Strawberry Rhubarb Buttermilk Pancakes

Walking around Williamsburg, brooklyn the other weekend and saw these on a brunch menu.  Although I did not try them (I was on a BLT mission.)  I have been thinking about them since.  In fact, they've been on the top of my to do list for the past two weeks.  

Finally.  Strawberry rhubarb pancakes.  

If you find you have extra compote left make fruit leathers!  Just blend it smooth, spread it evenly on a silpat lined sheet tray and bake it at 160 degrees, in the oven until set.  Remove from oven, cool and cut to desired sized strips.  

About 12 pancakes

Buttermilk Pancakes + Strawberry Rhubarb Compote

for the compote

2 tablespoons brown sugar

2 tablespoons water

squeeze of lemon

2 rhubarb stems, chopped

1 lb strawberries, stemmed, sliced

for the pancakes

2 cups whole wheat pastry flour

1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

2 tablespoons sugar

2 eggs

2 cups buttermilk

2 tablespoons olive oil 

high heat oil, for the griddle

Warm sugar, water and lemon juice in a small pot over medium low heat, stir to dissolve sugar.  Add rhubarb and strawberries.  Let simmer 15 minutes, or until rhubarb is soft, stirring frequently.

While compote is stewing, set a griddle or skillet on stove and brush with oil.  Turn on burners to medium heat.    

In a bowl, whisk flour, baking soda, powder, salt and sugar.  Set aside.  

In another bowl, whisk eggs, buttermilk and oil.  Fold into flour mixture.  Fold until all flour in hydrated but batter still contains small to medium lumps.  Use a 1/3 cup to portion out pancakes.  Pour onto hot griddle.  Wait for bubbles to form, about 2 minutes, and flip.  Cook 2 minutes more.  Reduce heat if needed to avoid burning.  Work in batches.  Cooked pancakes can be held in a 200 degree oven, if needed.  Stack just before serving to help maintain fluffiness.  

Top with warm compote and serve.  






Homemade Peanut Butter

Put the jar of JIF down!  Peanut butter is super easy to make - you just need a food processor.  Substitute almonds, cashews or hazelnuts for the peanuts.  

Use raw or roasted, shelled nuts.  Raw nuts will need to be roasted.  Heat oven to 300 degrees and spread nuts out onto a baking sheet.  Nuts should be stirred at least once during roasting.  Peanuts will need about 30 minutes and almonds about 20.  The best part of roasting your own nuts is that the level of roastiness (not a real word) is up to you.  Do you prefer dark roasted peanut butter or a super light roast?  

Peanut Butter (or nut butter)

2 cups shelled roasted peanuts

2 tablespoons peanut, almond or olive oil

pinches of salt, to taste

Place nuts in the bowl of the food processor fitted with the blade attachment.  Process nuts until they resemble a course nut flour or meal.  Pulsing can be helpful for this step.  The finer the nut crumb, the smoother you nut butter will be.  With processor running, pour in oil in a slow stream. Process about 2 minutes or until a smooth, peanut butter like consistency has been achieved.  




Fresh, Home Made Butter

Something to smear all over those everything bagels.  

So, as mentioned in my previous post, I used my new stand mixer for this but a hand mixer, immersion blender, blender or small capacity food processor would work just as well.  

Home made butter is great but is only as good as the cream you begin with,  Farmer's markets and dairy farm stands/stores are a great for finding high quality cream. 

Makes about 1/2 cup.


1 cup heavy cream

2 teaspoons kosher salt

In the bowl of a stand mixer, add heavy cream and salt.  Begin on a low speed, once cream becomes thick, like whipped cream, bump up the medium speed.  

Basically, we're over whipping the cream so it breaks.  After about 10  minutes of whisking liquid will release.  (I like to drape dish towels over the mixer and just wait til I hear splashing.)  Once the liquid and solids separate, stop the machine.  The butter solids will be stuck in the whisk and the buttermilk liquid will be in the bowl.  The buttermilk can be saved and used to make crazy perfect corn bread or pancakes.  It's going to be very salty so don't add salt to what you end up making. 

