Friday, February 28, 2014

Pumpkin Pancakes with Toasted Pecans

On Wednesday night, some friends and I had a wonderful idea. Let's have a breakfast-for-dinner party. Why hadn't we thought of such a brilliant idea before? If you want to take a look at some pictures from our soiree, be sure to pop on over to our instagram account. Heck, while you're there you should enter our #minicandy cookbook giveaway. You could win some adorable prizes.

So since Wednesday, I've been dreaming of breakfast. Everything from maple-cured bacon to sweet potato hash to ... you guess it, pancakes! And why make regular, boring, boxed pancakes when you can end up with something like this?

Pumpkin Pancakes with Toasted Pecans
Excerpted from Powerful Paleo Superfoods by Heather Connell

Pancakes are a Paleo treat in my house, mostly served on weekends and especially after the request/begging of my six-year-old twins. On a crisp fall morning these pancakes are a favorite to warm the soul. Try switching up the pumpkin purée for sweet potato purée or ripe banana purée.

2 cup (120 g) pumpkin purée
2 eggs
1 tablespoon (15 ml) coconut oil, melted, plus more for griddle
2 tablespoons (30 ml) maple syrup
2 tablespoons (30 ml) coconut milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1⁄2 cup (60 g) almond flour
1 tablespoon (8 g) coconut flour
1 1⁄2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1⁄4 teaspoon sea salt
1⁄4 teaspoon baking soda
1⁄4 cup (38 g) pecans, chopped

Heat a griddle or nonstick skillet over medium heat (watch the temperature carefully to keep the pancakes from burning). In a large bowl, add the pumpkin, eggs, 1 tablespoon (15 ml) coconut oil, maple syrup, coconut milk, and vanilla. Using a hand mixer, combine the ingredients until smooth and blended. Add the almond flour, coconut flour, cinnamon, salt, and baking soda to the wet ingredients and mix again until everything is incorporated.

Melt 1 teaspoon of additional coconut oil in the hot griddle or skillet, making sure the oil coats the surface evenly. Pour about 1⁄4 to 1⁄3 cup (60 to 80 ml) batter to the skillet for each pancake. Allow the pancakes
to cook on one side for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the bottoms are golden. (These don’t cook like traditional pancakes, so don’t flip the pancakes too soon or they will break apart.) Then, using a spatula, carefully
flip the pancakes over to cook on the other side. Repeat with the remaining batter.

While the pancakes cook, preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C, or gas mark 4) and evenly spread the pecans on a baking sheet. Toast the pecans for 5 to 10 minutes, or until lightly toasted and fragrant. Top the pancakes with toasted pecans and serve.


Powerful Paleo Superfoods

Unlike other superfood lists you may have seen that include things like soy, legumes, quinoa and goji, the Paleo community has a very different idea of what constitutes nutritional power foods. With superfoods like grass-fed bison, bone broth, and coconut oil you are on your way to amazing health benefits including reduced incidence of diabetes, autoimmune illnesses, cancer, and neurodegenerative diseases.

Paleo expert Heather Connell will guide you through the top 50 Paleo superfoods from power proteins like salmon and locally farmed beef to super fats and Paleo-approved fruits and vegetables.

Powerful Paleo Superfoods is your essential guide to getting the best out of your caveman lifestyle.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

The Jupiter Cocktail

Let's raise a glass to the end of February, shall we? I simply can wait for March to arrive with its warmer weather and St. Patrick's Day festivities.

The Jupiter Cocktail
Excerpted from Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails by Ted Haigh

I first encountered this drink in a great little bar guide published in 1937 by a Chicago liquor store named Marco’s. As a cocktail historian, you’ll often turn up these old recipes at some undetermined point in their “life cycles.” When I make this drink, I always pull down my copy of The How and When by Hyman Gale and Gerald F. Marco, though my cocktail archaeology has determined that Marco’s likely got the recipe from Patrick Gavin Duffy’s The Official Mixer’s Manual (1934). Duffy probably got it, through his publisher, from Harry Craddock’s Savoy Cocktail Book (1930), and Harry most certainly extracted it from another Harry … Harry McElhone in his first book, Harry of Ciro’s ABC of Mixing Cocktails, published in 1923!

1-1⁄2 ounces (1⁄3 gill, 4.5 cl) gin
3⁄4 ounce (1⁄6 gill, 2 cl) dry vermouth
1 teaspoon Parfait Amour
1 teaspoon orange juice

Shake in an iced cocktail shaker and strain into a cocktail glass.

They all saw fit to print the Jupiter recipe, and right they were; it is, in my view, the finest use of the arcane nineteenth-century liqueur Parfait Amour ever created. You see, Parfait Amour (which translates as “perfect love”) was always considered to be a dainty woman’s liqueur. It was a pretty purple color and it tasted like the delicate combination of grape jellybeans and marshmallows. Who would have thought that this demure cordial would be so bossy? Parfait Amour, like the more flagrant absinthe and pastis, would, with a heavy pour, absolutely take over a drink—and not in a good way. I love the stuff, but then I know it’s like a machine gun; I don’t aim it just anywhere and I squeeze the trigger very, very carefully.

Simple, right? Well, as you might gather, the Jupiter requires (more than any other cocktail in this book) exact measurements. Got lab equipment? I use a 3⁄4- to 1-1⁄2-ounce (1⁄6 to 1⁄3 gill, 2 to 4.5 cl) double jigger and kitchen measuring spoons. No, your coffee spoon will not do. Unlike the Corpse Reviver #2, an overpour won’t obviously ruin the drink—but it’ll make it disappointing to the point where you’ll wonder what all the fuss was about. The color won’t help. Once you’ve combined all the constituents, it’ll look like light gray ashes. If you measure it correctly, you’ll get an empyrean flavor like none you’ve ever experienced and a balance that’ll make you want more than one. But the color still won’t be anything you’ll want to paint your house.

Parfait Amour isn’t common, but thanks to Marie Brizard it is still made and it is available. In Europe, Bols still makes it, too. It, the devilish mixing required, and the big belt of vermouth make this a natural forgotten cocktail. Be brave. Try it for the flavor.


Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails [mini book]

In this giftable mini booklet of Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails, historian, expert, and drink aficionado Dr. Cocktail includes his hand-picked collection of 52 rare-and-worth-rediscovered drink recipes, shares revelations about the latest cocktail trends, provides new resources for uncommon ingredients, and profiles of many of the cocktail world's movers and shakers. For anyone who enjoys an icy drink and an unforgettable tale.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Bruschetta Deviled Eggs in Crispy Pancetta Cups

Okay, I'll be the first to admit that it's still absolutely freezing outside. It really, really is. As I sit here in my fleece sipping my hot tea, all I can think about is summer barbecuing season and sipping cocktails by the pool. So rather than sharing a soup recipe or a hot cocktail, I'm going to sneak peek a recipe from the upcoming cookbook Paleo Grilling. The good news is that you can make these delicious deviled eggs with or without your grill, so you can practice now to perfect before the sunshine arrives.

Let's hope it's soon.

Bruschetta Deviled Eggs in Crispy Pancetta Cups
Excerpted from Paleo Grilling by Tony Federico and James William Phelan

Deviled eggs are packed with protein and plenty of healthy fats from egg yolks, but they also call for conventional mayonnaise, which is usually made from canola oil. Oils like canola are high in inflammatory omega-6 fatty acids, so we’ve swapped mayo out for a homemade tomato aioli. The combination of tomato, olive oil, and basil will remind you of bruschetta, but the crispy pancetta will give texture and a salty crunch to each bite.

12 eggs
1/4 cup (14 g) drained sun-dried tomatoes
1 small clove garlic, smashed
Pinch of cayenne pepper
1/2 cup (125 g) Paleo Mayo (recipe follows)
24 pieces pancetta ham, sliced into 1/4-inch (6 mm)-thick rounds
Fresh basil leaves, rolled and thinly sliced (chiffonade)
Himalayan sea salt

Place the eggs in a large saucepan and cover with water. Heat over high until the water begins to boil. Cover the pan and turn the heat to low. Let the eggs cook for 1 minute. Turn the heat off, leaving the pot covered
for an additional 14 minutes. Alternatively, you could “hard bake” your eggs in the oven or even on the grill. To do this, simply preheat your oven or grill to 325°F (170°C, or gas mark 3) and place the eggs directly on the grill or oven grate (put a pan underneath them if you are using your oven in case they break). Let them cook for 30 minutes with the grill lid or oven door closed, and then carefully remove with tongs or oven mitts.

