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Madeleines (3 versions)

~ 1.5 hour

2-3 dozen

Version 1: 

madeleines— 7 oz. / 200 ml white granulated sugar
— 7 1/2 oz. / 220ml all-— purpose flour, sifted

— 6 1/2 oz. / 185g unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
— 1 teaspoon baking powder
— 2 pinches of fine sea salt
— zest of 1 lemon
— 1 teaspoon / 5 ml vanilla extract
— 4 large eggs, at room temperature
— butter and flour for moulds

Special equipment: A madeleine baking pan, regular or small size

madeleine dough

Combine the sugar, flour, baking powder and salt in a medium mixing bowl, stirring with a wooden spoon to blend. Add the zest.

Stir in the eggs, mixing just to combine. You do not want to incorporate too much air into the batter. Finally, stir in the butter.

Cover the bowl with plastic film and refrigerate for 1 hour, or until well chilled. The chilling is important, as it makes the batter easier to handle and ensures a higher rise during baking.

At this point, the batter may be stored, covered and refrigerated, for up to 4 days.

Preheat the oven to 400F / 200C / Gas mark 6. Butter and flour the madeleine moulds. Spoon the batter into the moulds, filling each mould 2/3 -3/4 full (using a spoon or small cup filled with batter).

Bake the madeleines for about 7 minutes (about 11 minutes for larger cakes), or until the cakes spring back in the centre when lightly touched.

modified from Bitten Blog / NY Times


 
Version 2:
Madeleines are done

— 6 oz / 170 g unsalted butter (1 sticks)
— 2 tablespoons / 30 ml softened unsalted butter (for greasing)
— 3/4 cup / 175 ml unbleached all-purpose flour
— 4 large eggs
— a pinch fine-grain sea salt
— 2/3 cups / 150 ml white granulated sugar
— zest of one large lemon
— 1 teaspoon / 5 ml vanilla extract
— powdered sugar
— a bit of extra flour for dusting baking pan

Special equipment: A madeleine baking pan, regular or small size

Preheat oven to 350 F / 175 C / Gas mark 4.  Melt the butter in a small pot over medium heat until it becomes brown and gives off a deliciously nutty aroma, roughly 20 minutes. Strain (using a paper towel over a mesh strainer) — you want to leave the solids behind. Cool the butter to room temperature. By doing the butter first you can complete the rest of the steps while it is cooling.

While the melted butter is cooling, use the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter to grease the madeleine moulds - get in there and make sure you get in all the ridges. Dust with flour and invert the pan tapping out any excess flour.

Put the eggs with the salt in the bowl of an electric mixer with a whisk attachment. Whip on high speed until thick - you are looking for the eggs to roughly double or triple in volume — approximately 3 minutes. Continuing to mix on high speed, slowly add the sugar in a steady stream. Whip for 2 minutes or until mixture is thick and ribbony.

Now with a spatula fold in the lemon zest and vanilla (just until mixed). Sprinkle the flour on top of the egg batter, and gently fold in. Now fold in the butter mixture. Only stirring enough to bring everything together. Spoon the batter into the moulds, filling each mould 2/3 -3/4 full (using a spoon or small cup filled with batter.

Bake the madeleines for 12-14 minutes (7-10 minutes for smaller cookies), or until the edges of the madeleines are golden brown.

Remove from oven and unmold immediately (and invite Proust over too). Cool on racks and dust with powdered sugar.
Makes 2 -3 dozen regular madeleines.

modified from 101cookbooks.com


 
Version 3:  Lemon-Glazed Madeleines
     makes 24 madeleines


Lemon-glazed Madeleines3 large eggs, at room temperature
2/3 cup (130g) granulated sugar rounded
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cup (175g) flour
1 teaspoon baking powder (optional, preferably
    "double-acting" type)
zest of one small lemon
9 tablespoons (120g) unsalted butter, melted and
    cooled to room temperature, plus additional melted
    butter for preparing the molds

For glaze (optional)
3/4 cup (150g) powdered sugar
1 tablespoon freshly-squeezed lemon juice
2 tablespoons water

 

Notes:  The new silicon madeleine baking sheets are perfect - non-stick and easy to clean.

If you use baking powder (which will help them rise a bit more and get that "hump" in the middle), they may take another minute or so to bake since the batter will rise higher.

