Sunday, May 31, 2009

Caramelized Turnips

And you thought you didn't like turnips...

Preheat oven to 475.

Rinse and dry young and tender turnips, peel older purple-top turnips.

Cut small turnips into halves or quarters, larger ones in half lengthwise, then into wedges.

Toss the turnips with a generous amount of olive oil and salt and pepper.

Spread them out in an even layer on a baking sheet and roast for about 10 minutes, then toss only once (otherwise they will break apart).

Roast 5 minutes more or until fork tender and nicely caramelized.

Hoboken ice cream soda

Hoboken ice cream soda (this is a favorite drink of Dorette when she moved to this country...will try it for her 90th birthday):

From: From,, &
Prep time: 10
Cook time: 0
Yield: 1 serving

1 large, tall glass (plastic obscures the bubbling action)
1 round scoop, very firm chocolate ice cream, the diameter of the glass
1/4 c pineapple bits or 8 chunks in pineapple juice
4 T unsweetened pineapple juice (pineapple usually comes packed in this)
2 T simple beverage syrup (see recipe below)
hard carbonated water (club soda or seltzer water)

If using pineapple chunks, cut each chunk along each axis to make 16 bits
Mix pineapple juice & simple syrup well in the bottom the glass
Add seltzer water, to about 2" below the lip of the glass
Stir to mix in the syrup
Carefully drop in the ice cream. It will float and create a foamy head (if the ice
cream is too deep, the soda will overflow.
Sprinkle pineapple bits on top & serve with both a straw and a long-handled spoon.
Recipe for simple syrup for beverages:
Bring 2 cups of tap water to a boil.
Stir in 2 cups of plain granulated sugar.
Turn the heat to low and stir constantly until the sugar dissolves completely. To
test if the sugar is completely dissolved, use a metal spoon to scoop up a small
bit of the syrup. Tilt it over the pan and watch carefully as it pours. You
shouldn't be able to see any crystals in the liquid.
At this point flavorings can be added; add about a tablespoon of any liquid extract.
You can also stir in 1 T corn syrup to ensure the syrup stays smooth.
Let the syrup cool to room temperature, pour into a clean glass jar and store in the
Notes & tips:
> Some folks like the taste when a splash of milk or a small amount of ice cream
(mixed until the ice cream softens) is mixed in to the juice & syrup at the start,
but this makes the soda cloudy so it doesn't looks as neat when it's bubbling.
> The foaminess is a result of the ice cream interacting with the soda water. You
don't want to mix them, instead let them react on their own. You want the contrast
in tastes and textures. Ice Cream Sodas need to be drunk right after being made
or you loose this contrast.
> Special ice cream soda glasses are wider at the top than the bottom, to hold the
ice cream.
> Purists insist on soda water, not carbonated water. Soda water is distinguished by
the addition of various sodium or potassium compounds as flavourings and acidity
> Ice cream is a mixture of liquid, ice crystals, and air pockets. When soda water
hits the ice cream foam is created as the surface of the ice cream melts and mixes
with the carbon dioxide. Therefore, if you want to make an ice cream soda with a
lot of foam, put the ice cream in the glass before pouring the soda.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Ginger Scones with Cardamom

This recipe is adapted from Joan Nathan's cookbook, New American Cooking. I brought theAdd Imagem as a treat to Eli's graduation in New Haven last weekend.

Makes 12 scones

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cups quick oats
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon cardamom pods, crushed and inner seeds ground (or 3/4 t ground cardamom)
dash of cinnamon
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/4 cup crystallized ginger, chopped in 1/4-inch pieces
3/4 cup sour cream or yogurt
1/2 cup sugar
4 teaspoons sugar
2 large eggs

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease two baking sheets and set aside.

2. Place the flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl and mix. Sift ground cardamom seeds and cinnamon into mixture; stir to combine. Add butter and mix until crumbly (use your fingertips).

3. Add ginger, sour cream or yogurt, 1/2 cup sugar, and 1 egg. Mix, blend, or pulse, just until combined; do not overmix.

4. Form 1/4 cup dough into a ball or use a large ice cream scoop, and place dough on prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining dough, spacing scones about 2 inches apart.

5. In a small bowl, mix together remaining egg with a dash of water. Brush scones with egg mixture and sprinkle evenly with remaining 4 teaspoons sugar. Bake until golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

RUSKS (dry biscuits/cookies)

(from Sunday at Moosewood Restaurant)

Rusks are hard, very dry biscuits, originally prepared in South Africa b the Dutch for traveling lost distances in a hot climate. Rusks were a bread that wouldn’t spoil Now, all over south Africa, rusks are eaten as snacks, dipped in coffee, tea, or milk. In the cities , man different varieties of commercially baked rusks are available. There are raisin, chocolate chip, almond, peanut.

