Archive for the 'Recipes' Category

Spicy Beef w/ Papperdelle Noodles and Veggies

spicy beef with noodles and veggies

Isolation has been getting me down lately. One of the few things that has helped ease the feelings of loneliness is cooking therapeutic meals to elevate my mood. The most recent meal I cooked was exceptionally good. It momentarily made me forget about all the crap that’s going on in the world lately.

Spicy Beef w/ Noodles and Veggies

Ingredients:

1 1/2 pounds London Broil – thinly sliced

1 pound tomatoes – large dice

10 ounces Crimini mushrooms – sliced

1/2 bunch Lacinato kale (approx. 7- 8 leaves) – cut into 1 inch pieces

1 red bell pepper – cut into 1 inch pieces

1 pound pappardelle noodles

1 medium white onion (about 8 ounces) – cut into 1 inch pieces

1/3 cup Thai basil leaves

1/2 cup Parmesan cheese – grated

2 cloves garlic – sliced

Salt

Spice mix:

5 Japones  peppers

2 Pasilla Negro peppers

1 tbsp. dried chervil

1 tbsp. Hungarian paprika

Procedure:

1) Grind peppers, then mix in chervil and paprika.

2) In batches, sauté beef and sprinkle w/ spice mix to desired spice level; set aside.

3) Sauté mushrooms w/ garlic until they release moisture, then add onions and bell pepper and sauté until softened.

4) Add kale to veggies and sauté until tender.

5) Add tomatoes and beef to veggie mix, season w/ salt and cook until warm.

6) Cook pasta until al dente, strain pasta and return to pot.

7) Fold veggie/beef mix into pasta, then fold in basil leaves and parmesan.

8) Eat!

Yield: 4 to 6 servings, depending on hunger level.

Here’s to the joys of cooking (and eating)!!

Cheers…

Bruno

Eat a Peach (Gelato!)

 

peach gelato

I made this gelato about a month ago when peaches were at their peak. The local peaches didn’t look very good (possibly due to the excessive rains this summer), so I chose some perfectly ripe peaches from California. I pitted and froze the peaches until I had time to execute the recipe a few days later. My taste testers at work gave the gelato a thumbs up. Give it a try… you won’t be disappointed!

Peach Gelato

Ingredients:

4 peaches

6 egg yolks

1 quart half & half

1 cup sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

Procedure:

1) Puree peaches in a food processor.

2) In a metal bowl, whisk egg yolks and sugar until mixture becomes smooth and pale yellow.

3) Place half & half in a heavy pot and heat until scalded.  

4) Very slowly whisk warm half & half into egg/sugar mixture so as not to curdle the mixture.

5) Place bowl w/ mixture over a pot of simmering water, stirring continuously w/ a heat resistant spatula until mixture coats the back of a metal spoon (do not let mixture exceed 170 degrees F to prevent curdling), then quickly place bowl in an ice bath to stop the cooking process.

6) Once cool, stir in peach puree and refrigerate mixture for at least 4 hours or overnight.

7) Churn mixture in ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions.

8) Pour gelato into a 2 quart plastic container then place a piece of parchment paper cut to size on the surface of gelato (this will reduce air exposure and prevent ice crystals from forming on the surface of the gelato), seal container and freeze until firm .

Yield: Approx. 1 1/2 quarts 

 

Savor summer’s sweetness…

Bruno

Sourdough Boule w/ Sesame Seeds (new recipe)

sourdough boule with sesame seeds1

sourdough boule with sesame seeds2

Like a lot of people are doing while at home during this pandemic, I’m trying some new recipes. Luckily there was flour in my pantry because it’s a hot commodity at grocery stores and you’re lucky to find some! Since I had just reactivated my sourdough starter, I decided to attempt a new bread recipe that doesn’t take days to make (even though I have plenty of time on my hands these days!). If you have an active starter, this recipe takes approximately 4 hours from start to finish… my kind of bread recipe. Not only is it relatively easy to make, the end results are quite delicious!!

Sourdough Boule w/ Sesame Seeds (recipe adapted from King Arthur Flour)

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup (227g) ripe (fed) sourdough starter
  • 3/4 cup (170g) to 3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons (199g) lukewarm water*
  • 3 1/2 cups (418g) Artisan Bread Flour or King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour (I used all-purpose)
  • 1/2 cup (71g) sesame seeds, toasted until golden for best flavor
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast

 

*Sourdough starter can vary quite a bit in consistency. Use enough water to make a soft dough.

Procedure:

1) In a large mixing bowl,  combine the fed sourdough starter and 3/4 cup of the water, mixing until smooth.

2) Add the remaining dough ingredients, and mix and knead — by hand, mixer, or bread machine — until you’ve made a soft dough, adding additional water as needed.

