Friday, September 11, 2009

Lemon Tart

Recipe from Cooks Illustrated

• 1 fully baked warm tart shell (9- to 9 1/2-inch)

• 7 large egg yolks

• 2 large eggs

• 1 cup granulated sugar

• 2 tablespoons granulated sugar

• 2/3 cup lemon juice from 4 to 5 medium lemons

• 1/4 cup grated lemon zest

• pinch table salt

• 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces

• 3 tablespoons heavy cream

Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and heat oven to 375 degrees. Place tart pan with shell on cookie sheet.

In medium non-reactive bowl, whisk together yolks and whole eggs until combined, about 5 seconds. Add sugar and whisk until just combined, about 5 seconds.

Add lemon juice, zest, and salt; whisk until combined, about 5 seconds.

Transfer mixture to medium non-reactive saucepan, add butter pieces, and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly with wooden spoon, until curd thickens to thin sauce-like consistency and registers 170 degrees on an instant-read thermometer, about 5 minutes.

Immediately pour curd through single-mesh stainless steel strainer set over clean non-reactive bowl. Stir in heavy cream; pour curd into warm tart shell immediately.

Bake until filling is shiny and opaque and until the center 3 inches jiggle slightly when shaken, 10 to 15 minutes. Cool on wire rack to room temperature, about 45 minutes. Remove outer metal ring, slide thin metal spatula between bottom crust and tart pan bottom to release, then slip tart onto cardboard round or serving plate. Cut into wedges and serve.

Thursday, September 3, 2009


Recipe from Cooks Illustrated

• 1 (15 ounce) can chickpeas, drained

• 1 medium clove garlic, minced or pressed through a garlic press

• 3/4 teaspoon table salt

• pinch cayenne pepper

• 3 tablespoons lemon juice, from 1 large lemon

• 1/4 cup tahini

• 1/4 cup virgin olive oil

• 1/4 cup water

Process all of the ingredients in a food processor until smooth, about 40 seconds.

Transfer the hummus to a serving bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and chill until the flavors meld, at least 30 minutes.

Serve cold.


• 1 (14 1/2 ounce) can tomatoes and green chilies, drained (or 1 can tomatoes, drained and 1/2 of a small can of chillies)

• 1 (14 1/2 ounce) can whole canned tomatoes (plus the juice)

• 1 or 2 fresh jalapenos, seeds removed, diced

• 1/4 cup yellow onion (diced)

• 3/4 teaspoon garlic salt

• 1/4 teaspoon cumin

• 1/4 teaspoon sugar

• 1/4 c cilantro

• 1 tablespoon lime juice

• 2 cloves fresh garlic, minced

In food processor place jalapenos and onions. (Process for just a few seconds.) Add both cans of tomatoes, salt, sugar, and cumin. Process all ingredients until well blended but do not puree.

Place in covered container and chill overnight to blend the flavors.

Serve with your favorite thin corn tortilla chips.

Note: Makes 4 cups of salsa.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Carrot Soup

• 1 1/2 pounds carrots (about 8 medium), peeled and chopped

• 1 onion, chopped

• 2 teaspoons vegetable oil 

• Salt 

• 3 garlic cloves, minced

• 1/4 cup dry white wine 

• 1 bay leaf 

• 2 1/2 cups chicken broth

• 1/2 cups half-and-half 

• Ground black pepper 

     Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Toss the carrots and onion with 1 teaspoon of the oil and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Spread in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet and roast until softened and browned, about 30 minutes.

     Transfer vegetables to a large saucepan. Add the remaining oil, cover, and cook over medium-low heat, stirring often, until the carrots soften further, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook about 30 seconds. Add bay leaf and wine. Reduce wine by half then add the chicken stock. Bring the soup to a boil, cover and simmer for another 5 minutes.

     Puree the soup until it is smooth. Add half-and-half and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Raviolo with Egg Yolk Truffle Butter

Recipe by Odette Fada

Serves 6

Pasta Dough:

• 2 cups "00" flour, plus more for work surface

• 3 large eggs, beaten

• Pinch of salt

     1. Mound flour in the center of a large work surface, and make  a well in the middle. Pour eggs into the well and add salt.

