Sunday, June 28, 2015

CCC ~ Beet Greens and Ricotta Tart - New Potato Salad Tartare - Halloumi, New Potato and Tomato Kebabs

New Potato Salad “Tartare"

June is almost over…and what a month it has been! We have been incredibly busy this year. Starting with a three day trip to NYC, a four day trip to Long Island for our annual grandkids field day visit, a bunch of birthdays, graduations, and a lovely Fathers Day picnic at a cousins house. And it hasn’t ended yet! This week, I will reopen Camp Grandma and Grandpa. This has all happened as I was trying to make a case, to my hubby, why we should sell and move from the country to the suburbs. My argument…”life is too quiet out here in the country".
So to bring this very busy month of June to a close…quite deliciously, here’s my post for the Cottage Cooking Club, a group cooking its way through Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s River Cottage Veg cookbook. My friend Andrea, of The Kitchen Lioness, is the creator of this talented group. I have not been very good at keeping up with the other bloggers. Hopefully that will change with my renewed commitment. 
From the long list of wonderful veggie choices…I decided to make three. 
First was the New Potato Salad “Tartare”. This salad was a big hit with my husband, who doesn’t usually eat or like potato salad. I loved the dressing, which consisted of Dijon mustard, apple cider vinegar, and olive oil. The best part of this salad was the soft egg yolks; it gave this salad such a creamy taste. I plan on making this potato salad my “go to” for the summer season. 

The new potato salad of choice in my house

My next choice was for the Beet Greens and Ricotta Tart. I loved this tart!  Even though I thought it luscious…Mr. Bill, not so much.  I will be hosting a luncheon for my lady friends in the next few weeks, and this will be a perfect addition to the menu! I think it may even get rave reviews. The simplicity of this attractive tart, and very appealing flavor makes it a winner! 

Beet Greens and Ricotta Tart
A wonderfully delicious, custardy tart…loved this one!

Lastly, I made the Halloumi, New Potato and Tomato Kebabs. I added mushrooms to mine. These were quite good. The Halloumi cheese, with its slightly salty taste, and its softened, melty texture, was mouthwatering. The Marinade consisted of olive oil, fresh thyme, fresh mint, honey and a pinch of dried chili flakes. You can serve these with Pita bread, along with some plain yogurt, or hummus.These were sensational…and will be making their way to my table quite often this summer. 

Halloumi, NewPotato, and Tomato Kebabs…with mushrooms

These recipes can be found in River Cottage Veg by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall. I’ve shared two of them below. Enjoy! 

New Potato Salad “Tartare” 
Adapted from River Cottage Veg 

INGREDIENTS
2 lbs. small new or waxy Potatoes
Ice
3 large eggs
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon fine sea salt, divided
2 pounds small red potatoes
2 tablespoons brine-cured capers, rinsed
1 tablespoon chopped cornichons (gherkins)
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives
¼ cup finely chopped fresh leaf parsley
¼ cup finely chopped fresh dill
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Vinaigrette
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1½ teaspoons Dijon mustard
½ teaspoon fine sea salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil


DIRECTIONS
1. Fill a large bowl with ice and water and set aside. Bring a medium saucepan of water to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-high and use a slotted spoon to slowly lower the eggs, one at a time, into the water. Simmer for 7 minutes, turn off the heat, and use a slotted spoon to transfer the cooked eggs to the ice water. Once the eggs are cool enough to handle, gently roll them on a counter to crack the shell, then peel it away (be careful, as the egg yolks are still semi-soft in the center).
2. Make the potatoes: Fill a medium saucepan with water and 2 tablespoons of the salt and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-high and add the potatoes. Simmer until a paring knife easily slips into the largest one, 9 to 12 minutes. Drain the potatoes in a colander and set aside until cool enough to handle, about 10 minutes. Halve the still-warm potatoes and transfer them to a large bowl.
3. Make the vinaigrette: In a small bowl, whisk together the apple cider vinegar, mustard, the salt and black pepper. While whisking, slowly drizzle in the olive oil a few drops at a time until the vinaigrette is creamy and emulsified.
4. Pour the vinaigrette over the still-warm potatoes, using a wooden spoon to combine, and set the mixture aside to cool completely, about 30 mintues. Once the potatoes have cooled to room temperature, add the capers, cornichons, chives, parsley, dill, remaining 1 teaspoon of salt and the ½ teaspoon of black pepper. Quarter the eggs and add them to the dressed potatoes. Serve the salad at room temperature. Calories per Serving: 210; Sodium: 980mg; Total Carbohydrate: 26g; Fiber: 3g; Protein: 6g; Fat: 10g 

