Wednesday, September 29, 2010

crispy-crunchy chocolate bars

mea culpa
i can't resist it
chocolate is so lovely
i can't resist making stuff with it
truth be told
i am sort of hoping that surrounding myself with chocolate
will perhaps make me sick of it
and then miraculously
i become one of those people
who hates chocolate
and then
i become one of those people
who can't seem to keep my weight up
and then
i become one of those people
that gets stopped on the street and asked if i am a model
until then
i suppose i will just have to suffer
and so will you
mea culpa

hubster claims he hates caramel
unless of course
it is surrounded with bittersweet chocolate
especially if it is surrounded by
crunchy, crispy chocolate
these are easy to make
if you don't have a chocolate mold
you can make these in paper cups
tart tins, candy cups,
you can form caramel into bars and dip in the chocolate
in the image of a popular bar found in the candy aisle

you can find a couple of good caramel recipes
and how to temper chocolate
in this post
for the crispy bits
which you can purchase at a candy supply store
 (cereal can be used in a pinch)
try this
if nothing else
you can make a grand
and eat it too

Monday, September 27, 2010

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

i am playing mind-games with myself
loading my kitchen with
pumpkins, squash, gourds
and all things fall

all while
cranking the air conditioner
up, Up UP

feeding my husband soup
as the outside temperature rises above one hundred
if i waited until the weather cooperated
2011 would be looming
soup weather arrives
Roasted Butternut Squash Soup
(printable recipe)
4 cups butternut squash-cut into large dice
4 cloves of garlic-kept whole
2 shallots-cut in half
salt, pepper, olive oil
1/2 medium onion--diced
2 stalks celery--diced
1 Tbs whole coriander--toasted
1 tsp whole cumin--toasted
2 whole cloves--toasted
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp ground chipotle chili pepper
1/8 tsp red chili flakes (or more if you like very spicy)
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 oz calvados (optional)
6-8 cups low sodium chicken broth (or water for vegetarian)
2 tsp brown sugar
cream or sour cream (optional for serving)
toss the butternut squash, garlic and shallots in a bit of olive oil.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Place on two sheet pans and roast at 400 until the squash becomes soft and beginning to brown--approximately 40-50 minutes.  Check on it after 25 minutes and turn to allow for even cooking.  Remove from the oven and set aside.
In a stockpot, heat a bit of olive oil (just enough to coat the bottom lightly) and slowly cook the onions and celery until they are soft. Meanwhile, in a mortar and pestle crush the coriander, cumin, cloves and salt until they are nicely ground.  add the chipotle pepper, chili flakes and thyme, and toss all into the onion mixture.  cook for a minute or two, until there it seems like a paste, then add the calvados (if using) and stir until it is absorbed.  add the broth or water, the roasted squash, roasted garlic, roasted shallots and brown sugar.  simmer for 30 minutes.
for a hearty thick soup
using an immersion blender or stand blender, blend the soup until everything is evenly pureed.  reheat and serve topped with a bit of cream or sour cream
for a refined, silky smooth soup
*this will remove some of the strength of the spices, but will still allow for a flavorful soup.  i prefer the soup with this extra step, but it is not required.
push the pureed soup through a fine sieve, discarding the remaining solids
swirl in a bit of cream

I am participating in Tuesday Night Supper Club 
Hearth and Soul

Tuesday Night Supper Club--link up no. 9

thank you for sticking with the supper club...i know we are getting a slow start, but I LOVE all the recipes no matter how many, or how few.

our football theme last week was a lot of fun and i now have a good stockpile of ideas for my next football party.  the winner of the Moosewood cookbook is Lisa at The Pursuit of Happiness. She was picked through
Lisa...please send me an email at christy(at)luciagrace(dot)net with your mailing details so i can ship that off to you asap.

Welcome to link up 9 of Tuesday Night Supper Club. I am so glad to have you.  Now, Link UP!!!