Once the eggs are cooked, chill them under cold running water. Once they are cool enough to handle, carefully crack the eggshells and remove. Return the eggs to a bowl of cold ice water to completely chill. Dry the eggs with a paper towel and slice lengthwise. Remove the yolks and put them in a large bowl and put the whites on a separate plate.

In a food processor, pulse the sun-dried tomatoes with the garlic and cayenne until finely chopped, then puree until smooth. Add the mayo and pulse just until blended.

Mash the egg yolks with a fork and mix with the sun-dried tomato mayonnaise until well combined. Spoon the filling into the egg white halves, using a pastry piping bag if you want to get fancy.

Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C, or gas mark 6). Drape the slices of pancetta over the sections of 2 upside-down muffin tins, place each tin on a baking sheet, and bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until crispy. Allow the pancetta cups to cool before filling each cup with a deviled egg.

Garnish each cup with a few strands of basil and a small pinch of Himalayan salt.

Paleo Mayo

Making mayonnaise at home with the best ingredients is easy—or, in this case, an aioli, a traditional French sauce made from garlic, olive oil, and fresh egg yolks. Add the oil very slowly to allow the sauce to emulsify (combine). You can also substitute avocado oil for a portion of the olive oil, as they are both fruit oils and are high in healthy monounsaturated fats.

1 clove garlic
2 chicken egg yolks or 1 duck egg yolk
Juice of 1 lemon
1/2 cup (120 ml) avocado or extra virgin olive oil
1 cup (235 ml) light olive oil
2 dashes of hot sauce
1/2 teaspoon white pepper

Pulverize the garlic with a mortar and pestle. Add the garlic, egg yolks, and lemon juice to a food processor
and blend at medium speed (you could also use a blender for this, or even a bowl and whisk—just keep stirring!). Slowly drizzle a thin stream of the avocado or extra virgin olive oil into the mix, being careful
not to add too much. At this point, the sauce should be coming together nicely, so you can now add the light olive oil a little more quickly. Finish by seasoning with hot sauce and white pepper. Seal the mayo in a clean container and refrigerate until ready to use. It will remain fresh for about a week.

Yield: 1 1/2 cups (375 g)


Paleo Grilling A Modern Caveman's Guide to Cooking with Fire

Embracing the Paleo movement is about getting back to basics­—eating food in its most simple, unprocessed form, just like our ancestors.

And what is more basic than cooking meat over a fire? This book features more than 100 grilling recipes using a variety of methods for cooking natural, locally farmed meat over fire: primitive campfire, wood and charcoal, gas grilling, and smoking. Paleo Grilling will help you to choose the best meats for any meal and offers international recipes, including side dishes and desserts suitable for the modern caveman.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Ice Cream Sundae Bark

We simply cannot get enough of Elizabeth LaBau's candy. In fact, we've become Sugarheroes ourselves. Now that Elizabeth has a sweet new mini book, we thought we'd share the love and give away a copy. Want to get in the action? Follow our quarryspoon instagram page (and Elizabeth's too) and share the image below using #minicandy. It's that easy. We'll pick a winner on March 4th. Good luck!

Ice Cream Sundae Bark
Excerpted from The Sweet Little Book of Candy Making by Elizabeth LaBau

Yield: 1 pound 4 ounces (560 g)

Ice cream sundaes are great, but they’re not the most portable (or gift-able) of treats. I decided to recreate the taste of a classic sundae in bark form, using all of the familiar favorites: a creamy vanilla base, salty peanuts, a chocolate drizzle, colorful sprinkles, and of course, a cherry on top! Vanilla beans are expensive, so I consider it an optional ingredient, but if you have one available, it adds a strong vanilla flavor to the white chocolate that makes it taste more like vanilla ice cream.

2½ ounces or 1/3 cup (70 g) coarsely chopped maraschino cherries
1 vanilla bean (optional, for a stronger vanilla flavor)
12 ounces (336 g) white chocolate, melted and tempered
1½ ounces or ¼ cup (42 g) chopped toffee bits
1½ ounces or ¼ cup (42 g) chopped salted peanuts
1 ounce (28 g) dark chocolate, melted
1 ounce or 3 tablespoons (28 g) colored sprinkles

Spread the chopped maraschino cherries out onto a length of paper towel and carefully and thoroughly pat them dry. Cover a baking sheet with a layer of aluminum foil or parchment paper.

If you are using the vanilla bean, split it in half lengthwise with a sharp paring knife. Scrape out the seeds from the bean and add the seeds to the white chocolate, stirring until they are thoroughly mixed in.

Set aside 2 tablespoons (21 g) each of the chopped toffee bits and chopped salted peanuts. Stir the remaining 2 tablespoons (21 g) of the toffee and nuts into the tempered white chocolate. Scrape the chocolate onto the prepared baking sheet and spread it into a thin, even layer. It does not need to cover the
entire sheet.

While the white chocolate is still wet, drizzle the melted dark chocolate on top in a random, swirling pattern. Sprinkle the reserved chopped toffee and peanuts on top, then scatter the colored sprinkles all over the top of the bark. Finally, sprinkle the chopped maraschino cherries over the top. Gently press down on the cherries to adhere them to the melted chocolate.

Let the bark set at room temperature for 45 minutes, or in the refrigerator for 15 minutes. Once it is completely set, break the bark apart into small pieces by hand.

Store Ice Cream Sundae Bark in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

There are many other ice cream–themed ingredients you could add to this bark! Consider including a handful of chopped caramel pieces, miniature marshmallows, or chopped banana chips to the melted white chocolate.


The Sweet Little Book of Candy Making [mini book]

Create delicious, gorgeous, and professional-quality candies with The Sweet Little Book of Candy Making. Whether you're a beginner or a seasoned candy maker, you will find mouthwatering recipes and expert tips to inspire you—and satisfy your sweet tooth.

Inside, you'll find:

—Candy-making essentials: all you need to know about equipment, ingredients, and techniques, including step-by-step lessons on pulling taffy, rolling truffles, filling peanut butter cups, and more

—The "Best-of" recipes from the best-selling book The Sweet Book of Candy Making. Includes sugar candies, fondant, caramels, toffee, fudge, truffles, chocolates, marshmallows, and fruit and nut candies

—Troubleshooting tips for each type of candy

—How to perfect the classics you love or try your hand at something new!

—Decorating techniques to show off your tasty results

Get started in your kitchen or anywhere with The Sweet Little Book of Candy Making!

Monday, February 24, 2014

Toasted Sesame Salmon Nuggets

Eating well every night can be a challenge for even the most well-meaning people. Add picky eaters into the mix and it can be downright impossible. To give hardworking parents a leg up, we're launching a new family cooking section on SPOON where families can find great recipes to make for their kids, with their kids, and in spite of their kids.

So grab your spoons, spatulas, mixing bowls, and fresh, healthy ingredients. It's not nearly as daunting as it may seem. We'll help make things easier for you.

And if you want more great parenting articles, be sure to pop on over to BodyMindBeautyHealth this week. They're running an entire Parenting Week filled with great content and some fun extras.

Toasted Sesame Salmon Nuggets with Sweet-Savory Scallion Sauce
Excerpted from Clean Eating for Busy Families by Michelle Dudash

Scarlet devoured wild Alaskan salmon as a baby, until her finicky eating habits kicked in at age two. At two-and-a-half years old she tried these nuggets with natural ketchup and gobbled them up, thinking they were chicken!

