Monday, July 28, 2008

Soba Noodles

1/3 cup sesame seeds
8-10 ounces soba noodles
2 teaspoons rice vinegar
5 teaspoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons honey
2 teaspoons sesame oil
5 scallions, thin-sliced on the diagonal


Poach prawns, chill and let marinate in the dressing before adding to the noodles.

Toast the sesame seeds in a dry pan over a high heat until they look golden brown. Turn out on a dinner plate to cool down.

Have a bowl of ice water ready while bringing a pot of salted water to boil. Add the soba noodles and cook them for about 6 minutes or according to package instructions until they are just tender. Don't overcook. Drain and plunge into ice water.

In a bowl, mix the vinegar, soy sauce, honey and oil. Drain the noodles and add to the dressing bowl, along with the scallions. Toss to coat, and sprinkle the sesame seeds over the top and toss again.

Let sit at room temperature for 1/2 hour before serving.

Serves 2 as entree, or 4 as first course


Saturday, July 26, 2008

Orange Ice Cream

1/2 pint heavy cream
1/2 pint light cream
2 ounces sugar (more if you prefer a sweeter recipe)
2 cups of fresh orange juice

Gently stir together the cream, sugar and orange juice and then beat until creamy.

Transfer the complete mixture into an ice cream maker and mix/freeze according to the manufacturer's instructions.


Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Cole Slaw With Vinegar Dressing

1 large head cabbage shredded
1 large green bell pepper, shredded
1 carrot, shredded
1 small onion, finely minced
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon celery seed
1 teaspoon mustard seed
1 1/2 cups white vinegar
freshly ground pepper

Toss shredded and minced vegetables together in a large bowl. Combine sugar, salt, celery seed, mustard seed, vinegar, and pepper; whisk together. Toss with vegetables; cover and refrigerate for several hours or overnight.


Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Vanilla Bean Ice Cream Base Recipe

10 cups heavy cream
5 cups whole milk
Pinch salt
3 cups sugar
3 vanilla beans
24 large egg yolks


Chocolate-Chocolate Chunk Ice Cream:
3/4 cup whole milk
16 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped in chunks

Strawberry Cheese Cake Ice Cream:
1 1/2 cups strawberry preserves, no sugar added
1/2 frozen strawberry cheesecake, cut in large chunks
10 large fresh strawberries, halved

Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Ice Cream:
1 tube ready to bake peanut butter cookie dough, cut in large pieces

To make the vanilla ice cream:
Combine the cream, milk, salt, and 2 cups of the sugar in a large pot. Split the vanilla beans down the middle lengthwise and scrape out the seeds with a paring knife; add them to the pot and toss in the pods for added flavor. Place the cream mixture over medium heat, and bring up to a simmer; stirring with a wooden spoon to dissolve the sugar. Ideally, the temperature should reach 175 degrees F (just below scalding) for a smooth-textured ice cream; this should take about 15 minutes. Shut off the heat, cover the pot, and allow the cream mixture to steep for 15 minutes to further infuse the vanilla flavor.

In the meantime, combine the egg yolks in a large mixing bowl and blend them lightly with a wire whisk. Gradually add the remaining 1 cup of sugar and continue to whisk until the sugar is completely dissolved and the eggs are thick and pale yellow; about 6 minutes.

Using a large ladle or measuring cup, temper the eggs by gradually whisking in about 4 cups of the hot cream mixture. Return this back to the rest of the cream in the saucepan and turn the heat to medium-low. Stir constantly until the custard thickens and leaves a path on the back of a spoon when you run your finger across it, about 10 to 12 minutes (do not let boil.)

Pour the vanilla custard through a fine strainer into another pot* and chill completely in a sink full of ice, stirring here and there; this should take about 1 hour. Ideally, let the ice cream base "age" overnight in the refrigerator before churning in an ice cream maker to improve the flavor and texture of the final product – but it is still good if you decide to process it right away. Divide the ice cream into quarts** and churn each in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer's directions. When done, the ice cream will be the consistency of "soft serve."

***To harden the ice cream fully, freeze in plastic covered containers.

Flavor Variations:

*To make the Chocolate-Chocolate Chunk Ice Cream: Heat 3/4 up of milk in a pot over medium-low heat. Add 12 ounces of the chopped chocolate and stir until completely melted. Pour 1 quart of the strained hot vanilla ice cream base into the melted chocolate and stir until very well incorporated. Chill and process as directed in the master recipe. Fold in the remaining 4 ounces of chopped chocolate after churning while the ice cream is in the "soft-serve" stage. Churn another 1 to 2 minutes just until combined.

**To make the Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Cream: Mix the strawberry preserves into the vanilla custard just before you start churning in the ice cream maker. Add the pieces of strawberry cheesecake and fresh strawberries after churning while the ice cream is in the "soft-serve" stage. Continue to churn for an additional 5 minutes or until combined but still chunky.

***To make the Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Ice Cream: Add the pieces of cookie dough after churning while the ice cream is in the "soft-serve" stage. Continue to churn for an additional 1 to 2 minutes until combined but still chunky.


