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Wednesday, June 26

Sweet corn & roasted red pepper crème brûlée

Butter, unsalted
2 tablespoons
Corn, white, kernels cut from cobs
2 large ears
Red peppers, bottled, roasted, diced
½ cup
Thyme, minced
2 tablespoons
6 yolks
Cream, heavy
1 ½ cups
½ cup
Dash or two
¼ teaspoon
Pepper, freshly ground

Cheddar, white, shredded
1 cup
Sugar, brown
6 tablespoons
  1. Preheat the oven to 275°F.
  2. Spread the sugar out on a baking sheet in a 1/8-inch layer, and bake for 8 to 10 minutes, until browned a shade darker; let cool.
  3. Crush thoroughly with a rolling pin or mallet to make fine crystals.
  4. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter, add the corn, cover, and cook for 2 minutes, or until tender.
  5. Transfer to a medium bowl, and stir in the peppers and thyme.
  6. In another medium bowl, whisk the yolks until pale in color.
  7. Whisk in the cream, half-and-half, Tabasco, salt, and pepper.
  8. Place six flan dishes in a baking pan.
  9. Divide the vegetable mixture into the dishes.
  10. Sprinkle evenly with the cheese.
  11. Divide the custard mixture into the dishes.
  12. Add warm water to the pan until halfway up the sides of the flan dishes.
  13. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the center of each custard still jiggles slightly.
  14. Remove from the oven, and lift the dishes from the hot water.
  15. Place the dishes on a baking sheet.
  16. Evenly sprinkle 1 tablespoon of sugar over each custard.
  17. Using a hand-held blowtorch, caramelize the sugar.
Recipe adapted from Crème Brûlée by Lou Seibert Pappas.

Tuesday, June 25

Zucchini fritters

Vinegar, unseasoned rice
3 tablespoons
Soy sauce, reduced sodium
1 tablespoon
1 ½ teaspoons
Red pepper flakes, crushed

Zucchini, grated
1 ½ pounds
Salt, kosher
½ teaspoon +
Egg, lightly beaten
¼ cup
Chives, finely chopped
3 tablespoons
1 tablespoon
Pepper, freshly ground

Vegetable oil
1/3 cup
  1. Mix all the sauce ingredients together in a small bowl until the sugar dissolves; set aside. 
  2. Place the zucchini in a colander in the sink, and toss with ½ teaspoon of salt. 
  3.  Let stand 10 minutes, and then wring zucchini dry in a clean kitchen towel. 
  4. Place in a large bowl, and gently mix in egg. flour, chives, and cornstarch; season with salt and pepper. 
  5. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. 
  6. Working in batches, drop ¼ cupful of the zucchini mixture into the skillet. 
  7. Flatten slightly, and cook until golden and crisp, about 3 minutes per side. 
  8. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate. 
  9. Season with salt, serve with sauce. 
Recipe from Bon Appétit, July 2013.

Roasted strawberry-buttermilk sherbet

Strawberries, hulled,
halved or quartered, if large
1 pound
1 cup
Vanilla bean,
halved, split lengthwise
1 ½ cups
Sour cream
1/3 cup
Salt, kosher
  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F. 
  2. Combine strawberries and sugar in a 13-by-9-by-2-inch baking pan. (Chef note: gradually sprinkle the sugar over the strawberries in a bowl as you gently stir with a rubber spatula, then stir in the vanilla bean seeds.)
  3. Scrape in the vanilla bean seeds, add the pod, and toss to combine. 
  4. Roast, stirring occasionally, until the juices are bubbling, about 15 to 20 minutes; let cool but not too much; otherwise, the juice will stick to the pan. 
  5. Discard pod. 
  6. Purée the berries, buttermilk, sour cream, and salt in a blender until smooth. 
  7. Once the mixture is completely cooled, process in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. 
  8. Transfer the sherbet to an airtight container, and freeze until ready to serve.
Recipe from Bon Appétit, July 2013.

Bison meatloaf with mushroom sauce

Recipe from a magazine, I think... tasted much better than it looks.

Pumpkin pie

Baked stuffed mushroom start

(Posting draft photos for recipes yet to be typed, if ever... like this one.)

Seasonal greens with Asian pears, toasted pecans & buttermilk dressing

Recipe from Kathy Casey's Northwest Table.

Monday, June 24

Roasted carrots with carrot-top pesto

Carrots, small with tops
3 pounds
Vegetable oil
2 tablespoons
Salt, kosher

Pepper, freshly ground

1 clove
Pine nuts
3 tablespoons
Basil leaves
½ cup
Parmesan, finely grated
¼ cup
Olive oil, extra-virgin
½ cup
  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  2. Trim carrot tops, leaving ½-inch of stem remaining.
  3. Measure 2 cups of carrot tops, and set aside (reserve any remaining tops for another use).
  4. Toss carrots with vegetable oil on a rimmed baking sheet.
  5. Season with salt and pepper.
  6. Roast, tossing occasionally, until carrots are golden brown, about 25 to 35 minutes; let cool.
  7. In a food processor, pulse garlic and pine nuts until a coarse paste forms.
  8. Add basil, Parmesan, and reserved carrot tops; process until a coarse purée forms.
  9. Pulse in olive oil, and season with salt and pepper.
Recipe from Bon Appétit, July 2013