For nuggets:
1 cup (56 g) panko bread crumbs
3 tablespoons (22 g) whole-wheat flour
1½ teaspoons garlic powder
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon (8 g) black sesame seeds
½ teaspoon Chinese 5-spice powder (or ¼ teaspoon cinnamon and 1/ 8 teaspoon each ground fennel and cloves)
1 tablespoon (15 ml) expeller-pressed grapeseed or canola oil
1 large egg
2 teaspoons (8 g) Chinese mustard
1 teaspoon (5 ml) reduced sodium soy sauce
1 pound (455 g) skinned salmon, cut crosswise into ½ x 2-inch (1.3 x 5 cm) strips

For sauce:
2 tablespoons (12 g) thinly sliced scallions
4 teaspoons (27 g) sweet chili sauce (found in Asian food section)
2 teaspoons (10 ml) reduced sodium soy sauce
2 teaspoons (8 g) Chinese mustard

To make the nuggets:
Preheat oven to 450°F (230°C, or gas mark 8) and line a large sheet pan with parchment paper. Toast bread crumbs in a sauté pan over medium heat for 2 minutes, tossing every 30 seconds until golden. Mix flour, garlic powder, salt, and pepper in a medium shallow dish. In another dish, stir together toasted bread crumbs, sesame seeds, and 5-spice powder, drizzling in oil while stirring. Beat egg, mustard, and soy sauce in a third dish. Coat one-third of the batch of fish in the flour mixture, tossing gently with a fork. Lift the fish with another fork and coat it with the egg mixture. Lift the pieces with a fork to drain them and cover them
completely with the bread crumbs. arrange them closely, but not touching, in rows on the pan. Bake on middle rack for 10 minutes until fish is creamy inside and slightly firm.

To prepare the sauce:
Stir together all sauce ingredients. Enjoy the fish immediately with the sauce. Leftovers can be reheated in the oven at 350°F (180°C, or gas mark 4) until heated through, the same or the next day.

Total Prep and Cook Time: 45 minutes • Yield: 5 servings, 3 To 4 nuggets each (with 1 tablespoon [15 g] sauce)

Per serving: 253 calories; 13 g total fat; 2 g saturated fat; 18 g Protein; 15 g carbohydrate; 1 g dietary fiber; 82 mg cholesterol.

Go Clean
Choose fresh wild Alaskan salmon during peak season (April through October), which is superior in sustainability and taste. Wild salmon from Washington and British Columbia rank second. Avoid Atlantic farm-raised salmon, which contains high levels of pCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls), a toxic industrial chemical that is banned in the United States and lingers in bodies of water.


Clean Eating for Busy Families

All moms know what a struggle it can be to get dinner on the table night after night—you want to prepare healthy meals for your family, but picky eaters, busy schedules, and way-too-long cooking times always seem to stand in your way.

Clean Eating for Busy Families takes the challenge out of putting delicious food on the family table on a nightly basis by providing you with a clear plan for dinner success. With streamlined weekly grocery lists, simple-yet-delicious recipes, and practical tips for healthy family eating, you’ll find it a cinch to trade in that uninspired takeout for wholesome meals that don’t just put your tummy to ease, but your mind too.

It’s Quick: From easy sautés and casseroles, to slow cooker meals, to pan-less grilling, all the recipes you’ll find inside list both mode and length of cooking time, so there’s no time wasted trying to figure out a time plan or what works best for your schedule. Plus, most recipes can be prepared in thirty minutes or less!

It’s Clean: The ever-growing “clean food” movement, which focuses on a healthy, whole foods-based approach to eating, lies at the foundation of this book, so you can be sure you’re feeding your family the very best. From wholesome ingredient lists to nutritional analysis on every recipe, you can feel confident that every meal you prepare is both nutrient-rich and calorie-conscious.

It’s Green: Featuring eco-friendly tips, along with information on how to go green while shopping and cooking, you’ll find it a cinch to keep your family and the planet happy. You’ll also find the peak season noted on every recipe, as well as substitutions for ingredients that are out of season, so you can adapt according to what works best for you.

And most importantly…it’s delicious! From Orange Peel Chicken & Broccoli Stir-fry with Brown Rice to Baja Fish Tacos with Pico de Gallo and Summer Berry Slump with Vanilla Greek Yogurt, you’ll enjoy night after night of delicious home cooking—without any of the hassle. Get started creating new and exciting dishes for your family today!

Friday, February 21, 2014

An Elegant Baby Shower: French Cuisine and Pastries

Next week on SPOON we'll be showcasing our favorite family recipes that you make quickly and easily to impress the whole family. So we thought that, leading into that, we'd talk a bit about baby showers. Baby showers can be overwhelming to plan, but if you have a good menu, you'll have a good party. Here are some suggestions.

And if you want to pour over some amazing party recipes, may we suggest World Class Cakes, Cicchetti, and Vegan Finger Foods? All three cookbooks are perfect for party planning.

An Elegant Baby Shower: French Cuisine and Pastries

After spending countless dinners at the latest culinary hotspot followed by Sunday mornings perfectly poised among like-minded foodies noshing on savory dishes and sipping mimosas, you and your best friend have developed an appreciation for all things food, especially of the French origin. And now that she is expecting a baby, a French cuisine inspired fete featuring fine cuisine, French pastries, and lovely libations is only fitting.

Theme and Decor

When picking a theme, pull inspiration from your friend’s likes and dislikes. Play into her weakness for delicate macaroons and a jauntily tipped beret and go for a French bistro theme. Party planning sites such as Party Pail can provide decor essentials appropriately adorned with Eiffel Towers or fleur de lis designs to bring your theme full circle. Additionally, utilize fresh lavender to fill the room with the familiar aroma of high tea.

Photo by peddhapati via Flickr


With a food-focused affair, steer clear of games and festivities that can confuse your guests’ palates. So, no baby food tasting, candy bar diaper games, or bottle drinking races. Instead, opt for festivities that not only match the elegance of your event, but also have a fun play on the theme. One great way to incorporate theme and get guests' creative juices flowing is to create custom and personalized bibs. Grab some blank bibs in a variety of colors, iron on decals, fabric paint, and so on, and have each guest design a unique meal-time accessory for the future little foodie.

Photo by Dinner Series via Flickr


For a food enthusiast, veggie trays and pre-ordered sandwiches just won’t do. Instead, offer a cheese and olive board (make sure you note the un-pasteurized selections as those are a temporary no go for the expectant mom), baked brie, endive salad, lobster bisque, and a sampling of small plates. Bobby Flay has a variety of small plate options that would perfectly compliment a French bistro theme, including this delectable crostini:


Olive oil
Canola oil
Freshly cracked black pepper
1 loaf French bread (cut into 1/4 inch slices)
4 plum tomatoes (cut into slices)
1 cup mascarpone
2 cups balsamic vinegar (reduced to glaze with honey)
1 bunch scallions (grilled then cut into small pieces)


Preheat grill to high heat. Brush olive oil on bread and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Lightly toast on grill. Brush tomatoes with canola oil and grill. Remove and chop. Spread mascarpone on toasted bread and season with salt and pepper. Put bread back on grill to warm cheese. Remove bread and plate. Top with scallions and tomato. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and drizzle with balsamic glaze.


No party is complete without dessert! An elaborate display of varying desserts can easily act as a gorgeous centerpiece to your event. Hang a starry-sky Paris backdrop, grab some tiered glass displays and voila. Some must-have French treats include macaroons (renowned pastry chef François Payard shares his recipe here), creme brûlée, chouquettes, chocolate soufflé, and any other decadent treat your guest of honor has a sweet tooth for!

Photo by avlxyz via Flickr


World Class Cakes

Every country in the world has a cake that is truly a classicone that has stood the test of time and continues to be passed down from generation to generation. World Class Cakes is a compilation of these timeless recipes, culled from mothers and grandmothers all the world over. Whether you want to make a moist sponge cake to accompany your afternoon tea or craft a show-stopping layer cake to dazzle at a party, you’ll find the recipe in this book. Includes scrumptious recipes like:

*Japanese green tea pound cake
*French flourless chocolate cake
*Russian lemon and poppy seed cake
*Tres leche cake from Central America
*American red velvet cake and hundreds more

Accompanied by stunning step-by-step photography, a history of each cake and the traditions associated with it, and over 250 recipes, this book is essential for any baking enthusiast. Discover why you shouldn’t speak above a whisper when making a Polish babka, which country believed you should sleep with wedding cake under your pillow to meet your future husband, and loads more in this charming cake companion.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Sublime Blueberry Cake Doughnuts

There's something just so simple and delicious about a blueberry doughnut. Like it's partner-in-crime, the blueberry muffin, blueberry doughnuts have a sweet, yet tart punch to them that makes them a wonderful choice either first thing in the morning with a hot cup of coffee or after dinner as a sweet treat.