Tuesday Night Supper Club Participants
1. Warm Caramel Apple Cake (kathie's kreations)
2. Vegetable Curry With Pork at Create With Joy
3. Cocina Diary: Chocolate Ricotta Souffle
4. Crock Pot Kalua Pig (a.k.a. Luau Pork)
5. Taco Seasoning
6. Mediterranean Veggie Sandwich with Pesto Hummus
7. Delicious Meatball Subs
8. Glazed Dessert or Breakfast Biscuits
9. roasted butternut squash soup
10. Crock Pot Peanut Thai Pork
11. Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins
12. Cherry Walnut Breakfast Bars
13. Jessi @SweetandSaltyLife {Cranberry Acorn Squash Goat Cheese Pizza}}
14. Warming our lives
15. Apple Coffee Cake w/ Pecan & Bacon Streusel
16. Pumpkin Spice Bagels
17. Chicken Cobbler Casserole
18. Baked Beef Wontons
19. Apple Rice Pilaf with Toasted Almonds
20. Sticky Chicken
21. Chili Beef Tacos
22. Joanna@Go Ahead & Snicker - Moroccan Style Stuffed Acorn Squash
23. Herb Dinner Rolls @ Domestic Dame
24. Pumpkin w/Spices and Pumpkin Butter
25. Easy Chicken Pad Thai @ Around My Family Table  
26. Alex@amoderatelife-Basic Peach Sauce@amoderatelife
27. Sheet Pan Pizza

Thursday, September 23, 2010

chocolate roux--inspired by the movie chocolat

when i was in grammar school
i had a small chocolate business
with my sister
(and my mom--let's face it she did A LOT of the work)
we crafted
 bon bons, 
milk chocolate bunnies,
and lollies
when we probably should have been
doing homework

we did a good business
and i always thought i would grow up 
to own a fancy chocolatier
much like vianne's
in chocolat
if i am to  be truthful
i am much more
caroline than vianne
and not just because of the catholic thing
or perhaps
specifically because of the catholic thing
rules and ritual
thats my bag


 when i grow old
i care nothing about wearing purple
i want to be armande

confused by this post?
that can only mean
you haven't seen the movie

the movie that inspires
an army of chocoholics
and me
to rush to our kitchens
and create

for you today
a warm chocolate sauce with a bit of a kick
that becomes a bit chewy when it hits
the cold shock of ice cream

i know roux would approve
it is his favorite
is it yours?
spin the wheel
what do you see?
chocolate roux
(printable recipe)
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup very dark unsweetened cocoa powder
1/3 cup dark brown sugar--lightly packed
3 Tbs unsalted butter
2 Tbs corn syrup
generous pinch kosher salt
1/4 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
pinch chipotle pepper powder (you can use up to 1/4 tsp if you love it)
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
place the cream, cocoa powder, brown sugar, butter, corn syrup and salt in a saucepan. heat over low heat and continue stirring as it comes to a boil.  let it cook on a low simmer about 3 minutes..continuing to stir.  remove from heat and whisk in chocolate chips, chipotle powder and vanilla extract.  use while warm.
i participate in food 'n flix
each month we cook from our hearts
inspired by a great movie
this is also linked to sundays at one

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

green tea and chocolate cakies

while in culinary school i made a celebration cake
which i called sakura
(yes i name my projects)
 it had a cherry blossom tree
with a chocolate trunk and fondant flowers
it was coated in
green tea buttercream
i figured
it would be a good combination
green tea and chocolate

this was before it was
 to mix odd flavors

i personally considered it a bit gutsy
when i feel i am eating too many sweets and chocolate
i sit with a cup of green tea
to curb my craving

i have found
it to be a lovely combination
and what is better than
tea with cake and cake with tea?
green tea chocolate cakies
1 recipe of your favorite devil's food cake
italian buttercream icing
(printable recipe)
(if you have a favorite icing, use it and add the matcha)
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup water
4 egg whites--room temperature
2 cups unsalted butter--room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbs matcha green tea powder
place egg whites and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with whisk attachment
combine 3/4 cup of granulated sugar with water in a heavy saucepan.  bring to a boil over medium heat and continue cooking until it reaches 235 (just before soft ball)
meanwhile, while the sugar is boiling, begin whisking the egg whites.  once frothy, "rain" in the remaining 1/4 cup sugar.  whip to soft peak.
when syrup reaches 235, remove from heat (it will continue to get hotter and reach the desired 240f). with the mixer on medium speed, begin immediately pouring the hot syrup into the egg whites.  be careful not to hit the whisk directly.  once all the syrup is incorporated, kick the speed up to high and whisk until it cools to room temperature.
change the attachment from whisk to paddle, and begin adding butter, a few bits at a time.  once all incorporated and it looks like buttercream, mix in the vanilla and matcha green tea powder.
*if you like a more pronounced flavor you can add a bit more matcha, but don't be too heavy handed
for the chocolate glaze
(printable recipe)
1 cup bittersweet chocolate pieces
4 Tbs unsalted butter
1 Tbs corn syrup
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
place the chocolate, butter and corn syrup in a microwave safe bowl.  cook in the microwave for 30 seconds. remove and stir. if it needs more time, do it in 5 second intervals.  do not let it overheat.  stir in vanilla.
to assemble
split your cakes in layers and fill with a 1/4" layer of green tea buttercream.  refrigerate if needed to firm up a bit.
place your cake or cakies on a cooling rack over a lined cookie sheet
pour the warm chocolate glaze over tapping the rack lightly to encourage the glaze to ooze over the sides.  use a clean offset spatula to fill in any bare spots. let the glaze harden at room temperature
decorate with a bit more buttercream
one last thing
congratulate yourself for eating something so healthy
(don't argue with me--green tea is good for you and so is dark chocolate)