3) Cover the dough in the bowl, and let it rise until it’s almost doubled, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

4) Turn the dough out onto a lightly greased work surface and gently fold it over a few times to deflate it.

5) Shape the dough into a large round. Grease a Dutch oven and place the dough into it.

6) Cover the Dutch oven, and let the loaf rise until it’s very puffy, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

7) Just before baking, brush or spray the loaf with water, and sprinkle with seeds. Use a lame or a very sharp knife to make several slashes across the top of the loaf, in the shape of a pound sign.

8) Place the covered Dutch oven into a cold oven, set to 450°F, and turn on the oven. Bake the bread for 35 minutes.

9) Uncover and continue baking until the bread is deep golden brown, about 10 additional minutes.

10) Remove the bread from the oven and turn it out of the Dutch oven onto a rack to cool.

 

Eat and drink to your heart’s content, but most of all, stay healthy!

Bruno

Pasta w/ Creamy Mushroom Sauce and Asparagus

Pasta with Creamy Mushroom Sauce and Asparagus - Copy

So, a few years ago my sister-in-law ask me if I knew how to make a pasta w/ mushroom sauce. We attempted to create a recipe and had mediocre results. Ever since then I’ve been developing new recipes and finally have come up w/ a keeper!

Pasta w/ Creamy Mushroom Sauce and Asparagus

Ingredients:

1 pound pasta

12 ounces crimini mushrooms (sliced, then cut slices in half)

1 head garlic

2 chicken sausages (sliced, then quartered)

1 teaspoon rosemary (chopped)

1 teaspoon sage (chopped)

1/3 cup chicken broth

1/3 cup half & half

1/3 cup goat cheese

1/3 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1/2 pound asparagus spears (cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces)

salt to taste

Procedure:

1) Roast garlic in oven until soft; squeeze out cloves, then crush cloves into goat cheese

2) Cook asparagus spears until tender (approx. 3 minutes); set aside

3) Saute’ sausage in sauce pan until slightly browned; set aside

4) Saute’ mushrooms in sauce pan until they have softened

5) Add herbs, goat cheese mixture, pepper flakes, sausage, broth and half & half to mushrooms

6) Place sauce pan over medium/low heat and whisk together sauce, salt to taste and keep warm until pasta is ready

7) Cook pasta until “al dente”; fold sauce and asparagus into pasta and serve immediately

Yield: 4 servings

 

Happy Easter!

Bruno

Sourdough Boule w/ Flax & Sunflower Seeds

A new bread for a new season. This bread is a keeper… nice crunchy crust and an airy, chewy crumb. The seeds added some nice texture too! I used the same recipe as in my previous post on rye pain au levain but shaped it differently and exchanged the rye flour for equal parts flax and sunflower seeds. I made one large boule and baked it for 52 minutes (internal temperature reached 206 degrees F).

I experienced the same problem w/ the bread bursting at the seams and distorting the shape from the excellent oven spring. Next time I’ll try making 2 smaller loaves to see if this resolves the problem.

sourdough boule with flax and sunflower seeds1

sourdough boule with flax and sunflower seeds2

Happy baking…

Bruno

Bean & Escarole Stew w/ Spiced Pastry Crisps; Pear Tart w/ Quince Glaze

A comforting dinner for a cold winter night w/ friends.

The bean stew tasted better than it looks in the photo. There was no time for food fluffing… I had party guests arriving at any minute! Kalamata rather than Castelvetrano olives were used.  I browned some ham chunks for the non-vegetarians to add to their stew if desired. The stew recipe also called for garlic rubbed rustic bread toast which I substituted w/ the spiced pastry crisps. They’re very easy to make… just roll out some pastry/pie dough, cut into slivers and sprinkle w/ harissa spice blend and freshly grated parmesan, then bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees F.

 Bartlett pears were used for the tart although after grocery shopping I learned they are not the preferred choice for baking. Supposedly they don’t hold up well when baked, but the tart turned out fine.

bean-escarole-stew

pastry-dough-crisps

pear-tart1

pear-tart2

Navy Bean and Escarole Stew (recipe adapted from Bon Appetit)

Ingredients:

1 1/2 heads garlic

4 tablespoons olive oil

1 large onion – chopped

1 fennel bulb – chopped

1 1/4 tablespoons finely grated lemon zest

3 teaspoons finely chopped rosemary

3/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

3 bay leaves

3 cups dried navy beans soaked overnight, drained

8 oz. crumbled feta cheese

1 1/2 cups kalamata olives, pitted and halved lengthwise

1 head escarole, leaves torn into 2 inch pieces

Procedure:

1) Smash garlic cloves w/ the flat side of a chef’s knife.

2) Heat olive oil in a large dutch oven, add garlic and cook over medium heat, stirring often, until golden (approx. 5-7 min.).

3) Add onion and fennel, season lightly w/ salt, cook, stirring often, until onion is translucent and onion and fennel are browned around the edges (approx. 10-15 min.).

