food

I’m gathering some useful recipes on one page for easier access.

waffles

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1.5 cups milk
  • 1/3 cup butter, melted
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Boot up waffle iron.  Mix dry ingredients.  Melt the butter, then add milk, eggs and vanilla; mix with dry ingredients.  Cook.

scones

Original post.

  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tea­spoons bak­ing powder
  • 1 tea­spoon salt
  • 1 tea­spoon sugar
  • 1oz (30g) butter
  • ½ cup milk
  • ¼ cup water

Pre­heat oven to 475ºF.  Mix dry ingre­di­ents.  Rub in the but­ter with the fin­ger­tips until it resem­bles fine bread­crumbs; do not over-handle.  Pour in the milk and water and mix lightly and quickly to form the dough.  Turn it out onto a floured sur­face, knead lightly and pat to a 2cm thick­ness.  Cut into cylin­ders with a floured cham­pagne flute.  Put the cylin­ders on a lightly greased cookie sheet, packed in close, and brush with a bit of milk.  Bake about 10 min­utes, or until done.  While bak­ing, whip some cream and find the jam.

Make tea.

crepes

  • 1.5 cups flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 4 tbsp powdered sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/3 cup milk
  • 2/3 cup water
  • a dash of vanilla or a grating of lemon rind

Mix dry ingredients.  Separately mix wet ingredients; add to well in dry ingredients and combine, being careful not to overmix but avoiding clumps.  Make crepes, preparing crepe pan with butter.

While they’re making, whip some cream, wash berries, and squeeze lemons.  Powdered sugar optional.

popovers

Original post.  Note, this requires a special popover baking form.

  • 8 eggs
  • 1 quart bread flour
  • 1 quart milk
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup oil
  • ½ tbsp salt

Preheat oven to 350ºF.  Mix all ingredients with a whisk for about 2 minutes (I use the kitchen mixer).  If time allows, allow to warm to room temperature before baking.  Brush the cups of the popover form with butter, and fill each cup to the rim with batter.  Bake 40-50 minutes or until browned.  Don’t remove prematurely or they’ll fall.

chocolate lava cake

Original post.

  • 1 2/3 cups sugar
  • 2/3 cup flour
  • 1 tea­spoon salt
  • 18 tbsp cacao
  • 10.5 oz butter, melted
  • 4 eggs
  • vanilla to taste

Preheat oven to 400ºF.  Mix dry ingre­di­ents.  Pour in the melted but­ter and eggs.  Fill in bake form that has been but­tered and coated with finely ground polenta (should be <1″ thick).  Put into oven.  Bake only until center is still glistening; should remain a bit liquid on the inside.  Serve with barely sweetened whipped cream and fresh berries.

chicken marbella

Original post.

  • 4 chick­ens, 2½ pounds each, quartered
  • 1 head of gar­lic, peeled and finely pureed
  • ¼ cup dried oregano
  • coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ cup red wine vinegar
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 1 cup pit­ted prunes
  • ½ cup pit­ted Span­ish green olives
  • ½ cup capers or caper­ber­ries with a bit of juice
  • 6 bay leaves
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup white wine
  • ¼ cup chopped Ital­ian pars­ley

In a large bowl com­bine gar­lic, oregano, salt and pep­per, vine­gar, olive oil, prunes, olives, capers with caper juice, and bay leaves.  Add the chicken pieces and coat com­pletely with the mari­nade.  Cover and let mar­i­nate, refrig­er­ated, sev­eral hours or overnight.

Pre­heat oven to 350°F.  Arrange chicken in a sin­gle layer in one or two large, shal­low bak­ing pans and spoon mari­nade over it evenly.  Sprin­kle chicken pieces with brown sugar and pour white wine around them.

Bake for 50 min­utes to 1 hour, bast­ing fre­quently with the sauce.  Chicken is done when thigh pieces, pricked with a fork at their thick­est point, yield clear yel­low juice (not pink).

With a slot­ted spoon, trans­fer chicken, prunes, olives, and capers to a serv­ing plat­ter.  Add sauce and sprin­kle with pars­ley.

fish stew

Original post.

  • An onion.

Fry in olive oil.  Add:

  • Cumin seed
  • Corian­der seed
  • Sev­eral sprigs of thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Fen­nel seed
  • Sev­eral cloves gar­lic (pressed or finely chopped)
  • Saf­fron
  • Sea salt to taste
  • Pernod.

