Friday, October 19, 2012
The author of Cloud Atlas (and The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet, Black Swan Green, among others) talked about his favorite words and a few of his favorite authors.
Thursday, October 18, 2012
Serves 6 to 8
This incredibly hearty winter soup falls somewhere between a soup and a stew.
The texture and flavor are amazing—it’s filled with chunky vegetables, pasta, beans, and spinach. Pesto and Parmesan swirled in at the end make it even better. I serve it in big shallow bowls with garlic bruschetta on top.
Thursday, October 18, 2012
Serves 8 to 10
Pumpkin pie can be boring and dense so I set out to make a better pumpkin pie. Pumpkin has a distinct squash flavor that you want to enhance without overpowering it. I’ve filled the prebaked crust with a lightly spiced pumpkin mixture that tastes more like a mousse than a dense custard. Dark rum and grated orange zest are my secret ingredients.
Thursday, October 18, 2012
Serves 6, 2 if you're snowed in for a weekend.
Wednesday, October 17, 2012
Chocolate Chip Cookies
Makes 3 dozen large cookies
4 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons bakmg soda
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 1/4 cups packed light brown sugar
1 1/4 cups plus 21/2 tablespoons granulated sugar
3 large eggs, at room
temperature, lightly beaten
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 2/3pounds bittersweet chocolate, chopped into bite-sized pieces
Preheat the oven to 325°E Have ready 2 nonstick cookie sheets, or line 2 regular cookie sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats. Set aside.
In a bowl, stir together the flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle, beat the butter on medium speed for about 5 minutes, or until very light and fluffy.
Add the brown and granulated sugars and beat until well blended. Add the eggs and beat just until incorporated. Beat in the vanilla. Reduce the speed to low and add the lour mixture a little at a time, beating after each addition until incorporated. When all of the flour mixture has been incorporated, remove the bowl from
the mixer and, using a rubber spatula, fold in the chocolate.
To shape the cookies, using a tablespoon, scoop out a heaping spoonful of the dough and, using the palms of your hands, form it into a 3-inch ball. Place the balls on the prepared baking sheets, spacing them about 1 inch apart. Bake for about 15 minutes, or until lightly browned around the edges. Remove from the oven, transfer the cookies to wire racks, and let cool completely.
Store, in an airtight container, for up to 5 days.
For the best results, be sure to chill both the mixer bowl for the cream and the bowl in which the cream and chocolate are blended. Although the mousse will keep, covered and refrigerated, for a couple of days, it is best when served shortly after making. The longer it sits, the heavier it becomes.
2 cups chilled heavy cream
7 ounces bittersweet chocolate, tempered
Place the cream in the chilled bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whip and beat on medium-high speed for about 4 minutes, or until soft peaks form.
Pour the chocolate into a stainless-steel bowl. Select a saucepan that will hold the bowl snugly in the rim. Fill the saucepan halfway with water and bring to a simmer. Place the bowl of chocolate over (not touching) the simmering water and heat to 120°F on a thermometer.
Slowly pour the whipped cream into the warm chocolate, whisking constantly just until combined. Scrape into a chilled bowl and continue to whisk until well blended.
Spoon into dessert cups. Keep chilled until ready to serve.
Makes about 10
The name of these French confections refers to the four orders of Mendicant (beggar) friars whose habits are relected in the four colors of the ingredients—almonds, dried figs, nuts, raisins—used to make it.
1 cup assorted nuts, chopped
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1 1/2 ounces bittersweet
1 cup cocoa nibs (see note)
1/3 cup assorted candiedfruit like ginger and orange peel, diced
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine the nuts and corn syrup over low heat. Cook, stirring frequently, for about 4 minutes, or until the syrup has liquefied and the nuts are evenly coated. Remove from the heat and, using a slotted spoon to allow excess liquid to drain off, transfer the nuts to the prepared baking sheet, spreading them in a single layer.
Place the nuts in the oven and roast, turning occasionally, for about 15 minutes, or until evenly caramelized and light brown in the interior. Watch the nuts carefully, as their oil and the sugar in the syrup can cause them to burn very quickly.
Remove the pan from the oven, transfer to a wire rack, and let cool completely. When cool enough to handle, break apart any pieces that have clumped together.