Saturday, July 19, 2008

Gelato di Crema - Vanilla Cream Base for Gelato

5 large egg yolks
3/4 cup sugar
2 1/4 cups (18 ounces) whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
1 vanilla bean


Add 1/2 cup of chilled espresso coffee into the custard.

Add 3 ounces melted bittersweet chocolate into the warm custard before chilling.

Pistachio or hazelnuts:
In a blender add 6 ounces shelled pistachios or hazelnuts with the heavy cream and puree before adding into the saucepan.

Stir in 1/2 cup of crushed amaretto cookies into the milk before heating and add 1-ounce amaretto liqueur into the finished chilled custard before freezing.

In a large bowl whisk together the egg yolks and the sugar until pale yellow and thickens up.

Combine the whole milk, heavy cream and 1 vanilla bean, sliced in half lengthwise in a saucepan. Heat the mixture just until it starts to bubble along the edges. Do not allow the mixture to boil. Remove from the heat.

Remove the vanilla bean and scrape out the seeds with the tip if a small knife and add the seeds back into the milk mixture. Discard the vanilla bean shell.

While whisking the egg mixture add in about a cup of the warm milk mixture and combine together. Then add in the rest of the egg mixture to the milk. Heat the mixture slowly to 175 to 180 degrees F. The custard should be thickened and coat the back of a wooden spoon. Do not allow the custard to simmer.

Strain the custard through a fine mesh sieve, cover and refrigerate until well chilled.

You can transfer this custard into the ice cream maker and follow manufacturer's instructions. This will make vanilla gelato, or you can make variations listed above.


Chicken Quesadillas

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, sliced
1 medium yellow onion, sliced
1 medium yellow, red or orange bell pepper, sliced
2 T olive oil
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 T taco mix seasoning
1/4 cup water
1 cup cremini mushrooms, sliced
2 cups baby spinach
1 cup white cheddar cheese, shredded
1 cup monterey jack cheese, shredded
1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
4 flour tortillas

Garnish with:
fresh cilantro, chopped
fresh salsa
sour cream

Optional: red pepper flakes

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Place a skillet over high heat and when hot, add olive oil. When oil is hot, add the onions and pepper, and a pinch of salt. Cook for approximately 30 seconds, turning the onions and pepper around the pan, and add the garlic. If using red pepper flakes, add them now. When onions become translucent, add the mushrooms and continue cooking until the mushrooms release their water and start to brown. Add the chicken and continue cooking until the chicken is cooked through (not pink in the center). Add the taco seasoning and water. When sauce thickens, add the spinach, stir to coat the spinach leaves with the sauce. Cover pan and turn off the flame.

On a baking sheet, lay out two of the tortillas. Spread chicken mixture evenly over the tortillas, leaving 1/2- to 1-inch edge around the tortillas clear. Spread the cheeses evenly over the chicken mixture, out to 1/4-inch of the edge of the tortillas. Place the two remaining tortillas on top of these tortillas, and press down lightly.

Place in the center rack of the oven and bake for approximately 10 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the tortillas are lightly browned.

Remove from over and transfer quesadillas to a cutting board. With a sharp 10-inch chef's knife or cleaver, cut the quesdillas into 4 wedges, and transfer to serving plate. Serve with fresh salsa, a dollop of sour cream, and chopped cilantro sprinkled over the top, and some guacamole, if desired.


Thursday, July 17, 2008

Fresh Brewed Coffee Ice Cream

6 egg yolks
4 T finely ground fresh good quality coffee
8 ounces light brown sugar
1 pint milk
6 fluid ounces very hot water

Brew the coffee in a French press coffee maker; let steep 10 minutes.

In a heatproof bowl mix together the sugar and egg yolks, then whisk until thick and pale. Whisk in the milk and the coffee, then put the bowl over a saucepan of simmering (though not boiling) water. Cook until the mixture is thick (forms a ribbon on the back of a wooden spoon), stirring constantly. Remove from heat, cover the surface with plastic wrap on the surface to keep a skin from forming as the mixture cools.

When cool, transfer the mixture to an ice cream maker and follow the manufacturer's instructions.


Monday, July 14, 2008

Pistachio Ice Cream

1 cup unsalted shelled pistachios
3/4 cup sugar
2 cups heavy cream
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
4 large egg yolks
1 cup full cream milk
3/4 cup salted pistachios, unshelled and coarsely chopped

Finely grind 1 cup of pistachios and 1/4 cup sugar in a food processor. Bring 1 cup of cream, milk and ground pistachio mixture to boil in heavy large saucepan. Remove from heat and mix in the almond extract. In a medium bowl, whisk egg yolks and add the remaining 1/2 cup sugar. Slowly mix in hot milk into the egg mixture. Return custard to saucepan.

Over low heat, cook the custard until it thickens. Stir constantly and keep the custard at a low simmer. Once the custard leaves a path on the back of a spoon when you draw your finger across, remove it from the heat immediately. Strain into large bowl over an ice bath. When cool, transfer the custard to a refrigerator and chill for about two hours.

