Archive for the ‘Recipes’ Category
I really enjoy apricot jam layered in cakes and as a filling for tarts. This combination of flavours worked well together.
1 ½ cups shredded unsweetened coconut
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
¾ cups packed brown sugar
1 tsp salt
¾ cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
½ cup rolled oats
1 cup apricot jam (recipe below)
Put the dry ingredients in a food processor. Pulse a few times. Then pulse in the melted butter just until a dough forms.
Press half the dough into a 9″ by 13″ pan that has been lined with parchment paper, or greased well. Spread the apricot jam on the dough. You will not need all of it. Save some to put on toast in the morning. Crumble the rest of the dough on top of the jam. Bake for about 30 minutes at 350°F.
1 lb dried apricots
1 cup sugar
2 cups water
2 tsp vanilla
1/4 oz ginger root, peeled, grated
1 T lemon juice
1/4 tsp salt
Place all of the ingredients in a crockpot for 2 hrs on high, add salt and lemon, then cook for 2 more hours on high. Stir occasionally.
75 g butter
75 g brown sugar
100 ml 35% cream
Melt the butter and sugar for about 5 minutes then slowly add the cream.
115 g sugar
45 g all-purpose flour
60 g orange juice
60 g unsalted butter
Melt the butter, and set aside. In a bowl combine the flour and sugar, whisk in the orange juice, then the melted butter and orange zest. Chill the mixture in the refrigerator for about 1/2 an hour or more. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Place well-spaced rounds of tuile batter on a silpat. The batter spreads quite a bit, so use a tablespoon of batter at the most. Cook for 10 minutes. Cool slightly before removing the tuiles from the silpat.
Coconut Lime Sorbet
2 cans of coconut milk
170 g sugar
1/2 tsp salt
zest and juice of 1 lime
1 tsp vanilla
Whisk together all the ingredients until sugar and salt dissolve. Chill the mixture. Process in an ice cream machine.
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The cakes are essentially mini baked donuts — coated in cinnamon sugar. All the elements on the plate combined in your mouth, taste like coffee and donuts. In Canada we would call this a donut with a double-double (double cream and sugar in the coffee).
Cakes that taste like Donuts
225 g all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp cloves
1/8 tsp ginger
1/3 cup vegetable oil
125 g sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 cups milk
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/3 cup sugar
1 T cinnamon
Combine the flour, baking powder, salt and spices in one bowl. In another bowl, combine the oil, sugar, egg, vanilla and milk. Add dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir until everything just comes together. Do not over mix.
I used miniature silicon muffin pans for this recipe which makes muffins about 1 1/2 to 2 inches in diameter. Fill about 3/4s full and bake for 15 minutes at 350°F. Allow the muffins/donuts/cakes (whatever you want to call them) to cool and then pop them out.
Meanwhile combine the sugar and cinnamon in one bowl and the melted butter in another. First dip each cake in the melted butter, coating completely. Transfer that to the cinnamon sugar bowl, and roll it around until completely covered. Alternately, you could put the cinnamon sugar in a plastic sandwich bag and toss the muffins around in that.
Wanted to try out the new cane bread proofing baskets so I went with my current favourite bread recipe — Pane di Como Antico.
“…a legendary bread from northern Italy. It has a nicely-holed interior and a chewy, crunchy crust. This recipe is based on one from Carol Field’s book, “The Italian Baker.” Her title for the bread is “Pane di Como Antico o Pane Francese — Como Bread of the Past, Known Today as French Bread.” The recipe she printed is based on the work of an Italian baker who researched the origins and development of the bread and developed a recipe that seemed to deliver what he had concluded was the old-fashioned taste and texture.”
Here’s the recipe I used to make 2 x 9″ diameter loaves:
First for the prefermented dough:
100 g all-purpose flour
100 g room temp. water
1/8th tsp instant yeast
Mix the ingredients together and let stand at room temperature for 12 to 16 hours. Usually I just leave the preferment out overnight.
For the Final Dough:
all of the prefermented dough
340 g all-purpose flour
65 g whole wheat flour
290 g water
¼ tsp instant yeast
1 ½ tsp sea salt, crushed
Mix all of the ingredients until well combined. Knead the dough, which is a bit sticky,for about 8 minutes. Place in a floured bowl, cover with a tea towel. Let rest for an hour.