     2. Using a fork, beat eggs; slowly incorporate flour, beginning with the inner rim of the well. When the flour is incorporated, gather the dough together to form a rounded mass. Begin kneading dough with the palms of your hands. Once dough comes together, scrape up  any dried bits of dough; discard.

     3. Lightly flour the work surface; knead dough until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. Wrap dough in plastic and rest for 30 minutes at room temperature before use.


• 1 bunch spinach, washed well and dried 

• 3 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter 

• 1/2 cup fresh ricotta cheese 

• 3 ounces freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese 

• 4 large egg yolks 

• Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg 

• Freshly ground white pepper 

• Coarse salt 

• Pasta Dough 

• 2 ounces white truffles, shaved (optional)

     1. Place spinach in a steamer basket set over simmering water. Cook until spinach is wilted; drain. Heat butter in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add spinach and cook until coated with butter, about 2 minutes. Let cool completely. 

     2. Finely chop spinach and add to a medium bowl along with ricotta, and half the Parmesan cheese. Season with nutmeg, white pepper, and salt. Stir to combine. Transfer filling mixture to a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch round plain tip; set aside. 

     3. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Set the rollers of a hand-cranked or electric pasta machine at their widest opening. Flatten dough with the palms of your hands; dust lightly with flour. Roll dough through widest setting. Keep rolling dough through the machine on decreasing settings until you have rolled it through the first six settings. Cut dough in half crosswise. 

     4. Lay one piece of dough flat on work surface. Using a 2-inch round cutter, gently mark 4 circles in dough, about 5 inches apart. Using circle as a guide, pipe filling around each circle and continue piping to form a 1-inch high edge. Place 1 egg yolk in the center of each circle; season with salt and white pepper. Brush a little cold water around filling and gently place remaining piece of dough over filling and yolks to cover. Gently press edges together to seal, eliminating as much air as possible. Center a 4-inch fluted round cutter around filling and cut each raviolo. 

     5. Add salt to boiling water and return to boil. Gently transfer ravioli to boiling water and cook for 8 minutes. Meanwhile, place butter in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook until melted and lightly browned. Drain ravioli and divide among 4 serving plates. Pour over browned butter and garnish with remaining cheese and shaved truffles, if desired. 

Oven Roasted Chicken with Garlic Marjoram Butter

• 2 carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped 

• 2 celery stalks, coarsely chopped 

• 1 large onion, coarsely chopped 

• 1/2 head garlic 

• 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature 

• 1/2 bunch of fresh marjoram, leaves finely chopped (about 2 tablespoons)

• 3 garlic cloves, crushed 

• Two 4 1/2 to 5 pound whole organic frying chickens, giblet sacks from cavities removed and discarded 

• 2 tablespoons flour

• 1 cup Marsala wine

     Preheat the oven to 400 F.  Place the carrots, celery, onion and 1/2 head of garlic into a large roasting pan (these vegetables will be the bed for the chickens to roast on and discarded after). 

     Mix the butter, marjoram, and crushed garlic cloves in a small bowl to blend. Rinse the chickens with cold water and pat dry with paper towels. Sprinkle the chicken cavities with salt and pepper.

     Using your thumb and index finger, separate the skin from the chicken breasts. Place the butter under the skin on the breast meat. Pat the top of the skin to spread the butter over the breast meat. Truss the chickens (tie the legs together with kitchen twine).  Place the chickens on top of the vegetables in the roasting pan. Sprinkle the chickens and vegetables with salt and pepper and roast for 1 1⁄4 - 1 1/2 hours, basting occasionally. 

     When the chickens are done, their skin will be crisp and golden and an instant-read meat thermometer will register 180 F when inserted into the thickest part of the thighs.  Remove the chickens from the roasting pan and place on your favorite platter.  