The madeleines are done when the cakes feel just set if you poke them with your finger. Bake these in the upper-third of my oven, so the tops get slightly-browned, but avoid over-baking them.

You can omit the lovely lemon glaze, but if you do you'll get less of that delicious lemony taste...

Preparation:  Brush the indentations of a madeleine mold with melted butter. Dust with flour, tap off any excess, and place in the fridge or freezer.

In the bowl, whip the eggs, granulated sugar, and salt for 5 minutes until frothy and thickened.  Spoon the flour and baking powder, if using, into a sifter or mesh strainer and use a spatula to fold in the flour as you sift it over the eggs/sugar/salt batter. (Rest the bowl on a damp towel to help steady it for you.)

Add the lemon zest to the cooled butter, then dribble the butter into the batter, a few spoonfuls at a time, while simultaneously folding to incorporate the butter. Fold just until all the butter is incorporated.

Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. (Batter can be chilled for up to 12 hours.)

Baking:  Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.  Plop enough batter in the centre of each indentation so the each is about 3/4 full  — do not spread it.   Bake for 8-9 minutes or until the cakes just feel set. While the cakes are baking, make a glaze in a small mixing bowl by stirring together the powdered sugar, lemon juice, and water until smooth.  Remove from the oven and tilt the madeleines out onto a cooling rack. The moment they’re cool enough to handle, dip each cake in the glaze, turning them over to make sure both sides are coated and scrape off any excess with a dull knife. After dipping, rest each one back on the cooking rack, scalloped side up, until the cakes are cool and the glaze has firmed up.

Storage:  Glazed madeleines are best left uncovered, or not tightly-wrapped; they’re best eaten the day they’re made. They can be kept in a container for up to three days after baking, if necessary.   If you glaze them, do not freeze them since the glaze will melt.

modified from The Sweet Life In Paris by David Lebovitz

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Slow-Roasted Tomatoes

 

Slow-roasted Tomatoes (after roasting)

— Cherry, grape or pear tomatoes (or whatever tiny tomatoes you prefer)
— Garlic cloves, unpeeled
— Olive oil
— Kosher salt
— Combination of dried herbs (Herbes de Provence, fennel, oregano, rosemary, basil, thyme, etc.)

Line a half-sheet pan with parchment paper (or tin foil) and pre-heat oven to 225 F / 110 C / Gas Mark 1 (or a bit lower).

Cut in half enough tomatoes to fill the sheet pan (about 2 small baskets should do the trick) and place them cut-side up on the parchment paper.  Scatter a handful of unpeeled garlic cloves throughout the tomatoes.

Drizzle olive oil all over the tomatoes, then sprinkle lightly with kosher salt.

Sprinkle the dried herbs evenly over the tomatoes (or you can grind the herbs first to powder).

Bake tomatoes at 225 degrees for 3-4 hours, or until they have shrivelled but still contain a bit of moisture inside.  The time will depend on the size of your tomatoes, so start checking early.

Let cool and eat immediately or store in a covered container in the refrigerator.  The garlic cloves can be peeled and eaten or stored in the jar with the tomatoes for a few days, refrigerated.

 

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Warm Green Bean Salad - 3 varieties

 

6 servings

Version 1 (from Kathryn Doehner)

green beans
smoked ham or chorizo sausage (or similar)


Dressing:
1 or 2 shallots, chopped
balsamic vinegar
olive oil
salt and pepper
dash of maple syrup
vegetable bouillon cube or powder

Steam beans until just soft. Fry ham or cook sausages and chop. Add all ingredients and dressing. Mix and serve warm
 

Version 2 (from David Gorman)

green beans
smoked ham or chorizo sausage (or similar)
Slow-roasted Tomatoes (see recipe above)

Dressing:
1 or 2 shallots, chopped
capers
balsamic vinegar
olive oil
salt and pepper
dash of cumin
vegetable bouillon cube or powder

Steam beans until just soft. Fry ham or cook sausages and chop. Add all ingredients and dressing. Mix and serve warm
  

Green Beans with Tart Cherry or Fig Balsamic GlazeWarm green bean salad with bacon and balsamic glaze

3 slices bacon
1 shallot, diced
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1/3 cup dried tart cherries or dried figs (chopped)
1 tablespoon brown sugar (optional)
1 pound green beans, trimmed and rinsed
kosher salt, to taste
freshly ground black pepper, to taste

In a saut pan, cook the bacon until brown and crisp. Remove bacon and let drain on a paper towel then remove all but 1 tablespoon of bacon drippings from the pan. Add shallots to the pan and let cook over medium-low heat for a few minutes until softened and just starting to brown. Add chicken broth and stir up any brown bits left from the bacon. Add cherries/figs and balsamic vinegar and bring to a boil. Turn heat down to low and let
simmer, stirring occasionally until thick and syrupy, 15-20 minutes.