Stretch and fold the dough. Basically stretch the dough into a rectangle. With the long side facing you, fold one end into the center, and the opposite side over top of that. Then fold the top edge over to touch the bottom edge.
Put the dough back in the bowl and let it ferment for an hour. Repeat this process so that you end up with 3 ferments of one hour with 2 stretch and folds in between. Believe me, this is all worth it.
Divide the dough into 2 or 3 pieces. I divided the dough in two for a couple of loaves. If you want to make baguettes I would go for 3 chunks.
I formed the dough into 2 large spheres and placed the dough in flour-lined proofing baskets. The spiral pattern from the cane gets imprinted on the bread. Let the bread proof until it doubles in size and pretty much fills out about 2/3rds of the proofing basket.
Ideally you would bake this bread on stones on the base of your oven, but I get fine results on a Silpat-lined baking sheet. Carefully invert the proofing basket and gently place the risen dough on the pan. I used a dough-scoring blade to create the square slashes in the top. Bake in a preheated oven at 475ºF with 1 cup of hot water placed in a heavy pan in the oven. The steam makes for a crispy crust. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Rotate the pan for even results, and cool the bread down before cutting into it. Patience is a virtue, but you will definitely be tempted to eat it right away.
Goat’s Cheese Gnocchi, Almonds, Olives, Celery Leaves, Parsley, Capers, Garlic, Lemon Zest, Parmigiano-ReggianoMonday, January 2nd, 2012
Basically a coarsely chopped and modified version of gremolata accompanies these gnocchi. Normally I would use ricotta, but goat’s cheese is a delicious substitution — the tangy flavour really stands out. You expect the bland ricotta but are greeted by goat’s cheese instead. Nice.
Goat’s Cheese Gnocchi
225 g goat’s cheese
60 g parmigiano-reggiano
60 g all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp white pepper
some gratings of fresh nutmeg
Mix everything to form a thick paste. Refrigerate for an hour. Roll the gnocchi dough into logs about the width of your index finger. Cut log on the bias and roll the pieces on a gnocchi board. You end up with torpedo-shaped gnocchi. Cook in salted boiling water. Remove with a slotted spoon when they begin to float. You can also freeze them for later use.
Ricotta makes a lighter cheesecake than cream cheese. In the summertime that might be just the ticket.
This recipe is based on an epicurious.com recipe. I added a good dose of rosewater to the batter, because I like the flavour and it compliments the rose petal – apple jelly used as a garnish. The red currants I found riding my bicycle in the Don Valley Park. I stopped because I spotted a mulberry tree, and underneath the tree there was a red currant bush teeming with berries. Nice!
2 lbs ricotta cheese
1 cup sugar
6 T all purpose flour
zest of 1 lemon
2 T rose water
2 tsp vanilla
pinch of salt
Preheat the oven to 320° F. Butter a 9½ inch springform pan. Place parchment paper on the bottom and around the sides.
Place the ricotta and lemon zest in a mixing bowl and beat until smooth. Add the sugar and flour and keep beating. Mix in the eggs one at a time. Mix in the rest of the ingredients. Pour batter into the prepared pan and bake for about one hour, until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out cleanly. Cool on a wire rack. The cake will sink a bit. No cause for concern.
Serving this with some seasonal fruit — like a pile of raspberries — is not a bad plan.
A tartrà is basically a savoury onion and herb custard from the Piedmont region of northwestern Italy. Instead of the usual herbs like thyme, bay leaf, sage, and rosemary, I decided to infuse a bunch of basil leaves in the cream and milk, perhaps making this dish partake of Liguria as well as Piemonte. I had 2 (count ‘em ’2′) Principe Borghese tomatoes that ripened while all of the others are still green as can be. Hence the basil in the custard. Principe Borghese is a small oval shaped tomato that is great for drying. In fact I’ve heard they can be left right on the vine to sun dry naturally. Definitely will try that.
Here’s the recipe:
Tartrà Piemontese with Basil
makes 6 portions
1½ cups 35% cream
¾ cup milk
big handful of basil leaves
½ onion, minced
2 T butter
handful parmigiano-reggiano, grated
pinch white pepper
Blanche the basil leaves and plunge into ice water to lock in the colour. Heat the cream and milk. Infuse the blanched basil leaves. Use an immersion blender to break down the basil. Let stand off the heat for about 1/2 an hour. Strain.