Stir 1 cup of cream into custard. Process mixture in ice cream maker according to manufacturer's instructions. During the last minutes of churning, add 3/4 cup of chopped salted pistachios. Transfer to container and freeze to set.


Saturday, July 12, 2008

Corn Chowder

3 slices of lean bacon, chopped
2 onions, sliced
2 T butter
4 cups peeled potatoes, in small cubes
2 T flour
4 cups milk
2 cups corn kernals (fresh or frozen)
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
grating as nutmeg

Cook the bacon in a soup pot until crisp. Add the onions and butter and cook until golden brown, stirring often, for about 5 minutes.

Cook the potatoes in a pot of boiling salted water until tender when pierced with a fork. Drain and set aside.

Stir the flour into the onion-bacon mixture. As soon as the flour is blended smoothly into the mixture, slowly add the milk, stirring until well blended and slightly thickened and smooth.

Add the potatoes, corn and seasonings to the soup and cook for 5 minutes longer.

Makes 10 cups


Friday, July 11, 2008

Fish En Papillote

4 4-ounce boneless, skinless fish fillets, such as flounder, snapper, haddock, etc.1 large carrot, julienned
2 large leeks, julienned
1 zucchini, julienned
1 red pepper, julienned
1 yellow pepper, julienned
3 shallots, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 T total of fresh dill, tarragon, basil, and thyme; washed, stems removed, and chopped
salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

4 sheets parchment paper
4 T olive oil
4 T white wine

Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.

In large bowl, mix carrot, leeks, zucchini, peppers, shallots, garlic, salt, pepper and fresh herbs.

Fold each sheet of parchment paper in half. Using folded edge, cut paper into a half of a heart shape (when unfolded it should look like a full heart shape).

On one side of each heart, mix 1 tablespoon of oil and white wine together as above.

Divide vegetable mixture into four parts and place one portion on top of oil and wine mixture. Then place fish on top of vegetables. Season fish with salt and pepper.

Seal each package by folding heart over into half and crimping the edges together tightly. Rub oil on top of each package. Place each parchment heart on sheet pan and bake in oven for 10 minutes, or until parchment is puffed and turning golden brown on top.

Open package and plate fish with vegetables on top or as a side dish.

Serves 4


Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Creme Brulee, One Way

1 quart heavy cream
2 Tahitian or Madagascan vanilla beans, split and seeds scraped
1 cup sugar (1/2 cup and 1/2 cup measured separately)
6 egg yolks
1 T butter

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

Pour the cream into a saucepan and add the vanilla beans, including the pods. Over medium-low heat slowly bring to a boil, then remove from heat, cover pan and set aside for at least 15 minutes to allow the flavors to infuse. In a large bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and gradually add 1/2 cup of the sugar, whipping until you see a change in color. After 15 minutes remove the vanilla pods from the cream mixture. Then slowly incorporate the cream mixture into the egg yolk mixture a little at a time, whisking constantly as you go. Lightly grease 6 to 8 (4 or 6-ounce) ramekins and fill them each 3/4 full with the mixture. Prepare a bain marie by adding 2 quarts hot water to a roasting pan and immersing the ramekins so that the water level is halfway up the side of the ramekins. Be careful to avoid splashing any water into the ramekins. Bake in the oven for 40 to 45 minutes, allow to cool and then refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving. (You can do this way in advance if you wish.)

Just before serving remove from the refrigerator and allow to warm up a little. Then divide the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar among the ramekins sprinkling some on the surface of each cup of custard. Using a blow torch, melt the sugar to form a crispy sugar "crust" on the top of each. This custard could be served with fruits of the season.


Sagamore Lobster

Order live Maine lobsters, shipped overnight.


Saturday, July 5, 2008

Chocolate Pavlova with Raspberries & Whipped Cream, ala Nigella

Ingredients for the chocolate meringue base:
6 egg whites
1 + 1/3 cups superfine sugar
3 T sifted cocoa powder
1 teaspoon balsamic or red wine vinegar
3 1/2 T dark chocolate -- finely chopped

Ingredients for the topping:
2 cups heavy cream
1 lb. raspberries
2 T coarsely grated dark chocolate

Preparing the pavlova:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment.

Beat the egg whites then slowly add sugar until satiny and shiny.

Sprinkle over the cocoa and vinegar, and the chopped chocolate. Gently fold everything until the cocoa is thoroughly mixed in. Mound onto a baking sheet in a fat circle approximately 9 inches in diameter, smoothing the sides and top.

Place in the oven, then immediately turn the temperature down to 300 degrees and cook for about 60 to 75 minutes. When it's ready, it should look crisp around the edges and on the sides, and be dry on top, but "when you prod the center you should feel the promise of squidginess beneath your fingers".

Turn off the oven and open the door slightly, and let the chocolate meringue cool completely.

When you're ready to serve, invert onto a big, flat-bottomed plate. whisk the cream until thick but still soft and pile it on top of the meringue, then scatter over the raspberries. Coarsely grate the chocolate into curls over the top.


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