Beet Greens and Ricotta Tart
from River Cottage Veg

Ingredients:
Pastry:
• 2 cups/ 250g plain flour
• A pinch of sea salt
• ½ cup plus 1 Tablespoon/ 125g chilled unsalted butter,
• cut into small cubes
• About 5 Tablespoons/ 75ml cold milk

Filling:
• Tops from a bunch of beetroot or a bunch of ruby or rainbow chard (about 300g in all)
• 1 tablespoon rapeseed or olive oil
• 1 large onion, sliced
• A handful of thyme sprigs, leaves only, chopped
• 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
• 100g ricotta salata, finely crumbled
• 2 large eggs, plus 2 extra egg yolks
• 1 cup/ 200ml double cream
• 1cup/ 200ml whole milk
• Sea salt and freshly ground
• black pepper
Directions:
Make the pastry, rest, then use to line a 9 inch tart pan and bake blind. 
To make the filling, chop the stalks from the beet tops or chard and shred the leaves.  Heat the oil in a large frying pan, add the onion with the thyme and sweat gently for about 10 minutes, until softened. Add the garlic and chopped beet or chard stalks. Cook, stirring often, for about 10 minutes, until the stalks are tender.
Add the shredded leaves and cook for another 5 minutes or so until the leaves have wilted right down. Season well with salt and pepper.  Spread the leafy mixture on the baked crust. Scatter the crumbled ricotta over the top. Lightly beat the eggs, egg yolks, cream and milk together in a bowl and season well with salt and pepper. Carefully pour this mixture over the tart filling. Bake the tart at 350° for about 35 minutes, or until golden. Serve warm or cold.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

TWD ~ BCM ~ Strawberry Shortcakes Franco-American Style


Baking Chez Moi ~ Strawberry Shortcakes Franco-American Style

It’s time for Tuesdays with Dorie again! This week our pick is for the very seasonable "Strawberry Shortcakes, Franco~American Style”.
Here in NJ, the pick your own Strawberry fields are open! It just so happens, that my friend and I went picking last week! The fragrance of the fields permeate the air as you drive into the parking area, with an alluringly, sweet strawberry aroma.  As I picked these beautiful berries, I knew I would be making jam, that’s a ritual for me. I also knew I would have plenty left over for a few luscious desserts! What should I make? That question was answered when I read this week’s pick for Tuesdays with Dorie!  Sweet serendipity!

This will definitely be a “go to” for Strawberry Shortcake…YUM!

This was a much easier recipe than I thought it would be. It begins with a cake batter, that Dorie tells us is her twist on the American strawberry shortcake; using a French biscuit  (biscuits à la cuillère) Ladyfingers. A lovely sponge cake piped into rounds.

Piped batter
Mine baked in 8 minutes…perfectly golden
A spongy, moist delicious cake 
The batter starts by beating egg whites, adding sugar slowly, then adding the whisked egg yolks, that had been lightened with some of the meringue. Fold the flour-cornstarch mixture into the egg mixture.  And that’s it!
I piped 3-inch circles of batter onto my baking sheet. They baked up fast. Mine were done in 8 minutes, and had a nice light golden color.  
Once they cool, it’s time to assemble the Strawberry Shortcakes. Mix the strawberries with sugar, and let stand while making the whipped cream.
I had never baked Ladyfingers before, and was surprised at how easy they were to make. So easy in fact, that I would without doubt make them again. Strawberry shortcakes with a French flair! I didn’t roast my strawberries, but am intrigued by the idea. Something new to try next time.

Friday, June 19, 2015

FFWD ~ The Grand Finale and Olive-Olive Cornish Hens

Dorista’s gathering in Seattle

This week for French Friday…we say good-bye! It's the Grand Finale! So, how do you say good-bye to a group that has been part of your life for 4 years, 7 months and 21 days! Thank you Trevor for the calculation! I haven’t quite figured that out yet!