Meanwhile sweat the onion with the butter. Make sure the pan is covered. Blend all of the ingredients together.
Pour the resulting liquid into molds that have been buttered, have parchment paper circles on the bottom of the molds (which are also buttered).
Bake at 325°F for 25 minutes, covered in a bain marie.
I recently received a non-stick muffin pan that makes square muffins. Necessity is the mother of invention, so someone had to create a square muffin tin — square muffins being such a necessary part of life.
Instead of muffins, these are savoury cheese tarts. Served with some garlic and chili sautéed rapini, hot pepper oil and chive flowers.
Goat Milk Ricotta Tortino
1 cup parmigiano-reggiano, grated
1 ½ cups goat milk ricotta
2 T all-purpose flour
¼ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp white pepper
Combine all the ingredients to form a paste. Grease a muffin tin. Coat with some fine breadcrumbs. Put a good dollop of cheese mixture into the individual muffin spots. Bake at 350°F for about 20 minutes.
This orange cake recipe is a slightly modified version of a recipe from The Silver Palate Cookbook. I enjoy the small shots of licorice imparted by the anise seeds, combined with the orange and lemon flavours.
½ cup butter, softened
¾ cup sugar
2 eggs, separated
grated zest of 2 oranges
1½ cups all-purpose flour
1½ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
½ cup fresh orange juice
2 tablespoons anise seeds
Preheat the oven to 350° F. Grease a 10″ bundt pan. I used individual small cake molds and as a result the cooking time was reduced.
Cream the butter. Gradually add the sugar. Beat in egg yolks, one at a time, and the orange zest.
Sift the flour with baking powder, soda and salt. Add dry ingredients alternately with the orange juice to the batter. Add the anise seeds.
Beat the egg whites until stiff and fold them into the batter.
Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake for about 30 to 35 minutes if making one large cake.
The lemon sauce is from the classic tome on Canadian Mennonite cooking Food That Really Schmecks by Edna Staebler. It’s easy to make, and doesn’t involve eggs like a curd recipe would.
½ cup sugar
1½ tablespoons cornstarch
juice and rind of 1 lemon
¼ tsp salt
2 tablespoons butter
1½ cups boiling water
Combine sugar, salt and cornstarch. Slowly add water and cook in a double boiler until the mixture thickens, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir in the butter until melted, then stir in the lemon rind and juice.
“a variety of chicory, with serrated leaves, like those on dandelions, attached to the base of the plant and surrounding long, hollow, blunt-tipped whitish-green shoots that grow from the inside of the plant during the course of the winter. Also known as Catalogna de Galatina, puntarelle is a good representation of the flavors we usually expect of the chicory family. Its flavor profile hints at pepperiness like arugula in the leaves, a touch of fennel in the stalks and an underlying flavor that is a cross between chicory and endive.”
Grown in the vicinity of Rome, puntarelle looks like thick asparagus stalks are growing out of a cluster of dandelion greens.
Here we have ravioli stuffed with a mixture of puntarelle that has been blanched and then sauteed with olive oil and garlic. Cool down the sauteed puntarelle and then add some finely chopped smoked scamorza, some pecorino romano and some drained ricotta. Get a thick paste consistency to pipe into your ravioli dough.
Cook the ravioli in abundant boiling, salted water. Toss with some baby arugula, toasted pinenuts, golden raisins, wild fennel seeds, a touch of lemon juice and a little chopped garlic which has been sauteed in some olive oil. Add some pasta water and some shaved pecorino romano to finish.
The portobello mushrooms were marinated in some miso paste, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, black pepper and garlic paste. No need for extra salt due to the miso paste. Roast at 400°F for about a half hour.
The green beans and gigantes were dressed with a robust vinaigrette. The lime is a nice surprise (if you like limes).
juice and zest of 1 lime
3 T rice wine vinegar
3 T extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp grainy mustard
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried dill
clove garlic, microplaned
Slice the roasted portobello on the bias. Fan it out on top of the bean salad, some tender leaves, parsley and toasted pistachios. Drizzle some of the lime vinaigrette on everything.
Pisarei are tiny breadcrumb and flour gnocchi which are a specialty of Piacenza, in the northwest corner of Emilia-Romagna. Lengthwise end-to-end they are a little smaller than a dime.