Monday, September 20, 2010

sweet and spicy wings

we love football around here
by the time the first kick-off  happens
i've worked myself into a frenzy
i have watched the draft
poured over stats
and chosen my fantasy football team
all that is left 
is the cryin'
i serve these on sundays
because wings are helpful
while performing
the lambeau leap
sweet and spicy wings
(printable recipe)
3 dozen chicken wings
1 recipe sweet sauce
1 recipe spicy sauce
ranch dressing for dipping
sweet sauce
2 Tbs brown sugar
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar (doesn't have to be fancy)
2 Tbs ketchup
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
mix together and split into 2 bowls
spicy sauce
1 stick butter--melted
1/4 cup + 2 Tbs hot sauce (i use tapatio)
1 Tbs brown sugar
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp smoked paprika
1/4 tsp kosher salt
2 shakes worcestershire sauce
1 Tbs white vinegar
mix together and split into 2 bowls
* i split the sauce into 2 portions because i like to avoid cross-contamination.
toss the chicken wings in a bit of olive oil and place on 2 sheet pans.  sprinkle with a bit of salt and pepper and roast in a 375 oven for 20 minutes. after 20 minutes toss 1/2 of the wings in the sweet sauce, and 1/2 of the wings in the spicy sauce.  place on separate sheet pans back into the oven for an additional 20 minutes.  they should be good and golden at this point.  remove from the oven and toss in the reserved sauce (not the sauce you used when they were 1/2 cooked). serve with lots of napkins
I am linking up to Tuesday Night Supper Club
i am not linking to hearth and soul this week but i encourage you to check out the yummies over there

Tuesday Night Supper Club--link up no.8

are you ready for some football?
link up number 8 is here
and our theme is football
it is also a prize week
the winner (picked by
will receive their very own copy of one of my favorite cookbooks
Sunday's at the Moosewood

the Moosewood Restaurant in Ithaca, NY serves innovative vegetarian cuisine. this particular cookbook revolves around a sunday tradition of cooking the cuisine of a different country. you will find recipes from africa, provence, chile and many more
i have been enjoying my copy of this book for more than 15 years, always finding something delicious to cook, and i am not even a vegetarian.  the book will ship directly from amazon to you.
the winner will be picked on 9/22/2010 8pm pst and announced on 9/27 at supper club
*disclaimer: neither the moosewood corporation or amazon paid for my endorsement or the book, nor the book itself.

and now for the good stuff...
if you are new to the supper club...please review here
now let's link up!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

pains au chocolat

i may owe you an apology

this week 
is going to have a lot of sweets in it
particularly chocolate

i will sneak in something savory
but beyond that

i can't make any promises

i've 20lbs of chocolate
to play with

the other day
i tried my hand at croissant dough
it is a 2 day process
appropriate to its name (pain)

