Sunday, December 21, 2014

Mega Croutons

At this time of year I crave a heartier salad.  I have been making big batches of croutons and putting them in jars so I can throw together a salad quickly. 
Olga's Cup and Saucer sells an un-sliced white bread available at the Aquidneck Grower's Market or at her bakery in Providence that makes croutons with a beautiful texture, crunchy but not too hard. If not available,  I use the best tasting baguette I can find locally.


Loaf of favorite white bread (like Olga's) or baguette
1/3 c Olive oil 
garlic powder
kosher salt
1 tbs.grass-fed ghee such as Farm to Gold (available at Aquidneck Growers Market or online via their facebook page.) 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Slice bread into big cubes. Place in big bowl. 

In a small pitcher add olive oil, garlic powder, kosher salt, and fresh ground pepper. Whisk in one tablespoon of ghee. 
Pour oil mixture over the cubed bread and toss with hands gently making sure cubes are well-coated. 
Place cubes on baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for 15 minutes. Turn heat down to 325 degrees and bake until golden brown. 
Cool completely before adding to glass jars or ziplock bags to prevent croutons from getting soggy from condensation. Croutons will store for several weeks or longer in jars.

Pickled Celery Root


Celery Root (Celeriac) 
Distilled White Vinegar
1 Tsp.Peppercorns
1 Tbls.. Salt
1/2 Tbls. Sugar

Julienne a knob of celery root. Place in quart size canning jar. Fill with 2/3 distilled white vinegar and 1/3 water. Add remaining ingredients. Refrigerate. Can be used within a few hours and will keep in the refrigerator for a few weeks.

Adds great taste to juicing. Try it with a beet, apple, ginger juice
Add to sandwiches
Makes a great accompaniment to smoked fish or appetizer plates
Eat as a side on its own
Make a celeriac remoulade 

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Shaved Brussel Sprouts with Citrus Vinaigrette



Fresh raw brussels sprouts shaved
Pickled red onion
Parmesan or Percorino Romano
Citrus Vinaigrette

Pickled Red Onion

Slice red onion and put in a bowl with white wine vinegar or distilled white vinegar, peppercorns, sprinkle of sugar (optional) and dill.

Citrus Marinade
A mandarin orange or orange juice with lime or grapefruit (optional)
Local honey
Olive oil 
Salt and pepper
Dot of tamarind (optional)
Coconut oil (a teaspoon)
Dash of vinegar from pickled onions. 

Put all these ingredients into a Vitamix and process.

Thinly slice brussels sprouts as thin as possible. Place in bowl.  Chop scallions and pickled onion and add to Brussels sprouts. 

Toss in currants. 

Grate cheese on top. 

Chop a few almonds to mix in after salad is tossed.

Add dressing and toss right before serving so salad stays crisp.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Kale is King

In October, the kale in our garden is majestically huge and ready to be picked.
Kale salad can be thrown together in minutes. For that reason, I keep a supply of lemons, farmer's market onions and homemade croutons on hand. Then anytime, I can grab a handful of kale, some sprigs of parsley, a few leaves of mint and I'm good to go. If I spot a green pepper on the vine or some ribs of crunchy celery I'll grab those, too.


Few handfuls of kale (curly or Lacinato)
Sprigs of Italian parsley
2 small mint leaves
1 lemon
Pecorino Romano Cheese
Croutons (recipe next posting)
Optional: Small crunchy green bell pepper or celery or a few white button mushrooms

Chop the kale and herbs fine. (A ceramic knife makes chopping a breeze. I recommend the Kyocera Revolution Series 6" knife.)  Add chopped sweet onion. (The farmer's markets still have sweet ones that aren't too pungent) and if you want add a small green bell pepper, celery and/or a few white mushrooms. Squeeze half a small lemon and drizzle with good quality olive oil. Toss well with edge of knife or hands. 

Then add some shaved pecorino romano cheese and a sprinkle of kosher salt and toss again. Place in bowl and throw on a few homemade croutons. (See next posting for homemade croutons.)