There's  going to be a lot of liquid still in the butter that needs to be removed.  Chill your hands with ice or cold water.  Squeeze all the liquid you can out of the butter,  Next, rinse the butter under cold water until the water runs clear.  Squeeze as much water as possible from the butter. 

Butter is now ready to use.  I like to rewhip it for better consistency but that's optional.  Butter may be left at room temperature for no more than 1 week or in the fridge for no more than 2 weeks.  

We enjoyed it heavily scraped over the homemade everything bagels posted a couple days ago.  I think this would also be a great thing to bring to a holiday dinner or potluck.  This summer I plan to make it with cream from my favorite local dairy and mix it with chopped herbs from fire escape garden.  (Summer Savory herb butter smeared over grilled corn on the cob, anyone?)  

Everything Bagels

OH YEAH!!!!  We made everything bagels over the weekend and I will be eating them until they are gone with home made butter or sandwich fixings.  Or maybe even as delightful little pizza bagels.  I love pizza bagels.  They're so difficult to find in nyc.  Why is that? 

Also, I am the happy recipient of a kitchen aid artisinal stand mixer.  (Thank you mom + dad!)   This bagel dough is the first thing I used it for.  (Followed by fresh butter, recipe to follow!)  I love this pretty machine already.  Do you have one?  In what color and what's your favorite thing to make with it?

Makes about a dozen bagels.  

Everything Bagels

For the bagels

 1 packet dry active yeast (7 oz) + 1/2 cup warm to hot water

2 tablespoon sugar

1 1/2 cups unbleached whole wheat flour

2 1/2 cups a.p. flour

1 tablespoon salt

1 cup warm to hot water

1 tablespoon brown sugar

1 egg yolk

For the toppings

2 tablespoons sesame seeds

1 1/2 tablespoons poppy seeds

1 tablespoon caraway seeds

1/2 teaspoon red chile flakes (optional, for a spicy kick)

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Use either a food processor with a dough blade or a stand mixer with a dough hook attachment.  The food processor will be quicker. 

Place yeast, the half cup of warm water and sugar.  Wait 5 minutes.  If there's evidence of activity like foam or bubbles then we're good to go. The yeast is activated.  Give a little stir to dissolve sugar and yeast granules

Add flours and salt.  Slowly add warm water.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.  Knead or process until dough is elastic, satiny and clings to the hook/blade.  About 1 minute in the food processor or 5 minutes in the stand mixer.  

Transfer to a large oiled bowl.  Turn to coat all sides of dough in the oil.  Cover completely in plastic wrap and set aside to rise.  Let rise 1 - 3 hours.  Dough will have doubled in size.  

Unwrap and turn out onto a well floured surface.  Press on the dough to release gases and deflate.  Cut dough into 12 pieces.  Form into balls.  Press a hole into the center of each and gently stretch until the hole is 2 to 3 inches across.  Place each on a floured surface and cover with a towel or plastic.  Let rise for at least 10 minutes.

While the dough is rising, boil 4 quarts of water in a large pot.  Dissolve brown sugar in the water.  

Heat oven to 400 degrees.  Prepare 2 baking sheets with a silpat or parchment paper. 

Use a slotted spatula to lower bagel forms into the boiling sugar water.  Work in batches of 2-3. Boil for 30 seconds, flip, boil 30 seconds more.  Remove from boil, transferring to  towel to dry.

In a small bowl, mix egg yolk with 1 tablespoon water.  In another small bowl, combine all toppings ingredients.  With a pastry brush, apply egg wash to bagels, sprinkle generously with topping mixture,  Line up on baking sheets.  (The bagels will not expand much during baking.)

Bake 25 minutes.  Bagels will be very golden brown when done. 

Cold Brew Coffee

Very easy to make and great for those of us who are in a rush in the morning.  Cold brew coffee is strong but less acidic than traditionally brewed coffee.  Make a double batch for the week, doctor it up with milk and sweetener and it's a ready to be splashed over ice for a quick pick me up.  

Espresso beans are great here but any roast can be used. 

