's the recipe:
1 cup flour
2 Tbsp sugar
1/4 cup skim milk
1/4 cup half and half
3 large eggs
2 Tbsp melted butter
lemon zest from one lemon
Blend all ingredients. Store covered overnight.
Using a well-seasoned crepe pan or non-stick 5-6" frying pan, heat on low-medium flame, brush pan with canola oil or melted butter. (I usually do a tester before I really get started to make sure pan it hot enough etc.) Then ladle the batter into the pan and swirl it so it spreads into the entire surface. Cook until the edges start browning and top seems dry. I use a fork but a spatula would do the trick as well to loosen the edges. Then flip the crepe and let it cook for a few seconds. (I find this is a feel sort-of-thing - you just can tell when it's ready!!)
Matt took each crepe as it came out of the pan and spread Nutella on it. He ate several on the spot and took the rest back with him to his Mother's house to delight in at a later time.
I don't know about you but there is NOTHING more satisfying than making food that makes people happy!! Thank you Matt!!
Sunday January 24, 2010
I realize that sometimes the obvious is not so obvious. And for me, it is very obvious to keep certain items on hand at all times in my kitchen so I can whip up breakfast, lunch or dinner. I also have a very organized mind when it comes to cooking and menu planning. While I do enjoy grocery shopping, I know it is chore for some. So I thought I'd share some of my thoughts on weekly menu planning and then provide a list of items to keep in your larder.
I generally do my shopping on Saturday morning. The first thing I do is look in my pantry, fridge, and spice cabinets for items that I am "out" of that I need to replenish. Then I think about meals for the next 6-7 days. What did we eat last week? Will I be traveling this week and need to make extra so there are plenty of leftovers for Jim? I like to eat a balance of meat, poultry, fish, pork and lamb with leafy greens and vegetables. I decide that we'll eat lamb, shrimp and chicken this week. Then I think about how I might want to prepare them. Right now it's winter and I love to make stews and braises. Lamb works up nicely in a stew. Shrimp would be perfect cooked in a risotto and chicken breasts can be done several ways but I know I don't need to decide. If you can tell, these three meats will probably provide six nights of dinner. My shopping list has the three meats, any vegetables that accompany the main meals - for the lamb stew - potatoes and green salad; for the risotto, broccoli or spinach; for the chicken, a green vegetable or two, some root vegetables etc. To then re-invent the left-overs, I would make polenta with the lamb stew night two; I might add some asparagus to the risotto for night two; and with the chicken, I might turn it into a stir-fry - onions, garlic, peppers, diced chicken and rice. My shopping list grows out of my menu. But I don't need to buy everything because I already have many of the building blocks.
Here's the list of must-haves for every organized cook:
Salt ( regular, kosher and sea salts)
Pepper (ground and pepper corns)
Cinnamon (ground and sticks)
Crushed Red Pepper
Coriander (ground and seeds)
Paprika (smoked, spicy, plain)
Vanilla (extract and beans)
Cloves (ground and whole)
Sugars ( granulated, light and dark brown)
Rice (white, brown, risotto)
Canned Beans (chick peas, cannellini, red kidney)
Lentils and Split Peas
Chicken Broth and Bullion Cubes
Vinegars ( red wine, cider, rice wine, tarragon, champagne)
Oils (olive, canola, sesame)
Shortening (I found some non-transfat organic)
Bittersweet Chocolate bars
Potatoes (russett and sweet)
Coffee (beans and instant)
Half and Half
Butter - sweet
Plain non-fat yogurt
Cheese - parm, romano, mozzarella, goat, cheddar, ricotta
Organic Frozen Spinach, Corn and Broccoli
Nuts (walnuts, almonds, pecans)
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