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Gribiche

5 Jun

Gribiche

For all of my Summer Sauce class attendees, this one is for you.  I hope you enjoy making these recipes as much as I enjoyed sharing them with you!

Gribiche is a traditional french sauce that is somewhere between a tartar and egg salad in nature. Served over seared fish, spooned on top of roasted asparagus, or simply siting on your morning toast, this versatile sauce is something that can be thrown together within minutes with ingredients you most likely have on hand in your pantry. The result is both intensely flavorful and satisfying, with room to add and subtract herbs and seasonings as you please. The key is to emulsify the yolks and oil as you would when making mayonnaise, slowly incorporating the oil and mixing continuously (see previous post on mayonnaise if you need a refresher, but do note the use of cooked egg yolks as well in this variation). Lastly, remember that capers are extremely salty, so taste before adding additional salt if you use a good amount of capers.

The photo above portrays a more ‘rustic’ gribiche. For a fancier plating, or if you love meticulously detailed tasks/spacing out while chopping things, take your time while prepping the egg whites, ensuring a more uniform and tidy presentation.

Enjoy and stay tuned for more to come soon!

Ingredients:

3 hardboiled eggs, whites and yolks separated

1 raw egg yolk

1 cup sunflower, canola or other neutral oil

juice of 1 lemon

2-3 tablespoons white wine vinegar

2 teaspoons dijon mustard

2 tablespoons capers

2 tablespoons cornichon pickles, cut into small rounds

2 tablespoons fresh chopped dill

1 tablespoon chopped tarragon

good dash smoked paprika

good pinch salt and fresh cracked black pepper

Directions:

Finely dice egg whites and set aside. In a medium bowl, mash egg yolks with a fork until well combined. Mix in yolk and whisk together until a smooth paste forms. Slowly drizzle oil into the yolk mixture until you reach a mayonnaise-like consistency. Add in lemon juice, white wine vinegar, dijon, capers, cornichons, dill, tarragon and smoked paprika. Taste, and season with salt and pepper as needed. Serve immediately or store in the fridge for up to two days.

Cultured Butter

13 May

ButterIt has been over a year since my last post, and I am truly sorry. This recipe marks my official jump back on the blogging wagon, and I swear I will do my best to hold on this time. As many of you already know, I am currently finishing my first year in the Culinary Arts and Nutrition Program here at Bastyr just north of Seattle. It has been an amazingly challenging and inspiring journey, consisting of a completely new lifestyle, an abundance of hard core sciences and most importantly, a wealth of new culinary motivation.

Over winter quarter I had the pleasure of working as the TA for Chef’s Pantry; a class dedicated to creating a fully stocked cupboard through preservation, pickling and fermentation. Of the many, many amazing recipes and techniques that we covered, the one that stuck with me the most was making fresh butter. Butter is just one of those ingredients that is so unbelievably essential, so unbelievably delicious, and much to my surprise, so unbelievably simple and satisfying to make.  Knowing that it’s always available even if the world were to run out allows me to sleep that much better at night…from the moment I sealed that first jar I immediately felt like a far more competent/worthy human being.

Really it’s easy. All you need is some good quality cream, a splash of buttermilk, a hearty pinch of sea salt, and a little patience (as well as parchment paper or saran wrap, an electric hand mixer, and a roll of paper towels).

Here we go.

Homemade Cultured Butter

Makes one 4 oz mason jar 

*Note: the first step of this process involves making the creme fraiche, which will need to sit for about 1 day before butter making can begin.

Ingredients:

1-cup cream (either from a trusted local source or organic preferably, the difference it makes taste/health wise is absolutely worth it)

2-tablespoons buttermilk

pinch of sea salt plus any other herb/spice desired for seasoning, chopped fine

Directions:

photo

In a glass jar, combine cream and buttermilk. Cover and allow it to sit in a warm, draft free spot for roughly 24 hours (the oven with the pilot light on works great for this). After 24 hours, stir and refrigerate until a thick, sour cream like consistency is reached.

creme fraiche

In a large metal bowl, empty creme fraiche. Using electric beaters, beat on medium high until small solid yellow clumps begin to form and liquid starts to release. This will occur about 5-7 minutes past the whipped cream phase. Begin to carefully pour off liquid, draining off as much as possible.

Butter

Place butter back in the bowl and continue to blend and drain repeatedly until butter begins to form a semi homogenous solid.