Cold Brew Coffee

1.5 oz coffee beans

2 cups cold water

Coarsely grind coffee beans.  Place grounds and water in a lidded container.  Place in fridge or at room temperature.  Leave alone for 24 hours.  Strain, discard grounds.  

Ham Wrapped Asparagus

Have any of that easter ham left?  Perfect.  Serve these with a poached or fried egg for breakfast or alone as a party snack.

Serving size is up to you.  This recipe is easily changed as you need one thin slice of ham for each asparagus spear.  

Ham Wrapped Asparagus Spears 

12 spears asparagus, trimmed

12 thin slices of ham, (1/2 lb at the deli counter will do it)

Lightly oil a large skillet, set over medium heat.  Wrap each asparagus spear with one thin slice of ham.  Place in skillet.  Cook 2 minutes on each side, turing frequently to avoid burning the ham.  Total cooking time should be at least 8 minutes, 10 for a  more tender spear.  

Serve with a poached egg. 

To poach an egg:  Bring a small pot of water to a boil.  Add a pinch of salt and a splash of white vinegar.  Reduce heat to just below a simmer - 200 degrees.  Crack egg into a small bowl.  

Give the water a couple stirs to establish a current.  Carefully, slip the egg into the 200 degree water.  Leave it alone for 4 minutes.  (3 minutes for a gooey egg) Remove egg from water with a slotted spoon.  Transfer to paper towel or asparagus spears.

Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers

Hey there, vegetarians.  I have a stuffed red pepper recipe for you.  These are a healthy take on the classic with red quinoa for rice and lots of veggies.  

Serves 2 - 4.

Kale + Mushroom Stuffed Red Peppers

1/2 cup uncooked red quinoa

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 small yellow onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

6 oz cremini mushrooms, chopped

1/2 bunch lacinato kale, stems removed, leaves chopped

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

s + p

2 oz feta, chopped

5 basil leaves, chopped

juice of 1/2 a lemon

1/2 tin diced tomatoes

2 red bell peppers, seeded, halved lengthwise

Heat oven to 375 degrees.  Line a small baking sheet with parchment paper.  Set aside.

In a small pot, bring 1 cup water and quinoa to a boil, cover.  Reduce heat and simmer about 15 minutes or until water has evaporated.  Fluff with fork, set aside.  

In a skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat.  Add onion, cook 3 minutes, stirring frequently.  Add garlic and mushrooms.  Sauté 3 minutes more.  Add kale and red pepper flakes.  Cook 1 minutes, stirring.  Remove from heat.  

Stir in quinoa, salt, pepper, feta, basil and lemon.  

Evenly spoon into red pepper halves.  Arrange on lined baking sheet and cover well with foil.  

Bake 30 minutes.  


Cauliflower 'Mac' + Cheese

There's no pasta, but it's a healthier alternative to the baked classic.  If you use a wheat free flour it's a gluten free dinner.  Be the most popular at your next potluck picnic!  

For this I prefer 1/2 cup cheddar cheese and a 1/2 cup of Monterey jack cheese.  When it comes to melting, there's strength in numbers.  

Serves 2-3

Cauliflower 'mac' + Cheese

1 head cauliflower, trimmed, chopped into bite sized pieces

2 tablespoons butter

1 shallot, diced

2 tablespoons flour of your choice, a.p. or chickpea, rice...

1/8 cayenne pepper

1/4 teaspoon mustard powder

s + p

1/4 cup fat free milk

splash white wine

1 cup grated melting cheese

Heat oven to 375 degrees.  Grease a loaf pan.  Set aside.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil.  Add chopped cauliflower, blanche 4 minutes.  Drain, shock with cold water to stop cauliflower from cooking.  Drain and dry.  

Wipe out pot and return it to the stove top.  Heat butter oven medium heat.  Once butter is melted, add shallot, cook until clear and soft, about 5 minutes, stirring frequently.  

In a small bowl, stir flour, cayenne, mustard powder, salt and pepper.  Add to to the pot, stirring to coat the cooking shallot.  Slowly, whisk in the milk.  Stir until lump free and add the splash of white wine.  Cook until thick.  Add all but one tablespoon cheese and cauliflower.  Stir until cauliflower is well coated in thick cheesey goo.  

