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Monday, November 25

Apple pie with cheddar crust

Third attempt with 14 apples!
Second attempt with nearly twice as many apples
First attempt, but needed more filling!
Flour, all purpose
2 ¾ cups
Sugar, superfine
2/3 cup +
¾ cup +
Butter, salted, cut into cubes
1 ¼ cups
Cheddar, extra sharp
¼ cup
2 yolks
Cream, heavy
¼ cup
Lemon, juiced
Apples, Braeburn,
cored, peeled, chopped
7 pounds
1/8 cup +
2 tablespoons
  1. Preheat to 375°F; place a baking sheet in the oven. 
  2. In a large mixing bowl, make a well with the flour, and then pour the 2/3 cup sugar into the center. 
  3. Add the butter, and use your fingertips to break all the cubes into a coarse meal. 
  4. Sprinkle in the cheese, and coat with flour. 
  5. Add the yolks, and about 1/8 cup water, if necessary, if the mixture is too dry. 
  6. Form into a smooth dough, and wrap with plastic wrap; chill for 20 minutes. 
  7. Meanwhile, strain the lemon into a large pot.
    Chef’s note: To reduce apple browning, toss the apples in the juice as each one is chopped. 
  8. Add the 1 cup sugar plus 2 tablespoons water, and cook for 15 minutes over medium heat; let cool.
    Note: Stir in 3 tablespoons flour to thicken the apple juice.
  9. Roll out the pastry to fit a 9-by-2-inch pie plate, and brush the edges with cream. 
  10. Fill with cooled apples.
    Chef’s note: Use a pie bird to better support the crust, if available. 
  11. Roll out the top, and brush with cream. 
  12. Crimp the edges with a fork. 
  13. Sprinkle with sugar. 
  14. Place on the baking sheet, and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until golden. 
  15. Let rest at least 15 minutes before cutting; serve with cream.
Recipe by your friendly Dishes with my Dish host.

Pumpkin pie from scratch

Sugar pie pumpkins, halved,
seeds and guts discarded
7 pounds
Cream, heavy

Eggs, large, room temperature
2 whole
Cinnamon, ground Ceylon
1 ½ teaspoons
Ginger, ground
½ teaspoon
Clove, ground
1/8 teaspoon
Salt, fine sea
¼ teaspoon
Milk, sweetened condensed
14 ounces
  1. Preheat to 425°F.
    Chef's note: I'm using a Convection Bake setting for better heat distribution.
  2. Prepare a 9-by-2-inch pie plate with pastry dough, and refrigerated until needed.
  3. Steam the pumpkin halves, in batches if necessary, for 20 to 25 minutes, until tender; let cool slightly.
  4. Scoop the meat into a food processor bowl, and purée, scraping down the sides of the bowl occasionally.
    A little texture is desired, but eliminate any large bits.
  5. Measure out 4 cups of the purée in a large bowl, and reserve the remaining for another use.
  6. Add the eggs and whisk lightly to break the yolks.
  7. Sprinkle the spices over the top.
  8. Slowly pour in the milk, whisking gently; scrape occasionally, and use the spatula to extract any remaining contents in the can, and whisk until combined.
  9. Remove the prepared pie plate from the refrigerator, brush the edges with cream, and then pour in the custard, distributing evenly.
  10. Bake for 12 minutes. 
  11. Reduce the temperature to 375°F, and continue baking until the center is firm, about 40 minutes.
  12. Transfer to a wire rack, and cool for at least 1 ½ hours before cutting; preferably let it sit over night for the flavors to develop.
Serve with hand-whipped cream (it's a texture thing, and worth the work).
Recipe by your friendly Dishes with my Dish host.

Saturday, November 16

Red beans & rice

Onion, diced
Bell pepper, green, seeded, diced
Celery, diced
1 stalk
2 tablespoons
Red kidney beans, dried
1 pound
Ham hocks, smoked
Bay leaves
½ teaspoon

Green onions, chopped
Pepper, freshly ground



Duck fat, olive oil, ghee, or butter
1 tablespoon
Onion, small, minced
Rice, long-grain white
1 ½ cups
Chicken stock
3 cups
Bay leaf

  1. In a soup pot over medium-high heat, sweat the onions, bell pepper, and celery in the ghee. 
  2. Once the onions become translucent, add the beans, hocks, bay leaves, and cayenne, and then add enough water to cover by 2 inches. 
  3. Increase the heat, and bring the water to a boil. 
  4. Cover the pot, reduce the heat to low, and allow the beams to slowly simmer for 2 hours. 
  5. Periodically, stir the beans to ensure they do not scorch to the bottom of the pot, adding water as needed to keep the beans covered by an inch or more of water. 
  6. Continue cooking the beans until they are creamy and beginning to fall apart when they are stirred. 
  7. Remove the ham hock meat from the bones, and roughly chop it before returning to the pot. 
  8. Stir in the green onions, and season with salt, pepper, and Tabasco. 
  1. Place the fat in a medium saucepan, and sweat the onion over moderate heat until they are translucent, about 5 minutes. 
  2. Pour the rice into the pan, and stir for 2 minutes. 
  3. Add the chicken stock, and bring to a boil. 
  4. Add the bay leaf and salt. 
  5. Cover the pan, reduce heat to low, and cook for 18 minutes. 
  6. Remove the pan from heat; fluff the rice with a fork. 
Chef's note: Needs a bit of work. The beans were tough...
Recipe mildly adapted from My New Orleans The Cookbook by John Besh.


