Sunday, October 26, 2008


  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted

  1. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour and the eggs. Gradually add in the milk and water, stirring to combine. Add the salt and butter; beat until smooth.
  2. Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium high heat. Pour or scoop the batter onto the griddle, using approximately 1/4 cup for each crepe. Tilt the pan with a circular motion so that the batter coats the surface evenly.
  3. Cook the crepe for about 2 minutes, until the bottom is light brown. Loosen with a spatula, turn and cook the other side. Serve hot.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Basque Soup

1/2 cup dried white beans such as Great Northern, navy, or cannellini, picked over and rinsed
1 whole clove
1/2 medium onion, peeled and left whole
2 1/2 lb smoked ham hocks(I used 4 strips of bacon, no ham hock)
1.5 qt water
3 fresh parsley sprigs
1 Turkish or 1/2 California bay leaf(didn't have)
1 fresh thyme sprig
2 garlic cloves, smashed
.5 lb yellow-fleshed potatoes such as Yukon Gold (3 to 4 medium)
.5 lb cabbage, cored and cut into 1/2-inch pieces (3 cups)

Soak beans in cold water to cover by 2 inches at room temperature at least 8 hours, or quick-soak, or 12 hrs in fridge. Drain in a colander.

Brown cut up bacon in stock pot, drain of excess fat when done(Stick clove into onion. Bring ham hocks and 3 quarts water to a boil in a wide 6- to 7-quart heavy pot, skimming off any froth, then reduce heat and simmer, covered, 1 hour). Add beans, onion, parsley, bay leaf, thyme, and garlic and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until beans are almost tender, 40 to 50 minutes.

When beans are almost done, peel potatoes and cut into 1-inch pieces. Add potatoes and cabbage to beans, then simmer, uncovered, until vegetables are very tender, 20 to 25 minutes.

Remove ham hocks. When ham hocks are cool enough to handle, discard skin and bones, then cut meat into bite-size pieces. Stir into soup with salt and pepper to taste. Discard bay leaf and onion.

Serve soup with toasts.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Moules Provencale

2 1/4 lbs mussels, cleaned
1/2 bottle dry white wine
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 onion, chopped
2 celery stalk, chopped
3 garlic clove, chopped
1 teaspoon chopped fresh basil
bouquet garni
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 14-oz can chopped tomatoes
salt and pepper
1 teaspoon sugar
fresh Parsley for garnish

To make the sauce, heat the olive oil in a large saucepan, add the onions, celery, garlic, basil and bouquet garni, and cook over low heat for 5 minutes or until softened but not browned.

Mix in the tomato paste and tomatoes, salt, pepper, and sugar, and simmer gently for 30 minutes.

Put the mussels in a casserole dish with the wine, over high heat, and bring to a boil. Cook for a few minutes only, until the mussels have opened, stirring frequently to ensure they are evenly cooked.

Pour the cooking liquid and the opened mussels into the hot tomato sauce , discard any mussels that have not opened.
Sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve at once.
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Thursday, October 16, 2008

Honey and Cinnamon Dressing

  • 1/3 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
Whisk together first 5 ingredients in a small bowl. Add oil in a slow, steady stream, whisking constantly until smooth. Serve immediately, or cover and chill until ready to serve. Store in an airtight container in refrigerator up to 2 weeks.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Chicken and Fennel Salad Sandwiches

2 cooked and diced or shredded chicken breasts
1 1/4 cups mayonnaise
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1 teaspoon finely grated fresh lemon zest
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoons fennel seeds, toasted and cooled, then lightly crushed
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup chopped fresh basil
1 cup chopped fresh mint
3 cups chopped fennel bulb (sometimes called anise; from 2 to 3 medium bulbs, stalks discarded)
12 rolls or buns

Stir together mayonnaise, yogurt, zest, lemon juice, fennel seeds, salt, pepper, mint, and basil, then pour over chicken in bowl. Add chopped fennel and stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper.

Serve chicken salad in rolls.

