Friday, August 22, 2008

Lickin' Good

So, I don't have a pic of the fab Caesar salad I made last night because we ate it too fast. The recipe is from my friend Amanda's husband, and it is excellent. And even I licked my bowl clean. Happily, it was accompanied by my all time fave beer (aside from Guinness, of course)—Buffalo Bill's Brewery Pumpkin Ale. It's already at QFC, so I snapped some up pronto.

My daughter is clever and knows me so well, "Mama, can we make Gruffalo Crumble?" (If you've not read The Gruffalo, check it out at the library!) Anyway, I had to make that "recipe" up. I used fresh apricots that we had (he has orange eyes) and purple blackberries (purple spikes on his back) and one tart apple (he was supposedly surly, right?). I used the crisp recipe from the original Moosewood Cookbook as a base, and it turned out wonderfully.

And, this morning, I made the Cappuccino Hazelnut Scones recipe from The Baker's Apprentice (sequel to Bread Alone, by Judith Ryan Hendricks, both of which are great and recommended to me by Jerrie), although I altered it for the non-coffee guy in our house, and made Maple Pecan Scones. They are hands down the BEST scones I've ever had. This recipe will be a keeper. There are indeed 6 Tbs of butter in it and 3/4 c. cream, but you divide it into either 8 or 16 servings, so it's really not that big a deal. I've got another recipe for scones that uses 12 Tbs. of butter and cream and buttermilk, and they don't come close to the texture and excellence of this recipe, and they're "lighter" relatively speaking!

So, the recipes:

Godwin Garlicky Caesar Salad Dressing

4 (or more to taste) cloves of freshly pressed (or chopped) garlic
3/4 cup light mayo (olive oil mayo is great)
2 Tbs. grated parmesan cheese
2 Tbs. lemon juice
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. Dijon mustard

Mix and serve with romaine leaves, grated parmesan, crouton and chicken if you like. Makes 6-8 servings.

Gruffalo Crumble (adapted from Moosewood's Fruit Crisp)

Five chopped fresh apricots
2 pints fresh blackberries
1 peeled and chopped tart apple
1/3 cup sugar

1 c rolled oats
1 c flour
3 Tbs. brown sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
dash of nutmeg and allspice or cardamom
1/4 tsp. salt
5 Tbs. melted butter

Preheat oven to 375. Mix fruit and sugar in 8x8 pan. Mix topping ingredients and pat down firmly on top of fruit. Bake 35 mins or until fruit is bubbling up around the edges and topping is browned.

Maple Pecan Scones (adapted from Cappuccino Hazelnut Scones from The Baker's Apprentice)

2 c. unbleached flour
1/3 c. sugar
1 Tbs. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
6 Tbs. unsalted butter cut into small cubes (very cold)
3/4 c. toasted and coarsely chopped pecans (or hazelnuts if doing original recipe)
1 1/2 Tbs. Maple extract (or 2 Tbs. instant espresso powder if making CappHaze Scones)
3/4 c. cream
1 large egg, beaten
Cream and sugar for glaze

Line a heavy baking sheet with parchment paper, and preheat oven to 400-degrees F. Toast chopped nuts (in a loaf pan) while you are chopping fridged butter, then put butter in small bowl and put in freezer while you whisk the dry ingredients together. Next, cut the butter into the dry stuff with a pastry blender, two knives or your fingers until the largest pieces are the size of peas. Then in a small bowl, beat the egg, and add the cream and maple (or espresso powder) and mix. Add the cream mixture to the butter mixture and mix with a fork until nearly combined, then gather into a moist shaggy ball and put on prepared pan and flatten into a circle that's 1- to 1 1/2-inches thick. Score the circle into eight wedges with a very sharp knife. Brush with cream and sprinkle with a little sugar, then bake for about 20 mins. (deep golden color and toothpick in center should remove clean). Remove from oven, cool for five mins, cut along score lines, then brush with a little more cream (mixed with a little sugar) - about 2 Tbs. of cream and 1 tsp. sugar only. Let cool an additional 5 minutes then serve. (Can be frozen and then baked without thawing; just allow 5-10 extra minutes of baking time.)

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Pete's Beets

Thanks to Pete for these gorgeous beets from his garden, and to Jamie & John who delivered them. I gave them a wash, a peel, and mandolined them up (I always use the guard now... learned my lesson), and Erik HAD to "help" I also sliced his apple with the mandolin. He was a safe little apprentice too. We shook the beets in a Ziploc with olive oil and S&P, then roasted at 425-degrees F for about 20-ish minutes... or maybe less. The time it took to put the baked macaroni and cheese together and get it in the oven for about 10 mins, and sautee the shrimp in a little butter and a lot of garlic. Delish. And fitting since today felt very Autumnal.
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Saturday, August 16, 2008

Tempura Squash Blossoms

Just Tempura batter mix from the grocery, and assorted pumpkin, zucchini and other squash blossoms from our garden. They were delicious. I didn't stuff them, just dipped and fried in some peanut and canola oil. They were surprisingly sweet and very tasty. Erik declared them "dee-li-sus!"


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