Sunday, December 02, 2007

pan-cooked cornbread (for cornbread chorizo stuffing)

1 tbs butter
1 3/4 cups yellow cornmeal
1 tbs sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 large eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup milk

Position oven rack in upper third of overn and preheat to 450F. Place a heavy, 9" cast iron skillet inside.

Whisk together the cornmeal, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk eggs until froths. Whisk in buttermilk and milk. Add wet ingredients to dry and whisk until just blended.

Add butter to hot pan. Pour in batter all at once. Bake until top is browned and centre is fim when pressed, 20 minutes.

Christmas spritz cookies

½ pound butter, softened
¾ cup granulated sugar
2 large egg yolks
1 ½ tsp vanilla extract
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat together butter and sugar on medium speed until mixture is fluffy and pale. Add egg yolks and vanilla and combine well. Add about 2/3 of the flour and beat until blended. Transfer dough to a clean work surface and knead in the remaining flour. Place in a clean bowl and chill, covered, for 30-40 minutes. Following the manufacturers’ directions for your cookie press, press cookies onto Silpat-lined baking sheets. Decorate with coloured sugars, chopped maraschino cherries and other holiday cookie decorations. Bake at 350F for 9 minutes, until cookies are barely beginning to turn golden around the edges (it should be almost imperceptible). Let set a few minutes, then transfer to cooking racks to cool completely.

grilled naan

2/3 cup warm water
1 tsp active dry yeast
1 tsp sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
2 tbs plain yogurt
¼ cup vegetable oil, plus more to oil grill
1 tbs minced garlic
In a large bowl, whisk together warm water, yeast and sugar until yeast is dissolved. Set aside in a warm place for 10 minutes for yeast to proof.
In another large bowl, sift together flour and salt three times. Add to yeast mixture, along with yogurt and 2 tbs of the vegetable oil. Mix with a fork to bring ingredients together, then turn out onto a lightly-floured surface and knead for about 5 minutes until dough is smooth and elastic. Place dough in a large oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm place to rise for 90 minutes, until doubled in bulk.
Punch down dough and knead for about 5 minutes. Divide into sixths and roll each out into 8-inch rounds. Combine remaining oil with minced garlic.
Preheat and lightly oil grill. Brush one side of each naan with garlic oil and place 2-3 at a time, oiled side down, on hot grill surface. Cook 2-3 minutes, until puffy and lightly-browned. Brush uncooked side with more garlic oil and turn over to finish cooking. Repeat with remaining naans.

turkey cristo sandwiches

8 slices white artisan bread such as French
4 large eggs
2tbs cream
100 grams each smoked & roast turkey breast slices
4 slices each Gouda and Cheddar
Butter bread and make four sandwiches with turkey and cheese. Trim crusts off sandwiches and cut each in half.
In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs and cream. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Transfer to a small baking dish. Dip sandwiches in egg mixture on all six sides. Place on a lightly-buttered or oiled griddle set over medium-high heat. Cook sandwiches on all sides until the egg is cooked and just barely browned. Serve immediately.

chicken with-a-kick pizza

for the dough
¾ cups warm beer
1 ½ tsp sugar
1 tsp active dry yeast
1 tbs olive oil
¾ tsp salt
1 ½ tsp chilli flakes
2 cups plus 2 tbs flour
2 tsp cornmeal
½ cup pizza sauce
½ pound mozzarella
1 large roasted chicken breast, sliced
½ cup banana pepper rings
½ cup crumbled feta
In a large bowl, whisk together beer, sugar and yeast. Set aside for 5 minutes to proof. When mixture is foamy, add oil, salt and chilli flakes. Add flour and mix with a fork to bring together. Turn out onto a lightly-floured surface, knead for about five minutes, until dough is smooth and elastic.
Place in an oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap, set aside in a warm place for 90 minutes, until doubled. Punch down and return to a floured surface. Knead a few times. Roll dough into a 12-inch circle. Place on a pizza stone that’s been preheated in a 375F oven and sprinkled with cornmeal.
Spread sauce on dough. Top with 1/3 of the mozzarella, chicken, peppers, feta, then remaining mozzarella. Bake 17 minutes, until cheese begins to brown.

Indonesian Butternut “Knockoff” Soup

3 lb butternut squash, peeled, seeded
1 tbs curry paste
2 medium onions, chopped
2 tbs canola oil
1 tsp whole coriander
1 tsp whole chilli flakes
2 tsp whole fenugreek
1 whole anise pod
1 tsp whole fennel seeds
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground turmeric
1 tbs ground ginger
½ tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp ground cloves
1 clove garlic, pressed
3 tbs brown sugar, or to taste
3 cups water
3 cups V-8 juice
2 (400 ml) cans coconut milk
½ bunch spinach, washed and chopped
Peel and remove seeds from squash. Cut flesh into large cubes. Combine curry paste with 1 tbs oil. Toss together with squash. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Place on a baking sheet. Roast at 375F for ½ hour. Meanwhile, grind whole spices. Thoroughly combine with pre-ground spices. Heat 1 tbs oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Add onions and cook until they become translucent. Add spices and cook for about 1 minute more, stirring constantly.
Place roasted squash in pot with onions. Cover with 3 cups water and V-8 juice; bring to a simmer. Let simmer for 30 minutes. Stir in coconut milk. Using a hand blender, puree soup until smooth. Return to temperature. Stir in brown sugar and chopped spinach. Season with salt and pepper.
When spinach is soft, serve soup over basmati rice or with slices of artisan bread.