Line a clean baking sheet with parchment paper. Fill a pastry bag fitted with a fine plain tip or a parchment-paper cornet about half full with the chocolate. Begin piping circles about 1 lh inches in diameter and 3/8 inch thick on the prepared baking sheet. (Although not as neat, you can also pour the chocolate from a tablespoon and spread it out into a circle with the back of the spoon.) You should have about 10 circles.
While the chocolate is still soft, begin making designs in the top with an equal assortment of the Caramelized nuts, cocoa nibs, and candied fruit. Work quickly, or the chocolate will set before the decoration can adhere to it. If the chocolate does harden, dip the nuts, nibs, and fruit in a bit of tempered chocolate and "glue" them onto the circles. Set aside for about 1 hour, or until the chocolate has completely hardened.
Serve immediately or layer the circles, separated by sheets of parchment paper, in an airtight container and store at room temperature for up to 1 week.
NOTE: Cocoa nibs, which are roasted cacao beans broken into bits, are available from cake and bakery supply stores and many specialty food stores.
Lots of Hot Chocolate Drinks
Makes 1 cup
You can vary the intensity of the chocolate by adding more or less chopped chocolate to the hot milk. As a variation on the traditional marshmallow garnish, I love topping hot chocolate with a big scoop of whipped cream and shavings of bittersweet chocolate.
1 cup whole milk
2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 vanilla bean, cut in half
horizontally and then split
lengthwise, or 2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract OR
1 peppermint candy cane OR
1 teaspoonfreeze-dried coffee granules, dissolved in
1 tablespoon hot water OR
Pinch each of ground allspice, ground cinnamon, ancho chile powder; and chipotle chile powder
In a small, heavy-bottomed saucepan, heat the milk over medium heat. When it is slightly warm, gradually add the chocolate while whisking constantly. Cook, whisking constantly, until the milk begins to form bubbles around the edge of the pan. Do not allow the milk to boil.
For vanilla: Using the edge of a small, sharp knife, scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean into the milk, then add the bean to the pan. Whisk in the chocolate. Remove the vanilla bean before serving. Or, if using the extract, simply add it to the hot chocolate.
For peppermint: Stir the milk with the candy cane, allowing it to melt partially into the mixture as it heats.
For coffee: Add the diluted coffee with the chocolate.
For raspberry: Using a wooden spoon, crush the raspberries into the milk after the chocolate has melted.
For spices: Add the allspice, cinnamon, and chiles to the hot milk before you add the chocolate. Add the chiles to taste, keeping in mind that freshly ground chile can be very hot.
Wednesday, October 17, 2012
These recipes appear in Chapter 8 of Chocolate: History, Culture, and Heritage by Louis Grivetti and Howard Yana Shapiro.
In 1672 William Hughes published this detail oriented recipe on how to prepare cacao beans:
- Take as many of the cacao’s as you have a desire to make up at one time, and put as many of them at once into a frying-pan (being very clean scoured) as will cover the bottom thereof, and hold them over a moderate fire, shaking them so, that they may not burn (for you must have a very great care of that) until they are dry enough to peel off the outward crust skin; and after they are dried and peeled then beat them in an iron mortar, until it will rowl [sic] up into great balls or rows and be sure you beat it not over-much neither, for then it will become too much oyly
In 1741 Swedish naturalist, Carl Linnaeus wrote a monograph on chocolate (Om Chokladdryken) that was printed in 1778 and re-published in 1965. Much of his text considered the medical aspects of chocolate, where he praised its use to combat pulmonary diseases and hypochondria. He also mentioned, candidly, that through drinking chocolate he cured himself of hemorrhoids! Also included in his treatise were three recipes used to prepare chocolate:
- [Recipe 1] 1 pound cocoa beans (roasted); 1/2 pound sugar, salt and rosewater (combined); 1/2 pound corn flour. Crush, cook over fire all the time stirring so it does not burn; form past into a dough.
- [Recipe 2] 6 pounds cocoa beans (roasted); 3.5 pounds sugar; 7 straws vanilla 1.5 pounds corn flour; 0.5 pound cinnamon; 6 cloves; 1 dracma [i.e. Swedish equivalent for dram] Spanish pepper; 2 dracmas oleana color in rose water. Crush ingredients in a pot, stir all the time over a very slow fire until all mixed; treat it and kneed to a dough, then add amber and musk, according to taste.