This is our last celebration week! To mark this most momentous time, we can either choose our most loved recipe to make again, or a make-up. For me, it’s a make-up. I made the Olive-Olive Cornish Hens a long time ago, but never posted them. I think it’s time! This one was all about the technique. We learned to spatchcock a hen…WHAT?  Dorie explains that the French call this preparation en crapaudine, which translates roughly to “like a toad”. Which is what the flattened hens, with their legs splayed and their wings sticking out, resemble.

FFWD ~ Olive- Olive Cornish Hens
This was a dish we all enjoyed. I made it at the same time everyone else did…but because I was in Georgia visiting my son’s family, I never got it posted. When I look back at my photos, I cringe!  My photography has definitely improved, thanks to FFWD! The hens were delicious, even though, not so pretty. I’ve made this dish several times since then, to rave reviews.
After spending the week figuring out how many recipes I still have to make-up, I was amazed at how many wonderful recipes I have forgotten about! So many that I loved, and wanted to make again. Honestly, the number of make-ups is not as bad as I thought…but many of them are raw fish recipes, and I’m not sure if I can ever bring myself to make them! However, I am getting closer to making the dreaded Salmon in a Jar! I think Bill might like it…hehe! 

Moist and delicious game hens
I have made this dish several time to rave reviews
Saying good-bye is never easy, however this is not good-bye! Many of my FF’s group will be blogging along with Tuesdays with Dorie, as we bake our way through Dorie’s latest, "Baking Chez Moi"! Many will be cooking along with the Cottage Cooking Club. Many are my FB friends…and many I will see again because we have made much more than a virtual connection! Even though my heart is heavy, as I write this post, I know it is not good-bye! Just au revoir mes chers amis! Happy Friday Everyone!


Our first night in Seattle! Guyla, myself, Dorie, Liz, Cher and Alice

More Doristas in Seattle…Adriana, Tricia, Liz, Moi, Betsy, Mary and Patty
A mini meet-up in NYC with Cher and Gaye
Thank you Dorie for a wonderful adventure!
So as the sun sets on French Friday’s with Dorie…I get to say one last time...Happy Friday Everyone!

Saturday, June 13, 2015

FFWD ~ Celebration Week #3...Play It Again Dorie

Here we are…celebration week #3! We have been reminiscing for the last two weeks. Next week will be our very last post for French Fridays with Dorie. Hard to believe we are truly at the end of our journey. This week, the attention is on a “Play It Again Dorie” recipe! These are the recipe, or recipes that we make most often. This was easy for me, but yet again I could not pick just one. 

Roast Chicken for les Paresseux…the recipe that proved you could roast a beautiful chicken and enjoy it with little effort

My most "go to” dinner recipe is definitely the Roast Chicken for les Paresseux…"for the lazy”. This recipe has proven that you could make an appetizing meal with very little effort! It’s always well received and enjoyed by everyone! Roast chicken is one of those kitchen basics that every cook should master. 

This recipe, by Dorie, is the best roast chicken recipe I’ve made. It always comes out moist and delicious. The herbs add a marvelous fragrance and flavor that makes you anxious to dig in.  This one is a big winner in our house!

My “go to” dessert is a harder pick! I loved and repeated so many of them! But when push comes to shove, my favorite and most repeated dessert is a draw between Sable Breton Galette with Berries, and  Marie Helene’s Apple Cake

And last but not least…are the Slow Roasted Tomatoes. When my tomatoes are abundant, I make them all summer long. Definitely a “go to” recipe, and a winner for sure! I could go on, and on, and on, but you get the point!  Happy Saturday everyone!


Wonderfully delicious and quite easy…Slow Roasted Tomatoes
Marie Helenes Apple Cake…wonderful to say the least

My favorite “go to” summer dessert…gorgeous and luscious!!


Marie Helene’s Apple Cake
 From Around My French Table, by Dorie Greenspan

INGREDIENTS:

3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch of salt
4 large apples (if you can, choose 4 different kinds)
2 large eggs
3/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons dark rum
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled


PREPARATION: 
 
Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Generously butter an 8-inch springform pan and put it on a baking sheet lined with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper and put the springform on it.

Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together in small bowl.

Peel the apples, cut them in half and remove the cores. Cut the apples into 1- to 2-inch chunks.

