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

Blackberry Basil Bourbon Smash

Jul 25th, 2014 by Kat | Comments Off

1/2 lemon, sliced
8-10 fresh blackberries, plus a couple more to garnish
1 basil leaf, plus a couple more to garnish
3 parts bourbon
2 parts simple syrup

Muddle lemon slices, blackberries and basil in a cocktail shaker. Pour through a fine mesh strainer into a bowl or glass, discarding the solids. Rinse shaker, and then return the bourbon-basil-lemon mixture. Add bourbon and simple syrup and fill shaker with ice. Shake well. Serve over ice, garnished with more blackberries and basil.

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Perilla Risotto, with Sesame Crusted Chicken

Jul 25th, 2014 by Kat | Comments Off

for the risotto
3 cups chicken stock
1/4 cup chopped shallots
olive oil
1 cup arborio rice
1/4 cup brandy or white wine
2/3 cup grated parmesan
4 tablespoons perilla, very finely minced
Salt and pepper to taste

for the chicken
2 chicken breast, sliced in half lengthwise (thus, 4 cutlets)
olive oil
2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
salt and pepper to taste

Bring chicken stock to simmer; keep hot but not boiling. Gently pound chicken breasts between two pieces of plastic wrap to uniform in thickness, about 1/2 inch thick. Set aside.

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add shallots; sauté 2 minutes. Add rice; stir 2 minutes. Add brandy or white wine; reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer until brandy or wine is absorbed, stirring constantly, about 2 minutes. Add chicken stock, one ladle full at a time. Simmer until rice is just tender and mixture is creamy, adding remaining broth by ladles as needed and stirring often, about 20 minutes. Add parmesan and perilla. Remove from heat.

During the last 10 minutes of the risotto cooking, season the chicken breast with salt, pepper and liberally with the sesame seeds. Heat a skillet with 2 tablespoons of olive oil to shimmering. Place in the chicken breasts and cook, avoid moving them too much, lest the sesame seeds fall off, about 2- 1/2 to 3 minutes per side.

Plate the risotto and chicken, and garnish with additional perilla leaves and sesame seeds. Serve immediately.

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Baked Apricot Jam, with Vanilla and Cardamom

Jul 25th, 2014 by Kat | Comments Off

3 pounds fresh apricots
1/2 cup water
1 vanilla pod, split open
4 whole cardamom pods
5 cups plain granulated sugar
a few tablespoons of vodka

Preheat oven to 325F.

Cut the apricots in half and extract the pits. Cut into quarters. Place apricots in a high-rimmed baking dish and pour the water over. Place vanilla bean and cardamom pods in the dish and then pour over the sugar.

Bake for 3 – 3 1/2 hours, checking occasionally to make sure the fruit is continuing to cook without burning. Stir the fruit to make sure that it isn’t sticking too much to the pan. Don’t worry if the mixture looks a little watery, it will become thicker upon cooling. Once the fruit is slightly caramelized (and even slightly browned), turn the oven off. Allow the jam to cool in the oven. Move to a large bowl, and take out the vanilla bean and cardamom. The fruit should be very soft (falling apart), but if you like, you can mash the apricots a little more with a fork. Fill the jam jars, packing down the fruit, leaving a 1/4 to 1/2 inch of headspace. Pour on a small amount (1/2 teaspoon per glass) of vodka and swirl to have the alcohol cover the jam (this will help sterilize a bit as well). Screw on canning lids. You can simply allow the jars to cool and then store them in the refrigerator for up to 3 months. For longer term storage at room temperature, process the jars in a boiling water bath for 5 minutes per your usual method.

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Ratatouille à Ma Façon

Jul 24th, 2014 by Kat | Comments Off

1/4 cup olive oil, plus more as needed
1 1/2 cups small sliced red onion
3 teaspoons minced garlic
1 cup match-stick sliced kohlrabi
1 cup match-stick sliced carrots
1 cup sliced green bell peppers
1 cup sliced red bell peppers
1 cup sliced zucchini squash
1 cup sliced summer squash
1 1/2 cups peeled, seeded and chopped tomatoes
1 tablespoon thinly sliced fresh basil leaves
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley leaves
1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Set a large sauté pan over medium heat and add the olive oil. Once hot, add the onions and garlic to the pan. Cook the onions, stirring occasionally, until they are wilted and lightly caramelized, about 5 to 7 minutes. Add the carrots and kohlrabi to the pan and sauté until the carrots are lighter in color and lightly charred, another 4-5 minutes. Add the green and red peppers, zucchini, and squash and continue to cook for an additional 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes, basil, parsley, garlic and salt and pepper, to taste, and cook for a final 5 minutes. Stir well to blend and serve either hot or at room temperature. Can be served as a main dish, side dish, or even on toast / baguette as shown here.

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Cucumber “Spaghetti” with Perilla “Pesto”

Jul 23rd, 2014 by Kat | Comments Off

1 long (“European” or “English”) Cucumber
4 tablespoons perilla, very finely minced
3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
4 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

If you like, peel the cucumber. This is not necessary and some people like the rind, so this is up to you. Use Julienne peeler or mandolin to make “spaghetti” from cucumber. Discard core and seeds. Place in a large work bowl (this makes it easier to toss with the dressing.)

In a small bowl, whisk perilla, vinegar, olive oil, pepper and salt. Pour dressing onto pasta salad and toss as needed. Be gentle as the “spaghetti” can break. Serve chilled.

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