While glaze is reducing, steam green beans until crisp-tender. When glaze is reduced to a syrupy state, season to taste with salt and pepper. Add steamed green beans to pan with the glaze and toss until they are lightly coated. Remove green beans to a platter using tongs, then pour remaining glaze and cherries over the top of the beans. Crumble the bacon slices over the beans and serve.

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Roasted Artichokes

 

6 servings

6 artichokes
18 garlic cloves, peeled
3-4 tablespoons olive oil
sea salt
juice of 3 lemons

Slice off the top third of the artichokes with a sharp knife. Discard the inedible tops you just cut off.

Roasted Artichokes - cut

 
The stem is edible if peeled, so you can leave it on if you want, or cut it at the base of the artichoke.
 

Roasted Artichokes - cut

Tear off a large square of heavy duty aluminum foil (or a double layer of lighter foil), drizzle it with olive oil, and smear it around a bit. Place one artichoke in the middle of the foil and open up the leaves a bit with your fingers. Tuck 2-3 peeled garlic cloves into the artichoke. Sprinkle sea salt all over it then squeeze lemon juice (1/2 a lemon) and drizzle olive oil over the top.
 
  Roasted Artichokes
 
Once you’ve seasoned it, wrap the foil up around the artichokes, sealing them well.  Place wrapped artichokes in a pan and roast in a preheated oven at 220C / 425F / gas mark 7 for one hour and 15 minutes.  If you are using small artichokes, one hour is good; jumbo artichokes might take an hour and a half.
 
 Roasted Artichokes

adapted from Pinch my Salt

Variation: Roasted Baby Artichokes with Caper Anchovy Sauce

6-8 baby artichokes
3-4 tablespoons olive oil
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
a few sprigs of rosemary

For the sauce:
8-10 anchovy fillets, chopped fine
2 tablespoons capers, rinsed
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
2 tablespoons olive oil
juice of half a lemon

Small baby artichokes don't need any preparation apart from just cooking. When they are really young and tender, you can even slice them thinly and eat them raw.

Preheat the oven to 200C / 400F / gas mark 6. Trim a layer of the outer leaves from the artichokes and any discoloured stem, but leave the rest of the stem on.

Bring a pan of boiling salted water to the boil and cook the artichokes for 6-7 minutes, then drain in a colander. Leave to cool a little then halve them, place them in a roasting tray with the sprigs of rosemary and spoon over the olive oil.

Season and roast in the oven for about 30 minutes, turning every so often until they are just crisp, but not coloured too much.

Sauce: To make the sauce, in a mortar and pestle, pound up the anchovies, capers, and garlic or blend in a food processor to a coarse pure, then whisk in the olive oil and lemon and make a smooth sauce.
 

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Cauliflower and Garlic Prosciutto Pasta

4 servings / 6 starters

1 garlic head, broken into its cloves without peeling them,
    the papery shell and inner core discarded
3 cups cauliflower florets, cut into bite-size pieces
3 tablespoons olive oil
4 oz / 100g thinly sliced prosciutto crudo, diced
1 tablespoon minced sage leaves
12 oz / 300g pasta, cooked and drained
2 tablespoons dry white wine or dry vermouth, maybe a
    little more
2-3 oz / 50-75g finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiana cheese

Preheat the oven to  225C / 425F / gas mark 7. Place the unpeeled garlic cloves in a baking pan and roast for 20 minutes. Toss the cauliflower florets with the olive oil, then pour them into the baking dish and toss well. Continue roasting, stirring occasionally, until the florets are lightly browned and the garlic cloves are soft (about 20 minutes more).

Transfer the baking dish in its vegetables to a wire rack and cool for a few minutes. Squeeze the soft garlic pulp out of its papery holes and back into the baking dish. Stir in the diced prosciutto and minced sage.