Butter

Once the mixture has reached this point, form a large ball using your hands and place it in a bowl of cold water, making sure to fully submerge it in its entirety. Tear off 1 large sheet of either parchment or saran wrap, and set it on a flat working surface. Remove the ball from the water and lightly pat dry with a paper towel. Place the ball on your parchment/saran and using a wooden spoon, spread mixture into a thin, flat surface. Again, using paper towels, blot butter dry. Continue to spread and blot repeatedly, sopping up as much liquid as possible. Excess liquid will cause the butter to spoil, so this step is very important. Once butter is thoroughly dried, add salt/herbs and spices. Spread once more to incorporate the added seasonings, then pack tightly into a small mason jar.

IMG_0495Butter should last for at the very least a couple of weeks to a couple of months, again depending on the amount of liquid remaining after drying. Do note that this butter will be/should be slightly tangy due to starting with creme fraiche. Spread it on your favorite toast, fry up your morning eggs with it, or eat it with a spoon. Enjoy, and stay tuned for more to come soon!

The Long Awaited Romesco

24 Apr

Romesco

First off, happy spring to you all! Now that the sun is shining and the fresh produce is abundant, I promise The Kitchen Sink NW will be making more of a routine appearance. It’s amazing how fast the months pass by when the sky is gray and your math teacher is on a mission to ruin your life…

Jumping straight back into it, here is my base recipe for Romesco. I say base as the amount of seasoning that goes into it always differs a bit depending on the batch. Everyone seems to have a different recipe for this fantastic Spanish sauce as well, so be creative and add ingredients as they seem fit. This recipe will give you a great reference, and the end result should be spicy and smokey, with hints of rich nuttiness and bright acid.

This sauce tastes great with just about anything, be it grilled shrimp, charred green onions, or spread on a hot sandwich with melted pepper jack, flank steak and a perfectly ripe avocado.

Here we go.

Makes 1 large bowl

Ingredients:

2- cups roasted red bell peppers (I have found the sauce tastes much better with jarred roasted red bell peppers, I use Mezzetta brand from Napa)

3-4- chipotle peppers in adobo sauce

3- tablespoons adobo sauce

1- cup marcona almonds

1/2- cup oven roasted hazelnuts (dry roasted at home at 350 for about 8-10 minutes)

4-5- cloves garlic

1/2- 3/4 cup olive oil

4- tablespoons sherry vinegar

2-tablespoons sherry wine

juice of 2 lemons

salt to taste

3-4 slices day old bread (french or sourdough works great)

Directions:

Add peppers, adobo sauce, nuts, and garlic to a food processor and blend until well combined. Slowly add oil, vinegar, lemon juice and salt. Add more oil as needed and season to taste. When the flavor is right, add bread and pulse until well combined, adding as much as needed until you reach your desired thickness.

Serve and store extra in a sealed container in the fridge. Should last for about a week or so.

Enjoy and stay tuned for more (I swear) to come soon!

Peanut Butter Pie With Honey Goat Cheese and Bananas

10 Jan

I made this for a friend for her birthday a few days ago and was amazed by how delicious and easy it was. She informed me that she enjoyed it with a nice glass of scotch, which I decided was an idea worth sharing. This would be a great pie for those of us who aren’t natural born bakers, as screwing this one up would be hard to do. I used a simple butter crust but the options are endless as a crumb crust would be equally satisfying. I also used goat cheese instead of cream cheese, but as I have mentioned before if the taste of goat milk isn’t your thing, substitute. Take note: this pie takes about 4 hours to set.

Alright, here we go.

Peanut Butter Pie with Honey Goat Cheese and Bananas

Makes one 9-inch pie

Ingredients:

  • fresh 9-inch pie crust (For a simple butter crust recipe, click here. You can half the recipe for the purpose of this pie).
  • 3/4-cup chocolate chips
  • 3/4-cup organic peanut butter
  • 8-ounces of honey goat cheese, softened (If it’s not at your local store, you can make this yourself by mixing goat cheese with a little honey, just enough to make it a tad sweet).
  • 1/2-cup powdered sugar
  • 1-cup cream, whipped into stiff peaks
  • 1-tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • good dash salt

Directions:

First, you will need to bake your crust. Follow the directions from your recipe for time and temperature. Once crust is almost fully baked, add chocolate chips, allowing them to melt for about 3- 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and using the back of a spoon or rubber spatula, spread melted chocolate evenly on the bottom of the crust. Set aside and allow to cool slightly.

In a medium size mixing bowl, mix together peanut butter, goat cheese and powdered sugar. Use an electric mixer if possible and mix until well combined.

In a separate bowl, whip the cup of cream until it forms stiff peaks. This will usually take a few minutes and is easily achieved with an electric mixer. Once cream is fully whipped, add vanilla and salt.