In a medium bowl, beat the eggs with a whisk until they're foamy. Pour in the sugar and whisk for a minute or so to blend. Whisk in the rum and vanilla. Whisk in half the flour and when it is incorporated, add half the melted butter, followed by the rest of the flour and the remaining butter, mixing gently after each addition so that you have a smooth, rather thick batter. Switch to a rubber spatula and fold in the apples, turning the fruit so that it's coated with batter. Scrape the mix into the pan and poke it around a little with the spatula so that it's evenish.

Slide the pan into the oven and bake for 50 to 60 minutes, or until the top of the cake is golden brown and a knife inserted deep into the center comes out clean; the cake may pull away from the sides of the pan. Transfer to a cooling rack and let rest for 5 minutes.

Carefully run a blunt knife around the edges of the cake and remove the sides of the springform pan. (Open the springform slowly, and before it's fully opened, make sure there aren't any apples stuck to it.) Allow the cake to cool until it is just slightly warm or at room temperature. If you want to remove the cake from the bottom of the springform pan, wait until the cake is almost cooled, then run a long spatula between the cake and the pan, cover the top of the cake with a piece of parchment or wax paper, and invert it onto a rack. Carefully remove the bottom of the pan and turn the cake over onto a serving dish.

Serving:                                                                                                                                                     The cake can be served warm or at room temperature, with or without a little softly whipped, barely sweetened heavy cream or a spoonful of ice cream. Marie-Hélène's served her cake with cinnamon ice cream and it was a terrific combination.
 
Storing:                                                                                                                                                               The cake will keep for about 2 days at room temperature and, according to my husband, gets more comforting with each passing day. However long you keep the cake, it's best not to cover it - it's too moist. Leave the cake on its plate and just press a piece of plastic wrap or wax paper against the cut surfaces.



Roast Chicken for Les Paresseux                                           
from"Around My French Table" by Dorie Greenspan.

Prep Time: 30 mins
Total Time: 2 hrs
Servings: 4

Ingredients:

olive oil
1 thick slice bread ( or 2 slices baguette)
1 (4 1/2-5 lb) whole chickens, at room temperature
salt
fresh ground black pepper
2 sprigs rosemary
2 sprigs thyme
2 sprigs oregano
1 head of garlic, cut horizontally in half, unpeeled
2/3 cup dry white wine
4 baby potatoes, scrubbed and quartered
2 carrots, trimmed, peeled, and cut into thick chunks
4 shallots, left whole ( or 1 onion, quartered)

Directions:

Center a rack in the oven; preheat to 450°.
Rub the inside of a Dutch oven or other large high-sided casserole with oil and place the bread in the
center of the pot.
Season the chicken inside and out with salt and pepper.
Put half a sprig of each herb and half of the garlic inside the cavity.
Put the chicken in the pot, resting it on the bread.
Put the other garlic half in the pot, along with the remaining herbs, and pour in a few tablespoons of oil and the wine.
Slide the pot into the oven.
Roast chicken for 45 minutes.
Toss the potatoes, carrots, and shallots with enough olive oil to give them a shine, season generously with salt and pepper and scatter them around the chicken.
Roast the chicken undisturbed for about 45 minutes more, a total of about 90 minutes or until the skin is crackly and crisp and the juices run clear when you pierce the thickest part of the thigh with the top of a knife.
Remove the chicken from the oven.
Leave the chicken in the pot for 5-10 minutes to rest.
Transfer chicken and vegetables to platter; carve and serve.


Sable Breton Galette with Berries

INGREDIENTS 

FOR THE GALETTE:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 ¼ teaspoons baking powder
10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
⅔ cup granulated sugar
½ teaspoon fleur de sel or ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
1 large egg
 
FOR THE TOPPING (OPTIONAL):
About 1 cup lemon curd
About 3 cups berries (strawberries, raspberries, or blueberries, or a mix of these)
Red currant jelly, for glazing (optional)
Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting (optional) 