Yields about 2 dozen

2 cups unbleached white flour
2 cups whole wheat bread flour
1/3 cup sugar
½ t. salt
2 t. baking powder
1 t. cinnamon
½ cup melted butter
2 eggs
¾ cup buttermilk
2 t. vanilla
2 t. almond extract

Preheat oven to 400

In a large mixing bowl, thoroughly mix the dry ingredients. Combine all the wet ingredients, purl them into the dry ingredients and stir until you have a soft dough, similar to biscuit dough

Turn the dough on to a well-floured surface and roll or pat it to about 1/2 “ thickness. Cut the dough into rectangles about 2 X 4”.

Bake the rusks about 2” apart on buttered baking sheets for about 25 minutes until the tops are crisp and browning a little Now, eat a few “soft” rusks warm from the oven.
Loosely pile the rusks on a baking sheet and keep them in a 200 degree oven all day or all night (about 12 hours) to dry. The finished rusks should be very dry and hard. Cool and store in an airtight container. Rusks will keep for weeks.

1. I made it in the CUISINART, mixing the wet ingredients, then adding everything except flour, then added flour last
2. Instead of rolling/patting the dough on a floured surface, I used a sprinkling of sesame seeds. Yum!
3. I cut the rusks into smaller parallelograms instead of squares – more pointy and crisp corners
4. Instead of leaving the oven on all night, I just put them back into the oven which was turned off, but still warm and left them there all night
5. They do not keep for weeks because we ate them all in 48 hours

Oatmeal – reduce white flour to 1 ½ cups and add 2 cups rolled oats (and add currants/raisins/chocolate chips)
Almond rusks: Add 1 cup chopped almonds and omit cinnamon
Peanut: add 1 cup chopped peanuts

Simple Vinagrette

First I will go over the generic technique, then I will give a few specific recipes.


1 Tsp Dijon Mustard (you can substitute 2 Tsp of raw egg yolk)
1 Tbsp sweetener (usually honey, but anything will work like molasses or sugar)
1/3 Cup of Flavorful Liquid (usually something acidic like vinegar or citrus Juice, but you could use something like soy sauce too)
2 Tsp Salt
2 Tsp Fresh Ground Black Pepper
1-3 Tsp Any other flavoring agent (fresh chopped garlic, herb, etc)
1/4 Oil (Usually olive oil, but you can play with using something less flavorful like canola oil to let the other liquid shine through, or something more flavorful like toasted sesame or walnut to add more flavor or enhance other flavors)

Thoroughly mix everything except the oil. Slowly stream in the oil while whisking continuously. Use this method for all of the recipes.

My Favorite Apple Cider Vinaigrette

1 Tsp Dijon Mustard
1 Tbsp Honey
1/3 Cup of Apple Cider Vinegar
2 Tsp Salt
2 Tsp Fresh Ground Black Pepper
1 Tsp Fresh Chopped Garlic
1/4 Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Simple Balsamic Vinaigrette

1 Tsp Dijon Mustard
1 Tbsp Honey
1/3 Cup of Balsamic Vinegar
2 Tsp Salt
2 Tsp Fresh Ground Black Pepper
1 Tsp Fresh Chopped Thyme
1/4 Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Asian Sesame Vinaigrette

1 Tsp Dijon Mustard
1 Tbsp Honey
1/4 Cup of Soy Sauce
1 Tbsp Fresh Squeezed Lime Juice
2 Tsp Fresh Ground Black Pepper
1 Tbsp Sesame Seeds
3 Tbsp Toasted Sesame Oil
2 Tbsp Canola or Vegetable Oil (any light colored, flavorless oil)

Vegetable Lo Mein with Edamame and Mustard Greens

Charlie and I made this for dinner last week and it was a big hit! Healthy, yummy, and not too hard. You can substitute other veggies for the edamame and mustard greens if you want, and add chicken if you're looking for more protein.

2 quarts water
3 cups chopped mustard greens (or other dark leafy greens)
1 (14-ounce) package fresh Chinese egg noodles (or fresh angel hair pasta)
1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce, divided
1 T dark sesame oil
2 T canola oil
1 T grated peeled fresh ginger
1 container shiitake or other fancy mushrooms, sliced
1 1/4 cups (1/4-inch-thick) red bell pepper strips (about 1 medium)
3/4 cup chopped green onions
1 garlic clove, minced
1 1/2 cups frozen shelled edamame, thawed (you could also try asparagus or broccoli)
3 T hoisin sauce