Combine peanut butter mix and whipped cream and blend together until light and fluffy. Taste and season as needed.

Poor the finished product into the baked pie crust. Top with bananas and freeze for at least 3 1/2- 4 hours.

Remove from the freezer about 20 minutes before serving.

Serve with extra whipped cream, chocolate sauce, or your favorite nightcap.

Eat, and enjoy.

Preserved Lemons

6 Dec

So, seeing as how we are almost through the first week of December, I suppose we should start thinking about gifts eh? I feel like whatever festive day you call your own, a present or two will always come in handy during these beautiful months of winter. For the past few years I have attempted to make something exciting and special to disperse amongst those who are close. One year I bound books, another year my Ma and I went on a gingersnap/seed brittle bake-off. Most recently, we sent out small batches of homemade Olalliberry Jam and Roasted Hazelnut Butter. I find that it’s a fantastic way to be creative while spreading the holiday love, and in my eyes the nicest little gift you could give as it comes straight from the heart (and usually the kitchen).

If we have ever cooked together you probably know that I am obsessed with fresh lemon juice. In my opinion, almost everything is better with a little hit of citrus. At Olympic, I feel like our chef Erin runs with the same model. We use preserved lemons in almost a quarter of our dishes if not more. These lemons, traditionally used in Moroccan/Mediterranean cooking are basically cured in their own juices with the addition of a large amount of salt. They’ve appeared on our menu served with everything from Brussel Sprouts with Creamy Preserved Lemon Dressing to Spaghetti with Dungeness Crab and Parsley. Many times they are simply chopped fine and mixed with fresh herbs to be used as a garnish. They are an amazing addition to many different types of dishes as their intensity adds a unique flavor that really can’t be mimicked. They are like a kaffir lime leaf or a vanilla bean, nothing competes with the real deal. Do take note that a little goes a long way, so familiarize yourself before using a heavy hand.

Packed in small mason jars, these would make an amazing gift for any friend that loves good food or experimenting with new ingredients.

They take about 10 lemons, a box of salt and 15 minutes of prep time, but they have to sit for about three weeks before they are ready for eating. I know you can do quick preserved lemons as well, but this method is for the old school version.

Here she is.

Makes about 1 quart, but you can disperse them into whatever sized jars you please.

Ingredients:

  • 10-12 medium lemons, scrubbed clean, (get Meyer lemons if you can)
  • 3/4-1 cup kosher salt
  • extra fresh lemon juice
  • optional ingredients: bay leaves, cinnamon sticks, cloves, red pepper flakes, peppercorns, etc.
  • sterilized mason jars

Directions:

  • Place 2-tablespoons salt on the bottom of your jar. If you are using smaller jars, use less.
  • To prepare the lemons, cut off about 1/4 inch off one end. From there, cut the lemons in half like you would an onion before you chop it, going almost all the way to but not through the other end. Do the same once more to create four separate wedges of lemon, all attached to the same root if you will.
  • Open and generously sprinkle salt all over the inside and outside of each lemon. Really use your fingers, salting each one thoroughly. Pack the lemons in the jar, squishing them down so that juice is extracted and rises to the top. They should be very compact and covered with juice. Add more if necessary.
  • Top with a couple additional tablespoons of salt and add whichever optional ingredients you desire.
  • Seal the jar using boiling water and let sit at room temperature for a couple of days. Turn the jar upside down occasionally. Then, put it in the refrigerator and let it sit for at about 3 weeks. Flip occasionally until lemon rinds soften.
  • When you are ready to use the lemons, remove the quantity you plan to use and rinse it lightly with water. You can use the rinds and pulp, but remove the seeds. Some people only use the rinds, so taste for yourself and decide what you like best. When adding to your dish, chop very fine like you would garlic.
  • Hand out to loved ones or store in the fridge for up to six months and enjoy!

Split Pea Soup with Bacon and Caraway

3 Dec

You will have to bare with me for these next two weeks as school has officially hit its peak. All I can say is please know that I’m thinking of you all and that I would much rather be cooking. Sadly, cooking doesn’t help my GPA (yet).

Two days ago I had to scrape the ice off my windshield with a spatula. That same morning I also wore Ugg boots in public, which I feel says a great deal about how cold it was outside, no offense to the ‘outside-the-home Ugg lovers’ out there. In my eyes, nothing warms a frigid day quite like a good old bowl of hearty soup. A quick batch of split pea seemed like just the fix.