Notes: Grind whole spices in a blade-model coffee grinder, but be sure it gets designated it for spices only. Adjust amount of brown sugar depending on how sweet the squash is.

chicken pot pie with biscuit crust

2 tbs butter
1 medium onion, chopped
2 medium carrots, chopped
½ medium red pepper, chopped
1 celery stalk, sliced
8 medium mushrooms, quartered
1 cup fresh or frozen peas
meat from one whole roasted chicken, shredded
1/3 cup flour
2 cups chicken stock, hot
½ cup half and half cream
kosher salt/fresh ground pepper
In a very large skillet or pot, melt butter over medium-high heat. Add onion, carrots and celery. Cook until vegetables are barely tender, about 5 minutes. Add flour and cook for another two minutes, stirring constantly. Add hot chicken stock, whisking until liquid is smooth and simmering. Add mushrooms, pepper, peas and chicken and continue simmering for about 20 minutes to cook flour. Add cream. Season to taste. Transfer to a large casserole dish or several individual dishes. Top with biscuit crust. Bake at 400F until crust is golden brown.

for the biscuit crust:
2 cups flour
4 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
¼ cup cold butter
1 large egg, beaten
2/3 cup milk
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and salt. Cut in butter. Make a well in centre of mixture. Add milk and egg. Bring together with a fork until just combined. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead a few times. Roll out to cover baking dishes.

pumpkin pie

2/3 cup packed brown sugar
½ cup granulated sugar
2 tbs all-purpose flour
½ tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp ground allspice
¼ tsp ground ginger
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1 ½ cups pumpkin puree
2 tbs maple syrup
4 large eggs
1 cup whipping cream
2 9-inch pie crusts
In a large bowl, whisk together sugars, flour, salt and spices. In a separate bowl, whisk together pumpkin, maple syrup, eggs and cream. Thoroughly fold dry mixture into wet. Pour pie filling into unbaked pie shells. Place pies on a large baking sheet and bake for 5 minutes at 450F. Reduce heat and continue baking for 25 to 30 minutes, or until centres are set. Let cool completely before serving. Serve unaccompanied, with vanilla ice cream, or cinnamon whipped cream.

broccoli-stuffed cannelloni

1 tbs butter
¼ medium onion, chopped
1 cup ricotta cheese
1 large egg
2 cups broccoli, chopped, cooked, cooled
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
2 cups tomato sauce
1 ½ tbs ranch dressing
cannelloni shells, cooked
In a medium skillet, melt butter over medium-high heat. Add chopped onion and cook until onion is soft and translucent. Set aside to cool.
In a medium bowl, mix together ricotta and eggs. Add onion, cooked broccoli and ½ of the Monterey Jack. Stuff mixture into cannelloni or manicotti shells.
Combine tomato sauce with ranch dressing. In a glass baking dish, spread ½ of the tomato sauce mixture. Arrange filled cannelloni in the dish, then cover with remaining sauce and Monterey Jack. Bake at 350F until sauce is hot and bubbly and cheese is melted and beginning to brown.

apple upside-down cake

2 cups granulated sugar
2/3 cup butter at room temperature
1 ½ cups milk
2 large eggs
2 ¾ cups sifted flour
1 tbs baking powder
½ tsp salt
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together sugar and butter. Whisk together eggs, milk and vanilla. Add to butter/sugar mixture. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. Fold into wet mixture in thirds, beating until smooth, being careful not to over-mix.
for the apples:
½ cup butter, melted
1 cup brown sugar
1 tbs ground cinnamon
¾ cup chopped pecans
4 large apples, cored, peeled, sliced
(I used Galas)
Add melted butter to a 13”x9”x2” glass baking pan. Combine brown sugar and cinnamon. Stir into melted butter in pan. Sprinkle with nuts. Arrange apple slices over the nuts and cover with cake batter. Bake at 350F for about 50-55 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the centre comes out clean.
Cool cake in pan on a wire rack for just 5 minutes. Loosen edges with a knife. Cover cake pan with a large baking sheet or platter and carefully turn

Potato Risotto

3 medium red, 3 medium gold potatoes
(chopped to small dice, slightly undercooked)
1 tbs butter
1 shallot, finely diced
½ cup pine nuts
1 cup dry white wine
1 ½ cups whipping cream
2 tbs basil pesto
½ cup asiago cheese
kosher salt/fresh ground pepper

In a very large saucepan or pot (a stainless steel wok also works well), melt butter over medium heat. Add shallot and pine nuts. Sautee for 3 minutes. Add wine and simmer to reduce by 3/4. With a wooden spoon, stir in whipping cream. Bring mixture back up to a simmer and allow to cook until it’s reduced by ¼. When reduced, add cooked potatoes. Continuing to simmer, stirring frequently, but gently, until saucy. Stir in pesto and asiago. Season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.

French Leek and Onion Soup

1 tbs canola oil
2 medium sweet onions, sliced
2 small leeks, white and light green parts only, sliced
2 tbs tomato paste
2 cups Pinot Noir or Merlot
6 cups home-made beef stock
1 tbs brown sugar
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
kosher salt/fresh ground pepper
8 slices French baguette, toasted
¾ cup grated old white cheddar
Add oil to a large soup pot over medium heat. Stir in onions and leeks to coat. Cook, stirring occasionally and watching carefully to prevent the onions from scorching. Continue to stir often, scraping the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon, until onions are a deep brown. Stir in tomato paste and continue cooking, uncovered, scraping the bottom of the pot often, for about 5 more minutes.
Add wine. When it begins to simmer, reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer until reduced by 90%. Add beef stock. Bring up a boil, then simmer for about ½ hour. Add sugar, vinegar and seasoning.
Ladle hot soup into 4 French Onion Soup bowls. Top with toasted slices of baguette and grated white cheddar. Place bowls on a baking sheet and into a 450F oven until cheese is bubble and just beginning to brown.