Transfer prepared loaf pan.  Top with remaining cheese.  Bake 20 minutes.  



Lemon Miso Soup

A very satisfying soup.  A combination of a vegetable noodle and a miso soup.  

Substitute a quinoa pasta to make this a gluten free meal.  I think this would also be great with barley or farro.  

Serves 2.  

Lemon Miso Soup

1/2 cup uncooked pasta, small size like tubettini, ditalini or acini de pepe

olive oil

1 shallot, minced

3 cloves garlic, minced

red chile flakes or long red pepper, seeded, sliced into rings

4 cups chicken or vegetable stock

1 carrot, peeled, chopped

1 celery stalk, chopped

3/4 cup snow peas or green beans, chopped

4 cremini mushrooms, sliced

1 tablespoon white miso

juice of half of a lemon juice

s + white pepper

Cook pasta al dente.  Drain, rinse, drain.  Set aside.

In a pot, heat a drizzle of oilve oil over medium heat.  Add shallot, cook 3 minutes.  Add garlic, chile flakes or slices, carrot and celery.  Cook 2 minutes, stirring.  Add stock.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes, carrots and vegetables will be crisp tender.  Add mushrooms.  Cook 5 minutes.   Add snow peas or green beans and pasta.

 Stir miso paste with a ladleful of soup to make a slurry.   Stir into soup.  Add lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste. 


Pork Sandwiches + Barbecue Sauce

So you made that pork shoulder and now you're like " What the hell to do with all this meat?"  Well, first I would tell you to make tacos (yes, in our kitchen, tacos are always the first answer to almost any food question) then I would tell you make this sandwich.  And some coleslaw.  

It's very simple and quick but the home made sauce is what makes these special.  I think this would be a great picnic sandwich.  

Pork Sandwiches + North Carolina-style Barbecue Sauce

For the sauce:

1/2 cup apple cider vinegar

2 tablespoons ketchup

2 tablespoons light brown sugar

1 teaspoon red chile flakes

s + p

For the sandwiches:

rolls or bread

pulled pork, about 1 cup per sandwich

shredded cabbage or coleslaw, optional

Whisk together vinegar, ketchup, sugar, chile flakes, salt and pepper.  (I like to shake it all together in a jar.)  

Toss 1 cup of pork with a scant 1/4 cup of sauce for each sandwich.  Pile onto the bread and top with cabbage or slaw.  



Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Bread

I really needed something sweet the other night and had a couple bananas lying around on the counter looking bored and starting to spot.  Perfect.  Spotted bananas are the always the beginning to something good, aren't they?  In this case it's banana bread, I made mini loves but you could so muffins or an 8 inch loaf.  Up to you.  These are not very sweet, if you like a sweeter quick bread add more agave or when serving, drizzle with more.  (Drizzling with more is better!)

Makes 1 loaf or 8 mini loaves or 12 muffins.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Bread

2 very ripe bananas, peeled

1/4 cup natural peanut butter (creamy or chunky)

1/4 cup olive oil

1/4 cup agave

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cup all purpose flour

1/4 cup cocoa powder

Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease baking pan and set aside.  

In a bowl, mash banana with peanut butter.  Stir in olive oil, agave, egg and vanilla.  Mix well.  In another bowl, whisk baking soda, salt, flour and cocoa powder until evenly combined.  I sifted my cocoa powder in to avoid lumps.  Fold all flour mixture into banana batter.  Stop folding once all combined.  (lumps are ok but no streaks of flour.  If batter is over mixed once flour is added, the bread will be tough.)

Spoon into prepared pan and bake, 15 to 17 minutes, or until tester comes out clean.  Cool on rack.  

Slow Roasted Pork Shoulder

Over the weekend the largest bone in pork shoulder I've ever seen was welcomed into our home and oven.  We will be eating pork all week long in the form of sandwiches, pasta dishes, tacos and my favorite, plain in the light of an open fridge.  (Really, those little stolen bites pinched from the container are the best.)   

Our 8lb shoulder gave about 7 cups of shredded meat.  We made a fresh pasta dish and it was very satisfying.  The recipe serves 4.