PREPARATION
 
To make the galette:
Whisk the flour and baking powder together.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or in a large bowl with a hand mixer, beat the butter on medium speed until soft and creamy. Add the sugar and salt and beat for another 2 minutes, or until the mixture is very smooth. Beat in the egg and mix for 2 minutes more. Reduce the mixer speed to low, add the flour, and mix only until it is blended into the mixture — you’ll have a very soft dough.
Working with a rubber spatula, give the dough a few turns to make sure you’ve picked up all the dry ingredients at the bottom of the bowl, then scrape the dough onto a piece of wax paper or plastic wrap. Press down on the dough to form it into a disk, wrap it well, and chill it for at least 3 hours. (The dough can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.)
When you are ready to bake the galette, center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Butter a 9- to 9 1/2-inch fluted tart pan with a removable bottom and put it on a baking sheet lined with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper.
To get the dough going, put it between two pieces of wax paper or plastic wrap and roll it into a circle. If it’s too difficult to roll — it’s soft and it has a tendency to break — skip the rolling part and go directly to the patting part: Put the dough in the center of the tart pan and pat and press it into an even layer. Don’t press the dough up the sides of the pan — you want as flat a surface as you can get. Place the pan on the baking sheet.
Bake the galette for 40 to 45 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and the edges come away from the sides of the pan; if you press the galette gently, it won’t feel completely firm, but that’s just fine. Transfer the pan to a cooling rack and let the galette rest for 3 minutes or so, then invert it onto another rack, invert again onto a rack, and let cool to room temperature right side up.
Just before you’re ready to serve, top the galette: Put the galette on a flat serving plate and spoon over as much lemon curd as you’d like, spreading it in swirls but leaving a little border around the edge bare (the curd will spread when you cut the base). If you’re using strawberries, hull them, leave them whole or slice them in half, and arrange the halves attractively over the curd. If you’ve got raspberries or blueberries or a mélange, scatter the berries over the curd or arrange them neatly in pretty circles.
If you want to give the galette a little glaze, warm ¼ cup or so of currant jelly with a tiny splash of water until it liquefies (you can do this in a microwave oven or a saucepan). Either drizzle the glaze over the berries — this is my preferred technique — or use a pastry brush or feather to paint the berries with the jelly.
If you haven’t glazed the berries, you might want to give them a dusting of confectioners’ sugar just before you’re ready to bring the galette to the table.
To serve, cut the galette into wedges and serve as is — nothing more is needed.

Adapted from "Around My French Table" by Dorie Greenspan (Houghton-Mifflin, 2010)

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Blogger Clue ~ Carrot Cake Cookies

Carrot Cake Cookies
Hello June! Summer is just getting under way here in the Northeast! It’s time for barbecues, ice cream making, berry picking and picnics! It’s also time for the Blogger Clue Society. This month our clue is... picnics!  I love picnics! When I was a child my grandmother would pack up the best picnics ever. Simple and yet wonderfully delicious! She would always include fresh tomatoes, cucumbers and peaches from my grandfather’s garden. There would also be chicken, hard-boiled eggs, and potatoes! And don’t forget the watermelon!  I try to recreate some of those memories for my grandchildren, each summer, when they come to visit. We always plan a few picnics!  


These were so delicious…perfect for your picnic

 This month I was charged with searching Lauren’s charming and delicious blog, Sew You Think You Can Cook. Lauren lives in Ohio with her husband and son. She is a full time mom at the moment, but has a degree in Aerospace Engineering…pretty impressive! She has a weakness for Coach, kitchen towels and holiday decorations…me too, Lauren!   
It was quite hard trying to find just one recipe to make. I found several very nice salads, and the Beet Biscuits sound terrific. However, the recipe that caught my eye was the Carrot Cake Cookies. Carrot Cake is one of my favorite desserts! Perfect to pack up for a lovely picnic, or just enjoy anytime! 
I made these lovely cookies with the help of my granddaughter, who loves to bake. She grated the carrots, measured out the flour, sugar, and other ingredients. I did the mixing, and scooped them onto the cookie sheet. We doubled the recipe because we have a bunch of cookie monsters in our family. They were a big hit, and enjoyed by all! Thanks Lauren, for a great recipe! 

Definitely a keeper…thanks Lauren


Carrot Cake Cookies                                                                                                           from Sew You Think You Can Cook

Ingredients:
1 stick butter, at room temperature
1/3 C sugar
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 C flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 C grated carrots
cream cheese frosting (optional)


Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. 
In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together butter and sugars. When creamy add in egg and vanilla extract and mix until combined. 
In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Add to the wet ingredients until combined. 
Gently fold in the shredded carrot. 
Spoon cookie batter onto a greased baking sheet. 
Bake for 8-10 minutes, until the edges are golden and slightly puffy in the center. Allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet for two minutes before removing to a cooling rack. 
When cookies are completely cool, frost with cream cheese icing if desired.