i hadn't made it in years
and to be honest
it is obvious
not my best effort
which only means
i will be doing this again
and possibly
again and again
until i can give myself a passing grade
good news is
hubster and the neighbors
aren't as critical as i
 i think i may have caught them 
praying for mistakes
pain au chocolat
(printable recipe)
(recipe from le cordon bleu professional baking)
225 gr milk--scalded and cooled to room temp
15gr fresh yeast
15 gr sugar
8 gr kosher salt
40 gr unsalted butter--softened
400 gr bread flour
225 gr unsalted butter--room temperature
chocolate batons or good quality chocolate chips
egg wash
dissolve yeast in cooled milk.  add sugar, salt, 40 gr butter and bread flour.  do not add 225gr unsalted butter. mix into a smooth dough, being careful not to develop gluten.  cover and let sit for an hour in a warm draft-free place.  punch down and spread out onto a sheet pan.  place in refrigerator for 30 minutes.
remove from refrigerator and roll out to a rectangle about 1/4" thick.  smear the softened butter over 2/3rds of the dough.  leave a margin around the edges.  fold the unbuttered 1/3 of the dough over the center (i think i messed this part up). fold the remaining 1/3 on top.  rotate the dough 90 degrees and roll into a long rectangle.  place the dough in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to relax the gluten.  do this process 2 more times, for a total of 3 turns (or folds).  after the final turn, roll the dough out to 1/4", wrap in plastic wrap and place on a sheet pan in the refrigerator overnight.
to assemble:
roll dough out to a rectangle 1/8" thick.  cut into rectangles 6"x4" or 3"x2" for minis.  place 2 chocolate batons or a row of chocolate chips along the short end, leaving about an inch border.  egg wash the opposite end of each rectangle so that the roll will seal. roll up tightly. proof uncovered in a warm draft free place.  brush with egg wash and bake at 400. that i look at it
it sure seems tedious
i think i need to go back to the drawing board with this...maybe a vlog?

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Ripple Effect--Ready, Set Blog...

a couple of years ago, i wrote a post called  grandma's china
and in it i wrote
My husband can trace his family back to American Presidents and Early Settlers. I can trace my family to an apartment in the Bronx. I am very proud of my Italian heritage, and can be frequently heard complaining about how "white" my name is. I would love to have a name that rolls off the tongue like a sonata, but I am third generation and my name proves it.
Because I don't come from a long line of prestige; instead of passing down linens, monogrammed silver, or anniversary diamonds, we pass down generations of funny stories, old fashion Italian pride and great recipes
although my style has morphed from matter-of-fact story telling, to a gentle nudge of fact and imagination, 
the truth and enthusiasm remain
 i like to tell stories
and somehow
some way
these stories involve food
and most of the the time
evolve around food

rather than leave behind
dusty notes 
yellowed journals

i blog

and those who will
are invited to

laugh with me
cook with me
travel with me
celebrate with me
and i
with them

my initial intention with this post was to fill it with compelling reasons
that would move a jury to nod in agreement
that my blog, and i, for that matter
should move on to the next round of the
foodbuzz project food blogger contest
and while this remains an intention
really, who doesn't like to win?
i have stumbled upon the memory of why 
i blog
because it is fun
and fun
is a good thing

pumpkin, pumpkin pies

I love, Love, LOVE halloween


when i see candy corn in the grocery
i get giddy,
my palms sweat
i swoon

candy corn 
is my official cue
holiday season
is in full swing

i begin costume planning
not forgetting to
nag hubster
because a girl needs her supplies
i have him hauling this and gathering that 
from storage
to our over-stuffed abode

we do it up
there are even changes
in the kitchen
broth becomes stew
steamed veggies are over-shadowed by slow roasted roots
and dessert is shaped, colored and coaxed to look the part

it just does
because that is how the dough rolls
pumpkin, pumpkin pies
this filling is not the same as you would use for a traditional pie as it needs to be firm enough to sit on the pastry without oozing 
pie dough
*use store bought if you like
1lb 4oz all purpose flour
13 oz cold unsalted butter (or 1/2 butter 1/2 shortening)
1 tsp kosher salt
2 Tbs granulated sugar
5 oz ice cold water
whisk together the flour, salt and sugar,  cut in butter until it is very well incorporated, resembling cornmeal. slowly pour in the water bringing the dough together. do not overwork. bring the dough just together and form into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator a minimum of 4 hours.  this dough is less flaky than a traditional pie crust. i find that element important as these are hand held pies and need to be firm and crisp.
pumpkin filling
15 oz pureed pumpkin (not already spiced pie filling)
6 oz cream cheese--room temperature
1 large egg yolk
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 Tbs molasses (optional--if not using, increase sugar by 2 Tbs)
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground clove
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
mix all ingredients together so they are smooth. refrigerate while you roll out the dough.
to assemble
roll out your dough as if you are making sugar cookies--approx 1/8" thick.  cut out pumpkin shapes using a large pumpkin shaped cookie cutter (mine is 5").  place a dollop of filling on 1/2 of the cut-outs--being sure not to over-fill.  brush a bit of egg on the edges and place a cut-out on top.  using the tines of a fork, press the edges together.  poke a few inconspicuous holes in the top pastry to allow for steam.  bake at 375 for about 25 minutes, or until the pastry is golden.
i use a simple confectioner's sugar and milk glaze tinted with food color.  place 1 cup of confectioner's sugar in a bowl and add a few tablespoons of milk until you get the consistency you are looking for.  add food coloring to desired tint.  if it seems to runny, add back a bit more confectioner's sugar.  glaze the cooled pies and let sit, uncovered, until they are set.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