1. Bring 2 quarts water to a boil in a Dutch oven. Add greens, and cook for 1 minute or until greens wilt. Remove greens from water with a slotted spoon. Plunge the greens into ice water; drain and squeeze dry. Set greens aside.
2. Return water in pan to a boil. Add egg noodles, and cook for 2 minutes or until done. Reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking water. Drain and rinse with cold water, and drain well. Place noodles in a large bowl. Add 1 tablespoon soy sauce and sesame oil, tossing to coat, and set aside.
3. Heat canola oil in a wok or large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add ginger; stir-fry 5 seconds. Add mushrooms, bell pepper, onions, and garlic; stir-fry 2 minutes or until bell pepper is crisp-tender. Stir in greens and edamame; stir-fry 30 seconds. Stir in reserved noodle-cooking liquid, noodle mixture, remaining 3 tablespoons soy sauce, and hoisin sauce; cook 2 minutes or until thoroughly heated.

Adapted from a Cookling Light recipe.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

2 recommended recipes from Deb/Susan Bishop

Goat Cheese with Olives, Lemon, and Thyme
File this one under "secret weapon" and pull it out whenever you need a quick but impressive appetizer. Warming the olives in thyme- and-lemon-zest-infused oil awakens their flavor and transforms a goat-cheese medallion into a sumptuous warm spread for flatbread.

Yield: Makes 4 (hors d'oeuvre) servings

1/2 cup assorted olives
3 fresh thyme sprigs
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1 (4- to 5-ounce) fresh goat-cheese medallion or 2 (2-ounces) goat-cheese buttons

Heat olives, thyme, oil, zest, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a small skillet or saucepan over low heat until fragrant (do not simmer). Cool to room temperature. Serve olive mixture over goat cheese.

Crisp Rosemary Flatbread

Think of it as a cracker version of rosemary-flecked flatbread. But these are the easiest crackers you'll ever make: Rather than cutting the dough into small pieces, you bake three large pieces, then break them into smaller ones to serve. The jagged edges invite nibbling. (From Gourmet 2008)

Yield: Makes 4 servings

1 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon chopped rosemary plus 2 (6-inch) sprigs
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup olive oil plus more for brushing
Flaky sea salt such as Maldon

Preheat oven to 450°F with a heavy baking sheet on rack in middle.

Stir together flour, chopped rosemary, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Make a well in center, then add water and oil and gradually stir into flour with a wooden spoon until a dough forms. Knead dough gently on a work surface 4 or 5 times.

Divide dough into 3 pieces and roll out 1 piece (keep remaining pieces covered with plastic wrap) on a sheet of parchment paper into a 10-inch round (shape can be rustic; dough should be thin).

Lightly brush top with additional oil and scatter small clusters of rosemary leaves on top, pressing in slightly. Sprinkle with sea salt. Slide round (still on parchment) onto preheated baking sheet and bake until pale golden and browned in spots, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer flatbread (discard parchment) to a rack to cool, then make 2 more rounds (1 at a time) on fresh parchment (do not oil or salt until just before baking). Break into pieces.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Peach Soup

This is a surprisingly delicious soup that Nikki, from upstairs, made for a recent potluck. I think it will be especially good when peaches are actually in season. The recipe I believe is from Crook's Corner.

2 1/2 lbs peaches
1/4 c. sugar
1 c. med. sweet white wine or cream sherry
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
2 tsp black peppercorns
2 bay leaves
1 c half & half
fresh mint for garnish

Peel the peaches, slice them & toss them in the sugar. Let stand for 30 min.
Place them in a shallow pan w/wine & seasonings (put the peppercorns in a tea ball & let it sit in the pan)
Bring it to a simmer until the peaches are just heated through (if you are heating too much the peaches will start to turn brown)
Remove the bay leaves & peppercorns, put mixture in blender & puree.
Add the half & half, then mix & chill

Monday, May 4, 2009

Roasted Asparagus

Springtime means asparagus! Adapted from one of my favorite food blogs,

This method is quick, easy, and delicious. Nothing fancy. The high heat of the oven intensifies the flavor of the asparagus, and the result is fork-tender, lightly caramelized, and unexpectedly sweet and juicy.

1 bunch green asparagus, preferably on the fat side
Olive oil
Sea salt

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Snap the woody ends off the asparagus stalks, rinse them well, and dry them thoroughly with paper towels. Lay them in a single layer on a baking sheet, and drizzle them with a thin stream of olive oil—it doesn’t take much. Use your hands to roll the stalks in the oil to coat them lightly but thoroughly, and sprinkle with salt. Bake for 10 minutes; then shake the baking sheet to turn and roll the asparagus. Bake for another 4-5 minutes, until the asparagus are a vibrant, shiny, cooked shade of green and their skins are lightly blistered and slightly wrinkled. They should be soft and yielding but not shriveled or mushy. Serve warm or at room temperature.