I first made them while working in a village outside of Bergamo. I don’t know how many hours were spent rolling out these time-consuming little nuggets. After awhile you start using both thumbs — either that or it will take forever.
Here’s my recipe. I don’t think eggs are normally used, but it works for me. In Piacenza, pisarei are served with beans in tomato sauce or in broth.
50 g fine breadcrumbs
100 g all-purpose flour
1 large egg
1/4 cup water
about 4 servings
Place the breadcrumbs and flour on a counter. Make a well in the centre and add the egg, water and salt. Gradually draw the dry ingredients into the centre and thoroughly combine. Knead the dough for 5 to 10 minutes. Let the dough rest for 1/2 an hour. Roll out dough to about 1/4 to 1/2 inch. Cut thin strips and roll them into thin cylinders. Cut the cylinders into small pieces and roll each little morsel with your thumb to form small gnocchi.
Boil in salted water for a few minutes.
Green and purple figs from California, melted Oka cheese and a slice of good bread drizzled with olive oil and crisped up in a panini press.
Stracnar is a pasta native to Puglia. It is formed by rolling a sheet of dough on a carved wooden board called a cavarola. The pasta sheet takes on the herringbone pattern of the wood, which is then cut into rectangles of about 1 inch by 2 ½ inches. I would like to thank Terry Mirri for crafting such beautiful works of form and function.
The following recipe is based on Giuliano Bugialli’s recipe for stracnar in “Bugialli On Pasta.” It should be enough for 4 people.
150 g all purpose flour
100 g semolina
3 large eggs
Roll out the pasta so that it is thick enough to accept the impression from the cavarola. On my machine that would be about the second or third last notch.
The ragu is a mixture of homemade tomato sauce from Ontario field tomatoes, some olive oil, garlic, softened onion, fresh basil and sea salt. To that was added a generous handful of cooked wild mushrooms. Simmer slowly and adjust the seasoning. Grated on top is some grana padano. A robust red wine compliments this pasta nicely — perhaps a glass of Primitivo.
As Bugialli makes a point of mentioning, “This is another of those great old pastas that must be made manually and is disappearing, but let us work to revive it.”
Recently I purchased a number of pasta making tools from Terry Mirri, an artisan handcrafting some traditional items out in Sonoma, California. Check out his website to see some amazing craftsmanship www.artisanalpastatools.com. He makes corzetti stamps, cavarola boards, garganelli/gnocchi boards and polenta boards. Everything is very traditional, just like artisans were making similar implements hundreds of years ago.
Last night I made some corzetti and served it with basil pesto as is done in Liguria. Some zucchini blossom pieces are scattered on top (because the zucchini vine is taking over the front yard).
But first things first. What are corzetti? Here’s the description from ‘The Dictionary of Italian Food and Drink’ by John Mariani:
“Pasta made with white, whole wheat, or chestnut flour, shaped into rounds, and embossed with a pattern (commonly a star) with a wooden stamp, from Liguria. Corzetti are named after old Genovese stamped money pieces, and old stamps, many now family heirlooms, commemorate heraldry or Genoa’s history.”
Here’s what the pasta discs look like after being pressed between the 2 segments of the corzetti stamp:
Beautiful. At this point I didn’t even care if I cooked them. I was happy just to look at the corzetti.
But eventually hunger won out. The dough is a basic ravioli dough with flour, eggs, semolina, a little milk and a splash of olive oil. Your favourite egg-based pasta recipe should work fine. Roll the dough so it still has enough thickness to accept the impressions on both sides. Too thin and it won’t work out. Too thick and your pasta will be too heavy.
Serve with basil pesto:
2 cups packed basil leaves
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup toasted pine nuts
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup parmigiano-reggiano, grated
Put everything in the food processor and pulse until the desired consistency is attained.
A vintage Berarducci Brothers cavatelli maker is one piece of technology that is actually worth investing in. It’s a genius device that takes a rope of dough and turns it into nicely carved little pasta shells…
The cavatelli take about 5 minutes to cook in boiling salted water. I made a simple sauce with some sweet golden cherry tomatoes (organic and bursting with flavour), olive oil, chopped garlic and a bit of pasta water. Some purple and green basil and some grated grana padano were added at the end. The juices from the tomatoes combine with everything else to form a delicious sauce. A drizzle of olive oil and some more grated padano to finish.
Use a spoon for this dish to scoop up the cavatelli with some of the orange tomato essence and basil.