- [Recipe 3] 17 pounds roasted cocoa beans; 10 pounds sugar; 28 units (?) vanilla; 1 dracma amber; 6 pounds cinnamon.
In his 1792 book New Art of Cookery, According to the Present Practice, Richard Briggs identified the following recipe for Chocolate Puffs:
- Take half a pound of double-refined sugar, beat and sift it fine, scrape into it one ounce of chocolate very fine, and mix them together; beat up the white of an egg to a very high froth, then put in your chocolate and sugar, and beat it till it is as stiff as a paste; then strew sugar on some writing-paper, drop them on about the size of a sixpence, and bake them in a very slow oven; when they are done take them off the paper and put them in plates
This 1854 for Chocolate Custards appeared in the popular magazine Godey’s Lady’s Book:
- Dissolve gently by the side of the fire an ounce and a half of the best chocolate in rather more than a wineglassful of water, and then boil it until it is perfectly smooth; mix with it a pint of milk well flavored with lemon-peel or vanilla, and two ounces of fine sugar, and when the whole boils, stir to it five well-beaten eggs that have been strained. Put the custard into a jar or jug, set it into a pan of boiling water, and stir it without ceasing until it is thick. Do not put it into glasses or a dish till nearly or quite cold. These, as well as all other custards, are infinitely finer when made with the yolks only of the eggs
Wednesday, October 17, 2012
The following were collected by Dr. Sylvia Escarcega during project-related field work conducted in Oaxaca, Mexico, during 1998-2000. They appear in Chocolate: History, Culture Heritage by Louis Grivetti.
RECIPE : Chocolate Oaxaquero: Oaxaca, Mexico
1 kg. Toasted cacao beans
1 kg. Granulated sugar
250 gr. Mexican cinnamon
250 gr. Almonds
not defined Vanilla and coffee beans (to taste)
Wash the cacao and almonds before toasting on a clay comal [griddle]. Toast the almonds and the Mexican cinnamon. Once the cacao beans cool, carefully remove the skin. Grind the cacao beans on a metate [heated, slanted grinding stone], then add the almonds and cinnamon. When well ground, add sugar and mix. Take the hot paste and form bars of chocolate. Let them cool. These can be stored outside until used.
RECIPE: Chocolate Atole: Oaxaca, Mexico
To prepare the espuma [froth]
500 gr. Toasted cacao beans
50 – 250 gr. Petaxtli [white cacao beans]
1 kg. Toasted corn or wheat
25 – 100 gr. Mexican cinnamon
To prepare the atole [cooked corn flour]
500 gr. Corn cooked in water
Sugar [to taste]
Toast and peel the cacao beans. Peel the black cover off the white cacao beans and toast. Grind the cacao beans and cinnamon on the metate. Grind the corn/wheat separately, then add to the chocolate. Re-grind to powder. Add water to humidify. Soak the paste all night. In the morning, stir the paste quickly so it will not be solid or liquid. Pour into a chocolatera [ceramic pitcher] and add cold water. Whip using a molinillo until the espuma forms. Separate the froth with a wooden spoon. To make the atole, add water to the corn. Heat until soft. Grind and sieve the soft corn. Boil the powder and add sugar. Mix with a chiquihuite [thin wooden stick], pour into a cup, and then add the espuma.
RECIPE : Champurrado: Oaxaca, Mexico, a recipe supplied by vendors at the Benito Juarez Market, in Oaxaca City.
3 Chocolate bars
1 kg. Corn
1 large piece Piloncillo [raw sugar] or granulated sugar to taste
1 liter Water
Cook the corn in the water for half an hour or until it softens. Grind the corn on the metate and pass through a sieve. Cook again, moving constantly with a wooden spoon, until it thickens. When it boils, add the chocolate and the piloncillo or sugar. Pour into the chocolatera [ceramic pitcher] and whip with a molinillo [wooden stick].
RECIPE: Molé Negro Oaxaquero: Oaxaca, Mexico (another from the market).
Chili guajillo 5 pieces
Chili chilhuacle negro 5 pieces
Chili pasilla mexicano 5 pieces
Chili mulato or ancho negro 5 pieces
Chili chilhuacle rojo 2 pieces
Tomatillos 125 grams
Tomatoes 250 grams
Cloves 3 pieces
Allspice berries 3 pieces
Marjoram 3 sprigs
Thyme 3 sprigs
Avocado leaf [dried] 1 leaf
Oregano [dried] 1 tbs.
