Sunday, January 14, 2018

Herbed Goat Cheese and Zucchini Tart

My good friend Crystal gave me this cookbook as a gift for Christmas.  This is the first recipe i picked and I made in a sheet pan.

Herbed Goat Cheese and Zucchini Tart

1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed according to package directions
All-purpose flour, for rolling out the dough
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
1 roll (4 ounces) herbed goat cheese, at room temperature, crumbled
4 or 5 medium-size zucchini
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

Preheat the oven to 375°F with a rack in the center position. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.

Carefully unfold the puff pastry sheet on a lightly floured work surface. Use a flour-dusted rolling pin to gently roll the puff pastry into a large rectangle roughly 12 by 16 inches; it should be just smaller than your sheet pan.

Carefully transfer the puff pastry to the prepared pan. Use a sharp knife to score a 3/4-inch-wide border around the puff pastry; do not cut all the way through. Use a fork to prick holes inside the border of the rectangle, poking the dough every inch or so. Place the sheet pan in the fridge or freezer to harden the pastry dough, about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, stir-mash together the ricotta and goat cheese in a small bowl until fully combined. Set aside.

Trim the ends off the zucchini and, using a vegetable peeler, cut them lengthwise into long, thin strips. (Alternatively, you could use a sharp chef's knife to cut them into 1/4-inch rounds.) Place the zucchini in a large bowl and sprinkle with a pinch each of salt and pepper. Toss to distribute the seasoning.

When the dough is good and chilly, place the pan back on your work surface. Spread the chese mixture evenly over the pastry, leaving the border bare. Arrange or pil the zucchini atop the cheese either haphazardly or in your favorite pattern, until the cheese is completely covered. Drizzle the olive oil over the zucchini.
Bake the tart until the crust is puffed and deeply browned and the zucchini has softened and browned at the edges, 45 to 50 minutes.

Allow the tart to cool slightly before cutting into squares. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Cornish Hens (Poussin) with Apricot Glaze

I thought about making this dish all week but the closest supermarket doesn't carry the hens.  We went to the Garden Gourmet in the Bronx this morning and there they were.

Roast the hens at 375 for about 1 hour.
When the juices run clear test with heat thermometer to170°F, the hens are done.

Apricot Glaze: Mix 1/2 cup apricot jam, 2 tablespoons of soy sauce, 2 tablespoons of Dijon mustard, and 2 tablespoons honey. Brush the apricot glaze over the hens during the last 15 to 20 minutes of roasting.

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Panettone Bread Pudding

This always was a favorite of ours.

Bread Pudding:
1 (1-pound) loaf panettone bread, crusts trimmed, bread cut into 1-inch cubes
8 large eggs
1 1/2 cups whipping cream
2 1/2 cups whole milk
1 1/4 cups light brown sugar

Lightly butter a 13 by 9 by 2-inch baking dish. Arrange the bread cubes in the prepared dish. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, cream, milk, and sugar to blend. Pour the custard over the bread cubes, and press the bread cubes gently to submerge. Let stand for 30 minutes, occasionally pressing the bread cubes into the custard mixture.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Bake until the pudding puffs and is set in the center, about 45 minutes.

Friday, November 24, 2017

Blueberry Lemon Cake

This always has been a favorite of ours.  This recipe is fast and simple.

2 large eggs
1 cup (210 grams) granulated sugar
1 cup (8 oz) sour cream***
1/2 cup light olive oil or vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt
2 cups (260 grams) all-purpose flour*
2 tsp baking powder

1. Beat 2 eggs and 1 cup sugar with whisk attachment on high speed 5 minutes or until lightened in color and thick.

2. Add 1 cup sour cream, 1/2 cup oil, 1 tsp vanilla, 1/4 tsp salt and whisk on low speed until well combined.

3. Whisk together the 2 cups flour with 2 tsp baking powder then add to batter 1/3 at a time, whisking to incorporate between each addition. Finally, add 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice and 1/2 Tbsp lemon zest.

4. Rinse blueberries and drain well. In a medium bowl, toss blueberries with 1/2 Tbsp corn starch and 1 tsp lemon juice, stirring until well combined and no dry white cornstarch remains. If using frozen blueberries, see note above.

5. Pour half of the batter into prepared springform pan and spread evenly with a spatula. Top with half of the blueberries. Spread with remaining batter then sprinkle the rest of the blueberries evenly over the top, pushing them slightly into the batter (about halfway). Bake at 375˚F for 45 to 55 minutes (mine was perfect at 55 min), or until a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean without wet batter. Let cake rest in the pan 15-20 minutes then remove ring and cool until room temp or just warm.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Croque Madame

Its all about the bechamel sauce.
Croque Madame
A NYT recipe 


5 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon flour
⅔ cup milk
Sea salt
Freshly grated nutmeg
4 1/3-inch-thick slices country bread
4 thin slices French ham
2 thin slices Gruyere cheese
1 egg