Slow Roasted Pork Shoulder + Simple Rub

for the rub:

1 tablespoon light brown sugar

1 tablespoon kosher salt

2 teaspoons cumin 

1 teaspoon mustard powder

1  teaspoon black pepper

1 teaspoon paprika

1/2 teaspoon coriander

For the roast:

1 bone in pork shoulder

1 carrot, peeled, quartered

1 celery stalk, quartered

1 onion, quartered


Mix brown sugar, salt, cumin, mustard powder, black pepper, paprika and coriander.  

Trim the thick layer of fat from the pork shoulder and discard.  Rub all over with spice mixture.  Let it sit for about an hour.  

Heat oven to 300 degrees.  Place pork shoulder on a roasting rack in a pan with carrot, celery, onion and 1 cup of water.  Place in oven.  Flip and bast every hour.  If water dries out add more.  Roast about 6-8 hours.  The shoulder will be very soft, if poked with a knife the meat will not resist.   The longer the roasting time, the more tender it will be.  It takes a lot to over cook a pork shoulder.  

Remove from oven and let rest 30 minutes.  Shred with your hands, discard all fatty bits, saving the pulled meat.  

Strain cooking liquid and use a fat separator if you have one.  

To make the pasta, make a well in a pile of 2 cups flour.  Stir together 2 eggs and 2 egg yolks and pour into the flour well.  Use a fork to whisk in the flour to the eggs.  Once, the fork becomes useless, use your hands, lightly knead, adding water if needed to bring it together into a dough.   Wrap in plastic, set aside to rest 1 hour. Divide into 2 portions for easier handling.  Use a pasta machine or rolling pin to roll out. Cut into linguine.  With the pasta machine, roll thru all settings, starting with the thickest one first.  With the rolling pin, roll out until see-through. 

Boil a pot of water.  Add pasta, cook about 3 minutes, drain, rinse, drain.  

Heat about 1/4 cup pork roasting liquid, red chile flakes and a small splash olive oil in a large pan over medium heat.  Add cooked noodles and about 2 cups pulled pork meat.  Cook, stirring until hot, finish with salt, squeeze of lemon and grated parmesan cheese.  


Pozole Rojo Enchiladas

Have you had posole (or pozole) soup before?  The red one?  It's a great thing.  These enchiladas are based on that soup.  We used the same chiles for the sauce, filled them with hominy and served then with a number of toppings like avocado slices, cilantro, shredded cabbage and limes.  

Serves 4.

Pozole Rojo Enchiladas

For the sauce:

3 ancho peppers, stemmed seeded

3 guajillo peppers, stemmed, seeded

1/2 large yellow onion, peeled, coarsely chopped

4 garlic cloves, peeled, smashed

2 tomatoes, peeled, seeded

1 tablespoon dried oregano

juice of 1 lime

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 cup stock, chicken or vegetable

1 teaspoon agave nectar

many pinches of salt      

sugar to taste 

For the chicken:

1 lb skinless, boneless chicken thighs


1 teaspoon olive oil

Sprig fresh thyme

2 bay leaves

Juice 1/2 lime

Pinch garlic powder

1/2 yellow onion, halved

For the enchiladas:

1 tin hominy, rinsed, drained

12 corn tortillas

1 cup grated cheese ( I like a blend of jack, Colby, cheddar) 

chopped fresh cilantro leaves

shredded lettuce or cabbage

diced onion

lime wedges

sliced radishes

sliced avocado

Soak chiles in hot water for 30 minutes.  Drain and discard water.    In a blender, blend chiles, onion, garlic, tomatoes, oregano, lime juice, stock and agave until very smooth.  Strain, discard any solids.  Pour into a small sauce pot and simmer 20 minutes.  Adjust to taste with salt and sugar.  

While chiles are soaking or the sauce is simmering get the chicken going.  Heat oven to 425 degrees.  Toss chicken thighs with salt, pepper, olive oil, thyme, bay leaves, lime juice, garlic powder and onion.  Place in 9 or 8 inch baking dish and roast about 20 minutes or until done.  (Internal temperature will read 165.)  Remove from oven and cover.  Let rest at least 10 minutes.  Uncover and shred.  Discard, onion, thyme sprigs and bay leaves before shredding.)