Lard or vegetable shortening 2 tbs.
Sesame seeds 1 cup
Peanuts [with skin] 10 pieces
Almonds [unpeeled] 10 pieces
Raisins 3 tbs.
Pecans 6 pieces
Onion 1 medium
Garlic [unpeeled] 6 cloves
Cinnamon [Mexican] 1 large stick
Plantain [peeled; sliced] 1 large
Corn tortillas 2 large
French bread Some pieces
Mexican chocolate 60 grams [or more to taste]
Sugar 60 grams
Oil 60 grams
Salt To taste
Chicken broth As necessary
Chicken 10 pieces
Onion 1 [medium]
Garlic [peeled] 2 cloves
PREPARATION: PART 1
With a damp cloth clean the chilies and remove the stems, seeds and veins. Reserve the seeds. Toast the chilies until black but not burnt. Cover them with hot water and let them soak for 10-20 min. On a skillet toast the seeds, medium heat, until golden. Increase the heat and toast them until black. Cover with cold water and let them soak for 5 minutes. Transfer the chilies to the blender and enough of the liquid to make it pass through a sieve. Save; set aside. Roast the tomatoes, tomatillos, onion, unpeeled garlic cloves for 10 minutes. Peel the garlic cloves. Save; set aside. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil and use it to fry the following ingredients but separately, save them separately: the raisins, the bread until browned, the tortillas, the plantain until golden (add more oil if needed), the sesame seeds. Pass through a sieve to remove the excess oil, and in the reserved oil, fry at the same time peanuts, pecans and almonds. Grind the seeds on the metate [alternatively use a food processor] adding water if needed.
PREPARATION: PART 2
Blend the tomatoes, tomatillos, garlic, onion, and spices. Separately blend the seeds, nuts, banana, raisins, bread, and tortillas, adding chicken broth as needed, until well blended. Heat 2 tablespoons of vegetable shortening on a large kettle, fry the chili paste, until it dries. Then fry the tomato mixture. Let it simmer for about 10 min. or until it changes color. Add the rest of the blended ingredients except the chocolate and the avocado leaf.
PREPARATION: PART 3
Let it boil for about half an hour and add the chocolate. Toast slightly the avocado leaf over the flame adding it to the molé. Leave it simmering for a time, then taste and check for the flavors of chocolate and sugar. Add chicken broth as much as needed, the molé should have the consistency to cover the back of a spoon. On a large pan cook the chicken pieces with garlic, onion, and salt. Place a piece of the chicken on the serving dish, cover with the molé, and serve it with rice and hot tortillas.
Monday, October 15, 2012
Playwright Daisy Foote was on the Leonard Lopate Show recently to talk about the new off-Broadway production of her play "Him," starring her sister Hallie Foote. She also told us what she's been reading and watching -- let's just say, she enjoys a good mystery.
Monday, October 15, 2012
Former Pennsylvania senator Arlen Specter was quite a character. Hard-edged and sometimes difficult, Specter was at the center of the Senate’s legal battles for years as a ranking member of the Judiciary Committee – particularly Supreme Court nominations. He also had a large independent streak, which led him to announce that he was switching parties and becoming a Democrat in 2009. The move cost him his Senate seat. He died on Sunday at the age of 82 of complications of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. He was on the Leonard Lopate Show in 2008 and he told Leonard about his earlier battle with Hodgkin’s disease and his long career in the Senate.
Wednesday, October 10, 2012
This cake is best made one day before you plan to serve it. The cake is very moist and tender, so be careful when removing it from the pan. If you like, it may be served with the sauce described in the recipe for Ricotta Cheese with Fresh Fruit (page 349), using either raspberries or strawberries for the sauce.
2 cups ricotta cheese
1 ½ tablespoons butter, softened
5 large eggs
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 ¼ cups confectioners’ sugar
2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon dark rum (such as Myers’s) (optional)
2 cups heavy cream
½ teaspoon grated lemon or orange zest
1. If the ricotta cheese is very wet, place it in a fine-mesh sieve lined with cheesecloth. Place the sieve over a bowl, refrigerate, and drain the ricotta for 2 hours.