When onions are golden add:

  • 1 can of San Marzano DOP toma­toes (can be chopped before­hand, and can sub­sti­tute fresh Roma toma­toes if suf­fi­ciently good ones are available)

Cook down for a good 20 min­utes.  Then add:

  • Chicken broth or fish stock till the base is as thick or thin as you like.
  • When that’s cooked about 20 min­utes, add assorted seafood.  Typically:
  • Monk­fish
  • Salmon, in chunks cut from a steak is easiest
  • Spot prawns
  • Clams
  • Mus­sels

I use the prawn shells and heads to make the stock.

For extra joy, I also add sea scal­lops at the end, which I’ve seared in but­ter and flamed with Pernod.

This should be served with a crusty bread.

fennel gratin

Original post.

Take bulbs of fresh fen­nel and wrap them tightly in tin­foil with no leaks.  Roast them in the oven at 375°F for a good while.  Open them care­fully over a bowl, as you want to save any liquor that may escape.  The bulb should be soft and juicy all the way through.

Cut each bulb in half length­wise and put into a ramekin, cut side down (or use a baking dish).  Don’t leave too much sur­round­ing space.  Mix any juice with lots of heavy cream and grated Parmigiano-Reggiano; pour over the fennel.  Put these ramekins or baking dish back into the oven at 400-450°F.  When done, run them under the broiler if needed to lightly char the upper surface.

seafood risotto

Original post.

  • prawns
  • bay scal­lops
  • lemons
  • pars­ley
  • but­ter and olive oil
  • shal­lots
  • gar­lic
  • anchovies
  • arbo­rio or vialone nano risotto rice
  • white wine
  • parmi­giano reggiano

Peel and devein shrimp, keep­ing the peel­ings in a small pot.  Just cover the peel­ings with water, and put on gen­tle boil to make a sim­ple stock.

Grate the peel off the lemons, mak­ing a bed from the peels in a bowl.  Juice the lemons, and set the juice aside.  In a heavy risotto-friendly pot, sauté the shrimp in but­ter and olive oil.  When just done, pick them out and put them in the lemon peel bowl.

Drain the scal­lop juice into the stock, and sear the scal­lops, using a bit more but­ter as nec­es­sary.  The point of using small bay scal­lops here is to max­i­mize the carameliz­able sur­face area with­out need­ing to cut them open, which I’ve found can dry them out.  Toss the caramelized scal­lops into the bowl with the shrimp, and pour the lemon juice over them, then olive oil on top to pro­tect.  Mix in plenty of chopped pars­ley.  This oil won’t be cooked, be sure to use your good stuff.

Chop up the shal­lots finely and fry in the risotto pot, again adding but­ter as needed.  Here I vio­lated a rule and added crushed gar­lic as well (the rule being to avoid the use of onion/shallot and gar­lic in the same dish).  When trans­par­ent, add a cou­ple of anchovies, and con­tinue to turn over until this fla­vor base is light gold.  Add the risotto rice and stir, sear­ing it.  When ready, pour in white wine, stir­ring with empha­sis.  Pour your­self a glass too.  When it has bub­bled away and turned creamy, begin the usual lengthy process of slowly adding stock and stir­ring, mak­ing sure the risotto doesn’t stick and keeps the right con­sis­tency.  Keep adding water as needed to the stock pot.  At this point you’re talk­ing with your friends while stir­ring, and you’re on your sec­ond glass.

When the risotto is done, swirl in the lemon/oil/shrimp/scallop mix­ture.  There should be enough fresh olive oil in there to make it unnec­es­sary to do the usual trick of drop­ping a bunch of but­ter in at the end (“man­te­care il risotto”).  Although tra­di­tion­ally one doesn’t use Parmi­giano with seafood risotti, I thought adding a bit at this stage didn’t hurt at all.  Another rule bro­ken.  I found com­fort in this won­der­ful cook­book from the south of Italy, in which Wanda Torn­abene con­fesses to also break­ing this rule on occasion.

For gen­eral advice on mak­ing risotto, con­sult Mar­cella Hazan’s bible on clas­sic Ital­ian cooking.

red sauce

Original post.

  • an onion
  • if very good fresh sauce-friendly tomatoes are available, use these; otherwise, tinned San Marzano tomatoes only DOP from the Sarnese-Nocerino area.
  • a stick of butter

Cut the onion in half and combine it with the tomatoes and the stick of butter, preferably in a wide, shallow pan.  Simmer slowly.  Use a masher to macerate the tomatoes as you go, and if there are skins, remove them.

When the sauce is done, remove the onion, and serve with pasta.

 

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