Turn oven to 350 degrees.  Mix shredded chicken, hominy and 1/2 the cheese in a bowl with 1/3 of the sauce.  Heat tortillas in a microwave or in a skillet to make them more pliable.  (Warming them in a skillet is more time consuming but yields better flavor.)  Spoon filling into tortillas and roll, place seam side down in a 9 x 13" baking dish.  Cover with remaining sauce and cheese.  

Bake 10 to 15 minutes, cheese will be melted and contents hot.  Serve with desired garnishes.  My suggestions are cilantro, shredded lettuce or cabbage, diced onion, sliced radishes and avocado.  

Bitters Rock Candy + Champagne

I love bitters.  Bitters are a blend of alcohol, water, herbs, aromatics and spices.  They are an important component to cocktails, making soda water more delicious and a cure for hiccups or  stomach ache.  

Angostura bitters are my favorite and are used here to make rock candy which can be enjoyed alone or paired with a glass of champagne as a riff on the classic champagne cocktail.  

Use two chopsticks or bamboo skewers.

Makes 2.

Bitters Rock Candy Sticks

1 cup water

3 cups sugar

1 tablespoon angostura bitters

Prep the sticks by lightly wetting them and rolling them in sugar.  Set aside to dry. 

In a small pot, heat water and add sugar 1 cup at a time.  Let dissolve in between additions.  Let boil 6 minutes.  Stir in bitters.  Cool slightly and pour into 2 pint size glass jars or cups.  Insert 1 chopstick into each jar so the tip is 1 inch from the bottom and floating in the center of the glass away from the sides.  Secure stick with clothes pins or a piece of paper laid over the top of the jar with a hole punched in it for the stick.  Place somewhere, out of the way and leave undisturbed for about 1 to 2 days, Checking occasionally until a large amount of crystals have formed.  If you let it grow too much, it will grow onto the sides of the glass and be almost impossible to remove whole. 


Skirt Steak Noodle Bowl

I love anything "_____ bowl."  Noodle bowl, burrito bowl, rice bowl, stir fry bowl.  As someone who prefers all her food touches, it's delightful to enjoy all the components of a dish cozy in a bowl.  This one started with a strong steak craving.  Skirt steak, along with flank, is great when marinated.  This is a scallion ginger marinade and the steak really soaks it up.  

If you have one of those fancy spiral vegetable cutters this is a great time to use it on the carrots and beets.  

Makes 4 servings. 

Steak Noodle Bowl

for the marinade:

 juice of 1 lime

1 inch ginger, chopped

1 clove garlic, smashed

1/4 teaspoon red chile flakes

1 bunch scallions, whites and greens diced +  divided

3 tablespoons rice vinegar

3 tablespoons tamari or soy sauce

s + p

1 lb skirt steak

for the bowl:

8 oz soda or lo mein noodles

1 bunch spinach leaves

3 red beets, peeled, cut into matchsticks

2 carrots, peeled, cut into matchsticks

cilantro leaves, for garnish

scallion greens, for garnish

for vinaigrette:

juice of 2 limes

2 teaspoons rice vinegar

1 teaspoon grated ginger 

1 teaspoon chile flakes

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 teaspoons tamari or soy sauce

pinches of salt

Let's get that steak marinating.  Combine lime juice, ginger, garlic, chile flakes, scallion whites, rice vinegar, soy, salt and pepper.  Place in bowl or large zip lock bag.  Add steak, turning to coat.  Cover or seal.  Place in fridge, flipping occasionally so all sides of steak get marinated.  Let marinate 1 hour or more. 

Remove steak from marinade.  Discard marinade.  Brush off any bits of chopped ginger, scallion, whatever and slice against the grain.  Cook in lightly oiled skillet over high heat to desired doneness.  (I like it very well done and with a char.)  Remove from pan and transfer to paper towel. 

Cook noodles, following package directions.  Rinse and drain. (Can be tossed very lightly with oil to prevent sticking.)