I should put it out there that split pea soup is kind of a big deal in our family. It is definitely one of those dishes that instantly brings me back in time, back to the days of teenage sisters and my sweet high top Fila’s with purple laces. I am going to go out on a limb and say that split pea soup is probably one of the most satisfying, healthy and affordable meals on the planet, not to mention super quick. Put those things together with a crock pot and you are in serious business. If you don’t have a crock pot, a medium sized pot will do just fine. Note that you can swap ingredients however you please. If you prefer a ham hock, skip the bacon and if you don’t eat meat, leave it out.

Alright, here we go.

Split Pea Soup with Bacon and Caraway

Serves 6

Ingredients:

  • 4-5 slices bacon, cut into medium pieces
  • 1- yellow onion, diced
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, roughly minced
  • 1-1/2 cups split peas
  • 3-4 carrots, chopped into medium rounds
  • 2-bay leaves
  • 3-tablespoons or more caraway seeds
  • +/- 1 tablespoon red chili flake
  • pinch of paprika
  • generous amount of salt (soup takes A LOT of salt)
  • good pinch black pepper
  • juice of 1 small lemon
  • 4-cups stock (I use chicken)
  • 4-cups water

Directions:

Crock Pot: In a large pan, cook bacon for 1 minute over medium heat. If you are not using bacon, use olive oil or butter to coat the pan. Add onion and garlic and cook until onions are translucent and bacon is slightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add the mix to your crock pot. Then, add everything else, modifying as you like. Cook over low heat for a couple of hours, or high heat for about an hour and a half.  The soup should be on the thicker side once it’s finished. Taste and season, adding more spice/salt/acid as needed.

If you are using a soup pot, saute the first 3 ingredients first, then add the rest all at once. Cook covered over medium/low heat for about an hour and a half.

Serve with buttered toast and enjoy!

Chocolate Zucchini Cake

16 Nov

I promise I will get back to savory recipes soon, but all this schoolwork along with the disappearing sun just makes me want to bake (and to eat things that are baked). There is nothing like spending an hour or two whipping up something sweet while your very soon to be due homework patiently awaits you untouched on the kitchen table. Even the cleanup feels relaxing as anything that isn’t chemistry seems like the perfect thing to be doing. Good habits I have, I know. So today while avoiding the thought of the tests to come this week, I thought about how we needed to throw some chocolate in the mix. Here is a healthy and delicious cake that really only takes about 15 minutes to throw together. The zucchini adds great moisture while the olive oil gives it a nice earthy twist. It would be great frosted or not. Serve with a nice big glass of milk and enjoy!

Chocolate Zucchini Cake

Makes one small loaf pan or 12 small cupcakes.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup zucchini, coarsely grated
  • zest of 1 small orange
  • 6 ounces chocolate chips

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350. In a medium bowl whisk together flour, cocoa, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. In a separate bowl beat together sugar, oil, egg, and vanilla until thick and creamy, about 2-3 minutes. Once fully combined, mix in flour mixture. Stir in zucchini, zest and chocolate chips. Pour into a small greased loaf/cake pan or divide into your muffin pan. Bake for 35-40 minutes (less if you are making cupcakes). Cake should be firm up top with a nice softness in the middle. Allow to cool then serve.

Thank you for staying tuned and check back for more to come soon!

 

Pumpkin Ginger Cake with Goat Cheese Frosting

10 Nov

Continuing on with my baking binge, I bring you Pumpkin Ginger Cake with Goat Cheese Frosting. In the weeks that follow I will try my best to post recipes that will theoretically be of use to you during the holiday season. This recipe is extremely moist and flavorful and makes a great carrot-cake like treat that would be fantastic either as one large cake or as individual cupcakes. The goat cheese frosting is my spin on cream cheese frosting, so if goat cheese is not your thing, feel free to use cream cheese in its place. The measurements will stay the same.

Goat Cheese Frosting

  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 4 ounces soft goat cheese
  • 1/2 pound powdered sugar
  • good splash pure vanilla
  • zest of 1 small lemon, plus a splash of its juice if you like citrus
  • dash of salt

Pumpkin Ginger Cake

Makes 10-12 small cupcakes or one medium loaf shaped cake

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar, plus additional for sprinkling
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces
  • 1 heaping cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup evaporated milk
  • 1  egg
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1/2 orange, zested
  • approximately 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, peeled and grated
  • optional ingredients: finely chopped candied ginger, walnuts, golden raisins, shredded coconut, pumpkin seeds

Directions For Frosting:

Mix all ingredients on high speed until completely combined. If you don’t have an electric mixer, place the bowl on top of the oven while it preheats to help  your ingredients soften and beat quickly with a whisk. Place in the fridge until you are ready to use.

Directions For Cake:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Generously grease muffin tins or loaf/cake pan.