This blueberry doughnut recipe from Kamal's new book, Homemade Doughnuts, is as sublime as his doughnut shop in Atlanta. You need to try it. Honest.

Blueberry Cake Doughnuts
Excerpted from Homemade Doughnuts by Kamal Grant of Sublime Doughnuts

Blueberry is a classic doughnut shop flavor in American doughnut shops. People seem to really like the taste of blueberries in baked goods such as pancakes and muffins. This is a treat that your family will surely enjoy.


2 cups (240 g) all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon (15 g) baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon lemon zest
2 eggs
1/2 cup (100 g) sugar
2 tablespoons (28 g) unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup (120 ml) milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup (38 g) fresh blueberries
4 cups (940 ml) vegetable oil, for frying


Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and lemon zest in a large bowl. In a mixing bowl, beat the eggs, then gradually add the sugar and continue to beat until thick and yellow. In a small bowl, combine the butter, milk, and vanilla. Stir the milk mixture into the egg mixture until blended. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix just for 1 minute at medium speed. Fold in the blueberries. Let rest for 5 minutes.

Pour the oil to a depth of 3 inches (7.5 cm) into an electric fryer or deep saucepan and heat to 375°F (190°C).

If you have a cake doughnut dispenser, place the batter in the hopper. Hold the hopper 2 inches (5 cm) over the fryer. Drop two to four doughnuts at time. Fry for 90 seconds on each side. Drain on paper towels. If you don’t have a doughnut dispenser, roll or pat the dough out on a heavily floured surface to about 1/4-inch (6 mm) thick; the dough will be somewhat wet. Cut with a floured doughnut

cutter, saving the holes. Transfer to a sheet of waxed paper and allow to air-dry for 10 minutes. The dough will form a slight crust and absorb less fat when fried.

Fry three doughnuts at time until golden, about 1 1/2 minutes on each side. Fry the holes separately, making sure they are submerged in the oil, about 2 minutes. Drain on paper towels.

Yield: Makes 12 to 15 doughnuts


There’s nothing more satisfying than a doughnut. But no need to limit yourself to the bakery counter! With Homemade Doughnuts, Sublime Doughnuts chef Kamal Grant shows you how to make creative, delicious doughnuts in your home kitchen.

Inside you’ll find:

The doughnut-making techniques you’ll need to master: rolling the dough, cutting, hand shaping, frying, and more
Basic dough formulas for yeast doughnuts, cake doughnuts, fritters, biscuit-style doughnuts, and pie crusts to fry
Mouth-watering glazes, including Honey Glaze, Peanut Butter Glaze, and Lemon-Thyme Glaze
Delicious icings, including Salted Chocolate, Pistachio, Pink Lemonade, and Bourbon
Inspired fillings, including Apple Butter, Blueberry, Coffee Custard, and Lemon Curd
Accoutrements to put your doughnuts over the top: Almonds, Balsamic Vinegar Reduction, Candied Bacon, and more

Doughnuts aren’t just for special occasions, boardwalks, or carnivals: they’re for everyone! Doughnuts have been inspiring and influencing cultures, regions, and religions around the world for centuries. And although the vision of the doughnut has evolved and been “fancified” by cart owners and Top Chefs alike, one thing reigns true: everyone loves a good doughnut. With step-by-step tutorials, Homemade Doughnuts will show you the basics of doughnut making, baking techniques, and practical problem-solving tactics for creating bakery-like doughnuts at home. From the classic to modern food art, this book provides the lessons for creating a gamut of deliciousness.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Fig and Black Olive Tapenade

I adore olives. I'm that person that goes to the grocery store for milk and comes back with milk, goat cheese, fancy crackers, and a giant container of olives. It's just who I am. So when I came across this fig and black olive tapenade recipe from Brys' new cookbook, I was immediately in love. Olives? Check. Figs? Check. Cheese? Check. Swoon.

Be sure to pop by today's #spoonchat at 1 PM EST to ask Brys Stephens all of your questions about southern cooking and his new cookbook The New Southern Table. Best question wins a copy of his book.

Are you a Goodreads fan? We're hosting a giveaway of Brys' book on Goodreads. Find out how you can win here.

Fig and Black Olive Tapenade
Excerpted from The New Southern Table by Brys Stephens

I first had black olive tapenade at a Parisian bistro called Bistro d’Henri, a small, simple Left Bank place where the tables almost touch and the menu is a chalkboard. The tapenade was mounded in the center of the plate surrounded by thinly sliced fresh mozzarella, drizzled with olive oil, and scattered with fresh basil. The contrast between the intensely flavorful tapenade, subtler milky mozzarella, and fruity olive oil is still one of the best food matches I’ve had. Figs are a Provençal-inspired addition that adds another layer of flavor and a subtle sweetness.

3⁄4 cup (113 g) dried figs, preferably Black Mission
1 tablespoon (8.6 g) capers, rinsed and drained
2 cups (270 g) black Greek or Niçoise olives, pitted
2 tablespoons (30 ml) fresh lemon juice, plus more to taste
1 small clove garlic
1 anchovy fillet
1⁄4 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
1⁄4 cup (60 ml) olive oil, plus more to taste
Kosher salt and freshly ground white pepper

Optional accompaniments:
Toasted baguette slices
Sliced, fresh mozzarella, with torn basil leaves

Put the figs in a saucepan and cover with water; bring the water to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer about 20 minutes, or until the figs are soft.

Drain the figs, cut off and discard the stem, and cut the figs in half. While the figs are simmering, rinse the capers and soak them in water for 20 minutes. Drain. Transfer the figs to a food processor and add the capers, olives, lemon juice, garlic, anchovy, and thyme. Process until puréed, but still slightly chunky. Transfer the tapenade to a bowl, stir in the olive oil, season to taste with salt and pepper, and add more lemon juice and olive oil, to taste. Set aside for at least 2 hours before serving for the best flavor, and serve at room temperature, with toasted baguette slices or crackers.

Yield: About 2 cups (800 g)

Tapenade is a Provençal dish likely brought to France with the Greeks. It traditionally consists of puréed black olives, capers, olive oil, anchovies, and sometimes tuna, but there are many variations. Intensely flavorful, tapenade is good as a spread or in cooking, especially to flavor chicken, fish, and vegetables.


The New Southern Table 

Immerse yourself in The New Southern Table, a celebration of food, culture, and quintessential Southern ingredients. Food writer, photographer, and fifth-generation Southerner Brys Stephens shares his love of travel and food and reinterprets classic Southern ingredients with recipes from diverse world traditions. 
Often oversimplified as “y’all” cuisine, Southern food, at its heart and soul, has always been fueled by local ingredients and flavors. Okra, peaches, pecans, and collard greens are just a few of the beloved Southern ingredients found on farms—and dinner tables—all across the American South. However, many world cuisines have developed age-old flavor combinations, techniques, and dishes based on these very same ingredients—from lima beans and sweet potatoes in South America to corn and watermelon in Asia. With 100 recipes, each showcasing home-grown ingredients, The New Southern Table tours through French, Mediterranean, Asian, and Latin cuisines.
Try Greek-inspired Okra with Tomato, Feta, and Marjoram or Caribbean-infused Coconut Hoppin’ John. Savor flavor-infused main dishes such as Herb Grilled Bison with Fig Chutney and sides such as Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Tahini Yogurt—a unique spin on meat and potatoes. Sicilian Watermelon Pudding elegantly balances sweet, sour, and bitter flavors.
With simple ingredients and easy-to-follow instructions, the recipes in this book will quickly become down-home favorites at American tables, new and old.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

As American as Cherry Pie

I know, President's Day is now behind us, but I couldn't help but share this all-American pie recipe from the upcoming cookbook Ms. American Pie. To many of us across the country, it doesn't get more American than cherry pie. Imagine this one cooling in your window (for some of us it wouldn't take long before it froze right over). Hopefully this warm and gooey, incredibly delicious pie will usher in spring and summer. At least we can hope, right?