Make the vinaigrette.  Combine lime juice, rice vinegar, ginger, chile flakes, olive oil and soy sauce.  Add pinches of salt to balance acidity.  

Build noodle bowls with noodles, carrots, beets, spinach and steak. Drizzle with vinaigrette.  Garnish with cilantro and scallion greens. 


Grapefruit Sherbet

Do you say sherbet or sherbert for you?  I think I've been saying it wrong my whole life.  It's a frozen dessert of fruit and cream without eggs. Similar to the basic ice cream recipe posted last summer.

Use fresh squeezed grapefruit juice.

Grapefruit Sherbet
1 tablespoon grapefruit zest
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup heavy cream
Pinch of salt
3 cups grapefruit juice (3 large grape fruits will get you there)
2 tablespoons Cointreau

In a small pan, heat and stir zest, sugar, cream and salt. Once sugar is dissolved, remove from heat. Chill in fridge 1 hour or until cool. Combine with juice and Cointreau. Freeze in ice cream machine until frozen, about 25 minutes. Serve or store in freezer.

Cauliflower + Chickpea Coconut Curry


This is a quick curry you can whip up while your rice is cooking.  (I can't eat curry without rice.  No way.)  The spice level is up to you and your curry paste.  Spice levels vary from paste to paste so give yours a little taste before you begin.  A mild paste, I suggest 2 to 3 tablespoons.  A spicy paste, maybe only 1 tablespoon. 

Serves 4.

Red Curry + Cauliflower + Chickpeas

1 block firm tofu

2 tablespoon grapeseed oil, divided

1 to 3 tablespoons red curry paste

1 shallot, chopped

3 cloves garlic, diced

1 inch fresh ginger, grated

2 carrots, peeled, chopped

1/2 head cauliflower, chopped into florets

1 1/2 cup vegetable stock

1 1/2 cup lite coconut milk

1 tablespoon brown sugar

1 tin chickpeas, drained, rinsed

1 teaspoon fish sauce

juice of 1 lime

1/2 bunch lacinato kale, sliced

s + p

rice vinegar, to taste

fresh basil, chopped, for garnish

Place tofu block on a folded dish towel and cover with another.  Place something heavy on top and leave it alone to drain for 30 minutes.  The less water in the tofu the better for frying.  

Heat 1 tablespoon grape seed oil in a skillet over medium high heat.  Add tofu and cook about 4 minutes on each side.  Once crispy, transfer to towel to drain.  

Wipe out skillet and heat 1 tablespoon grape seed oil over medium high heat.  Add curry paste, shallot, garlic and ginger.  Cook, stirring continuously for 2 minutes.  Add carrots and cauliflower, stirring to coat.  Add stock, coconut milk and brown sugar.  Cook 5 to 7 minutes until cauliflower is done.  Add tofu, chickpeas, fish sauce, lime juice and kale.  

Season with salt, pepper, rice vinegar.  Garnish with basil.  Serve with rice. 


Meyer Lemon Meringue Cookies

So much good looking citrus around lately.  I love Meyer lemons, they tasty like a very lemony orange.  Meringues are super light, airy confections for whipped egg yolks and sugar with a crisp outer shell and soft inside.   Easy as they are too make, they are easier to eat.  I have the hardest time not eating all of these while they are cooling.  

Also, don't throw out those egg yolks.  Save them for hollandaise, mayonnaise, key lime pie, custard, ice cream.  I think I'm saving mine for pasta.  

Makes about 36 1 1/2 inch cookies.

Meyer Lemon Meringue Cookies

3 egg whites (at room temperature)  (save the yolks!)

1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

generous pinch of salt

3/4 cup sugar

zest of 1 meyer lemon

1 1/2 teaspoon meyer lemon juice

Heat oven to 200 degrees.  Line 2 half pans with a silpat or parchment paper.  

In a mixing bowl, give eggs a quick beat eggs until foamy, about 10 seconds. Add cream of tartar and salt.  Beat on medium speed until peaks form.  Slowly add sugar, by the tablespoon, beating well after each addition, until all sugar is gone and stiff peaks have formed.  Fold in zest and juice.  