4) Add lemon zest, rosemary and red pepper flakes, stirring often, until rosemary is very fragrant (approx. 3-5 minutes).

5) Add bay leaves, beans, 1 teaspoon salt and 12 cups of water; bring to a simmer.

6) Partially cover pot, reduce heat to low, and gently simmer stew until beans are creamy and tender all the way through (approx. 60-80 minutes).

7) Add olives to stew, then add escarole in batches, letting it wilt slightly before adding more; simmer until escarole is tender (approx. 3-5 minutes).

8) Pluck out bay leaves, adding more salt if necessary (keeping in mind the feta is salty, so don’t over season).

9) Serve stew w/ feta and spiced pastry crisps on the side.

Yield: approx. 6 servings

Pear Tart w/ Quince Glaze (recipe adapted from About Food)

Ingredients:

Your favorite pastry dough (I made enough for 2 discs so I could make the pastry crisps for the stew)

5 pears – peeled, cored and sliced lengthwise 3/8 inch thick (I cut the slices in half so it would be easier to arrange in the tart)

1/3 cup sugar

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1/4 cup quince jelly

Procedure:

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2) Roll out 1 disc of dough so that it’s large enough to line a 10 inch tart dish. Carefully place dough into tart dish by rolling it up on rolling pin and unrolling into dish and letting it settle into corners – don’t press or stretch dough to avoid shrinkage while baking ; evenly trim excess dough from edges of dish.

3) In a bowl, add sugar and lemon juice, then add pear slices and toss so that all slices are coated w/ the lemon/sugar mixture.

4) Arrange the pear slices in concentric circles on the tart dough as neatly as possible.

5) Place tart on middle rack in oven and bake until crust is a nice golden brown (approx. 50 minutes); rotate tart in oven halfway through for even baking.

6) While tart is baking, place quince jelly and 1/8 cup water in a small pot and cook over low heat to dissolve and thicken into a syrup consistency.

7) When tart comes out of the oven, evenly brush quince glaze onto the pears.

8) Serve tart warm or at room temperature (w/ a nice snifter of Armagnac to warm you and your guests up on a cold winter night!).

Yield; 6 to 8 servings depending on how you slice it!

 

Happy New Year!!

Bruno

Persimmon Gelato w/ Lebkuchen Chunks

persimmon-gelato1

A seasonal treat for a perfect ending to your holiday feast. My taste testers seemed to like it, so this recipe is a keeper!

I always see persimmons in the grocery stores this time of year and have wanted to try making a gelato flavored w/ them. I used the Fuyu variety. If you decide to try this recipe, make sure you select ripe persimmons, otherwise they will be astringent.

Lebkuchen are a German holiday cookie that originated in Nuremberg over 600 years ago. They’re soft gingerbread w/ additional nuts and spices. I found the ones I used in this recipe at Trader Joe’s. You could easily substitute the Lebkuchen w/ ordinary soft gingerbread, or leave them out if you’re not a fan of the gingerbread flavor. Personally, I love gingerbread, not only because of the flavor, but also because it brings back fond childhood memories of Christmastime!

Persimmon Gelato w/ Lebkuchen Chunks

Ingredients:

4 Fuyu persimmons (peeled and pureed in food processor)

1 cup sugar

6 egg yolks

1 quart half & half

3/4 cup sugar iced Lebkuchen (cut into 1/2 inch chunks)

Procedure:

1) In a metal bowl, whisk egg yolks and sugar until mixture becomes smooth and pale yellow.

2) Place half & half in a heavy pot and heat until scalded.

3) Very slowly whisk half & half into egg/sugar mixture so as not to curdle the mixture.

4) Place bowl w/ mixture over a pot of simmering water, stirring continuously w/ a heat resistant spatula until mixture coats the back of a metal spoon (do not let mixture exceed 170 degrees F to prevent curdling), then quickly place bowl in an ice bath to stop the cooking process and promote rapid cooling.

5) In a food processor puree the persimmons, then pulse in some of  the gelato mixture to thin. Stir puree into the remaining gelato mixture, blending well, and chill in fridge for at least 4 hours or overnight. 

6) Churn mixture in ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions, adding the Lebkuchen chunks when mixture starts to freeze.

7) Pour gelato into a 2 quart plastic container, stir to evenly distribute the Lebkuchen chunks, then place a piece of parchment paper cut to size on the surface of gelato (this will reduce air exposure and prevent ice crystals from forming on the surface of the gelato). Seal container and freeze until firm.

Yield: Approx. 1 1/2 quarts 

Happy and delicious Holidays!!

