Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Fresh Strawberry Flaugnarde




I have seen several desserts like this around the blogosphere recently - some with blueberries, some with pears. But they are all calling this a 'clafoutis.' Klah-foo-tee! They look delicious. However, it is actually a flaugnarde. 

Clafoutis is a dessert that comes from the Limousin region of France and is made with black cherries. Only cherries. Other variations are made with plums, prunes, apples, cranberries or blackberries, but those are called flaugnarde. Since mine is made with fresh strawberries, a flaugnarde it is.

And here's another interesting tidbit, for clafoutis purists: the cherries are baked with their pits intact. 

Ingredients

  • 2 C fresh strawberries, destemmed and halved
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 C organic raw turbinado sugar
  • 3/4 C white whole wheat flour
  • 1 C milk
  • 2 T Chartreuse
  • powdered sugar for dusting

Procedure
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter the baking dish. I used an 11" round. Lay the strawberries, cutside-down, in the bottom of the dish.


Whisk the eggs, sugar, and flour together until smooth. Add the milk and liqueur. Whisk until smooth. Pour over the strawberries.

Bake for 45-50 minutes or until lightly browned and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. When you pull it put of the oven it will jiggle a bit. That's normal. Place on a wire rack to cool.


The flaugnarde will have puffed up quite a bit and will deflate while cooling. When cool dust the flaugnarde  with powdered sugar. Serve at room temperature.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Curry-Kissed Okra Salad




Okra seems a polarizing ingredient. 'Slimy' is what I hear most from non-fans. This recipe keeps the okra on the crisp side, so there's not much slime involved. I love the sweetness of the summer corn and the intrigue of the curry.

Ingredients

  • 2 C trimmed okra, sliced into 1" pices
  • 1 shallot, thinly sliced
  • steamed corn, cut off the cob
  • freshly ground salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • olive oil
  • 1/2 t curry powder

Procedure
In a medium skillet, heat a splash of olive oil. Add in the shallots and cook until softened and beginning to caramelize. Season with salt, pepper, and curry powder. Toss in the okra and saute for 5 minutes. Add in the corn kernels. Stir until glossy. Let cool slightly before serving.

Mayo-less Slaw with Parsley



I love a good slaw. But no matter how many times I try, I cannot get R to like my coleslaw. He says he doesn't like the mayonnaise. So, tonight I decided to make a mayo-less slaw just for him. He ate everything I served him! Success.


Ingredients

  • 2 C shredded green cabbage
  • 1 T organic raw turbinado sugar
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 2 T vinegar
  • 2 T freshly chopped parsley + some for garnish
  • freshly ground salt
  • freshly ground pepper

Procedure
Place all of the ingredients in a large mixing bowl and toss to coat. Let stand for at least 10 minutes before serving. Garnish with more parsley.

Carrot Salad with Dill and Raisins



Tonight I made my favorite dinner: a trio of salads! The boys didn't complain at all; they didn't even make any jokes a la Uncle Brian - "no meat, no meal." My brainwashing is complete. [insert wicked, evil laughter here]


Ingredients

  • 4 large carrots, coarsely grated (approximately 3 C - I used 2 orange and 2 purple)
  • 1/2 C raisins
  • 2 T freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 3 T olive oil
  • 2 T freshly chopped dill
  • freshly ground salt
  • freshly ground pepper

Procedure
Place all of the ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Cover and refrigerate for, at least, 30 minutes before sering. Stir once again before serving.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Matcha Green Tea Ice Cream



I can never keep matcha in the house. Whenever I have some, I drink it and I put it in everything until it's gone. D doesn't usually like green tea ice cream, but he said that the ginger syrup I added changed the flavor. He loved it! Not sure if that was a good move or not. Less for me.


Ingredients
  • 1 C heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 C organic granulated sugar
  • 2 T ginger syrup
  • 2 T matcha green tea powder

Procedure
Place all of the ingredients in your ice cream maker and process according to your machine. Ours took about 40 minutes to come to a soft, gelato-like texture. Spoon ice cream into a container and freeze before serving. Use a truffle scoop and serve in small containers.

Custard Pie with Caramelized Melon




Melon pie? When we were at the market, the Enthusiastic Kitchen Elf walked up with a Golden Delicious melon - it's a yellow honeydew in case you've never seen one - and announced that we should make a pie out of it.

"I don't know, Sweetheart. Let me think about that for a little bit. I don't think I've ever cooked a melon. We normally eat it fresh."