Transfer to a piping bag fitted with a large flower tip.  Pipe cookies of desired size onto lined baking sheet.  Meringues don't expand or rise when baking so they don't require much room.  Cookies can also be formed by being dropped by the spoonful onto the baking sheet.  

Bake 2 hours on upper racks.  Cool in oven 15 minutes.  Remove from oven and cool 20 minutes more. 

Pork + Chive Dumplings + Dipping Sauce


Dumplings!  I just don't eat enough dumplings.  For me, they are a bit too time consuming to make all the time but when I do, a pork and chive is the best way. 

Makes about 30 dumplings.

Pork + Chive Dumplings

for the dough

2 cups all purpose flour

3/4 to 1 cup boiling water

for the filling

1 cup shredded cabbage 

12 oz ground pork

1 tablespoon grated ginger

2 garlic cloves, grated

1/4 cup fresh chives, chopped

1/2 teaspoon white pepper

1 tablespoon cooking sherry

1 teaspoon sesame oil

1/2 teaspoon red chile flakes

1 1/2 teaspoon soy sauce

2 tablespoons canola oil

for the dipping sauce

1/3 cup soy sauce

3 tablespoons rice vinegar

1 teaspoon grated ginger

sugar and siracha to taste

Place flour in the bowl of a food processor and slowly add water until a a shaggy mass forms.  Remove from bowl but be careful - it's hot!  Knead 1 minute or until smooth and elastic.  Place in zip lock bag or small bowl covered in plastic and let steam for 30 minutes. 

Toss cabbage with a pinch of salt and set aside for 10 minutes.  This will help remove any water the cabbage maybe holding.  Drain, rinse and squeeze out cabbage.  Combine cabbage, pork, ginger, garlic, chives, pepper, cherry, sesame oil, chile flakes, soy sauce and canola oil.  Stir until evenly combined.  Set aside to marinate for 20 minutes.  

While pork mixture is marinating, get the dumpling wrappers formed.  Take out the dough and divide it into quarters.  Divide each quarter into 8 little discs.  Place back into bag or under plastic or a damp towel so dough won't dry out.  Line a tortilla press with plastic wrap and as you go, lightly flour each dough disc and flatten with tortilla press.  A thin three inch dough wrapper should now be sandwiched between two pieces of plastic.  Peel away one sheet of plastic, then gently peel away the wrapper.  Place wrapper under a damp towel.  Replace plastic over press and repeat until all dough discs are flattened into wrappers.  

Scoop about 1 tablespoon of pork filling onto each wrapper.  Press edges together to seal completely.  You don't want any holes or they will leak when cooked.  Fill each wrapper until there is no more filling left.  

Boil a pot of water and add dumplings in 2 or 3 batches (depending of your pot size). Reduce heat to a gentle boil and boil 10 minutes.  When dumplings are done, they will float to the top and look slightly translucent.  

Get the sauce ready.  Mix together soy sauce, rice vinegar and ginger.  Add sugar and siracha to taste.  

Place cooked dumplings in a covered dish to keep warm until serving.  Serve warm with dipping sauce. 

Orgeat Syrup


Orgeat Syrup is an almond simple syrup.  It's an important ingredient in tiki drinks like the Mai Tai or the japanese cocktail.  It is also great in pineapple juice or milk. 

The vodka is added to extend the shelf life for the syrup but can be omitted.

Makes about 1 1/2 cup. 

Orgeat Syrup

2 cups raw almonds

1 1/2 cup water

1 1/2 cup sugar

1 teaspoon orange blossom water

1 ounce vodka

Place almonds in a bowl and cover with water.  Soak for 30 minutes.  Drain.  Transfer almonds into a food processor and process about 1 minute until almonds are a course crumb.  

Heat water, sugar and pulverized almonds in a pot on the stove.  Stir until sugar is dissolved.  Do not boil but heat for 15 minutes.  Turn off heat and let stand 2 hours.  Add orange blosson water and vodka.  Strain through cheese cloth or a fine mesh strainer.  Store in fridge up to 2 weeks.