Sift flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt into a medium sized bowl. Cut in butter and mix until it’s fully incorporated. Use your electric mixer here if you have one.

In a separate bowl, mix together pumpkin, evaporated milk, egg, vanilla, orange zest and fresh ginger. When fully blended, combine pumpkin and flour mix into one bowl. Gently fold in any additional ingredients you might be using.

Pour batter into your greased cookware and sprinkle with remaining sugar.

Bake for 20-25 minutes, testing with a toothpick or fork once the time has come. Remember it will continue to bake slightly as it cools. Once finished, allow to cool in the pan for 15 minutes or so. Remove from the pan and once it’s completely cool, top with frosting. If you want to get Martha Stewart about it, pull out your piping bag, otherwise a knife or rubber spatula will do.

Once frosted, plate, eat and enjoy!

Salted Butterscotch Pudding With Coconut Milk

6 Nov

Whenever November comes, all I wan’t to do is make dessert. Maybe it’s the twenty first century’s way of presenting survival of the fittest as we gear up for the holidays and the potluck meals that loom in our near future. I recently rediscovered just how delicious butterscotch pudding really is, and decided to make some this evening for dessert. I used full fat coconut milk instead of regular milk as an experiment, and it turned out to be great. This would be perfect for your lactose intolerant guests, or for any night you feel like a decadent, yet healthful treat. And if you feel torn, I say use both. Heavy whipping cream rarely hurts anything in a kitchen. If you do choose to do this, use 1-1/2 cups coconut milk and 1/2 cup cream.

Top with whipped cream and toffee pieces, or enjoy straight without frills.

If you have any bourbon in the house, I suggest adding a splash for flavor. We were out.

Butterscotch Pudding

Fills Four Small Ramekins

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar (important that it is dark)
  • 1 teaspoon salt, plus more for seasoning
  • 2 tablespoons plus 2 tsp cornstarch
  • 2 cups coconut milk, full fat
  • 2-3 tablespoons butter
  • a good heavy splash of pure vanilla extract
Directions:
Whisk together brown sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a medium saucepan. Then whisk in coconut milk. **Be sure to whisk thoroughly to avoid cornstarch clumping. Bring to a boil over medium heat, whisking frequently, then boil, whisking, 1 minute. Remove from heat and whisk in butter and vanilla. Taste with a spoon and season as needed. Pour into a bowl or ramekins and chill until cold, at least 1 hour.
Stay posted for more holiday inspired recipes coming to you soon!

Fall Inspiration and a Failproof Galette

1 Nov

Hello to you all. My sincere apologies for my recent disappearing act. School will do that from time to time, but be assured the blog will continue, it just may take a few days or sometimes even twelve.

Today I will share a recipe for the perfect galette crust. I have failed numerous times before as I am no professional when it comes to baking, but yesterday I finally got it right. A galette is basically a free form tart, and in this case the dough is very flaky and buttery, more or less like puff pastry. It lends itself to either sweet or savory fillings, and would no doubt be delicious with either one. The trick for me is letting it sit in the fridge over night rather than the recommended hour or so. The dough is mainly butter, so unless you move pretty quickly it will begin to soften at rapid speeds, leaving you with a serious mess and nothing to serve for dessert. Leaving it to chill longer gives you more room to take some time and get it right.

The filling options for this are endless. This time around I went for Apple-Cheddar.

I hope you enjoy this prep school recipe and happy November to you all.

Stay posted for more to come soon.

Ingredients:

Makes enough for 2-medium sized galettes.

  • 2 1/2-cups all purpose flour
  • 2- tablespoons sugar
  • 1- teaspoon salt
  • 16- tablespoons cold butter, cut into medium cubes
  • 2/3-cup ice water

Directions:

Either using a stand mixer, hand mixer or food processor, mix flour, sugar and salt together. Add butter a few cubes at a time until well blended. Add ice water and mix until a nice dough is formed. Note: its okay if there are streaks of butter. Form into two thick disks, wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least a couple of hours. Again, leaving it in longer will give you more time to work as the dough will not soften as quickly. Once dough is ready, flour your work space and roll disks out into nice flat rounds, about the thickness of a couple flour tortillas stacked on top of each other. Remember that these are rustic, so don’t worry if they aren’t perfect circles.

Fill with your chosen filling, leaving an inch or so around the edges to fold over. Once filling is set, fold the edges to meet your filling (like photo up top) to create the crust. Brush with an egg wash (whole egg plus 1 tablespoon or so of water beaten together) for a nice crisp shine and bake at 400 until lightly golden brown, about 45 minutes.

Serve hot and enjoy…