Monday, September 8, 2014

The Salmon Cure

Cured Salmon Recipe

One 2 lb. wild caught salmon filet
2 tbs. coriander seeds crushed
1 tbs. cumin seeds crushed
1 tsp. each of lemon, orange, and lime zest finely grated
1 lemon sliced thin
1 tbs. fresh dill chopped or teaspoon dried dill
1 c  kosher salt
1/2 brown sugar
1/2c granulated sugar 
1/4 c tequila
fresh ground pepper

Mix together spices, pepper, salts and sugars.
Thinly slice lemon. 
 Ask fish store to remove skin for you or do it yourself. 
Brush both sides of fish  with tequila and press zest and dill into flesh. Place fish into sugar/salt mixed and cover thoroughly both sides. (One shown here was not skinned but it's better to remove skin because it's easier to serve later.)
Place lemon on top of sugar/salt mixture before wrapping fish up. 
Tightly wrap the salmon in the plastic wrap forming a neat square packet so all sides are sealed. 
Place in glass pyrex dish and weigh down with weights. (Can use metal weights or stones.) 
Refrigerate for 48 hours. Drain fluid from dish after 24 hours. For drier, texture refrigerate for another day. Remove the salmon from the refrigerator and scrape off the curing ingredients. The texture should have a raw appearance but be firm in texture. 
Slice against grain in paper thin slices. Serve with mustard dill sauce, creme fraiche, chopped onion, capers, dill etc.

  • Sunday, August 3, 2014

    French-Style Yogurt

    Remember that yogurt we ate for breakfast every morning in Paris? I brought the empty jars home in my carry-on! The day I got home, I ordered a yogurt maker and set out to replicate that creamy texture.

    I tried using a powdered starter, then a variety of fresh yogurts. Stonyfield whole milk plain yogurt gives a good taste and texture. So does Sophia's Sheep and Goat's Greek Yogurt.  I add a dash of local fresh heavy cream from Tiverton, RI when I want a creamier dessert-like yogurt. Experiment to get the taste and consistency you like. The addition of powdered milk gives it a thicker consistency.

    Creamy Yogurt Recipe:

    42 oz. or 6  7oz yogurt cups of organic whole milk
    1/4 cup heavy milk (optional). Use less milk if using cream.
    2 tablespoons Organic Valley non-fat  dry milk. If you like it thicker use more, or less if a thinner consistency is desired. 
    7oz of favorite organic plain whole milk yogurt (Stonyfield works well for the yogurt and milk.)
    Flavorings of choice: instant coffee, vanilla extract or vanilla paste, sour cherry jam etc.

    Sterilize jars in boiling water before making. Make sure you have a candy thermometer to test temperature because yogurt needs to cool to 110-115 degrees. 

    Add milk to medium size saucepan until it just begins to boil (before it starts to rise up.) Remove from heat and cool until temperature reaches 110-115 degrees.

    Pour a small amount of liquid into small bowl and mix with your flavoring then reserve. Add yogurt to cooled milk in saucepan and stir. Add flavored mixture and the powdered milk.  (I add cooled mixture to a Vitamix blender and mix at very  lowest speed for two seconds but light hand mixing is fine. Don't overmix as too many bubbles make a foamy top on yogurt.)

    Fill yogurt cups and place in a yogurt maker such as the Euro Cuisine one shown here. Set time for 7 hours. When done put lids on jars and refrigerate for a few hours. 

    Before putting lids on you can drizzle vanilla bean paste on the tops if desired.

    Or swirl in some of your favorite preserves. Try blueberry, raspberry, strawberry or sour cherry.

    Thursday, April 3, 2014

    Flower Power Biscuits

    These flower-shaped buttermilk biscuits melt in your mouth.  Split them and add your favorite filling. Shown here is a rhubarb mustard and serrano ham inspired by the beer mustard and wingman ham tiny biscuits at North in Providence, RI, a restaurant with a Momofuku inspired menu.

    Buttermilk Biscuit Recipe
      2c all-purpose flour (plus flour for rolling out dough). 
        1 tsp aluminum-free baking powder
          1/2 tsp baking soda
            1/2 tsp kosher salt
              10 T cold butter cut into small pieces
                1 cup buttermilk or creme fraiche
                  1 egg, beaten 

      Preheat oven to 425. Whisk together dry ingredients in large bowl. Cut the cold butter into the flour with a pastry cutter until it forms small pea-shaped crumbs. Add beaten egg and buttermilk. Stir lightly with wooden spoon until all mixed together but do not overmix. On a floured surface pat down down so it is about 1" thick. Dust top of dough with flour. Cut with a small biscuit cutter. (I use the Joie Flower cutter, as I like the way it pops the dough out.) Place biscuits on a greased baking sheet. Bake for about 12 minutes. (Try adding 1/4 c buckwheat flour to this recipe with 1 3/4 c all-purpose flour for a slightly different taste and texture.)