Mom, just make it happen. He insisted impatiently. I know you can come up with something good.

I couldn't decide if I should be flattered or annoyed by the little kitchen troll. But, as he knew he would, he got me thinking. I decided to try a custard pie with brûléed slices of the melon on the top.

While I'm pretty sure this wasn't what he had in mind, he did like that he got to use my butane torch! Fun, fun, fun.

We started with a custard pie...


Ingredients
For the pastry...
  • ½ C dark rye flour 
  • ½ C all-purpose flour
  • ¼ t sea salt
  • 1 ½ t organic granulated sugar
  • ½ t Pinot Grigio-Cherry vinegar 
  • 4 T ice water
  • 6 T butter 
For the custard and topping...
  • 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 C organic granulated sugar
  • 2 1/2 C whole milk
  • 1 t pure vanilla extract
  • freshly grated nutmeg
  • thin slices of melon
  • organic raw turbinado sugar

Procedure
For the pastry...
Place the flour and cold butter in a large bowl. Use a pastry blender until the mixture resembles coarse meal, with pea size chunks of butter. Add vinegar, then the ice water 1 T at a time, until mixture just begins to clump together. If you squeeze some of the crumbly dough and it holds together, it's ready. If the dough doesn't hold together, add a little more water and cut again.

Note: too much water will make the crust tough. Once the dough comes together into a ball, wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before rolling out.

After the dough has chilled for thirty minutes, roll out the pastry between two pieces of parchment paper. Then fold it in thirds to create layers. Wrap and chill again for another thirty minutes. Do this two more times.

Once you're ready to bake, roll out the pastry for a final time, forming a rustic 12-inch circle, adding more flour, if necessary, to prevent sticking. Transfer the crust to a baking pan and form the dough into a crust. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Bake the crust for 30 minutes.


For the custard and topping...
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Lightly beat the eggs with sugar, milk, and vanilla; whisk to combine thoroughly. Pour into pre-baked pie crust and sprinkle generously with freshly ground nutmeg. Bake at 425° for 25 to 35 minutes, or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Let cool for 10 minutes before arranging the melon slices on the top.


Sprinkle the slices with turbinado sugar.


With a butane torch, burn the sugar till it forms a nice, golden crisp. The Kitchen Elves took turns.




Serve immediately. It will keep, but the sugar will soften eventually.

Salad with Homemade Buttermilk Dressing for #eatyourgreens



It's time for my monthly post for Shaheen's 'Eat Your Greens' food blog challenge, at A2K - A Seasonal Veg TableHere's the invitation.

Encouraging people to eat their greens is a passion of mine. We even eat the greens from our carrot bunches! In fact, this salad dressing uses carrot green tops. But, if you don't have any, you can use whatever herbs you have on-hand.


Ingredients

  • 1-2 handfuls of greens per person
  • whatever other fun flavors you want to add - I used fresh radishes and fresh fennel
  • 1½ t ground mustard
  • 3 T seasoned rice wine vinegar
  • 5 T  extra virgin olive oil
  • 8 T buttermilk
  • 1 T fresh carrot top greens, washed, dried, and finely chopped
  • freshly ground salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Procedure
Place all of the salad ingredients in a large bowl. Place all of the dressing ingredients in a mason jar with a lid. Shake to emulsify. Toss to coat. Serve chilled.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Revamped: Singapore Chili Crab Omelets




I love revamping leftovers into something delicious. So, when I looked at my leftover Singapore Chili Crab - and needed a quick lunch this afternoon - I decided to make some Singapore Chili Crab Omelets. Easy and tasty!

Ingredients

  • eggs
  • splash of water
  • butter
  • shredded cheese (I used a mixture of parmesan, mozzarella, and asiago)
  • leftover Singapore Chili Crab and sauce

Procedure
Beat your eggs with a splash of water until the yolks and whites are well-blended. Heat a skillet and melt a pat of butter, swirling it around until the pan is completely coated. Pour in the beaten egg and let the edges set a bit. It shouldn't take too long. Using a spatula, lift the edges of the omelet and swirl the pan to let the liquid eggs flow beneath.

When the eggs are mostly set, spread the toppings over the eggs - on one half. In this case, I used shredded cheese and leftover crab meat mixed with a bit of the sauce. Fold the omelet in half and slide it onto your plate. Some people like their omelets in thirds; I've always done it in half.

To serve, spoon some of the leftover sauce over the omelet and top it with a few more tablespoons of crabmeat.