Set the pan back in the oven and continue roasting just until the prosciutto begins to sizzle (about 10 minutes). Transfer the baking dish back to the wire rack and stir in the cooked pasta, wine, and cheese until the cheese melts.

If you notice that the mixture is a little dry, you can add a splash or two more of the wine, just to make sure everything is moist, but certainly not soupy. Serve the dish right out of the baking pan. You can use any type of pasta like were Shiites, which are like little bits of pasta shaped like small ears or for file our bowties.

The real stars of this dish are the garlic and cauliflower, roasted in the baking pan until browned, caramelized, and utterly irresistible.
  

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Muesli Temptation Bars

18 portions

These homemade biscuits / bars are not your usual heavy whole-food concoctions. They are so tasty that you'll find it hard to eat just one... They are also extremely quick and easy to make, and store well in an airtight tin so that you've always got something to munch.

Butter gives a much better flavour than margarine.

20 oz / 600g unsweetened muesli,
   available from bulk or wholefood stores
12 oz / 300g butter (or margarine)
12 oz / 300g Demerara or brown sugar

Directions
Preheat the oven to 190C / 375F / Gas mark 5

Start off by melting the butter gently in a saucepan or for faster melting use a microwave (approx 1.5-2 minutes) — don't let it colour. Meanwhile mix the Demerara sugar and the muesli together in a mixing bowl. Then pour the melted butter into the muesli mixture and mix everything together so that it's thoroughly blended.

Now butter a shallow baking tin (12"/30cm square or 10"x16" / 25x40 cm), and press the biscuit mixture all over the base of the tin, making sure it goes right up to the edges and into the corners and is as level in depth all over the pan as possible. Level off the top with the back of a tablespoon, then bake in the centre of the oven for 15 minutes or until it has turned a pale golden colour.

Remove the tin from the oven and cut the mixture into 18 portions (3 x 6) while it's still warm. Then leave it in the tin until quite cold and crisp. Use a palette knife to lift the individual biscuits out, then store in an airtight container.

 

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Maple-Rosemary Glazed Walnuts

5-10 minutes

 

 
2 cups / 475 ml walnut halves
1/3 cup / 80 ml pure maple syrup
1 teaspoon / 5 ml finely chopped fresh
   rosemary leaves
pinch of kosher salt

Directions
In a small bowl, stir together maple syrup, rosemary, and a pinch of salt.  Heat a dry skillet (e.g. non-stick) over medium-high heat.  Add walnuts to the hot skillet and pour in maple syrup mixture. 

Cook, stirring frequently, until maple syrup has caramelized, about 3 minutes.  Spread walnuts out on a sheet of parchment paper and sprinkle with a bit more salt if desired.  Let cool.

Maple Rosemary Glazed Walnuts

adapted from Pinch My Salt

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Grilled Yellow Squash with
Fresh Dill Vinaigrette and Feta

 

 

4–6 small yellow squash (or zucchini)
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1½ tablespoons balsamic vinegar (or
    substitute your favourite vinegar)
2 tablespoons fresh chopped dill
¼ cup / 60 ml extra virgin olive oil
1 shallot, sliced
salt and pepper to taste
crumbled feta cheese

Directions

Preheat gas grill or prepare coals for charcoal grill.

In a medium bowl, whisk together mustard, vinegar, and chopped dill.  Slowly whisk in olive oil, season with salt and pepper to taste, then stir in shallot slices;  set aside.

Slice squash in half, lengthwise, then add them all to the bowl of vinaigrette.  Toss to coat.

Remove squash from marinade and grill over medium-high heat for a couple of minutes on each side until grill marks appear and the squash is just tender.  Remove to a plate, spoon remaining vinaigrette over the squash and sprinkle with crumbled feta cheese.  Serve immediately.

Grilled Yellow Squash

adapted from Pinch my Salt


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Lemon Popsicles

 

 

2/3 cup / 160ml white sugar
5 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons grated lemon peel
1 pinch salt
1 2/3 cups / 400ml light cream
   (~5% butterfat) or optionally,
   use buttermilk instead

Directions

You can use buttermilk instead of cream, but it does have a very different flavour...

If you do not have popsicle moulds, you could make these in any shape or form, even in ice cube trays

Whisk sugar, lemon juice, lemon peel, and salt in 4-cup measuring cup until sugar dissolves.

Whisk in the cream (or buttermilk). Divide mixture among popsicle moulds. Cover and freeze until firm, at least 4 hours and keep up to 7 days.