Cherry Pie
Excerpted from Ms. American Pie by Beth Howard

For some people—er, me—apple pie is a favorite. For others, it’s unquestionably cherry that rocks their world. I get asked every weekend at the Pitchfork Pie Stand if I have cherry pie. My response is a quick one:

“Who’s going to pit all those cherries?!” But cherry pie is bred deeply in the American DNA, and for that, and its bright and cheery appearance, there is a place for it when offering gifts of healing to others.

Basic Pie Dough for double-crust pie 
½ cup (1 stick) butter, chilled and cut into large chunks
½ cup vegetable shortening, chilled
2½ cups flour, plus at least ½ cup extra for rolling
Dash of salt
Ice water (fill a full cup but use only enough to moisten dough)

5 to 6 cups pitted fresh cherries (sweet, tart, or a combo of both)
1½ cups sugar (or less if cherries are sweet)
3 tbsp tapioca, or 4 tbsp cornstarch
Pinch of salt
1 tbsp butter, to pat on top of filling
1 beaten egg, to brush on top crust

Prepare the Basic Pie Dough for a double-crust pie: 
★ Flour is your friend when it comes to rolling dough. It’s what I like to call your “insurance policy.” Contrary to what other cookbooks will tell you, extra flour will not make your dough tough. Adding flour to
your rolling surface will keep your dough from sticking—and will keep you from running to the store in frustration to buy pre-made pie crust.
★ That said, always start from the center and roll out to the edges, rolling in one direction. You can push, you can pull, but don’t roll back and forth like a crazy person. I like to think of rolling dough as a dance; stay fluid in your motions. Also, put a little body weight into it so you can really stretch your dough. Too little pressure won’t get your dough to roll thin; too much pressure will mangle your dough. Try it out, get a feel, don’t be afraid to experiment.
★ Keep your workspace clean. Take the time to scrape the gunk off your rolling surface as well as your rolling pin. This is another one of those “insurance policies” to keep your dough from sticking.
★ When rolling dough, use your pie dish to calculate how big you’ll need it. Allow for enough extra width to account for the depth of the dish and make sure the extra inch or two of overhang from the dish has enough bulk for crimping the edge.
★ Size isn’t the only goal when rolling dough. You want to aim for a certain “thinness.” My pie teacher, Mary Spellman, taught me what her mother taught her: Roll it thin enough so you can just start to see the stripes of the tablecloth through the dough. I always think about this transparency, even if there are no stripes on my rolling surface.

1. In a deep, large bowl, work the butter and shortening into the flour and salt with your hands until you have almond- and pea-sized lumps of butter.

2. Then, drizzling in ice water a little at a time, “toss” the water around with your fingers spread, as if the flour were a salad and your hands were the salad tongs. Don’t spend a lot of time mixing the dough, just focus on getting it moistened. Translation: With each addition of water, toss about four times and then STOP, add more water, and repeat.

3. When the dough holds together on its own (and with enough water, it will), do a “squeeze test.” If
it falls apart, you need to add more water. If it is soggy and sticky, you might need to sprinkle flour onto it until the wetness is balanced out. The key is to not overwork the dough! It takes very little time and you’ll be tempted to keep touching it, but don’t!

4. Now divide the dough in two balls (or three, if your pie dishes are smaller) and form each into a disk shape.

5. Sprinkle flour under and on top of your dough to keep it from sticking to your rolling surface. Roll to a thinness where the dough almost seems transparent.

Prepare the Filling: Mix cherries, sugar, tapioca, and salt together in a large bowl. Let sit for about 20 minutes to let tapioca activate, then pour into pie shell.

Add a pat of butter on top, then cover with the top crust. Trim and crimp edges, brush with beaten egg, then poke vent holes. Bake at 425°F (220°C, or gas mark 7) for 15 to 20 minutes. Turn oven down to 375°F (190°C, or gas mark 5) and bake for another 30 minutes or more. Filling should be bubbling.

Go for the lattice top on this pie! Those cherries will look so pretty poking out from underneath with all their messy, delicious-looking juice oozing out.

If you use frozen cherries, you don’ t need to thaw them first, but you will need to let them sit longer in the tapioca before baking— about an hour. You will also need to increase the baking time by about 30 minutes so they cook fully.

If you use cornstarch instead of tapioca to thicken, and you don’t mind doing an extra step—and having another dish to wash—you can pre-cook the cherries in a saucepan over the stove, stirring in the sugar, cornstarch, and salt, and heating, stirring constantly, until thickened.


Ms. American Pie

Beth M. Howard knows about pie. She made pies at California’s Malibu Kitchen for celebrities including Barbra Streisand (lemon meringue), Dick Van Dyke (strawberry rhubarb), and Steven Spielberg (coconut cream) before moving back home to rural Iowa. She now lives in the famous American Gothic House (the backdrop for Grant Wood’s famous painting) and runs the hugely popular Pitchfork Pie Stand.

With full-color photos throughout, Ms. American Pie features 80 of Beth’s coveted pie recipes and some of her own true tales to accompany them. With chapters like Pies to Heal, Pies to Seduce, and Pies to Win the Iowa State Fair, Beth will divulge her secret for making a killer crust without refrigerating the dough and will show you how to break every rule you’ve ever learned about making delicious, homemade pie.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Get Bubbly this Valentine's Day

Skip the flowers and chocolate this Valentine’s Day and instead, mix a romantic cocktaila change that’s sure to impress your sweetheart! Nothing says I love you like a bubbly Mimosa. And this year, Casa Noble Tequila is helping you go that extra miletaking the delicious cocktail to an entirely new level. Check out their top three cocktail recipes for Valentine's Day below.

And if you're still searching for more great cocktail recipes, be sure to check out Architecture of the Cocktail by Amy Zavatto and Melissa Wood. Get in on the action to win a copy of the book (and an amazing print of one of the cocktails) below. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Blushing Maria
2 oz. Casa Noble Crystal
1 oz. Pomegranate juice
1 oz. Pink grapefruit juice
¼ oz. Agave Nectar

Combine the tequila, juices and agave nectar in a shaker tin with ice and shake until chilled. Strainserve in Champagne flute, top with rose sparking wine.

Mayan Mimosa

½ oz. Casa Noble Reposado
2 oz. Chilled Orange Juice
4 oz. Chilled Champagne (Brut)
Orange Biters

Fill champagne flute with orange juice, add the tequila and teaspoon grenadine, a dash or Regan’s Orange Bitters, swirl with spoon. Top with Champagne.

Aztec Mimosa
1 oz. Casa Noble Crystal
4 oz. Schramsberg Sparkling Wine
1 oz. Fresh lime juice
2 oz. Pineapple juice

Serve all ingredients, chilled, in a Champagne flute.


Architecture of the Cocktail

Is it better for a martini to be shaken, not stirred? Does it matter which order you add the liquors to create a Long Island Iced Tea? How many ice cubes can you add to a margarita without compromising the flavor?
The perfect home begins with a blueprint and a dream, and your perfect cocktail should start the same way! The Architecture of the Cocktail will reveal the answers to all your burning cocktail queries and more. Focusing on the precise measurements to help you craft the perfect cocktail as well as the recommended garnish and embellishments, you’ll no longer have to guess what the perfect cocktail should taste like.
Laying out the exact measurements from the bottom of your glass to the top, you’ll discover the order which you should layer your liquors, the precise measurements needed, and even recommended brands. Not sure which stemware is appropriate? Consult the mini guide on identifying the correct stemware in the back of the book.
Featuring 75 different cocktails and recipes in a unique blueprint-inspired design (including specifications, notes, and embellishments), this is the perfect gift for the cocktail lover in your life. Don’t waste another minute on watered-down cocktailsbecome a cocktail master with this beautifully illustrated guide.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Easy Vanilla Cupcakes

I don't know about you, but it's been a long week. And to top it off, we have more snowpocalypses on the way across the country, so I'm thinking cupcakes are a good thing to make today. I mean, if you're trapped inside your house, you might as well have a cupcake... or four. No one's looking, right?