Blogger Clue Society

(Almost) Nancy's Chopped Salad w/ Oregano Vinaigrette by Heather from girlichef
Apple Chips by Lauren from Sew You Think You Can Cook
Barbecue Chicken Salad w/ Smoky Barbecue Vinaigrette by Kate from Kate's Kitchen
California Quinoa Greek Salad by Christiane from Taking on Magazines
Carrot Cake Cookies by Kathy from Bakeaway with Me
Chicken Salad w/ Peanut Dressing by Azmina from Lawyer Loves Lunch
Chicken Waldorf Salad by Aly from Cooking in Stilettos
Duck with Pear Wraps + Limeade with Chia Seeds by Kelli from Kelli's Kitchen
Fried Apple Pies by Liz from That Skinny Chick Can Bake
Green Bean & Corn Salad by Alice from A Mama, Baby and Shar-pei in the Kitchen
Loaded Baked Potato Salad by Lea Ann from Cooking on the Ranch
Oatmeal Peanut Butter Date Cookies by Rebekah from Making Miracles
Olive Sables by Lisa from Authentic Suburban Gourmet
Puff Pastry Antipasto Squares by Anna from annaDishes
Smoky Pimento Cheese Spread by Debra from Eliot's Eats
Sweet and Spicy Barbecue Baked Beans + Chickenburger Roll-in-a-Basket by Kathy from A Spoonful of Thyme
Thomas Keller's Chocolate Chip Cookies by Kim from Liv Life
Tuscan Bean Salad by Stacy from Food Lust People Love
Watermelon Feta Salad by Jean from Lemons and Anchovies
White Bean, Bacon and Rosemary Salad by Wendy from A Day in the Life on the Farm
Christy from Confessions of a Culinary Diva

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

TWD ~ BCM ~ Chocolate-Cherry Brownies

TWD ~ BCM ~ Chocolate-Cherry Brownies

This week our pick, for Tuesdays with Dorie, are brownies. Not just any old brownie…but Chocolate-Cherry Brownies! These little gems, dotted with cherries that have been macerated in a fruity red wine or port, definitely are Brownie Nirvana! The best part about making Dorie’s recipe was how incredibly easy they were to prepare!

Chocolaty Nirvana  

I used Shiraz (a red fruity wine) and water to simmer the dried cherries in. Once they plumped up and the liquid was absorbed, I let them cool. Then the butter gets melted with the chopped chocolate, and the sugar gets beaten in until incorporated. Beat in the cold eggs, one at a time until the batter has thickened, and becomes glossy. Finish by adding the salt, pepper (I would use more next time, I expected more of a bite from the pepper) and flour, stirring only to incorporate. Stir in the cherries, chocolate pieces, and bake. Pretty easy, huh?
This brownie gets its deliciousness from double chocolate, and those wonderful wine-soaked cherries! Dorie tells us these brownies should be more molten (wet) than cake-like. However, I did find the timing off on this recipe. The recipe says to bake at 325 for 27 to 29 minutes…mine were still quite wet at that point. I baked mine for about 37 minutes total.

A big hit with all the brownie lovers in my family

Last weekend, we were visiting with our grandchildren on Long Island. We attended some end of the school year activities including field day, baseball games, and dance classes!  These Chocolate-Cherry Brownies were a rewarding treat that everyone enjoyed! Hard to eat just one! Happy Tuesday everyone!

Check out what the other bakers thought of this recipe here. If you’d like to give this one a try, it can be found in Dorie’s new cookbook, “Baking Chez Moi”.
This recipe has been previously published by BHG by Dorie. You can find it here.

Make yourself a batch…you won’t regret it!!