Maple Rosemary Glazed Walnuts

adapted from Whipped blog


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Devilled Eggs (basic and wasabi versions)

 

12 servings

Hard boiled eggsMaple Rosemary Glazed Walnuts
Place eggs in a single layer in a saucepan and fill the pan with water rising to at least an inch above the eggs. Cover the pot and bring it to a boil over medium heat. When the water comes to a full boil, remove the pot from heat and let eggs sit for 18–20 minutes. Cool and peel the eggs under cold running water.

Devilled Eggs

6 hard boiled eggs (see above for instructions)
    1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon yellow mustard or 1/4 teaspoon hot
    powdered mustard
¾ teaspoon white wine vinegar
pinch of salt (optional)
fresh ground black pepper (optional)
smoked paprika (optional)

Cut eggs in half. Arrange egg whites cut side up on a serving plate and put the yolks in a small mixing bowl. Mash yolks with fork then stir in mayonnaise, mustard, and vinegar. Mash and stir all ingredients together well.

Taste and add salt and pepper if desired. Spoon a little bit of the mixture into each egg white half, dividing mixture as evenly as possible between the eggs. Sprinkle eggs with smoked paprika if desired. Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to serve.

adapted from Pinch My Salt

Wasabi Devilled EggsMaple Rosemary Glazed Walnuts

6 hard boiled eggs (see above for instructions)
3 tablespoons mayonnaise, preferably homemade
1 teaspoon wasabi paste (ready-mixed strength, not powder)
1 green onion, minced
cup minced watercress, plus extra for garnish
salt, a pinch

Cut eggs in half and remove yolks. Mash the yolks until very fine and smooth, use a food processor or fork. Combine the yolks with the mayonnaise, wasabi, green onions and watercress and mix very well. Taste for seasoning and add salt to your liking.

Pipe filling decoratively into the egg whites using a pastry bag fitted with a large fluted tip. Cut thin ribbons of watercress leaves to be used on top of the eggs as a garnish, just before serving. Place on a serving plate and serve right away or cover and refrigerate up to one day.

adapted from Cooking with Amy

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Spinach and Sausage Soup

 

6 servings

Spinach and Sausage SoupSpinach and Sausage Soup

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
3 carrots, peeled and sliced
2 stalks of celery, sliced
1 pound red potatoes, cut into bite size pieces
5–6 cups chicken stock (homemade, or low-sodium broth)
½ cup pearl barley
1 pound mild Italian sausage meat
1 large bunch of spinach, thick stems removed, roughly chopped (about 4 cups, packed)
salt, to taste
herbs or seasonings of your choice (e.g. fresh thyme)

Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat.  Add onions, carrots, and celery and cook, stirring occasionally, for 8-10 minutes or until onions are softened.  Add potatoes, 5 cups of stock, and barley.  Turn up heat, bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 30-45 minutes or until barley is tender. 

Meanwhile, add sausage meat to a frypan/skillet (or if your sausages meat is in the form of actual sausages, squeeze them from their casings), crumble and brown.  Drain fat and set the sausage aside. 

When barley is tender, add spinach and sausage to the soup and fresh herbs if you are using them.  Add more stock if necessary or desired, bring soup back up to a simmer and let cook for another 15 minutes.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Serves six.

adapted from Pinch My Salt

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Tomato Jam

 

1 Pint

Tomato Jam with Goat Cheese

Peeling tomatoes — cut cross in the bottom (opposite from stem end) and put in a pot of boiling water until the skin of the tomatoes starts to pull away. Drain the tomatoes and cover tomatoes in cold water to cool them for peeling.

2 pounds tomatoes, peeled, cored and seeded (seeding is optional)
1½ cups sugar
¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon crushed basil
    (or for a slightly spicy version, crushed red pepper flakes)

In a medium pot, stir together tomatoes, sugar, 1/4 cup lemon juice and the crushed basil (or crushed red pepper flakes). Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Let simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally (you’ll need to stir more often as jam thickens), until mixture is thick and jammy, about an hour and 15 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in remaining 2 tablespoons of lemon juice. Pour into a clean container, let cool, then refrigerate until ready to use. Yield: a little over 1 pint. Can be kept refrigerated for about two weeks.

adapted from Pinch My Salt, which was adapted from Over a Tuscan Stove

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