Olivia's vanilla cupcakes one of my favorite things. Simple, delicious, and easy to make, they are perfect for little hands and big hands alike. Go ahead, top them with your favorite sprinkles. How about Valentine's Day heart candies to make them extra special?

Easy Vanilla Cupcakes
Excerpted from Gluten-Free Entertaining by Olivia Dupin


These cupcakes mix up in one bowl and are more delicious, light, and airy than any boxed gluten-free cupcake mix out there! With no foreign-sounding ingredients or preservatives, you’ll feel even better about serving these cupcakes to your birthday babe!

For Cupcakes
1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup (120 g) Liv’s flour blend (recipe follows) or ½ cup (60 g) cornstarch plus ¼ cup (30 g) almond flour plus ¼ cup (30 g) oat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
6 tablespoons (90 ml) water
1 tablespoon (15 ml) vanilla extract
3 eggs
½ cup (120 ml) canola oil

For Icing
¾ cup (168 g) unsalted butter, softened
1 tablespoon (15 ml) vanilla extract
2 tablespoons (30 ml) water
3 ⅔ cups (440 g) powdered sugar

To make the cupcakes: Preheat the oven to 350˚F (180˚C, or gas mark 4). Line a cupcake pan with 12 cupcake liners. Whisk together the sugar, salt, flour blend, and baking powder in a medium-size bowl. Add the water, vanilla, eggs, and canola oil and whisk until thoroughly combined. Divide evenly among the cupcake liners.

Bake for 22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Let cool completely before icing the cupcakes.

To make the icing: Use an electric mixer to beat the butter, vanilla, and water together. Add the powdered sugar, 1 cup (120 g) at a time, until fully incorporated, then beat for 2 to 3 minutes longer until smooth, creamy, and fluffy.

Ice the cooled cupcakes and serve.

Yield: 12 cupcakes

Liv’s Flour Blend

•Soy-free •Dairy-free

This naturally gluten-free all-purpose blend is simply 2 parts cornstarch to 1 part almond flour and 1 part oat flour. If you’d rather not make a large batch, no worries—each recipe outlines the exact amounts of each ingredient.

4 cups (480 g) non-GMO cornstarch (organic if possible)
2 cups (240 g) almond flour (natural almond flour or blanched almond flour both work)
2 cups (240 g) oat flour (be sure to use gluten-free oats/oat flour)

Combine all the ingredients and store in the freezer to keep fresh. Because they don’t contain any stabilizers, the flours may separate and settle as they sit. Give this a stir each time you pull it out to use.

Yield: 8 cups (960 g)

Chef’s Tips
• Canned icing is okay, if you prefer, just watch out for gluten ingredients in some varieties!
• The recipe standard for eggs is large eggs. Be sure to use large eggs in all of your recipes, including this one, for best results.


Gluten-Free Entertaining More than 100 Naturally Wheat-Free Recipes for Parties and Special Occasions

If you’re gluten-free, you know that parties and other gatherings can be a food conundrum. What can you prepare for your guests that everyone can enjoy, gluten-free or not? And what can you bring to parties that will please a crowd, and bring praise instead of pause?

Take the fear away and fill your plate with sensational (and safe!) eats with Gluten-Free Entertaining. Author Olivia Dupin will teach you how to entertain with ease, whether you're hosting a brunch, going to a holiday bash, or just having a casual couple's dinner at home. And with fourteen separate menus and more than 100 party-pleasing dishes, you'll find something for every taste and occasion.

From Deep-Dish Ham, Artichoke and Brie Quiche to Sesame Chicken Bites and Chocolate Chip Almond Torte, all of these recipes are delicious, first and foremost, and coincidentally gluten-free, so you can make them for your own get-together, or bring them along to any gathering.

Entertain with ease with Gluten-Free Entertaining!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Keeping a Wine Tasting Journal

Valentine's Day is around the corner and there are few things as romantic as sharing a great bottle of wine (preferably over candlelight). I don't know about you, but I've always been a bit of a novice when it comes to wine tasting. I drink wine often, but can't seem to ever really speak the lingo or choose the best one.

Enter Dan Amatuzzi. Dan's suggestions for keeping a wine journal have really improved my ability to talk shop when it comes to wine and wine tasting. I thought since you're likely to also want to impress someone special with your wine knowledge, I'd share it here.


And if you want to ask Dan any questions about wine, either of his books, or how he's spending his Valentine's Day, be sure to join us for a romantic #spoonchat at 1 PM EST on Twitter. Full details here. As always, best question wins a book. In this case, it's Dan's new wine tasting kit!

Keeping a Wine-Tasting Journal
Excerpted from A First Course in Wine by Dan Amatuzzi

Remember what you’ve tasted and your reactions by keeping a detailed journal. Many of the world’s esteemed wine critics and personalities have extensive records of tasting notes of wines they liked and disliked.

Below are three entries for the same bottle of wine. Each entry represents a different skill set and comfort level with wine. None is better than the others, although specificity leads to deeper and more precise evaluations. But there’s nothing wrong with beginner-level descriptions. If that’s the extent of how you like to analyze wine, then so be it. Never forget, enjoying wine is the underlying purpose of consuming it.

How to Host a Wine Tasting Party

All three tasters jot down the following information:

Producer: Castle Rock Winery
Grape(s): Pinot Noir
Vintage: 2009
Appellation: Carneros
Country: USA
Price: $13.00
Tasting Date: October 19, 2012

Then they move on to tasting and evaluating the wine.

Beginner Level

Color: Purple
Aroma: Fruity, earthy
Taste: Plum, jammy, smooth
Finish: Medium
I think this would pair well with: Mom’s roast beef
Because: I like the taste of both of them on their own, so they’d probably pair well.

Intermediate Level

Color: Light to medium-bodied, purple and violet
Aroma: Mix of plums and earth, with slightly oaky notes
Taste: Balanced acidity and fruit. Blackberry and plum are most prominent, with subtle notes of toast. Firm tannin, yet not too abrasive.
Finish: Medium, not too long, but silky and smooth
I think this would pair well with: Mom’s roast beef
Because: The wine isn’t too intense so it won’t overpower the flavor and texture of the meat. It also has a fruity element that should pair well with the sweetness of the marinara sauce.

Advanced Level

Color: Light to medium purple with garnet hues and crimson edges. Legs are medium to form and medium to fall, indicating a moderate alcohol content. Wine is just above opaque and is very clear; no noticeable sediment.
Aroma: Soft and pleasant with cooked plum aromas and complex toastiness. Herbal notes of fresh vegetables, mushrooms, forest floor, and clove. Reminiscent of Old World Pinot Noir, but more robust and fruity.
Taste: Initial burst of blackberry fruits with toffee notes. Smooth and clean with moderate tannin and balanced acidity. Fleshy, yet not too astringent. Secondary flavors of graphite and chalk show through after the fruit dissipates. Flavors of bitter chocolate are prominent on the back palate.
Finish: Slightly chewy and long with lasting flavors of spicy fruits and peppery notes.
I think this would pair well with: Mom’s roast beef
Because: The wine isn’t too big and gripping for the roast beef, but it has enough structure and tannin to cut through the fats and proteins. The wine has a great spice and clove note which could pair well with the herbs and spices already in the meat. The fruity components of the wine will pair nicely with the sweetness of the marinara sauce.

Your skills will develop over time, but with each entry try to be more precise in your description. In no time, you’ll be writing wine reviews for the local paper!