2. Preheat the oven to 325 ºF. Completely line an 8-inch springform pan with two overlapping layers of aluminum foil. Grease the foil with the softened butter and dust lightly with flour, set aside.
3. Place the eggs in a large bowl. With an electric mixer set on high speed, beat the eggs just to combing, about 10 seconds. Add the ricotta, flour, sugar, vanilla, and rum, if using, and beat just to combine. Reduce the mixer speed to low and gradually add the cream. Stir in the zest.
4. Pour the mixture into the prepared springform pan, and bake until the edges of the cake are firm and the top is golden brown, about 1 hour. (If the top begins to brown too quickly, cover the pan with aluminum foil and continue to bake.) Remove the pan from the oven, set it on a wire rack, and allow to cool for 3 to 4 hours. Remove the outer ring of the pan and cut away the foil. Cover and refrigerate the cake for at least 3 hours before serving.
From The Tucci Cookbook, by Stanley Tucci
Wednesday, October 10, 2012
When we began work on this book project it was before my grandmother had passed away at the age of eighty-seven, and we were very excited about preserving so many of her recipes. One day my mother went to visit my grandmother in the hospital. She told her that we didn’t have her recipe for stuffed artichokes and we wanted to include it in the book. Without hesitation my grandmother began to tell her how she prepared them. The nurse who was attending her said, “Only an Italian could come out of surgery and start discussing food.” But the telling of a recipe is very different from the actual process of making a dish with its creator. So this recipe, which is named for my grandmother, is based on memories of her stuffed artichokes.
4 medium-size or 2 extra-large artichokes, stems and top ¼ inch sliced off and discarded, sharp outer leaf points snipped off and discarded
2 teaspoons chopped fresh Italian, flat leafed parsley
5 teaspoons finely grated pecorino Romano cheese
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup coarsely grated day-old bread or 1 cup plain dried bread crumbs, or a combination of both
4 tablespoons olive oil
1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
2. Snugly fit the artichokes in a small saucepan and add water to a depth ¼ inch below the tops of the artichokes. Cover, bring to a boil, and simmer until an outside leaf pulls away easily, about 20 minutes. Do not overcook or the artichokes will fall apart. Remove from the water, turn upside down to drain, and set aside to cool.
3. In a small bowl, mix the parsley, Romano cheese, garlic, and bread. Sprinkle teaspoons of the filling between the leaves, working from the outer leaves toward the center of the artichoke, spreading the inner leaves slightly if necessary. Place the artichokes in a glass baking pan. Drizzle 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over each artichoke (2 tablespoons if using extra-large ones). Fill the pan with water to a depth of 1 inch. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil, add more water to the pan if necessary, and continue baking until the artichokes are tender and lightly browned, about 15 minutes more. Serve hot or at room temperature.
WINE PAIRING: Light white and medium white
VARIATIONS: When serving steamed or boiled artichokes that have not been stuffed, I like to whisk 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice and ¼ cup melted butter to dip the tender leaves into before eating. One steamed artichoke may be served as part of an antipasto with drinks before dinner. Separate the leaves and arrange them on a platter. Serve along with a small dish of Basic Vinaigrette.
From The Tucci Cookbook, by Stanley Tucci.
Wednesday, October 10, 2012
Toasted Corn Flour Cookies
I was walking through the crowded marketplace at Juchitán, the capital of the Isthmus, when I nearly stumbled over María Ruíz sitting daintily on the ground with two small children in the shade of an arch, next to a basket lined with a snowy embroidered cloth. I was already attuned enough to the region to think that this pretty young woman did not look quite like the flamboyant juchitecas around her, and sure enough I learned that she was from the town of Tehuantepec some twenty miles distant, where they specialize in making totopos dulces, sweet crackers of fine corn flour and dried coconut. I could not replicate María's totopos, which require a tandoorlike sunken clay oven, but she gave me her recipe for these little cousins that can be made like cookies in a regular oven.
To grate the sugar, use the fine side of a standard straight-sided grater. The recipe requires a starchy type of corn.
One 1- 1 1/2-inch piece canela
4 cups dried dent or flour corn kernels
1/2 cup grated Mexican brown loaf sugar (panela or piloncillo; see page 000), packed before measuring, or 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cold
Preheat the oven to 375°F.