i love you a bushel and a peck

nothing says autumn like a basket
 of just-picked
crunchy, barely-sweet apples
 in need of a good shine
courtesy of my shirt sleeve

there is little i can resist
as the fall colors begin to show
in most of the country
here i sit
in southern california
adjusting my air conditioning
wishing i were elsewhere

last week
hubster and i were in connecticut
taking in the beauty of new england
from our perch in a historic lighthouse
while on a drive
stumbled upon an old cider mill
it was too early in the season
which meant we couldn't watch the mill in action
as a consolation prize
they were serving freshly made donuts
which didn't last long enough 
for a photo shoot
they were pretty good
but not real
and i like

and rather than be haunted by it
for one more day
i got busy in the kitchen
frying up
apple fritters
Apple Fritters
(printable recipe)
for the apples
1 cup apples--cut in a 1/4" dice
(i used granny smith)
1 Tbs sugar
1 Tbs lemon juice
pinch cardamom
pinch nutmeg
pinch cinnamon
mix together in a bowl and let sit while you do your preparations
for the batter
1 cup apple cider
2 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp kosher salt
1 Tbs baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/3 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla
3 Tbs unsalted butter--melted
2 large eggs
oil for frying
simmer the apple cider on the stove until it is reduced to 1/4 cup, and let cool.
 heat your oil in a sturdy deep pot, to 360F.  your oil should be deep enough so the fritter can float, but you must also have at least 3" between the top of the pot and the top of the oil. 
 meanwhile, place all your dry ingredients in a bowl and whisk to combine.  make a well in the center and pour in milk, vanilla, butter, cider and eggs.  slowly stir together, making sure all ingredients are incorporated, but do not beat.  stir in the apple and any juices that may have accumulated. you can make these small or big, the process is the same.  drop into hot oil and then using a spatula poke it a few times to flatten it a bit and give it some nooks and crannies.  fry until golden brown, then flip and continue until both sides are equally colored.  remove from oil and place on a cooling rack, placed over a sheet pan.
for the glaze
1 cup powdered sugar
2 Tbs (more or less) cider
mix together in a shallow bowl.  when the fritters are still warm, but not too hot to touch, dip in the glaze.

i am not a nutritionist
but i know a thing or two
about a thing or two
and i can say
with certainty
that these are not healthy
despite the apple
in a guilt infused moment
i decided to throw some of the batter into a muffin tin
and pop them in the oven
at 350F
and when they came out
i dipped them in the glaze

they are pretty good
maybe a bit dense
but they are moist
and apple-y
and ever so slightly

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

hatteras clam chowder

i've never been to hatteras
but i have been to north carolina
and to be honest
i never tried the clam chowder
i actually don't recall it being a big sell
i remember crab being the hot seller
but that isn't my story

i just returned from connecticut
where lobster was the big thing
and it was good
i mean really good

this good
but i will save my restaurant recommendations
for another time

aside from lobster
we found clam chowder
on almost every menu
and the first time hubster ordered it
we were surprised
rather than a thick bowl of cream, potatoes and clams
it was brothy
and delightfully light

and the next time he ordered it 
we found it brothy
but with enough cream to
turn the clear broth opaque