Plum semifreddo

Licking the bowl and spatula clean while I wait for the semifreddo to freeze.
Plums, red, cut into chunks
1 ½ pounds
Cardamom, ground
½ teaspoon
1/3 cup +
2/3 cup
Salt, kosher
2 pinches
3 whites
Vanilla extract
½ teaspoon
Cream, heavy, chilled
1 cup
  1. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine the plums, cardamom, 1/3 cup of sugar, and salt. 
  2. Cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the plums release their juices, about 5 minutes. 
  3. Uncover, and continue cooking until the plums soften and start to fall apart, 6 to 8 minutes longer; let cool slightly. 
  4. Purée in a blender until very smooth. 
  5. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a medium bowl, pressing the solids; let cool. 
  6. Reserve 1 cup of purée for serving. 
  7. In an electric mixer bowl over a pot of simmering water (do not touch the water!), whisk together the egg whites, pinch of salt, and remaining 2/3 cup of sugar; whisk constantly until the sugar dissolves, and the mixture is warm to touch, about 4 minutes. 
  8. Transfer the bowl to the mixer stand, add vanilla, and beat until tripled in volume, glossy, and completely cool, about 10 minutes. 
  9. Using a hand-held electric beater, whip the cream in a medium bowl until soft peaks form. 
  10. Fold one-third of the cream into the egg mixture until just combined. 
  11. Fold in remaining cream until combined. 
  12. Fold in plum purée until large streaks appear throughout (don’t overdo it!). 
  13. Transfer to a springform loaf pan, and cover with plastic wrap. 
  14. Freeze until firm, at least 8 hours. 
  15. Cut into 1-inch wedges, let set at room temperature for 5 minutes, and serve with reserved purée.
Recipe from Bon Appétit, July 2013.

Friday, June 21

Classic crème brûlée

My second attempt after making a number of recipe adjustments.
Egg yolks
Sugar, granulated
2/3 cup
Vanilla extract
6 tablespoons
Cream, whipping
2 2/3 cups
Sugar, brown
1 cup
  1. Preheat the oven to 300°F.
  2. Whisk together yolks, granulated sugar, and vanilla until smooth.
  3. Add cream, and whisk until smooth; try to incorporate as little air as possible by mixing with short strokes.
  4. Spoon mixture into 1-cup oven-proof individual serving dishes.
  5. Place individual dishes into a larger, deeper oven-proof pan.
  6. Fill the larger pan with enough water to reach halfway up the sides of the cups.
  7. Bake (convection) for 1 hour 35 minutes; shake gently to test for firmness.
  8. Remove from oven, and cool in the larger pan for 30 minutes.
  9. Remove from the pan, and cool overnight in the refrigerator.
  10. Preheat boiler with a rack 6-inches from the top.
  11. Sprinkle brown sugar over each, and caramelize under the broiler, before serving.
    (Chef note: To keep the crème creamy, broil in an icy water bath.)
First attempt (May 14, 2013) from following the recipe verbatim. No crunchy top. No creamy custard. Double negative made for a positive learning experience. 
More chef notes:

  • James contends, and I have to agree, that the alcohol in the vanilla extract comes off a bit strong. I going to try alcohol-free next time.
  • Using the broiler, the sugar topping is a bit uneven distributed, but still quite good. Going to try a butane torch next time to get that sugary glass effect.

Sunday, June 16

Cherry cheesecake

Graham cracker crumbs
1 cup
3 tablespoons
Butter, melted
3 tablespoons
Cream cheese, softened
24 ounces
¾ cup
Vanilla extract
1 teaspoon
Cherries, pitted, halved
2 cups
2 tablespoons
2 tablespoons
2 tablespoons
2 teaspoons
  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F. 
  2. Combine the cracker crumbs, sugar, and butter. 
  3. Press into the bottom and sides of the springform pan.
    (Chef note: This recipe uses a loaf springform pan.) 
  4. Bake for 5 minutes; set aside to cool. 
  5. With an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla until well blended, scraping down the sides of the bowl a couple of times. 
  6. Reduce the speed to low, and add the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. 
  7. Pour the filling into the springform, and smooth and level the top with a spatula, as needed. 
  8. Bake for 45 to 55 minutes, or until the center is almost set. 
  9. Turn off the oven, leave the door cracked open, and let the cheesecake rest for 30 minutes. 
  10. Transfer to a rack and cool completely; using a small pastry knife, loosen the crust from the springform ring. 
  11. Chill overnight (or at least 4 hours) in the refrigerator. 
  12. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, add the cherries, water, butter, sugar, and cornstarch. 
  13. Bring to a boil, and continue boiling for 3 minutes. 
  14. Reduce the heat, and stirring occasionally, simmer for another 2 to 3 minutes. 
  15. Remove from heat, and let cool slightly. 
  16. Remove the springform ring, garnish with two to three spoonful of sauce, and serve with the remaining sauce.