What’s Next on my Plate:

Hawaiian Mahi Mahi rolls stuffed with mango and macadamia nut stuffing

Æbelskiver (Danish Filled Pancakes)

Chicken Canzanese with Polenta Cakes

Lillet Poached Pears with Thyme & Pepper

Triple Lemon Baked Doughnuts

(German Braised Rabbit Stew)

Pesto Goat Cheese Chicken Cordon Bleu

Grissini-Style Cracker Sticks

Jan 28th, 2015 by Kat | Comments Off

3/4 cup warm water (between 100-110F)
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon pure olive oil
2 cups bread flour
2 teaspoons instant yeast
1 egg white (for brushing)
1/4 cup sesame seeds, dried herbs, dried garlic or poppy seeds

In the work bowl of your stand mixer, place 1 cup of the flour and make a little well on the top. Sprinkle in yeast, sugar and salt, before adding the water. Let sit for 15 minutes for the yeast to activate. Once it has created a sponge, add the remaining flour and the olive oil and using the paddle attachment, start the mixer on low and mix until the dough just comes together, forming a ball. Lube the hook attachment with cooking spray. Attach the hook to the mixer and knead for 15 minutes on medium speed. Place the dough in an oiled bowl and let the dough rise in a warm place for about 60 to 90 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375F. Line two cookie sheets with silpat or parchment paper.

Place the dough on 1 floured surface and cut the dough in small pieces (you should get between 15-20 pieces) and roll out into pencil size sticks. Place on cookie sheets and using a pastry brush, brush with the egg white. Sprinkle with sesame seeds, herbs, dried garlic, or poppy seeds (optional; I leave some of mine plain). Bake until they are nice and golden brown, about 15 – 20 minutes. Remove and let cool on wire racks.

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Meyer Lemon Bars with Olive Oil, Rosemary and Sea Salt

Jan 25th, 2015 by Kat | Comments Off

for the crust
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar, plus more for sprinkling
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon very finely chopped fresh rosemary
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
10 tablespoons unsalted butter

For the curd
4 to 6 meyer lemons (3/4 cup juice, 1 tablespoon zest)
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 large eggs plus 3 yolks
1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
Pinch of fine sea salt
4 tablespoons cold butter, cut into cubes
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Confectioners’ sugar
Flaky sea salt, for sprinkling

Heat oven to 325F and line foil sling for your 9×9 inch baking pan. Spray with baking spray and set aside.

To make the shortbread base, pulse together the flour, granulated sugar, confectioners’ sugar, lemon zest, rosemary and salt in a food processor. Add butter and pulse to cut the butter into the flour until a crumbly dough forms. Press dough into prepared pan and bake until shortbread is pale golden all over, 30 to 35 minutes.

While the shortbread is baking, prepare the lemon curd: Grate a tablespoon zest from lemons and set aside. Squeeze lemons to yield 3/4 cup juice.

In a small saucepan, whisk together lemon juice, sugar, eggs and yolks, cornstarch and fine sea salt over medium heat until boiling and thickened, 2 to 5 minutes. Make sure mixture comes to a boil or the cornstarch won’t activate. Remove from heat and strain into a bowl. Whisk in butter, olive oil and lemon zest.

When the shortbread is ready, take it out of the oven and carefully pour the lemon curd onto the shortbread base; return the pan to the oven. Bake until topping is just set, 10 to 15 minutes more. Allow to cool to room temperature, then refrigerate until cold before cutting into bars (use the sling to pull them out of the pan and then cut on a cutting board). Sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar and flaky sea salt right before serving.

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Apricot White Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies,
with Toasted Pine Nuts

Jan 23rd, 2015 by Kat | Comments Off

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups quick or old-fashioned oats
1 cup diced apricots, diced
1 1/2 cups white chocolate chips
1 cup pine nuts, toasted

Preheat oven to 350F. Prepare your cookie sheets with silpat or parchment paper.

Combine, flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl and set aside. In the work bowl of your stand mixer, cream together butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, eggs and vanilla extract. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in oats, diced apricots, white chocolate chips and toasted pine nuts. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto cookie sheets.

Bake for 10-12 minutes. Cool on cookie sheet for a couple of minutes before removing to wire racks to cool completely.

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Cowboy Chili

Jan 21st, 2015 by Kat | Comments Off

3 pounds chopped sirloin beef (not ground — I buy a skirt steak and pulse through the food processor)
1 pound (3-4 links) andoille sausage
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 yellow bell pepper, diced
1 yellow onion, diced
2 tablespoons garlic, finely minced
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon paprika
1 teaspoon cayenne
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon dried thyme
12 ounces (1 1/2 cups) medium lager beer
1 cup whole, peeled, canned tomatoes and their juices
1/2 cup tomato paste
3/4 cup drained red kidney beans
4 tablespoons siracha sauce (more or less to taste)

to garnish
shredded cheddar cheese
sour cream
chopped scallions, white and light green parts

Preheat oven to 350F.

In a large dutch oven, heat one tablespoon of oil over medium high heat until shimmering. Brown the sausage and then remove from the pot with a slotted spoon. Then brown the chopped sirloin, stirring, until no pink remains. Remove as well and set aside. Discard the fat.

Add the remaining oil and when hot, add the peppers and onion and sauté until the onions are translucent, 4-5 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for 30 seconds, until fragrant. Then add the chili powder, paprika, cayenne, cumin, coriander, and thyme. Cook, stirring, for 2-3 minutes more.

Add the lager, tomatoes and their juices, and tomato paste and bring to a simmer. Return the meat to the pot and add the kidney beans and siracha sauce, and bring up to a boil. Put on the lid and transfer to the oven. Let the chili simmer in the oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour until thoroughly cooked and the flavors come together. Remove from the oven and let cool for a few minutes while you prepare the garnishes. Re-season with salt and pepper as necessary.

Serve the chili with shredded cheese, sour cream, and scallions.

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Hasselback Potato Skillet Bake

Jan 18th, 2015 by Kat | Comments Off

6-8 long (narrow) Yukon Gold potatoes (depending on the size of your cast iron skillet)*
4 garlic cloves, minced
12 (1 1/2 sticks) tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 tablespoons finely minced herbs (I used parsley, rosemary and thyme, but whatever you like)
4 tablespoons grated parmesan (optional)

Preheat oven to 425F.

Wash / Scrub the potatoes thoroughly. The skins will be left on, so be sure that they are clean and all the hard bits from the skin are off. In a small mixing bowl, combine the melted butter, olive oil, garlic and minced herbs. Set aside.

Slice a thin layer off the bottom of each potato. This will serve to give them a solid base to rest on while they get sliced. Using a sharp knife, make slices across the potato, about 1/8 of an inch apart, slicing into them, but not completely through them. The slices should stay connected at the bottom. Repeat with each potato. Stretch them a bit to fan them out but be very careful not to break them apart! Trick: place a chopstick perpendicular on either side of the potato so that you will hit the chopstick before slicing all the way through.

Reserve 1/3 of the garlic-herb butter. Using a pastry brush, brush the bottom and sides of your cast iron skillet and each potato with the garlic-herb butter mixture, being generous and making sure to get in between each slice. Nestle the potatoes into the skillet. Sprinkle with parmesan (if using). Generously sprinkle potatoes with salt and pepper.

Bake for 1 hour or until tender on the inside and crisp on the outside. Remove the skillet from the oven about every 15 minutes to baste potatoes with the remaining garlic-herb butter.

*Any “Waxy” potato will do… reds, carola, butterballs, even fingerlings, if they are thick enough. In German, I would use “festkochende Kartoffeln”.

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