Preheat a two-sided electric griddle on medium-high to high for about 20 minutes, or preheat the oven to 300 degrees and preheat a cast-iron skillet on top of the stove for about 5 minutes. Prepare a bechamel sauce: in a small saucepan over medium heat, melt 1 tablespoon butter. When bubbles have subsided, add flour and whisk vigorously for 1 minute. Slowly whisk in milk until smooth. Bring to a boil, and cook until thick. Remove from heat, and season to taste with salt and nutmeg.
Spread two slices of bread generously with sauce. Lay two slices of ham on top of each, and top each with a slice of cheese; ham and cheese should slightly overlap edges of bread. Top each with a slice of bread.
In a small saucepan, melt remaining the 4 tablespoons butter. Brush the sandwiches on both sides with butter, making sure that the edges are well covered. If you're using a griddle, place cheese side down, close the griddle and cook until the bread is toasted dark and cheese is leaking out and bubbling. If you're using a skillet, place sandwiches cheese side down and cook on stove top until well browned, then turn and brown again. Transfer skillet to oven, and bake until heated through and cheese is bubbling. Meanwhile, fry the eggs in a skillet with little butter. Slide one fried egg onto each sandwich. Serve hot.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Beef Bourguignon

Beef Bourguignon
A New York Times recipe


3 pounds beef chuck or other boneless stewing beef, cut into 2-inch cubes and patted dry
2 ¼ teaspoons kosher salt, more to taste
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
5 ounces lardons, pancetta or bacon, diced (about 1 1/4 cups)
1 onion, finely chopped
1 large carrot, sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon tomato paste
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 750-milliliter bottle of red wine
1 large bay leaf
1 large sprig of thyme
8 ounces pearl onions, peeled (about 12 to 15 onions)
8 ounces cremini mushrooms, halved if large (about 4 cups)
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
Pinch sugar
Chopped flat-leaf parsley, for garnish


Season beef with 2 teaspoons salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Set aside for at least 30 minutes at room temperature, or chill in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours.
In a large Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pot with a tightfitting lid, cook lardons over medium-low heat until fat is rendered and lardons are browned and crisp, about 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer with a slotted spoon to a paper towel-lined plate. Reserve fat in pot.
Heat oven to 350 degrees.
Raise heat under pot to medium-high and cook until fat is starting to smoke. Lay half the beef cubes in a single layer in the pot, leaving space between pieces. Cook until well browned on all sides, 10 to 15 minutes; transfer pieces to a plate as they brown. Repeat with remaining beef.
Reduce heat, if necessary, to prevent burning. Stir in onion, carrot and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and cook until soft, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Stir in garlic and tomato paste, and cook for 1 minute. Stir in flour, cook for 1 minute, then add wine, bay leaf and thyme, scraping up brown bits at bottom of pot. Add browned beef and half the cooked lardons back to pot, cover, and transfer to oven. Let cook until beef is very tender, about 1 1/2 hours, turning meat halfway through.
Meanwhile, in a large skillet set over high heat, combine pearl onions, mushrooms, 1/4 cup water, the olive oil and a pinch each of salt, pepper and sugar. Bring to a simmer, then cover and reduce heat to medium, cooking for 15 minutes. Uncover, raise heat to high, and cook, tossing frequently, until vegetables are well browned, 5 to 7 minutes.
To serve, scatter onions and mushrooms and remaining cooked lardodecns over stew, then top with parsley. 

Monday, October 23, 2017

Farro with Mushrooms and Shrimp

This is a New York Times recipe which I add more ingredients. 


  • 6 oz. Cremini mushrooms
  • 1 quart chicken stock or vegetable stock
  • 1 ½ cups farro
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • ½ cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 pound cremini mushrooms or wild mushrooms (or a mixture of the two), cleaned, trimmed and sliced
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 large garlic cloves, green shoots removed, minced
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
  • Salt
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1 to 2 ounces Parmesan cheese, grated (1/4 to 1/2 cup)
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 pound of shrimp 
  • 1 lemon quartered
  • Shallots, diced


  1. Place the farro in a bowl, and pour on enough hot water to cover by an inch. Let soak while you prepare the remaining ingredients. Drain. Place the dried mushrooms in a large Pyrex measuring cup or bowl, and pour in 2 cups boiling water. Let sit 30 minutes.
  2. Drain the mushrooms through a strainer set over a bowl and lined with cheesecloth or a paper towel. Squeeze the mushrooms over the strainer, then rinse in several changes of water to remove grit. Chop coarsely if the pieces are large and set aside. Add the broth from the mushrooms to the stock. You should have 6 cups (add water if necessary). Place in a saucepan, and bring to a simmer. Season with salt to taste.
  3. Heat the oil over medium heat in a large, heavy nonstick skillet. Add the onion. Cook, stirring, until it begins to soften, about three minutes. Add the fresh mushrooms. Cook, stirring, until they begin to soften and sweat. Add salt to taste, the garlic and rosemary. Continue to cook, stirring often, until the mushrooms are tender, about five minutes. Add the farro and reconstituted dried mushrooms. Cook, stirring, until the grains of farro are separate and beginning to crackle, about two minutes. Stir in the wine and cook, stirring until the wine has been absorbed. Add all but about 1 cup of the stock, and bring to a simmer. Cover and simmer 50 minutes or until the farro is tender; some of the grains will be beginning to splay. Remove the lid, and stir vigorously from time to time. Taste and adjust seasoning. There should be some liquid remaining in the pot but not too much. If the farro is submerged in stock, raise the heat and cook until there is just enough to moisten the grains, like a sauce. If there is not, stir in the remaining stock. If not serving right away, cover and let stand. Just before serving, bring back to a simmer, add the Parmesan, parsley and pepper, and stir together. Remove from the heat and serve.