Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Didem's Cranberry Sauce

4 cups fresh cranberries
1.5 c. water
0.5 c. orange juice
2 c. sugar

1 tsp. ginger
0.5 tsp. cinnamon
2 tbsp. orange zest

I boiled water, juice, ginger, cinnamon and sugar
(stir them occasionally), after boiling I turned down
the heat a little and leave it boiling for 5 minutes,
stirring occasionally. Add cranberries, lower heat to
medium. stir and continue boiling (and stirring occ.)
for 5 more minutes, until cranberries pop. I added the
orange zest the last when the pan was still hot (but
did not cook them). Put them in a bowl and refrigerate
until chilled.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Cranberry Buttermilk Loaf

2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp cardamom
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup buttermilk
2 tbsp melted butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg
1 cup fresh cranberries, very coarsely chopped

Preheat oven to 375F. Lightly grease an 8x4 inch loaf pan.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices.
In a large bowl, thoroughly whisk together sugars, buttermilk, melted butter, vanilla extract and the egg. Add the flour in gradually, adding the cranberries with the last addition. The batter will be thick.
Spoon batter into prepared pan and smooth it with a spatula or knife.
Bake for 45-50 minutes, until a tester comes out clean.
Makes 1 loaf.
Bearnese Sauce

1/3 cup white tarragon vinegar (plus 2 more tablespoons if you are using fresh tarragon)
1/3 cup dry white wine
4 crushed peppercorns
1 heaping tablespoon very finely chopped shallots
2 heaping tablespoons finely chopped leaves of chervil or parsley
6 sprigs fresh or 4 sprigs bottled tarragon (with 2 tablespoons liquid from bottle)
Ingredients for 1 recipe Hollandaise, omitting lemon juice or vinegar

Combine in a small heavy saucepan vinegar, wine, peppercorns, shallots, chevril or parsley, and tarragon with liquid or the extra tarragon vinegar. (Reserve the leaves from half of the stalks and put aside.) Cook over high heat until reduced to 1/3 cup or less. Strain through very fine sieve or cloth. Make Hollandaise Sauce using strained liquid instead of lemon juice or vinegar. Very finely chop and add remaining chevril or parsley and remaining tarragon.
Hollandaise Sauce

3 egg yolks
1 tablespoon cream
1 cup (1/2 pound) melted butter, cooled to room temperature
1 tablespoon lemon juice or white wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
Dash of cayenne pepper

Use a small, thick ceramic bowl set in a heavy-bottomed pan, or a heavyweight double boiler. Off the heat, put the egg yolks and cream in the bowl or upper section of the double boiler and stir with a wire whisk until well-blended — the mixture should never be beaten but stirred, evenly, vigorously and continually. Place the container over hot water (if you are setting the bowl in water, there should be about 1 1/2 inches of water in the pan; in a double boiler, the water should not touch the top section). Stirring eggs continuously, bring the water slowly to a simmer. Do not let it boil. Stir, incorporating the entire mixture so there is no film at the bottom. When the eggs have thickened to consistancy of very heavy cream, begin to add the cooled melted butter with one hand, stirring vigorously with the other. Pour extremely slowly so that each addition is blended into the egg mixture before more is added. When all the butter has been added, add the lemon juice or vinegar a drop at a time and immediately remove from heat. Add salt and a mere dash of cayenne.
Grandma’s Snickerdoodles

Mix together thoroughly:
1 cup soft shortening (I used butter)
1 ½ cups sugar
2 eggs
Sift together and stir in:
2 ¾ cups flour
2 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp soda
½ tsp salt

Chill dough. Roll into walnut sized balls

Roll in mixture of:
2 tbs sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
Bake 8-10 minutes in 400 degree oven until lightly browned, but still soft. Makes about 5 dozen.

Grandma’s Pecan Pie

3 eggs
1 cup dark corn syrup
1 cup sugar
2 tbs melted butter
1 tsp vanilla
½ tsp salt
1 cup pecans
1 9” pastry shell

Beat eggs slightly, mix in corn syrup, sugar, butter, vanilla and salt. Add nuts. Pour into unbaked pie shell. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes, then at 350 for 30-35 minutes. Fillings should be slightly less set in the center than around the edges.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Gnocchi Alla Romano

3 cups whole milk
3/4 cup semolina (sometimes labeled "semolina flour"; resembles fine yellow cornmeal)
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
3 oz finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (3/4 cup)
1 large egg

Whisk together milk, semolina, and 1 teaspoon salt in a 2-quart heavy saucepan and bring to a boil over moderate heat, whisking. Simmer, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until very stiff, 5 to 8 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in 2 tablespoons butter and 3/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano. Beat in egg.

Spread gnocchi mixture 1/2 inch thick on an oiled baking sheet and chill, uncovered, until very firm, about 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 425°F.

Cut out rounds from gnocchi mixture with a 2-inch round cookie cutter (push scraps into remaining mixture as you go) and arrange, slightly overlapping, in a well-buttered 13- by 9-inch baking dish. Make a small second layer in center of dish with any remaining rounds. Brush gnocchi with remaining 1/4 cup melted butter and sprinkle with remaining 3/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano.