i am hooked
i love it so much more than
traditional new england clam chowder

and after asking around a bit
i discovered it is hatteras style

call it what you want
it is my new favorite
Clam Chowdah 
(printable recipe)
everyone knows it tastes better when you use a proper accent
for clam broth (optional step)
2 cups water
2 lbs clams in shell
this step is optional, i like the way it looks, and the larger clam pieces, but you can skip it without altering the rest of the recipe.  if you do choose to do this, make sure you handle the clams properly. go here for some tips.  steam the clams in the water until they open. throw out any clams that do not open after a reasonable amount of time. reserve the clams and the broth separately.  filter any sand or sediment from the clam broth before using.
for garlic cream
3/4 cup heavy cream
3 garlic cloves--smashed
5-7 whole peppercorns
place all ingredients in a small saucepan and simmer for a few minutes. be careful not to let the cream boil or overflow.  turn off heat and let garlic steep until room temperature.  strain the garlic and peppercorns from the cream and place in the refrigerator to cool completely.  once fully chilled, whip to a soft peak. alternately, you can use this cream chilled and not whipped or  even warm. the whipped garlic cream makes a nice presentation..but it is not critical that you serve it this way.
for the chowder
3-4 rashers bacon--chopped
2 Tbs olive oil
1 cup onion--finely chopped
1 cup celery--finely chopped
1/2 cup carrots--finely chopped
2 cups new potatoes--cut into 1/2" dice
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 cup dry vermouth
2 cups clam juice
4 cups fish broth
clam broth (if using)
32 oz (4 cups) frozen clams--defrosted and chopped
1/4 cup fresh chives--chopped
additional salt and pepper to taste
in a stock pot, cook the bacon on low heat.  the objective is to render the fat, but not fully crisp the bacon.  add 2 Tbs olive oil to the pan and toss in the onion, celery and carrots.  keep the heat on low and continue to cook just until the onions are soft and begin to turn color.  add potatoes and give it a couple of stirs.  deglaze the pan by adding the vermouth and scraping up the bits that are sticking to the bottom. when the vermouth is almost fully absorbed, add the clam juice, fish broth and clam broth (if using).  Simmer on the stove top until the potatoes and other vegetables are tender. Approximately 10 minutes before serving add the clams in their shells (if using).adjust salt and pepper.  serve chowder in individual bowls and top with a dollop or drizzle of garlic cream.  top with a generous smattering of chopped chive.
this week i am participating in 

Sunday, September 12, 2010

buffalo springfield

today i picked what appears NOT to  be 
the last of our tomatoes
our plants are going strong
and southern california
seems to be hanging on
to warm days
like i hang on to the blonde
of my youth

has renamed
caprese salad

buffalo springfield

and i play along
because he loves it
and eats it
and lycopene 
is a good thing

it gives me the opportunity
to work on my
cheese making
which may never
become a craft
but alas,
i try
Buffalo Springfield
Caprese Salad
(printable recipe)
the best tomatoes you can get your hands on
fresh mozzarella packed in water
fresh basil, chiffonade
extra virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic--smashed
kosher or sea salt
"marinate" the garlic clove in the olive oil.  you can lightly warm the oil to speed the process. the objective is to give the olive oil a little taste of garlic, not overwhelm it.  remove the clove before dressing the salad.  slice the tomatoes and layer on serving platter or plates.  sprinkle with salt.  generously top with basil and place the cheese on top. alternately, you can slice the cheese and layer it between the tomato slices and basil.  drizzle the infused oil over the top.  i sometimes give it a just a small hit with aged balsamic too.
for the record--the band, buffalo springfield, is every bit as good as this salad

Friday, September 10, 2010

lavender aioli

the other day, a dear friend sent me a quick note

explaining that she purchased a beautiful jar of
lavender salt
but had no idea what to do with it

could i make a few suggestions?
to be fair
i had never used lavender salt before

but i grow lavender
and it would only be time
i started gifting lavender salt

i became inspired
and came up with 
lavender aioli

it is terrific with sweet potato fries
but also great as a condiment
on a cold roast pork sandwich
and crab cakes

so, Theresa
this one is for you...
Lavender Aioli
(printable recipe)
1 Tbs dried culinary lavender
1 tsp sea salt
1 clove garlic
1 tsp lemon juice
2 egg yolks
3/4 cup or more (lightly flavored) olive oil
in a mortar and pestle, grind the lavender and sea salt.  you will be using 1 tsp of the mixture, set aside the rest to adjust seasonings.  add the garlic clove to the mortar and grind to a paste with the lavender salt. place the egg yolks, lemon juice, and garlic paste in a bowl and begin whisking.  slowly (drop by drop) add the olive oil and continue to whisk until an emulsion begins to form.  once the mixture begins to thicken, you may add the oil in a slow stream.  when it gets to a soft mayonnaise consistency, you are done.  add more lavender salt if you think it needs a bit more flavor.  
*if you are not up for all this a nice jar of good mayonnaise, spoon out about 1/2 cup and add the lavender/garlic paste to it.  sprinkle a bit of lavender on top to make it pretty.  


Related Posts with Thumbnails

blogger templates |