Ghee, butter, or bacon fat
3 tablespoons
Cornmeal, white
1 cup
Flour, all purpose
1 cup
2 tablespoons
Baking powder
2 tablespoons
Salt, sea, fine
1 teaspoon
Cayenne pepper
1 ¼ cups
Butter, melted
2 tablespoons
  1. Add the fat to a 9-inch cast-iron skillet, place in the oven, and then preheat to 425°F. 
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and cayenne. 
  3. In a small bowl, combine the eggs, milk, and melted butter. 
  4. Combine the wet and dry in the large bowl, and stir until just combined. 
  5. Carefully remove the hot skillet from the oven, and pour the batter into the skillet. 
  6. Return the skillet to the oven, and bake until the cornbread is deep golden brown, about 15 to 20 minutes. 
Recipe from My New Orleans The Cookbook by John Besh.

Sunday, November 10

Chocolate soufflés

Butter, softened
3 tablespoons
Sugar, superfine
¼ cup +
¼ cup +
1/3 cup
Cocoa, unsweetened, sifted
½ cup
Chocolate, 70% cocoa solids; chopped into small pieces
8 ½ ounces
10 whites +
4 yolks
1 ¾ cups
Flour, all purpose
1 scant cup
Sugar, confectioners’
  1. Grease four 4-inch soufflé dishes, and coat the insides with ¼ cup sugar. 
  2. In a small pan, combine the milk and about two-thirds of the 1/3 cup sugar, and slowly bring to a boil. 
  3. In a large bowl, combine the remaining one-third of sugar with the yolks, and whisk to ribbon consistency, and then incorporate the flour. 
  4. Pour the hot milk into the yolks, whisking constantly, return to the pan and low heat, and continue whisking 1 minute or so. 
  5. Pour into a bowl, and cover with plastic wrap; let cool slightly. 
  6. Preheat the oven to 400°F; place baking sheet in oven to heat. 
  7. Measure 10 ounces of the pastry cream, and delicately mix in the cocoa and chocolate with a whisk.
    Reserve the remaining pastry cream for another use. 
  8. Beat the egg whites into a thick foam, and then add ¼ cup sugar, and continue to beat until soft peaks form. 
  9. Fold one-third into the pastry cream using a whisk, and then delicately fold the rest in with a large wooden spoon; the mixture will be fairly loose. 
  10. Divide the mixture between the dishes, filling them to the top. 
  11. Place on the preheated baking sheet, and bake for 10 minutes. 
  12. Dust with confectioners’ sugar, place on warmed plates, and serve. 
Chef note: Serve with a scoop of homemade ice cream slipped into the center.
Yield: 4
Recipe from Eggs by Michel Roux.

Wednesday, November 6

Caesar salad with poached eggs

1 yolk
Dijon mustard
1/8 teaspoon
Lemon juice
1 tablespoon
Garlic, sliver, crushed
1 clove
Anchovy paste
1 teaspoon
Peanut oil
5 tablespoons
Parmesan, freshly grated
1 ounce
Pepper, freshly ground

2 tablespoons
Anchovy fillets
1 tablespoon
Romaine lettuce, trimmed
2 heads
Bread, white; crust discarded, ½-inch cube cut
2 slices
Peanut oil
4 ½ tablespoons
Parmesan, shaved
4 ounces
Eggs, poached
Parsley, chopped
2 tablespoons
  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the yolk, mustard, juice, and garlic until very smooth. 
  2. Add the anchovy paste, and then slowly whisk in the oil until amalgamated. 
  3. Add the cheese, and then water to give the dressing a slightly looser consistency. 
  4. Season with pepper to taste. 
  1. If necessary, soak the anchovies in milk for 30 minutes to remove excessive salt. 
  2. Trim the greenest outer leaves from the lettuce; cut the remaining into 1 ½-inch chunks, wash in cold water, and drain thoroughly; refrigerate. 
  3. Heat the oil in a skillet, and fry the bread cubes, turning, until golden all over. 
  4. Drain in a colander, and then on paper towels. 
  5. Place the lettuce in a large bowl, and pour about half of the dressing over the top, and mix delicately but thoroughly. 
  6. Pile the lettuce into four deep plates. 
  7. Scatter some croutons, and arrange three anchovy fillets on each salad. 
  8. Sprinkle cheese on top. 
  9. Roll the poached eggs in the parsley, and place one egg in the middle of each salad; serve immediately. 
Yield: 4
Recipe from Eggs by Michel Roux.