Bake in middle of oven until gnocchi are beginning to brown, 15 to 20 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

Makes 6 first-course servings.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Almond Toffee

1 1/2 cups sliced almonds, divided use
2 sticks butter (I use salted) -- 1/2 pound
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup warm water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
8 ounces good quality dark or milk chocolate, chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spread 1/2 cup of the almonds on a non-stick cookie sheet and bake for 6-8 minutes or until toasted and aromatic. Set aside.

Line a 13x9 inch pan with parchment paper and set next to stove.

Place butter in a heavy, medium sized (3 qt or larger) saucepan and melt over medium heat. When butter is mostly melted, stir in sugar, warm water and salt. Set a deep fry thermometer in pan, being careful that bulb is not touching bottom of pan. Cook mixture over medium heat, stirring once in a while (once or twice around), until it reaches 240 degrees F.

At 240 degrees, add the remaining 1 cup sliced almonds to sugar mixture. After adding almonds, stir constantly, keeping heat at medium, until mixture reaches 295 degrees F. If temperature is not rising at a slow and steady rate, raise heat a tiny bit until mercury starts rising. When mixture reaches 295 degrees F, immediately remove from heat and stir in baking soda. Pour into parchment lined pan. The mixture should be kind of a liquid blob at hit point and if you are on track, the pan will be clean when you dump the blog onto the parchment. Mixture will begin to firm, and butter may pool and separate, Do not pour off any excess butter. Do not panic, because if you cooked the toffee to 295, your candy should set. Sometimes it just takes longer.

Scatter chopped chocolate across top of hot almond mixture and let chocolate melt into and over the candy as candy firms. Using back of a spoon, spread melted chocolate evenly over candy. Crush your toasted almonds and sprinkle over melted chocolate. Let candy cool for 1/2 hour at room temperature. Transfer to refrigerator and chill for about 1 hour to firm chocolate.

When chocolate is set is set, lift candy from pan by grasping parchment. Break candy into large chunks.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006


10 ounces bittersweet chocolate, broken into chunks
6 ounces unsweetened chocolate
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1 1/4 tsp. salt
1 1/4 tsp. baking soda
2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 2/3 cups brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
2 tsp. espresso powder
10 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
OPTIONAL: Chocolate nonpareils, dulce de leche or white Herhsey’s Kisses

Place bittersweet and unsweetened chocolate in a microwave safe bowl. Melt chocolate in microwave for 1 ½ minutes, stopping every 30 seconds to stir and distribute heat. Use high setting. Set aside and let cool slightly.

In a small bowl, thoroughly stir together flour, cocoa powder, salt and baking soda. Set aside.

Using an electric mixer on medium speed, cream butter and brown sugar. Beat in eggs one at a time, scraping down sides of bowl. Add vanilla, espresso powder and melted chocolate, mixing until evenly incorporated. Reduce mixer speed to low and add flour mixture. Stir in chocolate chips. Cover bowl and refrigerate until dough is firm. (** This did not work for me, the dough fell apart)

Preheat over to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment. Drop dough by tablespoonful onto the baking sheets. Bake 9 minutes, or until they appear set. Let sit on baking sheets for 5 minutes. Remove to wire racks and cool completely.

OPTION: If using chocolate nonpareils, press one pointy-side down into each cookie as son as you remove them from the oven.

*I bake for 10 minutes.

Cookie Madness 2006

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Creamy Scrambles Eggs

1 Tablespoon butter
4 eggs, preferably free-range organic
1 Tablespoon milk or cream
2 teaspoons truffle oil, a couple pinches of truffle salt or garam masala (whatever spice or herb you like with eggs is fine)

Break the eggs into a bowl, add the milk and beat with a whisk until combined. Heat a non-stick or omelet pan over low heat. Add the butter to the pan and when melted add the eggs. Cook the eggs very slowly; stirring constantly until almost, but not completely cooked through, this will take about 10 minutes. Top scrambled eggs and sprinkle with truffle salt, truffle oil or garam masala.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Orange Pecan French Toast

1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup butter, melted
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/3 cup chopped toasted pecans
12 (3/4 inch thick) slices French bread (we used a baguette)
1 teaspoon grated orange zest
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
1/2 cup whole milk
3 tablespoons white sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 egg whites
2 eggs
1 tablespoon confectioners' sugar for dusting

In a small bowl, stir together the brown sugar, melted butter, and corn syrup. Pour into a greased 9x13 inch baking dish, and spread evenly. Sprinkle pecans over the sugar mixture.
Arrange the bread slices in the bottom of the dish so they are in a snug single layer.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the orange zest, orange juice, milk, sugar, cinnamon, vanilla, egg whites, and eggs. Pour this mixture over the bread, pressing on the bread slices to help absorb the liquid. Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour, or overnight.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C ). Remove the cover from the baking dish and let stand for 20 minutes at room temperature. Bake for 35 minutes in the preheated oven, until golden brown.