     Pour the pan drippings into a saucepan and add 2 tablespoons of flour and 1 cup of Marsala. Turn the heat up high and reduce to a thick sauce. Pour over chicken and serve.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Insalata Caprese

• 8 ripe tomatoes, sliced 

• 1 lb. fresh mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced 

• 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves 

• 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil 

• 1/8 cup balsamic

• 1/2 tsp. salt, preferably sea salt 

• 1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper

     On a platter, alternate slices of tomato and mozzarella. Garnish generously with basil leaves, tucking some underneath the tomatoes. Drizzle the olive oil and balsamic over all, and then sprinkle with the salt and pepper. Serve immediately.

Melon and Rose Salad

• 2 large melons

• 2 large roses, petals removed

• 1 orange, zested and then juiced

• 2 tablespoons lavender flowers

• 4 tablespoons rose water

• 2 tablespoons sugar

Note: This can also be served with creme fraiche whipped with some honey to a whipped cream like texture. 

     Use a mellon baller to prepare the melons. Place in a large bowl.

     Combine the sugar and lavender and mash to get some of the oils into the sugar. Add 1/2 teaspoon of zest and the juice of one orange to the sugar mixture as well as the rosewater. Mix well and let sit for 30 minutes. 

     Strain the sugar mixture and pour over the melon sections. Add the petals of two roses and stir. Let infuse and chill before serving. 

     Add the bud of one rose to garnish.

Parmesan Zucchini with Balsamic

Recipe from Eric Ripert

•  1 large zucchini

• 1/4 cup olive oil

• fine sea salt and freshly ground white pepper

• 1 tablespoon chopped parsley

• 1/4 cup fresh grated Parmesan

• Aged balsamic vinegar (If you don’t have this then add a tablespoon of brown sugar to a few tablespoons of balsamic in a saucepan and heat to dissolve sugar. You can reduce to your taste.)

• Parsley


     Heat the toaster oven to broil and line the toaster oven tray with foil and brush with olive oil to prevent sticking.

     Peel a few slices of the zucchini skin off and slice crosswise into very thin slices.

     Arrange the zucchini slices on the tray, season with salt and pepper, drizzle with olive oil.

     Bake for 3-4 minutes until just tender. Sprinkle with grated parmesan cheese.

     Arrange zucchini on a platter. Sprinkle parsley and more parmesan on top and drizzle with a little aged balsamic vinegar. Serve warm.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Strawberry Cream Tart

• 3/4 cup sliced almonds

• 1/2 cup granulated sugar

• 1 cup flour

• 1/2 teaspoon salt

• 1/2 cup butter, chilled and cut into small pieces

• 1 egg plus 1 egg yolk

• 1 teaspoon almond extract

• 3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped

• 2 tablespoons plus 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

• 8 ounces mascarpone cheese

• 3/4 cup powdered sugar

• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

• 2 cups fresh raspberries or strawberries

     Preheat oven to 350F. In a food processor, pulse almonds and granulated sugar until finely ground, being careful to stop before they turn into nut butter. Add flour and salt and pulse to blend. Add butter and pulse until mixture resembles coarse cornmeal. With motor running, add egg, egg yolk, and almond extract and whirl until dough comes together.

     Press dough evenly into the bottom (not the sides) of a 10-in. tart pan with removable rim. Bake until golden brown, about 25 minutes. Let cool to room temperature, then remove rim.

     In a small frying pan, bring 1 in. of water to boil. Put chocolate in a small metal bowl. Set bowl directly in boiling water, turn off heat, and stir until melted. Stir in 2 tbsp. cream. Spread chocolate on crust and let cool to room temperature, about 10 minutes.

     Meanwhile, in a large bowl, beat remaining 1/2 cup cream to firm peaks. Beat in mascarpone, powdered sugar, and vanilla. Spread on chocolate-coated crust. Arrange raspberries on top. Serve tart immediately or cover with plastic wrap and chill up to overnight.

Note: Can also be served with strawberries or any other fruit you like.