Carrot and Radish Salad

  • 4 medium carrots
  • 6 large radishes
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated lime zest
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
Shred carrots with a mandoline or other manual slicer or in a food processor fitted with shredding disk. Julienne radishes. Whisk together zest, juice, oil, and salt and pepper to taste and toss with vegetables.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Pasta with Vodka Sauce

1 pound pasta
pinch of crushed red pepper flakes, or more to taste
1/2 cup vodka
4 tablespoons butter
1/4 red onion, sliced
2 tablespoons tomato paste
3/4 cup heavy cream
3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add the pasta and cook just until al dente. Drain. In a cup, steep the red pepper flakes in the vodka and set aside while you get on with making the sauce.

In a skillet, melt the butter and saute the onion over medium-high heat until golden and translucent, 5-8 minutes. Add the vodka and pepper flakes and simmer for 2 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste. Reduce the heat to low and add the cream and grated cheese. Stir well and heat thoroughly. Toss with the drained, cooked pasta.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Beet and Apple Soup

1 large red onion, chopped ( I used 1/4)
1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
5 medium beets (2 lb without greens), peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 red apple such as Gala or Braeburn, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces (used 2 small green)
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
4 to 5 cups water
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 tablespoon packed light brown sugar(used 2 tbs of white)

Cook onion in oil in a 5-quart heavy saucepan over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened. Add beets and apple and cook, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring, 30 seconds.

Add broth and 4 cups water, then simmer, uncovered, until beets are tender, about 40 minutes. Stir in vinegar and brown sugar.

Purée soup in 3 batches in a blender until very smooth, at least 1 minute per batch (use caution when blending hot liquids), transferring to a large bowl. Return soup to pan, then season with salt and pepper and reheat. If soup is too thick, add enough water to thin to desired consistency.

Salade Nicoise

For dressing
1/4 cup red-wine vinegar
2 1/2 tablespoons minced shallot
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 large garlic clove, minced and mashed to a paste with 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoons minced dried thyme
1/2 tablespoons dried basil

For salad
3/4 lb green beans (preferably haricots verts), trimmed
1 1/2 lb small (1- to 2-inch) potatoes (preferably Yukon Gold)
1 1/2 lb (1-inch-thick) tuna steaks
Vegetable oil for brushing
1/4 cup drained bottled capers (1 1/2 oz) (I omitted)

1 pt cherry or grape tomatoes
2/3 cup Niçoise or other small brine-cured black olives
4 hard-boiled large eggs, quartered
3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley and/or basil

Make dressing:
Whisk together vinegar, shallot, mustard, and garlic paste in a small bowl until combined well, then add oil in a slow stream, whisking until emulsified. Whisk in thyme, basil, and salt and pepper to taste.

Make salad:
Cook beans in a 4- to 6-quart pot of salted boiling water, uncovered, until crisp-tender, 3 to 4 minutes, then immediately transfer with a slotted spoon to a bowl of ice and cold water to stop cooking. Add potatoes to boiling water and simmer, uncovered, until tender, 15 to 20 minutes, then drain in a colander. Halve potatoes while still warm (peel if desired) and toss with 2 tablespoons dressing in a bowl, then cool.

Brush tuna with oil and season with salt and pepper, then grill on lightly oiled rack(I pan fried), uncovered, turning over once, until browned on outside but still pink in center, 6 to 8 minutes total. Let tuna stand 3 minutes, then break into large (3-inch) pieces. Transfer tuna to a large platter and drizzle with 2 to 3 tablespoons dressing and top with capers.

Transfer potatoes to platter with tuna, reserving bowl. Drain beans and pat dry. Toss beans in bowl with 1 tablespoon dressing and salt and pepper to taste, then transfer to platter. Toss lettuce in bowl with 2 tablespoons dressing and salt and pepper to taste, then transfer to platter. Toss tomatoes in bowl with 1 tablespoon dressing and salt and pepper to taste, then transfer to platter.

Arrange olives and eggs on platter and sprinkle salad with parsley and/or basil. Serve salad with remaining dressing on the side.

I made the beans and potatoes earlier in the day, they held just fine. I did toss potatoes with dressing while still warm.