A First Course in Wine

Whether you enjoy the occasional glass of wine or you like to have one every night with dinner, Dan Amatuzzi’s A First Course in Wine will provide you with everything you need to know about how to smell, taste, and enjoy fine wines. With stunning imagery and helpful diagrams throughout, you’ll learn:

*the science behind winemaking
*how to interpret wine labels without stress
*how to identify flavors in your wine
*how to pair wines with foods
*what to look for on restaurant wine lists
*glossary of terms and a pronunciation guide
*detailed information about vineyards and more

Life is too short for wine you won’t enjoy. Once you’ve taken this first course, you will read your restaurant’s wine list with confidence and browse through the wine selection at your store with the knowledge that you’re going to walk home with the perfect wine in hand.

Dan Amatuzzi was the wine director at Mario Batali’s OTTO before he became Eataly’s beverage director. He studied wine production in Florence and was chosen to Zagat’s inaugural class of New York’s rising “30 under 30” culinary stars.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Asian Noodle Recipes: Kuay Tiaw Mu Tun

One of my coworkers has been bringing in homemade Pad Thai lately. It smells delicious. I'm a huge fan of Pad Thai, so much so that I sometimes neglect to be adventurous and try other Thai dishes, which is a shame since many Thai dishes are downright amazing. So to try something new and completely adventurous, I am going to attempt to make Chef Ian Kittichai's Pork Rib Noodle Soup. You should too. I mean, look at it. All I can say is "yum!"

*Note: You'll probably need to find a local Asian market in order to create this recipe. Your local grocery store won't cut it. But hey, you'll love checking out the unique ingredients and the dish will be all the better when you use fresh, amazing ingredients, right?

Kuay Tiaw Mu Tun (Pork Rib Noodle Soup)
Excerpted from The World's Best Asian Noodle Recipes by Kirsten Hall and Chef Ian Kittichai

Chef Ian Kittichai's path to culinary success started from very humble beginnings in Bangkok. Every morning he would rise at 3 A.M. to accompany his mother to the wet market to select the best meats, seafood, and vegetables for her neighborhood grocery. While Ian was at school, she would cook a dozen different types of curries. Upon his return home, Ian would push a cart through the neighborhood to sell his wares, shouting "Khow Geang Ron Ron Ma Leaw Jaar!" (Hot curry coming!)

Ian Kittichai is the chef at Issaya Siamese Club in Bangkok, Thailand.

Serves 4

For Pork Ribs:
14 oz/400 g lemongrass, whole stalks
4 galangal
Small handful kaffir lime leaves
12 oz/350 g pork ribs
1 qt/1L water

Place all of the ingredients into a pot and bring to a boil. Let simmer for 4 hours or until ribs are tender.

Take ribs out of liquid to cool, then cut into 4 pieces and broil with Kraduk Mu Ob Sauce (below) for 5 to 8 minutes.

For Kraduk Mu Ob Sauce:
2 1/2 cups/500 g palm sugar
6 oz./160 g salted yellow bean paste
9 oz/250 g nam phrik kaeng gaeng (red curry paste)

In a saucepan, melt palm sugar on low heat. Add bean paste and red curry paste, stir until well combined.

For the Soup:
1 qt/1L pork or chicken stock
3 cinnamon sticks
2 star anise
1 tbsp coriander roots
1 tbsp garlic
1 tbsp black peppercorns
2 tsp sweet dark soy sauce
3 tbsp soy sauce

Put all of the ingredients into a pot, bring to a boil, and let simmer for 30 minutes.

Strain through a fine-meshed sieve and discard solids.

12 oz/320 g thin rice noodles
1/2 cup/40 g bean sprouts
1 tsp vegetable oil
1 qt/1L soup
2 tbsp chopped spring onions

To assemble: Blanch noodles and bean sprouts in boiling water. After draining, toss with vegetable oil and place into serving bowls.

Put pork ribs on top of the noodles.

Pour soup over the ribs.

Garnish with spring onion.

Serve immediately.


The World's Best Asian Noodle Recipes

Chock full of delicious, healthy recipes, The World’s Best Asian Noodle Recipes includes the best of the best Asian noodle recipes from notable chefs around the world. Alongside step-by-step instructions, beautiful photography illustrates exactly how the finished recipes should look. From soups and salads to main courses, snacks, and desserts, there are both traditional recipes and inventive interpretations. Recipes are organized by type of type of ingredientsSeafood, Meats, Vegetables, Poultry, and Combinationsand include a wide range of different noodle selections. Participating chefs are from restaurants that specialize in noodles, as well as from those that have more varied menus with fabulous noodle dishes as an option, along with recipes included from popular blogs, private chefs, and keepers of age-old family recipes. Includes recipes from the Ember Room, Jum Mum, Rouge et Blanc, Koh, and dozens more.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Roasted Beets with Lemon

Okay, so I may have spent most of my weekend watching The Taste. I'll admit that it's become a bit of an obsession. During one of the episodes, one of the chefs prepared this beet salad that I just fell in love with. It was simple and didn't overly impress all of the judges, but Anthony Bourdain loved it and that was good enough for me. I've always been a big beet fan but haven't made any since the summer, so I thought I'd dig up a recipe and share it with everyone. Hope you love this one as much as I do.

Roasted Beets with Lemon
Excerpted from The Minnesota Farmer's Market Cookbook by Tricia Cornell
Recipe by David Van Eeckhout

David Van Eeckhout has been farming at Hog’s Back Farm, a community-supported agriculture (CSA) farm in western Wisconsin, for more than a decade. He and his wife, Melinda, a talented professional chef, take great pride not just in growing delicious vegetables—hundreds of varieties of them—but also in preparing them with care. “This is a very simple dish and therefore relies on high-quality ingredients,” David says. “This is something we’ll make in the wintertime when there are plenty of lemons around and we want to splurge on a rich green olive oil from last fall’s pressing.”

Sometimes he adds roasted pecans, parsley, or dried tomatoes to this salad, and he might also replace the lemon juice and zest with orange or grapefruit.

3 medium beets, about 1½ pounds (680 g)
1 tablespoon (15 ml) canola oil
1 clove garlic, sliced as thinly as possible
1 tablespoon lemon zest strips, 1" (2.5 cm) long by ½ mm wide
3 tablespoons (45 ml) fresh-squeezed lemon juice
6 tablespoons (90 ml) extra-virgin olive oil, preferably newly pressed
1 teaspoon (15 ml) honey
Sea salt and pepper to taste

Oil the beets with the canola oil and pierce them several times with a fork or knife. Roast on a cookie sheet at 350°F (180°C, or gas mark 4) until tender, at least an hour, longer for larger beets. While the beets are roasting, prepare the garlic and lemon zest. To make them both less pungent, put them in a small strainer and, holding the strainer over the sink, slowly pour boiling water over them two or three times for about 5 seconds each time. Combine the lemon juice, olive oil, and honey, and whisk in the garlic and lemon zest. When the beets have cooled just enough to handle, peel with a sharp knife. Slice the beets in half and then into ¼" (6 mm) slices. Transfer to a large enough bowl to toss them when dressed. Add the dressing to the beets and toss to coat liberally. Add salt and pepper to taste.


The Minnesota Farmers Market Cookbook

Your roadmap to all of Minnesota’s beloved farmers markets and the incredible meals you can make using quality local produce.

The Minnesota Farmers Market Cookbook is organized alphabetically by vegetables, fruits, and other foods sold at markets across the state. Each entry includes tips for choosing, storing, preserving, and preparing fresh, ripe, top-quality produce—including heirloom and other exotic varieties. Author and local food writer Tricia Cornell provides time-tested kitchen shortcuts, tips on choosing each food in season, and plenty of advice on how to turn the fresh bounty of the farmers market into easy, delicious meals. The centerpiece of the cookbook is a collection of 80 recipes contributed by local chefs and farmers. For those who want to become more familiar with Minnesota markets, there are also hand-drawn maps of market locations in the state and the metro area, a short history of Minnesota markets, and plenty of mouth-watering photographs of the produce and the prepared dishes. The Minnesota Farmers Market Cookbook not only lets you enjoy Minnesota’s unique, renowned farmers market culture, but helps you make the most of it in your home kitchen.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Sweet Ham Loaf

When I was younger, my absolute favorite dinner was always ham loaf. I'd ask for it almost every day and my mother always made it for my birthday. There was something really comforting about the sweet and salty taste of the ham that still brings me back to my childhood.