Grind the canela in an electric coffee or spice grinder. Set aside.
Spread the corn on a large baking sheet and bake until the kernels are bright yellow, about 40 minutes. Remove and let cool completely while keeping the oven set to 375°F.
The corn must now be ground to a fine powdery flour. I prefer to do this in an electric coffee or spice grinder, about 3/4 cup at a time. (You can also grind the kernels in several batches in a food processor, but the flour will not be as finely or evenly ground. 4 cups whole kernels should yield about 2 1/2 cups flour.) Mix well with the ground canela.
In a large bowl, cream the butter well and beat in the sugar; continue to beat until light and fluffy. Gradually add the toasted corn flour mixture, beating well after each addition. It will form a somewhat stiff dough.
Roll out the dough on a lightly floured board to about 1/2-inch thickness. With a cookie cutter, cut into 1-inch rounds. Reroll leftover scraps of dough for cutting until all is used. Place on a greased baking sheet and bake for 10 - 12 minutes.
Yield: About 3 dozen 1-inch cookies
Wednesday, October 10, 2012
3 cups corn
2 cups stock
1 lime (cut in half)
1 cup crumbled cotija cheese
Directions: Mix the corn, stock, mayo and cream; sprinkle with the cheese, powdered chili and a squeeze of lime juice.
Thursday, October 04, 2012
2 cups whole wheat macaroni
2 ½ cups coarsely grated carrots (about 8 small)
3 cups grated sharp Cheddar cheese
¼ cup (½ stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
¾ cup sour cream
¼ cup whole milk
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon kosher salt
¾ teaspoon mustard powder
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
¼ cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
1. Preheat the oven to 400° F and grease an 8-inch-square baking pan. Arrange a rack in the top third of the oven.
2. Cook the macaroni according to the package instructions in a large pot of boiling salted water. Add the carrots 3 minutes before the pasta is finished cooking; drain well.
3. While the pasta is hot, stir in all but ½ cup of the Cheddar and the butter. In a bowl, whisk together the sour cream, milk, eggs, salt, mustard powder, and pepper. Fold the mixture into the pasta.
4. Scrape the mixture into the prepared pan. Sprinkle the remaining Cheddar and the Parmesan over the top. Bake until the casserole is firm to the touch and golden brown, about 30 minutes.
Thursday, October 04, 2012
Makes 4 Servings
1 cup hazelnuts
1 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
8 large celery stalks with leaves, thinly sliced
2 ounces good parmesan cheese, shaved
1. Preheat the oven to 350° F. Spread hazelnuts in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Toast, tossing once halfway through, until nuts are golden, 7 to 10 minutes. Pour the nuts into a clean dish towel and use the towel to rub off some of the skins (do not try to be thorough here, it takes too much time, just get rid of what flakes off easily). Cool and coarsely chop the nuts.
2. In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, salt, and pepper; whisk in the oil. Combine nuts, celery and leaves, and cheese in a large salad bowl. Add vinaigrette and toss gently to combine.
Thursday, October 04, 2012
10 ounces Brussels sprouts (1 container), trimmed
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Coarse sea salt or kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil, or more to taste
1 cup chopped toasted walnuts
3/4 cup grated Manchego or young pecorino cheese (or even aged Gruyere)
1. In a food processor using the thinnest slicing disk, slice the Brussels sprouts (they will fall apart into shreds). Or, using a knife, slicing the sprouts as thinly as possible. Put the sprouts in a bowl and toss with the lemon juice and a generous pinch of salt and pepper. Let rest for 5 minutes.
2. Add the olive oil and toss well. Add the walnuts and cheese and toss gently. Taste and adjust seasonings. You can serve this immediately, but it gets better after an hour or so.
Wednesday, October 03, 2012
Pesto alla Trapanese
Pesto has become very familiar in American homes by now— that is, pesto made with fresh basil leaves, garlic, and pignoli nuts. Well, this one is different— it is an uncooked sauce freshly flavored with herbs, almonds, and tomatoes. It is a recipe I discovered in Sicily while researching for Lidia’s Italy, and I have received countless e-mails about this recipe, praising its simplicity and rich flavor. I am sure it will become one of your favorites.
serves 4 to 6