Friday, May 29, 2015

FFWD ~ My Aha Moment…Betcha Can’t Just Choose Five

Pierre Hermé’s Olive Sablés 
Salty-sweet treat that spawned my Aha moment 
As I baked and cooked my way through “Around My French Table”, I had many Aha moments! So many in fact, I could never honestly pick one…or five for that matter! Since my passion is baking, most of those moments happened while I was elbow deep in flour, baking something new and exciting! Something I never tried before, or something that turned out to be much easier than I thought it would be. Learning new techniques along the way, with Dorie’s help! One of my favorite French Friday picks was the Bubble Top Brioche. I’d made Brioche previously, but with Dorie holding my hand, I had incredible results! Another favorite for me was the Paris Brest. Again, I was no stranger to Pate Choux, but doing something complex, and having it turn out so gorgeous, was quite rewarding!  

No list for me would be complete without the sweetest little pastries, born and bred in France (according to Dorie), called Fianciers and Chocolate Fianciers. I've made them many times, to rave reviews! They are my “go to” little cake, whenever I need an elegant dessert to add to a dessert platter. They are requested most often! Another moment of surprise came to me when I first tasted Shrimp Filled Zucchini Blossoms! If you are growing zucchini, give these little gems a try…you will not be disappointed! And yet another, I always dreaded the thought of making mussels, something I avoided for years. Making Dories Moules Mariniere brought on one more aha moment! They were easy, what was I so afraid of? Easy and absolutely delectable! 

And the one recipe that gave me the biggest surprise was, the very magical little butter cookie known as Sablés (French Shortbread).  I fell head over heels for them. Any variation will do!  Although, the one that caused my Aha moment was Pierre Hermé’s Olive Sablés. Salty-sweet or sweet-salty…such a surprise! They are absolutely delightful, served with a glass of wine, champagne, or maybe some sherry.  Honestly, I enjoy them with my tea! I adore salty-sweet treats! I decided to make these as my FF pick. A recipe that stands out for giving me one of my best aaha moments! 

However, five is too few! I fell in love with many... Pumpkin Stuffed with Everything Good, is now one of my Thanksgiving traditions! The Osso Buco a l’arman was amazing, and will be made again and again!! And who could resist the Coeur à la Cremea huge hit with my family! I could go on and on and on…but I will leave it where it is, and just say Happy Friday Everyone!!

To see what the other Dorista’s picked for their Aha moments check it out here. All of these wonderful recipes can be found in Dorie Greenspans cookbook, “Around My French Table”. 


Bubble Top Brioche 
Paris Brest
Fianciers

Moules Mariniere
Shrimp Filled Zucchini Blossoms



Pierre Hermé’s Olive Sablés

From Around My French Table by Dorie Greenspan  


Serving Great with white wine and Champagne, these are also perfect with cocktails.

Storing The logs of dough can be frozen for up to 2 months; there’s no need to defrost before slicing and baking.

1 large hard-boiled egg, white discarded or reserved for other uses
2¼ cups all-purpose flour
6 tablespoons potato starch (available at health food stores and in the kosher section of supermarkets)
15 tablespoons (1 stick plus 7 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/3 cup olive oil (a fruity oil is best)
1 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
2½ ounces (about 1/2 cup) pitted black olives, preferably oil-cured, chopped

Grate the hard-boiled egg onto a piece of wax paper. Put the flour and potato starch in a strainer set over a large bowl and sift into the bowl; whisk to thoroughly blend.

Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the butter on medium speed until it’s soft and creamy. Beat in the olive oil, followed by the grated yolk. Blend in the confectioners’ sugar, reduce the speed to low and add the dry ingredients. Mix until the dough just comes together—there’s no reason to beat this dough, and you shouldn’t—then stir in the chopped olives. You’ll have a soft, pliable dough. (If you prefer, you can make the dough by hand, using a rubber spatula to blend the butter, oil, yolk and sugar and to fold in the dry ingredients and olives.)

Turn the dough out onto a work surface, divide it into thirds, and shape each piece into a log about 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Wrap the dough in plastic and chill for several hours or, better yet, overnight. If you’re in a hurry, you can freeze the logs for an hour or so.

When you’re ready to bake the sablés, center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 325°F. Line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper.
Working with 1 log at a time, slice the cookies 1/4 inch thick and arrange them on the baking sheet—you want to bake these one sheet at a time.
Bake the sablés for 15 to 18 minutes, rotating the baking sheet at the midway mark, or until the cookies are firm, but not colored. They may turn golden around the edges, but you don’t want them to brown. Transfer the cookies to a rack to cool, and repeat with the remaining logs of dough, making sure to use a cool baking sheet each time.
Makes about 60 cookies.