So when I came upon a recipe for Sweet Ham Loaf in the new traditional foods cookbook Back to Butter, I was thrilled. I just couldn't help but share it with you all. I hope you enjoy it as much as I always do.

Sweet Ham Loaf
Excerpted from Back to Butter by Molly Chester and Sandy Schrecengost

My great-grandma Scowden used to make this recipe years ago and it remains one of my mom’s favorites. Like most everything, the dish has evolved—no more refined sugars, fresh pineapple replaces canned, and the sourdough bread crumbs are homemade. If you’re feeling ambitious, try making homemade ketchup and mustard first!

For glaze:
1/2 cup (100 g) Sucanat (see note below)
1 tablespoon (15 ml) apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon prepared yellow mustard
1 tablespoon (15 ml) water
1/2 tablespoon (7 g) butter

For loaf :
1 pound (454 g) ham, ground (see Note)
1 pound (454 g) ground pork
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup (50 g) Sourdough Bread Crumbs
2/3 cup (160 ml) milk
2 tablespoons (30 g) ketchup
1 cup (155 g) diced fresh pineapple

Yield: 6 to 8 servings

Preheat the oven to 325ºF (170ºC, or gas mark 3). Have ready a 2-quart (2 L) glass or ceramic ungreased loaf pan.

To make the glaze: In a small-size pot, combine the Sucanat, apple cider vinegar, yellow mustard, and water over medium heat. Whisk well and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat, add the butter, and let melt. Stir to combine and set aside.

To make the loaf : In a medium-size bowl, combine the ham, pork, eggs, bread crumbs, milk, and ketchup. Using clean hands, gently mix to combine. Gently press the mixture into the loaf pan and top with the pineapple, lightly pressing the fruit into the loaf. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove from the
oven and increase the oven temperature to 350ºF (180ºC, or gas mark 4). Pour the prepared glaze over the loaf. Return the pan to the oven and bake for 1 hour, uncovered. When done, the loaf will pull away slightly from the sides of the pan and the topping will be browned and caramelized.

Remove from the oven and let rest for 10 minutes. Using two metal spatulas, lift the entire loaf from the pan. Slice and serve warm.

Recipe Note
This is a perfect recipe to use up leftover ham from the holidays. Cut the ham into large chunks and place in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse approximately 25 times, until the meat has reached a uniform crumble.

Sucanat: SU-gar CA-ne NAT-ural
Sucanat is pure, dried sugar cane juice. Unlike common white sugar, Sucanat is unrefined and therefore contains the molasses mineral content typically lost in the refining process, resulting in a rustic color and deep flavor. Aesthetically, Sucanat’s closest relative is brown sugar, for which a 1:1 substitution is commonplace; however, Sucanat is more granular, less moist, and more nutritious (brown sugar is typically common white sugar with just a bit of molasses added back).


Back to Butter

It’s time to get back to your roots (literally) with Back to Butter. It’s time to get away from processed and industrialized foods and enjoy an energizing, nutrient-rich, and satisfying lifestyle. It’s time to feel great!

The traditional food movement focuses on real, whole foods—foods that our ancestors ate—and is quickly becoming the diet and lifestyle of choice for those looking to nourish themselves in the most sound and natural way possible.

Traditional foods are unprocessed, naturally raised, traditionally prepared, deeply nourishing, and decidedly unrefined. Authors Molly Chester and Sandy Schrecengost take you through the basics of a traditional diet with ease and understanding, offering a list to get your pantry started and why some of the natural foods that you may have thought you should avoid (like butter, eggs, full-fat dairy, and meat) are actually healthy and essential.

And eating a traditional diet doesn’t mean you can’t have your favorites!
White Bean Chicken Chili
Caesar Salad with Sourdough Herbed Croutons
Baked Potatoes with the Works
Buttermilk Pan-Fried Chicken
Wonderful Winter Pot Roast
Hummus, Guacamole, and Onion dips!
Peach Caramel Pie
Rich Chocolate Cake with Raspberry Sauce

Rediscover how great whole foods can be with this guide to natural, healthy meals that make you want to thank your grandmother’s grandmother’s grandmother.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Sin City's Cocktail Cures and the Iberville Street Cocktail

When you think of Sin City, you think of big nights out hitting the restaurants, bars, nightclubs and casinosand there’s a good reason for that! Las Vegas is the party and gambling capital of the world and, as such, is renowned for a certain style all of its own. 

While cooking or specific foods may not be immediately associated with Vegasno one goes there specifically for the food, although there are many top class restaurants serving all kinds of cuisineone thing everyone does on the Strip is have a drink.

Yep, we’re talking about ‘cooking’ up some Vegas style cocktails! Now that’s the kind of cooking we want and, what’s more, with Apothecary Cocktails: Restorative Drinks from Yesterday and Today, you can whip up a cocktail not only to get yourself in the party mood, but also to make you feel better the morning after.

Apothecary Cocktails Restorative Drinks from Yesterday and Today

Old Fashioned Cocktail Cures

As Warren Bobrow, cocktail master extraordinaire, tells us in the book, back at the start of the 20th century, it was completely commonplace for American and European pharmacies to knock up their own curesand they almost always included alcohol.

Whereas we think of a cocktail as something to get the party started, the chemists back in the day thought of them more to just help people get through the day. Whether people were looking for something to help with indigestion or sleeping problems, there was a tincture for it. 

The Deep Healer Cocktail
This book shows you how to make them at homethat way the morning after the night before at the casino won’t seem so bad. All you need to do is crack open the book, find the remedy for whatever ails you (headache, nausea) and imbibe the cocktail while playing online at fun doesn’t have to stop just because you’re hungover!

Old Recipes Become Hip

New York’s Apotheke bar, the Apo Bar & Lounge in Philadelphia, and Tacoma’s 1022 South have all been behind the resurgence of interest in old fashioned cocktails and ingredients. Everything vintage is in these days, after all, and the coolest people from coast to coast are giving these recipes a bash.

The book shows you 75 original and new recipes for medical cocktails, including ingredients that were extremely popular in Victorian timesincluding Chartreuse, Vermouth, and Peychaud’s Bitters. When you find your favorite drink and perfect it at home, you should be able to get most well stocked bars to make it for you as well. 

Image credit: Cowfish/Wikipedia

It’ll be like having a medical cabinet full of cures at your disposalbut much, much more fun!

The Iberville Street Cocktail
Excerpted from Apothecary Cocktails by Warren Bobrow

The Iberville Street Cocktail, a tasty variation on the Sazerac theme, would have been just as effective as the Sazerac against tummy troubles—mostly due to the generous use of those healing Peychaud’s bitters, which coat the inside of the stomach. French-born pharmacist Antoine Peychaud developed his recipe for bitters in 1830—long before safe food-handling practices became de rigueur—to relieve stomach illnesses of the era. His soothing recipe contained anise, cloves, cinnamon, and nutmeg, along with copious amounts of brandy.

For a time, Peychaud’s combination of herbs, spices, and alcohol were available only in pharmacies, and were even meant to ease the symptoms of more serious diseases, such as dysentery and ulcers. Today, luckily, you don’t need a prescription to make an Iberville, which includes absinthe, brandy for tension relief, and grapefruit juice for a hit of healing citrus.

2 ounces (60 ml) Lillet Blanc
1 ounce (30 ml) brandy
4-5 dashes of Peychaud’s bitters
4 ounces (120 ml) freshly squeezed grapefruit juice
1⁄2 ounce (15 ml) absinthe
Large piece of lemon peel
1 orange zest twist

Add a couple handfuls of ice to a Boston shaker; then add the Lillet Blanc, brandy, bitters, and grapefruit juice, and shake well for twenty seconds. Wash a short rocks glass with the absinthe by pouring the absinthe into the glass, swirling it around, and pouring it out. Rub the inside of the washed glass thoroughly with the lemon peel. Strain the stomach-healing mixture into the glass, and garnish with a flamed orange zest twist (hold the orange twist firmly behind a lit match, and pinch it to release its natural citrus oils). Sip slowly
for quick relief of uneasy stomachs.