Bruno

 

Garlicky Fermented Serrano/Jalapeno Hot Sauce

My garden produced so many hot peppers this year I had to think of new ways to use them all! In addition to making several batches of pepper jam, I decided to give this recipe a try. I fermented the peppers and garlic for 7 days before straining and pureeing. The flavor of the sauce is nice, however next time I will save some of the puree I strained out to thicken the sauce a bit more.

fermented-hot-sauce1 Day 1

fermented-hot-sauce2 Day 7

fermented-hot-sauce3 Finished product

Garlicky Fermented Serrano/Jalapeno Hot Sauce (recipe from Feast Magazine)

Ingredients:

4 cups serrano and jalapeno peppers – remove stems and halve lengthwise

10 cloves garlic – remove skins and smash slightly

1 tablespoon salt

2 cups water

Procedure:

1) Fill a 32 ounce jar w/ peppers and garlic

2) In a large bowl, dissolve salt in water. Pour just enough brine into jar to cover peppers and garlic.

3) Place fermentation weights over top of mixture to weigh it down.

4) Cover jar w/ a piece of cloth and secure w/ a rubber band. Allow mixture to ferment for 7 to 10 days. (the brine will become cloudy; this is a normal part of the process)

5) Once fermentation is complete, drain peppers and garlic, reserving brine.

6) In a food processor, puree peppers and garlic until a smooth paste forms. Add 1 tablespoon of brine at a time until hot sauce reaches desired consistency.

7) Run puree through a fine mesh strainer and store in a 12 ounce glass jar or bottle in refrigerator.

Yield: Approx, 12 ounces

Spice up your life!!

Bruno

Asian Basil Gelato w/ Roasted Hazelnuts

asian basil gelato with roasted hazelnuts1

Here’s a good recipe if you still have basil growing in your yard and don’t know what to do w/ it. You could surprise your friends at whatever Thanksgiving gathering you attend this year by bringing something unusual! In this recipe I used Asian basil to add a more pungent flavor, but any basil will work. I also tried a new technique of letting the basil steep in the gelato base in the fridge for 2 days before churning. This punched up the flavor and color.

Basil Gelato w/ Roasted Hazelnuts

Ingredients:

1 cup Asian basil leaves (packed)

6 egg yolks

1 cup sugar

1 quart half & half

1/2 cup roasted hazelnuts (coarsely chopped)

Procedure:

1) In a metal bowl, whisk egg yolks and sugar until mixture becomes smooth and pale yellow.

2) Place half & half in a heavy pot and heat until scalded.

3) Very slowly whisk warm half & half into egg/sugar mixture so as not to curdle the mixture.

4) Place bowl w/ mixture over a pot of simmering water, stirring continuously w/ a heat resistant spatula until mixture coats the back of a metal spoon (do not let mixture exceed 170 degrees F to prevent curdling), then quickly place bowl in an ice bath to stop the cooking process and promote rapid cooling.

5) Once cool, pour into a food processor, add basil and pulse until basil is finely chopped.

6) Pour back into bowl, cover (I use a shower cap that fits snuggly over the top) and place in fridge for 2 days.

7) Churn mixture in ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions, adding the hazelnuts when mixture begins to thicken.

8) Pour gelato into a 2 quart plastic container and quickly stir to evenly distribute the hazelnuts and basil.

9) Place a piece of parchment paper cut to size on the surface of gelato (this will reduce air exposure and prevent ice crystals from forming on the surface of the gelato), seal container and freeze until firm.

Yield: Approx. 1 1/2 quarts 

I hope you enjoy this recipe!

Bruno

Pepper Jam

Pepper Jam1

If you’re looking for something different to do w/ all those peppers growing in your garden, here’s a quick and easy recipe. I love the sweet and spicy flavors of this jam! Want it more sweet than spicy… just use less spicy peppers, add some bell peppers or just omit the hot pepper seeds/ribs. This jam will wake up your palate in the morning!

Pepper Jam (recipe adapted from popsugar.com)

Ingredients:

Mix of jalapeno and fresno peppers (stems, seeds and ribs removed, leaving seeds/stems of only 3 or 4 jalapenos) – enough for 2 cups when minced

3/4 cup of apple cider vinegar

1 1/4 cups of sugar

1 tablespoon fruit pectin

Procedure:

1) Finely mince peppers in a food processor

2) Place a small plate in the freezer

3) In a large heavy-bottomed pot combine minced peppers, cider vinegar and sugar. Bring to a rolling boil over medium high heat and boil for 10 minutes, stirring often.

4) Add fruit pectin, stirring constantly for 1 minute. Remove pot from heat.

5) Remove plate from freezer and dab a small amount of jam on it. Return plate to freezer for 1 minute. If the jam has jelled and does not slide down the plate when tilted it’s done. If the jam slides down, continue to cook mixture for another minute and try the freezer test again. If the jam is the desired consistency it’s ready.

6) Let cool a bit, then ladle into a jar.

Yield: 10 ounces

 

Pick a peck of peppers!

Bruno